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Executive Voice

How Jennifer Patterson Went From CPA to Top Chapel Hill Realtor

Jennifer Patterson has a list of considerable strengths. Among them are her ability to effectively negotiate at a high level on behalf of her clients, keen listening skills, high attention to detail, and excellent communication (i.e. keeping her clients in the loop throughout the entire process). These skills have helped position her as a top realtor in the Chapel Hill Durham region. She is able to produce sales that leave all parties highly satisfied, while saving clients time, money, and preventing unnecessary anxiety.

In succinct words, she is described as “simply the best.” Another characterization identifies her as a successful strategist, who is outstanding at marketing, and with an undeniably tireless passion that ties them all together. This comes as no surprise. In his book, Talent is Overrated, Geoff Colvin studies what separates world-class performers from the rest. One of the traits of excellent performers, which he found, is a sturdy foundation of deep industry knowledge that enabled continued learning, mastery, and improved memory.


Creating a track record

Numerous testimonies from her clients—some of whom are high-profile professionals like Duke Health System president Tom Owens, attest to this. Among commonly used words like “recommend” when they speak of her, words like “friend/friendly” also come up. Her combination of business acumen and passionate customer care ensures that even rookie homebuyers like Margaret Gourlay have a rich experience; she cites Patterson’s “superb” communication skills and swift execution to being critical in helping her purchase her ideal home. All in all, she leaves nothing but happy customers likely to recommend her, in her trail.

Her long track record of continuous excellence has earned her both local and national recognition. Business Insider has listed her as one of the Top 10 Agents to watch in 2021. She was once featured in Triangle Business Journal as a Top 25 Individual Realtor and has also been featured in Top Agent Magazine. She has been Chapel Hill Sales Associate of the Year in her firm for three out of the past five years (2016, 2018, 2019), demonstrating a dynastic sales performance. She is part of the Top Producers Council, clocking $10M+ in annual sales.

And get this, she has only been doing this for fifteen years. Before she became one of the top Agents in the country—and certainly the crème de la crème in her locality when it came to matching families with their perfect homes, or investors with their desired properties, she was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for 26 years. Both fields, at first glance, appear incompatible. But such a professional background grounded Patterson with a firm foundation, and equipped her with the critical skillset she would need to carve out a sizable niche in the next career of interest: Real Estate.


Needing a CPA

Every organization requires a CPA, that trusted professional who helps businesses and individuals reach financial goals. Their scale of the clientele can range from government agencies to Fortune 500 companies, to local businesses. They can be chief financial officers, or advisors, consulting on myriad topics like taxes and finances within their organization. Such a career can open doors that lead to highly desired jobs or contracts.

The American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) lists eight critical skills in order for one to become an effective CPA. One is Problem-Solving/Analytical/Research skills, which means the accountant must be able to analyze and interpret facts and figures, as well as conduct research. It’s data-driven decision making which, coupled with her passion, explains Patterson’s uncanny ability to match clients to ideal homes. Real Estate is a numbers game, too.


Communication & Technology

Other listed critical skills by AICPA are personal skills, strong communication, and high ethics standards, all of which Patterson possesses. It’s no surprise then, when she decided it was time for a career change, that she was able to transition and perform at an elite level. This is not a recent spurt of professional excellence, but a continuation of decades-long sustained superior performance. Her history as a CPA saw her enlisted by Fortune 500 companies the likes of KPMG and Deloitte, as well as by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Health System. Her understanding of emergent technology, another critical skill for CPAs, explains her diligence in optimizing results and client experience using the latest technology.

Being a married mother of two, whose children went to schools in Chapel Hill, Durham, and Raleigh, underscores her credibility, and her commitment to the community in which she both lives and works. She is dedicated to ensuring that those who enter that community, enlisting her as their first point of entry through the purchase of a home, enter on good and happy footing. It is no wonder that she has eighty-five 5-star ratings on Zillow and counting.

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