Franklin Realtor, custom-home builder marks anniversary

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

FRANKLIN—Jim Hart drove a motorcycle, wore long hair and was a student at Paul D. Camp Community College when he got into real estate in May 1977.

This year, Hart marks his 35th year in business.

The owner and broker of Re/Max Now in Franklin, he got interested in the career after taking a real estate class “on a whim.”

“I thought it was a profession and not just a job,” Hart said. “I thought it would be fun and it has been. There’s no greater feeling than seeing a new family move into a home.”

The 56-year-old began his career with RTR Realty.

“I was 20 years old, but looked a lot younger, and I was working in Suffolk,” he said. “It was a difficult formula to be successful in real estate.”

The Franklin native took a job with Manry Rawls, which meant making one change.

“When Durwood Scott went to talk to Mr. Ashby Rawls (about hiring Hart) he said, ‘You can hire him, but he has to cut that hair,’” Hart said. “So I did.”

Hart married his wife, Cathy, in January 1983 and quit his job after their honeymoon.

“I decided that was going to be the easiest time of our lives, and if I was going to open up an office, it would be then,” he said.

Hart left Manry Rawls on good terms and started Hart Realty Co., which moved to the old Western Auto building at 110 N. Main St. in 1985.

Hart became a licensed contractor to bolster his real estate business.

“When you’re selling a house, there are always minor repairs that have to be made,” he said.

In 1992, the two companies split, and in 1995, both moved to the building where they’re housed now on Armory Drive near Walmart.

Hart has two sons, Will, 24, and Forrest, 20.