Concern for clients motivates Realtor
Published 12:09 pm Saturday, January 20, 2018
LaToya Adkins-Sweat, BS, has opened the doors to her first business, Sweat Realty Group LLC, and has made Downtown Franklin the base from where her clients can find just the right house to become their home.
The grand opening ceremony took place on Wednesday morning in front of the office on Middle Street, but she had already opened on Dec. 16, and has since sold houses, with about nine clients for whom she’s seeking properties.
The experienced real estate agent emphasized that she intends to do more than just sell.
“I truly care about my clients — about people,” said LaToya, explaining that what she finds for them should “feel like home.”
“I don’t want to force clients. If I need to show 10 houses, sure,” she said, adding that she’ll check in with buyers a year after purchase to ensure they’re fully satisfied with what they bought. “We like to have peace of mind.”
The ‘we’ to whom she refers is her husband, JuDonald “Jay” Sweat, a contractor for over 35 years. He started out at age 15 needing to work and was fortunate to be mentored by a pastor who taught him to become a brickmason, a profession to which he returned to after college. Sweat had since expanded his skill set to include other facets of construction work.
Referring to him and her family as her “support system,” JuDonald will often accompany her as protection for when she has to travel to various properties.
That family includes her two sons and her parents, Donnie and Rosa Adkins. JuDonald, the son of Virginia Murphy-Sweat and the late Carl Sweat, has three daughters. They attend services at White Oak Spring Baptist Church on Delaware Road, where Melvin Wofford is their pastor.
Her own journey to becoming a real estate agent initially started through friends. She said it was Wesley Fennell who introduced her to real estate, but it was Antwan Warren, the owner of Sears in Franklin, who encouraged her to become a real estate broker.
At the time she decided to learn the profession, LaToya was working as an activities assistant at Nansemond Rehabilitation in Suffolk. She then began to balance that with classes at St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville. During that time, she also met JuDonald at church.
LaToya passed the state and national board exams. In 2008, she began part-time for a real estate agency, working there six years. She was also working as a qualified mental health professional in the Southampton County School system.
It was while driving one day from the Southside to the Peninsula, said LaToya, when got the call that affirmed her to becoming a real estate agent full time. But the message was not via text or cell phone, but a clearly heard message from her Lord to quit the work she was doing and pursue the other.
“I stepped out on faith and life’s been really good since,” she said. Last April is when the couple decided to create their own business. Her husband showed how much they could save in fees being associated with an agency. For example, $360 for licensing; $2,344 for a multiple listing service; and $1,500 for website.
Having already earned a broker’s license qualified her to have her own practice. The couple got to work finding a place, and though she’s been the principal broker for the time being, two more agents are forthcoming.
To learn more, or even find a house, visit Sweat Realty Group LLC, located at 218 Middle St., Franklin. Contact her at 556-8015 or 304-5950 (fax.)