Local REALTORS pitch in for beautification

Published 7:28 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

There’s more to being a REALTOR than helping people buy or sell a property. The term itself means something more.

The condition of being a REALTOR involves abiding by a list of requirements topped by their code of ethics. A little farther down the list is consumer outreach, but it’s the reason why a group of local REALTORS, and members of the Washington-Beaufort County Board of REALTORS, recently pulled out rakes and hoes, loaded a truck with plants and mulch and set about beautifying the corner of West Main Street and Stewart Parkway in downtown Washington. Included among them were Board President Glenn Holt, Vice President John Easterling, Secretary Beth Byrd and Board members Chris Respess, Thad Roberts, Abbott Tunstall, Jeff Tripp and Tammy Berry, along with real-estate agent Beth Wilder.

“We do different things throughout the year, and this is just one of them. We thought it was important and a somewhat easy thing to do for the community that would make an impact,” said Byrd, a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker Coastal Rivers Realty.

UNITED: United Country owner Chris Respess and United Country agent Beth Wilder spread mulch around newly planted yew and liriope.

On July 19, an arid patch of land at the entrance of the business district in downtown Washington was transformed with yews, liriope, two planters of flowers and plenty of mulch. Berry, with Century 21 The Realty Group, enlisted the help of husband Kent, owner of Cutting Edge Turf Care, to design the layout of the beds, select plants and pick out planters to match the new Washington Harbor District wayfinding signs.

For Berry, being able to take part in the remake of that corner is personal: she’s called Washington home since the 1970s.

“Living in such a historic town and new people coming to our area, the pride that we take in our city, being able to display that, whether it’s plants or the renovation of historic buildings — we take pride in it,” Berry said. “It’s very sentimental to me to be able to give back to a town that’s given so much to me and my family.”

Tunstall, a REALTOR with The Rich Company, said it’s the little things like a busy corner with a well-tended garden that make an impression on potential buyers, especially those touring town for the first time.

“It’s downtown, that’s what makes Washington, Washington — our beautiful waterfront. That is what allows us to have 80-plus members of our (WBCBR) board and allows us all to sell real estate,” Tunstall said. “We picked a corner and that’s a pretty big-size bed. It ended up being a great little project. We cleaned up all the beds that were there before and planted about 15 to 20 plants. I think it looks great.”

BEFORE: Though cared for the by the City of Washington, the corner lot, bisected by a walkway, had become overgrown and weedy, until local REALTORS stepped in.

AFTER: A day spent working on the corner of West Main Street and Stewart Parkway yielded big results in a beautified entrance to downtown Washington’s business district, courtesy of Washington-Beaufort County Board of REALTORS members.