Passion is a powerful trait that represents the deepest enthusiasm and zeal. Readily noticed because of its sincerity, passion is driven from within and inspires people to work and live to their fullest extent possible, creating a positive difference.
Realtors Don and Linda Shurts understand this first-hand. The husband-and-wife team with Keller Williams Advantage Real Estate is fueled by passion that derives from helping people discover and acquire the property of their dreams.
You may find Linda touring a lavish custom-built home in Beavercreek or an equestrian property in Waynesville with her out-of-town buyers on one day. Then, she is consulting with first-time home buyers at her office, sharing with them the pathway to home ownership and explaining the current market conditions, 24 hours later.
Don spends a bulk of his time with local homeowners, discussing marketing strategies for selling their home in today’s heated real estate market. You’ll also find him showing homes to his under-contract properties owners or airmen PCSing to Wright Patterson AFB.
“Everyone has a dream for what they are looking for in their next home, and it is different from person to person,” Linda said. “We also recognize that a client’s personal goals regarding their home change with the season of life.”
Today, the Shurts are Keller Williams Luxury Home Specialists and Military Relocation Professionals who have won multiple sales volume awards and are annually ranked among the top agent teams in the Dayton region. The story of how they transitioned into the real estate profession illustrates why they cultivated their success.
A Dayton Christian High School graduate who earned a ministry degree from Evangel University in Missouri, Don embarked on a rewarding 28-year tenure in pastoral ministry.
“I secured my real estate license when I was searching for a property for our church,” Don said. “I didn’t originally intend to make real estate a career. When people started asking me to list their home for sale or help them buy a home, I discovered that this was something that was meaningful and rewarding because I was able to help people with such a monumental life decision.”
That first year, in 2004, Don completed a $920,000 deal for a 200-acre property, and business gradually increased. Linda, a graduate of Beavercreek High School, earned a degree in medical technology from Wright State University and specialized in microbiology and virology at hospitals in Dayton, Columbus, and Kansas City. While working full time at Kettering Health Network, Linda acquired her real estate license in 2005 and started assisting Don by showing houses in the evenings and weekends. Their client base continued to flourish, and they were left with an impactful decision in 2007.
“I could no longer keep up with working the hours at the hospital, and helping Don with real estate, and Don could only work with a set number of clients on his own. We knew that if our real estate business was going to continue to grow, it was necessary for me to leave my job at the hospital,” Linda said. “It was a substantial risk, especially since the real estate market was facing the mortgage meltdown of 2007.”
The couple relied upon their Christian faith and prayed, and Linda felt compelled to make the change and face the risk in the midst of the economic downturn.
“Within three months of joining Don full time, I matched my annual salary with the hospital,” Linda said. “That reinforced that I made the right decision. No regrets!”
Sales volume and revenue continued to increase yearly, even when the real estate market struggled. Out of nearly 3,000 local real estate agents, the Shurts team ranked in the top 40 agents/teams in the Dayton area in 2016 with a production of nearly $14 million in total volume.
“We thank God every day for His blessing on our real estate business and the wonderful clients that have crossed our path,” Don said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today!”
Providing peace of mind is important for most clients, and that is what the Shurts offer.
“Don and Linda were so helpful in both selling my previous home in record time, and Linda was especially helpful in finding a new home that fit me perfectly,” a recent client said. “They both helped calm my nerves, and they were so reassuring and encouraging during the transition period. I couldn’t be happier with their help in the entire process, and with their patience, encouragement, and expertise.”
The Shurts partly attribute the growth of their business to a significant investment in marketing and promotions for their clients. They step dramatically beyond placing homes in the local MLS. Each seller’s home is placed on more than 350 real estate-related websites, presented on a YouTube Channel and Facebook, and showcased on a mobile app. The couple also provides clients with professional photography, professional staging, and digital staging for vacant homes. Potential buyers can take a 3-D tour or a walk-through video tour of their clients’ homes. In addition, each client’s home is illustrated on premium brochures, postcards, and flyers.
“Many of our clients find us online at our real estate website, MiamiValleyDreamHomes.com,” said Linda. “I’m usually the first to chat with our online clients. They like the ease and speed of our website, which is updated every five minutes with the latest information.
“We really enjoy meeting our online clients for the first time. It’s always fun getting acquainted while we find their Dayton area home,” she added. “After the sale, we are honored to stay friends and continue building the relationship.”
Don earned the National Association of REALTORS e-PRO designation, which represents one percent of all REALTORS in the country. He is also a Certified New Home Specialist (CNHS). Linda has received the real estate designation of an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional), ABR (Accredited Buyers Representative), and the MRP designation (Military Relocation Professional). Realtors with these titles are trained to provide the highest quality services, client representation, and the latest innovative real estate tools.
The Shurts embrace working with clients locally, and those moving to Dayton from outside of Ohio.
“I was moving to Dayton from out of state and initially selected Don and Linda from reading their website,” a client said. “Then, I met with Linda and talked with her and just knew she was going to listen to me, work hard for me, and that she knew the area.
“When the time arrived to search for houses, she was prepared every day with a booklet for me to follow and had her GPS pre-programmed to take us house-to-house by appointment,” the client added. “Don and Linda value your time and do not show houses that don’t fit what you want. They listen, and that is a valuable trait in a Realtor.”
The Shurts have carved a niche working with a wide range of clients – people searching for high-end homes, military families relocating to the region, first-time home buyers, as well as individuals looking for horse properties. The latter stems from the couple’s own realization of a dream.
From childhood Linda has loved horses and enjoyed horseback riding. After renewing her interest in horses several years ago, the couple decided it was time to move from their longtime Beavercreek home where they raised their children to a spacious property where they could house their two horses. They found their “dream home” on five acres in Bath Township, where they and their youngest son, Ben, live with their horses, five goats, three dogs, two barn cats and 12 koi that swim in the pond.
“We decided that instead of boarding the horses at a facility and visiting them whenever we could find the time, we wanted to enjoy them every day, and be able to ride at the equestrian park across the road,” Linda said. “Now, as part of our services, we not only help horse enthusiasts find properties, but we also share our experiences with them and answer questions for those who are buying a horse property or hobby farm for the first time.”
Regardless of how large the property, or whether it is in the city or in the country, the Shurts consider what they do a blessing.
“Whether you have bought or sold a home before, or if this is your first time, the process can be stressful and intimidating. We are passionate about our profession and are committed to our clients and guide them through the process every step of the way,” Don said. “That commitment is reflected through the substantial marketing and promotion we perform for each home as well as the attentive client representation and genuine service designed to make each client we work with feel cared for, appreciated and protected.”