Owners & Brokers
Steve Wagner, Broker/ Owner and founding partner for Virtual Properties Realty, has been actively involved in all facets of Real Estate since 1989 which includes: residential, land, commercial, Real Estate instructor and managing broker.
Steve and his partner, Karen Burks, began Virtual Properties Realty in 1999 which has consistently grown in size and productivity since its inception. Every year since 2007 Virtual Properties has earned the prestigious “Pacesetter Award” presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for being one of Georgia’s fastest growing offices in the state. In 2007, Virtual Properties also received the prestigious “Pinnacle Award” (presented by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce) for being the top (#1) managed small business in Gwinnett County. In conjunction with the Pinnacle Award, Steve has also been recognized as the “Business Executive of the Year” for Gwinnett County. Steve is currently listed this year in the Atlanta Business Chronicles “Who’s Who” for being one of the top 100 key leaders shaping the Atlanta housing industry.
The offices of Virtual Properties (per the Atlanta GAMLS) also enjoys the highest ranking in almost every Real Estate statistic including the #2 position in the number of buyer side real estate sales made last year in Georgia. Steve is a graduate of the Realtor’s Institute and has earned his ABRM, CSP and C-Rep designations. On a more personal note, Steve spends almost every non-business moment raising and nurturing his young son Evan.
Karen Burks, Broker/Owner and founding partner for Virtual Properties Realty,is the Qualifying Broker and one of the founders for Virtual Properties Realty. She began her Real Estate career in 1970 as a property manager for a large Commercial Real Estate Firm. In 1989 after years of buying, selling and managing her own Real Estate investments, Karen decided it was time to get her Real Estate license.
Since 1989 (together with her son Steve Wagner) Karen has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers buy and sell Real Estate. Prior to Karen and Steve starting Virtual Properties Realty in 1998, Karen worked with Steve Wagner at Re/Max for nearly 10 years. In her spare time Karen enjoys time with her grandchildren and playing tennis.
Cathy McDaniel, Broker/Director of Education, is the author of “A Road Map To Saving Your Home” which is available at the National Association of REALTORS bookshelf. Being in the real estate and mortgage industry since 1993, she opened “My CE Class, LLC” in 2007, a real estate school approved by the Georgia and South Carolina Real Estate Commission. Cathy has conducted over 700 continuing education courses, authored over 65 training manuals and has met and trained over 45,000 real estate professionals throughout 23 states over the last seven years. She is licensed as a continuing education instructor at many real estate boards and associations across the country. She is recognized as an industry expert in home ownership and received the 2008 Educator of the Year from GREEA, Georgia Real Estate Educators Association. Today she has a partnership with Synovus Mortgage Corp. and Fearnley & Price, LLC that allows her to offer free classes and community events.
Jo Ann Barnhart, Managing Broker, joined the Virtual Properties family in February 2010. Jo Ann has an open door policy where she enjoys assisting agents with any Real Estate questions or problems. She also enjoys her job interviewing new and experienced agents and helping them with their transition, as they become a part of the VPR family. Jo Ann also reviews all contracts turned into the VPR office. Jo Ann has been an active Real Estate agent since 1996 and was a Life Member of Board of REALTOR’S Million Dollar Club, Re/Max Executive Club, and Re/max Presidents Club. She has also worked with the Gwinnett County Down Payment Assistants Program, as one of their teacher/speakers helping first time home buyer’s purchase their first home. Jo Ann was a Buyer’s agent for 10 years with a top listing agent in Gwinnett County. Because of her many years of experience as a practicing Real Estate agent, Jo Ann is very knowledgeable and has had practice in all areas of Real Estate including: new construction, land sales, relocation, REO property and short sales. Before working as a REALTOR, Jo Ann worked with a medical office in Roswell and Alpharetta GA. Jo Ann is from southeast Ohio, and moved to GA in 1992. On a personal note Jo Ann enjoys her spare time being with her 5 grandchildren as much as possible.
Jamie Mertz, Assistant Managing Broker, has been with Virtual Properties for numerous years and is now a part of our Broker team. Jamie received her B.S. in Finance from the University of South Florida and has been a licensed agent since 1998 and a licensed broker since 2006. She is a Phoenix Award Winner, a Lifetime Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Club, a Communities 100 recipient (three years in a row), and a Re/Max Platinum Club Award recipient.
Kathy Haddock, Assistant Managing Broker,is now part of our Broker team. Like many in Real Estate, this is not Kathy Haddock’s first career. She is on her third different path of life’s journey. A graduate of the University of Central Florida with a degree in Social Sciences, Kathy feels her studies prepared her for all the paths her life has taken. She spent 7 years as a wedding planner, then moving on to manage dental offices for many years. Once Kathy launched her career in Real Estate she jumped right in, beginning by studying for her GRI during her 2nd year in the business, and acquiring her Broker’s license after receiving her GRI designation. She also received the Century 21 Masters Award. In addition, Kathy holds a certification in At Home With Diversity. In 2011 Kathy graduated from the National Association of Realtors® Leadership Academy, being one of 26 selected out of 300 applicants from across the country. She was the third Georgian to graduate from the Academy and continues to have value the close relationships made during the nine month program. Kathy is currently serving as the 2014 President for the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors®. Beginning in 2014 the Association will be supporting paws4vets. This organization pairs rescued dogs with Veterans dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The dogs will be rescued and paired with the Vets and then they will be trained together so that the dog can assist the Veteran in leading a healthy and productive life after war. This is a cause Kathy holds near and dear to her heart. Kathy also gladly devotes her time to being involved in the Women’s Council of Realtors® , which she joined during her first year in real estate. She has held both Local and State offices, and served as State President in 2013. She continues to serve the Council as District Vice President. A resident of Suwanee, Kathy is blessed with a son and daughter in law ,Matt and Kate Billings, and the love of her life, her almost 6 year old grandson, Matthew, who all reside in Decatur.
Dianne Amburn is the managing Broker for our new Gainesville office; she was formerly a managing broker with Keller Williams Realty Lanier Partners where she also acted as interim leader and mentor to her fellow Realtors.
For over 18 years, Dianne has been recognized as leader and educator in the Hall , Jackson, & Barrow County Realtor community. Some of her achievements include: Serving on the Hall County Board of Realtors Executive board for seven years, Winner of the Hall County Board of Realtors’ Presidents Award, Winner of the 2005 Hall County Board of Realtors “Realtor of the year” Award, GRI/ABR designations, Phoenix Award Recipient, and life Member of the Million Dollar Club.
In addition to her many rewards, Dianne has extensive real estate experience and knowledge as a certified specialist in REO foreclosures & short sales. Dianne has also had extensive experience working with HUD as one of their national listing agents and instructors. Diane was also an instructor teaching GREC rules & Regulations prior to joining Virtual Properties Realty.
Sandra Herring, managing broker and branch manager for our Snellville location, first became involved in the real estate industry in 1985 as a licensed full time realtor. She has also been involved in new home building and the remodeling business as a contractor for over 20 years. Her experience with the actual construction and repair of homes adds an extra edge in dealing with potential construction or repair projects. This construction experience has carried over to working with investment clients, one of her specialties from HUD Homes to Foreclosures. As a life time resident of Atlanta, her knowledge makes it easy for her to specialize in relocating clients to their desired location of choice. She also enjoys working with first time home buyers from start to finish by educating them on the biggest investment they are likely to make. She provides a Home Buyer’s Book to help with the education process and by providing assistance with obtaining financing for the purchases. Also, she goes the extra mile with her sellers helping them all the way to ensure they get the most for their property. Her unique background and experiences make her ideally suited to provide expert advice to all of her clients.
On a personal note, Sandra has been an active member of the community by volunteering for the local youth sports, school and church activities. She spends her spare time traveling, riding her horse and competing in fitness-related activities and enjoys her family, meeting and getting to know new people.