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.
Steve has also been a very active board member in the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors (NAMAR), which is the second largest REALTOR@ association in GA. In addition to serving as the 2018 NAMAR Treasurer he was also elected as the 2019 NAMAR President. Steve also regularly attends the monthly GAR contract revision meetings where he participates in helping what will be added or changed in the coming year’s revised contracts.
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.
Jamie Mertz, Broker/Chief Operating Officer, has been with Virtual Properties for numerous years and now as COO will have oversight responsibilities over all the brokers, staff and company operations. 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.
Penny Long, CFO, became a licensed real estate agent in 2003. Although she loved helping clients find their dream home and negotiating contracts, her true calling was office management and real estate financials. In 2010 she became an executive assistant and office manager for Transformers, a real estate investment company which finds distressed homes and flips them.
More recently Penny was Market Center Administrator for two different Keller Williams offices. This position oversees all office management and financials for the franchise. She is also ultimately responsible for market center profitability. She conducted all human resource tasks, completed mid year and annual budgets, and assisted agents with contracts and compliance. She met with the agents to implement and discuss their annual goals, conducted training classes for agents, and implemented and promoted market center events for the purpose of agent retention.
In 2019 Penny joined the Accounting Department at Virtual Properties Realty corporate office in Duluth and it was the best decision ever made. Penny will be overseeing all of the financials for VPR and our accounting department to ensure a smooth payout for our agents.
On a personal note, Penny is an empty nester with two children who are recent college graduates. She enjoys attending church and her annual beach trip with long time friends.
Albert Cano, Director of IT, has been with Virtual Properties since 2017 and works in our Duluth HQ. Albert was raised in a family of electrical and mechanical engineers. It was his early introduction to this diverse industry that inspired him to pursue and fine tune his technical specialties. Albert is highly skilled in providing hardware, software and networking solutions.
Sandra Herring, Managing Broker 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.
Elaine Carpenter, Managing Broker/Instructor, is in our Corporate Office in Duluth. She is a long time REALTOR® and has been a licensed broker since 2007. Prior to joining Virtual Properties Realty she was the Assistant Team Leader/Managing Broker for Keller Williams Lanier Partners and was also responsible for education as an Instructor/Mentor and developing classes for new agents. Prior to her tenure at KW, she was with RE/MAX International in several of their franchise offices.
Elaine developed and wrote the “Jumpstart” program for new agents and those who need a “refresher” in one or more of the 13 classes. The class is certified for post-license education credit and continuing education credit. She teaches classes in GAR Contracts and License Law for the Hall County Board of REALTORS® where she is also a member of the Board of Directors and Education Chair. She has an extensive 25 year background in Human Resources and business management.
Mike Collard, Managing Broker, has experienced over 35 years of Direct Sales, Sales Training and Sales Management Success. Mike has helped lead a Fortune 500 Company grow to one of the largest in its industry as Salesman, Sales Manager, National Sales Trainer and National Sales Manager. As a realtor he attained the rank of top 1% in the nation in Sales and Commissions earning Hall of Fame recognition and Life Time membership in the Million Dollar Club during his over 20 year Real Estate Sales Career. Mike has been a National Trainer with MLC and his students attained some of the highest results and increases during his time at MLC. He recently helped triple the size and production of a leading Sales organization by serving as their Sales Manager, Recruiter and Sales Trainer over a 8 year period.
Mike joined VPR in 2006 and started the Certified Sales Training School to offer CE credits to the agents at VPR. Mike is committed to helping other Realtors maximize their production and succeed.
Stephanie Ashley, Managing Broker, has a B.S. Degree in Business Management and is our new managing broker recently hired to provide broker support to our agents working out of the Alpharetta and other northwest Atlanta offices. She will also be available for broker support in our Peachtree City office.
Stephanie has almost 16 years of real estate experience, which most recently includes the manager of agent development and training at ERA Realty. During the past three years Stephanie was in charge of the hiring and support for new and seasoned REALTORS. Stephanie is dedicated to helping agents move in the direction that will best forward their real estate careers. We’re very excited to welcome Stephanie to our VPR family and feel grateful that she chose VPR to bring her extremely positive energy and real estate experience.
Amy Wolfe, Managing Broker, has had her Real Estate license for over 30 years and brings a lot of experience and support to the VPR agents and will be a very valuable addition to the VPR broker support department. Amy has had her Broker’s license since 1997, when she opened a Real Estate firm for her colleagues in the building industry. In 2003 she opened her own Real Estate Firm called Elizabeth Street Realty, Inc. in Duluth, where she grew her agent count to almost 50 agents before the Real Estate downturn of 2007. VPR is extremely proud that Amy and her current agents have chosen VPR as their new home.
Amy has won over 20 national and local sales awards, as well as marketing and building professional awards, including 14 OBIEs, which included the coveted Marketing Campaign Of The Year award and Best New Home Builder in Atlanta award for her category, as well as the Top National Sales award for agents. Amy has been in charge of national marketing and sales for large builders, and has sold thousands of homes. Amy has a Bachelors of Science Degree in Construction Engineering from the University of Florida and was one of the nations first females to build for one of the top 3 ranked home builders. Amy was also involved in developing Atlantic Station, as well as building over 300 homes in Metro Atlanta and Metro Orlando.
Joe Burchfield, Broker Support, comes to VPR from Keller Williams and has over 12 years in Real Estate sales experience. Joe has received several awards and acknowledgements over the years as a top producer, but what made Joe the top pick for the VPR Broker Support position is his integrity, positive attitude and servant spirit. Joe and his wife Sue Ellen Burchfield are very active in their church and were heavily involved with the Gwinnett Realtor Players where they performed countless stage performances, raising money for breast cancer research, the USO, and Realtors in Need.
Joe spent a couple of years in college before joining the Army where he was assigned to a top-notch CID unit and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal upon completion of his tour. Joe’s main motivation is helping agents succeed. Over his 12 years as a top producing Realtor, Joe has established excellent relations with many Realtors, lenders and attorneys.
Melodi Smith, Managing Broker, a second generation managing real estate broker, got her start as a teenager. Working as an assistant for her mother’s successful independent real estate brokerage firm. With her ambitious nature she quickly became a million dollar producer. Being a REALTOR® during the recession gave her the opportunity to specialize in distressed property sales. Assisting homeowners and asset companies with REO, HUD, and Short Sale transactions resulting in 100’s of closed homes.
Melodi expanded her knowledge base by working and training with multi million dollar producers and brokerages. Adopting basic strategies and techniques that helped her to train other successful REALTORS®.
Her passion for helping others led her to recruiting, where she was actively involved with training, marketing, and coordinating events.
With her 15+ years of residential and commercial real estate experience, she is committed to supporting our agents and helping them achieve successful real estate careers.
Sherri Pritchett, Managing Broker, is a native of Atlanta she went to University of Georgia where she majored in interior design After College Sherri obtained her first job as an account exec for Brawny paper towels where she worked for seven years and then she became senior account manager for Colgate. During the Olympics Sherri left the corporate world to become an apartment locator and relocation director. In 1998, Sherri obtained her real estate license and in 2001 got her broker’s license.
In 2004, she opened up her own company. When the market crashed in 2007, Sherri obtained her real estate instructors license and started teaching pre license. Sherri’s love of Real Estate kept her in the business as she went on to teach, and write real estate courses. Sherri has taught prelicense for Barney Fletcher and Georgia MLS Institute, Keller Williams, and Remax.
Sherri has tutored over 200 students to help them pass the state exam. When the market started getting better Sherri started managing offices as managing broker, as her strong points were compliance, coaching and just helping the new agent follow the law. Sherri has one daughter Stephanie and a Jack Russell dog.
Sharon Chrisp, Office Manager, in Duluth Corporate office has been with Virtual Properties since 2002. She is responsible for all office staff personnel, while overseeing the daily office workload. Sharon met Steve and Karen at the Crestwood Office Park where she rented them office space. At that time there were only 10 agents under their brokerage. She has watched them grow into the thriving company they are today.
Tory Smith, Director of Marketing and Events for Virtual Properties Realty. Tory started with the company in 2015 as the Gainesville branch manager and has since then ventured into marketing and events. She has held a real estate license since 2017 and looks forward to continue growing with Virtual Properties Realty.