“I love working,” says real estate broker Mike Davis of Ivester Jackson BlackStream. “I can’t imagine a day without working.”
Davis has been working since he was a young teenager.
His family owned a retail business in Concord where Davis started working after school when he was 14 years old. Two years later his parents moved to Raleigh and Davis accepted a part-time position in the Governor’s office as an editor for the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office.
“My job was to be a liaison between the legislators and the youth population,” he says.
After studying residential design and commercial space planning at the Art Institute and American College, Davis embarked on a career in marketing and design. He has worked with historical foundations and assisted with renovation of vintage properties using his skills and training.
Now he works in a vintage building in downtown Asheville for a company that is affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate.
“My design background helps me to create a dialogue with my clients … It’s a natural progression,” Davis says.
Many of the properties he markets have historical significance, such as the home in Montford designed by William Sharp Smith, resident architect for the Biltmore Estate.
“This is a job about service,” Davis says of his work as a broker for primarily luxury properties. “It’s not as simple as going to the closing.”
“It is important to tell the story of the properties,” Davis also notes.
He mentions another listing in Asheville, which features a rose marble sink that was carved by the father of noted 1920s novelist Thomas Wolfe.
Along with marketing properties in Asheville, Davis works with international clients, as well as many out-of-towners.
“We market worldwide,” he explains. “Fifty percent of luxury buyers come from someplace else.”
The affiliation with Christie’s International is advantageous in that the company provides extensive marketing services and has advertising partnerships with publications such as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, Davis says.
Even though Ivester Jackson based in Charlotte has a reputation for being the top seller for luxury homes, the company lists all types of properties, Davis says.
“No matter the price point, we still market the same,” he adds.
When meeting with clients, Davis says he tries to understand the kind of home they are seeking.
“You’re creating a rubric of what the client is expecting,” he says. “I think that it’s really important not to build an unrealistic expectation. Sometimes it takes a little longer.”
Asheville has a particular attraction for many people—including Davis who has lived here for two decades.
“I’ve lived in a lot of places,” he says. “Asheville is a place that draws you. You can’t help but fall in love with it.”
Davis became acquainted with Asheville white visiting with his family and also attending church camp as a youth.
Since settling in Asheville, Davis has become involved in charitable organizations.
“My interest is in the homeless community,” he says.
He serves as a volunteer for the Church of the Advocate program, which provides food and services for homeless people in Asheville. Many Sundays he helps serve meals for them at Trinity Episcopal Church.
“I really enjoy that,” he says.
He also donates time to Eblen Charities, the Western North Carolina Rescue Mission, Asheville Cares, and the Food Connection. And in the summertime, Davis helps with an ecumenical day camp that more than 200 youngsters attend each year.
And when he has a little free time, Davis enjoys going to the symphony with his friends.
By Sandra Barnes
Mikedavis 1: The conference room at Ivester Jackson Blackstream is available for clients and agents at the company.
Mikedavis 2: The stairs in the office building in downtown Asheville lead to the commercial division of the company.
Mikedavis 3: The reception area of the real estate office features striking décor.
Mikedavis 4: The Ivester Jackson BlackStream real estate office is on Pack Square in the heart of Asheville.