Guy DuVall has been in the real estate industry for just four and a half years, but has already gained distinction, including winning the John L. Scott Lacey Broker of the Year award in 2017. In a market where inventory is tight and nearly every home provokes a bidding war, his Lacey office is flooded with referrals and repeat
clients. So what’s the secret?
It could be his background. Prior to joining John L. Scott, DuVall was a contractor for 27 years. During walkthroughs with clients, whether buyers or sellers, he knows exactly what building inspectors are looking for and can advise them on what to do about problem areas. “When I go on listing appointments I’m able to talk to the sellers about anything that could possibly show up on an inspection,” says DuVall. “It’s good information for buyers too, even before we schedule an inspection. It helps my clients in the long run that I have a good understanding of how houses are put together.”
Because of his experience as a builder, DuVall is able to alleviate stress when structural issues arise. Often, clients don’t know much about the relative seriousness of a problem and he’s able to ease their minds. “If you don’t understand how houses work, the smallest thing may seem like the worst-case scenario,” he says. “Maybe we find some rotted siding on a house and the buyer is thinking, ‘We can’t possibly buy this,’ but actually a simple fix can take care of that.”
Such issues are normal, he maintains, particularly in Washington State. “Mold and mildew are pretty common and in just about every transaction, there’s one thing or another,” he says. “The inspector’s job isn’t to give you the good points of the house. They’re really just there to tell you what’s wrong with it.” DuVall, on the other hand, can go through issues line by line with clients and talk them through next steps for any needed repairs.
His success may also be rooted in his approach. Communication is a priority and he does everything conceivable to ease the process for clients throughout a transaction. “When you’re buying a house, it can be very intense and sometimes you just want to throw in the towel,” he says. “I tell them exactly what’s going on and never leave them hanging or wondering. If it’s a listing, I give clients feedback as it comes in.”
The majority of his customers are buyers, but only by a 60/40 margin. Within the past year he’s seen an increase in first-time buyers as well as repeat customers and referrals. “Just within the four and a half years I’ve been practicing, people have been calling me to say they’re ready to move again,” says DuVall. “It’s happened a few times already this year.”
In one case, he’s working with a couple on their seventh transaction through either friends they’ve referred to him or their own real estate needs. “I get clients calling all the time with referrals,” he says. “We stay pretty busy because people are happy with the service we provide. That’s what we’re trying to achieve.”
Relationships play a significant role in DuVall’s way of doing business. Through his years in the construction industry, he has plenty of contacts among lenders, title and escrow companies, home inspectors and general contractors that he regularly refers clients to. “I like to surround myself with a good team,” he says. “That’s the list I share with my clients. A big part of our job is having great relationships with people you can trust to treat your clients right.”
DuVall initially came to the Olympia area with the U.S. Army, while his wife was born and raised in the region. They’ve now lived in the community for over 20 years and raised three sons here. Recently they added a granddaughter to the family. “I love Thurston County,” he says. “It’s a great community and it has a lot of diversity.” He also appreciates working for John L. Scott, a company that has been operating in the Pacific Northwest for 85 years. “It’s been awesome,” he maintains. “They have a great foothold in this region.”
By changing careers he’s been able to reconnect with one of his favorite parts of being a contractor, handing over a new home to a happy client. With changes in the building business, that connection got lost toward the end, he says. “It got to the point where everything was being done on such a mass production level that you really didn’t get to even meet the owners,” he says. Now, once again he gets to play a key role in helping people achieve their dreams. “It’s pretty satisfying to see them smile at the end of a transaction,” he adds.
To make an appointment or learn more, visit Guy DuVall’s John L Scott website or call 360-280-0702.