The Times West Virginian

Business

December 2, 2012

Touchstone Realty showing strong growth

FAIRMONT — Touchstone Realty LLC is now assisting clients in the Fairmont area with their real estate needs.

The company, which is based in Martinsburg, opened a location in the Friendly City in the middle of August. The office, managed by real estate agent Kathy Hursey, is stationed at 1106-B Chamberlain Ave., underneath the Fairmont-Morgantown Housing Authority and across from East-West Stadium.

Touchstone Realty handles foreclosures and is approved to list Fannie Mae and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development properties throughout the state. It also works on commercial deals and rentals and has many investors, said Martha Rose, broker and part-owner.

“We do a little bit of everything,” she said. “We do it all.”

The company was formed in March of 2010. Rose and the other owners, Chris Ross, Andrew Johnson and Steve Cunningham, decided to open their own business because of their previous experiences.

“We were with another company and were frustrated with the way things were going and knew that we could do it better,” said Rose, who got her salesperson license in 2004 and broker license in 2007.

Touchstone Realty also has a location in Charleston. So far this year, the company has closed on more than 540 sites and has already surpassed its numbers from last year, she said.

“We are one of the fastest growing real estate companies in West Virginia at this time,” Rose said.

The owners recognized the opportunities available in the Fairmont market.

“We’ve been tracking it for some time, and we saw potential there,” she said.

Hursey, a Barrackville native, has nine years of experience in real estate. Before coming to Touchstone Realty, she spent time with HomeFinders Plus, Toothman Realty and White Real Estate.

She previously worked as a loan processor for mortgages and said she was always fascinated by the appraisals. Hursey took some time off to raise her two children, and once they grew up, she decided to do something different and went into real estate.

“Kathy is doing a great job,” Rose said. “Kathy is definitely a huge asset to our company.”

Hursey has been selling properties and staying busy. Touchstone Realty plans to bring in another agent sometime soon.

Rose said the company plans to expand the Fairmont office, and — as this location grows — will keep hiring agents who meet its expectations.

Between its three offices, Touchstone Realty currently has about 20 employees, who are all licensed, she said. The agents have to meet a quota, and they have to hustle.

“We’re always looking for agents, but they have to meet a certain mold,” Rose said. “We don’t hire just anybody. Our agents are hand-picked.”

She commented that Touchstone Realty takes pride in offering great customer service and takes its slogan — “we do it right the first time, every time” — very seriously.

“It’s pretty gratifying seeing people buy their first home,” Hursey added. “I just want to guide them, help them make the right choices.”

Honesty is the company’s No. 1 priority, she said. Touchstone Realty strives to educate the buyer as much as possible on the process.

People can visit Touchstone Realty online at www.searchinwestvirginia.com. While the website focuses mostly on the Eastern Panhandle at this time, the company intends to expand the information available there, Rose said.

Rose also has a broker license in Maryland and Virginia, and some of the agents have licenses in those two states as well. She said the company plans to open offices in those areas in the near future.

Find out more information about Touchstone Realty by calling the Fairmont office at 304-363-3700 or Hursey’s cell phone at 304-612-7030.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.

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