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Matt Curtis counting his blessings after a stellar year

The real estate market is booming and, as a result, Matt Curtis has a lot of blessings to count.

Over the past 13 years, Matt Curtis Real Estate has grown rapidly. In 2018, the agency received the following distinctions: Huntsville Chamber of Commerce Service Business of the Year, Nationally Ranked Website by Real Trends and, for the past two years, Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in the Nation (No. 17 in 2018).

“2018 has been one of the best years – inventory is at an all-time low; growth rate is up at 10 percent,” Curtis said. “Although nationally the market will start to slow down, Huntsville-Madison can anticipate 5 to 10 years of solid growth. This has been the busiest January we’ve ever had.”

After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in computer engineering, Curtis started out selling test equipment for National Instruments to the Army and NASA. Then, after landing his biggest sale, he was offered a job at Woodland Homes. During his stint at Woodland, he honed his business acumen for real estate.

For Curtis and his team, giving back is important.

“For the past three years, we have been building homes in Nicaragua,” he said. “For every 100 homes sold, we build a home in Nicaragua for a family living in unsafe conditions.

“2019 will be our fourth year. There have been 65 houses built to date, with the 20 more being built this year, that’s 85 houses by the end of the year. Habitat for Humanity is also involved with the mission. The way it’s been usually, is that half the funding comes from donation, the other half coming from builders.”

However, this year there will be no building.

“We usually go once a year and I was planning to take my family this year,” Curtis said. “But due to safety concerns, we had to cancel our trip. It was sad not to be able to go.”

In addition to the Nicaragua effort, the Curtis team supports local community projects.

“We have funded numerous charitable initiatives including 88.1 WAY-FM’s local concerts and a new gym for Madison Academy,” Curtis said.

And, there is also a love of sports and supporting the local teams.

“It’s a good, fan-based experience for the family,” Curtis said. “Huntsville Havoc, Rocket City Trash Pandas, we are big fans.

“We have already bought our box seats for the 2020 (Trash Pandas) season.”

As Alabama real estate goes boom, so does Amanda Howard agency

As new home construction sales in Alabama are up more than 6 percent and existing home values have risen more than 5 percent since 2017 according to reports, Huntsville’s Amanda Howard Real Estate™ has invested deeply in the boom with two significant announcements of their own this summer.

On June 28, Howard announced they are officially the newest member of Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, LLC global network and will now operate as Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty.

Founded in 1976, the Sotheby’s International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. In 2017, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $108 billion, a global leader in state real estate franchising. Amanda Howard Sotheby’s International Realty is the second Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate in Alabama; also operating as Kaiser Sotheby’s International Realty on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.

Howard’s agency served 861 families in 2017, placing it as one of America’s top 1,000 real estate teams by REAL Trends. The agency ranked 25th in the nation, up 5 spots from 30th in 2016.

“The Thousand” is a national award ranking sponsored annually by REAL Trends, a Denver-based publishing and communications company. Judged for the honor in four categories, Amanda Howard Sotheby’s has shown the skills to grow their businesses year after year, according to Steve Murray, founder of REAL Trends.

“These kinds of results show that those who commit to being full-time professionals can build meaningful businesses and success beyond expectations. Achieving this level of results is simply incredible,” Murray said.

Howard said in her research before choosing Sotheby’s, she discovered home values went up within an average of nine months in locations where a new Sotheby’s office opened.

“In listening to our clients’ needs, and anticipating the growth of our community, we believe we offer unparalleled service in helping with the purchase of a lifestyle, not just a home,” Howard said. “We realize that as a client-driven boutique brokerage, we have the opportunity to provide more. After extensive vetting — we have found the opportunity that will help set our abilities apart from the rest.

“This was astounding to me. Not only was their brand a benefit to the professional agents and the clients they serve, but the surrounding homes in the marketplace increased with it. I am confident this affiliation will be a benefit to our community in an impactful way.”