For many Lowcountry residents, our area represents a summer escape tailor-made for long weekends, beach days, and a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of regular life. For Charter One Realty's Allison Cobb, though, Hilton Head Island is more than a seasonal retreat—it's a year-round oasis she has called home for many years.
Allison Cobb describes the Lowcountry as a "vibrant & upbeat place to live"—one rich in natural beauty and protected lands. Allison and her family relish in spending a lot of time out of doors and put a big emphasis on the beauty that nature provides. "There is a magic here that is hard to duplicate for retirees and families alike."
Charter One Realty sat down with Allison to learn how she got her start in real estate and why living in the Lowcountry is a perfect fit for her and her family.
Charter One Realty: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in real estate?
Allison Cobb: Leaving Chicago and moving to the Lowcountry was an exciting adventure. Not only did we get to leave the hustle & bustle of a big city but we were excited for the charm & beauty of this area. Like many, we had vacationed on Hilton Head Island for years. It was a no brainer to start up a partnership with my Dad, George Cobb who was already a successful Realtor locally. He was willing to teach me all he knew and joining a team allowed me to safely "get my feet wet." Real estate is "sink or swim" and I have been joyfully swimming ever since. Working together was better than expected and my love of real estate was almost instant. It is an exciting, fast-paced career choice that keeps me on my toes.
Charter One Realty: Tell us about your start in the business. How did the first year go?
Allison Cobb: Joining a thriving team or partnership makes the transition into this business so much smoother. There is so much to know and in order to be a success, it really makes sense to apprentice. George Cobb was a wonderful teacher and his years of corporate training set a positive framework for success coupled with a "go get 'em" attitude. There was definitely a learning curve the first year but having a safe place to land with questions & concerns made it so much easier.
Charter One Realty: What’s kept you in the business after your initial success?
Allison Cobb: What is not to love? Real estate is so much different than any other business. There really isn't a middle ground, you either love it or you sink fast. You wear so many hats including therapists, negotiators, financial advisors, and salespeople. It becomes a way of life and is a 24 hour-a-day profession but once you learn to live with it, it becomes a way of life that is hard to give up. I wouldn't trade it for any desk job + my husband, David Hussey has joined the company as an added bonus.
Charter One Realty: How has technology changed the industry, and what does it mean for buyers?
Allison Cobb: Real estate is ultimately a business of relationships. So much technology has entered the workplace since I started selling homes and it continues to change daily. It is easy to be wowed by the bells & whistles but an agent still has to know how to buy & sell real estate. An agent needs to understand how to work with people and how to read market shifts. Technology is just one tool but success ultimately comes with experience which is not something that can be computer-generated. Real estate will always be an industry based on people to people contact. Each community and home offers a different opportunity. Sellers and buyers want a local perspective & a human touch that technology cannot provide. What technology does provide is an easier and more streamlined product for Realtors to present to the public. The combination and understanding of technology aligned with experience is the win for the consumer.
Charter One Realty: If you weren't working in real estate, is there anything else you could see yourself doing?
Allison Cobb: The relationship aspect is one of my favorite components of real estate. Working so closely with clients and figuring out how they tick is fascinating to me. This is absolutely, hands down the secret sauce in being a good Realtor. You absolutely have to understand people and what motivates them. I am certain if I was not in real estate I would be working as a licensed therapist or social worker. Next on my list would be coaching other Realtors. Teaching Realtors to be the best they can be while using the talents they possess would be very satisfying.
Charter One Realty: What advice do you have for buyers looking in the Lowcountry?
Allison Cobb: Community first! Community first! The Lowcountry has so much to offer but it is really important for purchasers to evaluate how they want to live and spend their time & money. When one buys a home one is also buying into a lifestyle. What kind of amenities are you honestly interested in? Is an instant social life important? Do you love the beach, golf, tennis, bike riding, crafts or maybe you just want really low fees? Spend your time narrowing down your community choices first. Have your Realtor take you to see different neighborhoods before you spend a lot of time looking at houses. Once you feel a connection to a community a house almost always presents itself. Ask lots of questions and pick a Realtor with experience. This is your biggest investment, after all.
Charter One Realty: As a member of The Cobb Group, how has your partnership given you an edge in the market?
Allison Cobb: The Cobb Group has evolved into a wonderful cohesive team. We are able to serve our customers more effectively as we are 4 agents + a team coordinator. One of us is always available and we sell collectively, bouncing off ideas and representing our clients as a team of Realtors instead of as an individual, giving them more "bang for their buck." Natalie Burnside is our most recent addition and she is a perfect fit.
Charter One Realty: Please tell us about your neighborhood and your home.
Allison Cobb: I live in Moss Creek just over the bridge into Bluffton. It is a nature-loving community with so much to offer. It boasts very friendly neighbors and a few special features that make it stand out from other communities. The fee structure offers a membership fee that is paid as an exit fee and is wrapped into the sale of the house. Most communities locally have you pay what is called a membership fee or transfer fee, moving into the neighborhood. Moss Creek also has a marina which is a surprise to many. Many Creek uniquely is located in Bluffton but has a Hilton Head Island address connecting it community-wise to both towns. My grandparents moved into this neighborhood from Sea Pines in 1982 and it has been "home" for our family ever since.
Charter One Realty: Can you tell us why your community is so special to you?
Allison Cobb: Moss Creek values nature and there are so many hidden areas to explore. There is a nature trail nestled between golf courses that offer stunning marsh vistas, quiet docks to gather with friends or as an area to rest & enjoy the stillness. There is Blue Heron Sanctuary which boasts a walking path and acts as a breeding ground for the bird in which it is named. The pools at Moss Creek were designed with the most stunning marsh views riveling any vacation spot around the world. It is a well run, well-kept neighborhood that keeps nature & wildlife in mind with every decision made.
Charter One Realty: How would you describe the vibe in the Lowcountry?
Allison Cobb: Life in the Lowcountry is very good! Often times called the SLOWcountry but it isn't slow in personality, maybe just attitude. We have a vibe of our own and it works. Life here is active and community-based, where people go out of their way to be friendly. Saying "hello" to everyone you see is the norm! We spend a lot of time out of doors and put a big emphasis on the beauty that nature provides. There is a magic here that is hard to duplicate for retirees and families alike. It really is a wonderful, vibrant & upbeat place to live.
Charter One Realty: What are your favorite shops and restaurants in our community and why?
Allison Cobb: My favorite shops in Bluffton have to be Cocoon, Markels & Eggs N Tricities, all locally owned & filled with unique treasures. My favorite restaurant on the island is Delisyo, serving vegetarian treats & fresh juices. Now, this being said there are a lot of favorite stores and restaurants in between. We are very fortunate here! I love to support local!
Charter One Realty: Do you have a personal motto or mantra that guides you?
Allison Cobb: "Thoughts become things. Choose the good ones." It is important to keep your mind straight and stay in a positive headspace. Everything always has a way of working out with a little time and good vibes.
Charter One Realty: Please complete the sentence: “Home wouldn’t be home without . . .”
Allison Cobb: Home wouldn't be as cozy without these two overly affectionate heat-seeking missiles. You will only understand this is you own a dachshund. Best pups around! We love Miles & Fiona.