One of Charter One Realty's biggest names in Hilton Head talks real estate, family, and life in one of the Island's best golf communities.
As a second-generation Realtor, Les Jones's knowledge and experience on Hilton Head Island give him a distinct advantage in advising his customers and clients over other local real estate professionals. He knows the difference between one house and the next on any given block. When it comes to buying and selling Lowcountry properties, that kind of nuance matters.
Charter One Realty: When did you know that you wanted to pursue a career in real estate?
Les Jones: My father was a Realtor, so I think since I was in high school, I knew this is what I wanted to do.
Charter One Realty: Tell us about your start in the business. How did the first year go?
Les Jones: After college graduation, I came to work for my father. The economy was not very good in 1987 and the stock market had just corrected. Even though it was a tough year, having my father as my mentor, was something I will always remember and cherish. He taught me so much those first couple of years and even still today.
Charter One Realty: What’s kept you in the business after your initial success?
Les Jones: My enjoyment and passion for the business and industry. I love meeting new people and learning their stories. If I can help make that story better, that is a bonus.
Charter One Realty: What’s one common mistake you see prospective buyers make?
Les Jones: Doing all their communication through technology instead of conversation. Staring the home search online is great and if I can answer a quick question through email or text that is fine. But I think when I can speak to a client one on one, a conversation will always provide more information that will help me find them what they are ultimately looking for.
Charter One Realty: How has technology changed the industry, and what does it mean for buyers?
Les Jones: Buyers can do more searching on the Internet and virtually walk through a property. I think that this technology can help a buyer narrow down what they do and do not like in a property. However, nothing can replace the hands-on knowledge and experience that a Realtor can bring to the search.
Charter One Realty: If you weren't working in real estate, is there anything else you could see yourself doing?
Les Jones: I love being a Realtor and the satisfaction of helping people. I find so much pleasure in sharing my experiences and knowledge with my clients. I guess if I could not be a Realtor, maybe an educator.
Charter One Realty: What advice do you have for buyers looking in the Lowcountry?
Les Jones: There are so many different neighborhoods throughout the area. Each with their own personality and amenities. My advice would be to imagine what you will enjoy doing each day and try to match that with the amenities of a neighborhood.
Charter One Realty: Where are you from originally, and how did you come to live in the Lowcountry?
Les Jones: I'm originally from Columbia, SC. I came to work in the family business after graduating from Presbyterian College. I have been lucky to call Hilton Head home for over 33 years now.
Charter One Realty: Please tell us about your neighborhood and your home.
Les Jones: My family currently lives in Wexford. My wife and I felt that this would be and has been a good neighborhood for our children to grow up in. We have a comfortable family-style home designed for lots of children and friends to visit.
Charter One Realty: Can you tell us why your community is so special to you?
Les Jones: Wexford has great amenities. The kids enjoyed riding their bikes on the bike path and my wife and I love walking Ace - our family dog. There is easy access to tennis, golf and the marina is a plus. We love all our friendly neighbors and the community.
Charter One Realty: How would you describe the vibe in the Lowcountry?
Les Jones: A laid back “vacation feel” area where you enjoy each day and the relaxed lifestyle. The beauty of the landscape still impresses me today.
Charter One Realty: How have you seen the Lowcountry change — from both a personal and professional perspective over the years?
Les Jones: The Lowcountry has always been a very desirable area to have a second home because of the quality of life, amenities, and beaches. But with technology, more people are choosing to live here full time for those same reasons. Because of this, we have had tremendous growth from when I first started my career. But I think that overall, my life professionally and personally has remained consistent - A friendly and professional approach to life.
Charter One Realty: What are your favorite shops and restaurants in our community and why?
Les Jones: I love Harbour Town. I just love the atmosphere of the area. My favorite restaurant is a tough one - there are too many great restaurants to mention. I enjoy Steamers - an icon on the island. There is also The Sandbar, Pomodori, Santa Fe, and Truffles - you just can't go wrong with any of these.
Charter One Realty: What are some of your favorite aspects of life in the Lowcountry?
Les Jones: Of course, I love the climate, beaches, golf, and overall quality of life. But mostly the people; there are people here from all over and they all have outstanding and interesting backgrounds they share.
Charter One Realty: Do you have a personal motto or mantra that guides you?
Les Jones: Always be courteous and respectful.
Charter One Realty: Please complete the sentence: “Home wouldn’t be home without . . .”
Les Jones: Our family and their love.