Real Estate - Residential

Q&A: Real Estate Firm's New President On Her Life, The Industry

By Cece Nunn, posted May 28, 2021
Denise Kinney
Denise Kinney, the new president of Wilmington-based residential real estate firm Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, answered some questions recently about her life, her career and the real estate market.

An agent for 20 years, Kinney served as broker in charge for two other companies before joining Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage in 2008. Kinney’s journey through the ranks began with serving in several management positions, rising to senior vice president and general manager before her promotion to president. 

GWBJ: Where did you grow up?
Kinney: "I was born and raised right here in Wilmington, North Carolina. I moved away for a little while down in the Brunswick County area but then came back."
GWBJ: What did your parents do for a living?
Kinney: "My dad was in the National Guard Armory and then he worked at UNCW in the motor pool section where they did all the mechanical work. He was a mechanic by trade and he actually retired from there. My mother, her work included several different things; she did administrative bookkeeping type of work and she also at one point in time ran a couple of restaurants/bars. Both of my parents have now passed away."

GWBJ: What do you like to do in Wilmington when you're not working?
Kinney: "I like to garden. I like to be outside; I love the beach, boating. Those are my favorite things, basically to be outside."

GWBJ: How and why did you get involved in the real estate industry?
Kinney: "I got started in real estate in 2000; that's when I took the class. I worked for Corning Inc. My background was in instrumentation and electrical engineering technology ... In 2000, I was part of the [Corning] layoff and had only worked there for a year. It was a tough, hard time for people. ... For me, that gave me the opportunity to figure out, 'OK, do I want to do something else now?'

"That’s when I decided I would take the real estate class. I got licensed later that year and started working the next year, 2001."
GWBJ: What do you think are the biggest challenges Realtors face today?
Kinney: "I think today what we’re looking at obviously is a lack of inventory. The market is just crazy right now. It’s at an all-time high. ... We have more buyers than we have properties to sell and it’s extremely stressful for the agents. ... especially buyer’s agents trying to find properties for their buyers and making many offers for their buyers and losing many offers. It takes a toll on the real estate agents as well."

GWBJ: What are your predictions for the future for the real estate market here in Wilmington? 
Kinney: "I think we’re going to continue to have a great year. The demand is still there; it’s just a matter of getting the inventory. I believe we’re fortunate to have these two great counties beside of us, Pender and Brunswick, where a lot of other things are happening there but still attracting people to the general area of Wilmington.

"We have a great climate; we have beautiful beaches. In my opinion, we have everything to offer. We have a wonderful college and low taxes. Interest rates are still low and although they predict that they’re going to go up by the end of the year, they’re still going to be incredibly low rates. And I think that'll continue to drive the market.

"I think there’s a chance too, now that the restrictions from the pandemic are starting to get lifted in areas, I think there’s a chance that you could see more homes coming on the market that people didn’t feel comfortable listing in the past because they didn’t want the traffic in their house."
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