HARTSVILLE – Choice Realty has opened an office in downtown Hartsville, owned and operated by Jonathan and Susan Lee.
The real estate office is located at 118 N. Fifth St. in Hartsville.
Jonathan is responsible broker and Susan is vice-president of operations and property management. The real estate company has been open in Hartsville for less than a month. It does trading, residential, investment properties, real estate sales and property management.
“This is our second location,” said Jonathan Lee.
The company was established in 2004 in Charleston.
In the mid-90s, Jonathan worked at Sonoco in the corporate communications department. He and his wife decided to move back to Hartsville and open a second location for their real estate company.
Lee said his mother grew up in Hartsville and he has family ties here. He grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. Susan Lee is originally from New York. She moved to Charleston in 2009.
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“Hartsville is a big city,” he said.
There is a very strong real estate market in Hartsville, he said.
Susan Lee said there was actually a shortage of homes to buy and a severe shortage of rental properties and with the price of materials it was not a good time to build.
She said the agency is the only licensed property management company in Hartsville. It specializes in finding investment properties. There are a lot of people who want to invest in multifamily properties, she said, adding that they had a Charleston client who needed to reinvest and buy 14 properties in Hartsville, which they manage.
“We also bought our own properties,” she said. “We like owning single-family homes, but we have duplexes. We are always looking to buy properties. We have a lot of experience in renovations and working with contractors. My background is in interior design. I can help stage homes for sale.
She said the agency has received referrals from other real estate agents who don’t do property management.
She said her husband is very knowledgeable about investing. He is experienced in assisting investors and specializes in commercial properties, but also has experience in residential properties.
“We would like to hire a strong residential agent to add to the business,” she said. But for now, there are only the two of them in the office.
She said what sets them apart is their experience in markets large and small, as well as their commitment, trust and relationships.
“We have already been engaged in the region for about a year,” she said.
They got involved in the community. Susan Lee served on the board of Kalmia Gardens for three years. Jonathan Lee is a member of the Kiwanis club and sits on the board of directors of Black Creek Arts.
He said Black Creek Arts is one of the things that drew them to downtown. He is a potter and uses the potter’s wheel at Black Creek. It’s only a few doors down. He said the YMCA pool was another draw and Susan Lee wanted to feel like she was part of downtown.
The Lees have five children, ages 18 to 28.
Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and after hours by appointment on weekends.