Q&A with Melinda Martin Bailey
Updated: Oct 7
Melinda is a real estate broker with Seabolt Real Estate in Savannah, Georgia. She hired me to shoot a set of branding photos and we had a great time getting to know each other. She has an incredible story and was kind enough to share some great advice and insight for fellow small business owners and entrepreneurs.
How long have you been in business and what inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have had a real estate license since 1987 when I worked in my father’s company buying, renovating, leasing and managing downtown properties. My father was one of the pioneers of property renovation in Savannah’s historic district and I gained a lifetime of knowledge and experience working with him. After his death in 1995, his entrepreneurial spirit stayed with me and played an instrumental role in my transition to full time real estate sales in 1997.
What has been your biggest business challenge?
The economic environment. I can educate buyers and sellers, prepare properties flawlessly, have an ideal location, market to the best demographics and do everything right, but if the economy is in a down cycle, that introduces uncertainties that impact every decision. Buyers’ and sellers’ needs and timelines don’t change, but my approach has to adapt to the current environment.
What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Helping people. Buying or selling a home is a significant financial decision and a deeply personal experience. Each person, like each home, is unique and deserves a personal approach. Sometimes the process is exciting for my clients and other times it can be very stressful. When I can help people move to the next season in their lives, and reduce the stress along the way, I consider that a win.
How do quality photos help you with business branding and marketing?
That answer is simple – you only get one chance to make a first impression. More than 90% of my new client base will start their search online. Their first impression of me and of the properties I am marketing is thru the photos. Photography tells a story; good photography draws you into the story.
Why did you pick Bonnie and her team as your photographer, and why would you recommend her to other business owners?
I was looking online for a photographer that resonated with me. I was drawn to Bonnie’s website because of the crisp, clean overall presentation and the unique quality of her work. My instincts told me she was a good fit. We planned our first session in Savannah which was a risk given we had never met and I was doing all of this from an initial impression. Well, they say follow your instincts and I am glad I did. The session was comfortable and creative and the results exceeded my expectations. Bonnie listened to the what I wanted, applied her expertise and made it happen. I would recommend Bonnie without hesitation; her photography speaks for itself.