Native Charlottean and 2nd Generation Real Estate Broker/Realtor - Serving Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Stanly, and the surrounding Charlotte USA Region. North Carolina Association of Realtors Rising Star 2010, CRRA Vane Mingle Rookie of the Year 2009. Allen Tate Top Performer 2/09, KW ALC, Top Performer 2009, Gold Sales 2009-2012, Keller Williams Eagle Award 2013.
As a young man, Derrick Kiker heard about the benefits of a career in real estate from his late father, Robert Kiker, who owned Village Realty in Stanly County.
"I remember him saying I should do that when I get older," Kiker said. "Of course, that was the last thing I wanted to do, because who wants to do what their father says?"
Turns out that Dad knew best. Nearly 20 years after Kiker went his own way in the marketing and entertainment business, he became a Realtor - and did so well his first year that he was named the 2009 Vane Mingle Rookie of the Year by the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.
"He's one of those guys that has flourished in this market," said Kent Temple, operating principal of the University office and Kiker's nominator.
Kiker understands technology and uses it effectively, Temple said: "He's not doing that conventional 'Let me put fliers in the box in front of the house' thing."
His success also stems in part from his novice's lack of perspective. "He didn't know that business was bad, so he didn't treat it like it was," Temple said.
Started in marketing
Kiker launched his marketing career while still in college, handling special events and fundraising assignments that led to jobs in Miami Beach, Washington and Philadelphia.
Returning to Charlotte in 1997, he worked as a production assistant on television commercials. "One day they needed an actor," he said. "Someone didn't show up. I got to be on camera, and then did a couple more of those." He appeared in ads for Pizza Hut and other companies.
Bitten by the acting bug, he moved to Wilmington, where he worked as an extra on "Dawson's Creek." But the industry was beginning to wane, and Kiker - by then working as a nightclub manager - went looking for another opportunity. Real estate caught his eye. "I couldn't believe the (home) prices in Wilmington," he said. "They were skyrocketing."
He returned to Charlotte in 2000, earned his real estate license and moved to Atlanta. On his first day there, he walked into a Coldwell Banker office to ask for directions and walked out as the office's new marketing manager.
Later, he worked in marketing with a tobacco company and then as a DJ and marketer for a nightclub.
Kiker returned to North Carolina in 2007, this time determined to build a real estate career. He began his business in May 2008 with Allen Tate.
Then the real estate market collapsed.
The upheaval has forced many Realtors out of the business. According to CRRA, association membership has fallen from 8,791 in December 2008 to 7,578 in December 2009.
As the market sagged, Kiker kept adjusting his business projections downward. But he stuck it out.
"I just kept telling myself that this is good, this is really, really good," he said. "Whatever I do now, I will do better in the future. I definitely don't have to worry about things getting worse."
Because he started his business just as the market began to collapse, Kiker has never known any other way to do things. As a result, he said, he hasn't had to change any of his sales techniques.
He emphasizes what he calls "good old-fashioned customer service," delivered with the help of technology. His Web site, hotshotrealty.com
, includes listings, mortgage calculator and information on schools. He also provides updates via his Twitter account, @HotShotRealty.
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