Joan began selling real estate in 1993, always full time. After several years as the top producing solo agent for a national brand, she started her own boutique agency in December 2011 – in the midst of the recession and housing slump. At the end of her first year on her own, she was the number one Realtor in the Greenville MLS, and repeated that feat for several years. Indeed, she was the number one realtor by sales volume for the entire decade of 2010-19, with sales of $294 million – $46 million more than the next closest contender. (Source: GVL MLS Sales Volume Statistics.)
In 2017, Joan affiliated with Sotheby’s International Realty and launched Joan Herlong & Associates Sotheby’s International Realty. The company has more than tripled in size since that time.
With a well-earned reputation for expertise, fairness, and unrelenting advocacy, Joan has often been called upon for advice, even occasionally by agents from other companies when their own brokers were not readily available or supportive. In multiple instances, she’s been drafted to serve as an expert witness in real estate litigation and related hearings. She “speaks” fine older homes, new construction, and newly renovated homes fluently. She’s no “figure head” – she personally lists and sells all over the Greater Greenville and the Upstate. It’s hard to keep up with her pace. Unlike the leaders of other companies or teams, her volume is her own, and her Associates get full credit for their own hard work and sales, too. She doesn’t believe in taking credit for the fruits of others’ labor. It’s not about her, it’s about developing each of her Associates to maximize their own potential, which in turn keeps the focus on Client Service, always.
She has personally negotiated more than 1,000 deals, and advised on many more. She knows the difference between assertive and aggressive, between persistence and pestering, and while she’s tenacious, she’s not obsessed. She’s (almost literally) seen it all. What she hasn’t seen, no one else has seen either. Without putting too fine a point on it, she is the kind of advocate that any serious seller or buyer wants on their side, whether directly or through her agents. She’s driven by a simple principle – the client comes first. For her, professionalism, transparency, candor, integrity, and advocacy are not just buzz words. Her clients can and do take those values to the bank.
Born in Atlanta, Joan grew up in Winnetka, Illinois. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Literature at the University of Virginia, where she met her husband, William. Her first job post-grad was as a news writer, making minimum wage at CNN. Then she worked at Leo Burnett Advertising in Chicago while William attended law school at Northwestern. She continued in advertising at a small firm in Charlotte, N.C., during William’s clerkship for a federal judge. In 1986, they moved to Washington D.C., where William worked at Covington & Burling, and Joan turned to freelance writing. They became Greenvillians in 1989. Because they welcomed a new baby in every city they’ve lived in, William limited their moves to four cities.
Their four children all grew up in Greenville, and then moved away. They each got married. Then one by one, they ALL MOVED BACK. For Joan and William, having their kids, their wonderful spouses, four grandchildren (and counting) so close by is a pinch-me dream come true. There is nothing better.
In all her spare time, Joan enjoys hanging out with her grand kids, playing tennis, and writing. She is way better at writing. For about ten years she wrote had a bi-weekly “humor” column in the Greenville Journal called “Life in the Slow Lane.” The columns are now being re-published in the blog for this website. She still dreams of writing the next great American novel. If scribbling ideas on sticky notes counts for anything, she’s well on her way.
The way to her heart is through her funny bone – she loves a good laugh, the kind inspired by the likes of Robin Williams or Ricky Gervais. She insists on music at home, always. You can sometimes catch her bopping in the kitchen to the Dirty Guv’nahs or Van Morrison while she defrosts or uncorks dinner.
After graduating from the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Greenville Class XXIII (1997) she served on Leadership Greenville’s Board of Regents. She has been a PTA president, served on countless PTA boards, as well as the board for the Greenville Free Medical Clinic, for Artisphere, Greenville’s annual arts festival. She’s served on the Greenville Country Club (GCC)Membership Committee, sponsored several new members at GCC, and she’s a committed member of Greenville Women Giving.
Click here to connect with Joan Herlong