The Joachim name has long been synonymous with real estate, so as a Realtor and broker associate, Cynthia S. Joachim is carrying on a proud family tradition.
Coming from many generations of property owners, Joachim grew up hearing fascinating stories about the history of the land and how it had helped her relatives flourish. Her ancestors arrived on the Coast from western Europe in the early 1800s, and their achievements centered around real estate and the prosperity it created for them in many businesses — including hotels, hardware, construction, development and rental.
“My father (Harry Joseph Joachim) and his brother ran all these businesses, and real estate was their life after they returned home from their service in World War II and went to work with their father,” Joachim says. “The Coast was growing, our military bases were revered and the Coast, especially Biloxi, was gaining favor as not only a resort community, but one with historical depth. Suffice it to say, it was a fun place to live.”
HUMBLED AND PROUD
Although she respected the family business, Joachim had no plans to join it upon graduating from high school. She had been accepted to the University of Mississippi, where she went on to earn a law degree. When her future husband graduated from Mississippi State, holding his degree in one hand and a plane ticket to Dubai in the other, it touched off an opportunity for them to see the world.
With their return to the States, Joachim knew she would not return to law, but to her family’s real estate practice.
“I wanted a job opportunity that allowed me to plan my business life, as well as my personal life, and I am still in real estate having worked in it for decades,” she says. “My family made its mark in real estate and left an incredible legacy. I am humbled and proud to be part of that legacy today.”
TAKING NO SHORTCUTS
After earning her real estate broker’s license in 1977, Joachim went to work for her father’s company in 1983, embarking on a career that she never wants to leave.
“(My father) was a was a model for our profession,” she says. “I have followed his lead and see the value of service to and for a chosen career.”
Now a broker associate with Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty, Joachim has established an impressive track record of her own, having served as regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors, president of the Mississippi Realtors and president of the Biloxi Ocean Springs Association of Realtors. She also was named two years in a row to the Mississippi Business Journal’s list of the 50 leading businesswomen in the state.
One of the earliest challenges Joachim noticed in her industry decades ago was a lack of training and a formal education. She has mentored thousands of real estate licensees and teaches classes to help up-and-coming professionals. These lessons cover everything from getting licensed and choosing a company to studying effectively.
“The basics to trying to succeed in anything is knowledge of the job and the training required …,” Joachim says. “My advice is to take no shortcuts to your new career and let Realtors help you to your success.”
WATCHING AND ADAPTING
Despite her wealth of experience, Joachim says her professional goals remain the same: to do an exemplary job, to keep teaching and to continue learning new things. Likewise, many of the challenges she faces in her work aren’t new, including affordability, lack of inventory for purchase and rental, and increases in interest rates and the cost of flood and wind and hail insurance.
“One of the most important ways to deal with these issues is to stay on top of them,” Joachim says, “which does not mean we can fix them, but it alerts us to what can be done to improve market conditions and (ensures we’re) watching to see what is being done to lessen the blows”.
Many Realtors have clients who are not buying now, she adds, but it is still critical to stay in touch and update them with news about the economy and market conditions and to help sellers with price adjustments.
Regarding whether this is a good time to be in the housing market, Joachim says it depends.
“If you want to buy and have the resources of time and money, then it is a good time to buy,” she explains. “If you don’t, then it is not a good time to buy. When the prices climb, the time to sell may lengthen while the market is adjusting to price increases and higher interest rates.
“Realtors are your advisors with whom you have these conversations. Sellers want to sell at their price, and buyers want to buy at their price.”
THE GREATEST REWARD
Helping people in need is a major perk of working in real estate, and not one Joachim ever takes for granted. Receiving heartfelt thanks from buyers and sellers, and seeing the joy in the faces of first-time homebuyers, can make all the long, hectic days worthwhile.
“No doubt with many things in life, there are disappointments, but when you love your job, the desire to be successful can keep you going,” Joachim says. “Also, part of the drive to keep going is the appreciation that can be earned from a job well done.”
JOACHIM’S TOP TIPS FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS
• Retain the services of a Realtor who serves and has experience in that market. Before you retain a Realtor’s services, meet with one or more Realtors to have a serious conversation about services offered and hire an appraiser to determine the market price for selling the house. If buying and paying cash, hire the appraiser to give you the price you should pay. (If you’re financing, the bank will require an appraisal)
• If you ae buying, get a licensed home inspector to examine the property and a current survey to define the size and boundaries of the property. If selling, you can get a home inspection before it goes on the market so there are no surprises when the buyer’s home inspector shows up.
• If buying or selling, retain the services of an attorney who specializes in real estate so that the legal issues will be covered from beginning to end.
• If selling, get the property professionally cleaned so nothing is missed. Declutter, water your yards and watch pets.