Frank Minutillo, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #285786)
Franco L. Minutillo (aka. Mino, Frankie, Italian Ice, and Frank to name a few) was born and raised in a traditional Italian/American immigrant household in North Bergen, New Jersey. A “stone’s throw” from NYC, North Bergen’s culturally diverse neighborhoods served as the blue-collar backdrop that helped to cultivate Frank’s entrepreneurial spirit and passionate commitment to family, friends and living the American Dream.
Frank studied Mass Media & Communications at Rutgers University and later attended the Center for Media Arts in NYC where he was certified in Television Production & Post Production. After years of working as an editor at several post production facilities in NYC he opened a successful creative services boutique that focused on providing cutting edge video production services.
Throughout his career, investment in and selling of real estate has always been a passion he pursued. Frank invested in real estate property in NJ and focused on key renovations and updates to sell the properties privately before it was the “HGTV” thing to do!
The events of September 11th created a renewed focus for Frank’s family, like so many other families, on the important things in life and pursuing a simpler way of living. After vacationing for years in NC and always being intrigued with the beauty, friendliness and opportunities offered by the South, in 2006 Frank, his wife and two children made a life changing decision to move to Wilmington. Leaving behind the “NYC grind”, fast forward almost ten years later and this proud parent of two UNC Tar Heels has never regretted the decision! Frank and his family love Wilmington and have embraced all the city has to offer. They’ve made lifelong friends here, but most importantly consider this HOME!
Frank wants to share the joy of home ownership – in a vibrant community that offers so many opportunities – to families and retirees alike, as he looks forward to helping turn your NC dreams into realty!
Mel Hellums, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #285325)
Mel grew up in the Pacific Northwest and his love of travel and adventure led him to join the US Army. While stationed at Fort Bragg, he fell in love with the state of North Carolina, as well as a local NC girl (whom he married). He moved to Wilmington in 2002 after serving for more than 20 years, protecting citizens in many locations around the world. He continues doing just that as a broker for Just For Buyers Realty, looking out for the best interests of the buyers he’s serving.
After retiring from the US Army, Mel went on to work for the Oregon National Guard, the Transportation Security Agency, and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Throughout it all, serving people has been Mel’s focus and he says that’s not going to change.
When not working, Mel and his wife stay busy trying to keep up with their teenage son, who is a high school athlete. A longtime fitness buff from his Army days, Mel also enjoys traveling and riding his motorcycle. And then there are the tools and technology – when he’s not tinkering with his old truck or something around the house, he can be found on his computer figuring out a new application or new way of doing something.
In the military, Mel lived by the Army values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. He has carried those values over into his real estate career as well. Those values, in addition to attention to detail and listening to clients to help them find the home that best fits their needs and make them happy, is what drives Mel. “I know that buying a home is the most important investment most people will ever make and I want to do everything I can to not only protect the buyer, but also make buying a home a positive experience for them that will result in years of good memories.”
Doug Harrington, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #255283)
Doug comes from Canada with varied skills that work well in real estate. He is retired from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with whom his duties took him to many communities, both large and small. He enjoys working with others; helping people of all walks of life and age groups. Doug’s love of learning lead him into building homes on his days off. This hobby would later develop into several businesses in the construction field. He has worked as a general contractor and owned several retail and rental companies. His companies would eventually spread into the Pacific Northwest areas of Washington state and Canada.
In January 2006, while visiting his son’s family at Fort Bragg, Fayetteville, NC, Doug and his wife, Linda, made a quick visit to Wilmington. The beautiful beaches, the climate and the people were all too much for them to resist. Selling their businesses and moving to southeast North Carolina was one of the easiest decisions they’ve ever made.
The combination of his past experiences helped Doug to make the decision to pursue real estate after arriving in Wilmington. He has decades of experience in building homes of all shapes and sizes. His police experience in forensic investigation helped to shape Doug’s ability to analyze information and complete documents. Doug was also an emergency response team member and a police negotiator. Both of these experiences taught him patience and understanding the position of the other party when negotiating. ALL his experiences help to ensure that his clients receive the care they deserve.
In Doug’s opinion, a realtor must be an expert. Doug not only demonstrates his ability to research, analyze and negotiate, but he also has the desire to learn the trade. He is always prepared to take on additional education and then pass it along to his clients. Some of Doug’s distinctions include the Graduate of Realtors Institute (GRI) designation, and completion of the e-PRO course on computer real estate research. He also completes courses annually that will further enhance his service to his clients.
Doug says, “I want my clients to think of me as the neighbor they go to for advice…That is what makes an expert.”
Lori Smith, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #283174)
Lori has always been drawn to the water. After a lifetime of teary “until next summer” goodbyes to her beloved ocean, she and her family decided it was time to make their dreams come true and move from Atlanta, Georgia to the beach. Though they left their oldest child behind to attend the University of Georgia (GO DAWGS!), they have not regretted their decision to move to Wilmington for one second.
Lori had the privilege of volunteering at one of the greatest children’s hospitals in the United States for several years. She has a knack for helping families recognize the goodness and be at peace during some of life’s most stressful situations. She is a Certified Life Coach. She loves to encourage others to go after what truly brings them joy. Lori’s love to see others happy led her to become a Real Estate Broker. After being a client of Just For Buyers Realty, Lori knew she wanted to become an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent and there was no other firm for her.
Lori loves a challenge! She assesses each client’s wants and needs individually, because no two are the same. She epitomizes integrity, energy, hard work, creativity, and professionalism in every detail of your real estate transaction. As a Broker, she will anticipate potential issues and be prepared with a solution in order to make your home search and the buying process as seamless, stress-free, and enjoyable as possible. Lori prides herself on her communication skills, so you will never be left wondering where you stand. Working with Lori, you will be her top priority and feel like you are her only client!
Peggy Singer, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #280902)
Peggy was born and raised in a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a degree in radiography, she followed lifelong friends to Durham, NC and has spent the past 30 years living in various cities in the Tar Heel State. After having lived in Charlotte and Greensboro, Peggy and her husband of more than 20 years, eventually settled in Wilmington.
Soon after moving to Wilmington, Peggy made the decision to leave healthcare and pursue a career in real estate. The decision to change careers was not an easy one, but real estate is a passion. The experiences of buying, selling and building her own homes taught Peggy a lot and she wanted to share that with others.
Peggy feels that her years in healthcare are valuable to becoming a realtor. She understands the importance of being organized, to listen intently and to communicate clearly. Peggy is also detail oriented and has a strong desire to be the best.
Peggy and her husband are involved with Masonboro.org, whose mission is to promote the responsible use of Masonboro Island, while preserving its traditions. Peggy is also involved with Canines for Service, where she and her Mini Labradoodle, Bodie, volunteer in the Wilmington community.
Kathy Greer, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #237976)
Living most of her life in a coastal town on Long Island NY, Kathy knew she never wanted to live far from the water. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Finance from SUNY Stony Brook and became a stock broker and financial planner. Soon after starting a family she decided marketing and sales fit her lifestyle better and she joined the family business to help it grow and prosper.
After moving to Wilmington to be closer to family over 10 years ago she managed several small businesses of her own. Kathy realized her love for real estate while researching the area and purchasing several investment properties for herself. After becoming a REALTOR® in 2006 the importance of buyer representation became very clear to her.
Kathy understands the importance of knowing all of the buyers needs and wants regardless of whether they are looking for a primary residence, second home, rental property, or investment. Listening and communicating with clients is her number one priority.
Kathy has always believed that education and knowledge as well as superior customer service are the keys to success. That is why she worked diligently to earn her Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designations. She has vowed to continue her education to ensure she can always meet and hopefully exceed her customer’s expectations.
When she isn’t helping her clients find their perfect home, Kathy enjoys spending time outdoors with her new husband and blended family boating, fishing, dirt bike riding or just kicking back watching the sunset.
Linda Mehner, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #248389)
Born and raised in New York, Linda grew up on Staten Island and later moved to the beautiful Mid-Hudson Valley. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English at the State University of New York at New Paltz. Linda taught kindergarten and first grade in public schools in New York and in Las Vegas before returning to New York to join the hospitality industry.
Tiring of the long, cold winters in New York, Linda and her husband, Chuck decided to move south. After much research, they chose the Cape Fear region with its beautiful beaches and rivers and plenty of opportunities to experience impressive theater, good music and great food.
Linda decided to put her customer service background to good use in the real estate field. She has spent her entire career providing five star service – as a teacher, a hotel manager, a hotel/resort development project manager, and now as a REALTOR® and Exclusive Buyers Representative.
Linda especially likes working with buyers to find the best home, at the best price, while providing her clients with all the information they need to make an informed decision. If you want to work with someone who will listen to your needs, diligently research properties that meet your needs, respond to your questions quickly, return calls, e-mails, and text messages in a timely manner, and negotiate the best deal, Linda will provide all of this and more as an exclusive buyers’ agent.
Being involved in her career and her community is important to Linda. She has earned the Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR), the Graduate of the Realtor Institute designation (GRI), the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES), Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification (SRF) , Workforce Housing Specialist certification (WHS), and e-PRO certification. She is currently completing requirements for the Council of Residential Specialists designation (CRS).
Ellen Jo Kraemer, Exclusive Buyer’s Agent – Broker (NC License #274340)
Your home is the stage on which your day-to-day life is played out, and the setting for so many of the memories you will hold dear for years to come. Ellen Jo understands the importance of finding the perfect home to fit your lifestyle, size requirements and locale and welcomes the opportunity to assist you in your search.
As your Exclusive Buyer Agent, Ellen Jo brings to the table her own personal real estate experience along with fine-tuned negotiating skills and instincts on value. For most of her adult life she has been a small business owner as well as a real estate investor, managing her own investment properties for nearly twenty years.
Your search for your ideal coastal Carolina home is just the beginning of working with Ellen Jo as your Exclusive Buyer Agent. She will be there for you through a myriad of due diligence tasks, inspections, appraisals and contract modifications right up through the actual closing, and beyond.
How Ellen Jo lives her life will give you a sense of how she works. Understanding the importance of HOME and a Place of Belonging, Ellen Jo now donates a percentage of each real estate commission earned to the Good Shepherd Center, a shelter for the homeless in downtown Wilmington. Additionally, she is a member of and volunteer for Pender Humane Society, and a sponsor of several of their annual fundraising events. Formerly, Ellen Jo was a member of the board of directors of the Watauga Humane Society during the building of its new state-of-the art animal shelter in the western region of North Carolina. She previously volunteered with a local nursing home, continues to help with area clean-up projects, and is currently a volunteer with the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project. She is also a dancer and a member of The Cape Fear Shag Club.
Believing that communities are built one family at a time and enhanced by the efforts each of us makes for improvement, Ellen Jo lives each day inspired by her quest to, in some small way, make the world a better place for each of us to call HOME.
Ellen Jo’s Testimonials
Jennifer Medwick, Director of Operations
Before coming to work for Just For Buyers Realty, Jennifer was a client. Kathleen Baylies helped to find the perfect home for Jennifer and her family when they moved to Wilmington from Greenville, NC. It was the third time Jennifer and her husband had been through the home buying process, and working with Just For Buyers was a wonderful experience. She loves being part of this team!
Jennifer is a native of upstate New York, but she has been a North Carolina resident since 2004. Although she misses her large family of 6 brothers and sisters, and 12 (and counting!) nieces and nephews, Jennifer loves living in the Tar Heel State and couldn’t think of a better place to raise her two daughters. You can’t beat the mild winters, either!
Jennifer is a graduate of Penn State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology. She is active in her church and enjoys volunteering for various children’s and animal welfare organizations.
When Jennifer is not in the office, you can find her exploring the Cape Fear Region, playing outdoors with her kids and dog (adopted from the Humane Society), trying out a new recipe in her kitchen, or cheering on the Nittany Lions.
Kathleen Baylies, Broker-in-Charge (NC License #208895)
As Broker-in-Charge, Kathleen invests much of her time spreading the word about Exclusive Buyers Agents.
The majority of people don’t understand the real and substantial benefit of engaging a buyer’s agent who works for a company that does NOT work with sellers. “Many people believe they can save money by acting without their own agent and going directly to a listing agent or a builder,” Kathleen explains. “They don’t understand that the seller has already committed to pay a set amount to the listing agent when the home sells. That amount is the same whether or not another agent is involved in the transaction. The only thing that changes is that the listing agent keeps all of the commission if there is no buyer’s agent or, if there is, he splits it with the buyer’s agent.”
In one scenario, the buyer has someone looking out for his best interests. In the other, he doesn’t. Either way, the commission is the same. Unfortunately, by the time a buyer realizes she isn’t saving money, it’s often too late to do anything about it.
Kathleen loves matching clients with the appropriate broker and is constantly looking for the right individuals to invite to join our select team. The trait she values most in team members is good listening skills. An exceptional agent understands his buyers’ priorities and doesn’t waste time showing them inappropriate properties.
“Our exclusive buyer’s agents handle their clients’ transactions as if they were their own,” says Kathleen. “Most people want information. They want options. Mostly, they want someone who will be frank with them and let them know what to watch out for.”
When not at the office, Kathleen spends time volunteering with the American Red Cross, traveling, playing tennis, nature watching, catching full moons as they rise out of the ocean, and sharing great food and good wine with friends.