Turning dreams into reality for Virginia home buyers
Developed, built and sold 180 neighborhoods in Hampton Roads | A leader in economic growth and development throughout the region
Brenda Reid has spent her life helping people realize the American dream.
Reid, 59, president of Howard Hanna Southeast, says that, aside from raising two great kids—now young adults—as a single mom, her greatest accomplishment has been helping so many people purchase their homes.
“I’ve been a part of developing, building and selling 180 neighborhoods in Hampton Roads,” she says. “It’s been a huge blessing and a huge responsibility. Realtors help provide shelter for people. We help them acquire the biggest asset most people will ever have in their portfolios. It’s an important job, and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”
The Virginia Beach native began her career while attending Virginia Wesleyan College in the early 1980s. She worked for her father, Donald Reid, a developer who built some of the city’s best known subdivisions. Reid worked in the family business for six years selling her father’s new construction. The experience of maneuvering in a “man’s world” instilled confidence and strength that served as the foundation for her career.
Once her father retired, she moved to William E. Wood Real Estate and worked under that company’s banner until it was sold to Howard Hanna, a national real estate company. She’s worked in multiple departments throughout her 30-year career with the company, including land acquisition, new home sales, accounting, relocation and marketing, and has held various positions, including managing broker residential resale manager, branch manager and regional vice-president. In January she was named regional president, overseeing 19 offices and 880 staff members, agents and affiliates throughout Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina.
“I’ve worked in every capacity,” she says. “That’s a real benefit. I’ve walked in everybody’s shoes, and that makes me very mindful about how my decisions will affect others.”
Reid has worked in every type of real estate market, and today’s tight, “seller’s” market is tough for buyers. Because of the pandemic, people have not been eager to sell, resulting in many more aspiring buyers than available homes. Currently everything on the market could be sold in two weeks, she says, when normally there is six months of inventory. It’s not unusual to receive 10 or 12 offers for every available property, often thousands above the asking price.
She and her agents have addressed the problem by leaning on their established relationships and “pounding the pavement to tell people that now, truly, is the time to sell.” Rising interest rates announced by the Fed will likely to shift the market in the near future.
The great news about Hampton Roads, she says, is that we generally don’t often face property value declines that other markets experience. “So even if somebody pays a little more right now, they’re not likely to lose money over time, because property here appreciates.”
Outside of the office, Reid is a leader in economic growth and development throughout the region. She is a member of the Central Business District, a fellow in the Urban Land Institute and a member of the executive board of the Coastal Virginia Business Industry Association, for which she is slated in two years to become the first woman associate president. She also serves on the boards of the Virginia Musical Theatre and The Hague School, and is an elder at Bayside Presbyterian Church.
“Hampton Roads is home for me,” she says. “Virginia is my place, and I want to see it excel in every capacity that it can.”