Mark Kirby

President of Dixon/Kirby & Company

It was winter, 2008.

We weren’t novices; we’d been building homes successfully across the Triangle for almost 20 years by the time the market ended. I say ended, because it felt like a death. There were customers, and then there weren’t. Many local “experts” in the field insisted that there was no way forward; nothing was going to sell, no matter what kinds of creativity and energy we brought to bear on the situation.

Enter Van Fletcher. He was enthusiastic, thoughtful, willing to work hard and – most importantly – confident that if anyone would be selling anything, it would be us. His ideas were fresh and innovative, out of bounds (in the best sort of way) and contagious. For him, and for us, to simply wait out the downturn was not an option.

We had to sell houses.

And we did.

One by one, Van sold our homes in the worst market that American real estate had ever seen. In Van’s words, we had to become “the shiny apple.” In each case, both back then and today, his greatest achievement, I believe, was to match buyer and seller in a way that was truly a benefit to both.

Ten years and countless sales since, it’s hard to think about our company and our success apart from him. He sold my personal house – in a day – before it ever actually hit the market. We’ve forged a partnership and friendship over these many years and learned many lessons together.

To prospective sellers, my advice is to listen to him. Van’s going to ask you to spend money you don’t think is necessary in order to give your house the best possible advantage in the cluttered marketplace. Do it!

To prospective buyers, my advice is to listen to him. He understands the market exceedingly well. I’ve worked in home design and construction in Raleigh for almost my entire professional life, and I cannot put a price on his counsel.

He has my enthusiastic, unqualified recommendation!