Dear Friends,

Whether just a perception or not, I always think of October as "crunch time" in the Charleston real estate cycle.

It's usually when we see the last big wave of new listings before the new year (though there are always some November and December stragglers!), and it's often the time that buyers who want to be closed on a new home by the end of the year start to make some decisions.

Rest assured, the Charleston market doesn't stop for the holidays, but October is always an especially active and busy time.

And it's not too late to hit the market if you are planning to sell. Inventory is at a crazy low, and buyers are out there. Don't hesitate to reach out to discuss your home--I think you'd be surprised how quickly we can get your home on the market. 

Enjoy this month's newsletter! 

Best wishes,  

Leize Gaillard
William Means Real Estate

October skies over Charleston are the best.
View over West Side from the roof deck at 8 Woodall Court.
Showing properties around town, I've recently noticed an influx of Charleston buyers from areas in and around Los Angeles, California. With that comes tales of a super competitive market and crazy real estate deals from the West Coast, and it finally piqued my curiosity about the Netflix show Selling Sunset that's been getting a lot of media attention of late.

Now, I'm not a big reality TV watcher, but my curiosity about how real estate functions in another part of the country got the better of me, so I sat down to watch a few episodes.

While much (most) of it is made-for-TV drama, there was a surprising amount of the real estate plotlines that are familiar, despite the wildly different real estate markets of Charleston, SC versus Hollywood, CA.

Read on for my take...

What Selling Sunset gets right:
  • The Excitement Around Making a Deal: That moment when you get an offer on your listing, or when you make a call to your buyers to let them know their offer has been excepted--yes, it is as exciting as it seems on TV. 
  • Sometimes things fall through: ... But sometimes deals don't work out, and it can be a huge disappointment both for the client and for the agent. But the only thing to do is get back on the horse and keep working to get the deal done. 
  • Hurry Up and Wait: Despite all the best marketing efforts, communication, and outreach, some times things happen more slowly than you or your clients would like. As an agent, it's your job to stay the course.
  • Working with Buyers is a Process: Working with buyers--especially luxury buyers--is a long game. I can take months or years for a buyer to settle on the right property.  
  • Personality wins: There is room in the real estate business for all different personalities, as different buyers and sellers are going to gravitate to different agents' styles. 
Charleston does luxury a little differently than they do in the Hollywood Hills!
This renovated South of Broad Charleston single home at 36 Legare Street is
currently offered at $3,595,000.

And... What I couldn't relate to: 
  • The price points: Properties featured on the show range from $3-4million up to about ten times that ($40 million+). To put this in perspective... I have sold just under $60 million--but that is in over 7 years of being in the real estate business! 
  • Spec Homes on Display: Its seems that sleek, multi-million dollar, move-in ready (down to the furniture and art!) spec homes are a popular choice among the upper echelons of Hollywood buyers, and this type of turn key property is nearly unheard of in Charleston. High-end/luxury spec homes are extremely rare in the Charleston market, with the exception of occasional downtown spec renovations and new-construction luxury condo projects.
  • Competitiveness among colleagues: I get it--lack of office drama probably wouldn't make for a very interesting tv show, but I (thankfully) could not relate to some of the competitiveness on display among brokerage-mates. Sure, every agent strives to be the best they can be, but never at the expense of another agent. 
  • The shoes: Let's be real--Stiletto heels and being a real estate agent do NOT mix.
Have you seen the show? I'd love to know what you think! Email me at
36 Legare Street was redesigned to maximize indoor-outdoor living. Click to view this and other listings that are perfect for enjoying a Charleston fall at home. 
In late 2019, I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of Shane David Hall and his husband, Nic Roca.

Shane and Nic were preparing for a move to Charleston and wanted an agent who understood the market as well as the special challenges and questions that can impact first time buyers. They found me via Instagram, and, upon meeting, we hit it off instantly. I think I can say for Shane and Nic that it felt like a group win when they finally closed on a wonderful south Mount Pleasant townhome in early 2020.

Shane graciously agreed to be interviewed for my newsletter and share a bit about what he does professionally for Pall Mall Art Advisors, so... without further ado: Meet Shane!
Shane David Hall is back in Charleston after years in NYC, Chicago, and, most recently, Philadelphia.
Tell us about moving to Charleston. 

My husband and I relocated back to Charleston after twelve years in major cities such as New York, Chicago, and most recently Philadelphia. I am a graduate of the College of Charleston and always assumed that a move back to the Lowcountry would be in our future - albeit much further down the line! 

We are thrilled to have shed the northeastern corridor for a slower more congenial pace of life while maintaining many of the amenities we enjoy. We were not prepared for how competitive the Charleston housing market is. However, Leize was our saving grace and expertly steered us though the home buying process. 
And deciding to buy in Mount Pleasant?
We like to say that we didn't choose Mount Pleasant but Mount Pleasant chose us! Our home is centrally located to all of the things we love the most. We are 1 mile to Trader Joes (a place I visit daily) and a little more to Whole Foods. 3 miles to Sullivan's Island and 6 miles to Marion Square, the Dewberry Hotel, and Little Jack's Tavern - two of our most favorite haunts. Easy access to the airport makes early morning flights back north far less painful, and close proximity to the Cooper River / Waterfront Park allows us a quick evening walk along the water with our dog, Goose. We LOVE living in Mount Pleasant and the general ease the lowcountry affords us daily.

Shane and Nic put their stylish touch on the entry way of their Mount Pleasant townhome.

How did you know your house was the one?
It came down to good bones and the old adage "location, location, location." The house was built in 1997 by a loving owner who continuously updated throughout her tenure. This, coupled with a great traditional side-hall floor plan, allowed me to think that we could work with it. Finally, being so close to the bridge and other amenities sold us. Eight months in and it truly feels like home.
It's been almost a year since you closed on your home. How's it been? 
Hindsight is always 20/20 and the date we closed could not have been more right!

Let me back-up a moment and explain that prior to relocating - Nic and I spent four long months in short-term housing outside Philadelphia, in Devon, PA. When we finally made the move south we wanted to act quickly and find a place to land. Leize guided us through two multiple bidder situations - both of which did not result in our favor - only to show us our home shortly after Thanksgiving 2019. The holidays and the new year placed our closing date towards the end of January, which gave us enough time to settle before quarantine would change our lives.

We could not be more thankful for two private offices - which the home graciously provides us, as well as access to Mount Pleasant's extensive network of walking trails. Covid and the kibosh on travel has allowed us to learn about our new home, unpack slowly, and genuinely enjoy our new city and surroundings without the pressure of "normal" life. 

A fresh coat of moody blue paint transformed the master bedroom.

Tell us about your professional role with Pall Mall Art Advisors. 
For the first 7 years of my career, I worked for three international auction houses. In 2016, I decided to make the leap from fine art and antique auctions to private advisory, and very happily began my tenure with Pall Mall Art Advisors. I act as the Southeastern Regional Representative for the firm where I serve our clients in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and the Gulf Coast, from my seat here in Charleston. Pall Mall Art Advisors approaches fine art, antiques, jewelry, and other high-value passion assets like a wealth manager might approach a client's investment portfolio.

Our team of over 75 global specialists provides unbiased, compliant appraisal reports for use in insurance, estate planning, donation, and distribution. We also advise on acquisition of new assets to ensure that clients do not overspend in the acquisition process. Oftentimes we negotiate the purchase on their behalf as well as providing access to the proper channels to monetize assets, in order for our clients to net the highest yield. Many clients and collectors often choose to use a local or regional venue for monetization, only to realize that various asset classes may require very different approaches and a different market in order to maximize value. We also provide a range of fine art related concierge services: from collection management to recommending fine art shippers, as well as providing our client's exclusive access to events such as the Winter Show in New York or Art Basel in Miami Beach. 
I am often asked: "what is your ideal client?" and truth be told there is not one! Globally and within the southeast, we work with private clients, corporate collections, and institutional collections - all of which differ in type of asset as well as total value. Our firm was founded on the principals of bringing transparency to the art world - which is oftentimes murky at best as well as being service oriented. We find that providing generous, reliable, and accurate information, plus our transparency builds long-lasting relationships with our clients. 
How has your business been impacted by Covid and other events of this year? What do you expect moving forward?
Covid has impacted the art world in ways we did not expect. In mid-spring 2020, most major auction houses and shows canceled their upcoming offerings, only for the market to react in a very interesting way. Buyers quickly transitioned from in-person shows or bidding at auction to buying exclusively online or in a private retail setting. This increase in private transactions brought security to the open market and encouraged public trading to begin again, which has more than rebounded.

From late May through summer 2020 we have seen continued interest and robust results within the fine art, antiques, and jewelry market. We expect the trend to continue though fall. Much of our business can be conducted remotely and continues as planned. This includes appraisal work and education events such as lectures, lunch-and-learns, and market updates - all of which transitioned to virtual presentations by April of this year.

This fall, we are planning a large virtual event discussing tangible assets and philanthropic planning, where we will partner with a major southeastern university. There are even more interesting events scheduled for Q1 of 2021 so keep a lookout for our newsletter and virtual invites!  

Covid has put a damper on entertaining in 2020, but Shane and Nic will be ready for when house parties become a thing again!

Where can people find you or learn more about your professional services?
We can be found via our website, and I may be found at my LinkedIn account or my personal Instragram accountI may also be reached directly via email or at my direct dial: 843-290-5223.