Alongside his team, real-estate broker Matt Stone is providing the community in Charlotte, N.C. with an outlet to LGBTQ-friendly home buying, which has often been challenging to find for those in our community.
Stone said that the real-estate industry can be quite a troublesome area for the LGBTQ community.
“Our community is used to rejection and challenges, and the real estate industry certainly provides a bit of both,” said Stone.
Real-estate has always been a passion of Stone’s and he says he enjoys being able to help people in the community with their home-buying endeavors.
“Real estate has been a lifelong passion of mine, and I love helping my community prosper and make wise real estate choices,” said Stone. “Despite state-level setbacks to progress, Charlotte is still a great city to live and own a business.”
qnotes was able to catch up with Stone to get some insight on his experience in real-estate as well as a few other details about what he does outside the business.
Can you describe the early days of the Matt Stone Team? What kind of challenges did you face as an LGBTQ professional working in the real-estate business in Charlotte, N.C.?
I started in real estate when I was 18, so that was a challenge by itself. That, plus the fact that I am gay was absolutely a headwind. But I always remained true to who I was and was unwilling to hide that.
What inspired you to go into real-estate?
I have had a passion for architecture and homes since I was a teenager. I would make my parents take me to the builders’ model homes and open houses on weekends. I am not sure what sparked this exactly, but it’s remained with me as an adult.
What sets the Matt Stone Team apart from other real-estate agencies in Charlotte, N.C.?
We try to always be ahead of the curve. We were offering Matterport fly-through tours of our listings long before other agents. We were the first company locally to have our phones answered 24/7 — so we never miss a call.
Based on your professional experience as a realtor, what are some prominent LGBTQ-friendly/affirming neighborhoods in the Charlotte and surrounding areas?
The 28205 zip code is a great choice. This includes Midwood and NoDa. The Dilworth community is also a fantastic neighborhood.
What’s it like working with a staff compiled mainly of LGBTQ individuals as opposed to other professional settings you’ve worked in?
My teammates are all LGBTQ-affirming. Real estate offices are often pretty drab and stuffy places full [with] oversized egos and unhealthy competition. We are the polar opposite of that… we’re professional, but keep it lighthearted and fun. We all truly care about each other and our clients and that really makes a difference.
What are some recent real-estate trends that have emerged in the last year or so? Have you seen any major changes?
We are finally seeing a bit of a cooling off in price appreciation, and I think this is needed. For many years now prices have increased at a rate that isn’t sustainable. We’re long overdue for a bit of a cool down and it’s finally happening.
From your own professional experience, how has COVID-19 impacted the real-estate market?
We were very ready for the shift that happened due to COVID-19. We already had a paperless process in place with designing. We already had virtual tours on listings and high-quality marketing. So for us, the shift was not dramatic but a natural evolution.
What do you find to be most rewarding about your position?
I love seeing my agents thrive. I love helping my clients succeed, make informed decisions, and see their dreams come true.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Titusville, Fla. — but was raised in Orlando.
What’s your favorite color or combination of colors?
Steed has a design background and has helped my style “evolve” — as he likes to say. Love muted colors, dark blues, black and white.
Can you describe your current family dynamic?
I’m married to my husband, Steed. We just celebrated our first wedding anniversary, but we have been together for seven years. Three years ago I convinced him to quit his job and work with me full time. That has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
What are some of your favorite pastimes or hobbies?
We have a mountain house, and we’re there a few times a month. We love trying new restaurants, hiking and kayaking, anything outdoors.