Wendy Cole is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.
Kandis Palmer: Selling With Style
The hair salon owner turned real estate team leader explains how filming “First-Time Buyer” deepened her rapport with her clients.
November 16, 2020
If she had known Arizona had more than 40,000 REALTORS® before she joined their ranks in 2013, Kandis Palmer might not have gotten into the business at all.
The competition seemed daunting, but Palmer pressed on.
Tune In to ‘First-Time Buyer’
The eight-episode reality series, available on Roku, Facebook Watch, YouTube, and firsttimebuyer.realtor, offers “a more realistic portrayal of the homebuying process,” says Alicia Bailey, marketing director and head of production for the National Association of REALTORS®, which commissioned the show. In each episode, an NAR member is featured helping the buyers navigate the fast-paced 2020 real estate market. Because some taping was done before the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. and some was delayed until summer, you’ll see masks and social distancing in some but not all of the segments.
The enthusiasm, drive, and caring nature that fueled her earlier career as a successful hair salon owner and stylist helped her find her footing in the real estate business. Palmer became a Keller Williams rookie of the year and was twice named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Area Association of REALTORS®.
In some respects, her 16 years of styling hair prepared her well for working with buyers and sellers. “They both involve a lot of counseling,” Palmer quips.
Her passion for the business clearly won over the producers of “First-Time Buyer,” who asked if she’d be interested in auditioning for a new real estate reality docuseries after spotting her engaging Instagram posts. Palmer, now a team leader with eXp Realty, concedes she was “a little leery” about the opportunity at first, wanting to be sure of its authenticity. Initially, she didn’t realize the National Association of REALTORS® was behind the endeavor. However, she says, “I am generally a ‘yes’ person.”
Her years doing standup comedy as a side gig came in handy during the shoot. She was relaxed in front of the camera, which rubbed off on her clients, Emily, a schoolteacher, and Jay, an optometrist. “My clients are kind of shy, but they agreed to be on the show because they love me,” she says.
In their episode, the couple, with Palmer’s help, make an offer on a three-bedroom home, but serious inspection problems emerge involving the home’s plumbing, roof, and windows. Palmer was able to get them all resolved to keep the sale on track.
The negotiation, she says, was trickier in real life than it looked to be on camera. “I spent a couple of days getting quotes and helping the seller understand the importance of the repairs,” she says. “It’s my job to convey what the buyer needs to make the sale happen.”
It was a stressful time, but the sale was successful. And there was an unexpected side benefit: Palmer says the rapport she built with her clients deepened during filming, and the connection remains strong.
“I returned the love and became a client of Jay’s when I needed an eye exam,” she says. “Glasses are my thing, and he helped me sort through all the frames.” The couple has also been a source of new referrals for Palmer.
Their “First-Time Buyer” shoot, which occurred over three long days in pre-pandemic February, was fun but more exhausting than she anticipated, Palmer says. “I came home each night and just went straight to bed without eating dinner,” she says.
But at the end of every day, Palmer never second-guesses her decision seven years ago, soon after her daughter was born, to transition full time to real estate. “I wanted the freedom and the flexibility,” she says. “Real estate allows me to be the mom I want to be and still crush it in business.”
Updated: September 24, 2021