Twjana Echols-Jones: Reenvisioning 'The One'
Working in a searing-hot market sometimes results in disappointed buyers. The Nashville real estate pro, featured in "First-Time Buyer," explains how her design background can lead to success.
November 16, 2020
Twjana Echols-Jones says helping clients find their perfect home in a hot real estate market can be like searching for a “unicorn,” a seemingly elusive gem that meets all of their wants and needs. Often, buyers need help envisioning the true possibilities. That’s why, as Jones tours homes with clients, she’ll point out where they can host cookouts with their friends on a large back deck, where the nursery could go if they’re expecting, or where to plant a garden to nurture their new hobby.
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.
Coming from an interior and fashion design background before she branched into her real estate career, Echols-Jones loves space planning with her buyers as they picture whether a home is a good fit. She listens intently and then starts her hunt. “With my background in interior design, I like to see how we can lay out the home and make it the perfect space for them,” says Echols-Jones, who also has experience in remodeling homes. “A lot of times buyers have a tough time seeing it. I like to show them how it can work.”
But once buyers find their unicorn, it’s important not to let it slip away. Often, Jones says, clients lose out on a home they love due to first-time jitters. That’s what happened with recent clients Jake and Allison, whom she worked with on “First-Time Buyer,” a new reality docuseries from the National Association of REALTORS®. The couple found a house that checked all their boxes: a move-in-ready home on 3 acres of land, a 20-minute drive from downtown Nashville, and within their $350,000 budget. But they waited a bit—and learned that the seller had accepted another offer just when they were ready to act.
“It can be scary to make a big commitment,” Jones says. “But the hesitancy to say ‘This is it’ caused them to lose out.” As they “mourn that loss, my job is to let them know there is always something better that they’ll love even more just around the corner.”
Echols-Jones, an agent with Keller Williams Realty since 2015, enjoys working with first-time buyers. “I like the challenge,” she says. “I have to get them to trust me, to have fun in the process and relax.” To be sure, a first-time home buyer in a competitive housing market like Nashville can be stressful, and the learning curve for clients is steep.
Teaming with other agents, Echols-Jones offers free workshops in her community that include tips for first-time buyers about the purchase process that cover financing options, information about buying homes via HUD, and more.
As for Jake and Allison’s journey, Echols-Jones says she received a text message from the couple the other day thanking her for her persistence and help in finding the perfect home for them as they get settled and now await the birth of their first child. “This is what real estate is all about for me,” she says. “It’s helping buyers move on to their next chapter in life.”
Updated: May 10, 2021