Focus is on the customer at Picket Fence Properties

Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, Print Editor

A picket fence instantly brings to mind an image of a home. For a real estate agent, what could be more perfect? Explaining how she chose Picket Fence Properties as the name of the real estate business she opened earlier this year, Linda Ward Temple said, “I wanted to be creative, I wanted to be original, fresh and different. It’s a simple image that’s easy to remember.”

A picket fence is incorporated into the company’s signs, which were made by a former client. In addition to primarily selling real estate in Washington County, Temple said she strives to support local businesses when filling her company’s needs.

Picket Fence Properties also includes real estate agent Hannah Gibson, who joined the company in June. The two women met when they both worked at The Day Company.

Temple joined The Day Company in 2010 – in the midst of the housing bust. While it wasn’t an ideal time financially, she said it was a huge benefit as she developed her knowledge base. “It gave me lots of time to learn and ask questions of others,” she said. “And they had time to answer them!”

Temple has a degree in business administration, but decided to make a career change after the birth of her son, Griffin. She wanted to stay in Salem and she wanted the flexibility to spend lots of time with her son and real estate offered those options.

The flexibility is also important to Gibson. She and her husband have three sons, ages 5, 4, and 3. “It allows me to be a mom first,” said Gibson. She said she pursued a real estate career at the urging of her mother. She’s been an agent for a little more than a year.

The two have an office, located on the east end of the Morgan’s Market building on State Road 56 East, but both stressed they are available to clients when they’re needed.

“We’re always on call and always available,” said Temple, who said she never leaves home, even for a fun time, without her laptop and briefcase. “If I get an offer in, it has to be handled and taken care of. I’m always available. Real estate is a 24/7 job. It doesn’t stop because it’s the weekend; if anything it kicks into high gear.”

Gibson added, “Clients can call or text anytime. If you have a question, we’re available for you. Even if the door is locked, you’re going to get help.”

Picket Fence Properties is part of EXP Realty, a national company that Temple describes as very technology-driven and focused on helping real estate agents learn and grow. “I am local, but I needed that national strength to be able to promote products. Real estate is very tech driven. EXP is based on collaboration, sharing information and working together collectively with 100 percent transparency.” Temple said the company offers numerous learning opportunities daily with online meetings and a mentality of “let me help you become better.” Gibson added, “It’s not a me, me, me company. They want you to learn and grow.”

Temple said integrity and loyalty to customers are top priorities. 

Both Temple and Gibson say the best part of their job is meeting people. 

“I thoroughly enjoy people,” said Gibson. 

“Real estate has to be personal business,” said Temple. “You build relationships with people. Most of my clients are dear, dear friends. I believe being agent allows me to be good to people and take care of people which is who I am. I really enjoy it. I’m 150 percent at everything –I don’t do anything a little.”

She said it also calls for going above and beyond.

“You have to be resourceful, do what it takes. I’ve been known to paint decks and move trash! You just never know!”

Temple said her goal is to meet the individual needs of each person whom she serves. “Whatever my client’s mission is, that’s my job, to do it as well as possible and to take care of it all.”

Picket Fence Properties is open 2-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and by appointment Monday and Saturday. For more information, contact Temple at 812-620-8727 or Gibson at 812-896-7076. The two are available anytime by phone and are always ready to receive calls and meet their customers' needs.

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