Working Jane

Patton is Weichert ‘Jack of all trades’

Going into the real estate just fell into place for Justina Patton, an office manager with Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus.

Patton, who has been in the real estate businesses for about 18 ½ years, joined Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus in 2008.

“I was looking into becoming a school guidance counselor but I was having a hard time finding work,” she said.

While Tate’s School of Discovery offered her a job, she said it could not offer health insurance.

Instead, she found work at Dean Realty and then Jeff Grebe, owner and broker for Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus, took over Dean Realty.

As office manager, Patton said, “Basically, I have to cover anything, so when our broker is out for any reason, I’m the one everyone goes to accounting wise.

“I’m not licensed, so I do not do listings or anything of that nature, mostly just accounting,” she added.

However, Patton handles everything from accounting, billing and payroll to taking care of all closing transactions and public relations, which includes media releases on and for the top agents. She inputs listings and flyers and does open houses for the marketing director.

“It’s never the same kind of work,” she said. Her tasks extend to answering phone calls and working with agents and the public.

“Justina is the cornerstone of our company,” Grebe said. “She approaches her work and supports our agents and clients with a cheerful attitude even when it may not be warranted.

“She is a great worker and committed to doing an exceptional job. They say anyone is replaceable, but I truly believe that I couldn’t replace Justina with anyone better,” he said.

Grebe said he routinely gets compliments from clients and other agents about what a pleasure it is to call the office and how they can always count on Patton to be pleasant and cheerful.

“Justina has a way of making you feel like you are the most important person to her even though she usually has many items on her plate,” Grebe said. “She is organized and will not end her day until she has completed everything that needs to be done.Her loyalty, dedication and commitment are unmatched.”

“I think [Patton is] great,” said David Connell, an affiliate broker new Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus. “She’s been super helpful from day one, made sure I had everything I needed. She is always there whenever I have question.

“When I don’t know how to do something on a computer, she always knows exactly where to go or at least she knows who to get the information I need.”

“I have been working here for about five years, and I have worked for Justina for that long,” said Diane Hawkins, affiliate broker — a real estate agent — with Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus. “She is an absolute must in our office. She does more than just a little bit. She keeps it flowing and in order.

“I honestly don’t know what we would do without her. I don’t know that a lot of real estate brokerage [firms] have a Justina, and I can say that freely because I have called other offices and I don’t know that they run as smoothly and as well-organized as ours do.”

Hawkins said Patton also sets appointments and keeps the paperwork flowing for sellers, buyers and others.

“I know she does much more for our principal broker and owner, Jeff Grebe,” Hawkins said. “I just can’t imagine what else she does that I don’t know about. She handles a whole lot, is very organized and keeps us organized.”

“All the clients I have she treats very personable,” said Donna Hardesty, Weichert real estate agent for a little less than two years. “If they come in to do paperwork or anything, she meets them at the door, calls them by their first names, and when they call her on the phone to ask any questions, they feel as though they know her and she knows them, which is that added special touch.

“Everyone loves Justina,” Hardesty said. “And, even when I’ve been at an inspection with an inspection company, they always say, ‘You work with Justina, don’t you.’

“They always love her because any time they have a question and they call the office, they talk to her and she has always the best personality, always so friendly and so helpful.”

“Justina is simply amazing,” said Gene Sims, broker associate who has known Patton for nine years. “She is the same person day in and day out. You can always count on her.

“She’s always there,” Sims said. “She treats every agent the same — on a personal basis and business. She’s always there at our beckan call; she’s very efficient in what she does, very knowledgeable of the business and how to work the business as far as what we need her to do.

“She’s just a great person, a big heart at work, outside of work,” he added. “She will do anything for anybody. We love her and she’s stuck with us forever.”

Patton said the people — from agents to customers — make Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus a wonderful place to work.

Patton, a West Knoxville resident, is married to Daniel Patton and she has a stepson, Cosmo Patton, 19. Her mother, Arlene Souza, previously from California, also lives in West Knoxville.

Patton said she expects still to be working at Weichert, Realtors-Advantage Plus and doing the same thing in 10 years.

“I’m not a change person,” she said.