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Real Estate Experts Share Tips

VALDOSTA - Participants in Valdosta’s Community Xccelerator program received real estate advice from three local real estate experts, including Victoria Copeland (CEO and Broker of Valdosta Sold Real Estate Services), DoraLee Smith (Associate Broker with The Herndon Company), and Hope Brown-Franklin (Georgia Associate Broker and Florida Broker for Legacy Realtors).

The three brokers volunteered to serve as subject matter experts and break down the home buying process while also answering questions that participants had about becoming real estate investors, and potentially real estate agents themselves.

Victoria Copeland, who began investing in real estate at 19 years old, shared valuable credit insight with the group.

“Whenever you purchase a home, the lenders are actually going to pull all three of your credit scores, and they use the middle score. They drop your lowest score, and they drop the highest score. Then they go with the score in the middle,” informed Copeland.

Hope Brown-Franklin provided a recommended path toward investment income through property rentals.

“Maybe in three to five years [of home ownership], once more jobs are brought into that area and you consider an upgrade or moving into a larger house, [the previous home] will be an easier home to rent out. That way, you can make more money because now you have a tenant in place,” Brown-Franklin advised.

The Community Xccelerator attendees learned about the advantages of working with Valdosta’s local banks, how to improve their potential of being approved by mortgage lenders, the convenience of working with a CPA, tax benefits of owning properties, and insight about becoming a real estate agent.

DoraLee Smith provided handouts for all of the participants in the Xccelerator that included useful information, such as ‘10 Things to Ignore When Buying A Home’ and a home-purchase checklist.

At the conclusion of the session, Smith offered her final remarks.

“I think everyone’s in a great program here, and they chose to participate for their betterment and looking forward to their future. I would tell them to continue being diligent and consistent. Watch their credit score, the market, and for opportunities that maybe they can invest in.”

DeWayne Johnson, Program Director of the Community Xccelerator added, “We are delighted to have these real estate experts, with so much expertise, share their collective insight and advice directly with our program participants, who are seeking information about how they can get into real estate based on their particular financial positions.”

Johnson added, “Our program relies on presenters and sponsors, who identify with personal empowerment and economic mobility through education, and who want to support others that have committed themselves toward navigating subjects not widely discussed within a majority of households or schools.”

According to organizers, more than 25 local experts will become involved within the Community Xccelerator during the course of the 20-session program. As a result, Xccelerator participants have the opportunity to attend sessions that place them directly in front of local experts and influencers within the Valdosta-Lowndes area, giving them a unique inspiration and connection that empowers them to take proven actions toward their long-term goals and passions.

Visit for more information about how to become involved with the Community Xccelerator.

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