Valerie Mitchener was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in New Jersey before moving south in 1986, to attend the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. After graduating with a B.A. in English, she worked as a writer and purchased a company a few years later called TextWorks, which provided documentation and training materials for the banking industry. During this time, she also enjoyed renovating homes on the side. In 1998, Valerie sold her company, earned a real estate license, joined a local residential real estate agency, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a consistent top producer. She had found her passion!
Eight years later, she turned a dream of owning her own real estate company into a reality and founded HM Properties in 2006.
HM Properties started out as a small, independent boutique agency with six brokers and two staff members which quickly grew to be one of the leading residential real estate companies in the Charlotte region. Despite the recession which began two years later, HM Properties continued to surge forward to become an award-winning real estate company. Building the business wasn't easy during those first few years and it was made even more challenging during the tumultuous market when many real estate companies were forced to close, downsize or merge.
In the face of many obstacles, HM Properties expanded to over 50 brokers and seven full-time staff by the end of 2009, and in 2011, the company was honored as one of The Charlotte Business Journal's "Fast 50" fastest-growing, mid-sized private companies in the Charlotte region. In addition, HM Properties won The Charlotte Business Journal's "Best Places to Work" Award for mid-sized companies in 2009, and have been the Official Realtor® of the Charlotte Hornets since 2010.
On a personal level, Valerie was chosen as one of the "Top 25 Women in Business" awards in 2010, by The Charlotte Business Journal, and was also honored to be among the winners of the "50 Influential Women Award" by The Mecklenburg Times in 2012.
Looking back to that time, Mitchener said, "We could have given up, but we banded together and kept moving forward. Quitting was never an option."
Valerie attributes much of the success to having a unique business model that allowed her to build a niche within a very competitive real estate market. With a focus of creating a high end brand, Valerie has carefully hand-picked top brokers in the region who possess extraordinary customer service skills, experience and knowledge of our market, and a strong work ethic. Selecting the right combination of brokers and staff was a key component to being able to provide consistent and exceptional customer service.
From the beginning, every choice was intentional from the office location to the company colors, logo design, print collateral and advertising, right down to the office wall paint color and furniture choices which were chosen with the HM brand in mind. The look was reflective of the brand and it did not take long to set HM Properties apart from its competition.
In 2013, HM Properties was invited to be one of the first members of an elite, international network of real estate firms called Leverage Global Partners which has allowed our company to build worldwide relationships with top brokerages around the globe.
A year later, Valerie made a decision to purchase her own building instead of continuing to lease. Always looking ahead to build toward the future, she purchased a 6,850 sq. ft. two-story building in SouthPark, and began a complete renovation of the interior and exterior facade in the spring of 2015. Six months later, the company moved from its former location in Piedmont Town Center to the new location across from Phillips Place in SouthPark.
This new office space was designed by Mitchener and Robert Johnson Architects and was renovated by D4 Construction. The layout and design is reflective of the company's brand and features an open two-story foyer, floor-to-ceiling glass windows, marble floors, sleek décor, and comfortable working spaces throughout. "A lot of thought went into the design," Mitchener said. "I want the agents and staff feel at home when they are here."
Valerie leads by example and has instilled in her brokers and staff the importance of taking time to build personal and lasting relationships with each of our clients and vendors. She has also made it a priority to keep the brokers informed and ahead of competition by providing formal and informal continuing education opportunities. Helping her brokers to be able to understand and successfully navigate through complex real estate related transactions or issues is something she takes very seriously. She also has a tremendous work ethic and is always looking to new ways to grow the company and brand. Valerie's unparalleled determination to succeed is only matched by her passion for real estate.
"One of the best things about being a part of HM Properties is that we are like family and whenever someone needs assistance with anything there are always many offers to help. We truly care about each other and it is an honor to be able to help each other reach success." said Mitchener.
In 2015, Valerie was elected to be on the board of directors of the Charlotte Regional Realtors Association (CRRA) and enjoys being able to give back to an organization that has been so instrumental in helping her over the years. For the past three years, she and HM Properties have sponsored the annual CRRA Realtors Care Day each spring and "adopted" a low-income homeowner who needed help making interior and exterior repairs on their home.
Valerie also enjoys working with children and helping them to be successful. In 2014, she was one of the founders of the "Yes, I Can Play Foundation", a non-profit organization that believes all children should be able to play sports and raises funds to help children whose families are unable to afford expenses associated with participating in Yes I Can Basketball or other youth sports programs.
On a more personal note, Valerie and her husband, Joe Pellegrini, married in 2011, and live in the Foxcroft neighborhood in a home they designed and built. Joe is a managing director for an investment banking firm and a former NFL player. Together they have four boys: Valerie's sons: Calvin (21), Spencer (18); and Joe's sons: Joey (17) and Nicky (14). They also have a beautiful German Shepherd dog named Bailey.
Outside of work, Valerie likes building and renovating homes and honing her skills with interior design projects. Family is very important to Valerie and she treasures spending quality time with them especially at their beach home in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina. In addition, she is sports fan and season ticket holder to for the NBA's Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers.
To date, HM Properties has over 65 brokers and 10 full-time employees including in-house relocation and marketing departments.