White Diamond broker Melissa Hornbeck got her calling for real estate in 2001 after buying her first home in Florida. For a mother of young children, it was an ideal fit that allowed her to work while also being available to her kids.

“There was no prouder moment, second to my kids being born, than when my first home’s keys were dropped into the palm of my hand. I wanted nothing more than to spread that feeling far and wide.”

When she’s not putting her real estate passion to work, Melissa keeps it simple: “I love to read, I knit when I can, enjoy walking the rail trail and dining ‘al fresco.’ My kids are grown and currently being great contributors to society, so I enjoy the company of my two mutt dogs and one overgrown cat when I’m not out and about with work and play.”

There’s more to learn about White Diamond’s expert-at-the-helm, so let’s explore Melissa’s approach to career, clients, and community.

What made White Diamond the right choice for your next step?

When first approached by Mark and David, it was not in my life plan to become a managing broker. At the time, I held my associate broker’s license but worked at a competing firm both as a full time-agent and as its Director of Education and Professional Development. I loved where I was, so at first I was hesitant. But my inner drive to always evolve, as well as the encouragement of my former broker, helped me make one of the best decisions of my career.

What are your best qualities as an agent?

I am never motivated by commission. I have always put the best interests of my clients, the public, my industry, and now my agents before mine. I believe my mission statement says it all:

My mission as a Broker is to enrich each of my agent’s careers; educate myself, my agents, and the public about the real estate market and industry; hold myself to the highest standards of ethics and integrity; and earn the trust of each person I have the privilege of working with.

What is the most common hurdle you see buyers encounter, and how do you help them with it?

Understanding the process and the market. The market is ever-changing and different, depending on an individual’s needs. Counseling my clients on what to expect from the market, how best to approach the process, and the steps it takes to reach the finish line are imperative in being successful at reaching their goals.

What makes West Virginia a great place to buy a home and put down roots?

North Central WV is within a few hours’ drive to five major metropolitan areas, while boasting renowned natural beauty practically out our back doors. WV has an abundance of outdoor recreation, from whitewater rafting to mountain climbing, hunting, and some of the best trout streams around. Morgantown itself is one of the largest economic drivers to the state and offers a wide variety of cultural arts, local eateries, and a thriving ‘Main Street’ community.

What will your career look like in 10 years?

Retirement! Okay, probably not, but by then the company will have matured to the full boutique operation of our vision, and I will be more in the role of broker than agent.