It Takes A Family to Build Better Homes in Wilmington

04 May 2024

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Treasure takes a relationship-driven approach to business

By Jen Reed  »  Photos by G. Frank Hart

“Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another, and of strength to be derived by unity.”

While those may be the words of legendary coach Vince Lombardi, it would be safe to say they illustrate the career Tim Baker has built for himself and his family in the real estate business. As co-founder of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Treasure, Baker knows that success has come not just from himself, but at the hands of the that has worked so hard. That team has steadily grown from its founding in 1990 to an operation that now includes three locations, the most recent opening in Wilmington in late 2023.

So, in a market where it's safe to say there are plenty of real estate companies to choose from, what makes BHGRE Treasure different? Simply stated: putting people first. Whether it's a client, an agent, or a member of the support staff, Baker takes great pride in those relationships. 

“I have always tried my best to make a difference in people's lives,” he explains. “If we ever deviate from taking care of the client – or each other - this never would have become the company we want it to be.”

Baker says he knew from the “second he graduated” that he would be working in real estate. So, with UNC Chapel Hill in the rearview mirror in 1987, under the tutelage of cousin Richard Baker, the two founded Treasure Realty in Sneads Ferry, with a focus on Topsail Island and the surrounding communities. Together, they built the organization in both commercial and residential real estate as well as property management, in eastern North Carolina. Tim Baker has amassed experience as a real estate investor buying apartment complexes, land, and developing real estate, and he brings complex understanding to the business. But he will also tell you he does not have all the answers.

That is where the team – or family as he refers to them – comes in. Baker prides himself on seeing talent, sometimes in unusual places, and he says bringing together a group of like-minded individuals who work to become “experts” in their respective disciplines is what has served as the pinnacle of the organization.

“I don't expect everyone here to be an expert at everything,” he explains. “That's not realistic. But, finding and developing talent and then supporting one another in a way that benefits the entire family—that's what we do.”

John Blackmon, who has been a part of the Treasure family for the past four years, has taken on the role of Broker-in-Charge in the Wilmington office and is helping the team grow in this area. Blackmon's background and education are in travel and tourism, but it is his love for coastal living that brought him to Wilmington and real estate. Having moved to the coast to work in vacation property rentals he eventually found himself with Treasure working in its property management practice, which has increased significantly during his tenure.

Blackmon calls the entrance to Wilmington the “perfect fit” for the organization and is confident the difference they will make will be seen by both the buyers and sellers.

“There has no doubt been a lot of growth in Wilmington,” he says. “But it still maintains a 'small town' feeling. It's a really exciting time to be here.” 

A resident of the area since 2009, Blackmon says he can relate to why so many people move to the area – whether it be from other parts of the state or the country – he shares the same love and appreciation for coastal living that continues to draw a new generation to the Port City.

Beyond the business acumen and teamwork, it's faith that serves as the pillar of BHGRE Treasure. Baker calls what has been done for the business through Christ has been nothing short of “amazing,” and says he will be forever grateful for the opportunities that have been presented.

“If you can't pass that along to the next person, then it's just a missed opportunity,” he says.

Blackmon echoes that sentiment, stating he wants to see the good in and get the best out of others and credits his family for his journey.

“It's who we are,” he adds.

That faith and the values held so deeply is what prompted Baker to take the step and affiliate the business with Better Homes and Gardens last year. He recognized an alliance between the Treasure values and the renewed spirit of Better Homes and Gardens, now under the new leadership of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate President Ginger Wilcox.

There is no denying the Better Homes and Gardens brand also represents a lifestyle – one that fits in quite well with the geography. Couple that with the customer-focused attitude and you have an organization that represents the very best of what Wilmington and the Cape Fear Region have to offer.

“People here say they 'love where they live' because of that lifestyle,” he says. “And we know that means a house is more than a house – it's a home.

He says he is proud to have served as a conduit for so many individuals – and even businesses – that have chosen this region of the country to call their home. For Baker, the pride goes back to knowing Treasure has the best team on the field. And while that field may be getting bigger and the team continuing to grow, keeping the customer at the center of the focus not only keeps them grounded but provides the satisfaction of knowing someone is better for having had the experience.

“It's not just a transaction, it's a community,” says Baker.

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