Hattiesburg Realtor honored with inaugural award for service

By BETH BUNCH,

For the last 25 years, Hub City Realtor Jim Stroo has been helping those across the Pine Belt find their forever home. Stroo is the broker and owner of Realty Executives, The Executive Team Inc.

It was a fellow real estate agent, Cheryl Cranford, who may have piqued his interest in the profession.

“I bought a home in 1993 with Cheryl Cranford as my Realtor,” Stroo said. “I was interested in the process, and I needed to make a change in employment direction. I had an MBA with an emphasis in Finance, so I felt that would help me too, along with being a local from childhood.”

That change in employment garnered Stroo the inaugural Portrait of Professionalism Award presented by the Mississippi Association of Realtors.

This brand-new award, announced at the MAR convention, was given to members who exemplify the qualities most desired by the organization in the areas of professional conduct, fairness, and service to the community. 

Stroo was one of only three Mississippians chosen by MAR from among 6,300+ members statewide.

A well-known respected business leader, mentor, and active in the community with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Stroo’s realty team consists of 19 experienced agents “who settle for nothing less than connecting their clients with the finest homes the community has to offer.”

“The culture of our agency frees agents to focus on what matters most, providing the best real estate services to clients in the market,” said Stroo.

The MAR Executive Committee nominated and selected the winners for the inaugural award.

Stroo said it is quite an honor for him and also for Hattiesburg.  

“I was totally surprised since it was new and nominees were not announced prior to the day of the state membership meeting,” he said.

His company, Realty Executives, was started 19 years ago by Stroo, Gary Sims and Ken Broom. Stroo is now the sole broker.

A national franchise with more than 550 brokers worldwide, Realty Executives allows very strong local control and ownership is 100 percent local. 

“I really have enjoyed working with Realty Executives and developing a good option here for Pine Belt real estate consumers,” Stroo said. “By that I mean we have national support and education, but we have local control and local expertise in Pine Belt real estate matters.”

Stroo said the Pine Belt market is still good, in spite of interest rates starting to climb.

“It is still historically a time of low interest rates,” he said. “The market is better than it has been in the past, and there are good programs for down payment grants and/or assistance, particularly if you are a teacher, military, or first responder. According to Stroo there is a program for granting the down payment if you are in one of these professionals. “You can’t get any better than that for buyers, right?”

Stroo contributes his success to the real estate professional who work alongside him. “I would not want to do this without the other Executives and staff that work with me,” Stroo said. “Three of the Executives have been with me for more than 16 years.”

In the summer of 2016, the real estate office caught fire that put the staff out of its building for about five months. “Most of our staff went through the fire with me,” he said. “We were in a spot of about half the normal space with no private offices for most of them, yet no one left for other options. I am extremely appreciative of the Executives and staff that work with me.”