Virtual Properties Realty was founded in 1999 by mother son broker team, Karen Burks and Steve Wagner. After being with Re/Max for nearly 10 years they began to realized that the Re/Max franchise was just too large to keep up with the newest trends in technology. So they designed a company with specific enhancements in order to form a “more perfect real estate agency”. They set out to create something better for their agents and clients. Today Steve & Karen pride themselves for not only keeping up with cutting edge technology, but for providing their agents with superior training and broker support. Virtual Properties now operates as three unique companies Virtual Properties Realty.com, Virtual Properties Realty.net, Virtual Properties Realty.biz.
Many people are curious about how the name “Virtual Properties Realty” came about. In 1999, when Steve and Karen started their company, Virtual Tour photography for listings did not exist. A very expensive Virtual Tour camera with Virtual Tour software, however, did exist – so Steve decided to buy a Virtual Tour camera, thereby becoming one of the first Realtors in Georgia to do Virtual Tours for his listings. Thus the name Virtual Properties Realty became the company name.
Owners & Brokers
Steve Wagner, Broker/ Owner and founding partner for Virtual Properties Realty, has been actively involved in all facets of Real Estate since 1989 which includes: residential, land, commercial, Real Estate instructor and managing broker.
Steve and his partner, Karen Burks, began Virtual Properties Realty in 1999 which has consistently grown in size and productivity since its inception. Every year since 2007 Virtual Properties has earned the prestigious “Pacesetter Award” presented by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for being one of Georgia’s fastest growing offices in the state. In 2007, Virtual Properties also received the prestigious “Pinnacle Award” (presented by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce) for being the top (#1) managed small business in Gwinnett County. In conjunction with the Pinnacle Award, Steve has also been recognized as the “Business Executive of the Year” for Gwinnett County. Steve is currently listed this year in the Atlanta Business Chronicles “Who’s Who” for being one of the top 100 key leaders shaping the Atlanta housing industry.
The offices of Virtual Properties (per the Atlanta GAMLS) also enjoys the highest ranking in almost every Real Estate statistic including the #2 position in the number of buyer side real estate sales made last year in Georgia. Steve is a graduate of the Realtor’s Institute and has earned his ABRM, CSP and C-Rep designations. On a more personal note, Steve spends almost every non-business moment raising and nurturing his young son Evan.
Karen Burks, Broker/Owner and founding partner for Virtual Properties Realty,is the Qualifying Broker and one of the founders for Virtual Properties Realty. She began her Real Estate career in 1970 as a property manager for a large Commercial Real Estate Firm. In 1989 after years of buying, selling and managing her own Real Estate investments, Karen decided it was time to get her Real Estate license.
Since 1989 (together with her son Steve Wagner) Karen has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers buy and sell Real Estate. Prior to Karen and Steve starting Virtual Properties Realty in 1998, Karen worked with Steve Wagner at Re/Max for nearly 10 years. In her spare time Karen enjoys time with her grandchildren and playing tennis.
Jamie Mertz, Broker/Chief Operating Officer, has been with Virtual Properties for numerous years and now as COO will have oversight responsibilities over all the brokers, staff and company operations. Jamie received her B.S. in Finance from the University of South Florida and has been a licensed agent since 1998 and a licensed broker since 2006. She is a Phoenix Award Winner, a Lifetime Member of the Multi-Million Dollar Club, a Communities 100 recipient (three years in a row), and a Re/Max Platinum Club Award recipient.