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.
Whether you are a Team Leader or a Realtor wanting to become a Team Member, Virtual Properties has the best OPPORTUNITIES for you. A great Team Program is very intricate and there are an abundance of details you need to consider. We recommend that you confidentially discuss your situation and goals with a VPR leader. Click HERE to have a VPR Broker/Consultant call you. We will construct the best plan imaginable to assure maximum success for both the Team Leader and the Team Member.
The Foundational Element of every MUTUALLY beneficial Team Program is the Split or Fee Structure…and VPR has the best Options in the industry.
Jamie Mertz – Managing Broker
Jamie Mertz, Assistant Managing Broker, has been with Virtual Properties for numerous years and is now a part of our Broker team. 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.
Sandra Herring – Managing Broker
Sandra Herring, managing broker and branch manager for our Snellville location, first became involved in the real estate industry in 1985 as a licensed full time realtor. She has also been involved in new home building and the remodeling business as a contractor for over 20 years. Her experience with the actual construction and repair of homes adds an extra edge in dealing with potential construction or repair projects. This construction experience has carried over to working with investment clients, one of her specialties from HUD Homes to Foreclosures. As a life time resident of Atlanta, her knowledge makes it easy for her to specialize in relocating clients to their desired location of choice. She also enjoys working with first time home buyers from start to finish by educating them on the biggest investment they are likely to make. She provides a Home Buyer’s Book to help with the education process and by providing assistance with obtaining financing for the purchases. Also, she goes the extra mile with her sellers helping them all the way to ensure they get the most for their property. Her unique background and experiences make her ideally suited to provide expert advice to all of her clients.
On a personal note, Sandra has been an active member of the community by volunteering for the local youth sports, school and church activities. She spends her spare time traveling, riding her horse and competing in fitness-related activities and enjoys her family, meeting and getting to know new people.
Dianne Amburn – Managing Broker
Dianne Amburn is the managing Broker for our new Gainesville office; she was formerly a managing broker with Keller Williams Realty Lanier Partners where she also acted as interim leader and mentor to her fellow Realtors.
For over 18 years, Dianne has been recognized as leader and educator in the Hall , Jackson, & Barrow County Realtor community. Some of her achievements include: Serving on the Hall County Board of Realtors Executive board for seven years, Winner of the Hall County Board of Realtors’ Presidents Award, Winner of the 2005 Hall County Board of Realtors “Realtor of the year” Award, GRI/ABR designations, Phoenix Award Recipient, and life Member of the Million Dollar Club.
In addition to her many rewards, Dianne has extensive real estate experience and knowledge as a certified specialist in REO foreclosures & short sales. Dianne has also had extensive experience working with HUD as one of their national listing agents and instructors. Diane was also an instructor teaching GREC rules & Regulations prior to joining Virtual Properties Realty.