All across the Outer Banks are people doing their best to make a living while still finding time to enjoy this wonderful place they call home. In this edition of Get to Know the Locals, you’ll meet one of them, Brook Sparks of Coast Realty in Nags Head. Brook lists and sells properties through Coldwell Banker and is an owner of Coast Realty, a full-service vacation rental management company that manages rental properties from Corolla through South Nags Head. In addition to property management, they also offer property consulting and interior design and staging services for homeowners. Brook is a Currituck native who works hard and plays hard on the Outer Banks. Read on to learn more about this Outer Banks local and her life here.
How long have you lived on the Outer Banks and how did you end up here?
My husband and I are from Currituck and we are blessed enough to be able to raise our family here. Both of our families also live in Currituck and not more than a few minutes away.
What did you do before you were in this business?
I have a degree in physical education and worked in the school system for a short time after college. The highlight of that period of my life was coaching volleyball and softball.
What motivates you to work hard in your line of work?
I am extremely competitive but I have always liked seeing others win and succeed. Whether I am working in the sales or rental capacity, I can help ensure an owner is able to achieve the highest return on investment.
Brook being presented with the GOAT award for having a record setting year in sales as a solo agent.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
I enjoy helping homeowners (or potential homeowners) achieve their financial goals as it pertains to owning property on the Outer Banks. Sharing experiences from both sales and property management helps set better expectations for clients. Having clients ultimately turn into lifelong friends through trust and loyalty is one of the best parts of my job.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
I think one of the biggest challenges of my job also happens to be one of my favorite things. No day is the same; my day might start with showing property in the 4x4 area of Corolla in the morning and end by cleaning a house in Nags Head in the afternoon. It can be logistically challenging but always keeps me on my toes.
What’s your favorite OBX town or village?
My office is semi oceanfront in Nags Head. I love the people, the beaches, the restaurants and proximity to everything.
What is your favorite thing about living on the Outer Banks?
I love the sense of community that the Outer Banks is known for. I love how neighbors take care of neighbors and there is always an opportunity to give back.
What is your favorite season on the Outer Banks?
It is an unpopular answer among locals but I truly do love the summers on the Outer Banks. I love the hot temperatures, the unexpected summer storms and meeting new people and I love how our whole area comes alive for the season.
Do you have any hobbies or creative pursuits?
My husband and I have two young boys. They are very active in travel and recreational baseball. We are both very involved and present for all of their practices and games.
Brook with her husband, Brad, and sons, Jonathan, 6, and Bradley, 8.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy playing sports with my kids. We spend a large amount of our time (year round) on the baseball field, and I feel like our family bonds over competitiveness regardless of the age!
What do you do in the off-season?
Haha. I am not quite sure what is considered “off season.” Our family travels to Mexico for Thanksgiving annually. We enjoy the trip but are always ready to come home and get back to business.
What’s your favorite beach access?
Hands down, Nags Head near the Nags Head Pier.
Describe your perfect day off.
I am not sure; I haven't had one in many years. But I work less during my kids’ baseball games and that is when I am the happiest.
Brook and her boys exploring Duck.
Do you see more sunrises or sunsets?
I see them both! Everyday!
Where do you go on vacation?
Mexico for Thanksgiving! We trade turkey for tequila, and I don’t have to cook!
For a celebratory dinner, would you rather order take-out, go out to eat or cook something at home?
Anytime I can get out of cooking or washing dishes, I am in! I would rather go out to one of our amazing local restaurants for sure!
What is your favorite local seafood?
What’s one thing you wish more Outer Banks visitors knew?
I wish visitors knew how hard we work in the property management industry to make the homes they rent meet their expectations. I wish they knew that we truly can't control how the previous week's guests treated the home, and most of the time we only have a few hours to reverse any damage caused by the previous tenants.
What is your number one piece of advice for someone who wants to buy a home here?
If you are looking for a true investment home, make sure that you find an agent that understands your expectations financially. There are areas, amenities and criteria that are more in demand than others for rentals. Make sure they are well acquainted with current trends in our industry. A buyer that is investing in the Outer Banks should understand the realities and challenges that come along with ownership here and what a professional property management relationship entails.
Brook making a presentation at Outer Banks Association of Realtors Realtorfest.
Do you have any side hustles?
I do some consulting work pertaining to property management. I work with owners to increase their ROI, rate assessments and property assessments.
Do you have any pet projects or is there a local nonprofit that you are passionate about?
I am very involved with the Wounded Warrior in Action Charity. Our community has been blessed to have several Purple Heart recipients come to our area each year to duck hunt. This year, we were fortunate enough to add an offshore excursion for the heroes. Each year, small businesses, law enforcement and the local residents join forces to roll out the red carpet for the Purple Heart recipients. Meals, ammunition, transportation, accommodations, snacks, duck/fishing guides and more are all provided by our community. Spearheading this event each year has been the highlight of my career (for more than 10 years), and the best part is watching everyone come together for an amazing cause.
What is one item on your bucket list?
When the Braves make it back to the World Series, I would like to take my family to a game!
To learn more about Coast Realty, visit coastrealtync.com.