The past few years have been a whirlwind for Kgao Martin, one of Mosaic’s newest realtors. But she’s done more than simply keep up — she’s moved halfway across the globe and thrived. She is, most definitely, “Passie” (“Passionate” in Afrikaans), and her enthusiasm is refreshingly contagious. We managed to catch up with Kgao (pronounced “How”) a few days ago … but only after she’d slowed down just long enough to chat!
Share a bit about your background (how you got here, any family, pets, etc.)
My husband and I met in Greece — we dated online for 9 months, then he moved to South Africa for almost 2 years. We decided to move to the States (arriving on New Year’s Eve 2020, no less!), got married the next month, and we have been in this part of the world since. We’re really enjoying exploring more and more of this beautiful region. And though we do not have children or pets, I am a proud plant mama. All my little-uns have done well these past two years; they have survived two winters and are growing strong!
What made you want to be a real estate broker?
I love design! Whether it’s architecture, interior design, or graphic design, I really do enjoy all of it. Real estate engages so many of these design aspects that it simply made the most sense transitioning from architecture.
Also, when we purchased our own home, I did not know anything about real estate and felt very uncertain all through the process. That further cemented my desire to get into real estate, not just for myself and my husband, but also for others. I want to help make it as seamless a process for others as possible.
What are your passion projects/subjects?
Definitely people and their connection to and experience of a place. How people go from navigating an unknown place to becoming so familiar with it that their emotions become deeply entrenched there has been an interest of mine for several years. It has been quite enlightening to document my own experience as I continue to put down roots in the area. What that looks like practically is that I love to engage and connect with people who have just moved to the area and are now finding their way. I also love to talk with senior folks who were born and raised in the area about the ways in which they’ve seen their beloved home go through multiple cycles of change. This gives color and vibrance to my own experience.
What ways do you enjoy giving back to our community?
My husband and I support the preservation and thriving of families. We support Black Mountain Children's Home, as we know and love some of the families that work there! We also support Mountain Area Pregnancy Service, and the work that they do in assisting underprivileged mothers, who may not have the means to support their unborn child, to garner medical and physical care for both mom and baby. Additionally, we support Alongside Families which helps families by providing wraparound care in times of need through local churches in the area. Our support of these organizations is not just financial — we are often there for the individual families by getting involved in helping meet their emotional, physical, and financial needs through our church network.
What are your realty superpowers?
I am people oriented. I want to help people through what is, even in the best of circumstances, a stressful process. Whether it's connecting their needs with resources, or simply by connecting with them as a person, I am there for them.
Do you have certain neighborhoods/communities in which you especially love to work?
West Asheville is the community that we spend a ton of our resources investing in!
What do you think is the most special thing about the AVL area?
The collection of people, and the complex connections between them and the environment, whether that environment is naturally occuring or engineered. Think about it this way: the Asheville of twenty years ago still had the same mountains, many of the same houses, the same streets, but part of the reason why it has become such a tourist hub is the people! It is the people and their interactions with the physical landscape that changed the narrative of Asheville as a destination area worth visiting or a place worth moving to!