Sholanda Smith (Premises, Inc.) Real Estate Agent



Sholanda Smith
location_on Covington, GA — Premises, Inc.
Get to Know Sholanda Smith

Okay, so I always hate when people ask me that question. I am not defined by who I'm married to, how many children I have, what type of house I live in, what type of car I drive, or even what type of foods I eat.

Don't get me twisted...I am very proud of being a wife and mother. There is nothing in this world that I would not do for my husband and my children. However, that is not all that I am.

I am also a Realtor (brand new Associate Broker), a health and wellness educator with Fruta Vida, and a Certified Travel Agent with Traverus. I am also a friend, a sister, a daughter, a niece, and a granddaughter.

I enjoy reading, writing poetry, educating myself on health and wellness issues, taking care of my family, attending church, singing in the choir, gardening (sometimes), and shopping. I don't think I'm shy, but I do have to know more about you to determine if you are the type of person that I want in my life.

I am not afraid to try new things. I will step out on faith in a heartbeat. I've never been afraid to try any type of network marketing activity and because of this, I have found the ones that bring me joy and help me gain an income. I realize that if it's not about helping others then I am not interested.

Well....that just about sums it up on who I am. Now, who are you?

(from my blog on


Why the right question.

I heard from Tom Richey, in July 2007, that you don't wait to buy real estate. You buy real estate and wait. Real estate is the one thing that you are sure to get some type of appreciation from. Now, I said appreciation and I'm not necessarily talking about a rise in value. But, you may receive appreciation in the form of being able to watch your children grow up in the home, take care of your parents when they are elderly, a place to go and hide from the challenges of life, and just a place to enjoy the company of those you love and care about. There are many things to appreciate about real estate. There is nothing like saying "this is mine".

Some people think real estate is strictly the buying and selling of property. Oh no, it is so much more in depth than that. Yes, you can buy. Yes, you can sell. Did you know that you could also rent? Did you know you could also lease? Did you know you could also sublease? Did you know that as a Housing Assistance Participant, you could also ask a Realtor for help at no charge? Did you know that I like the color blue?

So, now you know....why real estate!! It's simply answered by "why not".



(this is a picture of Old Suwanee, which was built approx. 7 years is well-maintained and has a beautiful appearance to this very day!! Since Brookline is new, this picture is the closest rendition to what Brookline will become once it is completely sold out!!!! Isn't it beautiful!?)


Price Ranges from $150s to $200s


Sales Center number:  (770) 385-7033  or (770) 385-7434

Personal Tour of Homes:  Monday - Friday  12-6 pm   Saturday 11 - 6pm &  Sunday   1-6 pm 

Community features: 

Sidewalks on both sides of the street, lined with beautiful tree themes

Street lights on alleyways

Gas lanterns in front yards

Lawn maintenance included in community association dues (only $960/year, paid quarterly)

Architectural covenants to protect your investment

Single entrance with a separate entrance for emergency vehicles 

64 total homesites, 15 of which will be golf course homes

3 - 5 bedrooms, with ranch designs and owner retreats on the main floor

3 Standard Packages to fit your lifestyle and budget

Why Richport Properties is THE builder for Your BRAND NEW HOME - 94% of our buyers said they'd do it (buy from us) again!


Company History

Two months prior to his graduation from Georgia Tech with a degree in architecture, Rick Porter signed a contract to build his first custom home. In 1983, Rick's wife, Cherry, joined him and together they built the company that is now Richport Properties. Today, Richport Properties builds about 150 homes each year in northeast metro Atlanta. Two sister companies work closely with Richport to provide integrated services, from finding land to purchase to developing it, building quality homes, and selling them to homebuyers. In 2005, the company will celebrate 30 years of "Building a Better World" in Atlanta.

Scope of Work

Richport Properties builds homes and develops communities in four counties in the Northeast quadrant of metro Atlanta. Its projects include Old Suwanee, which earned a Development of Excellence Award from the Atlanta Regional Commission and was named the "Best single family detached for its price range" by the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association. In recent years, Richport Properties has won numerous awards for excellence and quality, and for its commitment to the environment.

Workload and Staff

Richport Properties typically builds homes in four to nine residential communities at a time. Usually more than half its homes are built on lots the company has developed with its own home designs in mind. The company employs about a dozen office staff, along with five builders and a warranty technician who work each day among the building sites. Founder Rick Porter and two other staff have strong architectural backgrounds, an asset in creating home designs in-house and adapting them to site conditions or changing market requirements.


President Rick Porter comes from a family of three generations with experience in the homebuilding industry. He is well known not only for his quality homes, but also for his business and civic leadership. He has served as the president of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, which named him Greater Atlanta Home Builder of the Year. He's past president of the Gwinnett Chapter of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association, which twice named him Gwinnett Home Builder of the Year. He is also past president of the Georgia Home Builders Association, which named him Builder of the Year in 2001, and a past National Vice President of the National Association of Homebuilders.


Rick has also served as chairman of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce and President of the Gwinnett Council for Quality Growth. He's the founding chairman of the Gwinnett Development Advisory Committee and a past Board member of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Rick is an avid runner and aerobatic pilot. He and Cherry are active in their community, supporting the athletic and scouting interests of their two sons.


Lee Williams joined Richport Properties as Development Director in 2003 after a 15-year career in the telecommunications industry. "I always wanted to be part of building communities and had gotten interested in ideas like new urbanism - then I saw this beautiful community, Old Suwanee, that Richport Properties had built from scratch." He said he later met Rick, and was fortunate to be invited to join the company.

More than 90% of your clients would recommend your firm to a friend. How do you earn such high praise from your customers?

Appropriately establishing and managing customer expectations has always been the centerpiece of Richport's customer satisfaction process. We have a process designed to educate and orient our customers to Richport and to the new home in which they will live. For example, we meet with the buyers in the new home a week before closing and teach them how to operate the systems of the house - HVAC, appliances, etc. Homeowners are also given a new home handbook and are made aware of typical issues such as nail pops, cracks in concrete, etc. and how to handle those issues, should they occur. "Because we help the buyers to be better informed about their new home, they feel more comfortable - and they know the things they should call us about." The company's commitment to quality and to eliminating problems in advance extends throughout the building process - including such details as installing fully sodded yards, so homeowners will have an established lawn when they move in.

Client Profile

The company currently offers homes for two different market niches. Richport pioneered the concept of the neo-traditional community in Atlanta and continues to build these homes with front porches, rear-entry garages and other traditional details in communities with sidewalks, pocket parks and proximity to other amenities. These homes tend to be in the low to mid $200s. Buyers are often empty nesters or single professionals. In Richport's communities with active parks and swim/tennis amenities, families with children are also finding a home. Lawn maintenance and trash collection are included in homeowners association dues - contributing to a carefree, low-maintenance lifestyle.


Richport is also bringing "traditional" elements to the affordable price range - the company's second market niche - with features like rear-entry garages, pocket parks and window and trim details. These homes are geared towards first-time homebuyers in the $130,000 to $160,000 price range. These "workforce" buyers are often young families who seek affordable three to four bedroom homes.

Approach to Working With Clients

Onsite sales agents work directly with homebuyers, from contract through closing. The agents help homebuyers to select from floorplans, and then exterior elevations for each plan. Homebuyers may choose from a palette of exterior colors and materials - brick, stone, shake, etc. - giving them many options for the outside look of their home. For the interior, there are fewer options for changes, but Richport has built its reputation on providing a rich list of standard features. Because the homes are built with proven quality and great design, Lee says this formula of providing a limited amount of options works very well for their clients. It's efficient, too. Homebuyers make all of the major decisions within the first two weeks of construction, and generally move into their new home within four to six months.

How do you market your company?

The success of Richport Properties each year is through word of mouth and through the "drive by" visibility of the award-winning projects that it's already completed. The company works extensively with area realtors, keeping them informed about its projects. Richport also advertises weekly in Atlanta newspapers, drawing attention to its website at

How do you use technology in your work?

The office staff and the builders in the field communicate regularly via e-mail and mobile telephones, and each builder provides weekly written status reports for each home under construction. Since Richport has grown from working in one county to four in recent years, Lee says the company will likely be investing other communication technologies over the next couple of years.

How do/will you use GuildQuality information?

Richport has always asked homebuyers to complete a written survey at closing. Lee says the firm is eager to use the extensive reporting features provided by GuildQuality - and is particularly interested in the ability track satisfaction by community. They also plan to use the customer testimonials collected by GuildQuality in their marketing materials.

Ongoing Staff Training and Development

Richport Properties holds monthly staff meetings, at which new processes and products are introduced, and ongoing challenges/solutions are discussed. The staff also meets quarterly to review the company's progress toward its goals, and make any adjustments. Professional development is a priority for Richport Properties. The company is a Certified Professional Home Builder, and its staff regularly participates in training maintain this standing.

Motivating Employees

"Do the right thing," Rick repeatedly tells the employees, and then actively works to practice his own motto. Through his leadership, the staff has always been highly valued at Richport Properties and many have worked with the company for a decade or more - one of the highest retention rates in the industry. Also, the company regularly offers incentives to staff members for their role in successfully bringing clients through the building and home buying process.

Why are you a builder?

"Building a home is creating a life-scale sculpture that's a meeting place for the very nucleus of our society," Rick says. "Why doesn't everyone want to be a builder?"

Building is a notoriously demanding profession. How do you avoid burnout?

Rick says his motivation comes from the stories of buyers realizing the American dream of owning a home.

What are the biggest challenges facing companies like yours in the building industry?  What are some of the challenges facing your business right now?

"In a booming market like Atlanta with a growing number of national builders, our biggest challenge is to find the land to build the type of products we like to build," Lee says. Richport Properties has had to expand its geographical reach to find land, which means that a relatively small company is now operating over a wide area. In turn, the growth creates increased challenges in office-field communications and in developing the localized relationships - understanding of local codes, getting to know the building inspectors, etc. Richport is currently tackling the challenge of streamlining and reorganizing some our procedures to better deal with product and geographical diversity.

How do you manage the growth and retain quality?

We grow very slowly and methodically. Richport has never established growth in and of itself as a prime motivator. We have been at our current level of business for some time now, and plan to stay here for the foreseeable future. We are more interested in doing what we do better than doing more of what we do.

What's next for your company

Richport is actively involved in passing along 250 years of cumulative homebuilding experience to a second generation of management while sharing the benefits of that experience with its customers.



Smith...Memorable Name Unforgettable Service, Premises, Inc. Associate Broker