Become the Best You Can Be with Southern Choice Real Estate Academy

Learn. Grow. Succeed.

Photo by: T.J. Drechsel

Want to further yourself in your career? Increase your sales? Network with other real estate professionals? Or perhaps you are looking for more continuing education classes. If so, consider Southern Choice Real Estate Academy. 

In the realm of real estate education, Southern Choice Real Estate Academy has established itself as a leading licensing school, offering comprehensive programs for aspiring real estate professionals. At the helm of this esteemed institution is Lee Eatmon, Director of Education, who brings a wealth of experience and a genuine passion for the industry.

“We are a real estate licensing school,” says Lee. “We license students to conduct all forms of real estate. We also offer continuing education and post-licensing. We have everything real estate education-wise in North Carolina.” 

During the pandemic, this leading educational institution pivoted by teaching virtual classes on its online platform. Going forward, Lee hopes to continue virtual learning but also desires to have a personal touch with students, providing the best of both worlds to them. 

A Rich History

With a rich history dating back to the 1990s, Southern Choice Real Estate Academy has been a trusted provider of real estate education. What sets them apart is their team of instructors who are not only skilled educators but also active practitioners in the field. Lee highlights the importance of their real-world experience, stating, "Our teachers are also working in the field. My commercial real estate instructor sells commercial real estate. I teach residential real estate, and we have specialists for different areas. All of our teachers are active and not just teaching, but doing what they teach."

He is grateful for his Assistant Director, Kerrie Landers, of 17 years. She has been an instrumental part of Southern Real Estate Academy and made it the success it is today. “She was with the school when I bought it,” he says. “She is an integral part of the school and she handles day-to-day operations.”

Seeing Students Soar

One of the most rewarding aspects of Lee's role is witnessing the growth and success of the academy's students. He takes pride in seeing individuals transition from unsatisfying jobs to thriving careers in real estate. Lee emphasizes the long-term relationships built with students, stating, "Some people have been coming to our school 20 years before I even owned it. I have individual students I taught seven years ago who are really excelling. Some are even working with me in the sales group that we have. Seeing students succeed and flourish in their careers, transitioning from a job that they didn’t like to sell real estate, makes it all worthwhile." 

Lee’s Background

Lee's journey into the world of real estate began when he made the move from his hometown to Wilmington, North Carolina after graduating from East Carolina University. With a vision of building a diverse portfolio of residential rental properties, Lee ventured into the Wilson, NC market. Alongside his real estate endeavors, he also seized the opportunity to purchase and operate a self-storage facility, successfully managing the business for a decade before eventually selling it to an Ohio-based self-storage firm.

While establishing his presence in the storage industry, Lee also entered real estate. 
Lee earned his real estate license in 2006 and loves what he does. He comments, “I wake up every day excited to ‘go to work’.” He adds, “I run my day. I don’t let my day run me.” 

He took on the role of broker in charge and qualifying broker for a reputable Wilson-based real estate firm. With over 50 years of combined agent experience, the firm has earned a solid reputation for representing customers in the Wilson market. After leaving Wilson and settling in Wilmington, Lee wasted no time in expanding his real estate services to the vibrant Wilmington market. Today, his real estate ventures encompass sales, property management for long-term rentals, and vacation rentals, catering to the diverse needs of clients in the area.

Discovering teaching in 2014 added to his professional pursuits. Acquiring Southern Choice Real Estate Academy provided him with the opportunity to share his knowledge and expertise. He states, "Teaching was a good way to learn the market, find myself in the market, and meet new people. Buying the real estate school was a good avenue to pursue. I had the credentials to teach, and it led to some other things."

Giving Back

Apart from his role as the Director of Education, Lee is deeply involved in various charitable endeavors. Southern Choice Real Estate Academy actively supports organizations like Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry (WARM), engaging in projects that improve living conditions for those in need. Lee's passion for community engagement extends to coaching t-ball and participating in programs that promote youth development.

As Lee reflects on his journey, he emphasizes the significance of building relationships with brokers in the market. These relationships form the backbone of their business, fostering recurring business and sustained success. Lee's dedication to providing full-service real estate solutions, from education to sales and property management, underscores Southern Choice Real Estate Academy's commitment to excellence.

To learn more about Lee Eatmon and the Southern Choice Real Estate Academy, visit their website at Whether you're seeking real estate education or looking for a trusted partner in the industry, Southern Choice Real Estate Academy is there to guide you every step of the way. As Lee says, “We consider ourselves a full-service real estate company.”