Mobile Bay Real Producers Top Agent for August, Kym Trest, was born, raised and remains a staunchly proud product of the Port City.
“I was born and raised in Mobile and attended Shaw High School with two brothers and three sisters. My dad passed away when I was 3 and my mother was a single parent raising six children for nine years, until remarrying when I was 12 years old,” Trest said.
“We all had chores to do and there were no allowances. We would earn money for the movies, the skating rink, or other activities. We grew up working hard.” she added.
Sports were a big outlet for the siblings, and Trest emerged as the most talented of the bunch with softball and tumbling being her specialties.
“I was always athletic and very competitive. I played in the softball leagues and my nickname was ‘Sweet 16’ from my number.” she said.
After graduating in 1981, Kym soon married and started a family. She eventually raised four children, one son and three daughters whose names are (oldest to youngest): David, Deidra, Destin, and Dayla Rae.
The family also formed Trest Construction, and for the next 25 years she worked in and around the construction industry.
In 2002, Kym decided to make a move into real estate.
“Over the years, we had bought and sold real estate. I knew houses and had a love for new construction and wanted to give real estate a try. I had big dreams to be one of the best and knew Robert’s Brothers was the best company.” Kym said.
Luck often is defined as preparation meeting opportunity. Trest’s first few months in the business were serendipitous to say the least. One seminal moment happened early at Lowe’s.
“I was in the business for just about three months and had to go to Lowe's. While there I ran into Larry Givens, the developer and owner of a gated subdivision called the Isle of Palms in West Mobile. He noticed my announcement as a new Realtor. He then told me he hated Realtors, but he liked me. He said, ‘Come by my office and let’s talk’. I went to his office the next week, and my very first listing turned out to be one of most elite in town.” Kym said.
Trest then tapped into her 25 years of building experience to create another opportunity for herself while visiting her high-end properties.
“I had 40 lots and would ride through, going out and talking to contractors to build relationships. One landscaper eventually referred me to Mark Boniol, the owner of an auto dealership. We met, he signed a contract, the following Sunday we had an open house with three interested buyers. Within five weeks the house closed for $779,000. It was my first sale.”
BRIDGING REALTORS AND BUILDERS
Kym has built a reputation over the years as a trailblazer in terms of bridging the gap between realtors and builders.
An example of this was when her friend, local contractor and “Today’s Homeowner” media celebrity Danny Lipford reached out to her while on a business trip.
“Danny called and said, ‘I just had to call you. While attending a state homebuilder’s meeting, there was a conversation about how you are bridging the gap between realtors and builders in Mobile.’ It was a nice compliment and my background in construction helped get this accomplished.” Trest said.
Kym was already a longstanding member of the Alabama Homebuilder’s Association while in construction, and smoothly transitioned over as an affiliate with Robert’s Brothers.
“I applied for the hardest committee, the associate council, and got on as an alternate. I became a full associate member the next year and quickly moved up the ladder as chairperson in 2006. After serving my term, I was selected by the association as an associate board member, and still serve on the board today.” she said.
ADAPTING TO THE TIMES
In 2008, Kym illustrated her business savvy again by adapting to a precipitous market.
With her “boots on the ground” approach, she had already noticed the writing on the wall locally of new construction’s devastation by the Great Recession. She enhanced her portfolio of current listings and weathered the storm when many of her peers abandoned the industry.
In 2020, after a banner sales year, she adjusted again at the onset of COVID-19.
“In March 2020, the world shut down. Many thought that it was going to be 2008 all over again. After about 30 days we got a call from the HBA to pick up our essential worker cards. Everybody was home with their kids, decided their houses didn’t have enough space and craved outdoor entertainment. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise with interest rates so low.”
Fast forward to today and Kym is now known as one of the most decorated and respected high performing Realtors in the area.
She has remained securely nestled among the top ten producers in the Mobile MLS listing since embarking on her career 22 years ago, and usually among the top five names seen on any Roberts Brother’s leaderboard put out in recent memory.
“I feel like you must give back within your community. Volunteer to do some work. If you're able, make donations. You don’t have to give every single dime, if you can help somebody by painting a door or helping install a toilet, do that.”
When asked about advice she could give anyone aspiring to follow in her footsteps today, Trest shared advice given to her at the start of her career.
“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Do what you say you are going to do. Don't be pushy. Be honest but not too overbearing.” Kym said.
“When I wake up, I am unemployed every day. I need to find a buyer and I need to find a seller. Work hard, treat people the way you want to be treated, give thanks, be grateful and this career can take you a long way.” she concluded.
For questions or comments about this article, contact Kym at (251) 377-8008 or email@example.com