National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals

May 22, 2016

Devotion and Passion to Community Service are the Attributes of Great Leaders

A social interview by Darla Michelsen

Ray Knott is a Realtor serving Chattanooga Tennessee and the surrounding areas

Ray had an extensive career in  non-profit management after receiving his masters from the University of Central Florida, where he managed a community center during that time and held other positions with several non- profits before he landed at United Way in Atlanta.
He felt very blessed to be able to work on major projects with his personal focus being on health care access and he finally was promoted to Vice President of Community engagement.
From a young age Ray was interested in Architecture and did course work in these areas under Urban Studies and was fascinated with housing, communities and people, but always has an interest in being a Real Estate agent.
He wanted a change, he had accomplished all that he had set out to do with his non-profit career so he moved into Real Estate and has been an agent in the Tennessee area for over 3 years.

Darla Michelsen: What is the greatest benefit you feel you offer your clients?
Ray Knott: I’m not interested in being a volume broker because I like to spend a lot of time with my clients, to me it’s not a transaction, it’s all about the people to me and the relationship.
I enjoy helping my clients write their next life chapter by either buying a first home or second or last home.
My clients feel very cared for in the process I provide to them.

DM: What do you love most about the area that you live and work?
RK: I had moved to Chattanooga for work and completely feel in love with it, having so much to offer, every kind of life style you want, surrounded by mountains, a place where most people can afford to buy a home, and that’s where I wanted to be, very affordable and very beautiful.
Close drive to Nashville and Atlanta and a great place to be.

DM: What is a social cause you are passionate about?
RK: For me it would be about social justice and that would include economics, access to health care and education. People having access to the basic necessities of life and having opportunities to make the life they want for themselves.
I’ve always felt strongly that a child’s geography should not dictate the course of their lives.

DM: What are your hobbies? What do you like to do with your free time?
RK: We live on about 5 acres outside of Chattanooga with a small pond and we are mostly home bodies and we have goats.

Once in a while we like to go out but for the most part we live a simple quiet country life.

DM: What are 3 things about you that most people wouldn't know?
RK:  I did get a banjo and can play it a bit, I was an eagle scout,that my career before Real Estate was about community and non-profits. 

DM: If you could sing one song on American Idol what would it be?
RK: My Way by Frank Sinatra

DM: If you could have any person dead or alive over to visit who would it be and what would you ask them?
BK: Bayard Rustin an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, non-violence, and gay rights. He was born and raised in Pennsylvania, where his family was involved in civil rights work.He was an advisor to Martin Luther King Jr. and he sat with Gandhi learning about nonviolence opposition.
He organized the march on Washington but because he was gay he wasn’t given credit at the time for all his efforts. He wasn’t afraid to put himself out there and it made him a target.
I would ask him what it was like to be behind the scenes of history and not be known.

RK: Darla he has written a couple of books and he is an amazing life story! You need to Google him and read these books.
DM: I will ! 

DM: What is your Super Power?
BK:  Strategy

DM: What is your Kryptonite?
RK:  I find it frustrating when people who say they want something but their actions don’t support what they are saying they want.
Like the people who want to buy a house but 3 days before closing they get a credit card!

DM: Complete this statement; if I could turn back time I would..
RK: I would move to Chattanooga sooner and started my Real Estate career

DM: Answer this question? Before I die I would like to........
RK: I have met the Crown Prince of Nepal and I would like to visit there.

 I learned so much talking with Ray, such a passionate person.

To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true.....Bayard Rustin

Tags: Chattanooga, LGBT Real Estate, Gay Realtor

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