Brandi Hunter-Lewis doesn't just sell homes, buildings with four walls and a roof. The former Georgia women's basketball player sells dreams — she sells a luxurious look and feel that shouts comfort and success. And she does it as well as any realtor in the Atlanta area.
A realtor for 17 years, Hunter-Lewis specializes in high-end, luxury homes, and her clients are often pro athletes, musicians and other celebrities that live in Atlanta or can afford a spectacular home base in the city for their regular visits. She's a real-estate star to the stars and among the top 5% of agents in the country.
Hunter-Lewis left UGA more than 20 years ago thinking that she'd be a teacher, and she tried that, but "it wasn't for me," she said. Sales came naturally, and selling real estate in Atlanta was the perfect fit.
"I knew when I first got licensed that I wanted to sell luxury homes. It was a seed that was planted in me when I was first introduced to even the thought of being a realtor," she said. "That seed was planted and I knew that I had to nurture it. I knew it was a business that I had to build; it's nothing that happens overnight.
"I'm not an overnight success. This has been 17 years in the making, but it was always my intent, from the beginning, to provide a level of service that I felt was exceptional."
On Saturday, Hunter-Lewis will be at Sanford Stadium when the top-ranked Georgia football team hosts Missouri, She will be recognized as one of the four inaugural recipients of the Piedmont Bank Arch Award. Presented by the UGA Athletic Association and Piedmont Bank, the award honors former Bulldogs for their success and contributions as business leaders.
"To be one of the first, it's pretty cool — I'll say it's definitely pretty cool," Hunter-Lewis said of receiving the Arch Award.
"It was very gratifying to know that you're seen, that people see your works, and to get acknowledgment for your works. I was very excited to get that phone call and email that I had been selected as one of the recipients. It means the world to me. I love my alma mater, I love it."
When Hunter-Lewis was just getting started in the real estate business in Atlanta, one of her first clients was another Piedmont Bank Arch Award recipient, former Georgia and NFL linebacker Randall Godfrey.
"Randall was one of my first clients when I moved to Atlanta, so I was grateful to be able to tap into the network of people that I knew," Hunter-Lewis said. "That was definitely a way to catapult me into working with more professional athletes or entertainers and things of that nature."
Their friendship goes back to their Georgia days when she was still Brandi Decker, who played for the Lady Bulldogs from 1993-97 and on two Georgia teams that won SEC championships and twice reached the Final Four. Godfrey owns a successful funeral home in his hometown of Valdosta but lives in the Atlanta area, where he has other business interests. Inspired by Hunter-Lewis' success, he has gotten his real-estate license.
"I kind of took a lot of tips from her," Godfrey said. "She's on another level with the real estate, but that's one reason I ended up getting my license, just seeing her success and what she's able to do, changing so many lives."
Working with the real-estate firm Compass, Hunter-Lewis leads the Brandi Hunter Luxury Group. When she changed firms in 2020, joining Compass, it was news enough in the Atlanta real-estate world that it generated a press release. "Brandi is a world-class professional with an impeccable reputation among her high-profile clients," Compass Atlanta president Yoel Leinwand said in the release.
Hunter-Lewis has sold more than $200 million worth of properties in her career. And she recently helped the newest Georgia coach, Caryl Smith Gilbert, hired in June to be the Director of Men's and Women's Track and Field, find a home.
Hunter-Lewis was married to former Georgia wide receiver Brice Hunter, who died in 2004. They were living in Chicago at that time and Hunter-Lewis said she moved the family to Atlanta in 2005 to get a fresh start.
"I wanted to be in a city that I felt like I could thrive in and I wanted to get away from Chicago, just with everything that had happened there, tragically, my spirit just didn't let me rest there," she said.
"Moving to Atlanta, I knew I had a lot of resources, I knew I had a lot of friends and connections. I said I'm going to move to Atlanta and make it happen, for myself and my sons."
Her son Jaden Hunter spent two years as a linebacker for the Bulldogs before transferring to Western Kentucky. Another son, Chase, plays basketball at Clemson, and their youngest, Dillon, is a standout senior high school basketball player. She married Ryan Lewis in 2017.
A Minnesota native, Hunter-Lewis said her time at Georgia shaped her life. She found not just a team and a great basketball experience, but a family. And her success on and off the court at UGA spurred her on to be successful in business.
"Setting the bar so high as far as having a really incredible college experience, when I went off into the world of business, I was definitely self-motivated," she said. "I've always been ambitious, a self-starter, and always just destined for greatness, I feel like. That experience shaped the whole course of my life."
Assistant Sports Communications Director John Frierson is the staff writer for the UGA Athletic Association and curator of the ITA Men's Tennis Hall of Fame. You can find his work at: Frierson Files. He's also on Twitter: @FriersonFiles and @ITAHallofFame.
Source: Georgia Dogs