Heather Zachmann_Featured Agent

616 REALTY’s Heather Zachmann: From Fort Builder to Dream Home Finder

Most of us have built forts in our living rooms as children. Some of us even build wooden structures in the lovely forests of Michigan. Those destined to be prolific real estate agents build forts with separate rooms from floor plans drawn in the dirt. 616 REALTY’s Heather Zachmann and her sister spent many days designing and crafting homes made of fallen branches. “My sister and I would draw house plans in the driveway while we waited for the school bus.” That ability to visualize a home made of sticks likely contributes to Heather’s ability to see diamonds in the rough. “I think every home I look at has potential. Every home could be beautiful with a little love.” That love for homes and for architecture propelled her on a real estate journey.




A journey begins: from hair to houses

Heather’s career in real estate started once her children started school. “While they were young, I was a hairstylist. I have a salon in my home.” She enjoyed serving others and making people happy. After her children graduated high school, Heather knew she wanted to explore a new career path. Because of a love and appreciation for architecture from as far back as the fort building, she considered going back to school to be an architect. Eventually, though, she decided that real estate was the best path for her.




Leaning on Personal Experience

“Building our own home with my husband really gave me a lot of experience,” Heather explains. “We purchased the land and then waited four years to build. I looked through magazines, picked out a plan, and we went through the whole process together. My husband did all the work. I did all the design. Now, as an agent, I can visualize what a house could be, adding a wall, taking a wall down, moving a wall, and I can help my clients see the vision as well.”

Heather adds, “I am good at foreseeing problem areas. I tell them that anything can be done with a home, but depending on what it is, the cost will go up. Having done construction has given me that advantage.” Heather also has remodeled two rentals. “We are good at spotting homes with good bones and integrity and spotting those that are going to take a lot of love and a lot of money on the foundational elements.”




Navigating Real Estate Challenges and Rewards

For Heather, each transaction is different and has its own set of challenges. From navigating low inventory to understanding the intricacies of financing, she approaches every obstacle with a solutions-oriented mindset. “Communication is key,” she emphasizes. “By truly listening to my clients and understanding their needs, I can guide them through the process, and we get through it together. A lot of times, it is more about listening to what they aren’t saying in order to get to the real issue. Buying a home is overwhelming for clients, so being willing to get in and do the work and being there, not being absent, is the key.” This dedication to her clients sets Heather apart, and she also dots the i’s and crosses the t’s. Heather shares, “I am very detail-oriented.”

One of Heather’s most memorable experiences as an agent was helping her daughter and future son-in-law find their dream home. “It was a whirlwind,” Heather recalls with a laugh. “We viewed over 15 properties; we put offers on three or four of them. We had to look outside the neighborhoods they wanted to be in. I had to remind them that it was their first house and probably not their forever home. We actually did a full remodel in 10 days, and seeing the joy on their faces as they settled into their new home has made it all worth it.”




Finding a Home at 616 REALTY

Heather’s journey to real estate led her to 616 REALTY, where she found not just a brokerage but a family. Working alongside industry veterans like Pam Merriman, Heather has gained invaluable insights into the world of mortgages and staging. “Being part of 616 REALTY has been great. I learned so much from Pam and the whole team. She taught me so much from the mortgage side. She also taught me about staging. We did it together for a while, and I learned a great deal,” Heather reflects. “And, Scot has been great. He is always there to answer questions and provide support. He is so knowledgeable. It has been a good fit for me.”





Advice for First-time Homebuyers, Sellers, and New Agents

Heather offers good advice for those embarking on their own real estate journeys. For first-time homebuyers, she urges patience and a clear understanding of priorities. “Know that your first house can be your last house, but it doesn’t have to be. Stay focused on what is most important. I usually have buyers make two lists; one list is of their wants, and the other is of the few things they don’t want to compromise on.”

For sellers, she advocates compassion and flexibility. “Sellers get a little irritated with buyers. It can help both sides if they have a little compassion and understanding. Also, you should be open to different finance options. A mortgage may take two weeks longer than cash, but you still get the money at the end of the day. And, sellers need to keep in mind that inspections aren’t necessarily bad.”

And for agents just starting out, she emphasizes the importance of education and continuous learning. “Take any classes that are offered. The information is very well worth it. Designation classes for buyers and seller representatives will help you understand the full process. Keep learning. Oh, and return calls!”



Heather Zachmann has come a long way from drawing house plans in the dirt. From building her home to helping others find their own slice of heaven, Heather is a compassionate, detail-oriented, and hard-working agent who can help you find your diamond in the rough or your turnkey property, just give her a call.

For any of your real estate needs, contact 616 REALTY.