Q&A with Blake Cannon: Portrait of a Real-Estate Superstar

Blake Cannon with the Cannon Cleary Team of RE/MAX Legacy Realty is a young superstar in the real estate business in Oxford who serves as an inspiration to anyone wanting to be successful early in their career. He has the energy, drive, intelligence and personality to guarantee that whatever he chooses to get involved with will be a winning proposition. This young man is hard to catch up with, but we recently were able to slow him down enough for this interview.

Blake Cannon: Thanks for the kind words, Steve.

HottyToddy: Blake, before we start discussing business, Ole Miss and Oxford, first tell us about your family.

Cannon: I’m grateful to have the family I do, most of whom are nearby. Starting with my better 9/10’s Sierra (I still may be understating that) and two incredible children, Noah, 3, and Mary Grace, 3 months, I’m a very lucky man. My mom and dad have always been there for me and always encouraged and motivated me to be the best I can be. My brother lives in Fort Collins, Colo. with his wife and daughter. He inherited the brains of the family and will occasionally allow me to borrow some.

HottyToddy: Can you tell us a little bit about your youth and where you grew up?

Cannon: That’s a long story. I’m a bit of a “Mississippi nomad.” I was born in Clarksdale and have lived in Shelby, Clarksdale, Leland, Brandon, and Olive Branch before coming to Oxford in 2004. My youth was interesting, moving so often, but it taught me how to continually build new relationships and to embrace change. Playing baseball and golf with friends was how I spent most of my youth.

HottyToddy: What did your parents do for a living?

Cannon: My dad had been in the waste management business since I was five years old. But about five years ago, he became a realtor in Desoto County. He is doing really well. I like to say, “I taught him everything he knows – I just didn’t teach him everything I know!” You mentioned “superstar” earlier. That’s my mom. She started off selling furniture and always did well. She then went to Miskelly’s in Brandon and was a strong saleswoman there. I get my competitive spirit from her. She would come home and always talk about how she was neck-and-neck with the top salesperson, then she would be in the top position, and it would irritate her if she wasn’t! She now owns a successful business doing interior design work. She can transform anything or any place into a work of art! 

HottyToddy: Very few individuals find their niche in life so early. How did this happen
for you?

Cannon: Growing up in Olive Branch since the age of 12, I saw some wild real estate growth. Olive Branch was named the fastest-growing city in the U.S by Bloomberg. There was over 800% growth from 1990 to 2010. I’m definitely a product of my environment. I met a lot of realtors in the business, and when I was 16 I walked into a Crye-Leike office to speak to the broker to learn more about the profession. I was two years too early. I had to be 18 to sell real estate, so I always had it in the front of my mind. In January 2007, the month after I graduated, I began my career.

HottyToddy: Why did the real estate profession appeal to you so much?

Cannon: It really goes back to Olive Branch. I saw so many people making a good living by helping others buy and sell homes that I really never had another thought. Once I graduated, I realized, like so many people, that Oxford is amazing, and I needed to figure out a way to stay here. Luckily, I was able to! If not, I wouldn’t have met my wife or the fascinating people I know today.

HottyToddy: How important has your business team of associates been to your success?

Cannon: There’s no way I can take all of the credit on this one. Mark Cleary has been an asset to anyone looking for Oxford real estate since he began his career shortly before I did. He is a big reason we have a team. Mark’s uncanny ability to attract people to him, along with his communication skills and business acumen, are why this team performs at the level it does. We brought on two awesome agents, Alison Alger and Lee Pittman, who have been busy helping clients since they started with us. They do a phenomenal job taking care of their clients and staying on top of new listings that pop up. They are eager to help people, and that’s one of their many positive traits. Our team manager, Janel Eckler, is a massive asset to our team in allowing us to spend more time taking care of our clients. 

HottyToddy: You have so much going on all the time. Do you prefer it that way?

Cannon: It’s a blessing and a curse, Steve! I just love to be productive. I like figuring out new and better ways to serve my clients, and it’s really exciting when you dig up that next golden nugget that will help them better succeed in buying or selling their property. I always try to apply the late great Zig Ziglar’s quote: “You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” It’s really true. If your buyer wants a great deal, help them. If your seller wants the most for their property, help them. If your employee wants to grow in knowledge, experience and efficiency, help them. If my family needs me, I help them. We all win if you take initiative to help those around you.

HottyToddy: How do you manage your time?

Cannon: I am able to manage my time a lot better now that I am part of this team. When everyone has a clear division of labor, they are able to focus on what they do best. This allows me, on most days, to be home at a reasonable hour to be with my family, which I value first and foremost.

HottyToddy: Oxford keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Do you anticipate this will slow down at some point, or is there no end in sight?

Cannon: You know how that is, Steve. There’s bound to be a slowdown, but, honestly, I just don’t know when that will be. We had a bit of a lull last year compared to 2016, which I would chalk up to lack of inventory, but 2018 is looking stellar already. I would love for Oxford to continue in a growth spiral, to hopefully bring more individuals here, more tax dollars, more brilliant minds, industry, and the like.

HottyToddy: What do you think is driving the Oxford real estate market?

Cannon: To me, it’s pretty simple. I believe it’s the love for this town as well as the eagerness to get here and call it home away from home!

HottyToddy: I have been told that Oxford has as many as 370 realtors. What would you say to a new agent trying to enter this competitive market?

Cannon: I think what the aspiring agent needs to ask is more, how can you enter and succeed in this market? My advice on that is: Separate yourself. Be willing to work while everyone else is playing, sleeping or hardly working. Learn all you can, then implement it. There is always something to do in this career. If you have free time, don’t use it complaining about lack of business.

HottyToddy: So what does success mean to you?

Cannon: When I take my last breath, I can believe that I lived out my faith and beliefs as strongly as I could have, nurtured and cared for my family to the best of my ability, and have been the most loyal friend I could be to the ones I hold dear.

HottyToddy: Please share info on a current property that you feel is a must-see.

Cannon: The team has so many great properties that I don’t want to leave anyone out. so I will say to go to OxfordMSHomes.net and click on our featured listings. We have some really amazing properties listed!

HottyToddy: For someone desiring to buy (or sell) property here, how can they get in touch with you?

Cannon: My cell is probably the easiest. That number is 662-380-7144. Again, my website at www.OxfordMSHomes.net has a lot of information on the area as well as how to contact me via email. Also, the main office number is 662-234-5621.

It’s wonderful to see someone so hard-working and smart succeed at what they are doing. Blake Cannon truly enjoys his work, and I believe this is the secret to success. Whatever this young man pursues is destined for greatness!


Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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