Colleagues and friends are mourning the passing of Golden Isles real estate icon Klickie Aiken, who succumbed Feb. 6 in Atlanta, after a short illness. She was 67 years old. A native of Richmond, Va., she was a graduate of the University of Georgia.
Aiken, who spent more than 20 years as a real estate agent at Georgia Coast Realty on St. Simons Island, is being described as big-hearted, energetic, kind, protective and a force with which to be reckoned.
After moving to St. Simons Island in 1990, the mother of two, and grandmother of three, found her calling in real estate.
George Ingram, who was Aiken’s full-time assistant for four years, referred to her as “a dean” of local real estate.
“She was an icon,” Ingram said, adding that she was fiercely protective of her clients, and worked tirelessly to be the best.
She also was very diplomatic, Ingram said.
“She first would tell people what they wanted to hear, and then she’d tell them what they needed to hear,” he said. “Ultimately, they got they message. She had the diplomatic ability and charm put people quickly at ease.”
Toni Cockeram, chief executive officer of the Golden Isles Association of Realtors, said Aiken joined the organization, known then as the Brunswick Glynn County Board of Realtors on April 1, 1991. She served on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) Board of Directors, and received the Realtor of the Year Award in 1996. Subsequently, she received the Distinguished Realtor Award in 2000, qualified the Million Dollar Club, now Circle of Excellence, every year from 1993-2017, and finally, was an Oglethorpe Member of the Circle of Excellence Club, which is achieved after qualifying for Circle of Excellence actively for 10 years.
Friend, and former colleague, Missy Neu, of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate, worked with Aiken for 10 years, and knew her for twice that long.
“As a 26-year-old that was building her real estate career, there could have been no greater blessing than to work down the hall from Klickie Aiken,” Neu said. “I got to witness a master at work every day.”
Neu recalled Aiken’s legendary work ethic, and the time she devoted to creating success for her clients. In fact, Neu said, Aiken had the ability to bring buyers and sellers to a consensus, and have all parties involved feel good about how the outcome of the negotiations.
Aiken, she said, was a loyal colleague, and her co-workers’ ultimate cheerleader.
“We were more than her co-workers,” Neu said. “We were part of her family.”
Neu said she cannot express what her friendship with Aiken meant to her.
“She taught me to trust my instincts, lead by actions and not just words, believe in myself and my intelligence, and that hard work and passion do pay off,” she said. “She made me laugh almost every single day … and she truly was one of the smartest people I have ever known.”
Chandra Kendall is also a long-time friend and colleague of Aiken. The two worked together for 17 years at Georgia Coast Realty, their offices in close proximity.
Kendall recounted Aiken’s many years as the top producing agent at Georgia Coast Realty, and in the Golden Isles Association of Realtors.
“She set the bar so high, no one could touch it,” Kendall said. “There is no one I have ever met who worked harder than Klickie.”
Kendall said that Aiken was also very ethical, honest and caring, and that caring attitude extended to her family, friends, co-workers and strangers.
“We may never know of all the individuals and nonprofits she helped financially,” Kendall said. “She generously gave of herself when there was a need.”
Perhaps no one, other than family, feels the loss as keenly as Freddy Stroud, owner and broker at Georgia Coast Realty.
“Klickie and I worked together at Georgia Coast Realty for 25 years,” he said.
Stroud said has many great memories, of Aiken, but one stands out.
“I did always enjoy watching Klickie get so excited during our meetings while we were planning our Georgia Coast Realty family-style Christmas cards,” he said. “Klickie was definitely the creative one in the group.”
Professionally, he said, Aiken always believed “knowledge is power.”
“She was extremely successful using her knowledge in the service of buyers and sellers,” he said.