Joe Lamb Jr. got his real estate license not long after North Carolina began issuing them back in 1957. He never thought much about it, just renewed it every year as his business grew from selling property in Elizabeth City to one of the largest vacation rental companies on the Outer Banks.
Recently he got a phone call from another broker in Lumberton. That man thought he held the oldest real estate license in the state, but upon checking discovered the distinction actually belongs to Lamb, with license number 1762. Today, there are more than 100,000 licensed agents in North Carolina.
“My father-in-law, our applications went in at the same time. His number was 2200-something. I guess they went alphabetical,” Lamb said.
Lamb and his wife Ann were still students at the University of North Carolina when he got his real estate license. When they two finished school, they set up in Elizabeth City, where his father-in-law had a real estate office. After 10 years in Elizabeth City, he and Ann started renting cottages at the 11.5 milepost on the Beach Road. It was 1968.
“Businesswise, it was a little more lucrative at the time,” he said.
Lamb, now 87, has held his real estate license for 63 years and built one of the largest vacation rental companies on the Outer Banks. He also served eight years as a Dare County commissioner and still spends time at the office.
Today, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates offers more than 550 vacation rentals as well as a full-service real estate agency in the Outer Banks through their office in Kitty Hawk.