Meet the Team

Chui Ping “Karen” Yip – Broker Owner/ Realtor®

Karen is a native to the Columbia, SC area. Her parents immigrated to the United States 35+ years ago to pursue the American Dream. Karen was born and raised in the Columbia area, and entered real estate in 2003, soon after graduating from the University of South Carolina with a B.A. in Public Relations and Business Administration. Since that time, Karen has worked with several large corporate real estate companies and realized that she would have more freedom to work with clients to meet their needs by owning and operating her own brokerage. In 2013, she founded Yip Premier Real Estate, LLC.



Robbie Hinrichs – Realtor®/ S.C. Licensed Home Builder

Robbie has had 15+ years within the real estate industry as a successful builder, and decided to bring his previous experience to Yip Premier Real Estate, LLC to enhance the buying and selling process for our clients. His knowledge of building codes and costs as well as contacts to reliable contractors is pivotal in effectively navigating through inspections and negotiating repairs for both buyer and seller clients alike. Having the benefit of this knowledge on hand and available to our clients differentiates us from many agents in the market when it comes to negotiating the best deal possible for our clients.



Liz Dempsey – Office Manager

Liz was born in South Carolina, but hopped around the states until her family settled in Indiana. After high school, she fled the snow and returned to the Palmetto State for college. In 2008, she graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina. Soon after, she discovered her knack for organization and decided to try her hand at wedding planning.

After working with weddings for several years, she decided to try working with real estate. Currently, she is working as Office Manager, using her creativity and amazing organizational skills to keep the office running smoothly.



Katie Corley – Office Receptionist

Katie is a South Carolina native who joined our team in March 2016 to assist with the demands of our growing business!

Katie is a graduate of the University of South Carolina. She previously worked as Wedding Coordinator at a local bakery and after some time, decided she wanted to utilize her customer service and organizational skills within the world of real estate.

Drop by our office or call today and Katie will refer you to an agent who can help you with all of your real estate needs!



Grace Balanquit

Grace is native to the Philippines, but has lived throughout the United States. In 2006, she moved from Louisiana to Columbia, South Carolina. Shortly thereafter, she found her niche in real estate. Having relocated several times herself, she prides herself on helping clients to find the right place to call home.Columbia has become the permanent home for her, “I now call Columbia my home; it is my favorite city out of all the other places I have lived.”

She is an active member of the Filipino American Association of Greater Columbia where she serves as an officer and is involved in a cultural dance troupe within the organization. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and the outdoors.




Sarah Chen – Realtor

Obtaining her Master’s Degree in Accounting from Indiana University, Sarah Chen is fluent in both English as well as Mandarin Chinese. Having previously lived in both Indiana, and Illinois, this devoted wife and mother has made Columbia, South Carolina her home since 2012. Sarah has always developed trusting relationships in her life with her family, her colleagues, other members of her faith, and now with every client she meets in her realtor business.

Sarah recognizes that the home buying process can be daunting and stressful, her goal is to make the experience as fluid and stress-free as possible. That can only be possible with an agent who enjoys not only working for you, but working with you; that can happen with Sarah because she cares about people. She will treat the sale or the purchase of your house, as she would her own.

Armed with feedback from potential buyers, other agents, and support from the team at Yip Premier Real Estate, Sarah is equipped to service your home buying or selling needs. She returns phone calls, and looks forward to helping you.



Kim Shumpert – Realtor

Kimberly is a native to South Carolina with 18+ years of experience as both a successful mortgage broker & certified real estate appraiser. She has vast knowledge working with lenders, analyzing property values, and current marketing trends.



Christie Funchess – Realtor®

Christie is a native Columbian and continues to actively support the community. She began her work experience for a title insurance company fresh out of school and continued to work within the real estate industry throughout her career. She has held various titles which include being an Auditor, Title Insurance Trainer, Sales/Marketing Representative and Paralegal. She served as President of the Palmetto Land Title Association for two terms and held many board positions. She loves the industry and decided to explore it even further by becoming a Realtor. With her paralegal experience she is familiar with various difficulties in buying that first property or selling a home. Christie has worked closely with attorneys, lenders, buyers, sellers, abstractors, underwriting companies, surveyors and others within the real estate closing process. Her knowledge in that area is exceptional.
Christie believes in” paying it forward”. For over 15 years, she has helped supply backpacks, Christmas stockings and Easter baskets for kids at a local non-profit. She adopts families at Christmas time for a large local group project. Christie also looks out for herself by making time for fitness. She is a certified Pilates and Aquatic instructor and teaches classes on a regular basis. Thankful for all of her experiences, she is a well-rounded, active contributor to her hometown.



Ian MacDermut – Realtor®

From high rise condominium sales in the urban jungle of New York City to single family homes in the quiet suburbs of Chapin, South Carolina, Ian MacDermut brings a variety of sales experience to the Yip Premier family. For over a decade, he has succeeded with his open, honest approach to people and the practice of real estate.

Ian grew up in Columbia, SC and graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in Experimental Psychology. After graduating, he lived in New York City as a humble musician and took up real estate as a day job to make ends meet. After a few years he was promoted as a salesperson for The Williamsburg Edge, a new development in Brooklyn, which became the top selling condo in New York City for two years in a row. Ian returned to Columbia to be closer to family, worked for the nation’s largest home builder for a couple of years, won a REGAL Award, and has now joined forces with his friends at Yip Premier Real Estate!

Beyond real estate, Ian stays busy as a proud father and tries to make time to play music or venture into the great outdoors.