ARA Social Series: Vol 5
When I started with the Arkansas REALTORS® I knew I wanted to do something different, something that struck at the heart of communication. After many cups of cold brew and brainstorming sessions came Social Series: A place for REALTORS®, by REALTORS®, with real REALTOR® experience.
Welcome back, REALTOR®! Did you miss me? Today we’re doing something extra special for you. In honor of International Women’s Day we are celebrating all of you women who parent, run a business, keep a social life, and just generally kick tail day in and day out.
Our honoree for this celebratory piece is Mrs. Stacy Hamilton of Desselle Real Estate. With 12 years of experience in the business, Stacy holds designations such as: GRI, GRLA, RENE, and CRS. She has served on the Little Rock REALTORS® Board, acted as President for the Little Rock REALTORS®, and currently serves as the chairperson of the Professional Standards Committee. Oh, she’s also married and is the mom of two wonderful children. Which makes her the perfect candidate for Vol. 5 of Social Series: #SupermomStacy!
I met with Stacy at Desselle Real Estate in Little Rock where I sat down and asked some personal questions to Stacy on being a business owner, a mother, and a woman in the industry of Real Estate.
Talk to me about being a woman in the real estate industry
“It’s been interesting and fun. I got into real estate because I found myself in a business working for a man who made all the decisions. He told me when to work, how much I was going to get paid, he decided if I got a raise. And he was a great man, but I wanted to take control of that for myself. I wanted to be my own boss.
“Some of the challenges that I faced. Especially as a young woman, sexism is very apparent. I’ve had plenty of clients who have been very insulting or considered me a young woman who doesn’t know anything. And then safety is an issue that has become very important over the last couple of years.”
According to NAR, 63% of REALTORS are women, why is that?
“You’re dealing with people and a very personal part of people’s lives and I think women are really attracted to that kind of business.
“We’re sympathetic and empathetic, and emotions are important, especially when you’re dealing with other’s emotions. Women find more of a passion for it, and there’s the pretty things and women get into it for the design aspect of it.”
Do you get called darling or sweetheart a lot? How does that affect you?
“Absolutely. It doesn’t offend me now because I know more and because I know that’s ignorance on the other person’s part. I guess I’m coming from a powerful place now because I’m established in this career so I can laugh it off. I get it mostly from older men.”
What I’ve learned in my professional career is that all successful people have mentors. So what women have inspired Stacy the most in this business?
“My biggest one is Susan Desselle, my broker, she’s why I switched over[to Desselle Real Estate]. She became my mentor and she’s very successful in this business. I love the way she carried herself and I love how people respect her. I have a coach in Tennessee who is also in Real Estate, she’s a mentor for me as well.”
What role do they play in your work life/ personal life?
“Work-life they teach me time management, which is huge. They teach me how to take good care of my clients but not take that weight home with me, if that makes sense. When I first started in this business and I was in my twenties I could work 24 hours a day 7 days a week and I did. I worked all the time. Then when I got married I realized my husband wanted a little bit of my time. Then when we had kids everything changed. They needed me. The demand of them being small children, the load of me they need, I couldn’t keep working the way I was. My mentors have taught me to recognize that I’m a mom and a wife and that’s incredibly important.”
Are you involved in your kid’s extra-curricular activities?
“Right now, I am, with the goal to be moreso. My son did soccer for the first time in the spring and I noticed I was at less than fifty percent of his practices. So every year I make it to where I’m more available. As they get older that demand is going to get larger and I’ve got to find a way to make a schedule that accommodates that.”
Has it ever been difficult to balance being a parent and a business owner?
Every single day. Real estate is deadlines that you have to hit- contracts expire, closings have to happen. You have to be alert and performing in order to hit those deadlines. But you wake up in the morning and your kid has 103 fever and your day gets completely sidelined. Figuring out how to take care of the child, or still continue to work and help your family is really difficult a lot of times.
Have you ever felt like you had to choose between being a good parent and being a good agent?
No, because I’ve taught myself that I don’t have to choose. My mentors taught me that I can still be a mom and still be successful in this business. If I do time management, if I do focus work, I should be able to do both and be satisfied with what I can do.
How does your work schedule coordinate with your schedule of being a parent?
“I have been in and out of the house and on the phone all the time for the last eleven years. I’m learning how to at the end of the day say- ‘I’ve done enough and I’ve done good enough. It’s time to shut it off and go home to my family ’I take my phone and plug it up at 6:30 and put it on silent. I do not touch it until the next morning. ”
What do you hope your kids (specifically, daughter) take away from seeing their mom being a great parent and a great worker?
“I hope she sees that her life can be anything she wants it to be and that she’s in full control of that. I hope that she sees a good balance, that she can have a professional career if she wants it, and she can have a family and as many children as she wants. My mom worked 8-6 all day every day. And there is flexibility in real estate and that flexibility does allow me to spend more time with the kids if I make it.”
Have you ever felt judged for being a business owner and a mom?
“I don’t feel like people make allowances for me being a mom. They’re not very forgiving of it. When my kid is sick, if I’m talking to another mom they understand it, but people expect you to do your business. Whatever is going on personally is personal and they are not concerned about it. That sometimes can be hurtful, but it’s the reality of the business we’re in.”
Would you encourage your kids to get in this industry?
“Yes. Absolutely. I think it’s an incredible career. I enjoy every day that I’m in this career. I love seeing the impact I can make on people. Houses are usually the biggest purchase they make in their lifetime. This is their wealth in a lot of cases.”
What would you say to a REALTOR® who is expecting their first child?
“The mistake I made both times was not giving myself enough maternity leave because we don’t have benefits, so I rushed it trying to get back. So I missed out on some sweet moments when they were little-bittie babies. You need maternity leave, not only for your health but for the baby.”
How do you feel about being a woman, a mom, and a business owner?
“It’s really powerful. There are days I think I can’t keep doing this. Then I will resolve whatever the problem is and to come out on the other side of it and look back and realize that I’ve built a business, I’m raising two kids and everybody is alive, I’m really proud.. It makes me proud for women in general and how far we’ve come.”
Stacy was the first Social Series candidate that I had not met prior to her interview. She was everything I was promised and more. She’s incredibly warm, wickedly sharp, and it’s just a great joy to be in her presence. I was concerned that whomever I did interview would not own being a woman the way I would like, that they would shy away from their accomplishments and not be honest about the hardships women face every day in the work field. Stacy not only delivered, she completely owned who she is and if we’re being honest, I left z-snapping my fingers wanting her to be my new best friend.
To each and every woman who is reading this- you are not told this enough but thank you. Thank you for all that you do, thank you for being in this world, and thank you for just being you. And a special thank you to the women of ARA- it is my greatest honor to learn from each and every one of you every single day. Thank you for taking me in and immediately making me your own. It is a pleasure to wake up and see each of your faces daily.
Until next time, dear REALTOR®, may your days be filled with happiness, good health, and closings.
Cam, Director of Communications: Arkansas REALTORS®