THE GREAT­EST BUSI­NESS THERE IS

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Home - Story by DON THOMASON

Jim McA­dams, who has been in the real es­tate busi­ness for 37 years in Hot Springs, said it is “the great­est busi­ness there is,” and he ab­so­lutely loves it.

McA­dams said he be­gan work­ing in real es­tate in 1977 when he and his mother owned McA­dams Realty.

“She owned it from 1971 un­til 2007. Chris Poly­chron and I were busi­ness part­ners then — mother passed away — and we sold McA­dams Realty to Phil and Bob­bie Rush­ing and it’s now ERA Rush­ing McA­dams Poly­chron Real­tors,” he said.

While he has main­tained some man­age­rial role with the com­pany, McA­dams said he is an ex­ec­u­tive bro­ker and not the prin­ci­pal bro­ker now.

“I’m a full-time agent now, and I love what I do,” he said.

“I ab­so­lutely love deal­ing with cus­tomers ev­ery day and the clients. I have a busi­ness part­ner, Kent Dover, and he and I have an ex­cel­lent busi­ness re­la­tion­ship be­cause I have great con­tacts, for­mer clients and peo­ple that I bring into the busi­ness,” McA­dams said.

Even though the econ­omy took a nose-dive a few years ago, McA­dams said he and his part­ner have “done over $9 mil­lion in sales this year.”

“We’re just shy of $10 mil­lion, so we’ve had a great year in what I con­sider a chal­leng­ing econ­omy,” he said.

A fourth-gen­er­a­tion res­i­dent of Hot Springs — his mother, grand­mother and great-grand­mother were all res­i­dents of the city — McA­dams said he re­ceived an eco­nom­ics de­gree from the Univer­sity of Arkansas at Fayet­teville and then re­turned to Hot Springs and went into the fam­ily busi­ness with his mother.

“Hot Springs is a great place to live be­cause we’re such a melt­ing pot,” he said.

“We have so many peo­ple from di­verse back­grounds who move here to re­tire or start sec­ond ca­reers that it’s just fan­tas­tic,” he said, not­ing that deal­ing with the peo­ple he comes in con­tact with is one of the things he likes best about the real es­tate busi­ness.

“Ab­so­lutely. And get­ting to know the peo­ple, and hav­ing clients who be­come your friends. I have many re­peat clients that call me when they need some­thing, or their chil­dren need some­thing. I have a great re­fer­ral source from fam­ily friends and past clients, and new peo­ple,” he said.

And even though he’s been in the busi­ness for 37 years, McA­dams said there is noth­ing he doesn’t like about the busi­ness.

“I’m so grate­ful that I’m in a non-man­age­rial po­si­tion now. When I owned the com­pany, there were a lot of 12-hour days be­cause I had to open and close, and ev­ery­thing in be­tween. We’re not an 8-to-5 busi­ness be­cause peo­ple want you to go when they can go. Now, I can stop in the mid­dle of the day and do things, and I have the free­dom to go and do what I want to do,” he said.

“Com­put­ers and mo­bile phones have changed ev­ery­thing be­cause peo­ple can reach us, and we can reach them just about any­where and at al­most any time.”

While the na­tion is re­cov­er­ing from the re­ces­sion, McA­dams said the real es­tate mar­ket is “soft, but it’s com­ing back.”

“I’ve lived through three great re­ces­sions where prop­erty was de­val­ued. This has been the long­est pe­riod of stag­na­tion, and even de­fla­tion, in real es­tate prices that I’ve wit­nessed, but prices are firm­ing up and ac­tiv­ity is high,” he said.

McA­dams also said fi­nanc­ing for home pur­chases is ap­proach­ing the way it should have al­ways been, and “it’s re­ally a nor­mal fi­nanc­ing mode. The peg has to fit the hole. The per­son has to qual­ify for the loan and so does the prop­erty, or the loan won’t be made.”

McA­dams said the hous­ing in­ven­tory in Hot Springs is still plen­ti­ful and it is still a “buyer’s mar­ket.”

“With the low in­ter­est rates avail­able, peo­ple can af­ford to buy a lot more than they could five years ago,” he said.

McA­dams said he would ad­vise young peo­ple look­ing for their first home not to wait and try to time the mar­ket.

“It is a good time to buy. Some peo­ple may like a new home where they have no main­te­nance for the first few years, and some like the charm of an older home, but it’s a good time to buy, which is a strong point for young peo­ple. Buy ac­cord­ing to what your needs are, would be my ad­vise,” he said.

With a long his­tory in the real es­tate busi­ness, McA­dams said he has served as state pres­i­dent of Arkansas Real­tors and served in ev­ery lo­cal board po­si­tion. He was also ap­pointed to the Arkansas Real Es­tate Com­mis­sion and served as its chair­man. He is also a mem­ber of the Hot Springs Na­tional Park Ro­tary Club and in­cludes cook­ing, and en­ter­tain­ing friends in his hob­bies.

Pho­tos by BETH BRIGHT

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