A Real Team

The Smiths work to­gether to make real es­tate dreams into a re­al­ity

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - The Real Deal -

S cott and Sherry Smith, who have been life part­ners since their mar­riage in 1985 and a real es­tate team since 1996, say it’s not hard to sell Hot Springs.

“I like peo­ple. I like meet­ing peo­ple and I like sell­ing Hot Springs. I think it’s a beau­ti­ful place to live and we’re lucky to be here,” Scott said.

“This is a peo­ple busi­ness. Our clients to the be­come our friends and we get most of our busi­ness now from re­fer­rals, be­cause we’ve be­come like fam­ily, which is a nice thing,” Sherry added. “We’ve made some re­ally good friends through the busi­ness.”

The Smiths, who are Real­tors with Crye-Leike Real Es­tate Ser­vices, were re­cently named the No. 8 real es­tate team in cen­tral Arkansas by a statewide busi­ness mag­a­zine, Sherry said. “That’s a big honor,” she said. Scott said he and Sherry, who pre­vi­ously worked for Worthen Bank and Wey­er­haeuser Co., be­gan work­ing as a team in 1996 shortly af­ter he bought BJ Smith Realty Co. from his dad.

“But, she’s al­ways helped me, even when she worked at the bank and other places, with re­fer­rals and stuff like that,” he said.

The Smiths said they have worked for Crye-Leike since Novem­ber 2011 when the com­pany hired Scott to train their agents to be “bet­ter, more pro­fes­sional, well-ed­u­cated, and well-trained.”

“When some­one comes knock­ing at your door and they want their busi­ness to grow and be bet­ter be­cause you’re good at what you do, that’s a big com­pli­ment,” Sherry said. “That is a huge com­pli­ment to him.”

“It’s nice to be wanted. I work hard at this busi­ness and I want ev­ery­one to be pro­fes­sional. It would be nice if ev­ery­one of­fered train­ing to be more pro­fes­sional. I think the more ed­u­ca­tion you have, the more tools you have, the smoother trans­ac­tions you have,” said Scott, who has earned the dis­tinc­tion of a Cer­ti­fied Res­i­den­tial Spe­cial­ist.

Com­pared to the aver­age Real­tor, CRS agents have been in the busi­ness nearly three times longer, have three times the num­ber of an­nual trans­ac­tions, and gen­er­ate three times the amount of gross sales, he said.

Fol­low­ing the down­turn in the real es­tate mar­ket about five years ago, the Smiths say they think the in­dus­try is in a “re­cov­ery mode.”

“I see hous­ing prices sta­bi­liz­ing, but I still see fewer buy­ers than we had be­fore,” Scott said. “A lot of things in the busi­ness have changed from the credit binge we had back in 2007, 2008. There’s more rules, more re­stric­tions.”

“It is more chal­leng­ing. I think it’s go­ing to take some ad­just­ment,” Sherry added.

Scott said he thinks the cur­rent mar­ket is not a ques­tion of pric­ing, but of qual­i­fy­ing buy­ers – and there are fewer of them.

“I think in­stead of hous­ing prices de­clin­ing, we’ve seen days on the mar­ket in­creas­ing,” he said.

“I think what we’ve seen, too, is that we’re a big sec­ond-home mar­ket.” Sherry said. “We’ve got the lakes, con­dos, week­enders, and in this econ­omy, peo­ple are a lit­tle less in­clined to ex­tend im­me­di­ately and have that sec­ond home. But, we’re see­ing more in that mar­ket than we have in a long time, so it’s com­ing back.”

Scott said he be­lieves the de­mand now is for qual­ity hous­ing be­cause “peo­ple are al­ways look­ing to up­grade and move up.”

“I think our in­ven­tory is smaller now than it was when things were re­ally rolling. I think most sell­ers have be­come prac­ti­cal and if they aren’t re­ally se­ri­ous about sell­ing, it’s prob­a­bly not the best time for them to be on the mar­ket. So I think we have a re­duced in­ven­tory,” he said.

The Smiths are mem­bers of First United Methodist Church and have two daugh­ters, Tay­lor, a se­nior at the Univer­sity of Arkansas, and Jor­dan, a sopho­more at UA.

They also like giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity. Sherry has been in­volved with the an­nual Hot Springs Heart Ball to ben­e­fit the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion for a num­ber of years, and was in­stru­men­tal in de­vel­op­ing Hol­ly­wood Park.

Scott is a mem­ber of the Hot Springs National Park Ro­tary Club.

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