A Real Team
The Smiths work together to make real estate dreams into a reality
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.