Real Deal

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Front Page - Story by Don Thoma­son, pho­tog­ra­phy by Richard Ras­mussen

Leslie Ram­sey, who has been a Re­al­tor with Hot Springs 1st Choice Realty for six years, says the real es­tate business is a good job for peo­ple with high en­ergy.

“I like work­ing seven days a week, and I en­joy work­ing in Hot Springs with its dif­fer­ent sea­sons and unique neigh­bor­hoods. But, it's not just one neigh­bor­hood or one area. You know about the en­tire town and this is a dar­ling, won­der­ful town and it's home for me,” she said.

A res­i­dent of the Qua­paw-Prospect His­toric Dis­trict, Ram­sey was raised in Hot Springs, then moved away for col­lege but re­turned when her daugh­ter went to col­lege.

“The best part of Hot Springs is it has a lit­tle bit of some­thing for ev­ery­one; it's not just a one-in­dus­try town. It is at­trac­tive to a lot of peo­ple, not just tourists, but also to those of us who choose to come back. I like down­town Hot Springs and the his­toric dis­tricts, which I think are the most telling part of the his­tory of Hot Springs. All the new stuff is on the edges of the city and you work your way into the his­tory, or ker­nel, of the town, which shows in the old neigh­bor­hoods. I love see­ing that prop­erty own­ers are be­gin­ning to ren­o­vate prop­erty and peo­ple are buy­ing, up­dat­ing, and restor­ing,” she said.

As a Re­al­tor, Ram­sey said lis­ten­ing to the client is most im­por­tant in help­ing them find their ideal prop­erty.

“You have to lis­ten to your buyer. It's not go­ing to be my house or my mort­gage. We have th­ese mar­velous con­dos on the lake and out in the county; we have some won­der­ful sprawl­ing ar­eas and we have to know them well in or­der to make the client happy when they say what they need. If they want a place with a cou­ple of acres, I'm not go­ing to show them some­thing down­town,” she said.

She also rec­om­mends that peo­ple look­ing to pur­chase a home first find a lender to see how much house they can af­ford.

“And, do your home­work. If that means look­ing at 50 houses, go look. The inventory is high and this is be­gin­ning to be the slow time of year, so go look at the houses, go inside, look at the neigh­bor­hood, and don't buy just be­cause it's a bar­gain. There is much more to it,” she said.

And, while most jobs have at least one com­po­nent that may not be well liked, Ram­sey said she would have to think “long and hard about what a bad part might be.”

“This suits me so well. It's nice to be in a business where you've found your lit­tle cor­ner,” she said.

Hav­ing started in the real es­tate business at the tail end of the down­turn of 2007-2008, Ram­sey said ev­ery year has been bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous one for her.

“Com­pared to agents that have been in the business for 15 or 20 years, I don't know about the `good old days.' I only know my days, and ev­ery year has been bet­ter for me. But it takes work, ad­ver­tis­ing, get­ting your name out there, re­fer­rals, knowl­edge and things you don't get overnight,” she said.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a full-time Re­al­tor, Ram­sey also serves on the Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee, which makes rec­om­men­da­tions for the use of the Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Block Grant funds re­ceived from the U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment.

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