In the Busi­ness of Mem­o­ries

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Todd and Deb­bie Mills-Mat­lock, a hus­band and wife team that has been in the real es­tate busi­ness a com­bined 52 years, said it's the peo­ple they meet and work with that makes their job in­ter­est­ing. “I think for me, it's find­ing what is go­ing to make peo­ple happy, make good mem­o­ries for them, and mak­ing sure it's the right prop­erty and not sell­ing them a home just to be sell­ing them some­thing. It's find­ing the right place and see­ing peo­ple happy,” Deb­bie said. Todd said he finds meet­ing a di­verse clien­tele in­ter­est­ing. “It's in­ter­est­ing who you meet. For ex­am­ple, I have a cus­tomer who is an ac­tual rocket sci­en­tist and works with NASA. You meet doc­tors, lawyers, folks from all walks of life and it's in­ter­est­ing to lis­ten to them tell their sto­ries. I find that very in­ter­est­ing,” he said.

Hav­ing been in the real es­tate busi­ness for 32 years, Deb­bie, who works for Trade­mark Re­alty, said she got her start mainly be­cause of her fa­ther and brother.

“My fa­ther and brother were both home builders here — my fa­ther is now re­tired — so it was kind of a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion for me to get into some end of the hous­ing mar­ket, so I de­cided to do real es­tate,” she said.

Todd said he got into the busi­ness be­cause he had grown tired of driv­ing thou­sands of miles a year in his pre­vi­ous job.

“I had a sales job and was on the road and got tired of do­ing about 50,000 miles a year, so I de­cided to try real es­tate, so here we are,” he said.

Af­ter 20 years in the busi­ness, Todd said he some­times feels like it's akin to own­ing a con­ve­nience store.

“You're here 24/7, and that's kind of how it is. We may be on the phone at 10 p.m. work­ing a deal with a client.

“But it doesn't re­ally bother us be­cause there are times when we're not busy and we can take care of busi­ness dur­ing the day that me may need to do,” Deb­bie said. “So it's kind of a trade off. I guess if there was some­thing that I don't nec­es­sar­ily dis­like but feel frus­trated with, it's get­ting through all the lit­tle pro­cesses of fi­nanc­ing and those type things. It's a lit­tle tougher now than it used to be.”

With low in­ter­est rates, Deb­bie said now is a good time for home­buy­ers, es­pe­cially first time home­buy­ers, to pur­chase a home be­cause they can get more home for their money.

“But, I say don't get to where you will be un­com­fort­able with the pay­ment. It may be bet­ter to drop down a lit­tle and still get some­thing that will work well,but you don't feel like you can't do some­thing else you want to do,” she said.

Along with be­ing ac­tive mem­bers of Hot Springs Bap­tist Church, the cou­ple have been in­volved with sev­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions.

“I've been the past pres­i­dent of the Hot Springs Board of Re­al­tors and past Re­al­tor of the Year of the HSBOR,” Todd said. In ad­di­tion, he has served on the board of di­rec­tors of the Arkansas Real Es­tate As­so­ci­a­tion, and has been tour­na­ment direc­tor of the Trade­mark Char­ity Golf Tour­na­ment. In ad­di­tion, he served last year as the cam­paign manager for Lau­rie Rush­ing in her suc­cess­ful run for state rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Deb­bie said she has served on a num­ber of com­mit­tees in the past and likes do­ing things with fam­ily, in­clud­ing their friendly 9-month-old Yorkie, Tucker.

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