In the Business of Memories
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.