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Springfield, MO

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A Conversation With ... Tammie Tucker

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Tell us about your company.
I am actually A.R. Wilson’s daughter, and it’s a family-run business that he started in 1978. I came to work for Dad in 1983, and I did property management for six years, and then I got my Realtor’s license. I got my license because if you didn’t own the property, you had to have a license to show the rental property. I got into sales … and we hired another property manager. My brother works here, my mom works here and my dad is still our broker. We have a property management division with about 300 units, and we do sales, also. There are nine employees.

What is your role as president of the Greater Springfield Board of Realtors?
It’s really just leading the board, and I also travel to represent members’ interests. We have 1,600-plus Realtor members. We do have a chief financial officer and a staff of 10 at the Board of Realtors, so CEO Sharon Wells (manages) that. As far as my role and our board’s role, it’s just making sure that budgets are met, that we represent the members of our group.

How does GSBOR support its members?
As Realtors, our most important obligation to the public is being professional and ethical in all ways. So we start with education and technology to make their jobs more efficient. We have education programs constantly. If (members) need assistance, we have a staff who is there and ready and willing to help them. As a board, our job is to see what are the challenges that our members are having. We’re also involved with the Missouri Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors so we can hopefully foresee what’s coming and head it off or make sure we’re giving our members the best possible information.

What is the biggest challenge the board must help its members face?
Overcoming this economy, and just trying to lead them through this. We’ve gone from a membership number of probably 2,800 Realtors to 1,600-plus. We feel like we are starting to regain momentum as far as our number of Realtors. Our core membership is probably the 1,600-plus, and most of those are the Realtors who sell all the time. We don’t want to see anybody fail, and our role is trying to (educate) about niches in the market, or what the banking industry is doing … what programs are available for home buyers, because we went through a period of time when it was difficult to get a home loan for a lot of people.

Are there still people who would have a hard time finding a mortgage?
It’s not difficult if you have good credit. Good credit should have always been a requirement, in my opinion. … I believe people should qualify for a loan, and we want them to succeed in homeownership. We don’t want to see them lose their homes. There are some reasons – job loss, health issues – that people do lose homes that are unforeseen. But many of the foreclosures we saw were simply someone who really was not prepared to purchase a home. … Somewhere along the line, somebody thought that everybody deserved to buy a house. Everyone does deserve to own a home, if they qualify.

What did 2010 look like for you as a salesperson?
I had my best year in real estate last year, and people say, “How did that happen?” I worked harder, and I’m not saying it was easy, but it was the most I ever sold. I’ve always sold between $5 million and $6 million every year. I think it’s because I have a lot of repeat business and a lot of referrals. … Now that I’ve done this so long, I’m now working with grandparents, parents and grandchildren … I did $6.7 million last year. I think I sold 52 units. I knew I had to be doing well, because I was just so busy, and at the end of the year when (I saw) my numbers … I was just thrilled to death. That was exciting.

How would you describe current conditions in residential real estate?
We see some light at the end of the tunnel. We had two big years of declines, but in the last two years, that decline has softened. Of the homes that were sold in 2010, 16 percent were foreclosures, but they did move. In January, our sales were up more than 12 percent, with 331 residential units and an average sales price of $125,600. … We had peaked at $151,000 in the first quarter of 2007, and we’re seeing (the decline) level off.  It’s up, actually, by 0.1 percent. For January, that’s huge. Our listing numbers are down 17 percent. When your listings start coming down and your sold numbers are going up, that means we turned a corner. … Interest rates are great right now, and are still under 5 percent.
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