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Meet Rachel Foy of Hillman Homes in Newton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Foy.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I bought my first house when I was 23. It was not a great HGTV type of experience. I was living in Beacon Hill and my landlord chose to sell my apartment halfway through the lease. I wanted to stay in the city and put an offer on a cute condo in Beacon Hill that failed inspection….miserably. Looking outside of Boston, I chose a condo complex in Newton that they failed to disclose the underground oil tank until the day the P&S was due to be signed. It was a very stressful time and I didn’t really feel like I had anyone to truly explain the process. I didn’t know much about real estate and didn’t trust any of the agents I met.

After 36 house viewings and 2 failed deals, I finally bought a house. I think I knew then I wanted to make the process better for others and I would be transitioning to real estate. I worked at Fidelity Investments at the time and was working on my MBA at Babson. It took another 6 years and some personal bad times (yes, code for very bad breakup) to finally make the leap. I got my real estate license and hit the group running. It was a fresh start and starting in a new industry was exciting and yet, what I have learned in my past jobs in sales and customer service, is that I had all the tools needs to design a great business. It is easy to get your real estate license, but 90% fail in the 1st year. I created a business based on relationships, not transactions. 4 years ago, I made the bigger leap to open my own firm. With over a dozen agents, we have a great firm that helps buyers, sellers, investors, and renters throughout MA. This year, we are on track to have sold over 35 million in real estate.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Definitely a roller coaster ride. In a 100% commission business, it is not easy those first few years to find prospects. Then there is the market itself. The real estate market had a huge drop in 2008 and that took a couple of years to come around. There is also the struggle of finding a balance between work and non-work. I am in a business where people need me when they are not working, which means many evenings and most weekends. And now we have the current struggle of no inventory.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are known for our tagline, “Not all Realtors are the Same”! It is about superior customer service. We are known for helping a client from the very beginning and explaining the process, sharing our network of great resources (ie mortgage lender, attorney, inspector, insurance, painters, contractors, etc). We go above an beyond the role of a realtor to make sure our clients know we can help reduce the stress when things are not going smoothly. And we are different in that our agents at Hillman Homes support each other, not compete against each other. We have a family feel boutique firm that makes our office and happy place to come to and an environment where agents are supported and mentored to all be successful.

What were you like growing up?
Well, my first job was at 4 years old on sesame street. For your enjoyment, here is a clip of me- I grew up smack in the middle of NYC. My dad is the perfect example of the entrepreneur as he founded Pearl Vision and other amazing eyeglass companies. I loved to go to work with him and would stand on a box to reach the register to help ring up customers. I always enjoyed learning new things (and still do). I was great about saving my allowance and I worried about the future constantly because I knew I wanted to do something that made a difference.

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