Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the Oct. 12 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Various professional experiences and mentors helped prepare Somer Adams to bet on herself as a residential real estate agent.
“I’m thankful,” she said in a recent interview. “And I don’t ever want to forget how I got where I am.”
Adams is a residential Realtor, executive broker and senior vice president with Lindsey & Associates in Rogers. She began in 2013 as a licensed assistant to Meza Harris. Adams started selling real estate as part of a two-person team with Nicki Rogers in 2016 — the firm’s top team three years running — and went on her own as a solo agent this year.
“It took me a little longer to be able to jump off the high dive,” she jokes. “But I did it, and I love it.”
Adams attributes her success to the chance to work alongside industry leaders throughout her career. After working for accountants, attorneys and an engineering firm, she went to work in 2002 as an assistant for Steve Fineberg, one of the region’s senior commercial real estate brokers. She eventually obtained her broker’s license, facilitated millions of dollars’ worth of commercial sales and leases, and was a crucial player in the Bentonville firm Fineberg started in 2005.
Adams was just 29 when the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal recognized her as a member of the 2007 Forty Under 40 class.
“I had such a great opportunity to work with Steve, and I learned so much,” she said. “A huge part of my success is because I had that experience. It was a great time, but at the same time, I think it was time for me to move on and do something else.”
In 2009, Adams went to work for Fayetteville attorney Mark Henry. But a career in real estate was still an idea never far out of mind.
“I always kept my broker’s license, and I knew I wanted to do that again,” she said.
A phone call to Lindsey & Associates landed Adams the job with Meza Harris, historically one of the state’s top-producing residential Realtors each year. Adams left briefly for a short stint working for title executive Blake Hanby at City Title & Closing, but she returned to Lindsey to begin her own residential real estate career.
“I felt like I’ve had the opportunity to work for one of the best in commercial [Fineberg] and also the best in residential [Harris],” Adams said.
Adams said working for Harris introduced her to servicing the region’s booming relocation market. Those types of transactions, catering to professionals who move to the area for jobs with Walmart Inc., Tyson Foods, J.B. Hunt, or dozens of other companies, account for 35% of her business.
Working from the Fayetteville-based firm’s office in Rogers, Adams says most of her transactions come in Benton County, but she lists and sells homes of all types throughout Northwest Arkansas.
“I don’t like to hone in on one price point or one type of buyer,” she said. “I put the same effort into a $200,000 listing as much as $1 million and over listings.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Adams says the home-buying market in Northwest Arkansas hasn’t skipped a beat. She eclipsed last year’s sales volume ($23 million) by the first of September this year, she said.
She said low interest rates, continued population increase and investments in quality of life drive the market.
“Resale prices are getting closer to new construction prices, believe it or not,” Adams said. “The demand is so high right now. On top of that, look at what we have to offer. Look at what the Walton family has done. They’ve created a destination that people want to come to and live. Not just to work.
“Word is getting out about the lifestyle Northwest Arkansas provides, and I think people are drawn to that.”
Married with three children ages 21, 19 and 11, Adams said there are no set hours and days for a real estate broker. The schedule can be hectic, but Adams relies on a couple of simple life hacks to increase her efficiency — a daily planning book and to-do lists.
“I keep a written to-do list every day,” she said. “Just because there are so many things that I’m juggling all the time. I keep it with me everywhere I go. Rick Rogers at [Bentonville engineering firm] CEI taught me that over 20 years ago, and I’ve stuck with it.”