Hard work and putting their clients first over the past 17 years is turning their real estate business into a new brand – their own brokerage firm. After spending their entire lives on the northeast side of Indianapolis and giving back to this wonderful community, this mother-daughter duo has started their own real estate company and are working together full time. Now, they are ready to add you to their real estate family!
The mother-daughter bond can be strong but starting a business together can introduce a whole new fabulous dimension to their relationship. Although a business relationship can be challenging at times, this is not the case for one local mother-daughter duo.
Paula Smith has been a Realtor for the past 17 years to include being awarded the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the past 11 years as well as the 5 Star Real Estate Award. A few years ago, her daughter, Melissa Smith, joined her real estate group. In 2020, they decided they were ready to venture out and create their own local real estate company, Smith Family Realty.
“I was already doing the majority of the work of a managing broker and now had my daughter working at my side,” Paula says. “I just didn’t have the credentials. So, I took the managing broker class and as a family, we decided it made the most sense for us to start our own company, where we could create our own brand and have control of the marketing and business decisions.
“Melissa joining in 2018 made starting my own business an easy decision as we were able to work flawlessly together even while she maintained another career at the beginning,” Paula adds.
“Previously, I was teaching and, at first, I loved it,” Melissa says. “With time, I decided I wanted to do something different. Naturally, after some thought and many conversations, I took the summer of 2018 to get my real estate license. For a few years, I did both. Eventually, after teaching during the day and coming home in the evening to work my real estate job, I decided that I wanted to do real estate full time.”
Melissa believes her background in teaching carries over into her real estate career.
“Real estate doesn’t feel like work to me,” Melissa says. “I enjoy the whole process including teaching people about buying and selling a home. A lot of my friends are still buying their first home, so in a way, I am able to teach them about the process and show them beautiful homes at the same time. I love being a source of information and educating people. I have been training to do this job since the age of 12 and didn’t even realize it.”
Paula is proud of starting her woman-owned business. Smith Family Realty is a small, woman-owned business with homegrown, Central Indiana Realtors who will provide personal, professional and authentic service throughout your home buying and/or selling experience that is easy, comfortable and ultimately enjoyable.
“I feel this is extremely important because I am showing my daughters and others in my life what can be accomplished,” Paula says. “The fact that I began and am managing Smith Family Realty on my own is very important to me and exhibits setting a goal and going after it.”
The company’s motto is “Personal Real Estate Service, from Start to Finish.”
“We want everyone we work with to become part of our Smith Family Realty family,” Paula says. “We’re not going to just stop communication once the deal is done. We continue that relationship throughout all aspects of our clients’ lives. And we hope that those who work with us feel like they have joined our family for years to come.”
The company also includes David Lehenbauer.
“David recently started in the industry after previously working in the EMS field,” Paula says. “His primary area of focus is the southside of Indianapolis. Melissa and I have been working in the entire greater Indianapolis metropolitan area but hope to hone in our services to Marion, Hamilton, Hancock, Boone, and other northern surrounding counties.”
The mother and daughter are eager to continue working together as a team at Smith Family Realty for years to come.
“It’s been really fun working together,” Paula says. “We’re a really good team. We communicate with each other very well. I think we’re willing to say things to each other that sometimes co-workers would feel uncomfortable saying, we always have each other’s back and are willing to help out whenever and wherever needed.”
Melissa enjoys the team aspect of working with her mother, too.
“It’s really nice knowing you have someone who is always on your side,” she says. “Mom knows I am always on her side and I know she’s on mine. It’s not always like that in all businesses. There can be a lot of competition. When working with my mother, we are certainly a dynamic duo and a force to be reckoned with.”
Paula, Melissa and David look forward to further deepening their roots in Central Indiana, getting to know more clients in the years to come and growing their business to be one of the most recognizable and reliable real estate brokerage firms in the area.