If you’re a realtor, it helps to be friendly, personable and gregarious, and that certainly describes Stacey Sobczak, who recently joined Compass, the country’s largest real estate brokerage made up of an elite group of agents.
“I moved every single year of my entire life because my dad loved to move,” Sobczak says. “As a result, I don’t know a stranger.”
After graduating from high school in Georgia, Sobczak attended Indiana University, and later got married and had two little boys. Her husband passed away when her sons were young so Sobczak became a single mom who had to hustle to make ends meet. She waited tables but also began baking pies and selling them to restaurants.
Ultimately, her entrepreneurial skills led her to open Broad Ripple Pie Company. She was so successful that for five years running, teachers at a local high school asked her to be a guest speaker for their entrepreneurial class where she shared her knowledge and expertise regarding how to build a flourishing business. She was even honored with Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year runner-up honors.
In 1991 Sobczak’s world got brighter when she met Dave Sobczak, owner of Sobczak Construction Services. She had decided to open a store at the Indianapolis City Market and hired him to build it. He not only built her store, but also stole her heart. The two married and blended their families, including their children, Brittany, Ryan, Scott, Sam and Katy. Life was beautiful but hectic during the child-rearing years.
She and her husband have been residents of Hamilton County for nearly 30 years. After closing the pie company in 1994, Sobczak went to work for her husband. Then in 2009 she began selling real estate with F.C. Tucker.
“I got busy from the get-go and never slowed down,” Sobczak says. “People kept telling me, ‘You’re going too fast!’ But I only knew one speed.’”
That speed and tenacity came from working tirelessly for years with middle school and high school parent-teacher organizations. As a result she got to know all of the teachers, staff and parents in the area. On top of that, her children were involved in countless sports so her social network was vast. Therefore, when anyone in the area had real estate needs, they made a beeline to Sobczak.
“People trusted me because they knew me,” says Sobczak, who sold her 500th house last May.
When the couple’s youngest daughter left for nursing school, they bought a house on Morse Reservoir and have been doing a lot of renovations. The Sobczaks bought a pontoon, partly so she could show houses lakeside.
“Because we live on the lake, I have so many clients who say, ‘I want to be on the lake!’” she says, it’s a very fun and happy place to sell real estate.
Sobczak, who has always sold luxury, high-end homes, was thrilled when Compass leaders invited her to join their team in July of 2021. Compass, the biggest luxury brand in the country, only recruits top agents in the field as they pride themselves on building a group of select individuals that will help the company grow. They pair the industry’s top talent with cutting-edge technology to make searching and selling experiences seamless.
Compass consists of a national network of local experts who are tasked with helping both first-time and seasoned buyers make well-informed decisions. They also provide their clients with the most stellar marketing in the country.
“The tools they give us are like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Sobczak says. “This has been one of the most exciting things I’ve done in my career. I’m networking with people from the west coast whose average sales are $30 million.”
Sobczak is continually voted an Indianapolis Monthly Five-Star Real Estate Agent, is relocation certified and trained, and is also a licensed stager.
Although 2020 was a challenging year in many respects, the real estate market didn’t suffer as people desperately searched for a home office or more space for their kids.
“Everybody and their brother wanted to move during the pandemic,” Sobczak says. “It was fun but we didn’t get one day off. I sold 54 homes in 2020. It was crazy.”
She showed a lot of houses virtually, and many people bought homes sight unseen. She recalls a family who moved to the area at the height of the pandemic. The wife, who was pregnant with her fourth baby, had twin girls and a little boy, and the family was moving here for her new job.
“She was almost ready to deliver and we had to find a home for her virtually, then have everything shipped here and have the place cleaned, painted, and carpet put down before they arrived,” says Sobczak, who also helped to organize the movers and get the family set up. “They drove through the night with the little kids in the middle of the crisis and didn’t want to stop at a gas station with these babies because everyone was so worried about COVID. They actually just bought their third house from me. She loves to take a house and transform it. I just love that family.”
Sobczak lives for these kinds of connections with her clients. She has worked with some families three or four times.
“Life changes and families grow,” she says. “I grow with them.”
It’s no surprise that the majority of her work comes from repeat clients and referrals.
Since Dave is a builder and she’s a realtor, Sobczak likes to say, “He builds them, I sell them.”
She is also relishing a new role in life – that of grandmother. Their youngest daughter recently had a baby, and Sobczak loves to spend time with her granddaughter Ella.
“I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had in my life,” she says. “My heart melts when I see her. She’s the light of my life.”
Who knows? Maybe when she’s a bit older, Sobczak will teach Ella how to bake pies.
“I still like to bake,” she says. “But I don’t like to get my kitchen dirty!”