The L Streets are a hot area of East Dallas, part of the Lake Highlands community and located 11 miles northeast of downtown. The L Streets are close to White Rock Lake and the area is full of arching shade trees and super cute houses. There’s a reason real estate here flies on and off the market so fast.
Our Thursday Three Hundred, located at 9221 Leaside Dr., has so much personality going for it and it’s only been listed for three days. There’s nothing cookie cutter about it, with a flawless marriage of vintage charms and modern updates. The abundance of storage is particularly impressive in this house, which has two bedrooms, one full bathroom, one half bath, two living areas, and 1,460 square feet on one story, built in 1956.
With every commission check Nathan Grace Realtor Carrie Hill receives, a portion of that helps build homes for the less fortunate. What she gets back, though, is priceless.
Hill has now helped on two projects with Giveback Homes, a purpose-driven network of Realtors that works in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity. With two builds under her tool belt — one in South Dallas and another in Nicaragua — Hill has some words to share with Realtors who want to find a way to give back to the community.
“Since May of 2014, the Olson and Hill team at Nathan Grace Real Estate has been a proud Giveback Homes partner and 100 percent of our donations go directly to the field,” Hill said. “Every client that we’ve helped can say they’ve had a hand in helping build a home for families in need here locally in Dallas and in Nicaragua.”
Jacy Olson and Carrie Hill are lifelong best friends turned business partners. They have a unique brand — OH! Olson and Hill Real Estate — and they are just as fun as they are gorgeous. These two young East Dallas brunettes are the next up-and-coming real estate powerhouse. And boy, are they just hilarious!
Jacy and Carrie sat still for just long enough to answer a few questions for us to be our featured Realtors, sponsored by Jeff Lindgrin of Great Western Home Loans. Of course, every sale should have a lender that works just as hard to get a great deal as their Realtor. What has your lender done for you lately? Find out what you’re missing by contacting Jeff Lindigrin with Great Western Home Loans today.
Read more about Jacy and Carrie after the jump!
CD: So are you native Dallasites? Or where were you born?
Jacy Olson: Carrie and I are both from Amarillo. We met each other in third grade and graduated high school together (Go Raiders!) We partnered this last summer to create our team Olson and Hill. In my mind, I can still see those two little brunettes playing at my house! That’s where we got our hashtag #2Brunettes!
Carrie Hill: Yea, in junior high Jacy had a Clint Black poster, but I was more of a NKOTB kind of girl!
CD: Where do you live? House or Condo? House style?
Olson: My husband and I live in a house in University Terrace. Our house is cute and contemporary but I would love more square footage! My perfect place would be a kick-ass loft downtown!
Hill: My husband Ted and I live in Lake Highlands, just about four blocks from the house he grew up in. Right now we live in a traditional home that we updated (well, mostly!) from the original owner in 2007. Although I love my house and street, in my real estate dreams I sit and swing on a big wrap-around porch of a Prairie style home with a few acres. Like a Country Time Lemonade commercial!
CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz?
Olson: Got me! Yes, I drive a Mercedes ML350. But I steal the FJ every chance I get. The tougher, more rugged ride the better!
Hill: I drive an Infiniti G. Yes, I know I don’t drive a Lexus or Mercedes … how can I function as a real estate agent in Dallas? Ha!
CD: What’s you favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
Olson: I like Forest Hills and White Rock Valley, specifically Eagle Trail, Deer Trail, Goforth Circle, etc. I love the peacocks who roam freely! I also like the neighborhoods all around White Rock Lake and North Oak Cliff neighborhoods like Kessler Park.
Hill: Of course, I’m a die-hard East Dallas girl, and I love Lake Highlands because it’s like a small town inside Dallas. Everyone knows everyone, no one is a stranger, and everyone cheers for one high school. Go Wildcats!
CD: If you could move in Dallas, where else might you live — what other neighborhood?
Olson: Either downtown or right on White Rock Lake.
Hill: I’m obsessed with any neighborhood with a rich history. Old East Dallas areas like Junius Heights, Swiss Avenue, and Munger Place are so interesting to me. Likewise, I love North Oak Cliff, specifically Winnetka Heights and Kessler Park. I could finally have my big porch there!
CD: How the heck did you get started in real estate? Who’d you work for first? How long selling?
Olson: I was in men’s apparel for what feels like forever before I started selling real estate – I sold to all speciality stores between Texas and Virginia – got tired of all the travel and decided to stay put in the city that I love!
Hill: I was roped into the business in 2007 by my mother in law, Peggy Hill. She’s still a rock star agent in East Dallas and Lake Highlands, and I learned so much from her mentorship and training in those first 2 years. We were at Virginia Cook REALTORS back then, and Virginia remains one of my idols to this day. I hope I’m rocking the red lipstick like her when I’m that age!
CD: What’s your worst sales nightmare? Just worst transaction ever?
Olson: Two words: “delayed closing.” There isn’t much worse than that the day before closing day.
Hill: I don’t even want to think about my worst deal ever. Let’s just say this guy lied about any liens against his property and the lying didn’t stop there.
CD: What’s your best sale?
Hill: It’s not always about the price point of the transaction, but more about the client’s story for us. One of my favorite transactions was one of the lowest price points I had ever sold, but the client, an elderly woman, really needed my help. Even though it wasn’t the most desirable condo in Northeast Dallas, we had it under contract with a cash buyer and sold within a couple of weeks. I would drive over to the woman’s house before her water aerobics class at 7 a.m. for signatures, and on my visits, she told me her entire life story. When I left, she told me I was a blessing to her. There’s no better reward in this job than that.
CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
Hill: Just like everyone else last summer, there wasn’t much time to breathe before multiple offers were coming in. Fastest under contract: couple of hours. Fastest to close: 10 days.
CD: How much did you sell last year?
Hill: Just under $5 million — $5 mil isn’t a lot if you are selling in the Park Cities, but this is East Dallas! That’s quite a few $200K-$300K houses, right? This year, we hope to double that at least.
Olson: the most important thing to us is the service side to our clients. We always say, we never want to be so big that we can’t get to know each and every one of our clients. We want them to know we care about them and have their best interests at heart before the paycheck.
CD: Secret Sauce to marketing a house?
Hill: Our rule is that we don’t cookie-cut our business or our marketing. Each client is different and might need a different marketing approach. You can always expect a new and fresh approach to all we do and that applies to marketing a property as well. We are always trying to think ahead of the trends and tap into what is new and different.
Olson: Not to mention, we have an awesome and amazing powerhouse marketing guru at Nathan Grace that make us look “OH” so good! If we have a vision on a marketing piece, she takes our idea and makes it into a reality. I would give you her name, but then our “secret sauce” wouldn’t be so secret anymore!
CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Olson: Hmmm, I don’t plan on changing again …
Hill: Ha! This IS my encore! I have a group of real estate friends (Christina Dewbre at Republic Title, Heath Schneider at AssociaTitle, and Micky Carr at David Griffin) and we regularly joke over drinks about what we will be like in 50 years in real estate. They are quite positive I will be the lady at the MLS meeting tormenting all the “young whipper-snappers” and talking about the Great Recession.
CD: Finally, what is your favorite place for a second home and why?
Olson: St. Barts. Enough said. One day …
Hill: My husband’s family has a time share in Park City, Utah. Our dream is to have a mountain-side home there; skiing in the winter and gorgeous mild summers … what’s not to love? Candy, you are welcome anytime!
CD: What’s one fun fact about your business partner many people don’t know?
Olson: Carrie listens to 70’s soft rock obsessively. It’s like an elevator in her office!
Hill: Jacy has an alter ego named Jacque. Take us for drinks and we’ll tell you all about that one!
Fun morning last Thursday with members of the TIER networking group of darling Dallas realtors! They are Laura Saunders with Allie Beth, Karen Wyatt with Keller Williams Elite, Kamella Hollis with Allie Beth, Tiffany Strickland with Legacy Texas Title, Carrie Hill and Amy Timmerman from Nathan Grace, Lindsay Craig from Virginia Cook, Elisabeth Davis and Kay Wood from Briggs Freeman. This networking group was conceived four years ago just as the market started to crater, now there are 14 in the group that started when two colleagues, Amy Timmerman and Tiffany Strictland, went to lunch and decided they needed a forum to exchange and share ideas. Networking with other agents is a top priority, they tell me, especially in a market like our’s where inventory is shrinking. That’s right– the biggest complaint I heard from these agents, selling anywhere from $200k to one million dollar homes, was that Dallas is suffering from a lack of real estate inventory. Other shared nuggets:
-Buyers are so much pickier these days!
-If a home is pretty, priced well, and staged, it sells.
– A lot of home sales are happening outside of MLS — less than 10%, but still a significant amount. Amy says she just had two homes that were sold before they made it to MLS.
-Sellers are holding back.
-120 days on the market is the sweet spot. If a home is on the market for longer than this, something is wrong… or it’s time to start bargaining!
-East Dallas is hot!