Career of a rising Reno Realtor
Name/title: Sarah E. Carmona/Broker-owner, Dreams Realty
Number of years in this job: 3 years as an owner
Years in this profession: 9 years as a licensed real estate agent
Education: Bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Nevada, Reno
Last book read: “Think Like A Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain” by Steven D. Levitt and “She Is All Business” by my mom, Terry Rasner
Favorite movie: anything by Tim Burton
What’s on your iPod: soul, classical, hip hop, indie, pop and everything in between. I have a very eclectic collection of music.
Spouse, kids or pets: Fiancé Howie and Stallone B. Zink, my 4-year-old Shih Tzu.
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Dreams Realty and the duties of your position.
Sarah Carmona: Dreams Realty is a boutique shop with 20 agents. Our small shop allows us to be very hands-on with our agents (they are our family) and business. We pride ourselves in offering the best real estate experience to our clients and our agents. These standards have made way for Dreams Realty and my team to receive an excellence in achievement award from the Wall Street Journal as Nevada’s No. 4 and Reno’s No. 1 real estate team for sale sides and volume.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Carmona: I graduated from UNR in December of 2005. All of my job offers came from financial institutions, and I was not interested in pursuing that sector. My mother had been a Realtor for almost a year when I asked her if I could shadow her. I loved the end product of assisting clients with their real estate needs. Every client presented a new and exciting scenario. I was licensed in May of 2006. I hear one industry phrase echoed about our locale — about not being licensed in a “good” market, but I know I have held my own.
NNBW: What do you like most about working in residential real estate?
Carmona: Owning a home is the American Dream, and a privilege that clients work very hard to obtain. I feel honored to have been part of many huge decisions to purchase or sell a home.
NNBW: What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
Carmona: As a real estate agent, I am dealing with many clients’ most valuable and prized possession: Their home. Every situation is different, emotions run high, and it is my job to determine the best course of action for the client’s real estate needs, wants and timeframes. Even though there are many variables, there is a highest and best solution for each transaction.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?
Carmona: Find a mentor who will teach and coach you on your first few transactions, and understand you are a businessperson, not just a real estate agent.
NNBW: Does being bilingual help you in your career?
Carmona: In the real estate industry, being a Hispanic female has opened many doors for me. It has helped me to assist many people with their real estate needs and wants. I am honored to be the only agent in Northern Nevada to be nominated in the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Top 250 Latino in America since the installation of the award in 2012 (I was No. 18 in 2012, No. 35 in 2013 and No. 12 in 2014). Also, being a Hispanic business owner has earned Dreams Realty a nomination in the top 500 businesses in the nation by Diversity.com.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Carmona: I had my first real job at 16. I worked for the Nevada State Library and Archives. I loved this job; I took in so much information from the literature that was being catalogued and maintained.
NNBW: What’s your absolute dream job, and why aren’t you working it?
Carmona: This is the easiest question for me to answer. My dream job would be in the non-profit sector. I would love for Dreams Foundation, Inc. to grow and thrive so that I can just help those whose basic needs are not being met. Real estate has brought me closer to this job, because it has allowed me to donate 10 percent of everything I make to Dreams Foundation, Inc., of which I was one of three co-founders.
NNBW: How do you spend your free time away from work?
Carmona: I cook, paint, play the violin, take photos, dine out, attend live music events and love to be with people. I have recently been golfing more with my fiancé, and we know it’s a good day when I throw very few tantrums (I just want to be good already).
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Carmona: I am not sure that I would change anything. I have been blessed with wonderful parents and a wonderful friend support system. I believe all my successes and failures have shaped the person that I am today. I really believe that each person shapes her destiny by the choices she makes.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Carmona: When I was 3 I wanted to be a dog groomer. As a side note, we didn’t have a dog. I just really liked to use scissors. Embarrassing as it is, I cut my cousins’ hair while they were sleeping.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Carmona: The selfish part of me says I would love to retire right now, but if I had enough money to retire and live comfortably, I would donate all the money I made from working to my chosen non-profit charities.
NNBW: What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Carmona: No phone or emails. It could be a staycation or on a tropical island.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Carmona: I am Nevada born and raised. As a proud native Nevadan, I love supporting our community. I have enjoyed watching northern Nevada change over the years to a new cultural center. There has been wonderful growth in food/dining, local business, art and events.
Q-and-A with UNR President Sandoval: ‘We’re going to strengthen our relationships with private industry’
“Economic diversification is inextricably intertwined with higher education and the university,” former Gov. Brian Sandoval told the NNBW last week. Read more in a Q-and-A with the UNR president, in which he discusses the university’s role in the economy and what opportunities are on the horizon in 2021 and beyond.