Realtors president considers herself a 'techie' [The Frederick News-Post, Md.]
(Frederick News-Post (MD) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 01--Filomena Thompson describes herself as a "techie."
The newly installed president of the Frederick Women's Council of Realtors has been in the real estate field since 2007. But before owning an event-planning business and managing the local chapter of the National Association for the Remodeling Industry, Thompson was director of information technology for the Maryland Technical Council.
"I am a techie at heart," Thompson, 48, said during an interview at ReMax Results on Corporate Drive.
"It is very helpful, gives me an edge," Thompson said. "I can put things together, do my own presentations and marketing online."
As president of the 38-member local women's council, Thompson said she plans to continue the programs of guest speakers, networking and support for Realtors, whether male or female. The council is part of the Frederick County Association of Realtors.
"This year, I'm focusing on how to bring in younger Realtors," Thompson said. There is a growing community of young Realtors who can benefit from connecting with seasoned Realtors, she said.
Thompson said her interest in the field began with her father, who was not a Realtor but who did buy homes, fix them up and rent them.
"I was working at home, which was what I wanted with a young son (who is now 20), and I decided to go into real estate to supplement my income," Thompson said. "You have to be diverse, especially in an economy when you don't know what may happen."
She entered at a time when the market was sharply declining. For a few years ahead of 2007, home sales were booming and prices were soaring.
Then, the bubble burst, leaving a market filled with borrowers in distress.
"I did a lot of short sales. For a while, I didn't even know what a regular home sale was," Thompson said. She is proud that she was able to help people who in many cases had found themselves "underwater," unable to pay the mortgage with the value of the house plummeting. A short sale is when the lender agrees for a sale of the home for less than what the borrower owes on the mortgage.
"A lot were Hispanics who were not really told what they were getting into with interest-only loans," Thompson said. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
Women today make up 50 percent of the residential real estate industry, according to the National Association of Realtors. Women in commercial real estate make up 43 percent of the total, according to Commercial Real Estate Women
Women's Councils of Realtors were launched in the 1930s, Thompson said, to support the growing number of women in what was then a male-dominated profession. The councils worked for equal pay, flexible working schedules, support, networking and referrals among women.
The Frederick Chapter launched in 2005.
Darren Ahearn will be president of the local women's council in 2014.
"I choose to be a member of the women's council because I once was invited to be the guest speaker. I liked the atmosphere so much and fellowship that I joined," wrote Ahearn in an email.
"Since then I have really liked the subjects that are brought for us to grow each month. I was asked a few months back if I would consider being the president, and I agreed since I felt that I could help grow the organization and continue to bring in great speakers on relevant real estate issues," Ahearn wrote.
For Thompson, each day is an education.
"Every deal is a lesson. It is not true that all real estate deals are the same," Thompson said, "I learn something from every deal, and I like to learn."
For details, visit www.wcr frederickmd.org.
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