Editor’s Note: The following story appeared in the June 5 issue of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “Then & Now” is a profile of a past member of the Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 class.
Kelley Shearin, an executive broker at Portfolio Sotheby’s International Realty in Rogers, has 32 years of real estate experience spanning commercial, residential, property management and leasing.
Shearin was executive broker for Shearin Hathaway Group in Rogers when the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal named her to the Forty Under 40 class in 1999. Her father, Jim Shearin, was president and co-founder of Shearin Hathaway Group, the first real estate firm in Northwest Arkansas focused exclusively on commercial real estate.
She joined the firm to work in commercial real estate after spending about eight years in residential real estate, including at Shearin and Co. Realtors in Rogers. Her father founded that company in 1983 before starting Shearin Hathaway Group with Little Rock executive Jim Hathaway in 1996.
During the Great Recession in 2009, the Shearin Hathaway Group closed. Also then, she said her father was diagnosed with cancer.
She worked for some other Northwest Arkansas companies and gradually shifted her business back to residential real estate. In 2011, she joined Portfolio Luxury Real Estate in Rogers. The company rebranded in 2019 as the state’s first Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate office.
“Our niche is the luxury market; however, we focus on all price points and clientele,” Shearin said. “I still do some commercial sales and leasing with clientele that I have, but I have switched back to residential.”
When she started at Portfolio, she worked in commercial real estate and property management. As her commercial clients began reaching out for residential needs, her residential business grew, now comprising most of her business.
As an executive broker, Shearin, 52, is responsible for brokerage, listings and sales. She also helps other agents in the office and works under a broker.
“I want to be remembered for having integrity, being honest, and I want people to look back and know that when they worked with me — whether you’re an agent or a client — it was an enjoyable experience,” she said.
In 2022, her total sales volume rose by 66.4% to $14.04 million from 2021. The 2023 goal is to exceed her 2022 volume.
“We’re very blessed to be in Northwest Arkansas,” she said. “And we have a positive market even though interest rates have increased … I’m passionate about the area, so I have the opportunity to share what Northwest Arkansas has to offer someone.”
The Rogers native grew up in the real estate business and recalled going to listings with her father.
“I was probably the only kid in the area who knew street names, how to get around, subdivision names and everything that he used to teach me along the way,” she said. “He had me start working in his office when I was about 12, working as an assistant and doing things in the summer.”
Shearin noted that real estate wasn’t her initial career plan but realized she wanted to get into the business after working as an assistant at an office in Fayetteville.
“It’s always been a way of life,” she said. “We spent every day together. It was more of a business partnership.”
She said the importance of spending time with family only increased after her father died in 2013. He was 67.
When she started in the business, she remembers carrying around an MLS book. That was before lockboxes or the Northwest Arkansas Board of Realtors (NABOR), which she helped bring to the area.
“I think seeing more women is great,” she said. “I’m surrounded by successful women in the industry nowadays. When I first started, there weren’t any women or young people. It’s great to see younger people get involved and women in the industry.”
She looks to build her client list and be involved in new home and industry changes that have yet to reach the market. She wants to help bring more people to the area, which has become a destination, and help existing residents buy and sell their homes.
Shearin resides in Cave Springs and is a member of NABOR, the National Association of Realtors and Cross Church in Rogers.