By Nicole Aguiniga
While sitting at ReeceNichols located at 1153 NE Rice Road, sipping coffee with Wilma Brown, a Realtor, who has been with ReeceNichols, once JC Nichols, since inception, of over ten years, its clear Wilma is in the business for the right reasons. This sweet lady is all about helping her community whether it be to help residents find homes or giving back to her community, one that she loves, “I owe it to the community and it’s my job and I love doing it.”
It started when Wilma and her husband Roger moved to Lee’s Summit in 1968. Lee’s Summit was small, "only about 10,000 and some change. Now there is over 100,000 people living and working in the Lee’s Summit area.”
It was easy to settle in the little office and snuggle with our coffee and talk about how Lee’s Summit used to be. Sharing parts of the history that we remembered, like the old movie theater that used to be where IHOP is now, when Hy-Vee came into the picture and Piggly Wiggly closed. So much has changed and Wilma still can’t believe how it’s grown. Working in the Real Estate business she has witnessed that growth.
In the mid-seventies, Wilma decided to become a Realtor. Before this career choice, she helped her husband with their service station. She would help pump gas and other tasks until the government issued state inspections for cars, “I was the second woman in the state of Missouri to get her inspector’s license to inspect cars." They decided to close the service station, when her husband got a job working with a car dealer. Wilma had a brief government secretary job, started Real Estate part-time, before bumping up to full-time.
Wilma said that the best part of her job was not just making the sale but getting to know the people and finding them a home. One of the hardest struggles in her line of work is the consistency of the market and making the sale. "When the housing market bottomed out in 2008, it created many challenges including customers having to bring money to close on the sale of their house they had owned for years. It was a very depressed market."
Wilma was able to stay in the market by helping those unfortunate homeowners who did have to foreclose or sell. She really cared about those families and helped them with pricing and anything she could. Now, the market, “It’s a fun market! We don’t have enough inventory. We have buyers but nothing to sell them.”
Wilma gave a few words about women in business and her experiences, “Seems like women have to gain acceptance, a bit more than the men. We are all willing to do that.
Plus, when we go home at night, we probably have to fix dinner.”
Wilma isn’t just a business woman, she’s also very active in the Kiwanis Club. The Club’s motto is “Servicing the Children of the World.” The Kiwanis Clubs are unique, not a single one in the world is the same. Each club, located in almost 80 nations, is based off what their community needs. The Lee’s Summit Club is helping our children grow and succeed, even if they need to provide the tools to get them there. “The Kiwanis Club gives scholarships to deserving kids, to the ones that need it the most, and can’t go to college without it.”
Wilma's husband joined the Club in 1967 and is still a member today. Wilma didn’t join until around the 80s when the Club finally allowed women to join them. Every year Wilma and her husband help with the Club at Legacy Park with the 4th of July bash. When talking to Wilma about living in Lee’s Summit and if it was the right choice and working hard to give back to the community, "Oh, yes. For sure. Lee’s Summit has just grown and it's a wonderful place to live.”
If you are looking to buy a home, ReeceNichols is open Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 4 pm and Sundays 12 pm to 4 pm or call Wilma at 816-2511594 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Kiwanis Club, check out their website www.moark4.com.
Look for this weekly column showcasing the successful women of Lee's Summit. To recognize women who have dug in their high heels and are making an impact contact email@example.com