Little Rock Realtors executive says ‘Couldn’t be luckier’
January 1-7, 2018
By Kara Lee Ford
Libby Sheard started her business experience when she was 12 years old working in the front office for her father at Brandon House Furniture during the summer. At first she just answered the phone and routed calls, but by the time she was 14, she was counting the cash drawer.
“I learned a lot at a young age,” Libby said. “I learned how a business operates. Our furniture store was among the first to computerize inventory.”
Today Libby is executive officer of the Little Rock Realtors Association (LRRA), an organization of approximately 1,300 members. She celebrated her 14th anniversary with the group on Dec. 15.
Libby graduated from Mount St. Mary High School and enrolled at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. During her first year there, she went on a blind date, fell in love and transferred the next fall to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville to be with her boyfriend, Greg Sheard, who eventually became her husband. Her undergraduate degree was in education, and she earned her master’s in secondary education.
After marrying Greg they moved to Canton, Texas, where she was a permanent substitute teacher for three years and Greg ran a nursery. However, an ice storm wiped out the nursery’s plants and flowers. So Greg decided to take Libby’s dad up on his offer to work in Hot Springs for the Brandon House Furniture store there, and Libby continued to work as a substitute teacher. When Libby’s dad became ill, they moved to Little Rock for Greg to lead the merchandising division of the company.
At that point Libby became a stay-at-home mom for several years. But then she ran into Dickson Flake at a reception who asked her if she was interested in working. He needed a property manager and asked Libby to bring him a resume.
“I didn’t have a resume,” she said. “So I worked one up that night and took it to him the next day. I was hired, but I didn’t want to work full-time. I was able to work out a three-quarters position at Barnes-Quinn-Flake and Anderson. I loved that job. It was like running a home on a much larger scale. I’ve always had a curiosity for real estate.”
Libby also worked as assistant to the director of Rotary 99 for two years before joining LRRA.
“It was the smartest move I ever made. The people are wonderful, and it’s good to mesh two things that I love. I couldn’t be luckier,” she said.
There are several benefits to belonging to LRRA. Its general meetings provide inspiring and motivational speakers. The organization’s Legislative Affiliate Committee gives realtors a voice in local and state government by lobbying on issues that affect real estate. About three years ago a Young Professional group was established. It offers networking opportunities for up-and-coming realtors. Another big benefit is providing standard contracts and property management agreements for its members.
LRRA members also get involved in the community. Libby said one of her proudest moments was touring Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
“We build relationships in every activity we do,” she said.
Libby Sheard says, “We build relationships in all that we do,” when referencing her time at the LRRA. (Photo by Becca Bona)