Life comes full circle for Realtor Spencer Hawks
February 12-18, 2024
By Jay Edwards
When we met with Faulkner County Realtor Spencer Hawks recently at his Coldwell Banker RPM office in Conway, the start of the conversation took him down a reflective path.
“About a year ago my kids were up here playing on the front porch and coming in and out of the front door, harassing Sheila, who was trying to get some work done, and I thought, this is just how my brother Casey and I were when we were boys. We spent a lot of time down at the Prudential Hawks Realty office, harassing everyone down there. It was a ‘life has come full circle’ moment for me.”
As a boy, Hawks spent his early years in Conway where he attended Ellen Smith Elementary until the fifth grade, when his father moved the family to Greenbrier.
“We moved and lived out on the same ridge as my grandparents and I had a handful of aunts and uncles nearby as well.”
Hawks grew up surrounded by salespeople. His father had a jewelry business and later sold Harley Davidson motorcycles. His grandfather was a real estate developer, which, when he mentioned that, it led him to another ‘circle of life’ moment.
When I was a boy there were acres around our house for us to explore and play in. One day I went out and they were clearing the land for houses. I came inside fuming, looking for my father. ‘It’s your granddad,’ he told me.” And he went on to explain that my grandfather was one of the developers.
Fast forward 25 or so years. Spencer is the dad now with kids of his own. One day he was driving them away from an aunt’s house they’d been visiting.
“My daughter looked up at a hill and could see it was all torn up, and she says, ‘What’s going on! Who is doing that?’ Well, this time, it was my dad. That development was a family investment he was involved in. So, I said to her, ‘Well, it’s your granddad.’”
Hawks is entering his 11th year in real estate, and while he says he couldn’t imagine doing anything else, that wasn’t always the case.
“My plan after graduating from Greenbrier High School was to become a minister,” he says. “But sometimes life leads you down a different path than the one you set out on. It reminds me of the old saying, ‘never say never.’”
He was referring to another time from his youth.
“I had already felt the call to go into the ministry. I remember one day watching how some of the kids behaved and I guess I was being kind of judgmental, but I told myself, ‘I’m never going to work with young people.’”
“Then I ended up for a decade in education and youth ministry,” he says through a smile.
After graduating from Greenbrier High, Hawks left for a college in South Carolina to study for the ministry. He was there for three years, from 2002 to 2005, studying during semesters and teaching English in Honduras and Nicaragua during the summers.
“It was a great college,” he says, “but I came to the realization it wasn’t what I wanted to do, so I went back home and enrolled at Central Baptist College.”
His goal was to get a degree in business, which he achieved in May of 2008.
While studying at Central Baptist, Hawks continued to spend time in ministry and education, at Greenbrier and Conway Christian, where he continued to teach after graduation, until 2014.
“I spoke Spanish,” Hawks says, “which got me in the door with education. I ended up teaching Spanish at Conway Christian, where my kids now go. I also worked in the business office as their marketing and development director for a while. After my daughter enrolled, I said, ‘I am writing you guys bigger checks than you are writing me.’ I knew it was time to find something else to do. That is how I got into real estate.”
He began his new career with his cousin Matthew.
“We had our own company and we also did property management. Eventually I needed help with that part and called on my brother Casey, who came in and took it over, cleaning it up for us.”
Casey is now the Association Executive for the Faulkner County Board of Realtors.
Hawks served two terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives, which he says he loved but is glad to be away from it for a time.
“It can be a bit divisive but we are fortunate in Arkansas because so many of us are friends,” he says. “Now friends can have disagreements and be passionate about what they believe, but that’s why they are there.”
“I enjoyed serving and may look to do something again in the future, but not anytime soon. One of my immediate goals is to finish the children’s book I started working on when I was in education.”
He is married to Xochilt (pronounced So-chee) and they have three children, Samantha, the oldest, then Selena and Sabastian.
“Samantha is going to be a bean counter,” Hawks says. “She is very analytical. She is twelve. Then we have Selena, and where Samantha was really easy after she was born, Selena likes to throw us curve balls, and she still does that. She is fun, independent and funky. Then I have Sabastian who is six and he is my little buddy. They are all good kids. We are blessed and fortunate with that.”
He enjoys telling the story of how he and Xochilt met.
“Long story short, I flirted with my waitress. And I always said, ‘tip your waitress well, she could be your wife one day.’”
“She and her dad owned a restaurant that my family frequented. One day I was eating in her restaurant with a friend of mine named John Pettus, who had done business with Xochilt for the restaurant. He and I were eating and he pointed to her and said, ‘Do you know Xochilt very well?’ I said, ‘Well just from coming in here.’ He said I needed to ask her on a date. John was a mentor and I never took his opinion lightly. I took it as a sign. But Xochilt likes to play hardball.”
“I asked her for her number one day. My mother was with me. Xochilt pointed to the business cards for the restaurant and I said, ‘Well, I would really like your personal number.’ After she gave it to me she told me, ‘If your mom hadn’t been standing there, no way would I have given my number out.’ She has a longer story but I will spare you that.”
Now a decade into his career, Hawks seems to have no regrets about changing paths when he was studying for the ministry in South Carolina, in fact, he seems to understand he still has a heart to look after people and assist them with their needs.
“As a Realtor you are kind of a therapist,” he says. “I may have a couple I’m working with and I will think, wait a minute, I just signed up to find you a home. It is amazing and it is rewarding, when you get to see people move to the next chapter of their life, whatever it may be.”
“Hawks believes it comes down to knowing your client and being honest and transparent with them.
“I learned that from my dad,” he says. “You treat people right and do the right thing. And it starts by just having a real conversation with them. At the end of the day you may not make every sale, but if you are looking out for people you are going to end up with clients for a lifetime.”
“I said to Xochilt, after we had been in it for a year, ‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’ The opportunities to help people are tremendous.”
Hawks feels like many of those opportunities can be attributed to living and working in Faulkner County.
“I drive down Dave Ward Drive and I always get excited when I see new developments,” he says. “I recently sold some property on French Street. Now we have sold two or three lots. One will be a financial adviser office and the other is a friend of mine who is expanding her psychology clinic. We are helping them grow their businesses and they will help others through their services. That is what I love about this business.”
“Conway is a wonderful place and community, and we are growing. We are excited because there is a Whattaburger coming soon as well as a Braum’s. I told my mother, ‘this is great!’ Now I don’t have to go to Alma to enjoy Braum’s.
Asked if he had a motto that he lived by Hawks didn’t hesitate.
“Work hard, love people,” he says. “It used to be on some of my stationary and probably still is. I think if folks could just keep their head down and make sure they are loving and serving others, man this world could get along a lot farther.”
We sure can’t argue with that.
1. Spencer Hawks
2. Spencer Hawks and wife Xochilt with their kids, Samantha, Selena and Sabastian.