Agent Snapshot: Rachel Hillman, Founder, Hillman Homes, Newton

by James McClister

Rachel Hillman

Rachel Hillman is the founder, owner and broker of Hillman Homes.

What was your first job in the realty industry? An unsatisfying personal experience buying my first home inspired me to pursue a real estate license, which I secured in 2002. My first job in the industry was with Coldwell Banker.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in New York City.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I thought I would either take over my family’s optical business or open Hillman Bank (as a kid I thought it would be easy to open a bank – ha, ha!)

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I always like to support local establishments, so sometimes I visit Buff’s Pub in Newton. I also like to spend time with friends or go for a long drive to unwind.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Warren Buffet. It would be incredible to learn from such an amazing entrepreneur and investor.

What do you love most about the industry? Every deal that I complete is different. There is something so rewarding in helping people find a great investment, not just financially, which is important, but also spiritually, as they find their core space to start and end the day…home!

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I care about the relationship, not just making a quick deal. I consider myself a full service, premier project manager, meaning it is more than just the standard job requirements of a Realtor. I help clients with every aspect of the deal from beginning to end, and have an entire network of people ready to assist to make the transaction go smoothly. My relationship with my clients extends way past the date of the actual house closing.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? It can get complicated managing the many personalities that are part of one deal: there are two attorneys, two agents, two clients, plus the lender, inspector, insurance contacts, condo associations, neighbors, and appraiser, etc. My job is to manage expectations amongst all the parties involved

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Everything is networking, whether it’s attending BNI & Newton/Needham Chamber events or going to a book club or friend’s party. More than 90 percent of my business is referrals from friends and past clients.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Starting Hillman Homes, my real estate firm, completely on my own.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “Gone Girl,” written by Gillian Flynn, was a great book that I couldn’t put down. It is a perfect example of how twisted some people’s minds can really work.

What is your favorite restaurant? There are too many good choices to select just one, but any great Italian restaurant will get my attention!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Boston? Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

What kind of car do you drive? Audi Q5.

Smartphone or paper? Smartphone.

What is your favorite city after Boston? Burlington, Vt.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Do something every single day to promote your business.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Turboscan.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Who has time to follow anyone? I like Mike Dooley, Deepak Chopra for inspiration, but mostly use Twitter to follow restaurants (I’m a foodie).

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