Star City Six – Lea Barker
Lincoln First Realty is a full-service professional real estate company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cornhusker Bank. Lea Barker is a managing broker for Lincoln First Realty (www.lincolnfirstrealty.com).
Tell us a little about your business.
Since Lincoln First Realty was founded in 2007, we’ve experienced steady growth and have become one of the fastest growing real estate companies in Lincoln. I manage brokerage operations for our north office in the Cornhusker Bank building at 11th and Cornhusker Hwy.
How did you get started in the business?
Both my parents were licensed realtors, so I grew up around it. I was selling advertising for an Omaha TV station, but it just wasn’t working out. My dad, who owned Hartland Homes at the time, tried to convince me to work for him as a new home sales person. I didn’t want to have anything given to me so I declined. Then he explained that real estate is 100% commission so he wouldn’t be giving me anything, I’d have to earn it. That sold me! In 1994, I got my real estate license and started selling new construction. I got my broker’s license in 2001 and managed the Hartland Homes force until I took over the business with my brother in 2011. I joined Lincoln First Realty in 2016. I was excited to be able to do what I love most, which is help agents achieve their goals. Lincoln First Realty has such a great culture and their agents have integrity. The best part is I can still run Hartland Homes with some great Lincoln First Realty agents helping me.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
My business is based entirely on referrals, which means I have done right by my clients throughout the years! My goal in every transaction is to help my clients achieve their goal (home ownership, selling their home, etc.) and have as smooth of ride as possible, which is not easy in real estate.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have been married almost 26 years to Bradley. We have two wonderful children, Katie (20) and Camden (16). I also have three fur babies: Bear, a Boston Terrier, and Princess and Lucky, Chihuahua siblings.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life?
In sixth grade, I had a teacher call me average. I was low-key about school until that point. When I heard the word average used to describe me, I did not like it! From that point on, I have worked to be the very best at everything I do. I learned to focus on my goals and persevere. I graduated with a perfect grade point average in high school and went on to graduate Cum Laude from the University of Missouri.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
There is no such thing as a day off in real estate. In fact, the moment you go on vacation is always when someone wants to buy a home or your listing sells. So, my favorite thing to do is travel out of the country where I am forced to unplug and enjoy the world around me.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The ability to teleport anywhere in the world.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be quick-witted! The right words never seem to come to my mind quick enough.
What local nonprofit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why?
I volunteer for many organizations, but I have a special place in my heart for Junior Achievement (JA). I’ve been going to elementary schools during the school day to teach the JA curriculum since I was in high school.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read?
I’m always reading a book and listening to one while I drive. I can’t just name one book as a favorite, but I love Ken Follet’s historical fiction books.
If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so?