Broker Spotlight: Carrie Fitts
August 15, 2022
Carrie Fitts, broker owner of Carrie Fitts Real Estate, loves a challenge and embraces her role as a leader and mentor. She is a member of the Druid City Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, Leadership Alabama Class of 2022-2023, Leadership AAR Class of 2022, West Alabama Chamber of Commerce Board Member, and a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa. Along with all those community leadership posts, she leads a team 24 of REALTORS® and seven office staff at Carrie Fitts Real Estate.
We asked Fitts to share some insights into her life, career, and lessons she’s learned along her path to success.
Describe a typical day in the life of Carrie Fitts.
Of course, we start with coffee and catching up. We have a very team-oriented environment so we talk about how to get involved in the community and how to support each other.
The culture at my company is really important to me. I just finished Leadership AAR and something state Treasurer Young Boozer said struck me. He said, “Do the right thing; do it the right way, and do it right away.” I put that on a whiteboard in my office and people see it every day.
At the end of our meeting, I tell my team to, “Go sell something.”
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in lots of places. I was born in Houston, spent much of my childhood in Boca Raton. I went to college in Connecticut. After college, I was offered a job as a reporter and news anchor in Columbus, Mississippi. Driving to Columbus from Tuscaloosa didn’t make sense, so I opened a restaurant in Tuscaloosa. Wherever I was and whatever I was doing, I was happy and I learned.
As a child, how did you answer the question, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Really, I don’t remember aspiring to be anything specific, I just wanted to be successful. I guess that’s why I do different things…. things that present themselves to me.
I always remember wanting to be successful.
What prompted you to choose real estate as a career?
Real estate really chose me. I love a challenge and real estate is challenging and different every day and it keeps me interested. I’ve started lots of restaurants but once something is growing and successful, every day is the same. When someone first suggested a real estate career to me, I said “I don’t want to sell real estate.” I thought about the idea and, because I was flipping houses, I decided that having a real estate license could be helpful. Later, I started going to a broker’s office and things just started happening.
What makes your career most enjoyable?
While I do like to be successful, I like also like to see other people succeed by creating successful agents. I like to help them achieve whatever goals they may have. For many, it changes their lives. They go from not having much money or a real plan to being confident both professionally and financially.
Any important lessons learned along the way?
Really, it’s the basic practice of working hard and being nice to people. If you can do those two things, you’ve got most of the work done. But you can’t take your foot off the pedal. You must stick to the basics.
In choosing agents, look for someone who is smart, works hard, whose compass points north, and sense of humor is a bonus.
As you look back on your life and career, can you identify a defining event or person that directed your course?
In real estate, it’s my company and the people. It really does take a village. There’s a little phrase we use: I am because we are.
On a personal level the credit goes to my husband and my parents. You can’t do all this without someone taking up the slack at home and my husband does that. Over the course of my life, my parents allowed me to pursue my interests. They always said I could do whatever I wanted to do. (My mom did want me to be a dentist.) They were very different people. My dad was a true southern gentleman, an attorney, with a wicked sense of humor -- never swore and even keeled. My mother swore like a sailor and was the life of the party. She was an anesthesiologist who graduated from Yale. After college, she wanted to live somewhere warm so she moved to Florida. She got a call to assist as anesthesiologist for pioneering heart surgeons Drs. Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley in their first open heart surgery. She moved to Houston and that’s where she met my dad.
Also, I always feel like my kids make me look really good. They’re very different and I often hope I will grow up to be like one of them.
From your nomination for this spotlight, it appears that leadership is one of your passions. How do you find time to accept leadership positions and be involved in leadership organizations?
Well, I spread them out. I just finished Leadership AAR and I start the state Leadership Alabama program next month. I don’t participate in more than one at a time so I can give each program my full attention. I’m very strategic in what I do and when I do it. I have no problem saying no.
React to this quote from your nomination: “Through her various partnerships, donations, and giving of her time, Carrie weaves golden rule living throughout her professional and personal life.”
Wow! I'm humbled and incredibly flattered by that quote. It certainly gives me something to continue to strive for every day.
If you were receiving an award right now, who would you thank in your acceptance speech?
Hands down, it would be Chantelle Smith. She was my assistant when I was an agent and the senior director at the brokerage. She helped me grow my real estate business when I was an agent and she has been with me every step of the way as we created Carrie Fitts Real Estate. Even though she recently left to home school her son, I still hold her license.
We have different strengths and complimentary values. Any time I'm being hard on myself I remember that Chantelle loves me, so I can't be that bad! She is the most kind person I've ever met and your life really is better if you're lucky enough to have her in it.