Carmen Washington

Hear Me Roar



Hometowns: Miami, FL and Fairfax, SC
Lives in: Hilton Head Island, SC
Broker in Charge and Owner of Signature Real Estate Group, HHI

How does it feel to take the leap and open your own business?
I’m excited about opening my own real estate company, and with the vision I have to do great things in real estate, sometimes it’s hard to sleep at night! I have owned businesses from age 19 to 32. My first career was a salon owner, so this is not my first rodeo! I turned one salon into three. After the sale of the last business, I didn’t think I would do it again, but apparently God had another plan. So after some concerns and hang-ups, I’m actually excited!

What traits do you like most about yourself?
I’m a people person and a very passionate person. I’m a natural coach and motivator. I have the ability to put myself in other’s shoes, but also will push them to greatness, except for when they want to hold on to the victim mindset (poor me)! I give time to people who deserve it, not want it! I am a person who believes in accountability, and I don’t wait for someone else to control my destiny, but to get things done! I want results, not excuses! Nothing does my soul better than to see people doing great things and enjoying a great life! Where’s there’s pressure, there’s diamonds!

Give us the feel and experience of selling your first house:
It was on my birthday—October 31, 2005. Probably one of the hardest deals to get done, but I knew my clients were depending on me. There was one hoop to jump through after the other: Inspections, repairs, seller concessions, you name it! I remember finally sitting at the closing table with balloons and their housewarming gift, ready to close, when the attorney came in and said, “The bank wants a copy of the porch repair, or they will not close!” My clients’ eyes filled with tears, and I said, “Hey, no worries, I got this!” I jumped in my truck, headed to the house, took the pictures and brought them back to the attorney. They uploaded them and we closed! Those clients are now my personal friends, still in that house and have referred over a million dollars in business to me!

What is your real estate advice to people moving to a new area?
Find a great real estate consultant who listens to them! One who understands the market/conditions and will help them find the right fit and not waste their time showing them 40 houses that won’t work and confuses them.

What’s the best advice you've ever received?
Stop apologizing for how God has made me! I’m made perfect, and that’s the only way I could be! Stand true to what I believe in, even if no one else agrees. Treat people the way I want to be treated!

You are a goal-digger! Name a few goals you’re striving for: 
To build my company to 100 happy, productive agents. Open a Signature Real Estate Group in five other markets, and my agents and company to be No. 1 in all of those markets! Also for my staff or anyone associated with me to be mentally and financially fit; Living their lives like it’s golden! I also want to enrich people’s lives to the point that meeting me helped them achieve something great. Also to have my own reality show, but not the ones with drama or negativity. Something funny, like “Chrisley Knows Best.”

What are the 5 essentials you’re never without?
1) My lipstick to keep my lips poppin’.  2) My cell phone 3) Eyelash glue 4) My camera 5) A good joke! Jesus said laughter is good medicine!

I admire people who:
Take time to celebrate other people, and people who are genuine, not BSers! People who go after what they really want; I mean they feel the fear and still go and do it anyway! People who give back (each one, teach one) and people with integrity!

What would your dream house look like?
10,000 square-feet! I love when all of my family comes to town, and I want everyone to stay with me! Of course it would be on the water in Wexford or Port Royal, with 8 bedrooms, 12 baths, a 500 square-foot chef’s kitchen with four ovens, sub zero refrigerator and freezer, a 12-foot island, large windows with views of the water! A pool with lots of room to entertain…Chileeee, I could go on and on because this is something I am always thinking of!

What are you roaring about? ME!
It has felt like I’ve been in the school of hard knocks for several years, overcoming one struggle after the next, being counted out, overlooked, or just plain not supported. Now it’s my time to do things the way I want, not apologizing for it, or being fearful of what others think of me! Celebrating myself—not in a conceited way—but finally appreciating my uniqueness!

I didn’t get a lot of support when I got into real estate on Hilton Head, especially being an African American woman! There were times when I walked in and got dirty looks, or ignored. I remember when I had to give several pieces of documentation to show I was a realtor to get into the gated communities! When I was frowned upon because of my gold teeth, my dark skin, long hair and nails, with my big butt and then immediately labeled “Ghetto.” I never lived in the “ghetto” or the “hood” in my entire life. I didn’t grow up poor! My parents had money, and we were taught to always be plotting our next step. Not to get complacent, but to keep striving! They taught us to be proud of ourselves, no one was better than us and we could be anything we wanted to be! As time went on, and my sales were showing, then people started coming around, being nice and complimentary. I was built for this but there are so many others who were discouraged and left the business! This is another reason I’m super excited and roaring about Signature Real Estate Group, HHI because we’re doing things different and are going to positively impact the way we do real estate! BAM baby! HEAR. ME. ROAR.