When Stacy Stevens graduated from Purdue University with a degree in geology in 1985, there were no jobs in her field. Instead, she went to work with her dad in construction and was introduced to the world of real estate, going on to obtain her real estate license in 1986 and broker license in 1987.
Evansville and its real estate were never hard sells for Stevens. She says selling Evansville is one of the easiest parts of her job as a broker and the owner of Landmark Realty, the boutique real estate business her mother Donetta Epperson started in 1995, and president of the county’s Area Plan Commission since 2006. It helps that everywhere Evansvillians go they meet someone who is from Evansville, went to school in Evansville, or knows someone from Evansville, she says. On a Scandinavian cruise with her daughter Grace Stevens, they noticed a woman in the lobby of the hotel in Helsinki, Finland, who had an Indiana University keychain.
“I look at her, and it was Nazan Wolfe (director, plant operations at Aurora Mental Health Center),” says Stevens. “I said, ‘Nazan?’ and she said, ‘Stacy? What are you guys doing here?’ It’s just crazy. No matter where you are in the world. That makes it easy for me to sell Evansville.”
Aside from economic changes, how do you feel real estate in Evansville has changed?
The residential side, of course, the values have really gone up like crazy, which is good. We’ve had such great growth in terms of new construction.
On the commercial side about 2008 or 2009, the commercial agents used to get together to have lunch because there was nothing else to do. There was literally one year that went by with two commercial sales, period. It was crazy. Then when the economy got a little bit better, now Downtown has changed before our very eyes. Even three years ago, you could drive down Main Street and go, “Oh my gosh, when did that happen?”
What are future goals of yours?
I love to negotiate. Long-term I would love to do more negotiating. It’s my favorite part of what I do in my job.
That’s most people’s least favorite.
I know. And I love public speaking, and that’s people’s least favorite. I would like to do more teaching, educating, public speaking, and I love the topic of love. I think that’s something I would love to talk more about, teach more about — love in the workplace. How to make it a win-win. I always say if it’s not a win-win, if we can’t get it to where everybody is happy, then we’re not going to get it closed.
Looking at the growth in Evansville, what areas most excite you?
From a commercial standpoint, it has to be Downtown. As a citizen, that’s so exciting because it makes our town so much healthier. We don’t have the dead spaces, the empty spaces. For me, I think it’s got to be watching Downtown continue to evolve.
And you were at the forefront with Landmark in the Curtis Building.
For me, buying the Curtis Building was such a gift from God. I’ve now owned it seven years, which is insane. From that standpoint, you asked what I’m interested in doing. I’m interested in continuing to develop these properties I have and make them part of the Downtown scene.
I love Evansville. I brag about Evansville all the time. I always say Evansville has it going on. For me, it’s easy to sell Evansville. A couple came into my open house yesterday. I said, “Gosh, you guys are going to love Evansville. I’m sure you have already decided that, or you wouldn’t have accepted the job, but I think you’ll be really surprised because Evansville has everything.”