When you talk to R&R Realty broker Maria Davis for the first time, you soon get the feeling that you’ve known her for years. She’s a native Des Moines resident who spent her childhood in the Italian enclave of the city’s south side and seems to know almost everyone. R&R’s Marketing Director, Spencer sat down with Maria to learn more about her:
Can you tell me about your background, Maria?
Absolutely! I grew up on the South Side of Des Moines and have lived in the metro my whole life. My husband and I have two kids and they keep us busy. Career-wise, I started in the world of media sales before transitioning to residential real estate. My husband is 3rd generation in real estate and development, so this felt like a natural progression. My first year in residential real estate earned me the “Rookie of the Year” and “Circle of Excellence” awards from the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors, which was very affirming. In fact, this, along with my community service, earned me the honor of inclusion in the 2006 Des Moines 40 Under 40 class.
Fast-forward a bit and I returned to the world of media sales at Business Record. I loved that role and the industry, but I knew I couldn’t stay away from real estate for long. When an opportunity at a family-owned, value-driven company like R&R Realty became available, I jumped at it.
You seem to love your community – How do you give back to it?
I’ve been on the board of directors for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Iowa, working with the Society’s Team in Training, which helped me successfully run the 2000 Chicago Marathon. I was a founding member of Blood, Sweat and Beers, a local nonprofit that raises money and awareness for patients with blood cancers. I also volunteer with Fleet Feet Sports in the East Village as part of their Couch to 5K program and their ½ marathon program, which helps people gain the courage to participate in runs they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. And, I continue to volunteer with the Des Moines Marathon – every year since 2003.
On the professional side, I’m involved with the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce and am working on the committee for the annual economic development bus tour on October 3rd. I also work with the Alumni Committee for the West Des Moines Leadership Academy, which I graduated from in 2010. Finally, I’m a member of ICREA (Iowa Commercial Real Estate Association) and CREW (Commercial Real Estate for Women), and Capital Striders.
What would you say your specialty within the commercial real estate industry is?
I would say that my biggest specialty is my ability to build relationships. Long-lasting, honest relationships are the key to success in real estate and I think my love for connection-making and networking has helped me there. I’d also say I have a strong knowledge of what it takes to run a small and mid-size business because of my time selling media. To advertise someone’s business, you must understand it and those experiences taught me to take an empathetic approach to learning about clients and their businesses.
What’s your favorite thing about Des Moines?
I absolutely love being outside. My husband and I are avid bicyclists and runners, and the 500 (or so) miles of bike trails around the Des Moines metro make it so easy to go anywhere you want to go.