In an extremely quantitative industry focused on numbers of leads, volume of sales, returns on investments, and value of production, Tammie has chosen to build around the qualitative: Simply leaving others better than she found them.
A true-grit story of determination.
Tammie Slay has been in the real estate world for nearly 17 years. With no prior exposure to the industry, Tammie discovered her knack while building a home with her husband. She realized that she enjoyed reading contracts and was fascinated and challenged by the conversations she would have with the sales agents. She began taking classes and never looked back.
Tammie had spent more than a decade as an agent when the opportunity to take over a boutique brokerage arose. It was a no brainer. She got her broker’s license and got to work, bringing on a few more agents and assessing the culture and brand of the brokerage. Writing down a list of personal values, she landed on Honor, Integrity, and Perseverance, and something clicked. She took a leap of faith and opened up a second brokerage: Hip Realty Group. Little did she know that she was about to embark on an entrepreneurial journey filled with steep peaks, low valleys, and profound fulfillment.
“I immediately started drowning,” Tammie recalled. “I wasn’t able to do all my work while training agents. And I kept thinking about how I was responsible for my team being able to pay their mortgages. It was a heavy burden.”
She recounted a family vacation at which she hardly saw her family because of the constant demand of her work, and looking back, that may have been a breaking point. Tammie knew something had to change. Not knowing which way to turn, she found herself at a conference a couple of months later where she miraculously connected with a representative of Workman Success Systems (WSS) who would be the catalyst for rapid, positive change in the way Hip Realty Group would exist in and impact the community. In fact, just one year after employing WSS’s business principles, she was able to leave for a whole month, meeting her new grandchild and helping her daughter transition to motherhood while her team kept the gears of the business turning.
Through WSS, Tammie learned new ways of structuring her business and began to build her company around the concept of making others feel significant. In an extremely quantitative industry focused on numbers of leads, volume of sales, returns on investments, and value of production, Tammie has chosen to build around the qualitative: Simply leaving others better than she found them. “Whether I’m working with a client, having a conversation with my team, or passing someone in the grocery store, I want them to feel more significant after they’ve interacted with me than they did before.”
I wondered where this desire stemmed from — the desire to intentionally dignify others — and Tammie responded: “There are so many moments in my life that stand out in my mind where I felt insignificant and small, and I decided to make sure no one around me ever felt that way.”
Becoming a mother at the tender age of 16 marked Tammie’s journey in an indelible way. Instead of completing her sophomore year of high school, she found herself moving between loved ones’ homes, working the graveyard shift at a local diner for 25-cent tips, and pouring herself into the creation of a stable-as-possible life for her daughter. “I lived a typical ‘adventurous’ life as a high schooler, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant, all of that stopped. I became a mother immediately,” Tammie said.
She recounted her experiences as a teenage mother, unintentionally showcasing the resilience, resourcefulness, and grit that she exhibits now as a leader and entrepreneur. Hardship often has a way of unearthing the true potential of the human spirit. Tammie’s determination and deep-seated optimism shone brightly in the way she remembered one Christmas with her daughter in her tiny Austin apartment. Unable to afford a real Christmas tree, she cut a green poster board into a triangle, covering it with $1 lights and tinsel and her daughter’s drawn-on ornaments. The experience seemed like yesterday and a lifetime ago.
That was not the last difficult season she would encounter — not by a long shot — but Tammie has a way of making the best out of challenging situations and not allowing obstacles to define her life’s narrative. More than that, she allows herself to dream, to grow, to evolve. I asked what she likes to do for fun, and I could hardly get the question out before she responded, “I dance!” Most people like to deliberate for a bit before giving an answer because “fun” is usually not top of mind, but Tammie intentionally works it into the rhythms of her life. No pun intended.
Three days a week you’ll find her in the studio with her dance instructors, practicing her West Coast Swing, Country Western, and freestyle dance techniques. When she’s not there, she might be in the pool with her swim instructor or getting her 10-mile walk in for the day. Not surprisingly, a big portion of the last decade or so of her life was spent working and volunteering with youth in different capacities (but mostly in camp settings, she said). Fun is not optional for Tammie. Neither is personal development. “I do something new and learn something new every month,” she informed me. She’s recently begun studying emotional intelligence, she said, and was looking forward to implementing some of her new findings with her team.
Tammie also rapidly made her way through the Workman Success Systems process and is now one of only 15 Master Coaches across the world, allowing her to impact business owners in the same way she was impacted. Her team at Hip Realty Group also benefits from her entrepreneurial prowess as she works with each agent and associate, assisting them in meeting their own personal and professional goals.
“Tammie is a ‘Big Idea Person,’” said Monika Thornton, Hip’s Administrative Assistant, “There’s a reason she rose through the Workman Success ranks so quickly — she’s not normal!” Monika laughed. Monika and Tammie proceeded to share about Hip’s most recent “big idea,” which was providing a custom car for each Hip agent.
The five vehicles are hard to miss — especially when they’re lined up next to each other, as they depict a full comic strip. Each car has a part of the scene, which features Hip-tastic characters of varying demographics, Tammie pointed out, underscoring Hip’s desire to serve clients from every walk of life imaginable. The big reveal happened in January, kicking the year off with a bang, but the cars were purchased in August 2020 and hidden in Tammie’s backyard while the custom wrap was designed and applied.
The phone numbers printed on each car are different, connecting with individual agents and allowing the team to see which neighborhoods in which city are seeing the cars most often. But more than a fun marketing tool, the environmentally friendly cars are a gift to improve the agents’ quality of life while impacting local businesses through the collaborative process. “Kia was a part of the process; the designers and printers were a part of the process. It was a team effort, and I love being able to work with people in our community,” Tammie said.
As for the near future, Tammie hopes that Hip’s community impact will only increase. “I’m not focused on opening up more offices. The impact I want to have will require expansion, but that’s not why we want to grow,” Tammie said. She wants to add more team members while elevating and magnifying the Hip brand, but ultimately, her desire is to leave a mark on the youth of DFW. Notably, she would love to develop a leadership camp. You could say this might be her next Big Idea. Her own challenging background (along with her intense love of logistics and delegation) inspired her to get involved with youth in the first place and continues to fuel her passion for developing ways to serve them and keep them from becoming “victims of life’s curveballs.” Needless to say, whatever that camp will look like, those youth are in for a treat.
It is an understatement to say that life with (or even near) Tammie is inspiring, and that she really does leave you feeling more empowered, excited, and significant than she found you.
If you are interested in a free consulting call with Tammie regarding real estate, business or goal setting, contact her at workmansuccess.com/tammieslay.