We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzy Pittman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzy, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is scary but it is definitely a necessity. I have learned that without being able to take risks, I would have never been able to find my purpose.
After years of climbing the corporate ladder in medical device sales, I was at a company where I wasn’t appreciated or treated with any respect. Even though I had just won President’s Club and was ranked as one of the top salespeople in the company, I remember being on our President’s Club trip in London and thinking how miserable I was with my life. I was making a six-figure salary with car allowance, health insurance, etc but I was so unhappy. I was a single mother of two girls, at the time, and it was a HUGE risk going into real estate full-time. I have never been so scared!!!!
I have learned that I would much rather fail at something than regret not ever trying. I feel like any time I have failed, I have only grown and learned from it but when I have not taken risks, I have only been left with regrets.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Our brokerage is called Texas Made Realty. My daughter Sophia came up with the name and I thought it was absolutely perfect. We are a fully independent, boutique brokerage currently headquartered in Houston, TX, and also expanding to Austin and San Antonio, TX. For us, HOME is the most important place to be. Whether it is temporary or permanent, it is where memories are made, where you go to feel safe and rest. It is the place where you can take your shoes off and relax at the end of a long day. It is the place where you sleep late on rainy days or stay up late watching movies. So, when someone asks us to help them buy, sell, or lease their home, we believe it is truly a privilege and honor.
There are approximately 120,353 people with real estate licenses in Texas and it seems everyone personally knows at least a handful of realtors. So, what sets us apart? I think our clients would say that we truly put our client’s best interests before our own needs and wants….always! We are truly knowledgeable about our craft, strong negotiators, and obsess over the details. Having been married to a pro athlete in the past, we specialize in helping pro athletes and celebrities with all of their relocation needs, whether they are moving to or from Houston. Due to knowing first-hand about the challenges athletes and their families must face, we work alongside their agents and financial advisors to help them make the most educated and beneficial real estate decisions for their families. We also specialize in Military Veteran Relocation and Full-service relocation for clients moving to and from the United States. We are specialists in representing clients on new construction homes and luxury homes. Not to mention that over 95% of our listings go under contract in less than a week and 97% have sold at market value or over market value. I’m super proud of that.
There are a lot of things I am proud of and excited about when it comes to our amazing team. First of all, I am super proud to have our own brokerage and to have a team of agents that are truly like family to us. I was recently named “Women of the NFL Preferred Realtor” in Houston and that is super exciting, too!
This past year we had our first $3 million dollar listing!!! Woo hoo! Our client had already tried selling the home with two other agents, and we were able to sell the home, over asking, over market value, and under contract within a matter of days!!! I am also super excited that we will be branching out to San Antonio in the next couple of months.
How did I get to where I am business-wise? With the help of all those around us, our clients, our friends, and family.
Sometimes, I honestly don’t even know how I overcame the obstacles I experienced when I first got back into real estate. I was a single mom and I was so scared to fail. Heck, I was so scared I wouldn’t have the money to feed my children. I think that deep down I just never wanted to disappoint my children and I knew I had to do whatever it took, to make them proud of me.
The toughest thing about real estate is how expensive it is and how you work for free until a deal closes…so it can be really tough in the beginning and why many agents quit after the first few years. I remember driving around with a professional athlete client in the car and praying that I would have enough gas to get him to all the houses he wanted to see. Not to mention hoping I would have enough gas to get my kids to school the next day. I remember selling furniture and taking on substitute teaching jobs just to try and make extra money. I finally went to my church and they gave me HEB gift cards and gift cards for gas, too. Even my children’s school helped me with tuition costs and an anonymous angel helped pay for an entire year of their tuition. So, even when it got tougher than I thought I was capable of handling, it was truly my faith in God that got me through. I began to focus less on what I could get out of it and instead started to focus on how I could serve others. It is honestly amazing but one client after another, we started to get referred to more and more clients, and before we knew it, we had a steady stream of business!
What lessons have I learned along the way?
1) God and family first
2) Give everything….expect nothing
3) Knowledge is power and no matter how many years of experience I attain, I will never know everything but I will always be willing to learn something.
4) Self-care is really important because you can’t help or take care of others unless you take care of yourself
5) Try to be grateful and humble in all circumstances
6) Take educated risks
7) Money doesn’t buy you happiness
The road to our success has not been an easy one. Every life experience I have had has contributed to my success and has helped me to better serve others. I have been dirt poor and I have been a millionaire. I have been an NFL wife and I have been a defeated and broken single mother. I have been a TV host and Maxim Model in the limelight and I have also experienced being in the loneliest and darkest place. I am proud to be a first-generation American of Cuban descent that didn’t know a word of English until I was six years old. My family came here with nothing and they taught me that in this great country, you can achieve ANYTHING! I am a proud Latina, Texan, woman, mother, and businesswoman.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I really love to support local businesses. I know what it’s like to have a minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned, local business and I love to support other businesses like ours.
Best places to have coffee? I love some of the “oldies but goodies” like Cafe Brazil and Empire Cafe.
My good friend, Hector Garcia, owns Oso Coffee Bar and I love to do anything to help support him and his business when I can.
Where to go have a drink?
Ready Room – located in the heights! This would definitely be my first stop. Killer cocktails, great service, inspired by Houston history, and live music on the weekends! Ask for renowned Houston bartender, Peter Clifton!!
Julep – great cocktail bar off of Washington with amazing menu of southern-inspired cocktails and laid-back vibe.
Night Shift – Open everyday from 4pm – 2am! Great Neighborhood bar in East End Downtown Revitalized, otherwise known as EADO!
Bar Boheme – Montrose hideaway with a subtle old world vibe, huge patio with tons of outdoor seating options, full bar, and yummy pizzas and small bites.
Where to eat? I’m the type of girl that loves both high-end restaurants but also places that you can hang out in jeans so here are a wide variety of places that we like
Coltivare – Italian restaurant in the heights featuring wood-fired pizzas, a vegetable garden, and great drinks
Tiny Boxwoods – Chef driven restaurant tucked away inside of a plant nursery. Produce and fish are delivered fresh every single day and they make almost everything in-house all the way down to the honey they get from their own bees. Oh! and the chocolate chip cookies are to die for!
Cuchara – authentic Mexican City bistro located in the 1940s brick building that used to house The Hyde Park Supermarket. They have fantastic food and amazing drinks!
Brasserie 19 – great food and one of the city’s best wine lists
Love Buzz Pizza – great for a casual date night, they have skee ball, arcade games, and great pizza!
Sage 400 and Uchi – my fave sushi places.
Aladdin – It’s hole in the wall Mediterranean food place in Montrose but it is absolutely delicious!
Mexican food – Houston has some of the best Mexican food in all of the US! Honestly, I could write a whole article just about all the amazing Mexican restaurants we have
Killen’s, Pappa Bros, and The Steakhouse inside the San Luis Hotel are probably my favorite steakhouses in Houston! Yum! Even though we do end up going to Perry’s in Sugar Land quite a bit because it’s nearby and they have great drinks.
Where to go shop?
Central Market – for groceries and people watching, Central Market is one of my favorite spots
Pete’s Fine Meats – they have everything from Buffalo to Ostrich meat, a lot of fitness buffs go here to get their protein
Dao Chloe Dao Boutique – fantastic clothing boutique near Rice Village and owned by the winner of Project Runway
Other local faves:
Stateline Designs: Houston inspired shirts and merch
Miradela: Muy bonita, latina-inspired shirts and swag
Confectionary Home: Wedding Cakes, Birthday Cakes, Cake pops, pies, cookie cakes, and much more! Voted by The Knot as one of their fave picks in 2022 and a personal friend of mine for over 25 years
Breadman Baking Company: artisan breads and much more.
Star Cinema Grill – an awesome movie theatre with full bar and food service that gets brought to you while you watch a movie, What can be better than that?
Tourist spots, favorite Houston events, and seasonal faves:
Menil Collection – one of the largest privately-owned art collections in the world
Galveston – ok, so the water is sometimes brown but we’ll take it. There are also some great hotels like the San Luis for the perfect staycation.
Herman Park Kite Festival – a super fun event to take the kids, eat food truck food, and fly kites! It is really a sight to see hundreds of kites flying in the air all at once.
Houston Rodeo – you don’t want to miss the barbeque cookoff!
Nutcracker Market and HTX Boss babe Holiday Market – two of my favorite events to get unique gifts for family and friends during the Holidays
Space Center Houston, Moody Gardens, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Houston Zoo are also fun local spots to check out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shout out would definitely go to my husband, Chris Salinas. He is a 20 year military veteran, a real estate agent, our soon-to-be real estate broker, and my biggest cheerleader. He is the one that truly convinced me to go back to real estate and take the full-time plunge. He has always seen my potential, even when I couldn’t see it in myself. He is also the spiritual leader of our household and shows us by his words and actions what it means to truly put God first in our lives.
You know the guy from the lego movie, Emmett, who sings “everything is awesome”?! That is my husband. He is always happy and just the nicest guy! He is definitely the Chip to my Joanna.
I also have to thank what I call my “concierge team”. I have to thank our staging team and construction team, FortKnight Designs. They have helped our sellers get homes in sell-ready condition and also helped some of our buyers renovate their homes after closing. They also help our clients furnish their homes. They are absolutely fantastic at what they do! Lots of people use them now so they are getting quite busy which makes me so happy. I’m trying to get them on social media more so they can show off all the amazing work they have done.
Kerri Clark, who owns Kerri Clark Designs is our photographer and graphic designer. She photographs the majority of our listings and also does our graphic design work. She takes the time to photograph our listings and help us showcase homes in a unique way that really makes our listings stand out.
And, of course, I have to thank all the people who have believed in us. It takes a lot of trust to ask someone to represent you in a real estate transaction so every time someone refers us, or calls us to assist them….it is truly the biggest honor and compliment.
Kerri Clark Photography Allison Ermon Photograpy Sweet Pecks Photography Joe Cogliandro Photography