By Mikala McCurry
Corina Hamby, a wife, mother, and successful real estate agent, recently earned her stripes as the 2021 “top producer” agent in both volume and units with Elite Realty. While she is thriving in real estate now, her journey to the top was anything but easy.
Corina was born and raised in the Dominican Republic in a Spanish-speaking household with 16 siblings. She fell in love with her husband while he was on a missionary trip in the Dominican Republic, and he moved her to Alabama in 2008.
“I love Alabama,” Corina said. “The day I moved here, I knew I was in the right place.”
Although she was excited to start her new life in a new place, she had several major obstacles to overcome. One was the language barrier between her and her husband, since she did not speak any English.
“When I arrived, I only spoke Spanish and had no family here. My husband and I mostly communicated by sign. He didn’t understand what I was saying, and I didn’t understand what he was saying,” Corina said.
Because of the language barrier and having young children, Corina was unable to work for the first 10 years of her life in Alabama.
“I lived in my house for 10 years without doing anything. I couldn’t work because I didn’t speak English well and had my three kids who were little,” she said. “I had no idea what I was going to do. I didn’t know what way to go.”
Before moving to Alabama, Corina worked in real estate for many years in the Dominican Republic. Once her children were older and she learned English, she decided to try to restart her real estate career. She soon realized, however, that the process was more difficult than she imagined it would be.
“I used to do real estate in the Dominican Republic, but it’s very different from what people do here. You don’t have to have a license in the Dominican Republic. You just find someone who wants to buy or sell a house and you put your sign up. In my mind, I was thinking I could do the same thing here,” she said.
After realizing that the journey would not be easy but was still something she wanted to do, Carina connected with a friend in Georgia who was taking a class to be a realtor.
“Once my youngest child could go to school, I decided this was something I needed to do for me to make myself and my family proud,” she said.
After taking the class, Corina was met with yet another struggle: passing the exam to get her real estate license.
“I took the test twelve times before I passed, but I was determined that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to be independent and do something that I enjoy. I wanted to do something where I could help people and help myself,” she said.
Even after having to continuously pay to retake the exam, Corina persisted. Finally, on the 12th try, Corina passed her exam.
“It was the most amazing and incredible day of my life!” Corina said. “The reward for me was that I earned it and nobody gave it to me. I worked for it and made myself and my family proud. I’m happy, and I want everyone to know I made it to be what I wanted to be.”
Once she passed the test
and earned her license, Corina went right to work helping others like her
achieve their dreams.
“I work with a lot of Spanish-speaking people, and it’s a joy because they come from where I come from. They’ve been through something and sometimes believe it’s impossible for them to own a home here, but they don’t know they have someone here who can help them,” she said. “They might buy a $10,000 or $20,000 house that might not mean a lot to someone else, but it means a lot to them because they have something they own.”
She has now been an agent with Elite Realty for the past four years and enjoys finding her clients the perfect home at the best possible price and finding current homeowners the best possible buyer for their home through her mantras of knowledge, integrity, commitment, passion and fun.
“I work Monday through Sunday because I love what I do. If I’m stressed, I go to work and feel relaxed. I don’t even feel like I’m working. I just want to keep helping people and keep growing. I want to be able to show somebody that if I’m doing it, you can do it too,” she said.
She continues to work hard every day to help others but also to assist her family and loved ones back home in the Dominican Republic.
“I’m really doing it for my family. I still help my mom, my sisters and some other family back in the Dominican Republic financially. We also send food to some people there each month,” she said. “I was able to help my mom and dad get green cards so they could come live with me. Not many people from another country get to come here with a green card.”
Corina’s hard work paid off in 2021 when she received the “top agent” award for Elite Realty with over 47 transactions for the year.
“Last year in the middle of the pandemic was one of the busiest times for me. It seemed like while everyone else was troubled, I was blessed. Just in the month of June last year, I closed 14 transactions. That was a record for me,” she said. “I went to the DR to visit family during that time and when I came back, my realtor told me I broke every record. She said I outdid some people who have been doing real estate for 20 years, which is almost impossible.”
Despite her many struggles, Corina now lives her life as a successful realtor with her husband of 16 years, her three children, and her nephew. She is always ready to help others make their dreams come true, starting with their dream home.
“I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity. I’m glad for where He has me now, and I know He’s going to keep working to get me where He needs me to be,” she said.
To make your next move one to remember, call Corina Hamby at (334) 669-3704 or message her on Facebook.
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