- The Washington Times - Friday, April 17, 2009

Sonatta Camara

Company: Keller Williams Preferred Properties

Address: 9701 Apollo Drive #102, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Phone: 301/333-4444

Fax: 301/333-2013

E-mail address: info@sonattacamara.com

Web site: www.sonattacamara.com

Year started: 2002

How did you get started in real estate? I pursued my license on a part-time basis around the year 2000 while pregnant with my daughter. I kept my license inactive until 2002 when I lost my consulting job. At the time, I was given a package deal that gave me the freedom to make a few choices. I chose to pursue real estate since it would keep me closer to home and give me the chance to spend more time with my children.

How long have you been with the current company? 4 years

Licenses and designations: Certified distressed property expert; certified residential specialist; graduate, Realtor Institute

Associations: Prince George’s County Association of Realtors, Greater Capitol Area Association of Realtors, Virginia Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Brokers, Maryland Association of Realtors

Awards: Distinguished Prince George’s County Sales Award Winner, 2002 to present; RE/MAX Sales Awards, 2002 to 2005; Keller Williams Awards, 2006 to 2008

Greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Being a mother is my greatest accomplishment at any time. In business, I’ve been blessed to hire people in a time when other companies are laying off. I worked with the department of social services to help other mothers and those facing financial challenges break away from government assistance to become employed with my company. In a time when Realtors are pursuing other jobs, my team and I are creating jobs. At a time where others see challenges, I’m thankful to see opportunity and my business is growing. My greatest accomplishment is being blessed to be a blessing to my family, my employees and my community.

Area of specialty: My team is well-versed in many areas and niches; however, my specialty would be real estate owned (REO) or bank-owned properties. In this market, I’ve developed great relationships with banks and asset managers that result in properties moving - even in a less than favorable season.

Highest-priced home sold: $1,200,000

Most memorable house: Every first-time homebuyer to me is memorable. As a mother, I love seeing my children learn something new and grow from it. As a Realtor, my maternal instinct kicks in when helping first-time homebuyers. My team and I walk them through the process. When they settle and close on a home, it is similar to watching a baby take his or her first steps. You are proud, happy and pray they are blessed to fully enjoy the home.

Worst experience buying or selling a house: I don’t consider this to be my worst story, but it is a home from which I learned a great deal. I bought a new investment property and rented it out to a Section 8 (low-income government subsidized) tenant. Within 18 months, my new home was demolished and ended up in a short sale. In this instance, I learned what not to do as an investor. I learned a costly - but valuable - lesson, which humbled me and gave me an appreciation for the struggles we all share in this time of challenge.

Age: 41

Family: Daughter, Samira, age 8; son, Sivaad, age 5

Pets: Betta fish, “Survivor”

Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance and master’s degree in business administration from University of Maryland, College Park

Community service: Girl Scouts (with my daughter)

Last book read: “Shift: How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times” by Gary Keller

Last movie seen: “Charlotte’s Web”

What kind of car do you drive? I have several cars, but my favorite is my black Smart car.

Describe your personal dream house: I love water, and I am passionate about the ocean. My dream home is on an island by the sea. I visualize a home with an exterior the auburn color found in a sunset. The roof would be mixed with green, brown and red slate earth tones similar to the trees in the fall. I would have white columns in the front that extend out to hold up the roof to cover a portion of the circular driveway. You can view the ocean from the home and a private beach.

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