Real Love

There’s much to love about real estate – and rescue animals, too.

Compiled by Angie Fenton

Photos by Frankie Steele

It should come as no surprise that real estate professionals are among the biggest contributors to charitable causes. After all, they make their living helping people achieve their dreams. Unsurprisingly, many of them are passionate about nonprofits of all manner, including ones that advocate for animals.

We asked a handful of members – and one supporter – of Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS (WCR) to share a bit of insight into the motivation behind their professional lives and the role rescue animals play in their lives, too.

You can join WCR April 12 at Churchill Downs when they host Hats Off for Derby benefiting Louisville’s Animal Care Society.

Laura Rice pictured with Felix, Bailey and Jameson

“If we want Louisville to continue to be a great place to live, it is important that we all give back to the community in some way.”

Associate Broker

Kentucky Select PropertiesProperties

Why is animal rescue important to you?

I have six cats. Three are rescues. One was part of a feral colony born in my neighborhood. I trapped the litter and was able to socialize them and get them adopted out, but I kept one. Last May, I became aware of a litter of kittens living in a burnt-out liquor store in Smoketown. One had been attacked by another animal and was ultimately euthanized due to its extensive injuries. I trapped the remaining two kittens, socialized them, got attached and kept both.

Years in real estate: 


Role with the Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS:

Currently, I am a member. I have previously served on the board as the recording secretary and membership director.

What does a “typical” day look like for you?

Wake up early. Go to the gym and get my workout done before the phone starts ringing. Work from the office I share with my husband in Shelby Park. Show houses in the evening. Attend board meetings for the nonprofits I love. Go home and love on my fur babies. Go to bed early because I get up early. Repeat. 

What attracted you to real estate? 

I am extroverted, and I love to help people. My previous career as an attorney prepared me well because I’m a great negotiator and problem solver. I excel at complex transactions, such as estate sales and foreclosure, due to my knowledge of the law.

What does the Women’s Council of REALTORS mean to you?

WCR means training that allows me to be the best at my profession. It also means networking and camaraderie with people who help me provide great service.

WCR is known for – among other things – giving back to the community. Why is this important to you, and what are some of your favorite charitable organizations? 

If we want Louisville to continue to be a great place to live, it is important that we all give back to the community in some way. Everyone has time, talent or money to contribute. My favorite local organizations to support include Hildegard House, Alley Cat Advocates, Safe Place Services, CASA and St. John’s Center for Homeless Men.

What can you share about the local market and what advice do you have for buyers and sellers? 

Inventory of available homes for sale is low and demand is high, so now is a great time to sell. I’ve received eight to nine offers on the last two homes I listed for clients, and most offers were well above the list price. It is a tougher market for buyers due to high demand and reduced supply of homes. However, there are some tricks that can get buyers to the top of the pile of offers – even in a competitive market. The Louisville market is a stable market. We do not see the large swings that some other markets experience. My advice for sellers: Hire a home stager. It makes a huge difference in how fast your home sells and how much you get for it. My advice for buyers: Don’t overlook homes that might work for you because they aren’t perfect. Find out what it would take to make you happy and if that is within your budget.

Lyn Mabry pictured with Galen

“Where we live and how it nurtures us is so important.”

Owner/Lead Designer

Living Spaces by Lyn

Why is animal rescue important to you?

I found Galen through the local chapter of GRRAND, a wonderful Golden Retriever rescue group. I have been very involved in animal rescue since my days of owning a pet boarding facility in the Nashville area. I saw firsthand how devastating it was for these wonderful creatures to be abandoned, abused or just uncared for in the worst ways. So, I decided I would try to save as many as I could, one or two dogs at a time. They save me everyday. Galen was found wandering around the interstate somewhere in southern Indiana and taken to a local shelter. The shelter is called GRRAND, which was able to pick him up and bring him to Louisville. I had recently lost my rescued yellow lab Simon and had signed up to foster a rescued golden. The rest is history. we fell in love at first sight with Galen.

Years in real estate: 

I am not a realtor but have been working alongside my realtor friends as a stager and home re-designer for over 10 years.

Role with the Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS:

I am a proud affiliate member of WCR; my company, Living Spaces, is a major sponsor (Strategic Partner is what we are called) and I am currently on the Spring Fashion Show committee in charge of how the room will look when decorated for the event.

What does a “typical” day look like for you?

I am an early riser, so my day starts at 5 a.m. every morning, and from 5 a.m. until 7 a.m. I work on my schedule as well as the day’s appointments for my small team of design divas. (My team loves getting texts from me at 5 a.m. They all turn off their phones). From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. I walk Galen, do a yoga/meditation routine, eat, dress and then I’m off for the day. I am out in the field most everyday until 6 p.m. – on site for renovation projects, staging properties or meeting clients for design consultations. When I come home, Galen is waiting for me with his tail wagging, and we go for another walk usually with a friend and her dog. I’ll have dinner with my partner or a friend and then head to bed by 9 p.m., usually to read until I fall asleep.

What attracted you to real estate? 

I am attracted to the industry because I love homes and the process of buying and selling. (It’s) such an important transaction. Folks are either leaving a beloved space or acquiring one. Where we live and how it nurtures us is so important.

What does the Women’s Council of REALTORS mean to you?

WCR is a community of the coolest women I know. As a female professional, I am so grateful to be able to hang around such smart, caring women.

WCR is known for – among other things – giving back to the community. Why is this important to you and what are some of your favorite charitable organizations? 

WCR does a great job. This organization has the mindset of always giving back, and that is one of the reasons I decided to join. My volunteer time and resources are focused in a couple of directions: Volunteers of America (I’m currently involved in the finishing touches of their new facility, Freedom House); Shamrock Animal Rescue; GRRAND animal rescue; and Hearts in Motion, which funds service trips to Guatemala and other areas of extreme poverty in South America.

What can you share about the local market and what advice do you have for buyers and sellers? 

It is a great time to sell. The market is so crazy busy! There is currently lots of demand in my part of the business for remodeling – either baby boomers who want to update their homes to be able to age in place or young couples looking for that first real home, perhaps a cute shotgun that needs renovating. My advice to sellers is to start preparing your home to sell three to six months before you plan to put it on the market. It is a big undertaking, so even in this crazy market, do it right. Find a good realtor; they are worth their weight in gold. And then call us at Living Spaces. We can guide sellers through the process of decluttering, updating their beloved spaces with current color schemes, lighting, etc. We stage the space to show the best features of the home and to showcase the bones to the sellers. We are experts in staging for the best advantage for MLS photos. Our goal is to work closely with your realtor and sell your home very quickly and for at least the asking price if not higher.

Leesa Hill pictured with Hannah

“What attracted me to real estate was the opportunity
to help families realize the accomplishment of home ownership.”

Broker Associate
United Real Estate Louisville

Why is animal rescue important to you?

Hannah is my 10-year-old rescue yellow lab, and I also have Sammy, a two-year-old rescue cat and two semi-feral kitties that live on my front porch. Hannah belonged to a neighbor who would leave her alone for days at a time. He would leave the garage door up about a foot and a half with a huge bag of cheap dog food cut open and laying on the floor. (There’s) no telling how many critters she had to share with. She still goes crazy when she sees possums.

On the third of July in 2016, I came home from Kroger in the rain, and she was walking in front of our house. The battery had died in her collar and she made her break. I took her in the garage, dried her off and gave her some food and water. She fell sound asleep on the garage floor. About 10 that night, we took her to Blue Pearl and she was chipped. They called the owner who said, “Oh, she’s really old – 13 or 14 (she was only 8) – so just euthanize her. Blue Pearl said we can’t do that so he said, “Fine. Just open the front door and let her out.” We took her home, and she has been with us ever since. Rescue is so important because all of these sweet fur babies deserve loving homes. If I had the space, I would have many more. Most of my friends feel the same way and have as many rescue pets as they have room for. It makes my heart happy to give these babies love.

Years in real estate: 

I have been a Realtor for 25 years.

Role with the Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS:

Since I have been a member for so long, I have held just about every position. Right now, I consider myself the old guard – spreading the message of WCR and encouraging new real estate agents to get involved.

What does a “typical” day look like for you?

For me, there is no such thing, although when I get up I check email, texts, look at the hot sheet from our board and check my calendar. I might be with clients, I might be teaching or I might be training in our office. Literally every day is different. Unless I’m showing property or writing an offer, I am usually finished by 6 p.m. or so. Then, I head home for dinner with my hubby or off to a University of Louisville basketball game.

What attracted you to real estate? 

What attracted me to real estate was the opportunity to help families realize the accomplishment of home ownership. The flexible hours worked great for me while my son was in school. Then I began teaching real estate classes, and I’ve been doing that for over 15 years. But my greatest joy is teaching and training brand new agents at my company.

What does the Women’s Council of REALTORS mean to you?

When I joined WCR in 1997, it was a wonderful way to meet other agents and network. I have served in many capacities through the years, including local chapter president and state president. I have made many lasting friendships with other members and have learned so much through the WCR educational opportunities.

WCR is known for – among other things – giving back to the community. Why is this important to you and what are some of your favorite charitable organizations? 

As a founding member of Child’s Spirit, a charity created with other real estate agents to help raise the spirits of very ill children, I truly appreciate the charitable contributions WCR has made in our community, both monetarily and with volunteers.

What can you share about the local market and what advice do you have for buyers and sellers? 

Market-wise, right now it is weird to say the least. Our inventory is extremely low and sellers are concerned that if they sell, they will have no place to go. My advice to buyers is to get their financing in place, be prepared to act quickly and always use a Realtor. Sellers: this market is for you. With the help of a Realtor, make sure your home is priced correctly and line up options if your house sells quickly. If we all work together and abide by the code of ethics, it will be win-win.

“I love my profession because it allows me to help and educate buyers as they achieve the goal of owning a home.”

Louise Miller pictured with SHARLEE and Max

Broker Associate 

Berkshire Hathaway Parks and Weisberg Realtors

Why is animal rescue important to you?

Sharlee was born in a puppy mill in Virginia. We obtained her through Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network, a national nonprofit rescue organization, when she was four months old. She is now 14 and a great part of our family. Max was born into rescue from parents who were breeders in a puppy mill. His litter was premature, with him weighing in at 2.5 ounces. He is now 12 years old and one of our “kids.”

Years in real estate: 

I have been in real estate for 33 years, am also very involved in the local REALTOR association and am a past president of the Greater Louisville Association of REALTORS.

Role with the Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS:

I have served or chaired in numerous capacities with Women’s Council of REALTORS, including as the 2016 president.

What does a “typical” day look like for you? 

I start my day early. I search for my clients’ needs, catch up with emails, make business calls and head to the office if I do not have outside appointments. Typically, no two days look alike, as things can change at a moment’s notice. The day usually ends in appointments or a quiet evening with my laptop or time with my husband.

What attracted you to real estate? 

I moved to Louisville as a teacher with very small children, and I thought this profession would allow me to have more flexibility.

What does the Women’s Council of REALTORS mean to you?

Of all of the organizations I have been a part of, I have found WCR to be one of the most cohesive, professional groups of women I have ever been involved with.

WCR is known for – among other things – giving back to the community. Why is this important to you and what are some of your favorite charitable organizations? 

I am a founding member of Child’s Spirit, Inc., which help families that have children with challenges. This encompasses many types of challenges, but mostly medical challenges. WCR is also committed to helping others, and that is why our fashion show commits a portion of the proceeds to a different charity each year. This is an organization I am proud to be a member of.

What can you share about the local market, and what advice do you have for buyers and sellers? 

We have an unusual market at the present time with great interest rates and little inventory of available homes. My advice would be if you are a buyer, get approved for a loan before even looking at the first home, and if you are a seller, do what is necessary long before your home is on the market to have it in prime showing condition.

“There is no such thing as a typical day in real estate.”

Terri Seltz pictured with Bella

Licensed Assistant to Eric Seltz

Lenihan Sotheby’s International Realty

Why is animal rescue important to you?

We had just lost a dog and I was looking at the Kentucky Humane Society’s website and came across Bella’s photo. There was something about her eyes. The next day, our family went to go see her at the Springhurst Feeders Supply, and the rest is history. We fell in love with her and took her home. We don’t know how she survived that brutal January a few years ago being as tiny as she was (she was 8 pounds when we got her). Apparently, she was found on the side of a road in Ashland, Kentucky. We aren’t sure how she made her way to Louisville, but we are so glad that she did. She is the best, sweetest and most loving dog we have ever had. I think we are all glad that we found each other and are grateful for each other every day. Adopting and rescuing is important to me because there are so many wonderful animals in shelters waiting for a family to bring them home and love them. When you give them a second chance, what you get back in return is beyond anything that you can imagine.

Years in real estate:

2 years

What does a “typical” day look like for you?

There is no such thing as a typical day in real estate. Every day brings something different, and some days, every hour brings something different.

What attracted you to the real estate industry?

I have always loved architecture and design and, in fact, worked for an architecture firm for a number of years in Michigan and for several nonprofit architectural organizations in other cities. I also have a master’s degree in urban planning with a focus on historic preservation planning, so jumping into the real estate industry was a natural progression for me.

Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS is known – among other things – for giving back to the community. Why is this important to you and what are some of your favorite charitable organizations?

Even though I am not yet a member of the WCR, I feel that it is incredibly important to give back to the community that I live in, which has given so much to me. Some, but certainly not all, of my favorite charitable organizations are Blessings in a Backpack, Home of the Innocents, CASA, Ronald McDonald House, Center for Women and Families, Elderserve and the Kentucky Humane Society

What can you share about the local market and what advice do you have for buyers and sellers?

The local market is ramping up for spring but is still very tight with not a lot of inventory out there. Now is a great time to sell, but if you are trying to buy there is not a lot to choose from, and you will likely face a situation in which you are not the only one making an offer on a property, especially if it is move-in ready in certain areas of town. More and more, we are finding that there isn’t necessarily a good time to buy or sell. It used to be the spring and summer markets were it, but now it’s year-round. In fact, we had one of our busiest winters ever this past year with buyers and sellers alike.

My advice to buyers is that if you find a house that you fall in love with that meets all of your criteria, you need to act quickly as many homes are going under contract in a day and often with multiple offers. Also, you need to be prepared to pay the asking price or, in some cases, above it to get the house. My advice to sellers is that curb appeal and good design always sells houses. Buyers often have a hard time looking beyond your taste, personal effects and clutter, so a few easy and inexpensive things you can do is put photos and knick-knacks away, clean off counter tops in your kitchen and baths, clean the carpets, clean the windows and paint any rooms that are taste-specific in a nice neutral color. VT

Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS

Mission: Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS is a network of successful REALTORS, advancing women as professionals and leaders in business, the industry and the communities they serve.

President Bonnie Mays, 502.232.3868,

Hats Off for Derby

Hosted by Greater Louisville Women’s Council of REALTORS

9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 12

Churchill Downs

Benefiting Animal Care Society

Dress code: Derby attire encouraged

Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for shopping; lunch is at 11:30 a.m., followed by a fashion show produced by Andre Wilson of Style Icon. Many of the sponsors and vendors will have items for purchase, and attendees will want to check out the silent auction, hat auction and of course, split the pot. Screens will be positioned for easy style show viewing from any table location. Tickets are $75 or $500 for a table of eight; for more information, contact Barb Jeffries at or 502.817.6139. You can learn more about Animal Care Society, the benefiting charity, at


5.51 million existing homes were sold in the U.S. in 2017

612,000 newly constructed homes were sold in the U.S. in 2017

There are about two million active real estate licensees in the U.S.

In 2016, eight percent of home sales were for sale by owner (FSBO); of those, the typical FSBO sold for $190,000 compared to $249,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, National Association of REALTORS and Association of Real Estate License Law Officials.

Mona Bismarck Opening Reception

Photos by Tim Valentino

The new exhibit “Magnificent Mona Bismarck: Kentucky Style Icon” opened at the Frazier History Museum last week, and a few lucky guests previewed the show on March 14. The exhibit includes a vast collection of Bismarck’s iconic couture fashions as well as photos and portraits of the celebrated socialite and Louisville native.

Jordan Melchior Unveiling and Wine Dinner

Photos by Tim Valentino

Jordan Winery presented this reception and dinner at Jeff Ruby’s on March 13. One of only eight 18-Liter Melchiors of 2013 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon in the entire world was unveiled, and guests enjoyed a four-course meal with Jordan wine pairings.

Salute to Catholic School Alumni Dinner

Photos by Bill Wine

The Catholic Education Foundation hosted this fundraiser at the Galt House Hotel on March 14. The event raised a record-breaking $825,000 in net proceeds, which will provide tuition assistance to elementary school families.

Pearls & Pumps

Photos by Tim Valentino

This high-energy fashion show took place at Millionaires Row at Churchill Downs on March 17. Those in attendance got to preview and shop for looks for Derby 2018. Proceeds from the event benefit women’s cancer care at Baptist Health Louisville and La Grange.

Festival Unveiled

Photos by Tim Valentino

The first Kentucky Derby Festival event of 2018 took place at Mellwood Arts Center on March 15. The night gave guests the opportunity to purchase tickets to upcoming KDF events as well as merchandise and official posters. Guest were also able to witness the annual Four Roses Rose Julep Recipe Contest.

Down & Derby

Photos by Bill Wine

Dr. Nana Mizuguchi and his associates hosted this pre-Derby event at their office on March 13. Those in attendance took advantage of the many promotions offered on cosmetic services, browsed through local pop-up boutiques, enjoyed tasty bites and more.

ELT Recruitment Cocktail Hour

Photos by Tim Valentino

March of Dimes kicked off preparations for the 2018 Signature Chefs Auction at Lexus of Louisville on March 15. Current and prospective members of the organization’s Executive Leadership Team met for drinks and hors d’oeuvres to discuss this year’s iteration of Signature Chefs, which will take place later this year.

Paul Hornung Award Banquet

Photos by Nick Mills and Marvin Young provided by Louisville Sports Commission

The Galt House hosted this annual celebration of high-achieving college football players on March 7. Saquon Barkley, a junior at Penn State University, took home this year’s award. Past winners include Jabrill Peppers, Odell Beckham Jr. and more.

50th Annual CelebraTion

Photos by Tim Valentino

Students, parents and supporters of Trinity High School came together at Convocation Hall for this fundraiser on March 10. Live entertainment was provided by the school’s jazz band and theater department, and delicious eats were provided by Trinity graduate Dean Corbett.

The Skin Group Open House

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

The Skin Group’s Downtown location opened its doors to clients, friends and guests on March 14. Guests enjoyed appetizers and wine while mingling with the dermatology practice’s skin care experts.

Wrapped in Red Gala

Photos by Bill Wine

The Louisville Marriott Downtown hosted this annual event to benefit the Louisville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross on March 10. Guests enjoyed a three-course dinner, cocktails and live music from The Endless Summer Band.