Carmen Carter has been a full-time Realtor for the past 21 years. A veteran of the United States Air Force with a bachelor’s degree in business from Robert Morris College. Mother of three wonderful boys, who everyone thinks are triplets; really is twins, and a “big” boy. Married to Chad Carter, a wonderful father, real estate broker, and owner of an insurance agency. Carmen comes from a long line of business owners in her family. Her grandparents owned multiple properties, as did her parents, who also owned a local barbershop and shoe boutique. looking back, Carmen was very outgoing in high school and had a wide range of classmates. ‘ Carmen, the youngest of five children, was a very social and free-spirited young lady. Carmen joined the air force because she wanted to experience different cultures and explore her independence. Carmen will tell you, “Joining the Air Force is one of my best experiences to date, but she will also tell you it was a single military experience that would become a pivotal turning point in how she thought about how she preferred a leadership role. Carmen returned home after serving in the military and took a job as Manager in a local boutique. She was a social butterfly who enjoyed interacting with customers and coworkers. Carmen recalls seeing this young lady, about her age at the time, come into the boutique at least once a week and just buy bags of clothes. She finally asked her what she did for a living, because she, too, wanted to go shopping during the day twice a week, and the young lady said Real Estate. “Real Estate, Seriously!” That was all Carmen needed to hear; the next thing she knew, she was calling her brother and asking him to join her in the real estate business.
Carmen worked for franchise firm for eight years after passing the course and licensing exam. Carmen’s experience taught her that the market had its ups and downs, but she was ultimately successful. Carmen wanted to expand her business and stay ahead of market trends. Carmen knew she wanted to break into a market she wasn’t familiar with, ‘foreclosures,’ so she asked a seasoned agent with experience and asked for guidance in breaking into this market, but she was met with a flat out NO! Carmen reassessed her circumstances and decided to switch to a smaller real estate agency that specialized in foreclosed properties. Through this experience, she gained knowledge on how to navigate the “good ol’ boy” network. However, the long commute to the office was taxing, especially with her growing family. Carmen pondered, “How can I stay close to home and excel in the field I adore, Real Estate?” She loved interacting with the public and educating clients on the buying and selling process. The satisfaction of helping someone purchase their first home fueled her passion for real estate. Carmen knew that she needed to make a change and after discussing it with her husband Chad, he suggested starting her own brokerage. Being part of an entrepreneurial family, this idea resonated with Carmen, and she began planning her journey to become a Broker Owner. As a Managing Broker, Carmen founded Carter Realty Group in October of 2011. To further her efforts in educating others, she became a licensed instructor and authored a class on short sales that has been accredited by the State of Illinois. Carmen’s agency has experienced organic growth, with her now coaching and supporting over 20 agents. Her firm belief that “Education is the best way to make the best decision” guides her interactions with clients and sets the standards for her brokerage. Carmen is an active member of the African American Business Association, serving as Vice-President, The National Hook-Up Of Black Women,(Joliet Chapter) and the Joliet Chamber of Commerce within her community.