Life came at Candice Eberhardt fast in 2020. In July, the woman who opened her own real estate firm in 2012 traveled to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for a six-hour procedure to remove an invasive, but benign, brain tumor. Four months off and a strong will to recover had her back in late 2020. Eberhardt proudly says she has now made a 100% recovery.
You are the president-elect of the Akron-Cleveland Association of Realtors and will be the first minority president in 2022. What does that mean to you?
I honestly can’t believe it’s happening. For so long, it seemed very far off. I’m extremely excited, but also extremely nervous because I want to make everyone proud. Two things that reassure me are knowing I have a great support system and that I’m surrounded by people who genuinely care.
Can your example inspire others?
I didn’t do it for the “wow” factor, but that’s what I’ve heard quite often: “Wow, you’re making history.” And yes, I am making history, but I’m still the same old person. I’ve never necessarily cared for the spotlight, but it comes with the territory and my focus is to lead with a humble heart.
What led you to sell real estate?
My grandfather John Eberhardt was one of the first few African American brokers in Akron. He owned an Eberhardt Realty in the ’70’s and ’80s. I thought, “Why don’t I do this for some extra cash?” So I got my real estate license. For 10 years, I was working third shift at Roadway and then FedEx, and I sold houses during the day. In 2009, I began getting in trouble for falling asleep third shift so I was placed on days. I began losing clients. I made the decision to leave my job at FedEx to pursue real estate full time. I attended Hondros, got my degree, opened an office and it just kind of took off from there.
What is your philosophy when working in realty? Is it purely dollars and cents?
It really isn’t. I’m helping people make one of the biggest decisions of their lives. This is the largest investment that they’ll ever make. I want to make sure they have everything they need to fulfill that dream. I have clientele from every background and from every income bracket and everyone is treated the same. About 10 years ago, I helped a client in her mid-50s purchase her first home and she cried in my arms at closing.
Can real estate produce wealth and can it help minority communities?
Absolutely. Home ownership creates immediate wealth for those who take the steps. As we know, the homeownership rate for African Americans is a lot lower than it is for other groups, and I pride myself on working the last 20 years to change those statistics. A lot of minorities are not in the position where we have finances or housing passed on to us like others, so providing them with the education is key. They think it’s unobtainable and I’m helping them push past any inhibitions in order to achieve that goal.