There’s nothing quite like the element of surprise.
Just ask Rachel Ball Phillips, who says she was in a state of disbelief when she heard her name announced as the 2018 Realtor Broker of the Year at the 50th annual Realtors Association of Maui (RAM) installation luncheon on Friday, Sept. 7.
“It was a complete surprise that I was going to be receiving the award and very surreal to be sitting there listening to Jeannie [RAM’s 2017 Realtor Broker of the Year Jeannie Wenger] describing this year’s recipient in abstract terms…and coming to the realization that she was talking about me,” Phillips said.
That day, three honorees—Phillips, 2018 Realtor Salesperson of the Year Jeannie Kong and 2018 Affiliate of the Year Eric Miyajima—were recognized by RAM for their business and real estate accomplishments, as well as their spirit, character, professionalism and volunteer work. “I was really honored to receive this award,” she said. “It’s not about sales production, but recognition of leadership and service to the real estate profession. To me, it’s the highest real estate honor that I could receive.”
It’s safe to say that Phillips, a Realtor Broker with her family’s company, Carol Ball and Associates, has real estate in her DNA. “I am a second generation Realtor,” she explained. “My dad, Richard Ball, now retired, was a Realtor, and my mom, Carol Ball, and brother, Keone Ball, are also Realtors. My mom started our family business back in 1980, and when I turned 18 years old I dutifully got my real estate license.”
At the time, though, Phillips says she wasn’t interested in becoming a Realtor and opted to work as a construction estimator and project coordinator instead. But after her first son was born 17 years ago, she transitioned from construction to real estate. Nearly two decades later, Phillips has made her mark in the industry and credits her family’s support for her successes. “I have been very fortunate to have a very supportive husband who has always been there to help out,” she said, “and one of the best teachers on the island to mentor me—my mom, Carol Ball.”
And what is the most rewarding part of her job? “I really enjoy helping people fulfill their dream of owning a home, especially first-time homebuyers,” she said. “Buying a home is not only a major financial decision, but also a very emotional process for many people. It is very rewarding to be able to guide people through the home-buying journey and share the joy with them when they are finally able to move into their own home.”
Over the years, Phillips has contributed her time and talent to a number of worthy causes, including volunteering for several local organizations and serving on the Maui County Board of Variances and Appeals and the Maui County Board of Ethics. She’s also a member of the Kiwanis Club of the Valley Isle (Kiwanis International is a global community of clubs, members and partners dedicated to improving the lives of children). “The local clubs work independently and together to organize numerous service projects throughout the year,” she said. “Our projects this year have included food distribution for Feed My Sheep and providing backpacks and school supplies for preschool students through Project Backpack.”
And helping others is part of her family’s legacy. “My grandparents and parents were always very active in the community, and now my brother and I continue that tradition,” Phillips said. “We have been very blessed and feel that it is important to give back to and be active participants in the community in which we live.”
That’s why Phillips encourages others to consider giving back in any way they can. “We all have something to give and there is always someone in need of help,” she said. “I encourage anyone who is not currently involved in any kind of community service to find some way to get involved. If we all work together one small bit at time, we can make our Maui community the best it can be.”
By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – September 29, 2018