Flake & Kelley Commercial
Thomas Schmidt certainly didn’t break into the real estate business in a low-key manner.
Schmidt was having lunch with John Flake, the chairman of Flake & Kelley Commercial in Little Rock, when Flake told the young Ole Miss graduate that he wanted Schmidt to join the firm under his wing. Schmidt, whose family are longtime friends of the Flakes, has an older brother, Philip, who works out of the company’s northwest Arkansas office.
“John Flake approached me about joining him and being his last mentorship,” Schmidt said. “We ate lunch one day at Whole Hog, and he told me, ‘I have one more mentorship in me, and I want it to be you.’
“I said, ‘I’m ready.’ He just knew my work ethic.”
Schmidt works “A to Z” in the brokerage department, handling real estate deals from development to investments and everything in between. He joined the firm in January 2016 at the age of 24 and was elected to the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce board of directors two months later.
“All the knowledge and insight in the business that John has is substantially educating me as his right-hand man,” Schmidt said. “I’ve been able to learn it from him and go out and do it myself.”
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