SPOTLIGHT ON: Carmen Bauman
Mary Prenon | February 2019
A Promise of Greener Grass
To answer the proverbial question, “Is the grass really greener on the other side,” Carmen Bauman says “Yes, it is!” Bauman is the Broker/Owner of her own firm, Green Grass Real Estate Corp. in Bronxville, which officially launched in 2017.
“The name was actually my husband’s idea,” admitted Bauman. “He said my business should be a place where the grass is always greener!”
Bauman, a new HGAR Board of Directors member this year, is also an attorney who left her own law firm to start her real estate firm. She and her husband Timothy, also an attorney, had actually been working both Green Grass and Bauman Law Group simultaneously until they decided she would concentrate on real estate, and he, on the law. “I often tell people that it was ‘wonderfully terrible’ when my husband and I were working together,” she joked.
Growing up in Queens, Bauman graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in Political Science. Her next stop was New York Law School in Manhattan. “I came from a first-generation Asian immigrant family, so typically the only career choices for children were either a doctor or a lawyer,” she quipped. “So, I chose the lawyer.”
While still in law school, she began working as a paralegal with Haynes and Boone, an AmLaw (American Lawyer) 100 firm in Manhattan, and later joined the firm as a litigator. When she left to start her own firm in Bronxville, she also began dabbling in real estate transactions by helping other people move to Westchester.
“I soon realized that I really loved doing real estate,” she said. “I found that part of my life to be much more fulfilling than anything else. It’s great to be able to help people take a big step in their life, and that direct effect on someone’s life is what I treasured.”
What really surprised Bauman is that her parents are very happy with her decision. “They knew it wasn’t an easy choice—especially after passing the bar exam! But, they are proud of the fact that I made such a big decision and took on a brand new career,” she added.
Bauman now has two agents in her office and her focus is on growing the business. “It can be challenging for small firms at times,” she said. “It’s natural for consumers to think that the larger companies may be able to do more, but my focus is on customer service, professionalism and bringing the whole industry to a higher standard.”
In fact, Bauman echoed HGAR President Ron Garafalo’s message for his 2019 presidency: “growing together and striving for excellence.”
“I joined the HGAR Board of Directors because I wanted to get involved and make a difference,” she said. “I’m trying to absorb a lot at once and it’s been really great so far.”
With all of the new “do it yourself” home sales firms out there, Bauman is also determined to drive home the fact that people do need to work with a Realtor. “Some people think they can do it themselves—that they know more than the Realtor does. But they’re buying a home, not a new sweater,” she explained. “There’s so much that goes into a real estate deal and people can often be uninformed about every aspect. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle.”
For Bauman, it’s all about educating the client and helping them to better understand the whole buying and selling process. She especially enjoys working with first-time homebuyers, many of whom are from lower Westchester or New York City. “I also think the home renovation TV shows have helped a lot because now people don’t seem to be afraid of buying a ‘fixer-upper,’” she added.
Bauman and her husband have two boys, Jake, 7 and Sebastian, 4 and are involved with a lot of school and community events. They also have a new puppy named Peaches.
Most of her spare time is spent doing activities with the children. “You know, there’s pre-children life and then post-children life,” she laughed. “I used to do a lot of horseback riding, but now I haven’t been on a horse in about six years!”
As Bauman continues to build a team who can “hold someone’s hand throughout the transaction,” she’s also confident that her law degree is not going to waste. “Being an attorney, I don’t let go when a lawyer takes over the transaction. I like to see everything through to the very end.”