When Sarah LanCarte first started her career in commercial real estate, she cold called 50 people a day and showed up to industrial sites with flyers.
Although she grew up in Fort Worth, she didn’t have a big rolodex of contacts to jump-start her career.
“I relate it to sports; you know whether I’m going to run these many laps around the track … once I finish that number, and then I can take a break, so I just pushed myself to do that,” LanCarte said.
Now, LanCarte, 34, owns her own commercial real estate business, LanCarte Commercial. She wants to break the mold by making her company rooted more in teamwork than competition, she said.
LanCarte’s father owns a crane manufacturing business. She married into the LanCarte family, which owns Joe T. Garcia’s.
Bill Stonaker, a retired commercial developer in Southlake, worked with LanCarte since she graduated from college as his broker. She fits into the industry because she doesn’t give up — and doesn’t use the phrase “I can’t,” he said. That’s a good characteristic to have in the business, he said. And it’s paid off.
“She’s one of the most well-recognized commercial real estate brokers in Tarrant County,” Stonaker said. “That speaks for itself.”
Growing up industrial
LanCarte believes everything in life builds on itself. Growing up in Fort Worth, she recalls how transferring schools and learning how to make new friends taught her how not to be afraid of approaching people in her job.
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Her father owns Handling Systems and Conveyers, Inc., – a manufacturing business that makes cranes. There, she learned about equipment like cranes and dock doors — which she said helped her when she eventually specialized in industrial commercial real estate.
LanCarte was always a leader – and a salesperson – her father, Andy Everett, said. When she decided she was going to sell the most candy in her school as a child, for example, nothing could stop her.
“She loaded it into her wagon, and before I could find out what she’d done, she had sold every bit of it,” Everett said.
When LanCarte went to Auburn University, she said she originally wanted to study architecture. But an internship taught her she was better at business, finance and professional relationships than at design.
She became the president of her college’s real estate club, where she met a lot of people in the industry and decided brokerage – negotiating for and acquiring land – was the right path.
Everett watched LanCarte as she progressed through her career. He gave her the advice of making 50 calls a day. He said 2010 was a tough time to start in the industry because the economy was still in a downturn from the financial crisis. But he never worried about LanCarte because of her determination, he said.
“It’s a difficult business that requires a lot of self determination and will to get up and do it day after day after day after day, especially when it’s not happening,” Everett said. “So she hung in there and really has never missed a beat since.”
After 12 years working in the business, she knew she needed to start her own company in 2018. There were aspects of the industry she wanted to change, she said – like not being competitive in the same office. LanCarte was the only woman in the office and under the age of 40, she said. It’s traditionally a male-dominated industry.
“And so the energy was just different and … I wanted to create a company where the energy really fostered, you know, communication and working together and thinking differently,” LanCarte said. “Just because our industry has done it this way forever since we’ve known, why not do it a little bit differently?”
Karen Vermaire Fox, executive director of the Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth, said LanCarte served as chair for two years of the Real Estate Forecast event. Fox describes LanCarte as a good listener who likes to get the perspectives of everyone around her and bring people together to come up with compromises and best steps to move forward.
“She’s super thoughtful of how she talks about her clients and the spaces that she has available,” Fox said. “And what she’s doing to grow a city and how she can bring in people who can help us build out the spaces that we need.”
LanCarte sees the potential in Fort Worth. She heard several times recently that Fort Worth is where Austin was 10 years ago. If the city has a cohesive message and brand moving forward, the city could explode, she said. And the city has supported her company, too.
“The community … I feel like has really rallied behind LanCarte Commercial to really want to see it grow and be successful,” LanCarte said. “Which is empowering in itself, that your community wants to see you do well.”
Sarah LanCarte bio:
Birthplace: Fort Worth
Moved to Fort Worth: 2010
Family: Husband, Adam LanCarte, daughter, Ellis
Education: Bachelor’s in finance and Spanish, Auburn University
Work experience: Principal at Transwestern, managing director of industrial at Fort Capital, President of Lancarte Commercial Real Estate Inc.
Volunteer experience: Board member for Girls Inc. and Real Estate Council of Greater Fort Worth; former president of CREW Fort Worth
First job: Riscky’s Bar-B- Q
Advice for someone learning to be a leader: Not trying to have the answer to every problem, because you’re not going to. And just being humble and showing humility and not being afraid to ask for help.
Best advice ever received: Return people’s calls – from her father. And then also just never give up. You can realize that it’s not the best fit and switch directions but don’t give up in the middle of it.
Seth Bodine is a business and economic development reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter at @sbodine120.