With a passion for providing personalized customer service, a vision for mentoring agents and a heart for her community, Fara Captain opened her own real estate brokerage in early 2019 with the mission to “anchor love, anchor agents, anchor Memphis.” Just nine months later, Captain & Co. Real Estate, LLC was in the top 20 percent of real estate agencies in Memphis. Fara attributes this success to hardworking agents who care about their clients and the community, as well as the hands-on mentoring each agent receives. Under Fara’s leadership, the Captain & Co. team is committed to making a positive difference in Memphis for years to come. We are delighted to introduce you to our newest FACE of Memphis, Fara Captain!
Tell us a little bit about your background.
I was born in California and lived there until I was 8. I lived in India from age 8 until I was 13 and came back to California to live with my father. I went to college at the University of California, Davis, and majored in civil engineering. I worked in construction management for over a decade. One of my first projects was the seismic retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge.
In the construction industry, we felt the effects of the economic crash in 2009. The company I was working for went from 1,200 to 800 employees overnight. While I was one of the remaining 800 employees, we were very understaffed, working long hours with no real weekends to relax. At that time, I realized it was time to make a change, so I started saving funds. I knew then I wanted to get into real estate. I wanted a new path and a clean break, so I took a year’s sabbatical. It was always a dream of mine to travel like the Australians post-college. I lived out of my car for six months while traveling the country and doing a lot of soul-searching. For the next six months, I backpacked around India before I moved to New Orleans. I had zero money in my pocket and wanted to get into real estate but realized quickly I needed a network to do that – and I knew no one in New Orleans. I went back into construction and worked on two schools post-Katrina and continued to save for my dream job.
What brought you to Memphis?
My husband Chris. We were introduced by a mutual rugby-playing friend in New Orleans. He was living in Memphis and was in town for a tournament. We dated long-distance for a while, and then I just knew I wanted to marry him!
That’s when I was able to make my clean break from construction management and get into real estate. I was an affiliate broker with Crye-Leike from 2013 to 2019. I was a top producer for three years and the number one agent in the Midtown office from 2016 through 2018.
What led to your big interest in real estate?
I always wanted to be a realtor, but as a child from an Indian family, there are very few acceptable careers: a lawyer, an engineer, a doctor – or a failure. So, I chose the “failure” route after a decade of engineering. From as far back as I can remember, I had an obsession with drawing layouts of houses and interior design. Of course, when I thought about doing interior design, I was discouraged – again, it was not an accepted path for my family. My dad has since come around and is very proud of the work I’m doing. He now brags to all his friends.
What do you love most about real estate?
I love the ability to help someone with one of their biggest assets. I remember when I was young, considering buying real estate, and the number of real estate agents that turned me down and didn’t take me seriously. I’m very passionate about first-time home buyers and making sure they know that I’m there to guide them through the process.
I get a lot of first-time sellers as well. I like walking them through the process and helping them set their expectations. That’s what first drew me to the industry – working with first-timers.
Why did you start your own brokerage?
In our industry, there is a lack of mentoring. To get your license, all you need is a high school degree and 90 hours of education. No one takes you under their wing and coaches you. It’s very much a self-run business where everything you do is on your own. I knew I couldn’t change the industry unless I started my own firm.
I meet with each one of my agents once a week for an hour. We have a very big accountability system in place. This past year, we’ve spent time just making sure their foundation is set. This is the “anchor agents” part of our mission statement: “Anchor love, anchor agents, anchor Memphis.”
Additionally, I wanted to give back more to Memphis. I originally wanted to start a firm that was not-for-profit, but due to the nature of the real estate business, it wasn’t possible. However, we’ve made it a focus to give back as much as we can.
You mentioned anchoring your agents. What about “anchor Memphis” and “anchor love”?
Anchoring Memphis goes back to giving as much as we can to the community. Each agent is affiliated with a cause they are passionate about. That is an important piece of the company culture — to make sure we are not just selling houses. We believe in being a part of the change and the growth of this city.
Two weeks ago, we put together 200 care packages for the homeless. We asked some of our affiliates and vendors to work with us. We put in hoodie sweatshirts, hand warmers, wipes, combs, bandages, socks – we tried to include the little things that are often overlooked. The packages will be distributed by local agencies that work with those experiencing homelessness in Memphis.
I’m a supporter of Memphis Inner City Rugby. I also currently serve on the board for Kindred Place – a non-profit that works toward ending domestic violence in Memphis. Our company’s goal is to eventually build a home a year for a family in need. We’ve already talked with United Housing about working with them when the time is right.
“Anchor love” is our commitment to taking care of our customers. We want to be a part of their lives and build meaningful relationships.
How did you come up with the concept of “anchoring”?
Well, of course it ties into my name – Captain. To be honest, I woke up one morning at 3 a.m. with an epiphany and started typing away. It was one of those revelation moments where you have to write this down now. When we first started the company, we sat around my dining room table and discussed what Captain & Co. could be. We are a very transparent company with strong buy-in from our agents.
When you have visitors to Memphis, where do you take them?
What’s your favorite time of day?
My alarm goes off at 6 a.m., and my daughter’s alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. I love hearing her feet as she comes upstairs, then she crawls into bed and cuddles with me for about 15 minutes. She’s 4, and she only recently became a snuggler. I’ve been waiting for this for four years!
What’s your best piece of advice to others?
Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” People sometimes let fear hold them back. If the answer is not death, you’re probably okay.
Aside from faith, family, and friends, what are three things you can’t live without?
The Juice Bar, Mud Island Green Belt Park and the Calm app.
Thank you for chatting with us, Fara! And thank you to Elizabeth Looney for the beautiful photos!
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