Lacy J. Hardman, Owner, Salty Peak Real Estate

Today, women inspire us across all walks of life as they assume countless roles, personally or professionally. In the last decade, women have continued to increasingly play an integral part in the evolution of the world’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. They have built businesses from the ground up through sheer passion, humility, and determination to make a difference in today’s society.

Lacy J. Hardman, Owner of Salty Peak Real Estate, is at the forefront of female entrepreneurship. “I began to be ‘seasoned’ at a young age through hardship and adversity to refine my character that provided a foundation for resilient leadership development,” explains Lacy.

Rising Through Hardships

Living life through hardship and turmoil early on molded Lacy into the legacy she is today. Growing up with a bipolar mother, Lacy took on a lot of responsibility that nurtured her emotional intelligence and empathy and enabled her to make sound decisions independent of her emotions amidst the chaos. She recounts how despite the cards her mother was dealt in life, her mother was motivated to work hard at her job of laying noodles in a factory for frozen dinners. She worked all the overtime she could to ensure a roof over her family’s head, clothes on their back, and the ability to fuel her shopping addiction. This left Lacy with the responsibility of fending for her younger sister and herself. “The manic side of my mother loved to have the euphoric high of shopping, which would end abruptly when we arrived home, and the reality of how much money she spent sunk in, she would take it out on us. It was a hard cycle to endure combined with the revolving door of abusive men that she introduced into our lives,” describes Lacy. Both the siblings were denied the opportunity to discover their talents and passion in their youth, yet they are thriving as adults.

“But I am completely okay with my childhood experience with my mom; I realize she had (my mom was just hit and killed by a car on 12 Sep 2022) a mental illness that didn’t allow her to love and protect me if she hadn’t had that setback. I love her dearly. I am so grateful for her character examples of a strong work ethic and her willingness to work for what you want. She also taught me to always be thankful for every little thing. The rawness of her mental illness also allowed me to develop a grit that would help me persevere in some tough times ahead and I’ll forever be grateful for that,” she adds.

Her life experiences from childhood to adulthood led her down the path of building Salty Peak Real Estate. During summers, she worked with her sister alongside her father to repair trailers and mow the yards. It gave her the confidence to own a historic 4-plex in Louisville, KY, later in life that she could easily tend to regarding maintenance. In tandem with this, her father’s untimely illness and open-heart surgery when she was just 14 years old had her pursuing every medical experience possible that would grant her knowledge and skills to pave the way to becoming a cardiovascular surgeon.

Successfully Overcoming Challenges

She volunteered as a candy striper at American Fork Hospital at the age of 14. She also interned in the operating room at Timpanogos hospital and the cardiovascular center at Utah Valley Hospital. She takes pride in earning her CNA and EMT before graduating high school. During her senior year, she attended a medical camp in St. George, and the Army National Guard present asked her about her plans for the future. Having explained her aspirations to become a cardiovascular surgeon, an offer to completely pay for medical school if she joined the army was extended.  Being at the tender age of 17 with no adult rights, her father signed her into the Army. She volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan in 2004 and had an incredible experience helping local Afghans with access to dental and medical support that wasn’t available to them in their local village.

After being enrolled in the pre-medical semester, post her Afghanistan deployment, she realized that she would not be able to physically or emotionally raise her future children as she conversed with a friend that switched careers. “That didn’t sit well. I grew up in a home where my mom was consumed with work and not typically available physically or emotionally. I wanted a different experience for my children when they came to earth. I went home that night and dropped all of my pre-medical classes. I wasn’t sure what I would do, but I was enrolled in the ROTC program at the University and headed down a path to commission as an Army officer and go on active duty,” elucidates Lacy. She majored in psychology and ended up deploying two more times, both to Iraq; one of them was as a company commander leading a company of Soldiers with the mission to deliver ammunition to warfighters through Iraq and Afghanistan. She says, “It was a tough job, but I had trained them well and motivated them by working with them in the trenches slinging ammo. I recognized them as the team to supply the bullet that killed Bin Laden. I enjoyed being able to lead through love and empowering them to own it.”

She worked her way up to the top 3 percent of her field in the Army. She recognized it was her time to transition out of the Army and did so with an honorable discharge and highest recognition of a Bronze Star, a Combat Action Badge, and her Parachutist Badge, among many others. As she transitioned from a life dedicated to her Army duties, she focused on interviewing every real estate agent she could.

While she worked to earn her real estate license, Lacy invested and helped her brother-in-law launch a welding business, began learning the ropes as a support role in a commercial brokerage, and worked alongside her husband to grow his home and yard business. She and her husband partnered with his best friend in an adventure trailer business. She reveals, “I delayed my real estate class to focus on tripling the sales of the trailer business in one summer. A year later, we were in a lawsuit with our business partner that destroyed us financially. Fortunately, our attorney was able to prove fraud on our business partner, and we settled out of that, and now I own the business 100 percent.”

Climbing the Ladder to Success

Despite the ordeals encountered, Lacy’s real estate business flourished. Lacy strongly believes that adversity is the refiner’s fire that bends iron but tempers steel. All these life experiences made Lacy the strong woman she is today; a boss at Salty Peak Real Estate, Builder Agent Academy, and Swell Retreat. Salty Peak Real Estate, within a short time, is growing exponentially.  The team focuses on serving builders in residential new construction, selling existing homes, and helping buyers bring their new home vision into reality. “I have grown in business every year since 2017 and added a revenue stream last year through Builder Agent Academy,” informs Lacy. She continually strives to empower her team to achieve the vision of SPRE, Builder Agent Academy, and Swell Retreat. She also actively works as President of the local Real Estate Association and President of her church’s Young Women program. “I love to serve in my church and was recently called to serve as the Young Women President for our congregation. I love being a mom. I strive to be an example to my children of loving Jesus Christ, serving all that we cross paths with, courageously acting on my vision to have an impact in real estate and at the Swell Retreat, and empowering them to be comfortable doing the same as they will eventually pursue their divine destiny and purpose in life,” says Lacy.

Carving a Niche Space in the Real Estate Industry

In a day, Lacy dedicates a few hours to managing her team at SPRE and maintaining BAA, and the rest of her time is spent working with her family and team building Swell Retreat. She ensures her team is always at the top of its game. She extensively researched and implemented the most cutting-edge online software that promises low overhead while empowering her team and serving her clients in the most optimal way possible.

With a fervor to keep moving forward, Lacy shares with us the current market trends and the future she envisions. When the pandemic struck, the real estate market got busy and home pricing increased dramatically with bidding wars on homes and typically those with $20k-$30k cash down above appraisal were winning the wars. Post pandemic, the interest rate increased and reduced the average buyer’s buying power causing the housing market to slow drastically. Now the real estate industry is starting to transition back to a more “normal,” whatever normal is now days, buying and selling market. Most markets still have high pricing, overall, due to a nationwide average need for more houses than what is currently available. Builders are working hard to help bring more homes to the market despite the challenge of increasing costs of goods and labor.  Keeping this in mind, SPRE will continue to implement systems to better serve its clients and strengthen its workforce with the best knowledge and resources while continuing to deepen the roots of Lacy’s vision. Simultaneously, Lacy envisages extending Builder Agent Academy’s reach nationwide.

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