Side’s Hilary Saunders: An inside look at the alternative brokerage model

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It was a sunny and extremely humid Thursday morning. Of course, that’s almost standard for Dallas, and it wasn’t going to prevent these three women from showing up to the August magazine cover shoot with an energy and excitement that couldn’t be stopped. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I’d say this cover is worth so much more than that. These three Women of Influence not only carry the grace and lessons of those who have gone before them, but they’re leaving a priceless legacy for the next generation of leaders. Rebecca McDonald, chief product officer at Rocket Mortgage, Pam Perry, Single-Family vice president of Equitable Housing at Freddie Mac, and Hilary Saunders, co-founder and chief broker officer at Side, are all featured on the cover and were named to HousingWire’s 2021 Women of Influence. I had the honor of sitting down with them to learn more about the projects they’re passionate about, how they’re making a difference and what advice they’d share with those in the industry. 

Here is the interview with Hilary Saunders, co-founder and chief broker officer at Side.

BN: First off, congrats on being named a 2021 Women of Influence. If you were standing on a stage giving an acceptance speech, who would you want to thank for helping you get where you are today?

Hilary Saunders: That’s a great question, and to be quite honest, it’s our partners. I would thank my partners in general because they had faith in us and continue to have faith in us and in what we’re doing. Our mission is to elevate the entire real estate industry and really provide the consumer at the end of the day with an amazing experience, whether they’re a buyer or seller. Our partners are the ones who are on the ground and are providing that experience.

BN: How do you create a work-life balance in your life and/or what does work-life balance mean to you?

Hilary Saunders: I love that question, especially since I have 16-month-old, identical twin daughters and a seven-year-old boy, who are altogether quite a handful. Work-life balance, honestly, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, it isn’t balanced. I think it’s really about finding that underlying passion, so work, to me, is part of my life. And so, my entire family is a part of it. My son went on listing appointments with me when he was a baby and has been in some advertising stuff for me. It’s a family affair. At the end of the day, as long as you can take time for yourself and know that the team that you’ve built and you’ve shaped is there to carry on the mission, then you can make time for everything. 

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