Rosa Nell Hammer will turn 95 this year on October 2. To celebrate, she’d like nothing better than to sell another home.
Hammer has already sold thousands of single-family homes and condominiums in the Miami Lakes and Hialeah neighborhoods since launching her real estate career 47 years ago.
“I love getting up in the morning and going to work,” said Hammer, a broker-associate with The Keyes Company’s Miami Lakes office. “You never know what the day will bring. There are always challenges and you have to work hard to succeed, but there’s always someone out there who needs your help.”
Born in Mississippi in 1919, Hammer moved to Akron, Ohio, in the early years of World War II, working as a real-life “Rosie the Riveter” in a Goodyear aircraft factory. After the way, she married Harvey Hammer, a Buffalo, New York native, who was in the Army Air Force. They spent several years in Japan, where he was stationed, then moved to the Florida Panhandle, and back to Japan where her husband served in the Korean War.
In 1955, the Hammers moved to Miami where Rosa Nell devoted her time to raising four children – Glenda, Brent, Brian and Candace. “Now, I have eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren who live all over the U.S.,” she said.
As a stay-at-home mom for more than a decade, she lived in Hialeah where one of her neighbors was Ted Pappas, founder and president of The Keyes Company. “Our children all graduated from Hialeah High School, and went on to college at different schools,” Hammer recalls. “We were all here in the early 1960s when the Graham family starting developing Miami Lakes.”
In 1967, Hammer decided to go to work for The Keyes Company. “I had sold my own home in Panama City back in 1951,” she said. “Through the years, I would go to a lot of open houses and model homes, so I could learn about construction and see the interior designs. Our family had moved many times and I knew I could use that experience to help buyers and sellers.”
It didn’t take long for Hammer to find her calling. Within a few months, she had sold her first home, a three bedroom single-family house in Carol City. Her commission on the sale - $600. Soon, she began to pick up more listings in the northwest Miami-Dade County market.
In the 1970s, Hammer decided to join the Graham family, and sold new homes for Miami Lakes Development for the next 20 years.
In 1997, Hammer returned to The Keyes Company when it opened a sales office in Miami Lakes. “I like working for a family-owned brokerage, and I’ve known the owners for many, many years,” she said.
Over a decade ago, Hammer teamed up with Keyes associate Allan Pelaez, a native of Costa Rica, who came to South Florida when he was 10. “We work together every day, sometimes seven days a week.” Hammer and Pelaez are among the top real estate associates in the Miami Lakes market and still going strong.