When Debbie Hooker began her career as a videographer and documentary film producer, she never imagined that she would someday help write her clients’ most important life stories as an Allen Tate Realtor®.

And Debbie’s story has a few interesting scenes as well.

Living in Indianapolis after college, Debbie was busy producing local and national television spots for corporate clients including General Electric, Carrier and HH Gregg. Her days were long and sometimes tedious, but she enjoyed creating meaningful work.

The video company she worked for was known for its annual holiday party – a fun event but only open to employees – so Debbie and her colleague Bill agreed to go “as friends”. Three weeks later, they knew they would get married.

Fast forward a few years, a few moves and two sons later to Charlotte, N.C., 1997. Bill had an opportunity to work as an editor for ESPN and the family settled into a new home. Debbie loved the area and she loved Judy, her real estate agent – so much that she decided to earn her real estate license. She also remembered a very negative experience during one of her earlier moves – and was determined she could do better for her clients.

Debbie joined the Allen Tate Realtors – Charlotte-Providence @485 office and worked to build her career. One day, she was working front-desk duty with a colleague, Andy Bovender, when the phone rang. It was a seller, requesting to interview a top-producing team. Debbie looked at Andy, asked if he would help her, and they decided to go for it. Despite competing against several long-time industry veterans, Debbie and Andy won the business. And so began a great partnership.

Debbie and Andy soon discovered that they shared similar values, goals and priorities. They brought different strengths – which resulted in their best work together. They hired an assistant, partnered with a local builder, and made the decision to form The Bovender Team to further build on their success.

Now, beginning her 18th year in real estate, Debbie is still determined to bring the best experience to every client.

“I’ll show a client 300 homes if that’s what it takes to find the right one,” Debbie said. “I don’t mind; I want them to be happy.”

She’s inspired by the words of poet Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

“I’m genuinely inspired and motivated when I feel productive. I try to find the positive in every situation, and I want to be part of the solution,” Debbie said.

Running a team of 16 agents and staff, it’s sometimes tough to find play time, but Debbie keeps a balance. She loves to run – for “sanity and discipline” she says – and has completed several half marathons, including one on Kiawah Island.

She keeps up with her sons: Jack, 27, works in human resources and attends graduate school at the University of Southern California; Will, 23, is a Citadel graduate and a U.S. Army second lieutenant stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga. She also enjoys live music and traveling.

Last summer, Bill surprised Debbie with a trip to Paris to see her favorite band, U2. She had originally wanted to see them in Ireland, but it was sold out – and then Bill suggested Paris.

“It was gray and rainy on the day of the concert, but right when the band came out on stage, it was all blue skies,” Debbie said. “It was a great experience.”

She didn’t have the opportunity to dance on the stage, like she did some years ago with her best friend at a Bon Jovi concert in Virginia. But it was on her bucket list, along with going on an African safari and visiting Morocco and Turkey. And she’s planning her next trip.

Someday, Debbie dreams of living at her favorite beach, Carmel-by-the-Sea, but that doesn’t mean she’ll give up real estate. As it turns out, Debbie once lived there on the same street – at the same time – as her Bovender Team colleague Kathryn Miller. So there’s always a possibility.

And that’s the funny thing about life’s story; no matter how much you edit the script, it sometimes writes itself. But it always makes the movie better.