My goal—and one of the reasons why I chose a career in real estate—is to be an ally to clients. I found success and built so many trusted business partnerships and referrals by changing my attitude and approach to the agent-client relationship. My philosophy is education for the client. Every showing, conversation, and data point is part of the education process so my clients can make sound decisions. I generate almost all my business through social media. Using social media platforms has produced a multitude of organic leads from friends, family, and others in my sphere of influence. I also really enjoy sharing my clients’ stories and successes, which then generates a lot of genuine interactions and interest. Not only am I operating a highly successful business, but I am also effectively helping my community with my real estate skills. I believe there is more than enough business to go around in the Bay Area, so I hire and train my friends to become successful agents. The more people I can train, the more I can give back to my community.
Inspiring others to pursue a career in real estate is a huge passion of mine. Since I graduated from college, the dean of the University of Maryland Schoolof Business has regularly connected me with students considering real estate. While consistently meeting with those students, we realized the school sorely needed a real estate course. In the fall of 2021, I hosted the first college class, titled, “Careers and Wealth Building Through Real Estate 101.” I taught extensively about real estate career paths and how to start investing in real estate at an early age. I have also inspired some of my best friends to start a career in real estate, including a client who became a friend and is now a part-time agent on my team, with a plan to leave his full-time job and become a full-time agent. I am excited I can inspire others to join the real estate industry.
I was raised by a family of educators, athletes, and real estate professionals. I believe those three pursuits shaped me to be the person I am today and are why I decided to get my real estate license. I loved school; I loved and still love learning. I always said that if I could be a student for the rest of my life, I would. A large part of why I got my real estate license was the thrill I get from learning and challenging myself with something new every single day. My specialty is connecting with every single one of my clients. I serve everyone in all stages of life and across three jurisdictions—Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland. I can put myself in my clients’ shoes and understand how they process information. My business is relationship-based, and I build trust with my clients by providing them with sound advice and knowledge in a way they can understand.
My mother, who has had her license for more than 30 years, educated me daily about the industry while I was growing up. We were constantly in conversations at the dinner table, and my mother took me to meetings, showings, and conventions. I always said, “I will never get my license,” as most kids would do when they are revolting against their parents. One day, I was sitting at my nine-to-five job when I realized that there were no windows in that building, and I didn’t even know what the weather was like outside. At that moment, I decided I wanted to get my real estate license and spend my days doing more for others. I felt as though I was missing out on life by sitting in that office, and I’m very proud that I made the decision to change my career. I now spend every day helping others. I get to have lunch with my two beautiful Siberian Huskies, and I’m able to coach basketball in the afternoons. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I have found that trust is one of the most important things you can obtain in your career. Trust from your clients, trust from vendors, trust from your strategic partners (title companies, intermediaries, and mortgage lenders). When trust is established through competent, sophisticated property management, it is common for clients to ask if we can help them in selling their primary residences. In executing efficiently, professionally, and with integrity, we generate referrals for new management clients and future sales. This is ideal and my favorite way to generate business. I assist in overseeing a property management portfolio of more than 200 properties. Within this management portfolio, I assist homeowners with ways to optimize their investment returns. We often discuss implementing a series of capital improvements that will promote higher rents and reduce monthly expenses. I also present replacement properties that they may want to acquire through a 1031 exchange. By pulling from the management portfolio, we can sustain sufficient sales volume while making sure our clients are optimizing their real estate portfolios.
My husband and I booked a trip to Paris last year on a Wednesday evening and left the following Monday. We had no schedule, no hotel, no dinner reservations, no plan, and boy, was it the perfect trip. We became masters of public transportation, ate steak frites with a live singer and pianist 10 feet away, and strolled the streets of Paris at Christmastime with no phone service. I never would have imagined just going for it but am so glad we did. And this year, I am doing something else that’s different. I had the courage to go out on my own, start my brokerage with Keller Williams, sell nearly 50 homes by myself, hire my first employee, create a website, dive into listings, hire a coach, buy an investment property, list and sell my personal home, and purchase my new home—all in a year of a global pandemic and daily uncertainties. I don’t give up.
Originally, real estate was never something I wanted to get into because it was a family business. Paving my own path was, and still is, extremely important to me. I started working for my father in an assistant role after a short career as a mixed martial artist. Mixed martial arts gave me a sense of purpose, and I woke every day with a burning passion to be great at my craft. To my surprise, real estate has filled that purpose and has forced me to learn daily—while failing plenty of times during the process. Much like MMA, this is a business with serious consequences, not only for yourself as an agent but for your clients who place their trust in you with the biggest financial decision they will ever make. Getting my clients the absolute best results for their needs is a major driving force for me. I know how I personally want to be treated in a professional setting, so I make sure to give all my clients that same attention and care.
Growing up, my dad was a contractor and built homes as a second job. Ironically, he did not believe in real estate agents and would sell the houses himself. I admired his work ethic and how he managed to handle a diverse workload, wearing the hats of project supervisor, builder, and liaison between the workers and client. When I started in real estate in 2016, I did not envision owning my own company at the age of 26 and being the highest-selling independent brokerage in our region. After getting my bachelor’s degree in business, I worked at a wine bar, not sure what my next chapter entailed. It was there that I met my previous broker, who pointed out my ability to sell and converse with people. These past two years have been a huge growing experience—buying the company, buying an 1800s farmhouse commercial space, renovating it, and rebranding. I am so excited to pour my knowledge into our newer agents and grow together. I think I even changed my dad’s opinion on agents. (2021 sales from JMW Real Estate)
I was on track to become a psychiatrist when I needed a break from school. I started looking into other career paths that fell into my desire to help people during transitional periods of their lives and to pay off my $80,000 in student loan debt. After college graduation, I got my real estate license. I generate business in a variety of ways. Open houses are one of the essentials in our industry, and my goal is to make it an experience that is different from any other open house buyers go to. I was one of the first agents in my area to do open houses on weeknight evenings, which can work better than weekends for busy families. I have also tied my open houses into wine-and-cheese events and garage sales. I’ve had clients contact me to sell their homes because of what they experienced at one of my open houses. I also spoil my past clients in creative ways, like birthday cards and pumpkins, and I post something about real estate daily on social media. As for my student loans, I was able to pay them off in four years.
I serve as the director of sales for our team. In addition to my personal production, I am responsible for daily group accountability calls, weekly one-on-one accountability meetings, quarterly reviews, and yearly reviews. Daily accountability calls are for micro check-ins where I help agents establish their personal wins for the day, use them as an opportunity to provide training, bring on lender partners and other resources to assist their business. Eighty percent of my personal production in 2021 came as referrals from family, friends, or past clients. This is a direct result of my efforts to create community through client appreciation parties, smaller group events such as cooking classes, and community events like alumni basketball games. I also teach a course on mindset to young adults, host networking events, including meetups for members of my fraternity, and I get my investors together for lunch to share strategies. I also recently hosted a speed-dating networking event for my birthday month where I invited 300 people I know to a local bar for food, drinks, and fun. That will result in continued integration of these different communities I have curated.
My father is a builder, and I started working for him when I was 15 by showing his houses on weekends. He taught me all about new construction and how to build a home. I knew I wanted to be a real estate agent one day—because I can educate and explain the exact steps it takes to build a housein great detail to my clients and help them compare different builder styles and quality. I also created a first-time home buyer guide and another one about downsizing. I mostly generate business through open houses and referrals. I got my very first client by going to my favorite restaurant. I told the owner about my new job in real estate, and he connected me with his brother, who was looking for a home. I use Facebook and Instagram to post about my upcoming listings or show off the homes I am currently showing. I also recently joined a tennis league, which has opened a whole new way for me to network and have fun at the same time.
During my business-building years, I slowly started gaining traction on social media. I let people come along the house-hunting process with me on my Instagram stories, blogged about tips for home buyers, and created educational content about pre-approvals, down payments, and what is needed at the table for closings. Today, I reach more than half a million people per week, and my biggest video—which was just a short clip that said, “You don’t need 20% down to close on a home”—got almost a million views. Now that my pages have a loyal following, they are a primary source of my business. Unsurprisingly, a majority of my clientele are first-time buyers, so my content often gives them some background on buying, but I work to help them understand the entire process during our time together. I tell my buyer clients that I love trust, but I just don’t love blind trust. I acknowledge with them that home buying can be fun, but we are also going to learn and understand along the way, too.
I remember sitting in a house during my second deal, and my clients—a young family—were brought to tears because it finally hit them that they had just bought their first home. They were thinking of all the new memories they were going to create there. It was one of the sweetest and happiest moments in my career. This was the moment I knew I wanted to be in real estate. I want to help families find a home that makes them happy, because my family is so important to me. My mentor is my mother. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be in this business. I have watched her career from afar my whole life, and for the first five years of my career, I got to work for her. I watched her go from a single mother living paycheck to paycheck to being one of the top agents in the United States. She is where I learned to treat no deal differently and to treat every client the same.
My niche is maintaining relationships and being that "hype girl" for my friends and clients. I take a lot of pride in making someone feel special, heard, valued, and cared for. As real estate professionals, we’re in the business of serving people. You have to adapt and build rapport quickly. Many people only buy one or two homes in their lifetime. I want them to have fun and be prepared for anything that could come their way. I make it a priority to listen to them and ask great questions. I’ve become more confident in setting realistic expectations with buyers, especially with the changing times of COVID-19 and the extreme sellers’ market we experienced in 2021. I don't want to waste anyone’s time, so I shoot it straight to let them know what they're up against and what the current market is doing. This will only set them up for success. Real estate can be rigid, serious, and an emotional rollercoaster, but I'm passionate about making it educational, fun, rewarding, and as smooth as possible for clients.
I have tried to impact all my clients, agents, and colleagues in a positive way. I’m always working towards improvement—from getting my license at 19 to finishing college to getting my broker license at 21 and then opening a Weichert franchise at 22. When I opened my business, I had zero agents—it was just me selling. But by the end of 2021, after only five years, I had 33 agents. I have continued to grow both professionally and personally. Working out is also extremely important to me because it makes me feel better on a daily basis, which contributes to my success. I’ve given back to my community by buying properties that are in poor condition and renovating them to add to the housing stock throughout the city of Lansing. I have purchased three properties from Ingham County that were in tax foreclosure, two of which had active demolition orders on them. I was able to rehab the properties and bring them back into tax-paying status. After rehabbing the proprieties, I was able to either rent them or use seller financing products to create affordable housing opportunities.
I decided to obtain my real estate license because I wanted to use my big personality to make a significant impact. I do stand-up comedy, and my goal used to be to own a comedy club. I would still love to do that one day. But I fell in love with residential real estate and the emotional part of the business. I love helping people buy, build, and sell, and I am grateful to have found a profession I truly love. I try to bring joy and laughter into every conversation and always want to try to help make someone else’s day better. I donate $150 per transaction to WakeMed’s Behavior Health Network, which helps with mental health, behavioral health, and suicide. My family has been affected by suicide and depression. This taught me that mental health is an invisible disease, and I love watching WakeMed come up with different ways to detect it and hopefully save a lot of lives.
When I was 8 years old, my family immigrated to the United States from Ukraine with very few funds. We lived with family temporarily while my parents carefully saved money. My father began work as a mechanic for semi-trucks, where he diligently put in long hours to support our family. People would wait in line and say, “I only want to work with Ivan.” There, in that garage, he taught me a relentless work ethic, as well as the value of being excellent at one’s craft. The truck drivers and my dad were my role models—they were investing in their businesses and committed to their families and their futures. I try to bring the same mentality to real estate by being disciplined, focused, and intuitive to what my clients need. While I didn’t feel a passion for making a career in that garage, I was shaped and molded by the lessons I learned there. It was the best education I could have asked for.
Growing up, I was able to witness what’s possible in this country for an immigrant family from India. After my parents got divorced when I was 5 years old, father held down two jobs, to afford rent, gas, and food. Several years later, he got into the mortgage business. I saw him grow as a man and as a loan officer. My father is my mentor. Now that I am in real estate, it allows me to work parallel with my father. It’s truly a dream come true. The lesson he taught me before entering the business was simple and straight forward—do everything with integrity. Eighty percent of my business is South Asian immigrants. I am truly grateful that I’m able to serve my community. After real estate, my second passion is fitness. Four years ago, I started going to the gym a couple times a week. But it has grown to be a huge part of my daily life. Now, I also play basketball four-to-six times a week.
The financial well-being of my clients guides my mission as an agent. My business slogan is “Empowering individuals and families with financial success through real estate.” I look at properties through the lens of investment returns and assess the underlying value it can provide for my buyers, whether it’s a primary home or an investment property. When it comes to listing properties, I focus on growing the long-term wealth of my clients. I have even talked a few people out of selling because I believed it would serve them best to hold onto their properties. In 2020, I decided to obtain my master’s in business administration so I can continue to grow as a professional. With each class in my MBA program, I am learning new financial models and project management skills, adding new tools to my repertoire so I can further the success of my clients.
I grew up in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago in a two-unit my parents gutted in the mid-90s. That was their first real estate purchase. I come from a family of land entrepreneurs—my great-grandfather bought a large parcel in South Louisiana back in the late 1800s. My grandfather on my father's side bought a parcel in Florida, right outside of Orlando about 60 years ago. My grandpa on my mom's side used his license more indirectly and had his own contracting firm. He now lives in Indiana and still actively transacts real estate at 94 years old. Real estate, to some capacity, is in our family’s blood. I am a social person in general, so I have been able to lean on my social network quite a bit. I also play soccer throughout Chicago in various leagues, which has helped me get more business. All in all, I try to put myself out there and keep it as organic as possible.
A REALTOR® is more than a salesperson. They are an expert in their craft and an advisor to their clients. This takes authenticity, skill, and constant, never-ending dedication to growth and innovation. Prior to my real estate career, I was an accomplished ballerina, training and performing with renowned international schools. The unique combination of grace and discipline demanded by ballet has been an invaluable foundation for serving my clients. I am known for both rigorous attention to detail and absolute composure in every negotiation, both of which are extremely important in my niche, which is luxury condominiums with a specialty in new construction. During my tenure at a luxury development company, my supervisor, Karin Silva, was my mentor. She taught me how to relate to affluent buyers and helped me gain full faith that despite my age—I was 22 at the time—I would be able to win their trust and confidence. In 2021, I put an incredible amount of time, energy, and focus into developing a robust YouTube channel—Living in Sarasota Luxury—which is a comprehensive guide to the Sarasota Bay area with a special emphasis on the luxury real estate market.
As a middle school student, I watched my parents buy a raw piece of land and turn it into a beautifully designed condo development. Before that development began, my mother obtained her real estate license to help sell the houses my dad was building. She gave me my first job as her assistant when I was in middle school. I watched her juggle between being a mom of four girls, teaching high school biology full-time, and selling more than $200,000 in real estate when her access to technology was submitting offersvia a home fax machine. About 25 years ago, my parents built their final family home. My husband and I have moved every two years since we were married and had the amazing opportunity to buy the home I grew up in. So, we have slowly been renovating the house and turning it into what I dreamed of as a child—painting over all the scuffs on the wall I left from sliding down the stairs with a crib mattress. Now I see my own kids living out my childhood memories surrounded by our family farm and extended family.
I opened my own brokerage at 24 years old after just two and a half years in the business. Some thought it was too soon, too much risk, or a mistake to take on the burden. I knew my heart and that it was something I had to go for to continue to work towards the next level. It has been the most liberating and rewarding decision I have made, and I would do it again 100 times over. Believing in yourself and taking calculated risks is what it takes to separate yourself from the pack. I think it’s important to always be a little bit outside of your comfort zone when it comes to goals and taking action. It’s easy to dream and plan, but taking action is the hard and uncomfortable part. I like to live by the motto, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” Mistakes might be made, money might be lost, but the reward can be so much more valuable than anything that might go wrong.
One of my biggest challenges starting out was not obtaining a listing. I called my sales manager crying and explained that I am not meant for real estate. I told my sales manager that if I didn’t get a listing from my last appointment of the day, it was a sign from God that I should get out of the business. As I walked up to the front door, I shifted my mindset and chose not to be attached to the outcome because 10 minutes prior, I had decided to quit real estate. When the sellers decided they wanted to list with me, I understood that by shifting my desires from obtaining a listing to being curious about their situation and educating them on the benefits of listing with a REALTOR®, I had created trust. It was easier for me because I am not a salesperson—I am an educator. It was such a surreal moment, and it taught me to come from a place of service instead of focusing on my desire to obtain a listing.
If I were to change something about the real estate industry, I would choose to add more collaboration without competition. It is a common misconception that other brokers are your competition and therefore, in a sense, enemies. However, throughout my career, I have found that it’s through other real estate professionals that you can learn new information and strategies and grow your business. There can be a lot of ego in the industry, but through inclusivity, I think many new real estate pros would feel a deeper sense of community and be more successful. Personally, two very influential brokers have heavily impacted my first two years in real estate: Kassidy Benson was my first broker and really took me under her wing during my first year in the industry. My second mentor is Madison Kissel, who has taught me the importance of philanthropy in business.
Over the last two years, real estate has completely consumed my life. But the Shy that exists underneath all of that is a proud dog mom of two golden retrievers, a piano player, an avid hiker, snowboarder, aspires to learn Spanish, and so much more. I put all of that aside to serve my clients and my REALTOR® community. Then, in late August 2021, my partner and I decided to go hiking to clear our heads before a heavy week of work ahead. I was three miles down a remote hiking trail chasing waterfalls, taking a refreshing dip in the cool mountain streams, when my life flashed before my eyes. Something stung my shoulder. Within 90 seconds, the trees above me and the rocks below me turned into the brightest white light I could ever imagine. Sparing the details of my physical trauma, I will fast forward to say God sent an angel to me that day to remind me that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Now, I carry two EpiPens for my severe bee allergy as I continue pursuing my love of being outdoors. It’s changed my perspective on life in the best way.
I started to develop a larger vision for my business as more of my first-time buyers began inquiring about the investment potential of a second home. I committed to educating myself and my team about investment real estate so we could become expert guides for those ready to jump into their investment journey. My team works with in- and out-of-state investors and has partnered with property managers, wholesalers, lenders, and other investment professionals. These partnerships have enabled my team to work with clients well past closing day and create a full-package experience. This work inspired me to join the board of the South Dakota Real Estate Investors Association and help coordinate education programs. Through the association, my team planned the first annual Sioux Empire Real Estate Weekend, in which we brought in investors from around the country for city development tours, property tours, and education sessions. Now, we host a six-month Investment 101 course, which is open to the public. With 17 students, including past clients, lenders, and real estate agents, we champion the idea of building wealth and creating opportunities to work together.
After college, I went into the financial services industry and led a team in a call center setting. That’s where my passion for customer service grew. In 2018, I joined my sister in the real estate business, and we formed KB Collective Real Estate. While I work with a wide range of clients, I have a special place in my heart for first-time buyers. The excitement of becoming a homeowner is unparalleled. I am always looking to refine my skills, and I do this by running toward challenges and new experiences, not shying away from them. When a client planned to use a down-payment assistance program I wasn’t familiar with, I leaned in to understand the program and set her up for success. Additionally, prior to 2020, I did not have any experience representing buyers on new construction homes. Because of my commitment to learning, I have quickly become the go-to new construction agent on our team. The true measure of success is client feedback: their desire to use my team again and refer us to their circle of friends, family, and coworkers. After just four years in the industry, my personal referrals are already a sizable part of my business
I live in a beach community where I specialize in luxury beach homes, buyers purchasing second or third homes, and investment properties. I generate business through my sphere, getting involved in the community, Instagram and Facebook, and online lead platforms. I am the co-founder of my team with my broker and mentor, Alan Yick. The team is about two years old. We started planning out the team on a flight home from a conference in Las Vegas. I help with recruiting new agents and overseeing new agents. I also help run new agent training. If any problems arise with agents with their clients, I help with advice and guidance. Because I handle a lot of the luxury properties and assist with A-list clients, I help agents understand the luxury market and the clients that come along with the market.
Growing up, I watched my parents build every home we lived in with the help of my grandfather who was a custom home builder in Michigan. Most kids don't dream of going to a design center and picking out paint colors or flooring materials, but I loved it. In college, I pursued a degree in interior design, then realized I couldn't be stuck on a computer for eight hours a day. I needed to find a community-focused career where I could put my talents and passion to use in a different way. Today, I work with sellers to stage their property and help them with any necessary redesign. With buyers, I help them visualize how their items will fit into the space and how to help them make it their own. I also thrive in new build situations because I understand plans and building code. I love it when clients ask me to come to the design center with them so I can help them see the full picture of what everything will look like. As a real estate professional, I can blend my love of decorating and design into a career I want to do forever.
Part of my mission in life is to help other people. I truly believe that giving back is key to living a happy and fulfilling life. Along with real estate, I have another business I started called riseOMA, Omaha’s premier networking experience, which hosts exclusive, invite-only events with the city’s top entrepreneurs, influencers, creators, artists, designers, etc. You can expect to network with top talent, explore local vendor booths, and get advice and inspiration from incredible guest speakers. We all know that networking is important in any business venture. It’s all about who you know and who knows you. I also do community organizing. In 2020, during the nation’s racial unrest, I had a last-minute idea to put together a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We asked men of color to dress up in their best suits and march peacefully through downtown Omaha. In just five days—and after creating tons of marketing materials and blasting them on social media—we organized a crowd of several hundred who also brought canned goods and cash donations for local charities. The march, which we called “Black Lives Matter Food Drive and Unity Walk,” was even covered on our local news station.
My immigrant parents struggled to understand the rules and regulations of American real estate, which eventually resulted in the foreclosure of our home. This experience—along with other moments in my childhood where I translated legal documents for them or attended my little sister’s parent-teacher conferences to help translate—has helped make me the real estate professional I am today. I am bilingual in English and Spanish, and about 80% of my clients have English as their second language. If they need, I can conduct the entire process in Spanish and connect them with other Spanish-speaking lenders, lawyers, and title reps, which makes a stressful and confusing process much easier for them. I also provide free home buyer and seller seminars in Spanish. By the time my clients are done working with me, they fully understand all the ins and outs of the buying or selling process—and they can use that knowledge to build wealth through real estate.
I love the outdoors, and I wanted to pick a niche where I could connect with clients and relate to them on a personal level. My niche is farm and ranch real estate, and whether I’m working with a cattle rancher, exotic breeder, or hunting game rancher looking for land, or a farmer looking for the right type of soil and water levels, I put my boots on every day with excitement and confidence. I feel fortunate to have found my career path so early in life. My love for the outdoors is also a big part of my personal life. In college, I started a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization named Disabled Outdoorsmen USA, Inc. DOUSA takes disabled individuals and their families on outdoor experiences, allowing them to focus on their ability rather than their disability. Our mission is to empower these individuals through the healing power of the outdoors. I have big goals for this organization and aim to be in all 50 states in the future.
Before the pandemic, my primary lead sources were open houses and in-person first-time buyer seminars. I transitioned the home buyer seminars to a digital format in 2020 and in total I’ve completed more than 400 of them. Now that I have been able to establish myself and my team of three, we are starting to generate a large portion of our business from referrals and repeat clients. I was blessed to find two incredible mentors who showed me what it meant to be a true professional and taught me three lessons: 1. You must treat everyone equally, and the best way to do that is through detailed systems and checklists. 2. Personal development is a continuous process, and you must share what you learn with others. 3. A great real estate professional can change the lives of their clients for the better.
I started building my business with For Sale By Owners. I assisted five FSBOs in my first year in real estate. Converting them became second nature to me. The script I used was mainly to combat objections related to my experience level. I would say, "I can have all of the experience in the world and do nothing with it. Or I can have all the knowledge at my fingertips through my brokerage and possess an unmatched level of tenacity and passion to market your home. If you had a choice, which would you choose?" I helped make more money for almost every FSBO who hired me than they would have on their own. From there, I changed my mindset from sales to service. Being of service to others allows me to be more fulfilled in the work I do. Today, I focus on offering items of value to my sphere of influence, including a free Santa photo event each December, a birthday card, and a free coffee. I am committed to providing real value and being a resource to my clients for years to come.
I began my career in real estate during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Realizing that the traditional method of meeting people through open houses was no longer available, I had to think creatively and outside the box. So, I created real estate-related videos and posted them online to educate the community and promote my services. My videos helped me gain traction and exposure that led to many opportunities. I focused on making exceptional listing videos to promote my listings. I dedicated my energy to ensuring that all my listings were presented and marketed effectively through my videos and spent marketing dollars to provide maximum online exposure. In return, I have sold listings well over asking and exceeded my clients’ expectations. Not only did I bring exceptional value to my clients, but I also created name recognition for myself. After just one year of focusing on social media and online marketing, I have a healthy pipeline of clients who reach out to me from seeing my videos and ads.
Before I got my license, my husband would bombard me with the same two questions every day: “What is your niche?” and “How do you plan to get clients in that niche?” Those questions resonate with me to this day. I knew from the beginning I did not want to cold call, so I had to figure out a business plan that would build my outbound and inbound leads. The answer was social media. I understand many agents still refuse to believe in the power of social media, but with a solid and consistent business plan, I believe social media is the logical evolution to lead generation. I work from three main platforms—Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok—and I use each one for different lead-generation factors. I use Facebook to grow my sphere with other agents, so they trust me on the other side of the deal. I use Instagram to expand my reach through targeted and deliberate hashtags. Finally, I use TikTok to show people more of my story. One of my videos about an accident I was in when I was nine years old went viral with 1 million views.
One of my specialties is working with the elderly to sell their homes. It can be a difficult and emotional decision for them; they usually sell their home because they need a smaller, manageable residence or an assisted living facility. I have come to understand how important it is to treat these clients like a family member—they need someone who is both knowledgeable and compassionate. One of my older clients had lived in her home for more than 40 years and had to move because of an issue she had with stairs. She told me directly she was interviewing other agents but by the end of our discussion, she had decided to work with me. When I asked why, her response was, “You didn’t try to sell me on how great you are. You made it all about me and my needs.” After we sold her house, we remained friends. Today, we even swap books each month, and she knows I genuinely care about my clients and have their best interests at heart.
At a young age, I quickly understood the importance of stability in the home. Throughout my childhood, my family and I had to move more than 15 times, resulting in my single mother having to apply for Immediate Homeless Assistance on multiple occasions, forcing us to live in low-budget motels for long durations of time. As I moved into adulthood, I knew I wanted to help guide and educate those around me about the importance of homeownership and wealth creation through real estate. Being under the age of 30 when many of my peers are purchasing their first home, it has become natural for me to specialize in educating and guiding first-time home buyers. I also focus on high-end listings in the luxury market of Los Angeles and clientele who have a preference for keeping their transactions and real estate portfolio private.
After two years on a very successful team, I decided to branch out. I went back to working solo so I can brand my way. I like to be who I am and dress as I please. Glitter and gold are my things. My specialties are LGBTQIA clients and investment properties, including 2-, 3-, and 4-unit buildings. I’ve done many things to generate business, including paying for leads and cold calling, but since 2020, it’s been 100% referral. I work with a ton of cash buyers, and I do several VA deals a year. I love my buyers, which I prefer over listings. When you help first-time buyers, they depend on you for everything. I love teaching and guiding them through all the hurdles during the process. The memories we make mean the world to me. At closings, we do pictures, and I always tailor my look to something relevant to my buyers. When one buyer, a drag queen, wanted to be in drag for closing, I purchased men’s high heels and wore them to the closing, so he didn’t feel any bad vibes.
I decided to get my real estate license because I saw that there was no limit on how much I could make or grow—it was solely dependent upon my work ethic and what I'd be willing to do to achieve the highest level of production. That attracted me to real estate because at the end of the day if I don't produce, it's on me and nobody else. I felt if I was working toward building a business for myself, rather than building a business for someone else, I would be more motivated to do everything necessary to create a thriving business. Now, knowing that I am good at what I do and can confidently guide my clients through every obstacle, I know what separates me from other agents. That pushes me to go out and find people who need my help—whenever they need me—because of the value I bring through hard work and problem-solving.
I was going through a mental struggle in my mid-20s that was affecting happiness and motivation. I knew I needed to snap out of it, so I took a leap of faith: I made what I thought at the time was a huge investment of $600 to take the real estate course. Three of my grandparents were real estate agents. I was never known to be a great salesperson or to have the personality of one. I was more reserved, not aggressive, and not the most confident person in the room—but I cared. After getting my license, I worked as an apprentice for my uncle, a general contractor, who owns his own business. I spent one to two days a week learning everything I could about framing, tiling, painting, and demoing. In the process, I learned a lot of technical information about homes and their structure, mechanical systems, plumbing, and more. Not only do I know how to build stairs now, but I also have greater knowledge of how to talk to clients about their homes and home inspections.
I help run the Drew Coleman Team at Opt Real Estate as the director of operations. In 2021, our team saw a 75% increase in sales over the preceding year. Ours is a unique business model and one that emphasizes shared success with our 20 licensed team members. I’m a third-generation real estate professional and a true believer in homeownership and the transformative wealth that can come from it. In my current role, I not only get to see the lives of our clients transformed by buying homes, but I also get to train, mentor, and provide a solid, stable income for new agents joining our brokerage. It's so rewarding to share my passion for homeownership with our new agents and show them how incredible the real estate industry can be.
With the pandemic prompting people to move all over the country, I quickly realized an opportunity to grow my business by specializing in relocation. I dove into becoming the San Diego lifestyle and relocation expert for people looking to make a move. I built tools and resources, such as relocation guides, virtual tours, and comprehensive client systems to add value to my relationships. I also created my brand, Coastline Real Estate Group, around the San Diego lifestyle to help people envision what life here would look like. Most people moving to San Diego are young professionals, so I tapped into the millennial mindset. I think of new ways to make the homebuying experience as fun as possible while also showing that I’m the most qualified professional to maximize my clients’ goals. I’ve also created my pathway to success by targeting the people who know first when clients make a move: other agents. I began connecting with pros around the country, growing my agent referral network and leaning into those connections. I’ve positioned myself as the San Diego resource for family and friends moving here.
I want to make sure every buyer, seller, and investor has the best research and information to empower themselves in choosing the right agent and feeling like homeownership is within reach. I believe we receive a lot of education as agents on how to hone our craft, but we aren't taking on the responsibility of getting this education out to the people whose lives it all affects. By knowing what to look for in an ethical, collaborative, and caring agent, many buyers and sellers can avoid horror stories, and we’ll reverse the stigma that agents are only after money. With thorough knowledge of lending programs, down payment assistance, market trends, and equity growth, buyers and sellers will become enlightened of not only owning a home but understanding how this investment can be leveraged down the road. I am starting this education on a local level with my in-person classes, newsletters, and social media posts, and I hope education can continue to expand industry-wide.
It was a moment I’ll never forget: At a listing appointment in rural Idaho, a seller shared with me that he was HIV positive. He then told me how meaningful it was to confide in me and at the same time, entrust me to fully represent him in his home sale. This perfectly describes my niche, my purpose, and my passion. It is my mission to advocate, elevate, and celebrate homeownership among LGBQT+ people and underserved communities. This has proved to be a challenging task in Idaho, where both LGBTQ+ and minority rights in housing, employment, and healthcare are sparse. As president of the Idaho chapter of the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance, I have pioneered agreements with Boise Regional REALTORS® and the Sun Valley Board of REALTORS®, and I am partnering with Intermountain Fair Housing and the University of Idaho to develop a state-approved Fair Housing course for Idaho REALTORS®. I believe education offers the greatest opportunity for growth and change within the real estate industry. That is why I am doing everything I can to create updated REALTOR® education, with the hope of creating a more fair, equal, and equitable housing space for all.
Before real estate, I was an international ski racer. My professional goal was to be an Olympic ski racer, and at one point, I was the fastest junior Super-G skier in the country and was invited to be the United States’ representative at the World Junior Championships in Switzerland. Sadly, I tore my ACL while training for a Europa Cup race in Austria just before and was unable to race. I underwent five knee surgeries before age 20 and ultimately gave up my dream to be a professional ski racer. Once I found real estate, I dedicated myself to becoming an expert in my field. I have committed myself to my clients, sometimes at the expense of time off and time with family, but I’m happy to say I have found more balance in my life. I believe this hard work and perseverance helped me reach my sales goals in 2021, closing the year with nearly $50 million in volume. I am extremely lucky to have been surrounded by caring mentors and a supportive community. I am thankful to have this wonderful career.
While I was still in high school, my parents, unfortunately, went through foreclosure on their home. It forced us to split up the family and rent out a few different apartments since we couldn’t find a space large enough for all five of us. I saw firsthand how losing a home can put a lot of stress on a family, and it made me realize how important housing is all around. I was able to buy my first home when I was 23, and I remember feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment—and I appreciated the stability that comes with being a homeowner. These two events motivated me to get involved in real estate and housing. I want to make a difference for my clients and help them make smart financial choices for their families’ futures. One of our team’s core values is, “Never sacrifice a relationship for a commission.” This motto influences me to do the right thing no matter what—a value I think is important.
My mother was never a homeowner, and I watched as she struggled to afford rent increases or a short-notice move. When she encouraged me to get my real estate license, I felt inspired to do so for both of us. Today, I’m a proud homeowner with an ADU, where my mom lives, and I own two investment properties. Having seen my mom struggle as a renter in the past, I have vowed to offer my tenants a place of long-term security with no rental increases. Aside from being a landlord, I work mostly with first-time buyers because I feel like I’m making an enormous difference in their lives. There is nothing better than guiding my clients through the homebuying process and seeing them start their lives as new homeowners. Eventually, they may grow their families and have new housing needs, and I want to be a part of all their milestones. Many of my clients naturally become friends, and the relationships I’ve created are everlasting. When it comes to my clients, I am more than just an agent; I become more of a family friend. I’ve been included in many of my clients’ life events, including birthdays, weddings, and more.
I decided to obtain my real estate license because I wanted to own the life I live and choose what that life would look like. I was driven by this goal, and I quickly realized to help achieve my dreams, it needed to help others achieve theirs. When I got my real estate license in 2012, I was going my seventh year being in this country and I was about to receive my green card, the first step towards citizenship. I had just graduated high school, and although I didn't have the financial resources at the time to go to college (let alone start a business), I felt that the bigger risk was not taking the chance in the first place. The support and encouragement of my family motivated me to sign up that night and start the one-week course during the spring break of 2012. It's been almost ten years since this happened and I'm thankful that 18-year-old me wasn’t afraid to take some risks.