Describe your job — where are you located, what types of properties do you work with, what types of clients do you work with. I am incredibly passionate about the industry and have multiple jobs within the real estate space. I own my own brokerage firm in Houston, and I am the co-owner of ELDA Management Services, a property management firm. I started my career as an attorney many years ago, but quickly realized my passion was actually in real estate. At my property management firm, I work with investors from all over the world who have properties in Houston and the surrounding areas.
I service mostly Harris County, but work in some of the surrounding counties from time to time. Everything from small condos to multi-family apartment projects, I work with a variety of property types. My clients range from small investors with a single property to multi-property investors located in Houston, throughout the United States and even internationally. Additionally, I’ve recently launched a dual-purpose home showing app, 10MinRealty, which connects interested buyers with local agents at the click of a button.
Where did you start? Right here in Houston, Texas. I was on the HOA board for some of the condos that I owned as investment properties and I saw the need for a responsive, accountable, professional and effective property management company. It was in 2001 when I got the idea to open my own firm.
Once I got the property management firm off the ground and we were managing more than 400 properties, I quickly realized I needed more manpower. I needed other agents to help me manage the showing requests that were constantly coming in. I knew that I could hire in-house agents to work for me, but they seemed to get tired of showing rental properties and would move on to other opportunities. I wanted to be able to manage multiple showing requests by utilizing local agents who needed more client leads and thus 10MinRealty was born.
Did you imagine when you were younger that you’d be a top producer? Yes, it was always in my mind that I could work my way to the top. I have always been an entrepreneur; I love working with and meeting new people and all of the interactions that come with being in real estate. I had the influence of my mom on one side and my dad on the other and knew that I was meant to go far in life. I have worked extremely hard to get where I am today, and it is my goal to set a good example that hard work and dedication pays off for my two sons.
What sets you apart? There are many things that set me apart from others in the industry, but I think the fact that I don’t settle is what really makes me different. I never settle for status quo and always try to do things bigger and better the next time I do anything. The combination of my intuition, tenacity, drive and motivation makes me who I am and sets me apart. I’m not easily defeated. I’m just wired that way!
Furthermore, I am a broker and an attorney. These skills come in handy when dealing with complex transactions and is a source of security for my clients, since they know I can handle all aspects of the business, including legal issues that may arise in the course of property management or a sale.
How did you get there? I wouldn’t be where I am today without the solid guidance I’ve received from key people in my life. My parents, my husband, friends and family have helped me and encouraged me and have been a sounding board throughout my career. Additionally, my passion has driven me to the top. I truly believe you have to have passion about everything that you do and I am passionate about real estate.
There is nothing like the feeling of success, and that is what I thrive on. While I’m very driven and self-motivated, I am not afraid to listen to those around me and make changes when needed. Part of being successful is realizing when you’ve made a mistake or need to make a change. I take time to reflect on my actions and make sure I am always headed in the right direction.
Are you part of a team or are you doing it solo? Team! As they saying goes, it definitely takes a village. I have surrounded myself with a group of people who are like me and whom I trust will do everything in their power to be the best that they can be. I work with my husband at my property management company and also have the pleasure of working with my sister Edit on 10MinRealty. By working with a team, the businesses are able to thrive as each person brings special qualities and skills to the table creating a more balanced environment.
What does your admin support team look like, or do you have one? I have an office staff at my property management company and four agents that hang their license with me in the brokerage. By having a trusted team in place, I am able to focus on my job: leading, growing and improving the business. At 10MinRealty, while the staff is small, the support is unbelievable. My father is my biggest cheerleader and my mom supports us by helping with our research and marketing needs. I am able to bring new ideas to the table and be out in the community with Jennifer, my director of marketing, because we know that Edit is handling the business side of this venture.
Who are your heroes? I love learning from great minds, so I’d have to say my heroes are Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet and Oprah Winfrey. Each of them is an incredibly solid businessperson and they truly believe in making a difference in the world. Let’s also throw in Mother Theresa, because giving back is hugely important to me, too.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning? What’s the last thing you do before you leave? The first thing I do when I get to work is clear my mind. I take three minutes to give gratitude for the things that I am lucky to have in this life. I also almost always accompany that with a great cup of coffee to get my creative juices flowing. Similarly, I also end my day by releasing the stress from the day and making a list to make sure that I have properly prepped for the next day. Oftentimes, I do this by taking a yoga class or reading a good book after work.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re off work for the day? Exercise. Staying fit is really important to me. There is no way I would be able to keep up with my two boys, my husband and my multiple businesses if I did not exercise. Not only does it keep me in shape and feeling healthy, but it is also an amazing stress-reliever and helps me recharge after a long day at work.
What’s your favorite place to unwind? I’d have to say my favorite place to relax is in a yoga studio. It is such a calming environment and it really allows me to center myself and focus on what is important in life.
What areas of your business do you pay personal attention to? What have you outsourced? I give personal attention to the development of the business through establishing and maintaining relationships and networking to develop new relationships. I then outsource the transactional details to my other team members. This is true in both my property management company as well as with 10MinRealty. I pay much more attention to the people, the service, solving the problems and making sure we create a great experience, and leave a lasting impression while finding someone the home of their dreams. When it comes to the transactional details and paperwork, while still greatly important, I rely on the rest of my team to help move those forward.
What do you think is the biggest barrier to success in today’s real estate industry? How have you overcome it? When it comes to today’s real estate industry, fear of the unknown coupled with a lack of support in building a business seems to be the biggest barrier I see. I overcame the unknown by over-educating myself. I took time, and still take time, to learn the market, the trends and potential hurdles, so that I am extremely prepared for every opportunity and situation, both good and bad. I also have a strong support system. I realized a long time ago that I could either be my worst enemy or my greatest triumph. I chose the latter.
My advice to new agents is don’t be afraid to talk to people. That seems to be what holds the new real estate agent back as they don’t want to be intrusive. You have to put yourself out there so people have the opportunity to let you in and give you a shot. You also have to be responsive and jump on new client leads when they appear. 10MinRealty is a solution to a problem I see too often, which is consumers wanting to get into properties instantly, but the listing agents aren’t able to keep up with the home showing demands. New agents need to find tools, like 10MinRealty, to help them find and foster new client leads so they can build their business.
How do you deal with stress? When stressful situations arise, I usually take a minute to do some deep breathing exercises. It immediately calms my nerves and helps me get perspective on the situation. Beyond that, exercise is another stress release for me. Walking the dogs and yoga classes are my go-to exercise routines.
If you could change anything about your career path, would you? Why or why not? No! I would change absolutely nothing about my career path. Every experience I’ve had has taught me something, good or bad. I got married young at the age of 23, had two beautiful boys and became an attorney. I wasn’t taking care of my body and wasn’t passionate about what I was doing, and eventually needed a new path, which is when I turned to real estate. My world started spinning when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2005 and, then just a few short years later, breast cancer.
Through those experiences, I yearned for more change and focused on living a health lifestyle with an unwavering positive and uplifting attitude. I beat cancer twice and knew that if I could do that before the age of 40, I could do anything. My husband and I built our property management company and have grown it into something much larger than we ever imagined. Using my same positive attitude and determination, I have created a solution to help buyers and agents see and show properties more effectively with 10MinRealty.
What makes your market unique? Every market is unique and Houston is no exception. Houston’s real estate market continues to boom and the buyers are getting savvier. Consumers want to be in control and want instant gratification when it comes to buying or renting homes. Gone are the days when you had days to answer an email about a showing request. Today’s buyers want information within minutes and aren’t going to wait around for a slow or nonresponsive agent. Houston’s inventory continues to fly off the market at high prices, which sets it apart from a lot of other real estate markets right now.
Have you ever worked in another city/metro? If so, how did you end up where you are working now? No. Houston is home.
What’s your favorite thing about working in your community?
My favorite thing about working in Houston is our diverse community. Houston truly is a melting pot and the opportunities to meet people from around the world are endless. Houston also has tremendous culture; because the city is so international, Houstonians have the opportunity to be exposed to and take part in many different cultural experiences. From food to arts, it’s an amazing place to work and play. Houston is also an extremely stable market, which provides a lot of security and prospect. Whether you want to be a homeowner or an investor, Houston has all the opportunities you could ever want.
Is there an area of your community in which you specialize? I work with a lot of investors from around the Houston area, so I’d say that is my specialty when it comes to business transactions. I also take a lot of pride in my ability to create and foster relationships with clients, vendors and other businesses. I am a true believer in making connections and building lasting relationships with people and businesses in my community and I like to think I’m quite good at it.
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