Meet @Danielle.Marie__ Realtor at Douglas Elliman Florida. An island girl at heart, with roots in both Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean, she always knew she would set her base in a tropical place. Her journey led her to study abroad in Florida, where she started her academics at a small private University which then brought her to graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a degree in international Business Management. She credits her entrepreneurial spirit to her gene pool, which began with her grandfather who was a savvy entrepreneur. In her own words, “He instilled his visions, values and business life lessons with all of us” she recalls. A mother of two boys, a supportive wife, and entrepreneur who manages to pull it all off with a smile. Here’s her success journey.
Take our readers down your path of entrepreneurship. Did you always know you would become a business owner?
Yes, to some degree. My grandfather was a highly successful businessman and entrepreneur in the energy sector. He instilled his visions, values and business/life lessons within all of us. He would always have us pitch our ideas to him, if it was good he was the number one investor. If it needed work, he would give us the tools needed to make it better. No matter the outcome, after time spent with him you always left feeling confident and that you can do anything you set your mind to and be the best at it.
My mother is a successful wine merchant in Trinidad & Tobago, she brings in wines from around the world and supplies them locally to vendors. My mother was a pioneer in the wine industry in the Caribbean at that time, especially in a mainly rum dominated market. She made a huge name for herself based off of her passion and drive and the support of my father and the whole family. My plan when I went off to College was to eventually step into this business one day.
What brought you into real estate?
My plan after graduating from University was to move back home and work with my mother yet while in school I met my now husband and after some years of a long distance relationship we got married and decided to stay in Florida where we started our family and life together. I am the proud mother of two amazing boys that love both the island life as much as the Florida life. Starting my family pushed me to look at more flexible options and real estate seemed like a perfect fit. It was something I was always interested in and I was able to do with my children when they were infants. They have been to multiple showings and closings with me and both knew how to open a lockbox by the time they were three years old. Some of my best real estate stories involve my kids.
When did you join Douglas Elliman and what was the reason over other agencies?
I joined Douglas Elliman in 2014. I just loved their energy and culture, they had such a different approach than the other companies. I had been with some of the biggest corporate firms to the smallest boutique firms and they don’t even come close to the Elliman experience. Their approach is to leverage one another as much as possible to give the client the best service and experience as possible. They encouraged sharing information, talking to one another and spending time getting to know each other and the markets and neighborhoods we specialized in. This was very refreshing, especially in a typically cutthroat industry. This culture of sharing and leaning on each other created happier agents, clients and a better working environment. My Broker Don Langdon is also amazing, he is the most encouraging manager and has a gift for always being able to see the positive in any situation.
Tell us about a challenge you had to surmount recently?
I think the last two years have been challenging for everyone worldwide, particularly the beginning of the pandemic. The world literally stopped, our homes became schools and offices, and the future was very uncertain. I think that was the biggest challenge to date. Things, real estate wise, were very quiet in March and April of 2020 but then things started to pick up in the end of May and it has been a steady increase since then. The past 18 months have been the busiest time of my career. It was the perfect storm, locally people were spending more time at home so they either renovated or wanted a bigger house with more space and with interest rates being so low, many decided to upgrade. Florida became very attractive to people out of state as well, with our warm weather and relaxed covid restrictions. Recent data shows that 1000 people a day are moving to Florida and the seasonal residents are now making it their primary residence. With the increase in demand and the lack of inventory, prices began to soar. International buyers are usually the number one Buyers in our area and South Florida in particular but with the borders being closed all of this demand is nationally generated. We expect the international buyers to return and prices and demand to increase even more in the coming year.
How do you set goals and sales targets and achieve them?
If it’s not in my calendar or written down it is not happening. So being organized and staying on task is very important. Especially on hectic says when you have multiple showings, inspections or have to meet appraisers your day fills up quick and it’s hard to find time to get to the busy work, especially if you have children and you need to balance home and work life so staying organized is key. Real estate hours are flexible, but that doesn’t mean you work less, it’s actually quite the opposite, you work during regular hours and then you work into the night to get to the things you couldn’t get to while running around during the day.
Throughout your journey, what has remained the one thing you would give yourself as advice, or advice to other women?
My advice to other women and other mothers in particular is to give yourself a break, you carry so many huge roles and you don’t need to be the best at them all, all of the time. You don’t have to be the successful CEO, president of the PTA, home chef, Pinterest mom, volunteer and the list goes on. Some days you can be the best at ones of those things and some days you won’t and that’s ok. Be the best you that you can be everyday and that is enough for you, your clients and your family. A happy you is more valuable than anything else.
What inspires you to think bigger? Where do you see the company in 5-10 years?
There are many successful women and other mothers in my industry that I look up to. They take care of their families and run a very lucrative business. These women inspire me every day. I am very grateful for all my successes and I’m hoping to see them continue to grow in the coming years.
How do you define work life balance? How do you apply it in your day to day?
Trying to find that balance is hard. I try to dedicate a certain time of day to my family, uninterrupted by phone calls and emails. It is very difficult because it seems that most people like to communicate the most between the hours of 5-7. There are exceptions and some things that need immediate attention at home and at work, so it’s definitely a work in process that I need to work on every day.
What does success represent to you?
Success to me is enjoying what you do and being able to make a good living off of it while still having time to spend with your friends and family and doing the things you love. Every day in real estate is new and exciting, no two days or deals are the same and when you think you have heard it all something new always comes up.
All Photo Credits : Maicol Photography
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