Since the beginning of Women’s History Month in March 1987, we have proudly celebrated the contributions of women. March marks an important time for dedicated reflection, observation, and acknowledgment of the legacy of women. In honor of this year’s Women’s History Month, we are focusing on the indelible accomplishments and careers that make up the fearless women of Triplemint.
In our video below you will hear real estate stories and advice from our remarkable women. What habits make for a successful real estate agent? What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs? What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned in business?
Our wish is that these stories will empower other women to advance their careers with confidence, be unafraid to ask for more, and get started building their wealth through real estate. At Triplemint we believe strongly in the power of community. When one of us succeeds, we all do.
Why did you choose to go into real estate?
I got into real estate to make money. I used to be a successful concert pianist in NYC, but the long hours did not allow me to have the kind of lifestyle I was craving. I asked my own broker how hard it was to break into and after a few conversations with him, I realized the earning potential could be huge. I’ve always been a hard worker, I knew I was good with numbers and data, and I love connecting with people, so I gave it a try, and it ended up being the perfect fit for me! –Elena Smirnova, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Real estate is in my blood. Growing up, I moved a lot. Every house I lived in went through a complete gut renovation or was built from the ground up. Fast forward to college where I wrote my thesis on zoning laws and air rights. And the rest, as they say, is history! –Sophia Guinchard, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
As a young girl, I would always look through the real estate section with so much interest. Later on in life, after I had my firstborn son, one of my best friends said, “Hey, I think you would do really great in real estate.” I really wanted to create a bigger and better life for us as a family. Turns out, my best friend was right! –Hila Peled, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
What do you love most about your job?
Whether it be purchasing or renting, I’m helping my clients find the spot that they will call home. –Rae McKee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Energy, energy, energy, energy. Whether it be the client’s energy, the other side’s energy, the neighborhood energy, or the energy of the home, I love it all. And when all of that energy collides, it’s magic. –Brandon Marianne Lee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
What I love most about real estate and being self-employed is that I am in complete control of my own destiny. Each and every day, it’s up to ME to make things happen, and nobody else. –Lauren Schaffer, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Being able to help so many people achieve their dream through real estate. Finding a new home is an important time in my client’s life, and I always feel so lucky and grateful that they choose me to help them. –Hila Peled, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
What is one thing about real estate that has surprised you?
What surprised me most about real estate is how complex it is. Going in, I was so naive about how easy it would be. Like everyone else, I thought, “Oh, I’ll just have to show them three properties and they’ll choose.” Boy, did I have another thing coming! – Hila Peled, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
When I first became a broker, I was worried that the job would be isolating. That ended up being SO far from the truth! Real estate has opened up my world to meeting the most incredible people. This network I’ve built evolved into this fluid support system that I never knew was possible. –Lauren Schaffer, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
How multi-faceted a business it can be. Over the years I have realized that I’m the CEO of my own business, and this requires many different skills. I have loved stepping into this role and creating a business true to ME and my core values: integrity, dedication, and success. –Chloe Godin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
The thing that’s really surprised me about real estate is that the showings are such a small part of my job and also probably the least relevant to the big picture. The job is everything else. It’s more about project management, harassing attorneys, bankers, clients, and the paperwork behind all the deals. –Brandon Marianne Lee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
What habits make you most successful?
Time blocking. This is something I had to do once I became a parent. My mornings are for prospecting and administrative items, the afternoons are for marketing or big projects such as co-op board packages, and the late afternoon is for appointments. Saturday is for family only and I don’t mess around – that’s just my day. And then on Sunday, open houses. –Brandon Marianne Lee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Asking questions and really listening to the answers. –Natalie Miniard, Broker of Record, Hoboken
Consistency, knowing my numbers, and delegating. –Chloe Godin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
I’m a big planner and I find that being structured and organized helps me save time and work smarter. I spend each evening physically and mentally mapping out the next day, shifting my schedule if needed, and leaving time to prepare for meetings, and travel to/from places. -Shelly Huang, VP of Marketing
I am most successful when I rise early at 5 am, meditate, and keep up with a wellness routine such as running or yoga. I also love to write regularly and always ensure to spend time with loved ones. -Rosana Vidal, Head of Content
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Keep doing what you are doing. Tomorrow is another day. –Brandon Marianne Lee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Continue to grow, don’t be shy, and never stop asking questions. Maybe try talking a little slower, get a hearing aid if you need it, or simply don’t listen to such loud music. And never stop being curious. –Sophia Guinchard, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Save 25% of all income. You’ll hardly miss it, and you’ll have substantial savings (to invest in real estate!) in no time. -Rosana Vidal, Head of Content
Be purposeful about the opportunities you pursue, rather than falling into something, or being short-sighted and romanced by something like salary or the perceived company cache. The day-to-day work you do and lessons you learn along the way are what builds your character and experience. -Shelly Huang, VP of Marketing
Looking back on your career, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have managed my database better from the very beginning, and I would have bought more of my own properties. –Natalie Miniard, Broker of Record, Hoboken
If I were to leave NYC and have to start all over again elsewhere, I would join the best team there is in that market that shares my values. Joining a good team leader allows you to learn so much in a much shorter amount of time. You get access to real knowledge of the market and how to conduct a business from experienced agents, it greatly accelerates your personal business success. –Chloe Godin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
I started in real estate in 2005, when social media was just born (Facebook started in 2004). At the time I had no concept of what a behemoth it would become. Had I had the foresight, I would have started marketing myself across social platforms from the very beginning. If I’d done that, Gary Vee would now be asking me for advice! -Rosana Vidal, Head of Content
What is one of the hardest lessons you have learned in business?
You absolutely never know when a deal can work out or not. There are so many factors that come into play, some we handle for our clients but others no one has any control over, like job losses, separations, or COVID. –Chloe Godin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Don’t assume anything. –Natalie Miniard, Broker of Record, Hoboken
Control what you can control. Some things are out of your control and you have to be okay with that. –Sophia Guinchard, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
What are your goals for 2022 and beyond?
This year my goal is to grow my team with two ninja agents that want to take their own business to the next level. I want to help my team achieve their goals so that we all work together to give amazing service to our clients. My sales goal is $33 million, so reach out if you want to support that goal! –Chloe Godin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
To be awesome! This year my team has a goal to gross $1 million in GCI. My personal goal has always been to make $1 million dollars by the time I’m 30, so I have two years left for that! –Sophia Guinchard, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
What communication skills do you leverage to instill confidence and strength in your business dealings?
Integrity and transparency, because with integrity and transparency, no matter how you’re communicating, I promise you that you will not lose. –Brandon Marianne Lee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
People want to do business with those they like and trust, so being honest and direct and warm with your clients and with other agents is really important. Make eye contact, smile, say, please and thank you, and apologize if you are running late. And always remember to listen! –Joan Kagan, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
There are so many problems that can arise when purchasing a home, and I like to make sure that I’m communicating in a way that softens the experience. I always ensure that I’m taking my client’s feelings into consideration and am being empathetic. –Rae McKee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Listening is by far the greatest communication tool in my arsenal. When you consistently focus on asking the right questions and building from there, you’ll always be working from a foundation of trust, and that trust is what brings true confidence to any business transaction. –Lauren Schaffer, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
I am good at taking in a lot of complex information and distilling it down into a clear action plan while selecting the most salient parts to focus on. -Shelly Huang, VP of Marketing
What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
When I first got my real estate license, the best advice I received was “do NOT think about the money.” Because when you don’t think about the money, that’s when the money comes. It’s a simple way of saying that when you shift your focus away from the money, it allows you to focus entirely on doing right by your clients. When you get the job done and your clients are happy, the money will follow. I promise. –Lauren Schaffer, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Unfortunately, in 2022 it’s still really hard for women to be entrepreneurs. We have so many responsibilities and also do not receive the same financial planning education as men. My advice is to create a community of women that you can tap into where you can share mutual support. Don’t be scared to ask questions, never ignore your gut, and never question whether you have a spot at the table. You 100% do. –Chloe Godin, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Be bold and stubborn about your goals. You have to be persistent, and unafraid to ask for what you want. Especially if you have your work and great reputation to back you up, people will take notice and you will manifest what you want. Most importantly, be kind to yourself and remember to celebrate and share your successes! –Elena Smirnova, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Get a coach. It took me a really long time to figure out how to become financially successful. In my first year in real estate, I was working seven days a week and I hardly broke even. After that first year, I swore to myself that that year will never, ever repeat itself. So, I hired a coach. You need to ask for help where you are lacking. –Hila Peled, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Success doesn’t happen by accident, so have a plan and keep checking in on it. Speak to a financial planner and make a strategic plan to invest the maximum amount in retirement every year. Invest in stocks and bonds every year. Compound interest really works! And of course, have a plan to purchase your own home. Don’t expect your wealth to take care of itself. –Joan Kagan, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Listen to your gut as a complement to your knowledge base. There is so much that our bodies feel and know before our brains do. My gut instinct has never led me wrong. -Rosana Vidal, Head of Content
What advice would you give to other women looking to invest as you have?
Do a lot of research so that you can make an informed plan. Take stock of your own strengths and weaknesses, your tolerance for risk, for a construction project, etc. Consider your long-term plans for the investment – is it to renovate and flip? Rent and hold? Or occupy? –Joan Kagan, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
I’ve learned that as a woman the most valuable thing you can do for yourself is to become financially independent. I really recommend starting to invest your money and building your own wealth as soon as you can. There is no perfect time to jump in but buying into the real estate market in NYC is a pretty sure bet, especially if you hold your apartment for many years. If you build your wealth early on, you will have the freedom to pursue your other professional and personal goals in life. –Elena Smirnova, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
When you’re looking for property to purchase, focus most on your goals and what you want. It’s so easy to get sucked into other people’s opinions, especially when those opinions are important to you, but contradicting feedback can also be confusing. Trust that your broker will manage the technical sides of your search, and from there focus on what makes sense for you. You got this! –Lauren Schaffer, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
How do you balance motherhood and a thriving career?
My first tip would be to choose an incredible partner. I have an amazing husband and partner who supports me, pushes me, and picks up all the slack. My second tip would be to accept that things are going to be messy. Sometimes the kids are going to get takeout for dinner and sometimes I am not going to have all the time that I wish I had with them. But they also understand that I’m doing this for them and for us to achieve an incredible life together. –Hila Peled, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
The best piece of advice that I’ve ever heard is that there is no such thing as balance. You’re doing one or you’re doing the other. Multitasking is a myth. And so one of the things that makes me a really good mom is actually what also makes me a really good agent: I’m incredibly present. So if I am with my son, I am with my son, that is it. And when I am with a client, I am 100% with the client. It’s about being honest, transparent, and present in the now. –Brandon Marianne Lee, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
One of the best lessons I learned from another working mom was accepting that it is really hard, that you will never feel completely balanced, and that it will always feel like you are a wagon with 3 wheels. Delegate where you can, but also realize the moments when you simply cannot delegate – it’s not possible to delegate showing up for your kids. –Joan Kagan, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
My strategy is always to be fully present in whatever I am doing. When I’m at work, I am 100% focused, and if I’m with my son, I rarely check Slack or my work emails. I set boundaries with my team and force myself to say “no.” During the time you spend with your kids, fully immerse yourself in that moment, because once it passes, you don’t get it back. -Shelly Huang, VP of Marketing
For more wisdom from the women of Triplemint, or to work with any of our fantastic agents, click on their names for their contact information, and get in touch!