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This International Women’s Day, Four KW Associates Share Their Vision and Inspiration

A holiday that transcends borders and started in 1911, International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women, as well as reminds us of the constant fight toward women’s equality. 

Whether they have started in the industry two years ago or 30 years ago, the ladies of Keller Williams sure know how to leave a mark in the real estate space. On March 8, 2022 (and every day), we celebrate them, alongside all the trailblazing women that have inspired us, challenged us, and made our world a better place.

Related reading: Women in Real Estate: More Than 100 Years of Impact

Four Agents Share Their Vision and Inspiration 

Dale Donovan Bee

Dale Donovan Bee

MAPS Commercial Real Estate Coach Dale Donovan Bee has been in the industry for more than three decades – and experienced its many transitions throughout the way. “I have seen KW Commercial go through its inception and have worked with the core group of people that brought it to life,” Bee says. “I’ve worked with those that came during the second growth factor, and the third. And now, we’re probably into the fourth growth opportunity with KW Commercial, and it’s been wonderful. We’ve got the tools, the resources, the training, the education. We’re carving a path for the next generation of commercial real estate brokers to be successful.” 

After retiring from doing transactions and realizing she possessed decades of information and experience, the KW Commercial Impact Lifetime Achievement Award recipient turned to mentoring. “I’m passionate about commercial real estate, and I’m passionate about KW Commercial. It’s been an amazing one and a half years.” 

How do you envision the future of (commercial) real estate?

There have been all these things that have impacted our economy and impacted commercial real estate, such as the recession, and the changes that came with COVID. But, the people that remain in commercial real estate and that continue to be successful have a way to be chameleons, to morph. We have learned through the years to be able to roll with the flow. Where there is critical trauma, you can also find opportunity. When one thing goes down, another one goes up, and you just have to be aware enough to anticipate that your future may not always be right where you think it is. You have to be able to just smile, take a look at things, and reinvent yourself sometimes. 

Who are the women that you feel inspired by? 

The women that have encouraged me are part of the Commercial Real Estate Women organization (CREW). I was actively involved on the board of directors, with the women that headed that up long before commercial real estate was even a career that people looked at coming out of college, and much less what women looked at as a career. They really advanced women in real estate. I think that organization was instrumental in my growth as a professional and as a woman in the industry.

Rina Zaabar

Rina Zaabar

When former accountant and business consulting firm owner Rina Zaabar found herself with two clients – one wanting to sell a property, and the other, to buy, becoming a real estate agent wasn’t on her radar. But, after receiving a referral check from the transaction, she started reassessing her career. “I thought, maybe I’m in the wrong industry,” she says. “So I researched a bit, applied for a position, I got the interview, and the rest is history.” 

Now, Zaabar leads a team of 30+ agents as part of KW Worldwide’s KW Malaysia Region. “One of the reasons that I’m attracted to KW is that they are worldwide,” she shares. “I’m still very new. We joined less than six months ago!” 

What message would you like to share with the Outfront audience?

I think that we as women need to nurture people. We love more, we care more. But, in the course of doing that, it is very important for us to care for and love ourselves first. To give ourselves the priority. That is something we tend to forget while we are focusing on everything else. I think this message is especially important for teenagers, young adults, and new mothers.

Who are the women that you feel inspired by? 

I always look up to those that are very high rank on the corporate ladder in Malaysia. One of those people is Zeti Aziz. She served as the governor of Malaysia’s central bank. I was always impressed by how she could lead such an important organization. I also admire Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz. She is a politician and used to be a minister. She’s a very strong lady, and very outspoken. I am inspired by her courage of speaking her mind. I think I’m inclined toward admiring very strong women.

Wen Guo

Wen Guo

Bay Area luxury agent Wen Guo and her team, the Wen Guo Real Estate Group, have experienced tremendous growth. “Our business increased at a pretty fast speed. In the first year, we had probably between 15 to 18 deals. The second year, it was 48. The third year was 66. And the fourth year was close to 100.” 

The team, which has a heavy operational side, works hard on differentiating itself in the luxury space. “The most important is the detailed level of service,” she says. “It’s almost like a norm that no matter who our buyer or seller is, we treat them with an extra level of concierge service to honor the local luxury brand.”

Who are the women that you feel inspired by?

Audrey Hepburn is one. I actually named my daughter Audrey, and coincidentally, they were born on the same birthday. I like Audrey because she worked really hard. She was also very family oriented, and in later age she focused on giving back not just to her own community, but the world. I am truly inspired by that. I am also very inspired by my mom. She was a working mom while taking care of me, and it striked me that I can do that too, as a woman and as a successful business owner. As long as you want to, you can combine everything – work hard on your passion, and build a future for yourself and your family. Seeing my mom being strong and sturdy, her spirit, her work ethic, and her opinions – that was incredible.

What is special about your business? 

As the price point goes higher, the service level has to go above and beyond. Just photos and a front yard sign are not enough. We have six to seven people on the team for every listing: one or two people to communicate with the client on the front end, we have the front-end marketing person that helps package the property and cosmetic updates, and we have a back-end marketing person who edits the photos and works on graphic layout. On the transactional side, we have two people with a legal background. So they are extremely detail oriented and liability savvy. And, we also have a field coordinator, similar to a property manager. Our open houses are more than just photos and staging. We actually put out feature cards, talking about the hidden features of the place, the home updates, the schools in the area, and the community. We put out a comparison so people understand the market. We have a trilingual introductory video for the property: I speak Mandarin and Cantonese, but on our team there is also German, Spanish, and other languages. 

Marisa Aceves

Marisa Aceves

After serving full time in the Nevada Army National Guard, Marisa Aceves got her real estate license. “During my transition, I didn’t really look at real estate as being a possible career opportunity,” she says. But, fast-forward to 2019, and Aceves got her license, and, shortly after, took on leadership roles at two market centers: first in Reno, Nevada, then Scottsdale, Arizona. While no longer at the Scottsdale market center, Aceves is searching for her next leadership opportunity – with an interest in the East Coast. 

How do you envision the future of real estate?

I started noticing a lot of movement in the metaverse. I’m still learning, but as we grow and technology grows, I feel like that’s where our future is taking us. I’m seeing a lot of conversations around that coming up, especially in the Keller Williams Young Professionals group. So, metaverse real estate and cryptocurrencies – how to purchase real estate utilizing that tool. 

Who are the women that you feel inspired by?

First and foremost, it’s my mother. She has taught me so much. I didn’t really grow up in the best environment. She was a single mother and taught me that life is too short to sweat the small stuff, and we have to keep moving forward, and that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. 

And, a woman from the real estate world: Briana Sullivan, my first operating principal. She believed in me and gave me the opportunity to become her team leader in Reno. Since then, she taught me a lot about courage. She left the OP role and moved down to Las Vegas, where she had never lived before. She taught me that you can have anything you want as long as you have the courage to do it. Go take an opportunity, no matter where it’s at!

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