Kristen Foxx and I got lost together.
Separately. Then together. We didn’t know where to go for a realtors event. It had a speakeasy theme. I haven’t been in a speakeasy since 1931. Neither one of us dressed the part, either.
There was plenty of gangsters and flappers, but Kristen and I were so 2019. (Well, 2017, for me. Forgive me. I’m a dad.)
We found our way eventually to the right room, although we bumbled into the wrong one first. This place had better food, to be honest. And I met with a coaching colleague of mine, and suddenly, Kristen found herself being introduced to someone she didn’t know.
By someone, she didn’t know.
I found a lot of beautiful complexity in Kristen and the work she does, in real estate and outside of it, too. I have a feeling her vibe will resonate with many of you. I’m grateful for the mixup that crossed our paths and led her here to this blog!
Eli: When you were little, what did you think you’d grow up to be?
Kristen: That’s easy…I wanted to be on Broadway…and to be very specific, to be in Annie, the Broadway play in NYC. Mind you, I wasn’t any kind of singer! But I loved everything about Broadway, and I knew every song from Annie.
Eli: I could see you rocking this, Kristen. What was your favorite Annie song?
Kristen: I have a tie … but I guess technically back then, my favorite was Maybe, but now it’s I Don’t Need Anything But You …More because my voice struggled to sing Maybe! Lol…
Eli: My voice struggles to sing Happy Birthday! What was it about Broadway that appealed to you back then?
Kristen: I loved that it was “live” and they not only told a story but sang and danced…I would get lost in it…Even though I personally have tremendous stage fright, I wanted to sing and dance and be a part of it…my friends and I even went so far as to make up dance routines to the songs and dreamed of being on the “Gong show” …I just aged myself! I still absolutely love Broadway…the musical ones…still, get lost in it.
Eli: How far into your education did this passion for Broadway last?
Kristen: I still love Broadway, and growing up a 40-minute drive from New York City, it allowed me to indulge in going to shows often…I never did do any plays/musicals..just daydreamed about it. I was only in the choir at school through to eighth grade.
I moved here when I was 32 so I have only been to a few shows since then, both here and back in NYC. I do need to go more!
Eli: That’s a good resolution. So at what point did you become interested in real estate?
Kristen: I remember loving real estate as a kid. I always had a curiosity of what people’s homes looked like on the inside. Later in life, when I was on my own, paying rent, I longed to own a home so I could do what I wanted, whether it was to paint a room or having a garden in the yard, whatever …I wanted my own home. So in my 20s, I would even go into model homes just for fun because I loved not only the interiors but the exterior. I’m a sucker for a great front porch.
I still have the same curiosity of seeing homes, but now I get to do it for research and help clients find their perfect home.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into an amazing home and thought “I need a new home!” There’s so much creativity these days, I love it.
Eli: What are some of your favorite creative ideas coming out lately?
Kristen: Now this question is a tougher one…I’ve been preparing for a new client who is flying in from NYC and I have been previewing lots of the new construction out in Plaza Midwood area, it’s giving me lots of ideas for DIY projects for outdoor areas actually (that’s what missing from my home.)
What stuck with me was a simple plan for outdoor benches with cement blocks and 4x4s, very easy design, paint the cement any color add pillows and voila, you have seating! So when it warms up I’ll actually get inspired to make it a reality. I love an outdoor space that makes you want to hang out for a while and relax, and forget the phone!
We all need that these days!
Eli: Makes me ready for spring nights. What else do you need? In your career, and life in general. What fuels you?
Kristen: What fuels me, in general, is truly enjoying life. Trying to stay in the moment gets tougher these days. I have a passion for travel and adventure and always seeking and/or planning a trip, whether it’s camping or a European vacation, there is always something to look forward to and I turn off my phone and disconnect as much as I can and enjoy my surroundings and the people I’m with. Being a realtor can be difficult to completely ignore the phone, so I try to just check in the first thing every morning and every evening to make sure there are no real estate emergencies! (they do happen, especially when you’re on vacation!)
Cherishing every day and not taking anything for granted is what fuels me in both life and career. I’m grateful for both.
I’m sure it’s a little cliche, but I truly love helping people…it matters to me that they are happy. I don’t want to just help them buy or sell a home…it’s a big decision, no matter the price tag. I want people to feel they had an exceptional experience.
I recognize some people may have negative feelings when they think of realtors, I hope that I can help change that ..one person at a time!
Eli: That makes sense! You’re in this to change people’s lives because this is a big life moment. Tell us about a time you felt you were able to change someone’s perceptions about realtors.
Kristen: One of my very first clients made me realize I could possibly change the perception of people. She literally told me it was the best real estate experience she’s ever had and actually sent in a review to my company that she handwrote.
It was an amazing feeling to know that her experience surpassed her expectations, and she had bought and sold at least six homes over the years. It always stayed with me, and though there are plenty of frustrations in real estate – as things go wrong all the time! – overall, it’s something I’ll never take for granted. Clients are surprised at my “every step of the way” approach. But to me, it’s the only way.
As they say “home is where your story begins …” I think of that with every client … There’s still much work to do to change people’s minds…I’ll just keep being me 🙂
Eli: It seems like a perfect fit for you! Is there anything I haven’t asked that you feel is important for us to know?
Kristen: I do love real estate. What I wish I could also do for clients would be to do what they do on the show Fixer Upper … I love the design aspect, finding that diamond in the rough, creating a home that a client couldn’t imagine and you bring it to life. I think people these days want move-in ready and are intimidated by renovating … but I like the challenge and making it your own.
I am my own example of that We renovated our own home very much like they do on that show … and now, we just purchased a small home out at the beach (just yesterday!) and it’s basically been unchanged since 1971. We are so excited to tackle this project! We have big ideas…but it will be on the cheap…so stay tuned!
Eli: That sounds like a blast! So to close (to borrow a real-estate term), what’s a bit of advice you’d give girls who are considering their career path?
Kristen: Some advice I would give for girls considering their career path…it’s true you should try to find something you are passionate about, it’s a nice feeling to wake up every day feeling grateful. There’s no amount of money I could put on that! It took me until I was 45 and perhaps a nudge from my boyfriend who noticed my insane passion to pursue real estate. I guess the moral of my story is to pay attention to what matters to you. You never know where it might lead, and that’s part of the fun.
A to Z Challenge: