Kelly White, director of talent attraction at Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, answers ten questions with Clean Slate, sharing her thoughts on passion and tenacity, finishing her first book, and what she means when she says that “everything is happening for us.”
Which of our BHGRE® P.A.I.G.E. (Passion, Authenticity, Innovation, Growth, Excellence) core values do you identify with most, and why?
All of our core values resonate with me, which is one of the reasons I chose to work for BHGRE. The one that resonates the most for me is Passion. When people describe me they often use the word passionate. For me, passion means waking up every day with enthusiasm for the work that you do, the company you work for and the people you serve. It is my intention to wake up every day and give it my 110%. If you aren’t passionate about something, why do it? I want my life to be a demonstration of passion. I want to give my all to my work, my friends and my family. At the end of the day, I want to be able to say that I lived my life. That I made something of each day and every opportunity that came my direction. I believe a passion-filled life is a life worth living.
What are your favorite qualities in a customer?
My favorite qualities in a customer are trust and collaboration. I want my customers to trust me, to know that I will do what I say I am going to do, that I am an expert at what I do, and that I will always look after their best interest. In return, I want them to collaborate with me. To express what is important to them so that I can help them achieve their dreams and goals.
What is the one characteristic that’s helped you the most in your career?
One of the characteristics that has helped me most in my career is tenacity. I am a highly driven individual and have lofty goals and ambitions. When I create a goal it is not just a guideline. For me, it means I am going to do this! That drives me to keep working through any obstacles to make it happen. If we really want something and claim it is important, then my motto is, don’t give up.
Sometimes this requires taking baby steps every week until we get there, but even if those baby steps take one year or 10, when we accomplish a goal, there is nothing like it. Especially when you know that you have overcome adversity and challenges to make it happen. One example of this is I just finished writing my first book. I have been working on it since 2006 and overcame a variety of challenges – including losing it and having to re-write it. Something inside of me said, don’t let this dream die. I listened to my inner voice and kept writing.
What was the last book you read?
I am an avid reader and typically have two to three books going at a time. I am currently going through and reading the top 10 books from 2013 and 2104. The last book I read that captured me to the point of tears was The Book Thief. I have not read a book that is that well written in a long time. The topic, a war story of Nazi Germany, is naturally a tearjerker, but the writing was so poetic it painted a beautiful and sad story that I will never forget. The last business book I read was Good Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell.
If you were not in real estate, what would you be doing?
If I weren’t in real estate, I would more than likely be doing life coaching or helping others achieve their personal dreams. One of the reasons that I love real estate is it allows me to work with people and help them achieve their dreams. When I sold real estate I felt this way and in my role now, I feel like I am helping people build a better business to help them achieve what they want in their lives.
What was the last song you heard that you couldn’t stop humming?
Not everybody knows this, but I am avid Country Western fan. The last song I played until I knew all of the words was “Highway Don’t Care” by Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban. Also, any song by Blake Shelton or Darius Rucker.
Who is your real-life hero?
My real-life hero is my cousin’s husband Brian Kolfage. Brian, better known as Senior Airman Brian Kolfage, was serving his second term in Iraq in 2004 when he was part of a rocket attack. During this attack, he suffered injuries that resulted in a triple amputation. To this day, he is known as the most severely injured wounded Airman to survive any war. He survived, is married to my cousin and has a beautiful daughter named Paris. He has been recognized with the Purple Heart and is part of the Wounded Warrior Project to help other vets when they return from war. He is a real-life hero as it men like him who allow us the freedom we have in our country today. www.BrianKolfage.com
What’s your favorite thing about social media?
My favorite thing about social media is it allows you to connect with people that you would never be able to connect to without it. And it allows you to build relationships with people across the globe and gain exposure to people and information you would not have had access to before. I think social media has opened up a whole new world of experiences and relationships for me.
If you could sell a home in any market in the world, where would it be?
If I could sell a home in any market in the world it would be in Italy. Italy is on my top five places to go and I can’t imagine anything better than to sell a villa in Italy – well, except to buy one, of course! I live in Austin, TX, and have had the opportunity to sell homes here, and I would say that in my opinion, there isn’t a better place to buy and sell property. Austin is an amazing place to live and I am happy to call it home.
What is your favorite motto, and what advice would you give your younger self starting out in real estate?
My favorite motto is “Everything is happening for us.” People often say that everything happens for a reason, I have come to believe that everything is happening for us. In my experience, even during adversity, everything has happened for me. That’s not to say that during difficult times I don’t question, “Why?” What I have learned, though, is that after everything settles, I am able to see that even the difficult times have produced something positive in my life. That is what I mean when I say that “everything is happening for us.”