We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Donovan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsey, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The thought process behind starting my business began when I was very young. When I was as young as five years old, I used to beg my mom to take me to open houses every Sunday after church. I just loved exploring properties and imagining their potential. By the time I was 8, my favorite TV show was House Hunters and my favorite pastime was building home after home from the ground up on the computer game : Sims. I knew I wanted a career in Real Estate very early on but I just wasn’t sure how to make it happen. I had seen my parents, friends and nearly everyone I know go to college and begin their climb up the corporate ladder. So what did I do? I boxed up my dreams up being a real estate agent, went to college and got a job in finance to start my corporate ladder climb. It didn’t take me long to recognize I wanted more fulfillment and that the dream I had as a child was pushed aside out of fear. I knew I had to get my foot in the door and obtain the knowledge before starting my own business. I spent the next five years working alongside incredible mentors and soaking up every bit of industry knowledge I could, working as a transaction coordinator for a real estate company. It wasn’t long before I had the knowledge to successfully go out on my own. Stepping off the corporate ladder and starting my own business was the best decision I’ve ever made. “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” You’ve heard the saying, right? If you have a dream, don’t stop until you get it!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My career is one of the most important parts of my life. I run my business with so much passion about what I do and with such a caring heart for my clients. I get so excited when I see my client’s face light up when we find the perfect home for them. There is nothing quite like handing over keys to new homeowners! Getting where I am today did not come easily. Starting a business can be just as scary as it is exciting. I knew starting my business with little to no experience was not a good plan so I became a transaction coordinator for a real estate company. I spent years soaking up industry knowledge from my co workers and mentors. So much of my success stems from all I learned from them. This real estate market is on fire and one of the biggest challenges is getting buyers’ offers accepted. I’ve used my years of experience and contract knowledge to get creative in solving this problem. Many times, this does not necessarily mean getting the buyer to spend more and outbid every other buyer. I run my business with a caring heart, which allows me to get to know each party in a transaction. With getting to know each person, I understand what is important to each of them and can help all parties come to an agreement that makes everyone happy. Someone told me when I first started my business to grow as I go. It has probably been the single best piece of advice and biggest lesson in regards to my business. I’ve really kept that motto throughout my business. You don’t have to have the perfect logo, the most professional website, the most wonderful brand colors and every piece perfectly in place to start your business. You will develop and grow your vision as your business develops and as you grow as a professional. None of this growth will happen without launching the business. If you’re a perfectionist like I am, this isn’t easy advice to follow but I promise it is worth it. Just launch it and grow as you go!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Scottsdale, AZ is the greatest place to live if you ask me. I’ve lived here my entire life and love it more with each passing day. There are so many incredible restaurants, friendly people and plenty to do! If someone was visiting me in AZ, I’d have a full itinerary for us ready to go. No trip to Scottsdale is complete without hiking Camelback Mountain. Enjoy the beautiful views from the top before coming down and heading over to The Henry or Arcadia Farms Cafe for an amazing brunch. For dinner, head over to Cafe Monarch or The Mission (make a reservation!) and end the night at Second Story Liquor Bar just a few minutes up the road. If you’re an art lover, I have a full day planned for you. Wonderspaces AZ is such a fun experience with interactive art for all ages. It is located in Fashion Square Mall so you can conveniently walk around Old Town Scottsdale afterwards. During your walk, check out AZ88’s for lunch. AZ88’s has artsy decor, fantastic martinis and is just a short walk from both the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Historical Museum. End the day with ice cream at the historical ice cream parlor, The Sugar Bowl. If you’re coming out to Scottsdale, I highly recommend carving out a day to see the beautiful town of Sedona. You can cover a lot of ground and experience the beauty from a whole new level by taking a helicopter or hot air balloon tour! I also highly recommend checking out Fossil Creek in the summer months or hiking Cathedral Rock at sunset while you’re there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe so much of my success to my wonderful fiancé, Matthew Jones. From the moment I started my business, he came through with unwavering support. While I was questioning my ability and worried about failure, he continuously lifted my spirits and had the upmost confidence in me. He and I both knew the best way to start a business was to put your clients first and lead with passion. He encouraged me to run my business without stressing about making money. He continuously reminded me that even if I didn’t make a dime, he would still be proud of me for my efforts. Starting my business has changed both of our lives immensely in the most positive way. I couldn’t have done it without him.