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Embracing Excellence
www.exeleonmagazine.com
Natasha
Simon
T H E A N A L Y T I C A L
L E A D E R
LEADERS IN REAL ESTATE
OF 2022
Transformational
RealEstate
inthe
Metaverse
DebraEsparza:
AReigning
Leaderin
RealtyBusiness
NinaHudnik:
Navigating
RealEstate
Through
Collaboration
and
Excellence
IN - FOCUS
IN - FOCUS
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Embracing Excellence
C O N T E N T S
NATASHA SIMON
12
C O N T E N T S
KATHLEEN BLACK
28
C O N T E N T S
NINA HUDNIK
40
THE
ANA
LEA
12 EXELEON MAGAZINE
C O V E R S T O R Y
E
ALYTICAL
ADERNATASHA SIMON
REALTOR® | The Money Team
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 13
C O V E R S T O R Y
here is a shifting
Tinclination towards data-
driven, analytical
leadership in the recent past.
However, there is a visible gap
among leaders when it comes to
understanding the meaning of
analytical leadership.
The orthodox viewpoint of being
analytical narrows down to
investigating something with rigor
and objectivity. In reality, analysis
has a de initive purpose, i.e. to
solve a question by breaking it
down into smaller elements.
The analytical leader takes data -
disconnected and disjointed - and
gives the data meaning and
purpose to turn it into
information. Following which, by
using a mix of experience, values,
and grounded insights, the leader
turns that information into
knowledge.
This knowledge lays the
framework for analytical decision-
making.
Natasha Simon is an example of a
leader who understands the
meaning of being analytical and
leverages its power to drive
unmatched results.
For over a decade, the pioneering
realtor has made a name for
herself with her concise,
calculated, and logical thinking.
14 EXELEON MAGAZINE
As the Cover of our Latest
Transformational Real Estate
Leader, we look into the story of
Natasha Simon and what makes
her an inspiring leader.
ENTREPRENEURIAL CORE
For Natasha, entrepreneurship
and leadership has always been
inevitable. At the age of 9, she
created, managed, and ran her
own carnival.
She recalls, “I asked all of the
neighbors in our townhome
apartments to not park their cars
on our row between the hours of 4
to 8 so that I could run my
festival.”
She created her very own tickets
for the event by tracing out chuck-
e-cheese tickets, and charged the
kids for games like coloring page
contests, knock the cans, etc.
“Depending upon how many
tickets they had, I bought some
toys from the dollar store as
prizes.”
To advertise the event across her
neighborhood, she took the help
from her aunt who worked at a
copy center. Natasha instructed
her to copy neon-colored lyers
that she could place on every door
of the neighborhood. In her own
words, she created her very own
“Octoberfest.”
Surprisingly, the turnout to her
event was huge. “I had to send my
mom to the store to get hotdogs
and nachos to sell. We sold out of
everything and made a lot of
money,” she remembers.
From a very early age, Natasha
was engaged with such
entrepreneurial activities. This
formed the core of her leadership
journey, one that she still fondly
reminisces about.
REAL ESTATE CALLING
Natasha's exposure into the real
estate scene can be attributed to
her husband, who was a loan
of icer.
Seeing the industry up-close, she
recognized an opportunity; an
opportunity to employ her deep
analysis of the intricacies of
transactions, while simultaneously
following her passion of helping
people.
ALWAYS KEEP GOD FIRST AND YOU
CANNOT GO WRONG. HE IS TRULY
WHY I AM SUCH A SUCCESS TODAY.
MOST PEOPLE SEEM TO FORGET THAT.
‘‘
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 15
C O V E R S T O R Y
Having a Master's in
Computer Science, Natasha
has always had an analytical
approach in her life. She
realized this approach could
be a key differentiator for her
in the real estate industry.
She explains, “Exposure to
high-pro ile account
management and innovative
uses of technology have
enabled me to understand
matters of real estate from a
rare and valuable
perspective.”
Moreover, she has a gift when
it comes to turning NO's into
YES's. All these have
collectively guided Natasha to
pursue real estate as her true
calling.
This calling further enabled
her to build her very own
team of agents, named as
“The Real Estate Money
Team”.
The name of the team aptly
highlights the mission of
Natasha and her team –
enabling clients to get the
right amount of money for
their homes.
Natasha worked in the
industry in part-time capacity
for 6 years, before she went
full-time in October 2019. She
was closing over 50 homes
per year, between the period
of 2016-2018, and is on track
to close to 200 clients in
2022.
Thus far, Natasha has helped over 1000 people with her services. This
amounts to over $200 million in real estate sales. Much of this can be
attributed to Natasha's ability to understand unique transactions and
successfully implement intricate inancing strategies to get the deal
done.
She adds, “I thoroughly evaluate a range of matters from new home
construction processes to changes in mortgage inancing to ensure
thatmyclientsarewell-informedabouttheirinvestments.”
Persistent and methodical by trade, Natasha visualizes each of her
business steps as a deep calculus problem. She relishes the dif iculty
while taking a calculated approach in simplifying the entire problem
andthensolvingtheequation.
“I always say I can outthink most people in this industry because I am
left-brained, while most are right brained,” she asserts. She is a skilled
negotiator and an expert facilitator, who oversees each need and
requirement with utmost precision to ensure optimal client
satisfaction.
Amidst the cut-throat competition of the market, around 85% of
Natasha's business are based upon repeat and referral clients. The
Money Team is committed to helping its clients along the journey with
a clear path. They differentiate themselves from the crowd with the
connectionstheymakeandcreatealongthisjourney.
Her proven track-record allows builders to have the requisite
con idence to list their newly constructed homes with Natasha. She
leverages the power of digital platforms to offer marketing solutions
that bridges the gap between the buyer and seller to minimal time
necessary.
THE METHOD
MONEY
C O V E R S T O R Y
16 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I BELIEVE IN
PLANTING GOOD
SEEDS. IF I PLANT
GOOD SEEDS, I AM
ASSURED OF
REAPING A GOOD
HARVEST.
‘‘
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 17
PLANTING GOOD SEEDS
For Natasha, integrity and the drive to be the best
at all times has played a key role in her career
trajectory. Moreover, her willingness to treat
others the same way she expects herself to be
treated has helped her stay grounded and grateful.
She exhibits integrity in her everyday life whether
it be with her family, friends, or her customers.
Furthermore, her faith in God has played an
essential role in her successful journey. She advices
others, “Always keep God irst and you cannot go
wrong. HE is truly why I am such a success today.
Most people seem to forget that.”
Based in Houston, Texas, Natasha also believes in
the act of giving back and caring about her
community. She and her team engage in mentoring
for opportunities in the real estate industry. She
also runs an annual gala, wherein clients can
donate to a charity of their choice.
According to her, I believe in planting good seeds.
“
If I plant good seeds, I am assured of reaping a
good harvest.”
The Road Ahead
Talking about the future, Natasha is excited for
what's in store for the team in the coming years.
She plans to have different branches of The Money
Team, like a franchise, to further build the brand
and its geographical reach.
On a personal note, Natasha plans to be there for
her kids and her husband. A family person in every
right, Natasha is blessed for her family and is
dedicated to prioritizing them in her life wherever
necessary.
EXPOSURE TO
HIGH-PROFILE
ACCOUNT
MANAGEMENT AND
INNOVATIVE USES
OF TECHNOLOGY
HAVE ENABLED ME
TO UNDERSTAND
MATTERS OF REAL
ESTATE FROM A
RARE AND
VALUABLE
PERSPECTIVE.
‘‘
C O V E R S T O R Y
18 EXELEON MAGAZINE
C O V E R S T O R Y
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 19
We Embrace Excellence!
Exeleon Magazine features some of the
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A D U O E C H O I N G E X C E L L E N C E
A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L I S M
22 EXELEON MAGAZINE
Many people ind themselves
spending years and years
wondering if they should start a
business or venture on their
own. Should they quit their jobs
and set up their own
organization? Is this really an
option for them? Could they
really do it? Lots of questions
come to mind, and the answers
ain't always easy to ind.
The answer to this question
came into the life of Ryan Waller,
Realtor at Home Group Realty
Inc., when he bought a rental
house in 2009. None of his
friends could understand why or
how he was doing it. To them, it
seemed like an absurd notion.
But for Ryan, the move proved to
be the stepping stone for his
entrepreneurial venture with
minimal risks. He listened to the
real estate call and obtained a
license in 2015, and
subsequently transitioned out of
the corporate world in 2017.
THE CALL OF THE REAL
ESTATE
After his education, Ryan's
creative mind led him to be a
part of an advertising agency.
Eventually, his role evolved at the
agency, and soon he got into a
marketing role with Chapters
Bookstores, which was one of the
agency's clients. However,
Advertising and Marketing being
a lot of theory-based practice,
did not match Ryan's result-
oriented personality. Sales, on
the other, was different
altogether and motivated Ryan to
achieve goals by being target-
oriented. Hence, he shifted to the
role of sales when his manager at
Kimberly-Clark asked him to join
sales. Since then, Ryan has never
looked back.
Over the next decade and a half,
Ryan Waller held diverse,
progressive management roles at
Kimberly-Clark and Nestle.
These roles had some
entrepreneurial degree attached
to them, which helped him
become the Realtor he is today.
During the same time, Ryan's
wife Beth held the role of a
skilled salesperson in the
publishing and dental industries.
Embracing motherhood to the
core, she took a sabbatical from
work and chose to stay at home
to raise their three daughters.
Later, Beth teamed up with Ryan
in 2018, one which was a natural
it and seemed right given her
expertise at sales. Together, both
these dynamic personalities
offered two unique perspectives
to prospects, which has had a
tremendously positive effect on
their business outcomes.
A FORWARD-MOVING,
VISIONARY LEADER
According to Ryan, an inspiring
leader empowers people
surrounding him for the greater
good and creates new
opportunities through creativity
and innovation. And he considers
himself lucky to have worked
with talented people who
emphasized these leadership
skills that he uses in his real
estate business. However, Ryan
had to overcome the challenges
associated with his work-based
freedom to reach where he is
today.
Ryan recalls when he was in the
corporate world, the creative
differences within the working
pipeline would hamper his
creative process. "The biggest
roadblock for me was my
struggle with the red tape and
processes," says Ryan. The
required extensive approval to
practice any new initiative took a
toll on him and sti led his
creativity. Hence, when he moved
into real estate, he was surprised
by how much he wanted to
operate without any restrictions.
With freedom as the central
point, Ryan's words for young
aspirants re lect the same, and
he wants them to enjoy what
they love to do. He says that new
Realtors are often con ined with
all the rules and perceptions of
what other realtors do. "So many
new Realtors just toe the line of
'this is what you're supposed to
do,' and it's really not. Think
about who you want to be, why
and how you want to be
different, and have a plan,"
explains Ryan.
Ryan asks budding real estate
entrepreneurs to have a short
memory for not losing
themselves in the process. He
says, on a frequent basis, leaders
face challenges about trust,
feeling betrayed, their ideas
being challenged, or even having
a bad year. "You have to let it go
and move forward because there
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 23
I N - F O C U S
will always be more opportunities
out there," he asserts.
COMMITMENT-BASED SERVICES
Home Group Realty is a boutique
brokerage real estate irm that
emphasizes on the commitment to
understanding the local market.
Thus, the business operates with
the tagline 'Fiercely Local' and
makes sure to frequently
participate and support local events
and initiatives.
Realtors such as Ryan & Beth serve
the industry and people by being on
the same page. Everything they do
revolves around the clients,
irrespective of whether it is more
insights, more marketing, service,
communication, or results.
However, Ryan understands that it
is always bene icial to be able to
differentiate one's service from
others. He elaborates, "Without
differentiation, you don't offer a
compelling value or reason for
someone to work with you. Our
clients realize that these differences
in services are worth more, both in
the transaction and their end
result.”
Even in the early stages of the
global coronavirus pandemic, many
feared the market would crash,
resulting in the hoarding of
panicked buyers, sellers, and
realtors. However, the market did
not crash; it just came to a halt. The
irm understood this and tightened
its roots in the ground and
differentiated it from others by
eliminating public open houses
from the process; the only change
they made was the way the
business operated.
Once the initial restrictions got off,
the need for homes to be sold
skyrocketed. “Personally, we had a
very strong year as we were still
advertising and being present at the
hardest of times, which led to a lot
of new clients,” he mentions.
THE ROAD AHEAD
Moving forward, Ryan and Beth
have got their eyes set on
establishing a strong, pro itable
business. Talking about the future
and their plans, Ryan mentions, “We
like that when people call us, it's us
who shows up to the house - not
another team member. But with
that, it requires us to be strategic in
how we grow our business, because
we only have so much time and we
want a family life, too. Eventually,
we would like to grow a team of like
minded individuals.”
24 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
CEO | Founder | Performance Strategy
Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting
Kathleen
Black
PERSEVERING
TOWARDS SUCCESS
ften underrated, perseverance is the hallmark of a
Osuccessful entrepreneur. It enables one to steer past
adversities, overcome obstacles, and translate ideas
into reality.
Kathleen Black is no stranger to the word 'perseverance'.
Throughout her life, she has persevered past challenges and
created a pathway of excellence.
From having a tumultuous childhood to being an independent
mother, from being among the top 1% in real estate to
becoming one of the leading coaches in the industry, Kathleen's
journey has been nothing but inspiring.
In this interview, she shares about her journey, about the real
estate industry, and much more.
WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU MAKES FOR A POWERFUL
WOMAN?
Powerful women are willing to make big picture choices based
on the future, while staying humble and vulnerable to the needs
of the present.
HOW DO YOU INTEGRATE THE SAME THOUGHT INTO YOUR
LEADERSHIP?
By empowering my team and giving them the room to ful ill
their objectives independently while making myself available
for guidance at every point on their path. I am proud to be
leading a team who are very entrepreneurial and take
ownership over what needs to happen. It's very collaborative,
and without a director style delegation, everyone owns their
portion of the business. That is how we thrive.
28 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
y
g Inc.
n
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 29
TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR
GROWING UP YEARS.
I have never done things the easy
way. I had a tumultuous childhood
that culminated with me leaving my
home while still in high school. I
then self-funded my university
education and completed it as a
new mother. Some people are born
entrepreneurs, and I would say I it
into that.
There are always early signs: the
proverbial lemonade-stand, an
innate youthful rebelliousness, a
way of seeing things differently, and
an early discovery of the power to
th
manifest. I knew as an 8 grader
that I could manifest whatever I
envisioned. Every milestone I reach
comes from an inspired low state –
a practice of inner work I leverage
now, as one of North America's
leading Real Estate Coaches,
delivering my proven success
techniques to Agents and Teams.
WHAT PROMPTED YOUR
INTEREST AND SUBSEQUENTLY
YOUR FORAY INTO THE REAL
ESTATE SPACE?
An unexpected separation made
real estate a fork in the road
moment for me. I chose to take a
risk for long term security and gain
which could better provide for my
children. It worked! The ultimate
achievement is reaching the Top 1%
in production. In my irst year, I
accomplished that within North
America's top Real Estate Board. I
also saw that while this was a
female-dominated industry, it
wasn't an industry dominated by
female voices, and that was
something I wanted to learn more
about and see if I could break
through for myself and lead other
women do it as well.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE APPROACH
FOLLOWED BY YOU AND YOUR
TEAM TO ENSURE OPTIMAL
BUYING AND SELLING
EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR CLIENTS?
The Consultant's Approach and
here's what I mean: a consultant
seeks to establish a need and
educate a client. This sets us apart
from the public perception of a
“pushy salesperson” who pushes a
client in the direction that will lead
to the salesperson's bene it vs. the
client's bene it. We believe in
helping the client achieve their
desired outcomes, and as a result,
the salesperson will also win but it
is the client's best interest that
should be considered at all times. At
Kathleen Black Coaching &
Consulting (KBCC), every top team
or agent we have ever worked with,
who multiplied their business, have
all worked with this speci ic
approach in order to get the
ultimate results.
HOW ARE YOU HELPING
EMPOWER ASPIRING LEADERS IN
THE INDUSTRY REACH THE
HEIGHTS OF SUCCESS?
By bringing an inspiring and
holistic mindset to a systematic and
process-driven approach to our
leadership training. This builds
agile teams, and our ability to
empower aspiring leaders is due to
the fact that we build strong
businesses by helping their teams
reach their potential. Through our
training tools, presentations, and
summits, we have been
instrumental in guiding iconic
brands and high net worth
professionals through our unique
approach of empowered leadership
and expert mindset-training to add
billions of additional sales volume
annually to their bottom lines.
WHAT DOES A DAY IN THE LIFE
OF KATHLEEN BLACK LOOK
LIKE?
My day always starts the night and
week before by scheduling my top
priorities with calendar updates. I
review this monthly, weekly, and
always the night before. This allows
me to be ahead of big projects,
which we break down into micro-
steps. More importantly, this also
allows me to pause and get clear
around my intentions and the
energy I wish to bring to my day. I
also like to start or end my day with
yoga, a long walk, or running. I
listen to guided meditation several
times a week and commit to
visualization around all important
endeavors.
HOW DO YOU ENSURE WORK-
LIFE BALANCE?
I don't believe in a balance but
rather having on and off seasons for
high performers. We all have a
unique blend of wants and needs
and we can harmonize them based
on our unique needs. I have tried to
build and maintain a life of more
time and money while being
surrounded by people I can rely on.
This has helped me act in alignment
with the many leaders I have
admired who already did it, with
the exact blueprint, recipe, and
values unique to my own path.
LOOKING AT YOUR JOURNEY,
WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE
DIFFERENTLY IF YOU WERE TO
START AGAIN?
I'm not sure I would do anything
30 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
differently, but I would have done a
few things sooner, like writing my
books and the development of my
training tools and leadership
platform. Getting into real estate
was the right career path for me,
and now, being able to share my
selling success techniques with
others is very rewarding.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE
FOR EMERGING WOMEN
LEADERS IN THE REAL ESTATE
MARKET?
Be optimistic. You must stand
strong in a storm and rise out of
lots of little ires, so they won't
engulf you. To be a top woman
leader in this industry you need to
be unapologetic in order to be
capable of carving out an ef icient
business. On your way to the top,
you will either hit ceilings or plant
seeds, you cannot do both. If as a
woman, you're looking at your
restrictions and the reasons why
you might fail, those are not going
to propel you further. If you look at
those things and create for the
future, you can plant seeds and
nurture them to create things that
aren't even in existence yet – how
exciting!
FINALLY, WHAT DOES THE
FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR YOU,
BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND
PERSONALLY?
I am always actively planning my
future and that means growth. We
are expanding our services globally,
by building systematically, we're
offering teams 16% higher pro it
margins than a typical team model
would. Having agents on the top
teams using our models sell 10 to
20 times the average transactions
on most of their local Real Estate
boards. Additionally, we're aiding
them in converting at up to 7 times
higher when they get to our
advanced conversion systems. We
are committed to helping our
agents build the most ef icient,
productive, and pro itable teams in
the world.
As for my personal life, I just
climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and it
reinforced values I have always held
dear like being vulnerable,
compassionate, and empathetic
across all of our relationships.
Reaching the summit was a
metaphor for my professional
success because every step took an
open heart, passion, determination,
focus and purpose – all the qualities
that I have applied in my business
for my success and in helping
others!
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 31
Debra Esparza
A Reigning Leader in
Realty Business
R E A L T O R
here are some people who are at ease
Twith the way things work, and then
there are the visionaries. The change-
makers. The modern trendsetters. They
challenge the status quo boldly and pave way
into a new territory.
Debra Esparza is one such exceptional leader
where her drive, empathy and enthusiasm
gives her an edge in the realty business. She
believes powerful women are incredibly open-
minded and have a remarkable vision. “They
are determined, positive and productive to ind
resolutions rather than excuses, and they build
for the long-term. Nothing is ordinary for
them,” she says.
Debra embraces the same thought into her
leadership style where she constantly builds
herself up to a better and stronger version. She
also believes that these traits are inherited and
cannot be taught to people.
SHAPING HER POTENTIAL
Born in the 1960s, Debra's parents were fairly
young and came from humble beginnings. With
limited means, her parents managed to get
their high school education and eventually
earned their technical degrees.
Later, her mom started her career as a
hairdresser and opened up her own Salon &
Spa. On the other hand, her dad earned his
license in Commercial Plumbing, Electrical,
HVAC, Refrigeration, Back low in the
Restaurant industry.
All of 17, Debra borrowed her attitude to be
self-suf icient from her parents — who later
went on to spearhead their respective careers
into rewarding and successful businesses.
Later in her early twenties, she was mentored
by some of the very best CEO's and business
owners which truly transformed her career
trajectory.
34 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 35
FINDING HER
ENTREPRENEURIAL EDGE
It is often said that success is 1%
inspiration and 99% perspiration
and Debra held her own. From
2010 to 2014, she was working
everyday for over 12 hours at an Oil
& Gas Law Firm and helped grow
the irm substantially.
Since she held a superior position
in the irm, it was not easy for her
to hit pause from work. This led her
to be mentally and physically burnt
out and rethink her career
decisions.
This was the moment when Debra
decided to be in control of her own
life and “stepped out in faith” to
venture out on her own. She
realized that “If I have the drive,
motivation, courage, tenacity,
determination and ability to make
someone else successful and
wealthy, then I have the ability to do
the same for myself.”
She knew that exploring the real
estate industry could be very
rewarding, but like anything else,
she had to learn and master it in
order to bene it from it. Later, she
decided to resign from her position
with the law irm and signed up for
her real estate classes and never
looked back.
DELIVERING FLAWLESS CLIENT
EXPERIENCE
Of all things, Debra perceives client
satisfaction to be the core
foundation of her business and will
always remain her priority.
“It's very important and it's who
and what my brand stands for.
With every interaction, it's essential
that my clients see the real side of a
genuine, humble and honest person
that is working for their best
interest, helping them navigate
through the process and educating
them along the way,” she adds
con idently.
Debra understands that real estate
is complicated as it has many
moving parts. Sharing the
information clearly can be
challenging and if not
communicated in a timely manner,
it could feed into clients' feelings of
distrust.
To ensure those instances don't
happen, Debra follows a meticulous
process that includes regular and
timely follow-ups, always being
accessible and inally seeing the
process close in a satisfactory way
for all her clients. She also
emphasizes on transparency as it is
absolutely integral for her brand,
company and most importantly, her
clients.
BALANCING HER CHALLENGES
Providing great service for your
clients means setting them up for
success as a whole, even when it
involves areas outside your
expertise. For that, you need a
reliable network of other experts to
ill the gaps.
Last year, Debra started a “staging
company” where many homes were
staged to get the best offers for her
clients. She says, “I started building
my inventory and housing that
inventory around my of ice and
home.” Then, word of mouth helped
other realtors reach out to her to
use her services. She was
establishing a different identity
from her competitors and built a
niche around it.
Later, she began consultation
services for “Flippers” where she
picked all the looring, paint colors,
back splash, light ixtures and more.
Her earnest approach enabled her
to build strong relationships with
contractors and general contractors
which gave her an opportunity to
understand the process of lipping
houses better.
FINDING YOUR NORTH STAR
Real estate is diverse and serves
many purposes in a person's life.
Though it is a demanding business
at times, it's also an impactful one.
When you stay persistent and
persevere, you create something
extraordinary — and that's well
worth the effort.
To set your clients up for success,
Debra highly recommends asking
yourself fundamental questions to
understand your purpose. She also
believes in doing this with integrity,
honesty, and transparency.
Debra shares, “In this industry,
there's just too many ambulance
chasers in real estate, set yourself
apart, be the unexpected difference
in this industry and whatever that
looks like for you, just do it, but do
it with all the right intentions and
everything else will fall into place.”
CASTING A BEAUTIFUL VISION
Each facet of real estate —whether
it is buying, selling, or building—
comes with its own set of
expectations and Debra has
conquered many challenges by
becoming one of the most powerful
and trusted advisors in realty
business.
Professionally, she doesn't seem to
be slowing down. Although the
36 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
industry has shifted due to in lation
and rising interest rates, she
considers this uncertainty as the
regular cycle of real estate.
She remains optimistic and patient
that her real estate businesses will
adapt and will continue to do what
her team does best— serve their
clients with the best service
platform and commit to doing
what's right.
Personally, her greatest hope is to
witness the presence of her
grandchildren.
“My son and daughter are in their
thirties now and while they are my
greatest love and passion, they don't
have any near future plans of having
children for now. But, if this Mama
can create a vision, then eventually it
will be on the horizon!” she
concludes.
Debra has always paid attention to maximize her potential and make
the right decisions at the right time. She believes that everything we go
through including the journey we traverse through in our lives teaches
us so much along the way.
She also believes that God's perfect timing played an instrumental role
in her success so far. “I learned so much from some of the very best
CEO's, business owners, and community leaders. Everything I learned
and gained experience from has all been applied to my own businesses
in real estate,” she says.
Balancing her professional and personal life is tough, but it is also
essential. Debra understands that while work takes precedence over
everything else in her life, it is crucial to look after her well-being. She
also plans to unplug from her work by taking vacation time and
planning more trips with her family to relax and rejuvenate.
Debra's life motto hinges on “knowing your worth” as she realizes the
importance of being self-driven, self-suf icient and working with like-
minded people — from Loan Of icers, Appraisers, Inspectors, Escrow
Of icers, Surveyors, Contractors, the other realtors and undoubtedly,
her clients.
WINNING THE LONG GAME
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 37
40 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
Nina
Hudnik
Director | Roni nepremičnine
N A V I G A T I N G R E A L E S TA T E T H R O U G H
C O L L A B O R A T I O N A N D E X C E L L E N C E
lanning symbolizes a signi icant
Pmeaning in business. It represents
something big that encompasses all
our mission, values, strategies, goals, and
outcomes.
At the same time, it is also true that no
matter how much we plan, things don't
always go our way. There is something that
can always go wrong. As is rightfully said,
'no plan survives the irst shot', it is the
responsibility of the leader at such times to
be prepared for the unprecedented
circumstances. No matter how the initial
challenges shake up the plan, the leader
must hold the ground until he can make
things right and reach the set goal.
The fall of the global market in 2008 sealed
a similar fate for Nina Hudnik, CEO of Roni
Nepremičnine. However, despite being
unprepared for unexpected situations, she
was the leader who stood her ground,
adapted to the situation, and gave new roots
to her business. The crisis did not break her.
Instead, it gave her the willpower to develop
new solutions and improve her company.
Exeleon proudly looks into the story of this
inspiring personality.
RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES
The headlines of the papers in 2008 were
nothing short of a government bailout -
credit crisis, bank collapses, and mortgage
crisis. During this period, the major inancial
markets lost over 30% of their value. It was
also the time when Nina had just
commenced operations of her brainchild —
Roni Nepremičnine. However, the crisis
brought challenges that were never seen
before and ushered a new era in the real
estate market.
Nina recalls, "During that time it was no
longer enough to list and pray — to publish
an advertisement in the newspaper and wait
for a call. The construction sector had
collapsed, payment indiscipline appeared in
a much more serious form. We were a small
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 41
I N - F O C U S
company that was willing to
persevere, and as such, we were
able to adapt."
Nina and her husband, Rok, were
forced to adapt to the given
environment and managed to
secure a place in the relentless
market. They both were
accompanied by Maja, a core
member of the company to this
day. The lesson Nina learned
from the circumstances is to be
always prepared for unexpected
situations.
She took on the challenges by not
surrendering to the crisis, instead
she expanded her team,
relocated, and adapted to the
new trends and legislation. The
culmination of challenges, having
a reliable colleague, and the
valuable lesson led her to instill
the same belief of being prepared
in her day-to-day business plans
today.
LIKE PEAS IN A POD
Nina states that working with
people drives her excitement and
ful illment and complements the
real estate industry. According to
her, the daily challenges in the
industry are diverse in nature but
are always valuable. It is the
same reason as to why Nina and
Rok started the business in the
irst place and have been
expanding and improving it over
the years. For Nina, working with
her partners and clients always
opens new doors of personal as
well as professional growth.
The said 'personal' approach
even extends to the way Rino
Nepremičnine does business. Just
like peas in a pond, the staff at
the company works collectively
to ensure optimal customer
satisfaction. This synergy is what
makes the business stand out
among other agencies. With the
help of a professionally skilled
team, Nina and her business
operates ef iciently on a broader
scale and provides all-in-one
service through long-term
business partners.
Talking about what makes the
business stand out from the
crowd, Nina explains "Our
personal approach to every client
and a very connected team of
agents and support. Our team
represents experienced and
quali ied agents with previous
knowledge from various
professional ields. Each of us has
his own base of clients, and when
we work together, we always ind
a faster and better solution. It
also feels better to work in a
team where you know others are
always there for you."
Besides her own business, Nina's
drive to work with diverse
leaders and partners led her to
participate in the Global Chamber
of Business Leaders and
represent Slovenia. There she
connected with business
partners in various ields and
expertise from across the world.
She asserts, "It broadens my
horizons and presents new
experiences and opportunities. I
have already made amazing new
connections and new partners on
various projects, and I am very
much looking forward to the
GCBL Summit in Washington in
November. We as a team are
looking forward to presenting
fresh business opportunities in
the Slovenian economy.”
The 2008 crisis led Nina to the
understanding of a leader who
believes in set goals, even when the
situations get tough. A leader who
must always look for solutions, be
lexible, be good with employees,
and always looks after overcoming
challenges and broadening the
horizons. And in order to achieve
excellent growth, connect with
different individuals who
complement each other and form a
success story.
Nina extends the qualities
mentioned above to aspiring and
emerging players in the real estate
industry. Her guidance covers being
abreast of the competition, prepared
for uncalled events, and open to
personal and business growth. For
the long-term, she says to always put
the clients' needs irst and introduce
your work and outline the story you
stand for. Otherwise, it will get lost
in the crowd.
And for being a leader in the real
estate space, Nina's gift to
youngsters is to have a vision and
develop communication skills. She
elaborates, "You have to be empathic
to understand how your clients feel
and how to help them.
Communication skills are necessary
as you deal with so many buyers,
sellers, agencies, and other parties
on a daily basis. And inally, you
cannot achieve success without a
vision. It is something you have to
constantly work on, but it is more
than worth it.”
SPILLING THE
BEANS
42 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 43
I N - F O C U S
Being a forward-moving personality, Nina
expects the future to be bright. She believes in
her motivated and persistent individuals and
the young colleagues standing up to the
occasions. On the business end, Roni
Nepremičnine is expanding into the ield of
new constructions and preparing several
interesting projects in cooperation with top
architectural of ices. Nina also envisions
uniting her business with the best in Slovenia
and beyond.
On the personal side of things, Nina will
continue to lead the team and achieve
outstanding results collectively. She also looks
forward to collaborating on exceptional and
innovative international projects with her
colleagues from the Global Chamber of
Business Leaders.
A WHITE CANVAS
TO BE PAINTED
44 EXELEON MAGAZINE
I N - F O C U S
48 EXELEON MAGAZINE
ho would have thought the day would come when
Wthe average person could own land next to their
favorite celebrity with just a few clicks of a button
from the comfort of their own home? The metaverse has made
that a reality.
UNDERSTANDING THE METAVERSE
The metaverse refers to a broad range of technologies that
operate together in the digital realm. Technologies like virtual
reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), social commerce, and
artificial intelligence are all coming together to combine the
physical and digital worlds.
While in the metaverse, you can be able to travel to a virtual
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 49
E X E L E O N E X C L U S I V E
store, talk to virtual sales staff, check
a product, and make a purchase. You
can even buy virtual property in the
metaverse, but in this article, we'll
explore how the metaverse is
changing the real-world real estate
industry.
You can also create digital twins —
virtual models designed to
accurately reflect physical objects —
to see how they might work in real
life. For example, if you're a real
estate agent, you can offer three-
dimensional walkthroughs to let
prospective home buyers get a feel
for a house without visiting the
location.
HOW DOES THE METAVERSE
REVOLUTIONIZE THE REAL
ESTATE INDUSTRY?
Here's a look at how the metaverse is
transforming real estate:
STOPS THE BIG HASSLE OF
HOUSE HUNTING
Imagine taking the hassle out of
house hunting. No more driving
around, spending a lot of time
looking at houses that aren't a good
fit or reviewing confusing floor
plans. This is possible in the
metaverse, as you can explore
properties from the comfort of your
home and make buying decisions.
Virtual tours can help create a deeper
emotional connection compared to
looking at photos or floor plans.
They can also help you gain a deeper
understanding of the advantages and
disadvantages of a particular
property.
SAVES REALTOR'S EFFORT
AND TIME
Meeting potential buyers, staging
and showing homes, and
accompanying clients to closings are
time-consuming and require a lot of
effort. With a virtual tour, clients can
see the property on their
smartphones or laptops. Those who
are interested in the property will
call and ask for more information. If
you're a realtor, this can free up your
time, as you'll be able to focus on
other essential aspects of your
business.
ALLOWS REAL ESTATE
AGENTS TO EFFICIENTLY
COMMUNICATE WITH
CLIENTS
AR-enabled mobile applications can
help in bringing efficient
communication with clients. With
just a few taps, clients can view a
360-degree AR model of a particular
apartment, house, or property of
their interest virtually. They can
browse, compare, and analyze
different properties, Meanwhile, real
estate agents can easily augment the
virtual instruction of every property
detail in much greater detail.
Although metaverse properties are
all the rage, they're highly
speculative assets. The metaverse
market could plummet at any time,
leaving you with worthless virtual
real estate. Please invest responsibly.
Originally Published on Medium.
50 EXELEON MAGAZINE
E X E L E O N E X C L U S I V E
WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 51
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Natasha Simon | Transformational Leaders In Real Estate | Exeleon Magazine

  • 1. Embracing Excellence www.exeleonmagazine.com Natasha Simon T H E A N A L Y T I C A L L E A D E R LEADERS IN REAL ESTATE OF 2022 Transformational RealEstate inthe Metaverse DebraEsparza: AReigning Leaderin RealtyBusiness NinaHudnik: Navigating RealEstate Through Collaboration and Excellence IN - FOCUS IN - FOCUS
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  • 4. Copyright © Exeleon Media LLC. All rights reserved. The design, images, and content in this issue should not be reproduced in any manner or by any means, i.e. mechanical, electronic, recording, photocopying, or otherwise, without any permission from Exeleon Media. For any advertising related information, please contact info@exeleonmagazine.com. Submissions as well as contributions to the magazine are welcome. Take a moment and let us know about our magazine; whether it be about the design or a possible mistake, we would appreciate any feedback from your end. You can reach out to daryl@exeleonmagazine.com. 600 N Broad St 5 Middletown, DE 19709, United States +1 (302) – 569 – 9387 Editor-in-Chief – Art Director – Managing Editor - Creative Director – Contributing Editors – Content Curator – Daryl Yeung (Story-Tailor) Naomi Lam (Design Ninja) Matt Reis (Wordster) Adam Waring (Grafista) Ian O'Shea, Matt Hale, & John Riggs (Three Musketeers) Cathy G. (Explorer) Sales Josh Wilder (Cultivator) Mike Jackson (Marketeer) Katherine Price (Sustainer) Richard Dann (Facilitator) Project Manager – Marketing Manager – Senior BDM – BDM – Embracing Excellence
  • 5.
  • 6. C O N T E N T S NATASHA SIMON 12
  • 7. C O N T E N T S KATHLEEN BLACK 28
  • 8. C O N T E N T S NINA HUDNIK 40
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  • 13. E ALYTICAL ADERNATASHA SIMON REALTOR® | The Money Team WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 13 C O V E R S T O R Y
  • 14. here is a shifting Tinclination towards data- driven, analytical leadership in the recent past. However, there is a visible gap among leaders when it comes to understanding the meaning of analytical leadership. The orthodox viewpoint of being analytical narrows down to investigating something with rigor and objectivity. In reality, analysis has a de initive purpose, i.e. to solve a question by breaking it down into smaller elements. The analytical leader takes data - disconnected and disjointed - and gives the data meaning and purpose to turn it into information. Following which, by using a mix of experience, values, and grounded insights, the leader turns that information into knowledge. This knowledge lays the framework for analytical decision- making. Natasha Simon is an example of a leader who understands the meaning of being analytical and leverages its power to drive unmatched results. For over a decade, the pioneering realtor has made a name for herself with her concise, calculated, and logical thinking. 14 EXELEON MAGAZINE
  • 15. As the Cover of our Latest Transformational Real Estate Leader, we look into the story of Natasha Simon and what makes her an inspiring leader. ENTREPRENEURIAL CORE For Natasha, entrepreneurship and leadership has always been inevitable. At the age of 9, she created, managed, and ran her own carnival. She recalls, “I asked all of the neighbors in our townhome apartments to not park their cars on our row between the hours of 4 to 8 so that I could run my festival.” She created her very own tickets for the event by tracing out chuck- e-cheese tickets, and charged the kids for games like coloring page contests, knock the cans, etc. “Depending upon how many tickets they had, I bought some toys from the dollar store as prizes.” To advertise the event across her neighborhood, she took the help from her aunt who worked at a copy center. Natasha instructed her to copy neon-colored lyers that she could place on every door of the neighborhood. In her own words, she created her very own “Octoberfest.” Surprisingly, the turnout to her event was huge. “I had to send my mom to the store to get hotdogs and nachos to sell. We sold out of everything and made a lot of money,” she remembers. From a very early age, Natasha was engaged with such entrepreneurial activities. This formed the core of her leadership journey, one that she still fondly reminisces about. REAL ESTATE CALLING Natasha's exposure into the real estate scene can be attributed to her husband, who was a loan of icer. Seeing the industry up-close, she recognized an opportunity; an opportunity to employ her deep analysis of the intricacies of transactions, while simultaneously following her passion of helping people. ALWAYS KEEP GOD FIRST AND YOU CANNOT GO WRONG. HE IS TRULY WHY I AM SUCH A SUCCESS TODAY. MOST PEOPLE SEEM TO FORGET THAT. ‘‘ WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 15 C O V E R S T O R Y
  • 16. Having a Master's in Computer Science, Natasha has always had an analytical approach in her life. She realized this approach could be a key differentiator for her in the real estate industry. She explains, “Exposure to high-pro ile account management and innovative uses of technology have enabled me to understand matters of real estate from a rare and valuable perspective.” Moreover, she has a gift when it comes to turning NO's into YES's. All these have collectively guided Natasha to pursue real estate as her true calling. This calling further enabled her to build her very own team of agents, named as “The Real Estate Money Team”. The name of the team aptly highlights the mission of Natasha and her team – enabling clients to get the right amount of money for their homes. Natasha worked in the industry in part-time capacity for 6 years, before she went full-time in October 2019. She was closing over 50 homes per year, between the period of 2016-2018, and is on track to close to 200 clients in 2022. Thus far, Natasha has helped over 1000 people with her services. This amounts to over $200 million in real estate sales. Much of this can be attributed to Natasha's ability to understand unique transactions and successfully implement intricate inancing strategies to get the deal done. She adds, “I thoroughly evaluate a range of matters from new home construction processes to changes in mortgage inancing to ensure thatmyclientsarewell-informedabouttheirinvestments.” Persistent and methodical by trade, Natasha visualizes each of her business steps as a deep calculus problem. She relishes the dif iculty while taking a calculated approach in simplifying the entire problem andthensolvingtheequation. “I always say I can outthink most people in this industry because I am left-brained, while most are right brained,” she asserts. She is a skilled negotiator and an expert facilitator, who oversees each need and requirement with utmost precision to ensure optimal client satisfaction. Amidst the cut-throat competition of the market, around 85% of Natasha's business are based upon repeat and referral clients. The Money Team is committed to helping its clients along the journey with a clear path. They differentiate themselves from the crowd with the connectionstheymakeandcreatealongthisjourney. Her proven track-record allows builders to have the requisite con idence to list their newly constructed homes with Natasha. She leverages the power of digital platforms to offer marketing solutions that bridges the gap between the buyer and seller to minimal time necessary. THE METHOD MONEY C O V E R S T O R Y 16 EXELEON MAGAZINE
  • 17. I BELIEVE IN PLANTING GOOD SEEDS. IF I PLANT GOOD SEEDS, I AM ASSURED OF REAPING A GOOD HARVEST. ‘‘ WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 17
  • 18. PLANTING GOOD SEEDS For Natasha, integrity and the drive to be the best at all times has played a key role in her career trajectory. Moreover, her willingness to treat others the same way she expects herself to be treated has helped her stay grounded and grateful. She exhibits integrity in her everyday life whether it be with her family, friends, or her customers. Furthermore, her faith in God has played an essential role in her successful journey. She advices others, “Always keep God irst and you cannot go wrong. HE is truly why I am such a success today. Most people seem to forget that.” Based in Houston, Texas, Natasha also believes in the act of giving back and caring about her community. She and her team engage in mentoring for opportunities in the real estate industry. She also runs an annual gala, wherein clients can donate to a charity of their choice. According to her, I believe in planting good seeds. “ If I plant good seeds, I am assured of reaping a good harvest.” The Road Ahead Talking about the future, Natasha is excited for what's in store for the team in the coming years. She plans to have different branches of The Money Team, like a franchise, to further build the brand and its geographical reach. On a personal note, Natasha plans to be there for her kids and her husband. A family person in every right, Natasha is blessed for her family and is dedicated to prioritizing them in her life wherever necessary. EXPOSURE TO HIGH-PROFILE ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT AND INNOVATIVE USES OF TECHNOLOGY HAVE ENABLED ME TO UNDERSTAND MATTERS OF REAL ESTATE FROM A RARE AND VALUABLE PERSPECTIVE. ‘‘ C O V E R S T O R Y 18 EXELEON MAGAZINE
  • 19. C O V E R S T O R Y WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 19
  • 20. We Embrace Excellence! Exeleon Magazine features some of the leading players in business and shares their journey of excellence to inspire aspiring leaders across the globe. SUBSCRIBE
  • 22. A D U O E C H O I N G E X C E L L E N C E A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L I S M 22 EXELEON MAGAZINE
  • 23. Many people ind themselves spending years and years wondering if they should start a business or venture on their own. Should they quit their jobs and set up their own organization? Is this really an option for them? Could they really do it? Lots of questions come to mind, and the answers ain't always easy to ind. The answer to this question came into the life of Ryan Waller, Realtor at Home Group Realty Inc., when he bought a rental house in 2009. None of his friends could understand why or how he was doing it. To them, it seemed like an absurd notion. But for Ryan, the move proved to be the stepping stone for his entrepreneurial venture with minimal risks. He listened to the real estate call and obtained a license in 2015, and subsequently transitioned out of the corporate world in 2017. THE CALL OF THE REAL ESTATE After his education, Ryan's creative mind led him to be a part of an advertising agency. Eventually, his role evolved at the agency, and soon he got into a marketing role with Chapters Bookstores, which was one of the agency's clients. However, Advertising and Marketing being a lot of theory-based practice, did not match Ryan's result- oriented personality. Sales, on the other, was different altogether and motivated Ryan to achieve goals by being target- oriented. Hence, he shifted to the role of sales when his manager at Kimberly-Clark asked him to join sales. Since then, Ryan has never looked back. Over the next decade and a half, Ryan Waller held diverse, progressive management roles at Kimberly-Clark and Nestle. These roles had some entrepreneurial degree attached to them, which helped him become the Realtor he is today. During the same time, Ryan's wife Beth held the role of a skilled salesperson in the publishing and dental industries. Embracing motherhood to the core, she took a sabbatical from work and chose to stay at home to raise their three daughters. Later, Beth teamed up with Ryan in 2018, one which was a natural it and seemed right given her expertise at sales. Together, both these dynamic personalities offered two unique perspectives to prospects, which has had a tremendously positive effect on their business outcomes. A FORWARD-MOVING, VISIONARY LEADER According to Ryan, an inspiring leader empowers people surrounding him for the greater good and creates new opportunities through creativity and innovation. And he considers himself lucky to have worked with talented people who emphasized these leadership skills that he uses in his real estate business. However, Ryan had to overcome the challenges associated with his work-based freedom to reach where he is today. Ryan recalls when he was in the corporate world, the creative differences within the working pipeline would hamper his creative process. "The biggest roadblock for me was my struggle with the red tape and processes," says Ryan. The required extensive approval to practice any new initiative took a toll on him and sti led his creativity. Hence, when he moved into real estate, he was surprised by how much he wanted to operate without any restrictions. With freedom as the central point, Ryan's words for young aspirants re lect the same, and he wants them to enjoy what they love to do. He says that new Realtors are often con ined with all the rules and perceptions of what other realtors do. "So many new Realtors just toe the line of 'this is what you're supposed to do,' and it's really not. Think about who you want to be, why and how you want to be different, and have a plan," explains Ryan. Ryan asks budding real estate entrepreneurs to have a short memory for not losing themselves in the process. He says, on a frequent basis, leaders face challenges about trust, feeling betrayed, their ideas being challenged, or even having a bad year. "You have to let it go and move forward because there WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 23 I N - F O C U S
  • 24. will always be more opportunities out there," he asserts. COMMITMENT-BASED SERVICES Home Group Realty is a boutique brokerage real estate irm that emphasizes on the commitment to understanding the local market. Thus, the business operates with the tagline 'Fiercely Local' and makes sure to frequently participate and support local events and initiatives. Realtors such as Ryan & Beth serve the industry and people by being on the same page. Everything they do revolves around the clients, irrespective of whether it is more insights, more marketing, service, communication, or results. However, Ryan understands that it is always bene icial to be able to differentiate one's service from others. He elaborates, "Without differentiation, you don't offer a compelling value or reason for someone to work with you. Our clients realize that these differences in services are worth more, both in the transaction and their end result.” Even in the early stages of the global coronavirus pandemic, many feared the market would crash, resulting in the hoarding of panicked buyers, sellers, and realtors. However, the market did not crash; it just came to a halt. The irm understood this and tightened its roots in the ground and differentiated it from others by eliminating public open houses from the process; the only change they made was the way the business operated. Once the initial restrictions got off, the need for homes to be sold skyrocketed. “Personally, we had a very strong year as we were still advertising and being present at the hardest of times, which led to a lot of new clients,” he mentions. THE ROAD AHEAD Moving forward, Ryan and Beth have got their eyes set on establishing a strong, pro itable business. Talking about the future and their plans, Ryan mentions, “We like that when people call us, it's us who shows up to the house - not another team member. But with that, it requires us to be strategic in how we grow our business, because we only have so much time and we want a family life, too. Eventually, we would like to grow a team of like minded individuals.” 24 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
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  • 28. CEO | Founder | Performance Strategy Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting Kathleen Black PERSEVERING TOWARDS SUCCESS ften underrated, perseverance is the hallmark of a Osuccessful entrepreneur. It enables one to steer past adversities, overcome obstacles, and translate ideas into reality. Kathleen Black is no stranger to the word 'perseverance'. Throughout her life, she has persevered past challenges and created a pathway of excellence. From having a tumultuous childhood to being an independent mother, from being among the top 1% in real estate to becoming one of the leading coaches in the industry, Kathleen's journey has been nothing but inspiring. In this interview, she shares about her journey, about the real estate industry, and much more. WHAT ACCORDING TO YOU MAKES FOR A POWERFUL WOMAN? Powerful women are willing to make big picture choices based on the future, while staying humble and vulnerable to the needs of the present. HOW DO YOU INTEGRATE THE SAME THOUGHT INTO YOUR LEADERSHIP? By empowering my team and giving them the room to ful ill their objectives independently while making myself available for guidance at every point on their path. I am proud to be leading a team who are very entrepreneurial and take ownership over what needs to happen. It's very collaborative, and without a director style delegation, everyone owns their portion of the business. That is how we thrive. 28 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
  • 30. TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR GROWING UP YEARS. I have never done things the easy way. I had a tumultuous childhood that culminated with me leaving my home while still in high school. I then self-funded my university education and completed it as a new mother. Some people are born entrepreneurs, and I would say I it into that. There are always early signs: the proverbial lemonade-stand, an innate youthful rebelliousness, a way of seeing things differently, and an early discovery of the power to th manifest. I knew as an 8 grader that I could manifest whatever I envisioned. Every milestone I reach comes from an inspired low state – a practice of inner work I leverage now, as one of North America's leading Real Estate Coaches, delivering my proven success techniques to Agents and Teams. WHAT PROMPTED YOUR INTEREST AND SUBSEQUENTLY YOUR FORAY INTO THE REAL ESTATE SPACE? An unexpected separation made real estate a fork in the road moment for me. I chose to take a risk for long term security and gain which could better provide for my children. It worked! The ultimate achievement is reaching the Top 1% in production. In my irst year, I accomplished that within North America's top Real Estate Board. I also saw that while this was a female-dominated industry, it wasn't an industry dominated by female voices, and that was something I wanted to learn more about and see if I could break through for myself and lead other women do it as well. WHAT HAS BEEN THE APPROACH FOLLOWED BY YOU AND YOUR TEAM TO ENSURE OPTIMAL BUYING AND SELLING EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR CLIENTS? The Consultant's Approach and here's what I mean: a consultant seeks to establish a need and educate a client. This sets us apart from the public perception of a “pushy salesperson” who pushes a client in the direction that will lead to the salesperson's bene it vs. the client's bene it. We believe in helping the client achieve their desired outcomes, and as a result, the salesperson will also win but it is the client's best interest that should be considered at all times. At Kathleen Black Coaching & Consulting (KBCC), every top team or agent we have ever worked with, who multiplied their business, have all worked with this speci ic approach in order to get the ultimate results. HOW ARE YOU HELPING EMPOWER ASPIRING LEADERS IN THE INDUSTRY REACH THE HEIGHTS OF SUCCESS? By bringing an inspiring and holistic mindset to a systematic and process-driven approach to our leadership training. This builds agile teams, and our ability to empower aspiring leaders is due to the fact that we build strong businesses by helping their teams reach their potential. Through our training tools, presentations, and summits, we have been instrumental in guiding iconic brands and high net worth professionals through our unique approach of empowered leadership and expert mindset-training to add billions of additional sales volume annually to their bottom lines. WHAT DOES A DAY IN THE LIFE OF KATHLEEN BLACK LOOK LIKE? My day always starts the night and week before by scheduling my top priorities with calendar updates. I review this monthly, weekly, and always the night before. This allows me to be ahead of big projects, which we break down into micro- steps. More importantly, this also allows me to pause and get clear around my intentions and the energy I wish to bring to my day. I also like to start or end my day with yoga, a long walk, or running. I listen to guided meditation several times a week and commit to visualization around all important endeavors. HOW DO YOU ENSURE WORK- LIFE BALANCE? I don't believe in a balance but rather having on and off seasons for high performers. We all have a unique blend of wants and needs and we can harmonize them based on our unique needs. I have tried to build and maintain a life of more time and money while being surrounded by people I can rely on. This has helped me act in alignment with the many leaders I have admired who already did it, with the exact blueprint, recipe, and values unique to my own path. LOOKING AT YOUR JOURNEY, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IF YOU WERE TO START AGAIN? I'm not sure I would do anything 30 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
  • 31. differently, but I would have done a few things sooner, like writing my books and the development of my training tools and leadership platform. Getting into real estate was the right career path for me, and now, being able to share my selling success techniques with others is very rewarding. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR ADVICE FOR EMERGING WOMEN LEADERS IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET? Be optimistic. You must stand strong in a storm and rise out of lots of little ires, so they won't engulf you. To be a top woman leader in this industry you need to be unapologetic in order to be capable of carving out an ef icient business. On your way to the top, you will either hit ceilings or plant seeds, you cannot do both. If as a woman, you're looking at your restrictions and the reasons why you might fail, those are not going to propel you further. If you look at those things and create for the future, you can plant seeds and nurture them to create things that aren't even in existence yet – how exciting! FINALLY, WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE FOR YOU, BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY? I am always actively planning my future and that means growth. We are expanding our services globally, by building systematically, we're offering teams 16% higher pro it margins than a typical team model would. Having agents on the top teams using our models sell 10 to 20 times the average transactions on most of their local Real Estate boards. Additionally, we're aiding them in converting at up to 7 times higher when they get to our advanced conversion systems. We are committed to helping our agents build the most ef icient, productive, and pro itable teams in the world. As for my personal life, I just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and it reinforced values I have always held dear like being vulnerable, compassionate, and empathetic across all of our relationships. Reaching the summit was a metaphor for my professional success because every step took an open heart, passion, determination, focus and purpose – all the qualities that I have applied in my business for my success and in helping others! WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 31
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  • 34. Debra Esparza A Reigning Leader in Realty Business R E A L T O R here are some people who are at ease Twith the way things work, and then there are the visionaries. The change- makers. The modern trendsetters. They challenge the status quo boldly and pave way into a new territory. Debra Esparza is one such exceptional leader where her drive, empathy and enthusiasm gives her an edge in the realty business. She believes powerful women are incredibly open- minded and have a remarkable vision. “They are determined, positive and productive to ind resolutions rather than excuses, and they build for the long-term. Nothing is ordinary for them,” she says. Debra embraces the same thought into her leadership style where she constantly builds herself up to a better and stronger version. She also believes that these traits are inherited and cannot be taught to people. SHAPING HER POTENTIAL Born in the 1960s, Debra's parents were fairly young and came from humble beginnings. With limited means, her parents managed to get their high school education and eventually earned their technical degrees. Later, her mom started her career as a hairdresser and opened up her own Salon & Spa. On the other hand, her dad earned his license in Commercial Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, Refrigeration, Back low in the Restaurant industry. All of 17, Debra borrowed her attitude to be self-suf icient from her parents — who later went on to spearhead their respective careers into rewarding and successful businesses. Later in her early twenties, she was mentored by some of the very best CEO's and business owners which truly transformed her career trajectory. 34 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
  • 36. FINDING HER ENTREPRENEURIAL EDGE It is often said that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration and Debra held her own. From 2010 to 2014, she was working everyday for over 12 hours at an Oil & Gas Law Firm and helped grow the irm substantially. Since she held a superior position in the irm, it was not easy for her to hit pause from work. This led her to be mentally and physically burnt out and rethink her career decisions. This was the moment when Debra decided to be in control of her own life and “stepped out in faith” to venture out on her own. She realized that “If I have the drive, motivation, courage, tenacity, determination and ability to make someone else successful and wealthy, then I have the ability to do the same for myself.” She knew that exploring the real estate industry could be very rewarding, but like anything else, she had to learn and master it in order to bene it from it. Later, she decided to resign from her position with the law irm and signed up for her real estate classes and never looked back. DELIVERING FLAWLESS CLIENT EXPERIENCE Of all things, Debra perceives client satisfaction to be the core foundation of her business and will always remain her priority. “It's very important and it's who and what my brand stands for. With every interaction, it's essential that my clients see the real side of a genuine, humble and honest person that is working for their best interest, helping them navigate through the process and educating them along the way,” she adds con idently. Debra understands that real estate is complicated as it has many moving parts. Sharing the information clearly can be challenging and if not communicated in a timely manner, it could feed into clients' feelings of distrust. To ensure those instances don't happen, Debra follows a meticulous process that includes regular and timely follow-ups, always being accessible and inally seeing the process close in a satisfactory way for all her clients. She also emphasizes on transparency as it is absolutely integral for her brand, company and most importantly, her clients. BALANCING HER CHALLENGES Providing great service for your clients means setting them up for success as a whole, even when it involves areas outside your expertise. For that, you need a reliable network of other experts to ill the gaps. Last year, Debra started a “staging company” where many homes were staged to get the best offers for her clients. She says, “I started building my inventory and housing that inventory around my of ice and home.” Then, word of mouth helped other realtors reach out to her to use her services. She was establishing a different identity from her competitors and built a niche around it. Later, she began consultation services for “Flippers” where she picked all the looring, paint colors, back splash, light ixtures and more. Her earnest approach enabled her to build strong relationships with contractors and general contractors which gave her an opportunity to understand the process of lipping houses better. FINDING YOUR NORTH STAR Real estate is diverse and serves many purposes in a person's life. Though it is a demanding business at times, it's also an impactful one. When you stay persistent and persevere, you create something extraordinary — and that's well worth the effort. To set your clients up for success, Debra highly recommends asking yourself fundamental questions to understand your purpose. She also believes in doing this with integrity, honesty, and transparency. Debra shares, “In this industry, there's just too many ambulance chasers in real estate, set yourself apart, be the unexpected difference in this industry and whatever that looks like for you, just do it, but do it with all the right intentions and everything else will fall into place.” CASTING A BEAUTIFUL VISION Each facet of real estate —whether it is buying, selling, or building— comes with its own set of expectations and Debra has conquered many challenges by becoming one of the most powerful and trusted advisors in realty business. Professionally, she doesn't seem to be slowing down. Although the 36 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
  • 37. industry has shifted due to in lation and rising interest rates, she considers this uncertainty as the regular cycle of real estate. She remains optimistic and patient that her real estate businesses will adapt and will continue to do what her team does best— serve their clients with the best service platform and commit to doing what's right. Personally, her greatest hope is to witness the presence of her grandchildren. “My son and daughter are in their thirties now and while they are my greatest love and passion, they don't have any near future plans of having children for now. But, if this Mama can create a vision, then eventually it will be on the horizon!” she concludes. Debra has always paid attention to maximize her potential and make the right decisions at the right time. She believes that everything we go through including the journey we traverse through in our lives teaches us so much along the way. She also believes that God's perfect timing played an instrumental role in her success so far. “I learned so much from some of the very best CEO's, business owners, and community leaders. Everything I learned and gained experience from has all been applied to my own businesses in real estate,” she says. Balancing her professional and personal life is tough, but it is also essential. Debra understands that while work takes precedence over everything else in her life, it is crucial to look after her well-being. She also plans to unplug from her work by taking vacation time and planning more trips with her family to relax and rejuvenate. Debra's life motto hinges on “knowing your worth” as she realizes the importance of being self-driven, self-suf icient and working with like- minded people — from Loan Of icers, Appraisers, Inspectors, Escrow Of icers, Surveyors, Contractors, the other realtors and undoubtedly, her clients. WINNING THE LONG GAME WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 37
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  • 41. Nina Hudnik Director | Roni nepremičnine N A V I G A T I N G R E A L E S TA T E T H R O U G H C O L L A B O R A T I O N A N D E X C E L L E N C E lanning symbolizes a signi icant Pmeaning in business. It represents something big that encompasses all our mission, values, strategies, goals, and outcomes. At the same time, it is also true that no matter how much we plan, things don't always go our way. There is something that can always go wrong. As is rightfully said, 'no plan survives the irst shot', it is the responsibility of the leader at such times to be prepared for the unprecedented circumstances. No matter how the initial challenges shake up the plan, the leader must hold the ground until he can make things right and reach the set goal. The fall of the global market in 2008 sealed a similar fate for Nina Hudnik, CEO of Roni Nepremičnine. However, despite being unprepared for unexpected situations, she was the leader who stood her ground, adapted to the situation, and gave new roots to her business. The crisis did not break her. Instead, it gave her the willpower to develop new solutions and improve her company. Exeleon proudly looks into the story of this inspiring personality. RISE LIKE A PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES The headlines of the papers in 2008 were nothing short of a government bailout - credit crisis, bank collapses, and mortgage crisis. During this period, the major inancial markets lost over 30% of their value. It was also the time when Nina had just commenced operations of her brainchild — Roni Nepremičnine. However, the crisis brought challenges that were never seen before and ushered a new era in the real estate market. Nina recalls, "During that time it was no longer enough to list and pray — to publish an advertisement in the newspaper and wait for a call. The construction sector had collapsed, payment indiscipline appeared in a much more serious form. We were a small WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 41 I N - F O C U S
  • 42. company that was willing to persevere, and as such, we were able to adapt." Nina and her husband, Rok, were forced to adapt to the given environment and managed to secure a place in the relentless market. They both were accompanied by Maja, a core member of the company to this day. The lesson Nina learned from the circumstances is to be always prepared for unexpected situations. She took on the challenges by not surrendering to the crisis, instead she expanded her team, relocated, and adapted to the new trends and legislation. The culmination of challenges, having a reliable colleague, and the valuable lesson led her to instill the same belief of being prepared in her day-to-day business plans today. LIKE PEAS IN A POD Nina states that working with people drives her excitement and ful illment and complements the real estate industry. According to her, the daily challenges in the industry are diverse in nature but are always valuable. It is the same reason as to why Nina and Rok started the business in the irst place and have been expanding and improving it over the years. For Nina, working with her partners and clients always opens new doors of personal as well as professional growth. The said 'personal' approach even extends to the way Rino Nepremičnine does business. Just like peas in a pond, the staff at the company works collectively to ensure optimal customer satisfaction. This synergy is what makes the business stand out among other agencies. With the help of a professionally skilled team, Nina and her business operates ef iciently on a broader scale and provides all-in-one service through long-term business partners. Talking about what makes the business stand out from the crowd, Nina explains "Our personal approach to every client and a very connected team of agents and support. Our team represents experienced and quali ied agents with previous knowledge from various professional ields. Each of us has his own base of clients, and when we work together, we always ind a faster and better solution. It also feels better to work in a team where you know others are always there for you." Besides her own business, Nina's drive to work with diverse leaders and partners led her to participate in the Global Chamber of Business Leaders and represent Slovenia. There she connected with business partners in various ields and expertise from across the world. She asserts, "It broadens my horizons and presents new experiences and opportunities. I have already made amazing new connections and new partners on various projects, and I am very much looking forward to the GCBL Summit in Washington in November. We as a team are looking forward to presenting fresh business opportunities in the Slovenian economy.” The 2008 crisis led Nina to the understanding of a leader who believes in set goals, even when the situations get tough. A leader who must always look for solutions, be lexible, be good with employees, and always looks after overcoming challenges and broadening the horizons. And in order to achieve excellent growth, connect with different individuals who complement each other and form a success story. Nina extends the qualities mentioned above to aspiring and emerging players in the real estate industry. Her guidance covers being abreast of the competition, prepared for uncalled events, and open to personal and business growth. For the long-term, she says to always put the clients' needs irst and introduce your work and outline the story you stand for. Otherwise, it will get lost in the crowd. And for being a leader in the real estate space, Nina's gift to youngsters is to have a vision and develop communication skills. She elaborates, "You have to be empathic to understand how your clients feel and how to help them. Communication skills are necessary as you deal with so many buyers, sellers, agencies, and other parties on a daily basis. And inally, you cannot achieve success without a vision. It is something you have to constantly work on, but it is more than worth it.” SPILLING THE BEANS 42 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
  • 44. Being a forward-moving personality, Nina expects the future to be bright. She believes in her motivated and persistent individuals and the young colleagues standing up to the occasions. On the business end, Roni Nepremičnine is expanding into the ield of new constructions and preparing several interesting projects in cooperation with top architectural of ices. Nina also envisions uniting her business with the best in Slovenia and beyond. On the personal side of things, Nina will continue to lead the team and achieve outstanding results collectively. She also looks forward to collaborating on exceptional and innovative international projects with her colleagues from the Global Chamber of Business Leaders. A WHITE CANVAS TO BE PAINTED 44 EXELEON MAGAZINE I N - F O C U S
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  • 49. ho would have thought the day would come when Wthe average person could own land next to their favorite celebrity with just a few clicks of a button from the comfort of their own home? The metaverse has made that a reality. UNDERSTANDING THE METAVERSE The metaverse refers to a broad range of technologies that operate together in the digital realm. Technologies like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), social commerce, and artificial intelligence are all coming together to combine the physical and digital worlds. While in the metaverse, you can be able to travel to a virtual WWW.EXELEONMAGAZINE.COM 49 E X E L E O N E X C L U S I V E
  • 50. store, talk to virtual sales staff, check a product, and make a purchase. You can even buy virtual property in the metaverse, but in this article, we'll explore how the metaverse is changing the real-world real estate industry. You can also create digital twins — virtual models designed to accurately reflect physical objects — to see how they might work in real life. For example, if you're a real estate agent, you can offer three- dimensional walkthroughs to let prospective home buyers get a feel for a house without visiting the location. HOW DOES THE METAVERSE REVOLUTIONIZE THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? Here's a look at how the metaverse is transforming real estate: STOPS THE BIG HASSLE OF HOUSE HUNTING Imagine taking the hassle out of house hunting. No more driving around, spending a lot of time looking at houses that aren't a good fit or reviewing confusing floor plans. This is possible in the metaverse, as you can explore properties from the comfort of your home and make buying decisions. Virtual tours can help create a deeper emotional connection compared to looking at photos or floor plans. They can also help you gain a deeper understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of a particular property. SAVES REALTOR'S EFFORT AND TIME Meeting potential buyers, staging and showing homes, and accompanying clients to closings are time-consuming and require a lot of effort. With a virtual tour, clients can see the property on their smartphones or laptops. Those who are interested in the property will call and ask for more information. If you're a realtor, this can free up your time, as you'll be able to focus on other essential aspects of your business. ALLOWS REAL ESTATE AGENTS TO EFFICIENTLY COMMUNICATE WITH CLIENTS AR-enabled mobile applications can help in bringing efficient communication with clients. With just a few taps, clients can view a 360-degree AR model of a particular apartment, house, or property of their interest virtually. They can browse, compare, and analyze different properties, Meanwhile, real estate agents can easily augment the virtual instruction of every property detail in much greater detail. Although metaverse properties are all the rage, they're highly speculative assets. The metaverse market could plummet at any time, leaving you with worthless virtual real estate. Please invest responsibly. Originally Published on Medium. 50 EXELEON MAGAZINE E X E L E O N E X C L U S I V E
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