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May 16, 2023 at 2:34:40 PM

Why I'm really in Real-estate, the reason you never knew!


How a quick question turned into a rant about my Why!

Published on:

May 16, 2023 at 2:34:40 PM

Ignite Business Insider shares the stories of businesses that are making an impact in their local markets. We highlight their stories in order to inspire entrepreneurial growth and to let readers learn more about businesses across the world that are growing and scaling.


Celeste Zarling


CENTURY 21 NW Realty

Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?

Absolutely, I started as a Realtor here with Century 21, 10 years ago this June! Coming up on my 10 year anniversary. Really, the first 5 years I was a part-timer agent while I was teaching yoga and meditation, to supplement my income. Now I have grown into these shoes of a full time, Top producing agent which basically means I run a full scale small business.

A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?

The moment I realized I had to provide a lot more I come being a single parent of 4 I knew I had to lean into being a business owner as I had been since I was 27. You see I had taken a sabbatical after 2009--I really found a passion for teaching yoga at the time and helping others get through their stresses. The moment I knew I had to get my Real-estate license was when I recognized that my background as a yoga teacher and and life coach could really be optimized while selling Real-estate. So many people find buying and selling houses extremely stressful! I use my empathy and mindfulness to guide people through this nerve wracking process.

Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?

Oh that's fun! Well I most definitely wanted to be a ballet performer or actress. I think that leads into expressing your passion. As a kid you just want to express yourself.

Have you fully let go of that childhood dream? And where do you see yourself going in the next ten years?

I am not planning on being either of those professions but what I can tell you I will do for the next 10 years is express myself in different facets. I believe in sharing the experiences and knowledge for the community and leading with interdependence. I have learned so much through this industry and I'm already doing this now, with being on The American Dream TV, the next 10 years I will be firing it up!

Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?

Most definitely my 4'8 Nonni. She was a grandmother that used her voice and didnt take anything from anyone, she lived fearless and that impacted me greatly! My mom was in and out of jail and I had a couple father figures so my grandmother and grandfather stepped in many times to raise me. Nonni taught me the fundamental basics and what I call "Super" streetsmarts.

What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?

The one thing is Confidence! She grew up in the depression and I still appreciate the confidence and belief she reflected and instilled into me as a young women.

When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?

Everyday I think of creating a better life for my children than what I had to go through. Remembering my childhood is enough why for me. It was horrific so I never want my children to have to live wondering what they are going to eat. That is the root why and really that fuels my inspiration to do my daily why--do great daily, your either winning or learning. A step further is Legacy. Leaving a Legacy to inspire my children to do great things with this life.

Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?

In the past 10 years I have seen this industry creep into doing less and less for clients. I do the absolute opposite. I do more and more every year for my clients. As a full service agent, my clients will get my full attention, lots of communication and a full 5 step process to buying or selling! This includes many services such as cleaning, home warranty and when selling staging or when buying I provide a few options when they move into their new home. I love spoiling my clients!

Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?

First, my clients get me. My wealth of experience and direct communication. They aren't going to get a co-agent or team member (who may be new in the business) to call and service them. I think it's so important to give the individual attention and concierge with the agent they hire. My customers know I do what I say I will do and I am there with them all the way !

Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?

When the student is ready, the teacher shows up. That's true with the service calling as well. Sometimes we connect through referral or they find me online with my extensive online branding. Some research me online and see I am the top 1%. I also market around my listings to see who else needs my help. My clients are attracted to me knowing I am full-service, "done for you" and I will do all the heavy lifting and that's what they need and get!

Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?

Yes, there are many. The most recent client had a stroke and was a licensed agent herself. She had depression and was really trying to sell on her own but wasn't successful. Then I came to her and staged the home and did the mass marketing that I do and we immediately sold in 4 days. This took the stress off her back so she could focus on moving out of state to her family.

Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know?

I think everyone would be surprised to know that I pre-screen every client and if they are not a fit I let them know. I don't take every client. Sometimes I have to pass them to a better fit. I'm not a discount, list you and leave you sitting on the MLS type of agent. So I'm not for everyone. I take clients that want me involved and want my guidance and expertise. So Sometimes I reject taking clients if we are not the right match. People.tell me they appreciate my honesty to decline them. The ones that do work with me, are forever clients!

Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?

Every customer deserves great communication. That's a lost skill and art with today's technology. Agents need to Stop texting and start picking up the phone. My clients can count on having real conversations about their Real-estate with me!

Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?

I'm on Instagram daily and Facebook as: Celestezarlingrealtor and if they want to learn all about my services they can go to or my website at

Watch our segment on The American Dream TV showcasing community and lifestyle here in our beautiful city--Kirkland WA and you can find all the details at

Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.

Thank you Joseph and I appreciate you and all the well thought out questions. If anyone had questions for me, send a quick email ( or DM me! Thanks again!

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