Zahide Wallace is a residential real estate agent, a wife, and a mother. She is also a Nonahood resident. Read our conversation with her below!
Nonahood News: What do you do for a living?
Zahide Wallace: I am a residential real estate agent, but the unique thing about me is that I’m also a real estate coach and trainer and teacher. So, I don’t just work with people who are looking to buy homes and sell homes, I also work with those that are interested in becoming real estate agents or those that are already real estate agents and are interested in increasing their production.
NHN: What does your day-to-day schedule look like?
ZW: The blessing about being in this business is that I get the opportunity to create my own schedule and to do the things that I need to do for my customers. So, my customers will be people who are interested in becoming real estate agents, those that are already agents, and clients who are selling their homes or buying homes. So, today, very different from yesterday, involved working on a training calendar for this office. I just finished a consultation with another agent that’s already in production and looking to increase her business, and later on this afternoon, I have a photo shoot for someone who is going to be selling their home in North Shore. So, I’m the one that creates my own schedule, and I determine exactly what that looks like. It’s incredibly liberating because it gives me an opportunity to make sure that I’m taking care of my family and that I’m there for my clients as well.
NHN: What would you say are the most challenging/rewarding aspects of your job?
ZW: I think anytime that you are in a customer service industry, you’re going to find that the challenges vary. Because real estate is so dynamic and it’s constantly shifting, keeping up with what’s going on in the industry becomes a challenge. You may have spoken to a client six months ago about something that they’re hoping to do when it comes to purchasing a home or selling a home and then, six months later, it changed. It’s not the exact same thing that you said it was going to be or things haven’t gone the way that you’d hoped that they would go. But I actually embrace the challenges. I like being solutions-driven and finding the best solutions for my customers. I love serving them and their families. Other people might find it a challenge or a struggle to work in a dynamic real estate market, but I actually embrace it. I love working with people. I love being able to assist my clients in the ways they need.
NHN: What got you interested in doing your current job in this area?
ZW: I was actually looking for a home for myself, and I was working with another real estate agent. While we were looking for homes, she says to me, “Wow, you would make a great real estate agent.” That was one of the things that happened on my journey to becoming a real estate agent. That was in 2008-2009, and what I didn’t know at the time was that the market was crashing. Things were absolutely crazy, everything was upside down. I decided to pursue active real estate transactions anyways. The blessing was that I actually came into the market when everything was crazy. It sounds like, “Why would that be a blessing?” It was a blessing was because I got to learn from veterans in the industry. Everybody that I learned from and worked with were agents that were six, eight, 10 years in the industry, and I learned faster than I would have if I had been in an industry saturated with real estate agents. I learned in one of the hardest markets that we’ve ever had. It actually ended up being a good thing for me, and I survived! I was doing the single mom thing at the time and everybody called me crazy, but I had just moved to the Lake Nona area, so everything was brand new. My kids had just started going to NorthLake Park and Lake Nona Middle School, and it was awesome to be able to work right across the street from their school, especially as a single mom, so that I could take care of them the way that I needed to. Just being local, it ended up being the best decision that I could have made.
NHN: Do you have any interesting hobbies, collections or interests?
ZW: I’m a little bit of a homebody. I love reading. I love writing. I do love spending time with the family and doing fun things with them, but, for the most part, you’ll mostly find me snuggled up with a good book. I do enjoy going out to some of the area events, the Boxi Park events, but you’ll mostly find me in my house.
NHN: What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
ZW: Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. It was pretty good. I enjoyed it, not everyone enjoyed it. I’m part of a book club.
NHN: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
ZW: I’m going to continue to grow. In five years, I will have no more children in my house. I will still be teaching and training agents, I will still be working with my customers in real estate. I hope that my husband and I can travel some more. We will still be in the Lake Nona area because we really do love the area. We love our neighbors; we love the growth and the opportunity.
NHN: What brought you to Lake Nona and when did you move here?
ZW: Lake Nona was a surprise to me. My husband actually lived here already. He introduced me to the area, and I never left. We ended up getting married, and I’m here to stay.
NHN: Where are you from originally?
ZW: I am originally from the Bronx. Born and raised in New York. I moved here 19 years ago, and I love living in Lake Nona.
NHN: What would you say is your favorite part about Lake Nona?
ZW: The sense of community. I love that I bump into my neighbors at the supermarket, and we stop and chat. I love that there are local events going on; I love that fun is right outside of my doorstep. The sense of community is really important to me.
NHN: What would you say to anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona?
ZW: Call me [laughs]. No, but seriously, anyone who is considering a move to Lake Nona would be a smart move. Be patient with the growth. Anytime there’s some growth, there’s going to be a lot of people moving in and out. People get frustrated. However, the best thing about living in Lake Nona is also the growth and the opportunities that are here.