Lorena Magallanes; Toronto;
Let’s say we’ve just met at a cocktail party. How would you describe, in a nutshell, what you do?
I sell Toronto! My best friend and business partner Erica Smith and I have created a strong team of realtors who help us sell. We take pride in mentoring our team to become the best they can be!
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
I went to the for urban studies and development. I always knew I was going to get into real estate but wanted to go to university to broaden my horizons. At school I learned about different neighbourhoods in Toronto and the city’s thought process in terms of urban development—all which is quite relevant today.
What was your first paying gig out of school? (In your field, or not.)
My first gig was actually being a receptionist at a real estate office. I was only 15 and I was clueless and scared when dealing with realtors. Thankfully, I stuck it out and later was able to secure a job with a downtown builder, who I worked for right after university.
What was your BIG break? How did you land it?
When the builder I worked for hired me to help sell what was, at the time, one of the largest Toronto residential condominium buildings. On this project, I met Erica. Together we learned the ins and outs of real estate and we were able to create our and the Condo Chicks brand.
Describe the moment in which you first realized, I think this is actually going to work out?
When we started getting repeat business from clients and those clients were referring us to their family and friends. Our reputation in the industry is everything, and when our business started flourishing, we knew we were doing something right.
What would you say has been your biggest failure or shortcoming, career-wise, to date? How did you bounce back?
I used to work for someone who would tell me that I didn’t have the tools to be a good sales agent. He would say I was too ‘nice’ or too ‘caring’ and that I had to be more convincing when selling. Although at the time it was difficult to hear this from someone who was supposed to be a mentor, it only encouraged me to be the best I can be.
Name one piece of career advice you always give.
Stay focused, and concentrate on your own personal growth and development. Do not compare yourselves to others or what others have achieved. The more you focus your energy on what everyone else is doing, the less you will move forward.
What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Being able to sell the worst layouts is what characterizes a good sales person.” I have always felt the need to let my clients know if I thought a property wouldn’t be in their best interest.
Did you deal with barriers in your field because you are a woman? If so, what were they?
If you work in pre-construction either as a buyer’s agent or for a builder, it is still a very male-dominated field. This is one of the aspects that Erica and I are trying to change: women can run successful business and work for builders.
Are you making a fair income for your work? Why or why not? Do you have a side hustle for extra cash? If so, what is it?
Erica and I radiate when we speak about real estate, and it is because we truly love what we do. We definitely make a fair income but it’s because we are passionate about our job.
What’s the worst stereotype you’ve heard about millennials at work?
That millennials are lazy and entitled. I am a millennial and neither of these stereotypes are true!