When elementary music teacher Heather Elizondo was ready to leave her classroom after 16 years for a career transition, it is no surprise that her leadership skills would directly translate to managing a residential real estate team at Keller Williams City View. Passionate about selling San Antonio as the multicultural, family-friendly melting pot that has been her home for almost two decades, Elizondo takes pride in serving her clients through each and every transaction that leads them steps closer to their best lives. She shares on her career journey, her greatest joy in life–motherhood, and the significant impression Former First Lady Michelle Obama has made on her.
On her career journey:
For 16 years I stood in front of a classroom of children singing, dancing, and making music. Through my undergrad studies and my master’s studies I envisioned nothing less than being a music teacher for life. But life does funny things to us. It reminds us every day that the world is constantly evolving. Kids change, families change, and needs change. One day I woke up and realized that my confined world of ostinatos and Prokofiev could only grow so far. I envisioned a bigger life for my family, and I knew that the key was inside of me and outside of my classroom.
As Diana Kokoska says, “the purpose of business is to fund the perfect life.” I first fell in love with real estate when my husband and I were searching for our first house together 18 years ago. The intrigue of what was behind each door made house hunting seem more like a scavenger hunt than a chore. We lived in and flipped our first house, and then we sold it for a profit that enabled us to move up to the house we currently own. Since then we have owned, renovated, rented, and sold investment properties and vacation homes, and every experience has been different and exciting.
Finally, at 40, I have the chance to share the excitement and fun that I’ve found in my experiences with real estate with others. I not only assist clients in buying and selling, but I am also the leader of a team of realtors who rely on me for their growth and success. I am learning and growing every day, and I will continue to do so to serve my team and my clients.
On what makes her unique in her industry:
As my mentor said to me at the beginning of my career, being a realtor means that you are blessed to be working with people who choose to work with you when they could work with anyone. I take that to heart. Every interaction is meaningful and valuable, and it forges a relationship during one of the most impactful times in a family’s life. My goal is to bring levity to the experience. I want them to walk away from the closing table saying “I really enjoyed that experience.” Yes, there is a lot about real estate that is procedural paperwork and number crunching, but that’s my part in my clients’ journey. They feel confident that I am knowledgeable, organized, and intuitive. And if we laugh our way through showings, discuss design elements between sets at the gym, or raise a glass to a successful contract acceptance then we are all helping each other to live our best lives.
On her passions outside of the office:
My biggest passion is being a mother. I believe that instilling the right morals and values in children from the first day of their lives helps to create a better world. I think of it as paying it forward. My children have always been taught to be helpful, considerate, selfless, and grateful. I know that these are rare attributes in the technology-centered world in which we live, and so it is up to us as parents to be diligent in instilling these values in our kids. As they’ve grown in to more independent individuals I see them working to be inclusive of all of their peers, giving selflessly of their time, energy, and possessions to those in need, and sacrificing their own desires to be helpful to others. Raising teenagers is a challenge–any parent will tell you that. Boundaries are always being pushed, and patience is always being tested. But I remain proud of the people they have become when I see their true character being exhibited in those moments when they don’t know I am looking.
My other great passion is wellness. In order to serve others, you first have to take care of yourself. By following a structured fitness routine and eating carefully I am able to give of myself to others without running out of steam. Balancing life as a business owner and mother can take a lot out of you if you forget that you’re your first priority.
On her personal female hero:
I believe Michelle Obama has made a significant impression on me as a woman. She possesses a strength and charisma that commands attention, and she speaks with intelligent authority on matters of gravitas and candor. I have also been impressed with her humor and levity in casual interactions, which endears her audiences to her. So often women feel the need to act overly serious or dignified in an attempt to garner respect of the men and women around them, but that persona creates a virtual wall between her and those with which she is attempting to interact. Michelle Obama has mastered the art of balancing who she is personally with what she has to offer intellectually, morally, and politically. To remove the personal aspects of a woman’s personality in order to be taken seriously is to scrub oneself of what makes each of us unique. We are women, and we should be proud of not only our capabilities, which are equal to those of men, but also of our femininity and individuality. To me, Michelle Obama personifies this belief perfectly.
This profile was (Em)Powered by the HE Realty Group.
Edited from an interview by Eleanora Morrison.