Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Mao.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a former Director of Sales in the home decor and gift industry, I use to travel the world designing product, marketing to retailers, running showrooms and managing over 100 national sales representatives. I flew almost 100K miles a year and became an expert at speeding through security. I recall being stranded at JFK during the NYC blackout in 2003, fighting through panicked crowds and having to figure out a way to make it out of New York as I slept on my suitcase on the floor of the American Airlines terminal surrounded by strangers. I remember the thrill of cold calling one of the largest US retailers and landing the deal. There were so many high’s and low’s, and it was the perfect preparation for what was to come next.
Pivoting to real estate came quite naturally for me. Growing up, my siblings and I often spent weekends cleaning our parents’ investment properties. I remember watching my parents sign real estate documents that were in triplicate with layers of carbon paper. My husband and I also purchased and sold a few properties and we experienced first-hand how great realtors and bad realtors differ. So when it came time for me to put the brakes on my frequent flyer lifestyle, it made sense that my path routed me back to real estate. Of course, the logic was there, but leaving a great salaried position to a career based 100% on commission is not a leap for the weak. It took everything for me to have faith that I was changing my life for all the right reasons, and to build the confidence that I could make this work. There was no crystal ball, nor was there a sphere of clients begging me to sell their home. It’s like choosing “door #3” and crossing that threshold not knowing what you’re really walking into. Taking that big of a leap in life made me stronger, and at the same time helped me realize how important it is to lean on friends and family for support. My journey as a realtor has connected me with such a rainbow of people, experiences, and perspectives. My husband and I have three children – two of whom have joined my team. We have a dog and three cats who remind me everyday that life is good especially when you just nap, play, and eat.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’ve never equated the pursuit of a passion in any field with the word “easy”. It takes sacrifice and grit, even when you love what you do. When I look back at when I started as a realtor and how far I’ve come, I am well aware of how hard I worked to get here and to what lengths I went for each client. While this industry is not easy, what makes things “easier” for me is the exact moment when I’m meeting with a new client – getting to hear someone’s story about where they’ve lived, why they need to move, what’s important to them. And knowing that I’m the one they are choosing to guide them through it all, gives me the motivation I need to keep going. My father would always say, “If you work hard, you’ll have more work to do. If you work less, you’ll have less work to do.” Though a bit extreme, his words taught me that there is always an easier path in life, if that’s what I want. For now, I’m up for the full plate.
Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about you and your career so far?
I am a residential Realtor with Compass where I’m surrounded by some of the best minds in real estate, tech and business strategy. There are many things that I can give credit for my success as a realtor such as being fortunate enough to have incredibly smart managers and a collaborative environment with fellow realtors. My business background allows me to conduct myself and my process in a way that my clients can relate to. Residential real estate can be very emotionally charged and unpredictable because it not only deals with something so personal and financially impactful, but also because every transaction involves a random mix of personalities. This can make the experience feel quite noisy. For that reason, my process is very data-driven which gives my clients a bit more control wherever possible – determining property value, estimating costs of repair, understanding what they are signing, and setting expectations for what’s next. Translating as much as I can into numbers and facts so that my clients can make educated decisions has proven to be a great way to keep things calm and smooth. I believe the more information people have, the more options they can choose from and thus form a solution.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
All of my “big plans” seem to end with me retiring in Hawaii! Ok, maybe that’s more like dreaming and less like planning.
- Address: 680 E Colorado Blvd #150, Pasadena, CA 91101
- Website: lucymao.com
- Phone: 626-831-2201
- Email: Lucy.Mao@compass.com
- Instagram: @lucymaohomes
- Facebook: @realtorlucymao
Photo by Magdalena Papaioannou and Photo by Jayme Burrows