Newlywed and recent Cox School of Business grad Kari Schlegel Kloewer has a lot going on. A lot! Although still in her 20’s, Kari is already an accomplished Realtor. She and The Perry Allegra Schlegel Real Estate Group closed over $38 million in luxury home sales this year and she was named Best of 2012 Realtors by D Magazine. Consistently one of the company’s top producers, she has worked her way up to Senior Vice President of one of legendary agencies in Dallas, Allie Beth Allman & Associates which just achieved its first $1 Billion (yes, with a “B”) year for a single office. In fact, we are panting just trying to keep up with Kari.
CD: Where are you from?
Kari: I was born in London, Ontario Canada, but my family moved down to Dallas when I was about a year old. I consider myself a Canadian-Dallasite.
CD: How did you get into real estate?
Kari: I graduated from SMU and got a marketing job in the corporate world. Two of my friends became Realtors. We’d go to lunch and I’d be so envious because they seemed like they were having such a fun time. I’ve always loved real estate. I’d go to open houses for fun on the weekends. After a couple of years of pining, I made the switch and joined Allie Beth Allman. I’m much happier now and I’m thrilled to have Allie Beth Allman as a mentor. I’ve learned so much from her and feel incredibly lucky.
CD: You just got your MBA from SMU in May. Why go back to school?
Kari: My Bachelor’s was in Business Administration – with an emphasis on marketing – and I felt that getting an MBA would make me even more useful to my clients. I learned a lot about real estate investing and marketing that will help me sell houses as well as market myself and my group.
CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?
Kari: I’ve lived at the W Dallas Victory Residences for the past five years or so and I love it! I’m close to everything, I have a great urban life and I can walk to restaurants, the American Airlines center and all the arts and entertainment downtown. The city has changed so much in the past five years. I wish I’d taken “before” and “after” pictures. I’ve seen the Perot Museum of Nature & Science and Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge spring up in front of my eyes from my balcony. I recently posted some pictures on my blog of the current views from my balcony.
CD: And you drive a… let me guess, Mercedes Benz???
Kari: How did you know?!? (laughs) I guess it is the ultimate Realtor car because it is so comfortable for driving clients to look at houses. I have a Mercedes CLS 550.
CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
Kari: I grew up in Preston Hollow and love it. The parks, the lovely old trees, the shopping, the beautiful houses and the excellent schools make this area my favorite for selling. I love my high rise life at the W but would definitely consider Preston Hollow or the Park Cities if we wanted a house in the future.
CD: What was your best/highest sale?
Kari: In 2011 Allie Beth and I represented the buyers for a house that was listed for $9 million. Just this year I represented the sellers on a $7 million home. It was very challenging and interesting. Selling a luxury home in that price range requires careful marketing and I learned a lot from the experience.
CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
Kari: About a week or so.
CD: How much did you sell last year?
Kari: My team closed about $35 million in 2011 and have sold $38 million in 2012 so far.
CD: What have you learned about selling that makes you so successful?
Kari: As a new realtor, you are trained to think of selling real estate as a transaction. There’s a lot of focus on getting the details and paperwork right and understanding how real estate works. What I keep in mind, however, is that to the customer, this is an emotional experience, not just a financial transaction. They may be buying their first home as a couple or selling 30 years of memories. Their feelings need to be honored and celebrated throughout the process.
To me, real estate is about relationships and having fun. While I love looking at houses, it is the relationships with people that I’ve developed along the way that really make this a satisfying career. Some of my close friends today were once clients.
CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
Kari: It is hard to imagine doing anything else, I love real estate. It has so much variety and daily surprises it is a very exciting career. If I really had to change for some reason, I guess I’d be a personal shopper – there would be very little learning curve!
CD: Do you have a second home?
Kari: Not yet. My family has a vacation home in Canada and we love to go there every summer as a group. My husband Troy proposed to me on the beach up there. When we decide to buy our own second home, it will probably be in California. I love the weather and laid back lifestyle. CandysDirt will be the first to know!