We had the good fortune of connecting with Fabiola Duenas, Sara Allen & Liz Shimbashi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fabiola, Sara & Liz, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When we first got into the real estate industry, everything was so fast paced and go-go-go that you would fall into the trap of feeling that if you weren’t present and available 24/7, you would never succeed. Fast forward to 7+ years later and we can honestly say that we now fully live by the Keller Williams business model of God, Family, Business – in that order. When we started Forza, work-life balance was one of our major priorities & guiding factors as we laid out our new business model. We didn’t want to feel run down or have the burn out that could come with how we were doing business before and have now realized that this allows us to serve more families at an exponentially higher level. We work within focused systems & maintain a passionate dedication to fulfilling and exceeding our clients expectations to make their real estate dreams a reality while still honoring our time commitments to ourselves and our families which makes for an overall more positive experience for all involved!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are proud to be a part of the Keller Williams Global platform while still running as a local boutique real estate group across Houston. Forza is comprised of a trio of highly experienced women creating an unwavering team structure mirrored after the triangle in which no side bends because each corner experiences only one force at a time which is a testament to the mastery we each have for our dedicated roles. Forza has evolved over the years through trial and error and through this process, light has been shed on what works best and what doesn’t to create and simplify the business model that we live by today that reflects our true values and reinforces the Forza mission to challenge the status quo while improving industry standards and the client experience for generations to come. Some of the biggest lessons learned throughout this process have been: 1. Leveraging the strengths of each individual to maximize efficiency while encouraging leadership in their respective roles. 2. Knowing that leadership cannot be taught, the most painful part of team building can be discovering whether an individual has the capacity to find within them what you see as their potential to succeed. 3. In an industry where production numbers are publicly displayed and celebrated, what goes on behind the scenes is often uncharted and can quickly allow business to take the place of the far more important pillars of God & Family resulting in burn out over time. Our team has learned to actively monitor this balance to ensure that God, Family & Business stay in that order & we’ve created the flexibility within our model to pivot anytime we feel this is being skewed. Our groups goal is that of servant leadership and always with a purpose. We are a pay it forward team that offers programs for First Responder’s, Educators and Veterans as a small token of our appreciation for their selflessness & sacrifice in the roles that they provide within our society. We also partner with The Ballard House, a nonprofit organization near and dear to our hearts in Katy, to help generate awareness & funding to further their mission to provide temporary housing in our community with a warm, safe environment for individuals and their families who are hospitalized or receiving treatment for a serious medical condition. We understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a transaction: it’s a life-changing experience. That’s why our team of highly-seasoned real estate professionals is dedicated to providing exceptional, personalized service for all of our clients. We take great pride in the relationships we build and always work relentlessly on the client’s behalf to help them achieve their real estate goals!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Houston is one of the most diverse cities our country has to offer with something for everyone. We would start in Downtown – so many beautiful business towers and great parks, dine at The Grove overlooking Discovery Green. Head on over to the Museum/Medical District, check out the fine arts museum and dine at Hungrys right at the end of Rice University and walk the campus as it is stunning! The River Oaks area alongside the bayou is another must see – Highland Village shopping center and dine at the one and only Tolouse and check out a movie at the iPic theatres. After all that running around – booking a spa day at The Post Oak hotel is a must and enjoy some of the amazing food served at Mastro’s with their live music. And lastly to satisfy some great insta photo ops – visit the many Houston art murals around town – and yes we know them by address!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We would not be where we are today without our families and our friends who have been some of our absolute biggest raving fans & supporters as we’ve built Forza from the ground up and as the business continues to evolve. First and foremost, we want to thank them from the bottom of our hearts for all of the love and encouragement they offer day in and day out! If we were to narrow it down to two of the most impactful individuals that we feel have influenced our business, hands down we’d have to say: Gary Keller. He has provided us with the God, Family, Business model within Keller Williams as a whole. He is legitimately in the business each and every day and focuses on encouraging KW agents to own their business and technology vs. sourcing it out to third parties which depletes the value of the real estate agent. His constant forward thinking has kept our business evolving to allow us to pivot in any market and be prepared for the shifts that come our way. Terri Montgomery. Terri started as our Team Leader when we joined the Keller Williams Premier market center and was a big part of our decision in making the move. Even with her new role of Operating Principal, her support, involvement & encouragement has never wavered. She challenges the status quo with a whole new perspective on real estate & teams while providing thorough agent education on the built-in benefits provided by Keller Williams and how those can be utilized to maximize our business at no additional cost. She’s also a living, breathing daily example of Gary Keller’s God, Family, Business model and we’re honored to be in business with her!
Allison Ermon of Allison Ermon Photography