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Learning to Pivot with Stephanie Xelowski

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Welcome back for another great week of Design Create Inspire. Last week I spoke with architecture student, Ryan Rosen, about the importance of social interaction. This topic is more important than ever in the current state of our world, as individuals are severely lacking social interaction. If you want to learn more about how architecture plays a role in creating a compassionate society, check out last week's blog and podcast.


This week I am excited to introduce a successful woman, real estate agent, Stephanie Xelowski.

Stephanie’s story is interesting, especially for those who are interested in pivoting their career.

In her late 20’s, Stephanie came to the realization that she wanted to work for herself, despite beginning her career in the banking and mortgage loan industry. She decided to move to San Diego in 2013 and decided to combine her love of real estate and design, as well as utilize her energy and passion, to become a real estate agent.

Today, she enjoys helping people find their dream homes throughout San Diego.

Her journey to becoming a real estate agent was not linear, rather she worked a few marketing jobs before finally realizing she was not being fulfilled.

To my surprise, Stephanie is not from a family of entrepreneurs, rather she made the decision to work for herself. If she was going to put an abundance of time, energy, and resources into her job, she knew it needed to be for herself.

Stephanie decided to reach out to a family friend at Sotheby’s, and a margarita and wonderful conversation later, she was quitting her job and pursuing her real estate license.

That being said, Stephanie knew she had a long way to go. As she’ll tell you, she knew what she didn’t know, which was a lot, and did everything she could to connect with successful agents in San Diego.

One of Stephanie’s most important moments came six months into her real estate career, when she met Ryan Serhant from Million Dollar Listing. She looked at him and said, “If you could do anything over, what would you do?”. His response, “Join a team, don’t go at it alone.”

Stephanie immediately began looking for a team and is now part of the incredibly successful Brett Dickinson team at Sotheby’s.

Three years into business, Stephanie’s team is looking to end the year closing $100 Million, and she has closed three of the largest deals of her career during 2020.

Being at the right place at the right time, as well as Stephanie’s inherent drive to succeed, has led her to where she is today. While luck is a key factor to many individual’s successes, continuously saying, “Yes!” to opportunities that are presented to her is the contributing factor to Stephanie's success.

Although you may say yes to most opportunities, it is important to remember that not all opportunities will be successful, and people will disappoint you.

2020 has been a year of pivots, giving individuals the opportunity to take the risk without the pressures of failure.

On the topic of failure, people are naturally terrified of failure. Stephanie is no stranger to failure and the pressures that come along with it. If she does fail, it shows her that she had the courage to put herself out there.

The statistic, “10% of real estate agents make 90% of the money”, is the force behind Stephanie’s driven mentality. When she heard that statistic, she committed to herself to be part of the 10%, accepting the potential failures that would come along. As Stephanie sees it, “If you aren’t failing, then you aren’t trying”, and Stephanie stands by the commitment she made to herself, showcasing a tremendous amount of courage and as well as the understanding of potential failure, and how these failures can lead to success.

As a powerful woman in a primarily male dominated industry, I was curious if Stephanie felt herself in a similar position.

To my surprise, women make up nearly 65% of all real estate agents.

This led Stephanie to share her insight on the lack of glass ceiling in real estate. Unlike other careers, where there is a clear inequality of pay between men and women. In real estate, Stephanie has the ability to make the same commission as her male counterparts, all while doing a better job.

Being a part of a team with men and women has proven beneficial for Stephanie and her team. From a client’s perspective, Stephanie is a master of clear communication, following up with client’s, answering questions, and providing a woman’s perspective, while her male team member brings other skills, allowing them to work together as a team and benefit from each other.

For Stephanie, authenticity is huge, and what you see is what you get. From a marketing background, Stephanie understood the value in clients recognizing your name as a real estate agent. At the beginning of her real estate career she knew the importance of utilizing social media and making potential clients feel valued. As a full time agent, there is little time to maintain the marketing of your brand, which is another major benefit in joining a team.

Today, Stephanie prioritizes ensuring her clients feel comfortable with her, viewing them as her friends. She uses social to engage with her clients and show them that she is authentically herself.

As 2020 continues, the trends in the market are influenced by the increase of at-home work, creating a great opportunity to buy and sell.

For the average buyer, white walls are appealing, especially in the coastal neighborhoods. For others, “the uglier the better”, allowing the buyer to customize their home. Whichever category you fall into as a client, it is important to remember to be flexible.

When Stephanie is not building her brand, she is strolling the beach and preparing for her new puppy, coming early 2021!

To learn a little more about Stephanie, check our her features in SD Voyager and Shoutout Socal.

If you are interested in the real estate industry, as a potential client, or with general questions on how to get into real estate, Stephanie would love to connect! She can be reached on Instagram @StephanieXelowski, at her website, or via email

Thank you for joining us this week Stephanie and sharing your knowledge on your courageous career pivot!

If you have experienced or are considering a pivot in your career, please share!

If you enjoyed this episode, it's inspired you, or you've found value in it please let me know! You can now support the show and get exclusive content here.



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