By Nichole Naoum

As a successful real estate professional and community leader, Minnie Rzeslawski has dedicated the last three decades of her career to serving San Diego residents and building strong neighborhoods through homeownership.

In this issue, Minnie shares details about her current role, finding gratitude, and the most rewarding aspects of real estate.

Can you describe your role as a realtor?
Purchasing a home is the most important investment in most Americans’ lives, and the process can be daunting, especially in California. The role of a realtor is as critical as that of an attorney, an accountant, or a financial consultant. People place a great deal of trust in me as a real estate professional, which is something I take very seriously.

I feel it is my obligation to educate my clients in making the right real estate purchase for their situation by providing them with relevant information and options they will need to make wise investment choices. First-time homebuyers are especially crucial, since they trust my expertise regarding current market conditions and meeting their specific needs.

How do you find gratitude and joy in your daily life?
We live in the greatest country on earth, in a state with the fifth-largest economy in the world, in a city that is considered America’s finest; those three facts are top of mind for me on a daily basis. As the youngest of seven children, I was raised by two hardworking parents, who instilled family values and a strong work ethic in all of us. There is no doubt in my mind that it was that upbringing which helped me beat the odds, to become the person I am today; for that I am grateful every single day.

What are some of the qualities of an effective leader?
The main ones that come to mind are leading by example with the highest degree of integrity, empowering and motivating others to succeed, and making hard choices in your business. They say customers are always right, but you need to take care of the people in your own team first; they are the gears of your business, and they need to be running smoothly. An open mind is also key; I pride myself in embracing a variety of ideas, cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds to enhance the service to our clients.

Discretion is also a must – especially when dealing with high-profile clients or multiple members of the same family – not to mention honesty, personalized attention, and the highest level of ethics.

What’s the most rewarding part of working in real estate?
Each and every client has different wants and needs, yet they all share the same American dream. There is nothing like seeing that smile on my clients’ faces when they find their dream home, are approved on that challenging loan, or sign on the dotted line to make their transaction official. It’s a life-changing moment for them, and an extremely rewarding experience for me. Making life better for people by assisting and guiding them in their homebuying process is why I get up in the morning every day. I go into each sale by educating my clients and speaking my mind throughout the process. But, at the end of the day, the clients are the bosses.