May Real Producers: The Oswalt Team
This content originally appeared in the May 2018 issue of Real Producers Fort Wayne
It is best if one keeps the spirit of a lifelong learner, and selects different sources for information and shared experience.
To refer to Kelly Oswalt as energetic and driven may not be strong enough, but clearly behind the passion is someone who loves building relationships with people, and who wants to care for help them without measure. For Oswalt, real estate sales is not just a job but rather a mission that brings joy and satisfaction and some deinition to her life. In any career choice that Kelley has made, that is the element that emerges every time.
Kelly attended IPFW and earned a degree in Elementary Education. She was from a family of teachers (mother, aunt, great-grandfather and others), and she loved children; it seemed a natural choice. Returning to the school system that she graduated from, Kelly began teaching fourth-graders and continued teaching for six years. During that time, Kelly had two children and was contemplating a third, but became concerned about balancing family and work.
Oswalt decided to take some time off and remained at home the next school year, focusing on family and tutoring. She welcomed her third child, and then God opened a door for her to become director of the preschool program at her church. Once again, Kelly was encouraging children and serving families. The program enjoyed success under her leadership, growing from 68 to 185 children over the next six years. When Oswalt saw her third child enter kindergarten, she knew it was time to consider the business/professional world again.
Kelly, like many moms, developed some strong relationships with the parents and children who traveled together, cheering on their athletes. Kelly could not escape the fact that one friend (whom she now works for) seemed so happy about her job. She often talked about the poeple that she enjoyed. Oswalt expressed an interest in working in such a culture, and the rest of the story is history. "She and her husband saw things in me that I did not even see, and I owe so much to them," explains Kelly.
Oswalt now continues to help people like she has always done. She loves the challenges of real estate - whether it is solving puzzles or building friendships, Kelly finds it ways to be passionate about her work as an agent. "It is great to work with people who always have your back and want you to be successful," she notes. For Kelly, there are the usual adjustments like trying to "turn real estate sales off" or seeking a qualified balance in life, but the idea of having to deliver bad news to a family is the hardest. It runs against her natural spirit of "can do" and "this will work."
Family is vital to Kelly's world. She fondly remembers that her stepdad gave her the first listing and the many moments that family provided unlimited support, Kelly has three children: Audrey (18), Max (15), and Nate (11). They love to travel around for sports. Her favorite times include the children and their friends at her house just having fun and playing Xbox. Running has always been a passion, and she is always on the hunt for time with friends. "I love to be with people," she explains.
Oswalt refers to her team as family not only because her mother, Treva Finn, works with her, but because they operate with a closeness. Dave Clark is also a part of the team, and everyone emulates a strong work ethic. With a sales volume of nearly $23 million last year, these three are creating a chemistry for success. Kelly describes the formula by noting their commitment to consistency, work ethic, honesty and integrity. She even defines success as performing all tasks with these standards in mind - regardless of the outcome. If you know that you did everything following these qualities, then you can be happy and fulfilled. She also never minimizes strategic and well-followed systems as the foundation to good business.
For those who are newer to the business, Kelly has some sage advice. She encourages them to work hard, always like people, and achieve your pre-set goals. Agents can never get enough training, which is the key to continuous success. It is best if one keeps the spirit of a lifelong leaner, and selects different sources for information and shared experience. For Oswalt, Brain Buffini has been a lifeline, and her office provides excellent resourceful training.
The future looks quite bright for Kelly Oswalt and the Oswalt Team. Sometimes they wonder if obtaining so much joy from work could be wrong ... nah, not really!
— By Brian Ramsey
Michelle Wyatt: Rising Star
How many years have you been a realtor?
It will be three years in June of 2018.
What is your career volume as a realtor?
I have sold over $10,500,000.
What was your total volume last year?
What awards have you achieved as a realtor?
2016 Top Sales Broker at Rockfield Realty Group.
When did you start your career in real estate?
My husband and I enjoy going to open houses, as well as the ARCH home walks and the West Central home tours. So, when my daughter suggested I become a realtor, we talked about it and decided it was the right time. In 2015, I was very blessed to have Tamra Stier with Rockfield Realty Group bring me on board and mentor me, She really gave me a great foundation for understanding what is important in real estate. I am forever grateful to her. About a year ago, I was approached by Scott Pressler and Aaron Hoover about joining Keller Williams. The training and technology excited me, and when I realized the KW model lined up with my own values and goals to grow my business, I decided to make the move.
What did you do before you became a realtor?
I was in Marketing for the U.S. Postal Service for 10 years, left to be a stay-at-home mom, and homeschooled our youngest two boys for six years. I worked at our church, Brookside, as the administrative assistant for two years.
What are you passionate about right now in your business?
I love shopping for houses and helping people find the home they absolutely love! I'm willing to work with someone however long it takes to find the right home. I also am passionate about interior design, so I love going into homes that I am selling and helping with staging. I had an adorable little vintage, cottage-styled home in the 05's that I invited Maisie and Maude's vintage shop to come in and stage. It was so much fun and really gave a wonderful feel for the home. Showing buyers the potential in a home is very important.
What has been the most rewarding part of your business?
Connecting with people. You find out a lot about folks when you go through the processes of buying and selling a home. We become good friends. After one family moved into their new house, their son asked, "Where's Michelle?" Apparently, he thought I was moving in too!
What was your biggest challenge as a realtor?
Keeping people encouraged. If their house doesn't sell right away, or if they don't get a home they put an offer on, they can get discouraged. My faith is very important, and I share with them that God has His hand on all of it. He knows what is best, and His timing is perfect!
How does real estate fit into your dreams and goals?
We lived in the same 1,600-square-foot home for over 20 years. It had an eat-in kitchen and no dining room. We have a big family, and as the kids grew up, married, had kids, we had really outgrown our home. I wanted a home where I could host my family comfortably, as well as entertain friends and church groups. Being in real estate helped me find my dream home and be able to afford it. I love my dining room, and we eat dinner around the dining room table together almost every evening - and usually one or more of our older kids drops by too. We host small groups and entertain friends. It is a wonderful blessing.
Being content where I am. I am excited to grow my business, and that is my plan. However, life changes, and we sometimes go down a different road then we had planned, so success is having peace and joy in whatever I am doing.
Tell us about your family.
I have the most amazing family! My husband is my rock. He is kind, level-headed, intelligent, and encouraging. He has supported me in this new career and is always the calm in my storm. Our oldest daughter, Mindy, worked for a title company when I first became a realtor and is now at a bank. Our second daughter, Heidi, is at a credit union - they have been a treasure! Their knowledge and insight has helped me make wise decisions for my clients. Our son Michael lives in Colorado and is an entrepreneur business owner. Our son Jess just got his real estate license, and I am so excited that he is coming on board on my team at Keller Williams. He has been my assistant since last fall and has picked up on it all so quickly. He's going to do very well! Our son Nathan is in Texas and has been dabbling a bit in flipping houses. Our son Spencer also is in sales and works for Best But. Our youngest, Cooper, is in seventh grade and is a most awesome kid. He doesn't sell much, but he negotiates well. We also have four fabulous grandchildren.
Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, The Gentle Ways of the Beautiful Woman by Anne Ortlund, Believing God by Beth Moore.
Are there any charities or organizations you support?
Yes! We support our church, Brookside, as well as SHEAR LOVE, which is a ministry helping to get people in Tahiland out of sex trafficking, and HOPE GRAFTED IN, which brings support to schools, orphanages and people in need in Kenya and Uganda.
Given your status and expertise, what is some advice you would give the up-and-coming top producer?
Find a mentor who cares. Your character and reputation are so important; align yourself with someone who shares your values. Go to as much training and networking as you can. In this fast-paced, technology-driven market, make sure you have the tools to market yourself well. Take great pictures! Work hard, and enjoy what you do.
Photos by Tony Frantz
See more from Real Producers Fort Wayne: