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Meet Danielle O’Brien of Parkway Real Estate in West Roxbury

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle O’Brien.

Danielle, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In January, it will be 10 years since I took my real estate salesperson licensing exam. Since then, I have never looked back! Soon after being licensed, I left my job as a technical Project Manager with Fidelity Investments and dove into real estate. I was a top producer from the start and had a great mentor.

Within 5 years I had obtained my broker license, and a few years after that I opened my own brokerage company – Parkway Real Estate. I employ one admin and four other agents. They are all amazing people who help run the ship, and Parkway is lucky to have them.

My family is part of the journey because my husband and children have made sacrifices along the way as I worked to get the brokerage launched, in addition to my “village” of people that I can call on for last minute help. I am forever grateful to them, and it is because of them I was able to dive into a second venture, professional coaching. I am currently attending classes at the University of Miami, and will be finished in July.

The new company, CORALIFE Coaching is already up and running, and taking clients. It will focus on a woman just like me – leaving the corporate world to fulfill an entrepreneurs dream, and navigating the bumps along the way. I never really knew about professional coaches at that time, and I wish I had because the road would have been less challenging.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Absolutely not! It’s truly a hard decision to leave a steady paycheck and go into business for yourself. Especially sales. If houses don’t close, I don’t get paid. It’s a simple as that. Also, I have to pay support staff, rent, and utilities before paying myself. But, it’s worth it – because I love my job and I am happy to get up and do it every day… roller-coaster and all.

An additional challenge has been scheduling. I refuse to miss any event for my children where possible so I do my best to work around these and avoid nights and weekend work (with the exception of listings and open houses). With my husband being a firefighter, he does not work a set daily schedule so I don’t always need help at the same times on the same days. Luckily my children attend a school with a flexible aftercare program, and as I mentioned before I have a “village” of family and friends that are always stepping up to help out. In addition, I really put some thought into hiring a well-rounded force to be available for all our clients; many of my agents are easily able to step in and prefer nights or weekends with their own schedules which have thankfully worked out great.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Parkway Real Estate was established in 2014 as a small, private real estate firm serving West Roxbury, MA, and surrounding neighborhoods and towns. In our first full calendar year, we closed 8.5mil in sales with just one agent. As our team grew, we have added over 20mil in sales.

However, and more importantly, we have helped over 50 families find or sell a home with a stellar 5-star record. Quality over quantity is very important to all of us. We are a fun firm often offering seminars and events for our agents and clients including How to Buy a Second Home, Staging to Sell, Estate Planning, and Charity & Cheer. We are very involved in our community donating time and money to some amazing local charities such as Parkway in Motion, The Last Call Foundation, Bella’s Boston Food Drive, Toys for Tots, and Anna’s Pals.

Our business is built on educating our clients. In addition to the 20+ seminars we have taught, we have been invited to the City of Boston Credit Union’s “The Money Program” twice to discuss buying and selling around the city. It is a very important part of our business model to ensure that our clients feel comfortable about what is likely the most important financial decision of their life.

What were you like growing up?
As a kid, I was always busy, busy, busy. I wanted to do every sport, every social event, every play, every trip, etc. Missing out or sitting still was never an option for me. One year, I remember I would finish a school day and immediately have cheer practice for my own competition squad, then head to a different school to coach a competition cheer team before being picked up by my mom (thankfully, with something to chow down in the car) on my way to Junior Miss practice for a local pageant. I sometimes couldn’t even start my homework until well after 9 at night. But, I loved every minute and didn’t want to give anything up so I made it work. The busy schedule continues to this day, not only with my own schedule but the school, sports, and social activities for my family. It’s clear my kids take after me!

Additionally, I always loved school. I love learning, challenging myself, and growing. This has continued throughout my life into college, graduate school and now my coaching certification. In addition to many real estate certification and designations, I also recently obtained my Graduate, Realtor Institute designation – also known as the GRI. The road to obtaining this was long, and included an additional 96 hours of coursework but allowed me the opportunity to network and learn with some of the top real estate professionals in Massachusetts. It was an invaluable experience.

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