We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Balderas and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I started with a local arts & crafts retail company here in DFW when I was in High School and worked my way through that company and its sister brands through college. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go after graduation and my friend had gotten a job at their corporate office, so she called her boss and got me an interview. I was hired on the spot. Overall, I worked for that company from 1994 – 2015 in many different positions. By the end, it was soul crushing. I was working almost 80 hours a week, overnights, weekends, & holidays. I managed a team of 20 people at one point and was the lowest paid manager in the marketing division with the highest number of reporting staff. There were ceilings I couldn’t break through, office politics I didn’t care to play, and time I was losing outside of this thing called work that dominated so much of my world. I was laid off in 2015 and laughed in the meeting. Yep. Laughed. I was relieved. I had literally been at the company over 1/2 of my lifetime and I realized in that meeting I didn’t have to be. The fear of not having stability was holding me in that building. It had happened to my parents when I was younger – my dad’s layoff in the mid-90’s had dominated our world. We went from being decently middle class to dumping all of our pocket change into Coinstar to buy groceries. I went home that night and told my husband. My words were something like this:

1. I never want to miss any more of our time together.
2. I never want to work anywhere there are “encouragement words” posted on walls that mean nothing to the management.
3. I never want to see a cubical wall again.
4. I never want to have a prep meeting for the meeting and the post meeting after the meeting again.

My husband, who has owned his own business since we got together said “Then come work for me or work for yourself. That’s the only way you can avoid those four things. Whatever you want to do I got you”.

I had the support of someone who built a business. I had four things I never wanted to see or do again. And, I had the mindset that while I knew people thought most Realtors were shady, that I was going to build my brand on integrity. I had the understanding of how to guide processes, communicate with different teams to follow their timelines and process, and ensure the customer was given a smooth transaction while handling the

Today, I don’t miss a day I can spend with my husband, even if that day is going with him on his jobs or him playing chauffeur for me so I can work while he drives. My office at home and my brokerage’s office does not have a thing on their walls they don’t stand behind. My personal office has a window with two beautiful live oak trees outside, three dog beds for my buddies to sit at my feet, and space I can stand and stretch if I need a break. And meetings are way more fun. And, while there’s more on my to do list – I don’t feel I have to work 80+ hours a week to get it done. Just the empowerment of taking back my time and my life has given me the joy to know that anything is possible.

What should our readers know about your business?
I’m an Associate Broker and REALTOR® with Indwell Real Estate out of Fort Worth. What sets me apart from other agents is in the prep work. I’m not so hungry for a sale that I work with anyone, and I won’t place my clients in a property that is not the right fit for them. My clients will know everything about the house they love, they’ll understand why the mortgage team needs extra information, they’ll have an understanding of the timeline we’re working with, and they’ll know the risk they are taking before they take it. By the time they make a decision, they’ll have all the facts and enough information that they’re confident in the decision they made.

My speciality is in transitions – meaning moving you from one house that no longer fits your needs, size, or area into something that works for your current life. And doing so smoothly. No deadline blowups that cannot be addressed, no surprises from the other parties that cannot be worked through. We work through every hiccup calmly, that way their lives are not interrupted with the day to day stress that is house hunting. I have put together a network of quality service teams who help along the way, and everyone I network with must bring something to the table that benefits the clients. At the end of the day, I want my clients to be happy and confident that they are getting the best home their money can buy.

I got to this point in my business realizing that most of the people I talk to do not see their home as an investment. I do, and I teach them to. I walk into so many homes where people treat their home as just a place to live. They don’t understand that a home should bring you a return. They’ve just seen it as a place to pay their monthly “rent” to, just another bill to be paid. By staying on top of maintenance, by keeping your home clean and well updated you should see a return on your money. And that return is in correlation to how well you keep your home through the years.

No, it was not easy. Like all agents – I had to learn to have difficult conversations. I had to learn to ask the right questions of my clients to ensure they and I were a fit. And, I had to learn that you can’t take on every client who comes your way. I’ve fired a few in my tenure, and parted ways amicably with others. Some started with me, then ended up selling with someone else – and that’s OK. I look for clients who want to work with me, who are willing to do what it takes to sell their property for top dollar, and to search out the perfect place for their transition. I don’t accept every client who calls because not all personalities or situations are the best fit for my business.

My brand stands for integrity. A home is most people’s largest investment, and I want to help you grow that investment. I also want you to enjoy shopping for your home and the process to buy and sell. It’s not stressful, it’s a chance for change!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in Fort Worth, and more comes in every year! We’d spend some time on the Trinity Trails just walking and talking, visit the Old Home Supply Store because we both love to shop for unique stuff, and stop to eat at Esperanza’s (because as much as we love Joe T’s margaritas – Esperanza’s food is way better!). At night, grab a bite to eat near W. 7th and stop by Magnolia Motor Lounge or Lola’s Trailer Park. Absolutely grabbing a spa day at the Woodhouse and then going to see my friends at Clay Pigeon Food + Drink for an amazing dinner!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
To my husband Gabriel, my coaches at Hero Nation – Alesia Parker & Wayne Salmans, and those friends who encouraged, laughed and celebrated with me along the way.

Website: www.carabalderas.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carabalderas/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carabalderas/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/balderasrealty

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cara.balderas/

Other: facebook business profile: https://www.facebook.com/carabalderasrealtor

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