Belonging is something that I have found, as I’ve gotten older, is so important to humans. The days of fitting in start to become less and less appealing, and people start seeking out others and places they feel like they belong. Growing up in New Orleans, I never really fit in and I didn’t feel like I belonged. I moved away for years, and found myself back in the city where I grew up in 2008. The move back was hard. I was no longer finding professional job roles that I felt proud to be in, and I struggled to find my way. Old friends I had no longer served me in the stage of life I was in, and I found myself starting new. Being someone who never settles and remains persistent in my goals, I forged on and made a new life for myself in a city that I knew well, yet not at all. Eventually I became a New Orleans realtor, opened my own brokerage, and found the best thing that could’ve happened to my career: Beyond Bourbon Street podcast
A Client Who is a Personal Chef - Gena Dillon - In My Kitchen Cooking for an Event
Connecting and Befriending New People
I’ve had years of being a friend and sponsor to this podcast to speak on this sentiment, so I will. When I got approached by Mark Bologna to sponsor his podcast, I said no. My understanding of podcasts was nonexistent, and I was, in a word, ignorant. Mark started to send people my way, though, and a beautiful network started to happen. As more and more folks started to settle into their new city, they found themselves with very few to no friends. It takes guts to move to a new city, whether it’s for a job, love, or it’s your dream city. None of that makes it easier, per se, to accept a lack of connection. Insert yours truly: New Orleans realtor extraordinaire. That might be overstating, but connector extraordinaire I will definitely claim. I began realizing how important my role could be for these people, so, in a safe space (my house), I started inviting them over to meet each other.
One of My Favorites! She, Her Husband, and 2 Dogs Stayed with Us During Hurricane Ida. We Got Close Real Quick
Gathering Amazing People in One Place
Party-throwing and groups were not my forté, but with the encouragement from a business coach I had at the time, I went for it. I threw my first Liz Wood Realty
soirée. This New Orleans realtor jumped and stuck the landing! Was it my best party? No. But it gave me a launching point to gain more confidence with other gatherings I’d have in the future. What I noticed was the instantaneous connections these newcomers had with each other. The whole community of Beyond Bourbon Street is overall stellar. I work with no duds, and the ability and ease to get along with one another was and still is infectious. I loved seeing my new-to-town clients meet each other and form life-long friendships. If it’s not that deep of a connection, it’s at least people to hang out with until they meet a more right fit. Gathering these people together has been a true sense of purpose for me, and the invitees seem to love it as well.
Boiled Crawfish from a Boil at My House with Clients
The momentum continues to build with Liz Wood Realty gatherings. I’ve done anything from king cake parties to crawfish boils to ladies-only events, and all are met with eagerness and excitement from our crew. Getting amazing and wonderful people in the same space at the same time is worth the effort to make these parties a priority. My clients-turned-friends know that they belong in my home, with me, with each other. This group of people lifts each other up, looks for opportunities to connect, and promotes each other. Selfishly, I get to be part of each of their lives, their micro groups (when I’m invited!), and I get to watch the friendships blossom. My job is helping them find places to live when they move here; however, my purpose is helping them belong. Being a New Orleans realtor has brought me more gifts than I can unpack, and my crew within this podcast crew is by far the best gift.
Going on Tour with a Client Who Tours People Around the City - Fabulous Tour Guide!!
The Exclusive Liz Wood Realty Club
Never in a million years did I think being a New Orleans realtor would be one of the biggest joys of my life, but it is. I’ve grown up in this business in so many ways. Owning the business has given me tools that are practical for life. But it’s also given me friends I never would’ve known if I hadn’t opened my doors and invited people in. Being the person, the realtor, the friend that I would want is my goal. I’m not for everyone, and I don’t want to be. The people that are attracted to me and I to them…those are my people. Because I don’t take on all clients, I get the chance to focus on what’s important to all of us who do use me as their realtor. That is what makes me the human I am, and I’m proud of it. For someone who didn’t belong to her own city when she moved back so many years ago, I’m sure doing fine in that department now. And so are the expats who had the guts to say yes to New Orleans and to me. If this sounds like something you want to be part of, you know where to reach me!