The Alimond Show

Silvana Dias of Cupid Real Estate

March 05, 2024 Alimond Studio
The Alimond Show
Silvana Dias of Cupid Real Estate
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered about the parallels between finding love and finding a home? Meet our guest, a successful real estate agent who built her company, Cupid Real Estate, from the ground up, all while navigating personal adversities. She'll captivate your heart with her compelling journey of turning challenges into triumphs and her unique approach to finding clients the homes they adore. Not only will she take us through her professional journey, but she'll also share snippets from her personal life, including her marriage and her perfect city-country blend of living in Northern Virginia.

Next, we'll shift gears and venture into a discussion about the DMV area's real estate market, where our resident expert will provide valuable insights about the future trends. What's in store for the next five to ten years? Are interest rates going to affect the market? Is it really a good time to buy? All these questions and more will be answered. But that's not all - we'll also take a peek into our expert's personal life, exploring their love for weightlifting, baking, and their intriguing body art.

Finally, we’ll have Silvana Dias, a real estate agent known for building a diverse, trust-based clientele through her referral-based business. She'll underline the importance of treating all clients with respect and kindness, regardless of their background - a worthy lesson for us all. She'll also share her experiences from her recent event, the first annual fall festival, a testament to the power of genuine connections. We wind up exploring the significance of trust and goodness in all relationships and how it mirrors my passion for real estate. So, buckle up for an episode loaded with heartwarming stories, expert advice, and valuable life lessons. This is one you won't want to miss!

Speaker 1:

Yes, tell me about the business. So I have been in real estate for 17 years and I finally decided to start my own company.

Speaker 2:

What made you decide to start your own?

Speaker 1:

Well, I was long overdue and there were a lot of things that happened in my life, like a divorce and breast cancer, that kind of put me starting my own company on hold. So 2022 I said it's time for a change. So I started, officially launched my company in 2023 called Cupid Real Estate Love it yes, and so why was it inspired by Cupid?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So when I was thinking about what my brand would be about, I thought that I really care about finding the perfect place for my clients, a place for them, a place where they want to call home. So with Cupid Real Estate, my tagline is love where you live, and that is really the basis of my business. I want to help my clients find a home that they love. I don't want them to settle, and it's Well, you do want them to settle. That was a good one. That was a good one, but it's funny because I was in my previous relationship marriage I was in for 20 years, and so I became newly single at 38 and had not dated since I was 18. So I didn't know what that was like, and when I started dating, I was like, oh my gosh, this is like my job.

Speaker 2:

And then when you're holding that right now, I feel it.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, this is exactly like my job. I can do this, I can navigate this because and I relate that to dating with my clients a lot Finding love is like finding your home. They're doing it speed dating-wise, though, because you don't have a lot of time to think about it, but you have to think about being able to commit to a house or a home, the way you're going to commit to a relationship, and so just kind of looking for red flags, making sure you understand what you're getting into and then being ready to commit pretty quickly. I like your red flags.

Speaker 2:

Yes, yes, I could do like a video series where you can be like red flag. And then it's like spots on the roof.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes, oh yes, and I like to point them all out. So that's something that I bring to my business, too, with my clients. I have an extensive background in renovation, so when I'm showing my clients a home, I don't just open the door and say, isn't this so pretty? Look at the colors on the wall. I am talking about the roof, the windows, the plumbing, all of the things. The true advisor for them. That's how I help Navigate yes, navigate Absolutely. So we have wonderful home inspectors that we use, but I try to really arm my clients with as much information up front so that they know whether or not they want to take the next step. And then, of course, we go through the process.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because the inspector won't even come until once they're further down the commitment, right. So that's the whole area of part of the relationship.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, you are correct. I mean, in the craziness of the pandemic we were having pre-offer inspections, but they're not happening as often now and so you're correct. Before my clients are going to spend $600, $700 on an inspection, I want to make sure that I'm showing them everything that I can see, and I see a lot. I don't see everything, but I see a lot. So when we're going through the inspection with my clients, they say oh yeah, silvana already told us about that. Oh yeah, silvana warned us about that. I don't like bad surprises, so I try to prevent that from my clients. That's awesome.

Speaker 2:

Okay so in terms of okay so 2022, you went out and started your own thing. Now I'm trying to look at your hand. It looks like there's a ring on it.

Speaker 1:

Yes, so we're out of the dating scene, out of the dating scene, I was able to use my skills as a house hunter to help myself find love in the real world. Down the right person. Yeah, exactly, I was like nope, nope, nope and I'm like yes. So, yes, I have found.

Speaker 2:

Did you have an inspector though?

Speaker 1:

I was my own inspector. No, it was really. I'm very fortunate and blessed to have found someone who's very supportive of my business and me and my children, and I love his children.

Speaker 2:

I have two children. Okay, so we got Brady Bunch going on, we do.

Speaker 1:

We have four children together Awesome, yes, and it's a beautiful blended family, and I'm so grateful for my husband because I wouldn't be able to do what I do without him.

Speaker 2:

That's amazing. Support is so important. It is All right. So what do you love and what do you hate about Northern Virginia?

Speaker 1:

I love that. It is amenity rich, that you have everything at your fingertips. You have city life right down the street in DC, and then you also have the beautiful country, so it's kind of like the perfect world.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you just need some beaches, though. True story, true story.

Speaker 1:

You got the mountains, you got the. Yes, I am an island girl and so my husband is an island man. So, yes, water is very important to us.

Speaker 2:

Island. Where from?

Speaker 1:

I'm from Sicily, my parents are, so I'm first generation American.

Speaker 2:

Okay, you said you were Italian. I didn't realize you meant like you're Italian.

Speaker 1:

Oh, yes, full blooded, that's what 23andMe says. But yes, I am first generation American parents, both from Sicily. That's awesome. And where is he from? My husband is originally from Jamaica, okay. So yes, we have our tropical islands and we island hop.

Speaker 2:

I was going to say do you go back and forth, Because that's some good variety there between. Italy and Jamaica.

Speaker 1:

The universe answered my prayers. I wanted a Caribbean man and I got it.

Speaker 2:

That's amazing. Okay, so then, in terms of you were saying what you loved, yes, the diversity of areas, and both city life and farm life. What are some challenges? I say what you hate you can just call it challenges about this area.

Speaker 1:

Traffic and driving. I live in DC proper, but I am in DC, maryland, virginia, every single day of the week and Virginia's got a lot of huge roads with a lot of traffic, but so does the entire DMV. I think that's the biggest thing. So timing my trips and showings for work is really, really important. I get used to it, so I always try to arrive early, as I have done here today, and so just navigating that.

Speaker 2:

That makes more sense that you're coming from DC.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, but I work in all three jurisdictions equally and wouldn't say I do more business in one over the other.

Speaker 2:

So you get a good idea of like when somebody comes to you and they're not quite sure you can give them. Here's the pluses, here's the negatives, here's the things to look out for, because I know a lot of people from DC are moving out this way.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. I have so many transplants, people from other parts of the country, other parts of the world, that say, okay, my job is in DC, where should I live? So you're right, I can show them all three jurisdictions. We can navigate that together and find out what works best for them. The city is densely populated, there's a lot going on, and so, especially during COVID, I found that a lot of people wanted more space, they wanted outdoor space, and so there was this kind of gradual move to in the summer Migration for.

Speaker 1:

DC. Oh my gosh, I heard a lot of that. Yes, so it's interesting. Conominiums took a hit for a while, but I think they're coming back, ones with outdoor space especially. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

No, that's awesome. Okay, so what do you see your crystal ball happening in the next five to 10 years? When it comes to realists, specifically in our area, the DMV area, but with real estate?

Speaker 1:

Well, I call the real estate market this wave that I am riding, and for the past 18 years I've been riding it and it's so hard to predict what's coming. So one thing that I can say for sure is that our area is really insulated to whatever happens in the world and also other parts of the country in terms of real estate. We are on this upward trajectory. We are located in the nation's capital, so highly desirable constant movement of jobs and people wanting to live here. So while there may be a few bumps in the market with high interest rates, there's such low inventory, and so what that does? It equates to constant demand and for as long as I've been selling real estate, we've had high demand, even when the market crashed in what, oh eight? No, it lasted for six, seven months in the DC area and then things started moving back up. So I see things continuing on an upward trend. I think if interest rates start to tick down, we're going to see a huge boost in demand and we're going to start seeing people who have really great interest rates start to decide okay, now I can finally move up, change homes and I'm not so worried about losing my 3% interest rate. So once that starts happening, buyers are going to want to buy these houses that come on the market. But then the sellers become buyers again and we have the craziness.

Speaker 1:

So a lot of people ask me Slavanna is now a good time to buy? And I say, of course it is. If you don't want to deal with competition, now's the time. You will always have the pressure, there's still competitive situations, but now is the time. If you do not want to forgo everything. You can still have a home inspection contingency. You can still have an appraisal contingency and a financing contingency and for a lot of buyers those safety nets mean so much to them, so great time to buy. You can always refinance when the interest rates drop and you are not paying 100,000 over list price. Prices have not dropped. They are steady. People are not having to slash prices. So while some things sit on the market a little bit longer, they're selling at or very close to list price and sometimes even still above.

Speaker 2:

That was a really good throw Almost. Like you know, you're soft.

Speaker 1:

I better.

Speaker 2:

I better after this log what do you do outside of real estate?

Speaker 1:

It's a good question. Well, I am very involved with my children, and so that all four of them yes, all four of them we are kind of empty nesters, though, which is really great, so so I spend a lot of time with my husband, I really like weightlifting and I like to bake. Okay so you have to wait, so boring.

Speaker 2:

You have to wait. Lift if you like to bake, because otherwise this is.

Speaker 1:

this is true, yes, but I don't usually eat what.

Speaker 2:

I bake. Okay, so you're making the hubby a little chubby. He does love my cookies.

Speaker 1:

He loves my cookies.

Speaker 2:

What do you cook? What's some of your favorite things?

Speaker 1:

So I'm really basic. You know I like banana bread, plantain bread or variations of zucchini. I need to do more of that. I need to do more of that. I love to make cookies. I just like putting things together, kind of like how I like to renovate houses.

Speaker 1:

So right now I work a lot from my kitchen and my current home I've lived in for about seven years and it's a 100 year old Wardman detached house in Woodley Park has a wrap around porch. It's my dream house. But I've had to redo every piece of it and so I'm sitting in my kitchen, which has been done for about the past five years. I love my kitchen, but then I'm like wait, a second chrome it's out. Gotta get rid of it. So I just went with a champagne bronze faucet oh my gosh, the way the sun hits it because I've got all windows. So I changed all of my hardware. I'm going to get some new appliances.

Speaker 2:

And then now the cookware is going to change too. It is You're going to have, like, different plays. How did you know?

Speaker 1:

How did you know my husband's going to be like Slavanna? What are you doing, right?

Speaker 2:

no, he lets me. Doesn't look pretty, look the aesthetic, honey.

Speaker 1:

I'm like I'm the one who sits here and looks at the sun hitting the faucet. Yeah, I'm a little crazy like that, but it's hard not to be when I get to see all these beautiful homes and learn new trends. And so You're going to bring it into your own home. Right, I do, I do yes.

Speaker 2:

Now, you're an empty nester. Are the kids in college, are they? I mean, I can't.

Speaker 1:

Yes, we have.

Speaker 2:

You're being an empty nester, but I believe you.

Speaker 1:

Three in college and then one middle schooler, but she lives mostly with her mother, but she comes and spends wonderful weekends with us. So it is a lot of fun and it's given me a lot of time to kind of clean the house and kind of situate it. It's never been cleaner. Honestly, it's really great. But I'm like realizing do I have a life outside of work? I don't know. I see tattoos. What do you mean? So this is an evil eye to repel all of the really negative energy that was coming my way for a very long time.

Speaker 2:

I think it's working. Did you do one of these things like Like Listen, ma'am, listen, yes, yes. So this?

Speaker 1:

is a key. This is a key because I opened doors right I opened doors. So this is for the two children I gave birth to and this is my cancer constellation. So true cancer, through and through.

Speaker 2:

What date? June 30th, june 30th, july 4th. Oh, fellow cancer, see this energy.

Speaker 1:

Great energy, absolutely. That's funny.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely Okay. So, in terms of your 10, 20, 30 year plan, where do you see yourself Like business-wise situation, but then even like, do you see yourself always living here? It's a great question. Going to Italy because I mean, if I had some connections to Italy, I'm telling you I love more than Virginia.

Speaker 1:

So I really want to build Cupid to become one of the best boutique brands in the DMV area. So I just hired my first agent who is working with me. She is fantastic, thank you so much. But I'm, and through my business I want to create Cupid culture and that is one where our clients come first, where we're forging relationships way beyond the sale of a home.

Speaker 1:

I just hosted a huge Fall Festival client appreciation event. I had over 300 clients attend. We had two acres on a farm, on a pumpkin farm. We had a mechanical bull and moon bounce and pumpkins and barbecue. It was so much fun, tons of desserts and it was one of the best days of my life.

Speaker 1:

And through my business I always say this I'm like, oh, my friend who I met through real estate.

Speaker 1:

Almost every single person in my life that I am close with I have met through my career and I'm so grateful for that.

Speaker 1:

I don't know how many people get that opportunity to meet new people every day from all walks of life that you get to keep in your life, that you get to bond with in a very intimate way and you become friends and you see their families grow and they call you over to come to birthday parties and holidays and I bring them banana bread, just being able to be a part of that. So, being at that event, I saw the community that I am a part of. That I was able to create 95% of my business. I don't know if it's exactly 95%, maybe more is referral based. I don't really advertise, so there's little pockets of friends and then people seeing each other. Why are you here? Sylvanna's your real estate agent, exactly, and that's what was happening and I was like whoa and I get goosebumps and I call it this web that I've been able to weave over the past 18 years and I want to continue to do that. I was also remarking at my event how incredibly diverse my community is.

Speaker 1:

And that is so important to me. Why is that important to you? Because that is the world that I want to live in. I want to learn from other people's culture, from their religion, from their ideas, and it is.

Speaker 2:

So I'm laughing because she's over here nodding like.

Speaker 1:

Amen and Church over here.

Speaker 2:

I'm trying to look at you, but I couldn't see her getting so excited about all the words you're saying.

Speaker 1:

But it is, I don't know. I mean I'm kind of getting emotional about it, but it's what a blessing A blessing to be able to. I think there are oftentimes groups of people of different cultures, nationalities, whatever it is, that don't necessarily feel comfortable working in such an important transaction with someone that is different or outside of their group, because they're worried about receiving the same care. And so for me to have people that are not like me, trust me and know that I'm going to take care of them is huge.

Speaker 2:

How do you foster that?

Speaker 1:

I don't know, I don't know how I am able to.

Speaker 2:

I don't know the reason we ask. This is our first interview today. She's wants to have that where it's not just, I'm your provider and your service provider, but we are friends. Even though I am of this nationality and you might know nothing about my background nationality I want to be. I want to feel like if I see you on the street, you'd come over and give me a big hug and it sounds like you've been able to foster that type of connection.

Speaker 1:

It's so true. I think that because my business is referral based, then people automatically trust me a little bit more because someone they're close to has had a great experience with me, and so that really helps. I also I was taking some classes through the National Association of Realtors and the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors to become a diversity and equity and inclusion champion, and so I took the courses to get my badge, which I was like I don't really need this because you know?

Speaker 1:

but but I did. And on these big zoom classes, the teacher or the person leading the class was saying well, you know, what do you do when you have someone in a from a different culture and someone's like well, I do research, and I'm thinking, I raised my hand and I said I treat every single one of my clients the exact same way, with respect and kindness and care, and that's how I've been able to foster it. That's it, it's it, and so I think that that's been able to be to be helpful. I I have amazing clients who take the time to write reviews for me. I have a hundred and eighty-five star reviews on Zillow. That really helps too, because if someone is randomly looking for an agent, they're like wait a second, they're reading.

Speaker 1:

I mean, some of my clients write books about their experience with me, which means that's the greatest compliment in the world, but also a referral and then being able to stay connected, and it's hard for me to say hi, you know, and check in on people as much as I want to. So having my events also brings everyone together. And I didn't eat. My event was six hours long. I did not eat one bite of food. I had a half of a beer because I was just hugging and talking the whole entire time Like a wedding.

Speaker 1:

It was it really was, it really was and it was. I put on social media like one of the best days of my life.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you get to have that. What do you do it?

Speaker 1:

every year. Yes, so this was the first annual fall festival. I will be doing one every year. I already have mine booked for next year, so you're going to have the best day of your life every single year.

Speaker 2:

How exciting is that.

Speaker 1:

It's going to get better and better, because I've already figured out how to make the event better. Things were great. I saw a little bit of a few holes that are going to be seen. Yeah, yes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's you know.

Speaker 2:

Just to touch on something that you said. You said you know I treat everybody the same and that's it's, it's, it's, and I kind of added it and it's as easy as that. I don't once little comment is I don't think people, if you ask the everyday person, do you treat people differently? I don't think we, as humans, are self-aware enough to say yes, right, I think we would assume that we treat every single person the same, but it's not until you get honest and raw feedback or you don't get the results that you want to be able to understand maybe there is something off here or for you to be able to say no, they feel, they feel it.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. You're so right. I mean there's implicit biases that we just live with every day and you know, I am a white woman who has a black husband and I am very, very aware of what black men have to go through and so I am very sensitive to to just in that respect. But but then I apply that to everything in all of my life and I I have since I was little. I was very fortunate to be raised in an incredibly diverse area of Montgomery County, maryland. Growing up I had, I mean, neighbors and and friends from so many different backgrounds and I realized it's pretty rare and it was very special and it was an opportunity for me to just blossom in in a wonderful community. There were bad people in the community too, who didn't feel the same way about loving diversity, but I sure did and it's, it's just wonderful. My community is incredible. I'm so lucky. I'm so lucky I really sometimes I have to pinch myself, you know. I mean my life is not all perfect, but my career, my career, saved me in so many ways.

Speaker 1:

I Was married to the wrong person for a long time. It was not a good relationship. He's the father of my children and If it were not for my career. I would not have had the strength and financial capability to leave that situation. My career was threatening to him when things started going south and he saw my strength build. Quit your job, you don't need to work, let's go. Let's, let's have another baby. Let's know, this is my ticket out, and it was. I was able to Take care of my children, pay for their school if I had to pay for their braces build my own home, you know, renovate it. So I'm so grateful to my career for that.

Speaker 1:

But then also I I was diagnosed with breast cancer, not once but twice, and the first time was shortly after my separation and divorce. That was really tough because I was alone for the first time in my life. I was 38 and alone. So my career Definitely helped me to stay connected to people. I think I would have withdrawn Severely, even though I did for a big part, but I still kept functioning for my clients because they were the reason to get up, to go and do things.

Speaker 1:

So when my cancer came back five years later after I had had surgery, it was a different. It was a different Life for me. I was now in a marriage that was so healthy and I had so much support, so I think it really helped me. But I had a single mastectomy the second time around and it's pretty major surgery and Right before going into my surgery I was working writing an offer, came home from my surgery the same day, finished Negotiating. The same day I Was a week after my surgery. I was showing property. I went to a home inspection. I had drains course, it was winter, so it was like covering everything up, but I did not feel sorry for myself. I kept living and I kept working and I didn't think about what my body was going through because it wasn't going through here and my career, my clients, my family and my clients are my family are what got me through Without even blinking an eye. So I am grateful, grateful for my clients.

Speaker 2:

Wow, what a powerful story.

Speaker 1:

Hence the heart. It's all about the heart and love. I I mean every client. I see I'm like I love you, but I mean it, I mean it, I love them.

Speaker 2:

You know what have you seen? You probably haven't, but have you seen that Instagram Video or meme where it's like your Spiritual only because you're reminding me of her right now, your spiritual friend like saying goodbye, and they're like this girl sitting in a car and she's like With your passion, she's like all right, I love you, I'll see you later. She's like okay, bye. She's like, no, really, you are amazing, my god. It is love and passion and like for life and for what you do. I think you were such a blessing up. I'm sure your clients would say that you were such a blessing in their life. Just from the energy and passion that I can feel From you, just sitting across the room.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for saying that. I mean it's um, it's easy. It's easy to feel this way when I'm Get to be around incredible people all the time and I get to help them With a huge investment. Talk about trust. I mean putting that trust in me. It's so important. I love houses and I love people and putting them together is like a perfect job for me. I'm kind of sure it really, really is.

Speaker 2:

Do you have one specific message that you'd like to share with the world?

Speaker 1:

Just be, be a good person, just be good to people. I always say don't let how someone treats you change how you treat them or who you are or how you act or how you behave. I Think it's important to just be constantly good, and that's, that's my message.

Speaker 2:

Thank you so much for being on the podcast.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, I had so much fun. Thank you so much.

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Embracing Diversity in Real Estate
Importance of Trust and Goodness