Meet Donna Reed!
An interview with Donna Reed, REALTOR® at Keller Williams Southern Arizona. Donna serves as the Chairperson of the Culture Committee on the Keller Williams Southern Arizona Agent Leadership Council (ALC) for 2023.
1. Tell us about your background and interest in real estate.
I always wanted to be in real estate, but I grew up in a farm town in Northwest Ohio near Toledo. It was a wonderful place to live, and I enjoyed sailing, perch fishing, and water skiing. Lake Erie and that part of Ohio offer many recreational opportunities.
In 2000, I was working as an Administrator at First Command Financial Services. Their client base is mostly military and veterans. They help people learn about budgeting and other financial issues. A constant challenge is that many people want to buy a new car once they start their careers after the military instead of focusing on future needs and saving. Just like the rest of us, right? It was here that I learned much about what it takes to run a successful business.
From Professional Speakers to the Real Estate Market
Around 2004-2005, my career was booking professional speakers. I met many terrific people and some are still friends to this day, such as Neal Petersen. Neal and his wife have a home in the Dominican Republic, and they sail around the world. I hope to sail with them one day! Neal builds what they need–he even built his own yacht. I am always inspired by people like Neal. My life is richer and fuller because I am open to meeting people and learning from them.
During this same time period, the market was on a downturn. To save costs, people were hiring the local union president to speak at events instead of motivational speakers such as Dave Ramsey. I was doing really well, even as the professional speaker market declined. However, I knew I could enter the real estate market and become even more successful. I joined a friend of mine, Casey Compernolle, in real estate. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my career!
2. What specifically brought you to Keller Williams Southern Arizona?
The brokerage I was with, Realty Executives, was led by Anthony Azar. There were around 400 agents in the brokerage. Anthony purchased the Keller Williams franchise and the brokerage was set to rebrand. I remember they brought all of us to a nice conference center to make the announcement and meet the team leaders. It was an exciting time! I chose to join the Keller Williams brokerage along with hundreds of other agents. Many of the original agents are still with KWSA to this day.
3. What do you like most about working at this brokerage?
I went to the Keller Williams Family Reunion in France in 2020. Several of us in attendance created a Facebook group where we share news, ideas, stories, and continue our connection. We are super-close, and it is a great example of how the culture of Keller Williams brings us all together. Relationships matter!
Early in my career, Anthony Azar made it possible for me to go to Family Reunion as a Cultural Ambassador, even though I had a detached retina. He arranged for my son to drive me and helped us find a place to stay. I always remember this kindness when I think of our AHA fund–Agents Helping Agents.
Many agents at KWSA listen to my advice on real estate matters, and it is consistent:
You get out of it what you put into it
Putting in the effort on relationships at KWSA is just as important as putting in the effort on your real estate business. One of my newest great friends, Alison Bradley, always shares helpful news and tips with me and that in turn helps me in my career. Alison came to Tucson when Kristan Cole became our OP and Broker. Alison and I became quite close, and we spent a good amount of time together. She is a good mentor to me in many ways.
4. Tell us about your Committee and its focus.
Most recently I served on the Finance Committee for several years. But I really like the Culture Committee. I had been the Chairperson of the Culture Committee for the first five to seven years of KWSA. So this is like coming home for me.
I see so many opportunities for KWSA with culture! We have a new location coming up in July of this year, so that offers us lots of potential and ways to get agents engaged.
Red Day this year is taking a different approach from any of the other Red Day events they have done, with two volunteer opportunities. It is being held mostly in the office, as teams of agents work together to fill various bags for people experiencing homelessness. Then agents will deliver the bags. This helps bring us all together since we’ll be working next to each other for hours, right at the market center.
Helping Nash Elementary School on Red Day
We will also help out at Nash Elementary with their Field Day on the morning of Red Day, Thursday May 11. Agents should register for these Red Day events, we can always use more great participants! Nash has one of the highest turnovers of students from year to year based upon low income, parental divorce, drugs, abuse, and other issues. My church has helped them for years. I always say if you want to meet Donna Reed, you will find her performing some kind of service.
We need people from 7:30am to 10:30 am at Nash Elementary and then you can come to the office for lunch!
5. What motivated you to accept the leadership position of your Committee?
I love the challenge of lifting the culture of KWSA to higher levels. Many of us have a spirit of service and working together is a way we can lift each other up. The happiness and joy we experience radiates into our business and home lives. It is inspiring to me to know that the smallest positive experience often builds upon itself to brighten so many lives with our culture.
6. What do you hope your Committee is able to achieve this year?
My hope is for KWSA agents to learn more about the importance of our AHA account–Agents Helping Agents. Agents can donate to this account, and it is in use strictly to help other agents at KWSA if they have a need. I also hope to remind everyone that here at KWSA, we have a Giving-Serving Culture. When we have that focus in mind, all of us benefit. Ultimately, my hope is to influence the focus. It is truly all about:
Mindset Mindset Mindset
7. Where will we meet Donna Reed in the future?
I speak fluent French (and vacation German and Spanish), and I will be traveling to Germany for two weeks this year. My goal is to be in a place where I can be gone for six weeks and still have my business. I may spend a portion of those six weeks in a couple places in France. Or perhaps Sweden, as my heritage is Swedish. I have learned that people all around the world are often very similar, and I enjoy serving as a cultural ambassador for KWSA wherever I travel!
Learn More About Keller Williams Southern Arizona
We are glad to provide this opportunity for you to meet Donna Reed. To learn more about Keller Williams Southern Arizona, contact us today. Our team of recruiters and market center leaders are always glad to speak with you about what you can expect at KWSA.