Road to Success with Maya Paveza…

How can anyone not love Maya! She’s lively, honest, and down to earth. I love to hear about her two kids and her adventures in real estate on Twitter. She has so many great ongoing projects; I really wonder how she can manage it all and keep her sense of humor! She’s the kind of girl that would be the life of the party yet always there for you when in need. Her passion and love for people really shows in this interview. Keep an eye out for her; I think it’s safe to say that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Maya Paveza in the future!

Here is what Maya had to say…

Question: Could you describe your main business and what services you offer.

Answer: My primary business is real estate sales. I “retired” from high tech in 2001 at the grand age of 31 after the dot.com downfall and went back into real estate. I have had a great deal of success and absolutely love real estate but social media has drawn me back to technology and communications.  I started using bulletin board systems in 1980 and grew with that as it evolved into new systems and platforms like most of today’s social media sites.  I also do social media consulting for the real estate industry, speaking and education, as well as for other business and government offices here in Delaware that seek my assistance. I work a lot with the Delaware Department of Economic Development; they have a great entrepreneurial program.

Question: Who’s your primary market?

Answer: Primarily the real estate as it combines my two passions. I also will help anyone who asks if I have time. I do love general social media and totally get it, but there are far too many people running around claiming to be “the authority”. I am happy with my niche but step out when asked.

Question: The median age for Real Estate Agents is approximately 52 years old. Would you say that they’re pretty “set” in their way of marketing their business or they accept and use social media has part of their marketing plan?

Answer: I think age has little to do with whether they are set and complacent in their ways. I find that some of the most successful agents are complacent and don’t see the need to grow. But they all laughed at cell phones once too! The reality is that social media is WHERE the consumers are and how they’re searching for homes. If they don’t realize this, they will be the next dinosaurs in the industry! I think the agents who are passionate about the industry and personal growth are open to the new frontier and are ready to step forward. The problem I think is, as it is in general social media, anyone who has vague understanding of social media believe that they have experience and is out there trying to teach it and preach it.  I think very few really are well qualified, and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. This is one of the reasons why I’m working with Chris Brogan and Human Business Works on a real estate community site.

Question: Do you use any other marketing strategies other than social media?

Answer: I used to do mailers, but not anymore. I do call my sphere, I do open houses, but primarily I am doing all my marketing online and via social media. Very little is classic media anymore for me. I get great results from being online, but always have – I came from technology so it has been second nature for me.

Question: How much time do you spend on social media sites and what’s the most important aspect you have used to be so successful?

Answer: I spent a lot more time on them than I would ever recommend to a client. I have gone beyond what I tell agents to do, I transcended into a “persona” as some people tell me.  I dip in and out of twitter all day and pop on Facebook. I try to blog at least three times a week. In reality, I am always doing something else at the same time. I don’t have as much time as I would like to explore other sites to see what great stuff other real estate agents are doing and to help promote them. That is one of my goals.  Truthfully I think if I actually added up the hours, it would be less than 1.5-2 hours a day. For me the most important aspect of my success has just been to be me, be genuine. I meet people for who they are and like that, I don’t try to have any pre-conceived notions or information, I just love people.

Question: What has been your biggest challenge in managing your family, your many projects and business?

Answer: I have been traveling a lot this year and my girls (Katarina 7, Lindsay 4) get upset sometimes.  I just try to explain to them that Mommy loves them and I am always here for them. Keeping them strong and confident is my first priority; they always must know they are number one in my book at all times. Prioritizing them, making sure they know I love them even when I am busy and I am doing this all for them.  They are great kids and make it all worth it.

Question: What has been your greatest victory so far?

Answer: Oh, the chances to do things for charities or to help people in need. I did something for “Mothers Fighting For Others” in April. Lots of great people helped and pitched in and as a team we raised $20,000 of a $50,000 goal. Pretty darn good in just about 2 weeks! Then whenever I can, I try to help people out no matter what. I got some people together to try to get a stroller wheelchair for a friend’s daughter. It was amazing what everyone did!  Being able to have a network and friends who are so thoughtful and considerate, all who I know through social media. That is the best victory! Giving and helping!

Question: How do you define success?

Answer: Success is when you are confident in yourself and your abilities. Comfortable with whom you are and able to help others to become what or who they want to be. Giving back, helping others, being able to do something to make the world a better place – no matter how small, to me that is success. And watching my girls grow up.

Question: If you could give one piece of advice to new entrepreneurs, what would it be?

Answer: Read, plan, seek advice and find programs in your area that might help entrepreneurs (like the State of Delaware does). Don’t be afraid to do it! The biggest problem is American colleges and universities don’t teach people how to think like business people – especially the liberal arts schools. So, you turn out Fine Art graduates with no sense of how to turn that into a business. Find the resources and take business courses. Surrounding yourself with smart people can’t hurt either. Don’t just stick to one thing. Trying many things at once so you don’t miss the boat and if more than one hits, that’s great! That’s more than one piece. So one piece…read a lot!

Question: Fast forward five years…what do you see?

Answer: Five years from now, I am sure I will still be active selling real estate. I just love the industry and working with my clients. There’s nothing as rewarding as helping people in the largest financial transaction of their life and making sure they get the respect, attention and support they deserve. I also hope that the upcoming real estate education site will still be running strong and growing as the technologies change, educating lots of agents and providing a community for them to grow and share their experiences. I also hope I will have had lots of opportunities to speak and present in a variety of places, to talk about new media/technology and real estate. I hope to be a published author at least twice by then. I have two projects in the works one is completely unrelated to real estate and I would love that to do well and allow me to help a lot of people who have self-esteem and perception issues. I also hope I will be in a position to do a lot to help others realize their dreams and attain their goals. Success isn’t worth much if you can’t help others to find the same in their own life. I really can’t wait to see who my girls have grown into in five years!

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Genevieve Lachance is a web marketing consultant who has a passion for social media and technology based in Montreal, Canada. Read More About Me »