“Create a Strong Work/Life Balance” The 5 Lessons I Learned Being a 20-Something Founder

I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Elmir, Founder and CEO of The Elmir Group.

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Elmir, Founder and CEO of The Elmir Group.

Jean: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory” of how you become a founder?

I’ve known since I was 12 years old that I wanted to work in real estate. I’m naturally a people person, I love numbers and business, so I have always felt like real estate was the exact right fit for me. I got my license right when I turned 18. Shortly after, I founded The Elmir Group — a luxury real estate brokerage that operates under Cervera Real Estate. I joined the Top Producer Club at Cervera Real Estate in 2014, and have remained a top producer every quarter since then. As CEO of The Elmir Group, I have led the team’s sales of more than $350 million of real estate within the Brickell, Biscayne Bay, Key Biscayne, Design District, Midtown, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables areas in the past year alone.

Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

My team and I put a strong focus on truly knowing the neighborhoods we work in. We’ve become hyperlocal specialists of sorts. We make sure that we have a strong understanding on the ins and outs of the listing, the area and the buyer who I am showing a listing to. Prospective buyers want to work with someone who they trust to make sure they are making the best decision possible. We familiarize ourselves with every aspect of an area, including: the neighborhood, the housing market of the area, the inventory, the schools, local issues and traffic concerns. Being knowledgeable on these aspects helps me to guide the potential buyer in making an informed decision. This method has proven extremely successful for us and has helped us to stand out in the industry.

Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?

My team and I have been working very closely with Biscayne Beach Residences in Miami. The project has been developed in collaboration with celebrity interior designer Thom Filicia, who has designed the interiors throughout the main lobby and luxury penthouse. It’s a big accomplishment to be selected as the exclusive sales and marketing team for the Thom Filicia penthouse as well as a number of other penthouses throughout the project. It makes me proud to know that the developer’s recognize our work and have faith in us to properly market the development.

Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

One of my favorite books that definitely made me change the way I perceive things in my life is The Alchemist by Paulo Choelo. The novel is about a young shepherd’s journey to the pyramids of Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there. Throughout his journey he meets many significant people who play a large role leading up to finding this treasure he is in search for. This novel stuck to me because the meaning is spiritual. When you want something the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. I strongly do believe that the mind and energy work together to attract the kind of life you live… even the one you dream of having.

Jean: What are your “5 Lessons I Learned as a Twentysomething Founder” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

1 – Network, network, network!

I am constantly making connections everywhere I go. Every day I am thinking about how to extend my network and grow my business. Every person I meet is another opportunity to sell or get a new listing. If you start building your network when you’re young, you’ll have a foot in the door and many more opportunities to build connections and find potential business partners down the line. You never know who you’re going to meet.

2 – Create a strong work/life balance

In order to perform my best each day, I have to make sure I am as healthy, mentally and physically, as possible. I am a firm believer of the old ‘Early to be, early to rise’ adage. You will find me in bed by 10:30 p.m. every night. This allows me to wake up, run three miles and be up and working by 7 a.m. Even though I am always on call, I find time for myself to recharge and recuperate through exercise and meditation.

3 – Don’t be afraid to fail

The trick to dealing with failure is looking at it as a learning experience. There’s a lesson to take out of every situation. If a sale falls through, I take a breath and move on. These things happen.

4 – Find a mentor you trust

I think mentors are important for everyone to have, no matter race, ethnicity, age or culture. Mentors provide you with a different perspective on situations and can offer advice to steer you in the right direction. One of my biggest aspirations is to serve as a mentor to young women and men — both professionally and in everyday life. We are capable of anything we put our minds to — and its easy to forget that sometimes. Having a strong support system has enabled me to get to where I am today, and I’d love to be able to provide that to others.

5 – Recognize what sets you apart from the competition and embrace it

I differentiate myself in the competitive market by staying on top of trends and changes in South Florida real estate and what potential buyers want. It’s important to be knowledgeable on each and every project you represent and to know your target audience.

Jean: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

To be completely honest, it would probably be DJ Khaled. I love his positive energy and how motivational he is. He has a beautiful family, and I always say that if I had children — I would love for them to be similar to the characteristics of Assad Khaled because he is probably the youngest baby boss. I have never seen such a happier baby, and I wish DJ Khaled and his family the best!

– Published on June 27, 2018

Originally published at

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