Why Windermere? A Sit Down with New-To-The-Business Broker Kelly Kopczynski

January 11, 2021

Are you looking to change careers and become a broker but don’t know where to start? We sat down with Kelly Kopczynski, a new-to-the-business broker, who transitioned into real estate in 2021, about his experience coming into Windermere Kirkland. Read our interview below for helpful insights on what to think through when changing careers and finding a brokerage to work with.

Were you a broker before you came to Windermere Kirkland or are you new to the business?

Kelly: I am new to the business. My previous career was in the automotive collision industry.


Tell us about your journey to becoming a broker.

Kelly: I had wanted to become a broker since I was in my early 20’s then I was talked out of it.  This led me to go about my way into the automotive industry. Three years ago I decided I was living this career that I was not happy with and I felt real estate offered a lot more if I did it right. These two industries differed from each other so I started to do my own research. I dived into self-help, personal development, and business to do everything I could to prepare myself for the transition into real estate. Now three years later, I work full time in the office here at Windermere Kirkland!


When you were looking at firms to work at, what factors were you considering?

Kelly: My biggest factor when looking at brokerages was name recognition and reputation. Having not been from the real estate world, I knew that Windermere had a great reputation.

The other component that was extremely important for my transition was education and support. Coming from an industry that had almost no formal training and support, I knew I wanted a team and company that could support and encourage me through that process. I knew I wanted to help people make the best decisions when buying or selling a house, and in order to do that I needed to have the best continuing education and resources. The program I have enjoyed most since becoming a broker was Pro Start. This week-long course gave me the tools and resources to get over the hurdle of my imposter syndrome being new to the industry. It helped with tangible resources and the nitty gritty of the day-to-day of being a broker. The teachers were so encouraging and empowering  that led me through this process and I am so thankful to have had that experience to draw back on each day.


What kind of questions were you asking when interviewing different firms? 

Kelly: When starting this process, I heard a lot of negative noise from people outside of the industry that only certain people make it in real estate and that I would be completely on my own to figure it out. So I wanted to explore and debunk what I was being told. 

I was asking questions like: 

What kind of support do you give for new brokers? What training and processes do you have in place? 

What is the culture of the office? What is the culture of Windermere?

And what I found when talking with Mike, was that all of his answers were aligning with what I had envisioned, a supportive and collaborative office where I could grow and serve my community.


What ultimately made you decide on Windermere Kirkland?

Kelly: My whole time living in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, I have lived on the Eastside. It’s what I know best and it’s where I want to work. Kirkland has always been near and dear to my heart, that’s where I want to be. The designated broker, Mike, and I clicked really well and I felt Windermere had the abundance mindset, that me joining the office was celebrated and supported.


How has your experience been so far?

Kelly: I got licensed a little over a year ago, then took the plunge in June. But I was still working part time in my previous career. It wasn’t until October of 2021 that I decided to commit full time to Windermere. Three months in and so far it has been awesome! I have liked everybody that I have met through Windermere and I have felt supported and encouraged. I also find that there is a lot of respect for Windermere out in the industry and community, so I know my choice was a good one!


Where do you see yourself in a year from now?

Kelly: I see myself at Windermere, grown as a person, broker, friend, businessman. I have very high expectations for myself this year. The first three months of my real estate career have been focussed on education, and now my focus is networking networking networking. I am constantly looking to reach my full potential and follow that trajectory. 


What advice would you give someone who is considering transitioning into real estate? 

Kelly: Be diligent in the process. 

Knowing that it was a much bigger decision for me with a family, it was really important to do my hw and evaluate where I want to go next. I sat down and evaluated my core beliefs and ethics and decided that real estate was the right choice to make, and I found a firm that emulated those same morals in all that they do.

My advice is to know who you are and look for that company that supports who you are as a person, your morals, your ethics, and your beliefs. A lot of people want to do a lot of transactions and make the most amount of money possible, and there are plenty of those brokerages out there. For me it was about building a community and to be trusted, and that was Windermere. 

As part of my business now, I shoot to meet with one agent a week to learn and grow. If anybody who is new to the business wants to chat more about my experience please feel free to reach out.

Reach out to Kelly here: kellykop@windermere.com

Our goal at Windermere Kirkland is to be a resource for the community. Aside from helping you buy or sell your home, our team is dedicated to adding value to our city. Every other Tuesday we will be posting a blog post highlighting different people, businesses, communities, and more throughout Kirkland. Stay tuned!