We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Zgutowicz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lauren, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After undergrad, I got into management consulting. I enjoyed the project variety, exposure to different companies and executive teams, and the incredibly smart and talented individuals that I got to work with everyday. My husband and I both traveled 4-5 days a week, and the work/life balance became a bit difficult. I ended up going back to the University of Georgia to get my MBA, and simultaneously I got my real estate license. I didn’t initially plan on getting into real estate full-time, but I realized after I had a few transactions under my belt, that I could likely turn it into a long-term career with the right resources, people, processes, and connections. I hoped that it would allow me to balance work and family life, and it has. I have been able to volunteer at my children’s school, take them to school and pick them up every single day, take them to their after school activities, attend their weekend sporting events, all while growing my real estate business year-over-year!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
When I started out in real estate in 2010, I wasn’t sure where the career would lead me. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how successful I’ve been. I learned early on that people want to partner with a real estate agent who is honest, trustworthy, and smart. I become a trusted advisors and therapist…. I hear about their life’s most exciting (engagements, weddings, pregnancies!) and most tragic (miscarriages, deaths, divorces) events before others. I guide them through some their most stressful moments. My clients become great friends. I actually feel sad after the closing because I don’t talk to them everyday. I am lucky because I do very minimal advertising; all of my business comes from repeat clients and referrals. Humans are loyal by nature, if you give them a reason to come back!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I was born and raised in Atlanta… I’ve never lived anywhere except for Georgia! I am incredibly passionate about our city! I live in Sandy Springs, so some of my favorite OTP places include: downtown Woodstock (The Daily Draft and Prime120 are my go-to places), Avalon (ice skating in the winter), White Water (anyone who knows me, knows I love a good water park or roller coaster), and Lakewood Antiques in Cumming (I have so many pieces in my house from there). ITP, I love a lobster roll from Beetlecat, Scott’s Antique Market once a month, and the food hall at Krog Street Market.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, there are too many influential people to name! I appreciate that my dad always encouraged me to pursue what makes me happy…. he told me that no matter what I chose to do, that I should aspire to be the BEST at it! He said if I wanted to be the CEO of a company, then I should be the BEST I could. If I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, then I should be the BEST I could. He gave me the emotional freedom to pursue my dreams – and crush them. I am grateful for my mom, who has to be the most selfless person. She has always been willing to jump in and support me and my crazy schedule… there were times that a client would call me to see a house in 30 minutes, and she would rush over to watch my kids. She even got her real estate license for a period of time in order to help me with my clients and showings. She’s the first to “like” my social media posts, and is my sounding board for difficult work-related situations. My husband has been forgiving when I’ve had to work on vacations and holidays. He’s helped review marketing materials, craft emails, and find clients. He is my greatest behind-the-scenes cheerleader. My business partner Meg Garrido has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I never aspired to have a team… I am a great army of one! She saw something in me, and worked hard to convince me that a partnership would benefit us both…. boy, was she right! She’s the yin to my yang! She is the creative visionary behind Team Meg G and Lauren Z, while I love the operational and process details that help us run smoothly behind the scenes. Martha Hayhurst at Compass is an inspiration. She has a sweet, southern, polished exterior, but underneath she is a fierce mama bear with incredible real estate experience and expertise. I have amazing respect for Brian Maguire, the broker of the Compass Buckhead office. He’s inspired and pushed me to be my best self… Meg and I joke that we would follow him into battle because he is so composed and level-headed. There are other agents in the Atlanta market that I have so much respect for. Leigh and Michael Schiff with Ansley Atlanta are incredibly classy. They have built such an incredible reputation and brand for their team. Lisa Vayle with Keller Williams is a badass business woman. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and has the best sense of humor. I always love working with her. Nicholas Brown with Compass is incredible ethical, humble and giving. I am constantly in awe of his community engagement and fierce protectiveness and encouragement of his successful team!

Website: https://www.compass.com/agents/meggandlaurenz/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/teammeggandlaurenz/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MegGandLaurenZ

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5UQ3EdVh3cJd7yJTWKB5jw/about

Image Credits
Melissa Schollaert, Ben Brinker, and Joshua Bartolotti

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