Agent Snapshot: Krystyn Elek, Associate, Charlesgate Realty Group, Back Bay

krystyn-elek-charlesgate-realty

Krystyn Elek is an associate with Charlesgate Realty Group in Back Bay

What was your first job in the realty industry? I began my career in real estate with Charlesgate Realty Group, primarily working with rentals.

Where did you grow up? I am far from “home,” which is technically Charleston, South Carolina. I have been in Massachusetts for about eight years now; I came up here for college, stayed for grad school and fell in love.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I went back and forth between being an interior designer and an architect. When I ended up pursuing a BA at Amherst College, none of my studies were focused on a professional venture, and I was soon throwing myself into as many different opportunities as I could find. I have worked as a rugby coach, a residential aid for children with developmental disabilities, a Web designer and a hotel manager!

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I have played ice hockey my entire life, and it’s still the thing that relaxes me more than anything. There’s something about being physically exhausted that flushes stress away. On the other end of the spectrum, I have a huge weakness for trashy TV shows.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Meryl Streep; she is a goddess. Really though, I heard this story that a very well-respected director at Yale Repertory Theatre told her she wouldn’t amount to much in the acting world…now she’s one of the most prolific female actresses ever.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? I absolutely love escaping to Amherst for a weekend when I have the chance. It’s so beautiful out there. It’s also the highest concentration of delicious and affordable food I have ever come across, so how can I resist that?

What do you love most about the industry? I love meeting new people and hearing their stories every day. When I was working in hospitality, I figured out that I was really good at learning about the wants and needs of others and customizing an experience based around that information. Real estate lets me do that in a more permanent and influential way!

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? House hunting in the Boston market is often a daunting task for newcomers and lifetime residents alike, and an agent you can trust will be an important resource to have during that search. Connecting personally with clients and understanding their individual needs, I strive to make the rental and sale process straightforward and efficient. So often, agents do not take the time to educate their renters or buyers on the processes in which they are about to enter – I consciously try to fill that void.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? I am young, but I look even younger. I have had many people give me that “are you serious?” look upon first meeting me. It’s a great challenge to prove to renters and buyers that I know the market well, and it’s fun to be the one who works hard for them!

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I am always playing sports and staying active, so I am meeting 15-20 new people at a time every time I join a new team, or fill in for a friend. If you every see me in the rink, on the rugby pitch or on the softball field, make sure to say “Hi!”

What has been your greatest accomplishment? When I was the head coach of the Amherst College Women’s Rugby Football Club, I noticed a sever lack of administrative support for the team at all levels. I reformed the program from the ground up, repaired relationships with the athletic department and helped create a new rugby conference that would function based upon the values of like-minded rugby programs.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I have been underwhelmed by movies for the last couple of years, but Beasts of the Southern Wild, Tomboy and The Intouchables are amazing and relatively recent. I am in the middle of reading “The Secret Life of Bees” as well as “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” and I like them both so far!

What is your favorite restaurant? Plant in Asheville, N.C. I am not a vegan, but this restaurant made me finally believe it was possible – absolutely incredible food.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? If you can survive the baptism by firehose that is learning the inventory, then stick with it! It’s a constant challenge, but the industry really allows you to think quickly and creatively, overcoming obstacles on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Google Maps is my best friend.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I am pretty new to Twitter, but @gregorykiep always has great information!

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