Katherine Shepard

Rebuilding a Fairytale

While we often refer to a fairytale story as one that’s covered in talking forest creatures and princesses, many often overlook the harsh portions of the stories like the crooked stepmothers or a loved one dying. But to say Katherine “Kat” Shepard’s life is a Disney storyline in the making isn’t an understatement. 
Born in Cleveland and raised in Cleveland Heights, Katherine led a pretty normal life. She
obtained a degree from Cleveland State in Marketing which she would later put to good use on
social media while marketing herself as an agent. Until then however, she worked retail for a bit
before obtaining a position as a listing coordinator and marketing manager. “That’s how I got to know real estate,” she says. “I started from the inside, doing all the paperwork.”
But we all know, there is always someone lurking in the shadows throughout a good Disney
storyline and Katherine would have to endure this too in order to reach her happily ever after.
Before meeting some of the best people she knows, finding her fiance, and becoming an agent,
Katherine endured seven years in an abusive marriage. And the person that friends and family
often refer to as determined, strong willed, and inspirational grew so much during that dark time in her story.
“One thing that has always stuck with me was something my dad said to me while we were
hiking in the Grand Canyon,” she recalls. “I was struggling on the hike and my dad said ‘I didn’t
raise a weak female. You are strong. You can do this’.” That mindset, along with the
encouragement from her team, is what gave Katherine the determination to turn her life around
in just two years! Despite walking out of the situation with only a garbage bag full of her
possessions and $50k in debt, Katherine went on to rebuild her life. And in 2022, five years after leaving her marriage she sold 40 units!
It’s the people by her side like Amanda Pohlman, Kat’s unofficial fairy godmother, that gave her
the courage to leave her past behind. “I owe her a lot!” she admits. “I never would have been
able to leave that relationship without her. She’s my biggest cheerleader, she encouraged and inspired me to get my license.”
In true Disney fashion, it was a chance job listing that drew Katherine to Amanda. “My friend
shared a position post at Keller Williams,” she recalls. That’s how she found the position. Katherine made the call, joined the team on the administrative side, and ended up bringing in a total of 20 deals during her first six months being licensed, all while working full time in her administrative role. This was her sign that she needed to step into an agent role full time.
The joy of watching her clients sign paperwork to sell their home, or the text messages and
updates she gets from her buyers are what warms Katherine’s heart. Then they connect over
social media and eventually become friends in real life too, and she gets to watch their own
fairytales develop and change. “I know firsthand how much having your own home means,” she
says. “That’s why 85% of my business is from my sphere and referrals. Also by building and
nurturing relationships, and treating people like more than a transaction. They become a part of
my life.”
In her free time, Katherine continues to live out her fairytale storyline by supporting others,
spending time with her fiance, Zach, loving on her pups, and visiting “The most magical place on Earth”...Disneyworld. “I ended up taking solo trips there once a month and had a ton of fun,” Katherine says. “Now, I’ve rebuilt my life around my own wants.”
Which is why she considers Disneyworld her second home. “I’ve been there 50 times!”
Closer to home, she and Zach are huge sports fanatics, “obsessed,” she says. They love baseball and often frequent Progressive Field. “He's more of a Cavs guy though,” she says. “Our team was really young this year, and they really showed up. It was inspirational.” And come May, their ‘team’ will also be really young…and showing up this year…as they anticipate the arrival of their daughter, Audrey.
Katherine also helps spread her own happiness and inspiration to others through charities and
organizations. She supports City Dogs, a Cleveland animal shelter; Laura’s Home, a home for
women trying to get back on their feet; and has become more involved with breast cancer
research since the passing of Zach's mom several years ago.
While people often acknowledge that Katherine is open and vulnerable, some advice she has for others is to look for validation within oneself. “You can achieve way more than you think you