If passion for real estate had a face, it would look like this month’s Rising Star, Chelsea Sousa. Chelsea was born to work sales: she loves building relationships, problem-solving, and helping people, and real estate combines all of her strengths, experiences, interests, and skills. “Every day is a pinch-me moment. I can’t believe I get to do this for a living!” Chelsea told us.
Chelsea grew up in central Massachusetts and earned a degree in English with a concentration in writing and mass communications from Assumption College. After graduation, she worked as a sales representative and assistant manager at Maxwell Marketing Group in Braintree, MA, where she consistently ranked as a top sales rep in the nation. This role taught her about the benefits of door-to-door sales, a skill she has used to grow her real estate business. “I’m obsessed with being able to create an opportunity where one didn’t exist before. If I knock on every door in a neighborhood, I can find a house for my buyers that they wouldn’t have otherwise seen,” she said.
A few years after graduation, Chelsea moved to DC, where she started a delivery dry cleaning business. She grew that business over ten years into the largest and most reputable delivery dry cleaner in the DC Metro area before she and her children relocated to the Triangle in 2018 to be near her family. Chelsea’s kids, Madelyn, 5, and Max, 7, have always been her biggest advocates. “Right now, my kids are planning a future family business where my son will build homes, my daughter will decorate them, and I will sell them.” Even Chelsea’s dog, Charlie, who she rescued last year, helps Chelsea network at the local dog park and his favorite daycare, Audrey’s Barkyard in Wake Forest. “My kids are so invested in my career and so supportive and encouraging. It means everything to me.”
While Chelsea brings a level of dedication and drive that is hard to match, she also credits her success to the people around her. “Keller Williams training and culture are unparalleled. I started my business in the right place,” Chelsea explains. “And I like to learn from people who are better than me, so I surround myself with the top agents in my office.” Her mentor and team leader, Rob Zelem, also keeps her motivated and driven. “Joining Rob’s team was the best decision I have made in my career. Everything I know about real estate, I learned from Rob.”
Since her first sale in April 2020, she has completed 33 buyer transactions worth over $11.5 million in the hottest seller’s market Raleigh has ever seen. In 2022, her goal is to complete 40 transactions, with at least four closings per month, and start representing listings. She prefers to track transactions instead of dollars because it helps her stay focused on the practice of driving business and providing great client experiences. “If I only focus on the dollars, it would be easier to let my foot off the gas when I have a few big transactions, and that’s not who I want to be.”
Besides being with her family and friends, walking her dog, and working out, Chelsea admits that she lives and breathes real estate. She is always looking for leads and thinking of ways to better serve her clients. She takes the time to understand her clients’ goals, needs, and desires for buying so she can write creative offers and win more bids.
“Real estate is 100% what I love to do,” Chelsea explains. “There is no plan B. It is what I was meant to do. I feel great about where my business is and where it is going. 2022 will be a great year.”