We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystalle Guss and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystalle, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Balance is a myth. Hustle culture and social media tends to have us believing unless we’re dominating our industry, posting three times a day, making a million dollars an hour, using business credit to buy a Hummer, waking up at 5AM for a 5 mile run and cooking Pinterest-worthy meals that we don’t deserve grace. Some days, I will make all my calls and follow my time-blocking strategy to the T. Other days, I’m snoozing my alarm six times and eating McDonald’s on the way to a showing. I have learned to take it easy on myself. I can’t be all the things, all the time- and that’s okay!
The important thing to remember with balance is that skewed balance is still relevant. It is that skewed balance that I rely on to keep me grounded. While I work to become great at commercial and residential real estate, one side of the scale will always be a little higher. I will sometimes be a better mom than a wife. Next month, I might be a better wife than realtor. All of my roles are valid. I am proud of my efforts. I am enough. Balanced or otherwise.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I first sought to obtain my real estate license, I was going to only sell residential. I was going to help people through the mysterious process of homeownership. I was going to show beautiful model homes in high heels and take cute headshots. I quickly discovered that HGTV lied to me. Real estate is understanding contracts, learning the market, negotiating terms, and managing expectations.
Find a niche, they said.
It’ll be fun, they said.
In the quest to find a niche and become laser-focused on how I can be different, I found that commercial real estate is a narrowly diverse corner of the industry- mostly dominated by men. Further, small businesses generally are not prioritized by large commercial agencies. That was it! Small businesses need me. They need someone who understands their complicated task ahead of them. It is generally the cloudiness around making a decision that keeps us from moving forward. I want to be the bridge between confusion and action. It is this mission that drives me to help small business owners navigate commercial property leasing and ownership.
Learning commercial and residential real estate is no walk in the park. There have been nay-sayers along my path who have said- just do this one. While that might be my story down the road, today I want to master both sides of the industry. “I am capable of doing hard things”, has become my mantra. When it’s hard and I am doubtful, I remember that there are people who need me to step into my purpose. These are the people I show up for. I remember that this goal is bigger than me.
Nothing about me is traditional. The big red hair. The personality. I laugh too loud. I hug when I should shake hands. I call when I could text. With all of that said, I will always go the extra mile. I will show up and show out for you. I will flip over Colorado to find the perfect property for you. I will advocate for you. I will be the bulldog.
I want to help the massage therapist who provides services in their living room while they finish school locate their first storefront. I want to help businesses overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of their greatness. When you are looking for a flamingo in a world of pigeons, you will find me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Denver & I happen to love brunch. Brunch in Denver is unmatched. The entire week would be filled with stops at my favorite brunch spots- Snooze, Annette’s, The Corner Office, The View House, Pandemic Donuts, The Denver Biscuit Company.
Then, the graffiti tours are a must! As you’re driving the city, it is easy to overlook the art that decorates our surroundings as it becomes part of the backdrop of the city. To stop and absorb the vibrant colors jumping out at you forces you to take notice of how beautiful this city really is.
Of course, no trip to Denver is complete without catching a breathtaking sunset picture from Instagram from Sloan’s Lake Park.
I love Punch Bowl Social for my out of towners because it’s drinks, food, fun and games under one roof.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
These are all commercial agents who have inspired me to push through:
Tiffany Ryland-tiffannryland- Houston
Divine Katoure @dkbythebay- California
James Robertson-https://www.linkedin.com/in/jameserobertson/- Houston
K.B. Yabuku -@cre_chronicles
My managing broker Gilda Zarazoga- invalesco_re
I told her my plans of pursuing commercial real estate and she believed in me and said, “Ok, I’ll help you.” She never questioned my strategy or talents. She’s been a driving force in fueling my ambition.
Monique Dogue Photography www.moniquedoguephotography.com @mdphotolv