We had the good fortune of connecting with Grace Martin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Grace, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was based on 2 things, passion and people. This is actually the second business I’ve started as an entrepreneur. I am a dreamer & believe in going after what you want and what excites you. For me that’s bringing joy into other people’s lives and living a lifestyle that is always growing into my best self so I can better serve myself, my family, my friends, my community, and my clients. While a Senior Loan Funder for HSBC bank, I began to gain interest in becoming a Real Estate agent. However, my years as a Funder abruptly ended, along with the industry coming to a crash in 2008.
A couple years after that my family and I moved from California to Colorado. After moving to Colorado, I considered enrolling into school to obtain my Real Estate license. Coming from the lending side of things, I felt knowledgeable in the process and knew I could learn what the realty side had to teach me. But I didn’t feel like I could speak truth to these neighborhoods. I moved here in 2010 when lots of Denver had been gentrified and other neighborhoods were just starting that process. I wanted to be honest with my clients, and felt like I needed to live here for a while to know firsthand what each of the areas were really like.
Now 11 years a resident, I am confident in my market knowledge of what’s out there and how to find the right fit for my clients’ wish lists. People can always tell when someone is trying to “bullcrap” them. I despise that approach and wanted to wait until I could be fully authentic and honest with my clients before becoming a Real Estate Agent. So that’s when I decided to pursue my other passion-hairstyling! I started that business first and still love having the tools to pamper my clients and make them feeling amazing by the time they walk out the door. That business is now thriving and I couldn’t be more grateful. It’s pretty awesome how closely the two relate. Hair & Real Estate both allow me to interact with the community, bring joy to my clients, and help others make their dreams come true. I loved that it organically started with building my passion for hair into it’s own business and now building upon that into real estate. I love F. Scoot Fitzgerald’s quote “For what it’s worth, It’s never too late, or in any case, too early to be whatever you want to be.”
What should our readers know about your business?
I think what sets me apart is my genuine passion for people. I hope for all my clients to be lifelong clients. I’m not looking to make a single transaction and never look back again. I want to know their life goals and help them in their pursuit of success by using real estate as a tool. That can look different for every client. There’s different levels to this right? For some it’ll be helping them find their first purchase ever, for others it might be their 3rd upgrade into a bigger and better luxury home or a commercial property to finally start their next business.
Whatever it is, I am invested in people. Knowing I want what’s best for you today, and years from now shows I will handle your transactions with the utmost diligence, integrity, and care.
My brand… I feel like I’ve already lived 9 lives in my lifetime, maybe even more. I wouldn’t take any of them back for anything. I come from nothing, but have also been blessed with everything. As a first generation, Korean immigrant, I carry around this mentality of appreciating everything I have and making the most of every opportunity I can grab. I never forget that I was literally born to nothing. The woman who birthed me left the hospital and myself there immediately after.
Being adopted as a baby and raised in America for practically my whole life I also recognize the blessings and generosity that have brought me here today. I never want to become the spoiled brat who took for granted the grace blanketed over my life. Or the adoptee who lost my own culture for another that was raising me. In fact in my house there were more Koreans than Caucasians. So we found a way to fuse both cultures without sacrificing on either side. I try to always remember “the butterfly effect” alternative of sorts. Where my life would be had it subtly taken a turn to the left instead of the right. I think the balance of both not only fills my heart with immense gratitude, but also burns a flame in my soul to give to others. I am here today because of the love of strangers to be good people and do good in the world. I hope to pay it forward in 10 fold to what I’ve received.
Over my lifetime, I’ve experienced lifetimes of privilege and lifetimes of struggle. I was married with my first child very young and we were determined to make it on our own. It was a long time coming, but we did it. We didn’t rely on family to help out. To be honest, we didn’t have it. We had family, but we knew our situation was our own to figure out and this life was whatever we were going to make out of it. That’s my brand. Life and it’s experiences. There’s not enough room or time for me to list all that encompasses. But trust me it covers a lot of cultures, economic classes, and different walks of life.
Get to know me, I’m an open book. As far as overcoming challenges it comes down to 2 things:
1. Nothing beats hardwork.
2. Never give up. What I’m most excited about is the ability to touch lives and make a positive difference. There’s so much pride and power in owning property. Real estate can create so much freedom in our lives if we do it right. Helping others level up, save them the errors of mistakes I’ve made, or being a cog in the wheel pushing towards their success are all the reasons to why I do what I do.
“Live life fully while you’re here. Experience everything. Take care of yourself and your friends. Have fun, be crazy, be weird.” -Tony Robbins
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is actually a real dilemma I constantly have when friends or family come to visit. Colorado is such an amazing state with so many gems to share it’s hard to widdle it all down in a week. I’m proud to call it home and always try to show off as much of it’s beauty as possible. I try to share our gorgeous outdoor landscapes, which changes depending on the time of year.
I’d fill the week with activities like hiking, horseback riding through Garden of the Gods, water rafting, or snowboarding, sledding, or a cabin stay in one of Colorado’s popular mountain towns makes for an amazing winter retreat. Colorado also being a foodie destination is a great excuse to go out for good eats all week. Afterall, this is the grand prize for Top Chef Winners right? Lucky us! Somewhere mid-week I do plan a day where we cook at home, maybe watch some TV or just catch up on good conversation and just plain ole hang out. A resting period of sorts from all the fun the mile high state has to offer and for all that has yet to be experienced before they go. I guess I was always a real estate agent in the making, as I’ve had 3 different friends move out here from another state after visiting me! It was like a week long open house showcasing the very attractive state of Colorado.
Thank you for reading my story! If you need an agent, or are just wondering where you stand in the real estate market right now, let’s connect! I’d love to meet you & chat!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people deserve a shout out in helping make this dream of mine come true! 1st -There is my family. My supporting husband and kids who were patient and understanding during all my study days and nights. Where I was consumed with completing the curriculum, then studying for the state and National test and wasn’t always available to do my normal mom and wife routine I normally enjoy. Dinners, help with homework, and how we spent our free time became this juggling act made successful by every family member pitching in where needed. Their constant support and sincere excitement for this new venture of mine kept me focused on the goal ahead. 2nd- Would be my Real Estate Brokerage, Urban Stars Realty, LLC. My managing broker (and owner) Khalil Nasser is a man who lights up the room when he walks in. Just being around him sheds an energy that is positive and contagious. You can never absorb enough. When he found out I was going through real estate school, he reached out to me and offered me a position with his brokerage upon receiving my licensure. I knew immediately this was the mentor I wanted to emulate. He’s a savvy business owner, incredibly sharp investor, a man who you automatically feel a sense of respect and love for. It was an honore to be accepted as an agent on his team. Someone I truly look up to. Always making himself available by text, call, &/or email never goes unappreciated or unnoticed. Holding my hand through my first processes and bringing into practicality what the courses taught me has given me such a confident start into this industry. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention another agent at the brokerage, Nyla Nasser. Nyla has been a good friend for many years and introduced me to the agency. She has also been a huge resource for me, sharing strategies and industry information. Nyla welcomed me into the agency with open arms and continues to show me the culture of the company is everything I imagined it to be. A wealthy resource of knowledge, a team of great agents who want to serve their community, and a supportive group who will encourage you to reach your professional and personal goals. Nyla has become a close friend, confidant, mentor, and sister over the years in more ways than just real estate. My gratitude for her influence in my life is everlasting.