For this former event planner, every real estate deal is its own event

June 28, 2022

The first time Monika Morris got her real estate license, she was eighteen years old and a senior in high school. Monika grew up in Queens, NY, under the watchful eye of strict parents who, as Monika remembers with a laugh, “wouldn’t let me do anything.” The path to freedom, Monika realized, was getting a weekend job, for the one thing her father would permit was work. Inspired by the women who worked at a real estate office down the street from her home, Monika took night classes and earned her broker’s license before her high school diploma.

As much as she enjoyed working at the neighborhood firm, Monika longed to get away from the East coast, so she jumped at the chance of moving to California for college. As soon as she got to USD, Monika knew she would never again live in NY, and it would be another 28 years before she returned to the Real Estate business.

During those intervening years, Monika went from bartending in college to catering and then to creating her own company, TBC Events. As an event organizer, Monika worked to make her clients’ wishes their reality, whether she was putting together a wedding, a celebration of life, an anniversary, or a corporate holiday party. Her business was so successful that Monika figures she has planned out well over one thousand weddings in the course of her career. There’s no doubt, she says, that she knows how to throw a party.

After the market crashed in 2008, however, Monika lost 80% of her business and over the next five years, she supplemented her income selling Blendtec blenders at Costco, becoming one of the most successful salespeople in the company. That job, while lucrative, did not provide Monika with the personal connection that she values in her work, so, on the advice of a cousin whom she herself had recommended go into Real Estate in New Jersey, Monika decided to get a California Broker’s license and return to her first career. When asked about her switch from Event planning back to Real Estate, Monika replied, “Every real estate transaction is its own event, from getting the listing to listening to your clients’ needs, from making sure every detail is addressed and every form signed, to making your client’s dream a reality. It was the perfect move for me.”

Since becoming a broker, Monika has found her work as meaningful as it is challenging. The one piece of advice she tells every client: “Focus on what you want; not on what you don’t want. You’re not going to get anything you don’t ask for.” Monika embodies that spirit of confidence and determination, and she inspires it in her clients. Whether it’s the family who has to sell a home before the bank forecloses on a mortgage, a divorcing couple trying to figure out how to deal with a house in which they can no longer live together, or a newly married couple, embarking on their first home, Monika supports her clients every step of the way. And when the negotiating is over and the contract signed, she knows how to celebrate!

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