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Hidden Gems: Meet Mackenzie Sottini of Caul Group Residential

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mackenzie Sottini.

Hi Mackenzie, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I started as an elementary school teacher. When we moved to North Carolina in 2006, I returned to teaching when my children were school-aged. I loved every minute of teaching, growing, and mentoring young adults to be the best version of themselves. I loved being a part of families’ stories and creating opportunities to help in the community and beyond. I didn’t love the feeling that there was “more.” That my time and talents were ready for the next step. That my servant heart had more to give. And at the same time, I wanted to change the trajectory of my family. I had hopes and dreams for us, and I couldn’t do it on a teacher’s salary. It felt selfish. But once I listened to my true North, I knew I needed to take a chance. Because taking a chance on myself could change everything for my family. Fast forward 5 years. During that time, I reached out to an incredibly successful entrepreneur and business owner, Tina Caul. I asked her to help connect me with the community to take my education career to the next level. Little did I know that I would be wrapped up in the possibility of courage, fear, and action all rolled into one! I became a real estate agent. Now many people tell me that teachers make the best real estate agents. We are still servicing, mentoring, and coaching people with different end goals. I LOVED meeting new people and being a part of their stories. I loved that I worked like hell to build the confidence to change my career path. Change my career path for me first. This is hard to do.

Did I get into real estate just for the money? NO! But with tough work, patience, tenacity, and action, I could quadruple my salary in one year. But do you know what the bi-product of this is? Not the money. Yes, I know someone will read this and say yeah, right. But it is true. The bi-product was that I inadvertently became a role model for others to see that they can choose themselves at any time in their life or career. They can choose to be “selfish.” Today I know it wasn’t me being selfish. It was me following my light. Because of my passion for others, I want to see everyone in my world succeed. I am the team leader/mentor for one of the Triangle’s most successful real estate teams. I may have had the opportunity to make more money. But WOW! The reward of an agent texting me telling me they won the offer or the text that they need some motivation is worth so much more than the money. I want just enough to share with my children and husband the value of choosing you and helping as many people as you can along the way.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. It has been riddled with failures, fears, and a lack of self-confidence. The beautiful thing is that we fail forward here at Caul Group. Action is just on the other side of fear. And it is up to me and my self-talk to know and believe I can do anything I put my mind to. Imposter syndrome was the hardest part of my transition from elementary school teacher to team leader. “Who did I think I was leading a successful team of agents, agents who have been in the business longer than me.” This took and still takes a daily practice of mindset training. It is what I attribute my success to.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We are a top-producing real estate team in the Triangle. Last year we were #4 for sales in our market, something we are very proud of. Even more important is the reputation of our team and brand. Agents in the community know that when they work with a Caul Group agent, they will be knowledgeable, professional, and courteous. However, we are more than that. We are most proud of creating a community to help agents become better versions of themselves through a growth mindset, collaboration, mentorship, and training. We focus on ‘service first’ and believe the rest will come. We want readers to know that we live, work and play in the Triangle, just like our clients. We are community leaders, volunteers, and advocates for organizations close to our hearts. We pride ourselves on truly listening to our client’s needs, asking the right questions, and ultimately helping them find their first-time home, forever home, or investment property.

Risk-taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I have taken a major risk. After 20 years of teaching, I was ready for something more. I wanted to mentor and train adults, but I didn’t know where or how. I was prepared to serve my community and also help my family gain more financial freedom than I could as a teacher. So at age 40, I left education to start my career in real estate. I knew the owner of Caul Group, and she took a huge chance on me! Many people get into real estate because they think they will make much money. And it’s true, and you can. But what most people don’t know is the discipline, sacrifice, and blind faith needed to succeed. I left a salary position for a 100% commission job. It was scary and a huge risk for us financially. Now 5. years later, I am mentoring and training our team of 50+ agents. Had I not taken the risk, I would not have changed the financial trajectory for my family or known the feeling of fulfillment and true contentment working with our agents.

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