This May we held our annual contest to nominate outstanding moms in real estate. This year’s winner was Michelle Dekoekkoek nominated by her daughter Kylee Klemann, a real estate agent herself. We talked to Kylee and Michelle to learn more about themselves and why they got into real estate.
Michelle, how and why did you get into real estate?
I got into real estate because my husband suggested it because he knows how much I love to help others. I was working a full-time job so I had to take an online course because I couldn’t fit in the live classes into my already busy schedule. I studied very hard and passed the real estate exam the first time. Then I found Weichert Realtors and it was a no brainer for me that that is where I belonged.
My daughter started as my unlicensed assistant because I was pretty successful right off the bat and couldn’t keep up with the workload. She was a big help. She was also the one who got me started on social media. I can’t thank her enough for how much she helped me when I really needed it. I was very excited when she said she was going to get her license and envisioned us working together as a team but wasn’t sure what that would look like. We are a lot alike. We have a lot of good times working together. Sometimes too much fun.
Kylee has been very successful in everything she has done in life so I know she has the drive and determination to be great at whatever she chooses whether it’s real estate or something else. I am very proud of her and her many accomplishments.
Kylee, Why did you nominate your mom?
I nominated my mom because she is so deserving of the recognition. Growing up, my dad provided for our family so that my mother could stay home and homeschool my two siblings and me. I never understood at the time how much patience it must have taken to teach three children with three different learning styles and three different grades.
Looking back I can never thank my parents enough for how selfless they were and are to this day. Not only did my mother homeschool us but then she would bring us up to Canada five nights a week for gymnastics, karate, swim lessons, dance lessons, acting practice, you name it, we did it all. And my mom was there for every bit of it, always with a smile on her face. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that she did karate with us, she is a second-degree black belt. (One of her many hidden achievements).
Later on, when we convinced my parents to let us attend public school she directed her energy toward being a coach for our sports teams. If she wasn’t the coach of the particular sport we were playing then she and my dad were always there on the sidelines. I can’t remember a time that they ever missed one of our games or meets. I really don’t understand how she had enough time to do all the things she did.
What I love most about her is her passion for people. She’s always looking to help someone out any way she can. When we started to attend public school and she was no longer teaching us, she got a job at the school in the resource room helping the life skills class. She taught for years, in multiple different departments, becoming many students favorite part of attending school. Oh, and no big deal to my mom, she got her commercial driver’s license and began driving a school bus. She drove for 7 years. Those kids were her favorite. She would seriously talk about them as if they were my siblings. I believe our world would be a much better place if we had more teachers and bus drivers like my mom.
Once I got into high school I realized my passion for wrestling. Once again my parents were right alongside me supporting me. My mom found herself as the coach of the girl’s wrestling team, leading myself and a few other girls onto placing at state. Our first year as a girl’s team we placed 7th overall in the entire state. My mom was there for every part of it. Once again she treated those girls on the team as if they were her own children.
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One day my dad suggested she try real estate. He thought it would be a good fit because of her love for helping and serving people. She began real estate school while driving the school bus full-time. I swear the next thing I know my mother is a poster child for Weichert Realtors on the west coast. I mean she is just killing it! Don’t get me wrong, it took her a lot of hard work, long days, no weekends, and sacrifice. But she did it so gracefully and with such a willing heart, that she almost made it look easy. She puts her heart into everything she does and has determination like none other.
Nothing makes me happier than to see her loving what she does every day. It warms my heart to watch her and my dad so happy with their careers and with each other. They have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. I am extremely blessed to have been raised by such tremendous examples. I can’t think of someone who deserves this award more than my mother.
What’s one thing you learned from your mom about real estate?
I learned that sacrifice and dedication will pay off. And if you are doing it for the right reason, people can feel your authenticity. My mom and I have amazing mentors at Weichert, for which we are forever grateful. My mom always tells me, “If you follow the systems they have in place and do what they ask you to, everything will fall into place and things will start happening.” I just don’t think she realizes how much charm she has. She is just really good at what she does.
Learn more about Michelle and Kylee here.