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Interview With Katannya Hartwell

You are not originally from Flagstaff, how long have you been here, and what was the reason for your move?

I moved here 8 years ago this summer from Carborro, North Carolina. I’ve always preferred to live in a small, college town. Flagstaff was on my radar, because I grew up in Tempe and Mesa, Arizona, but there were really several factors that led me here – the climate, the multitude of outdoor activities, the university, and school choices. Because all those criteria met my needs, I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Education from NAU. It was important to me that my children attended a school that upheld my values. Because I was a teacher I have a window peek into the various school choices, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about the local schools.

Well now you’ve been here for 8 years and you’re a Realtor here. What changed in your plans?

Yes. Isn’t life funny. My first career was teaching martial arts and I owned my own TaeKwonDo school. It was incredibly fulfilling to have my own business, be physically fit, and help others learn martial arts. It was there I fell in love with teaching and later changed my path to teaching academics. However, like many other teachers, I am not able to afford the cost of living. My son recently started high school, and I felt it was time for a change. I created an online business but it quickly became apparent that I missed interpersonal exchanges. I’m definitely a people person. 

What made you choose real estate?

Helping people reach their goals fulfills me more than anything else. I have a special knack for understanding what people want and being able to find it. I can also see the various steps that need to be taken to reach a goal (martial arts taught me this). I grew up in various socio-economic environments and learned a lot about respecting people from all walks of life. Everyone has the potential to achieve high goals – if that is their choice. 

Everything in life is a process and when you go through the right process, you can reach your intended goal. Buying a home has such a huge effect on people’s lives, and I want to be there for those who can use my skills and expertise.

I’ve moved around a lot both as a child and in adulthood. I know how challenging it can be to orchestrate a move. I’ve done it with various budgets and with my children as a single parent. But more than the actual moving is integrating into a new community – finding your roots, your support groups. These are areas where I know I can help as well.

Another aspect that drew me to real estate is the actual properties themselves.  When I was opening my TaeKwonDo school it was so much fun going around to the various buildings and imagining how my business could fit there. Even after leaving the business, I see so much potential when I look at empty retail businesses. In a similar fashion I see potential in a home for a prospective family or individual. I look at the interior as well as what the nearby shops, schools, places of worship, and outdoor activities have to offer. I like to imagine how a home meets the needs of my client, both short and long term.

How do you describe what you do as different from other Realtors?

My experience with other realtors has been extremely positive. So there are a number of them I would like to emulate. I strive to provide excellent service; to give honest and timely communications; to reduce stress as much as possible; and to create a relationship of trust and friendship. When difficult situations arise, I am a natural at negotiating and calming anxiety. I don’t shy away from the hard conversations. I am also very talented at finding things most people cannot. I hope to put my sleuthing to work in finding off-market properties that meet my client’s desires.

I’ve heard stories from friends and family that some realtors are not very helpful or they are high pressure sales people. That is definitely not me. I work hard for my client to get their best price, fastest sale, or find their ideal home. I put all my skills and expertise in every transaction from complete marketing strategies, managing timelines, and using technology to finding the right resources and organizing the steps to reach the goals.