We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Tap and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Everyone has varying degrees of risk tolerance. Some of the emotions attached to risk can stem from the way you were raised, a bad business deal, business savvy family members or etc.… However, the more risks you take, the more you’ll be able to understand your tolerance level. Can you endure a big loss or can you stay level headed after a big win? Some of the risks I’ve taken in my career never really felt like risk, it felt like comfortably the next step. As for personal investments, following my gut, listening to my instincts and never settling for less; has always propelled me in the right direction. After undergrad at UCI, I transitioned from a full time job with 401K benefits, my gut told me I wasn’t meant to work for someone else and I definitely didn’t need anyone’s permission to go on vacation. It was a huge risk going from a predictable paycheck to 100% commission, but I am so glad I became a full time Realtor. One thing I’ve learned, is you can be risk adverse in different areas of your life. For instance, when investing I’m not much of a gambler as I prefer to take lower risks. Income properties, primarily 2-4 unit properties have always provided that security for me. Because I view rental properties as my retirement plan, I encourage others to think about investing especially because of the volatility of the stock market, other current events and economic projections. I am a fan of slow yet steady investments personally, when it comes to negotiations for my clients and my own career, I tend to take more impactful well-informed risk that yield favorable outcomes for my clients. Almost all of my business is referral or repeat clients so the level of trust is already there. And the best deals I’ve made for my buyers or the highest seller profits happen when word of mouth trust is established early on in the relationship. My favorite course in graduate school at USC was Negotiation and Deal Making and I look forward to winning for my clients. Taking hard risks like: asking for credits for repairs, price adjustments, better terms; all makes a difference because my clients know I tried my absolute best for them. In real estate your reputation is always on the line, I want to ensure every client gets the best customer experience but most importantly I want them to remember that I went to bat for them. Although I am happy with the risks I’ve taken thus far, I always looking forward to new challenges that will aid me in stretching my tolerance for risk. There are risks or opportunities in all aspects of life. I believe if you invest in yourself, work on strengthening your mindset, set meaningful goals, trust yourself, work hard, do your research, stay resourceful; the things you consider a “risk” today will be so minuscule because the weight of risks you’ll be taking in your future will have exponentially grown. If you ask me, if you’re doing it right, your risk tolerance should be parallel to growth. When your world (income, career) gets bigger, so does your risk tolerance (opportunity, investments). We all have the capability to grow, evolve and unlearn what we’ve been taught about risk, success or money. With the right mindset, a willingness to grow and a strong work ethic I think anyone can break generational curses and barriers.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Real Estate always looks easier and more glamorous than it actually is. It was not easy, especially in the beginning. Without perseverance and extreme delayed gratification, there is no way I could ever survive running a 100% commission business. It wasn’t easy to overcome challenges but what aided me in staying focus and ambitious was a combination of many things. One, I was raised by two strong parents who were refugees from Cambodia. The immigrant mindset, is a real thing. Two, my undergrad was in Psychology and Social Behaviors. I understand the importance of understanding yourself and moving towards self-realization. Motivational Psychology taught me so much about ambition and business. Understanding both fear of failure and the fear of success, has also been powerful for me. Three, being a lupus survivor has changed my perspective on life and success. I can easily throw in the towel but my drive and desire to inspire others is what kept me going. Sometimes overcoming struggles other people can’t see or fathom makes success that much sweeter. At the end of the day, I am just a strong independent woman who never took no for an answer. I believe everyone has their own unique story but sometimes it’s so painful to watch so many people stand in their own way. All that wasted creativity and intellect just kills me. That’s what I want to coach people. Help them identify their strengths and weakness. Understand themselves more. Understand why. I want to help others succeed and fearlessly live their lives.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a timely question for me because I have been out and about a lot recently. I think 2nd and PCH (Long Beach), LBX / The Hanger (Long Beach), Pacific City (Huntington Beach) has a lot of fun and trendy spots for a date or a girl’s night out. A drive down PCH whether we are going towards SD or Malibu there’s a ton of spontaneous places to eat, kayak (Sunset Beach/Huntington Harbor), people watch, wine taste (Newport or Malibu), enjoy art (Laguna Beach) and embrace coastal living. Recently for a staycation, I chose an out-skirting city (San Juan Capistrano/Dana Point) that I don’t usually spend too much time in, I got a room and just explored the area. It was great because when you’re a Southern California native, you’ve practically done it all. That’s why I love smaller unrated cities. At the end of the day, whether you charter a yacht or rent a Duffy boat, no matter what you end up doing, it’s the company you’re with that makes all the difference. For more food spots and adventures you can follow one of my IG pages @SoCalFoodieRealtor and for all things real estate please follow @TapIntoRealEstate
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents. Vanna Seng, the strongest woman I know. I get my business sense from her. Hok Tap my Dad who was incredibly loyal to Honeywell for decades. I get my work ethic and money management skills from him. And although, Long Beach isn’t person… I have to shout out Long Beach, CA, the city I was born in, the city that molded me into the person I am today.