Female Founders: Priyanka Johri
This next installment of the Female Founders series on Union Street Media’s YouTube channel features Priyanka Johri. Johri is a respected entrepreneur and the founder of several successful businesses including Woodlands Eco Realty, Acorn Manor Assisted Living, and Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary. Click the video above to view the full interview.
Priyanka Johri was working as a geologist for Shell before she discovered her love of real estate. As a geologist, Johri loved the freedom of being out in the field, but she was promoted over time and required to be in the office more. Like many who transition into real estate, she found herself unsatisfied and looking for something more. Unlike many, she decided to start several businesses within a short period of time, dedicating herself completely to her new ventures and learning a lot along the way.
After a few missteps, Johri turned to her investment properties and decided to flip a home to make quick money for her sanctuary. “I became a real estate investor because it was bringing in money to pay for the sanctuary and taking care of the animals,” she explains. Johri enjoyed it so much that she decided to get her real estate license. Though Johri originally said she’d only use it to help out friends, family, and colleagues, her renowned negotiation skills attracted more business and she found herself committed to real estate full time.
Through it all, Johri’s driving force for everything she does is the fear of not being able to support her sanctuary, which she loves, and being miserable in a job. “Even today that is the focus. That’s the center,’” she says.
“I’m a completely accidental realtor. It wasn’t planned.”
Johri says the secret to her success is that she did what she wanted to do and what she was passionate about. As a result, Johri’s had enough success to be able to have the resources to continue to give back to any human or dog in need, and live the life she wants to live.
Looking back at the start of her career, Johri reveals the importance of realizing she had to play to her strengths and stop trying to do everything. Building a team was key. “It was a lightbulb going on because I was always told to work on your weaknesses. And I was like ‘why don’t you find somebody who is good at what you’re weak at and just join forces?’” she says.
Another key factor that motivates Johri is focusing on helping her clients however they need it, beyond getting the best deal for their homes. “I’m not looking to buy the house for the cheapest rate, I’m looking like ‘what else can I do that can help your selling because you are distressed? Of course you need help and we’re going to help you,’” Johri explains.
When asked how she measures success, Johri says that relationships are her priority. “I stopped looking at numbers because numbers always bog me down,” explains Johri. Instead, she invests time in her relationships with her clients. “Setting goals doesn’t work for me. Just taking care of people – that’s always worked,” she says.
“I’m successful because I’m really loving and enjoying what I’m doing.”
Because of Johri’s reputation and success in her community, she says that people regularly call her for business advice. “I meet the right people when they need me, they pick up the phone and call me and I’m there for them,” she says. “Same thing happens with me. I have questions about something and I have people in the community I can pick up the phone and call,” she says.
“Mentoring is not about finding one person who’s gonna help you with everything — it’s finding a group of people or your team that has different strengths you can tap into.”
When asked how COVID has impacted her business, Johri says that it’s “brought some of the best opportunities they wouldn’t have started using for another decade.” With that being said, Johri admits that she feels like technology has been taken to an extreme and is bombarded with meetings and webinars and wants to keep the focus on human relationships and connections.
“I have seen on Facebook some of my clients were in need of a mask and I’m like ‘I’m sending you some masks,’” she says. Johri also sent supplies to the residents at her assisted living company, Acorn Manor Assisted Living, because they’re unable to safely get food and supplies. Her network saw what she’s been doing and wanted to help out as well, creating a web of support. “No matter how much marketing I do, no matter how much planning I do, I can never force people to care about me. But just because I care about them, they care about me and they just kind of come together,” she says.
When asked what her key to success is, she says her success is not planned. “If I had been focused on goals I would have missed a lot of opportunities that have come into my life. Now I keep my book very open,” she says. At the end of the day, all Johri wants to do is be able to take care of her dogs and live a life she loves. “So in 20 years, success for me is as long as I am happy and can take care of my sanctuary that is success to me,” she says.
To learn more about Priyanka Johri and Woodlands Eco Realty visit https://www.har.com/woodlands-eco-realty/broker_WECO01
To learn more about Acorn Manor Assisted Living visit https://acornmanorassistedliving.com/
To learn more about Pure Mutts Animal Sanctuary visit http://www.puremuttsanimalsanctuary.com/