Name: Cleopatra Ilie Talos
Title: Real Estate Professional, The Wagner Team, Cibolo Creek Realty
Years of experience: 1
What were you doing before real estate?
I was born and raised in Romania where I fell in love with my first calling: music. I moved to Los Angeles in 1999 with nothing but two bags full of dreams and my flute to study classical music at UCLA where I earned a Bachelor of Arts (Magna cum Laude) and a Masters Degree in Classical Music Performance, and I also hold an Artist Degree from USC. I am unapologetically curious about all sorts of fields and have ventured into various directions: from being a professional musician to becoming a successful entrepreneur, to taking some time off to be a stay-home-mom, to being a recording artist, singer-songwriter, flutist, pianist and educator.
I have toured internationally extensively since the early 90s with various music productions, I’ve enjoyed live TV and Radio appearances, teaching masterclasses, creating music therapy programs for survivors of human trafficking rings, and just about every aspect of being a professional musician.
But I have also found much joy in entrepreneurship. I’ve entered the fine jewelry designer field as the first ever employee of JudeFrances Jewelry and became the National Department Stores VP of Operations and Director of Personnel. I later co-founded Valahian Queens Belts, a high-end belt line formerly available at Nordstrom and staple boutiques, and lastly founded Tysons Music Academy in McLean, Virginia.
I am a citizen of the world, with an international mindset and an eclectic background and I don’t think I will ever lose the hunger to discover new interests.
How did you get into real estate?
Real Estate has always intrigued me, and it has been in the back of my mind for years as my “after 40s” plan, thus when I met Travis Wagner, my mentor and broker, I knew it was the right time and definitely the perfect place to embark on this new journey.
What skills do you utilize from earlier in life in your real estate career?
Creativity, flexibility, tenacity, transparency and staying grounded: nothing makes you more humble and honest with yourself than being center stage and knowing you’ve come prepared to awe your audience. For me, there’s no such thing as pure luck or that once in a lifetime moment unless you bring the skills to meet such a chance. Preparation is key, and laser focus is a must regardless what field you’re in, regardless what your competition is doing. You always bring your A game.
What has been your favorite part of real estate? Meeting people! I absolutely love meeting people of all walks of life and hearing their “whys” for making real estate decisions, gaining a new friend while talking about comps, or making lasting connections in the most random ways.
What has proven the most challenging?
I can honestly say I don’t feel like I’ve hit a wall at any point (yet). I think as long as I keep an open mind and employ madly-creative ways of navigating the intricate buying/selling process, there will always be a “way where there’s a will”. However, as any agent would attest, abnormally low inventory levels make our correct market conditions quite challenging to combat.
How has the community supported you locally? Texas HIll Country people in general are some of the kindest, most straight forward folks I’ve ever met (and I’ve lived and traveled all over the world). I have found tremendous support, encouragement and amount of open-arms here than in any other area where I’ve opened a business. From the Boerne Chamber of Commerce’ support to the Hill Country Women in Business, to local church groups, PTOs, small business networks, neighbours, strangers at the park willing to share their story and listen to mine, I’ve never felt alone along this new path.
What do you credit with your success?
I credit the support of my husband, who has always been open all my new business ideas. I also am thankful for the love and patience of our children (who have eaten more cereal breakfasts this year than ever). I also credit my friends, who have promoted my brand from day one and have sent me referrals. And, last but not least, Travis Wagner, who has been teaching me step-by-step the ins-and-outs of this business, in a way that no realtor school would have ever been able to do. He presented real-life scenarios. Without all of them by my side, I would probably still be taking online MLS courses and be waiting for my first transaction to take place.
What is your focus as we move into summer and the last half of ’22?
Reflecting on my first year in business I am immensely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had and for all who have trusted me with their real estate dreams. I look forward to helping more and more people write a happy-ending real estate story while I focus on paying it forward. I am currently working on a new project to make music education, free musical instruments and recording/producing opportunities available to underprivileged students with great music abilities. Music is my first love, the common denominator between my past, my present and my future. Through real estate work I will be able to channel funds to help young musicians afford to fall head over hills with music just as I did.