Crystal Leigh Hemphill is a tech-driven real estate professional and a Crypto Certified Agent who helps oversee clients that want to buy or sell in standard and cryptocurrency real estate transactions. Crystal has over 13 years of experience in residential, relocation, and investment areas.
Before her real estate career, Crystal worked in Large Enterprise Sales & Business Development for the world’s most significant cyber security company, Symantec Corporation. Crystal has built her real estate business by forming long-lasting relationships with her clients and providing diligent and analytical service, which she honed during her days in corporate tech.
Crystal earned a BBA in Marketing from the University of Miami (Coral Gables), where she was actively involved in the campus chapter of the American Marketing Association and the University of Miami’s cheerleading/dance team.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for doing this interview with us. Could you share with us your backstory, leading up to your real estate career?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: I initially became interested in real estate for investment purposes. I received my real estate license in 2009 during the time of the Great Recession. With so many foreclosures and short sales in the local market, it was clear that the opportunities were endless for a savvy real estate investor. I wanted to learn everything about the real estate market, processes, and investment strategies to capitalize on the opportunities right in front of me.
There are so many specialties when it comes to real estate, can you tell us more about what you do exactly?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: I am a tech-driven real estate professional and a Crypto Certified Agent, who helps oversee clients that want to buy or sell in standard and cryptocurrency real estate transactions. I specialize in the residential, corporate relocation, and investment areas of real estate.
In the last two years, 90% of my clients have been in the crypto & blockchain technology space. I invest much time in growing these relationships and learning more about these technologies. It is clear that real estate is ripe for integration with blockchain technology, and I am working on a few exciting projects that demonstrate just that.
Real estate impacts everyone, can you share the most interesting story that has happened to you in your career?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: A few years ago, I had a client from the Northeast who was interested in purchasing a second home where he could escape the brutal winters. My client wasn’t quite “sold” on Miami. He had only visited Miami a handful of times and hadn’t fully experienced what our city had to offer.
I decided to charter a yacht to show him luxury waterfront homes for sale in Miami Beach. After two glasses of Veuve and four home tours, my client was ready to make an offer! He fell in love with the laid-back luxury living of Miami Beach and decided to move here full-time after we closed on the property. Not only do we sell homes as real estate brokers, but we also sell our city and the lifestyle it offers!
Commercial real estate is a man’s world. Women currently hold only about 1 in five senior positions. What do you think needs to happen for the numbers to change?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: I feel more women could move to a senior role if they simply asked! Men seem to appear more comfortable asking for a promotion than women do. Ladies, consider your new position, start an informal dialogue about your progress, outline your track record, and confidently ask for that promotion you have always dreamed of!
What are the main challenges for female leaders in the real estate industry? How have you overcome some of these challenges?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: I feel that women sometimes are afraid to be stereotyped as “pushy, aggressive, and/or self-serving” in a leadership role. This myth debilitates women from achieving their goals and moving up in their careers. I have been able to overcome this challenge through goal setting and keeping my “eye on the prize”.
I spend little to no time thinking about what others may “think” of me and focus on my ultimate goal and putting out my best work product. With vision, advocacy, strategic thinking, and courage, women can get on the path towards achieving their goals and the rewards they desire.
With the recession battering the world’s economies, how are you preparing to face the 2022 business year?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: I think it is too early to start sounding the alarm for a housing recession. The foundations of today’s housing market are more stable than 15 years ago. I see a slowdown rather than a collapse in the real estate market due to fixed-rate mortgages, strict credit conditions, and a healthy labor market in Miami. Regardless of the current environment, I always make sure to diversify my income to help weather those “rainy” days/months in real estate.
Some of the real estate markets in the US but just about every country across the globe see prices skyrocketing, how do you view the markets in the next 5 years? Share with us your expectations.
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: In my opinion, Miami has been an underpriced market for years and the city has been long overdue for a market adjustment. Comparatively speaking, you still get much more for your money in Miami than in other cities such as San Francisco or New York City. Perhaps the Miami market will balance out between a buyer and seller’s market in the next five years since there will be more inventory as dozens of new condo projects are on the horizon.
Some real estate in the Metaverse sells for millions, have you considered pivoting into that new market? Share with us your thoughts.
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: Being a futurist myself, I firmly believe in a digital future. The Metaverse is a transformative technology that everyone should be exploring now if they have not already. I believe there will be a place for real estate professionals in this new world, and that’s why I am working on becoming a “Metaverse Certified Agent”.
“Digital real estate” can sound inconceivable to some, but real estate in the Metaverse is surging in growth and momentum as we speak. Not only can you buy and sell these digital pieces of real estate for a profit, but you can also earn passive income through charging for access, trading your NFTs, and/or advertising goods/services.
Often, the best way to overcome unprecedented difficulties is to go back to the basics. Can you share with us which book or mentor helped you the most to become successful? Can you share some insights?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People” by Stephen Covey is not only a practical guide to better habits but changes your perspective on how your choices, both physically and mentally, can alter your path for the better or worse.
Covey details the 7 habits: Be Proactive, Begin with the End in Mind, Put Things First (Prioritization), Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand & Then Be Understood, Synergize, and Sharpen the Sword. Covey’s book is insightful, practical, and a must-read for anyone who wants to become a better version of themselves.
What are five things you learned about leadership from your experience? What examples can you give to illustrate each point?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: I have learned that discipline, authenticity, situational awareness, empowerment, and positivity are key principles in leadership.
Practice Discipline – Developing discipline in your professional (and personal) life is necessary to be an effective leader. Your team will judge your capacity to lead by the amount of discipline you display at work.
Be Authentic – Leaders who are authentically themselves demonstrate that their words are consistent with their actions.
Practice Integrity – A leader who lives by integrity will do what is right, even if it is not the best for the bottom line.
Develop Situational Awareness – Leaders who can see the bigger picture and anticipate problems before they occur are valuable leadership skills.
Empower your Team – Most notably, leaders who promote positivity help teams achieve their highest potential, flourish in their careers, and achieve high levels of effectiveness.
Can you share a life lesson quote that is meaningful to you? Can you tell us how that quote has been relevant to your life?
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: Stoicism offers a philosophy on life, which has helped me attain greater emotional resilience in the face of adversity and a deeper sense of purpose in my personal and professional life. One of my favorite life lesson quotes by Marcus Aurelius is as follows:
“You have the power over your mind, not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”
This quote is one of the core principles of Stoicism and has helped me with mindfulness. I am no longer becoming frustrated with events outside my control. When I focus on what I can control, my thoughts empower me and trigger positive emotions.
What do you plan on tackling during 2022? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Crystal Leigh Hemphill: Aside from increasing revenues and cost minimization, I would like to invest in the tokenized real estate space personally. Real estate tokenization is the process of creating fractional interests in real estate assets through tokens on the blockchain. Real estate remains one of the most coveted and lucrative investments, and digitization can help solve the issue of liquidity. I believe the adoption of blockchain to tokenize real estate assets presents an innovative new model that is both efficient and scalable and promises to revolutionize the industry.
Real estate tokenization is still in its infancy and can be a confusing and misunderstood process. I believe the biggest battle we will face is slow adoption of this emerging technology. We are experiencing a “crypto winter”; most people confuse tokenization with cryptocurrency. However, real estate tokens carry far less risk than crypto since they are backed by real assets. The next step that will be critical to mass adoption and rapid advancement of tokenized real estate is institutional involvement and the development of business frameworks.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Crystal Leigh Hemphill for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Crystal Leigh Hemphill or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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