We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonal Kanodia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonal, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor for the success of my brand is Approachability. We live in a culture of sales resistance and people work with those they can trust. Being approachable comes naturally to me and that what has helped me build connection and trust. I take the time and enjoy getting to know my clients on a personal level. Every client I meet is unique and different, and so are their needs – whether they are a growing family, a first-time home buyer, an investor or someone looking to downsize at different stages of their life. I have learned to listen and always exceed my client’s expectations in a positive way. They see me as a professional they admire, respect, and choose to work with. Over time I have built relationships that have resulted in some wonderful friendships and I am so lucky and thankful for that.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I worked as a Purchasing Director for a Home Accessories company in New York. Working on fabrics, sourcing and distribution for Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s T.J Maxx etc. I would walk around the home accessories section of these stores all the time and it was so exciting to see the final products on shelves! I love being out and about meeting new people and making new connections. When we moved to San Diego, being a Real Estate Professional was a natural and easy choice for me. In our industry it is quite easy to slip into a transactional mindset. The core of my business is Relationships and that is what sets me apart. I crave to build a fan base not a client base. I have a reputation of being approachable which puts people at ease and allows for candor and effective communication, critical to listening and understanding the needs of my home sellers and buyers. By remembering the little things that are important to them I accumulate more and more value within our relationships which has led to deeper connections and trust. I have deep regard for our community and I am involved with a number of non-profit organizations. The most recent initiative I have launched is Raise A Roof through which I donate every time I sell a house on my client’s behalf to build a house for a destitute widow in Sothern India. This really makes my clients happy as they fell they are making a difference through me and I am so proud of that. My goal is to get more real estate professionals join this cause. But I have to say there is so much competition in this industry, it is very tough to be seen. It has been hard for me competing with deeper pockets, bigger marketing budgets, more experience, and more business connections. I hustle every day and bank on every opportunity to get my name out there, meet and connect with new people. My community sees me as someone who is hard-working and willing to go the extra mile. At the end of the day, people want someone they know who works hard and someone they can trust.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough one because there is so much to do in San Diego! Of course my friend’s visit would mandate us spending a lot of time enjoying San Diego’s great outdoors. I would start her trip with Lo and Behold La Jolla. Morning hike at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve followed by breakfast burritos at Roberto’s Taco Shop. I love this little spot for Mexican food. Its so scenic and quaint. La Jolla cannot be checked off without the Kayak Tour at La Jolla Sea Caves and of course some shopping and chilling by the beach. We would cap off the day with trendy dining and clubbing at Gaslamp Quarter. I work in Rancho Santa Fe and I love its simple lush beauty. I enjoy scenic drive through the winding roads of lush Rancho Santa Fe which I am sure my friend would enjoy as well. There is a cute little place Thyme in the Ranch for freshly made baked goods and coffee where we would stop by for brunch. The Spa at the Inn is a great place to get pampered. Perfect way to spend the late afternoon would with a Hot Air Balloon ride to enjoy panoramic ocean and canyon views. The festive outdoor setting for dinner and drinks at The Pony Room is just the way to end the day. A trip to San Diego for me would be incomplete without hanging out in the quaint and charming seaside village of Del Mar. One of my favorite ways to enjoy some sunshine and ocean breeze is a breakfast picnic at Sea Grove Park in Del Mar. It’s such a lovely park to relax and watch the passing trains. A stroll through the charming town for some shopping and then of course soak by the beach and then work it out with surfing lessons. Our evening will be spent with exotic birds at the Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary in Del Mar. There are tons of amazing local cuisines to choose from in the village. The best way to see the best spots in San Diego is by the Old Town Trolley Tours. We will tour through the city’s historical landmarks, exploring Old Town, Maritime Museum, Sea Port Village, Balboa Park, Little Italy. Old Town is so fun to spend the day at with live music, crafty shops and dinner in the Mexican Village of Old Town Coronado Island will take up another whole day strolling around the island my favorite way … on a tandem bike. She must make the most of San Diego weather and beauty and a great way to do that is to spend time on the water on a sailboat by San Diego Sunset Sailing Excursions and then catch the sunset while sailing. All of this should make her just want to move to San Diego 😊
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?
As cliché as it may sound, my shoutout is for my kids Anya & Arjun 🙂 They really helped me up my Instagram game! Not only do I get occasional technical support, but they help me re-envision social media content with great ideas. On many occasions they have pushed me to do things out of my comfort zone and given me strength to not give up. They are raving fans of my business.