Exeleon Magazine

Paola Marulanda

Embracing the Winning Mindset in Real Estate

Paola Marulanda Cover Exeleon Magazine

Paola Marulanda and her journey to the top of the real estate market.

At its core, entrepreneurship is a mindset; a mindset that steers away from mediocrity, embraces growth, and impacts lives.

This mindset enables one to look beyond limiting beliefs and notions, move past difficult challenges, and attain unprecedented success. But cultivating this entrepreneurial mindset takes years of time, experience, and guidance.

However, for Paola Marulanda, this mindset was almost innate.

From an early age, Paola identified opportunities to sell something and earn money. Her understanding of sales and customer psyche made her stand out from kids of her age. Moreover, being the daughter of a top producing realtor, further helped her understand sales as well as how the real estate industry operates.

Today, Paola Marulanda, as the CEO and Founder of Luxury Homes Connect, has established her name as an unstoppable force in the South Florida real estate market and beyond.

Fittingly, as the Cover Feature of Exeleon’s 2023 Influential Women in Real Estate issue, we look into the story of Paola, her real estate journey, and her vision going forward.  

Sweet Deals to Big Steals

Talking about her earliest entrepreneurial experience, Paola mentions her obsession with Mexican candy. During her elementary schooling years, she and her family used to travel to Sayulita in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She recalls, “I would ask my parents to buy me bags with at least 30 pieces of candy in them. Each bag at the time would cost about $3.”

She continues, “I would go to school the next day and sell each piece for $1.”

As much as Paola loved eating candies, nothing felt more fulfilling to her than the sales negotiations and the counting of money afterwards.

Soon enough, her small business venture had to come to an abrupt pause when other parents started questioning her earnings. Unfazed, Paola went on to sale anything that she could potentially get her hands on. From roses on Teacher’s Appreciation Day, Valentines Day, or Mother’s Day to selling fresh guacamole on the streets of Lincoln Road, she was a natural when it came to selling.

She explains that “in sales creating win-win scenarios where everyone can walk away feeling good and satisfied is a true art form.”

Entering Real Estate

As the daughter of veteran real estate leader – Laura Roxana Garcia, Paola mentions that as a kid she always enjoyed pretending to be her assistant, tagging along for meetings, and learning the craft of negotiations.

She adds, “There was just too much skill and intel acquired over the years NOT to give real estate a chance.”

Soon, what started as a summer job quickly snowballed into a combination of passion and talent, one that she had never anticipated but was clearly born for.

She perfectly explains her love for the real estate industry with this statement “The more I live it, the more I love it.”

Since the age of 18, Paola has distinguished herself as one of Miami’s top realtors. Her acute client understanding coupled with her commitment to offer first-class service has positioned her as an industry leader.

The Daily Routine

On weekdays I wake up between 5am-7am, depending on how I sleep the night before and if I feel like exercising or could use the extra rest. After working out or doing meditation, some reading or anything I crave to start the day off nicely, I change and get right to my calendar and tackling my to-do list. I do not usually take appointments before 11AM.

The first few hours of my day are spent communicating with my clients in anticipation of their needs so I can prevent as many challenges as possible that day and optimize my time and energy. I am not rigorous with routine, and I find that my personality can become too obsessive and overwhelmed with strict routines so my way of finding the balance is through intuitive working and prioritizing my well-being.

If I am well and healthy, then I am my sharpest, patient, and most efficient self. I hear everyone more clearly, there is not much noise, and I can execute my goals with precision and accuracy. My problem-solving skills thrive. There is more space for strategizing, planning, and manifesting my next big vision.

An afternoon could look like some showings, a listing presentation, and a visit to a new development site for presentations. Walkthroughs, inspections, team meetings, networking events, prospecting calls, and marketing meetings, too.

Finally, every night I take inventory of my clients, my to-do list, and my priorities for the next day, the next week, and the next month. I write things down in my calendar, I set reminders, and I have notepads which always find their way to my line of vision when I need them. By 10PM I like to be showered and in bed, getting ready for some TV, some reading or a sleep meditation from my favorite app. 

Paola Marulanda Miami Real Estate

Journey to the Top

Amidst the positives, Paola’s journey to getting to the top of the industry and maintaining her position at the top has been extremely intense. She claims this to be a “rollercoaster of emotions; a love/hate relationship.”

She explains, “Not only did I encounter times that completely challenged my ethics and integrity, but more than once I felt alone, defeated, and consumed with the dark side of the industry.”

Over the years, Paola has searched within and beyond to find the right balance in this demanding industry. With experience and commitment behind her back, she has now realized the value she can bring to the Miami real estate market.

Talking about her journey, Paola claims this to be an exhilarating experience. “Despite trying times, sometimes business shows up for me like the hands of an angel, answering all of my prayers. Other times the journey takes me on a divine path where I am completely empowered and feel like I am on top of this limitless world. This is truly an exhilarating and meaningful career, not for the faint of heart.”

The Perfect Strategy

For Paola, strategy has been and continues to be the key to her success. “There is no standardized process when you treat each deal as the unique treasure that it is.”

According to her, to create an effective strategy, it’s imperative for one to remove all boundaries and treat each deal like its own.

She advises realtors to connect a lot of superpowers to ensure optimal success:

Firstly, connect the superpower of the buyer or seller – discovered through intentional listening.

Secondly, connect the superpower of the market – this comes through experience and staying up to date with the latest innovations and trends in the market.

Finally, connect your superpower as an agent and individual – this includes negotiation and marketing as well as dealing with difficult personalities.

By connecting these threads and leveraging these superpowers, one can create the perfect strategy that aligns with the overall goal of the deal.

Paola Marulanda Miami Real Estate market

The Miami Luxury Real Estate Market

According to the 2022 annual Wealth Report published by Knight Frank, Miami has been listed as the second-fastest growing luxury real estate market in America with over 28% year-over-year growth.

Paola notes that although the market is riddled with high interest rates, steeping inflation, volatile crypto movements, and the looming threat of recession, the current trends and data predicts the continuous success of the luxury real estate market in Miami.

She claims, “I am most excited to witness the city’s transformation from all of the new wealth that continues to pour in with no end in sight. Huge improvements in the business sector have made it increasingly appealing to move to Miami and people are voting with their feet and moving here to enjoy not just the weather and tax shelters, but also to enjoy political policies that are more aligned with their views.”

Paola notes that although Miami is still a baby in the grand scheme of things, it will continue to bring a myriad of opportunities for the real estate industry. “This is arguably the best city in the world right now, everyone knows it, and that is a very exciting development to be a part of. We are making history,” she mentions proudly.

Working with the Right People

Going forward, under the banner of Sotheby’s International Realty, Paola will continue to connect buyers and sellers all over the world to quality agents that are committed to excellence and well-being.

She points out that she’s on the lookout for people who are “Hungry, but never ravenous. Clients and agents who prioritize relationships and understand the value of treating our clients with respect and patience, while fiercely pursuing their goals and bringing results to the table.”

For Paola, working with the right people is of utmost importance. In the coming years, she hopes to continue placing emphasis on picking the right people as her clients and agents.People really love working with me, and I really love working with the right people,” she concludes.