Cleveland West Side Moms’ next Meet-A-Mom is Lauren from The Lauren Mastracco Team, a mother/daughter real estate duo.
Tell me a little bit about yourself & family:
My name is Lauren Mastracco and I live in Lakewood with my husband, John, and our daughter, Ellie (Eleanor). She’s 2 going on 13! We spend the majority of our time around the house and our little corner of Lakewood.
Where are you originally from/how long have you lived in town? Children/Ages?
I am originally from Lakewood and graduated from Lakewood High School. Fun fact about me: John and I purchased my childhood home in 2018. It had been out of the family for about 8 years. So I’ve been in Lakewood my whole life. I left just long enough to go to John Carroll, which is where I met John.
What are your favorite things to do with your family?
Any free time we have is really centered around Ellie, so we have been spending a lot of time at the park. Our favorite to go to is the new Wagar Park in Lakewood. Big enough to keep Ellie entertained and small enough that we can easily keep track of her. Plus, we can walk from our house! We are also usually trying to tackle some DIY project in our house.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I was a competitive figure skater until I was about 12. I spent a lot of early mornings at Winterhurst as a kid!
What are some of your favorite things about NE Ohio?
I love being so close to the Lake. That’s definitely something I have taken for granted for most of my life, but not being able to catch a glimpse every day while I was at JCU, made me appreciate it more. I also love how passionate about the area everyone is – I feel like people are generally really eager to support local, whether that is through philanthropy or just in how they shop and live their lives.
What’s your favorite family friendly restaurant in our area?
We still haven’t done a ton of venturing out, since most of Ellie’s life has been during lockdown, but once we felt safe venturing out, the first place we took her was Bearden’s! This two year old can put down a chocolate milk shake pretty quick!
Please tell us about the Lauren Mastracco Team! Why/when did you start it and how did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I’ve always had a passion for real estate. When I was growing up, we went to open houses on the weekends just to look. I remember checking out the open house schedule in the Plain Dealer and circling the ones I wanted to go see. But I never really thought about becoming an agent. I was working in Nonprofit Fundraising and had gotten really burnt out. I wanted to start a family and felt like I needed some more flexibility. I honestly don’t think I really understood what this business would truly entail, but in 2018 I took the plunge.
I started out on my own, but when Ellie was born, my mom, Nancy Stall, joined me in the business. It’s been nice to grow the business together. It takes a village to raise kids and in real estate – so it’s nice to create my own. At the end of 2020, we brought on another team member, Allison Hall. She’s an amazing artist and also a Mom. Her role is really to help drive our creativity and marketing – she also keeps me on track.
Can you share some real estate advice for anyone wanting to buy/sell a home right now in this crazy market?
I guess my best advice would be to keep realistic expectations of the market and to over prepare. The stories that everyone is sharing right now are of the extremes. I have had clients who have had to write a bunch of offers before we got one to stick, but I’ve had others that we only wrote one.
I would also be sure to ask someone in real estate before you just assume that the market is too crazy. There are so many tools that we can use to help make the process a little easier. My goal is always to connect buyers and sellers with the best team to make the process work for them. Some transactions might take a little bit longer, or it might be harder to get someone into their forever home, but it’s always possible.
How has your community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
Community is crucial to success in real estate – especially because there are so many talented agents out there. I spent the last year trying to highlight different parts of the community and it’s been really exciting to see how open other business owners are to working with me and sharing their story. I find the Cleveland community so open to using their network to support other local business owners.
What’s your favorite part about what you do?
Probably getting to spend my days working with people and not being behind a desk all day. I was definitely surprised to find out that you don’t spend all your time looking at houses as a Realtor – it’s not totally like HGTV – but I do definitely have an appreciation for all things home and design.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to start their own business?
Try and talk with people who are business owners already. Before I started, I met with a few people who were already active agents. It gave me a good idea of what it takes to be successful and to learn from what their experiences. Also, not being afraid to try things and then change your mind if they aren’t working for you. I have a hard time pivoting once I’m on a path. Learning to evaluate choices and go in a different direction has been a big lesson for me.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Getting Ellie to 2, haha! But being a Mom has been one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. I constantly question myself, so to get to this point and to know that she is thriving feels like a big deal to me.
Is there anything you would have changed or done differently with your business thus far?
I think giving myself a little grace to make mistakes and to build slowly. I’m totally a Type A – Overachiever. That can be tough when you are building something. So mainly just being nicer to myself.
How do you juggle being a working mom?
Lots of help! I rely on my husband and my Mom a ton. Plus, I’m really lucky that we are able to send Ellie to daycare full time. It’s made a huge difference for my work and my mental health. She’s at Brownstone in Lakewood – they are amazing!
Where do you hope to be in 10 years?
Still working in real estate! I would love to add another person to my team in that time. By that time Ellie will be in school and I think that will be when it becomes really clear that I made the right decision. Maybe I’ll be on PTA or something!
Who has most influenced you the most to be the mom you are today?
I would say my Mom. When we were growing up, she didn’t always have a choice to do things in a way that she would prefer. I’m grateful that I have some of those choices and so I feel like I try to find balance of the way she did things and just knowing to trust my own gut.
For more information on Lauren & The Lauren Mastracco Team, visit: http://laurenmastraccoteam.com