5 Questions with Julie Gualandri
A Midwesterner by birth, Austin luxury agent Julie Gualandri’s love for real estate began when her family relocated to the Austin community. Since much of her childhood and young adult years consisted of moving frequently, Gualandri recognizes the pressures and angst that comes with moving and relocating, which is why her main focus is making the transition seamless for every client.
We sat down with Gualandri to find out more about her background, passions and how she has successfully helped numerous individuals and families put down roots and call Austin home.
You spent your childhood and young adulthood relocating about every 8-12 years. How does that translate into how you work with your clients and understand what they’re going through?
I really enjoy introducing new people to Austin and, fortunately for all of us in real estate, our market has been fueled the past 8 years by new people coming to the city. I have moved so many times, and at pretty much each pivotal juncture of life, there is no circumstance that I cannot empathize with. I have been a teen being moved by a parent’s job and a young adult going away to college. I’ve been a new grad moving away where I could find a job. I’ve moved in order to be promoted at my company and I’ve moved for my husband’s job. I’ve used a relocation company so I know how corporate relocations work, and what an incredible benefit it can be to have that kind of assistance in moving a family. My whole mission with a relocating family is removing question marks. Right away, I start asking questions so I can orient myself to my clients’ most pressing needs and care-abouts. For every question mark I can eliminate, it makes my clients breathe easier and makes the transition more seamless.
What do you enjoy the most about working in the Austin real estate industry?
There is so much variety in Austin, it is just incredible. One day I can be showing downtown high-rise condos, and the next day I can be out in Southwest Austin listing an acreage lot for sale. There are gated luxury and gentrifying neighborhoods, golf course communities, lakefront properties on Lake Austin and Lake Travis, tiny houses, and sprawling Hill Country ranches. I know most of us feel like Austin is a small town but, in truth, it is vast and varied. There is always something new to learn about our vibrant community.
You and your family reside in Southwest Austin. Tell us why you’ve chosen to raise your family there and what some of your favorite places to go in town are.
We live in Meridian, a small and fabulous neighborhood adjacent to Circle C and the Grey Rock Golf Club. We have the best of both worlds. With a young son, we wanted to be close to good schools. Baldwin Elementary is 200 yards from our house, which we’ve loved, but if we want to go downtown, we are just 15 minutes away (in no traffic).
If you ask my son where he likes to go, he will tell you Chuy’s, The Salt Lick and Home Slice. It will be all about food. But in the summer, we love being out on the local lakes, either Austin, Travis or LBJ. If we are in town and not at Chuy’s or Home Slice, we love to go to the movies at Alamo or tee up at Top Golf. On weekend mornings, we enjoy taking our dogs Willow and Ruby for a hike, either downtown or along the Barton Creek Greenbelt.
You own 2 King Charles Spaniels, Ruby and Willow. What makes Austin a great city for dog lovers?
Our dogs have so many friends, both two-legged and four-legged. This may sound funny, but I think it is the kindness and compassion of our city’s residents that makes it such a great city for pet owners. Dogs are welcomed in a number of places in Austin that you wouldn’t expect. I often have friends who post from happy hour downtown and their purse-sized dog is grinning at the camera, sitting next to a cocktail, right at the bar. Our parks are very pet-friendly, and the city is full of meet-ups for big dogs, small dogs and different breeds. We have “bark”-eries and pet boutiques. It is very easy to raise a pampered pet here in Austin.
Besides real estate, what are some of your other passions?
Because my real estate business has provided so much for me and my family, I am very passionate about giving back wherever I can. When I moved to Austin, I wanted to have a 4th of July Parade in my neighborhood, so I joined my HOA advisory council and started one. Today, I am part of our Social Committee, which plans community events throughout the year. Once my son started attending Baldwin Elementary, I became involved in the PTA. I am wrapping up my second and final year as President, and have to say it has been a truly rewarding experience working with an amazing group of volunteers on the board and in our school community. My son is involved in Scouting, so that may be my next avenue of volunteer work. I also volunteer at St. David’s Episcopal Church, where we are members. Once a year, in conjunction with Keller Williams, I facilitate a porch-pickup-style food drive in Southwest Austin. With the help of a number of donating families and volunteers from Austin Allies who helped distribute the bags, we donated about 1,400 pounds of food to the Central Texas Food Bank in August. I’m hoping to reach more families and bring in more donations next year!
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