A Conversation with Gabrielle Gilbert
It’s the first “Power & Purpose” segment of the new year! For this month’s feature, I spoke to my good friend and real estate agent, Gabrielle Gilbert. Gabrielle (whom I lovingly call “Gabby”) and I knew each other since I was a child. Gabby and I both attended Good Tidings Gospel Chapel where I received the biblical foundation for my faith and grew in my walk with the Lord. Gabrielle also founded her own ministry at Good Tidings called, “G.E.M.S. for Christ (Girls Emulating Mighty Standards for Christ). In this ministry, I (along with other young girls) got to serve my church through song, theatre, art, dance, and culinary arts. Join Gabrielle and I as we talk about entrepreneurship, real estate, and balancing faith and business.
Sarah: What motivates you to get up in the morning? Any specific routine or mantra?
Gabrielle: Well, in the morning I try to wake up and get my daughter ready for school. Once I get her ready and have some time for myself, I do my devotional. I mostly use the Bible App and I follow the “Think Like A Boss” plan. I also use my “Think Like A Boss” workbook to help me get my mindset ready to face the entrepreneurship world. In that world, there’s a lot to face.
Sarah: How long have you been a Christian? How did you come to know Jesus?
Gabrielle: I’ve been a Christian since- well it feels like since I was born. Thankfully, I was blessed to be raised in a Christian household so I got exposed to [the teachings of the] Lord at a young age. I was the youngest to get baptized in Good Tidings [her along with another church member]. I was about nine-years-old when I gave my life to the Lord. It was funny because I did it twice, just to make sure that I did it right the first time.
I gave my life to the Lord at a very young age and I have never regretted it.
As far as how I came to know Jesus, I was at Good Tidings and they had this service where they showed a movie which talked about heaven. During this movie, I got a little bit distracted and started daydreaming. I just envisioned myself in the sanctuary and for some reason, the floors were gradually slanting and people were sliding into hell. I kept thinking, “I don’t want to go to hell!” I was holding on to the pew for dear life and that experience is what motivated me to get up during the altar call and give my heart to Christ.
Sarah: What’s your strategy for balancing work with faith?
Gabrielle: That’s a really good question. It’s multifaceted for me because I keep thinking of, one, what got me into the work that I’m doing now and two, what’s keeping me there. The balance comes with the constant reminder of why I’m here in the first place and I know for a fact that God put me here. In coming from the world of architecture, and just transitioning to switch things up. Although they’re related (architecture and real estate), transitioning from one to the other was a very big turn of events for me.
It was very clear to me that God wanted me to be here. So my success and everything that I do is entirely dependent on Him.
I also try to make sure that whatever I do and whatever success I gain, there’s a constant reminder (and I put this on display) that I’m a believer. I want to be motivating and I still want to talk about my business, and when I do, you should know where I stand as far as my beliefs are concerned. It shouldn’t be confusing.
The balance also comes when I seek God for every decision. I don’t want to fail, especially when you know that God placed you on a specific path. I don’t want to deviate from God’s plan because if you do, you will fail and I don’t want that for my life. So for me, the balance is putting God first, staying grounded, not losing my perspective, and sharing my faith with others.
Sarah: What do you do now?
Gabrielle: I’m a licensed real estate agent in the state of New York. I still try to tie in my background in architecture and interior design. I still have clients from that industry as well. In addition to being a real estate agent, I am also a freelance designer. I try to focus more on real estate (because I want to get that business off the ground). I buy and sell houses and I also do rentals.
I’m my own boss (I do my own branding, selling, and marketing) and I love it!
Sarah: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in starting your own business?
Gabrielle: I would say mentorship. Everybody learns differently and I think it’s really important to know that when you step into a new field, you need guidance. It’s necessary to find that. In real estate, finding a brokerage with good training is so important. Aside from that there are thousands of agents who are going through the same training and courses. With that, you need someone who’s going to have the time for you. For me, it took a while to find that.
Remember, mentorship is vital.
Once you’re taught the right way, you’ll know it forever. So, when I first started, I didn’t have that mentorship so I felt like it took me a much longer time to get my feet off the ground. I also had an issue with the transitioning of my brokerage. The company went from Citi Habitats to Corcoran so I had to learn a new system. Then, right after that, the pandemic started. Once everything shut down, it all became virtual, so I had to learn another way of doing real estate. It was insane!
Sarah: How did your faith help you in those moments?
Gabrielle: My faith has helped me immensely because it keeps me grounded. For instance, the turn over rate for real estate agents is incredibly high. A lot of people do not make it out of their first year. They always say that the first two years are some of the hardest years as a real estate agent.
I knew that going in so I decided to rest in my confidence that this is where God wants me and I wasn’t going to let anything sway me.
So my faith in Christ really helped me to stand firm despite all of the challenges that happened. Honestly, all of the transitions were a blessing! Once I switched from Citi Habitats to Corcoran, I was very excited about it (Corcoran was where I wanted to be anyway!). Although I didn’t initially have the right mentorship, I started asking the right questions and I started sharing the little information that I did learn (as I learned it); that’s how I started my YouTube Channel. The Lord was really just gearing me up for what I was going to head into. Even though the pandemic was a tragic loss for the world, in my career, it set an even playing field because everyone had to learn new ways of doing business (I even got on the level of some experienced agents!).
For Gabrielle, faith is integral to gaining success in business. Even with all of the challenges she faced, Gabrielle learned that God was using all of these experiences to help her grow and help more people through her business ventures. Mrs. Gilbert’s success is entirely attributed to the Lord and I know that He will continue to bless all of her future endeavors.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. –Colossians 3:23 (NIV)