Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I was born in Kashmir, India and lived with my grandparents who had a local pastry shop and cafe. The cafe sold tea, coffee, milkshakes, sweet and savory items, and my grandfather used to give me whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted! I sometimes daydream about those days and am so grateful for those memories.  I must have been very happy to have come to Houston in 1980 though because I have never left!

Children and Ages…
Two children, my son Sawan who is 12 years old, and daughter Serena who is 10 years old.

One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I was captain of my high school debate team and most of the team were boys! I am thankful for that experience. Debate forces you to set aside personal biases and analyze complex issues like ethics, law, politics, and science. It teaches persuasive speaking and demands confidence in one’s position. My background in debate has helped me with real estate – when I am representing a client who is a buyer, I want them to get the lowest price and most favorable terms, but I want the highest price and least number of contingencies when representing a client who is the seller.
I think it helps me “win” disagreements with my husband and kids too!

Favorite local things to do with your kids?
We enjoy eating at Pondicheri, Escalante’s, Goode Company Seafood, and listening to music at the Last Concert Cafe. The Museum of Fine Arts and Natural Science are amazing. We feel so lucky to have multiple options for parks- including Evelyn’s, Levy, Colonial, Memorial, Hermann, Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou Park.

Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
When my kids would nap, I would rest and sleep too. I think sleeping is more important than exercise when the kids are little! It also helps to write down your priorities and schedule time for yourself. My sister, parents, and in-laws also help and are very involved with the kids – don’t apologize or hesitate to ask for help when you need it.

Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
I have been a residential Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Metropolitan since 2006. I am unique from the majority of other agents in that I offer extensive pre-listing services that I implement into the homes that I sell. Those improvements include a comprehensive plan for design, construction, and staging. I have a proven track record for providing a very high return on investment. For each dollar spent, there is an average of a 3x return on those improvements!  I also have a personal 24/7 concierge service for all my clients who have bought or sold a home.

How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now? 
When I was pregnant with my first child, I decided to leave my corporate job as a Human Resource Director – I studied for my license while on maternity leave!  My husband and I were already in West U, and friends and neighbors, including my boss from my corporate job (George Reynolds), helped me get started. George was always willing to share his wisdom, knowledge, skills, and expertise. He had a very positive outlook on life. He helped me through tough times and showed me how to find opportunities in difficult times.

One of my current mentors is Peggie Kohnert who also lives in our community. Peggie is 70 years old and has more energy than people half her age. She has taught me the importance of being open to critical feedback, giving back and paying it forward, being resilient, and never holding grudges – you only have one life – make it the best life possible filled with love for others.

Thank you for the opportunity to be this month’s featured mom. If any of you are thinking about starting your own business or getting into real estate, I would be happy to share my experiences and resources with you!

Kasteena Parikh
713-581-0677
Kparikh@kw.com
www.LiveWestU.com

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