As your Listing Partner, The Expectation That I Have of Myself, And Our Talented Team is To Deliver Exceptional Service & Results! Meet Raleigh Real Estate Agent, Jesse Hrivnak


Q: Can you share with us what made you decide to have a career in Real Estate?
Real Estate really decided it wanted me! I was in a crossroads in my career where I was craving an organization that had a culture of growth, leadership and unlimited potential. I had a previous professional relationship with Dan and Rachel Kendall and always held them in the highest regard. I knew they were building something special, and I wanted to be a part of it – it happened to be a company sold Real Estate. Turns out I’m pretty good at it and love it too! 

Q: How long have you been active in Real Estate?
I got my license in March of 2014 and have been a full time, top producing agent ever since. 

Q: Obviously with Covid-19 there’s a lot of changes going on in the world … what changes have you seen that you feel will remain in Real Estate? Do you think there will be more changes?
Like many industries, there were some really quick changes implemented to keep the public safe. 

Things like Open House protocols, showing restrictions and certainly a lot of people hitting pause because of the unknowns. We were fortunate that in the Triangle, this was very short lived. The biggest change was the sharp decrease in inventory as interest rates dropped and lumber prices continued to rise. We saw an already strong seller’s market skyrocket and do so quickly. As the world continues to adjust to the new normal, so will the Real Estate market. We don’t believe we will see a crash or even much of a correction, but the speed in which home prices are rising will begin to slow to a steadier pace. 

Q: Do you specialize in certain types of properties?
Our Team specializes in residential real estate. We work hard at maintaining a pulse on not only the Raleigh and Durham proper markets but it’s suburbs as well. Areas like Cary, Holly Springs, Chapel Hill, and Apex. Being in an area of the country that is experiencing so much growth, it’s important to be able to educate our clients about all options and all areas of the Triangle and we feel you can’t do that if you specialize in just pocket. 

Q: Can you share with our audience what Buyers & Sellers can expect when they work with you?
Enthusiasm, Directness and Understanding. Buying and Selling Real Estate is a process with boxes to be checked. However, working with families and individuals who are going through a major change that can often bring up emotions and nerves is a skill. My clients will know and feel that I never forget I am working for real people with real lives. They can expect me to empathize with the difficulty of this journey and also know that I am going to tell them what they need to hear (even when it doesn’t feel good) in order to achieve the goal that they hired me to help them achieve. 

Q: How do you help buyers compete in a tight market?
Educate them about what it takes. Too many agents soften the tough spots of buying and selling real estate and it does our clients no favors to do that. Tell them the money they need for deposits, tell them how aggressive they need to be in their offers, tell them the risks they need to take to get the house and then let them decide what they are comfortable doing. 

Q: What are two things that separate you from other agents?
The Long Game and The Hero… Let me explain: 

The Long Game: Our Team has never been transactionally focused. We focus on building lasting relationships with our clients that go beyond the purchase and sale of Real Estate. Too often agents are moving so fast that once they close a transaction, they are onto the next. A true legacy is built only when a relationship is built, and I tell my clients that they don’t get rid of me at the closing table. I’m going to stay in touch, I’m going to continue to meet needs that they didn’t realize they even had and I’m going to remind them why they chose to work with the Rachel Kendall Team. 

The Hero: Let’s face it, Real Estate agents often get a bad reputation and it’s often created by the way we position ourselves. It’s all about what “WE” did to sell a house or win a house for our clients. While our Team did a lot of great work, so did the client and they deserve the praise. You can’t forget who gives you the opportunity to be great. I’m not the hero when a home is sold – I am simply a catalyst that helped the client realize their heroism to achieve their goal. 

Q: Do you work with both buyers and sellers?
Our Team works with both buyers and sellers, and we also practice designation of agency. We believe that our clients deserve an advisor who is specialized in one area in order to provide the highest level of service and exclusive representation. I, personally, work with Sellers while working alongside a dream team of Buyer Specialists who work exclusively with buyers. Teamwork makes the Dream work!

Q: How has technology changed the Real Estate industry over the years?
The information is all there for the consumer. From searching homes to finding estimated values (although I am not a fan of automated values – their algorithms simply can’t keep up with an ever changing market) and the consumer feels more informed than they ever have. Information and knowledge creates a sense of security and will lead a lot of consumers to ask, “why do I need you?.” In an industry where information and technology used to be proprietary, it is now available to the masses. Our value proposition has to match that, and we have to continuously show our past, current, and future clients why working with our Team is still their best option. 

Q: What do you think are the ingredients that keep you as a top Realtor year after year?
First you have to have the basic ingredients: Hard work, continuous learning and training, surrounding yourself with other top performers and a lot of grit. But the secret sauce is to truly love what you do and the reason I love this career is the ability to have real human connection. 

I build relationships with people who happen to be selling Real Estate not the other way around. I’ve built relationships with couples who are selling the home they raised their children in, single parents who craved a partner to help them make a decision. Professionals who learned they needed to make a move in a very short amount of time and children selling the home of a parent just lost. These are people who are letting go of something that can carry a great deal of emotion. Caring about these people is what brings success. When you take good care of people, they take good care of you back. 

Q: If we interviewed all your past clients … what is one common word that comes up when they describe working with you?
Relentless. Obstacles are always going to jump in front of you. You can either turn around to avoid them or figure out how to plow through them. Tell me something isn’t possible, and I will show you the exact opposite. 

Q: What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today? 
Fear of Failure for sure. I hold myself to a really high standard and the fear of walking into an industry that was mostly foreign to me was terrifying. When you surround yourself with people who believe in you before you do, failing isn’t an option. 

Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?
Oh, my goodness how do you make me pick just one? But since you asked… I was referred to a lovely lady by the name of Meng from a past client. Meng lived in another state and was selling a home that was supposed to be the retirement home for her and her husband. Her husband, Felix, had suffered massive complication during a routine surgery and was not expected to make it. Meng and Felix hadn’t even had the opportunity to fully move into their dream home and now, on the edge of being a window, she was tasked with selling it from far away. Our Team stepped up to manage the whole process for Meng who unfortunately also lost Felix in the middle of the sale. While we accomplished the goal of selling the home for Meng, that wasn’t the biggest impression that was left. It was how our Team offered compassion and support during her difficult time. I can’t emphasize this enough – we know we have a job to do but we also know we have the opportunity to do it while make a difference in people’s lives. Meng felt that and I am sure she isn’t the only one who has had that same feeling and experience. 

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
Gut checks are the key to building confidence in your career. When our mentees ask what one thing I did when I started that made a difference, it was to assume that I was always wrong. While that may sound overboard, what it forced me to do was seek information and answers from my then mentors. It allowed me to build confidence when I was right and catch myself when I wasn’t seeing the whole picture. 

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? 
There is no way that I can answer this question without saying Rachel Kendall! She took an industry and flipped it on its head by not only saying she was going to put the client first but building an entire culture that did just that and also showed how doing so would not only make you profitable, but it would also make you sustainable. 

Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
Each other. While I see this changing every day, until women fully support each other and celebrate each other’s success rather than competing with it, we will push each other forward only to pull each other down. Surround yourself with people who celebrate you and celebrate them right back. 

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
Find a good mentor and have humility. When you have a professional mentor that you trust in your life who can provide transparent feedback, the potential for growth is so much greater. In order for a relationship of this kind to work, there is no room for ego. You can know your greatness and know you’re never too good to get better at the same time. 

Q: After high school, where did you feel your career path would take you? 
I didn’t have the first clue and while at the time, which scared the heck out of me, I also think it’s important for young women to be ok with that. Some people know exactly what their calling is and some are still in discovery mode. If you are a young woman and find yourself in the latter category – don’t feel lost in that mode but feel excited. Use your education as a time to discover who you want to become and what career fits that for you the best. 

Q: Can you tell us how you manage your work life balance?
Balance isn’t black and white. I let go of the idea that every day would feel balanced with “just enough” work time, family time, friend time and Jessie time. That’s not achievable and accepting that is the first step to finding actual balance. Then, it’s just a matter of remembering that when you say yes to one thing, you are saying no to another. I keep track of how many things I say yes to and no to in each part of my world. When I begin feeling as if I’m leaning too far in one direction, I adjust. 

Well, that and a whole heck of a lot of yoga. 

Q: What would be the title of your autobiography?
The Mischief Maker 

23 Things About Jesse Hrivnak

1. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be? 
All four of my grandparents. I only had the opportunity to meet one of them and would be in awe to sit at a table with the parents of my parents and hear all the stories of the trouble they got into!! 

2. What celebrity would you like to meet at Starbucks for a cup of coffee? 
Eddie Vedder. Although I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t get caught dead at a Starbucks so maybe I’ll opt for some hipster java joint in West Seattle.

3. What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time? 
Anything creative. Painting, drawing, yoga, journaling. These are the things and the ways that I reconnect with myself and get curious about myself. 

4. Who is the most fascinating person you’ve ever met? 
Myself. OK, this sounds cliché but I’m telling you – when you take the approach of spending time getting to know yourself, you realize how fascinating you are. 

5. What was the last book you really got into? 
Insomniac City. It’s a beautifully written memoir about being present in a world with so much going on and a love story that will have your hand to your heart page by page. 

6. What’s the most amazing adventures have you’ve ever been on?
I grew up with Travel Agents as parents so seeing the world was always a part of our lives growing up. When I was 20, I decided I wanted to take a trip to Europe on my own. OK, I didn’t really want to go on my own, but nobody was onboard to come with me and not going wasn’t an option. So, for two weeks I traveled Italy by myself, and it was a life changing experience. I met so many amazing people who I would never talk to again but to this day remember with such clarity. If you haven’t taken a trip on your own – DO IT. 

7. Among your friends, what are you best known for? 
Talking ….. A LOT. And Pearl Jam. 

8. What’s your favorite international food? 
My Dad was born and raised in Egypt, and we can get down on some good Mediterranean food. 

9. Who is your favorite author? 
Oliver Sacks. He was a brilliant mind, and I am fascinated by the human brain. 

10. What’s your favorite app on your phone? 
Chani. I love geeking out on astrology and how the stars, planets, moon, and sun impact us. 

11. Best and worst flavor ice cream? 
Best: Heavenly Hash. Worst: Spumoni. Fruit does not belong in ice cream. The end. 

12. What TV shows did you watch when you were a kid? 
Beverly Hills 90210 (the original!) 

13. What’s your favorite quote or saying? 
“When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” - John Lennon 

14. If you unexpectedly won $10,000, what would you spend it on? 
My daughter’s education

15. Are you a morning person or a night owl? 
Night owl 

16. Favorite Dessert? 
Crème Brule, 

17. Favorite City? 
Toronto – my hometown 

18. What’s your signature drink? 
Spicy Margarita. Add a touch of cumin and life is good!

19. What would you sing at Karaoke night? 
I recently walked into a karaoke bar that was belting out Bohemian Rapsody and it was genius. Talk about getting the whole place to sing along and it’s now my go to. Although if I fail to get the sing along that’s a really painful six minutes. 

20. What is your favorite game or sport to watch and play? 
I’m Canadian so I love watching Hockey although it usually ends with my head in my hands asking myself why in the world I am Toronto Maple Leaf’s Fan am still. In terms of playing, I don’t play many sports but give me a yoga mat or a dance floor and I’m all in. 

21. Have you ever met anyone famous? Who? 
Two in one day…. I was in Philadelphia in 2009 over Halloween weekend to see some concerts. I had booked the hotel months in advance and walked in realizing that we were at the same hotel as the Yankees who were playing in the World Series. I was in the elevator when the door started closing on someone wearing a Yankees hat and I came so close to making the comment “that’s what you get for pulling for the Yankees” (I’m not a phillies fan but I like to cause a little trouble!) I got off the elevator only to be told that it was Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson. Part of me wishes I would have started that dialogue. 

 Later that afternoon I flipped out when I learned that Pearl Jam, who I was traveling to see, was also staying in the same hotel. So, I camped out waiting for the band to leave for sound check and scored a handshake from Eddie Vedder and a good baritone “Helllllll-o.”  

22. Which of the five senses would you say is your strongest? 
Ha-ha, my sixth sense – my intuition. 

23. Cake or pie? 
Pie – only if it’s pecan pie. Otherwise – cake.


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