Welcome back! Today we’re featuring Elizabeth Maora Sickels with Elizabeth Maora, LLC and Exquisitely Engineered, Inc
A little intro to Elizabeth Maora Sickels:
Elizabeth Maora Sickels is a farm girl originally from the east side of Indiana. A Boilermaker (Purdue engineering grad) and Sparty (Michigan State MBA grad) she considers herself a reformed corporate engineer! She had a rewarding career in corporate, traveling the world, working with great people from many cultures on some pretty cool projects. When she was about to run out of vacation days mid 2016 she decided to take the leap, “retire” from her planning/strategy position at Ford Motor Company to strike out on her own! She traveled for 6 months, and Airbnbed her condo in Michigan. Having a great experience being a host, she has built a full-service hospitality and property management business for short term rentals. Elizabeth is also a licensed realtor. Her love and passion for people prompted her to found Exquisitely Engineered, Inc. A 501c3 affordable housing nonprofit, providing cool shipping container houses as a hand up, not out for those who have fallen on hard financial times. A percentage of the profits from Elizabeth Maora, LLC goes to Exquisitely Engineered, Inc.
Now that your up to speed on Elizabeth’s background, let’s get into Q & A!
Landlordette: What inspired you to get where you are at today?
Elizabeth: My mom, she’s an incredibly savvy and hardworking woman! Her mom died when my mom was 12 years old, leaving behind 13 kids (one of which a new born). My grandma passed giving birth to my uncle. Mom has been through so much and she continues to preserver.
Landlordette: Throughout your career what have been your biggest struggles?
Elizabeth: Working with difficult people, mainly not being able to fire them. Just being real here! There are always difficult situations and unexpected events that happen. When your colleagues or clients are also being difficult that just compounds everything.
Landlordette: How did you overcome these ups and downs? What advice would you give to people in that position?
Elizabeth: My advice is to stay calm, if you’re going to explode, walk away, take a deep breath and come back. Always remember that you can never take words or actions back. I’ve calmed down a lot too with age, becoming more flexible, which has helped also.
Landlordette: If you could, would you change anything about your journey?
Elizabeth: That’s a double edge sword, and depends if I’m having a good or bad day! Sometimes I think absolutely, and other times no way! I could have definitely saved a lot of money, time, and heartache changing some things, but then you grow through the pain and bad days.
I would say too, I’m not sure anything would have prepared me for running my own businesses, but the ups and downs are really interesting. I’m a very positive person, by nature (I work at it too), but boy oh boy, one day I think I’m literally on top of the world and the next wondering what in the heck I was thinking leaving corporate.
Landlordette: Has luck played a meaningful role getting you where you are today?
Elizabeth: I don’t know if it’s so much luck as it is favor. I believe in both, I’m faith based so I know God has provided great favor for me which I am extremely grateful.
Landlordette: Let’s talk real estate…what do you think will be the biggest changes in the industry over the next few years?
Elizabeth: Regulations/laws and technology. I think with regulations/laws it’s imperative to stay on top of what the legislation is going on in your area.
Landlordette: Any mentors? Who has played a meaningful role in getting you where you are today?
Elizabeth: I’ve been blessed to have a lot of great folks take me under their wing, give me great advice and support. Here are just a few, Bill McWeeney (best engineer I’ve had the pleasure to work alongside). He was my mentor at my first full time engineering job in Amarillo, TX. He said “If somebody says ‘I think’, forget everything they just said and go find out for yourself.” Glynis McBain, she’s built a very successful large property management company in Michigan, proud to call her a good friend and mentor. She said this about buying a software package “I wanted to buy something I would grow into, not out of.” She invested in a very expensive software package during the downturn, when no one was investing and it’s been a huge help to her growth.
Landlordette: A couple fun questions…If you could have any superpower what would it be and why?
Elizabeth: Definitely it would be flying, birds are third most favorite animal (following 1. Cows (specifically steers, those are male bovine that have been castrated), and then 2. dogs)!
Landlordette: Would you rather have an all expense paid wardrobe or vacation?
Elizabeth: My clothes last forever, I’m still wearing items that I’ve had for 10+ years that look brand new so I’ll take the vacation!!