Donna Ciccarelli is an experienced Realtor (she’s been selling Texas Real Estate since 1997) and she specializes in the Northwest Austin area. When I called her several months ago to get some insight on the Northwest Austin market, I figured that she would know her stuff, but wow did she ever! Not only did she give me all the stats and facts and figures about Georgetown, Leander and Cedar Park, but this simple interaction with her left such a lasting impression on me. She didn’t have to take the time to provide me with so much detailed information on the homes and communities (after all, I was not even looking to buy) but because of her extensive knowledge of the market and her genuine enthusiasm for the community, I would certainly recommend her to anyone who is looking to sell or buy in Northwest Austin.
Here are a few questions we asked to get to know Donna Ciccarelli better. Enjoy her fun answers!
1. Who inspires you right now?
I think about this young man I met at a coffee shop about two weeks ago. Matt is 28 years old and his sole profession is as an investor. At the age of 18 he purchased his first house, and he now he is forming an LLC to purchase an assisted living center. His main goal is to create enough wealth that he can retire in his forty’s to pursue nothing but philanthropy. Matt and his mother’s dream is to carry on his dad’s passion of raising funds to establish water wells in Africa.To be so young, so focused, and so driven to succeed is inspiring to me. Matt pushes past fears and naysayers by fearlessly educating himself about real estate, investments, and planning. He seeks the best in the industry and is in hot pursuit to glean all he can from them.
2. What is the best thing you’ve read this year?
Unbroken, the true story of Louis Zamperini’s survival story from his capture in WWII. Just about the time I thought life couldn’t get worse for Louis, it does. Yet, his inner strength keeps him pushing through his struggles. It’s also a story of great suffering, great triumph, forgiveness, and redemption.
3. Best thing you have done this year?
My husband Joe and I visited Civil War sites with our friends in Gettysburg, Fredericksburg, and Chancelorsville. I walked many of the trails the troops marched on. I have always loved experiencing places rather than just reading about them. The human struggle has always interested me.
4. What do you like most about Real Estate?
Serving others. I get to know so many people I would never have the opportunity to meet otherwise, and help them make one of the biggest transitions in their lives.
5. If you were headed to the beach for a week and could only take 3 things in your backpack what would they be?
Sunscreen, bathing suit, water – I’m practical.
6. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My grandmother said “Leave ‘em better than you found ‘em. Whether it’s a person behind the counter at a Dairy Queen, or a whole community, always, always leave it better than you found it.” I feel like I make opportunities to do that. Find something kind to say to perk someone up, or help an entire community get behind a restoration project that changes the lives of the community.
7. What habit have you developed that has changed your life?
Taking time to pray, study my Bible, and memorize Scripture.
8. What is your favorite quote?
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~ Milton Berle.
9. Who has influenced you most in life?
My grandmother – her unconditional love, her kindness, and her hospitality toward all people. She was a Godly woman full of purpose and genuine love for others.
10. If you were going out to dinner tonight- where would you go and why?
Actually, I would prefer to have friends over for my husband’s specialty The Beast – a standing rib roast rubbed with Cajun seasoning and soy sauce. Joe is a fabulous cook and host for our friends – tons of laughter and great food!
11. If you had a family coming in from Austin to check it out, what would you advice them to see and do?
Rent kayaks on Town Lake ( ok, Ladybird Lake!) and paddle down to the bridge at South Congress to watch the bats at sunset, take in the Austin skyline. Visit photo op areas of Austin – Pennybacker Bridge, the graffiti walls of SOLA and Guadalupe streets for photo ops, Huts Hamburgers, The Elephant Room for great Jazz, Austin City Limits music, have a progressive dinner in the warehouse district of downtown Austin.