Meet Karen with Catalyst Home Team

June 26, 2017


In celebration of our new branding and custom website, we sat down with our founder, Karen Tabler and asked some questions:

How did Catalyst Home Team get started?

It always brings a smile to my face to think back to our start and to appreciate how far we have come! Catalyst Home Team was birthed from a place of me wanting more out of life than the standard 9 to 5. I had been working in Corporate America for 10 years, with companies that you think would offer an amazing experience. At the end of my days, though, I was coming home drained and burnt out. No amount of weekends or fun vacations was curing my desire to feel fulfilled with my work. I was tired of living a separate “fulfilled” life outside of work and the “unfulfilled” life at work. So I took a year off to ask God what He created me for. We all have very specific, unique, individual purposes here on earth, so what was mine? After a lot of soul searching, personality + strengths assessments, one-one-one meetings with wise people, and a wonderful conference, my eyes were opened to see that my natural giftings are being a connector of people, establishing deep relationships, and helping others discover what they were made for. There was a lot of hard work that led up to that day, and almost immediately someone was next to me telling me real estate would be a fantastic opportunity to use those gifts + passions.

When I received my real estate license, it was clear that Keller Williams was the brokerage I should join in order to receive the best training out there. Not only has Keller Williams provided amazing training, I have received business coaching that has challenged me to dream + think big by building careers worth having, businesses worth owning, lives worth living, experiences worth giving, and legacies worth leaving. That legacy piece really struck home. I knew I wanted my business to be a catalyst [a person, thing or event that provokes change or action] for both impacting people’s lives today and also many lives to come. Out of that desire I had a vision for creating a team of real estate professionals who serve with tangible passion, a drive for excellence in everything we touch, and a love for people that impacts their lives forever. Our mission is more than just providing consulting services to help our clients sell and buy homes, and we can’t wait to share more about that with you in person!

Why re-brand Catalyst Home Team?

Coming from a marketing background, I think it is very important for the brand of a company to look + feel like the experience that company is striving to offer their clients or customers. The bottom line reason of why we are rebranding now is because our marketing, our website, and everything we’ve done to stay in relationship with our people thus far has not had the look + feel of the experience we want to provide.

I have always been taught to play red light/green light with the finances of Catalyst Home Team. Companies that minimize their start-up costs & debt before they open for business and start generating revenue quickly have a much better chance of survival. These were the guiding principles: to lead with revenue [make money before you spend it], create a budget based on that income, treat the budget like an investment plan that should generate a return, stick to the budget, and hold the money we are spending accountable for results.

With that wisdom in mind, I had hired many different contract marketing assistants over the years, and while I’m grateful for the help of each one of them, none of them quite hit the target I was going for. Then came along THE Emily Miller! When we were ready to hire a for a full time marketing position, it felt perfectly timed with Emily. If you know Emily, you know she is extremely, extremely talented in design – graphic designing, interior designing, environment designing…you name it and she’s got the gift! If you don’t know Emily, you’re missing out! With Emily on board our team, we are ELATED to launch our new website + all our new branding & marketing pieces!

Where do you see your business in the next year? In the next five years? The next ten years?

Wow – there are many exciting things ahead! We have BIG dreams, as I mentioned before. Some of these dreams need to be more mature + healthy before they are shared publicly, and we know maturity requires time & patience. We want to remain faithful to this process of maturity, with the understand significance is all about what you can do for others. To allow our story of significance to develop, we will seek to intentionally steward well the lives with which we have been entrusted to serve.

With deep gratitude for all of the people in our corner, I can say that the number of referrals for selling & buying are doubling each year! In the next year, our challenge will be continuing to deliver the high level of service our clients and friends expect while receiving many more referrals. We are excited to have plans to bring on another agent partner to help care for buyers and also another agent partner to help care for our sellers. With the support of our Transaction Coordinator, Mary, and our Client Care Coordinator + Marketing Guru, Emily, we feel confident we can continue serving more and more of our friends + friends of friends in the years ahead!

As far as the next five years and ten years? We believe we have a mandate on our business that is much different than most other real estate companies in Atlanta. We desire Catalyst Home Team (and future branches of Catalyst companies) to become a catalyst in a movement toward a world of intentional living where people think of others before themselves, where adding value to others is a priority, where financial gain is second to future potential, and where people’s self worth is strengthened by acts of significance every day. We have some ideas of how to come around those in the ways we feel our tribe of people need – including creating an investment arm of Catalyst companies. That’s one of those “legacy” pieces of our puzzle. We want to help our tribe of people grow into financial freedom, both for now & for their own legacies down the road. Stay tuned 🙂

Why do your clients select you over your competitors?

For the honest truth, you’ll have to read some of our client’s personal thoughts…there are several stories here (hyperlink). I can take a few guesses, based on feedback I have received and some of the tweaks we have made in our systems + processes along the way.

I believe our clients ultimately choose us because we follow a time-tested, consultative approach to selling & buying a home. We invest a lot of time on the front end of each client’s journey – getting to know their personality, their needs & goals – all to build trust with every client. We want them to be educated and have a thorough understanding of the process, so that they can make the smartest decisions for their particular scenario. More than that, we want to deliver an exceptional service experience that will build loyal clients for life! And behind all of that, many of our friends here in Atlanta and around the United States also know the underlying missions we wrote about above that propel us forward.

What books are you currently obsessed with?

Am I the only one with a “must-read” book list a mile long? No? Ok, good! The most perspective-shifting book I’ve read this year, and maybe even in life, is called Intentional Living: Choosing a Life that Matters by John Maxwell. Here’s the excerpt from the inside cover:

“We all have a longing to be significant. We want to make a contribution, to be a part of something noble and purposeful. But many people wrongly believe significance is unattainable. They worry that it’s too big for them to achieve. That they have to have an amazing idea, be a certain age, have a lot of money, or be powerful or famous to make a real difference.”

The good news is that none of those things is necessary for you to achieve significance and create a lasting legacy. The only thing you need to achieve significance is to be intentional. And to do that, all you need to do is start. You can’t make an impact sitting still and doing nothing. Every major accomplishment that’s ever been achieved started with a first step. Sometimes it’s hard; other times it’s easy, but no matter what, you have to do it if you want to get anywhere in life.

Another great book to accompany that one is Visioneering: Your Your Guide for Discovering and Maintaining Personal Vision by Andy Stanley.

A few others I have loved reading or have made my way partially through and am loving are:

What books have you read in the last year that changed your thinking completely? I’d love to know!!

If you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, describe what the finished house would be like?

Gosh, this one might be too hard to answer! My friends Celeste & Taylor might recall a recent conversation where I described ALL the different styles of homes I dream of owning one day (with all of those unlimited funds, of course…sooo much unlimited funds that I could feed the world, adopt all the orphaned children, and give homes to all the homeless before I bought all of these dream homes!)

Of course, just like 95% of the other ladies in the United States, I would have a Chip & Joanna Gaines built modern farmhouse, 2 story white brick with wood shutters, a wrap around porch with a tin roof, a 2 story foyer with allllll the light flooding in, an informal dining room off the kitchen with bright & airy judges paneling, a family room large enough for every friend to hang that opens up to a gorgeous white or grey kitchen, and of course a master retreat out of the best spa/resort you can imagine!

I’d also have the cool but warm, sleek, industrial top floor condo overlooking my beautiful city. Don’t forget the rustic mountain home on a lake with views for days, a fire pit for everyone to gather round, and a hot tub on the covered screened in porch outside of the master retreat. #dreamz

What is your favorite thing to do, place to eat, space to breathe, and adventure to explore in Atlanta?

Favorite thing to do::

Someone recently called me lame for this response, and that I should have *other* hobbies, but I am who I am. My most favorite thing to do is spend time with people. I love learning the stories + passions of new friends just as much as I love connecting or reconnecting with people I’ve known awhile. I love street photography too – capturing the everyday moments in the city I love.

Favorite place to eat::

On special occasions with my boo, we love to explore our way through all the best steak spots in Atlanta and in the United States. I love a medium+ filet.

For regular foodie adventures, I love exploring all of the many burger spots, and you know Atlanta has a TON!

Favorite space to breathe::

Hands down, Chattahoochee Coffee Company (previously Land of a Thousand Hills) on the Chattahoochee River. Whether I’m sitting outside on the wraparound porch, swaying in a hammock, or sitting on the adirondack chairs a couple feet from the river watching geese splash around in the river and canoers glide by, this has been my go-to spot for dreaming, breathing, resting since I discovered it in 2009. Shhh, it’s still somewhat a secret from all of Atlanta.

Favorite adventure to explore::

There are countless places & areas to explore in Atlanta. I enjoy strolling along the Beltline and discovering new restaurants & shops. I enjoy hiking Stone Mountain to bask in the views from the top & watch a great light show. I enjoy hiking to the Roswell Mill ruins in Old Mill Park. Every part of town has something to explore & learn from. Even though Sherman was hell bent on burning much of Atlanta in the Civil War, there is still so much history here. It’s one of my favorite things to share about these gems!

What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Oooooo, I LOVE teaching! Of course, the obvious answer here *should* be the process & details of selling a home or buying a home. That’s a given. I could present on the effect of eating habits on bodies living with autoimmune illnesses (fun!) , several relationship marketing topics, and how NOT to (under)serve clients.

What do you want your epitaph to say?

“Keep Your Love On” was her way of life & evident in all she did.

What are three interesting facts about you?

  1. I played the piano & cello growing up; the cello is my favorite sound of all musical instruments
  2. I paid my way through high school & college by serving at my favorite restaurant, Harper’s, which is both in Charlotte, NC & Columbia,SC
  3. I was born a Georgia Peach [Columbus], although I grew up in Charlotte, NC


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