By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette
Realtor Miriah Zuniga’s attitude is casual as she arrives for her interview with the Navarro County Gazette, a vibe that compliments the coffee shop’s morning environment.
“This is me,” Zuniga laughs. “I don’t wear a suit and tie. I’m pretty laid back.”
As she sits down, she is eager to share the work she has done in the community during the past year, as well as highlighting what she learned during that time.
Zuniga has been a realtor since 2017, most recently working with with Premier Realty and Courtney Neiman. A resident of Corsicana for the past 14 years, Texas-raised Zuniga moved with her family from the Pleasant Grove area in Dallas to Corsicana, in what she described as “A better start in life.” Previously, she had worked as a personal trainer for a mental health and rehabilitation clinic, but that was not the pathway she wanted to help people.
“I knew I wanted to do something… to serve others,” Zuniga said. “But that was just not it.”
It was after meeting Neiman that Zuniga left her trainer role and became a realtor. Last year, Zuniga was awarded the distinction of the “Best of the Best Realtor” for 2020, and was also featured in Top Agent Magazine, a national publication that recognized her community involvement and service to clients. To be highlighted in the publication agents from each state require a nomination and interview process based on community involvement, personal reputation, and social media presence.
“I was surprised,” Zuniga said. “It feels good to know people trust in me and recommend me to others, even if they haven’t bought with me or anything like that, they still recommend me to others.”
“It was a humbling and thankful experience for sure.”
But it was also in 2020 that Zuniga began to see another side of selling homes.
“I don’t think I really started to find a deeper meaning into real estate until COVID happened,” Zuniga said. “Before then, it was the pleasure and the excitement of helping buyers and first-time buyers.”
The realtor’s perspective changed after having to help a client move due to losing her husband to the disease. It was here where Zuniga realized her work isn’t just creating new beginnings, but also starting new lives.
“It started really widening real estate as a whole in experiencing different clients with their different needs,” Zuniga said. “It’s not necessarily a happy ‘Oh my gosh it’s my first home.’ It was ‘This is a new start for something that happened.'”.
“That really dug deeper into ‘Okay, this is why I do what I do,'” Zuniga said.
As things presently continue to return to normal, Zuniga looks for ways to bring the “fun” back. An active promoter on social media sites such as TikTok, she said the value she has provided to clients has built a reputation where people frequently tag her as a realtor recommendation.
“I like to give value first to develop that trust instead of showcasing what I have,” Zuniga said.
As the world at large returns to its former status quo, there has been a significant increase in home buying and housing prices.
“It’s crazy,” Zuniga said. “It’s happening everywhere, not just here. It’s a supply and demand issue. Once COVID happened, people got scared of what was happening, so there was a short period where we weren’t really doing anything. People weren’t putting their houses on the market, and were being released from their jobs so they weren’t able to buy a house, so we kind of hit a standstill for a little bit on that.”
“Now that things are opening back up, and we’re more able to work from home than in office settings, we’re starting to get things moved around a little bit more,” Zuniga added. “But there’s still not enough supply to feed the demand.”
Zuniga believes the housing market will eventually balance out, and not make the mistakes of the 2008 housing crash.
Before the pandemic, the realtor hosted quarterly client events, such as a “Summer Bash,” as a way to give back to the community. She is already planning this year’s events, such as a “Princess and Superhero Bash” for the kids in the fall.
With every closing finalized, Zuniga donates to local and national charities that her clients pick. As the interview comes to a close, Zuniga prepares to meet with the Navarro County Children’s Advocacy Center to see how she could best help local children in need.
For her, this is what the job is all about. The awards are just a compliment to the value of work she wants to provide.
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