One doesn’t become one of the top Seattle Real Estate Agent teams without a lot of cooperation, and we just couldn’t do what we do without Diva Desk Dude Michael Jouver. Not only has he learned the industry inside and out by working with us…he’s a real jack of all trades, treating every task with precision and just the right amount of sass. From opening homes to throwing parties, to publishing content and marketing, to doing all the nitty-gritty office things, Michael is there at every turn. (And all of this while he maintains his persona as drag diva DonnaTella Howe, the 45th Empress of the Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle.)
How does this queen do it? And what are some of his fondest (and funniest memories) from working in the whirlwind Seattle real estate industry with Team Diva? To celebrate Michael’s first full year fully licensed for Seattle Real Estate, we asked him to dish on his time learning and growing with Team Diva.
What has been your most awkward learning moment working in Seattle real estate?
I feel like there is or are a couple of these, but then I can’t pull one thought out that is very ‘ah ha, yeah, awkward.’ Really just getting into the initial flow was its own bit of awkward. Changing my work style and conversational style away from health care to real estate and make it my own with vendors and clients—being able to be just as knowledgeable—or sound like it—so that I can get the job done. That didn’t take long, and I still am learning and experiencing more every day.
What was it like getting your first real estate paycheck?
I mean…let’s be real, I’m lucky that I was given the position I was, which isn’t ‘typical’ to real estate work or income. I was doing really well at my last job, per se, but the Divas know how to take care of their peeps and it was great, to get that first check and subsequent ones—and referral bonuses! It made it easier to be Olympia 45, and take some of the strides I have made with my home.
What was it like getting your first referral bonus?
My first referral was awesome! Even more so, the fact that it involved bringing people from my sphere into Divaland and showing them how magical our process is. When I worked at a hotel for my very first job, there was a referral bonus system, but it never seemed to work out, even bringing great friends who needed jobs to the table. My healthcare job had a similar system, and I did well with it, but this was super cool! A little extra something-something to that month, when a family member was able to complete a real estate transaction and Divaland got a little bit bigger. Win win WIN!
What was it like for you to buy your first home?
I still love my home. IT’S MINE! I was OBSESSED with being a Diva Dweller and read every newsletter, hopped on every film shoot for a listing when asked, slapped on some drag when a Diva came a calling for an event because it’s just that fun.
Finding my first home and on Capitol Hill, two blocks from my very first apartment and one block from the spot I found my oldest cat, Siren, was just too perfect. I don’t ever recall seeing the door that today is my front door—that’s why I call it “The Door of Requirement.” If you aren’t looking for it, you probably won’t see it…unless there are cats staring at you when I have the inner door open. People LOVE watching my cats and it’s funny that they never see me just inside, watching back. I’m pretty sure Oliver is insta famous somewhere.
I found my home online, and the minute that I saw each room was a different color, and it was so unique and kitschy with what I call 90s classic Seattle features and design…I was in love. I still have work that I want to do with it, but I love it. It’s mine, in the Manhattan of Seattle.
What would you tell people about being in real estate?
Real estate takes work. Again, I’m lucky to be on a team like this one. I would say that it takes less work to do real estate than drag, but it might be comparable. You can certainly make more of a consistent living doing this than drag. And if you can with drag, good on you, but yeah…don’t lean on drag.
Find your flow, use your skills, do it right for all the people out there wanting to make their dreams come true, and don’t be an a-hole.
What is your best advice for someone trying to buy or sell real estate in Seattle?
Work with us! HAH! Educate yourself, make sure you’re ready financially, work with people you like who you can be truly you with. Be realistic but also let yourself dream. You’re allowed! Visit neighborhoods and take them in. I was in Mt Baker with Chavi recently and it just felt like a neighborhood I’d want to live in someday…if I can ever tear myself away from Capitol Hill.
What is one of your favorite moments being in real estate?
So many. SO SO SO MANY. Fun home tour days with the team being goofballs. Working on listing homes and getting so close with the sellers and being like family, and seeing them light up at the work we’ve done, or the offers we’ve gotten.
That one time that Chavi and I killed a bottle of wine getting a home on the market, then headed to dinner with friends. The fact that my daily work life is not what it was. All of the amazing people that are in my life on so many levels. Getting to help onboard Juniper as a team member, and having been secretly coaching her months prior, when I knew she was getting her license and figuring out when to start talking more about her to the Divas and the team. I feel like I’m doing more to help shape Seattle and its communities.
This is me keeping going. Keep on keeping on. I actually have to get to some other pressing work in my day, but if you wanna know more about me, my drag, my story leading to WA, my time at NWTrek Wildlife Park, my comedy of errors that was college at UW, whatever you want—just ask! Cause if I don’t want to answer, I won’t. 😉
Diva Dudes Rocky Flowers and Roy Powell also recently celebrated anniversaries. Both just hit five years as Seattle Real Estate Agents in the last few months. Check out our little interviews with Rocky and Roy.