41. Real Estate and Reality TV with Selling Sunset’s Maya Vander

September 6, 2022

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The following article may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. This doesn’t cost you anything, and shopping or using our affiliate partners is a way to support our mission. I will never work with a brand or showcase a product that I don’t personally use or believe in.

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make…

So the last thing you want to do is go into it blind.

This week, Tori is joined by Netflix’s Selling Sunset’s Maya Vander –– a reality TV queen and kick-ass realtor, to talk about all things real estate.

Maya Vander has been in the real estate business for over a decade, representing buyers and sellers on both coasts. She sits down with Tori to walk listeners through the basics of home buying, her best advice for the current market, and how to consider other factors besides finances when buying a home.

Of course, we also get into her time on Selling Sunset and the surprising behind-the-scenes secrets of filming a reality television show. Maya also vulnerably shares about her pregnancy losses and how she’s working with organizations to support women and families experiencing the same loss.

You’ll learn:

  • What to look for when you’re looking for a real estate agent of your own

  • Whether Zillow is actually telling you the truth and how to use it without pissing off your agent

  • The surprising facts about the fashion and hair on selling sunset

  • The step-by-step guide to what you need to do before looking at homes


Maya Vander is a luxury real estate agent highly recognized for her role in Netflix’s original docu-series, Selling Sunset. Created by Adam DiVello, the show follows Maya and her colleagues at The Oppenheim Group selling some of LA’s most glamorous properties. The series quickly reached phenomenal success, with its first 4 seasons being quickly picked up due to its large fan base.

Outside the show’s phenomenal success, Maya keeps busy, running circles in the real estate market on both coasts. Growing up in a family with a history of investing in properties and flipping homes, real estate came naturally to her. Since the start of Maya’s career, she has successfully brought properties and clients together through strategic marketing plans. Her innate ability to understand and meet clients’ needs has positioned her as a trusted advisor and enabled her to be a natural negotiator.

 Eager to share her success, Maya recently opened her own online course, Keys to Becoming a Top Agent, offering young real estate agents top tips to build a solid foundation in their careers & elevate their business. 

In her spare time, this Israeli native is very active in her charity work, most recently partnering with Push Pregnancy and Alliyah in Action after suffering a loss of her own due to stillbirth. Alongside many strong women who have suffered the same fate, Maya’s goals are to speak out for these organizations and work alongside them to stop preventable losses and provide women, birthing people and families comfort as they take steps toward healing after the loss of their baby. She hopes her platform will continue to grow so she can continue to participate in speaking engagements that range from her activism to her phenomenally growing career. The mother of two also hopes to remain on the small screen for years to come, to continue showcasing all that real estate has to offer, along with growing her team along the way.

Maya’s Links:

Course: Keys to Becoming a Top Agent

Push Pregnancy

Alliyah in Action



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Tori Dunlap (00:00):

Hello Financial Feminists, welcome back. We are so thrilled to be with you again for another week of Financial Feminist. This month, we’re focusing heavily on what we’re calling money at home. So that means both how you handle your finances in your day-to-day life, and the literal place you call home. So we have some great episodes coming up on things like how to manage money with your family, but for a few episodes we’re diving into real estate specifically. So who better to bring on the show than the queen of real estate Selling Sunset’s Maya Vander. Maya Vander is a luxury real estate agent, highly recognized for her role in Netflix’s original docu-series Selling Sunset. The show follows Maya and her colleagues at The Oppenheim Group, selling some of LA’s most glamorous properties. The series quickly reached phenomenal success with its first four seasons quickly picked up due to its large fan base, and season five which recently premiered April 22nd.

            Outside of the show’s phenomenal success, Maya keeps busy running circles in the real estate market on both coasts. Eager to share her success, Maya recently opened her own online course, Keys to Becoming a Top Agent, offering young real estate agents top tips to build a solid foundation in their careers, and elevate their business. We’ll link this in the show notes if you’re interested. In her spare time this Israeli native is very active in her charity work, most recently partnering with PUSH Pregnancy, and Aaliyah in Action after suffering a loss of her own due to stillbirth. Maya’s goals are to speak out for these organizations, and work alongside them t
o stop preventable losses, and provide women, birthing people and families comfort as they take steps towards healing after the loss of their baby. As a content warning, we do talk about Maya’s story of pregnancy loss in this episode.

            Beyond that though, in today’s episode we talk about Maya’s entry into real estate, how she balances running a successful real estate business, alongside her work in reality TV. And she also guides us through some common real estate questions we get from our community. So if you are interested in buying property, if you are a new homeowner, if you’re navigating what it’s like to try to fight a bunch of other people for the house you really want, this episode is definitely going to be helpful for you. Maya also vulnerably shares about her pregnancy loss, and how it spurred her into action, helping support other women who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss as well. Maya is truly an incredible woman, this is such an informative, amazing episode. And we were so excited to have her on the show. So let’s go ahead and get into it.

            I’m so excited to have you, I have so many questions for you. Can you tell us your backstory of getting into real estate, and then specifically how did you end up in luxury real estate?

Maya Vander (02:48):

So it’s interesting. I was working in retail, I moved from Israel to Los Angeles, and I worked for many years in a clothing store in Los Angeles. And then my mom told me, “Why don’t you go get your real estate license?” And I’m like, “You know what? Why not?” But it’s very risky, because getting your real estate license means you’re going to work on your commission, if you are going to be a real estate agent.

            And I always like a steady salary, but I took the chance, and I got into real estate, and I got the license, and I joined my first company brokerage in Beverly Hills. And I just hustle, I worked really hard, and I didn’t sell only luxury. And even now, by the way, in Miami, I sell lower price point as well. So it’s not only by a certain price point and up, I believe that every transaction is money, and every client can refer you a different client, and maybe that client will sell and buy something bigger. So I don’t reject really business. I mean, depends, some maybe. But it’s a lot of hard work. I was licensed in LA for about three years until I joined Jason, and then obviously doing open houses for high-end clients, and expensive listings, then you meet more clients, and network a lot. So it’s really nonstop work to be honest.

Tori Dunlap (04:08):

Do you find that the definition of luxury has changed? Because I think a lot of people hear the word luxury, and immediately tie it to a million dollars. But I live in Seattle where a two bedroom, two bath is now a million dollars. So what are we defining as luxury, versus maybe general, or regular real estate?

Maya Vander (04:30):

That’s a good question. I think it’s five million and up probably, that’s my opinion. Because look, Miami, I mean you could get a beautiful house eight years ago for one million, and now you cannot even get, it’s a teardown. So I wouldn’t call it luxury. Same with LA, frankly it’s almost 1.7, 1.8 teardown. So to me it’s five million and up, and I sell less than that. So what does that mean? Do I not sell luxury? I mean, I sell more than that, and I sell less than that. So it’s simple.

Tori Dunlap (05:04):

Yeah, and I think it’s interesting too, where you’re like, “Yeah, I still sell homes that aren’t luxury real estate.” Do you find that there’s a general difference? I mean, obviously it’s how much money somebody’s willing to spend, but a general difference in someone’s process when they’re looking for a home, versus looking for a luxury property?

Maya Vander (05:27):

I feel like the more expensive ones are almost easier to sell, because those people have money, they are savvy, it might not be their first time they buy, they already deal real estate somewhere. Sometimes honestly, the $400,000 condos are a pain in the ass to deal with, because the buyers are not qualified necessarily. So I think that the higher price point is almost easier.

Tori Dunlap (05:50):

Do you find too there’s less competition in theory? Because I know in Seattle, the joke is the houses go for so much more than asking. And in addition there’s always 12 people, 15 people that are applying, or that are submitting.

Maya Vander (06:08):

It’s the same here. I feel now it’s starting to slow down a little bit, but it’s the same. I mean, everybody that comes and they want to buy between one million and two million. I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” Because I know they’re going to have to compete with 10 other buyers, only now it’s slowing down just a little bit. But it’s been a crazy market in the last… Frankly COVID did well to Miami, and every other city actually.

Tori Dunlap (06:37):

Yeah, my next question was about, what trends are you seeing? What have you seen in the last two years? And what do you expect to see, let’s say, in the next year or two? What has changed about the market?

Maya Vander (06:49):

Yeah. People need for the space, now everybody needs an in home office,
that wasn’t even a thing a couple of years ago. Home office, small space, bigger yard, potentially add a pool to the yard. So COVID people were locked down for two years, and they were looking, how do I get my property better? People moved from the city to the suburbs, because they wanted more space. And the city sometimes doesn’t allow it if you have the condos. And they want more privacy, and being away from people. I think moving forward, yes, people are going back to work at their offices, versus remotely. But a lot of people are still staying, at least part-time, the remote work from home. So I think the office place will always be necessary. I think that was the main change, just the next office space, big time.

Tori Dunlap (07:40):

Yeah. And more room, I think you’re exactly right. I think when you’re stuck at home, and you have no other option, as opposed to plenty of people would just go to work, and that’s where they were for at eight plus hours, and then they maybe go out with friends. You’re getting home at eight or nine, and then going right to bed, versus your entire life spent at home. Hard to do that in a one bedroom condo, I did that for two years, very hard.

Maya Vander (08:08):

We moved from our house, we lived in a condo, and when I get got pregnant with my son, we moved to a house, so that was two years before COVID. But I can only imagine if I would be in that condo with elevators, and being with other people. And first everyone was like, “Oh my gosh, COVID.” Then we really keep the social distancing, so I can honestly not imagine doing that, especially with kids.

Tori Dunlap (08:31):

So can you walk us through how commissions on homes work? How long are paychecks staggered, between when you make first contact with someone, and then receive money from the sale? What is that whole process look like for someone who isn’t in real estate, or somebody who’s just listening to this? Being like, “I don’t know how any of this works.”

Maya Vander (08:58):

It’s it depends on the clients. But in a good case, if you are with the savvy client, who is doing all cash, you can get your paycheck within two weeks, you can get your paycheck within a month. In the worst case, if you’re working with clients who are looking for several months, you can get your paycheck after seven, eight months, until they decide to put an offer. Because if I found my clients a house, that means… I don’t know how long I’ve been running around with them, some of them I’m running around with them for four months, some of them I can show them seven, eight months, and they still haven’t found. So let’s assume we executed a contract today, typically a contract is between 30 days to 45 days, and then the commission. I see a lot of commission cuts right now, unfortunately, but I would say it’s between 2% to 3% to me, because I represent either the buyer or the seller.

            Then once I got the 3%, let’s just assume 3% from the purchase price, then I have a broker who takes a cut. So every broker has a split, the broker basically is the big guy. I mean, if you compare Selling Sunset, it’s Jason. Liability issue, responsibility, as a real estate agents we have to hang our license under a brokerage. So I’m with Compass now, so Compass is my brokerage. They’re going to take a cut, because they’re giving me tools to use tech, support, administration, so they take some sort of commission from the 3%. Every agent, every company has different a split. I will tell you for a new agent, usually the agent will take 60% of the 3%, and the broker will keep 40 for a new agent. Or it could be 70, 30, or 80, 20, it depends. Out of that commission that you take home, you have to pay taxes. So when you see the commission on Selling Sunset, in theory, yes, that’s a big chunk, but then you have all these cuts and splits until you actually get paid.

Tori Dunlap (10:51):

So I mean, for you I think you’re potentially in a more unique position, where you are getting these like massive… Or I mean, they’re bigger than average, they’re bigger than what you might expect, because you’re selling luxury real estate. You’re getting these [inaudible 00:11:07].

Maya Vander (11:06):

Not if I sell a $400,000 condo, but if I sell, I would say a million and up, 2 million and up, then yeah, it could be 20, 30, 40,000 commission. If you sell a $10 million house then all of a sudden you’re in the 100,000 commission. But it’s not always happening, it’s not as often, it depends. My last two years were great in real estate, I did really well, but it was actually a lot of small transaction, and combination of couple of big ones.

Tori Dunlap (11:31):

So how are you thinking about your personal finances then? If you know, I could go a month, two months, three months, maybe even six months without seeing a paycheck, what is your mindset there?

Maya Vander (11:42):

It’s stressful.

Tori Dunlap (11:43):

Yeah, okay. I imagine.

Maya Vander (11:46):

It’s very stressful, and I’ve been there. I mean, not in the last three, four years, because my career finally took off. And I’m telling
you finally, because I’ve been doing real estate for 10 years. And I had good months that I’m like, “Oh, I’m closing one deal after another.” Or big deals, and I’m like, “Oh great.” But in the meantime you have to live, that was before I was married, I have to live, I’ve spent money, LA is expensive, you pay rent, you pay taxes.

            It can be very stressful when you don’t have that consistency. Thankfully in the last few years I’ve been doing real estate on a constant basis, even if it’s a small deal. Every time I get paid, I put aside money on my saving account. So little by little I build up, I dedicated X amount of my amount for marketing budget. And based on that, I’m like, “Okay, what am I comfortable spending? What do I know coming in?” And I’m very careful with that. I mean, I’m not going to go and sell a house, and go run and buy a Chanel bag, that’s not my priority. Unless it’s a huge deal, maybe. But generally I’m very cautious, because you just really never know. Especially if the market is shifting, you have to be very careful.

Tori Dunlap (12:56):

Well, and I think the unique part about what you specifically do, is that a lot of this information is very public. And we’ll talk about this a little bit later. But how does that feel for you knowing, I’m discussing on a national platform, how expensive this house is? And people can do the math, how does that feel for you?

Maya Vander (13:20):

So if you notice on my IG I never post usually the sale amount, I just put under contract, I never put the address, I never put the sale amount, because I don’t need people to know how much money I make, and calculate the commission. Because when you see the show it looks always glamor, but we do have the broker fee, we have taxes, and sometimes we have to give commission to our buyer or seller because they really want that, our commission to make them happy.

            And sometimes the commission is not 3%, all of a sudden it’s 2%. So it’s a little different, and I don’t want people to… The whole Google thing, trust me, I’ve seen our Google income, and all that. I mean, I can tell you it’s all nonsense, it’s really not true. Whether if it’s more or less, none of it is true. The people just assume based on whatever endorsements, or real estate transaction, but it really depends. So I personally don’t say the price point for the properties that I’m doing, unless say it’s a marketing for a client, like a listing presentation, and all that. But social media, I’m very vague with that. I’m like, “Look at me, I sold something, but I’m not telling you how much, what it is. I’m just showing that I’m doing real estate.” That’s my thing.

Tori Dunlap (14:34):

So if someone listening is trying to choose an agent, what should they be looking for? What sort of questions should they ask?

Maya Vander (14:41):

They should just look for me if they want to buy in California and Miami, that’s it. No, I think you have to vibe with your agent, you have to trust your agent, and know that they have the best interest. I mean, I’ve been showing my clients properties that offer less commission, but I didn’t care, because I just want my clients to be happy. So you want to make sure you’re working with an agent that not necessarily puts his commission his first priority, but put your client priority first, if you represent them on a buy. On the sales side, I just think look for an agent that offer a good marketing, that is willing to do those open houses, willing to be there, available showings. Just be available for your client, and communicate, I think it’s super important.

Tori Dunlap (15:28):

Yeah. I was very close to buying a condo when I was 22, 23, because I had that narrative of renting is throwing away money. And the real estate agent I worked with… I had a horrible experience.

Maya Vander (15:43):

Why is that?

Tori Dunlap (15:44):

Oh, great question. He didn’t really advocate for me. A lot of the things I was asking for, he kind of scoffed at. I was very young too, so I didn’t really know what I wanted, and my parents, well intentionedly, but they were doing a lot of pushing. Of, “You want this.” Or, “You should buy something with this feature.” Or something like that.

            And so it was just a very interesting process, I learned a lot. I didn’t end up purchasing, I still don’t actually own property. But I think one of the things that was so crucial for me realizing, was how much you need somebody who’s in your corner, and who’s going to advocate for you, and who’s going to listen to you. I felt like he didn’t really honor what I needed, didn’t really advocate. I remember at one point I found the condo, and we were negotiating the price down, and he’s like, “I don’t think you should negotiate at all.” And I was like, “Every other condo is sold for less than this, it doesn’t make sense.” Because I think he wanted a higher commission, which just felt really icky. I’m like, “No, if I can negotiate this down a couple thousand dollars, I’m going to do that.” And especially this was 2016, outside of Seattle, when you could.

Maya Vander (16:53):

When you could, yeah. Now I will tell you, that’s going to be tough. I mean, even now I’m in a situation now with my clients that I try to negotiate down for them, I knew they really wanted the house, and I knew the house had three other offers. So I told them “Just put 10,000 more, it’s not that significant, just put more.” Then I just try to be as aggressive as possibl
e. And them paying 10,000 more doesn’t really change my commission significantly.

            And I show them houses between 1.6, which I actually really like, and now we’re at 2 Million. So I actually never operate by price point, or commission myself. I just want my clients to be happy. A lot of agents do, unfortunately they look about how much commission the listing agent is offering. And based on that they decide to show or not show, and it’s a shame. In this market, unfortunately it’s hard for us agent to negotiate anything for our client, because we are still in a seller’s market. I think it’s going to change. I think we’re going to start seeing more inventory, it might shift more to a buyers market, but not yet.

Tori Dunlap (17:55):

Can you tell me more about that? Because I’m seeing similar things, but it’s really hard to know for sure. So what are the signs for you it’s moving that way?

Maya Vander (18:04):

More inventory, for sure. Where I am there is still shortage, but I start seeing a little bit more and more inventory for condos. I’ve seen way more condos. So I already know with the condos I might have a better chance to negotiate, people are not jumping as they used to. But it depends also on the price point, if the price point is decent, then they’re not going to necessarily negotiate too much down, it depends on the seller. But I think more inventory is definitely an indication of some sort of change. That means more supply, so more supply, it’s better for the buyers generally.

Tori Dunlap (18:44):

Yeah. Well, and our listeners… I mean, they range from renters, to first time home buyers, to empty nesters. So what is your best piece of real estate advice to a non luxury buyer? Someone who’s trying to buy whatever house they can afford.

Maya Vander (19:00):

I would say you don’t have to always look at 50 properties, if you go to a property and you love it, and you feel a good energy, go for it. Even if you think you are overly paying by 20, 30,000, whatever, it’s worth it. You’re probably going to be there seven years, the price point with the mortgage is not going to make or break a deal. It’s maybe going to be 200 bucks different in your mortgage payment. But also don’t go behind your needs, rates are higher now, so that means your mortgage payment will be higher.

            So maybe you have to adjust your budget, rents are expensive, and they’ve been going up crazy in the last literally couple of months. So see what mortgage plan you can get, even with high rates, maybe it’s worth pulling the trigger on it. But just adjust your price point to make sure you are comfortable, because you have mortgage payment, you have property taxes, you have other costs that comes with property that you have to consider, you have closing costs, you have to factor all of it into your budget.

Tori Dunlap (19:59):

Yeah. And I think that’s one thing that has actually kept me from purchasing so far, is the cost of all of those things. And knowing there is a certain… I was about to say luxury, pun intended. But there is a certain benefit to being a renter, where I can call somebody else and have them handle certain things. However, of course, I really crave having my own space that I get to do with what I want. So there’s trade offs, and I think it is really important to consider the full cost of a property before you purchase, because a lot of people just see what’s the sticker price versus property taxes.

Maya Vander (20:35):

Yeah, the closing costs could be a couple of thousands of dollars, and they didn’t expect that all of a sudden. And then you pay interest for a long time, and they barely put in any equity into the property. So there are a couple of things to consider when you purchase, so work it on your budget.

Tori Dunlap (20:54):

Yeah. You mentioned the energy of a house when you walk in. I am very much that person too, who gets certain energy from places, and my gut will tell me. Is that what you mean? Tell me more about what that feeling is when you walk into a home that you like.

Maya Vander (21:13):

I mean, when my husband and I purchased our property, first of all, we weren’t really sure if we wanted to buy, we were also renting, we were comfortable in a condo. We saw maybe two properties, but then we walked into our house that we bought, and I told my husband right away, I’m like, “I love it. There is something in it I know can work for us.” I just felt it.

            Whether it’s a bright house, or the kitchen, or the open floor plan, whatever it is, the layout, a couple of things that you just feel it. Or if you’re buying a condo, maybe it’s the view. Maybe it’s just, again, the floor plan, something that you feel good with it. And I think you have to feel good when you walk into a place to buy. And even if it’s your first place that you see. Maybe it’s the first place, maybe you don’t have to see a hundred places, because maybe you’re going to change your mind after… Let’s say you walk into a place, you’re like, “Okay, but it’s only the first place. Let me see others.” And then that place is gone. You’re like, “Oh damn, I should have got that place.” So you should go with your energy and feel, if you can afford it.

Tori Dunlap (2

Yeah, that’s how I live my entire life. Is just, how do I feel about this thing? What is my gut telling me? I think on the opposite, something that you said, of walking into a home and loving it. One thing that I’ve heard a lot is that you shouldn’t completely fall head over heels for something, until you’ve purchased it, until you’re closing on it. Do you subscribe to that as well?

Maya Vander (22:41):

Yeah, because you don’t want to keep your hopes up. I mean, you can do inspections, something comes out in the inspection, you don’t like it, or maybe you lose the house for a different buyer. So I know it’s hard to not get attached, and wait until it’s signed, and you officially record, and you’re officially on title. I mean, if you feel it, you feel it, it’s hard to control. But I guess be cautiously optimistic that you’re going to close the deal.

Tori Dunlap (23:08):

Yeah. So you were talking before about the transition from being an agent to being a broker, because you now own your own brokerage in Florida.

Maya Vander (23:29):

No I don’t, everybody assumed that.

Tori Dunlap (23:32):

Oh, you don’t?

Maya Vander (23:32):

No, everybody assumed that.

Tori Dunlap (23:34):

My doc says you do, tell me more about that.

Maya Vander (23:36):

I’ll tell you why, because I announced my team, which is a team of three girls, me and it’s my associates. And team and group doesn’t mean a brokerage, it means we are a team under a brokerage. So I’m a team under Compass, Compass is my broker. But the media, “Maya announced she has her own brokerage.” Blah, blah, blah. And they don’t get the difference between an agent and a broker. So I am studying for my broker license, I’ve been studying forever, because I have no time to study. But the goal is to get my license, but I’m not planning to open my brokerage for liability issues. So I’m happy with Compass, it’s a huge company, they’re all over the place, and I can refer business to other agents, and they have great branding. So it’s my team and my group, basically my group, and they’re Compass.

Tori Dunlap (24:22):

Got it, okay. Thank you for clarifying, I appreciate it.

Maya Vander (24:25):

No, no problem.

Tori Dunlap (24:26):

Okay, so before we transition to Selling Sunset, what for you do you see as the entire process for someone who’s never bought a home, from I’m trying to find an agent to I’ve moved in? Very, very basic, what’s that process look like?

Maya Vander (24:42):

I would say first get qualified, when clients contact me and they don’t even know if they have enough down payment, and they don’t understand the qualification, it’s a complete waste of time. So you need to go to a lender, whether it’s your bank, or a private mortgage broker, and get your prequalification letter. Once we know what you’re comfortable with, and what is your budget, that you can actually get the loan, unless you have cash, then I can go and shop and send you options based on your budget, criteria. Then we go look at places, and then we start narrowing down what’s important to you, what’s not important to you. Then we’ll write a contract. Let’s say we find a place, you’re qualified, we’ll write a contract. And hopefully within 30 to 45 days, we are good, you close on your house, and you get your keys.

Tori Dunlap (25:31):

You make it sound so simple.

Maya Vander (25:32):

I know it’s easy, right?

Tori Dunlap (25:33):

It’s so easy. So what do you find are the common pitfalls? You already mentioned one, of somebody not getting their prequalification letter. What are some of the other ones that somebody could avoid, who’s listening?

Maya Vander (25:50):

I mean, also be focu
sed. I mean, buyers, they tell me they want one area, and then ended up buying in a completely different area. And they don’t want me to send them stuff in one area, but then I realize they keep looking in a different area. So buyers can sometimes be all over the place. So maybe it’s also good to just let your agent just show you places, even if it’s an area that you never considered, or thought about. Be open minded, because I know for many transactions that they say one thing, and then they’re buying something else.

Tori Dunlap (26:20):

It’s like dating, you say you want something, then you meet somebody else. And you’re like, “Oh, this isn’t who I expected at all.”

Maya Vander (26:25):

Exactly. Yes, that’s a good comparison, it’s like dating. So be open minded, because you never know.

Tori Dunlap (26:33):

Yeah. And I’ve experienced that even as a renter, of I think I want this, and then I get into the place, and I’m like, “I actually really like this other thing, or this different location.” And I feel especially you guys have a different knowledge, of course, of everything, and can show certain things that maybe somebody hasn’t considered before. So I love that tip of being open minded. Myself, my best friend, my mom… My mom does this all the time. She plays real estate agent with me, and she’ll send me like the Zillow or Redfin posts. Do you find that that’s helpful, or is that annoying for you as a real estate agent, to have people playing agent?

Maya Vander (27:16):

And people do it all the time to me too.

Tori Dunlap (27:19):

I’m sure they send you, “I saw this place on Zillow.” I don’t know. What is the luxury Zillow? Are there luxury homes posted on Zillow, or is there like a separate site for those?

Maya Vander (27:28):

No, not necessarily, they’ve just done whatever they like. And look, usually when buyers would sign up for Zillow, or whatever, Redfin, or one of those, they set up a criteria. And based on the criteria, they get sent notifications. So they might get actually notification in the morning, before I even check for them the inventory.

Tori Dunlap (27:47):

And then they’re in your text messages inbox, like, “Have you seen this?”

Maya Vander (27:50):

Yes. And sometimes they beat me to the punch. But it’s fine, because then I see what they want, I go online, I make sure it’s available, I schedule the showings. I’m usually very on top of it, I check the inventory multiple times a day. I’m always on the MLS, but I’m also a human being as soon as I can pick up my son from school, or whatever, my daughter. And all of a sudden there is a new listing come up in that second, and I haven’t checked yet. So it’s fine, some of the listings, especially on Xero, they’re not always accurate, sometimes it could be spam, so it depends. But I’m fine with my client sharing, it’s all good. As long as they go with me as an agent, and not tell me, “We end up buying with someone else, we went to the open house, and we just went with the realtor there.” Because it happens too.

Tori Dunlap (28:40):

How often do you think that happens? Because you said sign a contract, do they have a contract with you?

Maya Vander (28:46):

I should. I mean, there’s a buyer exclusive, but I don’t have them sign a buyer’s exclusive. And unfortunately, sometimes it can be not to my advantage, because they can go behind my back. I usually just expect from clients to be loyal, because they think we make all this commission, but we put a lot of effort in doing the research, coordinate showing, running around, taking our Sundays off. It happened to me recently, client decided to work with a different agent, because she thought she’s going to find some off market listings, which she haven’t still. But what am I going to do? I mean, I spend so much time with them. And you know what? If they don’t want to work with me exclusively, then I don’t want to spend my time, then I have other clients who will appreciate my time with them.

Tori Dunlap (29:27):

It also feels like dating again, where you’re like, “I’m building this relationship, and then you go cheat on me. But fine, whatever.”

Maya Vander (29:32):

Yeah, basically. And if I would [inaudible 00:29:35] as an agent to them, I would get it. But if I’m there, and I’m sending them stuff, and I’m on a group text, and I’m responsive, and I’m going Sunday, so maybe I’m too nice, I don’t know. Maybe I’m too much, maybe I should be [inaudible 00:29:49]. So unfortunately it happens in this business, there’s not always loyalty.

Tori Dunlap (29:54):

Yeah. I mean, speaking of the drama, I have so many questions for you transitioning. So when the idea of a reality show comes your way, what is your first thought?

Maya Vander (30:07):

The Selling Sunset idea?

Tori Dunlap (30:08):

Yeah. Did somebody pitch you, how was that process? And what was your thought? Where you’re like, “I don’t want to do this.” Or was it appealing?

Maya Vander (30:19):

When Million Dollar Listing came out, a long time ago. I was watching [inaudible 00:30:24].

Tori Dunlap (30:23):

Yeah, my mom’s obsessed with Million Dollar Listing.

Maya Vander (30:25):

And I love MDL, I do. So I actually messaged the producer, way before I was with Jason. And I was like, “Why don’t you do a show like Million Dollar Listing, just with women?” And he is like, “Yeah, that’s a good idea.” But it never happened. Then I joined Jason, and the producer pitched the show to Jason. And obviously we had a couple of male guys in our office as well, but for some reason they decided to focus on all of the beautiful ladies. And I thought it was a cool idea, because I could tell you we have a sexy office, great location, luxury. We could totally do a Million Dollar Listing, just women. And we shot the demo, and when I saw the demo, I knew it’s going to be a very successful show. I just didn’t realize how successful until it took off.

Tori Dunlap (31:08):

Yes. What about that first pilot or demo were you like, “This is going to be successful.”

Maya Vander (31:16):

I think the cinematography. We said a couple of funny lines, and I thought it was entertaining, and the girls were all sweet. And the music, they put everything together to make it look like a sexy LA show. And it’s the same producer as The Hills, so I knew it was going to be probably successful. And every season it just got better and better. So I knew it’s going to be a good show.

Tori Dunlap (31:46):

Which I love, because I think a lot of women look at things they produce, or things they’re involved in, and they go, “I don’t know if this is going to be successful.” And I love that you knew, and I love that you own that you knew.

Maya Vander (31:59):

Yeah. I mean, we had a great time shooting the demo and the pilot, and then when we saw it, I was like, “Wow, this is great.” And season one did okay, it didn’t do really well, because we didn’t get any marketing. So nobody really knew about Selling Sunset. COVID, that’s when everybody discovered us.

Tori Dunlap (32:19):

Yeah. And how was filming the show? Because you filmed, what was it, season two during COVID?

Maya Vander (32:25):

No, it was before, we got lucky. We filmed season two and three back-to-back right before COVID started to be a thing, so we already had two seasons in the making. And then everything shut down for about a year. And then we resume, we still had COVID, but people are starting to get back a little bit to normal. And then we had to test all the time, we had to test every week.

Tori Dunlap (32:49):

How do you feel the market exploding changed the dynamics of the show, or changed the through line of the show?

Maya Vander (32:57):

It was a bit hard to get real estate in season four, because we filmed the season right after COVID, and COVID was a pretty dry period a little bit in LA. LA was really hurting, because it was a major shutdown. Miami was booming, but I wasn’t filming in Miami, I was filming in LA. And in LA the inventory was also very tight, and you don’t have high inventory, but you also have less international buyers, because you couldn’t travel for COVID. So it was a bit challenging to get the real estate in Selling Sunset season four. And doing all these extra events, and get people together, because we still how to have some sort of limitation. But we did it, we make it work. I mean, maybe that’s why there isn’t a focus on the engagement in season four. She was engaged, or not engaged with Christine, because it was how to find other things to focus on, I guess.

Tori Dunlap (33:52):

Well, and one of the things that I think my team has talked about, is when you watch the show, you’re like, “How does anyone get any actual work done?” When you’re filming the show, how are you actually operating the business, and doing that with both on and off screen drama and storylines? So how rigorous is the filming schedule, and does it impact your ability to actually do your job?

Maya Vander (34:19):

Yeah. I mean, think about me, I had to fly from Miami to LA every week. So I have to do business in Miami, which by the way was my best probably 15 months in my career being back and forth, because also have girls on my team. So for me personally, I dedicate some of the business to my associates.

            But I mean, you film usually between Tuesday and Saturday. Now granted, I don’t film every week Tuesday to Saturday. But they’re like, “Okay, you’re on call on Thursday.” And then I come to the office on Thursday. And, “Hey, now we’re filming the brokers open on Friday, can you make it?” So you have to kind of be on standby between Tuesday and Saturday. And for me my business is mostly in Miami. So for me personally, it was tough. I know that Mary was working a lot too, and she was trying to bounce between the office, and the real estate, and showings. Some of the girls doing real estate have more power time, so it wasn’t as maybe intense for them. But the ones who are doing it more seriously, it’s a lot. You film, you have to get makeup, you have to get outfits, you have to look all glam. And it’s a full-time job on its own.

Tori Dunlap (35:25):

One of the things that we’ve talked about a lot on this show is the hidden, both financial costs, and emotional costs of just showing up as a human woman. So you just mentioned all of the hair, and the makeup, and heels, and dresses, and all these things. What for you was the trickiest part of that? I’m assuming Netflix paid for it. Is there a budget for all of that, or are those your own clothes?

Maya Vander (35:51):

Yeah. No, it’s our own clothes and stuff.

Tori Dunlap (35:54):

So you’re doing your own wardrobe and shit too?

Maya Vander (35:57):

Exactly. And that’s why you see me in the basic one, because I have no desire. I mean look, a lot of the girls use stylists. And it costs money. And we get paid per episode, and we get paid decent. But I mean, for me, you have all these expenses besides the clothing, I’m flying, I’m traveling, I have to rent a place, I have to stay somewhere in LA. So for me, I just didn’t want to spend money on a stylist, I didn’t care to wear Dolce & Gabbana to a scene, to be honest. I just didn’t, because I do real estate, I don’t need to look like I’m going on a runway, or a fashion show. And I get it. Look, the girls, it’s a fashion statement. People watch the show, because the houses, and the fashion, and the glam.

Tori Dunlap (36:36):

Well, and it is the double standard, of how we expect women to perform femininity. How we expect women to look on a TV show selling luxury real estate, so it is this double standard.

Maya Vander (36:53):

It is. And you look at Chelsea, and Christine, all of them, Chrishell, tiptoe, and perfect, and designers, and all that. And I’m like, “I’m flying for Miami. I just landed.” I’m like, “I do not have the energy to buy a nice outfit, and spend thousands of dollars.”

Tori Dunlap (37:11):

And get my hair blown out every day.

Maya Vander (37:14):

So I got my basic hair and makeup, just to look semi-decent. Look, I own my clothes, they’re nice clothes, they’re not expensive designer. But they’re Intermix, they’re [inaudible 00:37:30] they’re a good brand. They’re not super expensive, but also not Forever 21, which by the way, you can make cute outfit from Forever 21 as well, if you put the right bag, and all that.

            I had that too, in my past. But my attitude is, listen, I do understand, I want to look professional. I mean, I want to look classy, and that’s my thing. I’m not trying to be a Hollywood star, and I’m not trying to be a fashion icon. So everybody on the show is a different priority, Christine wants to be a fashion icon. She’s going to Paris Fashion Week, and New York Fashion Week, and that’s her thing, and good for her. For me, I’m trying to just get more real estate clients, and that’s more important for me. So every girl in the show has that priority. And I’ve been traveling, I was pregnant. I’m like, “The last thing I care about, unfortunately, is doing all this crazy glam. I just want to be me.”

Tori Dunlap (38:21):

Have you gotten any criticism about that? Which I think is bullshit obviously.

Maya Vander (38:27):

I think if I would probably put more effort in fashion in the show, maybe it would be more va-va-voom. Maybe I’ll get more scenes because it’s interesting to watch, but it’s not me. And it’s okay, we’re all different. And I cannot pull off what Christine or Chelsea wear for instance, it’s just not me. So I give them credit on that.

Tori Dunlap (38:57):

Do you look at reality television differently now, because you are behind the curtain?

Maya Vander (39:05):

So I don’t watch reality TV. The only reality TV show that I love was MDL, which I haven’t watched in forever. And I like the Kardashians, but I haven’t watched them in forever either. But look, I tell you, editing is a big deal, and the way they edit things… I mean, I can say one sentence from something else, and they show me, let’s say like this, so nobody sees that I said that. And all of a sudden, it sounds like I said something different. It’s not happened as often, but it happens. I can roll my eyes on something, or laugh at something, and they put it in a different scene. So it’s very, very tricky.

Tori Dunlap (39:42):

Interesting. Do you watch back episodes? Do you watch episodes of the show?

Maya Vander (39:49):

I used to watch more, but I haven’t watched in forever actually. But I used to watch more, I used to enjoy it more. When I featured more in the show, I used to watch it more. But I feel like my scenes got very butchered, so I’m like, “I’m not going to watch myself sitting in an office saying one line, because I don’t care for it.” And that’s also part of my decision to not go on with the future seasons of Selling Sunset.

Tori Dunlap (40:15):

Yeah. And I feel it’s got to be really hard to not be in control of your image, or in control of how somebody uses your emotions, the expression on your face. That’s got to be really, really challenging.

Maya Vander (40:34):

Yeah. I mean, we got used to it. I mean, season one I was more naive about how we do a reality show. And now I know whatever I said, I said, I mean it. So I don’t take anything that I said back. And I’m not a control freak, so I trust the editors, I trust whatever they do, it’s fine. It’s a little bit tricky, because they want us to talk about certain situations. And then if you don’t talk about the situation you’re not going to be in this scene, they’re not going to show you, because it’s not interesting.

Tori Dunlap (41:00):

Right, you have to play the game in order to be a featured participant.

Maya Vander (41:04):

Exactly. And I keep saying, “People generally like me on the show.” But I do have the comments, “Maya starts something, and then she leaves, and she’s an instigator.” But it’s not about that, it’s just because if I’m not going to ask, “Hey, will you engage?” Or whatever, then I’m not even going to be in the show. So it’s hard, you can’t win.

Tori Dunlap (41:25):

Yeah. Do you find you pick your battles? Where you’re like, “Yeah, okay. I’ll participate here.” And then other times you’re like, “No, I’m not going to do it.”

Maya Vander (41:32):

Yes. I mean, we had a scene we shot with Vanessa, and they wanted us to talk about Jason and Chrishell’s relationship, and we didn’t want to talk about Jason and Chrishell’s relationship. We said a little bit. And sometimes in generally speaking, if I have an opinion, I don’t want to always share it, because I can offend someone by mistake, which I didn’t mean to offend. So sometimes I have opinion, and I could be more direct if I wanted to, but I keep it to myself. And sometimes if I ask a question, maybe I sound more direct, but it’s also because I know that’s what they want us to talk about. And I kind of know where they’re going with it, so I participate. So I do pick battles, for sure.

Tori Dunlap (42:11):

I feel like reality TV, there is a certain level of authenticity. You’re trying to be your authentic person, and yet you also know there’s a camera in the corner, you know that somebody’s watching you. Do you find that there is parts of yourself that you’re maybe performing? You mentioned, “I’m not going to say this, but I normally would, because I don’t want to start shit.” Is there a process for you that you feel like I’m separating the me that exists, versus the me that’s on camera?

Maya Vander (42:47):

Yeah, sometimes. I mean, look, when we do office scenes, we film sometimes for four hours, and sometimes you just forget the camera is there, you’re just bullshitting arou
nd in the office. But if we go to let’s say a broker event or something, and I see that unless I say something or ask a question, I’m probably not going to make it to the scene, so I purposely say something. It’s not plain, because I’m very honest generally, and I’m trying to stay full to myself. But sometimes I’ll ask a question that necessarily I probably wouldn’t ask, but I’ll ask it purposely to feature on the show. So yeah, it did happen to me.

Tori Dunlap (43:27):

Yeah. And it’s not for me, I’m not seeing it as a negative. It’s just anybody’s personality changes at least a little bit, or you’re aware that there’s a camera. And you’re going to show up slightly differently, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, just because you know somebody’s watching you in a different way.

Maya Vander (43:47):

Exactly. So I mean, sometimes we forget that the cameras are there, and things happen. But generally, I mean, we know we are shooting a reality show, and we are on the mercy of editing, and whatever they want to put in. And you have to, like you said, pick your battles.

Tori Dunlap (44:04):

How has the show made your life in business better? And if you’re open and willing to share, how has it made it more challenging or worse?

Maya Vander (44:12):

So thankfully my character in the show, character, which is me really, I come across as an agent, a real estate agent, which is a good thing. So not necessarily I will tell you of all these clients coming to my door, but I think it gives me credibility with my business, which is a good thing. Because if I want to pitch myself for a listing, or work with the buyer, people know, she was on Selling Sunset, she’s actually a real agent, and all that. And she’s great, and all that.

Tori Dunlap (44:39):

It’s like a resume everybody’s seen. They’re like, “Oh, yeah.”

Maya Vander (44:42):

Yeah, it’s free marketing. And it’s everywhere, so it’s great. I think the show is great. So it helps in that aspect. Wait, what was the other question Tori?

Tori Dunlap (44:50):

I said, “How has it changed or benefited your life, versus how has it made it more challenging or worse?”

Maya Vander (44:57):

Yeah. And then Instagram endorsements, for instance, we all do Instagram endorsements. That’s a great business too. Great opportunities for us to just do that, I have a real estate course for new agents that I launched, the link is on my IG. It’s because I got all these emails, “Hey, how can I be an agent?” We inspire people, so I think I cannot say anything negative that came out from the show. I think it’s all positive, to be honest. My real estate course, the exposure, IG endorsements, marketing, I think it’s all great. And that’s why it was hard for me to make a decision to not move forward with season six and seven, which maybe I’ll do cameos, but I it’ll be tough because I’m in Miami. But it’s hard, everybody wants to do Selling Sunset. Now there is another reality show on Netflix with the agency, they’re doing a show. There is one in Miami, everybody wants to do Selling Sunset. But we are the original, and I want to tell everybody step back, we are the OG, and good luck.

Tori Dunlap (46:04):

Would you ever do another reality show?

Maya Vander (46:07):

A hundred percent. Yeah, for sure. And look, they’re going to film Selling Miami, but it’s a different cast, it’s a different ethnicity, so they’re targeting to a different type of drama. But I would definitely do a reality show, if I don’t have to travel to LA back and forth, because it’s a lot. If I could just do in Miami, for sure. I think it’s fun. I mean, I love filming. It’s just that with me, I have my kids and my husband in Miami, and I’m the one who’s traveling and commuting.

Tori Dunlap (46:34):

Of course, that’s a lot. In addition to your personal life, plus your actual business, it’s related, but it’s kind of a separate thing.

Maya Vander (46:45):


Tori Dunlap (46:46):

What’s better money, reality TV or real estate?

Maya Vander (46:49):

Oh, real estate for sure.

Tori Dunlap (46:50):

I figured.

Maya Vander (46:54):

Because here is why I think. I mean, unless you’re going for 15 seasons, like MDL, which you get paid per season, then you can do your book, and all that stuff, and all these endorsements. I mean, of the reality shows, they don’t last too many seasons. So at some point it stops, and then what do you do? So you have to think about more of the five minutes of fame.

Tori Dunlap (47:12):

Yeah. You volunteer with an organization that is very important to you called PUSH Pregnancy, can you tell us more about this organization, and why it’s so important to you?

Maya Vander (47:22):

Yeah. So I’m trying to get involved more with stillbirth organizations, pregnancy loss, because unfortunately I experienced pregnancy loss, and it’s stillbirth. Stillbirth is not something common, but when you deliver a baby after 20 weeks, you have to deliver the baby, because it has to come out somewhere. And it’s a very hard emotionally thing to do, to handle, mine was nine months. My baby was 38 weeks, which is terrible.

Tori Dunlap (47:49):

I am so sorry, wow.

Maya Vander (47:52):

Yeah, pretty bad luck. It was some cold compression from what I would understand, something that’s very rare, but it happened to me, and I had to deliver.

Tori Dunlap (48:01):

That’s so hard Maya, I’m so sorry. That’s horrible.

Maya Vander (48:03):

Yeah, thank you, my third baby. And it’s been seven months, and it’s something that will always follow me. And then following that I just had a miscarriage, which the miscarriage is early nine weeks, 10 weeks. So I’m like, “Okay, the chromosomes didn’t make it, whatever.” That’s a different story.

            But because I’m so open since season one about my pregnancy loss, and now obviously the stillbirth, a lot of women message me. So I try to be as helpful as possible, because I know how the PUSH Pregnancy helped me, and other organization to cope with my pain. So I’m trying to share and be involved as much as I can with pregnancy loss and stillbirth to other women, because my inbox of my IG is full of messages from those women who experienced this loss. So it’s important for me if I can help somehow to other women. And frankly, it’s helping myself. It’s part of my healing process too, selfishly. So I’m sharing my stories on IG, it’s not because I want people to feel sorry for me. But knowing I’m not the only one, it’s kind of help helping me.

Tori Dunlap (49:17):

I mean, we’re big here at Financial Feminists HFK, of talking about taboo things. Money is very taboo, we’re trying to make these topics less scary. And I think what you’re doing is beautiful, because a lot of people, especially women, they go through these experiences, and they feel siloed. They feel very alone, and they’re grieving. And so I just really appreciate, that one, you’ve been very open about your experience. It makes everybody else feel less alone. And two, that you’re connecting people with resources. And of course, if that helps your grieving process, great. That’s amazing as well that you can help, and it helps you.

Maya Vander (49:59):

I share my stories, and I have over a million followers, and most of them are women. So I got a lot of messages from women who had the same story, but those women necessarily don’t have a million followers. So they’re like, “Wait, I had a stillbirth?” I never met someone who had a stillbirth.” So for me, my platform allowed me to understand I’m not alone, because I have all this exposure, but those women don’t realize how common it is, more common than they think, that they’re not alone. So I’m doing as much as I can to be involved, I’ll probably do more IG Lives here and there, participation links, and all that stuff to help women with the grieving process, and the whole process basically.

Tori Dunlap (50:43):

How can we as listeners help organizations and families who have gone through losses like yours?

Maya Vander (50:53):

I think mostly donation, I would say. PUSH Pregnancy, it’s a non-profit organization. So donation, they’re doing a lot to support, in terms of help financially for families, or psychologists, grief therapists, all these things, putting events together, those things cost money. So I would say donation mostly, maybe just create awareness as well, spread the world. But that’s the most important thing, so I would say probably donation. I mean, I’m doing another organization called Aaliyah in Action, she sent me a box,
it was a small nice box after my pregnancy loss with a grieving book, with soft socks, with some lavender smell. So very sweet stuff, because when I opened the box, I’m like, “Wow, how sweet.” And she needs money, because those boxes cost money. So it’s called Aaliyah in Action. So I don’t let myself [inaudible 00:51:44].

Tori Dunlap (51:43):

We’ll link both of them in the show notes, that’s great.

Maya Vander (51:45):

Yeah, thank you. And it’s also by the way for families who lose their child after. Let’s say you gave birth, you had a baby for two [inaudible 00:51:57], your baby all of sudden died a few months later, it’s also a very traumatic thing to experience. So those organizations are out there to help people in need.

Tori Dunlap (52:09):

Yeah. You’ve talked both about being able to connect with women in their grieving process of losing a child, or miscarrying. But also having women be inspired to be real estate agents, or to get more involved. For people listening who are inspired by your story, what would you tell them?

Maya Vander (52:31):

To the women who lost pregnancy, or just real estate agent?

Tori Dunlap (52:36):

It’s more if somebody hears your experience, both professional or personal, and they feel inspired by you, and want to take action just in general in their lives. Maybe they want to pursue a dream that they’ve had, maybe they’re trying to be more open about something that’s happened in their life, what advice do you have for them?

Maya Vander (52:56):

I’d say listen to yourself, for grief for instance, everybody grieves differently. Pregnancy loss, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It happens, stillbirth unfortunately happens, not as common, but still happens, it’s no one’s fault.

            In terms of career, I think always pursue your dreams, be ambitious, go for it, don’t be afraid to fail, because nothing is perfect. And for me personally, I had bad moments too with rejections. And I tried to really work on my mindset to brush the rejections off, and just move forward. Because yeah, I had a client reject me, but then I got new client. And for me personally with grieving, and all that crazy stuff that I’ve been going through, and I had really back-to-back really emotional stuff going on. I just have to keep pushing, and be lucky and thankful for what I have. And also stay busy, work out, exercise, have a good glass of wine at night. Now I’m not pregnant, I can drink. So all that helps me to move forward, and you have to really try to work on your mindset to be optimistic, I know it’s hard.

Tori Dunlap (54:15):

Amazing. Maya, thank you for your time. This was such a lovely conversation. Thank you.

Maya Vander (54:20):

You’re welcome, thanks for having me. And don’t buy a condo yet, wait for the market to crash.

Tori Dunlap (54:27):

That’s the closing advice. Where can people find you, and connect with you?

Maya Vander (54:35):

Oh sure, it’s themayavander, it’s on IG. I have a TikTok account.

Tori Dunlap (54:39):

I love it.

Maya Vander (54:40):

Yeah, I’m barely active there, because I feel like I need to be goofy and cool.

Tori Dunlap (54:47):

You can do whatever the fuck you want to on TikTok.

Maya Vander (54:50):

Everybody is just so boring, they’re like, “Oh real estate. You want to buy, you want to sell.” And I have LinkedIn if you are professional, and I have an email, Maya@mayavander.com. So you can find me on social media.

Tori Dunlap (55:02):

Amazing, thank you again for your time.

Maya Vander (55:04):

Thank you so much, have a good one.

Tori Dunlap (55:08):

Thank you to Maya again for joining us for today’s episode, we are so excited to share even more with you this month about money at home. And we hope you’ll stick around, subscribe, rate, and leave us a review. You don’t want to miss any of the episodes in this little mini series we’re doing. As always, we’ve linked important resources from today’s episode in our show notes, including links to Aaliyah in Action and PUSH Pregnancy. As always, we thank you for your support of the show. We couldn’t do this without you, and we also couldn’t get really high profile, amazing guests like Maya without you all’s support. So if you listen, if you rate, if you subscribe, that helps us continue to not only of course produce the show, but to also get incredible guests on who are super informative, and who are literally coming off of your television onto our podcast, which is absolutely amazing. So thank you as always for your support Financial Feminists, we will see you soon.

            Thank you for listening to Financial Feminist, a Her First $100K podcast. Financial Feminist is hosted by me, Tori Dunlap, produced by Kristen Fields, marketing and administration by Karina Patel, Olivia Coning, Cherise Wade, Alina [inaudible 00:56:13], Paulina Isaac, Sophia Cohen, Valerie Oresko, Jack [inaudible 00:56:18], and Ana Alexandra. Research by Ariel Johnson, audio engineering by Austin Fields, promotional graphics by Mary Stratton, photography by Sarah Wolfe, and theme music by Jonah Cohen Sound. A huge thanks to the entire Her First $100K team and community for supporting the show. For more information about Financial Feminist, Her First $100K, our guests, episode show notes, and our upcoming book also titled Financial Feminist, visit Herfirst100K.com.


Tori Dunlap

Tori Dunlap is an internationally-recognized money and career expert. After saving $100,000 at age 25, Tori quit her corporate job in marketing and founded Her First $100K to fight financial inequality by giving women actionable resources to better their money. She has helped over one million women negotiate salary, pay off debt, build savings, and invest.

Tori’s work has been featured on Good Morning America, the New York Times, BBC, TIME, PEOPLE, CNN, New York Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, BuzzFeed, and more.

With a dedicated following of almost 250,000 on Instagram and more than 1.6 million on TikTok —and multiple instances of her story going viral—Tori’s unique take on financial advice has made her the go-to voice for ambitious millennial women. CNBC called Tori “the voice of financial confidence for women.”

An honors graduate of the University of Portland, Tori currently lives in Seattle, where she enjoys eating fried chicken, going to barre classes, and attempting to naturally work John Mulaney bits into conversation.

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