Many Realtors claim to have their finger on the pulse of the housing market. But as a dancer, Realtor Danielle Farrell hopes to be able to feel the rhythm of the industry.
Farrell, 26, certainly feels the rhythm of the music she hears. In TikTok videos posted on her Facebook page (www.facebook.com/danielle.farrell1), she grooves in perfect time to various hip-hop songs, demonstrating attitude and swagger few real estate agents offer as part of their business persona.
Farrell can’t even refrain from dancing while hosting a new real estate tips show she’s broadcasting through Facebook titled “Donuts with Danielle.” In an episode featuring Bryan Matthews of Movement Mortgage, Farrell’s shoulders rise and fall to a beat only she hears as Matthews discusses the dos and don’ts of credit.
“I can’t help it; I’ve been a dancer my entire life,” she says, her face barely containing a cheek-busting smile. “Besides, I don’t want to be a boring Realtor; I want to tie my dancing to real estate because people love to have fun.”
As much as Farrell enjoys dancing, she says homebuyers and sellers who are looking for an agent who’s all-business can relax; just because she calls herself The Dancing Realtor doesn’t mean she asks her clients to do a two-step with her during listing appointments or showings.
“Dancing is just an icebreaker; it makes me more relatable to people,” Farrell explains. “My dad says people work with who they like.”
Farrell is not just a dancer at heart, she’s also a dancer by trade. In addition to teaching dance at her studio – Raw Art Dance and Entertainment in Cleveland – she leads a creative movement gymnastics dance program for girls at Lookout Valley Nazarene Daycare and operates a nonprofit that teaches dance at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Ocoee Region.
While Farrell’s students are no doubt impressed with her twists, turns, dips, snaps and everything else in her expansive repertoire – as well as eager to learn her moves – there’s a mission behind her dancing. Farrell doesn’t just use her art to carve moments of joy out of a day, she uses it to shape lives.
“I use dance as a vehicle to mentor young girls,” she says. “I bring them in with, ‘You wanna dance?’ And then I find out who they are.”
Farrell says parents bring their daughters to her for one of three reasons: they have low self esteem, they need physical activity, or they have a passion for dance. But nine times out of 10, she says, they need someone to pour into their lives and lift them up.
“I could tell you countless stories of young ladies who were not doing well in school, and now, it’s like the difference between night and day. One girl’s parents had separated and she needed an outlet; now she’s one of the strongest dancers on my competitive team.”
Farrell tries to remember when dance came into her life, but she says it would be like trying to recall when she learned to walk. Raised in Holland, Michigan, by parents with roots in Trinidad – where dancing is engrained in the culture – it’s always been a part of her life.
After Farrell’s family moved to Cleveland and her parents saw she was more serious about dancing than the average Caribbean girl, they began paying for lessons. Following a brief stint at Oral Roberts University, Farrell returned home and opened Raw Art Dance.
“My dad said, ‘Why don’t you open a dance studio?’ so I did,’ she says.
Farrell says she’s in real estate because her mother suggested it. “She said it’s a career path with endless opportunities. I don’t have to be an agent forever; I could also flip houses and go into investing. There’s a lot I can do.”
While real estate is not something Farrell would have considered if someone else hadn’t planted the idea in her head, she says it’s a good fit for her personality, as she loves networking and connecting with people.
“I also get to help people with the biggest purchase of their lives, which is a lot of pressure, but I love to see people win.”
Although Farrell knows her way around a dance floor (really, any flat surface will do), she just received her real estate license in September, making her as green as agents come. But she says she’s a quick study and has a strong team behind her at Exit Realty Scenic Group.
“The training at Exit is phenomenal. It’s part of why I feel as confident as I do,” she says. “I’m under a great set of teachers.”
To her credit, Farrell already has two buyers in her pocket and is courting a seller. Just like a dancer who’s learning the basics, she’s doing her due diligence and looking forward to the day when her moves become fluid and natural.
“I’m going to make a name for myself,” she says. “I don’t want to work under someone else trying to make their name bigger; I want people to know me.”
If that requires Farrell breaking out in dance to make someone laugh while making the biggest purchase of their lives, so be it.
“I don’t want to disconnect from who I am to be someone I’m not, so I’m trying to put who I am and what I do together,” she says. “I want to go about real estate my own way, following certain systems and models but putting my own twist on things.”