Katie O’Leary combines school smarts with people skills to minimize the stress of real estate transactions—and maybe even make them fun.
A fifth-generation New Orleanian, Katie is well-versed in the Big Easy’s different neighborhoods. “I’ve lived all over the city,” she says, “so I’m a New Orleans hometown kind of girl.” In 1998, she graduated from the longstanding local high school Mount Carmel Academy.
Higher education achievements paved her path to success. Katie earned her bachelor’s in education psychology from Mississippi State University in 2002, matriculating magna cum laude. In 2006, she graduated from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law—in the top eight percent of her class.
These impressive credentials led to an administrative position that shaped her approach to real estate. Before earning her realtor license in 2017, Katie worked for a decade at Tulane Law School in charge of student life. That meant advising stressed students on job hunting, judicial clerkship applications, and even their grades and relationships. While her legal background helped her draw up real estate contracts—a critical skill—it was her experience counseling ambitious future attorneys that really sharpened her knack for supporting people by removing stress.
“My job at Tulane involved meeting with high-strung students and counseling them on their problems,” Katie explains. “I enjoy helping people. Real estate is a similar sort of problem-solving.” She loves listening to families’ various needs and figuring out ways to meet as many of them as possible within budget.
Like law school, buying a home is a huge expenditure; it’s understandable to feel tense over it. “But,” she says, “my aim as an agent is to make the process as stress-free as possible. If people are patient, calm, and remember their goals, they can pretty much always accomplish what they’re looking for.”
Now that she’s been a realtor for nearly six years, she counsels beginning realtors, too. “I enjoy mentoring new people,” she adds. “It’s fun!”
What advice would she give herself about her own future? “You have to evolve. I got better at social media recently, trying new things. I take marketing and social media courses as extra education to learn how to best market my listings. I had a goal this past year to up my social media presence and I did!” She finds that Athena’s encouraging, tech-savvy atmosphere facilitates such self-study.
And remember the fun. “Many of my clients are law school grads I still talk with,” Katie points out. “I used to counsel them in school and now I counsel them in this. You really must keep in touch with people and build long-term relationships. It makes the job fun.”