By Deanna Lampasona
When Juawana Colbert became a real estate agent at Allure Realty back in 2019, she thought becoming the Office Manager would be the only additional role she’d take on, but little did she know the next role she’d take on would be her most exciting one yet. From mom to managing executive, Meet Juawana Colbert, the co-star of the globally recognized upcoming Netflix series, Selling Tampa.
Selling Tampa backed by the same producers of Netflix’s hit series, Selling Sunset, is set to premiere this Winter and will peer inside the lives of star and owner of Allure Realty, Sharelle Rosado, and the all-minority sisterhood that has built what started as a real estate brokerage, into a globally recognized empire. Together, Sharelle and her agents have proven to be a force to be reckoned with.
“No one knew that there was a show, Sharelle didn’t even know there was a show. I think all the stars just aligned. Once Sharelle decided the type of brokerage that she wanted to have, the type of women that she wanted to hire, and the type of sisterhood that she wanted and envisioned for Allure Realty, I think once she had those people in place, things just happened,” says Colbert.
“When you see anything that is reality TV, it’s always cattiness with us minority women and I didn’t want that. We have to show another side of us, we have daughters that are watching, our grandchildren one day will be watching this, so we want to set the example that we’re about our business…at the end of the day, we come together and we get the job done,” Rosado shared.
Juawana says this new role was something she was prepared for without actually knowing there would ever be a role, but to understand how, we’d first have to take it back to a college lecture hall in Indiana. When Juawana started college, she was a young mom eager to succeed and determined to give her son the best life she could build.
“He was a motivation. I didn’t want to be a statistic, so I knew that I wanted to show my son that he could still be successful even when the odds are against you, and that’s really probably what got me through a lot of days and years, alone as a single mother,” says Colbert.
Although she emphasizes the importance of having family and a support system around, this self-sufficient savant had a great example early on, of what it meant to be a resilient and powerful woman. Her parents divorced when she was just ten years old after her dad struggled with years of drug addiction, leading her mom to relocate to Ohio, raise Juawana alone, with the help and love of family.
“I think my mom did what was best for her and her children at that time, which was to remove us from that situation, and I’m forever grateful for that. She surrounded us with family that were and still are very important to me and a part of my life,” she shared.
“I was determined to make something of myself, I was not going to fall short, based on the status quo. I was a single mom but I knew that was not all I wanted to be,” Juawana confessed.
And it’s safe to say she kept that promise to herself. After receiving her business degree, Juawana followed the advice of trusted mentors, which led her to the first management position that required her to relocate to Charlotte, North Carolina. Juawana confessed to a few key people and mentors in her life like Russ Rogerson and Ronnie Bryant, propelled her to management and executive roles in Economic Development.
This was the beginning of Juawana’s passion to positively impact communities. She worked for organizations that created jobs, higher wages and provided economic opportunities to its citizens. “Economic development, if done effectively, works to retain and attract new investment within a community. Our job was to facilitate people, information, opportunities and even remove roadblocks to allow this to happen,” she says.
Juawana maximized every opportunity to learn and grow from those around her during her time there and with every step she took, she moved closer to the success she’d always envisioned for herself and her son. Despite being in a predominantly white male-dominated industry, Juawana never let being almost always the only young, black woman in the room stop her; she used her own adversity as motivation to work even harder.
“Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean that I can’t learn from a man and that’s exactly what I did,” she shared.
Her tenacious attitude and driven personality spoke for itself and as expected, it wasn’t long before Juawana was promoted, earning her well-respected Manager, Director and Vice President roles. She worked with high volume tech and artificial intelligence companies, business headquarters, warehouse and distribution centers, and even notable powerhouses like Amazon. She led board meetings, met with large corporations, and was appointed interim President when her President vacated his role for another opportunity.
“I don’t think I would have been able to be in this role and had the ability and the confidence to transition into real estate full time if I didn’t have that experience, and belief in myself,” says Colbert.
Business development, sales and customer service were the norm for Juawana, so when the opportunity arose to explore real estate full time, she didn’t doubt she could get the job done, but it didn’t come without hesitancy. As much as she valued financial security, transitioning from a guaranteed salary to a commission-based career was undoubtedly risky business.
“When you go to real estate full time for yourself, you’re not guaranteed a salary, you are paid solely on commission and that was a little scary for me but I had to take a leap of faith and that’s what I did and it panned out for me,” she shared.
Juawana’s assemblage of responsibilities translated smoothly into real estate. After gaining less than a year of full-time real estate experience, she was ready to join her friend, Sharelle, and help build upon the vision Sharelle had shaped for her brokerage.
Pulling on the executive duties she’d always known, she began managing, organizing, and improving policy patterns within the office, landing her the additional role as Office Manager. With her experience as well-rounded as it was, she wanted to ensure she was an asset wherever she went and it didn’t take long before Sharelle noticed.
“Business development, sales, marketing, all of that goes into real estate and I had already been doing that for years, so it wasn’t a difficult transition.” says Juawana.
Now, she is an instrumental part of what makes Allure Realty so fruitful and says all of the women on the show bring their own unique, yet integral characteristics to forming something as exemplary as Selling Tampa. But in building this female fete of an empire, they’re also building anticipation. With the premiere date for Selling Tampa to be released December 15th, there is no telling what’s yet to come. As for Juawana, she says she’s already thinking bigger—literally.
“I see myself doing a lot… I would love the opportunity to work with a hotel, because of my background in economic development, citing and evaluating locations, negotiating incentives and understanding the nuances that come with expanding or relocating to a particular area… I know I would be an asset. I would also like to be the preferred firm for companies that are hiring and relocating employees to/from Florida. We would make buying, selling or renting real estate a seamless process for the company and their employees.
The world will soon get to see plenty into Juawana’s tenacious mind and watch her in action as she takes her ideas to the silver screen, but until then, she’s offered some secrets behind what success has meant for her.
“Success for each person is different. My success is not the same as yours, your success may not be the same as mine, but I think that there are key things that successful people do and I believe if you do those things on a daily basis or a weekly basis, you will somehow reach your goal. If you focus on the positive, surround yourself with supportive people and put in the work, you will achieve success,” Juawana shared.
Tune in December 15th, as Selling Tampa premieres only on Netflix.
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Photo credit: Sarasota Photo Studio