Name: Despina Zanganas
Known Nicknames: Depi, Dee
Neighbourhood of Residence: Little Italy
Previous Professional Life: Owner of Chromatica Design a graphic design studio. Partner at 108 ideaspace a digital marketing agency and Co-Founder of Lean In Canada a National Women’s organization.
Getting to know Despina in ten questions:
1. What made you decide to get into real estate?
- I flipped a house (and made a profit) with my mom when I was 16. Searching for the right place, buying it, fixing it, selling it – it was exhilarating and I was hooked. Ever since then I’ve always kept my eye on the market and finally decided to take the leap. From there I bought my own condo in King West before it was “King West” and then bought a fixer-upper in Little Italy and made it my home.
- Buying real estate was really empowering for me. It allowed me to make life decisions based on my passions rather than fears. One of my passions is empowering women, so I want to share my expertise with other women and coach them along the way. I live by my tagline – “empowering women through real estate”.
2. Where would we find you on a Friday night in Toronto?
It depends on the season. If it’s fall or winter, probably at home watching a movie with my labradoodle Frankie. If it’s spring or summer, probably out on patio with people I love spending time with
3. Most embarrassing real estate moment:
It’s not really embarrassing but it’s a bad habit I have. I always get super excited to see properties, so I have this tendency to barge into a place before my clients. I keep forgetting I’m not shopping for myself and I have to let them enjoy the experience first.
4. Who stands out to you / do you most admire in the business world right now?
Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook. In 2017 she was voted the 4th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Her book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” is what inspired me to co-found Lean In Canada. In 2016, I was invited to speak about founding a successful woman’s organization at Facebook HQ in California. After the talk I got a surprise invite to have dinner with her at her home. The next day she added me as a friend on Facebook. I still can’t believe that happened!
5. What is the career philosophy / mantra / inspirational quote that gets you through tougher days?
“If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” – Sheryl Sandberg
6. What is your theme song?
7. Describe your dream home in three words.
Modern, Downtown, White
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ve been an entrepreneur for about 20 years now and I love to build businesses. I would love to lead a real estate team with like-minded women where we support and mentor women in real estate.
9. When you’re not wheeling + dealing real estate, what can we find you doing?
Traveling (my other passion), volunteering, hanging with family, friends and hanging out with Frankie my labradoodle.
10. Highlight of 2019 so far:
I recently sold my client’s condo and as a celebratory gift I brought her to see Michelle Obama at Scotiabank arena. She had so much wisdom to share, we both left feeling inspired and energized. I was so sad the evening had to come to an end.