“I chose to become a real estate agent because it is a career in which I can provide value, education, and advocacy,” says Kelly Vullo Raulston. “My favorite quote that I base my whole life on is by Albert Einstein: ‘Strive not to be a success but rather to be of value.’ Success is an accomplishment, but value is a merit.”

Raulston was a middle school math teacher before obtaining her real estate license in 2016. In the classroom, she prioritized making a difference over getting the best results. That drive now animates her real estate career with East Texas Preferred Properties.

“The real estate journey is not just a school year,” she says. “Real estate is not stagnant; it’s ever-changing and evolving. I want to continue to strive to learn and advocate for my region, so that I can continue to provide value. The best way I can do that is to be a Texas REALTOR®.”

Raulston says her age has been her biggest challenge in real estate. She says she’s sometimes seen as “too young.” Her ideas are “not the way it’s done.” Her marketing is “too cute” or “just for laughs.” She attended meetings and mixers and none of the leaders looked like her.

“I thought being a leader was out of my reach, and I would have to wait my turn,” she says. One day, a little voice inside her told her to volunteer when her local REALTOR® association’s Professional Development Committee needed help.

She feels a strong responsibility to represent and advocate for her region. “Many use the excuse that they are too busy to serve. However, if I am going to provide the best service for my clients and represent my region in the best light, I owe it to all to serve, regardless of how busy I am.”

Raulston is a 2021 Texas REALTORS® Leadership Program graduate and the 2022 chairman-elect for the Greater Tyler Association of REALTORS®—the association’s youngest ever. She was named GTAR’s Rookie of the Year in 2018. She volunteers with her church, Marvin United Methodist, and For the Silent, an organization that works to stop commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking.

Raulston advises agents to set healthy boundaries and clear expectations. Agents must be bold. “You have to be willing to ask the questions, stand up and speak on behalf of others, and take criticism,” she says. “You have to show the ability to take risks. And most importantly, you have to be confident.”

“I chose to become a real estate agent because it is a career in which I can provide value, education, and advocacy.”


About the Award:

The REALTORS® to Watch Award is a Texas Young Professionals Network award recognizing excellence in leadership, community involvement, and everything else that makes a well-rounded young professional successful in real estate. Any active REALTOR® member of Texas REALTORS® under the age of 40 can apply for this award. Click here to check out past recipients of this award and to find out more.