Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Check out this article about how our Real Estate Broker Kathleen Lopez has overcome domestic violence and tragic loss and finds peace.
Sentinel Sales and Management Broker, Kathleen Lopez, shares her story of overcoming domestic violence.
Kathleen Lopez, CEO of Sentinel Sales and Management in American Fork, said she never expected to find herself in an abusive situation.
But as a young adult, she said she knew she needed to get out of the situation she was in when her fiance attacked her while she was holding her son.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my son was sitting on my lap and he started going off on me and I had to protect him. He was kicking and hitting me — just full on went out of control.”
She said he had been violent and abusive before that moment, but this time her perspective changed.
“I knew at that moment. It just dawned on me,” Lopez said. “It was the first time I saw how his abuse would affect the baby.”
“I left that night because I realized it was never going to end and he could hurt my son,” she added.
One of the misconceptions people have about domestic violence, Lopez said, is that it only happens to a certain group of people, which isn’t true.
“I never thought I would find myself in an abusive relationship,” she said. “I wasn’t raised in an abusive home. Most people think it follows a cycle. But not always. I just maybe didn’t make the best choices and didn’t see it as young as I was.”
With Domestic Violence Awareness Month just behind us, Lopez said she wants everyone in an abusive relationship to know that if they tell someone about the abuse, it helps change the dynamic. It’s the first step in leaving.
“It would have gone on forever if I didn’t break away and make that change,” she said.
It was after getting out of the abusive relationship she was in that Lopez became interested in real estate.
“It was because I was a single mom,” she said. “I had dropped out of college and I was looking for a way to provide for my son as a single parent.”
After moving to Utah later in life, Lopez decided to get back into real estate and started Sentinel Sales and Management in 2007.
“It was just more of a part-time thing,” Lopez said. “I started with word of mouth and referrals.”
Lopez’s husband, William, ended up joining the business in 2009 after the industry he was in froze, and the business has grown from there. Now Sentinel, which specializes in sales and property management, has seven employees and a dedicated office on Main Street in American Fork.
“I love working with people and helping them with their real estate needs,” Lopez said. “Now I enjoy helping the new agents we get on and helping them succeed,” she added.
Josh Bird, who does communication for the business, said he has been welcomed to Sentinel by everyone since he started there about eight months ago.
“They were just really kind,” he said. “They were really willing to work with me and my schedule because I’m still in school. … My schedule is kind of hectic and they were willing to work with it and take good care of me.”
William Lopez said his wife has been instrumental in taking the business to where it is today.
“This business wouldn’t be where it is without her,” he said. “When she started it was zero capital. There was nothing, she was just working out of her house, and here we are today.”
He said she is very good at listening and knowing how to help people.
Lopez’s son, Preston, died after fighting a brain disease for seven years. She said he managed to graduate high school and get his Eagle Scout award despite the effects of the disease.
“He was really good at serving others,” she said. “He was very loving. He had a very big heart.”
William Lopez said the difficulties his wife has come through have made her stronger.
“It’s really defined her and knowing that things happen for a reason, even though they may be tragic, that she is still able to overcome,” he said.
Lopez said the support of people in her life and her faith have helped her through the difficulties in her life.
“It’s meaningful for me because my faith has gotten me through difficult things,” she said. “I’ve had other difficult things that I’ve had to overcome — everyone has. My faith has really gotten me through and a supportive family and friends.”
-Original article written by Shelby Slade– See original story