The 10 Most Inspiring Women Leaders to Follow in 2...

Eliza Knapp: A Successful Entrepreneur with Diverse Skill Sets and Multi-Sector Knowledge

The 10 Most Inspiring Women Leaders to Follow in 2022 Vol - 6

Eliza Knapp, the founder of Oz Realty, is an experienced realtor and investor in Hood County and the neighboring areas. Eliza has a diversified skill set and the knowledge to market her customers’ properties to a large audience. Her honesty and customer-focused professionalism have given her an acute sense of good real estate deals.

Eliza and her husband fell in love with Granbury, Texas, and decided to relocate here. The issue was that they had numerous properties to sell. Kevin said to her; “One of us should get a real estate license.” Eliza got her real estate license three weeks later and posted a sign in the yard.

Eliza and her husband, Kevin, co-founded Virtual Drive Driver Education, a highly successful e-learning firm located in Texas, before launching Oz Realty. The couple was living in Amarillo, Texas at the time. Virtual Drive of Texas is an important part of their life, and the couple is working hard to expand this business as well as numerous other e-learning courses. She says, “We were also investors in real estate. Real estate was more than a hobby long before Oz Realty.”

Founded Own Business

The necessity to promote real estate in a small community inspired the creation of Oz Realty. Eliza felt confident that she was the ideal person for the position. She has worked as an investment buyer for almost 12 years. She shares, “I understood contracts at a personal level and was certain that this would be useful to other people.” But, with no track record, breaking into a new field in a new town was daunting. It’s one thing to be good at your job,     it’s another to make your message heard.

Eliza’s marketing strategy had  to be highly sophisticated. She studied the market, purchasing habits, and local trends for months. She spoke with other successful entrepreneurs who knew her and understood the sort of culture she wished to establish. A good friend had an idea based on her passion for the Wizard of Oz during one of these creative times of flinging “mud on the wall” to see if anything would stick. Eliza has been influenced by this narrative her entire life.

Every room in Eliza’s house has something “OZ.” Her house and life contain several references that are not always clear unless you are well-versed in the narrative. It even seeps into her wardrobe.     .

Eliza’s love for one would give birth to the other. Her real estate firm was up and running within a year. This creative marketing produced a subliminal familiarity and message that resonated with individuals emotionally. Everyone knew her as “Lady Oz” right away and felt an instant connection with her. She states, “There’s no place like home, – is truly a belief that embodies the American Dream.”

Now, five years later, Oz is growing beyond Eliza’s wildest dreams. Her journey down the yellow brick road keeps her fully engaged in the wonder, adventure, and even the challenges that life brings.

A Place for Community

Diverse solutions are where Oz shines. Part of the Oz Realty branding is to keep the story alive and on everyone’s mind.  Kevin and Eliza purchased a building on the historic Granbury Square called “Oz on the Square.”  As you enter, there is a coffee bar that serves coffee, beer, wine, and food. Oz’s coffee bar was founded on the belief that people, more than ever, want spaces for community. Oz Landing is an elegant 2800 square foot vacation property located above the coffee shop. Eliza puts, “Our real estate offices are at the back of the coffee bar and we are honored to offer a gathering spot for Granbury natives and visitors alike.”

The duo also just purchased a local magazine called Lake Granbury Living.  It is a lifestyle magazine that the couple wants to make known for its community spirit. Kevin and Eliza hope to create a feeling of belonging in all their ventures.

Inspiration to Helping People

Eliza is content with her life. She wants to make a difference and looks for opportunities to do so every day. Since she was a teenager, and maybe even earlier, this has been her driving force. But it wasn’t until she was 16 that she realized she wanted to assist people. “My father had recently died of pancreatic cancer, and I was bewildered, confused, and even alone.” Because I was highly active in high school and had a good support structure, it was a weird place to find myself,” she says. True to the adage that misery loves company, she began noticing other students that were truly isolated. It was one of those days that she met Tim.

Eliza Shares, “Tim and I had been friends since third grade. However, that was not his name. Timmy Tuba was his nickname, and no one knew why. He wasn’t bullied or outcast in any way. He appeared to be completely invisible. Tim and I had lunch together, and over the next several weeks, I discovered that he was a gifted singer and poet. I asked him to apply for a position on the school newspaper staff one day. He was quickly accepted into the squad and quickly found his niche. Helping Tim was a little gesture, but it got me through a terrible period in my life.”

A Way to Build a Great Team

Eliza’s way of building a great team is to place people where they have the highest possibility of succeeding. She says, “Too often we try to force people into jobs they were never created for and wonder why they fail.”  She goes on to say that the actual failure is the leader’s inability to give them a chance to win. Eliza assesses her team’s attitude, skill set, and motivation and places them where they will be most successful. – She teaches them all the roles and then observes where they gravitate. Sometimes it’s evident that they were born for a certain job function, and then there’s that one-of-a-kind individual who can do it all. She says, “The more leaders I discover, the stronger the company becomes.”  

Success for “Eliza”

Eliza finds success has nothing to do with her business. Most people measure success by wealth, recognition, and power. For Eliza, it is a – second to spending time with her family or hanging out with her best friends, breaking bread and sharing a glass of wine. She shares, “My passions were not great career choices. So I used the things that gave me purpose as my career compass.” She further adds that at the end of the day, success is a real live place where she is surrounded by the people she loves the most.

“Showing by example what a life well lived looks like,”– Eliza.

Eliza’s advice to the next generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders is to never feel entitled to anything. She believes that this is a serious issue for many young CEOs and is not limited to any demographic. When she begins to feel entitled, she discovers that dissatisfaction and failure are just around the corner.

“Re-invention is the key,” Eliza says. She further adds, “I was recently told that if I want to take my business to the next level, I should forget my past. What they meant was my past successes. If you live in the glory days, you will never break another record. Wins are important, but never lose sight of the possibility of better.”

Looking to Achieve Consistent Growth

Eliza’s long-term strategy for success is to continue to establish a brand that is synonymous with excellence, honesty, integrity, and, of course, prosperity. Unfortunately, progress and comfort appear to be mutually exclusive. As a result, she expects to be quite focused on work over the next several years. She believes that Oz Realty will remain at the cutting edge of technology and ideas. She never wants to be surprised by a competitor’s fresh concept. That implies the company must remain focused and optimistic in an unpredictable world.