Welcome to Meet the Agent, an ongoing series profiling real estate agents from across Canada. With more than 150,000 agents, brokers, and salespeople working in 75 different boards and associations across the country, we thought it was about time they had a place to properly introduce themselves.
If you or someone you know deserves the same chance, email firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Alberta. My father had a farm and my mother lived in the city. I really had the best of both worlds.
What neighbourhood do you live in now?
I own a few properties but I'm currently living in King Township, ON.
What made you want to become a real estate agent?
My father. He told me that I would make a terrific realtor. At that time, the idea of being a salesperson reminded me of the sitcom character, Herb Tarlek, from WKRP in Cincinnati. I told my dad I didn’t look good in plaid. My dad responded by asking me if I liked to help people to get what they want. I replied, “Yes, of course.” My dad gave me a wink and asked, “So what do you think sales is?” It took about 10 minutes to sink in, the light bulb went on, and I signed up to start my courses the next day.
What’s the biggest challenge you see facing the market today?
I don’t [see one]. I have been through five slowdowns, and these are the best markets to make money in. Slower markets mean a lot of realtors leave the industry. The markets over the past few years are not the norm. If you don’t have a lot of confidence, kick up your pushback game, and completely change your approach to selling properties, it will be very tough to make money. The silver lining is there are always people looking to buy and sell. Your job is to find them.
What’s the single best advice you have for sellers?
Hire an experienced, strong agent who has a good network, will spend money on marketing, knows how to bring out the best features in your property and tells you the hard truth, not just what you want to hear.
What’s the single best advice you have for buyers?
Get prequalified. If you don’t have a mortgage broker, get a referral from someone you trust. You want someone who is experienced, connected, and looks out for your pocketbook, not their own.
What’s the best thing a realtor can invest in for their brand (a bus bench ad, a solid Instagram strategy, etc.)?
There are different things that work for different agents, depending on their business style and clientele. What may work for one may not work for another. For my practice, a great reputation and stellar property marketing speaks for itself. My marketing has been featured at the national level and gets noticed by both realtors and prospective sellers. I have even started consulting with fellow realtors on how to market properties effectively. I get most of my business through word-of-mouth.
Who do you look up to in the industry and why?
Maureen O’Neill, Broker of Record -- Ontario, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. She started my resale career over two decades ago and has been my mentor and boss since then. Judi Gottlieb was also a wonderful mentor for me in sales. She is one of the most talented realtors I have ever worked with. Because of these two giants, I pay it forward by mentoring newer agents and volunteering on various committees.
Is there anything you wish people knew or understood about realtors that you think they’re constantly getting wrong?
All Realtors are not all the same. I take great pride in my work and give 100% to every listing I sign my name to. No matter what stories or past experiences clients may have had with other members, it has absolutely nothing to do with me. My ethics and integrity are intact, and I always look out for my client’s best interests. Working for the pinnacle real estate firm in the world means upholding a sterling reputation of the highest standards. I intentionally leave every sale on a high note with sellers, buyers, and other realtors. The greatest reward is a testimonial outlining their experience.
Tell us about your favourite (or most memorable) sale.
My most favourite sale was an elderly lady who had lived in her home for 30 years. She was going into a seniors residence with some health issues. Her family was placing a lot of pressure to go with an agent that was a friend. Instead, she went with me. I worked very hard to get her two offers simultaneously and exceed her price expectations in a down market. I showed up at her residence with the offers and surprised her with the news. The look of joy on her face while telling her children still makes me smile. My dad was right…
What are the three words you hope your clients use to describe you?
Witty. Good Looking. Great Dancer.
This interview may have been edited for both length and clarity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of STOREYS.