Most people are under the impression that Real Estate is an extremely flexible career, giving someone the option to make their own schedule, work where they want, when they want, and be able to uproot your life and take your business anywhere you'd like!
And don't get me wrong, it can be flexible, and you can certainly work in real estate anywhere that has a human population for the most part. But when it comes down to it, it's your clients that make your schedule, and for the most part, you work when they want you to work.
And as far as being able to uproot your life and take your business anywhere you'd like... it's certainly possible, but comes with many challenges.
I decided, about 2 years into my real estate career, to move to a city about an hour away from where my business had been located when I began my career. Now one hour away doesn't seem like too far of a stretch at first, but when I came to London, I knew one person. Leaving the area I grew up in, and the thousands of people I had met in my 21 years of living there, to move to a city where I knew only one person was one of the biggest challenges I've ever faced.
Keep in mind that I had been working my business, building relationships, making tons of new contacts, and growing my brand for nearly 2 years, and then I walked away from all of that hard work to start from scratch in a place I was completely unfamiliar with.
It was absolutely terrifying.
Now, don't get me wrong, it may have been terrifying, however it was the best decision I made for my career. And I'll tell you why...
When I first got my license, I started my career at a big brokerage. After meeting with tons, I decided on this brokerage because it was full of successful realtors, who were all very knowledgable and stood behind a very well known brand. How could I not become ridiculously successful in an environment like that!?
Now I'm not here to tell you that I gained nothing from those first couple of years at that big fancy brokerage. I met some wonderful people, I had the opportunity to experience working for a builder, and was able to attend lots of networking events and get myself out there. But despite all of that, I realized I wasn't super fond of the huge office, and I continuously felt like a teeny little ant in a big world. It wasn't quite my vibe personally. I needed a change.
It was time I started to browse my options, and this time around I was thinking a smaller, more close knit, boutique brokerage. After a couple weeks of searching my city for a perfect place for me, I came out empty handed.
My boyfriend suggested I explore my options in London (a clever ploy to further convince me to move in with him...) And though I pretty much knew nothing about the place, I figured why not!? And low and behold after a couple weeks of research and a few meetings with brokers, I found my happy place.
Let me tell you, I was beyond stoked when I met Dan & Rachael and found The Agency, it was a no brainer, they were so welcoming and easy to talk to, and I knew right off the hop that I would be able to learn so much from them to further my knowledge.
After meeting with 15+ brokerages across two different cities, I finally found the one for me! Challenge one complete!
But challenge two was a bit scarier...
I found the perfect spot to grow my business, and that garden of business needed some major attention. After all, London was completely foreign to me. I knew about 6 people total by that time and how to get from the 401 to downtown and that was about it.
So I started by doing what any lunatic would do, filled my car with gas and got lost in the city, day after day, with every moment of spare time I had and got to learn the city. By my second week I knew most of the neighbourhoods, the styles of homes in those hoods, and the types of local amenities they had to offer.
Over the first few months, I spent countless hours researching market trends in London, previewing listings, wandering the city and visiting local shops and businesses. Trying out every prospecting method in the books. There was a lot of ground work to cover.
Being that I was brand new and had no connections, it took some time to start getting regular business, so I had to find a full time job to pay the bills, and found myself working from sunrise to sunset between my job and building my career for about 9 months. And while most people would say goodbye to a social life in a situation like that, of course I had to fit that in too in order to start building my sphere of influence.
Now one advantage I did have coming to London from Kitchener-Waterloo, was being familiar with some crazy market conditions. So when things started to hit the fan in the normally stable London market and realtors were losing their minds over the bidding wars and having to compete with their first time buyers against multiple cash, firm offers... that was just another average day for me, and I wasn't overly phased by it.
Fast forward a few more months, and I was laid off from my full-time job, and took that as an opportunity to bump myself down to a part time serving job with minimal hours, and focus more of my time on real estate.
Things were picking up, another wild spring market was just around the corner, and I was going to take full advantage of it.
Now that certainly wasn't an easy thing for me to do, and 2 years into my time here in London, I'm still building my business, networking, blowing up all of your Instagram feeds and juggling my crazy schedule. But I have no regrets, and I've learned more than I could have imagined in such a short time, and met some of the most wonderful people I've ever had the privilege to work with, and fallen in love with the City of London, and I'm excited to keep growing in this City, and getting to know all of you while I do it.
Spring is here, so of course I'm sure you're starting to see lots of 'FOR SALE!' signs popping up across your neighbourhood.
For many years, spring has been the go-to time of year for homeowners to list their homes. Spring certainly has its ups and downs in the real estate world, weather is getting warmer, everyone is brushing off the winter blues and thinking of bluer skies..... and getting into bidding wars...
Yes, spring can be pretty competitive in the world of real estate, and for sellers, this is usually a great opportunity to wrangle up their trusty realtor and get that home sold!
Here are a few tips to keep your home looking perfect for showings and open houses!
You probably don't need me to tell you this, but the less cluttered your home is, the bigger and brighter it will be! And buyers love that!
SPEAKING OF BRIGHTER...
A fresh coat of paint goes a long way! Kick those dark rich colours to the curb. As gorgeous as they are for your personal design taste, you want to keep your spaces bright and neutral so that potential buyers can create a vision of their life in the home!
AND SPEAKING OF VISION....
It's pretty tough to envision yourself in a home full of someone else's family staring at you all day... Tuck away the family photo's for a while, I promise you can hang them floor to ceiling in your new home ;)
AND ABOUT THAT NEW HOME OF YOURS...
Keep in the back of your mind how you would like to view a potential new home as you prepare yours to list...
CURB APPEAL IS KEY!
Curb appeal is a pretty big deal when it comes to selling your home! Think of it as the first impression a potential buyer gets when they view your home! Its generally the first photo they will see on an MLS listing and can be one of the major reasons a buyer is drawn to a listing! Would you swipe right on a photo of a sloppy looking dingy date with overgrown hair and a messy appearance? Sure, their personality might be great, but its not very enticing is it?
KEEP IT TIDY!
Get your family on the same page to ensure your home is tidy and showing ready, because showings can happen at the drop of a hat!
Now I know this all seems very tedious and annoying, but trust me when I say, with the right realtor and a thriving spring market, this wild clean freak, yelling at your kids every 3 minutes to pick their shit up, considering selling the dog to get rid of the burden of his hair, may very well only last a few days!
I have a horrible habit of losing track of what's important sometimes. I'll admit it. There are times when I'm showered with fun opportunities or simple distractions and I just can't seem to find the will power to resist.
However most of the time, my mind is generally focused on one thing, and that's the future. Now you might say "Yeah, aren't most people thinking of the future the majority of the time?" Of course they are... (I'm pretty sure...) but I think there's 2 ways of thinking about the future.
The first way is quite general... things like "What am I going to make for dinner?" "What should I do this weekend?" "What do I need to do on the way home from work?" "What's my next task for the day?"...Day to day tasks, duties and idea's that cross everyone's mind fairly regularly, it's relevant stuff, but it's not as important as you think.
Now the second way of thinking of the future is goal oriented and long term. Things like "Where do I see myself in 3 years?" "Where do I want to be living?" "What kind of career am I looking for?" "What kind of life do I want to have?".. The Bigger Picture.
In my opinion, both ways of thinking go hand in hand, of course all the little plans have to happen on the way to the big plan... but what you're focusing most of your energy on can really reflect how things pan out. If you're constantly thinking about the little things, chances are you're forgetting the bigger picture.
I find that prioritizing the big things and putting first the tasks I need to do to take care of my longterm goals, is the best way to achieve my goals, so I try to keep my thoughts throughout the day 'Longterm Goal Related' to keep my mind focused on what I'm striving to achieve.
The key to this is keeping your thoughts positive, because you want to stay motivated and get where you need to go. Now this definitely sounds a lot easier than it is, but trust me.. it's worth it to push through, and here's why...
For example, one of my biggest goals for the future is to build a business successful enough to create a comfortable lifestyle so that I can start a family, and know that they will be taken care of and have the opportunities that they deserve. This goal is pretty standard, it's something that I feel the majority of people can probably agree with. But it can be linked to so many silly little negative things that may come up during my day to day. ---For instance, let's say a deal goes sour, and I lose out on a big commission. Most of the time the first thing I'm going to feel is, well.... as straightforward as I can put it... 'Crappy.'
As with any situation where you feel you've put hours of hard work and sleepless nights trying to complete a task, having the excitement of payday dangled in front of your eyes just to be snatched away... you're going to panic. You've planned for this, this was supposed to be your income... this was supposed to keep food on the table, get you to work every day, and ultimately get you just that much closer to the bigger picture, your BIG GOAL.
Well guess what, it's gone, didn't work out... too bad. Good one, You Blew it...
DON'T THINK LIKE THAT!
Instead, keep that big goal in the forefront of your mind while you analyze the situation. Is there something you could have done differently to change the outcome of this deal? If there is REMEMBER IT, and make sure you apply it to the next chance you get. Avoid beating yourself up over things that aren't going as planned, or thinking negatively and having a negative mindset when you find out some bad news.
Remind yourself that everything you do is a learning experience, and if you don't pay attention to those lessons, you're neglecting to take advantage of the tools life is giving you to reach those big life goals.
And PRIORITIZE those big goals... If you're given the chance to take overtime, or a new client over the weekend... Take it!
Yeah, you might be missing out on a day out with your friends, but days out like that will feel a lot more enjoyable down the road knowing you're spending it driving around in the car you've been working towards buying for months...
And yeah, you might have 30$ in your pocket and nothing to do on a Friday night.. But before you decide to call up everyone you know and see if they'd like to go out and grab some drinks.. take a look around the house, is there work to be done? Is there something you can do around the house to keep yourself entertained so you can put that money into your savings account? Think about the awesome patio parties you're going to have in a couple years with all those friends in your own backyard once you buy that house you've been saving for years to buy...
There are lot's of people that look like they're having the time of their life everyday. And those people can throw you off your game in a second with the right idea's... But focus on your plans. Work your ass off. Learn from your mistakes. Invest wisely, and create your future, the way you see it in that busy mind of yours.
Ever since I came to London, my favourite thing has been the food! With so many options and unique menu's I have not been disappointed yet!
With it being summer time downtown London and obvious patio weather, I've decided to share a few of my absolute favourite Downtown London Patios to grab dinner, or just a few drinks with friends!
671 Richmond st. London, ON
Barney's is an awesome spot to head for lunch and a pint! With a huge sun filled patio, this place can get busy, but it's definitely worth braving the crowds!
Not only do they ave my absolute favourite, and best summer beer out there (Kronenbourg Blanc) but the Mozza Sticks are fantastic!
Toboggan brewing co.
585 Richmond st. London, ON
Toboggan Breweing Co. is a Brew Pub right in the heart of Downtown London offers a great selection of Permanent and Seasonal beers and ciders for you to try, and a gorgeous upper patio to soak up all of that beautiful summer weather!
Not only are the beers incredible, but the menu is fantastic. I've tried many of the menu options during my visits to Toboggan Brewing Co. and never once was I disappointed!
A couple of my favourite menu options are The Street Tacos, and The Margherita Pizza, Highly recommend both!
The church key bistro pub
476 Richmond st. London, ON
The Church Key Bistro Pub is an excellent date night choice! With a beautiful patio off to the side of the building, excellent wine list and incredible menu options, it's the ideal spot for an evening out.
One of my favourite choices on the menu at The Church Key is The Bacon Steak Mac & Cheese. Absolutely love it!
Also ask about their Game of the Week, last time I was there it was Wild Boar and it was INCREDIBLE!
You want to be close to the action, the hustle and the bustle? You want to be steps away from the best restaurants & nightlife?
But the big question is, Condo or House?
Both are great choices, but which of these options suits you? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help determine what type of home is the best fit for your lifestyle.
How much space do you need?
Do you have a family of four? Is it just the two of you? or are you flying solo? Square footage is something to consider, as downtown condo's are generally (but of course not always) restricted to 3 bedroom units, and the rooms tend to be smaller than in a detached house. If you have a big family and everyone likes to have their space, you might opt for a larger detached home with a little more space for everyone to spread out.
Do you drive or use public transportation?
If you rely mostly on public transit, a Condo may be a great option for you, as public transit is generally a bit more easily accessible in the downtown core area of most cities. If you do drive, keep in mind that some condo's have extra monthly fee's for parking, and new construction condo's frequently require you to purchase a parking spot if you want somewhere of your beloved wheels to sleep safely at night, and those spots can be quite costly at times.
How do you feel about gardening?
If you have a green thumb and a love for lawn maintenance, chances are you're going to want an awesome backyard to tend to during the warmer months. It's not likely that you'll find a wide array of gardening opportunities in most condo's (unless you count a balcony or patio littered with flower pots a botanical oasis). Now don't get me wrong, there are a ton of beautiful things you can do on a balcony in terms of foliage, but if you're looking for a larger canvas for any landscaping projects chances are you'll be leaning towards a detached home.
What about housework?
Does the thought of spring cleaning get you fired up? Do you like to wind down after a long day with a nice game of wash the floors? Or are you super busy 7 days a week with little time to spend on housework? One perk of condo's is they tend to have less space to get messy and disorganized (not to say that's impossible, I've confused mine with a natural disaster in the past). However a lot of condo's are generally single storey, which means less of a risk your Robot Vacuum will fall down the stairs!
So whether you'd like a top floor city view, or an urban backyard garden. There's lots of fantastic living options Downtown.