Why I became a REALTOR® (and why it matters to you)

A little over one year ago today I successfully passed the licensing exam to become a REALTOR® in British Columbia (luckily on the first attempt). In order to explain why I wanted to become a REALTOR®,  I first have to bore you with some history and details about me- but don't worry, I plan to explain why this is relevant and should matter to you. 

I was born and raised in Invermere, after graduating high school, I moved to Kamloops and completed a diploma in Hotel/Restaurant Management. I figured out two pretty important things in college:

  1.  I wanted to be the OWNER not the manager
  2. I missed my hometown and wanted to return to Invermere because I felt a connection there, a sense of community, and I missed the clean air and water and natural environment. 
Upon returning to Invermere in the spring of 2002, I expanded my previous small seasonal hotdog / ice cream business (and eventually transformed that into 'Gerry's Gelati' running that business for over thirteen years before selling the business in 2016). The fall of 2002 I ran for and was first elected to Invermere council at the age of twenty. One of the main motivations for running for town council (aside from a nerdy obsession and involvement in politics throughout high school) was to be involved and to be part of the solution, not just someone who complains on the sidelines (ie: someone who does nothing and is part of the problem). In 2008 I was elected as Mayor of Invermere, serving until fall of 2018, when I actively sought a demotion and was elected back to role of town Councillor.

Since I was a child I followed Invermere & area real estate. In June of 2005 I was able to buy a small empty building lot, and then with power of leveraging was able to buy a home in Invermere a few months later, in the fall of 2005. From that point on, when it came to real estate investing- I was hooked. Why stop with two properties? Over a short number of years I was able to purchase a number of residential and commercial properties. I was lucky enough to buy properties when know one else was buying, I was able to structure creative financing deals- and I was confident, confident in my belief for the area, and for my ability to find opportunities. I enjoyed the search, I enjoyed the negotiation, and I believe in the long term value of owing real estate- and especially owning it in and around Invermere and the Columbia Valley.

In the Spring of 2017 I ran in the Provincial election; and I was planning to win. On election night, when the votes were coming in- and I clearly wasn't winning... I needed a new plan, and I knew that night I would become a REALTOR®.

Here is the bullet lists of the reasons I jumped into this occupation, and the things that should matter to you when you are looking for a REALTOR®:

  • Local Knowledge-  Knowing and understanding the diverse communities, neighbourhoods, and individual developments in and around Invermere and the Columbia Valley (and knowing what attributes and advantages are offered by which area and matching that with your needs)
  • Passion- I believe in the community and I believe in owning real estate- this means that I love the job (I didn't get into this industry because a relative dragged me into it or through some kind of accident). When advising people on such an important decision, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't believe in the value and believe in what I am "selling"
  • Experience- I have bought and sold a number of properties and businesses and have direct experience of what it feels like to be involved negotiations when it is your money (and associated emotions). This helps me to relate and understand what people are experiencing, thinking, and feeling
  • Dedication- Coming from a food service small business background, evenings, weekends and long hours don't bother me; I am determined to be available and responsive and to provide timely and complete communication. No one wants to feel ignored or unaware during the purchase or sale of such an important thing as a home.
  • Win/Win & 'Out of the Box'- I don't believe in bad faith negotiations and deals that leave one side as a clear loser. I also believe strongly that with some creativity and problem solving there can be multiple solutions or answers and there can be ways to make the seemingly impossible actually possible