Experience: It's all Relative

"Never tell them you're new!" I've been told. "Fake it until you make it!" is a mantra repeated by the newer Realtors that are trying to establish themselves. And of course the most important one, "List to last!". Yes, list to last indeed. The stats I've heard is that only three out of ten new Realtors make it to the five year mark in this industry and in some markets it is as low as one in ten. Considering all the time, effort, energy and money that new Realtors put in to try and establish themselves that is not a very comforting statistic at all.

As you may have guessed, I am indeed a new Realtor. Not only am I a new Realtor I am also new to the Kelowna area. Those are two rather large strikes against me to be sure. Now don't get me wrong, I am not complaining nor do I regret any of the decisions I've made in my career direction. My wife and I moved to this beautiful city last year (2012) from Calgary and have never looked back. We're happier out here and are closer to each other than we have ever been. My wife is an RN at the Kelowna General Hospital in the new Cardiac Surgery Unit. She impresses me more and more every day. Going from the Neo Natal and Pediatric Intensive Care Units in Calgary to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit out here was a huge and rather intimidating step. But she is doing great in her new career and loving it. So I figured if she could make such a huge change in her career so could I!

Now this isn't to say I'm brand new to sales. I got my first experience in sales back in University when I got a job selling appliances with a major retail chain. In my first year as a part time employee I won an award, and a trip, as the top producer for our department. I then got caught up by the allure of the Alberta oilfield but after a few years decided it wasn't for me. I landed a job with the largest powder coating distributor in North America and was their only Alberta employee. Sales, Marketing, Distribution, Finances...I did it all. Unfortunately after a number of years head office decided that they would be better served by having my satellite office moved to their distribution centre in Surrey BC. I was offered a place out there but at that time was not ready to make the move. The experiences I learned from them were invaluable and I am thankful for the opportunity that was given. Before moving out here to Kelowna and totally shaking up our lives I was employed by a large home siding manufacturing company.

Now back to the topic at hand, new Realtors and the perceived "value" of experience. Experience is of course an invaluable asset in this industry. We help our clients deal with the biggest purchases most of them will make in their lives. However sometime experience tends to be an overly thrown about word, a word plastered over business cards and in tag lines of long established Realtors; "Over Ten years of experience in Real Estate", "The Okanagan's most trusted and experienced Realtor". Experience comes in many forms, from all aspects of our lives. Just because one has lots of "experience" and you see his or hers name on many "For Sale" signs in your neigourhood  does that mean they are good? It's open for debate in my opinion. Take for example a junior hockey player. His ultimate goal is to make it to the NHL and he will work his proverbial butt off to make it there. But once there he may just coast along until his contract is coming up for resigning where he will put in another good year in order to get the most he can. Can the same be said for some Realtors? Perhaps.

When you are choosing your next Realtor consider this, whether new or experienced we all have a very experienced Broker behind us, one that does not want to see anybody fail and offers as much advice and guidance as possible. Some new Realtors, such as myself, take on a mentor in order to have that Real Estate experience behind us that some home buyers and sellers need as reassurance. All Realtors bring something different to the table but sometimes having that new Realtor, the one who will bust his or her butt in your best interest in order to establish themselves will be an invaluable experience in your Real Estate journey!

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Nick Latondresse

Nick Latondresse

CENTURY 21 Assurance Realty Ltd.
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