'Weather is no longer the general topic of conversation. It's real estate.' - Ian Hanomansing
'When the conversation turns to real estate, let me be your Dhar Maqbool.' - Tim Olynik
Leilani and I got married in June of 2007. Three weeks later, we gave away all but a few of our precious belongings, packed backpacks, and left for Taiwan. For almost three years we taught English, wore shorts, soaked up the culture, explored new places, and ate incredible food.
In March of 2010, we came back to Calgary to set roots and start building a long term home. Within a week of returning, three conversations I had changed the course of my career.
We were at a friend's wedding. My mind was still groggy with jet lag, my stomach had forgotten how to digest bread, and I hated paying more than 75 cents for a beer.
That night I had this conversation not once, but twice.
'How was Taiwan?'
'Awesome, we loved it.'
'Cool, are you guys going to buy a house? You know, interest rates are going to go up.'
Then, a few days later, we were out with a different group. I told one of my best friends that story and added, 'I've been across the world eating gin duck hot pot, learning a pictographic language, driving a scooter, visiting tea farms on the side of marble mountains, and saw Scottie Pippen play against the Taiwanese All-Stars. But all everyone wants to talk to me about are interest rates!'
No joke. No word of a lie. He looked me dead in the eyes as if the first part of my rant was on mute and said, 'You should really think about buying a home. Interest rates are going up soon.'
Karalee Foat, now the Broker of Century 21 Summit, called me a few days later. We talked over coffee about pursuing a career in real estate. At the time I was chasing some leads in the not for profit sector and thought being over worked and under paid was the only way I could contribute to the world. So I turned her down.
She called a year later. 'Ready to work with me now?'
I had just been promoted to a position with astronomically more work and marginally more pay. Really liking my career trajectory at the time, I declined again.
Then, a year later, after a particularly long and difficult day, Karalee called again. It was a not a moment of weakness but clarity that caused me to say, 'Okay, let's do this.'
Your home is the largest investment of your life, I'm glad it's as familiar in conversation as the weather. It’s where you spend the most time, it’s where you make the most memories. We love our homes. We care for our homes. We go to the Home and Garden Show in the Spring and the Home and Design Show in the Fall. We all know who Mike Holmes is. We're jealous every time we watch House Hunters and see what $400,000 will get you in Texas.
I have a very rewarding job, guiding you through the process of purchasing a home. I’m thankful for those conversations I had four years ago. I love the life Leilani and I have built in Calgary.
I’m looking forward to walking beside you while you build your life in Calgary too.