The truth is that real estate isn’t about property. It’s about people. Normal human beings who have braved the sometimes wonderful, oftentimes treacherous waters of this great, real estate adventure. Here are some of their stories.
Suzanne Callaghan & Jenny Gill
When I first met Suzanne, I had to guide her. Just a little.
I’d already been working as a realtor for about two years when I met Suzanne. Back then, when it came to real estate, she needed a little, well, guidance. She’d been considering a move, looking for a larger home for her family, but the homes she had in mind were, frankly, not the right fit - and I think it was that frankness that set the foundation for us to become fast friends.
A couple of years later, Suzanne decided to become a licensed real estate agent. She had always had an incredible natural talent for numbers, instantly translating stats and market data into information her clients could understand. Well, not just her clients, if I’m honest - this was an area that was not exactly my forte. Could it be that I had found the perfect complement to my skills?
I loved Jenny instantly. Well, almost instantly.
I met Jenny through a mutual friend, and we just clicked. As we spent more time together, whether socially or while house-hunting, I admired her strong work ethic, honesty, and relatability. We shared the exact same core values, so when I decided to become a licensed real estate agent, it made more than perfect sense for us to team up.
There was, however, just the small matter of Jenny’s stats and maths… challenges. But once we’d decided that it would be best that I looked after those, we got on like a house on fire (if you’ll excuse the expression). From that first meeting to this day, so much of what Jenny had to say was an absolute echo of how I viewed the world. It was like the left hand had met the right, and we haven’t looked back since.
The house we didn’t sell.
Before Jenny and I first met “J & A”, they had purchased a cute character home in the Lynn Valley area of North Vancouver. It was charming, with a quiet location and private, forested setting, but had a tiny kitchen. As their family grew, it was no longer working for them. They were torn between moving to a larger house, or renovating their current home.
They called us in for a market evaluation. We did our research, but when we calculated the market lift and the current value of their home, we realized they had bought too high to make a sale work for them. Uh-oh.
“We told them not to sell. I can still remember the look on their faces.”
Honesty is the only policy worth having.
We explained to them that they had paid too much for the home. It turns out that there had been multiple offers and their non-local realtor’s car had broken down on the way to the open house. He hadn’t even seen the home when he advised them on their offer price.
Suzanne and I knew that the best (and right) thing to do was to wait out the market and hold on to the property to realize their gains and make selling a plausible and savvy financial decision. So we told them, “Don’t sell.” I can still remember the look on their faces.
We’re people first, realtors second.
We doubt our accountants would appreciate us telling our clients not to sell their homes, but advising J & A to renovate their character home as their lot and location would be next to impossible to replace was the right thing to do. Over the years, they’ve sent Jenny and I many valuable referrals, but - more importantly - we gained an invaluable friendship.
We tell it like it is. Not just because it’s right, but because we’re not wired to do it any other way. Sifting through all the noise of conflicting media reports and sharing the good, the bad and the ugly lets us get to what’s best for our clients. And if that means we don’t get the listing right now, that’s fine. You’ll still find Jenny and I chatting real estate and sharing a laugh over our tea… although best she leaves the splitting the bill to me ;).