Maureen Shotton Regina Real Estate
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Article # 3 - It's and Animal Act out There

If you've been following along, you'll know that Chris Swann, Penny Milton and Maureen Shotton meet regularly to share industry information. We share in eachother's celebrations, are sounding boards for new marketing ideas, and pick eachothers' spirits up when we've had a particularly stressful week. And, yes, there can be lots of stress. We are involved in some very serious business. Buyers and sellers are dealing with major investments and we try very hard to provide the information necessary so our clients can make informed decisions. But, there is a lighter side to the business so we thought we'd give you a snapshot of one side of the business that you probably haven't thought about. Us vs. "them". "Them being members of the animal on ......................

Ever hear someone say "oh, my little Suzie would never bite anyone - she loves people"? Well, that may be true. But, it may also be true that little Suzie morphs into a 200 pound Doberman once a real estate agent has made it past the front door. Hey, she's protecting her home. It's understandable really. Over the years we have had our share of animal encounters. Some are quite funny, and, others - downright scary! However, we all agree that you just never know what's going to happen when you step into what they consider to be "their"space. TIP for home sellers.................if you own a snake (yes, some people do!), do not leave it in the house while you are marketing it. It's a bit "off putting", if you know what we mean. Find a suitable substitute home for it until you've sold. This will save everyone lots of stress..............including the snake. I mean, really, it's tough for a buyer to concentrate on the house with one eye roaming around for slithery things.

Every had this happen?.........the note on the kitchen table learly says "don't let cat out". Okay. No problem. Or, wait a minute. Nowhere did that note suggest that the cat in question would suddenly leap up, hurdle over the furniture, reach warp speed and squeeze past the client who had innocently opened the French door.........only to disappear under the deck. Oh no! We've got to retrieve that cat and get it back into the house. All thoughts of finishing our tour are forgotten as we talk softly to the cat and make ridiculous kissing noises to try to coax it out from it's new dozing spot. I swear I heard it laughing at us. The client finally made the sacrifice of crawling under the deck, grabbing ol' kitty by the scruff and, ever so gently, dragging it out so we could safely deposit it back in the house. Yikes! We shakily continued our look at the house while we waited for our heart rate to slow.

There's nothing quite so ferocious as a poodle. Yes, a poodle...............a small poodle.............a TOY poodle - not one of those big ones with poofy tails and legs trimmed just so (I'm sure they are really just embarassed). Anyway, I digress.......yes, nothing as fierce as a poodle that has been shut up in a bedroom. It starts to get revved up when it hears you come through the front door . But quietly. No noise. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if there are hidden cameras around just to judge our reaction. There was no information about the dog in the listing. No indication that there was an animal in the house. No note, no nothing. Imagine the surprise (not for the dog, I'm sure...............but certainly for me) when I opened the bedroom door...............slowly as I'm not sure why it's closed and past experience has made me leary.............and have a gnashing bunch of teeth launch at me! Now, try putting that canine back into the room without losing a few fingers. Not easy. Suffice it to say..............we did not get to view that room. I think that poodle may have been related to Suzie!

Then there's those three loveable black labs who came at us as we entered the house. Freeze! Don't move. Not even your eyes! In fact, don't even breathe. It took a minute to determine that they were just pups and really just wanted to play. Whew. Slow that adrenaline rush................They are really sooooo cute. Cute until one of them decides to use your new shoes for a bone. Grrr. Not so cute.

We always feel so bad for the kenneled dogs. Some are ever so quiet. You can practically hear them saying "I'm not here. I'm not here."But some are quite bold and boisterous. "Hey, I may be locked in here but just wait until I get free!" Yes, a bit distracting. But, there are other distracting things. Another tip to home sellers. Please, please, PLEASE.............pick up after your dogs and cats. You know what I mean. Natural fertilizer is not an incentive to buy.

And there is a certainly a funny side to the pet situation when the cat is bound and determined that he's coming into the house when you show it only to find out later that it wasn't there cat! Who knew? Or the pet rabbit in the back yard that we didn't realize had free reign (we thought it was in the hutch) until he took a shine to the clients leg. Who knew that Thumper was a humper???!!! Scared us to death. Man, oh man. And you thought we just toured homes and did paperwork! One thing is for sure................we do NOT have boring career. You never know from one day to the next who or what you're going to meet. Keeps life interesting! For more on our unique perspective on real estate call us!

Article # 2 - Everyone wants to talk real estate

Isn't it interesting how everybody wants to talk real estate? It doesn't matter if the market is good or bad. It's one of those topics that everyone seems to be interested in. After a discussion of the weather is over, it's on to real estate. Whether you're at a party, in line at the grocery store or at the kids' soccer game, real estate is bound to come up.

It comes up even at the most inopportune moments, like the time I had to go for some minor surgery...........So, there I am, groggy because I'm heavily drugged, listening to the doctor ask me what I do for a living. Well, you'd think he hit the jackpot in Vegas! He started firing questions at me about the market and what I think his house might be worth AND could I come by first thing tomorrow morning and give him an estimate because he was moving out of province. At the time I was wondering if I was having some weird reaction to the medication and possibly was having hallucinations - but no - he confirmed our appointment as I was being helped out of the room by the nurse. There I was the next eyes all bandaged, black and blue with the odd stitch poking through (and noooo I did not have a face lift - I know what you're thinking!!). I looked like I had been badly beaten but........duty called. I put on my biggest pair of sunglasses and away I went to give the good doctor an evaluation on his house. Low and came out listed with another agent about 2 days later!!This might seem like a rather humerous story NOW, however, at the time it wasn't so funny.

We're up, we're down. Ah, the life of a real estate agent....................another good reason for the three of us to get together. Individually we each work very hard to keep track of the market - what's listing and what's selling, economic and political issues that will affect upcoming real estate and on and on and on. We look after the needs of our buyers and sellers while balancing our home life.................thaaaaat's not so easy to do. Arrive late, leave early, phone's aringin', text messages beeping................yeah, we're great fun at a bbq.

We watch out for market we can provide up-to-date information when approached at the gas station or the neighbour just wants to chat. So, the three of us get together to make sure we didn't miss anything - there's just so much going on daily. And we share our successes (yeh!) and our misadventures. We try to put a positive spin on everything. We search very hard to find some humour in every situation but if we can't (and some things are just NOT funny) then we switch to the old "lesson learned" philosophy. After all, it may feel like the end of the world when you spend hours and sometimes days preparing an evaluation only to lose the listing - but, it isn't. You go home..............have a litre............oh, did I say litre...............I mean glass of wine and start all over again the next day.

# 1 - Introduction

We have been friends for a number of years and although we don't all work for the same company now, we have in the past. We've kept our friendship alive and well and continue to get together on a weekly basis to share new listings, market trends, who has the best sale on designer shoes, etc.

We enjoy our careers and although we laugh at some of the crazy things that can happen, when it comes to knowledge, professionalism, & hard work, we take our jobs very seriously and always want the best for our clients.

Most people know what the real estate business is all about - right??? You get to dress up, drive a really nice car, look at all the nicest homes in the city AND make a pile of money doing it - right??? Wrong! Well......not without a lot of hard work, anyway.

For example, think back to the boom in 2007..........we worked so hard there just weren't enough hours in the day. Admittedly, there was plenty of money to be made for everyone, but the long hours and what would normally be a fun and exciting home search could turn into a nightmare. Days and weeks of hunting and writing offers just to have your client totally stressed out because , for the 5th time, they were in a competition situation and did not get the house. Only to end up sitting in their car weeping uncontrollably...............oh wait - maybe that wasn't' the client!!!

And the flip exhilarating it was to have your seller weed through 22 offers and get $18,000 over list price. It was madness!!! But, we got through it ..............and there may have been a meltdown or two along the way, but that's now water under the bridge - so it's all good!

This is an interesting business to say the least. To do well you'll need a great sense of humour and a thick skin. You wear so many hats, and you never know which one you'll need until the situation arises - real estate agent, chauffeur, psychologist, banker, lawyer, contractor, actor, public speaker, interior designer, maid, stand-up comic - just to name a few. Oh, and did I mention Referee? You need to have an open mind and not be judgmental. And most of all, you need to know when to talk, and when to zip it!!! - maybe your new client liked that Barney purple bedroom!!!

We have over 45 years experience between us and yet, we still continue to learn and experience new situations on a daily basis. Some good, some not so good.......

Like taking a client to view a home that was supposed to be vacant, only to find a naked blur racing down the hallway as soon as we opened the front door, or when having a stampede through your new listing has traumatized the client's cat so badly that it's now howling like a dog - it was frightening!! But, those are stories for another day....

Hmmmm.....maybe one should start a column. Food for thought!!

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