Broker helps shape realty profession
Q: How or why did you decide to work for or open your current job?
A: I bought my first house when I was 19 and my second shortly thereafter. The agents and agencies involved were, to say the least, lacking in service, knowledge or advocacy. I learned a lot through the process and decided I would become licensed and could perhaps contribute to the betterment of the profession. At that time, 36 years ago, there were no educational requirements to obtain a license and of course no educational requirements to maintain the license. Working with the Washington State Realtor Association, I participated in helping to change the law so that education was required.
Nearly 20 years ago I left Vancouver, Wash., and returned to the Puget Sound area where I had lived as a child. It didn't take me long to figure out that Coldwell Banker Bain was the company I wanted to be associated with. The Bain philosophies – doing the right thing, helping the licensees to be the best in the business, advocating for the client by always putting their interests before all things and providing quality education not only to the associates but to the client as well – were the same philosophies I had always believed in.
My volunteer service to the NWMLS and current position on the board of directors is nothing more than an extension of what I have believed for the span of my career.
Q: What convinced you that this was the job for you?
A: For the majority of people, the purchase and or sale of a home is the largest single investment they will make in their lifetime. The agent and agency involved should provide the client with the best possible experience. As a manager I have the ability to train, support and provide my brokers with the knowledge needed to represent their client beyond expectations. I have been in some form of management 34 out of my 36 years in the industry as well as sales. I know that with regard to the thousands of transactions I have participated in directly or through my position as a manager, while not all of them perfect, the people represented were represented with care, empathy, integrity and complete advocacy. This really isn't a job; it is more of an ideology based upon the simple principle of practicing the golden rule.
Q: What does it take to blend your passion with your livelihood?
A: My passion is my livelihood. Moreover, every single thing I do in life, everything that I participate in, I participate with passion. It goes against my nature to do or be otherwise. If I can't be passionate about whatever it is I am doing, then what would be the point of doing it?
Q: What are the crucial elements of success for your business?
A: Honesty, integrity, advocacy, knowledge, a strong work ethic and always putting the client's best interest before your own, always. Understanding that people are at the center of everything we do, every choice or decision we make. And if you further believe that by properly taking care of the people everything else falls into place, you will find success.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how did you meet it?
A: In the beginning of my career there were very few women in the real estate industry, and I was quite young. I was catapulted into management during my second year in the business. It was a challenge to work in an environment where I was the “boss” but everyone I was responsible for was older and had been in the business longer. Instead of calling me by name they called me “little girl.” I made a lot of mistakes in those early years, but every mistake I made I viewed as a learning experience.
Q: What personal abilities do you think are needed to excel in your line of work?
A: First and foremost: leadership. And of course all of the elements required to be an effective leader: coaching and counseling, empathy, understanding emotional intelligence, adapting the style of management to the individual, hiring the right people for the position and then allowing them to do the job while taking none of the credit. Finally, and perhaps most important, understanding and embracing the concept that attitude reflects leadership.
Q: When you are not working, how do you enjoy sending your time?
A: I spend as much time as possible with my children and grandchildren. Since none of them live in the local area, every moment together is cherished. I also enjoy live theater, the symphony, working in my yard, visiting wine country in Washington, Oregon and California, and playing golf. And yes, despite the past several years, I remain an avid and loyal Mariners fan!
Coldwell Banker Bain
4100 194th St. SW, Suite 135, Lynnwood