Christine Cowern of @ChristineCowernTeam and @ChristineCowernRealEstateCoach is a successful real estate entrepreneur and business coach. Before she became a force to be reckoned with, she was an aspiring journalist. She remembers that “when I was younger I wanted to be the next Diane Sawyer”. That dream saw her spend much of her twenties as a freelance writer, copy editor and television segment director before transitioning into real estate sales and building her own all-female team out of Toronto, Canada. Her business values are instilled in her team culture through : integrity, competence, quality service, trust, hard work. Here’s her inspiring story about championing women in business!
Tell us about the journey that brought you to your current career.
When I was younger I wanted to be the next Diane Sawyer so my mid twenties to thirties were spent as a freelance writer, copy editor, television segment director and in public relations (I have a Masters Degree in International Journalism). My career then shifted to sales, more specifically residential real estate sales, which I’ve been in for close to 15 years. In 2013 I started my own all-female real estate team and 2 years ago I started coaching female agents who wanted to grow their businesses or start their own high performing real estate teams. I’m a certified Energy Leadership Coach. I’m also a certified Team Performance Coach and have a Certificate in Leadership Principles from Harvard Business School Online so I have a pretty varied background.
Did you always know you would go into the real estate industry?
Not at all. In fact when my mother suggested in my twenties that I might enjoy real estate sales, I was not up for it. Sales was something that came pretty naturally to me but I resisted it for a long time. It’s only when I embraced it, that things started to take off.
Tell me about your path that led you to coaching?
In 2018 I had a series of epiphanies that shifted what I saw as my place in the world and what my life’s purpose really was. Although I’d done extremely well in real estate sales, I realized that my bigger purpose was to elevate and inspire women, specifically women who decided to take the leap and start their own real estate businesses, just as I had done. I knew how competitive real estate sales was and what I’d done to build a successful business, brand and team and felt incredibly inspired to share what I’d learned. So I brought on an amazing managing partner for my real estate team and stopped working with buyers and sellers directly, which gave me the freedom I needed to start my coaching business.
What is your mission, core values, brand culture?
The mission statement and core values are identical for both my coaching business and real estate team:
To provide the highest level of service and expertise, with unparalleled honesty and integrity, so that our clients can fulfill their real estate dreams.
At The Christine Cowern Real Estate Team, our people are our most valuable resource. We hire creative, smart, passionate professionals who want to serve our clients at the highest levels of expertise and integrity and help them achieve the very best results. Together we’ve created a fun, dynamic, inspiring environment that celebrates inclusion and collaboration.
Where do you think the residential real estate market (in GTA and surrounding areas) is headed? Are you seeing a shift in the way people are investing today?
As people came to terms with the new normal, we saw a big push in people wanting to move outside of the city to more rural areas. We had a very busy spring market with very high sale prices especially for freehold properties and now we anticipate that sales will continue on a relatively upward trajectory. Across the board, it’s getting harder to qualify for a mortgage. Regardless of down payment, all borrowers now have to qualify at 5.25% and high ratio borrowers can only use a certain proportion of their income to qualify so I think the division between A borrowers and B/C borrowers is going to grow. This will benefit investors. Because the more people continue renting, the lower the vacancy rate etc
What does success represent to you?
I used to define success the way a lot of people still do, by my job title and how much money I had in my bank account. Now, my definition of success looks quite different. Yes, making good money helps make so many things in life easier. But it’s equally important that I’m a great mom and role model to my team, real estate clients and coaching clients. I want to be able to say at the end of the day that I made a positive impact on as many people as possible.
Tell us the difference between your company others? What puts you ahead of your competition?
For both businesses, we don’t just offer lip service, we work tirelessly every day to ensure that we do what we say we’re going to do and that we work to the highest good of our clients at all times. Even if it means not making a sale, we’d rather lose the business than act in any way that doesn’t benefit the client.
What inspires you to think bigger? Where do you see your practice in 5-10 years?
For me growth, both in my coaching and real estate businesses, centres around service. That’s what inspires me to think bigger. The bigger each business grows, the more clients and team members can be served and supported. For me income and profits are secondary to living in alignment with what truly lights me up. I don’t believe in constant expansion just for the sake of it. If it’s not tied to a greater purpose beyond the money than it doesn’t resonate with me. In 5-10 years, I’d like to be able to serve even more women at a high level, either by helping them build their wealth through real estate, supporting them as an employee/team member, or supporting their growth as a coaching client.
How do you define work life balance? How do you apply it in your day to day life?
Balance is so individual. You really have to start by defining it for yourself. For me, as a newer mom (my son is almost 21 months old), it was really important to have evenings and weekends off to focus on him and be super present. I spent over a decade working around the clock and being constantly on call, 7 days a week, so now I’m focusing on “being” as much as I am on “doing”. That means being very purposeful about how I spend my time, delegating what doesn’t serve me or is not in my unique ability and being very in tune with my own needs so that when I’m feeling out of balance I can re-prioritize and shift myself quickly.
Tell us about your coaching business and how agents can sign up?
I’m a real estate coach for female realtors who want to build wildly successful solo real estate businesses or high performing, producing real estate teams. In terms of my services, I offer VIP Coaching which is private one-on-one sessions, I also run two online programs through the year, one for newer agents and one for agents who have built their solo businesses to a certain level and want to take the next step and start a team. My goal is to create a supportive, empowering coaching space that delivers sustainable results and powerful shifts for all of my clients. The first step for people who are considering working with me as either a VIP client or through one of my programs is to book a Discovery Call through my website.
Photo Credit – Samantha Shantz @samanthajoyshantz
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