Renata Reid is a luxury real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty. Having a passion for real estate and design, she began her career in the design industry. Born in Vancouver, she studied business school at Western University and moved down to San Francisco for a few years to study industrial design. When she made the move to Calgary, she worked with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts designing furniture and layouts. “My family built homes, they have been building homes since I can remember so it’s definitely been engrained in me” she states. Her trajectory brought her into the real estate world and she hasn’t looked back since. Here is her entrepreneurial journey.
Did you start with Sotheby’s when you started your real estate career?
My real estate career started fifteen years ago, and I was working full time in interior design at the time. I have an interior design background. I hopped over to Sotheby’s about eight years ago, and it was a strategic move to move directly into just real estate sale, so I transitioned out of the full-time interior design and went into full-time real estate.
At that moment, was that a leap of faith? Did you have to think about it twice?
I did. I had to shut down my interior design business to be able to move over. That was kind of a scary thing. I was busy and bold and I was getting referrals and work in both of them, and I just got so busy I couldn’t do both at the same time and serve my clients well. It took about 6 months. My broker, Miriam, was asking me to come work for her about 6 months before I actually jumped over and made the leap of faith into just real estate.
Do you find that when you did that, obviously your energy was just to focus on real estate so you have more time to work with clients?
Yeah, so I moved on onto a team. I really wanted to move into a team-type setup into just fully individually in real estate on my own. Part of the transition was moving onto a team when I first moved over to Sotheby’s, and that was a big deal to me. I needed to feel I was in gross mode. I wanted to make sure I could learn from others that have done really well in real estate.
Where do you think the residential real estate market is headed in Alberta?
A lot of things have really changed. The market here has just gone crazy since the pandemic. I think partly because people are spending so much more time in their space, not travelling, not going anywhere, so they want a lifestyle in their property. They are moving towards bigger properties, more space, properties on lakes, property that has parks nearby or just amenities that are close by because they are not travelling right now. I still continue to see that going into the future, I think it will continue that people will be moving into spaces where they can have an office in their home if things lockdown or that type of thing.
What kind of areas are people going towards?
Inner city, there are still people wanting to be close to parks and rivers and schools. But, also Anchorage, and surrounding cities outside of Calgary, as well as places like Mahogany or Auburn Bay or these lake communities that are surrounding Calgary. These are all areas that are well developed, amenity-rich, places that have restaurants and while you can’t go to restaurants right now, it’s phase 1 again, so it’s things like patios and whatnot now. They wanna be close to all the amenities.
You think there are still going to be that type of investments needed or wanted?
I think that people realize more now than ever is that home and lifestyle is more important than anything. I don’t think COVID is really going to change that. COVID forced people to jump off the fence in that regard and move them into quicker thinking “let’s just do this now instead of wait 10 years and get that property when we have more money.” They’re realizing what’s important in life.
When it comes to growing with your company, you’re part of a team that’s inside Sotheby’s?
So, I was on a team initially when I joined Sotheby’s, and now it’s myself and a couple of agents that are not part of my team but support for the team, for my business. Then, I have assistants that help me with my business. My clients, it’s really important that they meet with me, I am the front person always, and I have the support that helps me in the background to service my clients.
When it comes to your personal development and growth, where do you see your career in the next five years?
So, I plan to grow my business to the extent that I want to make sure that my clients are being taken care of by me. There is quite a bit of growth that can still happen with systems in place, where I can take on more clients because there are really good systems in place that allow me to do more business now. I do plan on growing and taking on more clients. My number one thing is that if my clients aren’t being taken care of, or if I hear of something that’s not quite working, I step it back and make sure that every client of mine that I take on is taken care of.
So you see yourself growing in an organic way and keeping that quality with your clients?
Absolutely. Clients to me are the number one driver of my business, that’s why I’ve got a 90% referral business. I pride myself on that. I find if I’m getting a referral from someone I just did business with, that’s telling me I’m doing something right.
You’ve lived in a quite a few places in your life, what makes Calgary so different and unique?
I was actually born in Vancouver, and then went to London Ontario, and then down to San Francisco, and then Calgary. It was quite the experience to have all those cities under my belt. I love every place I’ve lived. Most of all I love Calgary. There’s something about the people here, the energy, even the downturn and everything that’s going on. It’s people supporting people mentality. It is so amazing. Moreso than any other city that I’ve lived in. Here people come together, they support each other and help each other out. Community is everything [here].
I also see that you’re a mother to two children. Were you always a working mom?
I have a daughter and I have a son. My daughter is 13 and my son is 16. I’m a working, single mom and trying to manage life and the kid’s lives. They’re number one to me, and if they need my time, everything stops. My clients they all know that. I take on clients that understand family and respect family time.
How do you define your work-life balance in the real estate industry? Do you set certain things like you don’t touch your phone past a certain time, or you have a dedicated day for your kids?
I’ve worked on different scenarios in the past, and what I’ve really come down to is I work hours eight until 8 o’clock. Sometimes 7:00 in the listings when they’re going live and whatnot. Generally, 8 until 8. When my kids are in the house, when they’re getting ready for school, I’m with them. I don’t work those times. Usually, my workday ends at 8:00 unless there’s an offer coming in and my kids know that those are days that are special that I do need to spend time with offers, if there’s something going on I focus on my kids after that time. I will take days in the middle of the week sometimes, or on weekends, depending on what’s going on at the time, and do a staycation or have time together. Anytime they need anything I’m always there and supporting them with whatever they need.
What does success represent to you?
Success represents, to me, is when I get a referral from a client because they love the work that I’ve done for them, and showing that I’ve done above and beyond what I’ve set out to do. To me, that is success. When my friends and family are happy too, it’s a holistic approach, I look at every part of my life and work and if they’re working together, that is success to me.
All Photos by : Janet Pliszka of Visual Hues Photography
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