On Luxury, Balance and Success from within
Born and raised in the small town of Sault Ste.Marie, Ontario, Samantha has always been an adventurous soul with an insatiable curiosity for life. By the age of 21, she set out on the road to her dream job which, at the time would be a position in intensive care at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. A world traveler who checked off 30 countries under the age of thirty, she is the walking definition of living life to the fullest. Her career in real estate has been a challenging one, but not one she cannot overcome with a smile on her face, as she has done in every other department of her life. Here is her journey to massive success, giving back, and finding peace within.
Tell our readers about your personal journey.
I was given so many opportunities growing up and I am very grateful to my parents for that. In University I did some soul searching and realized I wanted to experience life, other cultures and understand what it was all about. I dreamt big and by age 21, I bought an old Porsche Boxter, my dream car, and moved to Venice Beach, California to pursue my dream job – Registered Nurse at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. That was all thanks to my aunt Dolores, she’s one tough cookie and so inspiring!
From there I traveled a lot and was pretty wild and free spirited. I feel like my life back then was a string of precarious decisions which turned into life lessons and amazing adventures. Very thankful for my positive attitude! I moved fourteen times in nine years when I was in California. This helped in meeting new people and making friends along the way.
In my late twenties, I went to Thailand alone for two months and that was a true test of my sanity and keeping a positive mindset. I had a goal to hit 30 countries by age 30, which I did. Once I got all that out of my system, I moved to Toronto so that I could be closer to my fiancée, family and friends and got my real estate license. And here we are!
Tell me how you transitioned from a very medical practice as a nurse to now in full time real estate sales?
I was about 31, had been nursing for 10 years and was getting emotionally and physically exhausted in the ICU. Looking for a new challenge, I witnessed a real estate transaction which did not go smoothly and thought, there were so many missed opportunities to improve the customer experience. I related healthcare to real estate as it’s very similar. If you think about it, when a patient walks into a hospital, there is a lot of stress and uncertainty. They’re nervous, anxious, have a lot of questions and they don’t always get the time and attention they need.
When meeting with the patient, it was important I asked them the right questions, listened to the answers, and gave them time to discuss their concerns. In Real Estate with home buyers and sellers, they are making one of the biggest financial decisions of their life and also walking into a lot of uncertainty and stress. Having to make a decision quickly can cause a lot of anxiety, especially in the Toronto market. It’s up to us as realtors, to take the time to properly listen to the client, ask the right questions, educate, and advise where it’s requested. And don’t forget about the families involved – they need just as much attention in both situations. After much thought, I felt I had the transferable skills and really wanted to get out of my comfort zone and learn something different.
Nursing is foundational in trust and relationship-building, as is real estate.
What do you think was the biggest lesson that has helped you in this industry?
There were and are so many lessons! I’m always learning. Think things through and always have a plan B. Even now, I have contingency plan for everything. That’s been important growing up, in life and business.
What areas do you focus on in the GTA?
The West side, Central and East side of Toronto. We can facilitate a broader range because my partners (Irene & Philip) have been doing real estate for over thirty years. Their knowledge of the city and market is quite impressive, and I am grateful to have them as a resource for areas I’m not as familiar with.
What has been one of the biggest challenges you’ve experienced as a realtor?
Starting as a realtor during the pandemic was really challenging. I was so excited to begin this career when I jumped into it in 2020 and then the world shut down. So having to navigate the industry which is arduous enough and then doing it fully during a new virtual reality was a serious challenge to surmount.
When it comes to changes in investments, what have you noticed buyers are looking at right now?
I’ve noticed buyers invest outside of the GTA as it’s getting increasingly more difficult to be cashflow positive with current Toronto prices. Multi-unit dwellings are popular where buyers can move into one unit of the house and rent out a basement or other levels help with the mortgage. Cottage properties used as short term rentals are very popular as well.
What’s a goal you want to achieve both professionally and personally?
Right now we are a team of eight, and growing the team to 10-12 in the next few years is the goal. We have a great admin team which is key to our listing and closing process, among all the other things they handle. I’d love to have new motivated realtors join the team who are as passionate about real estate and relationship-building as we are. Being a mentor is really important to me. It’s a way I can pay forward what my partners and mentors have done for me.
On a personal note, more travel, experiences and owning a restored 1966 Bronco before I turn 40 is a big one!
How do you keep your balance and stay centred so as not to “burn out”?
My team helps a lot with this. It’s hard for me to say no, and I’m a people pleaser. My clients and their happiness is very important to me. I can’t be in two places at once so they’ve been helpful in assisting. I am learning how to balance with time off and setting boundaries. Time blocking (scheduling everything) is HUGE.
Even scheduling personal time like working out, paddleboarding, date night, etc. I make sure to schedule that time off so I can recharge. Grateful to my fiancé who is so supportive of my chaotic schedule and helps me find balance too.
What strategies do you implement in order to set yourself up for success?
Three books with great strategies that have really shaped my behaviour in business and in life are; the Compound Effect, the One Thing and Atomic Habits. I highly recommend them.
Having a positive mindset and being self-aware are very important. Meditating and practicing gratitude keeps me present, grounded and always looking for silver linings. Celebrating even the small wins is important and remembering that it’s about the journey, not the destination. Having friends and family that supports and uplifts one another is of utmost importance. I feel blessed and inspired every day which is my idea of success.
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