How did you get into real estate? About nine years ago, my husband and I were looking for a new home. After the experience I had with agents not understanding our needs, I knew I should go into the industry and start my own real estate agency.

 What qualities does a successful real estate agent need? Honesty and integrity are essential, as are knowledge of the purchasing process and the real estate market. You also need to be responsive and gave good communication and negotiation skills.

Which outfit do you feel most confident in? I absolutely love dresses. Depending on their length, I match them with flats or heels.

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What are the biggest misconceptions about real estate agents? The belief that it’s a flexible job, so you can work part-time. It’s not part-time at all! If you want to be successful and close deals consistently, you have to be on call 24/7. Another misconception is that you don’t need to study to do this work. In fact, you do, in order to obtain full status as an estate agent or principal. Agents who are interns in the industry remain interns.

What challenges do you face in this industry? Many home-owners want the services of an agent, but don’t see the value in paying full commission. Our work from inception is at risk: we only get paid once we’ve closed the sale or completed a rental. It’s difficult having to persuade people why we should earn the commission we charge, knowing the hard work that goes into selling or renting a home. I always make it very clear upfront that I expect to be paid commission: in fact, I put it in writing before I start marketing the property.