An agent’s attitude towards their job and their clients is often the key to successful transactions, and yet you rarely hear expert agent advice on how to improve that aspect of the work.
Market insights, the right marketing tools and experience are one thing, but presentation and a sense for the clients’ needs are the cornerstones of a solid reputation.
We’ve reached out to Walter Mota of DreamHaven Realty Inc., one of the premiere agencies in Winnipeg. With almost twenty years of experience as an agent and a broker, Mr. Mota is leading what has now become a family business, and has important insights to offer into the right mindset an agent must have in order to shine:
Tell us a few words about DreamHaven Realty Inc. and the role you play in leading it.
Ever since I started DreamHaven Realty Inc. with my father, Manuel Mota, 17 years ago, our mission has always remained the same. We wanted to provide the public with services that would include educating our clients about the real estate industry and the mechanics or procedures involved, to help de-mystify the terms and processes they can encounter when selling or buying a home.
What do you love most about your job?
I’m very grateful for the opportunities that I’m given each day to help clients realize their goals of purchasing their first home or selling a long-time residence. I get a tremendous sense of fulfillment when I see the impact my service can have on people’s lives. It comes with extreme responsibility and drives me to be as accountable and ethical as I can. The satisfaction of an accomplished goal is always worth it. Especially when it benefits others.
What would you recommend to beginners in the industry?
Be prepared to invest all of yourself in this business. Especially in the beginning. You must be willing to commit yourself to long hours and the time involved to educate and discipline yourself. It may seem to be a fruitless endeavor at times but persevering with a belief in yourself is how I was able to eke out a niche in the early years.
Don’t compromise your integrity for a sale. It’s never worth it. Your word is everything in this business and your honesty will pay dividends in the future. People appreciate it when you do a little extra for them.
I was and am still very fortunate to have a supportive spouse in Tara, who is also a professional realtor. Even before she started, I could always count on her patience and support.
What is the main challenge for the real estate industry at this time?
I think the real estate industry has been pretty resilient over the years and it’s mainly because people value good service and an educated opinion. My father faced challenges when he first started, over 40 years ago, but the bottom line was always about helping someone fulfill their needs.
Today’s real estate environment faces challenges from do-it-yourself advocates, and they can succeed at times, but overall and in the long term a knowledgeable and experienced professional guide will never become obsolete. Educating the public on the inherent value of our services is our daily challenge and attainable goal.
Do you have a current listing that you’re particularly excited about?
Actually, all of my listings are exciting. It never gets old, helping people. I would be lying if I said it’s not exciting to earn money after you’ve worked hard to accomplish your goal, but often it’s a by-product of that satisfaction I get from helping people get what they want. It can be draining and it always involves investing yourself emotionally, but the rewards are priceless.
What’s the most important piece of advice for agents talking with first-time home-buyers?
Tell them to visit your agent website! [laughs]
Tell them to balance their needs vs. what they want, to start conservatively and to do some research before they start looking for a place.
Recommend a trustworthy mortgage broker to help them find out just how much they can afford, to get pre-qualified.
Tell them to research a little real estate terminology to ‘get their feet wet’ before they start looking at homes. Parents are always a great asset for knowledge and guidance.
Offer to set up a market search in the price range they can afford, so that they gain some perspective on the market and how far their budget can go. Most importantly, be patient with your client.
Walter Mota has been a licensed real estate agent since 1997, and has founded DreamHaven Realty Inc. in 1999. Continuing his father’s 40 years of experience, he is a Multiple MREA Medallion Recipient (2005-2013-2015).