Why Kathy Schmidt got into real estate…
By Kathy Schmidt, Broker/Owner, Schmidt Realty Group Inc.
I’m often asked what got me into real estate, so I thought I would share…
For starters, I’m no good at being bored. I crave variety over routine and real estate is chock full of variety! It’s been over two decades now since I started working as a REALTOR and I’ve never been bored even once so real estate and I are a very good match! I originally trained in accounting and I’m a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant). I enjoyed the work but was never passionate about it. You wouldn’t ever find me reading the tax act for fun! However, I did know that accounting would be a good foundation for owning a business in the future. I worked in finance for about a dozen years where I learned a lot about business, leadership, management and organization from some amazing mentors. I worked on everything from accounting for small businesses in the beginning to finally managing and investing funds for a major municipality as well as leading departments and managing staff. It was interesting and challenging but it didn’t satisfy my desire to craft my own vision of what I believed a business could be. I had a desire to create a community as well as a company, and success for others as well as for myself. I wasn’t sure exactly what this business would look like, but I felt strongly that I needed to respond to this inner calling. I chose residential real estate because I loved the variety and challenge it offered: relationships, marketing, the legality of contracts, constant change and learning and the ability to directly help people take positive steps in their own lives via real estate.
It wasn’t easy letting go of the security of my government job. The final push came as the result of some health issues my husband Larry had. Dealing with health issues as a young couple taught us early on to seize the day and not wait to make our dreams happen. So, after many late night conversations, we decided to strike out on our own and venture into the world of entrepreneurship. We’d been living in BC for a few years and moved back to our beloved home city of Edmonton where Larry started his Bachelor of Social Work degree and I started my real estate business. I still remember sitting outside in the September sun studying for exams and how excited I was to get going in my new career!
My family was a bit less enthusiastic than I was…they couldn’t understand giving up a stable government job in finance for an uncertain future as an entrepreneur. And, in real estate, no less! Not a sector known for stability. Their own experience buying and selling property had not always been great and they were worried about my choice. So I asked them a few questions such as…
- Have you ever lived in a house? “Well yes!”
- Have you ever moved? “Of course!”
- Did you work with a real estate agent? “Yes.”
- How was your experience? “I guess it was ok enough but it could have been better.”
- What if I take lessons from your experience and provide an incredibly positive and professional experience for my clients? “Well that would definitely be good!”
- Knowing me, do you believe I can and will do that? Eventually, although not immediately, they said “Yes we do!!!”
I knew they were just protective of me and wanted me to have security, but I wanted and needed a new challenge as well as a sense of personal satisfaction from my work. I wanted to see the impact of my daily work by providing something to people that was immensely important to them and their families. And I had confidence that if I did my job well I would achieve the security my family desired for me. So I went for it!
Over two decades later, I’m still grateful for the choice I made, and my family absolutely came round to seeing real estate as a great fit for me. I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years. Technology has improved the process dramatically for agents and clients alike (wen I started I couldn’t imagine being able to meet with clients on Zoom or obtaining electronic signatures from around the world) but what I enjoy most about the profession remains the same… the relationships, the variety, the satisfaction and the challenge! Lucky me, I now get to do this work I love surrounded by the best colleagues anyone could wish for! Colleagues who share my desire to provide the world class care and advice our clients deserve! I love the intricate puzzles I help my clients solve, guiding them safely and happily on to their next adventure!
If my story speaks to you, maybe a career in real estate is the right for you as well! We run regular information sessions online so you can find out what a day in the life of a realtor is really like. Click here for more info!