Erin Ferguson's most memorable career milestone was taking a leap of faith to become her own business/brand; she's now a Licensed Realtor for Century 21 Power as well as a Licensed Mortgage Broker for the Erin Kelly Mortgage Team. What's her advice to other young professionals? Find out in today's YPDaily...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I have always been a people person, and most people who know me quite well know that I love to connect people. Whether it's for business or personal, I thrive on meeting new people and forging new relationships.
So in my business, I actually wear two hats with two licences. I am a Licensed Realtor for Century 21 Power as well as a Licensed Mortgage Broker for the Erin Kelly Mortgage Team (EKMT-Dominion Lending). Depending on my clients’ needs I can wear either hat (but not both at the same time as per RECA rules). My main focus is on real estate, and the mortgage business goes hand in hand with that same network. With my realtor position, I basically get to have five-hour coffee dates with clients as we scour the city for their dream home. Pretty much the best job ever for a person like myself.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Lucky me, I found myself reassessing my career goals back when 2009 hit. After a year working in the Cayman Islands, then working eight years in telecommunications, it was most definitely time to make a move. Making a move to business for self is always scary, especially when you are used to a paycheque coming in bi-weekly. But, I found myself really wanting to get into the mortgage business. From an initial stint in mortgages, I then found myself referring out most of my clients to realtors. Not only that, I was spending hours hunting down properties on MLS for clients (just for fun). Next step was a logical 'listen to your heart' move: to get involved in real estate.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Best part: My clients and 'Nancy Drew-ing' out the best property for their needs. Having a Comp Sci background, I use those skills to research properties, get statistics, and do a market analysis, to ensure my clients have the best possible solution to their needs. For most people it is the biggest investment of their lives, and I want to make sure they have all the tools to make their best decision in context.
Challenging would be this market. We are on an upward slope, and last week I had two bidding wars on two separate properties. There is nothing worse than a client loving the property I show and we go to make an offer and another aggressive one comes in. If my clients aren’t available at moment’s notice when a great property option comes up, it is GONE…and I have to deliver the bad news. Then back to the hunt we go…
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I was just chatting about this recently.
I will definitely be in Calgary as it is home to me now, and I love that big/small city feel. My future plans (and I don’t want to disclose too much) involves real estate investments, and building as well as working with all my wonderful clients to help then with their real estate/financing needs…as well as my side project, which is working on writing a book. I have the topic and writings in progress, but it will take time to put together.
What does success look like to you?
Balance. Making time for yourself, but ensuring you wake up not taking anything for granted. Success doesn’t come free, it takes hard work, stress and sometimes tears. I think it is important to absolutely love what you do. And to be honest, it took me 10 years to really figure that out. I don’t think money makes you successful. I think having integrity, and having positive meaningful relationships, whether it's with clients, family or friends. If you stay true to yourself from the inside out, your life will unfold and reward your journey in so many ways – ways you never realized were possible, nor could ever plan.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Taking a leap of faith to become my own business/brand. Scary, yet so rewarding. That’s where I came up with my slogan, “Make your Move.” Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet and let the chips fall as they may. If it was meant to be, it will be!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Don’t give up. Sounds textbook, but if you follow your instincts, and put in your time, people will notice. Value relationships you have with coworkers and friends. There may be a time down the road that you need that lifeline.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I am a sucker for a lot of animal charities. Don’t get me wrong, I still donate to Cancer, Movember and all that jazz, but put anything about animals (dogs, orangutans, sloths to name a few…yes, random I know) and I am all over it! Note: ask me about the trip I'm planning to Borneo next year.
What to you is notable?
People who are genuinely true to themselves, and walk through this world without the need for much fanfare and attention. There is a quiet confidence in such people that you can't miss as the universal truth. You can find them at all levels of service and business, and it's always a pleasant surprise to have them cross your path in any context or conversation.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone 5, baby…it was a very long and drawn out divorce with my BlackBerry. We dated for many years…I stood behind that relationship through thick and thin and finally had to give it up to catch up.