Check out the Fall/Winter Edition of PEI Living Magazine for the full scoop!
Tell me about why you started this venture?
Impress Island Realty had been in the works for some time before I made the jump. I had spent over two decades helping people buy and sell real estate in very varied roles, in high demand and volatile markets. The changing market here in PEI over the past few years made me question the industry as a whole. From service to professional standards to business etiquette and transparent business transactions.
Starting on my own meant I could set my own standards, offer specific training and support other agents and be considered for who I am and what I offered without having to stand behind a large corporate body.
We offer something much more personal and tailored to individual clients needs and have something that’s relational, not purely transactional. As a broker with agents under the Impress umbrella I can better focus on their development to help produce great professionals
Why do you Love Realty so much?
With the best intentions, and done right, Realtors® have the greatest job in the world. Supporting people though the best, and some of the hardest times in their lives is immensely rewarding.
Our job is not always helping sweet first time buyers find home. We often have to support people through the most difficult times and knowing that I have made their journey that little bit easier makes my job very satisfying.
Realtors® are “full package professionals”. We provide a whole package of services that go way beyond the confines of what many consider our ‘job description’.
From cleaning homes, to packing boxes, to babysitting client’s children while they visit their lawyer, to delivering food parcels to new home-owners in isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, to directing movers, digging up septic lids, being marriage counsellors, divorce mediators. The list of things we have to do to ensure the smoothest transition possible is endless. Honestly all those extras are what makes this job so much fun.
It’s not just selling pretty real estate, most of us could write a book on the things we’ve seen and had to do to get the job done. It’s not glamorous. Do not let HGTV fool you!
What are the best things you provide clients?
We are members of the PEI Real Estate Association and CREA like all other licensed brokerages and have access to the same marketing tools that are provided. We are no different in that respect.
It’s our authenticity and drive to be different. Agents joined our firm because they were looking for something different and with the growth of boutique agencies within PEI blooming over the past few years is testament many professionals want to make a shift to try a more tailored, independent and customer focus business environment.
The business has grown so dramatically it’s easy to get lost with the true purpose of our role.
For our clients, it is our commitment to excellent service with honest advice. We have nothing to prove to anyone accept our clients and we serve no one other than them.
You have a policy of being straight-forward with buyers and sellers: why?
I would say I’m notorious for my direct approach. I’m pretty much a straight shooter in all aspects of my life. That’s perfect for some people and not for others, but that’s what makes our industry so unique, we have so many different personalities and our work is entirely relational.
The reason why it’s so important to be transparent and direct with your communication and guidance is very simple. Buyers and sellers are entrusting you with their biggest, life changing investment.
It is imperative that we have given them the best tools, resources and information available to enable them to make the best choice. Spending the time required to analyze the pros and cons of every transaction is paramount in ensuring your clients are making the best decision for their specific requirements at that time.
Being a Realtor® is all about personal connection, building trust and guiding, advising and supporting clients through the transaction, and beyond.
How did COVID affect the market?
I started Impress Island Realty on November 14th 2019, 4 months before Covid-19 hit and we were in lock down. I remember a colleague from another company texting me wishing me well and feeling sorry that I had started a business during this dreadful time.
During those early days clients had questions and there were concerns about recent and pending purchases. People were questioning what was going to happen and how it was going to affect them, that feeling of uncertainty was inevitable and justifiable.
We are very visible professionals within our community and I remember feeling that community engagement and community support during that time was more important than ever. I actually wrote and published a blog to that effect.
Everyone knows what happened to our market, it exploded with buyer confidence which in turn generated unprecedented price increases. Our Islands excellent response and low infection numbers made PEI a safe haven within Canada for many buyers.
Government agencies, large corporations and businesses quickly switched to remote working allowing people to really live anywhere with an internet connection. This drove equity rich buyers to invest here creating a sellers-market like no other.
Despite the worry and uncertainty at the time, Covid-19 created some wonderful stories of human resilience and determination. (I’m a sentimental sucker).
We dealt with people who used this time to create new opportunities. To realize life dreams and ambitions. There was very much a ‘life is short’, its ‘now or never’ mentality and the diversity within our island flourished. It certainly created a shift.
I don’t feel we have yet to witness the full effect on the market due to Covid-19. I do predict, (even though I hope I’m wrong), that some people who came to PEI during this time with the best intentions of creating a new life, will consider a move back. Missing friends and family across our vast country is a great draw for people to return home. I guess only time will tell.
What is one thing sellers and buyers don’t know about the market that they should?
Real estate is LOCAL and CURRENT. It’s very easy to get sucked into what’s happening across the country, negative news reports and the effect of rising interest rates, but always speak to a local expert about the local market and what’s happening right here right now. You’ll have a much clearer and informed insight on which to base your buying and selling decisions and future real estate planning.
What’s next for you?
For Impress Island Realty, I am pretty content with where we are at for now. We have a wonderful environment here with great energy and we are cheerleaders for each other’s success. That is an incredibly hard thing to achieve within a sales office.
We are not a ‘bums in seats’ brokerage. Numbers don’t mean quality and our commitment is to provide a quality, conscientious service, not an office full of agents.
We are (currently) an all women team and very close. I’m seeing some of my team really come into their own. My job as their broker is to commit to them and their future. And that’s not just on a business level. Their personal goals and personal growth helps my company develop a better professional. You are always going to work at your best when other areas of your life are moving in the right direction.
I’m always happy to chat to people who are considering a company change, or indeed a new career, and will never overlook the healthy growth of my company, however, any growth would have to complement our existing environment and those people within it.
She/Her and why this is important
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Photo Source: Agents Own and Perry Williams
This article is not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently in contract with other members of the PEIREA. Using this article in full or part without permission is a violation of copyright laws. Copyright © 2022 Melanie Press Real Estate at Impress Island Realty