Being a REALTOR® is far from Tereasa Haywood's first incarnation (a fitting analogy, given her interest in Eastern mythology); she has done a number of different things, including building and developing homes, owning a yoga studio and having her own consultancy.
Tereasa has had a strong connection to real estate throughout her life. As a child who was homeless at times, she has said that houses represented to her "Home. Belonging. Security." As an adult, she was not only able to own a home, but also buy, sell and develop properties.
"You can tell that you have spent time looking for people that not only can do the work but that also fit as people...
When she became a REALTOR®, she felt thrown in at the deep end, saying: "They don't teach you anything about this business. You're really left to your own devices." Since then, she has found a good fit with Realty Butler, getting time-consuming tasks off her plate and onto ours.
We have already built a strong relationship with Tereasa in the relatively short time she has been a client. In fact, it would be hard not to when she exudes such warmth. When she visited our office for this chat, she had a hug for everyone and made a point of introducing herself to new faces.
She granted each one her personal seal of approval and complimented our hiring process: "You can tell that you have spent time looking for people that not only can do the work but that also fit as people, and that benefits the client."
That warmth is also key to Tereasa as a REALTOR®. More than once, she has been described as maternal - a description she embraces. She smiles when she mentions her clients, saying: "I hold their hands and walk them through the process."
The last time she visited us, we sat down to talk about her path in real estate and how Realty Butler helps her to beat that path.
Starting Out In Real Estate: "It's about time."
Tereasa has been many things in her life, but the idea of becoming a REALTOR® cropped up again and again. Lots of people encouraged her to do so. At one time, she even went so far as to start the course to become one.
"I struggled a lot with companies that claimed they were going to give me certain services and then didn't deliver...
At that time, it was done by mail and took a year. She got ten months into the course and was doing well, but life intervened. By then, she was a single mother and other things made more sense for her to pursue. In the interim came the yoga studio and the consulting business.
Finally, Tereasa dreamt that she was climbing a mountain with a friend and that she told her friend she was going to become a REALTOR®. Her friend's response was "It's about time." So, Tereasa took a 3-month, fast-track course to get her licence and finally became a REALTOR® in 2014.
She describes the experience of being a new REALTOR® as difficult: "They don't teach you anything about this business. You're really left to your own devices."
One area she says that this particularly applies to is deciding which services it is helpful to sign up for, which ones are worth the money.
"I struggled a lot with companies that claimed they were going to give me certain services and then didn't deliver," says Tereasa. Her problem, in many cases, was that these services simply provided her with a platform that she could build on - she would still have to make her own edits and updates, costing her a significant amount of time.
"I can't tell you the number of hours I put into doing that, but I didn't have time for that," she says, because it took her away from her clients. "As a REALTOR®, you can't spend all your time working on that, because you will go broke."
She began to wonder "How am I going to get this accomplished?"
Getting Help from Realty Butler: "I loved the image. I loved the people I was talking to."
Tereasa had been a REALTOR® for around 18 months by the time she met Realty Butler founder Rebecca at a tradeshow. She still hadn't found services she was happy with and immediately liked what she saw from us.
"I loved the image. I loved the people I was talking to. It was fresh, vibrant, and they were offering exactly what I needed," she says. It was also an ideal solution when she couldn't afford to hire an assistant, as well as having other benefits: "It would be very hard to hire a person with all these skills. It's better than having an in-house assistant that I am having to manage and train."
"When my business grows, I still see myself working with Realty Butler simply because I have grown accustomed to the level of service you provide.
Since signing up for our core services (website, newsletter and social media) in March 2016, Tereasa says that the experience has been "amazing", telling us: "I love how accommodating you are. You guys are so happy to do what needs to be done, and if there is a way, you will do it."
She also focuses on our mix of professionalism and personality, calling us "a well-oiled machine with a personable face."
Tereasa also worked with us on new branding, including her logo. That was something we enjoyed working with Tereasa on, and thankfully, the feeling is mutual.
"I loved the branding process," she says. "The interviews were so well done." She felt that we made the effort to get to know "who I am as a person and also how that blends with who I am as a businessperson. The time I spent with Realty Butler brought my visions into reality."
After consultation, Tereasa settled on an elephant logo. As she explains what it means to her, its fittingness becomes clear. She talks about the maternal, nurturing character of elephants. It is also a nod to the Hindu deity Ganesha, the remover of obstacles. As Tereasa enumerates these aspects, it immediately recalls the way she does business.
She has also been impressed by our responsiveness and turnaround time, saying that she knows from past experience how much longer things often take.
Tereasa has doubled her business every year since becoming a REALTOR® and has seen Realty Butler grow with her. She says that "When my business grows, I still see myself working with Realty Butler simply because I have grown accustomed to the level of service you provide."
Advice for Other REALTORS®:
As someone who knows that starting out in real estate can be difficult, we asked what advice Tereasa would give to new REALTORS®.
"My advice would be to come and talk to [Realty Butler] before they start spending money everywhere else." She adds that this advice doesn't just apply to new REALTORS®, saying: "Or if you have been in the business a long time, it's a no-brainer in terms of cost and having everything in one place."
She reflects on all the time she spent trying out different services which, ultimately, weren't a good fit and say: "It's a waste of money and time. Just go with Realty Butler and you will have a good time doing it."
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