AR's own Mary Jo Quay was kind enough to interview me and then to write this post, so I want to share it with all of you. Be sure to check out her very active and informative blog at http://activerain.com/blogs/mjquay. Thank you, Mary Jo!
MARY JO QUAY
Before Gwen became a Realtor, she had a past. Realtors come from all walks of life. Gwen strode in from the cat walk, as an actress/model, and creative writer to a career real estate. After she moved to L.A she found that actresses were considered old by the time they hit puberty. She was over it, so she turned to creative writing, and was hooked on real estate investing.
Friends began to ask for advice on investing, and they weren’t making great decisions. As she went through divorce, she decided that she could better serve her friends if she had a license. The income would help finance her novels, but she struggled giving up her creativity until it hit her that real estate is more creative than she initially thought. L.A. is a basket of eccentric personalities followed by genuflecting entourages. Moving them through a transaction is frequently Act 1, Act 2, and Act 3 culminating in a closing with camera men and selfies. Actors yearn for a normal life, and can be very earthy, kick off your shoes and have some tea. Rock stars, who spend their lives in a tour bus trekking between gigs are rootless.
“Hello Gwen, I want to buy a redwood forest. I mean, like I really want to buy one. Now.”
“Ok, I’m on it,” she coos as though it is normal. “The forest will give him roots.”
Gwen’s principle strength is her maternal instinct that can assuage anxiety in mercurial clients. Many come in skeptical and disdainful, but soon warm as they experience her absolute integrity. “All relationships are built on trust, people have to feel that you have their back. “
In 2018, Gwen would like to work smarter, every transaction is a learning experience. She’s been designated Sotheby’s Global Advisor to China. The challenge is that how Chinese do business is very different than how Americans do business. It is customary to offer a client a small gift out of appreciation and graciousness when you meet them. Many of the new millionaires were simple farmers without any experience in living upscale urban lifestyles. They are in awe of America, and have an intense desire to be part of it. It is a constant reminder to Gwen how blessed we are to have what we take for granted. One client was buying at a very high price point, his terms were that it be sold furnished, and they wanted all the furniture. The American seller hesitated, but agreed that he would give up the furniture for the sale. Then the buyer insisted that all the art work stay. That’s a little trickier, as art is more personal but they did reach agreement on what could stay. Finally, the buyer insisted that everything in the drawers in the dressers and cabinets should stay, down to a partially used tube of toothpaste. Gwen was able to explain that what the buyer wanted was to buy the American lifestyle. They didn’t know how else to get it than to buy it from someone who already had it. Not everyone can read client’s experiences through their eyes, and understand unspoken desires.
In 16 years of experience, Gwen learned that that very maternal quality that is at the heart of every transaction has made her tied to the responsibility of the outcome. It was wearing, she was doing everything herself. When a doctor friend told her, “I’ve never heard a dying man tell me that he wants to see his Corvette again, “she took stock. 2018 is going to be different. She’s partnering to relieve the work load, hiring a driver to weave through showings in Los Angeles traffic so she can focus on the clients instead of a GPS, and delegating what can be delegated. Taking on a partner means less juggling, more planning, and adjusting to decision by committee. She often forgets to use ‘reply all’ to email, but is working on it.
What’s really important is that it frees up time for whose important, friends and family. More vacation time, writing time, and one or two Mid Century Retro cocktails. She deserves it.
May I join you?