Broker Profile: Blair Campbell
June 12, 2017
1. Which brokerage are you from?
I am the Broker of Record and Owner of Accsell Realty Inc. that has locations in Mississauga, London and Ottawa Ontario.
2. How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry for over 10 years.
3. Why did you go into real estate?
My family background is in the moving industry. As part of our succession planning we looked at the ownership of the group of companies growing from three owners to potentially seven. We recognized the need to grow the company as the next generation desires a lifestyle that is at least on par with the current generation. Part of the growth strategy was to enter into the real estate industry as there are synergies between real estate and moving. The succession plan is working as Accsell has grown to three locations, and Campbell Bros Movers has grown to be the largest mover in Canada.
4. What is the hardest part about being a real estate agent/broker?
For me the most difficult part of the business is controlling your time and knowing when to say no. It’s a tough business to carve out personal time as the phone continues to ring, emails keep coming in, and in a fast-paced market – where offers often have a short irrevocable – the sense of urgency is high.
5. What is the best piece of advice you can give a newbie agent?
Work on a business plan. The biggest challenge when you get into the business is that you have few (if any) referrals and no repeat business. Where are you going to get business? Most successful agents live on repeat and referral business and you are not likely to see much of that for the first five years. You need a plan and then you need to make sure keeping in contact with people is part of the plan so you can build that referral base. There are many different ways to obtain business and each new agent needs to find what works for them.
6. Tell us about your first sale (details and how it made you feel).
My first listing and sale was a tough one. It was an old church that had been converted into a home and it was at least twice the size of other homes in the neighborhood. I had to compete to get the listing and two other agents in the same office who were much more experienced also did listing presentations. When I got the listing I felt a little surprised as it was my first listing presentation.
A day or so later when in the office, I had some agents that congratulated me and there were others that would whisper, “The property will never sell. He had to have way over-valued the property to get the listing over so and so.” This made me second guess myself a little bit.
Fortunately, about five weeks later and after doing four weekends of open houses, I also sold the home. At the time the market was balanced and five weeks on the market was reasonable.
This really made me feel that it was important to go into the listing appointment with a plan, stick with it and don’t second guess yourself. Today, I still suggest to new agents go in with a plan, have the list price filled out on the listing agreement, have the commission percentage filled out. Be confident and be able to answer questions when the sellers ask about your price.
7. What are three things an agent needs to be successful?
Communication skills are the greatest asset. As most issues can be resolved when everyone involved is informed and feels that they have participated in the conversation.
You need to be self-motivated. For most of us in the industry, things were not just handed to us, we had to go out and get the business.
Have a plan.
8. What is your motto in business?
My motto is a “Higher Standard of Care” and honestly, it’s one that I have borrowed from my time in the moving industry. To me, it is all about constant improvement and having a customer focus.
9. What is an agent’s greatest asset?
A strong relationship with your family. This can be a demanding career with late nights, interruptions during birthdays, anniversaries etc. Don’t get me wrong this is a very rewarding career, but if you do not have an understanding family, friction will likely develop. A strong family will also help in obtaining referrals and help grow your business. Having a strong, healthy family dynamic lets you focus on the business in the more challenging times.
10. What are some common mistakes Realtors make and what can be done to avoid these?
My current beef is with Realtors complaining about other Realtors. We are in a hot seller’s market and frustration levels are high especially when you’re working with buyers who have lost out multiple times when bidding on homes.
People need to keep their tempers in check and remember that we are professionals, and we are only professionals if we act like professionals. We have a complaint process for legitimate complaints through RECO or your board’s Professional Standards Committee.
If there is a legitimate complaint please use it. Please do not air dirty laundry out in the public or with fellow Realtors, as this only tarnishes the reputation of the industry as a whole. I view this as a common mistake that is made by many in our industry. If enough people participate in this mistake it could damage the real estate industry and we would no longer be considered a professional service.
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