Broker Profile: Shireen Preksta

  • February 1, 2017
  • Stephanie Lai

1. Which brokerage are you from?
Century 21 Dreams Inc. Brokerage

2. How long have you been in the industry?
33 years, since 1984

3. Why did you go into real estate?
To work with my sister who was in real estate already. I wanted more than a 9-5 job working for someone else. I was working at a bank at the time.

4. What is the hardest part about being a real estate agent/broker?
The hardest part is the ups and downs in fluctuations in income markets change.

5. What is the best piece of advice you can give a newbie agent?
Listen to your gut. If a client is mistreating and not respecting you, fire them and find someone decent to work with. Sales reps put all their hopes and dreams on a client and refuse to let go even though the relationship is not healthy. Life is too short. Work with people that are deserving of your time. Find new business and be consistent in your marketing.

6. Tell us about your first sale (details and how it made you feel).
My first sale was in 1984. I got an ad call. They had been working with a realtor for three years and had not found what they were looking for. They said their agent was not listening to their requirements. They didn’t want a cookie cutter home in the city with a large lot. I had seen a home at an open house that week and told them about it. We met, they loved it and bought it. I was terrified. I had no idea how to do an offer. I could barely make an appointment and show the property. I contacted the listing agent and said I was new and had a buyer that loved the home and asked if she would help me put the deal together. It all worked out. Everything went well and those clients bought several homes from me and referred me to seven other buyers. It was nerve-racking but a good experience.

7. What are three things an agent needs to be successful?
A new agent needs to have staying power. It could be a year before things start happening. Having some seed money set aside to tide you over while you establish yourself and market yourself is very helpful. Be consistent; deals take time. Don't give up. Take many courses to learn about business and marketing and sales objection handling and compliance. Be ethical; there is always another deal around the corner.

8. What is your motto in business?
Have fun, make money but always be ethical to your clients and peers.

9. What is an agent’s greatest asset?
An agent’s greatest asset is his mind and sense of humour. You will need both to be successful in this industry.

10. What are some common mistakes Realtors make and what can be done to avoid these?
Realtors give up too soon or listen to other negative Realtors instead of reinventing themselves and their business plans to adjust to the ever-changing market. Their biggest mistake is that they do not spend time and money on updating or upgrading their skills and investing in themselves. Hire a coach or two.

If you won't invest in yourself why would anyone else?

Be in it for the long term and you will succeed. FYI, in my first year in real estate, I made $1,762.50 before taxes and expenses. So don't panic; keep learning and investing in yourself. It will be worth it.

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