For Melissa Grant, Real Estate is a passion. She takes pride, and shares her commitment and enthusiasm for what she does. Before pursuing a career in real estate, Melissa immigrated from Holland to the beautiful Sunshine Coast in 2004 and immediately fell in love with everything it has to offer. After studying Business Administration at Capilano University, Melissa came to the realization that she had the opportunity to stay in the place she calls home and build a business. Melissa shares that she still feels lucky to call the Sunshine Coast home. She spends her free time hiking the various trails and stretches of beaches with her dog – Lucky. She enjoys the region’s sought after, close-knit, community feel. Melissa enjoys connecting with people and believes this is the crucial turning key for any successful business. With extensive experience and a background working with the public, she takes great pride in her ability to make lasting connections. The Sunshine Coast is like no other place… Melissa invites you to come and find out why!
Q: If you had to describe yourself in one sentence what would you say?
I’m outgoing, chatty (sometimes too much!) and honest.
Q: How and why did you begin your career?
I have always wanted to go into a real estate direction in some way or another, even in high school my favorite channel was Home and Garden! After taking business classes at Capilano University, I realized I needed to take the leap, set aside my fears and ‘what ifs’ and get my real estate license.
Q: Describe your business – what makes it unique?
I think what makes the real estate industry unique is the day to day variety in clients, what they are looking for in a real estate experience, and being able to differentiate between these experiences. Every client is different, every property is different, and every transaction is different.
Q: Where did your business start out and what did you do to get it to where you are today?
I started out my business like every other agent (I think!) with zero prospects, terrified, excited and ready to take on this new adventure. In the beginning, when I would sit at my desk and felt I had nothing going when it seemed like everyone around me was busy, I completely immersed myself into learning. I totally “geeked out” and tried to learn every angle of the real estate business, and not being afraid to ask for help. I had a bit of a complex starting out young in the business, and disliked the dreaded question “how old are you?” Being confident in my information and adding value is important to me and I think it has helped me become more successful when communicating with clients. Age is just a number at any age, young or old.
Q: What do you love most about what you do?
I love helping find what they are looking for. I have an extensive background in the hospitality business and even worked as a salesperson in a clothing store as one of my first jobs. There is no greater pleasure than making a client happy; my definition of sales is not selling someone something and moving on, but having a powerful relationship with the client that extends beyond the transaction. Having a client trust in me to do a job for them is very rewarding. Plus, handing somebody the keys of their dream home is pretty nice!
Q: Where do you see this business in 5 years?
I think real estate is a constantly evolving and changing business. You as an individual are the business in real estate so instead of changing, I see it as refining. Finding my way in this business was huge, and I want to continue to be open to different opportunities, learning curves and be able to challenge myself. In 5 years I want to see myself updated on technological advances for the benefit of my clients and myself and continue on a path of a solid referral based business, all while maintaining a work-life balance.
Q: What is a passion project you are working on?
I set out a few goals for 2017 and one of the ones that stood out the most was to explore my own backyard more. And when I say backyard, I mean the Sunshine Coast where I live and work. Although it may not directly associate with my career, exploring new hiking paths, seeing areas I never have before, and taking in all the beauty and serenity of the Sunshine Coast, all the while getting exercise and taking time for myself all correlate to my business. Being ‘on’ 24/7 can be hard on your body and mind, and I’m planning to work harder this year at spending more time outdoors with my dog Lucky and taking that time to recharge myself. If you feel good, you do good!
Q: Tell us about one/some of the most exciting projects that you’ve been part of!
Over the past Christmas season, the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board hosted a blanket drive, where people were asked to donate (among other things) coats, blankets, socks, and sleeping bags for the less fortunate in the Greater Vancouver area. Another agent and myself spent 2 weekends going door to door in our local area asking for donations and it was truly heartwarming to see how our local community reacted. We ended up getting half an office full of donations bags for our local shelter!
Q: What are a few of your must-haves?
A few of my must-haves would be my iPhone, my day planner (I feel lost without it!), some statement piece jewellery, my Swell bottle wherever I go, and face cream. I’m crazy when it comes to my skin care regime!
Q: Who inspires you?
Too many people to list! All in all, and a long list short, I admire and feel inspired by many different people, my parents and sister, friends for achieving different feats, amazing colleagues. I think every person that inspires me has honesty and integrity in common.
Q: What’s the number one value that you take with you through your personal life that extends into your business?
One small word, but probably the most powerful to me. I think being integrous in your personal life extends into business in an extraordinary way. I don’t believe you can really differentiate between the two when self-employed; where you are the face of your business, your true core values will shine through no matter what.
Q: What adversity have you faced in business?
The biggest adversity I have faced in business is starting young and having to earn my credit. As well as that, I find it difficult when the general public has a perceived view, possibly through a bad personal experience, of what they think a Realtor does/is and their judgement is clouded by this. My job is to show value with my services, and help change that stigma. Resilience in the face of adversity is the most important thing, and not letting it bring you down.
Q: What would you like to say to young women with similar career goals?
A message I would like to convey to young women with similar career goals is to go for it! From personal experience I know it can be so difficult to push through when it feels like it will never get better, but it always does! It is so satisfying to accomplish something you were afraid to try, and feeling fulfilled isn’t always driven by monetary rewards. Sure, money is nice but doing what you love in business, and accomplishing your goals is satisfying in itself.
Q: What is your best promotional tool?
I believe my best promotional tool is personal connections. Living in a small community has allowed me to make a great deal of contacts through mutual connections. That being said, I think different methods work for different people in business. Finding your niche and running with it is important!
Q: Why is the Lower Mainland a great place to live and work?
I love the Sunshine Coast! I sometimes feel as though I sound like a broken record saying this, but I truly do. It is a great, tight-knit community that offers the small town feeling within a close proximity to Vancouver. It blows me away to see how our small community helps others in need; it’s exciting being part of an extensive volunteer driven network of dedicated “Coasters”. In general, I think the Lower Mainland is one of the most beautiful places because of the diverse people, the water, the mountains and the overall outdoor driven lifestyle.
If you are in the pivotal time of your life to buy or sell real estate, interested in what’s out there, or just want to talk real estate, I want to be your first choice for a trustworthy, knowledgeable Realtor. Please contact me any time, I am looking forward to it.
Melissa Grant – 604-989-1300
RE/MAX Top Performers
101-938 Gibsons Way Gibsons, BC V0N1V7