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June 20, 2021

Donnette Odidison on becoming a real estate agent in Winnipeg

Donnette Odidison on becoming a real estate agent in Winnipeg

Donnette Odidison is the Broker and Owner of RE/MAX Professionals in Winnipeg. In this episode we discuss the opportunity of becoming a real estate agent. We also discuss some of the considerations when choosing a brokerage to work with.


Donnette Odidison is the Broker and Owner of RE/MAX Professionals in Winnipeg. In this episode we discuss the opportunity of becoming a real estate agent. We also discuss some of the considerations when choosing a brokerage to work with. 

Transcript

Adrian:

I'm joined today by Donnette Odidison, who is with RE/MAX here in Winnipeg. Welcome, Donnette.

Donnette Odidison:

Thank you.

Adrian:

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your business?

Donnette Odidison:

Oh, sure. I've been a licensed agent for going on 15 years, just going on 15 years. Recent owner of RE/MAX Professionals. I decided for me, I really like people, I like helping people and I like sales, so I found something that I could do that would pair the two things nicely. Real estate, I feel like allowed me to do that. I find it very satisfying to help someone and then I decided that I wanted to own a brokerage because it would help me help agents, so that just seemed like the next best step.

Adrian:

Now, there's a lot going on in the real estate market in Canada, and obviously, here in Winnipeg, with a significant increase in values and volumes are at historic highs. Do you think that now is a good time to get into the real estate business, if you were considering becoming a real estate agent?

Donnette Odidison:

Oh, absolutely. With the shifting landscape in the business sector and people's priorities changing, the real estate market is very busy and has continued to be throughout everything that's going on in the world right now. People are either upsizing so that they can have home offices or they're downsizing because they don't need the room anymore or moving to other provinces just because different life changes. So real estate is a great thing to be in.

Adrian:

Any concern or words of caution that things could in fact slow down or are there any signs that they would keep going like this?

Donnette Odidison:

I suspect it'll keep going. It has slowed down a little bit with the stress test that was implemented recently, but real estate stays strong, and especially here in Manitoba, we're slow and steady always. We're not like the big cities that have all of the busts and booms kind of thing, so it's always good here.

Adrian:

What advice do you have for a new or an existing agent that is selecting a real estate brokerage or brand to work with?

Donnette Odidison:

I would say that they need to decide on their goal and then see if the brokerage that they're working with or going to work with can help them realize those goals. Perhaps talk to some agents that work within that brokerage and see what they say about the company and make sure that their vision aligns.

Adrian:

Now I understand that there are a few different models under which an agent can join a brokerage, those being some sort of a flat fee or a percentage split. Do new agents, do you find that they lean more one versus the other, and do you personally have a preference?

Donnette Odidison:

You know what, it varies. I have new agents into the business who do the flat fee and I have some that do the split. Honestly, I would say I prefer the one that does the fee, maybe for selfish reasons, I'm not certain. But I think it's better if they do the fee. I think that sometimes putting some skin in the game early on allows them to really focus and have something to work towards. Sometimes when you're doing the split, it's comfortable which is good, but comfort isn't always good in real estate, a little discomfort doesn't hurt anyone.

Adrian:

Yeah, you want some push behind you, perhaps some modest pressure to get you out and putting yourself out into the community.

Donnette Odidison:

Exactly.

Adrian:

Why should agents consider RE/MAX as the brand of choice?

Donnette Odidison:

Well, RE/MAX is a fantastic brand that's been around forever. It's well-known in the industry, just seeing the balloon you know exactly where the person works for. So I think out of everyone, they have the best brand recognition. RE/MAX Professionals, my brokerage is a full service brokerage, so it has nine staff members. It has a full marketing department with graphic designers. It has a concierge person who acts as an assistant to each of the realtors with whatever they need so that they're able to go out and just sell real estate. As well as we have all of the other things that most other brokerages offer, which is conveyancing and accounting and whatnot. And then we have a fantastic mentoring and training program for our agents, whether they're new or seasoned.

Adrian:

And is there an ideal type of person that makes a great real estate agent?

Donnette Odidison:

Hard to say. I mean, you want to be outgoing for sure because you have to be able to talk to people. I think that's kind of the best thing. I find a lot of people who were in the hospitality industry actually become very good agents or some types of sales background, but you don't necessarily need to have those things, you just really have to have a lot of drive and confidence and wherewithal to work.

Adrian:

Now, I'm not sure if you're a movie fan like me, but do you remember the movie Back to the Future?

Donnette Odidison:

Yeah, a bit.

Adrian:

So if you could go back 10 years, what business advice would you give yourself?

Donnette Odidison:

I probably would have said to practice good time management and then focus on helping my clients, but don't forget to take time for myself. You can be easily swayed into just focusing on business and kind of forgetting about self care and that's really, really important here, you have to set boundaries for yourself. And time management is very important because you are an independent contractor and you need to be able to remember that you're still working outside of just showing homes.

Adrian:

I agree with you about work/life balance and time management, and I'm always wondering why do so many transactions like the closing dates and the final negotiations, why do those offers and deadlines happen so late at night? Why does no one say let's start doing offers during the daytime?

Donnette Odidison:

I don't know the answer to that one. We're crazy.

Adrian:

Yeah. I remember the house that my wife, whom you know, Atlanta, the one we're living in now, we bought it I think three or four years ago, and the offer went in like at 7:00 or 8:00 PM and we were waiting for a call back and then got the call back at I think 11:00 PM saying that our offer had been accepted. And I wondered why couldn't it just have happened during the daytime, why did it happen when it's dark outside and we should be getting, at least for me, my much, much needed beauty sleep. So you don't know the reason?

Donnette Odidison:

I don't think there's an actual reason other than just people's time, right? The vendors might have to work during the day or I mean, there could be multiple reasons, but there is no actual rule that says that we have to do offers at night, it just seems to be common process.

Adrian:

Yeah. What do you love about Winnipeg real estate?

Donnette Odidison:

I love that it's always changing. There are a variety of things that keep it interesting. That's what I would probably say.

Adrian:

Donnette, for anyone who is considering becoming a real estate agent or for someone looking for a new brokerage to hang their hat, how do they best get ahold of you?

Donnette Odidison:

They can call me at my office, so that's RE/MAX Professionals, or do you want the phone number? I don't know.

Adrian:

Yes. Let's let's put your sign out there.

Donnette Odidison:

Oh, sure. So they can call the office, 204-477-0500. They could also email me at Donnette@DonnetteOdidison.ca. Quite the mouthful, so it's probably easier to call and I'm happy to meet them and go through the process of what it takes to become a realtor, and if they are an existing realtor, how we can best help them maximize their potential in the real estate industry.

Adrian:

I should have asked at the beginning, what are the approximate costs of getting a real estate license so that you're allowed to sell, help people buy and sell real estate?

Donnette Odidison:

Oh, the cost went up this year, I want to say it's upwards of $5,000, I think, just under, to get into the real estate industry, and then of course, there's other costs because there's [inaudible 00:09:13] and some costs to the association that you have to pay in order to get in now.

Adrian:

So you for sure want to have a little bit of a cushion built up or be together with someone who can support you while you're getting started.

Donnette Odidison:

Absolutely. You're going to want a cushion because even if you start to sell real estate tomorrow, you don't get paid tomorrow, right? So just to have some ease and comfort, it's nice to have a little bit of money saved.

Adrian:

Yeah, effort and reward over time. Thanks, Donnette, for your time today.

Donnette Odidison:

You're welcome. Nice talking to you.

Donnette Odidison

Real Estate Broker & Owner of RE/MAX Professionals