After 25 years in the corporate world, I became a real estate agent. Months of studying, six exams and what felt like 200,000 screens of content, not to mention the uncertainty of building a new business from scratch; not a decision taken lightly. Reflecting on my background, interests and driving philosophies, it actually makes a lot of sense.
With two university degrees in Latin American Studies, a conventional career path wasn’t obvious. After a year living abroad, I landed a role back in Toronto in the Corporate Marketing department of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. In the exciting world of global luxury hospitality, I found my tribe: fellow professionals who lived by the Golden Rule of doing unto others as we would have others do unto us. I was so enraptured by my work that HR told me I had to take vacation as my accrued vacation days were becoming a liability.
Ten years later I did the Rotman Omnium Global MBA, a phenomenal opportunity to do coursework in Toronto, Latin America, Asia and Europe. After graduating I launched my management consulting business, where I brought the Four Seasons culture to helping senior executives with their career transitions. For the past five years I contributed to transforming executive search by bringing a process, strong communications and empathy to the industry.
I had my real estate career epiphany in early 2023. Like my enduring love of art, real estate has always been a heart beating quietly in the background. From having a curiosity about the real estate market from a young age, consuming a steady diet of real estate shows (who remembers the delicious schadenfreude of watching “Trading Spaces” participants discover their living room walls were now covered in thick, Mardi Gras-coloured stripes?), to being a renter, buyer, seller, landlord and Airbnb host, pursuing a career in real estate brings together the best of my skills, experience and passions.
And I’ve found my tribe again. My brokerage, Slavens & Associates, feels like family. Not only does Slavens attract best-in-class team members, but we genuinely believe in providing Four Seasons-type customer service that extends far beyond real estate transactions. Like a hotel’s concierge, we are go-to resources who provide advice and recommendations for almost anything, and if we don’t know the answers, we find people who do.
Joining professional real estate is more than a career shift. It's a strategic convergence of connecting with people, understanding their needs, problem solving and a homecoming to a passion. Whether you're contemplating a real estate transaction or simply seeking insight, consider this an open invitation to a conversation.
Do you have anything to lose by reaching out?