Realtor Tanya Eklund doesn't expect the Calgary market to turn around quickly. But she stays true to the fundamentals of her business success

Tanya Eklund, with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central), is one of the top-selling realtors in Calgary. She spoke with Calgary’s Business about her career and the current real estate market in the city.

Calgary’s Business: What are the keys to your success?

Eklund:  Even when I haven’t had clients or staff, I show up like I own a Fortune 500 company. That means getting dressed up. Looking professional. It means showing up to the office. Creating appointments for yourself. And really just showing up every day even some days you don’t want. That could have been in the networking and the prospecting, the door knocking, the cold calling. So creating a job for yourself even maybe when you didn’t have clients and weren’t making sales. That was very early on that I did that. I say part of the success is showing up like you own a Fortune 500 company even though you might not even have an employee.

The second thing is communication. I think a lot of people think they communicate but in reality … they don’t get back to people in a timely manner. It’s always answering your phone as much as you can. That’s a huge part of sales. I’m surprised when I talk to a lot of people they still don’t get back to people in a timely manner. When we get a lead unless we’re in an hour listing presentation, they get a turnaround call in 10 to 15 minutes. With our digital era when people can’t reach you, they will go to the next person. So getting back to people, answering your phone, communication that would be the second thing.

Aligning yourself would be the third thing. Aligning yourself with good people. I always say that you are the average of the top five people you surround yourself with. And so really just aligning yourself with people who lift you up and bring you up. That could be mentors or coaching or friends. Aligning yourself with people in your business and in your life who are a good reflection of who you are.

CB: What made you want to become a realtor?

Tanya Eklund, with RE/MAX Real Estate (Central), is one of the top-selling realtors in Calgary.

Eklund: I kind of fell into it. I was going to university. I was not a natural academic. I had to really study hard. I always said that I would go to university and get an education but if another opportunity came, a better opportunity, I would take it. And real estate kind of fell into my lap through a friend’s friend. I was at the University of Alberta, moved up here to talk to this realtor and ended up moving here within weeks after I spoke to him.

CB: How important is the marketing of yourself?

Eklund: Huge. Any successful business has a brand. I don’t care who you are, whether you’re Pete the Plumber or Starbucks. You have a brand. So your brand is who you are. You have to create that brand, which is marketing yourself to the public and to the community and to the city and to the world. And so your brand and your marketing are very, very important and we work really hard to create a really strong brand. People see the Tanya Eklund Group and they equate that to inner-city real estate. I believe your brand is who you are.

CB: What’s your feel as to what the market’s like today?

Eklund: It’s a difficult market. I’ve been in this 18 years and it is one of the most difficult markets I’ve seen. For detached homes year-to-date we’re up 43 per cent in listing inventory levels and down 23 per cent in sales. That’s a massive trend. People hear that oil is back up to $70 a barrel therefore my home must be worth what I paid it in 2014. And that is not the reality. Economically the definition of a recession is we’re out of it. But Calgary is not out of it, in my opinion. It is a difficult market. We’re flooded with condos right now. It is a very challenging market that is posing a lot of challenges and pricing is everything.

CB: What do you expect from the market for the rest of the year?

Eklund: I expect a very similar rest of the year to what we’ve experienced this year. High inventory. Low demand. Interest rates are going up. Net migration is not increasing and our political climate is the same. And those are the three things that I often look at. I don’t see there would be any reason why our market would change. I think it’s going to be a challenging year.

– Mario Toneguzzi

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