Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gals We Admire: Aleksandra Oleksak

Toronto real estate agent Aleksandra Oleksak  says there's hardly a typical workday for her, and considering the current state of the housing market, we certainly believe her. The social media savvy Olekshak also considers negotiation one of her favourite parts of the job. "It allows another side of my personality to come out and really gives me an adreline rush." Find out more about this career gal who has incredible passion for what she does.

Name: Aleksandra Oleksak aka Realty Queen TO
Profession: Real Estate Agent
Twitter handle:

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
Ha! There is no typical workday in my life, even if I think it may be a quiet day, but I will try to give you a general overview:

7:30am - 11am: Wake up, walk the dog and do some social media interaction for my brand Realty Queen. I go through all the motions, twitter, Facebook page, Pinterest, Instagram, and check & answer my emails and also eat breakfast somewhere in there and try to read any articles on real estate or real estate related that might have been published that day considering real estate is a hot topic in the media.

11am - 12pm: Book showings for clients for either the evening ahead or the next day, research new properties that may have come on the market and send my clients all the information.

12 - 1pm: Try to squeeze in a workout if it’s a relatively quiet day, it’s the seldom “me” time I get and it’s important to me, otherwise if it’s a busy day then I’m still doing the above tasks

1 - 5pm: Try to eat lunch and follow up with any potential clients that I haven’t heard back from or that I haven’t connected with in a few days. Do some blog work, whether it’s a new post, researching for an upcoming post, thinking of new ideas for the blog, such as a new series and trying to come up with a schedule to accomplish my new ideas. I will also jump back on social media to answer any responses or questions I have received and answer more client emails I have received responses on.

5pm and onward: Either meet with a new client and do a buyer consultation which can last anywhere from 1-2 hours or listing presentation if someone is wanting to sell their current home. Or I will be out on showings, viewing potential properties with my clients which is usually a two to three hour process, depending on how many places we are seeing.

8pm or 9pm: Depending what I was doing earlier in the evening, I come home around this time, cook and eat dinner, take the dog for a walk and finally relax for my 1 hour of coveted TV time. In between all of this, it’s not uncommon for my clients to call me with questions that I’m happy to answer.

11pm - midnight: Go to sleep and start all over again.

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
Everything but a real estate agent actually. I grew up in a real estate household and I saw how much my mom struggled at the beginning and I said to myself I wanted something more stable. At first I wanted to be a veterinarian, but what kid doesn’t and then later it changed to a lawyer. I went into university with the mindset of becoming a lawyer and couldn’t wait to get through my undergrad and go to law school. Again my mind changed a few more times after that and I ended up working in the fashion industry for 3 1/2 years before making the jump into real estate.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
The thing I enjoy the most about my job is seeing the utter enjoy in a client’s face when they have received keys to their new home. Seeing that smile on their face is so rewarding and makes me feel I’ve done my job properly — their joy is my joy. I also enjoy meeting new people and learning about their life story, it’s always great to hear about someone else’s journey. Lastly, I enjoy negotiating offers, it allows another side of my personality to come out and really gives me an adreline rush.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
There are many challenges in my profession, there is a ton of mediocrity in real estate and because of that people have a bad idea of what a real estate agent is, almost everyone has had a bad experience they can recall.  Therefore getting your foot in the door, gaining a client’s trust and having them allow you to show them you’re high above the mediocrity can be a challenge most times. But at the same time, I love challenges and I know that once a client sees everything I have to bring to the table, it instantly changes our relationship for the better and trust is gained.

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
Growing up, I loved seeing houses with my mom anytime she gave me a chance, I just feel that I had to take the long road to realize my passion for real estate and that came two fold. The first was when I bought my first home at the age of 25 with my friend and with my mom guiding me through the whole transaction and winning a bidding war of 10 offers. I loved the whole process and for the first time saw myself doing this for a living, working for myself and having the fruits of my hard work pay off for myself and not a corporation. Shortly after I signed up for the course while working my full time fashion job. Second was my obsession for watching the TV show Flip This House, I also enjoyed this aspect of real estate and after renovating and selling my first home, I wanted to keep on doing this. Buying, renovating and selling 5 homes taught me a whole new side of real estate, knowledge that I can now share with my clients wanting to do the same.

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?
If you can figure out a way to make a living off your passion, then don’t be afraid to try. There will be some scary times, but in the end, hard work and dedication pays off

Don’t be afraid to make a career move if you’re not happy with your current job, whether it’s moving to another job or becoming an entrepreneur, change can be overwhelming but it’s the driving vehicle in our lives.

Don’t only set big goals, but also mini ones and constantly reflect on your milestones however big or small they may be. It’s so easy to get caught up in the things we haven’t achieved yet, that we often forget what we have achieved and don’t give ourselves enough credit for it.

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