From banking to real estate

Egbert Gaye

According to Pamela Dass, as much as it is an exhilarating business to be in, being a real estate broker can sometimes take a toll on your emotional state.Pam d
“I think the toughest thing I’ve had to deal with over ten years I’ve been in business is people running off on you and using other brokers after you’ve invested time and effort helping them with properties.”
“It happens to other brokers and has happened to me on more than one occasion, and can be draining on your emotions… The way I deal with it is by moving on to the next client.”
According to Dass, who is a star agent at Sutton Chateauguay, working with the public exposes agents to people of different statures with different personalities, with   different needs.
She has found that in our community there is an overwhelming need to educate homebuyers and sellers about proper valuation of properties and accessing finance.
But her commitment, she says, is to “continue to provide the best possible service” to all who come seeking her expertise as clients.
Like most brokers, Dass says dealing with the public can be “challenging, or disappointing, and both parties can be left feeling disappointed, satisfied or thankful.”
Dass distinguishes herself among other brokers by making it her duty to provide as much quality information as possible to potential clients.
She draws heavily from her 30-year career at the Bank of Montreal, where she served in various managerial capacities, to help clients with a free flow of pertinent information that makes buying or selling easier.
With a keen understanding of the economy, markets, interest rates and mortgage financing, Dass is a wealth of information for seasoned buyers or property virgins.
And it turns out that most who have dealt with her are happy and very appreciative of the service she provides.
A letter from a recent client tells a story of appreciation:
My husband and I recently bought our first home. Novices in the realm of real estate, we were very dependent on Pam Dass to negotiate and navigate through what we felt would be a very complex and stressful procedure.
Indeed, the process was complex; we had to deal with everything from a shady inspector to sellers that were less than compliant and easy to work with.
Thank God for Pam. She is a well-spoken, polite, eloquent bulldog. Not only did she skillfully detect problems and negotiate solutions on our behalf, she did so in a way that we came out winners after every challenge…
It’s part of what Dass describes as “helping people move forward in their lives with their most significant purchase.”
Today, after walking away from a good position in the bank, she knows that she made the right decision.
“And it all falls into place with letters of appreciation, the positive feedback, the referrals, and most of all the look of satisfaction on the faces of my clients.”
Reach Pam Dass at pdass@sutton.com

Janet Phiri marks five years in real estate

By Egbert Gaye

“At the end of the day, I’m not just trying to sell a property or just simply satisfy my clients, I’m trying to amaze them.”
Such is the passion of real estate broker Janet Phiri, when it comes to helping Montrealers navigate what can be a complicated terrain on the way to purchasing properties.
With every transaction, she says, her intention is to try to go beyond the call of duty and provide clients with a little more than they expected.
“It really is not just about the money,” she told the CONTACT in a recent interview.  “It’s all about the satisfaction you bring to clients as they go through the process of making one of their most significant investments.”
And I’ve learnt from someone who I consider to be my mentor in this business, the way you do that is by showing your client total respect, and always if you say you’re going to do something…keep your word.”
Five years ago when Phiri decided on becoming a real estate broker she was driven by an underlying love for houses and the layout of different properties.
“So what better way is there to see and learn about different types of houses and properties than to become a real estate agent,” she mused.  “I also thought it can be quite a lucrative business, one in which if you work hard and make things happen, the rewards can be great.”
After she got her license in 2010, she joined the offices of Sutton Realtors in Chateauguay. It took  her six months to make her first sale. It was a two-story house in Chateauguay bought by a young couple that lived not far from her.
“It was an amazing feeling, that first sale. I learnt immediately how important it is to build a solid relationship with clients. I’m still in touch with them.”
A native of Zimbabwe, Phiri says she contemplated a career in Law before she moved to Canada about  20 ago but has no regrets about her decision to venture into the highly competitive and time-consuming world of a real estate broker.
And at the time, with a husband and young son at home, she admits it was tough on family life.
“But I learn to manage my time properly and planned my business around my son and family events. I also had a lot of help from my husband.”
Today, she says family planning and work have become a lot easier to manage.
Her teenage son doesn’t mind as much when she has to leave the house, sometimes he welcomes it also, she has become far more adept at dealing with the ups and downs of the business.
“As real estate brokers, we’re constantly dealing with uncertainties and fluctuations in the market, but we manage those by being prepared and by working harder and smarter.”
One of the things she had to do over the years was to expand her base territory from Chateauguay to LaSalle, where she has been enjoying some moderate success of late.
Phiri says when you compare the market in Montreal to other cities, you realize that it’s harder here than elsewhere, but she remains unfazed.
“I have no regrets about getting into this business, in fact I’m loving it more and more each day,” she says. “It’s an amazing opportunity to see some interesting properties around Montreal, interact with people and help make some dreams come true.”
Reach Janet Phiri at
jphiri@sutton.com or visit her at www.janetphiri.com