Rebecca Steeves of RE/MAX Group Four Realty holds the distinction of having a certification from the North American Home Builders Association (the largest builders’ association in North America) for building “Ageing-in-Place” housing. She is also an Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR) and a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES).
How did you find yourself working in the real estate industry?
I was just hanging out with a friend and somebody was asking me questions about real estate. I happened to be knowledgeable about the subject, and then that person said, “You should be a real estate agent.” So I took my license.
It was a good fit. I had plenty of background: owning a retail furniture store, having a science degree, experimenting in a lot of fields. I’ve also lived in a lot of places, so I know what it’s like to relocate. I think my background helped, especially since I encounter a lot of situations and I meet a lot of people in my work as an agent. I think my wide experience has been useful in the problem-solving process, as well.
What do you find most challenging about being a real estate agent?
I think for most agents, it’s really trying to find that work-life balance because it is a job where people contact you at any time of the day, and at any day of the year. It doesn’t matter to most people whether it’s Christmas or Easter or even your daughter’s birthday. It’s a 24/7/365 job, so finding space for yourself is the hardest part of being an agent—especially when you love your job. Sometimes, it actually hurts to turn it off because it’s very engaging. Sometimes, it hurts to say to yourself, “You need to slow down.”
So far, what achievement or milestone are you most proud of?
This year was a real landmark for me, to be able to hit the Chairman’s Club [a group comprised of RE/MAX Sales Associates whose paid commissions within a year were over $500,000 to $1 million] in such a small community as Fredericton. Also, achieving number 4 in the Atlantic Canada rankings and not being from the largest cities was personally a great accomplishment.
In your view, what makes Fredericton a great choice for those who are looking for new homes?
House prices here are quite affordable. The average house price according to the Fredericton Real Estate Board, which encompasses not just the city of Fredericton but also the surrounding areas, was $182,000 as of the end of March 2017. That already includes the smaller outlying communities like Woodstock. In Fredericton proper, you’re looking at an average of around the $250,000—still far below Toronto and other hot cities.
It’s a beautiful city. I’m not from around here originally; I’ve been to a lot of cities around Canada, including Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax, and more—and I’ve also lived outside the country, so I can say I have a good perspective on what makes a lovely city. Fredericton has great walking trails and beautiful river flowing through it, and yet it’s also very much a tech city as you can get WiFi anywhere downtown by just walking around. It’s also a smart city as it has plenty of universities and other institutes of higher learning.
Also, there’s nothing inside Fredericton that’s more than 10 minutes away from each other, unlike in the vast sprawls like Toronto.