How a natural people-pleaser fell in love with residential real estate
They say when one door closes, another opens – such was the case for Sharon Clark of Regina, Saskatchewan.
After spending 17 years running her own photography studio, she received an unexpected medical diagnosis that meant she could no longer work as a photographer.
Forced to shutter her successful business, she briefly considered going back to the lending sector where she had worked prior to running her studio. Her husband Rory, however,
encouraged her to consider working alongside him in real estate. As a real estate agent, he was confident that her strong people skills and financial background would make her a natural fit.
“It was kind of a good mix of past jobs,” said Sharon, reflecting on why she obtained her residential real estate license. “And I actually love it.”
Nine and a half years later, Sharon and her husband helped found the Clark Cullen Group with Boyes Group Realty. While not every realtor is part of a team, Sharon finds it beneficial because the team shares knowledge, best practices, and cross-markets each other’s listings in a way that doesn’t always happen at the brokerage level.
At the heart of Sharon’s real estate practice, however, is her love of helping people. A self-described people pleaser, she’s never defined success as having anything to do with her commission.
“The wins are always going to be when you help your clients out of a sticky situation,” she said. “Sometimes people are upside down on their houses and they have a hard time selling them and you need to try and finesse things. Sometimes deals are just hard.”
One of her most memorable sales involved a client with a large lot for sale in a small town. They had listed it on and off for two-to-three years but had never even booked a showing. A property that sits on the market that long can become stigmatized in the eyes of potential buyers.
Never one to shrink from a challenge, Sharon listed the property and on day one, she received two showing requests – the clients almost didn’t know what to do. The property sold within the first week and a half and her clients were ecstatic.
“When you can make somebody happy,” she explained, “And they have an expectation, and you meet it or surpass it – that's when I'm happy.”
Part of how she exceeds expectations is by keeping her clients informed about every facet of their real estate transaction. She attributes her personal value of transparency to her father.
“Growing up, I vividly remember my dad’s stories of working in the sales industry,” she said. “His boss would always say, ‘If you weren’t so honest, you would be making more money.’ My father’s response? ‘But I sleep well at night.’”
When it came to choosing an accountant, integrity was just as paramount. Years prior, Sharon and her husband were with FBC when they farmed and were always happy with the support they received. It only made sense to hire FBC to help with their real estate business too.
“We want somebody that we can trust; that are handling all the things that we don’t understand,” she said, adding that she’s very aware of where her strengths lie.
“I’m not an accountant – just as other people aren’t realtors.”
By outsourcing this important work to FBC, Sharon can focus on delivering an exceptional real estate experience to her clients while someone else helps her achieve her long-term financial goals.
“Retirement will be around the corner one day sooner than later, and we want to know that there’s somebody thinking about our end results,” she said. “FBC gives me peace of mind.”