I say it often and I really do believe it to be true: I have the BEST
clients in the world. And for anyone who works in a client-based business where you are constantly meeting new people, dealing with different personalities, circumstances, budgets, needs and desires, you know how challenging it can be to juggle so many different demands. But, what I know to be true is that if you truly care about your clients, the burden of juggling can become the joy of understanding, learning from others and growing as individuals ourselves.
This year I met a lot of people. A lot of Real Estate transactions are very personal. Whether it is an investment or a family home, Real Estate opens the door to a world of finances and emotion which most of us keep fairly under wraps most of the time. I have helped clients through the torment of selling a family home because of divorce; I have helped clients in an estate sale; the enormous task of down-sizing, having a new baby, tight deadlines and stress. The normal emotional ups and downs of buying and selling Real Estate are demanding but if you pay attention and care, you get to know people very well.
When I met Paul and Ericka Dragan - Owners of Reckless Bikes in Yaletown - Paul had just been shot and nearly killed outside of his business one beautiful June morning. It was headline news throughout Vancouver and Canada. Paul was in a coma for 6 days and lost 80% of his blood. Officially, Doctors say he was dead for several minutes.
I remember sitting with Ericka who, in total shock and agony, was trying to wrap her head around what had just happened. My immediate reaction was to take her place off the market because it seemed that it would be a burden to her but she did not want that. Her amazing character and strength moved her thoughts ever forward, unaccepting of the idea that Paul might not wake up, she said to me, "No Christina. My husband will need a bigger place and whatever he is going to need I want to make that happen." I was floored and deeply impressed.
It was not what I expected to hear but it was what my client wanted. During that time, I met many of their family members and spent a lot of time checking in with Ericka as often as I could, which was hard because she was living at the hospital. Nevertheless, she made time to meet with me when she needed to...usually in tears, but always strong. After Paul woke up, he made a miraculous recovery and is well on his way to getting back to his normal and active lifestyle.
Just recently, we found them a beautiful new home, which they are extremely excited about. This entire experience has changed many things for me as a person and as a Realtor. When we, as Realtors, are invited into people's private lives, we get glimpses of just how different we all really are, but we also discover just how similar and vulnerable we, as humans, all are. Life isn't easy for anyone and moving is one of the most stressful things we all go through from time to time, so isn't it amazing that I get help someone build a dream?
Paul and Ericka have become great friends and I feel honoured to know them and continue to work with them. With their permission, here is a video from the Vancouver General Hospital 2014 GALA
where Paul and Ericka's story was shared. I thank them for sharing it with me.