I know what it means when someone tells you they’re going to call you at 10:01 a.m. and then does it, on the dot.

“You’re a bit OCD,” I suggest to Ontario Realtor Sam Cuda, who had a record year in 2020, pandemic notwithstanding.

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“I am totally OCD,” he responds, laughing. “I think most successful people are. I’m a perfectionist and I recognize it.”

The testimonials on his website from clients are also a tip off. Says one: “How many agents remain available to you for what seems like 24 hours a day? …From start to finish, Sam was at my elbow, explaining the process before I even asked…In some ways, Sam is like an over-protective parent…His clients can only marvel at how simple the process is made for them.”

Cuda says, citing one of his innumerable personal maxims, “I speak fluent real estate.”

He has 25 years in the business behind him and a recent congratulatory letter from the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board to prove it, and has spent most of that time as a top performer with the Thornhill office of Royal LePage Your Community Realty in the Greater Toronto Area. In 2006 his wife Nancy, previously in customer service with IBM, got her real estate license and joined him. As half of a husband and wife team within a supportive brokerage, Cuda now has the help he needs to indulge his exacting nature while keeping up with everything going on his life.

This has been crucial, he explains, because until a couple of years ago he was tearing along on two different career tracks – besides real estate, he had a long-standing job as a high school teacher and sports coach.

“I was a part-time Realtor making full-time numbers,” says Cuda. At one point, selling real estate, teaching, coaching basketball and working towards his master’s degree in education were all in the mix at once.

“When I think about that I get tired,” says Cuda.

“When I first got into real estate I was thinking I would sell maybe one house a year. But I got four deals in the first six months. Within three years I was among the top five agents in the office…Initially another agent had said that I wouldn’t last a year as a part-timer. That motivated me to prove him wrong and to equip myself with the skill set I needed to succeed.”

It was a similar story when he was a coach, he recalls. People would tell him his team would never make it to the finals. “Two years later we were city champions.”

Asked his position regarding the controversial topic of part-timers in the industry, Cuda replies, “I love to see part-timers, but I tell them it’s not going to be easy. But if they want it, they can do it.”

Cuda says the reality is that at least at the beginning of their career, almost every agent is a part-timer, since getting that first deal can take a long time.

Cuda says the skills from his teaching career – being a good listener; negotiating; problem solving – help him in real estate.  He was a teacher for 31 years, until his retirement in 2018, after which his real estate career quickly morphed to full-time.

He and his wife have built a business driven by repeat and referral clientele. “I don’t chase deals. I’ve never knocked on a door,” Cuda says. “We are about relationships, not transactions.”

With open houses nixed due to COVID-19, they have some new tricks.

“We have the house emptied, then painted and the flooring re-done, and a photographer does virtual staging. It’s amazing. Later I go in and turn off the lights, and that’s it.”

Developing his professional training as a Realtor is a major focus for Cuda. To that end he’s earned a host of accreditations, from his broker’s license and FRI to certifications as a negotiator and seniors real estate specialist.

“I am hungry for knowledge,” he says. “People will ask me, ‘Why did you get that mortgage agent license? You won’t be selling mortgages.’ But I do it so I’m equipped to guide our clients.”

There’s no question that being aware of your options is important in the new world shaping up.  “The people who work hard and continue to learn are the ones who will prosper,” Cuda says.

He emphasizes that he always told his students, “You have to be on top of your game and know how to seek out information.”

That’s another standard Cuda adage. After all, this is a man who is forever asking his clients’ lawyers if there are any additional clauses they can come up with to include in contracts. (They often respond by telling Cuda that he’s the only one who’s ever asked that, he admits.)

“It’s to protect the clients. I want to do things right,” Cuda says. “Teachers make the best Realtors,” he adds.

“Do you know any other Realtors who were teachers?” I ask.

“No,” he laughs. “But I love it, and they go hand in hand.”

29 COMMENTS

  1. Dear Susan Doran (Real Estate Magazine).

    You are a brilliant and a savvy reporter.

    Thank you for shining a bright spotlight on my very good friend Sam Cuda. (we’ve known each other since Gr 3). Sam has always strived for excellence as long as I’ve known him. Always going above and beyond and gone the extra mile in all the goals he sets.

    He was successful as a teacher and many of his former students can attest to that. He put in the extra after school hours coaching various sports teams to championships as well. He is a great son to his parents (both in their 90’s) a great husband to Nancy, and a great father to his 2 children.

    When I read some of the immature judgmental comments above, it astounded me how narrow minded “some” of the comments this story (especially the headline) received. There are teachers and then there ARE extraordinary teachers. We all can probably count on one hand “teachers” that made a difference in our lives. Sam is one of those teachers that made a difference because he CARED. That compassion, empathy, professionalism and care is transferable into anything one does in life. Sam earned his teachers pension. He earned all his championships. He earned his Real Estate Brokers license and has earned all the closings and thus making him a top agent in Toronto. Sam is a GIVER…and givers gain!

    In my business, when one has a bullseye on their back because they are hardworking, intelligent, respected and successful… it’s a badge of honor.

    IMHO – The title to this story should be “Extraordinary Teachers Make Extraordinary Realtors” — I can assure you, any client looking to buy or sell their home and reads this story (and then scrolls through the comments) will contact Sam above all, to represent their Real Estate interests.

    Cheers
    Micheal Castaldo

    • Hi Michael:

      Good post.

      I have a question for you: How do you feel about teachers’ unions, or should I say, certain teachers’ unions, but more to the point, what is your take on certain teachers’ union leaders?

      • hello Brian,

        thank you for our kind words.

        I don’t know specifically enough about teachers unions to give you an informed opinion. I’m in the Arts & Entertainment business and belong to several unions… thus I’m pro union (collective bargaining).

        All the best and good luck to you in 2021.

        cheers

        micheal

  2. Thank you everyone for your comments. It’s great to see such dialogue. It’s this energy that serves for continuous improvement in the service we provide our clients as well as the reputation of our profession as Realtors. Certainly, each person’s life journey prompts the development of skills that we take forward. Everyone has their own formula for success.
    Wishing you the best in 2021!

    • Hi Sam:

      It’s nice to see that you’re handling some of the negative commentary about teachers, as expressed herein, with grace. It’s easy, isn’t it; just ignore ’em. I wouldn’t have expected anything less. But, one has to wonder why many hold such negative views of your former profession, and I do acknowledge that teaching absolutely is a bona fide profession.

      I have a question for you, and it is this: Seeing as how well educated you are (Master of Education—not to diminish the real estate related certifications), how do you feel about leaving a highly respected salaried profession and subsequently migrating to a commissioned vocation, which is not highly regarded at all? What compelled you to do so? Was it the potential for more money, primarily, or, was it, as I alluded to earlier, the pursuit of the sense of freedom that many think they will enjoy working for themselves? Was it a combination of both, or, was it entirely something different? Should you choose to answer this question, I’ll tell you why I chose to be a Realtor, twice over, not that anyone gives a damn, nor should they. My answer won’t be what you might think it to be.

  3. “Since the selection of top salesmen is potentially of such enormous value, why, it might be asked, has there been so little success to date in developing methods to preselect effectively?” Click on the link and read report What Makes A Good Salesman

    https://hbr.org/2006/07/what-makes-a-good-salesman

    Over 40000+ Realtors in Toronto area and most of them are failures. Brokers keep hiring because they know “100%” that most newbies walking through the door will fail. That is why there was a shift from splitting commissions say 50/50 – broker/salesperson to a RENT a desk concept. Hire enough Realtors and charge them a monthly desk fee+ and the BROKER makes a profit. Brokers don’t care how many homes a Realtor sells as long as they get their monthly fees. Few REALTORS succeed in the long run. Today there are teams of 3 or 4+ Realtors. How many Realtors does it really take to sell a house? Having a nice personality or a PHD or being a teacher or will not guarantee success. Few have what it takes, but brokers keep on hiring “The Good The Bad and the Ugly”. Good movie by the way.

    • Hi David:

      Thanks for providing the link to a very interesting article. I was amazed to see at the end of the piece that it was from 1961! One would think that employers might have learned a thing or two since then re hiring salespeople. But the thing that struck me was the article seems to deal with salespeople selling specifics; i.e., a certain brand of cars (G.M., Ford, Honda etc.) or insurance etc., items that one’s employer produces, but not something like real estate, which is quite open-ended in its appeal to sell from a huge gallery of potential product not produced by one’s employer. The Realtor, therefore, actually acts as an advocate, helping the buyer acquire the best possible property suiting one’s needs for the money, and conversely, helping the seller gain the best possible price for the property being offered for sale in a timely manner, if time is of the essence. Thus, a hot-dog car salesperson might not be a successful Realtor; the talents and personality traits are different for the two, opposing vocations. The car salesperson wants to sell ‘cars’ from the employer’s lot; the Realtor wants to sell his/her ‘services’ to buyers and sellers of residential properties. Upon being chosen as a representative, the Realtor ideally fulfills his/her function as an advocate. To be a great advocate one needs to be empathetic, forward-looking, understanding of what a client really wants vs what might be said off-the-cuff and, in the final analysis, a great negotiator. The salesperson factor only kicks in at the beginning of the process, then fades into the background as the advocacy process takes over…or at least that’s how it should work. Unfortunately, too many Realtors continue on with the salesperson strategy and try to shoe-horn buyer-clients into a quick sale of just about anything in order to quickly generate that all-consuming commission cheque. Time is money after all. Ditto for wannabe listing specialists who go about their business looking to sign up listings within thirty minutes of entering a seller’s front door. Both of these personality types are of the aggressive super-salesperson canned-speech modalities…which is what gives the real estate sales industry its well-deserved bad name.

      When I was hired on with Royal Trust in 1980, the commission split was 50/50 between the brokerage and moi, and there were no fees. Therefore, managers tried to make sure their hires would be successful. Thus, they would steer incoming calls to the newbies for awhile to see if they could regularly develop transactions. If so, they were rewarded with more leads, until those newbies became sales leaders. Guess what? The brokerage was making money! The Realtors who could not regularly develop leads would get fewer and fewer leads…until they quit…which was as it should be. There were fewer Realtors than today doing a lot of business. To wit: I closed six transactions during my second month as a newbie! So, to your point: The current desk-fee situation just further dilutes the talent base, because the brokers always have a steady income-stream of desk fees, as well as the income from many deals being struck—maybe one or two or three a year per Realtor—albeit by multitudes of amateur-hour Realtors. The house must always be kept full of wannabes. The dues-collecting CREAcrats, provincial associations and local boards love it, and the brokerages love it. Legions of “here-today-gone-tomorrow” wannabes’ “ya gotta pay to play” fool’s paradise dollars are just as good as anyone else’s dollars. It’s a business after all…on all fronts. However, it’s been an ongoing watering-down-of-professionalism process for decades now. There’s an old say, thus: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The system warn’t broke in 1980; only the strategy employed teaching ethics back then was broke…because there warn’t none.

      I liked “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly” too, but I like to call it “The Good, The Bad And The Fugly”, because that Eli Wallach’s character was one eff’n ugly bastard.

  4. Disgusted with this article. I don’t believe that one can be a full time teacher, coach and realtor all at once and do everything properly. How can a teacher be available 24 hours a day without putting aside students in a class that he is supposed to be teaching. Sounds like our tax dollars are being used to make him more money. Something or someone is suffering. All I see is an incredibly greedy person that has no life. You are going to get a huge teachers pension so why the need to to make so much more money. Hope you don’t have kids because I am sure you have no time to be a father.

  5. Respect for Sam and his business success. I have been selling for 32 years, I have seen many Realtors come and go. To say all teachers make great realtors is like saying all tall people make great basketball players.
    Just not true.

  6. The author imputes his own experience with and as a teacher, and with REALTORS® who were once Teachers, however this anecdotal analysis is insufficient to have the headline or for that matter the importance to us as professionals.

    Brian Martindale hits a few solid notes in his commentaries in reply to the idea.

    Allow this enhancement of some of those thoughts: the skills which make for a respected and competent professional REALTOR® are many. Each skill can be linked back as a or the key skill for any number of professionals. It would be almost impossible for there to be a link between a single profession as THE essence of probable qualified successful real estate professional.

    Teachers, it can be said, usually (but not universally) have empathy for others. That is good when others need empathy, as many clients do. And good when the empathy translates into service for others which is what we are supposed to do. Having said that, I am sure we all knew more than 25% of teachers who were not so empathetic or helpful during our school years…either to us or by word of mouth to others!

    Taking the empathetic perspective, probably the key quality of a teacher to admire in REALTORS®, so too do Doctors, Nurses, Practical Nurses, physiotherapists and psychologist have empathy.

    I should say that teachers are one profession. As noted, when retired they are almost fully pensioned and so it is unfortunate spots taken by retired civil servants are not left open to the youth of today who would benefit in creating wealth to fund future government support of those who age. That is not meant to be a slight, however, it does seem counter intuitive to empathy, and perhaps even to self benefit.

    It is possible though that Sam has hit on a note of importance to our profession, and the world at large. You cannot teach empathy in the schools, maybe only at home and in the locker room. But teach it we must so that every person who strives to be a real estate professional has this key quality…….

  7. “Teachers make best Realtors” If that were true they would all be Realtors. All of us successful non Teachers would be doing something else. REM is trying to start a controversy. There isn’t much in this rag lately. I’ve been reading it for over 50 years. It has lost its fastball. What a nasty way to get us to read this nonsense.

  8. Hoteliers make the best Realtors, Truck Drivers make the best Realtors, Fire Fighters make the best Realtors….the list could go on for a long time. It’s not the Industry, it’s the person that makes the best Realtor. We have all kinds of people in our Industry that come from other Industries and they all make the best Realtors! Thank you for giving it your best!

  9. I like the thread of responses to this teacher-Realtor® story because I too came from 33+ in education as teacher, coach, coop coordinator in a coterminous board office, education negotiator, new-school construction site member, administrator, online high school owner and principal and vacation property owner. I was also an investor and landlord in my “learning pathway”.
    Why do I bring this up in such detail? Our “career” is more of a journey than a “job”. My career pathway has been diverse as has many of yours. Even as an educator, I held many “posts or jobs”. The reason I bring this up is because every “job, occupation, or position” provides and delivers information and feedback. Most importantly, such moments in time when we are in a “job” teaches us something to use or discard. Learning never ends for anyone. Educators are trained to deliver “curriculum” and may do it more often. That makes many off-shoot careers a good fit, including real estate; the fit is natural. Whatever we learn is part of our life “curriculum”, whether formal or informal.
    As for “folding like a tent”, this is true for many people depending on the scenario. Try facing the parents of students when controversy arises; imagine sitting opposite a school Board team in tough negotiations; try undergoing an inspection from a Ministry of Education Inspector for a private school. All paid positions have stressors. Look at or front line workers during this Covid19 crisis. And did I mention emotions in a career? Doing what you love goes a long way to help. Having stated that, some emotions can hurt a career and be self-destructive. It is all a matter of balance.
    Generalizations are used too often; lets consider the scenarios and details of each situation. My take is that the skills one learns along the way, if appropriate for a certain “job”, can help. No matter what your state in life is, where you have come form, or what skills, aptitudes, abilities, values, mores, traditions, culture or morals you bring with you, your “tool box” is what is important as well as the decision to use those “tools” appropriately, effectively, and efficiently in any “job”. I know of some real estate persons who did everything right from my perspective – but did not get the client for something as small as provide a suggestion that offended that client.
    Sam is acknowledging that teachers have certain tools and as such, perhaps got excited in his generalization about teachers making the best realtors. We often “cheer” spontaneously. As a teacher, I can see his enthusiasm and excitement for doing so; however, I will also “let it go” as an oversight. The bottom line is that we can all bring what we have to the table and hopefully continue learning as “students” and delivering as “teachers” in our Realtor® roles.

    • Hi Will:

      Nice reply. Well thought out, and well stated. But before I reply, I must declare that I haven’t ever heard or seen the word coterminous before. W.T.F? I thought to myself. So I looked it up. There’s no such word as “coterminous”, but there is “co-terminous”, explained thus: adj. conterminous. (Penguin Concise English Dictionary)
      W.T.F? I thought again. I looked up “conterminous”. It was explained thus: adj. having common boundary, adjacent; with two ends meeting; equally extensive (in time, range, sense etc.) (Penguin…)
      Now I was really confused. A co-terminous conterminous board office? Did the board members know if they were coming or going…or if they had already come and gone? Which two ends were meeting, heads or butts…or should that be heads or tails? Help me out Will, fore I am genuinely, interminably—but not imperceptibly—suffering from co-terminous conterminous quasi confusion.

      You have an extensive background, as do I. To wit: From age thirteen onward chronologically:

      -Age thirteen to seventeen: Worked full and part time building new homes in father’s construction business; (Hated high school)
      -Grade eleven drop-out;
      -Nine years as a licensed steamfitter. By then had purchased a waterfront cottage and a home. Sold home after eleven moths for a fifty percent profit and built a new one near Buckhorn Lake. Meantime paid off cottage.
      -Five years as an unlicensed plumber. Sold cottage and paid off new home. Got divorced. Had lottsa money to play around with. Decided to quit the trades.
      -Two weeks as a door-to-door Kirby vacuum salesman. First in-house demonstration mid January, the soap had frozen up in my ’61 ‘Vette’s trunk. (I didn’t clean up);
      -Four weeks as a life insurance agent (Spent more time studying and gaining license than selling insurance, but learned how to rebut objections on the phone, like, real good man);
      -Two years as a Realtor (Second from top salesperson in office second month; tops third month. Eighteen months in, broke off to start own brokerage with another agent who had her broker’s license; decided against that after spending too much money on the venture and went to work for another brokerage before finally quitting in disgust over how crooked the “profession” was;
      -New girlfriend talked me into attending university with her on a full-time basis…so I applied and talked my way in. Earned a B.A. (Bugger All) in Politics. Didn’t like the high-mindedness of too many Ontario Scholars in my classes. In those days (1983) one had to be a grade thirteen grad with honours to get into university. How the hell I got in I don’t know. Guess I was a good salesman…er, salesperson;
      -Five years as a conciliator with the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (now TARION Corp.). Only conciliator in Ontario—out of fifty-six—for whom appeals were anathema. I was only appealed once—unsuccessfully—out of over one thousand, six hundred conciliations. All the other “conciliators” were regularly going before the Consumer Registration Appeal Tribunal and, being often shot down by the tribunal. I quit after five years…bored out of my mind;
      -Took a couple of years off and drove around in my ‘Vette like the irresponsible guy I was then;
      -Eighteen months working as a national warranty advisor for an insurance company. Quit to build a new home on Chemong Lake with my new wife. Designed and supervised construction until move-in day; finished much of interior myself whilst living therein;
      -Was a landlord renting out old house in Oshawa after having moved into new house;
      -Worked as a real estate appraiser affiliated with the Appraisal Institute of Canada—what a crock-pot-profession that is—for six years. Left business to finish out working days as…wait for it…A REALTOR!

      Did my cobbled-up conterminous of background experience assist me as a Realtor during both stints? Absolutely! But what helped me most was my attitude: I was in it to help people avoid the common pitfalls of working with crooks in the field…and there were plenty to go around. I got to know almost all of the side-winding bastards, and that’s an undeserved adjective-bashing put-down of snakes. I’d trust a snake any day vs some of the assholes in the business back then. Finally, to your point though: Yes, there are good teachers who become good Realtors, but few teachers have the background that you have. I went with a teacher for ten plus years between wives (the aforementioned girl who suggested I go to university with her, and who became a high school teacher thereafter), and she went to classes and went straight home again every day; she had two kids to look after. Most teachers I knew were like that…nine-to-three-thirty’ers. I submit that that kind of teacher is the type that sometimes gravitates into real estate university thinking the escape from the same-old-same-old drudgery of the classroom, gliding into the bright lights of freedom, that hoped-for escape from institutional rules and regulations and, sometimes useless meetings with coterminous board officials, not to mention the union crap, is what the real estate “profession” attracts.

      What say you? Am I coterminously askew? I ask you.

  10. Randall Rose Having hired over 100 agents in 30 years have found the teacher group usually retirees have the academics but sadly lacking in on the sales side!

    • Yup. Teachers are accustomed to being the bosses over ignoramuses—in the arena of the teachers’ fields of expertise that is—and so there is no need to be political. “Repeat after me and get your passing marks…or fail” is the teacher’s byline. That works in academia, but not in real estate. And yes, anyone who has a cushy pension to tide him/her over whilst learning the ropes of becoming a successful Realtor has a tremendous advantage over the average wannabe struggling to stay afloat on whatever savings might be available for a few months…until the well runs dry.

  11. Great Job Sam, the only part of the story I disagree with is the part-time Realtor. Until we as a industry make it mandatory that we do this job full time and do not hold another full time position we will not be seen as TRUE professionals to the public. How many times as Realtors have you heard someone say “anyone can sell real estate “. I am sure anyone can sell real estate while they have job security in another industry. Eliminate the part time realtor and we will see if anyone can do it.
    Keep up the good work!

  12. Bravo, Sam! You were there for us when we lived 14,000 km away and sold our house. You got the late closing we required as well as the right price. We have known you since your early teaching days and are glad you are continuing to experience such success.

  13. Continued success in 2021.
    We go back a long way and just happy to see all the hard work you put in even
    at a young age, has payed off for you.

    All the Best !!

  14. I believe that teachers make excellent real estate salespeople because they inherently care about their customers and help them understand the real estate experience thru guidance and teaching. Teachers are often very good “people people” who work tirelessly to obtain the best outcome for their customer/clients. I was a adult education day school teacher for five years prior to obtaining my real estate license and I learned a lot about the personal interaction with people, which gave me a good base for what has become my real estate career since 1980. I am now a proud Broker of Record and owner of my own company with 50 wonderful Sales Representatives and Brokers. Thank you to all my former students.

    • Hello Judy:

      But for the lack of one qualifying adjective, I agree with your post. Can you guess what that adjective might be?

      To my mind and subsequent perspective, the missing adjective in question is thus: “certain”.

      Do you know wherein “certain’ should be interjected within your post?

      Your initial statement “I believe that teachers make excellent real estate salespeople…” suggests that you believe ‘all’ teachers—or teachers in general—make excellent real estate salespeople. Do you really believe that? Of course you don’t. Why? Because you know not ‘all’ teachers.

      I realize that to some I might be coming across as a little too pernickity (is that a real word?), looking to pick a fight, to put another down (not true), but to the issue at hand, I believe that such open-ended statements do not do a former teacher—now Realtor— deserved justice. That initial statement sounds like a sales pitch from a salesperson, and not a statement of fact as put forth by a teacher. Thus, by dint of being a salesperson for 40 years, you seem to have left behind that which defines what a good teacher ought to be, being…a purveyor of factual and truthful utterances…no matter what the outcome of one’s said statements might be.

      I am going to assume you did not really go over your post as if it were an essay being assembled as part of a P.h.D. thesis, that you simply dashed the post off as I often do, that is, shot from the hip with the attitude as expressed “So there!”.

      I believe certain teachers do indeed make excellent real estate salespeople…but they are few and far between, ‘esle, why are there not multitudes of them in the business…as long-termers, like you…instead of here-today-gone-tomorrow flotsam recently jumped overboard from the over-crowded Good Ship Lollipop into the crowded sea of life-jacketed non-swimmers, unequipped to swim unaided with the sharks? Answer? They just didn’t have it. Simple. Thus, being a teacher beforehand really had/has nothing to do with it. Who knows? Maybe you and Sam et al have done very well as Realtors ‘despite’ having been teachers.

      Ahh…What the lack of a certain word can inspire in the minds of men and women…or should I say…certain men and women:-)

      Sigh…This goddamn Covid crap has me stuck in my mother’s basement in my bedroom under the front porch in the cold cellar, right next to the recently-sprung mouse trap, for far too long. I’m becoming a troll.

  15. I think that Sam, being an anomaly’s anomaly, does not speak for anyone except himself. It is not because Sam was previously a teacher that allowed him to become a successful Realtor; it was/is because he was/is an intelligent person possessing the not-so-sundry traits allowing him to become a successful Realtor. Sam could have been a lawyer, an engineer, a plumber, yea, any kind of intelligent tradesman, or an out-of-work journalist etc., but requisite to his being a suitable Realtor candidate, and thence practitioner, was an engaging personality, the ability to study, retain and, correctly apply pertinent information to a problem at hand, and the innate desire to get things right the first time, which in essence means being the antithesis of exhibiting indolence at heart.

    Susan’s concluding question “Do you know any other Realtors who were teachers?” would have been asked by me, thus: “Do you know any other successful, long-standing Realtors who were successful teachers?” I project no disrespect for teachers, for they are—or at least they should be—the underpinning purveyors of how our youth gain ascendency toward mature thinking and behaviour. However, my answer to Susan’s question, and thence mine, is the same as Sam’s; no. Why is that?

    When I first went to real estate university—lol—during the summer of 1980, our instructor, a jovial, chain-smoking old jokester by the name “Cliff” (his real name) told me that teachers make the worst Realtors’; that they fold like cheap tents in a mild breeze within the first year in the field—away from the sanctity and protection of the classroom—even though they obtain the highest marks on the real estate exams, thus going forward with attitudes of intellectual superiority over their classmates, said classmates who often had not the educational backgrounds of their academically endowed wannabe peers. When reality struck the teachers once they experienced the real-world rough-and-tumble shark-tank beyond the classroom, many (most) would throw up their arms in disgust at what they had been lured into by the advertisements of big money easily earned, because they oft’ thought they were the elites of the profession by dint of their squeaky-clean extra-educational backgrounds. I know personally of a PH.D. who fell victim to the pull, and gave up the real estate sales ghost early on in her new career before going bankrupt.

    Not all teachers are created equal. Sam is an anomaly…a very good one at that. Methinks deep down he knows that all teachers would not make the best Realtors, and to the converse, that all Realtors would not make the best teachers. Sam just happened to possess what makes a great Realtor from the get-go..as do all very successful Realtors. One either has it, or one does not, and the latter is the norm. Witness the sky-high failure rate.

    One of the most admired people–by me—was one of my grade-ten high school teachers. (I was gone from the academic world early the next year, by the way) Another was my manager at the Ontario New Home Warranty Program (now TARION). They were polar opposites academically, but they were exact replicas personally (characteristically). They were what they were from the get-go. That is what makes, or not, a successful Realtor…or teacher.

    Congrats Sam on your successes. You just happened to have been a teacher pre Realtor, but you also just happened to be the right fit for the latter vocation. In that sense, you are a lucky fellow indeed.

  16. Great story
    Thx for sharing
    Totally agree that always seeking to know more is beneficial in every aspect

  17. I agree Sam.. your story sounds a lot like mine.. however unlike you I only got as far as supply teaching.. I got into real-estate off the get go back in 2010 to help supplement my supply teaching income until I could get a full time gig.. LOL.. it went the other way right off the get go.. teaching became the back up gig for those slow weeks in the winter months. As well like you, I attained my mortgage license.. initially because a client asked me to and I thought I would help me do a better job as a realtor, which it did, but now that part of my business is also flourishing! One of my clients did an excellent job of stating what we bring to the table when she and her husband saw my degrees on the wall.. “You’re a teacher Dan?! That’s perfect because we need someone to teach us the ins and outs of real-estate” Like you, I take on a fatherly role in guiding my students/clients to ensure they are making well informed decisions. Good luck in 2021

  18. I too was a teacher and retired after 32 years of teaching. I went into Real Estate and was in it for 17 years and just retired in 2020. Selling real estate was an excellent fit for a “young retiree” from teaching. Liking people, developing relationships, organizational skills, leadership skills, determination, knowing the right fit for each client and the ability “to read a client”, to find the suitable property were all valuable skills that a retired teacher brings to the table. Not only that, teaching and coaching was never a 8-5 job. It was a profession where time was never an issue and working, thinking and planning 24/7 was always paramount. I truly enjoyed teaching and real estate was the same. I achieved satisfaction and superb results from both careers. An excellent second career for me.

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