A Risk Worth Taking

Panelists at the "Strategies for Standing Out" session speak about how they became leaders in their markets.

Panelists at the “Strategies for Standing Out” session speak about how they became leaders in their markets.

At a session during Inman Connect on Wednesday called “Strategies for Standing Out,” the common theme was that you have to be willing to take risks in order to be viewed as a local leader. Marguerite Giguere, a sales associate with Windermere Real Estate in Tacoma, Wash., who has built a niche in the city’s downtown market, told a personal story about a situation she’s facing in her business today that’s posing a lot of risk to her image. However, she’s rising to the challenge in hopes it will force conversations that will enlighten her community more about what she does. It serves as a good example for the kind of risks worth taking for real estate professionals. Here’s what Giguere had to say:

“I launched a website last March called MovetoTacoma.com, which is a way to reach buyers outside the city. I really didn’t expect it to get a ton of attention because it’s just a real estate site. And then it was written about by NPR, Business Examiner, and all these other publications, and some people in my community responded with ‘eff you. We don’t want our rents going up or our home prices going up, and you’re the face of gentrification.’ I was really surprised by that reaction, but that’s sometimes the other side of standing out. I’m a leader in my community, and part of that is having really difficult conversations. This issue is something that I’m still working on, and I might end up looking like a jerk. But if I do it right and do my part to engage with and have conversations with my community, I could end up being really successful and changing the way people look at our city. When challenges come your way, you have to break it open and get in there and talk to people about it.”

Graham Wood

Graham Wood is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at gwood@realtors.org.

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