REM Issue #285, March 2013
In its illustrious 100-year history, Royal LePage has produced dozens of top sales professionals. The top one per cent of the company’s sales professionals become part of the National Chairman’s Club. In the last decade, three sales reps who are consistently at or near the top of the list are Elli Davis, Dan Cooper and Loretta Phinney. Recently REM asked them about the secrets of their success and longevity…
After scoring 100 per cent on her third and final real estate course, Elli Davis received her licence in 1983. She joined A.E. LePage’s Summerhill office in Toronto and sold her first property three weeks later. She has been with Royal LePage ever since and held the No. 1 spot in the company’s sales rankings for 12 consecutive years.
Davis is also a long-time supporter of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. Her annual donations place her in the top one per cent of all donors across Canada.
What was your first day as a Realtor like and how does it compare to a typical day now?
I originally applied for a job at 33 Yonge St. to sell/lease commercial properties, as I had heard residential was all “nights and weekends”. They sent me to a residential recruiter who called the manager of the Yonge Street branch and invited me for an interview. He encouraged me to start right away and led me to my cubicle with a shelf above and a dial phone (with a hold button) and said, “Go to it.”
From there, I started listening to other agents and created a card that I sent to all of my “very
few contacts” to inform them of my new career. I clipped listings, went to agent open houses and took anyone that could walk and talk to see properties, stopping at pay phones to get messages. I open-housed every weekend in the hot summer of 1983!
My typical day now is arriving at the office between 9-10 unless I have an appointment elsewhere. I review new listings, follow up with appraisals, talk to current sellers, meet with my team and view agent open houses unless I have one of my own. The afternoons are usually for listing appointments, personal errands, some lunches and general things that just always seem to come up. The days go by very quickly. Evenings are generally free for dinners at home or out, theatre, family and fun.
Today technology and my support staff enable me to increase my business year after year. I
concentrate on the listings but remain very “hands on” with all aspects of the everyday operation of my business. I am always accessible and efficient, which has contributed to consistent repeat and referral opportunities.
How do you keep your career fresh?
I make every day different and prioritize the most important tasks of the day. I am always networking, taking courses, learning, brainstorming and updating marketing materials and pictures. I keep my technology current. I love to read sales books and motivational success stories in all types of careers.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was a child I was very shy and had no confidence in myself. Being the tallest girl in the class was not a good thing. I didn’t have any definitive career goal as didn’t feel I was very smart. I gradually realized during university that I enjoyed teaching and psychology and continued with my education to become a primary school teacher. I realized after about the first week that this was not where I wanted to stay but it took me seven years to take a leave of absence. I believe I took a chance at real estate with the inner strength of just going for it and with the motivation and determination not to return to the classroom.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy travelling, exploring new countries, going on cruises, the theatre, spas, shopping, swimming and boating. I enjoy entertaining friends and spending time at the cottage. I have had the ultimate joy of being married to a great man for over 25 years and enjoying time with four grandchildren and a lot of immediate and extended family. I actually love working because I don’t consider it as “work”….most days.
Who is the person (business or personal) who inspires you most?
Even though I lost my parents several years ago, my father was a unique, fun-loving and innovative salesman without a formal education, but with the motivation to always try something new. He was a risk taker and so am I. My mother had an “at home” sales career but was born in the wrong generation. She was overly devoted to her three children. I believe she would have been a huge success in her own right as well but she really never had the chance. My sadness lies in the fact that she never saw me in my real estate career and my father only witnessed the first few years. They still inspire me.