Know Your REALTOR®: Lisa Mueller

Posted by Lisa Mueller on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 at 2:30pm.

 

Lisa Mueller is an award-winning Saskatoon REALTOR® with CENTURY 21 Fusion, with 12 years of experience in the real estate industry. She has worked with the brokerage as both a real estate agent and a broker manager, offering a wide array of experience in the way she works with home buyers, sellers, and other industry professionals. Even with her busy schedule, she was happy to spare a moment to talk about her experience as a local REALTOR® and why she would be the best fit for finding you and your family the dream home you’ve been searching for!

Why did you choose to become a REALTOR®?

I chose to become a REALTOR® because, at one point, I had moved 6 times in 8 years and so my husband said to me, "You should just be learning how to sell our houses and doing this yourself because we may as well save the commission." Well, that's why I got into it, but that's not what ended up happening because we actually ended up staying in our house for the whole time that I was a REALTOR®, pretty much. 

I just had a lot of knowledge and I thought to myself, "I can do better than some of these REALTORS® that we had experienced." They weren't great communicators, and it kind of felt like they plopped the sign on the lawn and didn't follow through with the things they were saying. So that's what I wanted to focus on when I became a REALTOR®: good customer service and making sure I was communicating properly with the clients and so that they felt that the value they were getting was worth what they were paying. 

What's your favourite part about being a REALTOR®?

The people. Just being out with people, learning about their stories as to why they're selling or why they're wanting to move into a new property, and helping them realize their dreams of home ownership, whether that be moving up or moving down, in some cases, or moving to other centres. You know, a lot of the clients end up becoming friends or really good acquaintances, and you just enjoy watching them, how their families develop, and how they've either become accustomed to their home or they've moved on. It’s just so interesting! 

What is something that you think every buyer should know before getting into real estate?

Well, I think the biggest thing with buyers is—even experienced buyers—you need an agent that has a lot of experience so they can share their knowledge. This is especially true when it comes to new buyers or newer buyers. There is just so much out there for them to be aware of and it becomes apparent when you start walking through homes.

I try and educate my buyers as much as I can during a showing. I don't just sit on my phone and text people while it’s going on. I'm walking through with them, pointing out things, and showing them where there might be an issue later on or something that we need a home inspector to look through if it comes to a home inspection. I just think it’s so important to educate buyers on the process, on what is a good home and what isn't a good home, so that they can feel really confident that I am representing them and that they're buying the best property they can for themselves. 

What do you think is the most important change coming for real estate?

I think the biggest thing that is coming ahead for real estate is technology. You know, they're talking about these i-buyers and people that are going to buy strictly through online means, and I just don't see it happening. Maybe in bigger centres in the United States it might be heading that way, but we're always a little laggy here in Saskatchewan. But mostly I think that you still just need that personal touch. You need somebody to have a second set of eyes for you. 

If you're buying online, or just going to see a property that someone is selling as a private sale, you don't have that third party to make sure that you're being represented properly, and that all things are being looked at and looked after. Buyers are still emotional and so us, as REALTORS®, need to separate ourselves from those emotions, making sure that the deal comes together and that the right price is paid. So, that would be my biggest thing that I think is advancing, but maybe not necessarily in a good way. 

Tell us a little more about yourself. 

I have been in real estate coming on 12 years and, for the first 5 years, I bought and sold real estate with clients. Then, I was approached by the brokerage here in Saskatoon. They asked me to apply to become the broker manager, and I did. I had to go through a series of interviews and it wasn't easy to get the job, but I finally did get it. One of the owners of CENTURY 21 Fusion particularly wanted me here. She said that she wanted a female broker in Saskatoon, so I became the broker of CENTURY 21 Fusion. 

I was the broker manager for 5 years and, during that time, I had 95 agents and 7 staff underneath me and I ran this brokerage with the help of a few others. I was on-call all the time and I oversaw 10,000 deals while I was doing it, so I learned a lot. And I felt that I gained a lot, so I sure can share a lot of information with my clients now. I pretty much know anything that can go wrong in a deal and how to mitigate that or try to prevent it from happening. I always make sure that I let my clients know that we have to get proper conditions and terms in place on an offer. And, when it comes to listing a property, it must be properly listed—the house has to be measured and the different things that need to be done must be done properly. It’s what I taught agents for 5 years and I carry it with me today.

Outside of the workplace, I have 3 girls that just motivate, impress, and amaze me every day. They're my number one fans, so I'm very lucky. In my spare time, I’m a taxicab driver driving my kids around. Although, 2 of them do drive now, so I'm just down to one and she's taking her learner's license. But, yeah, I like spending time watching my kids in sports and hanging out with them. I also have played a fair amount of volleyball in my lifetime—35 years, in fact—and my knees are starting to show that, so I've got to learn some new hobbies and new things to do besides work and kids!

Why do you love Saskatoon?

Saskatoon is a great sized city. In terms of cities, it's one of the smaller ones in the world, so I find that it's really easy to get around. Some would say the traffic is poor, but I always say, "Well, go and try living  in Toronto for a few years and see how you feel about the traffic in Saskatoon." You can drive here anywhere in 20-25 minutes, unless there's an accident and then it might be another 5 minutes. 

Then there's the bridges and the river—it's just gorgeous here! And we're getting some really good development downtown. So those buildings are coming up and they're going to be beautiful for the skyline. Plus there are what we would call the suburbs of Saskatoon, which is really just the outlying communities. They're building them so that they have good access to grocery stores and exercise places and that sort of thing. 

I just think Saskatoon is a really nice little hub where you can feel like you live in the city and have all the access to everything you would need, but without the frustration of big cities and the traffic issues.

If you could give any seller one piece of advice, what would it be?

I think sellers today need to make sure that they have properly priced their property and that takes a lot of analyzing of past sales and what's currently on the market. I never give my sellers a price; I always arrive at the price with them by educating them so that they can feel confident in what we're putting that house on the market for. 

Also, promoting the house is a big deal. It needs to have great exposure through different websites and it needs to be properly presented on those websites—the comments need to be good, the pictures need to be professionally done.

Then the last piece is making sure that the house is in great shape when it gets on the market. I have all sorts of connections for that—painters and stagers and people that can help with decluttering or anything that needs to be done. And I can give my piece of advice, too, as we walk through the home and help that seller decide what needs to be done before we get that on the market. 

 

Is there anything else you think people should know about you when considering whether or not to work with you?

I am very knowledgeable, and I've got a lot of experience. My experience is partly maybe from my age, but more from moving around the province. I've lived in about 12 different houses all around Saskatchewan, and I’ve owned several investment properties throughout the years, so I have a lot of experience with those, as well. We also ran a farm for 25 years, so I even know all about farming communities, small communities, and we had 3 different cabins, so I know about lake properties, as well. No matter what type of property you’re interested in buying, there’s a good chance that I’ve had experience with it and can draw from that to help you make the most informed decision for you possible.

Why CENTURY 21? 

CENTURY 21 offers the most exposure for people's listings, so that's the main reason why I am with them. I think it exposes properties properly and there's also a lot of tools that I can use for marketing. Then, when it comes to buyers, we always have a lot of education going on. Our agents, I believe, are very knowledgeable, educated, and up-to-date with their information, so that will always help a buyer in the end to make sure that they're represented and that they're buying the proper property for them. 

Lastly, if you could choose 3 words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Confident. Caring. Fun-loving.

 

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