Weidel Broker-Associate Mary Louise McCabe recently celebrated 50 years in real estate; the last 30 of which have been with Weidel Realtors. At a recent Q&A session, she shared the following information about her life as a Realtor and her experiences with the industry.
Please tell us about yourself. My name is Mary Louise McCabe but I’m "Mary Lou" to everybody. I am a licensed Appraiser and hold a Real Estate Broker’s License in New Jersey. I serve clients throughout Mercer, Hunterdon and Burlington Counties and recently celebrated 50 years in Real Estate.
What was your first job and how did you get started in real estate?
My first job was as a waitress at "The Dog House" restaurant on River Road in Ewing Township, which unfortunately is no longer open. I started in real estate in 1961 to help my husband who had been licensed since 1958. We worked at Lombardo Real Estate on US Route 1 under the guidance of Broker-Owner Mario Lombardo.
How did you come to join Weidel? I knew Weidel to be a progressive company with a good reputation from my time in the industry but it was Earl Sneddon, General Manager, who convinced me to join. He was a friend of the family and knew I was licensed in real estate so the recruiting began early on.
How has the business changed over the years? Certainly the prices have changed. Homes that sold for $6,000 in the 1960’s would sell for $300,000 today, even in this market correction we’ve been experiencing the last few years. And there weren’t rules or laws about inspections so deals seemed to happen a lot faster. The overall sale was a lot simpler and personal involvement by both Buyers and Sellers was important — it wasn’t viewed so much as an ‘investment’ as it was a ‘home’ where they could live and raise a family.
With the market constantly changing, how have you stayed successful over the years? Most of my business comes from referrals. Former clients and their children contact me when they are looking to buy or sell based on our past relationships. So much of it is word-of-mouth too. I make sure all my friends, family, neighbors and association members know that I’m in real estate and can help with any needs. Its something I’ve done consistently over the years and it really helps.
What ‘tools’ are critical to success for a Real Estate Associate? Personality has a lot to do with the level of success. If you are honest and hard working, you will succeed. This is a relationship business and always has been. It takes a particular style to promote yourself while maintaining a professional image and cooperation with other Realtors is very important.
What are clients’ concerns these days? Most of the concerns are about price, affordability and the ability to secure a loan. The changes in the real estate and mortgage industries have made it more difficult to secure the proper financing and there can be inspection issues that disrupt the deal. Buyers are watching interest rates very carefully and Sellers are researching comparable properties in their area. This is where a licensed Real Estate Associate is key; to help navigate the client through the obstacles that will occur along the way.
What do you see for the future of the real estate industry? Prices and interest rates will eventually rise but not just yet. The market correction is still working towards a balance and as the job market improves more people will be able to afford the home of their dreams. Right now the uncertainty in the job market has led to a reduction in business but this too will improve.
What is your favorite thing about real estate? The flexible hours, the people you meet and the friends you make along the way. Plus the income potential is only limited to how hard you want to work.
Any advice for those looking to enter real estate as a career? Be honest, ready to work hard and willing to put in the hours. Meet the public and let them know you’re in real estate. Hold Open Houses so you can interact directly with prospects. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It’s really about knowing the basics and building on that.
For more information about properties for sale or a career in real estate, please call 1-800-WEIDEL-1 (800-934-3351) or visit online at www.Weidel.com.