Elisha Sander came to Vancouver from Calgary 5 years ago looking to make a name for herself in acting. While pursuing that career, she was waitressing to tide her over between roles. During one of her shifts, she noticed the same guy coming in quite a few times. He always had a pleasant demeanor and seemed to enjoy a great lifestyle. When she found out he was a real estate agent, she decided to give it a shot!
After getting her license, she noticed an untapped market in social media that very few realtors were taking advantage of. She knew right away that she could access people who were in a similar position to her – coming into their career and looking to buy their first homes.
As her following grew on social media and her career flourished, she also came across an opportunity to combine her two passions.
She has currently filmed the pilot for an HGTV special focusing on the real estate market in Arizona.
Here are the main takeaways I found from my time with Elisha – read on fellow gamechangers;
The first thing that I noticed in Elisha was her confidence. This woman can communicate directly while being warm & disarming. Her intelligence is obvious as she is clearly well read & is very well spoken.
This is not surprising considering she’s developed an impressive career in real estate, tapping into a market that she knew she could reach best by developing her Instagram following and reaching out to her fellow peers who are also buying their first houses.
“I remember meeting people were successful in their field or somewhat intimidating,” she explains, “and they would be cold or distant in their communication, I just didn’t feel welcome around them. I knew I never wanted to make anyone feel that way. It’s really important to me to make those around me feel comfortable, especially the people I could influence in a positive way.”
She seemed to instinctively know that putting herself out there on social media and helping other people who were in a similar situation to hers was the way she was going to get momentum going, and boy was she right.
Elisha’s confidence, I think, has been the biggest catalyst to her career.
When I say her confidence, I want to be clear, I don’t think this is confidence that she could achieve her everything she wants and then some, more so the confidence that she could figure out what she needed to learn to achieve those goals.
She has built an impressive career in real estate, and, coming from an acting background, she has managed to merge the two through an unexpected series of events.
I love the fact that her work is a hybrid between somebody who has a mainstream career, entrepreneurial ventures & the arts.
I hear from so many people who communicate to me via the blog saying that they almost feel like a failure if they have a job. Because the world is so entrepreneurial these days, they feel like they should be an entrepreneur to be “making it” and that is just not true.
There is a lot of value in learning a skill set from working for somebody else and there is a lot of value in treating your job as your investor if you do have a bigger plan for yourself.
I don’t believe in quitting your job to pursue your dream as the one size fits all way to having career success.
I love that Elisha has embraced the best of both worlds and, as a result, has trailblazed a new way to have the life you love.
GIRLS GOT GRIT
One of the most obvious things about Elisha is her pure grit.
I’m talking down to business, work ethic, ‘fuck what everyone else is doing I’m gonna make this work for me’ type of mentality.
I absolutely LOVE this in people.
“I knew I wanted to love what I do, be good at it and make a lot of money,” she explained, “when I wasn’t getting gigs in acting and I was open to other opportunities that could give me that lifestyle.”
I think that women (and some men, to be fair) will sometimes shy away from expressing that need for financial freedom.
I personally feel like money is just as valuable as your health. No, not MORE valuable, but just as valuable.
Yes, you can be totally healthy but you’re living on the streets, or yes you can be completely wealthy, but you have no quality of life.
Potato - Pohtahto.
She’s very clear on the fact that her clients come first, and adding value to their home buying experience is one of the best parts of her day. It seems to be a universal law that the more value you provide, the higher your income will be.
Elisha talks about how when she was growing up, she learned how to drive in the back alley on a manual stick car with her sister. Nobody was there to hold their hands, they just had to figure things out on their own. She made the decision to pursue real estate while was waitressing and trying to make it in acting.
“There was one regular who always came in, and he seemed like he had a pretty good life. Nice people around him, a lot of flexibility and he seemed really happy.”
So, she asked him “what do you do?” and he said “I’m in real estate” and she said “okay, I want to give that a try.”
It wasn’t something that was her passion or it wasn’t something that came easily to her. It wasn’t something that was even really on her radar, but she knew that she wanted some sort of a lifestyle and, unfortunately, the acting jobs weren’t rolling in at the time.
I feel like that is such a great lesson to take away – The thing you could end up loving isn’t necessarily the thing you’re passionate about right now. It’s been proven as we increase our competence at something our passion grows, so it’s often worth it to take a shot at something new.
There was a study done on assistants’ a while back, and it showed that the assistants that got the greatest fulfillment out of their jobs had been there for a year plus. Showing that learning and gaining confidence can not only ignite passion but be valuable stepping stones & lessons on your way to where you’re going.
It’s a great reminder that just because something might look daunting due to the fact that you don’t know how to do it or seems difficult because you don’t know anybody who has done it, could be the reason you should try it instead of shy away.
Start small. Start small and make sure it is congruent with the type of lifestyle you want. If you want a certain income level, for example, make sure that that’s possible in that field. If you want a certain type of freedom where, let’s say, you want three months off a year minimum, make sure that that’s possible in what you are pursuing, but don’t let yourself be scared off by something just because you’re not sure where to start.
Elisha really embodies that willingness to learn new things and it’s paid off big time.
OFF-LINE SOCIAL SKILLS
The third biggest takeaway from Elisha is her endearing quality of how she engages people.
This is something that I really, really admire in her and it is something that can also be taught.
It can be easy to think that charisma is just natural, there’s just that lucky bunch out there who can talk their way into or out of anything.
It’s been shown that’s just not true, it definitely is easier for some people than others, however charisma can be taught and it starts with smiling at people or asking about their day.
Getting curious is one of the best ways to not only engage people and Elisha does it effortlessly. Was it always effortless? Probably not ;)
One thing that struck me about Elisha is that she seemed to be someone who could be in line at Starbucks and have five new friends by the time she got her coffee. She has this ability to engage with people, smile, to ask them what is going on with them, and you can feel the fact that she’s genuine.
Her welcoming nature made me realise how pleasant it is to be around someone like that, and it struck me that wouldn’t it be cool to BE that welcoming person more often so I could make others feel that way.
STAY IN YOUR LANE
I love this mentality. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing, just focus on where you can add the most value RIGHT NOW.
Elisha has a large Instagram following, and to be honest, I haven’t seen another real estate agent that has over 10,000 followers on Instagram. What’s cool about how she does with her social media is that it’s not just about the duplexes, she shows a lot of her personality and interests.
She’s an accomplished business woman but also went to school for makeup and LOVES fashion. When I first started following her on Instagram it wasn’t for real estate at all, more so because I loved her page.
Now, when it’s time to buy a place, she’ll be my first call. Her willingness to let herself be seen beyond the professional is extremely appealing and it’s a great reminder to let yourself be seen! Being real is attractive.
Elisha came into the Vancouver real estate market in her mid-twenties and saw that luxury property sales with high commission might not be the best thing to focus on right away. This wasn’t her niche just yet, and she embraced it.
She did realise that she could really relate to the college graduate buying her first place or the couple who just got married and are looking for their next upgrade for when they have kids.
She decided to really hone in on that market. One of the ways she did that is through social media, therefore allowing the people she could help most find her in a very organic way.
It is really a matter of staying in your own lane.
She has a niche in this area right now, does that mean she will never do luxury real estate if that’s what she wants? Absolutely not! She can do whatever she wants!
You can be well aware of your capabilities but also of what serves you most right now, and she understands that better than most.
“I fell in love with helping someone find their perfect first home and love being a part of that experience, talking to them about how they can entertain their friends or have space for an up and coming family member.”
I admire the fact that Elisha embraces having a passion for where you are and enjoying the process, as opposed to impatiently searching for the “next level”. There is always going to be a new position, a next step, a better house, more money, you name it.
If you can have a passion for where you are instead of always striving to be at the next level it’ll help you be the best at what you’re doing right now which in turn will allow you to get to the next level.
It’s a fantastic characteristic that Elisha has and it’s a great reminder for everybody to ask themselves;
How can I improve my performance where I am? How can I improve my output where I am? How can I be more conscious of bringing more value?
I promise you if you do that, your success will shortly follow.