Shelly Smee is a Realtor, Educator, Writer and avid arts patron.
The Art of Living
If I had one piece of advice for my younger self, it would be to seek out mentors earlier in my career. Having just received my 25-year plaque from the Real Estate Board, it seems impossible that the time has elapsed so quickly, yet upon reflection, there have been a lot of bumps in the road that could have been avoided if I had sought out mentorship earlier on.
Being a Realtor is a lifestyle choice. There is no such thing as work-life balance because what you discover along the way is that it is integrated and connected: life, work and people’s need for a roof over their heads. An entrepreneurial mindset is required. You build a business where the product is service and knowledge; a consultative practice requiring one to be present and fully engaged with their community, willing to help, not knowing if there is a paycheque coming and trusting that the universe has your back.
One of my favourite aspects of my career at this stage is teaching. In my role on the leadership team at Oakwyn Realty, I am the “Dean” of our brokerage training program, which is mandatory for all new agents that join our firm. I have also written a PDP course for the Real Estate Board and sit on the professional conduct committee of our board. I am so grateful for the opportunity to lead the next generation of agents while finally having an array of mentors within these groups.
My original goal in becoming a Realtor in 1996 was to make enough money to have my own art studio, and this is now my retirement plan. LOL. In 2012 a passionate group of glass artists formed Terminal City Glass Cooperative (TCGC). We are one of the only member-led glass studios in Canada. At TCGC, professional glass artists and hobbyists exist together as a community, sharing resources and knowledge. The forms of glasswork I am most passionate about are bead making (often integrating into jewellery) and fused glass. If you have ever wanted to play with fire, see the links below.
As both these passions meld together, my next phase of life excites me the most. I am in the beginning stages of locating a property to build an arts-based co-housing community. I purchased a home in a co-housing strata in Burnaby last year and am slowly building my knowledge and resources to realize this long time “why”. If you are interested in learning more about Co-housing, please see the link below.
My mantra is “build it, and they will come.” Over the next two years, I will be taking the next steps to create the infrastructure for this vision of an Artist Co-housing community as I learn more from the wonderful community I am living in now.
The wisdom of middle age is knowing when to ask for help and seeking out those who have gone before you for advice. I am truly grateful for every step along the way that has brought me to this point, and I am so excited for what comes next.