This week, we continue our ongoing series spotlighting the talented, dedicated members of the Coldwell Banker Innovations team.  Today we spend a few minutes getting to know Elaine Spies as she details how she became a real estate professional, her most embarrassing industry moment and why she decided to join the CBI crew!


Hey Elaine! I really appreciate you stopping by to chat today.

No problem at all! I love to talk, just not so much about myself!


Really? It’s my understanding you have a lot of things to talk about, no?

Oh, I can carry on a conversation with the best of them, I’m just not used to being the focus of the conversation.


I read somewhere you spent a great deal of your career in Corporate Sales. Don’t you have to sell yourself first in a competitive industry like that?

Well, some of my co-workers felt that was an important aspect of the job. I just always thought it was better to be observant, you know, to really listen to the client, let them tell me the problems they needed to solve or the issues they were facing. It’s really the same when it comes to my current role with CBI.


How so?

Both buyers and sellers come to us because they have a problem. They either are looking for a new home or, for a variety of reasons, they want to sell their current home. The first thing I do is listen to their needs. It’s amazing what you can learn by just simply asking your clients what they need and then sitting back and listening attentively to their answers.


I see…that really make sense.

I think so, too!


So how did you make the leap from Corporate Sales to the wonderful world of real estate?

Well, it’s not as big of a leap as you’re making it out to be! I decided to retire from sales, oh, let me think…25 years ago? That sounds about right.


Seriously? That long ago?

Yes, and I had several friends tell me that I should look into becoming an agent. I liked the fact that I could use my experience in sales to really help people find their dream home or list their property. It was a perfect fit, really.


And you were able to shift gears, just like that?

Oh, there was a learning curve! I can’t believe I’m admitting to this, but I remember the first offer I was representing, this is so funny, I was so happy for my clients that I presented the paperwork to the other agent and there were no signatures on it! I panicked, I knew I had all the papers signed! It turns out I was looking at a blank copy of the agreement that got mixed into my files, I was so embarrassed and relieved all at the same time!


Oh, I’m sure some of our other team members have their share of stories just like that.

Maybe…but I doubt they would have thought even for a minute they forgot to get signatures!


So why did you choose Coldwell Banker Innovations?

I knew in advance about their stellar reputation and I really liked the fact that they are willing to work with new agents, taking the time to really guide them into their career. I can’t say enough about Betty Hays and all the support she provides new agents.


We’re just about done here. See, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Any parting advice for potential homebuyers or sellers?

Actually, yes. I’ve discovered that nearly every house out there can be transformed into a comfortable home, it’s all about finding the right one that is best suited to the individual.


Whether you’re in the market for a new home or plan on listing your current one, feel free to contact Elaine Spies at 301.745.1661.