As some of my longtime real estate clients know, when I’m not busy helping people to buy or sell properties in the Ottawa area, I am often involved with another passion: equestrian show jumping.
While those two activities might not seem to have much in common, I’ve found they can often overlap, thanks to the network of contacts I’ve made across Canada and abroad in real estate and show jumping. I’ve found many times that a friend or professional contact I’ve made in one field can directly or indirectly help a friend or client from another.
I have been a realtor in the Ottawa area for three decades, specializing in homes and condos in the city’s established neighbourhoods, including Rockcliffe, New Edinburgh, Centretown, the Glebe, Sandy Hill, and the Westboro/Island Park area, (the neighbourhood I call home). My team, Nancy Benson & Associates, is part of the RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Group, the largest single realty office in the Ottawa-Carleton area.
With 30 years as a realtor, I have naturally developed a long list of former clients, and I’ve been gratified that many of them return to me when they want assistance with buying or selling again. My clientele includes urban professionals, including many Foreign Service officers, military personnel, RCMP members and others who have been transferred to Ottawa for their work. I have also helped fellow horse enthusiasts with their real estate needs.
This strong support has helped my team achieve high sales volumes. In 2016, Nancy Benson and Associates sold $32.5 million in real estate in the Ottawa area, so I offer a big thank-you to all my clients.
I also am often asked for help by clients who want to buy property in another city or country, and in those cases I can call on my national and international real estate contacts. I have helped clients find realtors to help them purchase a new home or a vacation property in Canada, the U.S., Mexico and Europe.
I have been equally aided by the many international contacts I’ve made in the equestrian world, going back to my teen years, when I was first involved in show jumping. When I attended university and then began my career in real estate, I put my hobby on hold to focus on getting my career established. About 17 years ago, I decided I was ready to get seriously involved again in show jumping.
I’ve found that the passion, focus and discipline that have helped me in real estate have also helped me to succeed in show jumping. Since taking up the sport again, I have been involved in tournaments for many years in Canada and the U.S. I have shown several times at the Wellington Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, for example, where I have won placings among the top in the country. I have also had top rankings at major tournaments in Ontario.
I was gratified when Horse Sport Magazine published an article about my show jumping successes in 2011. As the article explained, I am rarely away from my Ottawa office for more than three days for horse events, and with email, the web and an excellent support staff, I can operate my office from just about anywhere!
Along with enjoying the excitement of training and taking part in equestrian events, I have made many friends in the equestrian community and a lot of contacts, and as a result I have been able to refer people looking to buy horses and houses.
For example, when Ottawa clients are on a posting elsewhere, they have sometimes called on me to refer them to an agent where they are located. One of my clients bought a property in Amsterdam with help from an agent there I connected him with.
In recent years, clients in Canada or friends from the equestrian world have contacted me and I have been able to refer them to realtors in Florida, Arizona and California as well as Mexico.
Because of my contacts in the real estate and equestrian worlds, I know whom to contact for recommendations for realtors in other cities who are well known and have superb knowledge of their local markets. As a realtor, I love assisting clients or friends with those purchases and helping them to find a realtor they trust and enjoy working with.
Show jumping is a hobby, but it’s a hobby that has enriched my work in real estate in many ways.
If you are looking to buy or sell property in Ottawa, I’d love to meet and chat with you about the local market. If you are looking for referrals for purchases elsewhere, I will do my best to help refer you.