For this entry I chose to conduct a one-on-one interview with Kat Palmiotti, a Broker who continues to excel in our field of Real Estate and has a great reputation with thousands of agents on ActiveRain and in her sphere. In addition, she's a go-getter. She doesn't let things get her down. You will discover she has a humanitarian heart and a passion for good and healthy food, the land, animals, building construction, her family and friends. When I visited Kat in Montana, I felt lucky to be with a person who has an aura of goodness that seems to follow her wherever she goes. I discovered she has a pioneer spirit and she loves to constantly make new discoveries about the State of Montana and all that it offers. Here's how the interview went:
As a Broker who relocated to Montana, what types of community projects or events did you get involved in and how did it make a difference?
Great question! I don’t remember when I started thinking that Habitat for Humanity would be a rewarding activity, but once I moved to Kalispell, I decided to volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity building site in our area. When I first tried to get involved, I wasn’t able to because pandemic rules wouldn’t allow new helpers onto the site. So instead, I spent time every other week volunteering at the Habitat ReStore, which was a blast. I found out how much work goes into stocking the stores with various items. Donated material comes in daily, and it needs to be cleaned, repaired, polished, priced and placed on shelves. Giving me the price gun and letting me figure out prices was a hoot. I met some great people who worked in the stores, and was able to contribute to a fantastic cause because the revenue from the items sold goes towards the building of homes.
HAPPY KAT WITH HABITAT
Eventually the pandemic rules were relaxed a bit and I was able to shift my focus to the Habitat Build Sites. There are families in our area who cannot afford to purchase a home in the regular real estate market and it’s wonderful that they have the ability to apply for a Habitat home. The application process is rigorous, and only a few families are able to get a home of their own. What might not be well-known is that those families not only have to continue working and raising their families while their home is being built (and some have 2 or 3 jobs), but they also have to commit to work at the home site for hundreds of hours. So the bottom line is that 5 homes are now being built for (and with) families who otherwise wouldn’t be able to purchase them. And I am not only helping people get homes, but I have learned so much about the building process. Who knew I’d be tightening rebar ties, putting up walls, and the like. I also learned that people who actually know how to build homes aren’t a fan of you calling various house parts “doohickeys” or “thingamajigs.” They actually like when you know the correct words. Haha.
I truly believe this is an amazing organization and hope I am able to contribute for a long time to come.
As someone who has been in the business a long time, was it easier or harder to get a second license in another state? What advice would you give to others who may need to relocate and stay in the real estate business?
In general, already knowing how to sell real estate is quite helpful when moving to a new area. That being said, anyone who is moving to a new place, especially a new state, has to understand they are essentially starting an entirely new business from scratch. Just because you know how to sell homes and land already, doesn’t mean you will get clients quickly. You have to begin the prospecting and marketing process all over in your new home town. And that can be frustrating as it takes time to get your name out there and to make new contacts. So you should join any organizations you believe in. And participate in the Chamber of Commerce or other local organizations, go out and meet business owners and advertise in whatever way works in your new area.
As for the license process in a new state, it depends on the state and whether they have reciprocity arrangements with your new state. Mine did not, and I had to take two tests, a national one and a local one. The national one wasn’t difficult, but the preparatory course for the state one did not focus on the types of information on the actual test. So that was a bit more difficult. But it’s certainly do-able! You just have to know it may take time to get back to productivity levels from your old area. I’m still working on this.
When you relocated, what were your three top priorities to help you adjust to your new home and location?
Finding some place that sells provolone cheese by the chunk. Believe it or not, this took some work… After months of hunting, I only found one place in my area that has it. So now I have to buy two at a time and freeze them so we don’t run out.
Getting great internet service. I can't function without Internet, especially since we use it not only for work but for streaming movies and shows. After some very unhelpful calls to major cable providers where they hemmed and hawed about what speed I could get (think kilobits), I opted for a customized point-to-point solution from an amazing local provider. My service has been fantastic, and their service is great when I need something.
Where to buy the wine I like. I moved from an area with many large liquor stores near me which had a huge selection of wines. I moved to a place where the liquor stores mostly carry liquor and the grocery stores carry wine. Some of my favorite wines are available in one grocery store but not another. I admit, I’ve found some new favorites so I don’t need to visit different places and I like that I don’t have to go to a separate store and can buy groceries and wine at the same time. But it was a bit of an adjustment.
And I’ll add a fourth thing I learned when moving to my new area. That is, how to stop slamming on the brakes in the middle of the road because the view is just too amazing and I have got to take a photo! I pull over now. (And by the way, no one was ever harmed in the aforementioned brake slamming episodes.)
Do you ever regret your move from one side of the country to the other?
No, never. I do miss certain loved ones who lived near me in my last home town.. But I’m hoping this is the year I’ll get them to visit and hopefully fall in love with this area as I did, and perhaps never leave. Haha. Not kidding.
Someone had asked me if I was anxious when selling my old home, packing up and leaving the familiar behind. And I could honestly say “no.” I was never anxious about moving, just about selling my old house and packing properly and the like. I was so excited as we pulled out of our old driveway. The excitement continued as we drove across country, even though we didn’t know where we would be living before our new house was completed. It was all a big adventure. And that feeling has continued. I truly believe I live in the most beautiful place in the country. I have my phone or camera with me at all times, and pull it out multiple times a day to take photos or videos of something I just have to share. I am meeting new people, making new connections, doing new things. Neighbors of ours called a week or two ago after dinner and invited us to their house for bonfire. We gathered outside with another couple who lived in the area and had an unplanned and amazingly fantastic evening standing outside of a very hot and lively fire and chatted for hours. I see wildlife on a regular basis. I hear falcons crying as they circle above, and song birds chirping in the Spring.
So to answer the question, I have not regretted my move for one second. Not one.
There you have it, the story about a very Happy Kat who is living the dream and encouraging others to do the same. If you're still not motivated or inspired by her story, you need to think about getting a life that fits you just right. ---Patricia Feager