Editor’s note: The Monthly Member Profile is a feature that puts a spotlight on one of PAR’s 34,000 members. Do you have an interesting story to tell? We encourage you to submit your information online.
Name: Kathy McGuriman
Company: Compass Real Estate, Ardmore
Years in real estate: 16
Specialty: Condo sales
Local association: Montgomery County Association of Realtors®
How did you get started in real estate?
I got my license back in the late ‘70s. I worked for a real estate company in an administrative position, so I thought I should get my license and maybe I’ll sell someday. I never really did. I met and married my now ex-husband, who is very successful in the business. I got remarried and then got laid off and my new husband said, “You should go to school and get your license. I think you’d be really good at it,” and so here I am today.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to the start of your career?
I would get my broker’s license. I started working on it two or three years after I got my license and I let it fizzle. I got busy, I took other courses and then I thought, “I’m not going to be a manager, I’m not going to my own business, so what do I need this for?” And now, I’m sorry that I didn’t get it earlier because it’s great education. It’s great to be able to say you’re a broker associate, even if you’re not going to own your own business or be a manager. So, I’m working on it today and I’m about one course from being ready to take the test. Anybody out there just starting in the business, I recommend that you get your broker’s license. It’s worth it.
Why do you love being a Realtor®?
A lot of people say this, and it may sound cliché, but I really do love homes. My husband calls me a nester because I’m always fixing up my house. I’m changing a wall here, putting fluffy pillows over there. I just like to see the satisfaction on my clients’ faces after they’ve bought a house and they’ve made it their home. What’s wonderful today with social media is that I get to see that. Not everyone posts everything, but many post things like “I just painted this room” or “I’m having a barbecue on my new deck” and those are some of the things remind me that I helped this person find their home and now they’re actually enjoying it and making it home. That makes me really super happy.
What do you attribute your success to?
I would attribute my success to my patience and listening to my clients. When they come to me and they say, “I want to sell a house” or “I want to buy a house,” I ask them why. They came to this decision, but why they made that decision is important for me to understand so I’m sure that the advice that I give to them and the end result is exactly what they needed. Sometimes they approach it the wrong way and you just want to make sure that it’s the right decision, at the right time.
What is the biggest challenge you face being Realtor®?
For me the biggest challenge is all the information that’s out there. Sometimes people come to me and they already have a preconceived notion of how easy it’s going to be because somebody on HGTV bought a house in two seconds or sold a house in two seconds. I always like to explain to them that this is what I do all the time. When I have a little pain in my neck, I go on WebMD, but in the end, if my pain doesn’t go away, I go to see the expert, my doctor. When you come to me, I’m the expert in real estate. Let’s take some of this information and let’s talk about it and then let’s delve into what is really good knowledge and good information that you can actually use.
What made you become more active in your local, state or national association?
I saw that there was a need for more volunteers and I started small on committees. I got to know a lot of people and those people who I was on committees with encouraged me to get a little bit more active. I took it in baby steps and then I had someone approach me and ask if I wanted to be considered for secretary/treasurer for the Montgomery County Association of Realtors®, which I’m a member of. I thought why not? It was a natural progression from there to go to vice president, which I am today. I’ll be president next year. Coming for the meetings has just taught me that I’ve learned a lot, I get a lot out of the meetings and I’ve met a lot of interesting and really great people. I also I think it makes you want to be a better professional.
How has being involved helped your business?
I tell my clients that just for the next two days I’m in Harrisburg for meetings. I’m not totally out of touch and if there’s something they need or that we need to take care of, I’m there for them and I can do it. But I’m in Harrisburg for a reason and that is to make sure that homeownership rights, tenant rights, landlord rights, anything that has to do with homeownership and property, that those rights are protected and that what we do for you as Realtors® continues to be professional and we make sure that those contracts you sign are helpful. We keep involved and we keep a foot in the door in the business, so my customers understand it’s not just the buying and the selling and getting a commission, but when the deal closes, I really do care about this industry and want to make sure that it continues on the path of professionalism.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I used to be a ballroom dancer. I don’t do it anymore, but I did, and I still have the shoes. I don’t have the costumes anymore. I won some trophies and proud to say some were first-place. I was a little bit more into the Latin style, not so much foxtrot or waltzes, but I love the Latin.
What do you do when you’re not selling real estate?
Hang with my family. I love to read and I have a little Corgi and I play with him and take him for walks. I spend time with my four children, who are all out of the house now. The Corgi’s name is Barkley and he’s the baby, and I hang out with my husband and enjoy our time together.