Andrea Seventikidis is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario. She is partnered with her husband Chris as a realtor with Century 21 Realty, and is the Founder of From House to Home – Professional Home Staging. We are excited to share Andrea’s Success Story!
About Andrea & Her Journey to Entrepreneurship
I have been a realtor since 2003, working together with my husband at Century 21 Future Realty. We specialize in Milton and the surrounding areas. Our business thrives on being completely honest with our clients & doing everything within our control to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible while getting them the most money in their pocket. We have won numerous sales awards within Century 21 and our business continues to grow each year; referrals from satisfied past clients who are confident in our services being our biggest source for business. It is my passion to educate clients through the home buying & selling process; as well as all the creative aspects involved in Real Estate (marketing, staging, hosting open houses & client events).
I have always been someone who takes great pleasure in re-arranging my own furniture in my house to create a different “feel” to a space. For as long as I can remember, I have been a garage sale/secondhand store “guru”, looking for the next piece I can re-finish and bring new life to. So naturally these interests, along with my passion for staging our clients’ homes, finally all came together in 2017 when I decided to take the next step and get my staging certification. I enrolled in the Staging Certification Program offered through world renowned CCSP taught by Christine Rae (author of Staging For Dummies), and passed with honors, while also having the privilege of being nominated as project manager for staging day on our final day of the course. In 2018 I officially started up my side staging business called “From House To Home – Professional Home Staging”. I’ve had a lot of support and positive feedback so far; potential clients contacting me after seeing my most recent vacant staging online, and other realtors looking to hire me for their upcoming listings. I look forward to the year ahead and watching both businesses continue to grow!
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I have always been a very driven, hard working and motivated person. I saw my family selling Real Estate growing up and I liked the flexibility that it offered. After working in the restaurant business for years and working in some “not always pleasant” environments – working long hours and not feeling appreciated or like my voice was being heard – I decided I had enough of working for others. At the age of 21, I opened up my first business, a cafe inside of a gym, where I offered sandwiches, protein shakes, and other snacks . I haven’t looked back since.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
To me the best part of owning a business is two-fold; first I love the flexibility. The fact that I can be around to raise my daughter and be involved in her day-to-day activities or schedule my work around any events that are important to her makes my life so much more satisfying. Owning my own business allows me to be able to book off time to pamper myself or travel with my family when I choose. (And I love that I can get my groceries Monday mornings when the stores are quiet, haha).
Secondly, I also love that “it is what I make it”. If I get out there and continue to learn everyday, stay focused and driven, and “put myself” out there, then I will be rewarded with the continued success of the growth of my business. I love that I can be creative with the different services I provide, make choices that are right for my business, as well as the payoff of hearing positive feedback from satisfied clients.
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
I want to live a life where I feel like I really had an impact on other people’s lives. Building connections, as well as educating and assisting others is very satisfying to me.
I also want to be a good role model to my daughter. I want her to have the courage to be her “own boss” one day too; and to really follow her passion and know that she can do anything she wants with her life. I want her to see that Mama “hustles” to be the best she can be, and does her share to provide for the family while still making sure quality time is priority.
Can you describe a typical day?
Every single day is different for me. I enjoy the variety but it means I have to be very disciplined and organize my priorities to stay on task. My work day typically starts at 8:00am after my daughter goes to school and I sit down at my computer to follow up with any emails/messages; during busy times I have been known to get up around 5:00am – 6:00am to start my tasks before she’s up.
The only two items in my schedule that are the same each week are Tuesdays when I do realtor open houses with my husband and other realtors at our office, and Thursdays when I work from the Century 21 office.
The commonality of each of my days is that I typically spend a couple hours on my computer, a few hours running errands for work, working on social media, and just responding to the day-to-day demands from clients. There is often appointments for listings (where we walk through with sellers and get them started on their plan to prepare their home for market, give them an idea on price, staging advice, as well as show them all the services we provide), showing homes to buyers, helping clients pick out finishes, final walk throughs prior to closing, staging appointments/colour consultations, and more. I also take a lot of courses and surround myself with people that I can learn from, as it keeps me motivated and inspired, as well as up-to-date with recent changes.
I try to set aside an hour or two for myself at some point during the day for “me” time, which can consist of exercise, reading a book, enjoying a hot bath or having a coffee with a friend. My day will often go late into the evening, long after dinner, so I have learned I need to carve out some time for myself or it won’t happen. I also set aside time for my family to enjoy dinner and catch up with events from the day, or assist my daughter with homework/preparing for next day.
Weekends we are typically busy each day for a couple of hours with either open houses or appointments/showings, and our business has seasonal highs and lows, with spring and fall being the busiest; so when we have the quieter times, I can enjoy more down time with loved ones and doing things I enjoy.
Who do you count on for help?
We are fortunate to have a large network of people who we lean on when times get really busy. My husband and I juggle our busy schedules together to make sure that for the most part one of us is able to be home for our daughter, or take her to her activities. I can count on him when I need some help with the “to do” list of the day. When we both need to be out, we have a variety of close friends who are always willing to have our daughter spend some time with them.
When it comes to Real Estate we get alot of support from our office administrator (who is very knowledgeable & thorough, & willing to jump into any task we need assistance with). Our broker is always a phone call away for any advice/support we may need. We also have a great team of Realtors in our office who are always willing to help if needed.
With my staging business I have hired someone that can help me on “Staging” days. She is enthusiastic & very helpful
(not to mention a pleasure to be around) which makes things run more smoothly during hectic days.
Have you ever had to sacrifice something at home for work? Or vice versa?
A clean house! Life can definitely be a juggling act sometimes and I am trying to learn to let go of the things that aren’t a priority at the moment. This is a learning experience for me, for sure. And social time; I find that during our “peak times” I don’t even bother to schedule in social time with friends unless we can manage to do something last minute. We are lucky to have wonderful friends that understand how our business works and that we will have more time for them when the season changes.
What do you do on a day off? Do you even know what a day off is?
Again, seasonally; in the summer we are very fortunate to have more time to spend with family and friends, and really enjoy heading up to our cottage (near Kincardine). In the Winter we usually book little getaways to local resorts/hotels to enjoy a couple of days of quality down time.
Whenever I get a day off otherwise, I like to spend it outdoors hiking, gardening, or swimming, or just spending time with friends/family, going to the movies, golfing, working on painting projects, going on day trips to the zoo and other attractions like sporting events. It’s especially nice when I can get a spa visit in for myself to really unwind.
What does the future look like for you and your business?
The future looks bright. I feel very optimistic for what’s ahead in 2018 and beyond. I feel a lot of “positive energy” around both what we have done for our real estate business to promote growth, and my new staging business. I feel like I am finally really putting myself out there and pushing through some feelings of discomfort to realize my true potential. I am very excited for the future of my businesses.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Just Do It!! Stop thinking and start doing. I feel like a lot of times we as women tend to overanalyze things and don’t want to “half-ass” it (excuse my language). We feel like we need to be an expert in every single facet of our business before we feel the confidence to start. Obviously you need to prepare yourself and your business to some degree, but what better way to learn than to just start “doing”!