Terry Germain has seen a lot of changes in real estate in the Estevan area during his career as a Realtor.
Terry recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as a licensed real estate agent, which is even more impressive when you consider the average real estate agent has a five-year career.
He ventured into real estate because he believed he needed a change in his life. So he moved to Estevan from Alida in 1990, and started with NRS Border Real Estate, earning his licence in 1991. The late Dennis Moe, who was a big part of the local real estate market for many years, was the NRS broker and Germain’s mentor.
“He showed me a lot of what to do and what not to do. I miss him. When I get in trouble every now and then, I always think back to what would he do, what would Moe do to get this deal done.”
He went to work building up his name and reputation in the community, not only through his work, but through playing sports such as hockey and golf, and by supporting local initiatives.
In 1995, Border Real Estate became a Century 21 broker. Terry would remain with them for another 22 years.
“I had some really good years, and of course, in any business, you have bad years,” said Terry.
In 2012, Terry was the No. 3 agent in the country for Century 21 in terms of the number of properties sold. He noted that it reflected how busy all of the agents in Estevan were, as the community was in the boom times.
It’s the type of market he hopes to see again before he retires.
Terry joined Coldwell Banker Choice Real Estate in 2017, and he has been working under their banner ever since.
“I enjoy the flexibility,” said Terry. “The biggest thing is finding families a home on their biggest purchase of their life. It’s very gratifying to me.”
He’s been through the boom and bust cycles that have hit Estevan. Terry noted those usually last about seven years. The late 1990s were a tough time to be in the real estate market. And the construction that occurred in Estevan from 2006-2014 created a lot of change.
“We have good industries in this corner,” said Terry. “I’m very fortunate I chose Estevan to make a career.”
When he first came to Estevan, he didn’t know anyone, and he didn’t know his way around town. Now he knows all the quickest ways around the city.
Terry has seen other changes as well. When he first started, the interest rates were at about 13 per cent. Lower interest rates are a big benefit for the real estate sector.
When he first started, they used to hand-deliver offers for purchases for clients, whereas now they will use email, and they’re using cell phones and other forms of technology to keep in contact with clients.
Thirty years ago, there was just one form to fill out to complete a purchase. Now they have to complete as many as 12.
“Real estate is not a 9-5 job. You’re on call 24-7,” said Terry. “You have clients that are on shift work, and of course, when they’re on shift work, you have to go on shift work.”
He noted on the day of the interview that he had a showing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. that night, The interview occurred on a Friday morning. Another showing was scheduled for two days later on a Sunday morning.
There is also an educational component that every agent needs to complete each year.
In the community, Terry has supported the Estevan Humane Society, Ducks Unlimited and the Royal Canadian Legion’s Estevan branch, and he’s part of the Estevan Strippers hockey club. Earlier this year, Coldwell Banker launched the Homes for the Hospital initiative, in which part proceeds from every home sold by a local Coldwell Banker agent will be directed to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation.
There have been times in which he’s thought it’s time to move on to something else, but he’s toughed it out, and he still enjoys the work. He is glad he went into real estate, an industry he called “gratifying,” and he looks forward to remaining in it for a while yet.
“Listers last,” said Germain. “If you have the product on the market, you’ll make a go of it.”