During one of several existential crises after graduate school and before ‘life,’ I considered becoming a realtor. When I discussed this possibility with a local broker friend, he asked what was holding me back. ‘The overabundance of realtors in the region, for starters,’ I answered. His response has stayed with me: ‘Don’t worry about that,’ he said. ‘There’s always room for the best.’

Words to live by, no doubt. And words that ring true when I encounter Guelph realtor Gia Lucchetta – unquestionably among ‘the best.’

We are sitting in her beautifully-landscaped garden in the gorgeous historic neighbourhood sandwiched between downtown Guelph and Exhibition Park. There’s a vegetable garden not far from where we’re seated, and a massive stone wood- red oven. Heavenly.

‘It’s really incredible that I’ve been at this game for twenty-nine years now,’ Gia remarks. ‘And especially amazing,’ she adds, ‘that it’s been with the same brokerage all this time.’ What Gia – a fierce negotiator who loves saving her clients money – neglects to mention is how she’s ranked in the top 3% of approximately 18,000 Royal LePage agents nationally. Or how she’s one of a handful of Guelph agents who’s respected by her peers and sought after by seeming everyone else.

It took a while for this not atypical ‘twenty-something’ to become fully invested in the business. ‘But time and experience are certainly the best teachers,’ she says, adding ‘I’ve learned from both over the past three decades.’

And it helps, she asserts, that she’s selling Guelph. ‘There’s nothing easier, in my opinion, than selling this community. Its character. Personality. History. Food.’ I sense her real passion for the Royal City and its heritage. Indeed, Gia’s historical stone house is evidence of this. The tongue- and-groove pine so ets. Interior wood trim. The original windows (lovingly restored). ‘I’m this house’s custodian – nothing more,’ she remarks.

‘What keeps this career especially exciting for me is helping clients connect with our community. Recommending dentists. Doctors. Schools. Restaurants.’ She smiles: ‘Always restaurants.’ Indeed, the foodie in Gia would have it no other way. ‘A perfect day for me,’ she continues, ‘would include selling houses, making great food, and breaking bread with others.’ It’s no surprise that all her business now comes from repeat referrals. Indeed, even folks whom Gia first dealt with as clients over two decades ago continue to use – and recommend – her.

Gia asks if I’d like to see her small vegetable garden. As she’s picking some grape tomatoes for that night’s dinner – with friends, of course – I ask Gia whether she sees any pertinent connections between her two passions: food and real estate. After a moment, she answers: ‘They’re both about community. About spending time with people. About building relationships.’ As she passes me a bright red tomato, I nod in agreement.
Gia Lucchetta