GETTING TO KNOW: ANDRA ARNOLD 

INTERVIEW BY CAI SEPULIS; PHOTOS BY CHRIS TIESSEN 

IN AND AROUND GUELPH, REALTOR ANDRA ARNOLD IS A FAMILIAR FIGURE. EVEN IF YOU WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO PICK HER OUT FROM A (SOCIALLY-DISTANCED) CROWD, YOU’D DEFINITELY RECOGNIZE HER BRAND: THAT SILHOUETTE OF A PAIR OF THICK-RIMMED GLASSES PROMINENTLY DISPLAYED ON EVERY BIT OF ANDRA’S MARKETING COLLATERAL – FROM LAWN SIGNS TO BUS WRAPS TO MAGAZINE PRINT ADS. RECENTLY, TOQUE’S CAI SEPULIS CAUGHT UP WITH ANDRA TO TALK ABOUT HER CAREER AS ONE OF THE TOP AGENTS IN THE ROYAL CITY – AND ABOUT THAT EFFECTIVE LOGO, TOO. HERE’S WHAT ANDRA HAD TO SAY: 

BEFORE WE BEGIN – HOW’S YOUR LEG DOING?
It’s on the mend. By the time this magazine hits the region, I’ll be walking on both legs again. 

WHAT’S THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB AS A REALTOR? 
Making people happy. Period. Seeing my clients happy absolutely delights me. 

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR CAREER IN REAL ESTATE – HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN AT IT?
I’ve been a realtor for a dozen years now. When I realized how tough it was going to be, I really hunkered down, and decided to put into this venture all the effort I had put into other avenues of my life. I remain fully committed. 

HOW WOULD YOUR CLIENTS DESCRIBE WORKING WITH YOU?
I think they’d acknowledge that working with me is more about building a relationship than about anything transactional. Of course, when it comes down to it, my team and I are an extremely professional and detail-oriented crew. But everything starts and ends with strong relational ties between my clients and me. 

CAN YOU INFORM OUR READERS ABOUT SOME PERTINENT CURRENT TRENDS IN THE MARKET?
I used to think I could predict where the market was going. Nowadays, the only thing that seems certain is uncertainty. For instance, this year has been a real rollercoaster – caused primarily by the global pandemic. In recent months in Guelph there has been a ton of demand and a real shortage of supply. Instead of making predictions, I feel it’s most important to inform my clients about how to weather the storms of unpredictability – about how to navigate through any type of market. 

WHERE ARE SOME OF THE COOLEST SPOTS IN THE REGION TO LOOK FOR REAL ESTATE?
In Guelph, The Junction and The Ward are still great neighbourhoods for first-time buyers, investors, and anyone looking for a bit of grittiness and character. In general, Fergus and Elora are growing like crazy right now – and have so much to offer folks who love ‘elevated’ small town living. Especially Elora has so much to offer – from restaurants to boutiques to the gorge. 

ANY TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME? 
Be sure to find a realtor whom you like and trust as a person, and who has enough experience to guide you. And be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. 

AND FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS? 
Be patient – it will happen. It’s a tough market out there. Navigate it with a realtor who cares. 

AND WHAT ABOUT THAT STRIKING LOGO? WHAT’S THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THOSE GLASSES?
You mean besides the fact that I love collecting glasses, lol? But really, I’ve always thought that the real estate game, and real estate marketing, specifically, has focused too much on realtors’ looks. 

So many real estate advertisements could double just as easily for fashion shoots, it seems. I want my knowledge as a realtor, and my ability to bond with my clients, to shine first. The glasses, my trademark, have come to represent key features of who I am: professional, knowledgable, friendly, and loyal.  

Andra Arnold
andraarnold.com
824 Gordon Street, Guelph, ON