Making People Feel at Home
Delores Canté, owner and designated broker for 5 Star here in Lakewood provides more than just rental homes. She gives property owners and tenant families and individuals a sense of place, dignity and security.
As a former banker who financed commercial real estate of all types, Delores worked with many property managers. She thought she would like to do that. In 2009, she decided to take on the challenge of starting her own business. Not being a licensed broker at that time, she had to go through a rigorous amount of studying in order to successfully pass the test on the first time around. Once licensed, she visited with the South Sound Women’s Business Center who helped her write her first 42 page business plan, originally for commercial leasing. She realized there was an opportunity to help people with second homes to find tenants, so she transitioned her work plan to fill this need. She decided not to compete with real estate agents to sell properties but rather to partner with them for rental referrals.
April of 2012, Delores expanded her business and hired three employees. Properties continue to become available, referrals are increasing, and the market is hot. As soon as a property hits the market, she gets overwhelmed with calls and it’s usually rented very quickly. She had to add a third line recently to handle all the calls. She hopes to hire another property manager and move her receptionist from part to full time this year.
What is her secret to success? Customer service! Always call back, say thank you with a smile, take care of your clients, be persistent, and always show up with a mindset for success.
What is her favorite part of this career? When a tenant says how grateful they are. She helps families with challenges regain their dignity by giving them a second chance. She looks at what is important and makes people feel at home. At the same time, she offers property owners a sense of security knowing they can trust that their homes will be well cared for.
What does she see as industry challenges and trends? Houses are starting to sell but lenders are still a little tight. Tenants are moving toward more upscale housing options and demand is outweighing availability. More multifamily units will be needed to meet future demand, and single family homes may become scarcer.
Delores is a single mother of two grown children, 19 and 22. She hopes to move from Spanaway to Lakewood in the near future.
www.5starpropertymgmt.com * 10025 Lakewood Dr SW, Suite F * (253) 314-1057