Reston Chamber Spotlight is a regular feature sponsored by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. Today’s spotlight is on Realtor Epi Pitre of Move With Epi.
RN: Why did you decide to start your business in Reston?
EP: I decided to start my business here in Reston because Reston is an exciting place to live! There are so many great opportunities here. Reston is changing, buzzing and fresh. We now have Metro, a direct way into the heart of DC.
From a Realtor’s perspective, Reston is an absolute gem. There really is something for everyone — from quiet lakeside living to the urban feel of the Reston Town Center and everything in between.
RN: What are the challenges and rewards of being a business owner?
EP: Being a business owner or self-employed definitely has its rewards. The fact that you’re a business owner or self-employed probably means that you’re doing something you love.
However, I will say that it is probably going to be the hardest dollar you’ve ever earned. The hours are long and you have to be focused, goal oriented and hold yourself accountable. It’s important to have a solid business plan and to periodically evaluate your own performance.
There is also the financial uncertainty, especially in the first few years, that can cause you to rethink this path. With that being said, I assure you that hard work truly does pay off. The ultimate reward of having a successful business is being independent and in control of how you chose to spend your time personal and business.
RN: Name something about your business that most people don’t know.
EP: Often, buyers don’t want to sign the “exclusive right to represent” contract and don’t quite understand why we are asking them to do so. I’ve been asked many times by potential clients to just show them homes and if they find one they like, then they would work with me.
The reason why we ask for the contact to be signed first is for two reasons: to protect the consumer by explaining the duties and responsibilities of the parties and set out exactly what services the broker will provide; and to protect ourselves and our commission.
RN: What is the unique value you offer your clients?
EP: My goal is not to be a sales person. I want to be your Realtor, the one that you think of when your family, friends and acquaintances are thinking about anything real estate related. I believe in building positive and strong personal relationships and providing as much education as possible.
EP: As a business owner, I try and schedule my day as much as I possibly can. Early on, I found that time can very easily escape and you find at the end of the day that you’ve spun a lot of wheels and didn’t really get anywhere. I live by a list and everything goes on my calendar.
RN: How has the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce helped your business grow?
EP: This is my first year as a Chamber member. I will be completely honest and say that the first eight months I was quite dormant. In January, I evaluated my business model and plan and saw where I was not using all the tools I had readily available to me. This chamber is very special. It’s not about individuals; it’s more like a family. Everyone wants to see each other succeed.
RN: What is the quote that best describes your business?
EP: “An educated consumer is a good consumer.” I wholeheartedly feel that if I educate my clients, they will have the confidence and trust in me to refer me as an expert to their friends and family.
RN: What is your advice to someone who is thinking about owning a business?
EP: I encourage and fully support anyone who is thinking about owning their own business. It’s a challenge, there are many uncertainties and it becomes your life. But if you work hard, stay positive, make use of every tool you have in your toolbox and surround yourself with people who are successful and business savvy, you’ll find that your successes will be far greater then you ever have imagined!