With so many real estate agents in North America, it can feel daunting to stand out from the competition. But for Desko Sremac, he uses his background in construction to his advantage. Dusko’s experience in the construction industry has paved the way for helping his clients identify electrical issues––before they become an expensive repair. Beyond that, he can tell whether a property is even worth investing in or not.
We sat down with the Calgary-based real estate agent to learn more about his background––and the craziest thing that’s ever happened to him as an agent.
Q: Did you always know you wanted to be a real estate agent or did you just kind of stumble into it?
I was originally a journeyman electrician. I ended up getting into revenue properties, like rentals and into the building as well. And then I made the switch over back in 2017. I thought I'd get a chance to spend a little bit more time at home and have a flexible schedule. And obviously that's not the case, but it's been an amazing change and I love every second of it.
Q: What makes your team stand out?
Honestly, for the agent attraction side, it would be the culture that we've created on the team. In terms of client help and conversion, it would be our knowledge. So not many teams or agents focus on the construction side of things, for instance. So we're heavy into construction. A lot of us have construction backgrounds. So when we're looking at a home, we're not looking at it in terms of open concept or upgrades, it's more structural integrity, what liabilities you may have in the home and within two to five, 10 years of moving into it.
I would say I probably had four or five agents on our team that were past clients at one point.
Q: Do they just see the process and they think, "I should be in real estate"?
Usually it's the other way around. Usually I'll see something in them where I'm like, "Wow, I love working with this person. This person has great potential. Have you ever considered getting into real estate?"
Q: What are some of the characteristics you look for?
Just being personable. Being able to have a conversation. And two, it's just someone that I can trust. Someone that's trustworthy and has, I guess a good moral high ground. I want someone I can hang out with because it's a very stressful industry. The last thing you want is to have someone on the team that creates more stress.
Q: What were some things that kind of surprised you about the industry that you weren't prepared for?
I think everyone has a level of confidence getting into real estate from what you see on TV. You open doors, you build a little bit of rapport, you close deals. And it was a rude awakening of how difficult it is. And I spent months of door knocking, online legion, trying to convert and just spinning my wheels. And joining a team helped a lot and helped me gain a whole lot of knowledge.
Q: I’m sure you have a lot of crazy stories from being in the industry.
I had one girl back in 2018 who was just very superstitious––beyond superstitious. And I have a list of liability questions. She said, "Hey, I need you to add a question there. I need you to ask if the place is haunted." I'm like, "Oh, do you mean if someone has passed in the home?" And she said, "No, no, no. Haunted." I'm like, "Hey, look, we've been in this home a few times." She's like, "No, no, no I want in writing. I want them to answer the question." So I had to put in writing to the other agents and get their client to disclose that the home was not haunted. I still think about that weekly.
Looking for a REALTOR® in Calgary? Check out Dusko’s Calgary Home Search website to learn more about his background and offerings.