By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer
A wholistic agent approach to real estate is the hallmark of EXIT Realty’s appeal, attracting individuals like EXIT Realty Specialists Sales Representative, Li Song, who naturally seeks a better way of living, conducting business, and engaging her community by fostering culture.
Li is a change maker on the east coast of Canada, who arrived at the University of New Brunswick over 20 years ago on a cold winter’s day, questioning what she had gotten herself into. But the vast landscapes, rugged shores, and maritime culture quickly captivated her heart.
“I didn’t intend to stay. That wasn’t the plan. It was mostly the people. The longer I stayed, the more I fell in love, and then opportunities came and keep on coming,” she recalled of her early years and why she chose not to return to a bustling life in Beijing.
Quickly dialing into the local Chinese celebration event and assisting as a Chinese interpreter as well as with event planning, Li met her future business partner, Sales Representative, Janice Purdy, who would open the door to real estate as a career opportunity and all the EXIT brand had to offer.
“I make decisions carefully,” Li explained. In fact, so carefully, she took three years to consider Janice’s offer. “In 2018 I thought about making a career shift. By that time, I had 10 years’ experience with newcomer settlement, management, and community engagement. I thought I could utilize my local knowledge and my understanding of the cultural diversity to bridge gaps and help more people settle here; most importantly people who wanted to put their investment value here.”
Li’s arrival in Canada came at a time when the east coast wasn’t even really on the national immigration map, however the population of New Brunswick alone made gains greater than the national average just this past year. She sees Federal Government trends, inter-provincial Covid migrations, and cost of living differences driving growth and diversity in the province today, but even in Canada there’s a struggle with racism; something Li confronts through education.
“I train people every year, delivering many sessions that talk about bridging cultural differences especially in the maritime provinces, which were very inexperienced in receiving non-European immigrants. It’s equality that we’re doing our best to achieve in this nation and that’s why I chose to be Canadian,” she explained. It’s a decision not taken lightly because China is one of few countries where you cannot have dual citizenship.
This perspective drew her to PRUDE Inc. (Pride of Race, Unity and Dignity through Education), during her university years, to later become one of the organization’s managing directors and tripling its growth. Because for Li, it’s about social connections (of which real estate has no shortage), and helping people see past the visible minority down to the core human being we all are.
“When people understand that I don’t want to be a lonely soul or the only one succeeding, they see I’m no different. I don’t want to live a wasteful life, and I think the connections are so important. Real estate allows me financial independence and to donate money, to learn new things and meet new people every day. As human beings, it’s not in our nature to be alone. We need to have communities where everyone is successful; everyone is happy. If I have bread on my table,” she said, “others should as well.”
Li feels a personal responsibility to further embrace and build diversity at EXIT. She’s a huge proponent of maintaining an upstanding reputation, learning early on that relationships are the true residual value that come back to you in the future. Having the EXIT Formula makes sharing the EXIT opportunity a natural, organic process during a time when she says, “having more REALTORS® on the ground to help with sales wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
One could argue that Li’s success comes from being no stranger to transformation. With almost three years in real estate under her belt, she’s attained a six-figure income during these last two make-or-break years. She’s bearing witness to shifting population demographics and admits even she needs to catch up with technology trends as newcomers show increasing tech savvy in the area of global communications. Her dreams are big, and she looks toward the future with a certainty most with her tenure can only grasp at.
“I want to make some solid investments in real estate, because the more financial independence I have, the more I can invest back in this region,” she said, humbly unaware of the agent of change she is becoming in making New Brunswick such a sought-after place to live.
For this and other stories check out The EXIT Achiever magazine at exitrealty.com/achiever or by texting ACHIEVER to 85377.