It’s Never Too Late to Make Your EXIT

By Melanie Robitaille, Sr. Staff Writer and Graphic Designer

The real estate landscape, both geographically and entrepreneurially, looked quite different in the Peterborough, Ontario area over fifty years ago. Since that time two female industry leaders, Sales Representative, Deanna Weaver, and Franchisee, Mary Ellen McCamus, have both played pivotal roles in the community’s growth, but the one thing that hasn’t changed in all that time is their respect for one another.

Deanna was first in, obtaining her license in 1970, and spending the vast majority of her career with two major legacy brands, after gaining experience at several independent operations.

“I’ve been in real estate for almost 52 years. When I made the decision to get my license, I had two small children at home. I wanted to spend time with them but also wanted to grow as a young mother and wife. Real estate gave me that opportunity and I’ve enjoyed my career ever since,” Deanna recalled.

Some 15 years later, when Mary Ellen’s youngest of four went off to school, she too found the perfect work/life balance in a real estate career, however instead of staying the course as an agent, she opted for ownership and bought into an EXIT Realty franchise, a new brand entering the market at the time.

“Real estate felt like putting on a fine leather glove. It just fit me perfectly,” Mary Ellen remembered. “I was introduced to EXIT and the whole system made total sense. I bought into it with a salesperson’s mindset, thinking about my kids and their future, not even thinking about building a brokerage.”

At first glance, Deanna saw EXIT as just another brand and went about carving out her hard-earned reputation, but took notice when Mary Ellen opened EXIT Realty Liftlock, Brokerage in 1999. They would spend years traveling in similar circles, first meeting during a real estate board event, and would eventually go on to serve on several board committees together and become friends.

“I watched how her office grew and when I had dealings with her salespeople, they always spoke highly about the company that they worked for and also about their Broker,” Deanna shared, not surprised in the least. She had always seen Mary Ellen as a kind and fair person and knew she would run her company the same way. These many decades, the sentiment has been reciprocated by Mary Ellen, who has wanted to hire Deanna for several years.

And with such a distinguished career the reason why is understandable. In her 50+ years Deanna has served as the local board president on two occasions, has sat on or chaired every committee on that board, as well as the Ontario Real Estate Association Board of Directors for three years, not to mention sitting on the Real Estate Council of Ontario’s Board of Directors for six years. She is well versed in new development, and is one third of a team with two young, up and coming brothers, Cameron and Jon Maxwell whose mother worked with Deanna for many years as well.

Nurturing the next generation of real estate professional is another common interest both Mary Ellen and Deanna share. The fact that Mary Ellen had a young group of salespeople working with her was just one more reason Deanna was drawn to EXIT Realty Liftlock and joined the company with her team in the fall of 2021.

“I think it’s important to surround yourself with younger people because you can learn so much from them, their fresh ideas, their energy, and their desire to learn. The mix at EXIT is wonderful.”

A firm believer that every day you learn something new is a great day, Deanna believes she’s finally living her dream saying, “Working for a company that makes you feel special every day you come in, with people who are always there to see if you need any help, respecting what you have to say and listening to you. Every day you learn something new, so I’ve been having many great days. What more could one ask for in their career?”

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