Katie Gillis-Ware Realtor, Leading Edge Real Estate, Reading

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate? I was a Sensory Panelist for Gillette, I was part of a wonderful group of ladies. We tested and helped develop new razors. So essentially I got paid to shave my legs. I really loved the science behind it all trying to come up with a great product.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Wilmington, Massachusetts about 15 miles north of Boston. I was lucky to grow up in the same neighborhood where my grandparents, great aunts and uncles also owned homes. When I got married I bought a home from one of my childhood neighbors and still reside here. It’s pretty cool that my kids have the same bus stop that I did as a child

Growing up, what did you want to be? I loved sports when I was a kid and I remember wanting to be a gym teacher when I grew up. When I got married I knew I wanted a job that could be flexible so I could stay at home with my children when we had them. I was always around construction because my dad was a builder and he was the one who suggested I explore real estate. It hasn’t always been easy but I will always be grateful to be able to do what I love and to be there for my family when they needed me.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? On warmer days I’ll go outside and just sit and get fresh air. I love to watch all the birds that visit my feeders. If it’s cold out I’ll sit with my dog Cody, She always has a way of bringing me peace.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Who is Alex Trebek? I was so sad when he passed away. He felt like a family member by coming into our home every evening for as long as I can remember. He seemed genuinely kind and humble.

What is Boston’s best-kept secret? My family loved the Community Solar System Trail from the Museum of Science when they were younger. The sun was located at the Museum of Science and the other nine Planets were located around the Greater Boston Area. Each bronze planet model is placed at the appropriate relative distance from the sun. It was pretty cool!

What do you love most about the industry? I love helping people achieve their dreams. It’s really amazing to be part of such a big decision in their lives.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m a helper. I may not dress fancy, but I’ll be the first to jump in and help when needed. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. I try to take the stress away from my clients when I can. In the past, I’ve helped sellers clean, paint walls, peel wallpaper, I even borrowed a truck to help a seller get things moved the day of closing when they didn’t have the means. I’m hands-on for sure and I think people remember that and appreciate it.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Being honest with my clients. I don’t want to destroy their hopes but temper their enthusiasm. Being honest with sellers in discussing what their home is worth even if it’s not what they were hoping for and being honest with buyers in letting them know their offer might not be good enough to secure their dream home.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads? The number one lead generator for me is a happy former client of mine. Go above and beyond for your current clients. It will generate future business.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Meeting some really amazing people. I have so many beautiful friendships that have been made from past clients who I now call friends and the same with other agents I have worked with.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? I loved “The Home Edit” on Netflix. I think I watched all the episodes in one day. I’m a sucker for before and after transformations,  whether it’s an organization show, a house flipping or a renovation show.

What’s your favorite meal in Boston? I guess you could say I would be a cheap date because my most favorite thing to eat would be a sausage, peppers and onions sub from The Sausage Guy’s food truck outside Fenway Park. Nothing beats watching your favorite team and eating your favorite food.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Boston? I would have to say the Old State House in Boston. It reminds me of the old architectural style that I always loved when I visited London.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? After a client appreciation event, I was dumping out the water from warming trays and didn’t realize a lit Sterno was still attached. The Sterno landed in some dry brush and caught on fire. Luckily we put it out before it could get out of control. I laugh about it today but at that moment It was pretty intense.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? That I went back to college for digital media marketing and social media marketing. It’s amazing how much more appreciation I have now for learning than when I first went to college. If you get the chance to learn something new take it!

What is your favorite vacation spot and why? I love camping at Sebago Lake State Park in Naples Maine. It’s been a family tradition since I was a child

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Find a brokerage that has amazing training. You Got This!

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? I have a few favorites, I think the one I use most is my TurboScan app. It makes it easy to upload and scan documents on the go

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media? I’m part of a few amazing groups on Facebook where agents from all over collaborate. I follow a lot of these agents because I can relate to them. I also follow Katie Lance for her amazing social media strategies.

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