We’ve got even more realtors in Westport than we have teardowns.
That’s a lot. (Pun intended).
But we have only one 2010 State Realtor of the Year.
That’s Cheryl Scott-Daniels.
The owner of ERA Select Homes was chosen for this honor by the Connecticut Association of Realtors. It’s given annually for contributions to local, regional, state and national real estate organizations, as well as to “consumers in their pursuit of home ownership.”
It’s not every day we’ve got such a celebrity in our midst. So “06880” decided to find out what makes someone a State Realtor of the Year.
Caring for clients colleagues is one element of what Cheryl does. So is constant contact with national and state legislators, along with the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, on industry-related issues.
Chery’s route to real estate began with a BS in…chemistry. After earning an MBA she became a vice president of marketing at Revlon and Max Factor. At the same time, she and a friend were renovating houses for resale. She enjoyed that far more than “the corporate practice of making decisions to boost quarterly profits at the sacrifice of the long-term health of brands.”
When her company merged with another and moved to California, Cheryl took a real estate course and exam.
She loves the diversity involved in realtoring. Doing it well, she says, demands a broad base of knowledge and skill. She relishes meeting “many different kinds of people in every conceivable business, all ages, lifestyles, nationalities, religions and economic levels” — and helping them make “what is often the biggest personal financial decisions of their lives.”
Until a few months ago, she says, “I would have said the worst thing is watching people make the wrong decisions, which ultimately cause them to lose money, because they won’t accept advice.”
Lately, though, she’s met people who can no longer afford to keep their houses. “It’s horrible watching them try to continue their lives,” she says.
Cheryl chose Westport for its great schools system, and “some public transportation, although limited, for nannies” who can’t always drive.
She loves the town, and surrounding area. The proximity to New York’s museums, shopping, restaurants and theater is balanced by “idyllic settings which vary dramatically from season to season, great educational systems, wonderful recreational opportunities” and more.
Who could tell Cheryl is a realtor?!
Of course, she is much more. She’s an active community service volunteer, with a strong desire to “make our town better and improve the quality of life for those less fortunate.”
An active Rotarian, one of her favorite projects was bringing together students from Norwalk, Bridgeport, Westport and Weston.
On TEAM Westport, she helps Westporters “better understand and celebrate our differences.” It is particularly important, she says, to prepare youngsters for the diversity they’ll find in college.
A Better Chance of Westport plays a key role too, she says. “I can’t help everyone, but everyone we help makes their own lives, and that of their family and our country, more productive.” She would love for Westport to offer an ABC House for girls.
So what does the 2010 honoree think about 2011, real estate-wise?
The local market is stabilizing, Cheryl says. It’s correcting the “astronomical” prices rises of a few years ago.
Economists predict general annual appreciation of 2-3%, following stabilization, she says. That means that sellers waiting for the market to come back to the rates of half a decade ago will probably have to wait a dozen years.
“Now is a great time to sell if you are also buying,” she concludes. “Interest rates, though rising, remain historically low. Inventory is plentiful, and prices are very appealing to buyers. If a buyer has a sustainable income, now is the time to buy a home you can truly afford.”
Spoken like a true Realtor of the Year.