© Guardian photo
Jane Brewster was honoured recently by the P.E.I. Real Estate Association, which she helped found, for six decades of successful service.
The first woman licensed to sell real estate on Prince Edward Island is still going strong six decades later.
Jane Brewster was recently recognized by the P.E.I. Real Estate Association for more than 40 years in the business.
Brewster still has as much passion for the business today as she did back in 1969 when she was licensed. She operates her own business — aptly titled Brewster Real Estate — and was a founding member of the real estate association.
“There were about four or five gentlemen and myself. I said ‘we should be organized and have an association’,’’ Brewster told The Guardian.
As if selling homes isn’t challenging enough at the best of times, Brewster broke into the profession when she had two preschool children at home and a husband who was on the road every Monday to Friday. She decided to give real estate a try after running into a woman in Montreal who said her daughter was selling homes.
“I thought it would be a neat thing. I loved it.’’
A former teacher, Brewster swore she’d learn everything there was about the industry.
“Education was always very important to me. Every course that was ever given here on the Island I’ve taken it. Even last week I went to one in Summerside.’’
When it comes to selling a house, Brewster says she never, ever lies.
“If there’s a crack in the ceiling, I’ll tell them there’s a crack in the ceiling. If I think that wall is going to leak, I’ll tell them that.’’
She also considers every single one of her competitors a friend and will help them out whenever they ask.
“I like the people I work with,’’ she said, adding that she welcomes new agents into the business even though some Realtors think the market is saturated.
James Carragher, one of her competitors with Coldwell Banker Parker Realty, calls Brewster an amazing lady.
“She’s highly respected and an extremely well liked member of the industry,’’ Carragher said. “She’s had a great impact on the industry because of the P.E.I. Real Estate Association.’’
That association is responsible for creating the MLS (multiple listing service) system and continues to be a major proponent for education within the industry.
“She’s an amazing colleague and an absolutely true friend for a lot of years. I’ve worked as Jane’s competition for 26 years and I can honestly say I don’t feel like she’s competition at all. You could contact any one of 223 Realtors on P.E.I. and you would get the same story. Jane is just absolutely respected and well thought of.’’
Brewster said that respect, initially at least, didn’t come easy.
“They think that women wouldn’t know (real estate).’’
As for the business itself, Brewster said technology has been one of the bigger changes.
“I’m always on my Blackberry and we’re always on computers. I remember the first fax machine I had. It was like a large kitchen stove. It was huge. Took up half my office.’’
As for retirement, Brewster simply scoffs at the notion.
“I’m having too much fun.’’