An Inside Look at Life as A Real Estate Broker With Deborah Syke


Deborah Syke, Broker Associate with Sotheby’s International Realty

Deborah Syke is a broker associate with Sotheby’s International Realty, and has been working in real estate for the past four years. May 10, at 10am, in Craig Hall after one of her conferences Syke took the time to sit down over a cup of coffee to share her experiences in the real estate industry as well as provide an outlook into Colorado’s realty climate in the upcoming years.

Whilst taking her first sip of coffee, Syke discussed her first career, which wasn’t in real estate: “My first career was in the medical field in the area of breast cancer detection, but I bought and sold real estate for myself and family and did a lot of remodeling, construction and design on the side. I finally realized how happy I was while I was designing or remodeling and figured I should make it a career and not just a hobby. So when the opportunity presented itself I took a leap of faith and dove right in!”

Going into real estate is especially difficult due to large volume of constant work that needs to be done as well as having a particular type of personality. “It is so important to have perseverance, determination, drive, ambition, organizational skills, be goal oriented, and have optimism, all while remaining joyful, humble and honorable. You’re first two years are definitely going to be the toughest.”

It’s important to note that 80% of the people in the first year don’t make it and 50% in their second year. With dropout rates such as these, Syke made it clear that “you really need to be sure you want to enter this field. And If you do decide, do as many open houses as you can for other brokers to build your client base, go to as much training sessions as you can, and get in the mindset that every time you go out is an opportunity to network and promote your business.”

Being in real estate is one of the more difficult fields but can also be one of the most rewarding. “The ability to help people with one of the most important decisions they will make in their lifetime and seeing how happy they are on closing day is the best feeling.” But like with any career there are also some drawbacks. “The challenges of finding that right home in a booming market that has more buyers than inventory is something I’ve faced a few times [while working in real estate]. Working with difficult and unreasonable people who don’t understand how the market works is another issue.”

Picking up her coffee Syke took a long sip to think on one of the more difficult problems she has had to solve over her career. Nodding her head she leaned forward and said that: “I once had a client that didn’t understand how real estate worked. I worked with them for several months and had negotiated on their behalf on several occasions for a specific house but the seller was stuck on a price that was above my client’s ability. So the client approached the seller’s agent directly hoping they could get the seller to agree to their price if they cut me out of deal. The other agent called me [and] told me what happened so I discussed with my client how unethical their approach was but that I would be willing to give up part of my commission so they could buy the house. My goal was to resolve it as amicable as possible and maintain the relationship without harsh feelings or a legal battle.”

Clearly being a real estate broker can put you into some trying situations, but being able to see all the different homes, neighborhoods and meet lots of people you never would have otherwise known is very exciting. But most of all the appreciation and gratitude from a happy client is also another great part of being in real estate. “Most of my clients become my friends, and I have more positive stories than negative.”

“I remember working with this one family in particular as a buyers agent. A young boy of 3 and another one on the way and the mom was very anxious and the father was very busy with work. They were renting a home and the landlord gave them short notice to find another house. The market was crazy busy with low inventory, lots of buyers and multiple offers on each home. We got out bid on four occasions. Finally on the fifth try when they were ready to give up, of another house their offer was accepted and on the day before the closing we did the walk through. As we were leaving the little boy crossed his arms and said ‘I’m not leaving, this is my house now and I don’t want to leave’. It crushed my heart! His mom looked at him and said ‘but we have to go home and pack to bring all your stuff to our new house’ and he said as he was pointing at me, ‘this is my house and I want to stay with her and you go and get my stuff and bring it back!’”

With such a high volume of people moving to Colorado, many people are looking to buy and tell their homes, making the real estate industry her very lucrative. “Colorado’s economy is strong and steady. The real estate field is strong and steady. There are over 100,000 people moving in the state of Colorado each year and eventually those people will want to buy a home especially with how high the rental market has become. Major corporations are opening offices in Colorado. It’s more economical and wiser to own a place than to rent. Banks are lending money again; there are more opportunities for first time homebuyers, jumbo loans and real estate investors. It’s a win-win situation for everybody!”

(980 words)


2 thoughts on “An Inside Look at Life as A Real Estate Broker With Deborah Syke

  1. I also did my story on what it’s like to hold a career in the real estate field. It’s very interesting and informative to be able to read another perspective on the same story I covered. I concluded that the real estate industry is one where you need to be able to make friends and have people trust you. I also enjoyed the insight of Colorado’s booming real estate market, my interviewee was from California, and therefor did not offer that same perspective.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s