Calgary Realtor - Karen Patterson

“Karen worked so hard to sell my home in Auburn Bay... even negotiated the deal while I was away in the States. Appreciate her communication, dedication and hard work!”  -Audra Zawada

Cell: 403-370-6442

Office: 403-259-4141


Recently, in fact ten days ago (judging by the ten images I have made), I took a huge step and opened an Instagram account. It’s new for me; despite I am not new to social media, as it has been a big part of my world for the past eight years or so. But adding an image to my Instagram gallery once everyday is new…back in the 90s I studied black and white photography – with an emphasis on dark room techniques. Heck, there was a separate course for anything color photography related. I was a staunch, diehard black and white, darkroom purist. Later, about five years after graduating from university with a major in cultural anthropology and a minor in fine art photography, I bought my very first Hasselblad medium format camera…I was living in southern China at the time and with easy enough access to Hong Kong, I was able to capture the world around me using 120 Ilford films and get them professionally developed into black and white contact sheets. I was in heaven. And the thought of anything digital was far from this lasses’ mind; in fact, I bought my very first digital camera in 2006, followed by my awesomely fun and groovy looking Panasonic Lumix G2 in 2011 in Hong Kong on my way to Thailand for some much needed RnR.


So the decision to open and make use of an Instagram account on a daily basis was in many ways a big deal, as it required a shift in how I thought of myself as a photographer and in how I thought of photography in general. When many had embraced the digital age years, if not decades, earlier, I was somehow holding on to the past, a time when it was a real process to go from image to tangible reality. The upside is that there is less of a chemical footprint. The downside is that it is much more difficult to get analog tools as before, not to mention, I miss the inherent beauty found in a black and white neg that has been perfectly hand printed on fibre based paper. The instantaneous filters available on Instagram such as Sierra, Ludwig and Inkwell are convenient alternatives at this time to analog dark room antics with fiber based paper. Instagram, I am here to stay. 

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Webrooming: "is the practice of looking at products online before buying them in actual brick-and-mortar stores. It’s the opposite of show rooming, where customers look at products in physical stores only to buy them online. Image-based websites and social networks such as Pinterest or Polyvore help perpetuate webrooming. Users see items that they like while browsing these sites and then go out in the real world to test or try them on".

quoted from


I have taken this term from retail sales and shifted it to apply, aptly I might add, to real estate. Webrooming as it applies to real estate, is the practice of looking at houses online before contacting a REALTOR® and actually looking at them, attending the open house or buying them in person.


Where did I find this term? I found it on a funky website that presents and explains new retail sales vocabulary, either for the public or for retail business owners. An interest of mine, retail, as I was a retail business owner in a past life, when I lived in China (bricks and mortar and online). As a real estate agent, I see distinct similarity here: it is the norm in any real estate market for interested buyers to first approach the internet and see what is out there and to nose around before or at the same time as actively looking with their REALTOR®. Webrooming: what a concept.


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“Abundance is defined by what we give, not by what we have” - Richard Robbins


Last Wednesday February 4th 2015 I attended the ‘free’ speaking session given freely by none other than Canadian real estate genius and super star, Richard Robbins. Here in Calgary, it literally packed the Coast Pacific Hotel conference room in the NE to an amazing range and variety of real estate professionals in our province. My broker was very excited that I was going, however, I wasn’t sure as I had not heard of him before. I was expecting a distant, non-engaging event, where I would be constantly ‘sold’ something in return for snippets of his experience and advise. I was, I admit, pleasantly surprised. He delivered some real pieces that instantly made sense to how and why I had ended up in real estate and, ultimately, at his event. I summarize his points here, as they can be take always for anyone in business, working in a customer service career, or even working for anyone else – they are more about a lifestyle than about making a sale:


‘The way I see you do one thing is the way I think you do everything' - we forget sometimes that if we focus on doing a few things very well, almost excellent, is better than spreading our selves out too thin and just being mediocre at many things. It’s in how we drive a car, wear on a Sunday afternoon, deal with a waitress in a restaurant, and how we deliver a business card. If I like the way you do this action, chances are, I will like how you do an alternative action.


‘The more we give, the more we get’ - this made sense for me, as I have always tried to work at being a small business owner that if I love and enjoy and give at what I am doing, then the customers, clients and money will follow.


‘It’s ok to say no’ - it is ok to say no to many things in life, and this also applies to those we work with or want to work with. It is assumed that because I am in front of you, that I will work with you and accept your services. Educate me; don’t persuade me. 


So, as much as Mr. Robbins was here as a hot speaker on the topic of real estate and selling in front of a mass of real estate agents, the few take-a-ways for me can apply to much more than my business practice: they are maxims that are well suited to a successful, happy and healthy lifestyle. I am glad I went and will definitely consider adding his book, Deliver The Unexpected (Wiley, 2013), to my reading list!

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