July's REALTOR® Spotlight: Chris VanBelle
Congratulations to Chris VanBelle REALTOR® at Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel on being July’s REALTOR® Spotlight winner. Chris received several nominations from agents in his office for being such a wonderful professional and personal role model and industry trainer. We were not surprised to see Chris’s name come through several times since he’s so involved, helpful and radiates humor and positivity. Keep doing what you’re doing, Chris! We’re excited to see all you accomplish in the real estate industry and more.
Tell us about your real estate career (title, office, years, specialties, designations, etc.)
My real estate career started about 10 years ago at Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel. Prior to being a REALTOR®, I was a chef. The chef life was too intense for me trying to balance work and being involved in my children's lives to the level I wanted. My best friend Kevin Paton, also a REALTOR® said he thought I’d do well in real estate, so I set up an appointment with Lori Jaglois, the manager at Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel- Macomb to chat. She also saw something in me that I had no idea was there. She too, thought I’d do really well in real estate.
I wasn’t too sure but after much thought, prayer and consideration I started part-time, and fell in love with the real estate industry. My first two (2) years were rough, but then with the help of many encouraging individuals, I really started to have fun and enjoy my job.
I am currently a Success Coach for Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel, President for Grosse Pointe Board of REALTORS® Macomb Board, Past President for WCR, and hold my Graduate REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Military Relocation Professional (MRP), & At Home with Diversity Designation (AHWD).
You’ve been nominated for being a wonderful role model to agents in your office, the industry and with family. Who is your role model and what characteristics do you try to model?
God and Jesus Christ are always my first role model. I believe everything is possible through him. I have come closer to the Lord and accepted him in my life. That is absolutely wonderful. I also try to model and thank my amazing wife, who loves, supports, and encourages me. Kevin Paton, Carol Paton and Lori Jaglois have all been instrumental in pushing me, helping me and believing in me and who I also look to model. They are why I have the confidence to continue to give back in this industry.
My coaching group helps inspire me and teach me as well. I learn from other REALTORS® as much as they learn from me. It is a blessing to be able to be a part of helping our future REALTORS®, get on the path to success.
Finally my kiddos. They are my everything. They teach me so much daily, they look up to me, but I look up to them on how to grow and to persevere. In a role model I look for passionate and genuine people. People that truly want everyone to succeed.
You’ve been a REALTOR® for many years now, what background and experienced made you interested in real estate?
This is a bit funny to me, as most people I had never thought of being a REALTOR®. But I knew I wanted to take my positivity and find a positive work environment where people are encouraging, helpful and motivating. It wasn't until I received encouragement from Kevin Paton, and later on Lori Jaglois that I really gave the thought of real estate any merit. They believed in me more than I ever believed in myself, and that was great to have friends that were helpful and encouraging.
Which professional achievement are you most proud of?
I don't look at achievements. I look at what I can do next, what can I do to get better and how can I help others. I am very proud to have been the Women's Council Lake Pointe President, and I am thrilled to have been able to help establish the Macomb Chapter of the Grosse Point Board, and be their current President.
What is the most common “tid-bit” of information most people don’t know being a REALTOR®?
Being a REALTOR® gives us opportunity to make a difference. We help people fulfill their dreams, and try to get rid of bad memories in some cases. We are passionate about our communities and get involved. We love giving back and participating. It is a real blessing to be in an industry where we as individuals and as an organization have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world/community around us.
What piece(s) of technology do you incorporate into your business practices?
I really try to balance the use of technology and no technology with a personal touch. It is just as important to give the personal touch as it is to utilize technology. I love doing our H.O.M.E.S. Real Estate podcast, and videos as much as I enjoy sending out personal note cards, email, text or call.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being REALTOR®?
When a client walks into a house and says, "this is home!" It is really amazing to see the light and love of people making a house a home. One of my most memorable moments was on a Roseville home-- my client, now friend, said she felt like I treated her like she was buying a million dollar home. Those are the things that get me going every day.
What is the most difficult aspect of being a REALTOR®?
Time. Time is the most difficult part of real estate because there is always so much to do and before you know it, it’s the end of the day. I like that I’m always busy, and the days fly by. I love that, but it can be difficult some days. In the kitchen I would always watch the clock waiting for time to pass. As a REALTOR®, you look at the clock and the day is gone. It is really amazing how fun and exciting this career is. It is a true blessing.
For someone who is looking to buy or sell their home, what are somethings you’d like them to know and expect working with you?
We will be serious and steadfast in negotiating but we will have some fun! Life is too short and this is a crazy process; there is no reason we can't smile and have a few laughs along the way.
Tell us more about you? (Interests, passions, hobbies, family, etc.)
I am an avid outdoors man. I will hunt and fish any opportunity I get. I love duck hunting over any other kind of hunting and Pheasant hunting is a solid #2 favorite. I love doing anything with our blended family six (6) kids total. We love card games, board games, and watching movies together. Going to church and worship is always great as a family as well.
Can you share with us some of your community service involvement, how you became interested, and where or how someone can get more involved?
I love to do anything with my family at Christ Community Church, we recently helped the homeless have a few nights of rest and food at the church. I am involved with Ducks Unlimited, We are passionate about conserving our wetlands. I also love to coach or assistant coach any of my children's sports teams. Mainly, baseball and soccer.
What is your life Motto?
No matter what your trouble is, just give it to God, he is always there for you.
Which personal achievement are you most proud of?
My children are always a great achievement, as I get to watch them grow every day. Marrying my best friend Jennifer is another great one, what a blessing to meet and marry a great partner and friend. Other than that in the industry, i guess we will see. It is not what you have done that defines you, it is what you do. I look forward to many years ahead as a REALTOR®.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
Interesting would be Salem on Halloween. Lots of interesting stuff there. But England, and Washington D.C. were great too!
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I am sure anyone who knows me can easily guess-- ALASKA!!!
Who or what are you most grateful for?
God, my babies (Brendon, Paige, Hunter, & Grace) and my amazing wife. Also the many great friends and colleagues I have made over the years.
What are your hopes for the rest of 2019?
I want to be able to expand my training and learning. I would really like to earn my Brokers license.