June's Member Spotlight: Natallia Tsarkouskaya
Congratulations Natallia Tsarkouskaya, Broker Owner at Sky High Agency in Sterling Heights for being MiRealSource's June Member Spotlight Winner. Natallia's determined, dedicated and caring personality gained nominations for not only being an excellent real estate professional who goes above and beyond for her clients, but also for those in her community. Natallia donated much of her time sewing masks for those in need during the pandemic's shelter in place lockdown; providing them to centers and hospitals struggling with mask shortages. Natallia's such a thoughtful, personable and bubbly person, it's so easy to see why she was nominated. Well deserved and keep being a shinning star.
Tell us about your real estate career (title, office, years, specialties, designations, etc.)
I started my real estate career at RE/MAX Suburban and recently opened my own real estate company named Sky High Agency, one year ago, it’s main office in Sterling Heights. I’m always looking to expand my knowledge and improve the way I do business and run the company. I received coaching with Tom Ferry, also attended many classes at GMAR. Our local Association of Realtors® helped me specialize in working with Sellers where I received my designations,(SRS, SRES) as well as a Buyers designation, (ABR), and recently to polish my negotiation skills designation,(RENE).
You’ve been nominated for being such a caring and dedicated person and all your involvement supporting the community by creating & donating masks during the pandemic to the elderly, can you talk a little more about this?
The last few months were difficult for all of us and brought about unexpected changes. With Covid-19 upon us, I was just as afraid and scared as many others were. But along with a challenge, any change brings about an opportunity, and it’s up to us if we are willing to adapt and reinvent the way we are and they way we do business. “When everything changes, change everything”.
Putting my sewing talents to use was one of the ways I met the challenge of being quarantined for an indefinite period of time.
Before Covid-19, last time I sewed was 16 years ago when I made outfits for my daughter’s dolls. In fact, I had to purchase a sewing machine, fabric, thread and learned how to make masks by testing a few patterns. Getting fabric was difficult, because local stores were closed, and online deliveries were scheduled for 2 months later. But, where there’s a will, there’s a way. I didn’t have any funding for this project and had to be creative. I asked people to help, and I need to say how grateful I am for their support and donations. Some of 800+ masks I sewed were delivered to Henry Ford Hospital, some were donated to Beaumont hospital and local medical offices that stayed opened for emergencies when everything was closed.
Our local Great Metropolitan Association of Realtor® helped me connect with the Shelter for Women in Macomb County – another place where face coverings were much-needed.
I was surprised to learn that some masks I made traveled beyond the borders of Michigan. People wanted to send them to their friends and family in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, and even overseas. One of the ladies in the neighborhood mailed masks to her husband who is stationed in Iraq, and a month later they surprised me with a photo of their military unit wearing the masks I sewed.
One of the main reasons I became a Realtor® was to help people during their time of transition and change like buying and selling a home. In a way, the idea and purpose behind the Mask Project was very similar – to provide support to those in need and help out during challenging times– and I used all skills I learned in real estate to accomplish it.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
Opening my own real estate company, Sky High Agency and becoming a Real Estate Broker is by far one of the most prominent achievements in my career. I’m excited to watch the company grow and expand in the upcoming years.
What piece(s) of technology do you incorporate into your business practices?
I heavily rely on my smart phone, as we all do these days, and a reliable CRM is at the core of any realtors® business. We are in the process of redesigning the company website to give a better user-experience to my clients. And lastly, professional photography is very important, as well as video tours. I’ve been putting off getting behind the camera but making videos is by all means a part of my business plan going forward. Such as specific YouTube Channel for buyers and sellers with educational tips, helpful videos, market statistics, information about me and my brokerage, etc.
Do you have a favorite MiRealSource tool?
I love using the Homesnap app, which I invite to all my clients to navigate the MLS & have a great search experience, so that they get accurate information directly from the MLS.
I also like how Homesnap also helps with prospecting and finding new clients to work with. I highly recommend to any agent not using it already. I’ve recently been using Homesnap’s Pro features for the social media integration, advertising, and its ability to find new clients. It has amazing farming and analytical features.
What is the most rewarding aspect of being a REALTOR®?
Besides getting results for my clients and receiving positive feedback, becoming a Realtor® challenged me to develop new skills that are required to succeed in a real estate career. Ultimately, it facilitated my personal and professional growth and made me a better person.
For example, I didn’t know anything about photography, but I took many real estate photography classes at MiRealSource and continue to learn and experiment with different editing tools. Not only did I find a new hobby that I enjoy greatly, but I also make use of my photography skills at work. My next goal is to master video production for real estate!
What is the most difficult aspect of being a REALTOR®?
The art of being flexible and keeping focus on what’s important when your schedule changes more than three times a day. So maintaining a work-life balance and being able to adapt to change quickly can take some adjusting.
What is a “tid-bit”of information people don’t know about being a REALTOR®?
Very few people know how many different hats we wear as Realtors®, but at the end of the day, it’s totally worth all the effort we put into it. I meet people to help them with the real estate sale or investment, and we end up keeping in touch long after the contracts are signed and the keys are exchanged.
Personal & Fun Questions:
Tell us more about you? (Interests, passions, hobbies, family, etc.)
Anything creative. I love fine arts and a great appreciation for architecture and theater. I won’t miss a Broadway show or a new exhibit at DIA. When I’m not volunteering or spending time with friends, you can find me gardening in my backyard. Being in nature helps clear my mind.
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’m serving my second term on Board of Directors at Condo Association in Sterling Heights and often take the opportunity when it comes to volunteering for the local community.
When I looked for places to donate masks, I connected with people using social media and the Nextdoor App; the response was overwhelming. I also use resources at www.Michigan.gov, which gets updated regularly, to find contact information of who you can reach out to and how you can give back.
What is your life Motto?
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. It takes courage and commitment to success to reinvent ones self. And have character and integrity to lead with. Life is full of twists and turns, making it both challenging and beautiful at the same time. I’ve learned to appreciate that.
Which personal achievement are you most proud of?
Being a great role model for my daughter and hearing her say, she’s proud of me. This smart young lady will graduate from Oakland University next spring, she is my joy and it warms my heart to see she is everything I hoped she becomes, and more.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
I’ve been to many places over the years. I loved the architecture of San Francisco and the beauty of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Every adventure gives me the chance to expand my horizons, practice photography skills and bring back inspiration for new projects.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I would go to Bali – exotic, beautiful, and has everything I am looking for in vacation.
Who or what are you most grateful for?
All the opportunities we have. And to be of service to others, to create, to learn, to go places to help change the world, and the people I meet in life.
What are your hopes for the rest of 2020?
On a larger scale, I hope we’ll take the lessons we learned in the last few months to foster equality, acceptance and appreciation for what we have. It would be great to stop wearing face masks and loosen up the rules about social distancing. I am excited to launch my new blog. My clients can look forward to a new real estate blog with live market updates, educational videos and fun facts on everything real-estate. I feel optimistic.