Friday, May 4, 2012

Saying 'bye' to Helene and Joachim

Helene & Joachim, our interns from Denmark
What's Behind 
The Blue Door of Real Estate?

Lately we have been asking, “What makes a house a home?” and for these two ‘home’ hasn’t been confined to one country. In less than 2 weeks, Joachim Selnaes and Helene Hohle will head back to their permanent home Copenhagen, Denmark. During their time as interns with us in Winston-Salem they have made it a home too. Or rather, has Winston-Salem made it ‘home’ to them.

Joachim and Helene wanted to leave Denmark to experience the differences in American culture and in real estate. Of their ‘favorite American things,’ our social exchange is something they enjoyed so much they want to integrate it into their lifestyles at home.

“People are so different here in the Triad- they are more curious and react positively to strangers. We knew we needed to make an effort to make an impression but people here are so easy going it has been simple for us to make friends. We aren’t sure if it is because of where we are in the United States, but everyone has been so polite and good to introduce us to their friends. Networking is so much easier here than in Denmark,” they both said.

As one would begin the business brand new, they went through the life of an American real estate agent.  Joachim and Helene completed our new agent training, which included Fast Start, many weekly skills classes and BOO$T. They also observed phone duty and open houses, helped measure homes, input listings, got experience with our document management system, and other technology. 

“iPads, apps and technology in general are used more in the US– there is an appearance of high use of technology in Denmark but it seems people are further ahead here because they are actually using it,” said Joachim.

There couldn’t be more truth to this- ‘Real Estate is Location, Location, Location.’  One of the homes they helped measure was 435 Torrington Lane, a Tuscan-style home just under $690,000 built by Keith Rogers and listed by Wendy Taylor.

“Copenhagen’s prices are four times the price they are here and can get up to approximately $500 per square foot - this home would sell for over $3 million there,” said Helene.

Most of the homes there are built of stone, brick and some wood with high quality materials such as marble. Also, there’s much more real estate here -opportunities to purchase are fewer in Copenhagen than they are in the Triad. 

“When it comes to marketing to different generations, we have some of the same struggles as you do in the US.  People in Denmark are more traditional, though, in how they want to see listings. They would rather see homes in the newspaper versus video tours,” said Helene.  

They’ve been so busy they haven’t yet experienced as much of the Triad as they want. However, they hope to fit in as many fun things they can before they leave. Their plans when they head back?

Of course they both look forward to reuniting with family and friends. Helene also looks forward to returning to her ‘puppy dog’ and will finish her degree at University of Copenhagen…possibly pursue further education. Joachim plans to get into the Copenhagen real estate industry, preferably selling higher end homes he says.

Some of their other ‘favorite American things’- lower prices in real estate, autos, technology and out-to-eat food costs;  care of animals through animal shelters and food drives; Ford Mustangs and domestic beer (Joachim’s favorites); all the good FOOD! (Helene’s favorite, steak); Wendy Taylor Chatter Tour; Boone, NC; and our patriotism and pride for our country.

When asked, they both said they would love to come back to the United States. Maybe they will come back for good. A big thank you and good luck goes out to you two – we’ve really enjoyed having you at CB Triad! 

1 comment:

Beverly said...

We will certainly miss our "Danes" - it has been such a delight for all of us to get to know Helene and Joachim and learn about the differences in our cultures. Helene and Joachim, thank you for sharing with all of us and remember - you are welcome at CBTR anytime!