It all started when…
Our 2018 Rookie of the Year has transitioned from mentee to mentor since joining our brokerage. Anya Hodgson was an event planning expert with 15 years of experience prior to pursuing her real estate career. Her travels became more frequent and the thought of missing out on time with family & friends while answering to someone else became draining. Anya’s self-starter mentality guided her into the real estate industry when she began searching for a new place to call home. She was eager throughout the process looking up the history of homes and assessing what renovations could be done to them. She became enamored with the real estate industry every step of the way. Her career change has allowed her to pave her way on her own while setting criteria and expectations for herself along the way.
Anya received support from three core mentors when she joined our brokerage. From there, her business has grown immensely and she now finds herself in a position to give advice to our newer agents. She began selling residential only to find herself building investment portfolios and working on large-scale commercial projects. Anya has become more than just a resource for buying your next home. She helps clients build wealth and in the process of doing so, she has become very skilled creating these portfolios.
Anya has incorporated her passion for giving back into her business. She donates a portion of every closing to a nonprofit of her client’s choice. She is involved in nonprofits herself as a board member of an organization that ensures fair and affordable housing for seniors.
“I feel really strongly that anyone lucky enough to have a career that allows them to live comfortably has a responsibility to give back to society in some way.”
— Anya Hodgson
Why Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Professional Realty?
“I can’t imagine being with any other company at this point. I chose BHHS Professional Realty initially because of the boutique atmosphere that felt very family-oriented. This brokerage makes you feel like more than just a number. When I walk in the office I don’t feel like I’m among 20 agents competing against each other. I can turn to anyone in my office and say “collaborate with me” or simply ask for advice in saving a deal. David Mussari played an important role in my choice of brokerage. I would find it hard to believe every brokerage has an owner just as involved as David. He will answer a call, a text or an email at any time of the day to listen to your ideas and settle any issues. I feel like myself at BHHS Professional Realty. I’m not forced to fake a corporate personality and the work-life balance I’ve received has been incredible.”
What sets you apart from other agents?
“From the feedback I’ve received from clients, it’s my spread. I have a pretty wide portfolio of properties and areas I understand. Not a lot of agents who live on the East side of Cleveland are just as comfortable on the West. I’m an agent who knows residential but I can also transfer smoothly into working on an investment property. My scope is further reaching than others and my comfort level is very strong in any neighborhood from the East to the West.”
How do you maintain a work-life balance?
“I wasn’t good at maintaining a work-life balance in the beginning. I have found that it’s important to ask for help and to assess each situation’s importance in the day’s tasks. I sit down and look at my schedule every single week to figure out what days are going to be more focused on my family and which ones are focused on work. It’s hard to set boundaries, but I have become increasingly better about picking and choosing wisely. I’ve come to realize that watching my children grow up is a time I will never get back in return for any amount of work I do.
I think its also important to take care of your health, physical and otherwise. Real estate can take a real toll on you between driving all over, eating in your car, stressed out clients and long hours. You have to find time for exercise and emotional health.”
What advice do you have for buyers and sellers in the market?
“My advice to buyers is not to overextend themselves financially. Don’t get yourself in a situation where you regret spending over budget. You don’t want to have regrets when buying a home. At the same time, be prepared that the furnace might die or you might need to build a fence around the yard. Something is always going to come up.
My advice to sellers is to listen to your agent. Every seller wants to believe their house is the greatest on the market. However, every buyer who walks through the door has a different taste and set of priorities. When an agent says you’re overpriced or need to paint over the baby blue walls, they know what they’re talking about. Their experience out in the market is unmatched and ultimately they’re your biggest advocate!”
Describe a special moment you’ve shared with a client.
“A client who is also a friend recently went through a difficult life experience that affected her family. I got a phone call from her asking to help sell her house and find a new place to live. In the grand scheme of things, I knew she was not just looking for a new place to live. She was looking for a new start. I had to be in a sensitive mindset to what was going on in her personal life. Her next home would not just be a place to live, but also a place to heal. I knew this transaction would be difficult to sell her home and find a new one at the same exact time. We found a property that relieved her financially with a tax abatement while matching some of the lifestyle changes she was going to be making. We got her house on the market and in contract in a week with three offers on the table. She was able to purchase the home she wanted at the same time and the transition was as smooth as I could have hoped.
Hearing her voice and seeing how incredibly happy and thankful she was moved me. This process could have been a nightmare, but it went so smoothly and she gave me a lot of credit for that. It was a matter of making a plan and working toward that end goal. I still get tears in my eyes thinking back to the note she wrote to me expressing how thankful she was and how happy she is in her new place. This is why I do this. I love every aspect of this profession, but when there’s a client who says they couldn’t have done it without me, I’m overjoyed with happiness. If we as agents can be that positive light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve done our job. I hope to be that light for many years going forward.”
What is one thing people might not know about you?
I'm a bit of a plant nerd and I am obsessed with foraging for berries, edible plants, and mushrooms. I also cook competitively in local and statewide competitions.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I would learn to surf and speak perfect French.
Your favorite restaurant in Cleveland?
This is the hardest question ever for me! Ginko for sushi, L'albatros or Luca for special dinners, Citizen Pie for pizza, and Astoria and Greenhouse Tavern for casual.
What 3 words would you use to describe yourself?
Driven, Pragmatic, Curious
What is your favorite space in your own home?
I wish I could say my kitchen, but that will be after a much-needed renovation. Right now, it's my shower! It has a large window that looks into the wooded area of my home and I can see flowers, trees blossoming, deer and wildlife while I get ready for my day.
What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?
My perfect weekend would be checking out new restaurants, going to galleries, kayaking or visiting with friends.
What’s your ideal vacation spot?
I love vacations that challenge me and give me a bit of culture shock. My favorites so far have been Israel and Thailand.
You cannot go a day without ______?
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Raising my kids
What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I'd like to blow my 2018 numbers out of the water. And I wouldn't be mad if I could finally do a headstand in yoga.
Are you involved in any outside organizations?
Yes, I am on the board for Council Gardens which ensures fair and affordable housing for seniors.