Women Leaders Of Real Estate: Sanni Craft Of Island Living Collective and Sea Glass Properties On The 5 Things You Need To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry

An Interview With Jason Hartman

As a part of my series about the ‘Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Real Estate Industry’, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sanni Craft.Sanni is a certified Accredited Buyers Agent and a great resource for information when moving to the island. She earned her degree as a Marketing Economist from the International Business Academy of Kolding, Denmark before moving to St. Croix. She is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and Sellers Representative Specialist working with Sea Glass Properties and Island Living Collective.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?

previous colleague, who has been a successful real estate Broker for many years, introduced me to real estate and asked if I was interested in becoming an agent. Having little kids it wasn’t quite the right time, but after the kids got bigger and we talked again, I jumped in. It didn’t take me long to figure out that I loved it and worked every deal I could get. I helped out in other agents’ offices to learn and with a passion for photography I took drones and still photos for others too. Working hard and presenting properties in the best way with my photography helped me get listings.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

As a realtor you meet a lot of people which makes our job a lot more interesting. Best part of course is helping someone buy their dream home and be part of that excitement!

Getting to open an office and build a team has been amazing, a big jump and challenge but also very rewarding!

I have seen quite a few things by now. Taking video of a property for a client and you walk in on a sleeping tenant happens. ALWAYS remember to knock when you show a property that is occupied!

Do you have a favorite “life lesson quote”? Can you share a story or example of how that was relevant to you in your life?

Just go with it and make it work! Life in the islands is different. I’m from Denmark where everything moves so fast, everything works. Here however, it works but takes longer.

The benefits are that everyone says good morning, good afternoon and good night and look you in the eyes with a smile while they do so. People here are friendly and take the time. Something a lot of places don’t have these days.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I got the opportunity to open an office for Sea Glass Properties and we have now been open for a year. In that one year I went from being one agent to an office with four agents and an office manager and we are still growing. There are always new projects since we are part of a bigger brokerage that keeps us challenged and always look for new ways to grow by implementing new tools for us agents.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Our office is made up of great people that I love meeting in the office everyday. We work hard, support and help each other and have fun! Creating a place where we challenge and help each other. The work culture in a company is extremely important, it makes for happy agents who want to come to work, want to work and grow.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Allison Mauro started working with me a year before I joined Sea Glass Properties and moved over with me. We are dialed in and call our clients at the same time, often dress the same which at this point doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. Having great people to work with makes everyday better and makes me able to do a better job at taking care of our clients and building up the company.

Nick Vanassche I met a couple years ago, he and his business partners believed in me enough to wait until i was ready to make the move and have been an amazing supporters and mentors.

I’m grateful for everyone I work with!

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry? If you can please share a story or example.

Marketing is my background and I love taking photos. Here I get to market clients’ properties and be creative. Introduce clients to the island and be part of such a big event as buying or selling a home.

Sitting at my desk and concentrating without anyone around me.

Working in real estate I get to do so many different things which keeps it interesting and challenging. No two days are the same!

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? Please share stories or examples if possible.

The market, we can’t foresee what next year will be like but we do have a date to help us.

Everything is being done by computers. Knowing that there are options for Sellers that take out the need for an Agent keeps us working harder to show the value we bring to our Clients. It keeps us always looking at new ways to stay relevant. ILC with five brokerages under it looks towards the future and is always evolving and introducing new tools to their agents that makes us serve our clients better.

I think the vision of five companies across the islands is how we improve and grow. We get more tools and resources.

Most agents are independent contractors and because of that, it’s up to the individual agent to keep developing and learning. We have a fantastic Board that helps us with continued education and being part of Sea Glass Properties and ILC have given me more tools and ways to grow than I have had before.

What advice would you give to other real estate leaders to help their teams to thrive and to create a really fantastic work culture?

Have all agents take part in something that benefits the company as a whole. We all have different strengths and interests and all are important and helpful. Together we are better. We work under one brand so everyone has the responsibility to make it look good, that benefits everyone in so many ways.

Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

Be organized and prioritize your time. There’s always a lot going on, plan out your day to allow time for what moves you forward and makes clients know they are taken care of.

Make sure the clients know you are there to answer questions and take the time to listen to their concerns and input. These are very big decisions for a client no matter if we are talking about a $25,000 piece of land or a $3,000,000 property. It’s a big deal and should be treated like that.

Get apps that can help you.

Hire someone to do the things you are not good at and concentrate on the things that you do well.

If you are not on social media yet, get on it. It’s free advertising!

Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 

We are a community, a small island. I’m on the board of the St. George Village Botanical Garden and love the beauty, the history and that it’s a place for everyone to get together and enjoy. I encourage all our agents to get involved in at least one charity or similar set up that gives back to the community we live in.

One thing I hope to see one day, is a place for the youth to go after school with tradesmen who are willing to give back or maybe have retired and want to work with young adults and kids to give them a skillset they can take with them in life or get a job after school. Have a car donated and let the kids take it apart and build it back up. Teach them carpentry, plumbing etc. Give them tools to let them know what they can create.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

Check out Sea Glass Properties and Island Living Collective.