September 2, 2013

2013 40 Under Forty: Sarah Gustafson

Gustafson

Title: Realtor, Coldwell Banker

Company location: Sturbridge

Residence: Webster

Favorite movie: "Legends of the Fall"

Favorite book: "The Real Thomas Jefferson," by Andrew Allison

Career highlights:Working in marketing and sales positions on both coasts has prepared me to help people through the process of selling or buying their home. The relationships I have developed along the way are definitely the best benefit of the process. I enjoy helping my clients navigate through one of their largest personal and financial transactions by making it as seamless as possible.

Community involvement: To be truly successful in life, you need to possess the desire and be committed to giving back. The Realtor associations have been instrumental in my career progression. I have continued to build on my professional skill sets as a director at the local and state levels as well as co-chairing the government affairs committee for the past two years. Participation in government affairs has given me the opportunity to become involved in legislative actions affecting the path to home ownership. As a director on the Webster, Dudley, Oxford Chamber of Commerce, I work with the board to enhance member benefits and experiences within the organization. I am also a member of the VASA Order of America, which promotes the preservation of Scandinavian culture and history.

Biggest success: Achieving Coldwell Banker International Sterling Society status after only four years in real estate has been the most satisfying business accomplishment to date. It allowed me to realize my goal of being closely involved with my community while being successfully self-employed.

Biggest challenge: Starting my own business in the most difficult real estate market since the Great Depression was certainly a challenge. The transition from a bi-weekly paycheck to a commission-based income structure was difficult, but with an excellent support system that included family and colleagues, I was able to build my brand and become one of the top agents in my office within three years of entering the business.

Mentors: "When I was a child, my father always told me that what you do every day should be, "funner than fun." Other Realtors and colleagues, past and present, who willingly shared advice, experiences and made recommendations about how to be truly successful in life, have also been mentors.

Hidden talents: Cooking. Whenever I have the opportunity I enjoy making multicourse meals from scratch for my family and friends.

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