Local Real Estate Agents, Brokerage, ‘Give Back’

Damian McCartney may be new to the real estate industry, but his passion for owning and selling properties is not. In fact, it’s something he’s been wanting to do for some time, he says.

McCartney, originally from the Bahamas, came to Nova Scotia in 2014 to take Business Administration at Mount Saint Vincent University. “I fell in love with the city, so after I graduated, I decided to stay,” he says.

As part of his business administration degree, McCartney chose to concentrate on management. The degree obviously included a number of business courses, but he says he also learned about the various case studies in business and acquisitions, which also involved building and land purchases, something that only piqued his interest and made him more determined to become involved in the real estate industry.

McCartney became friends with Air Realty founder and owner, Joshua Svec. “He was always talking to me about the real estate market in Nova Scotia and I started to get really interested in what he was doing. He introduced me to the NSAR [Nova Scotia Association of Realtors®] and the course they provide and I decided to jump right in,” says McCartney, who says he has not looked back.

Earlier this month, McCartney got his real estate licence. Now, officially a realtor with Air Realty, an independent and unique brokerage that launched in 2017 in Halifax, he continues to advance his knowledge of the industry through various seminars and workshops, as well as the readily available and vast amount of information online and offered through Air Realty, he says.

One of the things McCartney loves about Air Realty is that it is unique and locally owned, “… a business that cares about the community.” In fact, recently, the company launched a Giveback program. McCartney is just one of the agents on the Air Realty team that is involved in the program that essentially allows agents to donate a portion of every transaction they make through the brokerage, and then Air Realty will match their donation. “We can donate money to the charity of our choice,” says McCartney. “It’s a wonderful program that allows us to give back to the community that supports us,” he adds.

McCartney says he has been working with a lot of local groups, such as Dorian Relief HFX that sends resources and funds back to the Bahamas to help rebuild the islands that were heavily affected by the hurricane. “There was a lot of red tape involved initially [with the program], so I am just trying to make sure that is all sorted out before I make them my charity of choice.” He says he is interested in any cause, however, that will help give relief to anyone that was affected by the devastating storm that decimated the Bahamas September 1 and barrelled up the Atlantic coast, reaching Halifax September 7.

Their goal is to raise as much money as they can. “It’s always important to give back, and that is what we are trying to do,” adds McCartney.

And despite only receiving his licence in the past few months, he says he has been really busy with showings and is always looking for potential properties. “There are always opportunities and things to do like researching and setting the groundwork for new prospects.”

He adds, “I have a real passion for real estate personally, so owning properties is a goal of mine and it gives me an opportunity to use my skills.” He says he has yet to find any particular type of real estate he wants to specialize in because he has a general love for all real estate “… from single-family homes to commercial. But as a young individual, I would want to focus on getting into income properties, so that I am able to be more free when I am older, generate some passive income.”

McCartney, who is 26, says he’s noticed that there aren’t very many agents in his age group in Nova Scotia and he would love to encourage and help people get into the industry because there are so many opportunities and as a young agent, he says he has a lot to contribute to the industry.

“There are a lot of young people looking to start families, even just within my circle of friends. And because I am knowledgeable about the market, I can start conversations about it easily.” Another benefit that comes with his age, he says, is his knowledge of technology. “I am tech-savvy and understand the innovative technology that will be coming in the future.”

He further adds, “As an immigrant to Nova Scotia, I also understand the complexities of finding properties, so I can help people who may be looking to find a home but just don’t know how or where to start.”

The bottom line for McCartney, though, is the real sense of community real estate can instill in people. He says he is proud to work for a company that sees that and wants to help others. “The Giveback program is just one way we get to show that we want to help,” he says.

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