What is...The Urban Farmhouse?
People often ask us what The Urban Farmhouse is? Honestly, it is hard to explain as we have many different services that we provide. So we could say we provide Real Estate and Mortgage services plus Pet Sitting and Event hosting. But those are just the titles. If you really want to understand what The Urban Farmhouse really is, you need to understand WHY we do what we do! :) Then the mishmash of services will make sense.
What matters most? Crystal and I have bought and sold many properties in our lives and each experience was different. Some good...some not so much. By looking at each of the experiences we had, we decided that a career in real estate would be a good move for me. I am an honest person by nature...sometimes to a fault. :) The best experience we had in our real estate transactions was with an agent who was honest...even if it wasn't what we wanted to hear. She truly had our best interests at heart! I believed I could be this type of agent and I believed people wanted more of this also! So after many years in a very different career, I decided to become a real estate agent! From that point forward, I have focused on being kind and real with all of my clients.
Scary changes are rewarding! Switching careers after 15+ years is very scary. I had so much to learn and I was definitely outside my comfort zone. It was hard not having the confidence I was used to. But, I was not bored! I was learning more and more and I was helping! I had a purpose. So what if I had an eye twitch for a while! :) LOL I was making a difference. I am capable! I wasn't afraid to ask for help from my peers. I was reading everything I could get my hands on and I wasn't scared to say "I don't know but I will find out."
We built a house....no really....we built it! Parallel to the journey of changing careers, we decided to build our dream home. To achieve our dream, we had to general contract the build and do ALOT of the work ourselves. Looking back, this was a huge task, but we were ready and willing to tackle it! We are capable! We asked alot of questions. Worked with and learned from our tradespeople, had an open mind, and most of all we never gave up!
The term "The Urban Farmhouse" was born! During the build, we decided to name the house "The Urban Farmhouse," which later became nicknamed TUF. We shared our experiences with all of you via social media and our TUF family started to grow. We would be out and about and people would say "hey I know you; you have that TUF house." It was amazing! We loved that we could share this with you and that you were following along. We were even featured in the
SaskatoonHOME magazine! Such a neat experience.
TUF Critter family grows! We have always had a love for animals; animals of all kinds. And since we had all kinds of space, our family started to grow. Crystal blogged about it a while back, so instead of retelling the story, I will link the original posts here Be sure to read parts 3 and 4.
Expanding into new areas. With the house build complete and my new career well underway, we decided it was time to expand our business into new areas. The addition of our Pet Sitting services was an easy decision. We care about animals so much and know that this type of service is not available for them. So we opened up our home to provide a caring and healthy environment for all the little creatures. Our service is provided for all pets (except cats and dogs). So far, we have cared for Guinea Pigs, Rabbits, Parrots, Snakes, Bearded Dragons, Geckos, Hamsters, and more. We offer this service at a modest price so that we can ensure everyone has the opportunity to come.
Expanding continues. We love sharing our lives and experiences with others, so adding TUF events was an easy extension. It started with TUF Fun Fridays, which had our family and friends coming over on Fridays, to unwind from the week and enjoy everyone's company. We added ladies' nights a couple of times a year, which usually ends up as a big slumber party. We have also hosted Christmas parties, Paint nights, Succulent parties and Visionboard workshops. And of course, our bi-annual flea markets (spring and fall) continue. This spring will be our 4th annual. We offer these events at a modest fee as we simply love sharing the experience with others and want everyone to have the opportunity to participate.
Wait...what about Mortgage? Working in real estate has connected me with many amazing industry partners. One of my best friends is a mortgage broker (hey Audra! :)). As a matter of fact, Audra is TUF's in-house mortgage broker. She has worked with us from the beginning and provides a great service that is expected when working with TUF.
As I grow in life and in my career as a real estate agent, I continue to strive to improve and expand my knowledge. So I am excited to announce that I have completed my mortgage associate course and exams and am working on getting licensed as I write this blog. Soon TUF will have 2 great mortgage brokers for you to choose from. :)
What is TUF Local? I am so glad you ask! As you may have noticed, at TUF we like to give back and to support other local entrepreneurs. To expand on that, we have started a blog series called TUF Local, which showcases local businesses. The posts have each business owner answer a series of questions that help us, and all of you, get to know that business better. If you know of a great local that you think would benefit from the blog or if you are interested, please nominate them! It is absolutely FREE!
Have you figured out what the "Why" is? So what do you think? Have you figured out what our "Why" is? Why we have this interesting mix of businesses together? How they are related? To us it is easy. We offer realty and mortgage services, pet sitting and event hosting because we love creating positive experiences for everyone in our TUF family, by sharing our home, abilities, and hearts.
Connect with us if you want to join the TUF Family!
Rhonda & Crystal Lavoie
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/theurbanfarmhousesaskatoon/