WORDS Angela Cowan
PHOTOGRAPHY Lia Crowe
A third-generation Vancouverite, Faith Wilson has spent the last 30 years carving out a spot at the top of the real estate industry in her home community and beyond, always leading with her heart.
“I think certain people thought I might be too sensitive to go into this business—and you do have to be able to take your punches—but that empathy helped me connect to people and help them achieve their goals,” says Faith.
Real estate, at its core, is a service industry, she says, and it all comes back to doing your best by your clients. And this commitment to service was a big part of Faith’s motivation in opening her own brokerage in 2011.
“I had an idea of how I wanted things to run, and I wanted to be able to control the outcome; having my own firm allowed me to give better service to my clients,” she explains.
And then in 2017 she partnered with Christie’s International Real Estate, becoming president and CEO of faithwilson | Christie’s International Real Estate.
“We had the same mindset of boutique luxury,” she says, adding, “Luxury isn’t just a number and it’s not just a product. It’s a way of being. I know this from being in the service business. We provide that luxury to all our clients; it doesn’t matter if it’s a $500,000 condo or a multi-million-dollar property. Ensuring we provide that same level to all clients is important.”
Prior to entering the real estate industry, Faith spent a number of years working in typography and design, having gone back east to learn her craft.
“The things that you learn along the way lead you to your next steps,” she says. “Learning that trade helped me when I started my real estate career because I understood the value of good design and marketing.”
And while she enjoyed it and excelled in her job, once Faith came back to Vancouver, she found herself craving a change.
“I really wanted to get out from behind a desk and work with people,” she says.
Having worked closely with realtors in the typography and design business—and coming from a family of entrepreneurs, including a mother in real estate—Faith decided to take the course, and the rest is history.
For her own residence, Faith sought out a property across from the beach. It’s clear during our conversation that she revels in the coastal lifestyle offered by Vancouver and the simple pleasure of walking along the coast with her dog each morning.
“I truly value the start of each day and the quiet moments it brings; the sensory experience of hearing the sounds of nature and bird calls, the waves lapping against the shore, and the scent of the salt in the air grounds me. I’m grateful to live in this beautiful city and experience the changing beach scene every morning.”
The 7 Sins
Whose shoes would you like to walk in?
Oprah Winfrey. I didn’t watch many of her shows as I was pretty driven in my career, but one show I did see stood me in awe of her ability to stay objective, reasonable and in command when under fire by her audience.
What is the food you could eat over and over again?
Healthy Noodle House on West 4th Avenue. Colin makes the best soup; I have it with thin noodles, all the veggies and chicken dumplings. Their homemade hot sauce is amazing, too. I could eat this for dinner every day. They have other variations, and one day I’ll try one of those.
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?
A cottage by the lake. Somewhere private with an elegance to it, great light and a terrace that looks out over the water.
Where would you spend a long time
At my cottage by the lake. I would dip my toes in the water, enjoy morning and evening swims as the sun rises and sets and sit in front of the wood fire—basking in the quiet and serenity.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of?
Making the decision to get my real estate license against others’ advice. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.
What makes your heart beat faster?
A good game of squash. I’m kind of obsessed with it right now. I know, nothing very racy in the racy sense, but it does get your heart beating faster.