Wouldn’t it be nice to have less stress and more joy when buying or selling a house?
“That’s holistic real estate in a nutshell,” says Kristy Woodford, a broker at Windermere Olympia in Olympia, Wash.
A holistic realtor guides their clients through the real estate experience while taking the well-being of the whole person – mind, body, and soul – into account. Many realtors have adopted this new label in the past few years.
The goal in holistic real estate is to go through what can be a very stressful process with special care for the physical, mental and emotional health of all concerned. Through this awareness, it is possible to find joy and greater health in the experience, Woodford says.
The process begins with the realtor. The realtor creates a space for health with his or her own holistic processes.
“As realtors, we are charged with holding the container for the entire experience. When I start by taking the time to tap into my inner peace and knowing, through practices such as meditation and visualizing, I can create a calm, open and curious atmosphere from which to receive and process the challenges of this work,” Woodford adds.
From that centered place, she guides her clients to find the answers that are right for them.
As a holistic realtor, she conducts her business, communication, and relationships in a conscious and aware state.
“I like to think a holistic realtor will be viewed from the outside as easy-going, fun, joyful, collaborative, a great communicator and a pleasure to work with,” she says.
Are holistic realtors certified or trained?
At this time, there are no certifications or special training through the National Association of REALTORS, Woodford says. However, when looking on LinkedIn, hundreds of real estate agents and brokers are using the title “holistic” to describe their business model.
Woodford decided to use the term “holistic” after a friend suggested it to her while they were business planning together. She attended a Wellness Seminar in Seattle earlier this year where she was the only real estate broker among naturopaths, wellness coaches, acupuncturists and others.
When and why did you start your business with the holistic approach?
Woodford loved a lot of the aspects of real estate and knew she was pretty good at the job but noticed the industry was full of negativity, stress, general unhealthiness and a lack of balance.
She had discovered a holistic form of dance called Nia that she began to teach. Nia’s message of listening to the voice of the body and tapping into the body’s wisdom for overall well-being and joy resonated with her.
One day when she was meditating, she had the idea to use her holistic practices to coach others in buying and selling their properties.
How do body, mind, and soul get integrated into relationships with real estate clients?
Clients often seek her out because of her approach. Some never even know that’s what she does, and they don’t have to as long as she’s always doing it.
“As I focus on my own mind, body and soul health, I create a calm and healthy atmosphere,” she explains.
For example, when her buyers are about to make an offer on a house, she invites them to think of the price they’d like to offer and then sit with it.
She asks them to take a breath. Where do they sense their thoughts in their bodies? Is there a tightening in their chest? This might not be the right price (or even house) for them. Does the thought feel expansive and open?
“Something may excite us in our mind but take just a minute to ask what your body thinks of it, and you may get a completely different (and in my opinion, more reliable) answer. Our bodies know,” Woodford says.
The incorporation of the body and soul does not negate the use of intellect, facts, and figures. On the contrary, they support it, she says. Holistic real estate agents still do all the things they need to do, such as run comparable neighborhood prices, urge inspections and handle due diligence.
“We are making the most of our mind’s potential by coupling the wisdom of our body and acknowledging the unknown (the spirit or soul),” she adds.
How does being a holistic realtor help you build stronger relationships with the people you deal with?
Holistic real estate requires authenticity, she says.
“My relationships with my clients are deeply connected. They know I am not going to try to talk them into something they don’t want but am here to support their inner knowing. That builds deep connection and trust. And people want to have ease and fun along the way and that’s part of the goal.”
How do you deal with skepticism from prospective clients?
“I really don’t worry about that. There’s an abundance of people out there that will resonate with my approach. I do this to guide others in the realization of their dreams with greater health, ease, and fun along the way,” she adds.
Everyone knows what’s right for them, and everyone gets to choose who they want as a real estate agent. Plus, Olympia is a highly progressive community and a lot of people there are already living a holistic lifestyle, Woodford explains.
What can holistic realtors do for buyers and sellers that non-holistic realtors can’t?
“The short answer is more joy in the journey and a less stressful experience,” Woodford states.
She finds that her approach prepares a path for fewer problems. She also believes holistic realtors and their clients are great negotiators.
Her clients believe in miracles and know deep down what they want and that they will get it. Because they know what they want is coming to them, they are willing to walk away and that’s the key to great negotiating. But it’s not from a spirit of win-lose.
“Holistic real estate is win-win,” she says.