Marites Kliem is a mom, she and her husband Tyson, made the cutest boys Instagram ever laid eyes on. Marites is also an inspiring real estate agent. In her earlier years, she was a child prodigy(in our opinion), taking on small acting roles and recording pop music that climbed the charts. As a first-generation Canadian, her parent’s sacrifice is a daily inspiration to her and she uses that as motivation to take advantage of every opportunity. Andrew and Marites discuss work-life balance, the challenges of a working mom, their shared confusion of camping, her Filipino roots, karaoke, her experience with racism and traumatic experiences that shape us.
Connect with Marites online in the following places:
Hosted by: Andrew Bracewell
Produced and Edited by: Justin Hawkes
Full Transcription of this Interview:
Andrew 00:01 This is the podcast that finds the most elusive people, the everyday amazing kind that you know nothing about. I’m hunting these people down and exposing their beauty to the world. I’m Andrew Bracewell and this is every day. Amazing. And so my life is linked to shell. And then real estate is kind of like the commercial thing.
Andrew 00:25 Mary tests. Hello, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me today. I am very excited to be chatting with you in my living room. This is, this is quite the thing to be doing and very cozy. I got my blanket. Well, we’ll have to make sure to take pictures of you cause you do look cozy. I’m just hoping you don’t fall asleep. We’re gonna try not to. We gotta we gotta keep you gotta keep you awake while we try to dissect your brain and learn all that we can. Um, so is it, is it
Marites 00:53 clean or climb? It’s cleam. I know. I have a very difficult first name and then even a harder last name. So I’ve, I was at a wedding once and I was singing, they’re like, all right, please welcome Mariah to kill them. I was like, I think that’s me. I think
Andrew 01:11 yeah, right. Just kill them. So confession, um, I always like to start confessions. I feel like, you know, he get something off your chest. So we’ve worked together in the same company for quite a few years. I think you’ve been around for 12 years.
Marites 01:24 Uh, I’ve been at Remax only F uh, maybe seven or eight, but,
Andrew 01:29 Oh right, okay. Sure. License 15 but so we’ve, we’ve been in each other’s lives without actually being in each other’s lives for quite some time cause we’ve only recently started to spend some more time together. Um, but when I started to see your name, I had no idea what to say. Like I don’t, I don’t know how to pronounce that. That’s great. There’s a couple of times that I did do Hey to you, I don’t know if you remember. And so, and then there was another couple of times where like, I actually avoided interaction because of that awful embarrassing. Like, you know, you get that sometimes where it’s like, you know, either forget the person’s name or you don’t know how to say it. So I’m just going to avoid, I’m that person. I’m the avoider walking down the hallway if I don’t know where is it.
Andrew 02:07 I was like, Oh, I gotta pee, I gotta go just hard left, turn into the bathroom. Uh, but at some point in time I learned it was married test, but I’ve also wondered the clean climb thing. So now we know it’s, it’s, it’s claim and claim is okay. So you’re, I mean, this is clearly your, you’ve, you’ve taken on the, the name of your husband. We’ll, you know, we’ll get to more a little bit later. Yeah. But it’s clean. Is this German or whatever background? I married a German guy. You married a German guy? Yeah, my life boy. Well you made your Filipino parents.
Marites 02:37 He’s, he, you know, you think of white guys would be like taller Filipinos. Like, Oh, we’re going to get like a tall grandkids. Like, no, my husband’s
Andrew 02:44 does seem as me. Yeah. Yeah. He’s not playing basketball or volleyball. Basketball. He says it’s a right vertically challenged sports. Right. That’s very true. So, uh, you know, we stumbled into family talk here, so why don’t you just I don’t know, take a few minutes. Tell us who you are, what life is and um, yeah, start there.
Marites 03:05 Yeah. Okay. So I’m, I’ve been married for about eight years now to my husband Tyson and I’ve got two little boys that are two and three years old. So too little monsters. What are their, what are their names? Leo is the oldest one. He’ll be four pretty soon. And Bennett is the youngest.
Andrew 03:23 And for anybody who’s ever encountered you on Instagram, they see your, you have two of the most endearing boy. They are amazing. Well, we’ll talk more about that, but my God, I’ve laughed so many times watching them. Yeah, keep going. Sorry I interrupted.
Marites 03:39 Um, yeah, and so we live in the Fraser Valley and uh, I grew up in Richmond. That’s where my real estate career kind of started. And yeah, now I sell real estate here in the Valley.
Andrew 03:50 So how did you end up in, like, what’s your, your, um, your family background? How did you land in Richmond? Let’s go back a little a little further.
Marites 03:59 Okay. So my parents moved here from the Philippines in the 1970s and they landed in a small logging camp in the queen Charlotte islands. So my dad had these sideburns. My mom looked like she was 12 years old, but early twenties. They were newlyweds, pregnant with my oldest sister at the time.
Andrew 04:22 So married in the Philippines and then yard themselves out too.
Marites 04:27 The queen Charlottes. Yeah, I know. Well, I think they just knew that Canada was a good place and there was lots of opportunity for kids, um, for their kids to have better education and, and so I think that’s why they made the move.
Andrew 04:41 So were they given a, I dunno, I mean this is maybe a total infant question, but were they given the option of where to go or are you just told, congratulations, you’re welcome to Canada, here’s where you must,
Marites 04:52 no, I think my mom’s brother had gone first and worked for this company, um, in the Charlottes. And so then he sponsored him to come. And so my dad didn’t know anything about queen Charlotte islands. Uh, like my mom thought snow grew on the ground because that’s all she’s seen. It does. Um, and so my dad was just telling me the other day how the first day he landed, they threw him in into the forest basically with a shovel and he had to dug, dig the snow outs for the loggers and that was his job. And so he had gone from like 90 degrees to like negative 10, and he said his lips just chap like instantly. And they were so badly blistered. And uh, he lasted two and a half days and they’re like, okay, you’re slowing down their production team, we gotta pull you outta here. So they threw him into the office, made him a part time a timekeeper, and then he actually continued on to do his, um, has accounting designation with them. And then like 40 plus years later, he retired with the same company.
Andrew 06:03 My goodness. What a story. So lands in Canada starts with one company and finishes a, that’s amazing. Yeah.
Marites 06:08 So he’s very, very loyal and, um, really hard worker. And then my mom ran the little commissary shop, the postal store, um, kinda typical Asian running the convenience store for the camp. Wow. Yeah. And so I feel, I feel very fortunate to be here in Canada. I think that my parents sacrificed a lot. He, my dad tells me the day that he remembers they left the Philippines and he was at the airport looking at my mom through the glass and there she was, his new bride, pregnant with my oldest sister. And he’s like, I’m, I’m leaving my home, I’m leaving my family. I’m leaving my country to set up for them to come and for us to have a better life together. And so I feel very, uh, grateful too to live here and to have the opportunities I have and I feel like my opportunities that I have were bought at a price by my parents. And so I don’t feel entitled to anything that I, I think a lot of my peers may be feel sorta entitled. The millennials get a bad rep for having, um, that stereotype of like, Oh, we’re owed. Yeah. Yeah. But I don’t, I don’t really struggle with that feeling. So do you,
Andrew 07:25 do you feel a, um, a duty because you know, because your parents, let’s use the terminology, you know, paid for your opportunity. Do you then you carry that through life and is that, that’s part of your, like you wake up every morning, it’s like, well I don’t, I, I don’t feel good. I don’t want to do this. Shut up Mary Tesco, get your ass out of bed. Go do that. Is that, is that part of your,
Marites 07:47 your your mantra? Yeah, I think, I think my parents were very heavily involved in my childhood and, and they drove us to do really well in school and any passions I had, they invested fully in. Um, when I was doing music and acting, my mom would drive me to all over the lower mainland and when the car all night long while I did my thing. And then, um, so I feel indebted to them for sure.
Andrew 08:12 For those of you listening that heard Mary test say music and acting, don’t worry, we will get to that. We’re not, we’re not, we’re not passing over that. I’ll get you on that in a minute. So, um, so you are, I, I’m, I’m uh, I’m an infant in this conversation. You’re then a second generation immigrant. Is that, what, is that how you’re classified cause your parents immigrated and you were born here? I don’t, I’m not sure. I might be first, first generation Canadian. Yeah, these are, these are things we’ll have to look up and, and educate ourselves on.
Marites 08:42 So
Andrew 08:43 um, you’re born then and the queen Charlottes or you’re born in Richmond?
Marites 08:47 I was born in Richmond and lived in the queen Charlotte’s for the first couple of years cause we didn’t have a hospital there. There was only there, I think there’s 400, 500 people there. So, um, and
Andrew 08:56 then after we live in the shots for a couple of years, my sisters grew up there, but then they had no high school system. So then we had to move. So I was raised as a city girl. Got it. City girl and you come across that way. I don’t, I don’t see you, you know, with an ax out in the Bush. That’s not,
Marites 09:15 yeah, I don’t hike camp. Oh, you don’t care. We should talk about this. Okay. You know what, my parents worked too hard to get me into a country where I don’t have to poop outside. I will not camp.
Andrew 09:26 See, you know, I think subconsciously my spirit knew that I loved you. Even though we haven’t talked about these things, I don’t understand it. I don’t know. Like I, and you know what, as a child I camped like I, and I really kept my dad and my parents, we went out in like shitty tents that had holes and we weren’t properly equipped and we actually cooked over the fire. And more often than not, camping, uh, was cold, wet, you know, uncomfortable, constipated, like whatever. Like life isn’t normal and I just don’t understand. Like we, people, we have like, you know, the world has developed like Weston’s and Fairmont’s and, and I don’t, I don’t understand why you would choose to, to not do that. And then the argument where people go, well it’s, it’s inexpensive, it’s cheap. That’s a load. Because I mean I expensive. I understand that what my parents did with me was cheap and inexpensive because they had no money. But then what I observed people doing today that is not inexpensive, all of the equipment and crap that they buy is, is very expensive. So anyways, we share that together. That’s, yeah, that’s phenomenal. So you never camped as like an adult human.
Marites 10:35 I think my sister took me once and I hated it. I’m like, never again.
Andrew 10:39 Yeah. Kindred spirits. Amazing. We’re going to get, you know that we’re going to get glared at by people
Marites 10:45 I know. I know my friends love camping and they all go together and I never get the invite and I’m like, I’m not offended. Knock your socks off. I’ll be in my warm bed.
Andrew 10:55 Th this causes conflict in my marriage because my wife loves that. The whatever that she would love to camp more and do that kind of rough ed or you know, whatever, whatever people call it. And we’ve done it and she’s done it even with friends. But it’s just, it’s hard to get me motivated to, uh, to want to do something like that. Just leave me at home. So, okay. So you’re not camping as you’re growing up. Yeah. You’re in, you’re in Richmond doing whatever. Just the regular Richmond kid thing. I would presume. And you alluded to something, which is, I never knew this about you. I only learned this about you, I think when we were talking about doing the show together. Um, you actually had like a childhood pop star career like that. That’s not misrepresenting. I’m not calling you Brittany Spears. I know you’re not Brittany Spears. Yeah. Talk about that a little bit.
Marites 11:48 So my entertainment career started when I was about eight years old. I was,
Marites 11:54 I grew up doing karaoke and kind of, that was part of our cultural upbringing. And so I was used to being in front of the, uh, entertaining people. And so my, my, uh, people would always tell my mom, you should put her into acting. She do really well on acting. And so we booked an appointment to meet with an acting coach. But before we did that, I was walking and Steve and some people approached my mom and they’re like, we need your daughter for a commercial right now. And my mom is paranoid Filipina lady, like they’re trying to kidnap my daughter. She’s like, no way. And they’re like, yeah, you got to get in our van. We’re going to go do. And she’s like, no, no, no. And they’re like, we’ll give her $2,000. And she’s like, okay, go
Andrew 12:33 know. Apparently, apparently Steve stuns known for childhood Filipino kidnapping
Marites 12:39 real thing in my, in my upbringing. That was a thing that we had to be afraid of. And so it was legit. It was a commercial for Canada’s 120 fifth birthday. And I had to just like run up to the camera and then, uh, yeah, I can’t remember exactly. It was 2000 hours, but I got paid a lot, really for being eight years old. It was a lot of money. And then I went to my acting agent and I said, I’ve already done a commercial. So she’s like, great. So, yeah, I did some acting and then, um, yeah, did like a dozen or so TV commercials, a couple TV shows, just, you know, two or three lines, not nothing major. And then I transitioned to doing music. So, um, I recorded some songs. We had them on the radio. They were on the beat 94.5.
Andrew 13:23 Okay. Okay. You’re not, you’re not blowing over this quickly. We need Lena. I could even see it in your body language. I did. I did some, I did some songs and then it’s nothing. No. I want the name of the song, how much it was played. Like come on, give us the details here.
Marites 13:42 Okay. So I recorded a song called back in the day.
Andrew 13:45 Yeah. You wrote it. No, I didn’t write it. I was a pop star. Like the typical pop star. I just went in there. This sounds amazing. Shout out to all the pop stars out there. We know you don’t write your own ship. Okay. Oh man.
Marites 14:00 Okay. So yeah, it was, it was on the radio and it was in heavy rotation, meaning every couple of hours it was on. So I’d be walking in
Andrew 14:07 hold on. What year is this? Is everyone’s trying to think back in their life right now? I need to remember who I was dating, what car I was driving, whether or not I’ve made out to you. No, I was probably married at the time. This was like early two thousands Oh perfect.
Marites 14:26 I think I started recording. I was about 1516 so quite a quite a while ago. Okay. So the name of the song was again back in the day. It was since we had a falling out with the producer and so they eventually rerecorded it and rereleased it. So it’s hard to actually find, cause I know as soon as they tell people they like try to Google it. I’m like, good luck. This was before like YouTube was really big and all that.
Andrew 14:47 You do know that we’re going to get it and we’re going to play it out at the end of this podcast. That’s amazing. Our producer Justin, he should, nobody can see him and he’s not on the mic, but he’s just absolutely loving. This is writing notes right now. Get song. That’s fun.
Marites 15:03 Oh yeah. Yeah. So then I performed in nightclubs. I, the weirdest thing that happened was I was on vacation in the Cayman islands sitting at a bar and the bartender recognized me and he was like, I know who you are. And he’s like, I listened to your song. I’m from Edmonton. I was like, Whoa. That was pretty bizarre for me.
Andrew 15:25 Wow. Okay. So, so that’s, and then so the music was more, what was your bigger, was it music or acting that you were more passionate about?
Marites 15:34 Probably music. Yeah. To this day I still like music. I still like to sing at church and stuff like that. Acting. It got to a point where I was just a cute kid and I could say a couple of fun lines, but then as I got older, they’re like, Hey, you have to invest in lessons and actually dive in. I was like, nah, I don’t really want to do that. Music’s more of a, my karaoke roots coming out. I feel like that’s something,
Andrew 15:59 like, I’ve heard you say, make that Filipino karaoke reference number of times. And I’d be lying to say that I’d never thought that before this point in my life. But it’s also something I didn’t think I was allowed to say.
Marites 16:10 Oh, it’s, it’s so stereotypical, but it’s, it was literally a part of my upbringing. Like how kids play softball. I karaoke like we karaoke when I was sad, when I was happy, when we had a birthday party, when there’s a funeral, like it doesn’t matter any opportunity to pull out the magic Mike, we did it.
Andrew 16:27 You know what, in this, in this environment, uh, in the world we’re in today, you know, sometimes stereotypes are, you know, not supposed to talk about them or you know, they’re, they’re offsite or whatever. But I, some of them are real and they’re not. That’s right. Totally honest. So we, one year, uh, Kristen and I, my wife Kristen, where we are, we’re in Maui. I can’t, we’ve been to Maui a few times. I can remember what year it was, but it was, you know, probably somewhere prior to 2010 maybe after, I have no idea. She’ll listen to this later and she’ll correct me and it’s fine. Um, but we go to this, uh, we go to the sushi restaurant and I think we had read that there was karaoke there if I remember correctly. But like we needed to eat and I wanted to check this place out. I’m a big Japanese food and nut and the place had great reviews so, so we walk in and it was clearly karaoke night and it was clearly dominated by Filipino people on the Island of Maui at a sushi restaurant. Why is everybody Filipino here? But like they were just there to crush it. Like, and watching them was unbelievable.
Marites 17:30 This is not like the way that like white drunk people do karaoke. It’s like we’re really given her, you sing with billings,
Andrew 17:38 right? You stay with feelings yet. Yeah, no, it’s a, there’s no comparison. This is what will watching them. It’s, it’s like you wonder like, okay, how much did you practice for this? Cause this is clearly not, like you said, the drunk white guy who just stumbled onto the stage and doesn’t know what he’s doing. These people have put effort into the performance. It’s quite a young age. They train us and it’s quite amazing. So yeah. Anyway, so that is a stereotype. I believe we should be allowed to talk about embrace cause it’s, it’s fantastic. So you, okay. Uh, we’re growing up in Richmond. You’re, you became a pop star. You got recognized at a bar. And where was that? Barbados. What’d you say? Cayman islands. But fast forward a bit. So you’re today you’re, you’re married and you have a couple of kids. Um, how does that, how does that story come to be?
Marites 18:23 So when I met my husband, this was 2011, we got married in 2011 and he got a job opportunity in Abbotsford. And at the time I lived in Richmond and when we were dating he said, Kay, Mary, Tess, I’m a pastor. So that means God could call me anywhere like Abbotsford. And I scoffed. I said, ha ha, I’m never moving to Abbotsford. Like ha ha ha ha. Kind of thing. And then of course he gets a job opportunity and we pray about it and we’re like, okay, I think, I think I’ve got to go to it’s bird. Wow. Yeah. From Richmond. Yeah. Which you might as well have been Toronto like I was for just seemed like,
Andrew 19:03 like so foreign. So that’s like 2007 eight something like that. 11. Okay. Okay. And we got married like that next month we moved. Okay. So you start life out here and you’ve got to, you’ve got a couple boys, Leo and Bennett and they’re not old like what? Two and three? They’re little and they are absolutely wild. So wild is an amazing,
Marites 19:27 I just fill them all the time and throw them on my Instagram stories because it’s pure entertainment. They save like the fun kids say the funniest things. It’s so true. Like I watched your this morning last night and he, he took a liking to this woman with blonde hair and he was just like so infatuated with her and he’s like, can you please fart on me? You know? And I’m like, and then she’s like, does your mom ask you to do that? And he’s like, no. I’m like, well thank God. He said no, because it’s like, I don’t know these people very well. And so he’s just like, and then today, I’m like, why did you ask that woman to do that? And he’s like, it’s my job to ask girls to fart on me, mom. Like, so matter of fact,
Andrew 20:05 that is unbelievable. You know what I, in fairness to you, it’s probably the German side coming out in them. It’s, you know, the Filipino things got, he’s got some stuff from that, but, but that does sound, I married into it. I’ve married into some German roots and so I can understand there’s some, there’s, there’s some different things. Yeah, we can, we can call it that. So you, um, so you’ve got a two. So what’s it, you got a two and a three year old. You have a career selling real estate. Yeah. You are a, you know, you’re a mom, you’re a wife, you’re, you’re a career woman. You’re, you’re a Filipino minority. I guess if you wanted to say that’s a, that’s a ball of wax. You got a lot going on.
Marites 20:52 For me it’s just normal. Uh, my mom, he was an entrepreneur so she did every business under the sun. She came to Canada with like $10 in her pocket and she, when she moved to the mainland, she became more interested in business. And so she got into um, like a car mechanic shop and I’m like, mom, you don’t even know how to change oil. She’s like, I don’t care. I want to start this business. And so she did concert promotion. She had a magazine, she ran a convenience store. She ran a grocery store, like she’s just done anything and everything and it never phased her that she was a minority. Cause this was in the eighties and nineties. So even more so on minority. And um, she was just fearless about it. And so she paved the way for me to realize like what, there’s nothing stopping me.
Marites 21:40 And so I can quote unquote do it all. But the difference is that my mom has amazing capacity and I feel like my capacity is a lot less. We joke that she’s got the energy of a 30 year old and I’ve got the energy of like a 60 something year old, so I have to get more help. And so that’s the difference is that my mom never really asked for help. She’s just kind of this like stubborn, vivacious woman that’s, I’m just going to do it all and I’m like, I need help. I can’t do this. You know?
Andrew 22:07 So in your mind, um, as you, you know, as you transitioned from a teenager into an adult, married, were you always going to have a career? Um, like not knowing, you might not have known you were going to go into real estate, but w was your framework and your brain like go get a job? Or was it, I mean some, someone, women will say, well, I knew I always wanted to be a mom and, and that’s, that takes the primary role and then the career as a secondary conversation. How did that play out in your, in your mind?
Marites 22:37 I think because I got started in real estate when I was 19, and because I had been acting since I was eight and then seriously pursued music throughout my teenage years that I had always been working. So for me work was very normal and that was part of life. Uh, I’ve always wanted to have kids. It was, uh, but my career was kind of always ingrained into me ever since I was a young, young child.
Andrew 23:04 So let’s dive into that a little bit then. Cause this, this is one of the things that fascinates me about you. Um, you, I mean, my impression is that you’re an incredibly present and available mom and yet you withstand the incredible pressures of the real estate industry. And, and then my impression of you as a realtor is that you’re an incredibly present, hardworking individual who devotes a lot of time to your clients. So what, like that is a, that is a thing that is completely foreign to me in that, you know, I’m a man, I don’t have a uterus and I’m, I’m automatically eliminated from that conversation. But speak to that a little bit. What does that, what does that like balancing those things and not just on a surface level, like let’s go, what do you really feel married tests about this conversation?
Marites 23:55 There is a tension that I think is the mom. I feel that my husband doesn’t feel like when he goes to work, he just goes to work. You know, when the kids are like, Oh dad, we’ll miss you when I go to work. I feel like crying. And I remember very early when my kids were, were even younger than they are now. And I could see them out the window and I could see their Mt. Mommy ma, like I could see their mouth calling for me and tears falling down their face and I, and I stopped the car and I’m looking at them and then I’m crying, looking at them crying and going, I need to go to work. I have a responsibility to get stuff done. And so having children has made me more efficient at my job. And when I’m with my clients, I’m very present.
Marites 24:36 I’m very dedicated to getting them results and not just networking or, and so I do miss some things like conferences and maybe I don’t run the smoothest business behind the scenes. I’m not looking to grow my business exponentially because I’m, I do have to focus on being a mom as well. And so my, my favorite thing is when telemarketers come and they call me and they’re like, Hey, don’t you want to grow your network and reach new clients? And I’m like, no. They’re like, what? You don’t want to make more money? I’m like, I don’t want to make more money. I don’t even like my life the way it is. So, so I do have that tension because all the training and leadership and coaching I’ve had in real estate is, you know, you’ve got to drive and make more sales and be bigger, better, faster, stronger. But I can’t, I physically can’t be number one and be producing a certain level. And so I have to accept that my career is maybe capped at a certain amount because I have to be with my kids. And, um, there are times when I have to choose and it’s, it’s a tough choice to make. Yeah.
Andrew 25:43 Do you think, so I, I’ve spend some time thinking about this recently in preparation for our conversation, but also, you know, this is just a dialogue that I’ve, I’ve had with other people ongoing, cause it’s, it’s interesting to me, but I’ll just make a statement and tell me if this, if you think this is fair or not. Um, today our audience is the world. Like, you know, if you go back, whatever, 75 a hundred years, whatever pre-internet pre-social media are, are the people that we would compare ourselves to. Um, we’re basically are the tribe around us. That’s all we had access to. So like immediate family, immediate friends. But it was actually a small group of people right? Today, you know, social media is, it can be great and the internet is great and you know, having access to all corners of the world, you know, there’s, there’s good things in that.
Andrew 26:35 And I, but I think one of the, the, the negative sides to that is that we are comparing ourselves to this tribe that I think we’re not naturally fit to do. Like, you know, so now instead of like, you know, looking at my friend who lives across the street and seeing how he’s a dad or what he does in his business and kind of, you know, like measuring myself in that way, I’m exposed to 7 billion people. And I think in every facet of life there is somebody who’s way better than me kicking my ass at that, you know? And then, yeah, I have the ability to like go like, man, I’m, you know, I’m shitty at this or I’m shitty at that because I, I am on a global scale. But you know, in my own local village, if I were to be able to confine my brain to that, I think I’d come to the conclusion that, you know, I am actually pretty good at this.
Andrew 27:24 Or pretty good at that in comparison to those around. And so where that conversation is relevant to you as a mom and you know, balancing work life is, there’s been this huge, you know, and for the positive there’s been this, this huge push of, you know, um, equal opportunity and equal outcome and you know, you know, um, things, things like that, you know, in that conversation of, you know, giving women opportunity. But then now you are also whether you want to be or not compared to all of these other like whatever, conquering moms through social media and, and the internet, which, which I can imagine is, is not easy. It must be,
Marites 28:01 it’s not and you have to keep your focus really small and you can’t get stuck down that rabbit hole of following other people and staring and playing that comparison game. Um, and, and I don’t just play it with other women. I play it with other men because I see men there, they’re crushing it. And I know he’s at the office till 10 o’clock and I’m home at four 30 cause I want to make dinner. And so he’s going to make that many more sales. But how many more sales is it? Do I really need? And at what expense is that going to cost my family? Because in an instant my career could be taken from me. Everything could be taken. And so I can’t focus on, on trying to be better than other people. I just have to do what’s, what’s best that I can do.
Marites 28:47 Like for example, when I was nursing my child, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of, of pumping. She was like, I don’t know to see about this, but no women that are listening for children. I watched my wife, you know, raise our babies with very little of mine. I’m familiar with pumping. I mean, you have to carry this backpack around and find a bed. It was like, it was just a hassle. So I said, forget this. I’m just going to go home every three hours. And so I’d go to a meeting, show some property, drive back home, nurse my baby, go back out, do another meeting, drive back home, nurse my baby. And so this was a different type of busy-ness and multitasking that I had to manage that. Um, maybe some of my male counterparts don’t have to worry about. And so I also worry about food. I mean, I’m a foodie. I love food, but I also want to make sure that my kids are well fed. And if it’s up to my husband, it’ll be every night. So
Marites 29:42 I have to make sure that they are listening. Tyson, get your ass in here. That’s right. You know, if there’s no milk in the fridge, if there’s no vegetables in the drawer, I feel responsible for that. So I need to work out groceries, grocery planning. And
Andrew 29:58 so that, that you just raised a very interesting point. You touched on it earlier. I mean, I think it would be safe to say that even when you’re focused on one thing, maybe that’s, you know, whatever, working with a client, your mind is not at rest because your mind is in other places. And I had, I had coffee with somebody, um, the other day. Uh, it was fascinating conversation and actually she’s, she’s going to be on the show as well. And she made this statement about, she asked me this question. Sure. Her name is Shahana. She’s incredible, incredible individual. We’ll talk to her, uh, very soon on the show. But she said, Andrew, when’s the last time you left for work and had any kind of like mental anxiety about what was going on at the home during the day? And this sounds like a completely, I’m, I’m all, I’m, well I’m, I’m, I’m, I don’t want to say ashamed, but it’s embarrassing to admit this.
Andrew 30:48 Like I’ve been married for 16 years. I have three children, 12, 10, and eight. And when she asked me that question, um, I’ve given lip service before to saying like, you know, my wife is incredible and I do think my wife is incredible and I’m, I’m grateful for everything she does. But when she asked me this question, I kinda had this like, Holy shit moment. And I went, yeah, like I roll out of the home at, depending on the day, anything between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM or whatever. And I never worry about anything. So whether we’re talking about like the basics of like, you know, groceries, whatever. But like you get into the kid, drop off the mental wellbeing of the children, anxiety they might have when they get home from school, there’s somebody there to catch them and then like, you know, deliver them back into the nest of the home. And we’ve had that, right? Like we have days where the kids, one kid comes home and tears or there was a fight or whatever. But like when I’m at work, I’m on and I don’t think about that until I walk through the door and then I’m hearing about it from Kristin. And so what that does for me in terms of my effectiveness at work, it allows me to just be completely, you know, honed in on whatever I’m doing. You don’t have that luxury.
Marites 31:55 I have not. It requires a lot more effort for me to focus and do what I’m doing in the moment. But then it’s a lot more pressure for me to get the job done fast.
Andrew 32:05 Hmm. Fascinating. So do you think related to this that the conversations, you know, we’re in a, I feel like there’s a lot of big issues being talked about in the world today. Right? You know, what, we don’t need to get into all of them and nor do I want to try to get into some of them cause I’m not equipped to talk about them. But, um, but on the topic of, you know, um, equal opportunity for women and, and not just equal opportunity for women, but like helping moms get into the workforce or companies, uh, maybe making adjustments to their policies, to getting moms into the workforce. Do you think the conversation that’s being had in the public than the media is the conversation that needs to be had? Do you think it’s an honest conversation? Is there any way that in your mind it needs to be tweaked or shifted to, to better address the issue?
Marites 33:00 I haven’t really heard of it being spoken of, so maybe that’s the issue is that it’s just, I, I haven’t heard that it being discussed publicly. Um, I just know like the personal pressures that I feel from it. So like, I know when I’m at home and I’m, I’m cooking dinner, I often have my laptop open beside the stove and I’m responding to emails while the water’s boiling. And then I’m cutting vegetables and then I check a text message. And so I’m kind of always working and sometimes that affects my kids because my son will say to me, mommy, look at me in the eyes.
Andrew 33:36 Wow. And he’s like three
Marites 33:39 that is unbelievable. And so as much as I say, you know, I try to be present with my kids when I, I really do. But, um, sometimes I can’t because I’m doing multiple things at once. And so that’s why I’ve tried to implement a day off, which for an entrepreneur is really difficult. But I try to really, really protect our day off together. And my husband takes the same day off and we try to do things just as a family. And then I’m just purely reactive to fires in the business on those days. But I’m not doing any prospecting, not responding to anything that’s not urgent that day, once a week.
Andrew 34:14 So I know the answer to this, but I wanna I wanna um, I want to raise it because I want to hear you speak to it, but how then I shouldn’t say I know the whole answer. I maybe know part of the answer. How have you gone about, um, relaying the importance of your family and balance to the people you work with so that they understand and respect, you know, the boundaries that you have.
Marites 34:39 It’s hard because clients kind of want you available 24, seven. There’s a bit of that expectation. And so I, I don’t outright tell the client, this is my day off. I just might, because I try to move people through the system pretty quickly. And in theory, they’re not working with me with weeks and weeks on end. So it’s not like they’re picking up that, Oh, she’s always taking this day off, but I’ll just say, Hey, I, um, I can’t make it for tonight at five. Can we do tomorrow at 9:00 AM? You know, so I’ll just try to push it to the next day. Yeah. And then sometimes if they text during bedtime, then I’ll, I might be a little bit slower to respond, but then sometimes I’ll say to my kid too, like, mommy has to just send this really quick message. Like, can you just wait one minute? You know? And so my kids have to learn to be patient and so I have a very supportive husband as well. And so I’ll just say don’t like, Oh it’s a phone call. I got to take the call. It’s another realtor. He’ll, he’ll take the kids and then I’ll hide in the closet and then make the phone call. You’ll actually, you will hide in the closet. There’s been times where we have guests over, they opened the closet door
Marites 35:38 to hang their coat and I’m standing on there on the floor signaling them like pull away and you see one of your boys. That’s what mommy does. She crazy, it’s fine. So, and then my kids, they don’t find me and I try to keep the phone call short and I don’t tell the client. On the other line. I’m hiding in a closet right now because
Marites 35:57 you know, I, I don’t want them to see that I’m trying to multitask. I kind of want them to envision that I’m, I’m focused, I’m doing but this, this is the reality of things. And sometimes I pull up to the house and I sit in the garage and I stay there on my laptop and people will come out and she’s like, she’s in my garage, like she’s still working and I’m like, Oh, I’m coming like three more minutes. I’m like, I need three more minutes. And I just bust through my work as fast as I can. And then I have a part time assistant as well. So on those days off, I’ll delegate as much as I can to her and just try to pass off. Like I’m, I’m pretty good at just being like, okay, this is not for me to take care of. She can handle this and just delegate, delegate. And if I have pain in the butt clients that I don’t want, I’m at the point in my career to you, I’ll just pass them off to somebody else.
Andrew 36:41 Yeah. Okay. I have a question I want to ask you. Is there a, is there an experience or multiple experiences, whatever that occurred in your earlier life, anytime, any point in childhood that you think you’ve taken with you and then you use as, you know, maybe sometimes people will, will use the terminology, you know, something happened to you at a certain age and you made a vow that, you know, that would never happen again or it was, it was a shaping experience for the positive or the negative. Like this doesn’t have to be, this isn’t, doesn’t have to be a clean answer, but is there something that sticks out in your mind or are a few things that stick out in your mind that you carry with you today and you know, impact the way you either mother, how your espouse, the kind of, you know, how you work, things like that. Speak to that a little bit.
Marites 37:30 Uh, it wasn’t really from my childhood. It was when I was first licensed as a realtor and my mom and I were buying and selling real estate and we had one property in particular that was the property from hell. Basically everything that could go wrong with this property and went wrong. The tenants ended up in jail. They didn’t want to pay their rent, so I had to post notice on their door, but they would tie their guard dog to the front door. So I couldn’t do it. Um, we had them parking in RV and dealing drugs there. So I had to deal with police. We had dumping issues and garbage. So I had to deal with the city bylaws and fines and complaints. Um, we had a major plumbing disaster, which was a big insurance issue and I’m just, everything just, it was such a pain in the butt trying to deal this property.
Marites 38:14 So we had to unload it and I couldn’t, for various reasons, I couldn’t refinance the property. And so it actually ended up going into foreclosure. Wow. As a realtor, that was really embarrassing for me. And as a young adult, I didn’t have the skills to cope with the stress of, of this type of investment and all the problems that came with it. So I was very stressed out. Um, this was kind of around the time when I was newly married and moving from Richmond to Abbotsford just shortly after that. And so for my career, it was a bad move because Richmond real estate was average. Price was 600. And um, Richmond was about 600. Abbotsford was about 300,000. And I grew up in Richmond. I had a database, I was selling real estate for about six years. I had a steady income to move to Abbotsford where I knew zero people and home prices were half.
Marites 39:07 I thought for sure I’m not going to make it. This is career suicide. I don’t know why God has called us here. This is not going to be a good idea. And so, so we got him into this foreclosure with this investment property. So this was intended to be a rental or rental. And then we were gonna develop the property with a neighboring site into a townhome site. And then you, but you at some point in time you needed to refinance it. Yes. And we just couldn’t, there was, yeah. Is complicated for why, but sure. And so it ended up foreclosure in a foreclosure. You get an accepted offer, which for this house was for 14. Yeah. I didn’t know what all the costs would be exactly with legal fees and I, I’d never been through foreclosure before, should, I just knew that it was going to be about a hundred thousand dollars short.
Marites 39:54 Wow. So moving, having this uncertain career, $100,000 debt pending a, I was terrified, stressed out. I didn’t sleep. Um, I cried every day. A new marriage, new marriage. That’s a great thing. My husband is very, just such a sweetheart because he carried hearing and prayed with me through that whole ordeal. And like, this is a baggage he signed up for. He knew about this property when we got married. Wow. And, and so we’re waiting for the court date for four 14. And I, I had a dream that I told the guy in this dream, someone made me an offer. I told him I need five Oh four and I don’t know where that number came from. It was just a dream. And so we’re waiting for this court date, uh, for them to approve the four 14 offer. And Mmm. The realtor call then, or no, I called him and I said, okay, what happened?
Marites 40:48 Like did it get approved? And I remember he said, boo. And I said, boom, who starts a sentence? Boom, it goes, boom. The property sold for five Oh five, 100. And I felt all the strength in my body disappear and I had to fall on my knees. It wasn’t like this act of like, Oh, I’m going to fall on my knees to pray. Like I literally could not stand, just melted. And that’s when I felt God’s grace and hope again, enter in and I, I, it was a six minute drive to my husband’s office and I drove over there crying and laughing the whole drive. And I’m like, I look like a crazy person on the road. I’m like, I hope I don’t get into an accident. That’d be a terrible way to end this story. Um, and so I got to his office and I told him the whole thing again, just bawling my eyes out and just realizing I was this close to living a certain type of life where I would have had to have paid this debt.
Marites 41:50 And that meant maybe we would’ve stayed in our basement suite a lot longer. Maybe we wouldn’t have kids for awhile. Um, and I, and, but I remember getting to a point of surrender and going, okay, if this is a burden that I have to carry, then God, I entrust you to, to help me do this and to provide for me. And maybe I have an unhealthy relationship with money and maybe this is your way of teaching me something through that. Maybe there’s lessons of stewardship in this. And so when, when I didn’t have to carry that $100,000 debt, I felt very, very relieved and very grateful. And it was a huge growth in my faith.
Andrew 42:29 So have you encountered, I mean that’s, so, yeah, for you to have experienced that and then be in real estate is, is an irony in and of itself, but have you encountered, uh, have you sold for closures? Have you encountered people who are being foreclosed on or going through the process?
Marites 42:46 I’ve had some people who, who’ve been close to it and so I can relate to them and have empathy and, and just when people I know they, like, they’d just barely have enough down payment to buy something. And the joy that they feel it, I feel that same joy with them because I know what it’s like to just to just barely have enough. Um, and the, the iron, I mean, like the kind of cherry on top for that story is that despite me knowing nobody in Abbotsford and despite home prices being half of what they were in Richmond, my income should have been half, but I ended up doubling my income the next year.
Andrew 43:23 Well, story. So how does that, so th th uh, not to say that you didn’t answer the question, but this, this experience that you’ve, um, that you had, which was clearly difficult and trying at times, um, today when you, when you do what you do and, and you know, whether you’re being a mom or being a wife or being a friend or, or, or being a realtor, um, do you carry that with you? Like is that always top of mind or is this something that’s now faded back into the subconscious and you, you draw upon it when you need it?
Marites 44:00 It has faded back in, in a lot of ways, but the relationship that I have with money is very different now. I think back then I put a lot of faith into my money thinking that that’s going to provide me stability and security and hope and, and just realizing like, no, that can just disappear in a instant with one judge making a call. And, um, and so I think that carries in with me and also a humility of being like, I’m not the top dog. Like I, you know, like I know that everything’s kind of meaningless at the end of the day. And so that’s why I put my heart and soul into selling real estate. It’s not just a transactional business for me and you can’t really learn humility by reading about it. I think you have to be humbled and go through a period where you, you end up on your knees cause you have no other choice.
Andrew 44:59 Yup. There’s a, there’s a saying that I, I can’t take credit for because I surely didn’t make it up, but I, I can’t even remember where I heard it. But it goes something like this, you know, when, when sometimes someone will ask me like, well why do you like that individual so much? And I’ll say I like that person because they have the scars and by scars, you know, I just mean, um, those life, those crucible moments in life that, you know, you come to a realization that like, I am not equipped to deal with this. And, you know, it forces you to read, to look beyond yourself for answers and you know, for you, you know, very, it’s obvious, you know, you’re a person of faith and that was very important to you in that moment. Um, sometimes it’s leaning on other people or whatever, but regardless of what it is, it’s, I can’t figure this out on my own and I need an, I need something else or someone else outside of me to help me deal with this. And that is, um, yeah, you can’t take you, you either have experienced something like that or you haven’t and it, and it’s, it’s hard to, it’s hard to describe racism. Is this a, is this something you’ve, you’ve encountered and dealt with?
Marites 46:07 Because I grew up in Richmond, which was such a multicultural
Andrew 46:12 hub. Yeah.
Marites 46:13 I didn’t really feel different than anybody cause everybody was different from everybody. But I, I remember one day coming home and, uh, on our white garage, somebody spray painted in black ink, chink. And I just thought, man, these racists are dumb because I’m not even Chinese, can’t even insult me properly. Um, and so I was like, that means that somebody who doesn’t like my ethnicity knows where I live. And went through the effort of getting spray paint and tarnished our house just to send some sort of message. Like I didn’t really know what to make of it. And I remember my mom, how she handled it. She was more just irritated that she had to now figure out how to remove paint and get like the hurt. It just got added to her to do list. She didn’t really seem to take offense to it. And so then I didn’t take offense to it.
Andrew 47:11 And to your knowledge, is that the, is that the only encounter you’ve had with it in your life or do you,
Marites 47:17 I would say that’s the most outright racist experience I’ve, I’ve had, I’ve had lots of ignorant conversations with people who say, you know, ignorant things. What does that look like? And I’m, I’m cause
Marites 47:30 like, I,
Andrew 47:32 I don’t know what that’s like, you know, like if you, if you sit in a, you know, if I’m, if you’re, if you’re not a visible minority, if you’re, whatever you are, if you’re, you’re a white Canadian by European descent, you can’t possibly know what it’s like to be in a conversation or a situation in life where, um, you know, maybe somebody hasn’t spray painted something on your door, but there’s like this circumstance or this like offside.
Marites 47:56 Yeah.
Andrew 47:56 Say what does that, how have you encountered that and what does that like?
Marites 48:00 I, I mean I’ve had people say like, Oh, you’re a singer. Like did you sing in your mother tongue? And I was like, Mmm, you mean English? Cause I don’t S I don’t have them. Like, you know, so they’re not mean spirited. They’re not trying to put me down. They’d just, it’s just an ignorant question. And so I don’t, I don’t take offense to that. I mean, actually moving from Richmond to Abbotsford is where I actually felt like I was different from everybody cause we wanted to, I can’t imagine why. Let Mary test tell you about Abbotsford. I remember our first Sunday at our new church and there’s like 800 people and I looked around the room, I was like, there’s only three other people with black hair in this room. Like this is very different from my last church in Richmond, which when we had cultural day we had 40 different flags representing 40 different countries.
Andrew 48:50 By the way, for anybody listening to this show who is not from Abbotsford, who had beliefs about
Marites 48:56 what Abbotsford is, you’ve just confirmed. I was heard a bunch of hillbilly farmers who were all blonde hair, blue eyed and they’re all, it’s actually not
Andrew 49:07 the case, but yeah, that is, that is, that’s very real.
Marites 49:10 Yeah. And so people weren’t rude or rate like everyone was so welcoming. I’ve actually never felt more loved and accepted by a community, so I don’t have anything negative to say about it. It was just, I was more aware of for the first time I’m like, Oh,
Marites 49:23 one of these things is not like the other and it’s me. Wow.
Andrew 49:27 But in terms of your day to day today, now you would say 99% of the time this isn’t, this isn’t an issue in your life and you’re not
Marites 49:35 generally speaking in countering anything like that. No. I mean, when I, when I first moved here to Abbotsford, I w I was pretty self
Marites 49:41 conscious about it and I was worried how it was going to affect my business because I was scared that, Oh, these people have like deep roots with each other. They’ve grown up together and here I am, I’m a foreigner in every sense of that word. Why would they hire me? And I talked to Ray and Ghana and he, and he talked to me about how if you just bring enough value than ethnicity and age have nothing to do with it. And he spoke very frankly, he’s like, very test, just bring value at this SD has nothing to do with it. Is that okay? So I focused on just being very skilled. I did all the training classes, I became a better realtor and I never let my race, um, enter that self-doubt again. So
Andrew 50:27 one of the, uh, one of the reasons, I mean, there’s many reasons why you’re wonderful, but when I first got to know you more, the thing that I thought, well, what you know, why is Mary Tess amazing? I, the word that came to my mind is she’s authentic and the way which I think people can hear that and you, you know, in, in this interview, it’s, it’s quite clearly obvious. You know, you’re, you believe certain things, you’re passionate about them and you’re not, you know, you don’t shy away from them. But where I, where I encountered your authenticity is, you know, you and I didn’t have much of this relationship. We weren’t, you know, we weren’t face to face. We in the same industry, work together, whatever. But then I encountered you through Instagram. Yeah. And an Instagram is an interesting arena to encounter someone on because I would actually suggest for the most part, it’s one of the most inauthentic spaces on the planet earth today.
Andrew 51:19 And even social media in general. And I know like people will listen to this, you know, who this love social media, they’ll call bullshit. And they’ll say, Oh, Andrew doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But I would say that that the social media platforms can be a very inauthentic space where people are showing or presenting the side of them that they’re comfortable with, that they want the world to see. And, and not that that’s even bad, you know, like we do that on a daily basis. Like, you know, when I have people into my home, do I leave shit on all over the floor? No. I, you know, I present of course it’s not me that cleans the home, Chris, Kristen that prepares it, but it’s us. But, um, you know, so I don’t think these, this is a bad thing to do, to present well, but when we present well in a, in a, in a, in a context where, you know, there’s humans in front of humans and it’s real life, I think there’s an understanding that, that, you know, there, there’s another side to people, but then when you encounter people online and you don’t know them from a hole in the ground and all you ever see is that best PR presentation or representation, then that’s where, you know, we can find ourselves, you know, comparing ourselves to people in things that aren’t necessarily real or whole.
Andrew 52:27 And um, and so then in that space, I find it especially refreshing when I see somebody who’s totally authentic and you’re getting every side of them. And, and T I’ll, I’ll take it one step further. Like, I have been slow into the social media game, you know, and I have received a lot of pressure to get there quicker for various reasons. Uh, but my hesitation in that process has been I value authenticity and I don’t see a lot of authenticity there. And I just wasn’t quite sure how to engage in a way where I don’t want to like blow my brains out because I felt like the closer I got to some of that stuff, the more I hated it. Right. So then along comes you into my life and I start to see you and watch you and I see you on Instagram and I just go, Holy shit. Like here’s this, you know, everything we’ve talked about today, you know, working mom, Filipino background moves from Richmond and whatever, blah blah blah. Two kids making it all happen. And you are on Instagram. Exactly. The same person who’s sitting across me today on my couch. I think that’s amazing. And I think you’re amazing because of that. And I just want you to, I dunno, I want you to, I want you to hear that and absorb that and to sit in that because I think that’s phenomenal.
Marites 53:40 I, yeah, I don’t know how other people do it. I feel like that would require so much effort to always have to put the best foot forward all the time. Like Instagram is like quick stories are just like, you are on the fly, I’m recording stuff and hitting send. Like I don’t have time to edit and put on makeup or you know, like it’s just, that would be tiring if I, if you’re not an authentic person, then you have to always be changing hats from your workplace to the Nam on social media. And then I’m at home, then I’m at church. Like if you’re just the same person, it requires way less effort. So I think it’s just a matter of efficiency that I want that
Andrew 54:15 so, and that is, that’s, that’s, I mean, that’s the conversation in your brain and that’s why you’re able to do it. I think, um, a lot of the conversations in people’s minds as they are, you know, grappling with how to engage with social media and video and, and, you know, engage the world in that way, is that, Mmm. They’re not comfortable with things like the sound of their voice or the way they look or, you know, like it’s, it’s this huge obstacle to, um, to present themselves in that way. And so then yet you get, you get a couple of different types of people. You get the people like, like me, like where I’ve been, I’ve been hesitant to engage for a variety of reasons. And then you get a lot of people where they engage, but then their engagement is, it’s only you can just tell.
Andrew 55:05 So clearly it’s only the side that they want to present. It’s the highly educated or highly, um, edited, edited video, edited photo, uh, or it’s only one particular type of post all the time. Right. And, and I mean, I’m not, and this isn’t my attempt to, to slag any individual. It’s just an attempt to say good on you for, um, for showing all sides, um, in what I say is it really real way. And then I would then say that is, if it’s not the most significant reason, it’s gotta be one of the most significant reasons as to why people gravitate to you and why you’re so successful and you know, why you do what you do. Because people love that. Um,
Marites 55:47 I think that’s what life is really about is connecting with each other and helping each other and not one upping each other. And so, I mean from a business perspective, my, um, I didn’t even know what you call it, like not the wall but the, your posts. My posts are pretty uh, professional. Like I had a branding lady come and help me figure out, you know, that my colors and all that kind of stuff. So my poster and I’ve got the edited listing videos where I walked through the property. So those are pretty clean and crisp. But um, if I’m feeling something a certain day, I might post something personal, but then my stories are really, those are really
Andrew 56:24 off the hook. Well, and I would say, you know, not to, not to knock your professionally taken photos of homes or whatever, but like, just as a human, forget the felt, the fact that we know each other in the business when I go, when I engage with you on social media, I couldn’t give a shit about the host. You just listed your, what you’re doing with your kids and your husband. And out in your day to day life or whatever where you’re, that’s the entire spectrum of Mary tests. Yes. That’s the only thing I’m there for and that’s why I’m engaged. There’s a million people in the world that if we just want to talk about our industry or, but in any industry where all they’re doing is presenting, this is what I sell, this is what I do, here’s the best of this, or whatever gag. Like I just want to puke when that’s all I see. But then because of the way you’re engaging by showing, you know, the entire spectrum of who you are, that’s why I think people are there. That’s why I’m there. And I, and I, and I think I can speak for the world when we say this is why we love Mary tests.
Marites 57:22 Well, I, I kinda think of it as like a TV show. People don’t watch TV to watch the commercials. Right. They watched the show to watch the show and then there’s a couple of commercials. Unless we’re talking about the super bowl, but I don’t want to get us off track. Yeah. That’s why I’d watch the Superbowl. Um, and so my life is like the shell and then real estate is kind of like the commercials. Like I kinda throw it in there cause it’s a part of my life. It’s not like I’m a secret realtor, you know, it’s there, but it’s, it’s not who I am. It’s not, my identity is not based on my career.
Andrew 57:55 That might be the best thing you’ve said all day. My life is the show and real estate is like the commercials. I like that. That’s good. Everybody listening needs to write that down. Okay, let’s play a fun game. Okay. What is your, you and I both love, we both love calories. We love, I’ll take calories in any form. Uh, but what is your like when you are alone in a room and the door is closed and there’s nothing to be a barest of a, nobody can see what you’re shoving into your face. Like what is your thing? Pork rinds.
Marites 58:29 This is amazing. I don’t know if you’ve ever had work rides. It’s, it’s, Oh man. Filipino world. He’s so offended. You take pork skin, which is fat. I’m going to get letters from PETA. I know they’re going to hate this, but then you fry it in more fat until it gets crispy and then you dip it in vinegar. This is the Filipino one. This is the, you gotta dip it in the vinegar because the vinegar I think like eats the fats. So then it’s like you’re eating celery.
Andrew 58:58 That’s how that makes sense. You just made that good for vegetarians. It’s like you’re eating celery, so, okay, give us you gotta you gotta put this on the spectrum for us because there’s, there’s clearly 99% of the world has never consumed this. Although I’m telling you, I’m going to now after we’ve discussed this, so you, where is this on the, on the taste spectrum, like is this like a salt and vinegar chip? Is this more like bacon? Does this taste like
Marites 59:24 the nation of bacon and a potato chip? Like it doesn’t get better than this. Like this is why I have gallstones. Cake.
Andrew 59:34 That was amazing. I have gallstones, but I’m willing to sacrifice for them. So are we like when we consume these things, is this like a thing? We’re, we’re doing this in front of the TV while we’re binge-watching or how is this, how is this food consumed?
Marites 59:47 You can like crumple it up. Like put it on salads, put on like noodles. Like
Andrew 59:52 so is this a regular, are they always in the clean household? Cause it’s like peanut butter.
Marites 59:57 Yeah, this is in the drawer.
Andrew 59:59 Wow. And they’re just stored in a bag or whatever. I’m not going to finish the whole bag in one sitting. I’m not a pig. Like Whoa. We went, no pun intended. So we wouldn’t judge you if you were it be fine. So you know for those, for those listening, like you know, if they’re someone’s curious, I’m like well where would I be? Where would I buy something like this Asian market. What about like Superstore? Superstore has everything. Do you want to sell your story or any or any Asian market and have a more variety of different flavors? I can’t believe we’re talking about pork rinds this long. Well, you brought it up and contrary to what you might think everyone is going to be like, I’ve never heard someone say, Hey, we need to invest in pork rinds because yeah, it’s about to boom, the stock is about to boom.
Andrew 00:42 Okay. Okay. That was question number. That was very, that was very good answer. Pork, reds, my, yeah, not that you’re asking me this, but I, my, my answer would definitely not be that interesting. I would have been very blend like some kind of candy or potato chip or, or something like that. So Andy’s good too. We had a candy theme wedding and a big candy bar. And that’s a big thing these days is, I, I’ve, I’ve seen many things like this. Recently we had donuts and candy and like those pop rocks, they’re not pop rocks. The rock candy. Yeah. Icicles around like a big buffet with various different Heights of all sorts of candy. Like the kids loved it. Huh? So, okay. If you weren’t. So if Mary test claim was not a married realtor was two kids living in Abbotsford, British Columbia, uh, doing what she does and, and the world was your oyster and you’re like, you can answer this question without causing any offense to your spouse or children because you know, it’s, it’s purely for science. Where, where would your, where would your life be? What would you be doing and what would you be amazing at?
Marites 01:55 I don’t know if I would’ve continued my music career. People kind of asked me that and because I got into real estate and it took off, this was when the like the peak of the market in 2005. So I kind of just went that direction. So I don’t know if I would have continued music, maybe I would have been a bit more artsy and gone into more songwriting. But law has always intrigued me. I love the idea of being able to go against another lawyer and you use your brain to come up with a better strategy to help your client. And in particular, um, immigration laws also fascinating to me as well to help people get into the country that maybe don’t have any sort of skills in navigating the immigration process though I don’t know that those are two totally different careers. I don’t know.
Andrew 02:40 And you can’t tell me that if you were in that career, you’d be living in Abbotsford, that that is just not a thing. I dunno, you’re only here because you met the short Mennonite dude. There’s zero chances you’d ever be here. So where, where, where would you be? You be? My sister lives in the Cayman islands and so we visit her all the time and I’m like, that’s not a bad place today, you know? I would say that’s pretty good. I liked that. So when you go, when you go to the Caitlin, are you, does she have a house there? You’re hanging out a little guest room for us. So I’ve never been to the Cayman that is like, that’s in the Caribbean. No kind of IQ budge. So do you fly through Florida? Stop in Florida and then head over and straight from Toronto to the Caymans?
Andrew 03:17 To the Caymans? Yeah. Wow. Do you go there every year? We try to go every year. Like this time, like around Christmas time or January. Are you going this year? Are you going to be, Oh, you know what? Actually, now that you say that, I think you were making, I was going to ask you here, you’re going to be making posts online, but yeah. You posted last year when you were there. I remember seeing beach shots or hotshots shots. The Caribbean. How do you not like the water soap? Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I’ve actually never outside, other than like the, um, the, you know, that whatever the canned Coon part, I don’t even know if you can call that Caribbean. I’ve never been to like the real Caribbean. Like,
Marites 03:55 it’s so nice and the people are just laid back and yeah, it’s just a really like awesome vacation.
Andrew 04:03 I’ll have to go soon. Perhaps. The thing that I’m most excited about, our I loved the most about the podcast is, um, you know, here we’ve spent, I don’t even know how much time talking, probably longer than I think, but I want to give you a platform for a few minutes. Um, you’re here because I think you’re amazing. And the purpose of this podcast is to find people who are just everyday amazing, doing incredible things, but don’t necessarily have a microphone or a platform like, you know, modern day celebrities too or whatever. And I want to, I want to be able to tell people’s stories, um, as we’ve done here today, but now I want to give you a platform for a few minutes to share with us somebody that you know, who needs to be talked about and who the world needs to know about.
Marites 04:49 Uh, my husband and I have this friend named John Lowe and he’s a veteran. He served in Afghanistan for six months and he came back and kind of became the poster child for wounded warriors, which is an organization that helps veterans who come back and, um, deal specifically with, with mental injuries. And so that’s like PTSD and, and stuff like that. And he, he’s just really stepped up in and supported his brothers. Um, you went to war with them and he’s really involved in that and just fundraising and just, we just think he’s an a and then him and his wife are just awesome people all together and he’s got this kind of quirky passion for picking, you know, when you like go around to garage sales and old barns and find vintage stuff. And so they’ve started up a little business. They just opened, shopped on Gladwin road here on Abbotsford. Yeah, that’s the name of it. Do you know the name of the shop? He just has a temporary name right now. I think it’s like lost using a lost vintage museum or something like that. It’s where the granny’s market used to be just launched and uh, yeah. And so I think they’re amazing good people and
Andrew 05:59 yeah. So he, he’s, he was a Canadian veteran. When did he serve?
Marites 06:04 Um, I don’t know the years, but it was, it was a before. Um, I would, I’d guess around maybe 2009. Okay. So it was like this gentleman said like, how old would he be my age? He’s like, been in Afghanistan or Iraq or, yeah. And he shared his stories before and he’s, um, yeah, he’s very open about it. And
Andrew 06:25 was he in combat?
Marites 06:27 Mmm, I don’t, I don’t think so. Yeah. But he still, he’s, he’s experienced. Um, I mean that’s kind of his story to tell, but the fact that he is willing to lay down his life for other people, I mean, how is that not amazing? And did you, did you only encounter him by chance or how did he was a youth pastor at the same time that my husband was a youth pastor, so we knew him through that connection. Yeah. And then we, uh, yeah, we’re just really good friends and many guys,
Andrew 06:56 well, he’s right in our backyard and everybody who’s listening probably didn’t know who this man what John low, right? Yeah. Yeah. And now we know John and Natasha Willow. Yeah. So if anyone’s going by the old granny market and Gladwin, you now know who John and Natasha are and you can, you can say hi and tell John why we think he’s amazing. Hey, before we wrap up, I just want to give, I want to be able to tell people how to find you because I know everyone’s going to have heard you today and say, wow, Mary, Tessa. So incredible. I need to, I need to talk to her and get to know her. How do we, uh, how do we find you online or what’s the best way to reach out?
Marites 07:30 Uh, I guess my Instagram is pretty active right now, so that’s at Mary test clean and you can see that in the show notes or just look me up on a very test realty.com. All my contact info is there. Um, even if you’re like a new realtor or if you want to talk about faith or anything, like I’m very open to meeting people for coffee and yeah. So cool.
Andrew 07:50 Thanks for coming to my house and spending time. This was amazing. And uh, I guess we’ll see around. Bye for now. Thanks.
Andrew 07:59 Well, that was exactly what I thought our time together would be. Mary. Test clean. What an incredible human being. She was. Thoughtful, intelligent, well-spoken, authentic. She is everything that I hoped we would have with her today. So thank you very tests for engaging with us and are being so open and honest in our time together. Don’t forget to pick out the show notes for more information to subscribe so that you can listen to and continue to learn from every day. Amazing.