Flexible Felines: Nicole Tweedy & Rue Olp
Women in Real Estate coming together to create something new? Uh, yes please! We are here for this. I sent Nicole Tweedy and Rue Olp of Idaho Hometown Realty some questions to bring light to their endeavors and share what being femmes and friends in this industry was like for them. I enjoyed reading their robust relationship bounce through the page - it's full of empowerment, healthy dialogue and models a friendship we all hope to find.
Melinda: Tell me your story - what has this ambitious journey into Real Estate looked like for you?
Nicole: I Worked at Costco for 13 years as a supervisor. Felt complacent and like there was no other career path on my horizon. I always wanted to be a Realtor, but with kids and a husband, and also the security that came with a job like Costco, I never felt like it was a good time.
After stepping down from management, I felt brave enough to take that leap of faith. It hasn’t been easy. But I'm very goal oriented and self motivated. I had my best year yet in 2020, and I'm looking forward to this new adventure with Rue.
Rue: I Worked as a hairstylist for over 16 years. My husband kept bringing up Real Estate as a great opportunity for me and my family. One major reason was so that we could potentially work together. My husband is a General Contractor in the area, and felt like it was a perfect opportunity to blend our two different jobs that really compliment each other. My experience with hair gave me a lot of skills when working with people and really listening to their needs.
M: How did you two meet? Tell me about your friendship.
T: Rue and I met at our Post Falls office. We would always go to “Opportunity Tuesday”. Which is a meeting to hold agents accountable, informed, and motivated. I am so drawn to genuine people. Rue was someone who was so authentic. Take her or leave her, and she is fine either way. I love that about her!
O: Nicole and I met working at the Post Falls office together. You know how sometimes you just click with people and are somewhat drawn to their personalities? I think that was Nicole for me. She is confident and genuine and trustworthy.
M: Describe the moment you both agreed to go into business together - how did you make it official?
T: Rue was the one with the original idea to team up on a webpage together. I was hesitant
because I got into real estate to be my own boss. But the more we discussed things, the more it made
sense. I think we made it official over a martini at Oval Office.
O: I believe I sent Nicole a text about doing a website together and what’s funny is I did not even
consider anyone else. After we agreed (at that very second over text) it totally changed into us coming
together with marketing ideas and teaming up to eventually do an outreach for children. Which through our friendship we have found is what we are both passionate about.
M: What qualities about each of you do you find most useful in real estate so far?
T: Rue is super organized and has extremely high standards. Her desk is the picture of perfection, while I will have papers scattered everywhere. She asks the right questions, knows where to go to get the answers, and is a jack of all trades. She helped a man propose to his girlfriend at the house she just helped them buy. She cleaned a house when her clients could not afford a cleaning crew. She is an incredible Realtor.
O: Nicole is willing to move and make decisions, as where I can get caught up in the details and thinking every little thing through carefully. Which is not always necessary or good. She IS the face of our social presence which would never happen if it were just me and myself.
M: What qualities make real estate more challenging than your past jobs?
T: I worked at Costco for my whole adult life. I had that consistent paycheck every two weeks.
With real estate, you must hustle to get your next paycheck, and you do not know when the next one is
coming. At Costco, I could turn my brain off. If I do that with Real Estate, you can get yourself in legal trouble. You must be diligent and it is constant learning.
O: For myself, I am an introvert, and it has been confirmed by several personality tests (lol), and my
love language is quality time. In this business you really must be heavily involved and out in the public and on social media which can tend be some time investments I don’t tackle well. I enjoy more one on one time and find it difficult if people do not respond to me over long periods of time.
M: Have you experienced inequality in the industry? Or is there a healthy balance of opportunity?
T: It can get frustrating at times. You see builders use a majority of male realtors, or a type of “boys club” with certain men. But one thing that keeps me pushing for more is to have successful women realtors in the area. One of the biggest reasons I chose to hang my license at Windermere was because of my broker Jennifer Smock. Having a female broker, who is so passionate and so knowledgeable in this career was exciting to see.
O: I didn’t even notice. LOL. My experience has been relatively good. You always run into those people, men, and women with giant egos. Some of them have earned it. I have always been good at focusing on myself and what I need to do get done what I want. I think realizing other people's goals and accomplishments do not have to be yours is the best thing anyone can take with them into any career.
M: What would be a "big sister" talk you would have with a younger woman taking the leap into real estate?
T: I would say to jump sooner. I think, like a lot of people, I got really stuck where I was at Costco. It was great pay, stability, and I got complacent with my happiness. I had always thought about getting into real estate before I had kids. But it never felt like the right time. After I became a supervisor at Costco, I realized I could only go so far, make so much money, and it was relying on someone else if I moved up in the company. I did not like that someone else made these decisions for me.
O: Be yourself. Do not let RE change who you are made to be or change how you hope others view
M: What kind of personal and professional goals have you set for yourselves?
T: I love that you asked this question. I think it really shows how different, and yet remarkably similar, Rue and I are. She hates setting goals. She thinks that puts a cap on what she is capable of achieving. Once she hits a goal, it's over. I love setting goals. Every morning I say my affirmations and one of the things I ask myself is: “What would make today great?” I have mini goals every day, and bigger goals for the month and year. My family and I do vision boards at the end of the year. It has helped my kids take pride in what they do and strive for more. I think the biggest mistake people can make is not thinking they are capable of achieving things they want. Or not dreaming big enough. One personal goal I have set for myself is to be in the moment. It is my daughter’s senior year, and I am struggling with her becoming an adult and our whole family dynamic changing. I want to spend this next year really absorbing all the little moments. My professional goal this year is to get Kootenai County really familiar with Tweedy and Olp Realty. Get to know us as YOUR realtors. YOUR advisors. I want previous clients and new clients to reach out to us with their real estate questions. I want to create a space where people know, even if they are not ready to buy or sell, that we are there as a resource for them. I think that is one of the best qualities about Rue and me, we would rather have your trust than anything else. We never want to pressure anyone.
M: What brings you the greatest joy from your business?
T: I have clients who have recently divorced, had a baby, lost a family member, lost a job. Really big highs and lows. In real estate, you are there during one of the most momentous moments of their lives. They say weddings, funerals, and buying/selling your home are the three biggest stresses of a person’s life. Being their stability, being the person they call at 9pm because they’re stressing over this and that, I love being that person, the one with the answers to relieve that stress. I really care about people.
O: Helping people find a home that they are thrilled over. But mostly the friendships that have come
out of this business. That has been, hands down, the greatest joy.
M: What has confronted you with a quality/skill you need to develop?
T: I also love this question because Rue does not want to answer. If I were to guess why, I think
that it's another goal to set in her mind. She expects a lot from herself, so its easier for her to always
hold herself to such a high standard, that she really doesn’t make mistakes. I, on the other hand am
constantly faced with a quality/skill I want to develop. I hate settling. I always want to be a better realtor than I was the day before. One thing in particular, never assume anything. Never assume your clients already know something. Do not assume the info someone tells you is accurate. Never assume the other realtor you are doing a deal with will be as professional as you are. No matter the situation, I want to hold myself to the same standard, every time.
M: What is a need you see in CDA/Kootenai County and what kind of solutions do you hope to
T: Rue and I both see such a huge need for families in this area. My biggest joy in life is being a
mom. But it is extremely hard to see how some of my kid’s friends are living. We have both witnessed
families lose their children because of drug/alcohol issues, abuse, and neglect. I always hear people joke about not being allowed at an animal shelter because they want to take home all the puppies. That is how I feel about kids. I want to save them all. I want to love them all. One thing Rue and I have discussed is coming up with a way to give back to families, especially children, in need. We have thrown around some ideas. But, for me it really solidified our business relationship. She had the same passion for children as I do. Teaming up will allow us to use our success in real estate and direct it towards our community. I think that in this area, there are not a whole lot of resources to donate to. You do not know where to go, or where to donate. Our community will only get better and better if we are taking care of our residents. And our most vulnerable. Rue and I need to do a little more brainstorming, but its exciting to know that we both have a goal (you hear that Rue, you DO have a goal) to create a type of fundraiser or event to help the vulnerable people in our community.
O: I believe that there is a great need for childhood and family support in Kootenai County. With our
suicide rates high and not being able to build schools fast enough to keep up with our growing
population we need to look at the lives of our children. The school systems do not have enough
manpower to support all the children and families and there are several families where grandparents,
aunts and uncles are taking care of the children. This is something Nicole and I are passionate about and are working on ways to bring a community together to change lives of children into adulthood.
M: Thank you both for giving us a glimpse into the hearts and minds of inspiring and empowered women. Choosing a realtor can difficult, there are many in the area, but if we look to align our values with our money - I think you've both made the choosing a lot easier.
How are you staying flexible during these times? Care to share what's been working for you? Email us
at email@example.com ATTN: flexible. We would love to hear from you!