Ida Petkus is a REALTOR® with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty and founder of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center, a nonprofit that utilizes Zoom to connect victims of domestic violence abuse with legal counsel and resources.
Petkus has been recognized for her advocacy work to ensure everyone has a right to live safely in their homes, including counseling victims of domestic violence, and educating them about open shelters and how to leave an abuser safely.
Here, Petkus discusses what it means to be an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker—individuals recognized for their positive contributions to the real estate industry—and how she juggles work as a real estate professional while advocating for domestic violence victims.
Jordan Grice: As a 2021 Newsmaker, you were named a Crusader, which recognizes a candidate as a champion of a better way. What does this mean to you?
Ida Petkus: Champions, by one definition, fight for a better way and continue to tell the story with passion and perseverance. Hopefully, being named as a champion of a better way inspires others to become “champions” of what they believe is a better way.
JG: Beyond your work as a REALTOR®, you are also a founder of the Domestic Violence Advocacy Center. Can you tell us a bit about the work you do?
IP: We are a support system for victims to help guide them through it, and we’ve been doing that since 2009. Usually, we get the victims and the survivors who have not been successful with other advocates because every situation is different.
We help them navigate the court system. It can be overwhelming when you walk in, and we have advocates on hand to help them navigate the process and provide referrals. Everything is confidential.
JG: How have you juggled running such a prolific advocacy group with the busy life of a real estate professional?
IP: They both hold separate spaces in my life and don’t commingle. I have that extra space for self-care as we all should!
Most importantly, stay connected with family, friends and someone you can work and talk with about anything unconditionally. I am also fortunate to work with two other REALTORS® who have the same passion.
JG: Can you tell us a bit about some of the trends you’re seeing in the Florida market right now?
IP: I’ve seen an increased market crossover of buyers and sellers who have virtual home offices and decide to relocate to other states like Florida without changing employers, or remaining self-employed as a business owner. Relocations are no longer singularly driven by employment. More desirable home locations also drive them.
JG: What advice would you give real estate professionals looking to balance their careers with their passion projects and initiatives?
IP: For some real estate professionals, their volunteer work is heavily in the community with food drives and more directly connected to the home. My volunteer work is for the not-so-pleasant things, and, because of that, I keep separate spaces for my work and projects. You have clients or customers who don’t want to list with you because they see your volunteer work, which is understandable.
Jordan Grice is RISMedia’s associate online editor. Email him your real estate news ideas to email@example.com.