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NATIONWIDE & INTERNATIONAL EDITION

JEFF ANDERSON

FRANK ANGELUCCI

NANCY BAILEY

NICHOLAS CAMPASANO

JEFF CHILDERS

DANIEL GAMIL & RUSLAN MINGAZOV

LEAH GARRETT

GORD HONOR

TRACY HULSEY

SUE JACKSON

MCKAYLA JOHNSON

RITA MASINI

JIM PAUL

GIZZELLE POWELL

ANDY SMITH

COURTNEY STACH


NATIONWIDE & INTERNATIONAL EDITION

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11

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TRACY HULSEY

NICHOLAS CAMPASANO

GORD HONOR

ANDY SMITH

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24

27

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NANCY BAILEY

JEFF CHILDERS

JEFF ANDERSON

FRANK ANGELUCCI

CONTENTS 4) 7 DEADLY SINS OF PERSONAL BRANDING

21) CREATIVE WAYS TO SAY THANK YOU

33) LIVING ON COMMISSION

10) DAILY HABITS THAT WILL INCREASE YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH

25) IS BRANDING THE WAY TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

37) HOW TO SEND SMARTER EMAILS

13) 4 WAYS TO WIN THE BATTLE AGAINST PROCRASTINATION 17) 6 THINGS ALL SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATORS DO

29) IF IT'S GOOD FOR THE SOUL, IT'S GOOD FOR THE BUSINESS

40) BE THEIR REALTOR® FOR LIFE: HOW TO BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CLIENTS THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME 45) 5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A MENTOR

Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. Published in the U.S. 2

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LEAH GARRETT

SUE JACKSON

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DANIEL GAMIL & RUSLAN MINGAZOV

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RITA MASINI

JIM PAUL

GIZZELLE POWELL

36

MCKAYLA JOHNSON

47

COURTNEY STACH

REALTOR Vendors and Real Estate Companies— Get Nationwide & International Exposure! Top Agent Magazine is seen by Real Estate Agents and Brokers in every U.S. city and Internationally! Please contact mag@topagentmagazine.com or call 888-461-3930 for ad rates and information. Top Agent Magazine

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and they don’t care for sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. They also like activities they can start and finish. Compliants are thinkers. They’re always wondering how things work. They want practicality, logic, fairness and a systematic approach. When talking to thinkers give facts, documentation and data. They seek accuracy. They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, detailed tasks and logical organization of information.

7 Deadly Sins of Personal Branding

some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at Corcoran Coaching, we’ve opted for a much more affordable offering: a free DIsC assessment. Just visit www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. php and you’ll be guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own What is a style ‘personal Just likeothers com- as sistently dominant andbrand’? how to read well. (across all marketing platforms), pany or product branding, it’s built around a well-defined brand can elevate agent recimaging and messaging that is designed to ognition and help to establish credibility Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding create a feeling. And in the case of personal and authority. However, when executed appropriately all takehow work But because realare estate is a people branding, it influences you and wantattention. others incorrectly, the effects lackluster at best, business, it’s simply a must. And the better at it you become, the to feel about you. From your photos to other and harmful at worst. To help you better avoid living as an or broker. brandyou’ll images,make elements andagent even content, theI promise. pitfalls of personal branding, we’ve there is a lot that goes into creating your compiled a list of what we feel are the 7 unique brand.to Displayed Best of luck you! correctly and con- deadliest sins.

Copyright©, 2015 BubbaNO Mills. All rights reserved. DIFFERENTIATION Branding about being known forvicereal estate agent who expressed to us that Bubba Mills isis not co-owner and executive president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an in international your profession. It’s about being known she was already well branded her area. consulting coaching that performance coaching and for being and different in yourcompany profession. If specializes She stated,in“When I walk into a restaurant theallimplementation sound systems Real Estate Companies, Mortgage agents were the of same, howbusiness would your in into my community, people already know Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational customers know who to choose? Lack of I’m a real estate agent.” And while that and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage differentiation is out by more far the #1 personal is a great start, it’s nowhere close to succompanies. To find about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 We love to tell the story of a cessful branding. Let’s assume I walked or branding visit us at sin. www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 4

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into that restaurant and noticed her. But I also noticed two other agents in the same restaurant. Now, who do I choose? Which

‘brand’ stands out to me? What lets me know that one of them is uniquely positioned to serve my needs?

and they don’t care for sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. They also NO FOCUS like activities they can start and finish. In business, you can’t be all things to all side of your specific focus. That would be people. Many have and failed. In or- always quite difficult. It does mean over work. time Compliants are tried thinkers. They’re wondering howthat, things der to have business and brand, doneacorrectly), you approach. will do moreWhen and They wanta successful practicality, logic, fairness(ifand systematic you must define yourfacts, ideal custommore ofand the data. exact They kind ofseek business you talking toclearly thinkers give documentation accuracy. er and how you will super-serve that cus- want, and conversely, even stop doing They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, tomer. In other words, declare and develop the kind of business you don’t want. And detailed tasks and focused, logical itorganization of information. a specialty. By being does NOT that’s what a great brand is designed to mean that you stop doing all business outaccomplish.

some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at Corcoran Coaching, we’veNO opted for a much more affordable offering: a free AUTHENTICITY DIsC assessment. Just visit www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. Recognizable personal brands can be very You should be able to ‘breathe your brand’ php and you’ll be guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own clever and memorable, but if your brand in everything that you do. This is importdominant andlast. how to read as well. isn’t ‘you’,style it won’t If you try toothers put ant not only for your customers, but perout a persona that is different from your haps most importantly for you. There is Yes, needs and wants responding ownunderstanding and the way you people, live yourlistening life, peo- to their a tremendous amount of and confidence that ple will take notice overwork time. and The attention. most comes knowing youisare who appropriately all take Butwith because realthat estate a people incredible it’s personal brands weaveAnd pro-theyou portray, that become, you have the business, simply a must. better at itandyou thehabits, better fessional and personal intoorone. inspiration, knowledge and expertise to living you’ll make asqualities an agent broker. I promise. Your brand becomes an extension of you. back it up.

Best of luck to you!

NO CONSISTENCY

You can have a2015 recognizable memocards, postcards, brochures, etc. Other peoCopyright©, Bubbaand Mills. All rights reserved.

rable brand, but if you don’t display those ple don’t see them nearly as often, so don’t branding correctly consis- viceapply or compare your own habits and Bubba Millselements is co-owner andand executive president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international tently across all of your marketing plat- exposure to theirs. Repetitiveness in marconsulting andyou coaching company in only performance coaching and forms, it does little good. In orderthat to specializes keting is not a good thing, it’s essenthe implementation sound systems Real Estate Companies, Mortgage accomplish this taskofwell, youbusiness must step tialinto for retention. Once you determine the Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational back from your marketing and see it the overall messaging and look of your brand, and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage way others To do.find Youout seemore yourabout socialCorcoran media Consulting that look should continuecall across literally companies. & Coaching, 1-800-957-8353 every day. You see your business every marketing platform you touch. orchannels visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. Top Agent Magazine

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NO CONTENT The ultimate goal of personal branding is comfortable producing is the key to keeping to become known as an authority in your it simple. No one wants to be bogged down andchosen they niche. don’t That caremeans for sudden or lifestyle. They also withprocedure producing content. But on the flip side, that youchanges must in likedemonstrate activitiesthe they can start and finish. knowledge, expertise and/ no one knows how much you know until or experience to back up your position. you share it. Great content demonstrates your knowledge and how helps your customers Content that are best expresses youThey’re and your always Compliants thinkers. wondering things work. at the same time. In addition, it serves anbrand could be as simple as a series of They want practicality, logic, fairness and a systematic approach. When other purpose with search engine optimizaphotos, quotes, e-books, video shorts, etc. talking to thinkers give facts, documentation and data. They seek accuracy. Choosing the type of content you’re most tion and attracting prospects online.

They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, detailed tasks and logicalNO organization of ACTION information. CALL TO

You’re spending money to market across using other people’s money’. Your call some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at multiple platforms, so why not take the to action may change with different marCorcoran Coaching, opted for more affordable offering: keting channels or purposes, buta free you opportunity to extendwe’ve an invitation fora much DIsC Just with visityou? www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. your assessment. prospects to engage It can should always, always have one. If you want people to do something, tell them a simple call be to action, such as ‘call me phpbeand you’ll guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own you’d like them to do. That’s how you first’ or more ‘contact me others for a aswhat dominant stylespecific, and how to read well. free home staging assessment’ or ‘download my e-book and learn how to invest

move prospects one step closer to becoming customers.

Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding appropriately all take work attention. But because real estate is a people NOand FOLLOW-THROUGH business, it’s simply a must. And the better at it you become, the better with hundreds of agents, folWhyyou’ll is this included in branding, living make as an agentyou or may broker.munication I promise. ask? Because your brand is your bond. It’s low-through is at the top of the list when it comes to customer complaints. You don’t your handshake. When you say you’ll do Best of luck how to you! something, can people trust you if want to be that person. Putting an incredible you don’t follow through with your prom- message and image out there isn’t enough. must live up to those standards with ise? This is often elementMills. that people Copyright©, 2015theBubba All rightsYou reserved. forget altogether. And in fact, in our com- every customer, every transaction

Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), international ® Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder ofan BrandFace , LLC. ® consulting andMichael coaching company that specializes in performance coaching Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace partner. and the implementation of they sound systems into Real Estatedesigned Companies, Mortgage Together, focusbusiness on personal branding and marketing to help real estate ® professionals become theBubba face of their & a star in their market. BrandFace Companies and Small Businesses. Millsbusiness is a nationally recognized inspirational Real Estate Professionals is a book, speaking and and an exclusive and educationfor speaker, coach and mentor toprofessional the top real estateseries agents mortgage workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 For more information, visit www.BrandFaceRealEstate.com. or visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 6

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The NexT GeNeraTioN iN real esTaTe

TRACY HULSEY Top Agent Magazine

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TRACY HULSEY Tracy Hulsey unexpectedly found her way into real estate through her husband’s family. Both her mother-in-law and father-in-law were a top producing team in Northern California, while her brother-in-law worked as a mortgage broker and her sister-in-law worked as an underwriter. Even her husband decided to venture into the industry as an agent after his retirement. Inspired by a challenge, Tracy became licensed in 2001, working with her in-laws first as a transaction coordinator and then as a buyer’s agent. As the real estate market started to slow in Northern California, she decided to return to her native Colorado at the beginning of 2007. Though the recession posed an additional challenge, Tracy went to work without complaint and soon established a reputation in the area for her personable, capable approach. Today, she serves aspiring home buyers and sellers with passion and energy, applying her native knowledge of the area and its market to her client’s proven benefit. Primarily focusing on the areas of Douglas, Elbert, Arapahoe, and northern El Paso Counties, Tracy’s work is driven by her positivity and commitment to serving her clients’ needs ahead of her own. Roughly 95% of her business stems from repeat and referral clientele, cementing her track record for people-centered service that delivers results. “If I hadn’t joined this business, I would’ve missed out on the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people,” Tracy says. “Beginning my real estate career at the start of the recession in Colorado, I learned just how often homeowners didn’t understand the process or hadn’t had anything explained to them, but I’d never sell a house to a client that I wouldn’t want to sell again in the future. I’m very honest with people and I guide them each step of the way.” What’s more, Tracy’s excellent memory and attention to detail allows her to bond with and serve clients on a personal level, as she can recall floorplans and favored activities at the drop of the hat. Her past experience working as a transaction coordinator has also afforded her keen insight into how best to streamline aspects of the transactional process. This allows her

to take on additional volume and execute tasks with ultimate efficiency—without sacrificing her high caliber of service. When it comes to listing properties, Tracy understands that first impressions are everything. Accordingly, she’s worked with the same top photographer for a decade who delivers striking aerial and interior images alike. To publicize listings, Tracy employs RE/ MAX’s international reach, while connecting with fellow agents and making full use of social media’s vast influence. To keep in touch with her network, she touches base with clients through anniversary and birthday cards, by popping by a familiar home, or going the extra mile during the holidays to drop off poinsettias to former clientele. All in all, what Tracy enjoys most about her work is the ability to forge bonds with those she serves and bolster homeownership in her beloved home state. “I’m a fourth-generation Colorado native and I think and we are very lucky to live in this beautiful state,” she says. To give back to the community she calls home, Tracy contributes to a variety of civic and charitable causes. In addition to serving as a member of the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, she also sits on the board for the Douglas County High School Football Program, as well. In her free hours, Tracy most enjoys CrossFit, spending time with her family and loved ones, and spoiling her growing pack of Chihuahuas. Looking ahead, Tracy has plans to continue building her business, while upholding the hallmark standard of care her clients have come to expect. In the meantime, she’ll continue to share her love of Colorado with the many aspiring homeowners flocking to the area. Now, with more than sixteen years of experience and an abiding energy for her work, the future is bound to bring continued prosperity for Tracy Hulsey. “I love what I do,” she finally reflects. “It doesn’t feel like work and it never gets old.”

To learn more about Tracy Hulsey e-mail tracy8043@gmail.com, call (720) 224 - 8043, or visit TracyHulsey.com www.

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Jason Beck is proud to congratulate

Tracy Hulsey

on being featured for the state of Colorado in Top Agent Magazine!

Jason Beck | Branch Manager DTC | NMLS# 11230 Phone: 303.300.5000 | Text: 720.331.1716 northpointe.com www.

6130 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 110, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Top Agent Magazine

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Daily Habits That Will Increase Your Mental Strength When it comes to building physical strength, the solutions are obvious, but keeping up your mental strength isn’t as easy as going to the gym. Although physical exercise does help clear your head and relieve stress, there are other things you can do daily that will help your mind be as strong and flexible as your body after a workout. Here’s just a few things you can do to help clear your head and make you more productive.

DON’T WASTE YOUR BRAIN POWER That might seem obvious, but think about how much mental energy you might use up worrying about negativity or things you have no control over. Instead of focusing on problems, focus on solutions. This actually take a lot of effort, we’re all conditioned to let worry paralyze us sometimes. Try and catch yourself when you’re wasting time thinking about about past mistakes or current dilemmas you don’t have the power to stop. You really only have so much mental energy, and if you have kids and an especially stressful work situation, that might be even less than normal. Start treating your brain like the precious resource it is. You don’t want to be running on empty when it really matters.

STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE A lot of mental energy can go to dealing with anxiety. One way to deal with that is by forcing yourself to try new things and take on new challenges, that you might normally avoid because they make you feel unsure or scared. Challenge yourself daily, even with small things. This is definitely something that becomes easier with practice. Start small, and in no time you’ll be taking on things you never thought were possible. The simple task of trying something new every day will have you feeling energized and put you on the path to self-growth.

BE SELF-AWARE Your emotions affect everything you do, even if they’re not at the surface. Recognizing and labeling them is key. A lot of the above exercises require self-reflection. It’s okay to have the emotions you have, understanding why and where those emotions come from allows you to focus on dealing with them rather than just wallowing in them. Being self-aware is also about self-care. Know the things that help relax and rejuvenate you. That way you can handle everyday stresses and remain calm even during the most turbulent times.

BE MORE POSITIVE

BE WILLING TO LEARN

Eliminating negative thoughts is essential to increasing your mental strength. Carrying around negativity is like swimming with all of your clothes on. You might be okay at first, but eventually you’ll feel like you can barely stay afloat. Don’t drown in negativity, use positive thoughts as a lifesaver. This doesn’t mean you should ignore things you need to improve, just approach them with solutions rather than beating yourself up. Constant monitoring of this is important since it’s really easy to slide back into negative thinking.

A lot of people are still hung up on the idea that learning is a boring and tedious process, but you aren’t in junior high anymore. You can find something you’re actually interested in and immerse yourself in it, which engages your mind like nothing else. Whether it’s learning a new technology that will improve your business or something that will make you a more well-rounded person, the learning process keeps you engaged and open to new ideas. A curiosity about the world and new things is something that all mentally strong people have in common.

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NICHOLAS CAMPASANO Top Agent Magazine

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NICHOLAS CAMPASANO Nicholas Campasano got his start in real estate at a far younger age than the average agent. Growing up, his father was a real estate attorney who was also active in flipping homes. As a teenager, Nicholas spent his spare time helping his father and uncle scope out new properties, rehab homes, and sell them for a solid return on their investment. “That’s when I got the bug,” he remembers. “I was enamored with every aspect of the transaction. I was involved in everything—from searching for the houses and negotiations, to buying, flipping, and selling them. It was an amazing learning experience.” After college, Nicholas went on to work at a title company, gaining an even broader perspective on the industry. Then, in 2014, he decided to take the final leap and earn his own license. Since then, he has cultivated an intrepid reputation for forthright, knowledgeable, and client-centric service. Today, Nicholas primarily serves western Suffolk County, though his work with clients has taken him as far afield as Nassau County and the North and South Fork areas. In just under four years, he’s cultivated an impressive calling card—with roughly 60% of his business driven by repeat and referral clientele. At the root of his skyward trajectory? Nicholas cites an abiding commitment to integrity as the foremost driver of his success. Likewise, his in-depth knowledge of the market, the inventory, and transactional details adds value to his services. “My background gave me a lot of knowledge that the average agent doesn’t have,” he explains. “My experience has allowed me to better navigate any issues that arise, and I’m able to look out for problems others might overlook.” Communication and straightforwardness are also major tenets of Nicholas’ work. Considering that buying or selling a home is one of the biggest transactions in a person’s lifetime, he makes it clear that responsiveness and honesty are integral. “Communication is paramount in any service-oriented business; in real estate it’s number one,” he explains. “I’m always available and responsive, and I never push clients in a direction that doesn’t work for them. I always give my honest opinion, even if that means looking at ten more houses: it has to be the right house.” It is because of these traits that Nicholas was just named as one of the “Top 20 Under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate” by the Young Professionals Network of the Long Island Board of Realtors.

As for marketing listings, Nicholas identifies his tech-savvy approach as a major boon for his business. “I grew up on the computer, and being comfortable with new technology has really allowed me to gain a lot of exposure for my clients. It’s an amazing tool. By using social media, I’m prequalifying buyers before they even step through the door. Making use of technology lets me reach out to people and monitor interest around the clock.” By creating targeted social media campaigns that lure specific, niche customers by pricepoint and area, Nicholas cuts through the noise of the market and straight to the heart of potential buyers. He also utilizes the leading digital listing platforms, as well as Just Listed postcards and other print media to best promote properties both in person and online. Whether he’s navigating the purchase or sale of a property, Nicholas always keeps his relationships with clients at the forefront. “I love that I get to meet new people every day. I wasn’t built for the nine-to-five, behind-a-desk role. I like being out there, looking at homes with clients, grabbing a bite to eat, and building a friendship,” he says. “Especially for first-time homebuyers, a transaction can be very stressful. I encourage clients to take a step back and enjoy the process. It’s so important to have fun with it, especially at the start of a new chapter in life.” To stay involved in his professional community on a local level, Nicholas is involved in the Babylon Village Chamber of Commerce and serves as a Director for the South Shore Chapter of the Long Island Board of Realtors. To give back, he’s active with Avon’s The Walk to End Breast Cancer, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. He also sponsors a few children during the holiday season, making spirits bright and supplying presents for those in need. In his rare free hours, Nicholas is a major sports fan and most enjoys courting new experiences, by trying new cuisines and experiencing different cultures. Looking ahead, Nicholas has plans to continue building his brand, with hopes to give back to his professional community by mentoring up-and-coming agents ascending the industry ranks. He aspires to lend his expertise to future leadership roles and continue growing as a professional along the way. Now, with almost four sterling years behind him and a decisive eye toward the future, the road ahead is bound to be prosperous for Nicholas Campasano.

To learn more about Nicholas Campasano e-mail NCampasano@SignaturePremier.com, call (631) 848-6515, https://www.facebook.com/nickcampasanorealestate/ or visit his Facebook page here. 12

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4 Ways to Win the Battle Against Procrastination One of the most common professional afflictions is procrastination. The funny thing is, everyone knows that procrastination is negative—it’s a waste of time, a creator of stress, and is entirely a problem of our own making. Still, knowing all of this doesn’t necessarily decrease our odds of procrastination. There are plenty of explanations we give when putting Top Agent Magazine

work off until the last minute. Perhaps you convince yourself that you work best under pressure, but it’s truer that you’re used to working under pressure by necessity. Maybe you’re a perfectionist and the fear of getting it all wrong puts you off from the task. Whatever the justification may be, overcoming procrastination requires some willpower and technique. With

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that in mind, take a look at a few tricks below to jumpstart your motivation and nix the lastminute time crunch. After all, you owe it to yourself and your business to operate like a procrastination-free professional.

1. Make Your Intentions Known As realtors and mortgage professionals, you may serve as your own boss. So, when the time comes to complete a task and you put it off—perhaps you’re only disappointing yourself. This is easily remedied by making a new promise to try again tomorrow. On the other hand, it’s much harder to break promises and commitments to others. Try verbalizing your intent and commitment to your team, or to an assistant who can hold you accountable, or better yet—to a business partner or to a client. Make a hard deadline public and you’re likely to perform for fear of embarrassment or losing face. In a way, this puts the pressure of expectation on you, instead of the pressure of the ticking clock.

2. Take a Baby Step When tasks pile up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. If you’ve got a number of items on your to-do list, including some heavy hitters that require a lot of attention and time, begin by taking on something simple. Identify an easily completed job that needs attention and put it first in your queue. Duties that are straightforward and aren’t time-intensive can lead you to the rest of your to-do list, fueling you with the satisfaction of a task already complete. Even if it’s as small as returning e-mails, or dropping off your dry-cleaning, one simple thing off your 14

list can inspire you to continue on to the next item in the spirit of productivity.

3. Work in Windows If work is the last thing you want to do and you can’t seem to self-motivate, make a compromise with yourself. Agree to work just fifteen minutes, and mean it. This tiny window of time is easy enough to complete, isn’t overwhelming, and you’ve already agreed to move on once time is up. The truth? Odds are that just fifteen minutes of active work will inspire you to keep going. After all, the most difficult part of procrastination is getting started. By putting in those fifteen minutes, you’ll trick yourself into diving into the action.

4. Switch Up Your Environment If you’re stuck in rut when it comes to procrastination and productivity, try changing your surroundings. If the office feels stale and stressful, take your work to the nearest coffee shop and try to tackle your tasks there. Perhaps the quiet, studious ambiance of a library can make you focus, or a picnic table outside the office can stimulate the senses. Sometimes changing your scenery can breathe new life into your routine and give you the extra push you need to get work done. There’s no one way to overcome procrastination. In fact, it’s likely a lifelong process of building discipline, finding techniques that work for you, and simply prioritizing your time more effectively. Don’t lose hope—remember these tricks and winning the war will be possible, even if you lose a few battles along the way.

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GORD HONOR Top Agent Magazine

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GORD HONOR Gord Honor has always had a passion for real estate. Before he took the leap to become an agent he was in charge of the Sales & Service team for the largest life safety manufacturer in Canada, which sold fire alarm systems. He then launched his own business in the music industry. “I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit,” he says. Just over ten years ago, he made the move to real estate, and he’s had a thriving career as a solo agent ever since. He serves the Greater Toronto area, with a focus on Mississauga and South Mississauga. An impressive 95% of Gord’s business comes from repeat and referral clients. “My business is kind of like private banking for real estate,” Gord explains. “I have a client who bought a commercial property from me, and then just sold their principle residence. Then they’ve just asked me to sell their parents’ house and find their daughter a place to rent. So I look after everything for them and it simplifies their lives and allows me to build a strong rapport with them. They tell their friends about me and they come back to me to support other members of their family.” His clients learn through experience that Gord is extremely trustworthy and they appreciate the incredible level of service he provides. Working as a solo agent allows him to work directly with his clients every step of the way. “When my clients call they know I’m the one who will answer the phone,” he says. The care and expertise he provides creates lifelong, loyal clients. He brings all he’s learned from his business background and his experience with home renovation to provide valuable information to his clients to help them make the best possible decision. “I’ll sometimes tell them: ‘Don’t buy this house. I’ll find you a better one. It’s about finding the right property, not just any property. I look at it from short-term, long-term and return on investment perspectives.” Gord also has a large network in the Greater Toronto area that includes specialized tradespeople.

Gord combines art and technology to create world-class marketing materials for his listings. Gord studied at the New York Institute of Photography and he helps direct the photography process. “I’m very picky about the photos, because as we all know, online presence is everything,” Gord says. He works with the best home stager in the Greater Toronto area to ensure that each listing looks its very best. “I manage that whole process for my clients and then create stunning visuals and multimedia.” He takes the artistic side of design and photography and blends it with an expertise in technology. As a licensed drone operator, Gord works with videographers to fly the drone and create an amazing media package that he displays on his top ranked website. Gord has a 100% online presence for marketing his listings, which results in strong sales. To stay in touch with past clients, Gord reaches out by phone or sends mailers. “Quite honestly, a lot of them reach out to me,” he says. “They call to ask me about the market. It’s really a two-way street.” What does Gord like most about what he does? “I like the satisfaction of doing the work properly,” he says. “I take pride in sourcing out the best possible people to partner with so that when I put a product out there I give it everything. I love it when my clients tell me, ‘Wow! That’s my home! I can’t believe it. It looks even better than it ever has.’” To give back to the community, Gord donates a portion of his commission on every sale of every property to the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, an in-house charity that supports women’s shelters in Canada. He also volunteers his time with minor hockey. In his rare free time, he races sailboats in the summer and plays hockey in the winter. He loves to travel and just returned from a trip to Shanghai and Cambodia. For the future, he hopes to continue to grow his business and explore the world.

To find out more about Gord Honor, contact him via email at gordhonor@royallepage.ca or by phone at 647-242-2743. You can also check out his website at gordhonor.com. www.

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6 Things All Successful Negotiators Do If you think about it, you’ve been negotiating your whole life. As a kid you negotiated constantly with your family, your teachers, and your classmates. If you’re a parent, you’re negotiating probably more than you ever have in your life. But it’s one thing to negotiate staying up late on a school night, people oftentimes have trouble translating those real world negotiation skills into the business world. But the truth is there are a lot similarities. Expert negotiators all have skills and techniques they bring to the table. It’s quite possible you also have them, and don’t even realize Top Agent Magazine

it. Here’s a look at some traits that are common among expert negotiators.

1. They keep emotion out of the process It’s very easy to feel frustrated, angry and defensive during a negotiation process. But when emotions run high, it’s often difficult to respond with logic and reason. This can be especially difficult if the person you’re negotiating with tries to escalate the situation. As the saying goes, keep calm and carry on. You

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have an end goal in mind, and getting heated won’t help you meet it. If things don’t go your way, remember it’s not personal. Best to leave the table with no hard feelings. Hopefully even though you may not have gotten what you’ve wanted this time around, you’ve established a foundation for success at your next try.

2. They’re reasonable If you don’t ask for what you want you’ll never get it, but at the same time, you need to be reasonable about what you’re asking for. Yes, ask for a little more than you want, so you have some wiggle room to compromise. But if you ask for too much too soon, you might shut down the person you’re negotiating with from the start, or even worse offend them. No one wants to feel like they’re being taken advantage of. Ask for what you deserve and you’ll never go wrong. At the very least you might start the conversation on how that might be possible down the line, if it isn’t just yet.

3. They’re well-prepared Part of being reasonable is being well-prepared. One of the biggest mistakes novice negotiators make is showing up over-confident and under prepared. Have the research and facts to back up what you’re asking for. Show your negotiation partner evidence of why what you’re asking for is not only fair, but necessary. Facts are hard to shoot down. This will also give you the confidence to really push for what you want. It’s not just something you think, it’s something that’s undeniable true. If you go in unprepared you’re more likely to flounder, which will damage your credibility going into future negotiations. 18

4. They always strive for a win/win solution for everyone Yes, negotiations are about getting what you want, but as the old saying goes, you get more flies with honey than vinegar. Your negotiation partner might also have reasonable requests that you need to consider. Ultimately, successful negotiations are about compromise on both sides, and ending up with an outcome that benefits everyone.

5. They’re creative Problems and conflict are a natural part of any negotiation. One surefire way to impress, is to head off any impending roadblocks, by coming up with creative solutions. It’s easy to point out problems and be negative. Truly expert negotiators think outside the box, and dazzle with innovative concepts and ideas that leave everyone excited about the process.

6. They’re good listeners Listening in order to really understand where your negotiation partner is coming from is important for two reasons: you not only want to make them feel heard, but knowing what they want is invaluable information you can use to get what you want. At the start, you’re gathering information by asking questions and really hearing what they say, which includes picking up on body language and nonverbal cues as well. This is part of being well-prepared, using every possible thing you can to have an advantage. Being in control of the situation, and then leading everyone to a successful conclusion all around is what great negotiation is all about.

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ANDY SMITH Top Agent Magazine

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ANDY SMITH Back in 2011, Andy Smith was preparing for his retirement from the military and considering his next challenge. Inspired by the prospect of serving others in new ways, he set out to earn his real estate license. Just before he retired in February 2012, he sold his first home. By year four, he’d closed 130 transactions and realized that to help more people, he’d need to form a team. At the beginning of 2016, Andy started that team: Integrity 1st Group. Now, roughly six years after his auspicious start, Andy has cultivated an exceptional reputation for client-centric service and an abiding commitment to integrity and hard work. Serving communities in San Antonio and its surrounding areas, Andy has built a business with a primary focus on serving others. This passion not only extends to the areas of buying and selling a home, but also to long-lasting financial health—a foremost goal when working alongside aspiring homeowners. With more than half of his business generated by repeat and referral clientele, Andy’s ability to forge lasting bonds with those he serves is wellproven. What’s more, the values gleaned during his time in the military continue on in his professional and team philosophies. “Our team is all about integrity, thus the name,” he explains. “The core values we lived by in the Air Force were: Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do. I’ve carried those forward in my business. It’s also incorporated into my life’s mission statement: I live and love to help people get from where they are to where they want to be.” In that vein, Andy takes an overarching approach when helping families plan to buy or sell. For the past nine years, Andy and his wife have taught Financial Peace University at their church, a program that helps others take a strategic, mindful approach to their finances to achieve stable financial health. Likewise, Andy treasures the opportunity to help fellow veterans and military retirees make the transition to civilian life when needed.

Beyond his passion for helping others reach new milestones, Andy also takes a holistic approach to listing property. He cites his banner company, Coldwell Banker, D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® for equipping his team with top resources when it comes to marketing homes. In addition to premium MLS visibility, he also harnesses the power of social media, yard signage, real estate guides and his broker’s Showcase of Homes on television weekly, targeted Facebook ads, and open houses. All told, Andy’s approach blends the best of digital and traditional marketing efforts to create real results for those he serves. To keep in touch with his vast network of clientele, Andy connects through social media by staying up-to-date in the lives of past clients, while also hosting semi-annual client appreciation events that bring families together. In considering his overall professional approach, Andy describes himself and outlook this way: “I live my life with an open mind, open eyes, open arms, open heart, and open hands. I like to read, pull information together, and feed my mind good information. With open eyes, I look for opportunities to serve and help. Open arms allow me to love people where and how they are. Most people live by the Golden Rule, but using an open heart, the Platinum Rule calls us to treat others how they want to be treated. Lastly, everything belongs to God, and if you live life with open hands some may get away, but more of what you love can get in.” Looking ahead, Andy considers helping others his lifelong calling, and plans to continue mentoring team members as they join the ranks and advance through the industry. Likewise, he aspires to grow his business and become a real estate coach in the next five years. In his free hours, Andy most enjoys spending time with loved ones, watching college football, and traveling with his wife Jeannie. This year, they have their third trip to Alaska slated for summer, just as the Texas heat moves in. Now, with more than half-a-decade of experience behind him, and a service-oriented eye toward the road ahead, the future is bound to be bountiful for Andy Smith and his team members.

To learn more about Andy Smith e-mail asmith@cbharper.com, call (210) 269-3453, or visit his Facebook page here. www.facebook.com/Integrity1stGroup/

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Creative Ways to Say Thank You

Most top real estate agents find ways to welcome their clients to their new home. A common theme is a bottle of wine and some wine glasses for that first post-threshold toast, or a bouquet of flowers to brighten up that empty living space until the furniture arrives. But are you truly being as creative as you can with your appreciation? Here are some innovative gift ideas that will truly keep you front of mind with your valued customers and assure their gratitude and repeat business, not to mention a slew of referrals.

1. How about a streaming video device, like a Roku

or Amazon Fire Stick? There’s a good chance your clients will not have their cable service up and running for a few days, and this is an excellent way for them to enjoy their television before they get that connection going. Bundle it up in a basket with some DVD’s for the kids, and don’t forget all necessary cables.

2. Matching bathrobes and Bath kits: Fleece or ter-

rycloth bathrobes and a basket filled with highend his and her body scrubs, bubble bath and other luxurious pampering items can make the first night in a new home feel like a check-in at a fabulous resort and make the memory of that first night one to cherish. Again, don’t forget the kids!

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3. Arrange a catered meal from a local vendor. As-

certain in advance dietary preferences and restrictions, and have a wonderful, healthy meal delivered on move-in night. To complete the magic, provide brand new plates, silverware and glassware to serve it all on.

4. For homes with swimming pools or Jacuzzis, a

stack of fluffy pool towels is always appreciated and will be used by family and friends for years to come. Additionally, acrylic stemware for celebrating safely can be provided alongside them.

5. If it’s winter time and the home has a fireplace, make sure there’s plenty of wood to burn. Some fireplace accessories and a log holder will certainly make your clients appreciate you on every chilly night to come.

So when it comes to gifting your buyers, the trick is to be creative. A bottle of wine lasts one night, and the flowers wilt in a few days. Try coming up with something a little more creative that will remain with your clients in their day-to-day lives and remind them of you consistently. The little bit extra you spend to show your gratitude can reap huge dividends when it comes time for your client to purchase a second home or refer a friend. 21


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JEFF ANDERSON With over three decades of experience under his belt, top agent Jeff Anderson of RE/MAX Results has earned his reputation for being one of the most dependable, knowledgeable and dedicated real estate professionals currently working in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The recipient of a multitude of awards and accolades, Jeff has spent the last thirty-one years honing his craft and developing a multi-generational, deeplyloyal client base. Jeff had his first experience in real estate when he bought his own home and found his representation lacking. “I didn’t feel comfortable with the transaction,” he says. “I felt like there was a void for someone who had good customer service skills and business education and background. At the time I was a general manager for a country club, and I decided I could make a difference in real estate. So that’s how I got started.” Ranked as high as in the top 250 in sales nationwide by RealTrends. com, Jeff began his career in a decidedly different era. “Back then we did not have cell phones,” he laughs. “We didn’t have the internet, and we got a weekly printed MLS every Monday morning that were the size of phone books.” Jeff’s passion for technology, however, has allowed him to stay not only abreast of current technological advances, but ahead of the curve as well. In fact, his was only the second real estate website in the entire state of Minnesota when it was initially launched and had the first relocation real estate site in the state. “Technology is a hobby of mine,” he explains. With more than half of his considerable business based on repeat clients and referrals, Jeff is obviously doing something right. When queried as to what inspires this client loyalty, Jeff replies, “I think that it was helpful that I was an economics major, so I had a business background. Also, being a general manager of a country club, where you have to satisfy so many members on a daily basis, it became ingrained in me what it takes to be successful in a service industry.” Making sure his clients know that they’re appreciated is of utmost importance to Jeff, and to that end he works hard to stay in touch with them post transaction. The fact that most of them tend to become close friends does make this an easier endeavor. “My clients are like family

to me,” he says. “So in addition to the standard mailings, emails and staying in touch by phone, I really like to do things with my clients, whether it’s a sporting event or other type of event. Additionally, I’ll do an annual winter appreciation party. It’s nice to be able to bring everybody together. It’s a first-class affair and we all have a great time. These people are important to me.” While the financial rewards of his chosen profession are substantial, it’s the more personal side of the industry that motivates Jeff. “I really, truly enjoy helping people and being their representative. I feel that once I sign a contract with them I’m just like an attorney, representing them to the best of my ability and doing whatever it takes and to do so ethically. Through my efforts and my team’s efforts, we just try to do the very best job that we can.” When he’s not working at real estate, Jeff can be found furthering his philanthropic concerns. Among them are a yearly gala that he co-founded 17 years ago and currently co-chairs – the Fall Festival of Hope - benefiting St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital which has raised over 4 million dollars to date; and another charity, Tee it Up for the Troops, which benefits military personnel and their families that he helped start 13 years ago and has been a past president and currently an active board member. The organization now raises over 2 million dollars a year for “those who give so much and ask for so little.” Jeff is also an avid amateur ballroom dancer, and he competes nationally with his pro partner/teacher, daughter Georgie. As for the future, Jeff’s plan is to continue doing exactly what he’s doing right now. “I enjoy what I’m doing. I’ve surrounded myself with a wonderful team at the office. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next ten years bring, both in real estate and technology, marketing and representation, because I love to embrace those things and to use them to the best advantage of my clients.” And why wouldn’t he want to continue doing what he loves? “Once you’ve found your passion,” says Jeff, “once you’ve found what you truly like to do, then you should embrace it and enjoy the moment because it really is a wonderful ride. And real estate has been a wonderful ride for me.”

For more information about Jeff Anderson, please call 612-386-8600 or email jeff@mnrealestate.com Top Agent Magazine

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FRANK ANGELUCCI Top Agent Frank Angelucci of ERA Central Realty Group in Mansfield, New Jersey has spent the last thirteen years building a reputation as one of the most dependable, hard-working and knowledgeable real estate agents currently employed in the real estate industry. Frank developed a passion for the business at a very young age, watching his father build their family home in Chesterfield. “It was very intriguing to me,” says Frank. “It gave me the inclination to move forward with real estate, eventually.” First, however, came a stint coaching baseball in South Florida, which he did after graduating from college. Ultimately, however, he found a change in careers was needed. “I realized that I needed to make some kind of financial change in my life so I decided to jump into the real estate industry in South Florida.” When his father became ill, he packed up his family and returned to Chesterfield to resume his career in his hometown. Working solo but with the indispensable support of his office, coordinators and management – not to mention a highly reputable roster of vendors, attorneys, inspectors and title companies at his disposal - Frank’s New Jersey business has been growing exponentially each passing year. While his focus is primarily on Chesterfield, he does venture out to the north on occasion. He also owns a second business, Agent Share Network, that allows him to help people all over the world find realtors when they need them. “Sometimes people don’t know exactly where to go, so I have a team set up to analyze data and introduce them to a realtor.” What sets Frank apart from other realtors, he believes, is the strong work ethic he inherited from his father. “My father, who was in construction, had me up at 4 AM summers and weekends, working with him at his business.” Another fac-

tor, he believes, is his ability to juggle the many demands of the job. “Time management is probably the most important thing that I have integrated into my life. Every hour of every day is accounted for.” His affable, genial nature is also a trait many of his clients have remarked upon in their reviews of his service. A Premier Agent on Zillow, Frank has a solid fivestar rating based on a slew of positive reviews. Among the many glowing testimonials is this one: “From day one Frank took the time to listen to everything we needed out of a home. He genuinely cared about our family. His honesty and integrity is something that all realtors should strive for. If you want a realtor who cares about you, who wants to make you happy, and who will do anything to make your search for a home the best experience ever, Frank is the realtor for you.” Frank is passionate about selling in Chesterfield, a place he loves. “This is a special place,” he says. It’s rural in a state that’s very populated. I hold it very near and dear to me, so I like to give back to the community as much as I can.” To that end, Frank donates a percentage of each of his commissions to the town’s Public Education Fund. When he’s not working, Frank enjoys spending time with his family. Outdoor activities are a favorite of his, and he can be found either skiing or surfing depending on the season. There is also a new puppy to be cared for. “She’s taking up a lot of our time,” he laughs. When asked about the future, Frank’s perfectionist streak reveals itself. “I just want to get better every day. That’s something that my coaches ingrained into me way back. So that’s the motto I hold: get better every day.”

For more information about Frank Angelucci, please call 609-775-3277 or email FAngelucci@ERACentral.com 24

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Is Branding the Way to Take Your Business to the Next Level? Despite the importance of finding a Realtor® that is the best person to serve their needs, a lot of people only end up interviewing one Realtor® when they’re thinking about buying or selling a home. A lot of times people make that decision based on a referral, but why not do everything you can to be the name they think of when they make the decision to hire a real estate professional outside of referrals? Especially if you’re starting out and haven’t built up any repeat and referral business yet. Top Agent Magazine

When you want to make your name synonymous with real estate transaction success, you might want to consider branding yourself. Personal branding, long a staple of Corporate America, is also an invaluable tool for those in the real estate industry as well. Understanding branding and being consistent about it, is one way to insure you’ll have a successful and long-lasting business. It’s up to you to make consumers think that their success in real estate is dependent on finding the perfect agent—YOU. 25


SO WHAT EXACTLY IS BRANDING? Branding is a long term marketing strategy that builds your carefully crafted image over time through consistent repetition. A common misperception about branding is that it’s is the same thing as marketing. While the two go hand and hand in many ways, branding is specifically about creating and reinforcing the perception of not only who you are as a person, but what your business values are, and getting that out to the world in a consistent way Everything from your logo, to your website

to your social media presence, should all line up and reinforce your brand. It’s that repetitiveness that will hammer home the perception you are trying to create. Your brand informs your marketing, while your marketing strengthens your brand. Of course then you have to do is make sure your service lives up to what you’re selling. Getting them in the door is one thing, but you’re in it for lifetime customers and referrals. Every brand is strengthened when it is built on a foundation of integrity and trust.

CREATING A BRAND Although it might take time and money upfront to get it right, branding is almost guaranteed to pay off in the long run. But branding is more than just having a graphic designer come in and make a logo. Consider branding more of a promise to your clients and potential clients, succinctly stating the value and expertise working with you will afford them. There are clear, tried and true methods to creating your branding. Because you have to go all in on the way you want to brand yourself, it’s important to evaluate fully before you make the leap. This all starts with an honest assessment of your business and where you want it to go, including how much time and money you’re willing to invest to get there. After that you may want to add focusing on a niche market to your branding. Regardless of whether or 26

not you have a niche, another important part of branding is coming up with a memorable tagline that sells your brand or niche. All of your graphics, picture and information, should be consistent across all social media platforms, marketing materials, advertising and websites. If you are interested in branding yourself, there are numerous books on the subject that will give you an in-depth tutorial on the process and the steps you need to take. But what it basically all comes down to is commitment. Find a brand that is true to you, one that you can commit to performing and then back it up by not only meeting, but exceeding what you promised. If done right, soon you’ll become an in-demand agent whose name is synonymous with success! Top Agent Magazine


NANCY BAILEY, BROKER Nancy Bailey worked successfully in the luxury hotel industry for over 25 years before she found her true calling in real estate. “My father was involved in real estate when I was younger and it’s always interested me,” Nancy says. In 2009 she had a fortuitous meeting that led her to take the leap and try the career, which had so long intrigued her. She was in Barbados vacationing at a property she and her husband owned. It was a hot day and she saw a man wearing a suit. She inquired as to why and he explained he was the owner of Sotheby’s International Realty and was getting a property situated. Fascinated to learn that Sotheby’s had a real estate arm, Nancy met with Sotheby’s International Realty brokers once she returned to Toronto. She soon became a licensed managing broker and worked for Sotheby’s International Realty until 2017. Nancy recently made the move to Engel and Voelkers and currently serves the Niagara region. While most of her focus is Niagara-on-the-Lake, she also represents clients in Stoney Creek, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and Norfolk County. A staggering eighty percent of her business comes from repeat and referral clients.

tographer, because I think photography is king,” Nancy says with her characteristic smile. For certain properties–especially waterfront properties–she also includes drone photography to highlight the listings’ best features.

What keeps Nancy’s clients coming back? “People come back to me because I build relationships,” Nancy says. “It’s not just a transaction for me. I get to know people.” Nancy’s clients appreciate how authentic she is–they can tell that she truly cares about them and works hard to help them achieve their goals. Even after a sale, she continues to support her clients, providing referrals to vendors in the area and staying in close touch. To maintain her relationships with past clients, she hosts get-togethers and mixers, sends a beautiful real estate magazine every two months, and mails handwritten notes to let people know they are on her mind.

Nancy has a core value of social responsibility to her community. To fulfill that core value and give back, she is sponsor of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Annual Golf Tournament, a member of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Golf Club, and she has raised over $50,000 for the new Community Center. She’s served on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and volunteers at events such as the Christmas Parade and the Candlelight Stroll. She’s a member of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Fund Advisory Committee, which is part of the Niagara Fund Foundation. She sits on the Cultural and Arts Center Advisory Committee and is part of the Governor’s Council of the Shaw Festival Theatre. In her cherished free time, Nancy enjoys spending time with her children, golfing and traveling. For the future, she wants to continue to build her business with Engel and Voelkers and help develop that brand. With her expertise, her caring and her enthusiasm for her clients and community, she’s sure to succeed!

Nancy walks her clients through the process of getting their home ready for sale. First, she recommends they do a home inspection so they know if there any issues with the house that are best addressed before it goes on the market. Nancy hires a stager who prepares the house for the professional photographer. “I have a very good pho-

Nancy ensures each listing is posted on the Toronto Real Estate Board and conducts a thorough marketing campaign for each listing on social media. She also prepares a beautiful, high quality brochure and reaches out to her database of buyers. Nancy has developed strong relationships with other area realtors and shares listings with them. “Quite often a realtor will help me find a buyer,” she says. The result of these thorough strategies is often a quick sale at a high price. After working with Nancy, clients consistently use five words to describe her and her work: professionalism, honesty and attention to detail. They also appreciate her calm demeanor. What does Nancy like most about her work? “I love helping people during transitions in their lives,” she says. “Real estate can be emotional and I am an empathetic person. I had to sell the home I grew up in when my mother passed away, so I know what it can feel like to go through the process of buying or selling a home during a life transition. I believe being of service to people is the most important thing.”

To find out more about Broker Nancy Bailey, you can contact her via email at nancy.bailey@engelvoelkers.com or by phone at 905 - 371-4234 Top Agent Magazine

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JEFF CHILDERS Real estate is a family business for Jeff Childers. Back in 1980, his father opened a mom-and-pop real estate office along the Jersey Shore and created a lasting legacy for quality service. Ten years ago, the family brand joined forces with Sotheby’s International Realty to expand their reach amidst a changing real estate scene, creating opportunities for prosperity for years to come. Then, a few years after he graduated from college, Jeff decided to follow in the family footsteps and earn his own license. Jeff has now been in the business for close to a decade and has earned coveted designations and accolades along the way, including repeated recognition by the New Jersey Association of Realtors Circle of Excellence. In his first year, he sold $7 million in property, while today he has surpassed $40 million in annual sales volume to date—a testament to his ability and willingness to rise to a challenge. Serving the length of the Jersey Shore, from southern Monmouth County down to the Northern Barrier Island of Ocean County, Jeff applies his native insight when guiding clientele. Born, raised, and working full-time in the region affords him specialized, insider knowledge of the market, its trends, and inventory. This adds tremendous value to clients buying or selling a home in the area, who rely on Jeff’s keen understanding of transactional success on the Jersey Shore. Especially considering that many clients are not from the area and are buying second homes, Jeff’s authentic knowledge of various beach communities and their amenities inspires a sense of confidence and security in those he serves. Additionally, with a hearty portion of his business generated by repeat and referral clientele, Jeff has cemented a reputation along the coast for his professionalism, follow through, and ethical approach to buying and selling property. “I’m an honest, straightforward guy,” he says. “It’s important to me to do what’s best for my clients and put their interests ahead of my own.”

To keep in touch with his vast network of clientele, Jeff reaches out through monthly newsletters and often calls just to check in with past clients. Likewise, he strives to be a continual resource for those he’s served in the past, providing recommendations and trustworthy references on everything from the best restaurants in the area to reliable local contractors. All in all, it comes back to a personal touch for Jeff. “Fortunately, I’ve been able to create a ton of long-lasting relationships,” he said. “I’ve become friends with a lot of past clients and I love meeting new people every day.” When it comes to marketing listed properties, Jeff takes the opportunity to incorporate new technology and the expansive reach of his banner brand. Through Sotheby’s, properties enjoy exclusive branding opportunities and listing visibility through The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal real estate website sections, targeting markets that often flock to the shore for real estate opportunities. Likewise, global exposure ensures that listings reach a broad audience the world over, while memorable first impressions are made through quality photography and incisive digital marketing campaigns. In his free hours, Jeff is an avid photographer and traveler, and most enjoys spending time with wife, son, and his many loved ones. He also enjoys fishing, and skiing with his wife in the winter months. Looking ahead, Jeff has plans to continue his business’s steady growth, and makes a point to try and outsell himself year-over-year—thus far a successful endeavor. He also aspires to expand his team in the years to come, taking younger agents under his wing as they ascend the industry ranks. In the meantime, he’ll continue bringing his quality brand of professionalism to each transaction and relishing the day-to-day challenges of his work. “I love the fact that my work is different every day,” he finally reflects. “From meeting new people and being out in the field, to marketing—there are a lot of different categories within the business world that you have to accomplish successfully. I love the chance to work hard and learn something new every day.”

To learn more about Jeff Childers e-mail jchilders@childerssir.com, call (732) 779 -3087, visit ChildersSIR.com, or visit his Facebook page here.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Childers-Sothebys-International-Reality/135702746479187

www.

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If it’s good for the soul,

IT’S GOOD FOR THE BUSINESS

Visibility, name recognition and knowing you’re supporting the community that makes your success possible are good reasons to take part in community service. But how is it that some people seem to be able to give time to charities while running their own businesses, managing their own families and households, exercising regularly, attending sporting events and concerts, eating well and sleeping seven or eight hours a night? The truth is, not all agents are able to do everything so easily. But more important is the fact that no one needs to do everything all of the time. The trick is to make sure that, whatever you do holds meaning. REALTORS® and mortgage professionals who seem the most gregarious in their community outreach are those whose giving seems to fill their own souls. When their Top Agent Magazine

volunteer efforts or donations directly impact causes they or their clients care deeply about, “giving back” becomes energizing. Jason O’Quinn of Prime Lending in Dallas Texas, for instance, says that his family’s ongoing work building homes for some of the poorest families in Honduras fills him immeasurably. “It rejuvenates me,” he says. “There’s quite a dichotomy between the houses we build there and the houses we finance here,” he says. “It refocuses me, going from financing $1 million homes in Dallas to physically laying cinderblock for $10,000 homes in Honduras. Everything has more meaning when we sacrificially give of our time, talent and treasure.” The longtime “big picture” for Colorado REALTOR® and property manager, Linda

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Todd, for instance, has included giving back to the community, whether serving as a lead carpenter for Habitat for Humanity, making deliveries for Meals on Wheels, or pitching in for the sake of baseball. And through her lifelong passion for baseball, she harmoniously blended her personal interests, her work and her community service. For many years, she was so involved Little League the local league named a new field after her. “I cried for 3 days after they told me that!” She and her husband also started a scholarship fund for junior college baseball players and serve as a host family for the rookie league of the Colorado Rockies, putting up newly drafted players in their home. For Florida REALTOR® and property manager, Mario Gonzalez, neither his business nor his primary community outreach would exist without the other. A retired U.S. Navy pilot, Mario formed his brokerage, Navy to Navy Homes, when he saw a need for military personnel to find affordable homes to purchase. “We got into it to help, but that led to a full-blown real estate business.” Besides providing opportunities for investment and homeownership, the company donates 35% of every commission to Homes for Heroes, veterans’ groups, or organizations benefiting fire, police, medical organizations, churches and homeless shelters. “We’re small, but we give so much back that we were the top Homes for Heroes company in Florida and

top-five nationwide.” But he does none of this for the attention. His friends may call him the “Humble Hero of Heroes,” but helping is Mario’s passion. “To be such a small business and be the top Homes for Heroes affiliate is mind boggling!” Like Mario, for many, the best service takes place in simple and quiet ways. Illinois REALTOR®, Susie Scheuber, for example, takes a humble approach to giving back. Although she donates a portion of every commission check to the Children’s Miracle Network, she doesn’t discuss this with clients unless they happen to ask. “I do it because I want to and because, to me, giving back is the right thing to do when you’ve been fortunate in business and life,” says Susie. We all know how inertia works; the more energized we get by certain behaviors, the more likely we are to continue those behaviors. For some top agents, community outreach has become such a natural routine of their daily lives that they never find it burdensome. A good way to add community service into your life, therefore, is through the causes that mean the most to you. For starters, consider giving a small donation after closing to the charity of your client’s choosing. Learning the different causes that they care about just might foster a new mission for you.

If you have a unique story to share about how your community outreach has impacted your life and your business or inspired others, click here for consideration in our magazines: www.topagentmagazine.com/nominate-a-real-estate-agent-to-be-featured 30

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DANIEL GAMIL & RUSLAN MINGAZOV Together, Ruslan “Rus The Realtor” Mingazov and Daniel Gamil have twenty years experience in real estate and the duo continues to rack up a slew of honors and awards including: The Diamond Award for Highest Producing Agent/Team of 2016 and also 2017 in Keller Williams Realty Empire and the #1 Top Team in the Keller Williams TriState Region in Volume. Rus started in real estate by almost becoming a secretary at a real estate office. His manager immediately saw his potential at the interview and offered to pay for Rus to obtain his real estate license. He’s had a thriving business ever since! Daniel comes from a real estate family and decided to follow in the family footsteps. “I said, ‘Why not get into the business myself?” Daniel says. Rus and Daniel currently serve all of Brooklyn, with a focus on South Brooklyn. As the top agents in their Keller Williams Brooklyn office, Rus and Daniel enjoy a fantastic reputation. As a result of their amazing service, a staggering 85% percent of their business comes from repeat and referral clients. What keeps their clients coming back at such a high rate? “Service,” Daniel says. “The service we give our clients is top notch. And when we get our clients the price that they want for their home, they are very happy.” Their clients also love that Rus and Daniel work as a seamless team and are quick to respond. “We work nonstop being a duo, which really helps because someone is always there,” Rus says. They arrive at the office before 7am and work past nine at night. Their clients appreciate knowing that anytime they have a question or a need, Rus and Daniel are there to help them. Rus and Daniel make sure to stay in touch with past clients through birthday and holiday cards, as well as by phone or text. They also host casual barbecues for their clients at their own homes.

What do Rus and Daniel like most about what they do? Rus values how being a realtor makes him a true part of the community. He enjoys being out in a neighborhood, passing a house and knowing he’s been a part of helping a family to buy it and make it their home. “It’s a good feeling to see that,” Rus says. Daniel’s favorite part of the job is helping make families’ dreams come true. “I love seeing a family get the price they deserve for everything they’ve put into their property,” he says. “I also enjoy helping families relocate. It’s a very gratifying feeling to help someone get from point A to point B.” To market listings, Rus and Daniel use traditional real estate websites as well as the Keller Williams system, which reaches over 480 sites–more sites than any other brokerage! To stay involved with the community, Daniel donates to nonprofits in his neighborhood that support children needing food, shelter and clothes. Rus is still active with his college fraternity, Alpha Phi Delta, and through that organization donates time and money to school painting days, blood drives and other events. In Rus’s free time, he loves to spend time with his wife Gina, who Rus says is the reason why he works so hard, and their newborn baby Maya, who is five months old. Daniel enjoys hanging out with his wife and two sons. “Family and shopping” are his favorite free time activities. For the future, Rus and Daniel want to take their team to the next level, expanding their business while maintaining the care and attention they give to each client. They’ve also started buying investment real estate properties together. “Our goal isn’t just to help our clients through a transaction,” Rus says. “It’s also to create a lifetime of rapport and friendship with our clients. We put that personal touch into it!” Now that’s a philosophy their clients and community can get behind!

To find out more about Ruslan ‘Rus The Realtor’ Mingazov, contact him via cell phone at 646.241.8842 or by email at info@TeTKW.com or RusTheRealtor@gmail.com. To find out more about Daniel Gamil, contact him via cell phone at 917.709.9716 or by email at DanielGamil@kw.com. Top Agent Magazine

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LEAH GARRETT Top Agent Leah Garrett of Katherine Real Estate in Katherine, Australia is relatively new to the real estate industry, but has already gained a solid foothold in the business through hard work, enthusiasm and a positive attitude that has long been her hallmark. Rural Katherine, located in the country’s Northern Territory, is situated on the Katherine River (after which it is named), 320 kilometers southeast of Darwin. The fourth largest settlement in the Territory, it is known as the place where “the outback meets the tropics.” This sleepy town, with approximately 11,118 residents as of 2015, is also a tourism gateway to nearby Nitmiluk National Park. Leah was formerly employed as Head Stock-Woman on local Dry River Cattle Station until she decided she needed a change. “I got started in real estate because my sister was a property manager. I found the work that she did very interesting. I decided I needed work that was a little more stable than chasing cows,” she says with a laugh. “So I decided real estate would be pretty good for me.” Since signing on with Katherine Real Estate in March of 2017, she has not only learned the ropes, but excelled at satisfying her many clients, whether they be sellers, buyers or investors.

emails, Facebook and word of mouth, among other methods,” says Leah. “When we appraise their home, we like to give them feedback on things that can be improved or changed to help the property sell faster.” Leah believes her previous work experience at the cattle station has helped her gain traction quickly in her new profession. “When you’re a stockman, you’re the leader of a team,” she explains. “You’ve got to relate to people, and you’re always helping and organizing. I don’t find it much of a strange change, really, because I’m still really good with people. Instead of their being cows, there are houses, if that makes sense.” As for the future, Leah’s plan is to continue to hone her skills and become the best agent she can be. “Since I started,” she says, “I’ve found it to be very rewarding. I love my job, and I appreciate everyone who has helped me along the way. It means a lot to me. I also love that I get to help people achieve their dream of homeownership. My clients are putting their trust in me to be able to buy or sell, and I do the best I can.”

Also having worked in the hospitality industry at the Katherine Country Club, Leah is very much steeped in the concept of providing excellent customer service, and as the only sales rep in the locally owned business she is already excelling at her new career. With about 50 -60% of her business based on repeat and referral clients, Leah is clearly doing something right. “I like to take pride in myself and keep in contact with my clients all the time, and to do the best that I can,” she says. “I want to make sure that buying and selling isn’t a stressful and scary time for them. I want them to know what’s happening, how to go about things, and to put everything in terms they can understand.” A relatively gentle approach works for Leah: “I don’t push my clients,” she explains. “I’m not ringing them every five minutes; I give them space to come back to me if they need me, and they seem to really appreciate that.” Staying in touch with all her clients, past and present, is of paramount importance to Leah. “We send out a lot of emails, we make a lot of phone calls.” Additionally, the small, sleepy nature of Katherine lends itself to impromptu meetings on the streets or in the shops. Savvy marketing also plays a role in Leah’s success thus far. “We use realestate.com, we have window cards, brochures, bulk 32

For more information about Leah Garrett, please call +61-437-456-474 or email Leah.Garrett@KatherineRealEstate.com.au Copyright Top Top Agent Agent Magazine Magazine


Living On Commission by Linda Brakeall

Commissioned sales is one of the few places where you get paid exactly what you’re worth. One of my friends really hates that concept. “I could never live on that!” But loan officers have to do it all the time. The most successful people I know love being on commission! They love being able to give themselves a raise just by working harder. Most people need a little help learning how to budget, and how to put away money for taxes and infrequent but important expenses.

and maybe a third will go directly to the government for taxes. You should be putting at least 10% away for savings and investment and 5% for surprises is not unrealistic. When I took over a large real estate office a few years ago I found out that one of my new REALTORS® was going through bankruptcy proceedings. I knew she a sold a lot of real estate and I couldn’t figure out how she got in that situation. One evening over coffee she told me about being a rookie with another company. She fell into a land deal and made the single largest sale her company had ever made.

So here’s the rule: Never plan to spend more than half of any paycheck. You can have all kinds of Within six months she received a fancy formulas but that’s it. You huge six-figure commission. Within have to assume that at least a quarter two years she was in debt over her Top Agent Magazine

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Commissioned sales is one of the few places where you get paid exactly what you’re worth. head. The problem? She spent it all! She started borrowing trying to pay her taxes. She was so stressed out over the tax situation that she didn’t sell any more real estate for the next year.

REALTORS® or other commissioned sales people. A little planning in advance for regular and predictable expenses and a slush fund for surprises and you’ll be covered!

Don’t let that happen to you. Loan officers aren’t that different from

Copyright© 2014, Linda Brakeall. All

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rights reserved. Top Agent Magazine


SUE JACKSON When speaking with Sue Jackson about her role as Sales Performance Manager for the highly-reputable Max Brown Real Estate Group, one can’t help but notice the enthusiasm she projects for not only the company, but for all its sales agents and clients. Max Brown, which was established in the Melbourne Real Estate industry in 1958, has built a strong reputation based on trust and consistently high standards that has allowed them to perform at a superior level in the industry. Independently owned, the company provides a comprehensive real estate experience through its Residential Sales and Property Management Division, Project Sales/Development Division, New Homes Division and Commercial/Industrial Division. Sue, who has been with Max Brown Real Estate Group since 2001, began working for the company in the role of Sales Consultant, which she did until she obtained her sales license in 2006 and transitioned into the role of Branch Manager. Just recently, she was promoted to her current position of Sales Performance Manager in which capacity she oversees the company’s entire sales team, which is spread out over four offices located in Croydon, Montrose, Lilydale and Boronia. “I’m still involved in the day-to-day listing and selling of real estate,” says Sue, “however, primarily my role is to mentor and assist the sales team.” “It’s a fantastic role,” says Sue. “I’ve been with the group for 16 years, and we do have a number of staff who have been with the company for numerous years. This aspect makes my role a lot easier as I’ve worked with some of these people for ten or fifteen years. Basically, I’m in constant contact with each of our Branch Managers, and I’m also conducting one-on-one

meetings or reviews with the sales staff to monitor their progress and obviously providing any assistance or extra training as required.” Sue is passionate about the work she does, and her ability to assist her team better service their many grateful clients. “I’ve loved my job and its’ challenges since the day I started,” she explains. “I’ve always said that the day I stop enjoying it is the day I’ll finish up. The Max Brown network is a dynamic group, we’re all local, family-orientated people. I really do thoroughly look forward to coming to the office.” Providing top-notch client service is of paramount importance to Sue. “I’m very much about trying to understand what our client’s want to achieve, rather than trying to pressure them into making a decision that might not be the best for them. I believe I have a very good reputation in the industry, and I treat all clients with respect and integrity. I appreciate that I get to spend each and every day speaking with and meeting people.” When she’s not working, Sue enjoys nothing more than spending time relaxing with her family. She is also an avid golfer, though she hasn’t had much time to work on her game as of late. She is also very much involved in her community of Montrose and surrounding areas, where her family has lived for over thirty years. “My main focus throughout my career,” says Sue, “is building relationships with my clients, whilst being transparent, honest and approachable. The Max Brown Group is a professional, innovative group to be associated with. Our brand and culture is well recognized and we have an exceptionally good reputation. Max Brown Real Estate is celebrating 60 years of service, quite an achievement in this industry. I am most fortunate as I love my profession and everything the company stands for.”

For more information about Sue Jackson, please call 0409 932 109 or email suej@maxbrown.com.au Top Agent Magazine

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MCKAYLA JOHNSON If someone asked you to describe the perfect Realtor, you might suggest a person who has a range of qualities, from engaging and enthusiastic to attentive, caring and masterful. But that would be a pipe dream, right? Wrong. McKayla Johnson is that very Realtor, and her clients will tell you so, with lots of exclamation points! She’s exceptionally personable and sticks by her clients through the entire process, educating, advising and communicating with them about every detail of the transaction. Her clients trust her, and she delivers. McKayla began her career as a teller at a credit union. One of her daily clients was Lisa Stevens, the broker at Vibrant Realty in Burnsville where McKayla is now an agent. Lisa got to know McKayla and encouraged her to come work for her. “I did,” McKayla says, “and then, within two months, I got my real estate license! That was four years ago.” McKayla is now part of Lisa’s three-person team, serving the Greater Twin Cities real estate market with a remarkable repeat and referral rate of 75 percent. Clients love the way she’s able to address any issue that arises with skill, insight and integrity. Besides which, she’s fun, creative, and provides exceptional service.

myself,” she notes. “For example, if the house is empty, I’ll bring in some beds or put furniture in the playroom, whatever it needs.” She then hires a professional photographer who, in addition to regular photos, shoots virtual videos so buyers can click on each individual room. She posts the listing on all the traditional websites, such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, as well as Facebook, and emails every agent who has sold a property in the area in the last 90 days, because they may have interested buyers. Homes don’t stay on the market long with McKayla. She may be an agent for just four years, but her skill and energy go a long, long way. “The best part of my job is when I go through a house with a buyer and sense that this is the one they want,” she says. “I can see them living in it for many years. It’s that feeling and the look on their faces that warms me up.” Being involved with people is what she’s all about, whether it’s clients, friends or the community. She works with a kinship group that mentors children, and supports by participating in events twice a year and donating food and materials. She also contributes to food shelves, helps children do rock painting, and gives 1 percent of her commission checks back to the community. When she has time to relax, she likes to go to her cabin in the woods, go fishing, and spend time with her friends, often at the movies.

“With my buyers, I shoot walk-through footage of a house when I take them to see it,” she says. “If they like it, I make a little video and send it to them.” It’s one of many marketing tools that sets her apart.

As the future unfolds, McKayla plans to grow her business and help more people find their dream home or sell their residence. “I want to stay fully engaged and deliver a fun experience while giving my clients exceptional representation,” she says.

For sellers, she begins with a walk-through of the house, advising them on staging, painting or repairs. “I do some staging

If McKayla keeps going the way she is, 2018 will be an excellent year for both her and her clients.

To learn more about McKayla Johnson, visit her webpage here, call (952) 486-9541 or email mckayla@vibrantre.com.

http://vibrantrealty.com/AgentRoster?op=agent&act=webprofile&agent_id=1696675839&back_link=yes&callback=%2fAgentRoster%3fop%3dagent%26act%3dlist%26branch_id%3d1679235561

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How To Send

SMARTER EMAILS

Email is a great tool for agents to use when trying to stay in touch with their past clients, as well as for reaching out to prospective clients. However, used incorrectly it can make your attempts to reach out seem like spam. The secret to using email effectively is making sure that everything you send out does one thing: ensure that you remain relevant to your contacts. To do this you have to get personal. Personalization will go far to ensure that your contacts are actually clicking on your emails. This means that if you do reply on an automated drip email campaign to build business, you need to customize your content so that it delivers something meaningful to each individual recipient. Here are some steps that will help you do exactly that:

1. SEND A WELCOME EMAIL TO

NEW CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS Rather than simply add new contacts to your automated email drip campaign, make sure to send each new contact receives a warm welcome as well. Sending a welcome email along with adding new contacts to your drip campaign is proven to be 86 percent more effective at catching your contact’s attention. Let them know they are welcome and that you appreciate their interest. Top Agent Magazine

2. NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

THROUGH YOUR EMAIL To let your potential client know that you are thinking about them by sending them useful content that relates to the process of buying or selling a house. Some great topics include credit score information, ways to save money, regular market updates, what buying in your market is like, information about the neighborhood, tips on how they can prepare their home for sale, and other relevant information. A great way to

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add to these emails’ punch is to time them so that they coincide with what that individual is going through and dealing with at that time on their path through the buying or selling process.

3. CELEBRATE IMPORTANT DATES

Everyone loves to be noticed and appreciated. Schedule emails to go to each client that celebrate their purchase anniversary or birthday. Make sure you include a personal note and your own wishes that the year ahead goes well for them. If you’ve been a bit out of touch with your contacts, you might want to send them a friendly hello.

4.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY EMAILS With our phones being akin to mini computers, most people read their emails on their phone these days. So, it is particularly important to make sure that your emails are rendering well on the smaller screens. If you want to make any kind of impact, you have to run a mobile-friendly email campaign in today’s world. You are going to lose a lot of your audience if they can’t read your email on their phones.

5.

TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR EMAILS AND ALTER ACCORDINGLY The best way to make sure your emails are being read and making the kind of impact you desire is to consistently monitor the analytics,

and see what your readers are actually clicking on and what elements are most popular with your contacts. Going forward you can alter different elements of your email campaign such as content, images, graphics, and even smaller elements like your subject line to draw in more clicks from your readers, and cater to what grabs their attention. You also want to follow a targeted email strategy. The best way to do this is segment your email list based on the data from your CRM and the demographics of your contacts. Different clients are going to be interested in different content. Long-time clients looking to buy a second home or possibly downsize are going to be interested in completely different content than your first-time buyers. A good way to filter your contacts is by looking at which ones are looking to buy or sell, how far along in the process they are, as well as other important information about them.

6.

DON’T SPAM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES You probably already know that flooding your clients’ emails is big no-no. However, different people have different ideas about what is too much contact. One great way to approach this problem is to ask your clients whether they would prefer weekly, monthly, or occasional emails from you. This way you can cater to each client’s preference.

The emails you send your clients can often be a double-edged sword when it comes to how well they work to bring in business. Following these simple rules will help your emails be as successful as they can possibly be, and will make your contacts much happier with you. So, don’t just send out emails without doing your homework about how to do it right. Your email campaigns can be a powerful tool if you know how to create and utilize them in the right manner. 38

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RITA MASINI Rita Masini of Baird & Warner in Glenview, Illinois has firmly established herself as one of the premier real estate agents currently working in the Chicago area. With an empathetic approach that is coupled with a vast resource of industry knowledge, Rita is able to provide each of her many grateful clients with top-notch client service. “I got started in real estate partially because my husband and I had several rental properties,” says Rita, “and I was a stay at home mom at the time. I felt it would be a great opportunity to start my own business and work independently, yet still have flexibility for my three children.” Licensed in 2005, Rita began selling in 2006 and has been a consistent multi-million-dollar producer. Now in her second year with Baird & Warner, she is grateful for the exceptional support the company provides her. “It was a very good move for me,” she says of moving to her current company, “because they are quite invested in their brokers, and with all the resources they provide, I can still feel very comfortable growing my business while continuing to work independently.” Selling primarily in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Rita’s business is based on more than 85% repeat clients and referrals, a sure sign that she is clearly doing something right. “That’s how most of my business is done,” she explains. “I continue to do extensive internet, direct mail, and print advertising, but I find most of my business is repeat and referral. I love that.” The reason for this client loyalty, she believes, is her conscientious approach to working with both buyers and sellers. “It’s the exceptional service I provide,” says Rita. “Each seller is provided with personalized staging advice, customized online marketing and reach strategy, and an in-depth market analysis that far exceeds industry standards for pinning down market conditions. Each buyer is scheduled for a customized buyer consultation at which I actually spend at least an hour together before we go out and look at homes. The reality is that they’re already looking at homes online, but they need to

be educated about the process. I find that first-time home-buyers especially appreciate that. They get an educational experience, they get a sense of what our office is like, and what resources I can offer them. It provides them with a feeling of comfort.” The level of service Rita provides her clients is made evident by this glowing five-star review on Zillow. com: “We had an incredibly positive experience working with Rita to buy our home. As first time homebuyers, she walked us through the entire process and was very helpful at explaining the various steps so that we would understand. She knew the area well and was a strong advocate for us in the negotiations. We have been extremely happy working with Rita and would recommend her to anyone.” Rita’s appreciation for her clients is obvious, and she works hard to maintain the relationships and friendships she forges with them. “We have a robust CRM system at Baird & Warner, so we’re able to do frequent e-newsletters, postcards, and specific property marketing,” she says. “I also host client parties and networking events. And of course, the thing I like to do best is one-on-one client lunches. It’s all just an extension of my very personalized service.” When she’s not working, Rita enjoys spending time with her family and their Tibetan Terrier, Teddy. Training in Shotokan Karate (she’s a third-degree black belt), gardening, and travel are passions as well. Giving back to her community is important to Rita, and to that end she is involved with the National Association of Realtors, the Illinois Association of Realtors, and she was a twenty-five-year volunteer educator at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. As for the future, Rita is enthusiastic about the growth of her personal brand and business and the tremendous support of Baird & Warner; Rita looks forward to continuing to offer exceptional client service, strength of knowledge, and impeccable integrity that has become her trademark.

For more information about Rita Masini, please call 847 - 404 - 0797 or email rita.masini@bairdwarner.com Top Agent Magazine

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Be Their REALTOR for Life: ®

How to Build a Relationship with Your Clients That Will Last a Lifetime In the world of real estate, an agent’s relationship with their clients can make or break their career. This industry revolves around working well with people, and being able to develop a strong relationship with your clients is the foundation that you business is based upon. Just like with a house, if that foundation is weak, the rest of the structure is also going to be unsteady and fragile. The mark of a good REALTOR® is their ability to build up a good referral network and following of loyal clients. This isn’t something that just happens by accident. Building healthy, strong relationships with your clients takes work and knowing how to gain another person’s trust, respect, and friendship. Here are some ways to make sure you are building the right kind of relationship with your clients. 40

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1. Use Your Friendliness and Optimism to Win Them Over: No one wants a pushy, overly confident salesperson for a REALTOR®. Clients are much more inclined to put their trust in the hands of someone who is friendly when it comes to one of the biggest financial transactions of their lives. A pleasant, outgoing disposition will win you more clients as well as friends. You want to establish rapport in the first few minutes of first meeting prospective clients. Rather than starting with business right off the bat, begin your meeting with some small talk such as similar interests, hobbies, and family life. This will immediately help to put your clients at ease, and show that you are not simply trying to “sell” them something. People also respond well to optimism. During what can be a very stressful time, clients need someone to help them stay positive when a situation looks difficult and challenging. Optimism also tends to radiate charisma, and people want to be around and do business with charismatic people. You want to learn how to understand, motivate, and inspire people.

2. Be an Inquisitive Learner and an Empathetic Listener:

On the other side of this coin is knowing how to listen empathetically. Empathy involves actually putting yourself or your mind in their shoes so you can genuinely understand their concerns, needs, and opinions. That understanding and empathy is then reflected in your conversation with that client. Your clients want to know that you care about their situation, and that they’re not just another sale for you to make. People are much more willing to put their trust in you when they can sense that you are actually making an effort to feel what they feel in order to understand their situation. Showing your interest through questions, and then thoughtfully listening goes a long way towards gaining trust. Showing empathy and acknowledging the feelings and emotions involved in your clients situation helps build a relationship founded on genuine care and trust.

3. Watch for Nonverbal Clues:

Don’t be afraid to show your curiosity and ask your clients a lot of questions. Some of these questions may even be difficult and uncomfortable. You want to discover and learn as much as you can about your client. Don’t make the mistake of jumping straight into the role of the know-it-all. Every different client has unique needs, so you want to learn as much as you can about their specific situation before trying to propose a solution. You want to uncover their primary motive for buying or selling, and flush Top Agent Magazine

out any potential concerns they might have. After you’ve gained as much information as possible, you can then gauge their interest in your possible solutions by asking “what if” questions. Being inquisitive also demonstrates to your clients that you are genuinely interested and invested in their situation.

Most communication happens nonverbally, so knowing how to interpret your client’s body language can be incredibly helpful. Here are a few things to pay special attention to: Eye contact: Be careful with the level of eye contact you use with clients when first meeting. Too much and too little eye contact can send the wrong impression. You want to try and maintain eye contact around 70 percent of the time. That is the amount that most people are comfortable with. Pay attention to your client’s level of eye

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contact to determine how comfortable they are. When someone avoids eye contact that could mean they are not engaged in the conversation. A good way to quickly build a feeling of rapport when first meeting clients is to make eye contact when you first meet them and then start nodding yes to what they’re saying. If the client reciprocates the eye contact and nodding, you’ve established a connection.

4. Prove your honesty and credibility:

Choose the right handshake for each client: One handshake does not fit all people, and that first handshake can be crucial to making a good first impression. The way to do a good handshake for each client is to try and mirror the other person’s handshake in strength, keep your shoulders aligned as you are preferably standing when you shake hands. While you shake your client’s hand make sure you make eye contact and give them a sincere smile.

Showing a little weakness can actually be to your advantage in this situation, and will actually make others more inclined view you as honest. You don’t want to come across as too good to be true. When revealing this weakness, however, the key to coming out on top is turning what sounds like a weakness into a strength. For example, your service may be more expensive, but that’s because you offer more personalized and extra services than your competitors.

Honesty and integrity are the two traits that 98 percent of buyers and sellers report are qualities they consider “very important”. The thing is you can say you have these traits all you want on your website, bio, etc., but trust has to be earned, and the only way to do this is to prove your credibility.

Here are a few tips for how to sound more credible:

When you talk to your clients avoid using filler words such as “um” and “uh”, which can decrease your credibility. You also want to watch the tone of your voice. People tend to translate a deeper tone as sounding more credible.

You want to develop a relationship to last a lifetime when interacting with your clients. There are many things you can do to accomplish this, and using these tips can take you from getting just a few referrals and repeat customers to gaining a loyal client following. Taking the little extra time to make sure you are projecting the right attitude and making sure that you are doing things to gain your client’s trust can make a world of difference for your business. 42

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JIM PAUL Top Agent Jim Paul of Coldwell Banker Tomlinson Associated Brokers in Kennewick, Washington has spent decades working hard to establish himself as a real estate agent who goes above and beyond. Exceptional client service and big-picture knowledge are among the many reasons his many loyal clients return to him and refer new customers. It was literally an accident that Jim ended up working in real estate. In the 1980’s, he was working as a carpenter and took a nasty spill off the roof of a two-story house. “I got hurt pretty bad,” he says. “Because of that I didn’t want to go back into building houses, I decided to get my real estate license instead. My uncle had been a real estate agent fifty years ago, and he used to tell me stories about being a realtor, and how he was able to help people. I thought that was kind of cool.” Jim currently sells in Central Washington state, and does so both solo and occasionally by partnering up with another agent. “I don’t have a team per se,” he explains, “but there are a bunch of realtors who work under me. I do a lot of work selling land and lots to builders, but I do list and sell houses. When I get a client who wants to sell a house, I usually get a partner and we’ll list it together as a team.” With nearly 70% of his business based on repeat clients and referrals, Jim is clearly doing something right. When asked to account for this level of loyalty, he says, “I think it has a lot to do with my knowledge; that’s a big thing. I always keep my clients updated and informed throughout the process, whether we’re buying a house or selling a house. Clients always want you to hear what they have to say, and I always keep their concerns front and foremost in my mind when I’m working with them.” Nothing short of exceptional customer service is provided by Jim to his many clients. “I give them great service,” he says.

“If it’s great service they remember that. If it’s bad service, they remember that and you don’t get the repeat business or the referrals. I love giving them amazing service and my clients know that. They appreciate it.” Despite the financial rewards of his chosen profession, Jim insists it’s the more personal side of the business that gives him the most satisfaction. “I love helping people,” he says. “A lot of people who are buying and selling houses are not professionals, and they’re looking for a really good realtor to help them. Getting paid is nice, but I’ve never looked at it as my main motivation. Back in the seventies, when I was a carpenter, I knew a couple of people who lost their homes to foreclosure, and I wished I had known more so I could have done something for them. One of the reasons I got my license is because it gives you that knowledge that allows you to help people.” When he’s not working, Jim is insistent about giving back to his community, and to that end he works with multiple charities, among them are those that benefit war veterans and those fighting cancer. Jim is also an ardent baseball fan, and he attends spring training baseball games in Arizona on a yearly basis. He and his wife also enjoy spending time traveling in their motorhome. As for the future, Jim has plans to retire in a couple of years. Before then, however, he’d like to purchase a piece of land on which to develop a small subdivision and build eight to ten houses. “Real estate has been very, very good to me and my family,” says Jim. “I really get a lot of enjoyment out of helping people. Whether it’s a first-time home buyer or someone I’ve never met before, I always look for a way to help people out.”

For more information about Jim Paul, please call 509.460.0440 or email JPaul@cbtabs.com Top Agent Magazine

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GIZZELLE POWELL Gizzelle Powell was handpicked for a career in real estate by the owner of RE/MAX Lifestyle Marketing when she was working as a Postal Services Officer. The owner of RE/MAX Lifestyle Marketing was a regular customer and was so impressed with her excellent customer service that he gave her his card and said, “If you ever want a career change just give me a call.” For two years he encouraged her to reach out to him. She finally decided to take the leap and she’s just celebrated her one-year anniversary as an agent with RE/MAX Lifestyle Marketing. Gizzelle primarily serves Cambridge Park, where she also lives and is very involved in the community. Gizzelle is well known and respected throughout the area and as a result, most of her clients come by referral from people she knows through her church, her children’s school and her previous work at the Post Office.

goals is great. I see them happy. It’s a very good feeling to be part of their journey,” she says. Gizzelle is very active in her church and is a member of Citizen Action Penrith Affordable Housing, an organization dedicated to creating a sustainable supply of affordable housing. In her cherished free time, Gizzelle loves spending time with her husband and their three young children. They enjoy going to the park or the movies together. For the future, Gizzelle would like to make a difference in the real estate industry by using her computer engineering expertise to create a new application to help buyers and sellers. She’d also love to help her clients buy more investment properties. With her strong work ethic and dedication to her clients and community, she’s sure to make these dreams a reality. “When you put your heart and soul into something, no one can stop you from achieving what you want to achieve!” Gizzelle says with a smile.

What keeps Gizzelle’s clients coming back and referring her to friends and family? “It all boils down to great service,” she says. “I have a great connection with my clients and they know I am determined to help them achieve their goals and I will work above and beyond their expectations. And most of all, they trust me.” Gizzelle is determined, resilient and focused on her clients’ goals. “As an agent, it’s important that your clients trust you completely–this industry is trust based,” she explains. Gizzelle always speaks from the heart and her clients recognize that. To stay in touch with past clients, she reaches out by text or phone, or sends personalized cards. “I’ve even visited my 92-year old past client in a nursing home,” she says. Gizzelle is known for marketing her lists thoroughly. She advertises via paper ads in local newspapers as well as online via social media and multiple real estate websites. Gizzelle has a degree in Computer Engineering and she uses her expertise to create online videos with information about upcoming listings as well as testimonials from past clients. After working with Gizzelle, past clients rave that she is a hard worker, incredibly professional and goes above and beyond whether they are buying, selling or investing. What does Gizzelle like most about her work? “It’s embedded in me to help others. The joy of seeing my clients achieve their 44

To find out more about Gizzelle Powell, email gizzellepowell@remax.com.au, call +61-428-934-618, or visit www.

remax-lifestylemarketing.com.au/Gizzelle-Powell Copyright Top Top Agent Agent Magazine Magazine


5 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor As great as it might feel to start your own business, and be solely responsible for its success, at some point, every entrepreneur reaches the limit of their potential, and needs a boost that only experience can provide. But how do you get a lifetime of experience when you’re just starting out? Sure you can read countless books, but no book can replace the real life experience and advice of a mentor. Mentors not only provides valuable insights, but they also have access to valuable connections as well. In fact a majority of the Top Agent Magazine

most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs in the country have said that having a mentor early on was instrumental in their success. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. They’re able to see where you need improvement, when you can’t When you’re working non-stop to get your business off the ground, you might feel sensitive to any criticism from people who aren’t going through what you are. A good

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mentor knows exactly what you’re going though, and has probably made every mistake. When you’re in the thick of it, you might not be able to see where the problems are. A knowledgeable outsider, who knows exactly where you’re at and has only your best interests at heart is just what you need. When you have a trusting relationship with someone like that, you will be more willing to listen to that brutal honesty, even if that constructive criticism stings.

energy into it. They can see things in a completely logical way and guide you based on the facts rather than emotion. A good mentor helps you work smarter, not harder. They help you focus on your goals and how to get there, as well as setting boundaries for you so you don’t overextend yourself. They teach you how to say no and help you let go when you need to move on from a setback.

2. They will encourage you to think outside of the box

In addition to expertise, building a strong network is something that can only come with time. A mentor will most likely have that already, giving you access to people and resources that would take others years to gain. These connections will lead to opportunities that might never have happened otherwise. It’s also a great confidence boost knowing that your mentor trusts and believes in you enough to invite you into their inner circle.

Years of experience can give someone a great idea of what works and what doesn’t. They’ve seen things first hand, not just in theory. At the same time, mentors recognize the importance of taking chances, calculating risks, as well as cutting losses and moving on. A good mentor isn’t trying to encourage you to be a carbon copy of them, they are trying to create the best ‘you’ possible. That includes encouraging you to take chances, and then being there pushing you to keep going forward if it doesn’t work out. A good mentor knows that even failures can be opportunities.

3. They take the emotion out of decisions and help set boundaries Unlike you, a mentor has no emotional investment in certain business approaches that you might have decided to try. There’s nothing harder than admitting something isn’t working when you’ve put a lot of time and 46

4. Networking

5. Encouragement At the heart or it all, a mentor offers you encouragement and motivation along the way, in good times and in bad. After a failure, it can be hard to get back on track and keep forging ahead. It helps to have someone who has spent year getting back up after being known down and coming out stronger than ever. It’s during those moments, when you feel alone and isolated, that having someone around offering you advice and positive feedback will be a much needed salve. They’re your cheerleader, they want you to succeed, and hopefully, you’ll pay it forward one day when you become as successful as them.

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COURTNEY STACH Courtney Statch’s enthusiasm can’t be contained, nor should anyone try to do so. For someone whose first job real estate job took place at age 12, her enthusiasm is not surprising. “I was the weekend secretary for my mom at the time,” say Courtney, Broker/Owner of County Line Properties, in Hinsdale, IL, a beautiful suburb west of Chicago. Born and raised in Hinsdale, after college Courtney worked in what she calls the “real world” of business for five years with a telecommunications company. “Then my dad, who owns a boutique agency, asked me to join him because my other two sisters had no interest!” Loyal to family and already interested in real estate, in 2002 Courtney became licensed and joined the family firm. Covering Chicago’s Western suburbs from LaGrange to Downers Grove, as far South as Lamont or north as Elmhurst, Courtney is certain that most people don’t receive the kind of service she provides her clients. “I’m with them every step of the way,” she says. “There are a lot of parts to moving and selling homes and it’s not easy for people; they need someone who understands the whole process.” Courtney remains readily accessible, from the initial paperwork stage until long after they’ve sold or moved into their home. “I have the responsibility to get them the best dollar possible if I’m their listing agent or to get them the best value for their future if they’re buying.” She admits that doing so is no easy task. “No one knows what’s going to happen in the future, so I am very careful.” Courtney’s dedication to clients stems from her upbringing in a close, balanced household, with parents who worked in sales and advocated that the customer always comes first. Her clients appreciate how her lifetime of exposure to real estate helps her help them make smart decisions. “I’ve seen a lot of changes in the industry since I was little,” she says. “It’s been fun to be a

part of that, in addition to my experience in the tech world before real estate.” She knows firsthand the importance of morphing and changing with the environment. “Even if I practice for 30 more years, I’ll keep training and staying on top of trends.” Among those trends is highly visual marketing of listings. “Videos and photography are so important. I conduct staging so each house presents as beautifully as possible,” she says. “The goal is to make sure online viewers won’t discredit my seller before they’ve even visited the house.” Courtney ensures the pictures look perfect and that videos and social media exposure attract Millennials. All of this effort, and more, lends itself to the 90% referral rate Courtney enjoys. She also networks with other agents and ensures she stays in touch with her past clients by phone or with periodic gifts. “I did a children’s book drive just recently that was great not only because it helped kids who need books, but because I got to see all my clients by picking up books at their houses.” Courtney regularly gives to other local nonprofits. “At this point in my life, I make sure that any time volunteering is related to my kids and family,” she says, noting that after the book drive her kids helped her sort books and that teaches religious education to fourth graders at her church. “I also affiliate with the Hinsdale Junior Women’s Club and Ronald McDonald House by making donations, but family is my priority. I don’t want to take extra time away from my boys.” These family-focused values reflect the attentive service Courtney provides her clients. No matter how much her business may grow, Courtney will never be above doing the basics, whether taking calls early in the morning, blowing leaves off properties or cleaning toilets. “My goal every day is to do my part to make this world a happy place. There can be sadness and frustration around real estate, but I want to end everything on a happy note,” she says. “And If real estate changes, I’ll change with it!”

To learn more about Courtney Statch, visit courtneybohnenstach.com or facebook.com/CourtneyStachGroup, email courtneystach@gmail.com or call 630.209.1115 www.

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