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NATIONWIDE & INTERNATIONAL EDITION

BRENNA FRESKOS

es, Brenna Freskos says es.” Add in the fact that s the perfect match for managed an apartment ng about wanting to be rs later, she decided to LTOR® friend who had

would be difficult when TIPS ON BREAKING ANDREW rospect, I can see what THE ains.INTO “But winning when I agent met multi-award spent years helping football team whobuyers were r they real estate goals. Andrew’s told me that if I g highly-professional real go for it; that it’s one of those careers translated into a stellar ery well.” e who can be consistently

average list-to-sale price ratio. “I also pay a stage to go through and do any polishing, preparation and final details for every single listing befor hiring my professional photographer for photoshoot,” says Brenna. “How the home look on MLS determines how well It’s going to loo on all of the real estate sites; it’s what gets peopl into a house or keeps them from coming to th property.” Each listing receives a virtual tour, 5-10 page brochure and comprehensive email an KAPRILIAN web marketing.

I’m prepared to put in the hard yards and fight for them. POWER Sometimes theevery owner, this mean transactio the & Brenna knows for that realcan estate THE OF TESTIMONIALS difference between taking or not taking a holiday, representsWORD-OF-MOUTH a new phase of someone’s life. “I’v MAKING COUNT severing a tie with a past partner or another moved several year times and I’ve loved every home I’ve lived in, s of pain. For me it’s just about making life it’s exciting to easier be infor this of people’s lives,” she says. “You thepart owners both financially or mentally home is the backdrop yourSoeveryday andThis I’mfierce excited to b down theoftrack. I fight forlife them.” commitment to protecting his clients has resulted part of that.” She truly enjoys working with buyers and sellers in his back-to-back ranking by industry website and she hopes to add another team member soon. “I’d like to fin www.ratemyagent.com.au as Warner’s Bay agent someone who of canthebeyear both a buyer’s and showing 3 years runningagent and for hisastatus as agen so that I personally canrecommended take on more clients the same leve the most agent in thatwith community of service,” sheforsays. 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

LUXURY MARKET

many clients’ needs front veryin transaction. ge Chicago’s Working Northwest suburbs, one of the oldest and most t who employs an assistant but hopes rms in Australia, Andrew’s ering os has McHenry resulted in a County clientele and parts of nties. an agent ists of Her repeatreviews businessdescribe and owledge addsoffun of the surestwho measures the to real estate. vice he is providing to his enging and emotional experience and e,helping NSW region. people make the process into

mless as possible.” ely ethical and in possession

kills, Andrew points to his having grown up inBrenna a low-income and all experiences, adds family business of his primaryand career motivators.marketing “My Greek n expertise specialized ings and I from an early age that property is a “With listings, I always make recomal freedom, and this is part of the reason I’m sroperty that can maximize value,” market today,” hethe explains. “Weshe had is openness will cost her a listing, but and a loving family, but noodles and cheese dinner menu.” .the “Homes in the higher ranges really

,” she says. “I explain what may keep d to other homes in their range and I

t for the impressive client loyalty he inspires

Small Yard? Big Statement:

Take My Word For It:

THE POWER OF TESTIMONIALS &

RUTH PETRELLA

Expert, thorough marketing has also played a peopl When working with buyers, Brenna attentively helps MAKING COUNT large role inWORD-OF-MOUTH Andrew’s ever-growing success, and find the perfect property for their future memories within th he is committed to presenting each of his listings didvery Ruth become helpingofher communities How she represents. “Ilight. try His to be involved as clien I ca in their bestPetrella deftasutilization one of the most trusted agents in As a member ofi multiple major online portals, with a robust her social media in the communities,” shecoupled says, describing membership she receives onpresence, ensureLas thatVegas? each property isasseen manyspent potential several chambers of commerce wellbyasastime giving bac buyers as possible. Quick for topago, dollar are more rule helps than Twenty-one years was the and put on to schools and local sales nonprofits. “IRuth recently started videos o the exception. at a crossroads in her life and other charitable social media, some of which are to encourage other people t deciding on a next step. “I asked get involved in those things,” says. A recent video featured The gratitude his clients feelpeople for she hisinto services is perhaps God to send my path Ruthbest has four a evidenced scores families of glowing reviews he has received nonprofit by thatthe supports in need in one of the communitie member of her c to guide me to what I was sup- experience, including thisworks. one: “Selling a property can betoa stressful where she “I put it out there help raise awareness an posed toabe doing,” she explains. my grandk but I found Andrew to be calming influence throughout“All the sales I matched donations, which encouraged people to get involved.


NATIONWIDE & INTERNATIONAL EDITION

7

JASON

JASON FURNARI FURNARI 20

CELIA CARROLL

11

DAWN MASHINTER

9) THE DAILY SCHEDULE OF A SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE AGENT 13) 3 SUREFIRE METHODS THAT MAKE FOR A PRODUCTIVE MEETING

BARBARA MULLANEY

23

JOSEPH CARTER

CONTENTS 4) SMALL YARD? BIG STATEMENT: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF MICRO OUTDOOR SPACES

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27

BRIAN DOMINGOS

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BETSY BURKEY

28 BRIAN DOMINGOS Top Agent Brian Domingos is one of those rare Realtors who truly care about the wellbeing of his many clients. As Owner/Broker of Premier Valley Realty in Fresno, California, Brian is steadfastly committed to providing his customers HALEY EPPS with the very best service available in the Golden State’s Central Valley. With more than fifteen years of experience under his belt, Brian has earned his reputation as a truly honest and dedicated real estateON advocate. 33) LIVING

The apprecia cated, as is m reviews he h perfect overa is this one: “B are extremely us through th ting the keys without the s entire proce for anyone lo

When asked 17) 4 EASY WAYS TO the experienc REDECORATE YOUR OFFICE COMMISSION Brian’s journey in the world of real estate actually began at a very ful moment THAT WILL BOOST young MORALE age. “When I was a kid,” says Brian, “my grandfather was paid attentio & IMPRESS CLIENTS 37) drive NEWER a real estate investor, so we would aroundAGENTS: looking at raw be a good m dirt that he would buy and build spec homes on and then sellTO for they’re looki MORE QUESTIONS profit, so that kind of piqued my interest.” During high school, 21) TIPS ON BREAKING ASK YOURSELF—ARE chapter in th Brian interned at a top local real estate office, providing further INTO THE LUXURY MARKET YOU STUMBLING OR UP exposure to his future career. “I really got to learn the ins and When he’s n outs from a top producer in thisAND area.” RUNNING? At the age of twenty-one, ing time with 25) TAKE MY WORD FOR IT: Brian obtained his real estate license, and in 2009, he launched Central Coas Valley Realty. He has41) since 5sold hundreds of WHY homes in He is also ex THE POWER OFPremier TESTIMONIALS REASONS Fresno Metropolitan area. & MAKING WORD-OF-MOUTH YOU NEED A MENTOR the Chair of sits on that o COUNT The high quality of service Brian and his team provide is perhaps Member of t best illustrated by the fact that 44) nearlyARE ninetyYOU percent of his over- Convention & 29) 6 THINGS ALL SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS ASit’s formerly a P all business is based on repeatDOING and referred clients. “I think about our customer YOU service,”ON saysFACEBOOK? Brian, when asked NEGOTIATORS definitely DO

to account for this impressive customer loyalty. “We also stay in contact with all of our past clients. We have a diligent follow-up program where we reach out on a consistent basis to them. We send out custom-designed birthday cards, home anniversary cards, Phone 310-734-1440 | Fax 310-734-1440 and we’ll do things like invite them to come get a pie during the holidays. We also have a client appreciation event at the office.” mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com

Brian, who a pany, has fair his business vice that has Realty. “This forward to m

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.

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Top Agent Magazine


BRENNA FRESKOS

ANDREW KAPRILIAN

average list-to-sale ratio. “I pay a stagerwinning agent Top price Producer andalso multi-award I’m prepared t to go through and do any polishing, preparation, 36 32 Andrew Kaprilian has spent years helping 35 buyers them. Sometim 31 and final details every singletheir listing beforegoals. Andrew’s andfor sellers achieve real estate difference betw hiring my professional for a expertise at photographer providing highly-professional real severing a tie photoshoot,” says Brenna. “How has the home looks into a stellar estate advocacy translated year of pain. on MLS determines how as well It’s going lookbe consistently reputation someone whoto can easier for the o on all of the real estate to sites; it’s what gets people trusted place his many clients’ needs front down the track into a house orand keeps themduring from coming to the center every transaction. Working commitment t property.” Eachwith listing receives a virtual a Creer Property, one oftour, the oldest and most in his back-to t would be difficult when 5-10 page brochure and comprehensive email and respected real estate firms in Australia, Andrew’s www.ratemyag GROOME ANDREW etrospect, I can see what BRENNA FRESKOS web marketing. MATTHEW GOLLEY client-first business ethosTRAVIS has resulted in a clientele of the year 3 plains. “But when I met KAPRILLIAN that in large part consists of repeat business and the mostPAT recom Brenna knows referrals, that every real estate s football team who were perhaps one of transaction the surest measures of the for 2015, 2016 Patrick Zarcone off represents a new phase customer of someone’s life.he“I’ve a, they told me that if I service is providing 43 to his RUTH PETRELLA 45 into real estate in 20 40 home 39several times and I’veexcellent d go for it; that it’s one of those careers moved loved every I’ve lived in, so clients in the Newcastle, NSW region. Expert, thorou experience goes back very well.” it’s exciting to be in this part of people’s lives,” Howshe didsays. Ruth“Your Petrella become helping her clients to build wealth and a legacylarge for their familie role in A Janet Kritzer of LIV Sotheby’s often worked with us before and they know it’ll be a very clean, a decade before that home is the backdrop of your Hard-working, everyday life and excited to be oneI’m of the most trusted agents in As a member of Keller Williams’ Associate Leadership Counci extremely ethical and in possession he is committe to Myrtle Beach in 1 Int. Realty in Greenwood Village very professional transaction.” Vegas? she receives on-going training on new trends in andtheir technologie age in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, part of that.” She truly enjoysofworking with Las buyers and sellers, fierce negotiating skills, Andrew points to his very away from the colda Colorado has more than earned the Twenty-one years ago, Ruth was and helps put on Red Day, an annual day of service, as well “I’d like togrown find up in a low-income family and multiple major ent who employs an assistant but hopes and she hopes to add another team Greekmember heritagesoon. and to having online portals, New York and to c title of Top Agent. With a slew of Janet’s approach to marketing her listings is both thorough and at a crossroads in her life and other charitable events. a showing agent career motivators. “My Greek presence, ensure vering McHenry County and parts of someone who can be both a buyer’s wantingagent moreand asdeciding two ofon hisa primary that each prop carpenter, and by 2 next step. her “I asked accomplishments and again reflects many years in the industry. “All of our houses can take on morerecognitions clients with thesend same level unties. Her reviews describe an agent so that I personally heritage taught the siblings and I from an early age that property is achildren, buyers asgrandkids, possible. Quick sales openedand a isdesign af God to people into my path Ruth has four adult three an activ – says. including being consistently are extremely well-presented, and that doesn’t always come knowledge who adds fun to real estate. of service,” she great vessel for financial freedom, this is part of theofreason I’m Herthe homeis building com exception. to guide me to what and I was supmember her church. youngest daughter a soccer coach ranked among the Top 10 forwith Resieasily,” market she explains. “Sometimes they had need quite a bit of work, allenging and emotional experience and remembers. “I was so entranced the property today,” he explains. “We posed to be doing,” she explains. “All my grandkids play and we have super soccer Saturdays! ALEX PRINS PATRICK JANET KRITZE RUTH PETRELLA dential Estate byover theattentively Denver butday get done the are amazed.” Her of my own prope The next shewereceived a with Ruth them saysand with a sellers smile. “I’m on thelot sidelines cheering t, helping people make the process into When working withReal buyers, helps people a Brenna roof our heads, and aafter loving family, but noodles cheese Thethere gratitude his clients feelth ZARCONE Business Journal – she brings to comprehensive approach to providing exposure for her listings phone call from an old friend kids on.” She and her family are big fans Golde wasn’t aVegas licensed amless as possible.” find the perfect property foron their toastfuture were memories often on thewithin dinnerthe menu.” evidenced by of thethescores of Rg introduced to her Every Sunday opens, night Ruth big family dinner a potent includes aRuth massive onlineKnights. presence, broker’s andhosts reaching 2014 I sold the cofo communities the she table represents. “I try combination to be as who involved as I can including thisaInone: “Selling a pro mother, out a long time realnetwork estate of at least thirteen people. For the future, shethat wants to when stay inI close was deci of savvy she business acumen and to her vast Realtor connections. erall experiences, Brenna adds business in the communities,” says, describing hera membership in When asked to account for the impressive client loyalty he inspires but I found Andrew to be a calm agent who encouraged to study for her license and prom- touch with her database members and continue to learn my expertise andabou get genuine, instantly likeable personality. Dedicated toofRuth providing several chambers of commerce as the well as spentwith giving back on expertise and specialized marketing 90% histime business is over based on repeat and new referred customers process. Heher was readily avail ised to teach–her business. Now twenty years of technologies. She’d love to grow team by hiring an and become a Realto very best service available her buyers and sellers, Janet When asked what she enjoys most about what she does for a to schools and to local nonprofits. “I recently started videos on . “With listings, I always the make recomAndrew points to his commitment to maintaining a clean sales and provided updates along the experience, Ruth leads a team consisting of her daughter—who mentoring some of her adult children’s friends. “I’d like to men quick social sales for top some dollar inspires loyalty living, Janet points to the side potential of feel the like real media, ofand which are years todeep encourage people to says, xes that can maximize theachieves value,” she process. “I’m very other meticulous,” he “particularly the early sales spot on was licensed two ago—and an assistant. A native of Las tor more them in aspersonal I was mentored. I estate have lotwas to offer,” sh That history - he Icontracted onprice oraworked on ove amongst the clients she has been helping for over sixteen years. industry. “I like my buyers and sellers, and their families,” shebenefit Vegas, Ruth serves the entire Las Vegas area. says. Now that’s a worthy goal that will surely she says. recent video a goes smoothly.” Maintaining his openness will cost her a listing, but get involved in those things,”stages, to A make sure thatfeatured everything recommend him.” sand homes - isI highly what makes Patrick oneher of clien Myr and her community! says. or selling aapprised house is a quick turnaround, ® in need incontact one of the communities y. “Homes in the higher ranges really nonprofit that supports families consistent with his“Typically, clients andbuying keeping them most sought-after Realtors . “People come to me Anput impressive 98% Ruth’s business comes from repeat and five Prior to keep her career in real worked for a of commercial usually not than months, so Iofbecome entrenched insays. every development during the more transaction process is et,” she says. “I explain what may where sheestate, works.Janet “I it outofthere to help raise awareness and Andrew, who he lives by“Ithe manw thealso depth of my experience,” work referral clients. What keeps her clients coming back and eager company, servicing corporate behemoths their livesThat veryconsistent quickly, solving problem with either a new paramount importance to him. contacttheir continues and “do right by othersabout and new the donations, which encouraged people to get involved.” ed to other homes in theirdesign range and and furnishing I I matched builders, and I’m very knowledgeable to spread the word about Ruth to their friends and family? “I’m tion, which is a huge part of real estate in Myrtle B that included Time Warner and aPrice Waterhouse. In 2002, house or selling the old house, whatever it may be. I love that I long after the deal is done, as well. simple plans for the future of his to invest in their property.” relationship person,” Ruth says. Her clients often say that says. “So I have no plans to slow during a downturn in that Janet began casting about become of to their me.” As she looksindustry, forward creating small with concierge-like she to makes themafeel liketeam family. “I treat people a aspart I want be lives and that they rely on Patrick doesn’tbusiness.” see himself as overarching a matchmaker, bu really enjoy my rule.” clients,” Andrew, when asked what His goal service, focus remains on“We service. “Ithe like making sure make these adjustments, to Her forleading a new path. longBrenna’s time interest in real estate lead in treated,” she“I says. live her byhelping golden Ruthsays has great a there’s protector his trustworthy, clients’ and investm communication skills, keeping in close contact with clients heshe likes most about what heisdoes for a living. “When a of the and de people they’re good hands,” she says. ge time on market and that higher-thandirection, and afterknow obtaining herinlicense, hasn’t looked Janet alsoher heavily involved with her community, and interests giveshonest, focus is protecting my client’s assets,” he says. “ educating them about every the process. “I challenging have a tricky sale, or something gets a little for the owners, become back. “Coming from a corporate and background,” says Janet, “Istep of back through multiple organizations, including thesynonymous Denver with his na understanding how the industry works and kno ‘never say die’ attitude. My clients know they can come to me approached my business in a very professional manner, and I’ve Center Alliance a local theatre group, of which she has been a to know what I’m doing for my clients. You have whenever they need to. I get their questions answered and make been very diligent in creating my own little niche, and I’ve been long-time member. She is also an ardent supporter of the Nathan is really worth and how to make sure that the things happen!” Having grown up in the area, she’s also an very successful at that.” Yip Foundation, which assists rural public bothYou Coloexpert on Las Vegas markets, neighborhoods and school districts, buyers are schools going toin close. need to get the pr and knows a host of trusted vendors to rado help her with any andclients in China, and other charitable organizations. based on the goals of the seller. Typically, real e needed to their homes. A remarkable 85% of Janet’s business is improvements now based upon repeat clients and friends and family of past customers, a sure sign of the When she finds some rare time off, Janet enjoys nothing more than To prepare a property for listing, Ruth meets with her clients to loyalty and confidence she is inspiring. When asked to account spending time with her family, including her two granddaughters. discuss their plans and goals and do a walk-through of the home. for this, Janet points to both her many years of experience and the biking, Ruth understands that in today’s market,Reading, most buyers begin hiking their and skiing are also passions of hers. exceptional service she is able to provide. “My clients know search for a home online, so that she hires professional photogravacant listings—stagers as for well.the “I future, recently Janet’s had they’re dealing with a top agent, andphers thatand—for they’re getting top treat- As plans are relatively simple: to continue twowar, empty stagedthe andseller they sold within a week!” says. thriving business, while also continuing ment,” she says. “If there is a bidding forhomes example, growing her she already about Brenna Freskos, visit getwhatyouwant.net or go to her Ruth’s daughter conducts a thorough social media campaign for information about Andrew Kaprili For more will usually go with the most professional agents. So frequently, to provide the amazing customer service that has become her yalfamily email brenna@realestatefamily.net each listing. The result is often a quick sale at a competitive price. age, or call 847.507.2409 when all other things are equal they’ll go with us because they’veplease calling card. call 0431 427 993 or email Akaprilian@creT After working with Ruth, her clients rave that she pays close visit his we attention to their needs andTop makes them Magazine feel special and cared Copyright Agent for. Ruth is passionate about owning her own home and her To find out more about Ruth Petrella, oC favorite part of the job is helping others to achieve the dream of call (702) 340-0693, homeownership for themselves. “Home is where your heart is. email ruthp.nvhomes@gmail.com, Having a home gives me a sense of security, warmth and welor visit ruthpetrella.com come. I want everybody to have that,” she says. She also enjoys

ales, Brenna Freskos says uses.” Add in the fact that is the perfect match for I managed an apartment king about wanting to be ars later, she decided to ALTOR® friend who had

JANET KRITZER

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Small Yard? Big Statement: How to Make the Most Out of Micro Outdoor Spaces When house-hunters compile their lists of musthave home items, a dreamy backyard space is often near the top. After all, who doesn’t want an outdoor oasis of their very own? From summer barbecues to open space for your dog to frolic— everyone has their own aspirations when it comes to creating the perfect backyard paradise. But as homebuyers seek properties deeper within city limits, and Millennials opt for properties with 4

urban amenities and access, home-connected outdoor spaces are becoming a bit smaller in stature. Of course, size isn’t everything when it comes to outdoor space. Even balconies, rear patios, and ultra-tiny yards can provide homebuyers with the outdoor reprieve they crave—even on a smaller scale. For a few ideas that can help you envision all the possibilities of a micro outdoor space, read on for inspiration.

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Think vertically. When space is at a premium, think up instead of out. In other words, make the most of small spaces by capitalizing on your backyard, balcony, or patio’s overhead height. Mood-setting string lights, hanging pocket or wall gardens, floating shelves, and modern overhead hangings can create a sense of privacy and luxury without cluttering the square footage on the ground.

Soothing sounds set the mood.

Upgrade the look of structural components. Not in love with your patio pavers? Don’t have the sweetest view off your balcony? Whatever your small backyard living space gripe may be, there’s always a solution if you go back to the basics. Consider the structural components of your outdoor space that you aren’t in love with and there’s likely an affordable, eye-pleasing solution. For instance, plenty of home goods Top Agent Magazine

retailers make a variety of punchy or luxe outdoor rugs that can disguise stained or lackluster outdoor flooring. Power-washing is another great solution for old grime and dirt that’s an eyesore. Don’t have a great view? Planting ivy on bare walls, installing adjustable mood lighting, or hanging planters can create a more inviting ambiance.

While there may not be room for a swimming pool or pond in a micro yard or balcony, you can still bring the calming presence of water to your outdoor oasis. Fountains run the gamut in sizing and price, making this amenity an easy acquisition. What’s more, a running fountain not only adds a soothing sound to your space, but it also helps drown out noise from the street or the neighbors—making your space entirely your own and stress-free.

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Don’t compromise on your culinary dreams. If you love to entertain in outdoor spaces or relish the chance to man the grill—small outdoor spaces don’t have to trip you up. Grill options (both propane and charcoal) come in a range of sizes, many of which can be outfitted securely to balcony posts or be tucked away and out of sight when out of use. Consider nesting tables or those with a removable leaf to adjust your seating and dining options depending on company.

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Another trick? A small, oscillating fan can keep air flow moving in a small space during grill season—and can be easily affixed to walls or posts, as well. Don’t let yourself or clients be discouraged by spaces with more limited square footage in outdoor areas. Furniture and design trends have already begun shifting toward providing better small-space options, and at the end of the day, a backyard space is all about providing an area for relaxation. With a few well-placed, strategic choices, you can still have it all.

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JASON FURNARI Top Agent Magazine

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JASON FURNARI Jason Furnari, Lead of the Furnari Team of EXIT Realty Achieve in Smithtown, New York, has climbed to top agent status through a combination of determination, stellar work ethic, and a passion to be a fierce real estate advocate for his many buyers and sellers. Jason’s likeability and impressive industry knowledge are a potent combination. He is rapidly developing a reputation as an agent who can be trusted to expertly guide his clients through even the most treacherous and convoluted of transactions.

that site. His perfect overall five-star rating is based on reviews like this one, that well illustrates the positive experience he creates for his clients: “We are so happy with our experience selling our home with Jason. Jason made the whole experience so easy and we knew he had our best interests in mind. Any time we had a question or concern we contacted him and he responded with answers right away. I definitely recommend Jason and his team for buying and selling your home.”

Jason –who has assembled a team of four equally-dedicated agents—began his journey in real estate in 2015, after studying to be a nurse and working in the restaurant management field for years. “Right before I started working in real estate,” he recalls, “I was having tremendous financial difficulties. Student loans and other obligations were mounting while my studies occupied most of my free time. I knew that something had to change when I realized that I was technically homeless, living in my apartment on borrowed time. I had to put the future in my own hands. I committed and got my license in real estate. I’m very happy with the choice I’ve made. It’s changed my life.”

Expert and thorough marketing have also played a significant role in Jason’s success story, and he and his team follow every possible avenue to ensure that their listings are seen in their best light and by as many potential buyers as possible. “We always use professional photography,” says Jason, as he lays out his marketing approach. “We take a photo of the front of the house at twilight, which is our signature style, and it really helps draw the buyer’s eyes.” Drone footage, professional videos, international marketing and magazines are also part of their highly-effective arsenal.

Team Furnari serves the entirety of Long Island and Queens as well, and can currently boast that nearly half of their business is based on referrals from satisfied clients. “We treat every single client like family,” says Jason, when asked why his customers continue sending friends and family to him. “We approach all of our consultations and listing appointments in a very relaxed yet professional way. It’s not just about the transaction, it’s about forming a bond with them, building a rapport. We get to know them all personally, and most of our past clients have become good friends we hang out with and talk to constantly. So I think it’s the atmosphere, the trust and the affinity between us that really generates all those referrals.” Jason, who is a Premier Agent on industry website Zillow.com, has racked up an impressive number of glowing testimonials on

Jason is passionate about giving back to his community. He has worked as an event coordinator alongside EXIT Realty Achieves own charitable organization called Candles for Hope, the mission of which is to anonymously provide birthday parties for disadvantaged youth in their community. Jason was awarded Top 20 Under 40 for his excellence in real estate and community involvement by YPN, and is the process of creating another organization that will benefit the LGBTQ community. “I’m really looking forward to the future and the opportunities it will be bring,” enthuses Jason. Currently, he is most excited to be taking on the role of Broker/Owner of a new office in Port Jefferson called EXIT Realty Island Elite. He would also like to share his experience of turning homelessness into a successful career selling homes. “I’d love to begin coaching and mentoring other agents to show them that no matter where they are in life, they can build a business and be successful.”

For more about Jason Furnari, call 631-352-0223 or email Jason@FurnariTeam.com 8

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The Daily Schedule

of a Successful Real Estate Agent Everything you do should be intentional. A busy schedule isn’t the same thing as a productive schedule. Sometimes people write things like “find clients” on their to-do list, but finding clients isn’t actually a task. It’s a goal. Your daily schedule should be created with your goal in mind if you want to be a successful real estate agent, but a goal is too broad to add to your calendar. Instead, you can break your goal down into projects, break those projects down into tasks, and schedule time in your calendar to complete each task. You’ll find that some of these projects will have an immediate impact on your business, and that those are the tasks that should be completed first. Top Agent Magazine

The fact is that as a real estate agent you can set your own schedule—if you’re not productive until 10am, then you don’t have to start your day until then. But having a daily schedule means that every day you have a running start on all those other agents who just “wing it.” You don’t want to feel burned out and busy but like you’re simultaneously not getting a whole lot done. You can only keep up 70+ hour weeks for so long before your body breaks down and both your performance and income drop as a result. Since every real estate agent’s operating hours look different, the following daily schedule is broken up by the suggested amount of hours you

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should spend on each task rather than specific times of day. However, certain tasks, like prospecting, appointments, and listing presentations should be performed at times when it’s most convenient for clients. If you’re an agent who likes to end their workday at 5 o’clock, remember that this is also the same time your clients are likely ending their day, meaning you might be unavailable for showings during the only time their schedule allows.

3.5 hours – This is that time of day that you should schedule all your appointments and listing presentations. If you are a newer agent, you might use this time instead to do more prospecting and appointment setting.

1 hour – Spend this time waking up, exercising either at home or at the gym, and eating breakfast.

2 hours – Now it’s time to unwind. Use this time to have dinner and spend time with you family. If you have children, this is usually the time of day when they are wrapping up homework assignments and getting ready for bed. It’s important that you make time for these moments the same way you make time for your work.

2 hours – Use this time before you head to the office to develop a morning routine, if you haven’t already. You can meditate, journal, practice affirmations, or read personal development books to prepare for the day ahead. 1 hour – Once you’re at the office, spend this time to review the day’s schedule, catch up with your assistant or other colleagues, and check the latest industry news. This is also the time of day that you can role play to prepare for appointments. 1.5 hours – Spend this time prospecting and appointment setting. 1 hour – Now it’s time for a lunch break. If you’re a multitasker, you can also use this time to prepare for the afternoon and any meetings you have scheduled or connect with followers on social media.

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.5 hours – Look over the day’s schedule again and ensure you’ve checked every task off your to-do list. While you’re at it, be sure to review tomorrow’s schedule and goals too.

2 hours – Spend these last couple hours before you fall asleep to have quality time with your spouse or perform your self-care routines. 8 hours – Now it’s time for sleep—getting a full night’s rest is crucial if you want every day to be productive. As you can tell, there’s still some wiggle room left in this schedule, but the important thing is to block out time every day so you can achieve your goals and help your clients.

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Dawn Mashinter Top Agent Magazine

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DAWN MASHINTER Top Agent Dawn Mashinter – of Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited in North Muskoka, Ontario – is that rare agent who is just as personable as she is knowledgeable about the industry in which she works. When speaking with Dawn, one can’t help but notice the sincerity she radiates. When she begins talking shop, however, it is plainly obvious that she knows what she’s talking about. With a focus on providing her many buyers and sellers with the very best customer service available, Dawn has forged a reputation for herself as an agent who consistently goes the extra mile for her clients in every situation.

Another factor in Dawn’s success story is her conscientious, thorough, cutting-edge and highly-professional approach to the marketing of her listings. While she employs a wide-range of methods and networking to ensure that her properties are seen by as many potential buyers as possible, she fully understands the key to selling a home in the digital age: professional photography. “Everything is online now,” she explains. “The photos have to be realistic, and they’ve got to be well done.” Staging prior to photographing is done when necessary, and every listing has a virtual tour and its own website.

Prior to entering the world of real estate in 2011, Dawn was a highly sought after senior sales & marketing executive in the Greater Toronto Area. “Print was really suffering, because so much of the future is digital,” she says. “I had a friend in the real estate business who encouraged me to go back to school and get my license. It was a little scary making such a major career change, because I was in my late forties at the time, but it turned out to be a great move for me. I’m so grateful that I get to do what I do every day.” Her clients are plenty grateful, too, as is made evident by the fact that 90% of Dawn’s considerable business is based on repeat and referred clients, perhaps the surest indicator that an agent is providing exceptional customer service. Dawn’s achievements also include the 2017 President’s Award and she is now the proud recipient of the 2018 Vice Chairman’s Award.

Dawn’s plans for the future are fairly simple: to continue to grow her business, but never at the expense of the amazing service that has become nearly synonymous with her name.

When she’s not working, Dawn enjoys spending time with family and friends, and gardening is a particular passion of hers, as is kayaking and canoeing. She is also involved with her community, and is a member of the Almaguin Highlands Chamber of Commerce.

When asked to account for the impressive level of loyalty she inspires, Dawn grows pensive for a moment before replying. “It’s all about working hard for my clients,” she says. “I make sure that no stone is left unturned in making sure that they have all the information, and that they’re proceeding toward the right property for them.” The appreciation her clients feel for her is perhaps best illustrated by the impressive number of glowing testimonials she has received. Among the many raves is this one: “Dawn is very well respected with a wide network of contacts and friends in Muskoka, and the surrounding area. She is a very knowledgeable, patient and thorough individual who works very hard on behalf of her clients. She provides great advice on the potential of properties and service providers in the area and we have no difficulty recommending her to house hunters or sellers. I would recommend her to anyone.” Dawn, who specializes in waterfront properties, also works hard to stay abreast of the constant changes in the real estate industry, and has also earned both the Sellers Representative Specialist Designation (SRS) and the Accredited Buyer’s Representative Designation (ABR). “I think it’s important to always be upgrading your education and keeping your finger on the pulse of the ever-changing market conditions and trends. I think this absolutely works to my client’s advantage.” 12

For more about Dawn Mashinter, please call 705-571-2534 or email Dawnmash@vianet.ca, or go to muskokahuntsvillerealestate.com www.

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3 Surefire Methods that Make for a Productive Meeting Sometimes a business meeting can achieve exactly what it sets out to do: communicate, assess actions, set goals, or otherwise. Other times, meetings can feel like a drain on your time and energy, and only advance your agenda in marginal ways. While meetings are an integral form of communication in the professional world, how can you ensure that they are both productive and worthwhile? Top Agent Magazine

The truth is, it takes intentioned planning to make a meeting a success. A well-curated meeting makes partners and employees feel unified as a team, excited about what’s to come, and motivated to achieve a collective goal. With that in mind, consider a few approaches below to maximize your next meeting and ensure that all parties involved leave with a renewed sense of direction and inspiration.

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1. Create a detailed agenda in advance Oftentimes meetings are scheduled with a loose goal in mind—to hash out the terms of a contract or to strategize a new marketing campaign, for example. To ensure your meeting is productive, time-efficient, and achieves its end, create a detailed agenda in advance. This means breaking down your overarching goal into pieces and outlining what’s required to complete each component. You might also consider making time blocks for each respective component, so there is a clear structure and hierarchy in place. Not only does this ensure that time is used wisely and evenly, but it also creates order and momentum for the greater task at hand. What’s more, you’ll want to distribute this detailed agenda in advance of your meeting, so that all attendees will be familiar with the format and delineated goals of your gathering. This will set a professional tone, while keeping team members and conversation on task.

2. Reserve off-topics ideas and comments for later Too many meetings are derailed when an off-topic question or comment is made and hijacks the attentions of attendees. While it’s natural that outlying issues may arise when all team members are gathered, you can ward off distractions by creating a so-called holding area for off-topic talking points. This holding area will serve as the receptacle for any off-topic or lower priority addendum, and you can create a chunk of time towards the end of your meeting to readdress those 14

points separately. Once you’ve achieved the highest priority goals of your meeting, you can then return to the items in your holding area. Note: be sure to familiarize your staff with this approach so that the expectation is already in place and interruptions won’t distract from your meeting’s true intent.

3. Conclude every meeting with a brief summary and action items The very last thing you should do before concluding your meeting is to reemphasize the main takeaways of your gathering and outline a specific list of action items. Again, successful meetings are clear and give attendees a sense of direction. That’s why reiterating action items—or next steps in need of completion—to each respective employee is an essential component of a productive meeting. Likewise, summarizing main takeaways unifies a team’s understanding of what’s important and why the meeting was called in the first place. Ending on a concrete yet proactive note helps launch team members toward the next event in their day and gives them a sense of confidence as they tackle their duties. Meetings don’t have to be a formality or a bore. When planned and executed with incisiveness, they can inspire your talent roster and streamline productivity in your office. Especially in the world of real estate, ensuring everyone is on the same page and doing their jobs effectively is key to success and longevity. Put a little planning into your next meeting, and you’ll save yourself valuable time and energy as you move forward.

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Barbara Mullaney

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BARBARA MULLANEY How did Barbara Mullaney become one of the most trusted real estate agents in Long Beach? Barbara launched her real estate career in 2002. When she first started, she worked in real estate during the day, while waitressing and bartending in the evenings. She had such an affinity for the business that she was soon able to focus solely on being a full time agent. As an individual agent, Barbara has achieved the honor of receiving the prestigious Century 21’s Double Centurion Award, is ranked #2 out of all the Century 21 agents in the Metro NY area, and ranks #33 out of 55,000 C21 agents in the entire United States. She now leads The Barbara Mullaney Team at Century 21 American Homes that includes a full-time manager and four licensed sales agents. Barbara’s closely knit team includes her two daughters, Peggy & Katy Connery and long-time trusted friends, Mary O’Donnell and Tracey Johnson. The formula for success has been evident as The Barbara Mullaney Team sold over $37 Million in Real Estate in 2018. Her business is located on the south shore of Long Island, proudly serving Long Beach, Atlantic Beach, East Atlantic Beach, Island Park, Lido Beach, Point Lookout, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties. An impressive 95% of her business comes from repeat customers and referrals from satisfied clientele. What keeps her clients coming back and eager to spread the word about Barbara to their friends and family? “It’s the service I provide,” Barbara says. She conducts herself with the utmost standards of professionalism, service, excellence and customer commitment. She started out working primarily with renters, who were so impressed with her customer service and expertise that they trusted her to be their agent when the time came to buy their first home. “Those renters turned into buyers and those buyers turned into sellers,” she says with a smile. Her professionalism and the strong relationships she builds with her clients keeps her top of mind. “It’s a great feeling,” she says. Her team’s motto is: Redefining Real Estate. “We want to show people that real estate agents provide a quality service for their clients and are good, honest, hardworking people who really care about the end result of finding their clients a rental, a new home, or selling their property,” she says. It’s easy for Barbara to stay in touch with past clients because she’s very involved in the community. She loves running into clients when she is out at local restaurants or businesses. She also reaches out by phone or email to check in and say hello. It is also important for Barbara to give back to the community where she lives and works. Most recently, Barbara and her team hosted a fundraiser as guest bartenders to raise money for Long Beach Reach, a nonprofit organization that helps people with addiction and mental illness. “It’s a fun way for people to get together for a good cause and to raise awareness,” she explains. Also this past year, Barbara played basketball with other community members against the Harlem Wizards to raise money for the local East School Elementary PTA. “It was a lot of fun, especially because of the excitement and entertainment it provided for the kids!” she says. She also contributes to the Christmas Angel, an event that supports Long Beach families in need. Other charities close to her heart are Easter Seals, Make A Wish Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer. She and her team are passionate about supporting Long Beach residents and anyone in need. When it comes to marketing listings, Barbara and Century 21 American Homes provide cutting edge marketing that includes advertising on over

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800 websites including the digital marketing platform Adwerx, customized direct mail marketing campaigns, and countless additional methods unmatched by competitors. Her team also leverages their strong network throughout Long Beach and beyond by conducting a thorough social media campaign. It’s Barbara’s top priority to promote her listings to the fullest extent and beyond. “We promote each listing through every possible avenue and we are constantly seeking new and innovative marketing to get the most exposure for our clients’ properties!” she says. After working with Barbara, her clients remember not just her expertise, positivity, professionalism, and knowledge of the area, but also that she makes the whole process enjoyable. They appreciate how she walks them through each step of the transaction and ensures that everything goes smoothly. “It’s a stressful time for people and I make it easy for them,” she says. What’s her favorite part of the job? “I love working with people. I love the fact that each client is different. Every house is different. It keeps things exciting. I get to help people with the largest purchase or sale of their lives, and at the end of the day, I get to help make people very happy!” Barbara has appeared in two episodes of HGTV’s Island Life where she showcased the city of Long Beach on national television and helped buyers to find their dream home. In her free time, Barbara loves to spend time with her husband and daughters. She enjoys traveling, reading, and trying out local restaurants. “My husband and I love to spend time on the beach and biking on the boardwalk and go paddle boarding with our dog. Spending time with friends is also really important to me,” she says. For the future, Barbara wants to continue to serve her community and support her team members so that they can all reach their full potential!

SM

To find out more about Barbara Mullaney, email realtor.barbara@gmail.com, call (516) 582-6096, or visit c21amhomes.com/barbaramullaney www.

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4 Easy Ways to Redecorate Your Office that Will Boost Morale & Impress Clients Your office is a battle-station of sorts. It’s where you field business, launch your communications, and make the magic of your enterprise happen on a daily basis. While you’ll certainly need to have all the functional elements of an office in order to get your work done—desk, chair, internet—have you really considered the physical environment you’ve cultivated in the process? Think of it this way: working all day in a windowless, poorly lit room Top Agent Magazine

wouldn’t exactly inspire productivity or morale, would it? The fact is humans take all sorts of social, behavioral, and emotional cues from our environments. And as a real estate professional, you likely already understand the power of the visual and the benefits of making a good impression. With all that in mind, how can you redecorate or retool your

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office space in a way that will boost your mood, productivity, and client relationships? For inspiration, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you consider the ambiance and environment in which you conduct business.

1. A little goes a long way Redecorating your office space doesn’t have to break the bank. Style and décor are often about tiny details adding up to make an overall impression. For instance, paint color, plant life, and lighting are all straightforward ways to rejuvenate a room without spending a fortune. Have dark, drab walls? Consider springing for a lighter, fresher color that will breathe new life into your space. Have bare window sills or empty corners? Buying and potting a few low-maintenance plants like ferns or succulents can add freshness and pops of color to a sparse room. Rely on fluorescent lighting? Consider sprucing up your space with a few well-chosen floor and table lamps that add accents of taste while warming up the tone in your office. A few intuitively placed items can inspire renewed energy.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle One way to make a big change in your office environment without spending a penny is to declutter and reorder. Let’s say you have rows upon rows of crowded, bulky filing cabinets. Try digitizing your records and cut the clutter, opening up square footage in the process. Maybe your desk has faced the same wall for years. Have you considered rearranging your existing furniture and décor? Just by reorganizing the flow of your workspace, you can give your office the cheapest face-lift possible. You can also make work areas flow more intuitively, based on the processes and collaboration you’ve adapted to over time. 18

3. Think like a client Imagine you’re walking into the office for the first time. As a client, what details would stick out? What red flags would come to mind? While you’re used to working in the same space every day, clients are coming into your office with no set expectations. With that in mind, complete a walkthrough of your office area to address eye sores, clutter, and whatever feels unprofessional or amateur. Half the battle of redecorating your space is finding opportunities and seeing things anew, instead of being content with the status quo.

4. Build out your brand Redecorating your space is about aesthetics, but it’s also about creating a unifying setting for your professional brand. If you’re catering to luxury clientele, it makes sense that your office space should appear elegant, high-end, and sophisticated. If you’re selling second homes out in the country, perhaps a more rugged but well-curated ambiance would set the right tone for your services. Maybe you’re courting the Millennial market or touting your tech-forward approach to real estate. In that case, a modern, sleek, progressive layout would speak to your company’s values and culture. Whatever the case may be, think of your office environment as an extension of your brand that communicates with clients, motivates your team, and sets the tone for your day-to-day operations. Even if decorating isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse, there are plenty of simple and philosophical shifts you can make to your space that will maximize your presence and productivity. What’s more, real estate is a business built on relationships—so it doesn’t hurt to create an office where clients are comfortable and confident in the environment you’ve built.

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BETSY BURKEY There are not many who retire from professional skydiving to become a real estate agent, but Betsy Burkey did. For her, being a Realtor provides just as much excitement, but in a different way. “When I’m working with my clients, we become best friends, and often stay friends after the transaction,” she explains. Prior to her foray into skydiving, she worked in commercial real estate in Dallas. She then made jumping out of planes her full-time job for several years, until one day a fellow skydiver asked her if she wanted to take a real estate class. She’s been working as an agent ever since, and now has her own boutique brokerage called Realty Sky. “We’re not agent-centric here, our clients are the main priority,” she explains. “When my client has a problem, they call me. I want to make sure my agents operate with the same integrity.” Based in Temecula, Betsy is not afraid to travel far for her clients. “I will go anywhere for them. If my clients call me and say they have a house in San Diego they want to sell, I will go and do that.” But it’s not just Betsy’s wide service area that sets her apart, it’s her honesty and trustworthiness that truly allows her to shine. “My clients trust what I’m doing. I will tell them if I don’t think something is a good idea. I deliver bad news in a straightforward way.” And when the transaction is over, Betsy is never out of reach, always happy to answer questions and stay in touch. “When my client closes, they hear from me repeatedly afterwards. I stay close to them through the time when they’ve moved in, so if they have a problem they can

come to me. I constantly am going back to them and making sure we stay in contact.” When it comes to marketing her listings, Betsy also goes above and beyond, utilizing technology to get the most eyes on her properties. “I do a lot of advertisements with social media, but I also get on the phone and call people, and I show houses. I’m very active with my listings and will make sure a property gets the attention it deserves.” Each marketing plan is tailor made for every property, so its unique features will be highlighted. After the transaction, clients leave glowing reviews about their time with her. One recently said, “Betsy is one of the most hard working Realtors when it comes to being flexible with showing homes, she was accommodating when she is asked to produce data and comparisons, and your own personal facilitator when it came to working with lenders, title companies, and other Realtors, to provide for you the best possible scenario and new home purchase. Betsy’s style was honest and compassionate, with genuine patience, understanding, and cooperation, which we found to be refreshing when dealing with the stress of buying a new home.” As Betsy looks towards the future, she is eager to continue building her business and finding new ways to market herself. In the meantime, she’s loving every minute of her career. “I love the people, and I love making it fun for them. I enjoy being there for them and building friendships.”

For more information about Betsy Burkey, please call 951-500-3057 or email betsy@realty-sky.com Top Agent Magazine

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CELIA CARROLL How did Celia Carroll become one of the most trusted agents in the Cincinnati area? For Celia, real estate is literally in her blood. Her mother was a broker in New York and as a young girl Celia used to go with her to open houses and to pick up house keys before there were lockboxes! Celia followed real estate as a hobby until she and her husband were relocated to Cincinnati for his job twenty-seven years ago. That’s when Celia decided to follow her passion and become an agent herself. She has an undergraduate degree in Marketing/Communications, a master’s degree in Public Policy, and a paralegal degree. “My business background has really helped me in terms of understanding the business and legal elements of real estate,” she says. “My father worked in advertising in New York. The blend of my educational background and my experience growing up in a real estate and advertising family has made the industry a great fit for me.” Celia leads a team at Sibcy Cline Realtors that consists of herself, a Buyers’ Agent and a Licensed Assistant. For twelve years she’s been the dominant broker in the Sycamore School District, which encompasses Montgomery, Blue Ash and Symmes Township. Much of her business comes from repeat and referral clients. What keeps her clients coming back and eager to sing her praises to their friends and family? “I pride myself on excellent communication,” Celia says. “I work hard for my clients and people appreciate that.” Her motto is: What more can I do? After the sale is completed, she

continues to reach out to her clients to offer support, guidance, and referrals to trusted vendors. When it comes to marketing listings, Celia understands that these days, most buyers start their search for a new home online. She has professional pictures taken of her listings and posts all listings on the Multiple Listing Service as well as all the major real estate websites. She conducts a thorough campaign via social media, hosts well-attended open houses, and networks directly to top buyers’ agents in the community. The result is often a quick sale at a competitive price. What’s Celia’s favorite part of the job? “I like helping people!” she says. “I’ve helped three clients sell their homes this year who are in their 80s and moving into a retirement home,” she says. “It’s nice to help people move on to the next stage in their life, whatever it may be. I really do enjoy the people I work with.” To give back to the community, Celia supports several school and community programs. Celia and Bill have been married for thirty-two years, have three wonderful sons and currently reside in the Vintage Club of Montgomery. In her free time, she loves to travel, spend time with family and friends and try new local restaurants. For the future, Celia plans to continue to grow her team and serve the community that’s been so good to her. Now those are worthy goals and ones that—with her dedication and expertise—she’s sure to achieve.

To find out more about Celia Carroll, call (513) 477-1536, email ccarroll@sibcycline.com, or visit sibcycline.com/ccarroll www.

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Tips on Breaking Into the Luxury Market So, you’ve been doing residential real estate for a while and you’re looking to up your game. A lot of people consider going into the luxury market at that point. Or, maybe you started in the business always intending to specialize in luxury properties and were just learning the ropes before you tackled one of the industry’s most lucrative specialties.

No matter the reason, the luxury market is a whole new ballgame and you don’t want to go into it unprepared. First impressions are everything in this business, especially when you’re dealing with wealthy clients and investors. Here are few things to consider if you’re thinking of going from starter homes to estates.

LEARN HOW THE LUXURY MARKET AND CLIENTELE ARE DIFFERENT As experienced as you might be in traditional real estate, the luxury market is almost like starting at ground zero. Everything from the buyers, to the sellers, and obviously, the properties themselves, will take a new approach. One of the key ways it is different is that the feeling of exclusivity truly matters. You will be doing more targeted marketing through high-end networking groups as wealthier clients tend to be more comfortable when Top Agent Magazine

you come recommended by people they trust to have the highest standards. There are no mass-marketed open houses. It’s all about private showings. Although professional, one-on-one service is key in this business no matter what the price point, wealthier buyers are accustomed to concierge-style service, and the way to stand out from the rest is to provide service that goes above and beyond what even they expect. 21


LOOK THE PART If you’re thinking of going the luxury route, creating high-end branding and marketing yourself properly is of the utmost importance. That includes your own personal look. You and your business will need a total makeover, or at least a major upgrade. It might even be time to buy that new car you’ve always wanted. It is also key that all of your marketing materials are high end. So start gathering a stable of highly-trained professionals,

photographers, and stagers as every aspect of the service network you’ll be providing complements the brand that you’re selling. It’s well worth the time to get all of this nailed down and seamless before you even think of entering the luxury market. Another good investment? You want to have an indepth knowledge of all the latest real estate technologies and innovations. Don’t just look the part, actually be on the cutting edge.

SELL THE LIFESTYLE Yes, you’re selling a home, but you’re also selling a lifestyle, which in luxury is almost more important. When someone is spending millions of dollars on a home, they want to see the fabulous life they will be living in their new digs. Really highlight amazing party spaces, unique one of kind features,

and amenities. As with anything of value, things that make a property rare, will automatically make it more appealing to people who can afford the best. It also helps people connect more emotionally with a home, giving it even more value than if you just try and sell it as a good investment.

NETWORKING, NETWORKING, NETWORKING Networking is an important aspect of this business at every level, but it a vital tool in the luxury market. Most of your referrals and targeted marketing will be done through luxury agent exclusive networking groups. In addition to that, it is even more important in this segment of the business to be actively 22

involved in your community through volunteering and supporting local charitable events. You will not only build a stellar reputation, but you’ll also be giving back to the community you represent, and ultimately, integrity is what it’s all about in this business. Top Agent Magazine


JOSEPH CARTER Joseph Carter – Broker/Owner of Joseph Carter Realty, Alabama – is a full-time real estate professional who is dedicated to helping all of his buyers and sellers, while making them feel like they are his number one priority. His ethical approach, solid work ethic, industry knowledge and commitment to honesty have all played a part in the building of his reputation as a realtor who can be trusted to consistently put his clients’ best interests front and center. Joseph began his journey in real estate at a very young age, purchasing his first house when he was only twenty-one years old. “I was laid off from my job at the railroad not long after I bought that house,” recalls Joseph jokingly. “I was about to lose the house, so I called a buddy of mine, John Nix, who works with me now, and told him that I needed to sell. We did that and soon after I was rehired at the railroad.” Life was good so Joseph bought an investment property to flip. That then led to him getting a real estate license in 2010. He then formed Joseph Carter Realty and now employs an extremely dedicated roster of thirty people who share Joseph’s client-first business ethos. This team is responsible for over eighty million dollars in sales in 2018 alone with 2019 already looking to surpass that number. Currently, Joseph’s business is comprised of approximately fifty percent of repeat and referred customers, a clear indicator that the service he is providing is exceptional. When asked what fuels such impressive loyalty, Joseph paused for a moment before replying, “I think it’s because I’m honest with them,” he says, “and I work hard for them. I work every day, non-stop. I think that shows in my accomplishments over the years. I don’t ever say no to a client. I figure out the schedule and make it happen.”

Joseph’s commitment to staying apprised of what is going on in the ever-shifting real estate industry sets him apart from many less motivated agents. “I try to learn new things all the time,” he says. “I actually just attended the first session of coaching regarding real estate. I always try to stay up to date with the times, which helps me better serve my sellers and buyers.” A thorough and intelligent marketing approach has also contributed greatly to the success of Joseph’s company. Joseph uses professional photography exclusively and maintains great signage, marketing across the entire country. He also tries to have the best website out there and to keep it in front of potential buyers. The impressive level of customer service provided by Joseph and his agents is perhaps made most evident by the many glowing reviews they have received, including this one: “There are not enough words to tell how much we appreciate Joseph. He handled the sale of our lake house with such expertise. The marketing was awesome, and the pictures were great. I highly recommend Joseph. He is a go-getter with awesome ideas and skills. So friendly, and on top of everything he was very informative of everything that was taking place during the transaction. I would highly recommend him to sell home. He is the best!” Joseph’s plans for the future of his company are fairly straightforward -- to continue growing his business while sacrificing none of the unparalleled service that has become his calling card. His work ethic and attention to detail qualify him as one of the best realtors in his area. “I love real estate,” he says.

For more information about Joseph Carter, please call 205-300-3720 or email JoeyCarter416@gmail.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine


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Take My Word for It:

The Power of Testimonials & Making Word-of-Mouth Count Ratings, reviews, and testimonials are among the most powerful tools an agent or real estate professional has at his or her disposal. Think of it this way: almost all of us go online to get a sense of dining options, film scores, and product reviews. When it comes to real estate pros, people what the same measure of comfort and advice from those who have already experienced your services. The Top Agent Magazine

bottom line is this: testimonials create a relatable emotional appeal to others, while giving potential clients some first-hand insight into your ability to deliver. With all that in mind, consider the valuable rationale behind testimonials and word-ofmouth attention: how to harness it, and what it can do for you and your business.

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Testimonials and word-ofmouth buzz build your brand If you aren’t displaying positive testimonials and reviews on your social media outlets and website, then you’re missing out on a key opportunity. Those exploring your pages are likely seeking real estate representation, and reviews and testimonials serve as a first-hand glimpse into who you are and what you can do. If you can, try to tie reviews and testimonials to specific names or social media handles, as you’ll be highlighting the interpersonal component at play. Think of it this way: potential clients are more likely to trust the experiences of past clients than to place blind faith in your pitch, which is crafted to create a sale. Most customers would rather look to the experience of fellow consumers before taking your word for it, sight unseen. Well-place testimonials and personal reviews can bridge the gap when it comes to your brand and the prospective client.

Testimonials and word-ofmouth buzz demonstrate your value compared to others Good agents are a dime a dozen, but top agents stand apart from the pack for a variety of reasons. Chief among those reasons is the ability to differentiate themselves from the norm by highlighting their personalities, their track records, their values. Testimonials and wordof-mouth buzz don’t just focus on whether an experience was good or bad. It dives into the details of personality and consumer relationships. While the qualifications of many agents might be similar, you can stand out by show26

casing stellar reviews and testimonials that shine upon your character and delivery. When pitched by two agents with similar experience and credentials, but only one has the testimonials featuring positive experiences and lasting relationships—wouldn’t you be more inclined to work with the agent who has a proven track record of success?

Do your homework and compile the testimonials that will drive your business At the close of a transaction, consider providing a comment card with room for clients to write a few reflections, or create an e-mail ready online form that makes submitting feedback a breeze. You can also touch base via e-mail and ask politely for a review of their experience with you. Referred or repeat clients are excellent candidates for testimonials, as they will already know your business well, or will likely be happy to contribute their perspective. If asking for testimonials makes you cringe, you can always incentivize this process in minor ways. For example, you could offer a fun, cost-effective gift certificate in exchange for a testimonial. Whichever way you gather testimonials that speak to your positive performance, there is no question that these documented first-hand experiences are priceless when it comes to drawing and retaining clients. If you want to inspire interest and build a living brand, there is no better method than by having clients vouch for your working style.

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BRIAN DOMINGOS Top Agent Brian Domingos is one of those rare Realtors who truly care about the wellbeing of his many clients. As Owner/Broker of Premier Valley Realty in Fresno, California, Brian is steadfastly committed to providing his customers with the very best service available in the Golden State’s Central Valley. With more than fifteen years of experience under his belt, Brian has earned his reputation as a truly honest and dedicated real estate advocate. Brian’s journey in the world of real estate actually began at a very young age. “When I was a kid,” says Brian, “my grandfather was a real estate investor, so we would drive around looking at raw dirt that he would buy and build spec homes on and then sell for profit, so that kind of piqued my interest.” During high school, Brian interned at a top local real estate office, providing further exposure to his future career. “I really got to learn the ins and outs from a top producer in this area.” At the age of twenty-one, Brian obtained his real estate license, and in 2009, he launched Premier Valley Realty. He has since sold hundreds of homes in Fresno Metropolitan area. The high quality of service Brian and his team provide is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that nearly ninety percent of his overall business is based on repeat and referred clients. “I think it’s definitely about our customer service,” says Brian, when asked to account for this impressive customer loyalty. “We also stay in contact with all of our past clients. We have a diligent follow-up program where we reach out on a consistent basis to them. We send out custom-designed birthday cards, home anniversary cards, and we’ll do things like invite them to come get a pie during the holidays. We also have a client appreciation event at the office.”

The appreciation Brian feels for his clients is more than reciprocated, as is made evident by the impressive number of positive reviews he has received on Zillow.com, on which site he holds a perfect overall five-star rating. Among the glowing testimonials is this one: “Brian and his team were amazing to work with. They are extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with. They walked us through the process from looking for a home to actually getting the keys. They were on top of everything we ever needed without the slightest hesitation, and were helpful throughout the entire process. I would highly recommend Brian and his office for anyone looking to buy a home.” When asked what he believes his clients remember most about the experience of working with him, Brian pauses for a thoughtful moment before replying. “I think it’s the fact that we really paid attention to detail,” he says, “and that I tried really hard to be a good matchmaker between my clients and the properties they’re looking for. They’ve hired us to help them get to the next chapter in their lives, so it’s pretty meaningful work.” When he’s not working, Brian enjoys nothing more than spending time with his family, and can often be found on the beautiful Central Coast of California, where he and his wife were married. He is also extremely active in his community, and has served as the Chair of the Fresno State Alumni Association, and currently sits on that organization’s Board of Directors. He is also a Board Member of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce and the Fresno Convention & Visitors Bureau Research and Education, and was formerly a Planning Commissioner for the City of Clovis. Brian, who also recently launched a property management company, has fairly simple plans for the future: to continue expanding his business while sacrificing none of the stellar customer service that has become synonymous with the name Premier Valley Realty. “This career has been really fun,” says Brian, “and I look forward to many more years in the industry.”

For more information about Brian Domingos, call 559-272-9676 or email Brian@PremierValleyRealty.com Top Agent Magazine

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HALEY EPPS Top Agent Haley Epps – Broker/Owner of Boardwalk Realty in the Kansas City area – is a consummate professional with over twenty-five years of experience under her belt, in both commercial and residential real estate sales. Haley’s deep reservoir of industry knowledge, coupled with her ethical, enthusiastic and empathetic approach has endeared her to legions of buyers and sellers in the Sunflower State. The daughter of the pioneering Sandy Spalitto – one of the first female commercial real estate agents in Johnson County – Haley was steeped in the world of real estate from a very young age. “From the time I was four years old,” she recalls, “I was going out with my mom looking at properties, meeting clients with her, the entire time I was growing up I was around real estate.” While attending Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, Haley began working for a condominium complex running open houses and other duties. After moving back to Kansas City, she began working with that city’s Builder’s Association, which soon spun off into a career selling commercial real estate with her mother’s firm. “That was twenty-four years ago,” she says, “and twelve years ago I started selling residential properties as well, and opened Boardwalk Realty.” Boardwalk Realty, which employs a highly-professional roster of other agents and brokers (including her mother), obtains nearly ninety-five percent of its business from repeat clients and referrals, perhaps the surest measure of a company that provides exceptional customer service. When asked to account for this impressive level of loyalty, Haley grows introspective for a moment before replying. “It’s really about excellent service,” she says, “and also the level of communication with have with our clients, past and present. I don’t let anyone drop off, I stay in touch with them. They become like family to me. I will do everything in my power to get their house sold or find the perfect house or property for them. I just have a really strong desire to ensure that everyone I work with has an amazing experience.”

That amazing experience she is committed to providing is clearly reflected in the numerous reviews she has received for her work, including this rave post on Zillow.com: “We give Haley the highest rating for her services. She is very professional and personable, and she impressed us with how she did anything to help us find our new home even when we had four small kids with us. We sold and bought with her at the same time, and she helped all the details go smoothly. She helped us save thousands of dollars and helped negotiate added closing funds, too. We advise our friends to use her as their Realtor, too.” “I’m very much a type-A personality, and I love the people and the relationships so much,” Haley enthuses when asked what she enjoys the most about her chosen profession. “I also think that I have a lot of compassion and love for people, and we create a great bond together when we’re out looking for homes or selling their home. My clients are all amazing people. I also enjoy finding ways to give back to them, by helping them to know that the transaction wasn’t the end, but rather the beginning of a lifelong friendship.” When she’s not working, Haley enjoys spending time with her husband and their two teenaged daughters, who are old enough now to assist her with her business. “They’re helping my assistant – who is also pretty much part of our family - with social media and marketing” Haley also finds time to give back, and does so via her participation in the charitable organization Fellowship of Christian Athletes, which uses the platform of sports to reach every coach and every athlete with the transforming power of Jesus Christ to unite, inspire and change the world through the gospel. Haley also serves on both the advocacy and grievance committees of the Kansas City Realtors’ Association as well as being a member of the UMKC Realtor Leadership Academy. Haley’s plans for the future are simple: to continue to grow her business, but never at the expense of the incredible customer service that has become her calling card. “Growth is important, but what matters more,” she says, “is fostering the relationships you already have and making sure you’re doing everything you can for them.”

For more information about Haley Epps, please call 913-558-5958 or email HEpps@bwrealty.com 28

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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. 30

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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BRENNA FRESKOS After 12 years in real estate sales, Brenna Freskos says she is still “obsessed with houses.” Add in the fact that she loves people and Brenna is the perfect match for real estate. “Many years ago, I managed an apartment complex, which got me thinking about wanting to be in real estate,” she adds. Years later, she decided to move past the advice of a REALTOR® friend who had once talked her out of it. “She told me at the time that it would be difficult when I had young children, and in retrospect, I can see what see was saying,” Brenna explains. “But when I met two women through my son’s football team who were real estate agents in the area, they told me that if I really wanted to do it, I should go for it; that it’s one of those careers that, by loving it you can do very well.” Through a boutique brokerage in Chicago’s Northwest suburbs, Brenna is an independent agent who employs an assistant but hopes to develop a small team covering McHenry County and parts of Cook, Lake and DuPage Counties. Her reviews describe an agent with excellent local market knowledge who adds fun to real estate. “I take what can be really challenging and emotional experience and add levity and experience to it, helping people make the process into something exciting and as seamless as possible.” Beyond creative positive, overall experiences, Brenna adds business savvy, people skills, negotiation expertise and specialized marketing tools to the client experience. “With listings, I always make recommendations on any major fixes that can maximize the value,” she says, adding that sometimes this openness will cost her a listing, but that she never regrets honesty. “Homes in the higher ranges really need to stand out in this market,” she says. “I explain what may keep a home from selling compared to other homes in their range and I show them what they can do to invest in their property.” The majority of her clients make these adjustments, leading to Brenna’s lower-than-average time on market and higher-than-

average list-to-sale price ratio. “I also pay a stager to go through and do any polishing, preparation, and final details for every single listing before hiring my professional photographer for a photoshoot,” says Brenna. “How the home looks on MLS determines how well It’s going to look on all of the real estate sites; it’s what gets people into a house or keeps them from coming to the property.” Each listing receives a virtual tour, a 5-10 page brochure and comprehensive email and web marketing. Brenna knows that every real estate transaction represents a new phase of someone’s life. “I’ve moved several times and I’ve loved every home I’ve lived in, so it’s exciting to be in this part of people’s lives,” she says. “Your home is the backdrop of your everyday life and I’m excited to be part of that.” She truly enjoys working with buyers and sellers, and she hopes to add another team member soon. “I’d like to find someone who can be both a buyer’s agent and a showing agent so that I personally can take on more clients with the same level of service,” she says. When working with buyers, Brenna attentively helps people find the perfect property for their future memories within the communities she represents. “I try to be as involved as I can in the communities,” she says, describing her membership in several chambers of commerce as well as time spent giving back to schools and local nonprofits. “I recently started videos on social media, some of which are to encourage other people to get involved in those things,” she says. A recent video featured a nonprofit that supports families in need in one of the communities where she works. “I put it out there to help raise awareness and I matched donations, which encouraged people to get involved.” As she looks forward to creating a small team with concierge-like service, Brenna’s focus remains on service. “I like making sure people know they’re in good hands,” she says.

To learn more about Brenna Freskos, visit getwhatyouwant.net or go to her Facebook page, email brenna@realestatefamily.net or call 847.507.2409 http://

https://www.facebook.com/brennafreskosattheroyalfamily

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MATTHEW GOLLEY Energetic, affable, and deeply knowledgeable about the real estate industry, Top Agent Matt Golley – of Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Properties in Florence, Alabama – is a consummate professional who works hard to ensure every one of his buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals. Ranked among the top five percent of all Realtors in his market, his honesty, integrity and extensive local knowledge have all played a role in his reputation as an agent who consistently delivers results. Matt began his career selling homes in 2015, after years of investing in properties. “It was time for a change,” recalls Matt, “and I quit my job in nonprofit development to start over in a small town, as kind of a big adventure. I discovered Northwest Alabama and started renovating homes in the Shoals area, and through that I started helping friends invest, using my agent. Finally, she suggested that I get licensed myself, and I stopped doing anything else and just concentrated on real estate full time. I haven’t looked back it has been an amazing career move.” Matt’s business is based significantly on repeat and referral business, perhaps the most accurate method of measuring customer satisfaction. When asked to account for this impressive level of loyalty he inspires, he points first to his deep involvement with his adopted community. “I’m very active locally, and I’ve got my finger on the pulse of what’s happening here,” he explains. “I get a lot of clients who are just really excited to learn about what’s going on in our unique area. I always know what’s going on downtown, where the new restaurants are, what new businesses are opening, and the best areas to invest as the town continues to grow.” Another factor in Matt’s success – aside from the unparalleled customer service he provides - would be his experience with investing. “I work really well with local lenders that can do construction and creative financing, which makes the difference when working with first-time home buyers.” Additionally, when Matt first moved to the

area, he managed a local music venue, which helps him relate more personally to the significant number of artists and musicians residing in the area. “It’s a very artistic area, focused on music and fashion,” he says. “I have a lot of artist and musician clients who never thought they could own a home because they’re self-employed, but we’re going in and buying really beautiful historic properties that have been run down and bringing them back, which revitalizes the whole area.” Matt genuinely appreciates his clients, and that appreciation is more than reciprocated. A Premier Agent on Zillow.com, he holds a perfect five-star overall rating comprised of many glowing testimonials, including this one: “All I can say about Matt is that he is a down-to-earth, honest guy. You will not find another Realtor that is more vested in making things perfect for your family…He is extremely passionate about his profession and is always available if you have any questions…You can’t go wrong with Matt.” Matt is passionate about making sure his clients understand every single step of the transaction process. “I’ve bought and sold houses in the past and didn’t have a clue about what was going on,” he says. “I love to educate buyers and sellers on what’s happening. I want them to feel secure and feel like experts themselves by the time we get to the closing table.” When he’s not working, Matt enjoys nothing more than spending time around town with his two dogs, and exploring the outdoors. He is an avid supporter of live music, and of course, can always be found in some sort of house renovation project. His deep involvement with his community extends to his sitting on the board of the Tennessee Valley Art Association, which was founded in 1964 to promote the visual arts and theatrical musical performances in the region, and has also established their own theatre and museum. Matt’s plans for the future are fairly simple: to grow his business and build a team of like-minded agents who share his client-first business ethos. Most important, however, is his steadfast commitment to continue providing the amazing client experience that has become synonymous with his name.

For more information about Matt Golley, call 256-577-8863 or email Matt@MattGolley.com 32

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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©, Linda Brakeall.

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TRAVIS GROOME Top Agent Travis Groome – of Keller Williams Bellevue – possesses a unique combination of integrity, extensive industry knowledge and a genuine, authentic personality. The commitment he demonstrates when working with buyers and sellers in the Seattle area has firmly established him as formidable and respected player in this highly-competitive market.

Prior to beginning his journey in real estate, Travis had a successful career in retail in North Carolina. “I had a customer – who is now my best friend of twenty years – who had just gotten into real estate the year before, and told me I should be working for myself and that my personality would be a great fit for the real estate industry,” he explains. “I’d always loved selling, and I also loved architecture and design. Real estate is the perfect marriage of those passions, so I decided to go for it and got my license.” That was in 2001, and since then Travis’ integrity and fierce work ethic have resulted in a dynamic and continually growing business. In 2015, Travis relocated to the Pacific Northwest, and set about building a team – The One Real Estate Group - that shared his client-first business ethos. Diversity was important to Travis, and his group speaks six different languages among them. “We’re really pleased that we can connect with clients all around the world,” says Travis. “I also think that sets us apart from most other teams.” In just a few years working in the Seattle/Bellevue market, Travis can already boast that nearly half of his business is based on repeat clients and referrals, perhaps the surest indicator that he is providing exceptional customer service. “We’re very client-centric,” says Travis, when asked to account for this impressive level of trust and loyalty. “It’s always about the people we’re working with, and figuring out what their timing, goals, and motivation are. Every one of our transactions is the result of building a successful relationship.” Travis cherishes those relationships, and works diligently to nurture and maintain them. “I’m a face-to-face person,” says Travis. “Most companies utilize technology to maintain contact with their clients, but I think our business will always be based on relationships.

Technology can augment that and make us more efficient, but for me it’s always going to be about the personal touch. I love to meet with my clients for coffee or dinner. I get a thrill when I’m invited to the birthday party of a client’s child or an anniversary party.” Expert, thorough marketing has also played a large role in Travis’ continuing success, and in this area he does utilize technology extensively. In addition to the exclusive use of professional photography to ensure his listings are always seen in their best light, his company produces “lifestyle videos” that provides an emotional connection to the home. Each listing is shared with over 300 different websites, both domestic and international, and multiple social media platforms are used to great effect. When asked what he likes most about what he does for a living, Travis grows thoughtful for a moment before replying. “I like helping people,” he says. “I become their counselor, their bartender, their therapist and their friend. Every client and every transaction is unique. I enjoy helping them make great decisions, and hopefully we get to have a lot of fun along the way.” When he’s not working, Travis enjoys time with his partner and teenage triplets, as well as their 2 dogs, and shopping…particularly for shoes. “I love shoes,” he says with a laugh. “They’re my thing. I can go to the mall and get grounded, and see all the new trends and color stories and that’s really my happy place.” He and his team are also ardent supporters of Bellevue LifeSpring, a charitable organization that fosters stability and self-sufficiency for local children and their families through programs that provide food, clothing, education and emergency assistance. Queried about the future of his business, Travis has a ready answer: “We want to be the number one team in this market,” he says. He quickly quantifies that, however. “I don’t necessarily mean number of sales or sales volume number. I want to be the team that people go to when they just want a successful exceptional experience.”

For more information about Travis Groome, call 425-628-9001 or email Travis@TravisGroome.com Top Agent Magazine

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ANDREW KAPRILIAN Top Producer and multi-award winning agent Andrew Kaprilian has spent years helping buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals. Andrew’s expertise at providing highly-professional real estate advocacy has translated into a stellar reputation as someone who can be consistently trusted to place his many clients’ needs front and center during every transaction. Working with Creer Property, one of the oldest and most respected real estate firms in Australia, Andrew’s client-first business ethos has resulted in a clientele that in large part consists of repeat business and referrals, perhaps one of the surest measures of the excellent customer service he is providing to his clients in the Newcastle, NSW region. Hard-working, extremely ethical and in possession of fierce negotiating skills, Andrew points to his Greek heritage and to having grown up in a low-income family and wanting more as two of his primary career motivators. “My Greek heritage taught the siblings and I from an early age that property is a great vessel for financial freedom, and this is part of the reason I’m so entranced with the property market today,” he explains. “We had a roof over our heads, and a loving family, but noodles and cheese on toast were often on the dinner menu.” When asked to account for the impressive client loyalty he inspires – 90% of his business is based on repeat and referred customers - Andrew points to his commitment to maintaining a clean sales process. “I’m very meticulous,” he says, “particularly in the early stages, to make sure that everything goes smoothly.” Maintaining consistent contact with his clients and keeping them apprised of every development during the transaction process is also of paramount importance to him. That consistent contact continues long after the deal is done, as well. “I really enjoy helping my clients,” says Andrew, when asked what he likes most about what he does for a living. “When there’s a tricky sale, or something gets a little challenging for the owners,

I’m prepared to put in the hard yards and fight for them. Sometimes for the owner, this can mean the difference between taking or not taking a holiday, severing a tie with a past partner or another year of pain. For me it’s just about making life easier for the owners both financially or mentally down the track. So I fight for them.” This fierce commitment to protecting his clients has resulted in his back-to-back ranking by industry website www.ratemyagent.com.au as Warner’s Bay agent of the year 3 years running and for his status as the most recommended agent in that community for 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. Expert, thorough marketing has also played a large role in Andrew’s ever-growing success, and he is committed to presenting each of his listings in their very best light. His deft utilization of multiple major online portals, coupled with a robust social media presence, ensure that each property is seen by as many potential buyers as possible. Quick sales for top dollar are more the rule than the exception. The gratitude his clients feel for his services is perhaps best evidenced by the scores of glowing reviews he has received including this one: “Selling a property can be a stressful experience, but I found Andrew to be a calming influence throughout the sales process. He was readily available to answer all my questions, and provided updates along the way. Andrew’s initial estimate of potential sales price was spot on. Andrew is a total professional and I highly recommend him.” Andrew, who lives by the mantras “be the best that you can be,” and “do right by others and they will do right by you,” has fairly simple plans for the future of his business. “I’m only thirty-two,” he says. “So I have no plans to slow down. I want to keep building my business.” His overarching goal, however, is to continue providing the trustworthy, honest, and dedicated customer service that has become synonymous with his name.

For more information about Andrew Kaprilian, please call 0431 427 993 or email Akaprilian@creer.com.au 36

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Newer Agents: More Questions to Ask Yourself—Are You Stumbling or Up and Running?

By Carla Cross

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ewer agents: Are you ‘stumbling’ or ‘up and running’? It’s estimated that over 50% of new agents fail their first year in the business. From talking with thousands of them throughout my coaching, managing and speaking career, I know why: They can’t answer the questions below. In addition, they may be getting little guidance from their manager. Not having the combination of these two things almost assures their failure.

In an earlier article, I gave you five questions to ask yourself to truly get ‘up and running’. Now, here are five more. Ask yourself: Do I know how long it will take to get a sale? To get a listing? To get a listing sold? (so you can project your income) (New agents tend to wait, and wait, and wait, to get into the business ‘stream’, thinking that there is no time frame to buyers’ decisions—wrong!) Key point: Use the time lines in Up and Running to project your income. You don’t want Copyright Agent Magazine Top Agent Top Magazine

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Most new agents drastically underestimate their mental toughness in the face of adversity. to run out of money before you run out of time! Do I have a method of setting goals and tracking accomplishments in the areas above— so I can analyze my specific strengths and challenges in this business? (Most agents never track what they do, so they don’t know what worked—or why what they’re doing isn’t working). Key point: If you know how many listing appointments it takes, for example, for you to list one marketable property, you can project with confidence your income. You have truly become independent. Do I have a budget so I know how much money I should be spending in marketing my listings? Key point: Creating a marketing budget from day one assures you get paid for all that work you’re doing in lead generation (Up and Running has a prototype marketing plan for you, too). Do I have someone to talk to regularly, to coach me, to keep me on track, and to help me if I 38

fall off my start-up plan (to keep me from failing)? Key point: Most new agents drastically underestimate their mental toughness in the face of adversity. Studies show that having a mentor, a coach, someone on your side, greatly increases the chances of your success. Do I have a method to keep myself motivated and inspired to keep on keeping on (like a coach or your manager)? Key point: All the successful people I’ve ever met have a method to ‘keep themselves up’—diaries, logs, inspirational notebooks, readings, CDs, etc. That’s why I put so much inspiration and motivation in Up

and Running—we all need it! Give yourself every chance to succeed to answering ‘yes’ to all of these questions. You deserve success! Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is president of Carla Cross Seminars, Inc., and Carla Cross Coaching. She is an international speaker in real estate productivity. Carla is the author of 6 internationally published books and several productivity-producing programs for real estate agents and leadership, including the new 3rd edition of Up and Running in 30 Days. See her programs at www.carlacross.com, or contact Carla at 425-392-6914.

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JANET KRITZER Janet Kritzer of LIV Sotheby’s Int. Realty in Greenwood Village Colorado has more than earned the title of Top Agent. With a slew of accomplishments and recognitions – including being consistently ranked among the Top 10 for Residential Real Estate by the Denver Business Journal – she brings to the table a potent combination of savvy business acumen and a genuine, instantly likeable personality. Dedicated to providing the very best service available to her buyers and sellers, Janet achieves quick sales for top dollar and inspires deep loyalty amongst the clients she has been helping for over sixteen years. Prior to her career in real estate, Janet worked for a commercial design and furnishing company, servicing corporate behemoths that included Time Warner and Price Waterhouse. In 2002, during a downturn in that industry, Janet began casting about for a new path. Her long time interest in real estate lead her in that direction, and after obtaining her license, she hasn’t looked back. “Coming from a corporate background,” says Janet, “I approached my business in a very professional manner, and I’ve been very diligent in creating my own little niche, and I’ve been very successful at that.” A remarkable 85% of Janet’s business is now based upon repeat clients and friends and family of past customers, a sure sign of the loyalty and confidence she is inspiring. When asked to account for this, Janet points to both her many years of experience and the exceptional service she is able to provide. “My clients know that they’re dealing with a top agent, and that they’re getting top treatment,” she says. “If there is a bidding war, for example, the seller will usually go with the most professional agents. So frequently, when all other things are equal they’ll go with us because they’ve

often worked with us before and they know it’ll be a very clean, very professional transaction.” Janet’s approach to marketing her listings is both thorough and again reflects her many years in the industry. “All of our houses are extremely well-presented, and that doesn’t always come easily,” she explains. “Sometimes they need quite a bit of work, but after we get done with them the sellers are amazed.” Her comprehensive approach to providing exposure for her listings includes a massive online presence, broker’s opens, and reaching out to her vast network of Realtor connections. When asked what she enjoys most about what she does for a living, Janet points to the more personal side of the real estate industry. “I like my buyers and sellers, and their families,” she says. “Typically, buying or selling a house is a quick turnaround, usually not more than five months, so I become entrenched in their lives very quickly, solving their problem with either a new house or selling the old house, whatever it may be. I love that I become a part of their lives and that they rely on me.” Janet is also heavily involved with her community, and gives back through multiple organizations, including the Denver Center Alliance a local theatre group, of which she has been a long-time member. She is also an ardent supporter of the Nathan Yip Foundation, which assists rural public schools in both Colorado and in China, and other charitable organizations. When she finds some rare time off, Janet enjoys nothing more than spending time with her family, including her two granddaughters. Reading, biking, hiking and skiing are also passions of hers. As for the future, Janet’s plans are relatively simple: to continue growing her already thriving business, while also continuing to provide the amazing customer service that has become her calling card.

For more information about Janet Kritzer, please call 303-883-2474 or email Janet@JanetKritzer.com Top Agent Magazine

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RUTH PETRELLA How did Ruth Petrella become one of the most trusted agents in Las Vegas? Twenty-one years ago, Ruth was at a crossroads in her life and deciding on a next step. “I asked God to send people into my path to guide me to what I was supposed to be doing,” she explains. The next day she received a phone call from an old friend who introduced Ruth to her mother, a long time real estate agent who encouraged Ruth to study for her license and promised to teach her the business. Now with over twenty years of experience, Ruth leads a team consisting of her daughter—who was licensed two years ago—and an assistant. A native of Las Vegas, Ruth serves the entire Las Vegas area. An impressive 98% of Ruth’s business comes from repeat and referral clients. What keeps her clients coming back and eager to spread the word about Ruth to their friends and family? “I’m a relationship person,” Ruth says. Her clients often say that she makes them feel like family. “I treat people as I want to be treated,” she says. “We live by the golden rule.” Ruth has great communication skills, keeping in close contact with her clients and educating them about every step of the process. “I have a ‘never say die’ attitude. My clients know they can come to me whenever they need to. I get their questions answered and make things happen!” Having grown up in the area, she’s also an expert on Las Vegas markets, neighborhoods and school districts, and knows a host of trusted vendors to help her clients with any needed improvements to their homes.

helping her clients to build wealth and a legacy for their families. As a member of Keller Williams’ Associate Leadership Council, she receives on-going training on new trends and technologies and helps put on Red Day, an annual day of service, as well as other charitable events. Ruth has four adult children, three grandkids, and is an active member of her church. Her youngest daughter is a soccer coach. “All my grandkids play and we have super soccer Saturdays!” Ruth says with a smile. “I’m there on the sidelines cheering the kids on.” She and her family are big fans of the Vegas Golden Knights. Every Sunday night Ruth hosts a big family dinner for at least thirteen people. For the future, she wants to stay in closer touch with her database members and continue to learn about new technologies. She’d love to grow her team by hiring and mentoring some of her adult children’s friends. “I’d like to mentor them as I was mentored. I feel like I have a lot to offer,” she says. Now that’s a worthy goal that will surely benefit her clients and her community!

To prepare a property for listing, Ruth meets with her clients to discuss their plans and goals and do a walk-through of the home. Ruth understands that in today’s market, most buyers begin their search for a home online, so she hires professional photographers and—for vacant listings—stagers as well. “I recently had two empty homes staged and they sold within a week!” she says. Ruth’s daughter conducts a thorough social media campaign for each listing. The result is often a quick sale at a competitive price. After working with Ruth, her clients rave that she pays close attention to their needs and makes them feel special and cared for. Ruth is passionate about owning her own home and her favorite part of the job is helping others to achieve the dream of homeownership for themselves. “Home is where your heart is. Having a home gives me a sense of security, warmth and welcome. I want everybody to have that,” she says. She also enjoys 40

To find out more about Ruth Petrella, call (702) 340-0693, email ruthp.nvhomes@gmail.com, or visit ruthpetrella.com www.

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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 42

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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ALEX PRINS How did Alex Prins become one of the most trusted real estate agents in Dallas, TX? After working as a skin care specialist for seven years in Mississippi and after a few failed attempts to start his own skin care centers, Alex decided to follow his passion for real estate. “Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom, fall flat on your face, and pick yourself up just to start all over again,” he says. He wanted to use his work experience and business skills to help him sell homes. Now at 32 years old with five years of experience as an agent, he has a thriving business—he’s projected to do $10 million in sales during the first six months of 2019. He works as a solo agent for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, focusing on Central Dallas, but also serving clients in the surrounding suburbs like Frisco. He’s certified both as an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist and a New Home Construction Specialist. “There’s nothing like selling new homes,” he explains. Already an impressive 50% of his business comes from repeat and referral clients. A large portion of his clients are also first time home buyers relocating to the Lone Star State. So what keeps Alex’s clients coming back and sets him apart from other agents? What’s in the special sauce? He understands the importance of home which is his driving force. This key component is his mission not only in real estate, but in life. “When I was younger I grew up in foster care and I didn’t always have a home. Once I became a real estate agent and I handed my first clients their keys and said, ‘Here are your keys, you now have a home,’ it struck a chord deep in me.” Alex knew there was a bigger meaning in being a real estate agent, that this in fact was his calling in life. Both his failures and accomplishments had led him to this point in his life. Alex works incredibly hard to ensure every transaction is successful. His clients sense his passion, dedication and focus, and as a result they enthusiastically refer him to their friends and family. They too want to be a part of something that means so

much to someone and isn’t just a job. To stay in touch with past clients, Alex prefers a personal touch. He sends handwritten holiday cards and reaches out by phone, email, text, and social media. When it comes to marketing listings, Alex uses Coldwell Banker’s Listing Concierge service, which places ads in D Magazine—the biggest magazine in the DFW area, and creates personal websites for each listing, as well as Facebook ads, commercials on CBS TV, and YouTube videos. Alex also conducts a thorough social media campaign via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. He creates his own professional, high quality commercials and short films for his listings, which causes a buzz among buyers throughout the community and across the nation and often results in quick sales at competitive prices. What does Alex like most about his work? “I have a vision, and I have goals. I’m able to hit those, and I’m able to find my own happiness with that. And I try to make an impact in Dallas, and the world beyond through my unique story.” To give back to the larger community, Alex directs and produces short films to raise awareness about foster children and the importance of adoption. Two years ago he released a video called “Make a Heart a Home” that was featured in local and national newspapers like the U.S. News and Washington Times. Every year he creates an art project tied to adoption and home. Around Thanksgiving, he makes meals to feed the homeless. “I live in a neighborhood where there are both affluent people and not so affluent people. I know I can go out there and give them food and try to make a difference,” he says. “That’s one thing I love to do.” He hopes to one day add finding homes for the homeless as a part of his community involvements. In his free time, he enjoys going to the gym and doing kickboxing, as well as going to hear live music with friends. For the future, he’d love to grow a team, become one of the top producers in Dallas, focus more on luxury listings and new construction, and continue to serve his clients and community in new and exciting ways! “This is still just the beginning of my career, but every year I raise the bar a little more. I have so much to be thankful for and can’t wait to see what the future holds!”

To find out more about Alex Prins, email alexj7_prins@yahoo.com, call (504) 400-7822, or visit AlexPrinsRealEstate.com www.

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Are You Doing Business As YOU On Facebook? Are you ‘Doing Business As YOU’ on your personal Facebook page? In other words, are you posting your business content from your personal page? Yesterday a REALTOR® asked us, “Why should I bother with a company Facebook page? Can’t I just post everything from my profile page?” The answer lies in what we call division of content. As you may be aware, social media began as just that… social. It was never truly intended for business use. Over time, as businesses began to see the potential in reaching the masses in a new way, they began to intrude on this communication. Today, it is widely accepted that business will be conducted on all social platforms, but the manner in which we do so (and in which we are received) is still a touchy subject at times. We believe it’s important to be transparent on social media. Draw the line between communicating as the Person and the Professional. Not only does this help you keep your content separate and appropriate, it also gives the control to your network of family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and customers. They get to decide whether to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your company page. They get to decide whether they want to see your business related posts. User control is the #1 reason you need a business page if you’re conducting business on Facebook. Wouldn’t you rather have a willing and engaged audience over a forced, potentially reluctant one? We have personally eliminated many of the ‘DBA’ offenders from our news feeds and you have likely done the same.

As in all controversial social media topics, there is some gray area. And that gray area is often subjective, so consider this post food for thought and decide for yourself. We try our best to keep professional content on our business pages, with a couple of exceptions: 1. Philanthropic Promotion: We’re in favor of posting anything that will help an organization in need on both your personal and business pages. Nonprofits often have little to no marketing budget and rely on all of us to promote their good works, so we believe that’s a good line to cross (as long as it’s about the organization, and not you). 2. Recognition Tagging: Facebook does not allow you to tag an individual on your business page. Yes, there are some tricky work-arounds, but they are inconsistent at best. So when it’s truly important for us to recognize and tag an individual, especially someone who has done something nice for us (inviting us as guests on their radio show or podcast, for instance), we will generally post that on the business page first, then share it from our personal pages, along with a comment recognizing and tagging the individual(s) or business who helped us. Either way (personal or business), remember to be true to the social aspect. Our participation on social media should be about giving, helping, recognizing and connecting…especially when it comes to your business.

Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder of BrandFace®, LLC. Michael Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace® partner. Together, they focus on personal branding and marketing designed to help real estate professionals become the face of their business & a star in their market. BrandFace® for Real Estate Professionals is a book, professional speaking series and an exclusive workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.BrandFaceRealEstate.com. 44

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PATRICK ZARCONE Patrick Zarcone officially got into real estate in 2014, but his experience goes back more than a decade before that. “I moved to Myrtle Beach in 1999 to get away from the cold of Upstate New York and to work as a carpenter, and by 2001 I had opened a design and custom home building company,” he remembers. “I was selling a lot of my own properties, but I wasn’t a licensed Realtor® yet. In 2014 I sold the company, and that was when I decided to take my expertise and get my license and become a Realtor®.”

client’s biggest investment, their biggest asset, and I’m there to protect their interest.” He’s protecting a lot of assets: “I was a part of 107 deals in 2018,” he says. “There was a lot of fast growth for me this year, and I credit that to me being consistent in what I do every day and surrounding myself with successful people. I think any agent, if they treat this seriously and put in the consistent time, can have that same level of success.” For Patrick work is only one part of the equation. “I’m completely committed to God and my family,” he says. He’s also committed to serving his community. “For the past five years I’ve been on the board for a non-profit private school,” he tells Top Agent. “I also chair the Housing Opportunity Committee for the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors®. Every two years we come together and build a home for Habitat for Humanity, which is a great way to give back and serve.”

That history - he contracted on or worked on over one thousand homes - is what makes Patrick one of Myrtle Beach’s most sought-after Realtors®. “People come to me because of the depth of my experience,” he says. “I work with a lot of builders, and I’m very knowledgeable about new construction, which is a huge part of real estate in Myrtle Beach.”

When he’s not working, Patrick likes to golf, exercise, and spend time with his wife and their four children traveling. He also aspires to coach and mentor other agents and business professionals. “I’d like to see my business grow in new construction so that I can turn more of my attention to coaching and mentoring,” he says.

Patrick doesn’t see himself as a matchmaker, but rather as a protector of his clients’ interests and investments. “My focus is protecting my client’s assets,” he says. “My role is understanding how the industry works and knowing what I’m doing for my clients. You have to know what a property is really worth and how to make sure that the qualifying buyers are going to close. You need to get the pricing right based on the goals of the seller. Typically, real estate is my

The biggest advice he has for those seeking to grow in their professional careers is what he applies to his own business and what makes him such a success: “The more positive your attitude is, the more positive the people around you are,” he says. “I truly feel that with the right attitude, anything you set your mind to, you can do.”

To find out more about Patrick Zarcone, visit his website at patrickzarcone.com, call 843-241-7549 or email patrick@bhhsmyrtlebeach.com www.

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