NATIONWIDE & INTERNATIONAL EDITION
JEFF BORHAM ROBB COLLEY JESSICA DAVIS JOE EBERLE JAN ELLINGSON ERIC & HEATHER HAMMAN WESLEY HARPER TAYLOR JENNINGS WANDA MOONEY MIKE ROENIGK & SUSAN TAYLOR KELLY SNODGRASS ANGELOS SOUKOVELOS
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD: How to List High When Neighbors Are a Nuisance
How to Answer the Inevitable Question:
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE YOU?
NATIONWIDE & INTERNATIONAL EDITION Anthony Reno is proud to congratulate
Michael Roenigk & Susan Taylor
JOE EBERLE ROENIGK VALERIE FITZGERALD on beingMIKE featured for the state ROBB & SUSAN TAYLOR JEFF BORHAM of Maryland in Top Agent Magazine!
Top&Agent for communication and constant provides Top Agent Jeffrey Borham of Jeff Borham Asso- Robb Colley has made a name consistent contact education op prospective real e himselfBay, as a trusted real estate advisor. more ciates at Keller Williams Realty 27 in Tampa the transaction process. about 31 Withthroughout 32 “It’sand 2,000 brokered transactions to his name, his through,” he says. “When we tell our Florida has earned his reputation as than a consumthe follow to look no of experience and vast industry knowledge mate professional who can always beyears trusted to clients we’re going to do something, weOne do needs it. set him apart from his competitors, put his client’s needs front and center.have Providing Ourand clients appreciate that and it is whatfive-star sets us reviews on the level resulted in a solid reputation as a Realtor who stellar client service and possessing above all else apart from the typical experience, creatingunderstand raving a desire to help both sellers and buyers fans and Kelly’s clients feel fo trulyachieve cares about his many clients. As co-owner – referrals. We have our communication Anthony Reno | Branch Manager their dream of home ownership. This native son’shis wife, Kelly – of Gulf Coast Brokers, systems in place, and we keep communication provide. “(Robb and alongside continues to rise inNMLS the real estate industry,Homefinders and AHF Commercial, high, so they always know we are on wants top ofand needs of t US Mortgagestar Corporation | Branch #1681437 Alabama showing no sign of slowing down. Robb consistently provides top-notch things. going by this and client When we tell a client what we areproduced Anthony.Reno@usmortgage.com to do, we do it, then we let them know weunderstand did it, the valu service to grateful buyers and sellers in Alabama, usmortgage.com/Anthony.Reno got into the real estate industry when I was them what is going to about happenbuilding a busin JEFF BORHAM and then we tell ELLINGSON “I ROBB COLLEY Florida and Georgia. TAYLOR JENNINGS twenty years old and buying a condo,” says Jeff. 112 Saint Claire Place, Suite #203-A, next. We’re tenacious about that.” they can make...it’s Stevensville, MD “The 21666sales manager was so impressed that I was A rela began his journey in real estate inFor 2003, buying a home at such a young age thatRobb he offered Jeff, it’s all about being able to helprelationships. people believe for hisachieve family their business. “It whether it’s his clients or his staff. me a part-time position. I excelled at when it, andhe thewas restworking is history.” dreams, “I in,” reads jus the bail bond business,”love he says, I just now, especially with building a team,” That was in 2005, and since then Jeff was has built a solid business, what “and I am doing Robb andthirty-five Kelly areorcommitted to g kindprofessionals of outgrew currently it. I was dealing with a lot criminals. had aI’d be creating a team, with fourteen dedicated he explains. “If of I was a single Iagent selling nity, and to that end they volunte family, and I justout decided something couldI’ll doget forever. and growing. When selecting team members, he seeks those it wasn’t forty houses. ThisIyear, to help a couple hundred people withor the elderly. “ So I nearly told my dad and my brother that was estate leaving, and that I spending that have that same client first ethos. With eighty percent through theI real process whether it’s buying,time selling of his business based on referrals from I getfeet, to provide place to workhe forsays, “and then nursing homes,” was repeat going customers to try real and estate.”investing. JumpingIninaddition, with both Robb a great referrals – including those from other quickly real estate professionals – my team, and that that continues gives me joy on both sides it.” also heavily involved Theyofare established a successful business to grow Jeff is clearly making his mark on the exponentially industry. year after year. His negotiating prowess and deep Commerce events, and are also activ back is of vital importance to Jeff. Personally, he donates knowledge of current marketGiving trends, coupled with his self-ad- pride in their business being both C Client loyalty is, perhaps, the most solid evidence of a team who to multiple charities and organizations including Scouts, as an mitted “fierce competitiveness,” have all worked in concert to truly cares about their clients, and Jeff points to that rate of repeat Eagle Scout it is very important to him to continue to support When they’re not working, Robb position him squarely at the top of his profession. and referred business as one reason for that loyalty. “I think it’s scouting. He is involved with numerous groups, including the time with their four about our commitment to doing whatever it takes for them,” says local chapters of Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. Working undersons, Trey, Dalt Fishing and boating While Kelly onWilliams the Montgomery market Jeff. “We have a duty to really fight for our wife clients, andfocuses I think primarily the Keller banner allows Jeff and his team to partic-are among their every apicture of our family ha via Alabama Homefinders, ipate most in of the Robb’s work is that’s ingrained in all of us. We’re delivering a true commitment company’s Reddone Day,via whichlike benefits changing Gulf By Coast Brokers in the Orange Shores area, a Robb says with a laugh. and ten-plus customer service experience. building my team roster ofBeach/Gulf charitable organizations. vacationwe destination. With an equally-dedicated team of and having a top-notch professional inpopular every capacity, really Asafor future plans, will ever-incontinue to Looking grow his business and Robb’s plans to the future, Robb can boast of business that isJeff based can check off the boxes to make surethirty-five, we have an experienced onlyclients, a fool one would betsurest against him eventually becoming the and to cont both of their companies, creasingly on repeat and referral of the metrics negotiator, an expert compliance person, an effective marketer top team the Tampa Bayfocus area. has “We’reclient goingservice to grow much and so forth. We deliver exceptional service across the board.” that has become their of client satisfaction in the real estateinindustry. “Our larger, and help a lotofmore people. We’retogoing expand intohelp them,” he knowtothat I can always been on building relationships instead on closings,” While “dropping the ball” tends to behea says, common complaint of South Floridaloyalty. and really havealways a footprint“Even in a large of now, but dow if it’sportion not right by way of explaining this client “We’ve many buyers and sellers, Jeff and his team work hard to maintain the state.”
4) DAILY HABITS THAT WILL INCREASE YOUR MENTAL STRENGTH
8) THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD: HOW TO LIST HIGH WHEN NEIGHBORS ARE A NUISANCE
17) 5 LESSONS FROM SILICON VALLEY TO MODERNIZE AND MONETIZE YOUR BUSINESS
25) MODERN EMAIL ETIQUETTE FOR TODAY’S AGENTS 29) HOW TO OVERCOME YOUR WORKPLACE FEARS
21) HOW TO ANSWER THE INEVITABLE QUESTION: WHY 33) 5 REASONS WHY tried to make the entire process more personal.” Robb and Kelly work with my team, we will be able SHOULD I CHOOSE YOU NEED A MENTOR also own the Alabama Homefinders Real Estate Institute, which erty they are looking for.” YOU?
Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 email@example.com | www.topagentmagazine.com No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent Magazine is For more information about Jeff Borham, published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent call 866.308.7109 ext. 715 email Magazine cannot be held responsible please for opinions expressed or facts supplied byFor itsor authors. To Jeff@JeffBorham.com subscribe or change about address, send more information Robb inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.
please call 334 - 315 - 2700 or email robb@gulfcoastbro Copyright Top Agent Magazine
Published in the U.S.
Top Agent Magazine
WESLEY HARPER Wesley Harper’s experience in real estate goes further
back than most. In high school, he cut in 36his teeth ERIC 35 JESSICA DAVIS
A personal touch plays a central role in
and he stays connected to his bro 39 work, & HEATHER HAMMAN
the industry by working as an assistant to a local of clientele by going above and beyond Eric and Heather Hamman, husband tionareas to search, accurate with advi agent. Jessica Then, after graduating, he earned his license to As timely giftsand that demonstrate his Davis was always intrigued by appreciation events in the future. for listing properties, Jessica and wife Leads of The Hamman Team Wesley best fit my keeps needs. clients I love myinformed home, butthrou if I and continued to expand his repertoire, eventually also the real estate industry. After graduating begins the process through a pre-listing appointment that toassesses at Century 21 Bradley in Winona Lake, borhood will benews my first I’m proud say the going solo in 1997. In the ensuing years, Wesley’s andcall. market updates—pas from college with a degree in business sellers’ needs.and “Firstly, listen to their situation Indiana each are setting thewants world and of real alsovalue mywe friends.” role and skillset has adapted to the industry’s various consistent even beyond the closing political science, set to workestate at onand that we can plug in,” she explains. fire.goals, Sellingsoa combined $90 best ups andand downs, providing himshe comprehensive expefor listing properties, WesleyOftentimes and his t million in the lastathree marketing also plays adigital role in Eric office, her homeyears prioralone, to market includes staging, and all properties rience the and Governor’s insights that serve as sharpening a value-add for his prepping the Expert best practices of both and a this dynamic duo is rising quickly to sional photography, video, impressive skillset for communication and detail are equipped with professional photography. From there, homes clientele. He has garnered experience working alongmarketing. First, properties are made sign rea the top of profession offering awareness presence are the many they work. In 2010, Jessica finally decided aretheir pre-listed tobygenerate andamong interest, and tools exclusive side new construction properties, custom homes, market debut through staging consulta expert guidance, exemplary customer we represent a property,” says Eric, “we JESSICA DAVIS ERIC & HEATHER WESLEY HARPER distressed properties, and and more.earn In 2006, he earned open house events create local professional photography. there, al to make the leap her license. intrigue. To ensure From wide-ranging service and a genuine concern for firm believers that you get back what you HAMMAN his broker’s hassince, since launched own exposure, Jessica leveragesis the customized perofproperty. This include In thelicense eight and years she has his built influence social media, video their client’s best interests. brand in Real Estate. more, he marketing, and premium visibility targeted and promoted ads a Wesley thriving business model What’s and carved across Top Agent Kelly Snodgrass of JP & Associates is Harper and did most of the dirty work for us!pricing She is efforts, extremely While many the otherleading Realtorsonline wouldlisting point has carved out a steadfast reputation for personalized tifying key buyer demographics to maxim Eric andservice, Heather,comprehensive who43 were previously the proprietors their the best thing about their profession, Hea out an intrepid reputation for personalized platforms. As aofresult, many properties find a buyer prior to thei a full-service Realtor who consistently provides professional, personable and knowledgeable. We 45own 40 service, incisive concrete leadership, and indispensable industry knowledge. Likewise, premium visibility acrossfrom social media and t and excavating business, accounting company began personal satisfaction thefor more perso care, and an innate talent forbuyers creative problem-solving. All the while, Jessica her knack creative top-notch client service to her many grateful planand toofficial use her debut. in the future and would highlyapplies recomonline listing platforms ensures a wide-ranging audienc their journey into the world of real estate in March of 2014 She and found cantobeus a with very business,” Despite his buyers relativeand youth –says orE and sellers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas. mend her a heartbeat. even surprised astressful problem-solving andaccomplishing positivity usher sellers alike Based in Alpharetta, Wesley heads astart tightknit team thatin includes about our clients’ respective goals,” Wf Wanda Mooney got her in the real often friends. I work hard to ensure clients almost instant success. Currently working with a smallbecome but dedicated The biggest thrill we get ismy knowing that perhaps because of it – Top Agent Her friendly, personable nature, co-heads coupled her thoughtful keepsake the“Every daytable. weclients’ got keys.” Today, Jessica the Davis Realty Group, under toward theInclosing “Iour tryneeds to make it a funWhether process,” shepriorit says five with salesPolston partners, serving theHeather’s North Metro Atlanta are unique. their teamallthat includes mother, who region. functions as their personal for families.” Heather is also involved estate industry twenty-five years ago. Back and comfortable. I prepare them for whatever might lie Soukovelos made a vast reservoir of industry knowledge, has resulted in the banner of Keller Williams Realty Integrity Together, are bumps along we theAngelos road anything inhas life, but addition to serving clients as an agent, Wesley’s plays “There a central role or abudgets, make itwith a point to set realistic expectation assistant and is Lakes. also aclose licensed agent, and Eric’s mother, licensed organization benefiting teens,you an 1993, one ofresources Wanda’s was name for himself aschildren, a skillsets dedicated, her reputation as she a real estatewith professional whoin truly and maintaining relationships with paston as team lead, providing for emerging agents on pair the rise. and follow through works her husband, Trey, who the team lastfriends year, to find a beginning solution. That’s of my strongest and agent joined who handles showings forEstablishing them,have the sells within a twenhasone run multiple 5our k’s commitments to raise money to forth at newer the head of develop aradius thriving brokerage on New it comes to enthusiastic listing properties, takes real estateWanda professional cares about her clients. clients is umbrella,” ofcouple vital importance to the Kelly, and she makes agents business“My under our and with the support “We of ahelp dedicated transaction coordinator. where IWhen thrive: problem-solving.” ty-mile oftheir Leesburg, Indiana. The specialize in who about the well-being Hampshire’s Seacoast approach blends tech-forward processes to great ef Wesley explains.luxury “Theymarket, have key access toand ouraencourtools and systems, To give back, and cares his wife are involved with wit va sustained effort to dolisted so.that “I’ll reach out totruly them with andregion many of their properties have been at up to Wesley The pair are also heavily involved husband and I have very complementary skillsets,” she explains. arepeople able plug into structures. As result, are able to check a local level, supporting causes benefit ofcurve his many grateful clients. As Lead aged tryaour her hand thea that business. staying ahead ofonwrite the has always been athat guiding Kelly began her “We careerreally in realenjoy estatehelping inand 2012, upontoher $4.2tomillion dollars. phonewe calls, just to I’ll between sixty Magical Meadows, organization that pr through major life at event To give back tonizations herin.community, Jessica and heranhusband are active help growKELLY andby takethe a hands-on approach, while nurturing their notes needs community—a cause close toneeds theirathearts because o riding for special and ad Souko Group HomeSmart SNODGRASS ANGELOS WANDA MOONEY the advice of hercan husband, who is also a them licensed or seventy each month toThe my clients. Intrigued challenge with the Wanda, and she wasofone of the first agents in the regio be really stressful. It’s our job to bring some peace and and joy and withpersonal YoungLife and support athletic causes at the children University o database, helping them build relationships, and steering them in the son with Down Syndrome. In Wesley’s free hour, he m With the majority of their business based on referrals from grateful with Combined Community Services, w SOUKOVELOS Realty in Glendale, Arizona, Angelos Realtor. “I was structure going totoschool full time,” she the I’lltosend birthday or her make little gifts fora them timing finally Wanda decided earn owncards, personal website. “Even though I’mathlete. a country gir the process.” Serving Twinright, Cities and its Minnesota, where husband was two-sport In ofthei right direction.” Furthermore, Wesley citeswestern communication, responquality time spent with family and loved ones, enjoying previous clients, The Hamman Team is clearly doing something right. and resources for in-need residents Ko has committed himself to providing explains, “and I suburbs, was raising my kids. I was really and drop them offthe at their house. Just little things to her license. Soon after getting her feet wet in hill towns, I’m very forward thinking,” she says Jessica has managed to net 90% of her business through free hours, Jessica most enjoys spending time with her husband siveness, and client education some offor thethis key, overarching tenets taking trips to the beach, and catching the occasional rou When asked toasaccount loyalty, Eric points to their expansive top-notch quality service that is burned out on school, when he suggested that let them know advantage thatand we’re thinking about them.” by I’d working part-time, Wanda leapt fullsocial media have fabulous repeatsoand referral clientele—a testament to “We’ve her are proven staying daughter, alsomarketing, enjoys hunting and fishing of his professional practice. “We always available, andpeople I tell our work ethic. been told by a lot of that weloved are of theones. two She During the rare moments thea pair isn’t wo make a great realpower estate into agent, Iagent. decided toaccount go it.” Since then, imbued with integrity, knowledge force role asforagent, rising tois the challenge my plans are superb. I also haveand a great team hardest-working agents they’ve evertaking encountered,” hemarketing explains. jet snowmobiling, particularl team members: estate a lifestyle, notJessica a and job,” he says. are As for“Even the future ofskiing, his business, Wesley plans to conti as ana full-time To forreal this accomplishment, water“We sports, downhill skiing, and yoga. Kelly has obtainedadvantage her broker’s license,very andaccessible currently oversees athat Strong marketing efforts resulted inwell quick and top dollar and fierce client advocacy. though we’ve achieved greatOver success and done very forsales in those pursuits. and we really protect throughout the have contract development of his team and services. also hopes to of every educational opportunity came her way. and I work really hard to represent my He clients’ proper credits communication and a personalized approach asclients thepretty leading team of ten equally-dedicated professionals. for Kelly’s listings. Among the tools shefirst utilizes are professional ourselves in this business, we still work as hard as we did the day process. From time limits to special stipulations—we ensure we entrepreneurial spirit by continuing toare build his relation the course of success her ensuing career, earned masterful ensureJessica that homes headed to to market showcased drivers of her thus far. “MyWanda clientshas know that aI care,” she repuLookingToahead, has aspirations continue growing het photography, videos, drone and Matterport 3-D joinedby 21every Bradley.” PerhapsA another reason is thebuilders sturdy tofloor theFinally, future, Eric and Heathe bit photography, ofand a wunderkind, Angelos graduated withwith a Bachelor’s ourweclients detail thought area andLooking developers. tation“To forme, integrity, forward-thinking, andorCentury an authentic commitment Wanda amasses high-quality anddecades createsofa says. they’readvocate not just for a transaction agiving number. I take theextrabusiness, with plans to implement evenphotography more streamlined processes relationships theplans. pair form with previous clients. “During the their business offering clients One sure sign that Kelly is providing exceptional client service is step Old fashioned door-knocking is aalso employed. “I like ahead, toand Degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University at the age explaining the process each of the way. Wetheir are very strategic and steady eye on the road Wesleytheir Harper cons time to understand what eachLast client is going through and I demonand systems alongside her husband Trey, adding value and ease to to serving her community. year, Wanda was recognized as the #1 visual tour for prospective buyers, often including drone course of tools almost every transaction,” says Eric,and “ourobtained clients become has “Everyone become The als the fact that the entirety of her business baseduse onofreferrals by get involved the neighborhood,” she andismake the best available to us aswith agents. he values most about his dailytheir work. “It’s card. so important ofEspecially 18, his explains. real estate license thatcalling same year. “Iare hadto strate my commitment to every detail. No one should ever be in the their clients’ experiences. For now, Jessica is content to serve the Agent in her market area, closing eighty sales—an impressive feat for to give house-hunters an epic view. From there, she sna our friends.” into the development side of the busine twenty-five“I years knowledge and and my role as to a live to always have says. “We enjoy building satisfied clients, an impressive feat by with any measure. think of it’scontract wants their friends family bybut them, so I like tofun,” get he inthroughout been running aable, digital marketing company my college dark during the process, wewealso itwith a point to aspiring buyers andserves sellers injust her community, one home atalong a socia time. to for employ theirthat vast knowledge a solo agent intransactional a for small-town community. bility through featured blog posts, YouTube and previous broker-owner, use make that expertise to the fullest advantage that the community and weindustry can pass in because we go above and beyond our clients,” sheso says, by touch the neighbors, maybe do open houses them.” years,” says Angelo, “and I knew a couple of people in real estate. Eric and Heather’s genuine, highly-professionalplacement real estate guidance throughonline coaching. communicate clearly and regularly.” on the leading listing platforms. L and set ourselves apart.” for years to come.” way of explaining this loyalty. “It’s our job to take on their stress I thought it sounded like a cool job, because I’m good at sales has paid off handsomely in many ways,Finally, including a perfect five-star with eight years of experience behind her and an ambi Today, Wanda serves Western Massachusetts’ Upper Pioneer Valley. makes use of key SEO practices, as well as Coldwell B for them. That’s how we look at it.” Kelly and her team not working, isabout passionate about giving and know a lotrave real estate.” Signing on withwants, HomeSmart, ratingare on not industryWhen websiteshe’s Zillow.com. Among theKelly many reviews take each client’s needs and itshe comes to keeping in touch with her client base, Jessica tious and eye on the road ahead,“We Jessica Davis considers what she When waswhen just twenty years Wanda built her own home with tech-forward marketing tool to make the most of prop stranger to goingWhen the extra mile necessary, andold, are willing back to her community, through her business she donates they have received is this one, which perfectly captures the experience “and immediately we want to make they to get Angelos distinguished himselfEric, almost as sure a force few times throughout the year to with catch up, remaining enjoys most herwere chosen career. “Ifirst love the people,” says the help of aher husband, and they ready still reside in the same idyllicofand setting debut.about “I really enjoy challenge marketing to get their handsreaches dirty ifout necessary. “If I’m getting to list athem: percentage herEric commissions toThey military charity Wounded of working “Heather are wonderful. thethe very phone call all theshe way thr be reckoned with. Having recently formed hisofown team, hepro is as a resource forwork clients long after theeither closing table has been helpful “It’s so says. rewarding work with all different types ofmake personalities a house and the client needs some done on it, we’re Warriors Project, and has been involved in the past with Defenders flexible with scheduling, extremely when determining the best documents.” more than thirty-two years later. Wanda’s pride in her hometown runs liketo putting the pieces together each ho parlaying his “I youthful energy, marketing expertisetoand dedication
37) LIVING ON COMMISSION
41) 5 SURE-FIRE WAYS TO GET MORE REFERRALS
44) WHAT THE FIRST THING YOU DO AFTER WORK SAYS ABOUT YOU
“It’s more than just can aoftransaction, andenjoys to meetspending people. Buying and selling real estate can be an going to get themreached. in touch with someone who help them, it’s or a friendship,” of Upton-Massamont Freedom. she She also with herbrand husband deep, and under the banner Coldwell Banker itnew possibly can.” into thebest creation of time a successful that is rapidly becoming “We truly believe that.” Likewise, Jessica sends out monthly intimate process; you become part of your we’re going to dosays. it ourselves. So if they need a flowerbed freshand their four children. “We love being with them, at their clients’ families for a Realtors, Wanda generates roughly 90% of her business through synonymous with excellence. newsletters toreferral provide informative data neighborhood valuesexperilittle That’s enjoyshe most—getting know people ened up, we might go grab a bag of mulch and help them that sporting activities, or justwhile. four-wheeling inpart the Ijeep,” says.back totoher repeat and clientele. She hasgeton also built substantial Beyond thethe office, Wanda gives communi news, and is soon to launch herprojects, own client on a deeper level.” taken care of.” and encemarket working alongside four planning unique development with one variety of civic and charitable venues. For twelve years, Angelos’ rapidly growing referral business is a sure indicator of s Eventually, Kelly would like openbase. herdirectors own brokerage. In the in particular geared toward affordable housing. In considering her thetoclient board of for local business a grateful “I think onethe thing that sets meassociation apart from a The appreciation her clients feel for her is perhaps best evidenced meantime, she is remaining focused on growing her business other agents mythe background psychology,” says professional philosophy, Wanda credits enthusiasm, local knowledge, servesison board forin the United Way of Angelos, Franklinby Co To learn more about Wesley Harper by this glowing review on Zillow.com: “We worked with Kelly while while sacrificing none of the exceptional client service that has way of several explaining this client loyalty. “I’m able get along with and lasting relationships as the core drivers of her success thus far. sub-committees, including thetoGovernance Co finding our first home. Kelly made the experience as painless become her hallmark. “Iemail love working with my clients,” she visit as WesleyHarper.com, Wesley@WesleyHarper.com, everyone, Auction and I canCommittee. navigate through difficult situations.” “My thatbeI readily care about themand and their needs,” she says. In her remaining free hours,His she possible. She made it aclients point toknow always available enthuses. “Helping hem get the to that next step in their lives is very, https://www.facebook.com/wesleyharperrealestate/ obvious concern for his clients also play a large role. “At the end of – 1861, or visit his Facebook page here. call (404) 934 “I put a lot of time into sitting down and communicating with them, spending time with her family and loved ones, and gard quick to reply back with a phone call, text or email. She was flexible very rewarding.” the day,” he explains, “I don’t view it as& a transaction. I’m Hamm creating helping them understand what the process is all For about.more I’m always information about Eric Heather a relationship person I’m selling a Copyright house to. ITop want to beM optimistic, upbeat, and look at the bright side of things. Of course, it’s As forwith the the future, Wanda has plans to continue growi Agent please call 574friends - 606 - 7402 or email teamhamman@yah with my clients.” also works hardroles to maintain not always an easy process to go through, especially in a competitive ness while takingAngelos on more mentorship within the her relationships he forms, andwith to that end strives to stay top-of-mind market, but my clients know I’m with them every step of the way, community. Now, a legacy that extends more than Copyrig with each of them. “I love calling my pastshe clients,” says, “just h every day.” Accessibility To andlearn responsiveness also playJessica central roles Wanda Mooney considers what valueshemost about more about Davis, 850 1909, reachingcall out to(612) them. Not only–for special events like birthdays and in Wanda’s working style. She makes sure that communication is love working with people,” she reflects. “I love meeting https://www.facebook.com/polstondavisrealty/ holiday, but just of her the blue to say hello topage them.” here. visit PolstonDavis.com, email email@example.com, or out visit Facebook www.
Top Agent Magazine is seen by Real Estate Agents and Brokers in every U.S. city and Internationally!
REALTOR Vendors and Please contact Real Estate Companies— firstname.lastname@example.org Get Nationwide & or callseeing 888-461-3930 for clear and constant throughout the ups and downs of the transactional new homes, and helping young people buying the International exposure! process. “It’s about constant communication from the time erty.and All in all, I’m a people person, and that’s what I adclients rates information. The appreciation his clients feel for him is perhaps best illustrated www.
start looking, to the time we close,” she explains. “Along the way, we about what I do.” by the excellent reviews he has receivedTop on Agent industry website Copyright Magazine Zillow.com, on which site he holds a perfect five-star overall
For more information about Kelly Snodgrass, rating. Among the testimonials is this one, which perfectly illusTop Agent Magazine
trates Angelos’ caring business ethos: “Great service. I would
3 please call 817 - 992 - 7871 or email email@example.com highly recommend Angelos Soukovelos and his team if you are
going to buy or sell a house! We were looking for a new house and asked Angelos for help. He is really professional, patient and
Daily Habits That Will Increase Your Mental Strength When it comes to building physical strength, the solutions are obvious, but keeping up your mental strength isn’t as easy as going to the gym. Although physical exercise does help clear your head and relieve stress, there are other things you can do daily that will help your mind be as strong and flexible as your body after a workout. Here’s just a few things you can do to help clear your head and make you more productive. 4
DON’T WASTE YOUR BRAIN POWER That might seem obvious, but think about how much mental energy you might use up worrying about negativity or things you have no control over. Instead of focusing on problems, focus on solutions. This actually take a lot of effort, we’re all conditioned to let worry paralyze us sometimes. Try and catch yourself when you’re Top Agent Magazine
wasting time thinking about about past mistakes or current dilemmas you don’t have the power to stop. You really only have so much mental energy, and if you have kids and an especially stressful work situation, that might be even less than normal. Start treating your brain like the precious resource it is. You don’t want to be running on empty when it really matters. BE MORE POSITIVE Eliminating negative thoughts is essential to increasing your mental strength. Carrying around negativity is like swimming with all of your clothes on. You might be okay at first, but eventually you’ll feel like you can barely stay afloat. Don’t drown in negativity, use positive thoughts as a lifesaver. This doesn’t mean you should ignore things you need to improve, just approach them with solutions rather than beating yourself up. Constant monitoring of this is important since it’s really easy to slide back into negative thinking. STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE A lot of mental energy can go to dealing with anxiety. One way to deal with that is by forcing yourself to try new things and take on new challenges, that you might normally avoid because they make you feel unsure or scared. Challenge yourself daily, even with small things. This is definitely something that becomes easier with practice. Start small, and in no time you’ll be taking on things you never Top Agent Magazine
thought were possible. The simple task of trying something new every day will have you feeling energized and put you on the path to self-growth. BE SELF-AWARE Your emotions affect everything you do, even if they’re not at the surface. Recognizing and labeling them is key. A lot of the above exercises require selfreflection. It’s okay to have the emotions you have, understanding why and where those emotions come from allows you to focus on dealing with them rather than just wallowing in them. Being self-aware is also about self-care. Know the things that help relax and rejuvenate you. That way you can handle everyday stresses and remain calm even during the most turbulent times. BE WILLING TO LEARN A lot of people are still hung up on the idea that learning is a boring and tedious process, but you aren’t in junior high anymore. You can find something you’re actually interested in and immerse yourself in it, which engages your mind like nothing else. Whether it’s learning a new technology that will improve your business or something that will make you a more well-rounded person, the learning process keeps you engaged and open to new ideas. A curiosity about the world and new things is something that all mentally strong people have in common. 5
MICHAEL ROENIGK & SUSAN TAYLOR Top Agents Mike Roenigk and Susan Taylor of Annapolis/Kent Island Coldwell Banker’s The Bay Group in Stevensville, Maryland joined forces only a year ago, but have already distinguished themselves as a powerhouse team that is redefining the concept of excellent customer service. With a focus on providing honest and dedicated real estate guidance and possessing a wealth of industry knowledge, this dynamic duo is well on their way to the pinnacle of their profession. Team Leader Mike began his journey in real estate as a parttime venture, but ultimately committed to the industry full-time, impressed by his ability to both help people and make a good living while doing it. Susan got her start at the young age of sixteen, answering phones at a RE/MAX franchise. Upon graduation from college, she obtained her license, and followed in the footsteps of her mother, who was also an agent. The two met eleven years ago, though it was only last year that the two decided to join forces to better leverage the excellent name recognition and solid reputations they had both achieved on Maryland’s eastern shore. “We work really well together,” says Mike. “We have a very good yin and yang thing happening,” adds Susan. Their combined experience assures that each transaction proceeds as smoothly as possible. “Mike and I also know the financing side really well,” says Susan, “so we’re able to figure out how to get through any difficult situations.” They work together so well, in fact, that they were recently ranked among the top ten of all Coldwell Banker teams, an impressive distinction by any standard. The pair’s commitment to their many clients has translated into a business is comprised nearly 50% of repeat and referred customers. Both Susan and Mike agree that their willingness to go above and beyond with their clients is a reason for this exceptional level of client loyalty. “Mike and I give what I supposed would be considered old-fashioned service,” says Susan. “We always return phone calls, and call all of our buyers back, even on weekends.” Adds Mike, “We’re always accessible to our clients and they appreciate that, because selling
a home is a really big deal. It’s a life-changing experience and sometimes they’ll need an answer on a Sunday night, and we’re always there for them.” The pair has even been known to pick up clients who don’t drive and shuttle them around for viewings, or to deliver paperwork requiring signatures to the elderly who don’t use computers. Exceptional, broad-spectrum marketing has also played a large role in the almost instantaneous success of The Bay Group. With two professional photographers at the ready, and a robust internet presence, Susan and Mike make sure that their listings are seen by as many potential buyers as possible. They also utilize social media platforms to great advantage. When asked what they like most about what they do, it’s telling that neither of them point to their commission checks. “I enjoy making people happy,” says Mike, “especially first-time home buyers who never thought they could achieve homeownership.” Susan concurs: “I like being able to take a situation that seems impossible and find a way to make it possible.” When he’s not working, Mike can be found spending time with his family, and enjoys boating, fishing and riding motorcycles. He is also actively involved with the non-profit Not My Kid, which works to make parents aware of the dangers of youth drug addiction. Susan’s downtime is often spent with her daughter, and enjoys nothing more than watching her play lacrosse. She has also taught Sunday school for the last three years, and also works to improve the plight of underprivileged children. As for the future, Susan and Mike’s plan is to continue growing their business and their team, and to continue providing the impressive level of client service that has become synonymous with The Bay Group. “We really enjoy what we do,” says Mike. “We’re looking forward to getting out there and helping even more people achieve their dreams.”
For more information about Mike Roenigk and Susan Taylor, please call 410 - 739 - 0369 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or SusieRMX@gmail.com 6
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Anthony Reno is proud to congratulate
Michael Roenigk & Susan Taylor
on being featured for the state of Maryland in Top Agent Magazine!
Anthony Reno | Branch Manager US Mortgage Corporation | Branch NMLS #1681437 Anthony.Reno@usmortgage.com usmortgage.com/Anthony.Reno www.
112 Saint Claire Place, Suite #203-A, Stevensville, MD 21666 Top Agent Magazine
There Goes the Neighborhood:
How to List High When Neighbors are a Nuisance Troublesome neighbors are a relatively common issue that agents come across. You can control the image of your client’s property and you can control your listing presentation, but you can’t always control what’s happening on your client’s street. How do you diffuse difficult neighbors that could lower your bottom line or embarrass you in front of prospective buyers? 8
First of all, it takes tact and a gameplan. With that in mind, let’s consider a few ways you can maintain a listing’s viability and competitive edge—even when bothersome neighbors are involved. Here are a few common neighborly scenarios agents encounter and how to diffuse them to your advantage.
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How do you diffuse difficult neighbors that could lower your bottom line or embarrass you in front of prospective buyers? It takes tact and a gameplan.
as a courtesy introduction to the neighborhood. While it may seem like needless busy work, it can dramatically improve prospective buyers’ perceptions of the area. Plus, you may positively ingratiate yourself with neighbors in the area and demonstrate your above-and-beyond service to your clientele in the process.
Is the neighbor’s landscaping an eyesore? Here’s your recourse. Most towns and cities have established ordinances regarding yard upkeep. If any of the properties adjacent to your listing are wildly overgrown, littered with junk, or otherwise in a state of obvious disrepair—take it up with the city. Rather than get directly involved at first glance, you might loop in city officials whose job it is to monitor clean-up efforts on rundown yards and properties. If this doesn’t work, you may have to take a more hands-on approach. Start by thinking small and operating from a place of authenticity and neighborly service. You might explain to the neighboring tenant that you’re listing and offer to mow their lawn Top Agent Magazine
Are there foreclosed or abandoned homes on your client’s block? Do your homework. It may take a little research and digging to figure out the banking entity that owns a foreclosed home, but it’s well worth the effort. Banks are typically required to maintain foreclosed homes on at least a basic level. If you’re worried about
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squatters, an unsightly façade, or general disrepair of a neighboring foreclosed property—go to the source. Sometimes banks take their time in hiring a third party to maintain a foreclosed property, but with some proactive prodding on your part, you may be able to speed the process along and resolve eyesores even before prospective buyers come calling. Remember: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. An improved bottom line will be your reward for those few prodding phone calls and emails.
Noisy, nosy, or annoying neighbors? Don’t be discouraged. Obnoxious neighbors can really rain on a seller’s parade, especially the kind of neighbor 10
that takes their less-than-stellar behavior to their porch, front yard, or sidewalk. While this sensitive issue may seem daunting, there are a few official channels you can utilize to thwart the issue before getting personally involved. If the neighborhood in question is governed by an HOA, you might take it up with them. If the troublesome neighbor is harassing passersby or taking to the sidewalk—in other words, public space—then you may be able to involve local authorities in worst-case scenarios. Of course, it’s always possible to talk to troublesome neighbors faceto-face, but do so with caution and with safety as the priority. Always reason gently and empathetically, utilizing I... phrasing, instead of accusatory You... phrasing. After all, some neighbors are clueless about their impact on the neighborhood and may adjust their behavior after being called out. If the issue persists and no third-party authority can help, then you may have to disclose the neighbor’s issues to prospective buyers, depending on the disclosure laws in your region. While this may seem like a blow, you can at least rest easy knowing you pursued all the potential avenues for resolution available. Likewise, your client will likely appreciate your thorough efforts to resolve the issue. While troublesome neighborhoods can bring down an optimistic mood when listing a property, sometimes being real estate is all about being resourceful. With diligence, digging, and a little follow-up, you just may be able to resolve some of the issues plaguing your neighborly plot.
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Valerie Fitzgerald Top Agent Magazine
It’s no minor feat to remain among the handful of top real estate agents in the world. But with her unique blend of people skills, organiza tion and management, longtime Top Agent Valerie Fitzgerald consistent ly holds onto her ranking. That’s because Valerie has cracked the code on real estate leadership and team building. Her daily habits provide the proof: she is an expert at motiva ting others. Valerie went skydiving with Kathy Villa, (picture showed Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12
on cover page) her friend and col league who had it on her BUCKET LIST while she was sick with ter minal cancer. Kathy passed away 2 years ago. She entrusts people to take charge, encouraging them to excel in their individual areas of exper tise while contributing to the team. She ensures that each individual maintains the freedom to thrive in the specialized skills they bring to the whole. And she values numer ous meaningful partnerships with Top Agent Magazine
other real estate agents. In doing all this, Valerie has built and sus tained a luxury, Beverly Hillsbased real estate empire with international production levels that are out of this world.
pursues others’ input with the goal of learning how different people can improve on what the team is already doing. Marketing luxury properties and meeting the needs of their buy ers and sellers, she says, is more fun and more successful when everyone “I love new, fresh ideas and different contributes to making things more eyes and opinions,” says Valerie. exciting, more visual and more “When people come to the table, I effective. make sure they know I want their opinion. I don’t want them just to Valerie knows the best way to reach think I’m in charge.” She actively genuinely interested luxury buyers Top Agent Magazine
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After all, there is no shortage of pub lic interest in the luxury real es tate of Brentwood, Bel Air, Holmby Hills, Westwood, Miracle Mile and the Wilshire Corridor, Sunset Strip, Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Venice and Malibu. But Valerie and team understand that the only way to sell premium luxury properties is to connect with the narrow pool of qualified buyers nationally and internationally. To do that, they conduct targeted online marketing campaigns and leverage their mem bership in the largest network of international property portals. As a result, they not only draw qualified from around the world is to incorpo borrowers from across the globe to rate the contemporary expertise of their LA and Beverly Hills area list techsavvy professionals. She there ings, but they attract international fore relies on her growing corps of listings in exotic corners of France, emerging talent, whose skills and Italy, Monaco, Spain, Fiji, and more. input boost her elite Coldwell Bank er Previews International business. Each of these listings, says Valerie, The group’s approach to real estate receives the extraordinary quality sales blends contemporary market of service, honesty, integrity, discre ing tools with traditional approaches. tion and conscientious attention that “I learned years ago that you have Valerie’s clients deserve and expect. to be as targeted in your market To reach this high service level, ing as possible,” she says. Though Valerie’s empowers team members she appreciates the exposure to a each to contribute to her vision of combined 25,000 Facebook, Insta unmatched homebuyer and seller gram and Twitter followers, Valerie experience. Staging and profes knows that kind of exposure doesn’t sional photography and video, for in stance, are “musts” for every listing. sell $20 million homes. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 14
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“Buyers want to see lifestyle in every room of a house and you have to point it out to them,” says Valerie. While it’s generally assumed that the homes she lists will be staged, Valerie’s team is prepared to address sensitive issues with certain clients. “If someone’s house is not look ing well, we might suggest that we move some of their things out and do some staging to make it look more look more ‘today’. But that’s where we have to be delicate,” she says. “The homeowner’s feelings may get hurt,” she says, adding that her team is ready for this. By sharing exam ples of unstaged listings that didn’t attracting buyers, most sellers will agree to highend staging. In a career that has included featured Top Agent Magazine
roles in HGTV’s “Selling LA” and high acclaim for her inspiration al book, Heart and Sold, Valerie remains an unstoppable leader and mentor. The newest members of her team include her ace marketing di rector, a whiz with online and social media marketing. Two other rising Copyright Top Agent Magazine 15
stars just opened Valerie’s new of fice in Palm Springs. “These two agents are rocking it down there! They learned the market and just figured out how to make deals work. They’re doing some really innova tive things online and at the personal level.” Valerie’s reputation for open ness to emerging talent has even spread to collegeage students from all over the world who apply for internships with her team. Tapping still further into the savvy approaches of young professionals, Valerie has expanded into Eastern Europe. “We’re starting to see a lot of interest from Russia, so I’ve got a new Russian escrow coordina tor on my team who also does the marketing there.” Valerie appreci ates how much she, personally, is learning from her growing crop of talent. As she brings people into the team, however, she looks for strong personalities who can withstand the occasional tempers and anxiety of highend buyers. “We move quickly and with clarity, creativity and ideas,” she says, adding that part and parcel to the success they create for clients and themselves is a network
of strong relationships with other real estate agents. By seeking out talented individuals to partner with throughout her career and by nurturing strong networks with other real estate agents, Valerie has deepened the solid foundation with which she built her real estate empire. “With the right people on any team, everything can – and does – flourish,” she says.
To learn more about Valerie Fitzgerald, valeriefitzgerald.com, email email@example.com or call 310.285.7515 . www
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5 Lessons from Silicon Valley to Modernize and Monetize Your Business Silicon Valley may be the region for disruptors, tech entrepreneurs, and futurists, but even the most forward-thinking, abstract companies are still businesses that have to keep tabs on their bottom line. Thereâ€™s much to learn from Americaâ€™s fastest-growing sector, and even if Silicon Top Agent Magazine
Valley seems like a world unto its own, there are key lessons prime for adaption in your own endeavors. Below, consider a few ways to translate the trends and teachings of Silicon Valley for your own business, and reap the rewards in the process.
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1. Diversify your value Real estate is a business built on relationships, but your relationships will go stale if the only thing you communicate is you interest in making a sale. In order to sustain relationships for the long term, you’ve got to remain valuable to your clients beyond the transaction. Serve as a local resource, not just a salesperson or real estate expert. Ensure your marketing materials, social media presence, and communications offer useful, relevant, and original content your clients will benefit from. What’s more, vary your communications so that every time you reach out it’s not just about new business or a referral.
2. Company culture matters Silicon Valley tech giants always emphasize the importance of company culture—not just as a way of drawing and retaining talent, but also as a way to appeal to clientele. What are your company’s values? What do you stand for? How you’re positioned in the marketplace is becoming just as important as what you do and how well you do it. Your company culture is part of your branding, and your brand should feel clear and composed to clients eyeing your services.
3.Think big picture More and more, clients want to have an experience, not just a transaction. When it comes to buying a home, this means they care more about a property’s bedroom and bathroom count. As an agent, consider showcasing properties in terms of lifestyle. What neighborhood amenities are nearby? What opportunities are there for community involvement? How does public 18
transportation stack up in the area? Before making the purchase of a lifetime, clients want to envision a complete lifestyle.
4. Leverage multiple platforms By now, you probably recognize that social media is not afterthought. Your social media presence should fit your brand and voice, interact across platforms, and actively engage with your audience. In other words, if you want to reap the benefits of social media, it’s not enough to post a few times a month and walk away. Active engagement means responding to comments, interacting with your followers’ profiles, and posting original content beyond a sales pitch. Likewise, you’ll want to be active across multiple social media platforms and ensure that your profiles are interconnected. That way, you’ll be working from a unified voice and brand.
5. Reputations rule the roost Never underestimate the power of word-ofmouth marketing and testimonials. If you haven’t asked for feedback from past clients, and you aren’t sharing positive testimonials and reviews—you’re missing out on one of the most powerful tools at an agent’s disposal. You can pitch the virtues of your working style all day long, but those courting your business want to hear about positive experiences from the client’s perspective. If you want to take your business to the next level and maximize the twenty-first century values of a company on the rise, look to the lessons of Silicon Valley to get your start. There are always opportunities to innovate, and doing so will help you break from your routine and stand apart from the pack.
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JOE EBERLE 19
JOE EBERLE Top Agent Joe Eberle of Weichert Realtors in Chatham, New Jersey approaches his job with enthusiasm and intelligence, armed with a vast arsenal of industry knowledge. His steadfast commitment to providing all of his clients with exceptional service and expert real estate guidance has solidified his reputation as one of the most trusted agents currently working in The Garden State. Joe found his way into the real estate world via a former career in Corporate America, where he worked in both finance and sales. “I actually got started by taking an exam to be a referral agent,” he remembers. “As I learned about the business, I decided to become a dual-career agent, and then I eventually transitioned into a full-time agent.” Serving Morris, Essex, Union and Somerset counties, he quickly established himself as an agent who can be trusted to handle even the most complex of real estate transactions, while simultaneously providing hands-on, personable service. A significant portion of Joe’s business is based on repeat clients and referrals, a true barometer of success in the real estate industry. “I take a lot of pride in the fact that I get referrals,” says Joe. “To me, it’s the highest compliment I can receive.” When asked to account for this client loyalty, Joe grows thoughtful for a moment before replying. “I think it’s my personal and professional core values of hard work, service and ethics that I put to work for my clients,” he says. “I’ve delivered results for them, and as a result of that, they’re willing to refer me to their friends and family.” Joe’s ability to think outside the box has facilitated many a transaction for his clients, another factor in his ever-growing success. “My manager sees me as a proactive problem-solver,” he explains. “I look through the lens of how I can make lemonade out of lemons, and I believe my positive approach is also something that contributes to my success.” His tenacity is also a hallmark of his approach, as evidenced by this glowing testimonial on Zillow.com: “We worked
with Joe for nearly a year and he stuck with us. He listened to our concerns and pointed us in the right direction, always patient. We found our new home, and Joe was able to find great renters for our previous home. We will absolutely call him again.” Joe’s approach to marketing is decidedly unique, coupling state of the art techniques with an old-fashioned pound-the-pavement ethos that ensures his listings are seen by as many potential buyers as possible. “In addition to marketing them on the MLS, of course, I also get creative. A couple of years ago I went into Hoboken and dropped flyers off at every day care center, figuring that they’d reach people who would soon be outgrowing their homes and would need to make a move.” When speaking with Joe, his passion for real estate is glaringly obvious. “I love real estate,” he says. “That kind of shines through when I’m talking to people. I can talk about it for hours.” He is also passionate about sharing his knowledge with up-and-coming agents, that he mentors and trains in Weichert’s Chatham office. Joe is also heavily involved in his local community, and to that end is a member of the Knights of Columbus and volunteers at the local senior centers. He also arranges the town-wide signing of giant Christmas cards for the local fire, police, and EMS departments and he donated Library Boxes for the playgrounds at local elementary schools. When he’s not working, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife of twenty-five years and his three children, two who are in college and one who is just starting high school. He is also a track and cross-country coach at his son’s school and for the Chatham Recreational Track and Cross-Country Program. Looking to the future, Joe’s plan is to continue to build his business and burnishing his reputation as the “go-to-guy” for real estate in his local area. “I take pride in that,” he says. “I’m really excited to see what the future holds.”
For more information about Joe Eberle, please call 908 - 868 - 4800 or email JEberle@Weichert.com. You can also find Joe at facebook.com/JoeEberleWeichertRealtors www.
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How to Answer the Inevitable Question:
Why Should I Choose You? In some markets, a real estate agent is competing against thousands of other individuals and teams. There are only so many bells and whistles—so many buzz words you can throw at prospective clients. To a buyer or seller who has interviewed several other agents already, all of it begins to blend together and every realtor sounds as though they’re reading off the same script. Your clients want to know why they should choose you. They want to know what makes you different. It’s highly likely they’ll even Top Agent Magazine
ask you this question directly in your initial interview, but as an agent, you might have a hard time coming up with a response that either you or your clients are truly satisfied with. To answer your client’s why you must go back to your own why. WHAT SKILLS DO YOU HAVE THAT OTHERS DON’T? Just because there are other agents in your area doesn’t mean those agents have the
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same skills that you do. We each bring our own backgrounds and experiences to the table. What comes naturally to you? Maybe it’s your negotiating skills or your ability to connect people that sets you apart from the rest. WHAT PART OF THE BUSINESS DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST? There are skills and then there are passions. In real estate, there’s so much to enjoy. There’s the opportunity to match a family with the right home and the sense of safety and comfort that brings their loved ones. There’s the ability to give someone a sense of financial security by advocating and negotiating on their behalf. And then there’s the houses and neighborhoods themselves— the architecture, history, and community. WHAT ARE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS? When you look at your client list and the portfolio of work that you’ve built over the years, what are you most proud of? Sure, there are financial rewards, but there are also other accomplishments that your prospective clients will likely be eager to hear about, such as happy client testimonials, a thriving referral business, volunteer and charity work, or even how you lift and support your own team. Everyone needs money, but those other accomplishments and how you speak about them show your client what kind of person 22
you are and if that’s the type of person they want to work with. WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS? Real estate might seem like your entire world at times, but you also have a life outside of work. Maybe you like music or traveling or being outdoors. The best part about being a realtor is that there are often ways you can thread these interests into your work, like hosting client functions and events. WHAT DOES YOUR CLIENT CARE ABOUT THE MOST? Let’s face it, your clients likely care the most about only a few things: saving or making the most money, doing it as soon as possible, and making sure that doing so isn’t too stressful. Your response to your client’s question—why should I choose you?— should address these concerns. Maybe you excel at creating systems that make the selling process efficient and profitable for your client. Or maybe you excel at providing a personalized experience for homebuyers. Try out a few responses. You might even start with a template: My [skills or passions] helps me [provide this service] because I can [achieve my client’s goal]. Like most things in life, coming up with a compelling and concise response for why clients should hire you will take time and practice.
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JAN ELLINGSON 23
JAN ELLINGSON Jan Ellingson got her start in the real estate industry more than two decades ago. At the time, she was invited to parlay her management skills as the head of a local real estate office. Since then, Jan has crafted a sterling career and a reputation as a consummate professional. What’s more, she has cemented herself as an agent and leader through authentic investments in her community and clientele, earning a host of accolades along the way. These awards include Realtor of the Year, Community Service Award, and the Exceptional Service Award from the North Puget Sound Association of REALTORS®, as well as Realtor of the Year, Instructor of the Year, Community Service Award from Washington REALTORS®. She was also recognized by the Skagit Women’s Alliance Network as Business Woman of the Year. Today, Jan is based in Mount Vernon, Washington and heads two teams of the Ellingson Home Group: a group of eight based in Mount Vernon, and a growing team of two in Ferry County. With the vast majority of her business generated by repeat and referral clientele, Jan has established a proven track record of success when it comes to performance and staying power. For her part, she cites industry knowledge, superlative service, and a trustworthy reputation as the foremost drivers of her success thus far. Likewise, her unique prior experience as a Skagit County Planning Commissioner uniquely positions her as an expert in the region and in land use issues—skills that add value to her work as an agent and office leader. She is also a real estate instructor and thus a veritable treasure trove of knowledge when it comes to clear communication and the industry’s intricacies. “We are really good at setting appropriate expectations for our buyers and sellers. They know exactly what’s going to happen next in the process,” Jan says. “We make it a point to stay in communication, and call buyers and sellers with feedback and updates on the process. We also offer classes for all buyers, where we bring in a lender, inspector, home warranty specialist, and a title and escrow specialist—that way buyers, especially first-time buyers, can get a good sense for the whole picture.” When it comes to keeping in touch with clientele cultivated over her twenty-year tenure in the industry, Jan stays connected through phone
calls, emails, and tried-and-true face-to-face time. In fact, the relationships built over the course of her career are what Jan enjoys most about her daily work. “I love connecting people to a home,” she says. “Whether I do it through my real estate activities or through Habitat for Humanity, I just love the look on people’s faces when they move in to their home.” As for listing properties, Jan’s marketing efforts run the gamut. To create exposure online, Jan takes to the MLS, personalized sites, and the far-reaching influence of social media to create widespread buzz for listings headed to market. Likewise, as a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) she leverages the global visibility of international websites to draw interest from afar. To create a local buzz, open houses, and agent-to-agent flyers help source regional buyers in short order. All told, Jan’s industry and market knowledge set her apart for her seasoned insight, and clients benefit from an evenhanded agent with a veteran’s experience and track record. To give back to her community, Jan is active in both professional, charitable, and civic causes. She currently serves as President of Skagit Habitat for Humanity. In the past, she has served as the Vice Chair of the Skagit County’s Planning Commission, a member of the Skagit Envision Project, local President for the North Puget Association of REALTORS®, state Treasurer and President of Washington REALTORS®, and as a Regional Vice President for the National Association of REALTORS®. Alongside her husband, Jan has also dedicated herself as a foster parent to twenty-two pregnant teenagers, and often mentors local high school seniors. In her remaining free hours, Jan enjoys time spent with loved ones, singing in a band, and the occasional round of golf. Looking ahead, Jan has plans to continue growing her business and developing her intrepid teams. In the next five years, she hopes to expand her Mount Vernon team, and is in the process of hiring another marketing assistant. For now, Jan is content to continue serving the aspiring buyers and sellers of Washington, while leading her team to new heights in the years to come. Now, with two decades of experience behind her and a steady eye on the road ahead, the future is bound to be bright for Jan Ellingson.
To learn more about Jan Ellingson email Jan@JanEllingson.com, call (360) 610 – 4832, or visit janellingson.com www.
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Modern Email Etiquette for Today’s Agents In today’s tech-forward culture, consumers are constantly inundated with promotional emails, alerts, invites, and social media blasts. As a real estate agent or a loan officer, how do you stand apart from the noise? What’s more, how do you stay relevant in a digital landscape that’s constantly changing? For starters, there are a few timeless techniques you can apply to up your skillset when it comes email and digital communication: asking questions that Top Agent Magazine
inspire conversation, politeness, and following up regularly—to name a few. Likewise, there are surely new tricks you can add to your arsenal to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s outline a few ways you can refine and update your email etiquette to compete in today’s virtual marketplace.
Make your subject line count Too often, we labor over the content of our emails without giving much thought to subject lines.
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Though email is no longer a new-fangled invention, there are certainly ways you can modernize its use and take advantage of its ubiquity. However, these little headlines can go a long way in luring the consumer to open your email and ultimately click through to your website in search for your services. An enticing subject line should be short and sweet, ideally less than fifty characters. You might also include the name of the recipient, and be up front (though concise) about the subject matter of your message. Remember: the first thing a client will see is your name and subject line—be sure to make this prime real estate shine.
Think mobile Research tells us that 79% of Americans check their phones within fifteen minutes of waking up. In fact, much of modern day correspondence occurs by smartphone. Accordingly, you’ll want to account for email readability on a mobile phone. For instance, incorporating paragraph breaks for each new thought allows information to be parceled out in a palatable way for readers utilizing small screens. Also, any sort of graphic flair or links within your email should be shortened and streamlined for mobile consumption. Send yourself an email every now and again and access it from your phone—you’ll be able to double-check that all the elements of your emails are working well on a mobile platform.
Incorporate email tools There are excellent tools out there to enhance your email experience. With just a quick download, 26
you can add spellcheck, a URL address shortening feature, or a delay option that holds emails for thirty seconds before they’re sent. Think about the possibilities! Haven’t you sent an email without including the attachment you intended, or realizing you sent correspondence to the wrong client? If that’s the case, a delay feature can help you save face and build in a window for error— just in case. Regardless of which tools speak to your email habits, there are plenty of add-ons out there that can revamp your digital correspondence style.
Use email to maximize your online presence These days, there are plenty of ways to communicate—email, text, phone, apps, and social media. When you interact through email, consider it an opportunity to invite your client to follow you elsewhere online. Ensure that your email signature includes unobtrusive, streamlined links to your social media accounts, professional website, or review page. This will build in an opportunity for clients to engage with your brand, and you may even add an online follower for the long term. Though email is no longer a new-fangled invention, there are certainly ways you can modernize its use and take advantage of its ubiquity. Keep these approaches in mind as you reenergize your email technique and fortify your communication in the digital era.
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TAYLOR JENNINGS 27
TAYLOR JENNINGS Top Agent Taylor Jennings of Keller Williams Arizona Realty in Scottsdale, Arizona is as solid as they come. Hardworking, dedicated, and with a focus on clear, consistent communication with his many clients, Taylor’s career is skyrocketing and shows no sign of slowing down. His genial, affable nature is coupled with a fierce determination to advocate for his clients in every situation, a winning combination by any measure.
house. It’s nice to have value, and know that they need me.” He also appreciates the ability to be his own boss at Taylor Jennings Real Estate. “My business is only a couple of years old,” he enthuses, “but I get to market myself; I’m a shameless self-promoter. I believe in myself, what I’m doing, and I like engaging the public. I like being a business owner and being responsible for what happens to my business.”
A beautiful oasis in the desert, Scottsdale is a region rife with golf courses, and Taylor spent nine years as a caddy before beginning his journey in real estate three years ago. “At one point, I was in my late twenties and had business degree, and I was looking around at all these other people in town who had found success in real estate in one form or another,” he recalls, “so I decided to get my license.” He initially tested the waters selling time shares at a Westin resort and had brief success, but quickly realized it wasn’t for him. Upon the advice of a neighbor, also a Realtor, he interviewed with Keller Williams, and the rest is history.
During the rare moments when Taylor isn’t working, he loves spending time with his wife and child (he has a second on the way.) He’s also an avid golfer and foodie. “I’m a big family guy,” he says. He is also active in his local church, and coaches his son’s t-ball team.
Hitting the ground running, Taylor quickly embraced the Keller Williams ethos of continuing education, and set about learning as much as he could about his new industry. “I really focus on raising my competency levels,” he says. “There’s so much emphasis on coming from contribution at Keller Williams, and about how to serve the client. We train and talk and mastermind all of the time.” His natural competitive nature also served as a propellant, and he soon found himself with a business that was based significantly on referrals, a true metric of success in the real estate business. “I want to raise my level to that of the best people in this town,” he says. While many in his profession are often criticized for their less-thanprompt response times, Taylor endeavors to respond without delay whenever possible. “I want my clients to feel like they’re having a concierge-type experience,” he says, “and what really seals the deal is my speed of communication. I respond to text messages, phone calls and emails very quickly.” His self-professed “blue-collar work ethic” is also a significant factor in his rapid ascent in the industry. “I believe my success comes from my willingness to outwork my competition. I fully engage in the activities that lead to opportunities.” Taylor utilizes broad-spectrum, cutting-edge marketing tools to ensure his listings are seen by as many potential buyers as possible. Open houses, Professional photography, just-listed postcards, and a robust internet and social media presence are all elements he utilizes to great effect. He is also leveraging video in new and highly effective ways, including video messages via email and text. Additionally, his “coming soon” pre-MLS marketing is an integral part of his approach, which has consistently translated into quick sales.
Taylor’s continued success is assured, and his commitment to his career and to his clients is made evident by this passage from the daily affirmation he does each morning with his real estate mentor: “My name is Taylor Jennings and I am bold. I am a loving husband and a focused father. My daily activities and behaviors result in 36 transactions a year automatically, leading me to live a life of abundance funded through my real estate business while providing massive value to my community. I am kind, caring, and considerate of others. I’m honest. I do what I say I’m going to do and I do it on time. I am the best at what I do. I have a positive impact on lives and people need me. My name is Taylor Jennings and I am number one.”
For more information about Taylor Jennings, call 480 - 290-3820, email Taylor@TaylorJenningsRealEstate.com, or visit TaylorJenningsRealEstate.com www.
When asked what he enjoys most about what he does for a living, Taylor grows thoughtful for a moment before replying. “I like that I get to take ownership and responsibility for the outcome of my client’s transactions. It’s a very big deal for someone to buy or sell a 28
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How To Overcome Your Workplace Fears Fear is something that can help protect us from danger, but it is also something that can be a hindrance to us in our lives, especially when it keeps us from potentially thriving and growing as a person. This is especially true in the workplace. Here’ a look at some proven ways to overcome common workplace fears.
ASSESS THE FEELINGS BEHIND THE FEAR
Really owning the emotions that are putting you in a place of fear, is the first step. By just naming it and then talking it out in your head, what exactly you’re feeling and why, it can help deflate the fear. Think of it as releasing some of the fear into the ether. Yes, you’ll still be nervous about your presentation, but a lot of what was holding you back is gone. You’ll feel lighter, and hopefully have just enough butterflies to make your soar.
TALK ABOUT YOUR FEARS WITH A TRUSTED CO-WORKER
Nothing can make you feel more isolated than going down the path of “This is something that only happens to me.” Trust me, it doesn’t, and you might be surprised to find out that some people have had it even worse. Talking to someone you trust and admire, hearing their own fear horror stories and how they overcame them, will help normalize what you’re feeling. Releasing yourself from the idea that it’s something about you, will be an enormous relief.
THINK OF THE WORST CASE SCENARIO
Although it might seem counter-productive, truly assessing what the worse outcome of the situation you’re afraid of serves two purposes. It might lead you to realize the worst case scenario isn’t that bad Top Agent Magazine
after all. Of course it could also lead you to a really uncomfortable thought, you could lose your job. As bad as that is, it also gives you an opportunity to start focusing on what really matters, and how you might grow from the experience and possibly end up better off. Countless people in their dream jobs now, were once fired and thought it was the end of the world. Hopefully, that won’t happen to you, but learning to have confidence in your abilities to always find a way, will be a great tool in overcoming fears.
If you’re a super-organized type, you might try actually setting aside time in your day to focus on your fears. It might seem odd, but it will let you NOT focus on your fears during the other hours of your day. Think of it as a task, you aren’t just sitting there worrying, you’re taking in your fears and figuring out ways to overcome them.
START THINKING OF YOUR FEARS AS OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
Start thinking of fears as challenges. As scary as it might seem to face them, for the most part they are things that can be fixed. A lot of fear is based on inexperience which leads to a lack of confidence. A common fear is workplace evaluations. Instead of looking at it as hearing everything that is wrong about you, think of it as an opportunity to see where you can improve. Going into it with a positive attitude rather than a defensive posture, will make the whole thing better for both parties. Overcoming fears is oftentimes about a simple attitude adjustment. Like anything it takes practice, but the results of that practice will lead to a life that you’re able to thrive in both personally and professionally.
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JEFF BORHAM Top Agent Jeffrey Borham of Jeff Borham & Associates at Keller Williams Realty in Tampa Bay, Florida has earned his reputation as a consummate professional who can always be trusted to put his client’s needs front and center. Providing stellar client service and possessing above all else a desire to help both sellers and buyers achieve their dream of home ownership. This native son’s star continues to rise in the real estate industry, showing no sign of slowing down. “I got into the real estate industry when I was twenty years old and buying a condo,” says Jeff. “The sales manager was so impressed that I was buying a home at such a young age that he offered me a part-time position. I excelled at it, and the rest is history.” That was in 2005, and since then Jeff has built a solid business, creating a team, with fourteen dedicated professionals currently and growing. When selecting team members, he seeks out those that have that same client first ethos. With nearly eighty percent of his business based on referrals from repeat customers and referrals – including those from other real estate professionals – Jeff is clearly making his mark on the industry. Client loyalty is, perhaps, the most solid evidence of a team who truly cares about their clients, and Jeff points to that rate of repeat and referred business as one reason for that loyalty. “I think it’s about our commitment to doing whatever it takes for them,” says Jeff. “We have a duty to really fight for our clients, and I think that’s ingrained in all of us. We’re delivering a true commitment and ten-plus customer service experience. By building my team and having a top-notch professional in every capacity, we really can check off the boxes to make sure we have an experienced negotiator, an expert compliance person, an effective marketer and so forth. We deliver exceptional service across the board.” While “dropping the ball” tends to be a common complaint of many buyers and sellers, Jeff and his team work hard to maintain
consistent communication and constant contact throughout the transaction process. “It’s about the follow through,” he says. “When we tell our clients we’re going to do something, we do it. Our clients appreciate that and it is what sets us apart from the typical experience, creating raving fans and referrals. We have our communication systems in place, and we keep communication high, so they always know we are on top of things. When we tell a client what we are going to do, we do it, then we let them know we did it, and then we tell them what is going to happen next. We’re tenacious about that.” For Jeff, it’s all about being able to help people achieve their dreams, whether it’s his clients or his staff. “I love what I am doing now, especially with building a team,” he explains. “If I was a single agent I’d be selling thirty-five or forty houses. This year, I’ll get to help a couple hundred people through the real estate process whether it’s buying, selling or investing. In addition, I get to provide a great place to work for my team, and that gives me joy on both sides of it.” Giving back is of vital importance to Jeff. Personally, he donates to multiple charities and organizations including Scouts, as an Eagle Scout it is very important to him to continue to support scouting. He is involved with numerous groups, including the local chapters of Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs. Working under the Keller Williams banner allows Jeff and his team to participate in the company’s Red Day, which benefits a changing roster of charitable organizations. As for future plans, Jeff will continue to grow his business and only a fool would bet against him eventually becoming the top team in the Tampa Bay area. “We’re going to grow much larger, and help a lot more people. We’re going to expand into South Florida and really have a footprint in a large portion of the state.”
For more information about Jeff Borham, please call 866.308.7109 ext. 715 or email Jeff@JeffBorham.com Top Agent Magazine
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ROBB COLLEY Top Agent Robb Colley has made a name for himself as a trusted real estate advisor. With more than 2,000 brokered transactions to his name, his years of experience and vast industry knowledge have set him apart from his competitors, and resulted in a solid reputation as a Realtor who truly cares about his many clients. As co-owner – alongside his wife, Kelly – of Gulf Coast Brokers, Alabama Homefinders and AHF Commercial, Robb consistently provides top-notch client service to grateful buyers and sellers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Robb began his journey in real estate in 2003, when he was working for his family business. “It was the bail bond business,” he says, “and I just kind of outgrew it. I was dealing with a lot of criminals. I had a family, and I just decided it wasn’t something I could do forever. So I told my dad and my brother that I was leaving, and that I was going to try real estate.” Jumping in with both feet, Robb quickly established a successful business that continues to grow exponentially year after year. His negotiating prowess and deep knowledge of current market trends, coupled with his self-admitted “fierce competitiveness,” have all worked in concert to position him squarely at the top of his profession. While wife Kelly focuses primarily on the Montgomery market via Alabama Homefinders, most of Robb’s work is done via Gulf Coast Brokers in the Orange Beach/Gulf Shores area, a popular vacation destination. With an equally-dedicated team of thirty-five, Robb can boast of a business that is based ever-increasingly on repeat and referral clients, one of the surest metrics of client satisfaction in the real estate industry. “Our focus has always been on building relationships instead of on closings,” he says, by way of explaining this client loyalty. “We’ve always tried to make the entire process more personal.” Robb and Kelly also own the Alabama Homefinders Real Estate Institute, which
provides education opportunities for both current and prospective real estate agents. One needs to look no further than the wealth of five-star reviews on their business websites to understand the level of appreciation Robb and Kelly’s clients feel for them and the service they provide. “(Robb and Kelly) both care about the wants and needs of their clients, the friendships produced by this and they both also know and understand the value of a dollar. It’s not just about building a business or the amount of money they can make...it’s about family and building relationships. A relationship you can trust and believe in,” reads just one. Robb and Kelly are committed to giving back to their community, and to that end they volunteer at local nursing homes, spending time with the elderly. “People put their family in nursing homes,” he says, “and then they never go visit them.” They are also heavily involved with multiple Chamber of Commerce events, and are also active in their church. They take pride in their business being both Christian and family-owned. When they’re not working, Robb and Kelly enjoy spending time with their four sons, Trey, Dalton, Pierce and John Walker. Fishing and boating are among their favorite pastimes. “It seems like every picture of our family has water in the background,” Robb says with a laugh. Looking to the future, Robb’s plans are to eventually franchise both of their companies, and to continue to provide the excellent client service that has become their hallmark. “I want my clients to know that I can help them,” he says, his sincerity obvious. “Even if it’s not right now, but down the road. If they come and work with my team, we will be able to help them find the property they are looking for.”
For more information about Robb Colley, please call 334 - 315 - 2700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 32
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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 34
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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JESSICA DAVIS Jessica Davis was always intrigued by the real estate industry. After graduating from college with a degree in business and political science, she set to work at the Governor’s office, sharpening her skillset for communication and detail work. In 2010, Jessica finally decided to make the leap and earn her license. In the eight years since, she has built a thriving business model and carved out an intrepid reputation for personalized service, comprehensive care, and an innate talent for creative problem-solving. Today, Jessica co-heads the Polston Davis Realty Group, under the banner of Keller Williams Realty Integrity Lakes. Together, she works with her husband, Trey, who joined the team last year, and with the support of a dedicated transaction coordinator. “My husband and I have very complementary skillsets,” she explains. “We really enjoy helping people through a major life event that can be really stressful. It’s our job to bring some peace and joy and structure to the process.” Serving the Twin Cities and its western suburbs, Jessica has managed to net 90% of her business through repeat and referral clientele—a testament to her proven staying power as an agent. To account for this accomplishment, Jessica credits communication and a personalized approach as the leading drivers of her success thus far. “My clients know that I care,” she says. “To me, they’re not just a transaction or a number. I take the time to understand what each client is going through and I demonstrate my commitment to every detail. No one should ever be in the dark during the transactional process, so we also make it a point to communicate clearly and regularly.” When it comes to keeping in touch with her client base, Jessica reaches out a few times throughout the year to catch up, remaining as a resource for clients long after the closing table has been reached. “It’s more than just a transaction, it’s a friendship,” she says. “We truly believe that.” Likewise, Jessica sends out monthly newsletters to provide informative data on neighborhood values and market news, and is soon planning to launch her own client
appreciation events in the future. As for listing properties, Jessica begins the process through a pre-listing appointment that assesses each sellers’ wants and needs. “Firstly, we listen to their situation and goals, so that we can best plug in,” she explains. Oftentimes, prepping a home prior to market includes staging, and all properties are equipped with professional photography. From there, homes are pre-listed to generate awareness and interest, and exclusive open house events create local intrigue. To ensure wide-ranging exposure, Jessica leverages the influence of social media, video marketing, and premium visibility across the leading online listing platforms. As a result, many properties find a buyer prior to their official debut. All the while, Jessica applies her knack for creative problem-solving and positivity to usher buyers and sellers alike toward the closing table. “I try to make it a fun process,” she says. “There are bumps along the road with anything in life, but you have to find a solution. That’s one of my strongest skillsets and where I thrive: problem-solving.” To give back to her community, Jessica and her husband are active with YoungLife and support athletic causes at the University of Minnesota, where her husband was a two-sport athlete. In their free hours, Jessica most enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and loved ones. She also enjoys hunting and fishing, water sports, downhill skiing, and yoga. Looking ahead, Jessica has aspirations to continue growing her business, with plans to implement even more streamlined processes and systems alongside her husband Trey, adding value and ease to their clients’ experiences. For now, Jessica is content to serve the aspiring buyers and sellers in her community, one home at a time. Finally, with eight years of experience behind her and an ambitious eye on the road ahead, Jessica Davis considers what she enjoys most about her chosen career. “I love the people,” she says. “It’s so rewarding to work with all different types of personalities and to meet new people. Buying and selling real estate can be an intimate process; you become part of your clients’ families for a little while. That’s the part I enjoy most—getting to know people on a deeper level.”
To learn more about Jessica Davis, call (612) 850 – 1909, https://www.facebook.com/polstondavisrealty/ visit PolstonDavis.com, email email@example.com, or visit her Facebook page here. www.
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ERIC & HEATHER HAMMAN Eric and Heather Hamman, husband and wife Leads of The Hamman Team at Century 21 Bradley in Winona Lake, Indiana are setting the world of real estate on fire. Selling a combined $90 million in the last three years alone, this dynamic duo is rising quickly to the top of their profession by offering expert guidance, exemplary customer service and a genuine concern for their client’s best interests. Eric and Heather, who were previously the proprietors of their own concrete and excavating business, and accounting company began their journey into the world of real estate in March of 2014 and found almost instant success. Currently working with a small but dedicated team that includes Heather’s mother, who functions as their personal assistant and is also a licensed agent, and Eric’s mother, a licensed agent who handles showings for them, the pair sells within a twenty-mile radius of Leesburg, Indiana. The couple specialize in the luxury market, and many of their properties have been listed at up to $4.2 million dollars. With the majority of their business based on referrals from grateful previous clients, The Hamman Team is clearly doing something right. When asked to account for this loyalty, Eric points to their expansive work ethic. “We’ve been told by a lot of people that we are the two hardest-working agents they’ve ever encountered,” he explains. “Even though we’ve achieved pretty great success and done very well for ourselves in this business, we still work as hard as we did the first day we joined Century 21 Bradley.” Perhaps another reason is the sturdy relationships the pair form with their previous clients. “During the course of almost every transaction,” says Eric, “our clients become our friends.” Eric and Heather’s genuine, highly-professional real estate guidance has paid off handsomely in many ways, including a perfect five-star rating on industry website Zillow.com. Among the many rave reviews they have received is this one, which perfectly captures the experience of working with them: “Heather and Eric are wonderful. They were flexible with scheduling, extremely helpful when determining the best
areas to search, and accurate with advice about lending options to best fit my needs. I love my home, but if I do ever decide to move, they will be my first call. I’m proud to say the Hamman’s are my Realtors and also my friends.” Expert marketing also plays a role in Eric and Heather’s success. Professional photography, video, impressive signage and a robust social media presence are among the many tools they utilize to great effect. “When we represent a property,” says Eric, “we go above and beyond. We’re firm believers that you get back what you put into your business.” While many other Realtors would point to their paychecks as being the best thing about their profession, Heather and Eric derive the most personal satisfaction from the more personal side of the transaction. “It can be a very stressful business,” says Eric, “but it’s very rewarding. The biggest thrill we get is knowing that we’re helping build futures for families.” Heather is also involved with My Team Triumph, an organization benefiting children, teens, and adults with disabilities and has run multiple 5 k’s to raise money for them. The pair are also heavily involved with local charities, including Magical Meadows, an organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding for special needs children and adults. They are also involved with Combined Community Services, which provides comfort, hope and resources for in-need residents of Kosciusko County. During the rare moments the pair isn’t working, they enjoy motocross, jet skiing, snowmobiling, and particularly enjoy traveling to indulge in those pursuits. Looking to the future, Eric and Heather plan to continue growing their business and offering their clients the unparalleled service that has become their calling card. The are also laying plans to branch out into the development side of the business, and would like someday to employ their vast industry knowledge to help other, newer agents through coaching. “We take each client’s wants, needs and futures very seriously,” says Eric, “and we want to make sure they get the best representation from the very first phone call all the way through to signing the closing documents.”
For more information about Eric & Heather Hamman, please call 574 - 606 - 7402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org 36
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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
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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WESLEY HARPER Wesley Harper’s experience in real estate goes further back than most. In high school, he cut his teeth in the industry by working as an assistant to a local agent. Then, after graduating, he earned his license and continued to expand his repertoire, eventually going solo in 1997. In the ensuing years, Wesley’s role and skillset has adapted to the industry’s various ups and downs, providing him comprehensive experience and insights that serve as a value-add for his clientele. He has garnered experience working alongside new construction properties, custom homes, distressed properties, and more. In 2006, he earned his broker’s license and has since launched his own brand in Wesley Harper Real Estate. What’s more, he has carved out a steadfast reputation for personalized service, incisive leadership, and indispensable industry knowledge. Based in Alpharetta, Wesley heads a tightknit team that includes five sales partners, all serving the North Metro Atlanta region. In addition to serving clients as an agent, Wesley’s plays a central role as team lead, providing resources for emerging agents on the rise. “We help newer agents develop their business under our umbrella,” Wesley explains. “They have key access to our tools and systems, and are able to plug into our structures. As a result, we are able to help them grow and take a hands-on approach, while nurturing their database, helping them build relationships, and steering them in the right direction.” Furthermore, Wesley cites communication, responsiveness, and client education as some of the key, overarching tenets of his professional practice. “We are always available, and I tell our team members: real estate is a lifestyle, not a job,” he says. “We are very accessible and we really protect clients throughout the contract process. From time limits to special stipulations—we ensure we advocate for our clients by giving every detail extra thought and explaining the process each step of the way. We are very strategic and make use of the best tools available to us as agents. Especially with twenty-five years of contract knowledge and my role as a previous broker-owner, we use that expertise to the fullest advantage and set ourselves apart.”
A personal touch plays a central role in Wesley’s work, and he stays connected to his broad sphere of clientele by going above and beyond. In addition to timely gifts that demonstrate his gratitude, Wesley also keeps clients informed through neighborhood news and market updates—passing along consistent value even beyond the closing table. As for listing properties, Wesley and his team blend the best practices of both digital and traditional marketing. First, properties are made ready for the market debut through staging consultations and professional photography. From there, all exposure is customized per property. This includes strategic pricing efforts, targeted and promoted ads, and identifying key buyer demographics to maximize results. Likewise, premium visibility across social media and the leading online listing platforms ensures a wide-ranging audience. “It’s all about accomplishing our clients’ respective goals,” Wesley says. “Every clients’ needs are unique. Whether their priority is timing or budgets, we make it a point to set realistic expectations from the beginning and follow through on our commitments to the end.” To give back, Wesley and his wife are involved with various organizations on a local level, supporting causes that benefit the special needs community—a cause close to their hearts because of their own son with Down Syndrome. In Wesley’s free hour, he most enjoys quality time spent with family and loved ones, enjoying the lake or taking trips to the beach, and catching the occasional round of golf. As for the future of his business, Wesley plans to continue steady development of his team and services. He also hopes to stretch his entrepreneurial spirit by continuing to build his relationships with area builders and developers. Finally, with decades of experience and a steady eye on the road ahead, Wesley Harper considers what he values most about his daily work. “It’s so important to stay adaptable, but to always have fun,” he says. “We enjoy building a business that serves the community and that we can pass along in our family for years to come.”
To learn more about Wesley Harper visit WesleyHarper.com, email Wesley@WesleyHarper.com, call (404) 934 – 1861, or visit his Facebook page here. www.
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WANDA MOONEY Wanda Mooney got her start in the real estate industry twenty-five years ago. Back in 1993, one of Wanda’s close friends was at the head of a thriving brokerage on New Hampshire’s Seacoast region and encouraged her to try her hand at the business. Intrigued by the challenge and with the timing finally right, Wanda decided to earn her license. Soon after getting her feet wet by working part-time, Wanda leapt fullforce into a full-time role as agent, rising to the challenge and taking advantage of every educational opportunity that came her way. Over the course of her ensuing career, Wanda has earned a masterful reputation for integrity, forward-thinking, and an authentic commitment to serving her community. Last year, Wanda was recognized as the #1 Agent in her market area, closing eighty sales—an impressive feat for a solo agent in a small-town community. Today, Wanda serves Western Massachusetts’ Upper Pioneer Valley. When she was just twenty years old, Wanda built her own home with the help of her husband, and they still reside in the same idyllic setting more than thirty-two years later. Wanda’s pride in her hometown runs deep, and under the banner of Coldwell Banker Upton-Massamont Realtors, Wanda generates roughly 90% of her business through repeat and referral clientele. She has also built substantial experience working alongside four unique development projects, with one in particular geared toward affordable housing. In considering her professional philosophy, Wanda credits enthusiasm, local knowledge, and lasting relationships as the core drivers of her success thus far. “My clients know that I care about them and their needs,” she says. “I put a lot of time into sitting down and communicating with them, helping them understand what the process is all about. I’m always optimistic, upbeat, and look at the bright side of things. Of course, it’s not always an easy process to go through, especially in a competitive market, but my clients know I’m with them every step of the way, every day.” Accessibility and responsiveness also play central roles in Wanda’s working style. She makes sure that communication is clear and constant throughout the ups and downs of the transactional process. “It’s about constant communication from the time clients start looking, to the time we close,” she explains. “Along the way, we
often become friends. I work hard to ensure my clients feel confidant and comfortable. I prepare them for whatever might lie ahead.” When it comes to listing properties, Wanda takes a proactive approach that blends tech-forward processes to great effect. In fact, staying ahead of the curve has always been a guiding principle for Wanda, and she was one of the first agents in the region to host her own personal website. “Even though I’m a country girl and I work in the hill towns, I’m very forward thinking,” she says. “I take full advantage of social media marketing, have a fabulous website, and my marketing plans are superb. I also have a great team behind me and I work really hard to represent my clients’ properties online.” To ensure that homes headed to market are showcased to the fullest, Wanda amasses high-quality photography and creates an immersive visual tour for prospective buyers, often including drone photography to give house-hunters an epic view. From there, she snares high visibility through featured blog posts, YouTube and social media, and placement on the leading online listing platforms. Likewise, she makes use of key SEO practices, as well as Coldwell Banker’s CBx tech-forward marketing tool to make the most of properties set to debut. “I really enjoy the challenge of marketing properties,” she says. “I like putting the pieces together to make each home look the best it possibly can.” Beyond the office, Wanda gives back to her community through a variety of civic and charitable venues. For twelve years, she served on the board of directors for the local business association and currently serves on the board for the United Way of Franklin County and on several sub-committees, including the Governance Committee and the Auction Committee. In her remaining free hours, she most enjoys spending time with her family and loved ones, and gardening. As for the future, Wanda has plans to continue growing her business while taking on more mentorship roles within her professional community. Now, with a legacy that extends more than two decades, Wanda Mooney considers what she values most about her career. “I love working with people,” she reflects. “I love meeting new people, seeing new homes, and helping young people buying their first property. All in all, I’m a people person, and that’s what I enjoy most about what I do.”
To learn more about Wanda Mooney, email Wanda@WandaMooney.com, https://www.facebook.com/wandamooneyrealtor/ page here. visit WandaMooney.com, call (413) 768 – 9848, or visit her Facebook www.
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5 Sure-Fire Ways to Get More Referrals by Bubba Mills
Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to market your services? Just serve and help clients all day—it’s why you chose real estate in the first place, right? To help people. But if you’re like most REALTORS®, you’re likely working your butt off just to get those clients. So what’s the answer? Referrals— from your current and past clients, family, friends and acquaintances. Imagine what your business would look like if everyone you knew gave you just one good buying or selling referral. Yeah, savor that feeling for a minute.
savings. Remember this: when you take exceptional care of your clients, they’ll do your marketing for free. Referrals are where the money is and here are five tips you can start using today to get more: 1. Make your service downright unforgettable. Past clients can’t refer you if they don’t remember you. Help them remember you by giving them memorable service. Take time to brainstorm ways to increase your service. Remember that referrals are earned, not paid for. By the way, I teach a seminar called Marry Me! Getting Your Clients to Say ‘I Do!’ that gives tips on how to offer service that yields referrals. Visit http://getbubbasnotes.com/marryme and get them free.
Run the numbers. Your average client who sticks with you is worth $25,000 if they move three times (first average commission is $5,000; they move in five years, that’s another $10,000 for the buy and sell. Same with the third 2. Cross promote and partner with move, another $10,000.) Then if the other businesses. Think about all the client refers two people, suddenly local businesses in your city and you’re talking $75,000. And that’s then ask this question: What can I without marketing, so add in that do to help those local businesses Top Agent Magazine
while promoting my business? Think coupons for your clients and leaving your business cards in their stores. 3. Think A.B.A.—Always Be Asking. If you don't ask, you don't get referrals. Add a P.S. to your email signature. Something like this: “P.S. If you know anyone thinking of buying or selling real estate, please tell them about ABC Real Estate and hit the reply button and tell us how we can help them!” Also, put some serious thought into your closing gifts. I’ve given Cutco Knives with my name engraved on the blades. Every time they use the knives, they think of me. Give gifts that have a shelf life. 4. Get involved in your community. People are more likely to refer to someone they believe is a good person – someone that gives back to the community. And remember, it’s not your signs all over town that make you a community icon; it’s what you do for your community. Volunteer at retirement centers, help rebuild and paint local parks, serve food at the local soup kitchen, take part in fundraisers and be seen at block parties and street picnics. 5. Show your gratitude when you do 42
get referrals. Thank your referrers for their help, and keep them updated on how the new relationship is going. The referral system is built on strong relationships and shared value. Share what’s on your mind. How much time are you spending to get referrals? Can you improve your referral numbers? If not, why not? What’s preventing you from getting more referrals? What successes or failures have you had with asking for referrals in the past? Please send any comments or questions you have to Article@CorcoranCoaching.com or http://www.facebook.com/Corcoran Coaching. Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching. com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into Real Estate Companies, Mortgage Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 or visit us at www.Corcoran Coaching.com. Top Agent Magazine
KELLY SNODGRASS Top Agent Kelly Snodgrass of JP & Associates is a full-service Realtor who consistently provides top-notch client service to her many grateful buyers and sellers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area of Texas. Her friendly, personable nature, coupled with her vast reservoir of industry knowledge, has resulted in her reputation as a real estate professional who truly cares about her clients. Kelly began her career in real estate in 2012, upon the advice of her husband, who is also a licensed Realtor. “I was going to school full time,” she explains, “and I was raising my kids. I was really burned out on school, so when he suggested that I’d make a great real estate agent, I decided to go for it.” Since then, Kelly has obtained her broker’s license, and currently oversees a team of ten equally-dedicated professionals. One sure sign that Kelly is providing exceptional client service is the fact that the entirety of her business is based on referrals by satisfied clients, an impressive feat by any measure. “I think it’s because we go above and beyond for our clients,” she says, by way of explaining this loyalty. “It’s our job to take on their stress for them. That’s how we look at it.” Kelly and her team are not stranger to going the extra mile when necessary, and are willing to get their hands dirty if necessary. “If I’m getting ready to list a house and the client needs some work done on it, we’re either going to get them in touch with someone who can help them, or we’re going to do it ourselves. So if they need a flowerbed freshened up, we might go grab a bag of mulch and help them get that taken care of.” The appreciation her clients feel for her is perhaps best evidenced by this glowing review on Zillow.com: “We worked with Kelly while finding our first home. Kelly made the experience as painless as possible. She made it a point to always be readily available and quick to reply back with a phone call, text or email. She was flexible
and did most of the dirty work for us! She is extremely professional, personable and knowledgeable. We plan to use her in the future and would highly recommend her in a heartbeat. She even surprised us with a thoughtful keepsake the day we got our keys.” Establishing and maintaining relationships with past clients is of vital importance to Kelly, and she makes a sustained effort to do so. “I’ll reach out to them with phone calls, just to check in. I’ll write between sixty or seventy personal notes each month to my clients. I’ll send birthday cards, or make little gifts for them and drop them off at their house. Just little things to let them know that we’re thinking about them.” Strong marketing efforts have resulted in quick sales and top dollar for Kelly’s listings. Among the tools she utilizes are professional photography, videos, drone photography, and Matterport 3-D floor plans. Old fashioned door-knocking is also employed. “I like to get involved with the neighborhood,” she explains. “Everyone wants their friends and family to live by them, so I like to get in touch with the neighbors, maybe do open houses just for them.” When she’s not working, Kelly is passionate about giving back to her community, and through her business she donates a percentage of her commissions to military charity Wounded Warriors Project, and has been involved in the past with Defenders of Freedom. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and their four children. “We love being with them, at their sporting activities, or just four-wheeling in the jeep,” she says. Eventually, Kelly would like to open her own brokerage. In the meantime, she is remaining focused on growing her business while sacrificing none of the exceptional client service that has become her hallmark. “I love working with my clients,” she enthuses. “Helping hem get to that next step in their lives is very, very rewarding.”
For more information about Kelly Snodgrass, please call 817 - 992 - 7871 or email email@example.com Top Agent Magazine
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What the First Thing You Do After Work Says About You We all have our routines. From that morning cup of coffee to a jog at the gym, it’s common to establish touchstones for our daily lives. But have you ever considered what these habits tell us about ourselves? Our actions reveal much about our motivations and emotional life, so taking a second look at your first move at the end of the day can be telling. With that in mind, see how you fare when it comes to post-workday habits...
Break a Sweat After a long day of work, is your first instinct to strap on your sneakers and take off on a run? Do you stop off at the local yoga studio for an extended stretch? Maybe you head to the weight room to pump some iron. Whatever your exercise pick, if you’re inclined to sweat it out at the end of a long day, you’re likely a routine-oriented professional who internalizes work-related stress. Of course, you’ve chosen a healthy release for all that pent-up tension, and you’ve discovered the power of endorphins. Once work hours are over, not everyone finds the motivation to stay active. This means you’re driven by routine, conscious of your emotional and physical health, and prefer to leave your cares at the gym, rather than bring them into your home oasis. However, it’s important to give your body a rest now and again, as recuperation time is not only beneficial for physical health, but can help prevent burnout for the long haul. Flexibility is a skill, and one just as important to cultivate as rigid commitment. If you find yourself out of sorts if you miss just one day of working out, you might want to pay some attention to your routines and motivations, and rebalance your commitments and fitness routine accordingly.
need to practice saying no. If your work life is indistinguishable from your personal life, it’ll be hard to catch a break and recharge. This means burnout, frayed nerves, and missed details will soon be on the horizon. Of course, round-the-clock hustle is a strength, too. You’re passionate about your work, care deeply about doing things right, and failure is not an option. Just make sure that you establish some foundational boundaries so that you maintain an appropriate, healthy balance between your time at work and your time at home with the loved ones and hobbies you cherish. If making way for downtime isn’t easy, try penciling it in the way you would a work engagement. Dinner with a friend, a date night with a significant other, or a solo movie fest can be readily added to your calendar, and thus built in to your regimented schedule.
Turn to Food
If your first instinct after work is to eat, it can say a few different things about your routine. Perhaps you’ve been so on-the-go all the day that you haven’t had time for lunch. In this case, you might need to regiment your schedule with more purpose aimed towards downtime and self-care; food is fuel, after all. If you head home and gorge after an average day, you may be turning to food as a way to relieve stress. In this case, you may need to reassess some of your post-work habits and find a healthier balance and outlet for your tension. Taking a walk, grabbing fresh ingredients for dinner, hitting the gym, or decompressing by catching up with a friend or a good book—all are healthier, more balanced ways of executing the transition from the office to the home. Pay attention to your consumption postwork. Determine how hungry or satiated you really are before making a grab for the nearest sustenance.
If you’re the type to bring work home with you, you aren’t alone. While your motivation to work nonstop is admirable, it’s also important to make the mental transition from workplace to home, establishing the time to hustle and the time to relax. Just like those that hit the gym without fail after a long day, sometimes you’ll
People decompress in all different ways after getting home from the office, but always remember that routines are telling. Don’t take your daily actions and impulses for granted. Examine the root behind your well-worn practices, and you may detect nuances at play beneath the surface that can you help you recalibrate for the better.
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ANGELOS SOUKOVELOS Despite his relative youth – or perhaps because of it – Top Agent Angelos Soukovelos has made a name for himself as a dedicated, enthusiastic real estate professional who truly cares about the well-being of his many grateful clients. As Lead of The Souko Group at HomeSmart Realty in Glendale, Arizona, Angelos has committed himself to providing top-notch quality service that is imbued with integrity, knowledge and fierce client advocacy. A bit of a wunderkind, Angelos graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University at the age of 18, and obtained his real estate license that same year. “I had been running a digital marketing company throughout my college years,” says Angelo, “and I knew a couple of people in real estate. I thought it sounded like a cool job, because I’m good at sales and know a lot about real estate.” Signing on with HomeSmart, Angelos distinguished himself almost immediately as a force to be reckoned with. Having recently formed his own team, he is parlaying his youthful energy, marketing expertise and dedication into the creation of a successful brand that is rapidly becoming synonymous with excellence.
Angelos is also committed to marketing his properties with great precision, and to that end utilizes only high-quality professional photography and multi-pronged online approach to making certain his properties are seen by as many potential buyers as possible. “I blast my listings all over social media,” he explains. “I use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, every platform you can imagine. I even run nationwide ads. I try to do as much as I can.” Angelos, who is often referred to as “the real estate kid,” is passionate about giving back to his community. “I was born in Greece,” he says, “so when I came here I got involved with the Boys and Girls Club at a young age. So now, I like to go there there and volunteer.” He also takes time to volunteer at local physician’s offices. “I love giving back,” he says, and his sincerity is obvious. As for the future, Angelos’ goals may sound lofty, but as anyone who has worked with him can attest, absolutely attainable. “I want to be the number one agent in Arizona,” he says. “But not based on numbers. I want to be recognized as the team that provides the very best customer service. At the end of the day, I love the people I work for. I’m going to fight as hard as I can for them.”
Angelos’ rapidly growing referral business is a sure indicator of a grateful client base. “I think one thing that sets me apart from other agents is my background in psychology,” says Angelos, by way of explaining this client loyalty. “I’m able to get along with everyone, and I can navigate through difficult situations.” His obvious concern for his clients also play a large role. “At the end of the day,” he explains, “I don’t view it as a transaction. I’m creating a relationship with the person I’m selling a house to. I want to be friends with my clients.” Angelos also works hard to maintain the relationships he forms, and to that end strives to stay top-of-mind with each of them. “I love calling my past clients,” he says, “just reaching out to them. Not only for special events like birthdays and holiday, but just out of the blue to say hello to them.” The appreciation his clients feel for him is perhaps best illustrated by the excellent reviews he has received on industry website Zillow.com, on which site he holds a perfect five-star overall rating. Among the testimonials is this one, which perfectly illustrates Angelos’ caring business ethos: “Great service. I would highly recommend Angelos Soukovelos and his team if you are going to buy or sell a house! We were looking for a new house and asked Angelos for help. He is really professional, patient and knowledgeable. I will never forget that I had to call him late once, and he still responded and picked up the phone. He is punctual and professional.” Top Agent Magazine
For more information about Angelos Soukovelos, please call 480 - 793 - 2914 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright Top Agent Magazine 45
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