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NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

Easy Blog Topics for Your Real Estate Blog 4 Ways Mentoring Up-and-Coming Employees Makes You A Better Agent

Are You A VALUE-ADDED AGENT? COVER STORY

SANTINA EPPS-THOMAS FEATURED AGENTS

KELLY CARRAWAY KATIE HOLLOMAN


NORTH CAROLINA EDITION

KELLY CARRAWAY

buyers—educating them in the process— Not every great real estate agent is forged 7 dream 15 and assisting attorneys and21families who through a carefully planned childhood need help with the estate when a loved one of becoming a REALTOR®, some enter this has passed. “When people are lookingKatie to sellHollom career through mere chance. Such was the interest i or buy a house, they’re in a positionanwhere case with Kelly Carraway, who decided to 2014, I she d they genuinely need help and direction. take the real estate exam after being encourcuriosity have the capacity and desire to helpher them. aged by Phyllis York Brookshire of Allen The estate side of what I do is reallyaswhat I Tate. After passing without a hitch, she a marketin enjoy most, because I feel the most helpful. quickly found her path in real estate and as RE/MAX When someone passes the heirs may not Every consistently scored high reviews with her agent. even live in the Raleigh area, then you have clients, earning her multiple production and few years lat a house to sell and lots of questions. It helps service awards year after year. considered st SANTINA EPPS-THOMAS KELLY CARRAWAY HOLLOMAN to have anKATIE experienced agent that has been own. Heeding the recommendation through the process multiple times to come of Even though she never considered a real Katie decided to merge herready entrepreneur in and organize, and get the house for estate career, the foundation for it was laid background in advertising and spearhead sale.” In any given year she consistently out before she even knew. Her step dad was Haystack Realty “Ittosimply sells six to eight million in sales and Group. continues grow took an engineer, and taught her how to keep an eye out for the her business by putting clients“And needsI first. smallest detail. “As a seller it helps tremendously, because she says. fell in love with the bus before you put a house on the market, you have CONTENTS the ability When she’s not busy working, Kelly to spendand her Brok to tell clients what needs to be fixed or rectified so it Today, Katie is likes a Realtor time with her 3 kids, she is a past Board Member for the with a doesn’t4) come up later on.”AFor buyers, it is priceless to ARE YOU 16) THINKING OF LISTING? Haystack, where she collaborates Lupus Foundation of North Carolina and is still active have theVALUE-ADDED attention to detail in resales or new construction. AGENT? NINE WAYSseven TO GET agentsREADY to assist clients throughou in the community educating and helping people like Carolina. and her team have laid str herself with SLE. She is also aShe member of the Grievance Kelly’s been in the business since 2010, with Century 21 20) CREATIVE WAYS TO SAY in the community, handling an average EASY FOR Committee for Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors. Triangle13) Group since BLOG 2014. HerTOPICS partner does commerYOU volume year. For Katie, though, InTHANK the future she would like per to continue helping people, cial andYOUR investments, she focuses on the residential side. REAL ESTATE BLOG matter most. “In real to estate, get to m especially low-income families. “I like help you people She contributes a lot of her successes to the relationships 22) MENTORING and this4isWAYS the bestevery avenue I have found thus far to be that she has built with her clients, who become more like single day,” she says. “It never fe able to do that.” friends and family. I have built my business on being UP-AND-COMING EMPLOYEES relevant, honest, loyal and helpful. We have watched When working with clients, Katie leans MAKES YOU A BETTER AGENT each other’s kids grow up, and cheered them on along background to ensure that every house the way. We talk it out when they want to remodel their She assists her clients with promoting t homes if it’s fiscally responsible, how to increase their social media platforms like Facebook or ROI. We all want to see each other succeed, I support create buzz around their property. Else theirPhone local businesses as well. I | am grateful for 310-734-1440 Faxtruly 310-734-1440 her team can amplify listings via a hom these loyal friends and all of them who still support me mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com service on their interactive website. as repeat clients, I am very blessed. I often have new clients relocating to the and I makein sure they whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top No are portion of this issue mayarea be reproduced any manner haveAgent referrals to great medical professionals, ideas Magazine is published by Feature Publications for GA, Inc. Although precautionsThrough are taken her to ensure the accuracy approach forward-thinking of is published Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied where great to materials, eat and where to take their kids to enjoy vated a sterling reputationbyin Greenville, its authors. To our subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. the most of what area has to offer. of her transactions coming from repeat To learn more about Kelly Carraway Published in the U.S. rals. What’s her secret? “Trust,” Katie sa email KellyC21TG@gmail.com, Kelly works with all price ranges, but her average sales me,oriscall about relationships—helping visitwww.century21.com/real-estate-agent/profile/kelly-carraway-P25379177 her websitefor here, (919) 441–6912 2price is 400k. Her passion is working with first time Top Agent Magazine

KATIE H

adding value to people’s lives. My c looking out for their best interests.”


mailto:mag@topagentmagazine.com

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Are You a Value-Added Agent?

I’ll bet if I asked ten real estate agents, all ten would answer ‘yes’ to that question. Yet, when I ask agents how they are value-added, they say things like: • I communicate regularly with my clients. • I have a written listing presentation. • I am honest. • I am trustworthy. Are these ‘value-added’ attributes? Or, does the client expect these attributes and services? 4

Are these exceptional services or average services? I’m writing this article at the beginning of a New Year. It’s a perfect time to re-assess your professionalism and master being that ‘value-added’ agent.

Client Expectations are Higher than Ever Unfortunately, too many real estate agents assume they are ‘value-added’ because they are providing the services they want to provide— Top Agent Magazine


the services they think the client values. However, there’s a real client out there, and the client has different expectations. How do I know that? Because so few agents regularly survey their clients. In fact, when I’m speaking to an audience, I survey them, and find that less than 25 percent gather after-sale surveys! So, the majority of agents don’t know if the services they are providing are average or exceptional.

Why Bother Being Exceptional? • Because you want to set yourself apart. • You want to create client loyalty. • You want to create at least 50 percent of your business from client referrals (the latest National Association of Realtors survey Profile of Members found that the average Realtor got only 18 percent of their business from referrals. That’s a hard and expensive way to run a real estate business! • Because you want to run a more pleasant, profitable business.

Four Actions Value-Added Agents Take How can you identify value-added agents? By their actions. Here are four actions I believe show agents that are above just ‘average’. The principle here is:

Watch the actions, not the words. If I were a manager, or a seller or a buyer, and I wanted to find a value-added agent, here’s what I would look for: Top Agent Magazine

1. Has a database and populates it This agent is committed long-term to his clients and to his business. He uses a contact management program (CRM) to manage ‘leads’, so none are lost — and clients do not feel neglected. After all, it takes much longer today to convert a ‘lead’ to a sale than it used to take. Actively using and maintaining a CRM means the agent is committed to forming long-term professional relationships over time. Other demonstrable actions concerning the agent’s CRM are: • Has a rapid-response method to deal with Internet inquiries and other inquiries via email. (The average client expects a response within eight hours—but a recent survey showed the average agent responded in 50 hours!). • Has a method to follow up on all leads until they ‘buy or die’. As a client, that means I won’t get lost. As a seller, it means my agent will follow up with all leads and give it 100 percent to sell my home. 2. Invests in the technology and follow-up pros have This agent makes every decision based on their vision of their career at least three to five years in the future. For example, instead of selling someone a house anywhere just to get a sale, my value-added agent sells only in an area they define as their ‘target area’. That way, they’ll get known, and can build on their reputation. The value-added agent has the ‘guts’ to turn down business! Because they care more about the well-being of the client than getting one grimy commission check, they learn to 5


‘tell the truth attractively’, and work harder to retain the client than to make one commission.

Adding those Client Benefits to your Dialogue

3. Works for referrals, not just sales I said the agent learns to ‘tell the truth attractively’, even if the buyer or seller may not want to hear it. For example, if it’s in the best interests of the seller to list their home at a lower price, the value-added agent has the strategies and the statistics to prove that the seller won’t be well served by pricing higher.

Of course, it’s not enough to actually take these actions. You need to explain to the client why these actions are in their best interests, and how you stand apart from most agents by employing them. Why? Because your client won’t know you run your business so professionally. And, the client probably doesn’t know most agents don’t run their businesses this way!

And, this value-added agent has the intestinal fortitude to walk away if they know the home will not sell at the client’s desired price (but doesn’t have to too many times because they create a stellar reputation amongst their clientele).

TIP: Always show your clients, don’t just tell them. You do have a Professional Portfolio and evidence on your website, don’t you?

4. Keeps the buyers and sellers’ best interests in mind Our value-added agent makes every decision to grow trust, not just to make a fast buck. For example, the agent sits down with a prospective couple and finds out they can’t purchase right away and creates a plan with them to save for their down payment. Then, the agent keeps in touch over a period of months, offering helpful information and market updates.

Put Yourself to the Test

How many of these actions P. S. Managers and team leaders—two tips do you exhibit? What do you want to work on to become a true 1. Call each of your agents’‘value-added’ phone mails. What’s the impre agent? Are they professional? Do they state the company n TIP: represent your culture and image? Managers, give your agents a 2. Create a quick class in phone messaging using the ‘test’ on these four points. In other words, this agent practices seller or buyHow many pass? this blog. er agency representation, not ‘agent agency’!

Copyright ©, 2016 Carla Cros

Carla Cross,CRB, CRB, MA, is theoffounder andSeminars, president Carla Cross & Carla Cross, MA, President Carla Cross Inc.,ofand Carla real management and sales. Herspecializing internationally s Crossestate Coaching, is an international speaker in realbest-selling estate management and Running business planning for all professionals. agents, Up and in 30 Days, is real nowestate going into its 5thHer edition sevenexperience internationallyas published books, including Up and Running in 30 Days , vast a top-selling agent and award-winning manage and 20 agent and management programs have helped thousands of real sales podium, blending her musical background with her proven estate professionals to the greater productivity and teaches profitability.someone Reach Carla strategies (she uses piano AND even to at play—f 425-392-6914 or www.carlacross.com. and practical). Find out more at www.carlacross.com. 6

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SANTINA EPPS-THOMAS

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Top Agent Santina Epps-Thomas serves the communities surrounding Fort Bragg, North Carolina, specializing in assisting first time home buyers and veterans find the perfect home. Honest and amiable, Santina Epps-Thomas has quickly built a stellar reputation for herself as one of the go-to residential real estate experts in her community. Like many other agents, real estate wasn’t Santina’s first career. In fact, it was only 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

after working as a hairstylist for 20 years that Santina decided to make the transition into being a full-time agent. Just two and a half years later, Santina is now the owner of The Real Estate Top Agent Magazine


Concierge where she leads an eight person team that last year closed nearly 100 transactions. She’s enjoyed a meteoric rise, and in 2019 was named the Best Realtor & Firm by Up and Coming Weekly Magazine. Operating in the communities surrounding Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Santina and her team specialize in assisting first time home buyers and veterans find the perfect home. Top Agent Magazine

Santina credits her honesty and deep roots in the community as being the primary drivers of her success. “Except for a five-year period when I moved away, I’ve lived in this area since I was 12 years old, so I have a huge referral base and probably get 3 to 5 referrals a week,” she explains. “On top of this, I pride myself on being very transparent. I’m not worried about money. My philosophy is that if I provide high-quality Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


“The people are my favorite part of the job. I love talking to people and getting to know who they are. Thinking about who I’m going to talk to, and what story they’re going to tell me, is what motivates me every day when I get up.” service, the money will come.” Clearly this attitude resonates with her clients, as nearly 95% of her business comes from repeat clients or referrals. When you sit down to talk to Santina, it quickly becomes apparent that your speaking to someone who loves meeting new people. “The people are my favorite part of the job. I love talking to people and Copyright Top Agent Magazine 10

getting to know who they are,” Santina says. “Thinking about who I’m going to talk to, and what story they’re going to tell me, is what motivates me every day when I get up.” When it comes to marketing her listings, Santina focuses on executing a comprehensive online campaign utilizing the MLS, websites, and, in particular, social media. Top Agent Magazine


In fact, social media is the lifeblood of her business, as it allows her to not only market her listings, but stay in touch with her former clients. “I live and breathe social media,” Santina explains. “When I see my clients doing things I stay connected with them by interacting with them on their page, and then I will typically transition that into making a phone call so we can chat and catch up.” Outside of work, Santina is extremely involved in her community. She is an active member of the New Life Bible Church, volunteers with her team to feed the homeless twice a year, and works with an organization through which she helps educate young soldiers about the home buying process. In addition, she is Top Agent Magazine

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planning to join the Chamber of Commerce later this year. With an eye to the future, Santina plans to groom her daughter so that she will eventually take over the business, and is excited

continue delivering the high-quality service her customers deserve. “It can be difficult in this business to know whether people have your best interests at heart. At the end of the day all I care about is making sure that my clients know they can trust me.�

For more information about Santina Epps-Thomas, please call 910-813-8192 or email concierge.therealestateconcierge.info

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Easy Blog Topics for Your Real Estate Blog Today, blogging looks a lot different than it did back in 2007, when the platform was just beginning to take off. Successful bloggers don’t choose blog topics on a whim. They think strategically and develop pillar content that their target audience will come back to again and again. Real estate bloggers should be less concerned with whether the same post already exists (it does) Top Agent Magazine

than with how they can be more informative and helpful than their competition. Your personality is likely the thing that your clients connect with, and your blog is another place where you can let it shine. Pillar content refers to those evergreen posts that never get old because they are always timely. Think about those questions that you’ve had to

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answer a hundred, if not thousands of times— that’s your pillar content. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could direct your clients to a blog post or, better yet, they discovered the answer on your website rather than you having to constantly repeat yourself?

Or maybe you helped a client sell their house for much more than they were expecting by conducting a series of small and inexpensive renovations. Tell your readers how you did it.

Evergreen Content

Your clients are likely new to the area. Inform them about upcoming community events or mom-and-pop shops they may have never heard of. Are there hiking trails or parks nearby? What’s the best place to grab a cup of coffee before work or a beer after? You can spotlight these places regularly as a monthly series.

This should really make up the bulk of your content. The possibilities are endless, and you could easily come up with an entire year’s worth of content with only a few hours of brainstorming. Here are some examples: You could provide your readers with a list of questions they should ask when interviewing a realtor, the steps to becoming a real estate investor, real estate facts all first-time homeowners should know, steps new parents should take to prepare their home for a baby, recommended vendors for home maintenance, or common real estate terms defined. You could explain to your readers what they need to know about home staging, which home renovations add the most value to their home, how to research schools or crime rates in specific neighborhoods, what a home association is, or how to start flipping houses and buying foreclosures.

Case Studies Sometimes realtors work with a client for years before they are ready to buy a home. Personal finance blogs are a thing for a reason. People want to see exactly how someone else achieved a shared goal. If you have a close relationship with a client who you helped become a homeowner, consider interviewing this client and writing up a case study that shows exactly how the two of you worked together to achieve this goal. 14

Stay Local

There are plenty of real estate news outlets that will be posting about the state of the market—but they won’t be talking about your specific community, and that’s where your blog comes in. Of course, if you only blog about community functions or properties on the market, then as soon as that event is over or that listing is sold, your content ceases being useful. The best real estate blogs balance their content by posting a little about all the above. Maintaining a high-quality blog means your prospective clients don’t need to visit several websites to have their questions answered because you’ve done the work for them. It’s a tool that helps you make a great first impression. If you still need help coming up with blog topics for your real estate blog, consider sending a survey out to your clients. You can send it via email and post it on social media. Ask your clients what real estate problems they need help solving and write your content with their responses in mind.

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KELLY CARRAWAY Not every great real estate agent is forged through a carefully planned childhood dream of becoming a REALTOR®, some enter this career through mere chance. Such was the case with Kelly Carraway, who decided to take the real estate exam after being encouraged by Phyllis York Brookshire of Allen Tate. After passing without a hitch, she quickly found her path in real estate and consistently scored high reviews with her clients, earning her multiple production and service awards year after year. Even though she never considered a real estate career, the foundation for it was laid out before she even knew. Her step dad was an engineer, and taught her how to keep an eye out for the smallest detail. “As a seller it helps tremendously, because before you put a house on the market, you have the ability to tell clients what needs to be fixed or rectified so it doesn’t come up later on.” For buyers, it is priceless to have the attention to detail in resales or new construction. Kelly’s been in the business since 2010, with Century 21 Triangle Group since 2014. Her partner does commercial and investments, she focuses on the residential side. She contributes a lot of her successes to the relationships that she has built with her clients, who become more like friends and family. I have built my business on being relevant, honest, loyal and helpful. We have watched each other’s kids grow up, and cheered them on along the way. We talk it out when they want to remodel their homes if it’s fiscally responsible, how to increase their ROI. We all want to see each other succeed, I support their local businesses as well. I am truly grateful for these loyal friends and all of them who still support me as repeat clients, I am very blessed. I often have new clients are relocating to the area and I make sure they have referrals to great medical professionals, ideas for where is great to eat and where to take their kids to enjoy the most of what our area has to offer. Kelly works with all price ranges, but her average sales price is 400k. Her passion is working with first time Top Agent Magazine

buyers—educating them in the process— and assisting attorneys and families who need help with the estate when a loved one has passed. “When people are looking to sell or buy a house, they’re in a position where they genuinely need help and direction. I have the capacity and desire to help them. The estate side of what I do is really what I enjoy most, because I feel the most helpful. When someone passes the heirs may not even live in the Raleigh area, then you have a house to sell and lots of questions. It helps to have an experienced agent that has been through the process multiple times to come in and organize, and get the house ready for sale.” In any given year she consistently sells six to eight million in sales and continues to grow her business by putting clients needs first. When she’s not busy working, Kelly likes to spend her time with her 3 kids, she is a past Board Member for the Lupus Foundation of North Carolina and is still active in the community educating and helping people like herself with SLE. She is also a member of the Grievance Committee for Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors. In the future she would like to continue helping people, especially low-income families. “I like to help people and this is the best avenue I have found thus far to be able to do that.”

To learn more about Kelly Carraway email KellyC21TG@gmail.com, visitwww.century21.com/real-estate-agent/profile/kelly-carraway-P25379177 her website here, or call (919) 441–6912 15 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


Thinking of Listing? Nine Ways to Get Ready The less time a home spends on the market, the more likely it is to sell at or above list price. That’s why our Top Agents recommend getting a property ready for marketing well before listing. Anyone who is even just starting to think about listing will benefit from some basic upkeep and pre-staging work. Even if you decide now is not the time to list, you’ll enjoy these simple improvements around the home. With the right local resources, most pre-listing preparations take less than a week and will make the formal staging process simpler for all involved. Ask Top Agents in your area for referrals of local pros to hire. Once you’ve selected your Top Agent, keep yourself open to his or her opinion on other TLC to help decrease your home’s market time. 1. Inspection: The last thing a seller or buyer wants is a surprise at

inspection. That’s why a complete inspection before listing is so valuable. Many necessary fixes, such as minor roof or appliance repairs, can be discovered and repaired in less than a week. If inspection uncovers a major issue, any Top Agent will tell you that this knowledge is power; disclosing and expecting to take responsibility will increase buyers’ trust without affecting market time. 2. De-Clutter: Take a little time to pack away surplus furniture items and

extra knick-knacks, papers, books or occasional-use items throughout your house. Remember this may require boxing away video game supplies or packing up comfy throw pillows and blankets. Move these items temporarily into closets, the garage or attic with the assumption of possibly renting a storage unit just before listing. 3. Paint: Whole-house painting is likely not necessary, but consider touching

up baseboard moldings and doorways and open wall spaces in high-use areas 16

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such as bathrooms, the office, family room and indoor recreation spaces. Also consider a little varnish on the front door or banister. 4. Artwork and Decor: Take a neutral look at your décor. Better yet, ask a

Top Agent to do so. Buyers should be able to picture themselves living in your home. While your Top Agent may not advise you to appear generic, you’ll likely need to thin out any shrine-like displays to family, hobbies or cultural interests.

5. Deep-Clean Housekeeping: After you’ve de-cluttered and touched up

the paint, request a deep cleaning from your housekeeping service and weekly cleanings thereafter. Make sure they pay attention to details like dusting or vacuuming window treatments and lampshades or wiping smudges off door jams and baseboard moldings. 6. Carpets and Rugs: Bring in the pros, but don’t just clean the carpets.

Because the cleaners will be moving furniture anyway, ask them stretch and tighten any buckled areas of carpeting. Doing so now saves the trouble of having to credit your buyer for this following final walk-through. Also consider removing small area rugs to let the beauty of your hardwood floors shine.

7. Look at the Loo: Buyers may not notice a brand-new toilet seat, but they

will turn up their noses at the one with the broken hinges. Freshly replaced toilet seats, faucets or doorknobs in heavily trafficked bathrooms can go a long way in first impressions.

8. “Mow & Blow”: Consider buyers as guests you want to feel welcome

as they ascend the front walk. If you don’t already have one, hire a weekly gardening service to keep up with the mowing, weeding, pruning and basic maintenance outside so you can focus on other things. 9. Staging: Once you’ve selected a staging professional for the finishing

touches, ask them and your Top Agent for final recommendations on day-today upkeep, storage options and what-to-do (or what not to do) while your house is on the market. Top Agent Magazine

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mailto:mag@topagentmagazine.com http://www.topagentmagazine.com

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Creative Ways to Say Thank You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. For homes with swimming pools or Jacuzzis, a

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

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

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


KATIE HOLLOMAN Katie Holloman always had an interest in real estate. In 2014, she decided to chase her curiosity, leaving her job as a marketing director to join as RE/MAX an individual agent. Everything changed a few years later, when she first considered striking out on her own. Heeding the recommendation of a family friend, Katie decided to merge her entrepreneurial spirit with her background in advertising and spearhead her own agency, Haystack Realty Group. “It simply took off from there,” she says. “And I fell in love with the business.” Today, Katie is a Realtor and Broker-in-Charge at Haystack, where she collaborates with an expert team of seven agents to assist clients throughout Eastern North Carolina. She and her team have laid strong foundations in the community, handling an average of $7 million in volume per year. For Katie, though, the relationships matter most. “In real estate, you get to meet someone new every single day,” she says. “It never feels like work.” When working with clients, Katie leans on her marketing background to ensure that every house finds its buyer. She assists her clients with promoting their listings over social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, all to create buzz around their property. Elsewhere, Kate and her team can amplify listings via a home matchmaking service on their interactive website.

sponsorship of Parents for Public Schools. But she’s equally satisfied partnering with colleagues to host a Christmas fundraiser around town. “Anything to help,” Katie says. “I grew up in Greenville; this is my hometown. Giving back is my passion.” Looking at the future, Katie aspires to expand her business throughout North Carolina. However, while doing so, she will still maintain the unique, human touch that guides her process. “I believe in abundance,” Katie says. “Most of all, I want to bring people together and help them achieve their highest potential—in the market and in life.” Taking this enthusiasm, Katie and her team have created a patent-worthy process, the Haystack Quicklist, a unique service that makes home selling easy. In celebration of its launch, Haystack is offering commissions as low as 1.5% with a minimum commission of $2,500 per listing. This past New Year, Katie was able to host her first client appreciation event, a communal gathering that captured, in many ways, what drew her to real estate in the first place. “The industry has shown me a lot of things,” she says. “But most of all, it has shown that I live in a town of amazing people.” At Haystack Realty Group, Katie and her team look forward to serving that town and those people for years to come.

Through her forward-thinking approach, Katie has cultivated a sterling reputation in Greenville, with a great deal of her transactions coming from repeat clients or referrals. What’s her secret? “Trust,” Katie says. “Real estate, for me, is about relationships—helping, educating, and adding value to people’s lives. My clients know I’m looking out for their best interests.” Outside of her career, Katie maintains an active role in the community she loves. This year alone, she hopes to increase her participation in the Center for Family Domestic Violence Prevention while continuing her Top Agent Magazine

To learn more about Katie Holloman email katie@haystackre.com, visit haystackre.com or call 252-717-5417 www.

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4 Ways Mentoring Up-and-Coming Employees Makes You a Better Agent In the world of real estate, there are always new agents joining the ranks. Even if you’ve been practicing for just a few short years, you’ve likely learned your fair share of lesson along the way. As an agent, much of your working philosophy is derived from first-hand experience and your work on the ground. This means that new agents are less prepared for the inevitable curveballs of the industry. That’s where you come in. While mentorship is often pitched as a relationship that solely benefits the mentee, there is actually plenty to be gained from becoming a mentor. After all, personal growth goes hand-in-hand with professional growth, and becoming a mentor asks agents to thought22

fully explore and demonstrate their own ideologies, practices, and rationale. With that in mind, take a look at some of the benefits of mentorship below, and you’ll get a sense of why counseling new agents can be a boon to your own business. Teaching lessons to others reinforces your own professional values. Showing the ropes to young agents is a great way to brush-up on your foundational skills. Verbalizing and demonstrating processes, or walking through the rationale behind negotiation tactics—all cause mentors to think through their established practices and outline in detail why they’ve chosen this route over an

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alternative. This helps older agents fine-tune their routines, while getting back in touch with the critical thinking that went into constructing those habits. Mentorships allows you to see the big picture.

surely sharpen your ability as the head of a team. What’s more, you’ll be building skills of empathy, understanding, teaching, and constructive criticism. Working on those skills will better your practice and your ability to lead in your office.

After a lengthy industry tenure, it’s not uncommon for battle-worn agents to lose some steam and begin to burn out. By devoting some time to mentoring up-and-coming agents, you’ll get back in touch with your early days, remembering the excitement, the trials, and the hard lessons gleaned. Spending time with the next generation of real estate professionals can reinvigorate your practice, as seeing the business from the eyes of an eager amateur can inject energy into your working life. You’ll benefit from seeing things from a new perspective. Just as working with young agents can help you remember your career’s big picture, you may also benefit from working alongside someone with a new perspective. Young agents bring a different set of skills and awareness to their work, and established agents can benefit from a fresh take. If technology isn’t your strong suit, or you’re interested in tapping the Millennial homebuyer market, working with a younger agent is an excellent way to see through fresh eyes. Mentoring young agents makes you a better leader. As a mentor, you’ll often direct the flow of your professional relationship—figuring out which issues to tackle, making an agenda, and imparting lessons in a clear way. These are all characteristics of a leader, and acting in a position of authority as mentor can Top Agent Magazine

While some may balk at the time commitment or energy required to take on a mentee or two, you might consider it an act of ongoing education or professional development. While your mentee will undoubtedly benefit from access to your expertise, there’s certainly much to be gained from taking the time to cultivate tomorrow’s real estate leaders.

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NORTH CAROLINA 3-30-20  

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NORTH CAROLINA 3-30-20  

TOPAGENTMAGAZINE.CO NORTH CAROLINA EDITION