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OHIO EDITION

3 Ways to MAKE YOUR WORKSPACE WORK FOR YOU 10 Seconds to CHANGE A HABIT WHY DOESN’T TRAINING WORK for You? Would You Like FRIES WITH THAT?

FEATURED AGENT

INNA MURAVIN COVER STORY

LORI HICKS


OHIO EDITION

Steven Greenwald is proud to Congratulate

Inna Muravin 6

INNA MURAVIN

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LORI HICKS

LORI HICKS

on being featured for the State of Ohio CONTENTS in Top Agent Magazine! 4) 3 WAYS TO MAKE 19) WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR Steven WORKSPACE FRIES WITH THAT? Greenwald WORK YOU | NMLS ID #435994 Assistant ViceFOR President 21) WHY DOESN’T Office (440) 708-0310 | Cell (216) 513-0698 8) steven.greenwald@53.com 10 SECONDS TO TRAINING WORK CHANGE A HABIT FOR YOU? secure.53.com/mlo/stevengreenwald https://

Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com Mortgage Lending/Private Banking No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent 8355 E. Washington, Chagrin Falls, whatsoever OH 44023

Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. Published in the U.S.

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3 Ways to Make Your Workspace Work for You Productivity experts agree that a curated workspace positively impacts productivity and mood, but oftentimes we settle for bland desks and cubicles that lack personalized details or considerations for workflow. Why miss out on the opportunity to optimize your surroundings when it could brighten your day—and boost your performance? Keep in mind some of these tactics to make your workspace your own and reap the benefits along the way. 4

DETERMINE YOUR WORKING STYLE AND DECORATE ACCORDINGLY For the creative set, a colorful and art-filled workspace can inspire fresh ideas and reduce stress. Likewise, casual yet aesthetically pleasing furniture, accessories, and décor set an inviting yet functional mood. A pop of color from an office tool—even something as basic as a stapler—can inject a sense of fun and modernism into your daily tasks. For the more analytical, right-brained worker, clean

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lines and zero clutter go a long way. A few well-chosen personal photos in tasteful, unassuming frames can provide a motivating connection to the world beyond the office, while accessories and supplies that are sleek, monochrome, and contemporary inspire a sense of calm efficiency. BUILD A WORKSPACE WITH YOUR DAILY ROUTINE IN MIND If you find yourself spending hours on the phone per day, or assembling stacks of documents and brochures, or even coming and going from the office with frequency—there are simple adjustments you can make to your workspace that will save you time and energy. If you sit for long hours—responding to e-mails or making calls—try incorporating an ergonomic chair or keyboard wrist-pad to maximize comfort. If you spend a long time assembling presentation materials, then file organizers, trays, and easy-to-pull labels can shave valuable time off your efforts. Lastly, those who step out for frequent meetings can reduce the hassle of being on-the-go by making your space mindfully organized—a coatrack and a dish for your keys by the door, an auto-brew coffeemaker, or an easily edited whiteboard calendar can make jet-setting simpler.

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ADD EASY DETAILS THAT ENRICH YOUR WORKING EXPERIENCE While organization and décor can rally productivity and mood, there are also a few extra details you can introduce to your workspace to improve the quality of your working life. Healthy, easy to grab-and-go snacks—think nuts, homemade trail mix, and fresh fruit— can keep your energy up without the sugar crush or guilt. If there’s a window nearby, a hard-to-kill plant like a philodendron or a fern not only cleanse the air around you, but also provide a welcome connection to the natural world. Being prepared in a pinch is another great way to make your workspace work for you: a spare tie, a tube of lip balm, hand sanitizer, or a box of Band-Aids can save you a trip to the store when an unexpected need arises. While we take great pains to make our homes our sanctuaries—complete with the decorations, furniture, and food we favor—we often overlook our work areas, even though we spend a sizable portion of our week sitting at the same desk. Challenge yourself to add a few of these personalizing, productivity-boosting details to your work area and bring the comfort of home to your working life.

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INNA MURAVIN Inna Muravin’s natural sales abilities and determination to succeed were evident from a very young age. When she was just 14 years old, Inna was able to sell the family home after it sat on the market for over a year. A daughter of immigrants, Inna saw first-hand the importance of working hard in pursuit of your dreams. After graduating from Kent State University, Inna began her real estate career when she was hired as a Sales and Marketing Representative for a nationally recognized new home builder. She quickly made a name for herself during the years of the housing crisis, when she was able to exceed all expectations by remaining profitable in a challenging market. From 2005 until 2012, she won numerous prestigious awards and was recognized as a “Sales Representative of the Year” many times, selling a remarkable 265 new homes worth over $65 million, before being promoted to a Sales Manager.

tions regarding the process from the start in order to minimize surprises. Inna has multiple systems in place to make sure every transaction is being processed smoothly and on time, and with her vast experience, she is ready with a solution to any issues that might arise. Inna’s approach has earned her an impressive five star rating from past clients, with strong repeat and referral business.

Inna became a licensed real estate agent in 2014, and began her career in residential real estate sales, where she quickly garnered attention in the industry by selling over $8 million worth of homes in her first year, and was recognized as a rookie of the year. In 2016, she started IM Realty Group with Keller Williams, a team that includes Listing Agents, Buyer Specialists, Client Care coordinators, a Professional Photographer, a Marketing Coordinator, and an Estate Liquidator to offer a full service solution. In 2017, the team sold 136 homes worth $28 million, with Inna being responsible for 100 of those units. She is ranked in the top 50 out of 9500 agents in the Northeast Ohio region in total units sold for 2017, and is in top 3% in the state.

For Inna and her whole team, it’s not just about business, it’s also about helping the community. They were recently honored by Keller Williams for being the number one donors from their office to KW Cares in 2017. They all volunteer and donate for Red Day – an annual event organized by Keller Williams to help people in the local community in need.

One of the keys to Inna’s success is her commitment to constantly further her education by attending seminars in all aspects of the industry. She has a deep understanding of the real estate market which allows her to position her clients to “win” when selling or buying. Her negotiating skills are so strong in fact, that Inna has been asked to teach classes on negotiation. Inna’s overall goal is to give her clients an unsurpassed customer experience and she does that in several ways. It all starts with consistent and constant communication with the client, which is maintained throughout the entire process. She creates a customized plan that is tailored to each client’s situation and needs, and correctly sets expecta-

Inna specializes in listings, and offers those clients a unique full service marketing plan. “I take care of everything for my clients. I have the property properly staged ensuring it is show ready, and then I have it professionally photographed by the best photographer in the industry. I have an in-depth understanding of the current marketing and technology trends, so our properties are being promoted in the best possible way. We’ll have the open house on Sunday and usually by Monday, we have multiple offers. I work hard to deliver on the plan that I present to my clients in our initial meeting. I follow through and I deliver.”

This year Inna will be launching the IM Hearts Foundation, her charitable organization. “Initially I will be attaching a fundraising aspect to my client appreciation events. I want to expand this aspect of my business since it’s really integral part of my team’s culture.” Also, Inna is a big promoter of small businesses in the local community by incorporating their products and services through her company. In her very little spare time, Inna enjoys spending every minute she gets with her husband and her two young daughters. Inna plans to continue to grow her company by providing high quality service to her clients, and to attract and develop talented people with the same vision and goals. “Purchasing or selling a home can be a stressful and daunting time in people’s lives – as a top professional in the industry, I want to make it simple for our clients. I definitely want to see my business grow, but more importantly, I want my team to always come from a place of contribution. I want to leave a legacy, not just a business.”

To learn more about Inna Muravin call 440 -521 - 4555, email inna@kw.com or visit IMRealtyGroup.com www.

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Steven Greenwald is proud to Congratulate

Inna Muravin

on being featured for the State of Ohio in Top Agent Magazine! Steven Greenwald Assistant Vice President | NMLS ID #435994 Office (440) 708-0310 | Cell (216) 513-0698 steven.greenwald@53.com secure.53.com/mlo/stevengreenwald https://

Mortgage Lending/Private Banking 8355 E. Washington, Chagrin Falls, OH 44023 Top Agent Magazine

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10 Seconds to Change a Habit By Barry Eisen

I’ll bet that most of the speakers you’ve heard and books you’ve read on the subject of personal development, tell you that it takes 21-30 days to change a habit. Like a wives’ tale passed on generation to generation, sometimes the story is better than the information. Clichés like, “habits are hard dying,” and “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,”etc., are primarily about protecting your ego from possible failure (psychological) and upsetting your brain in its quest to stay unchallenged and comfortable (physiological). 8

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If purpose is strong enough, shifts can happen immediately. A near death experience while driving on the freeway can make the driver quit tailgating forever. A drug overdose can have a sobering effect. Having The choice as to a new baby in the family can make a smoker stop smoking right now. whether you make Having enoughfinancial pressure, it easy or hard, like a child in the family needing fast or slow are college tuition money, can cause choicesyou get to an inconsistent salesperson to prospect consistently like their hair is make. on fire. There are lots of positive and negative motivations that can cause change instantly. When the perception of achieved pleasure is strong enough, the behavior will change. Purpose can take the form of the carrot or the stick. Some habits will never change if you perceive the end result not being worth the efforts necessary to get there. Over thinking is just another way of saying... self-sabotage. So, is there a real answer to the question, “How long does it take to change a habit or attitude?” Here’s my answer. See if it works for you. Immediately, NOW. The only time you spend on this earth is called NOW. What’s done is history. What hasn’t happened yet is the FUTURE. The only time you have to think or act is in the NOW. If you focus on the best decision in your NOW, for that moment you made a change. Make that same change again in the next NOW time, and you will have reinforced and made more comfortable the habit or attitude you are addressing. Make the same decision many times and you have the expression used by many neuroscientists that, “When brain cells fire together, they wire together.” At a certain point of critical mass (tipping point) the new behavior becomes a no-brainer... automatic. This can take a one time shift or days or weeks or...? The choice as to whether you make it easy or hard, fast or slow Top Agent Magazine

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are choices you get to make. So why make things hard when you always have choice? You always have NOW. 3 Keys to Change Habits and Attitudes

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When confronted with a “tough” decision (e.g.) Prospect for business or check out Facebook? - Eat this serious piece of cake or go for the fruit? - Go to the gym or turn on the TV? - Return the phone call or put it off for tomorrow? Take a deep breath and picture yourself doing what’s right, not what’s easy. Surrender the self-imposed stress you associate with the change. Let go of the history of excuses and make a better choice NOW.

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Follow through with that thought (NOW), not just to make this better decision, but also to set a pattern of realizing the power you have in controlling your life. This is a simple, but valuable lesson about helping to develop confidence and a positive self-esteem. Most who go to the many varieties of therapy, usually go because of lack of control issues or self imposed victimization. Show yourself what you CAN DO.

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Learn and use self-hypnosis and hypnosis to reinforce the habits you choose. In “speaking” to your subconscious mind with words, pictures and emotion, in a relaxed state of mind, you are encoding brain cells with instructions (cause). You become what you think about (effect). Hypnosis will speed up learning, whether it be specific subject matter or whether it be learning an improved habit, 2-5 times faster. Habit change doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does usually entail being Mindful. Exercise your good decision making abilities and you’ll develop a do it now attitude, improve physical health and energy, develop consistency in your business, more fully enjoy your relationships and so much more. Copyright©, 2016 Barry Eisen. All rights reserved.

Barry Eisen teaches personal development seminars and coaches Southern California top producing REALTORS®. “Your business will never grow more than you do” is the theme; self hypnosis and behavior modification are the tools for playing a bigger game. barryeisen.com, barryeisen@LA.twcbc.com 818-769-4300 10

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LORI HICKS Leading a team of eight real estate agents, Lori Hicks has her finger on the pulse of the Columbus market, and she’s ready to share her expertise at a moment’s notice. “I try to be the REALTOR® I always wanted to have,” she says. “That’s my motto. I remember what it was like when I was on the other side—agents would take three days to get back to you. That’s my pet peeve.” Customer service is clearly the key for Lori. When she receives a phone call or an email, she returns it immediately. She understands that people want feedback, especially in today’s market. “Buyers want to get in that day and have a chance at the house,” she says. She makes it her business to to be available. Lori always wanted to be a real estate agent, but instead she managed properties for 25 years. One day she got a heads-up that her company planned to sell the properties. Did she panic? Not at all. She knew an opportunity when she saw one. “I figured at my age, I had one chance left in life to do what I really wanted,” she says. She went back to school and got her Top Agent Magazine

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real estate license. She started selling in 2008 just as the market crashed, but it didn’t really affect her. “I just started selling and have been very successful at it ever since,” she says. It’s no wonder she’s been successful. She markets her business on all the major sites such as realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow, as well as on social media—particularly Facebook. And she has a steady stream of referrals. Nothing pleases her more than helping make her buyers’ and sellers’ dreams come true. “It’s about what works for them, not for me,” she says. She particularly enjoys seeing first-time home buyers get to the finish line and understand what they’ve done to get through the process, which can be very confusing. “When they get there and they’re happy,” she says, “that’s most rewarding part for me.” 14 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

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was on a team that didn’t require her to specialize as a buyers’ or sellers’ agent. It was perfect, because she wanted to learn both sides. When she became a team leader, that’s how she structured her team. Moving forward, she wants to help her team do more, and plans to put more systems in place so they can. “I don’t want to get any bigger,” she says, “I just want to get my team trained so they can take on more of the clients.”

Lori and her team have a high customer satisfaction rating and have won a variety of awards and recognition. But the awards people nominate them for that they haven’t applied for are the ones that mean the most to her. Lori always gives her team members opportunities to work with both buyers and sellers. When she started, she

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For someone who puts extraordinary effort into her work, Lori still makes time for the most important thing in her life: her family. She enjoys going on family vacations with her husband and children, such as the upcoming trip to the Gauley River in West Virginia, for whitewater rafting. They rent a little house there that’s just right for staying in, cooking dinner and having time together. Time away from work actually helps Lori to be the best REALTOR® she can be . . . the one she always wanted to have.

For more information about Lori Hicks ASP | BPO | CTA | MRP | SFR | SRS Keller Williams | Greater Columbus Hicks Elite Realty Professionals (614) 332-4391 Cell (614) 474-5679 Fax Lori.Hicks1@Outlook.com | www.lori-hicks.com Top Agent Magazine


Would You Like Fries With That? By John Boe

While you may not have recognized it, the last time you ordered from a fast food restaurant or went to the post office, there is a good chance you experienced some type of cross-selling or up selling. Cross-selling and up selling are well-established and highly effective marketing practices utilized by a wide variety of industries. Shortsighted salespeople are often quick to suggest that customers get irritated by attempts to cross-sell products and perceive cross-selling as an aggressive sales technique. Interestingly enough, consumer research indicates that the reverse is true. The majority of consumers surveyed actually preferred a full range of products and services and appreciate the convenience that is provided through a comprehensive cross-selling approach. Top producing sales reps and progressive companies understand the power of crossselling and recognize it as a critical component for promoting both customer retention and revenue growth. What is cross-selling? Cross-selling is nothing more than a proactive, ongoing sales process designed to provide your customers with a full spectrum of your company’s products and services. Not surprisingly, two of the key elements that drive effective cross-selling and up selling are trust and convenience. Top Agent Magazine

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Your customers’ trust in your company can be converted into additional sales that are not directly related to their existing products. The good news about the cross-selling and up selling process is that it’s one of the most profitable and least risky endeavors a sales rep can undertake. It pays to cross-sell and up sell, because when you go the extra mile and provide information about additional products to your customers, you are financially rewarded for helping them make a more informed buying decision.

The first exposure I had to cross-selling and up selling was as a teenager in high school working part-time at McDonalds during my summer vacation. Looking back on my brief tenure at the restaurant, I can still hear my manager’s daily refrain; be polite, keep the counter clean, and always ask the customers if they would like some fries with their meal. 18

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A couple of years later while attending college, I took a part-time job selling shoes at the mall. I was paid an hourly wage to sell the shoes, but I received a commission whenever I sold any accessory items such as shoe polish, socks, or purses. This was my first taste of commission-based sales and I took to cross-selling and up selling like a duck to water. After I had sold a woman a pair of new shoes, I would routinely hand her a bottle of leather cleaner and a purse to match the shoes. As a college student, the extra money I was able to make from cross-selling and up selling additional products was like manna from heaven. The best place to introduce your customer to the concept of cross-selling and up selling is during your initial needs analysis meeting. Unfortunately, many salespeople fail to take the time to conduct a thorough needs analysis and as a result, do not uncover potential products and services that would be of benefit to their customers. The key to effective cross-selling and up selling is all about guided self-discovery. Through a series of thought provoking, open-ended questions, successful sales reps help their customers identify the products and services that they require. Developing a systematic approach to cross-selling and up selling enhances the customer’s buying experience and brings in additional revenue with relatively low expense and effort. As you prepare for your next sales appointment, I challenge you to look for cross-selling and up selling opportunities that you can incorporate into your presentation. Sales reps who fail to effectively cross-sell and up sell products actually do a disservice to their customers and leave the back door open to their competitors! “The sad truth is that most salespeople forget to cross-sell their products and services. This is a big mistake, because cross-selling gives customers more options and is a good way for a sales rep to make additional income.” – Don Roberts Copyright ©, 2016 John Boe. All rights reserved.

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 937-299-9001. Free Newsletter available on website. Top Agent Magazine

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Why Doesn’t Training Work for You? by Carla Cross

Why isn’t your training working for as a ‘performance art’, not a you? Every company says they ‘knowledge pursuit!’ ‘have training.’ Yet, whether you’ve been in business 2 days or 20 years, Big question for you: Think of your you’ve probably felt frustrated that last 3 trainings. What were you doing those hours spent in class—listening in class? Listening to the ‘expert’? to someone at the front (the Or, were you putting to work what ‘expert)—didn’t do you any good. you were learning—while in class, There’s one reason training doesn’t so you could get valuable feedback work—and here’s how to make it before you ‘practiced’ on real work for you, so you don’t waste people—your clients? precious hours in training rooms. What you need to be doing in class Training doesn’t work because it’s to assure you can do it ‘for real’: not taught right—and the people in the class aren’t doing what needs to • If it’s appropriate, you need to role be done for training to make a play (like answering objections, giving a listing presentation, etc.) difference in their lives. Here’s what training needs to help • If appropriate, you need to you every time you’re in class: differentiate (like finding mistakes in a purchase and sale agreement). Training must have action inside class to be effective for you. • If appropriate, you need to practice the actions in class and then What do I mean? go out and do it with a ‘real person’—the client—and come back I mean we have to look at real estate and tell how it went (practice a Top Agent Magazine

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listing presentation, do it ‘for real’, Real Estate: Performance Art and come back to class and refine it). or Knowledge Pursuit? None of these things happening in class? Make it work anyway. Take the ‘actionable’ items you learned in class and go do them—for real— within 3 days of going to class (otherwise we only remember 10% of what we heard!). Now you’ve made your own action plan. Trainers: I just videos showing training work. uTube channel. 22

Let’s be honest: Do you know someone in your office who seems to know everything—but doesn’t sell a stick of real estate? Sure. That’s the problem with treating real estate as a ‘knowledge pursuit’. It has little to do with results. It’s a performance art. How you perform in the field—with real clients— did a series of 5 determines your success. how to make your See them on my Big question for you: Which kind of agent are you? A ‘performance art’ Top Agent Magazine


How you perform in the field—with real clients—determines your success. agent or a ‘knowledge pursuit’ agent? Which is easier to become? Your Training Should Resemble a Piano Lesson

will ‘do it’ for you 3.Relying on ‘on demand’ video. Many large franchises are providing video on demand training. Brokers may be relieved that this is going to take training off their plates. I wish. Unfortunately, video training can provide very limited production results. Why? Because people don’t learn much by watching video. Yes, they learn a little. They observe someone else doing something; they get information. But, they don’t have to take action.

As a long-time pianist and teacher, I know intimately that, if you don’t practice, you can’t play (or you play badly)! Think of effective training like a piano lesson. You practice outside class. You come prepared. You get tips and modeling from your teacher. Then you practice in class with your ‘coach’ watching and listening. Then, you ‘go out in the field’ and practice. You come back When you’re ready to get results ready to perform for your coach from your training, you’ll be ready to treat your training like the power again. That’s effective training. tool it really can be. Here are 3 things that don’t work in training (and things for you to avoid): Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is an international 1.Listening for a long period of time and thinking you can do it (you already know that, from your experiences, right?) 2.Thinking most company training Top Agent Magazine

speaker and president of Carla Cross Seminars, Inc. and Carla Cross Coaching. A former national Realtor Educator of the Year, Carla is known as one of the ‘go-to’ experts in her profession. She’s written training and coaching programs for most of the major real estate franchises. Contact Carla at 425-392-6914 or www.carlacross.com. 23


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