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Is Finding a

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD: How to List High When Neighbors Are a Nuisance






y National Bank is proud to congratulate








With more than of experience, T Herman has for ibly successful highly-competi industry. Rapid the awe-inspirin one billion doll PHIL HERMAN eight thousand Phil is a consu sional who tru his clients and has dedicated himself to achieve their real estate goals.

being featured for the State of Ohio THEAgent DAILY SCHEDULE 17) IS FINDING in4)Top Magazine! Licensed AinNICHE 1977, much OF A SUCCESSFUL REAL ESTATE AGENT

of Phil’s

MARKETbeRIGHT FORtoYOU? attributed his stellar work eth

determination to succeed. “I grew up p “There wereTHE eightGOOD, of us living in a 8 Expect the Best ®21) PROPERTIES: house withTHE threeUGLY bedrooms. My dad was 8) THERE GOES THE THE BAD, AND postal carrier, and my mother’s full NEIGHBORHOOD: HOW TO raising six kids.” When Phil was in his LIST HIGH WHEN NEIGHBORS ANGELA D. HERSH his landlord suggested he try his hand at ARE A NUISANCE the rest is history. Since entering the ind President of Mortgage Lending | NMLS # 466766 earned his solid reputation as a trustw 419-634-5015 (Office) | 419-558-4280 (Direct) for his many clients in the Dayton/Cinc


674-3454 (Cell) | email: ahersh@MyLiberty.Bank Phone 310-734-1440 | Fax 310-734-1440

A longtime proponent of the team oversees an equally-dedicated team, | takes responsibility for an area of 118 S. Main Street, Ada, OH 45810 No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent including and bookkeepin Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure theoperations accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or delegation facts supplied by its authors. from my mother,” explains To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to surrounded myself with people who h Published in the U.S. gifts and talents that I don’t have. M more in the sales arena. Allowing them those other departments frees me up to Top Agent Magazine productive in what I do.” Phil obvi impressive loyalty among his team mem www.


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The Daily Schedule

of a Successful Real Estate Agent Everything you do should be intentional. A busy schedule isn’t the same thing as a productive schedule. Sometimes people write things like “find clients” on their to-do list, but finding clients isn’t actually a task. It’s a goal. Your daily schedule should be created with your goal in mind if you want to be a successful real estate agent, but a goal is too broad to add to your calendar. Instead, you can break your goal down into projects, break those projects down into tasks, and schedule time in your calendar to complete each task. You’ll find that some of these projects will have an immediate impact on your business, and that those are the tasks that should be completed first. 4

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

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Top Agent Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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JEFF DULMAGE Top Agent Jeff Dulmage – Broker/Owner of Hartsock Realty in Lima, Ohio – has built a solid business on honesty, integrity and extensive industry knowledge. Offering a full spectrum of real estate services including residential, commercial and property management, Jeff and his company have firmly established themselves as leaders in their market. Hartsock Realty’s commitment to excellent customer service, coupled with its deft utilization of new technologies, has translated into a solid reputation as a results-getting, go-above-and-beyond brokerage that consistently places its clients’ best interests front and center. Jeff’s entrée into the world of real estate is rather unique, in that he purchased Hartsock Realty in 2013, before he was even licensed. Jeff hit the ground running, closing a remarkable 134 transactions in his first year, an accomplishment that garnered him the real estate industry’s Pinnacle Award and his ranking as the number five real estate agent in all of Ohio, an impressive feat by any standard. “When I took over the company,” says Jeff, “it was doing two million in volume annually, and we built that up to fifty million by 2018.” Subsequent awards and recognitions followed in the years to come.

technologies – the company was the first in its area to effectively utilize social media platforms to market its listings – is evidence of its forward-thinking approach. “We try to think outside the box,” says Jeff, “including the way we do open houses, which a lot of agents think don’t work, but we’ve had great success with.” Perhaps the best evidence of the exceptionalism of Hartsock Realty is the more than seventy perfect, five-star reviews they have received on, including this one that perfectly illustrates the experience of working with Jeff: “Throughout the entire process Jeff really worked hard for us on the sale of our property. Communication and response was stellar, and he negotiated full asking price. I highly recommend using Jeff as your agent and I look forward to working with him in the future.” The future looks incredibly bright for Jeff, who recently formed his own team with agents David Mayer and Kimika Wilbert. “I started this team so I can continue my personal business growth while still supporting the other agents in our company,” he explains. “Also, our future growth plan includes recruiting more agents, because Hartsock Realty has so much to offer in regards to superior income potential, wealth building and growth opportunity.” Above all, however, is Jeff’s continued commitment to providing the very best customer service available in the real estate industry.

Overseeing a large roster of equally-dedicated agents who share his client-first business ethos, Jeff’s personal business is based in very large part upon repeat and referred clients, evidence of the excellent customer service he is providing. “I basically treat people the way I want to be treated,” says Jeff, when asked to account for the trust and loyalty he inspires. “That’s the overarching philosophy of my company.” Jeff’s thoughtful, comprehensive approach to marketing has also factored significantly into his success story. Hartsock Realty’s pioneering embrace of new 6

For more information about Jeff Dulmage, please call 419-302-3940 or email Copyright Top Top Agent Agent Magazine Magazine

Liberty National Bank is proud to congratulate


on being featured for the State of Ohio in Top Agent Magazine! Expect the Best ® ANGELA D. HERSH Vice President of Mortgage Lending | NMLS # 466766 419-634-5015 (Office) | 419-558-4280 (Direct) 567-674-3454 (Cell) | email: ahersh@MyLiberty.Bank www.

118 S. Main Street, Ada, OH 45810

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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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MARIE NADER Top Agent Marie Nader – of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in North Olmsted, Ohio – is a hard-working, talented and consummate professional. A multi-year winner of her company’s National Sales Excellence Award, and currently ranked among the top 3% of producers nationally, Marie has spent the better part of the past two decades helping grateful buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals in as stress-free a manner as possible. 12 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Marie began her real estate career upon graduating from college. She and her husband (her boyfriend at the time), began purchasing investment properties. “I got licensed in 2002,” says Marie, “and at the time we were selling around ten properties each year.” After years of working solo, Marie put together an equally-dedicated and client-focused team in 2016. The level of success she has attained since is more than remarkable. “I average fifteen transactions Top Agent Magazine

per month,” she says, “and the way this year is going for me I will exceed twenty million in sales.” The lion’s share of Marie’s business is based on repeat clients and referrals from past customers and investor clients. “It’s because when we work with clients, we stay on top of everything,” she explains, when asked to account for the loyalty she inspires. “We thrive on negotiating the best price for our clients, whether they’re buying or selling. I’ve literally dedicated my life to the real estate business. The only thing that takes precedence over it is my family.” The appreciation Marie’s clients feel for her and her team’s Top Agent Magazine

13 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

extraordinary efforts is made abundantly clear in the glowing reviews she has received, including this one: “My wife and I worked with Marie to purchase our first home and really can’t say enough good things about her. She is knowledgeable, approachable, endlessly patient, and incredibly generous with her time (including mornings, evenings, and Copyright Top Agent Magazine 14

weekends) Buying a home in this market is challenging, but working with Marie made it as painless and straightforward as possible; she does go above and beyond.� Top Agent Magazine

Marie takes an extremely hands-on approach to working with her clients, and is committed to keeping all parties involved with a transaction up-to-date on its current status. “I tell them to please not be offended if I’m contacting them Top Agent Magazine

too much,” she says, smiling. “But it’s important that they are informed every step of the way.” When she’s not working – which, she admits, is rare – Marie enjoys nothing more than Copyright Top Agent Magazine 15

spending time with her family. “We love exploring and doing things together,� she says. Marie is also an active philanthropist who provides support to local schools and programs that benefit children in her community.

When asked about the future of her business, Marie says that she’d like to continue growing her already-thriving business, and to add to her team with agents that share her values of honesty, integrity and a true commitment to providing amazing service.

For more information about Marie Nader, please call 216-407-1974 or email

Copyright Top Agent Magazine 16

Top Agent Magazine

Is Finding A Niche Market Right for You?

A lot of Realtors® take the ‘jack of all trades’ approach to their businesses, and some are extremely successful with doing it all and doing it well. But taking that approach can also make it hard to stand out if there are a lot of agents in your area taking the same approach. If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the rest, finding a niche market might be the way to go. Although it might sound limiting at first, with the right branding and marketing, your specialty and expertise may help you lock up a market after you become well known for being the ‘go to’ Realtor® in a certain demographic. Having a niche helps you target your marketing, making it more effective, until eventually people are seeking you out as you build your reputation as the foremost expert in your particular niche. Top Agent Magazine

Despite the benefits of taking on a specialty, it’s still something that only a small percentage of Realtors® do, which means you have a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor in your area by being ahead of what is sure to be a looming real estate trend. You want to claim your stake on the niche that best fits not only your passions, but something that fills a void in your market. If this all sounds good to you, the next step is finding your niche! Here are a few things you need to consider:

There are two approaches to having a specialty, one that is truly your all-consuming passion or a sort of revolving niche, one that changes with the market 17

In addition to creating a thriving business, finding a niche may even unlock a hidden passion. Does your area have a large historic home inventory? Are you passionate about helping first time home buyers realize their dreams? Having a personal connection to what you specialize in is always a great way to start out. If you’re passionate about something, you’re almost guaranteed to have the work ethic it takes to have success in a niche market. Once you hone in on a niche, make sure the market data backs up your focus. Another approach is changing with the market. If you’re truly an expert in a few areas of the business, it might be good to have sort of a revolving niche. In a down market you might specialize in short sales and foreclosures. When things pick up, you may take your innovative approaches and start applying them to luxury homes. Whether you take the consistent niche approach or the flexible one, it’s really all about figuring out what best suits you and your market.

Fill a void in your market Maybe you don’t have an instant passion for one particular niche. In that case, there are several areas you can consider. A lot of it will start with really researching and analyzing your market and having a good eye for what future trends will be. Is there a certain demographic that is surging in your area? Cater your business to serve them. Maybe you are fluent in Spanish and your area is seeing a rise in a Latino population, who are emigrating from other countries. Or perhaps, you live in an area that has a larger retirement population. There 18

are numerous demographics that truly need expert real estate advice. Be the one to fill it. You can also focus on a particular neighborhood or gated community. Helping people navigate the ins and outs of a particular HOA can be a lifesaver.

Are you already serving a niche? Of course, sometimes you may already have a niche and are unaware of it. Maybe you are already dealing with a lot of first-time homebuyers. Look over your sales records and see what might already be there, then make it official. Figure out why you’re drawn to that area and then nail down the reasons you’ve excelled with that niche and use it to create a marketing plan and branding.

Find ways to really sell your expertise Once you figure out your niche, get the training, designations, and certifications that will enhance your expertise. Another way to let it be known that you are the ‘go to’ Realtor® in your particular niche is to become a resource online. Create a website with informative blogs and marketing information. Make a mark on social media where you can link back to your site, so potential clients can actually interact with you. There is a lot to consider when you’re thinking of going the niche market way with your business, but if you consider everything carefully and focus in on something you can be passionate about, the rewards could be a major win for you and for your clients. Top Agent Magazine

PHIL HERMAN With more than four decades of experience, Top Agent Phil Herman has forged an incredibly successful career in the highly-competitive real estate industry. Rapidly approaching the awe-inspiring milestone of one billion dollars in sales and eight thousand transactions, Phil is a consummate professional who truly cares about his clients and has dedicated himself to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Licensed in 1977, much of Phil’s success can be attributed to his stellar work ethic and fierce determination to succeed. “I grew up poor,” says Phil. “There were eight of us living in a 800 square foot house with three bedrooms. My dad was a hardworking postal carrier, and my mother’s full-time job was raising six kids.” When Phil was in his early twenties, his landlord suggested he try his hand at real estate, and the rest is history. Since entering the industry, Phil has earned his solid reputation as a trustworthy advocate for his many clients in the Dayton/Cincinnati market. A longtime proponent of the team concept, Phil oversees an equally-dedicated team, each of whom takes responsibility for an area of the business, including operations and bookkeeping. “I learned delegation from my mother,” explains Phil, “and I’ve surrounded myself with people who have the skills, gifts and talents that I don’t have. My abilities are more in the sales arena. Allowing them autonomy in those other departments frees me up to be very dollar productive in what I do.” Phil obviously inspires impressive loyalty among his team members, as some of them have been working with him for decades. Phil’s longevity in the real estate industry has contributed to his status as somewhat of a local celebrity, and his face and brand recognition has continued Top Agent Magazine

to grow, year after year. Obviously grateful for the success he has achieved, Phil is committed to giving back to the industry that has provided him with so much. Upon the recommendation of his own real estate coach, Phil began his own coaching company (, and currently works with scores of agents nationally, each of whom benefits from Phil’s hard-won insight. Exceptional, focused, spare-no-expense marketing has played a vital role in Phil’s success story, as has his exceptional negotiating skills and his commitment to remaining up-to-date on real estate trends and business practices. “When I first got into the business, a contract was a single page. Today, it’s eight to ten pages long, so there are a lot more challenges,” says Phil, who took a course at Harvard to fine-tune his negotiating abilities. “You have to have integrity, you have to tell the truth,” says Phil, when asked what advice he might have for anyone contemplating a career in real estate. “Cross your t’s dot your I’s. Follow the golden rule. I also believe that negativity is the single most inhibiting factor to success. Create a positive working environment. You should know that when you’re helping people get what they want, there’s a lot of power beneath that. It speaks to both your heart and soul as a human being.”

To learn more about Phil Herman, please call 937-305-4838 or email Copyright Top Agent Magazine 19


Top Agent Magazine

Properties: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly by Denise Lones

I was shocked. There it was. An expensive property near a busy intersection that had stayed on the market for almost a year. I asked one of my agents, “Why hasn’t this one sold?”

But none of these are reasons to put this property on the back shelf. In fact, there is a market for every market, no matter its location or condition. Too often, we make the mistake of shortchanging sellers who don’t have manicured lawns on cul-de-sacs with perfect houses. We prejudge our own listings to the detriment of the people we’re supposed to be serving.

He said, “Because it’s a dog. Look at it. Nobody wants those turrets that stick out like that. And besides, it’s at that intersection where there’s traffic all day long.” I’ve been there. I’ve driven to properties hoping for a terraced I couldn’t believe what I was masterpiece with a stunning garden, hearing. This agent had “classified” and then felt that sick dropping this property in his own mind as feeling in the pit of my stomach something that wasn’t worth the when I finally saw it. trouble to market—pretending to service his customer while doing What do most agents do? They’re nothing. True, it wasn’t as beautiful polite, they take the listing, and they or pristine as surrounding neigh- get out of there fast. They rely too borhoods. True, it was in a not-so- much on their own opinion of the prime location. True, it could use property rather than pulling statistics to determine its true market value. some handyman work. Top Agent Magazine


OR they tell the seller, “This house isn’t going to sell unless you change the carpet, fix the paint, install new roofing, etc.” Beware! This could lead into a legal nightmare. While on the surface this agent is giving generic advice, what if the seller does everything the agent suggests—and the house still doesn’t sell? That agent might want to call a good lawyer.

If a property needs work, that’s never a reason it won’t sell. There are investors, handypersons, contractors, and do-it-yourselfers who love these properties. Go to your local real estate investment club meeting and you’ll find people searching frantically for such properties. Advertise it as a “Handyman’s Special.” Target these people directly. You may be amazed how many of them are out there.

Here’s the truth: Every property— True, you may have to advise the good, bad, and ugly—will sell if seller they won’t get top-dollar if priced right. It is always about price. a lot of work needs to be done. There is always someone in the But this is the true issue here—not market ready and willing to buy the work itself. It’s always about right now for the right price. price. 22

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Let’s talk ugly. A house is in pristine condition, but has a rather peculiar look. Well, I have news for you: Just because you think a house is ugly doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there who will say, “This is the home I’ve been looking for all my life!”

cannot tell you how many times my jaw dropped when someone told me, “Perfect! We love it!” So, I’ve learned never to judge a house by its paint job, landscaping, or design.

You have a job to do: sell the house at top-market price. You are hired to be the market expert. Sellers don’t Did you know there are people out have the time to do so themselves. there who prefer ugly houses? Yes, That’s why you have a career. ugly houses! Some people don’t care about the outside of a property. It’s always the market that They’re only interested in the determines what sells. No matter the inside, where they know they will shape, size, or condition. And you be spending most of their time. are not in charge of the market, These are people who don’t buy to which as always is based on supply impress others, but rather to please and demand. Whatever is in demand themselves. Thank goodness for will sell, whether it’s a beachfront these people. Without them, we’d mansion or a shack in the woods. Be creative. Use your marketing to have to tear down half the planet! target people who truly want these I’ve seen houses that look like properties. But most importantly, something from a Stephen King price the property correctly for the novel sell overnight while another market. that could be on the cover of Home and Garden languishes on the market Know thy market and thou shalt for weeks. Why? Because somebody know what sells—good, bad, or ugly. wanted that house. Period. You are not the world’s taste critic. Copyright©, Denise Lones. You cannot tell what people want. I All rights reserved. Top Agent Magazine



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OHIO 5-6-19  


OHIO 5-6-19