HOW TO RECOGNIZE TRUE LUXURY PROPERTIES FROM CHAOS TO CONTROL COVER STORY
6 HABITS OF HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE AGENTS 5 STEPS TO ACHIEVE LONG TERM SUCCESS AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT
CONTENTS 4) 6 HABITS OF HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE AGENTS
17) FROM CHAOS TO CONTROL
14) HOW TO RECOGNIZE TRUE LUXURY PROPERTIES
22) 5 STEPS TO ACHIEVE LONG TERM SUCCESS AS A REAL ESTATE AGENT
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6 Habits of Highly Productive Agents In a business that can be constant chaos, you’re constantly on the go and dealing with things as they hit you. It can be difficult to take a second and regroup. But there is a better and smarter way to work. If you take the time to create some better habits, in the end, you may end up being more productive. If you want to make better use of your time, as well as have more focus, here’s some habits that you’re going to want to pick up - all common to top-producing agents.
1. Learn how to prioritize Although it might be your instinct to get some of the boring work out of the way first, things 4
that actually generate income (or are time-sensitive!) should be the first thing you focus on when you start your day. Lists are your friend! Make a list of things you want to accomplish for the day, the week, and even the month. Always list them in the order of priority. If things get cut off when you run out of time at the end of the day, at least it’ll be the things that are not as important or time sensitive. As with anyone, your time is your most valuable commodity and should be used wisely. When you make your list, you can even schedule tasks as if they were a meeting, giving yourself a little time goal to beat, as Top Agent Magazine
well. Treat your time with the same respect you would a colleague’s or client’s and don’t ever waste it. As with anyone, your time is your most valuable commodity and should be used wisely. When you make your list you can even schedule tasks as if they were a meeting, giving yourself a little time goal to beat, as well. Treat your time with the same respect you would a colleague’s or client’s, and don’t ever waste it.
to accomplish it? Write it out and then incorporate that into your prioritized ‘to do’ list. You’ll be amazed at how driven you become to reach that goal when you actually write it out with clarity. And, the sense of accomplishment you get upon completing it will carry over to the next day. It’s important to remember to be specific. Once you get into the habit of meeting your goals, exceeding them won’t be far behind.
2. Remove distractions
when you need to focus This is especially hard when you’re a Realtor®. Most are constantly connected to their phones. But, unnecessary distractions can get you off schedule and make you lose your focus instantly. If you can, turn your phone off for the half hour it takes to do a task. Interruptions make everything take twice as long, especially when you take that text and then decide to check Facebook for a second. We all do it! Complete your task, then take ten minutes to respond to all texts and messages before you start up the next thing on your list. You can even schedule those ‘text backs’ into your schedule. A concentrated effort is always more effective than going back and forth between things.
3. Set daily goals This is so key. What do you want to accomplish for the day and what do you need to do Top Agent Magazine
4. Don’t make excuses There’s that old saying, “The buck stops here”. Well, take it to heart. This is your business and you are responsible for doing everything you can to make it successful. Sure, there are reasons for why you didn’t get a listing or why your business is slow, but what are you doing to change things and make them better? Successful Realtors® work harder and come up with innova5
tive ways to stand out when times are tough. They don’t look for excuses, they look for solutions.
5. Be deliberate
about everything you do When you’re making your list, it helps to have a goal in mind for even the smallest task. If you’re calling past clients to touch base, have a specific reason why you’re calling. Are you letting them know some market news? Thanking them for a referral? When you’re meeting a referral partner for lunch, have a goal in mind for what the outcome of that meeting will be as well. Yes it’s good to socialize and build relationships, but if you have a reason, make sure it isn’t put off until the final moments, when things are wrapping up. Always having a purpose in mind will also help you prioritize your list better.
6. Always look for ways to
get out of your comfort zone Yes, you are prioritizing what is most important or urgent to your business, but it’s also important to make an effort to break out 6
of your routine as much as you’re comfortable doing. Trying out new things or taking some time to learn about new and innovative real estate techniques and technology, can have an energizing effect on your business. Not only might they lead to things that make you more productive, but it keeps you sharp and engaged. And, ultimately keeping yourself at the top of your game is what it’s all about. Top Agent Magazine
PAM ACKLEY Top Agent Magazine
PAM ACKLEY Top Agent Pam Ackley of Windermere Stellar in the coastal town of Gearhart has been serving the northern coast of Oregon for twenty-five years as a realtor, and for fourteen years prior as a mortgage broker. Formerly a credit union employee, Pam made the switch to selling homes in 1995, she has since established a stellar reputation as dedicated, detail-oriented professional who her clients have come to both respect and rely upon for top-notch customer service. Pam is the go-to agent for buyers and sellers of luxury homes, those who are relocating or buying second homes. She also specializes 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine
in development and commercial properties, and is a trusted advisor who can be counted on to meet or exceed client expectations. As someone who knows the market, cares about long-term relationships and can negotiate successfully on her clientâ€™s behalf to find properties that best fit their needs, she has demonstrated time and again her careful attention to detail, timelines and introduction to community networking. Her commitment to excellence is made clear by the fact that more than 80% of her business is referral-based, and her clients appreciate the personal touch that imbues every one of her transactions. â€œMost of my Top Agent Magazine
“We chose Pam Ackley after interviewing other agents because she was the most knowledgeable in every area. We knew she would work hard for us, and that turned out to be an understatement.” clients,” says Pam, “become dear friends. We do things together on a regular basis. I believe it’s my commitment to my community that really sets me apart from other realtors in the area.” Even other real estate agents acknowledge Pam’s proficiency and superlative service, as evidenced by this five-star Zillow review: Top Agent Magazine
“My husband and I were both real estate agents from another state previously. We chose Pam Ackley after interviewing other agents because she was the most knowledgeable in every area. We knew she would work hard for us, and that turned out to be an understatement. We are both convinced that no one else could have sold our home and gotten it through escrow. When probCopyright Top Agent Magazine9
lems arose, she knew who to call and what to do. We couldn’t have hired anyone with more expertise and experience. Pam was a joy to work with and we highly recommend her to everyone, she’s the greatest!” In addition to her excellent client relations and general know-how, Pam excels in the marketing department as well, and she understand the importance of utilizing cutting-edge platforms to sell her properties. “Social media is where it’s at,” she says. “Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. The millennial market is really coming into play in every community across the nation. You Copyright Top Agent Magazine 10
have to use social media to make it in this business now.” An Accredited Staging Professional, she also understands the need to show each listing to it’s best advantage, and does so with every home she sells. “There are a lot of statistics out there,” she says, “that show that homes that are staged well and have curb appeal sell faster and for more money.” Philanthropy plays a large role in Pam’s life, and giving back to her community is incredibly important to her. To that end, she and a school board member have established a nonprofit organization as the financial arm to the Top Agent Magazine
“Social media is where it’s at,” Facebook, YouTube, Twitter. The millennial market is really coming into play in every community across the nation. You have to use social media to make it in this business now.” Warrenton School District’s Backpack Food Program. As an essential core need the school is able to provide chronically hungry children with food to take home over the weekends. This non-profit is also the fiscal agent for a recently received Federal grant to fight juvenile substance abuse in their community. Top Agent Magazine
When she’s not working, Pam enjoys fishing, traveling, and spending time with her husband and beloved Golden Retriever. Real estate is a business, but it’s the personal aspect that gives Pam the most satisfaction: “I absolutely love the clients I get to meet.” Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11
For more information about PAM ACKLEY, please call 503-738-4840 or email PamAckley@gmail.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12
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We Turn Houses Into Homes!
y Pam Acktlien
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Wauna Credit Union
waunafcu.org l 800-773-3236
Serving the communities of Clatsop, Columbia & western Washington Top Agent Magazine 13 County in Oregon, and Pacific County in Washington.
How to Recognize True Luxury Properties What to Consider Other Than Location When luxury home buyers are looking for a new abode, they are often advised to pay most of their attention to location, location, location. And it’s true that good locations often have better properties, but if you’re only looking at location then you might be forgetting what it is in a luxury property that makes it luxury. You could view a property in a great location, and because you completely ignored any of the other factors that make a property high end, you might find that once you move in, you aren’t as pleased with the actual house itself as you thought you would be. Here are the other things you should look out for when purchasing a luxury home: • Architectural Uniqueness: The simple fact is that good
architecture retains its value. Do your homework on architects and find the ones that have a good track record of designing beautiful, but practical homes. Don’t simply pay attention to how the building looks today. Consider how it will look in a few decades. Keep an eye out for the “bones” of the building, and decide whether they will stand the test of time or not. Things such as a solid foundation, high-grade materials, unusual details, and artistic components are good aspects to consider. Will the structure hold up well or will it degrade and crumble without constant upkeep? That funky molding may look artistic today, but in ten years will it be considered artistic or just plain weird?
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• Practical Layout: Make sure you have enough room to live
in comfort. As a buyer of luxury property, you probably have quite a busy social schedule. You want to make sure that the layout will lend itself to helping you maintain clear separation between your social areas and private ones. You don’t want guests having to go back into your bedroom to use the bathroom. Look out for places with stairwells, awkward columns, long hallways, and other wastes of space.
• Unobstructed Views and Light: You want to live in
a home that gives you lots of natural light, such as one that is open to the outdoors. That natural light will improve your mood, as well as the resale value. The openness of a space filled with natural light will make you feel more comfortable and happy in your new home. What about the view? Do you see a Do you park, a bridge, a river, or a skyline? Is the see a park, fantastic view out your window protected? a bridge, You’ll need to understand the surrounding air a river, or a rights and zoning allowances of neighboring buildings to understand the possible risks. skyline?
• Windows: Windows are the primary source of losing heat and
cooling. Make sure they are double-paned with good insulation that will protect your home against weather and noise. Unless the windows are already like this, it is unlikely that the condo or co-op board will allow you to install your own.
• Ceiling Height: Consider the cubic footage of the property.
You want to look for high ceilings that increase the openness of a room. Of course, you don’t want to go too high. Above 14 feet will get you diminished marginal returns.
• Storage: If you’re a woman, you will understand this one. We need
lots of closets and additional storage room to fit all of our clothes, shoes, jackets, hats, purses, etc. However, lucky for you, your potential home’s existing closet square footage will not limit you from putting in more storage space. Custom closet companies can create any kind of storage
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space you desire. You will have to, however, make sure that your new home does have an area that you can turn into this storage space. • In-Unit Laundry: In-unit laundry has become necessary for
any luxury home or apartment. Do you really want to have to trek down flights of stairs to use the basement laundry? If you still consider it wasted space, you can convert it into more closet space.
• The Gym: Having a fitness area nearby is an amenity that is especially
important, particularly in winter when you don’t feel like walking to the gym a few blocks down. One thing to consider is the Do you really want of the gym in relation to have to trek down size to the size of the building in flights of stairs? light of common area fees. • Move-In Ready: I’d advise against buying time-consuming and
frustrating fixer-uppers no matter how much you want to add custom kitchens, finishes, fixtures, and other characteristics. Choose a property that already has all of these amenities taken care of. These properties have already had the same designers you would hire fashion the house at a fraction of the cost you would pay to have them do it after you move in. In this light, it is worthwhile to pay a little extra for the move-in ready home.
• Reputation: Pay attention to the reputation of the building. A
property that has a good reputation tends to retain its value. You can easily find this out online on posts, and established locals are likely to have an opinion.
If you want to buy luxury property that is really worth it’s price, then I would suggest adding these points to your list of things your new home must have. If you want to get a high quality home that is a true luxury, you’ll want to watch out for these aspects as well as the location. Some properties might claim to be luxury based on their location, but when compared against this list, they don’t make the cut. So, don’t be fooled by imposters, and make sure you find a true high-end property. 16
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From Chaos to Control By Barry Eisen
Below are 24 great ideas designed to give you back your time and life. Managing time, rather than letting it manage you is an art form. Little changes can make huge differences. Look at what is offered below and incorporate 1 or 2 ideas that make sense to do. You can always come back to the list for more when you’re ready for more. 1. Get Ready the Night Before. Get it out of your head. Plan
out your next day by writing a “killer” To-Do list and prioritize A, B and C business and personal priorities. You’ll sleep better too. Top Agent Magazine
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2. Focus on the Important Things. Less is more. Commit to
doing the A things on your To-Do list. Stop randomly playing games and surfing social media. Focus on what’s important. Here’s the procrastinationbe-gone formula: Do the important stuff first. No “ifs,” “ands,” or “buts” do it. 3. Remove the Clutter. Much of our “visual noise” is caused by
stuff. Practice a three-part clutter rating system that will help you prevent and remove clutter: • It’s important now. Use it and then put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be). • It will be important. Put it in its home (where it’s supposed to be). • It’s not important. Get rid of it: Toss it or if possible, consider donating it.
4. Get Organized and Stay That Way. Pick an organizational
system, execute it, and stick to it. Your new system may feel foreign at first, but it will eventually form into a habit. If you slip or feel like you’re ready to give up, recall the benefits of being organized and pick up where you left off. When necessary, make adjustments, but avoid switching to new organizational systems or you’ll lose the benefits.
5. Keep One Calendar. Whether it’s a Week/Month at a Glance
appointment book, wall calendar, smartphone app, etc. - keep ONE calendar. First, keep track of the usual calendar events: birthdays, and appointments. Second, use your weekly calendar to keep track of bills, plan menus, make appointments with yourself to write or read, etc. This will help prevent the scenario of sifting through bills, notes, and multiple calendars. 6. Focus on What’s in Front of You. Of course, not all tasks
require 100% focus, but for tasks like prospecting or writing, never multitask. Lots of studies have shown the inefficiency of juggling tasks. If you refocus your attention on another task, it can take more time to refocus on your original task. Don’t do it. Stay focused. Turn off your phone and disconnect from the internet during tasks, like writing or studying, to focus. Don’t drop what you’re currently doing to address something you just thought of or remembered. If you think of something completely unrelated to what you’re 18
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working on, jot down a few quick notes (a word or two to jog your memory will suffice). Keep up momentum: FOCUS. 7. Execute Decisions Faster. If you find
yourself hemming and hawing over a decision, make a decision then and there. If the task Sometimes a has a lot hanging on the outcome, fresh set of eyes is seek/ask for more information if you need it, but the key all you need to get is: make a decision now. back on track. 8. Delegate and Learn to Love It.
We can be greedy with our workloads. Drop the, “if you want things done right, you have to do it yourself” mentality. If it can be done by someone else (more effectively) and it’s not an important task, delegate it. 9. Just Say “No.” Stop agreeing to take on things for which you don’t
have time. If you don’t have time for it or it will take your focus away from other priorities, say no.
10. HELP Is not a Dirty 4 Letter Word. Ask for help. Sometimes
a fresh set of eyes is all you need to get back on track, but be sure your plea is directed at the right person and is respectful of their own priorities. 11. Time Activities. We all can get swept away by television, social
media, internet browsing, article reading, and games. Allot yourself an amount of time for online activities and playing games. Set an alarm. When the time is up, stop the activity. 12. Time Your Conversations and Meetings. I’m not
recommending that you don’t socialize or be rude. I’m recommending that you don’t allow conversations or meetings to completely disrupt your day. Allot yourself time. For “water cooler” talks, give yourself 5 minutes and keep them infrequent. For meetings, estimate how much time you’ll need to address the needs of those involved, come prepared, and if there isn’t Top Agent Magazine
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already an agenda, propose talking points to squeeze more value out of the meeting. 13. Call, Don’t Text. Text messaging is supposed to be quick and to
the point... not long, drawn out conversations. For anything beyond a quick yes or no question, call. For example, call for emergencies and all of those “how are you?” and “what ‘cha doin’?” questions. If it goes to voicemail, don’t worry. Most people have access to visual voicemail anyway, so it will be like a text. Either way, trust that they will get the message.
14. Turn Aimless Browsing Into Growth Opportunities.
Create an ongoing list of questions, curiosities, or things you’ve always wanted to find out more about. When you sit down to browse the internet, start looking for answers. You might surprise yourself with what you find. 15. Do Your Errands at the Same Time. Schedule time to
do errands and plan a route ahead of time to ensure you’re not wasting time bouncing back and forth across town.
16. Filter Your Email. How much time do you waste in your inbox?
Filter your email: • Create rules for recurring emails that don’t require an action to be archived in a particular folder. • Set rigorous anti-spam settings to block unwanted email from reaching your inbox. • Form a habit of touching an email once: If you open it, you have to address it (e.g., respond and file). 17. Automate Responses. If you find yourself replying with the
same or nearly identical responses for clients keep a template to quickly copy/paste the response and tweak it as necessary to personalize the message. 18. Automate Bill Payments. For any recurring bills that you
have: AUTOMATE. Not only will this save you time, it may even save you money and raise your credit score if you’re the forgetful type. 20
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19. Sort the Mail in Your Hand. When you get your mail, don’t
let it sit in a pile. Sort out the junk right away and then prioritize other items respectively (see weekly calendar). If possible, go green by electing not to receive the hard copy. 20. Avoid Rush Hour. Do you commute to work? Negotiate a work
schedule to travel during non-traffic delayed times. You can easily turn a 60-minute, traffic-jammed commute into 25 minutes by getting ahead of the traffic or waiting it out. Online apps, like Waze, do a good job informing of traffic problems so you can adjust accordingly.
21. Keep a Running Shopping List. Create a policy that for
whoever squeezes the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, kills the mustard bottle, etc., they are responsible to write it down on the shopping list. In doing so, this will save time from taking inventory as well as keep your shopping trip quick - get into the store, grab what you need, and go (rather than meandering down aisles). 22. Cook for Tomorrow. Double the amount of what your cooking
and refrigerate/freeze the leftovers. It may take you a small amount of time to double what you’re already making, but it will save you much more time making your next meal by not having to start from scratch. 23. Learn While You Workout. When on a treadmill, elliptical
machine etc., listen to news, pod casts, and audiobooks rather than music to keep up with trends in your niche, current events, books, and learning at large.
24. Exercise More Effectively. Exchange moderation for higher
intensity. You can have a more effective and efficient workout by putting more effort into a 30-minute high-intensity workout than 90 minutes of lowto-medium effort.
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 Top Agent Magazine
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5 Steps to Achieve Long Term Success as a Real Estate Agent Real Estate can have a reputation as an industry with a high turnover as far as agents go. Being a ‘people person’ with an entrepreneurial spirit is a great start, but what some fail to realize when starting out is that this is a business. So if you’re in it for the long haul, you need to treat it that way. Here are some key steps you need to take to have your own successful real estate business.
FIND A MENTOR
Once you get your license and hang your sign at a Brokerage, you’ll find that you’re pretty much on your own. That’s why it’s a good idea for new agents to find a large Brokerage that offers in-house training and mentorship or a boutique brokerage that has more seasoned agents who are eager to take a new agent under their wing. Being able to shadow a more experienced agent is invaluable and allows you to mirror what you’ve seen and run through the numerous scenarios that will arise when you are representing a client.
This is a business that is constantly changing, so it’s smart to always stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new technological innovations and systems. There are even numerous online resources, where you can keep up on your trade, such as blogs by top producing agents that are a treasure trove of information. A confident agent with an in-depth knowledge of the business is one that easily earns the trust of their client, leading to repeat and referral business, which will be the bread and butter of your business.
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BUILD A STRONG ONLINE PRESENCE
Yes, referrals are the basis of your business, but building a strong online presence and marketing yourself to new clients is also important, especially before you’ve built up a strong referral base. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and other social media tools are great way to get leads both for your listings and for yourself. It’s even a good idea to buy several domain names when you start, so that when you’re ready to build a website, you can ensure you have the names you want. Obviously the internet is also a great resource to find leads. Before you find a niche for yourself, it’s important to take advantage of every avenue there is. A lot of successful agents started off doing things no one else wanted to take on like foreclosures, expired listings or lower priced homes. But as you’ll find out, helping those who need it most is a great way to build a loyal client base, that will not only come back to you when they are ready to sell or buy again, but will be your biggest cheerleaders when it comes to referring you to friends and family.
BUILD A SOLID FOUNDATION
One thing you’ll find in this business is that doing a lot of work up top, will lead to a more successful outcome down the road. That goes for marketing plans for your listings, as well as your business as a whole. It might not be the fun part, but it will allow you to one day focus on what you do best, dealing with your clients. Set up your CRM and the other systems you want to use from the get go. Getting these things established before you’re hopefully a busy agent is the best time to really learn them and decide what’s best for you.
Once you build a strong foundation and are establishing your client base, it’s important to continually set goals that help you implement your business strategy. You can even invest in a real estate coach if you need someone to hold you accountable. It’s also important to constantly reevaluate what you’re doing. Set up a monthly audit, where you go over what is and what isn’t working. As we mentioned above, this is a fluid business and things are constantly changing, the same can be said of your business. What worked a year ago, might be losing you money as your business grows.
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