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How to Get the Biggest Recharge Out of Your Lunch Hour

Creative Ways to Say

Thank You



Deanna Bowman


Freeborn Inspections is proud to congratulate

Nicole Marburger 6




on being featured for the state of Texas in Top Agent Magazine! CONTENTS


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Anyone needing worthy and ded guidance would d Jared Benson of t in Texas’ Dalla Jared’s commitm excellent client ad in continually gr JARED BENSON as a Realtor who trusted to place h ests front and cent This reputation was recently solidified when Real Estate Agent for 2018 by local magazin

Prior to beginning his career in real estate the VP of Marketing for a Texas-based co that focused on home foundation repairs, d business development inside the real estat 17) CREATIVE MEDITATION experience I gained in that position is large FOR THE REAL me to beESTATE successful while working with my PROFESSIONAL he explains. “My knowledge ranges from und issues to understanding how to properly ma also taught more than two hundred continuin 21) WHY DOESN’T TRAINING for Realtors before he even obtained his own


Jared’s dynamic personality, coupled with ethic, have already translated into a business ily upon referrals, a true measure of excelle in the very competitive real estate industry. is about him that inspires such consumer con Jared pauses for a thoughtful moment before because I feel a connection to my clients,” h Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 when my wife and I bought our first home, how stressful it was. I really take those feelin | I’m helping someone. I’m not just racing for t No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent closing table, rather I’m helping to educate th Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published cognizant of all the emotions that they’re goi www.

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 Published in the U.S.


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Why Delegating is the Key to Long-lasting Success Delegating isn’t a dirty word. In fact, it’s the secret weapon of some of the most successful real estate leaders out there. Those that want to succeed and lead a business built to last understand that delegating is the key to growth and longevity. While the idea of delegating may sound nice, consider a few ways in which delegating adds professional value that goes far beyond efficiency.

DELEGATING DEVELOPS YOUR MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE Have you ever considered that delegating tasks and responsibilities can help you, as 4

a leader, develop your managerial skills? While the main objective of delegation is to distribute work in a balanced, efficient way, it’s also a chance to assign tasks with insight, calibrating your team in the process. Consider delegation an opportunity to build strengths and address weaknesses on your team by choosing specific tasks for specific employees. You can also work on and expand your communication skills, find ways to streamline your delegation tactics, and create opportunities for collaboration. Don’t just delegate blindly, be thoughtful in how you parcel out the workload and responsibilities. Doing so will allow you to fortify your

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While the idea of delegating may sound nice, consider a few ways in which delegating adds professional value that goes far beyond efficiency.

management skills, in addition to lightening your load for the better.

DELEGATING BUILDS COLLECTIVE CONFIDENCE Another byproduct of delegating is that it builds collective confidence in the ranks of your office. By giving employees the chance to flex their skills and control their own small slice of the pie, you’ll be fostering a sense of responsibility and growth on your talent roster. Not only will your staff benefit from the chance to step out on their own, but the team will also benefit as a whole, as each member will attack their duties with a renewed sense of confidence and competence. This collective aptitude will translate to clients and industry colleagues, who will sense the power of a practiced, well-calibrated team in which each member has the chance to shine.

DELEGATING SHARPENS WEAK SPOTS IN OFFICE COMMUNICATION Proper delegation requires clear communication and the careful outlining of responsibilities, goals, and expectations. By regularly delegating to staff, you’ll be giving the whole office the chance to curtail careless communication habits and establish a new benchmark for quality correspondence. Begin by setting an example by clearly communicating delegated responsibilities, leaving the door open for Top Agent Magazine

questions, and by making progress reports the standard. After a while, these good habits will become engrained in your team, and your office will benefit from a uniform and effective communication style, no matter the project.

DELEGATING TURNS ACCOMPLISHMENTS INTO A TEAM WIN The ultimate goal of delegating duties is to get the job done, but when you practice delegation, each team member will have a stake in the outcome. In other words, a job well done can be celebrated by all. Giving your team the chance to invest themselves in an overarching project allows for a big pay-off once success is achieved. Not only does this boost morale and provide meaningful motivation for daily work, but it also builds a sense of comradery among the ranks. What’s more, team members will know they’re taken seriously and considered valuable to the team’s dynamic. And don’t forget: a job well done is a reward in and of itself, but it also doesn’t hurt to demonstrate your gratitude for a team goal accomplished. Delegating responsibilities isn’t a new idea, but the benefits are more plentiful than most imagine. With that in mind, capitalize on opportunities to delegate and you’ll not only be bolstering your business, but building your team and your own professional profile for the long haul.

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NICOLE MARBURGER Determined, knowledgeable and customer-oriented, Nicole Marburger has found her ideal career path in the real estate industry. After graduating with a Business Marketing degree from Texas State University, she moved to Austin and worked in an insurance sales position. While she was happy with her job she felt real estate was where her passion truly was; while on maternity leave, she decided to get her real estate license, wanting to be more involved with people. Today, she works full time as an agent at Legacy Real Estate Group, serving the greater Austin area. She has a wonderful transaction coordinator, Crystal Califano, and another great agent, Jen Buterick, on her team. With a focus on providing superior service, Nicole and her team have become a predominantly referral-based business. “I just genuinely care,” she says. “I tell them if something is too risky. I care about people’s money on a deep level. I try to convey that to them.” When working with Nicole, clients know they have an honest and supportive person on their side. Understanding the importance of their investment, Nicole does everything possible to save them money. “It’s a tough market, but I’m going to fight the best I can to get them the best deal and not have them overpay.” Nicole also has experience on the building side of things, having renovated and built multiple homes herself. “I have done fully permitted and non-permitted projects, so I have learned a lot about the process and the integrity of materials. I have an immediate eye for quality of work, and can take a deeper look into a home the first time through.” As many of Nicole’s clients become friends, she does not need to market to them as much, and instead focuses her

attention on marketing her listings. She has an extensive toolkit at her fingertips, including a drone and photography vendors. Her photographs showcase the best features in a property, allowing viewers to get the full experience of a home before seeing it in person. After the transaction is over, clients love to leave glowing reviews about Nicole. One recent buyer said, “We couldn’t have had a better home buying experience! Nicole and her team were fantastic and answered every question we had, and we had a lot of them. They helped educate us on every step and made us feel comfortable and knowledgeable. We ran into some floodplain issues with our home and Nicole went above and beyond to make sure we had all the information necessary. I genuinely feel that we would not have found such a great house if it wasn’t for Nicole. We can’t thank you enough!” When Nicole isn’t working, she’s spending time with family or staying involved with the community. She sits on the board for the Texas State University Alumni Association, and has been selected to co-chair the Real Estate Council of Austin 2019 Knock Out Night, which has over 1700 attendees. Beyond that, she is also an active member of the Life Austin church. As she looks towards the future, she is eager to add more quality people to her team. And no matter what, she will continue loving every minute of her job. “Real estate is a tangible thing, I can match value with lifestyle. It’s so personal and fulfilling, and it’s different each day.”

For more information about Nicole Marburger, please call 512 - 653 - 9999 or email 6

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Freeborn Inspections is proud to congratulate

Nicole Marburger

on being featured for the state of Texas in Top Agent Magazine!

CHAD SNAPP TREC:21200 • ICC:8375691 (512) 578-6685 • www.

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How to Get the Biggest Recharge

Out of Your Lunch Hour When things get busy, it’s typical to find a grab-and-go lunch and keep plugging away on the tasks at hand. While some days demand this kind of hustle, your lunch hour can be a valuable window in which to recharge and set the tone for the latter half of your day. In fact, taking a mindful break at midday can create 8

mental space for extended productivity and provide the morale boost necessary to take on a new task for the afternoon. But how do you maximize that hourlong reprieve amidst a busy schedule? Here are a few ideas for inspiration, no matter what your tastes or preferred habits may be.

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Top Agent Magazine

Taking a mindful break at midday can create mental space for extended productivity and provide the morale boost necessary to take on a new task for the afternoon.

GET MOVING Just ten minutes of light exercise can get your blood pumping and your energy renewed. Step outside and take a brisk walk around the block, or walk to your favorite sandwich shop instead of hopping in your car. Find ways to incorporate light exercise into your lunch hour routine and you’ll not only enjoy a chance to stretch your legs and get your eyes off of screens, but you’ll also reap the health and mood benefits of endorphins. Even extended stretching or mild calisthenics can provide rejuvenating relief in short order. Top Agent Magazine

PLAY CATCH UP Sometimes catching up with an old friend or family member can brighten your day and give you a morale-boosting outlet beyond the office. During your next lunch hour, why not combine a jaunt around the block with a call to catch up with your sibling or college buddy? Shifting your focus from work and centering instead on a comforting interpersonal relationship can really boost your mood and reinforce your personal values.

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SOAK UP THE SUN If you’re tempted to eat your lunch at your desk while staring into the same computer screen that you’ve been working on for hours—think again. Sure, a busy schedule sometimes means making that sacrifice, but when your schedule and weather permits, try to take your lunch outside and disconnect from your office setting. Soak up the sun, feel the breeze, and lift your gaze to the horizon instead of toward your phone or computer screen. The mood-boosting benefits of time spent recharging outside are well-documented, and a change of scenery can give you the boost you need to power through your afternoon to-do list. 10

Use your lunch hour to treat your senses. As you eat or get active, try queuing up your favorite music or the latest episode of your favorite podcast. If you focus on the same tasks and stimuli for too long, your brain will fatigue and your focus will erode steadily over time. Shift gears and treat your mind to some music or stimulation outside of your daily tasks. You’ll help yourself relax, recharge, and create a natural transition point for your ensuing afternoon workflow. Your lunch hour isn’t just about being purely functional. If you want to maintain a steady rate of productivity and leave the office satisfied by the progress of your day—use your lunch hour wisely. As important as it is to nourish your body, also consider nourishing your mind. No matter what your chosen outlet may be, don’t overlook the power of a well-spent lunch hour and the positive benefits that are sure to follow.

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Deanna Bowman Top Agent Magazine


Deanna Bowman With a natural talent for business and a passion for education, it is not surprising that Deanna Bowman is a top agent in the Houston market. Her interest in the industry piqued when she purchased her first home during a summer break from her job as a teacher. The broker asked if she was interested in filling in as her receptionist for two weeks, and Deanna took the opportunity. “I thought it seemed like fun, and at the end of those two weeks, the broker asked me to continue being her receptionist on Saturdays,” 12 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Deanna explains. Deanna held this position for the next two years, and eventually developed a passion for sharing the journey to home with buyers and sellers. “I decided to get my license in 2003, and I still enjoy the journey. Every day is different and exciting.” Today she serves the greater northwest Houston corridor, and sees natural growth in her business from constant networking, hosting open houses, reaching out to sellers frustrated with expired listings, canvassing Top Agent Magazine

neighborhoods, maximizing online exposure and relying on her company’s trusted brand. “My teaching background helps me to have a strong belief in humanity and to understand that people need information and resources to make good decisions for themselves,” Deanna says. She takes her time Top Agent Magazine

with clients, aiming to help them in every way possible throughout the transaction and the process. “I really see myself as a guide, by their side along the journey to their new home. I help them gather and utilize the information they need to make decisions that are right for them.” When working with 13 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Deanna, questions are answered, often before they are asked, and everything is clear each step of the way. Deanna stays in touch frequently with both buyers and sellers. “They hear from me directly, with regular updates, neighborhood market insights and calls just to see how they’re doing.” Copyright Top Agent Magazine 14

When it comes to marketing her listings, she focuses on including important information about the home’s unique elements. She writes thorough descriptions for the home and for each photo, allowing viewers to transport themselves into the home. “I want to tell the story of the home, so when people see the home online, Top Agent Magazine

and they read the description of the home, they conjure up a vision of what it is like to live there,” she explains. “They use their imagination to place themselves into that home.” Clients love her hands-on approach, leaving her glowing reviews after their time together. Top Agent Magazine

One recently said, “Deanna is nothing short of AMAZING! She was very professional and knowledgeable. Being new to the Houston area, she was very thoughtful and took her time to drive us around to help us navigate the area. We made 4 trips to Houston prior to our move and she was always prepared and Copyright Top Agent Magazine 15

had our viewings scheduled to meet our needs. Deanna was awesome with the communication throughout the entire process from beginning through closing. To anyone out there looking for a Realtor, look no further... save yourself the headache and just call Deanna!” Deanna stays active in the community during her free time, volunteering for Golden Beginnings, a Golden Retriever rescue organization,

and for the Junior Diabetes Research Foundation. She fundraises and donates time for both organizations. Deanna is eager to continue growing her business and to sharing the journey to home with others. “I love helping people discover their lifestyle and find their best life. I truly enjoy what I do and I want to keep doing it forever.”

For more information about Deanna Bowman, email, call 956-346-6244 or visit her Facebook here

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Creative Meditation

for the Real Estate Professional The real estate world can be an industry of intense emotional and psychological pressure. Deadlines, meetings, employee needs, client needs and a hundred other items on which one needs to focus on a daily basis can create an environment that is not only not conducive to mental well-being, but can be outright detrimental. Learning to quiet the mind has been the focus of meditation for millennia. While those not familiar with the concept of meditation may instinctively think of yoga mats, incense, and chanting when the word “meditation” arises, there are in fact, many forms of meditation that can integrate quite Top Agent Magazine

easily into the daily hustle & bustle world of the busy real estate agent. First, think about when you are alone each day. Here are some possible times to practice mediation during the work day: • When driving to the office in the morning • When driving to a showing or to meet a client • Before your open house begins • After the open house • Driving home in the evening 17

Repeating a mantra can be very calming, particularly when you are trying to rid yourself of negative, self-defeating thoughts. These are just five examples of times when you can take advantage of meditation techniques to quiet your mind and, by extension, increase productivity. A calm mind is a more thoughtful, better tuned instrument. Here are some examples of meditations you can try.


For when you’re driving, download and listen to any number of audio Guided Meditations available on the internet. YouTube has a generous selection of these, many of which are geared towards success in business.

2 Repeating a mantra can be very calm-

ing, particularly when you are trying to rid yourself of negative, self-defeating thoughts. It doesn’t matter what words you choose, as long as you feel good about your choice. “I am a success” or “I will approach all of my clients with love today” are two examples. Whatever works for you and gets you into the desired mindset.


3 Something as simple as listening to pleasant music in your car can be considered meditation, provided it brings you to a place of comfort as opposed to one of spiritual discordance.

4 The most important thing, however, is to take time to find gratitude in everything you do. Count your blessings, be grateful the exciting career in real estate you have built for yourself.

Once you’ve mastered some of these techniques at quieting your mind, you can attempt to find some that work even better for you. Walking, plain silence, or even exercise can have meditative qualities and benefits if practiced on a regular basis. When you’re truly feeling calm, your clients can sense this. And with this comes the feeling that you can be relied upon to stay focused and calm in any unforeseen circumstances. And in the world of real estate, that’s a highly prized commodity. Top Agent Magazine

JARED BENSON Anyone needing dependable, trustworthy and dedicated real estate guidance would do well to work with Jared Benson of the JB Realty Group in Texas’ Dallas/Fort Worth area. Jared’s commitment to providing excellent client advocacy has resulted in continually growing his reputation as a Realtor who can be consistently trusted to place his client’s best interests front and center, in every situation. This reputation was recently solidified when he was named Best Real Estate Agent for 2018 by local magazine 360 West. Prior to beginning his career in real estate in 2016, Jared was the VP of Marketing for a Texas-based construction company that focused on home foundation repairs, doing marketing and business development inside the real estate community. “The experience I gained in that position is largely what has allowed me to be successful while working with my buyers and sellers,” he explains. “My knowledge ranges from understanding structural issues to understanding how to properly market a listing.” Jared also taught more than two hundred continuing education courses for Realtors before he even obtained his own license. Jared’s dynamic personality, coupled with his impressive work ethic, have already translated into a business that is based primarily upon referrals, a true measure of excellent customer service in the very competitive real estate industry. When asked what it is about him that inspires such consumer confidence and loyalty, Jared pauses for a thoughtful moment before replying. “I think it’s because I feel a connection to my clients,” he says. “I remember when my wife and I bought our first home, what it was like, and how stressful it was. I really take those feeling into account when I’m helping someone. I’m not just racing for the finish line and the closing table, rather I’m helping to educate them while being fully cognizant of all the emotions that they’re going through.”

Jared’s empathy certainly does go a long way towards inspiring loyalty, but so do many other factors, including his impressive organization and utilization of systems to remain on top of every transaction. “I’ve really made it a goal from the beginning to make sure I don’t forget anything, and I employ a lot of processes to do that,” he says. “When an agent forgets something, a client can lose money, or deals can fall apart. All sorts of things can go wrong when an agent forgets to do what they’re supposed to.” Expert marketing also plays a large role in Jared’s overall winning strategy. Professional photography is utilized exclusively, and aerial drone shots are often employed. Staging is done when required, and consultations with sellers ensure every listing is seen in its best light. In addition to cutting-edge practices like social media promotion, Jared also does some old-fashioned delivering of flyers to homes in the same neighborhood as his listings. “I want everyone who lives in the area to know that the house is going on the market so they can stop by the house, in case they have friends or family they’d like to buy in the area.” “I love being able to help people when they’re in such a big stage of their lives,” says Jared, when asked what he enjoys most about what he does for a living. “It’s such an exciting time in people’s lives when they’re buying a home, particularly if it’s their first.” Jared also appreciates the flexibility of schedule that allows him to spend more time with his wife and the baby they recently welcomed into their lives. Among Jared’s many plans for his future are growing his business and continuing to expand his own investment portfolio. His primary goal, however, is to continue delivering both results and excellent service to his clients. “For me,” he says, “it’s really about making sure my clients get what they want. I take time with people, I don’t pressure them. I want to make sure they fully understand what they’re doing when they’re buying or selling.”

For more information about Jared Benson, please call 817-675-5733 or email 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


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 23


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TEXAS 12-17-18  


TEXAS 12-17-18