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UTAH EDITION

HOW TO THROW A NETWORKING EVENT That Can Put Your Business On the Map

Welcome Home: WORKING WITH RELOCATORS IN TRANSITION

24-HOUR TOUCH-UPS to Maximize Your Price List

COVER STORY

JERAMIE STEPHENSON


UTAH EDITION

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JERAMIE STEPHENSON

CONTENTS 4) 5 REASONS WHY YOU NEED A MENTOR

15) 24-HOUR TOUCH-UPS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR PRICE LIST

6) WELCOME HOME: WORKING WITH RELOCATORS IN TRANSITION

20) HOW TO THROW A NETWORKING EVENT THAT CAN PUT YOUR BUSINESS ON THE MAP

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Mentor As great as it might feel to start your own business, and be solely responsible for its success, at some point, every entrepreneur reaches the limit of their potential, and needs a boost that only experience can provide. But how do you get a lifetime of experience when you’re just starting out? Sure you can read countless books, but no book can replace the real life experience and advice of a mentor. Mentors not only provides valuable insights, but they also have access to valuable connections as well. In fact a majority of the 4

most successful CEOs and entrepreneurs in the country have said that having a mentor early on was instrumental in their success. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. They’re able to see where you need improvement, when you can’t When you’re working non-stop to get your business off the ground, you might feel sensitive to any criticism from people who aren’t going through what you are. A good

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mentor knows exactly what you’re going though, and has probably made every mistake. When you’re in the thick of it, you might not be able to see where the problems are. A knowledgeable outsider, who knows exactly where you’re at and has only your best interests at heart is just what you need. When you have a trusting relationship with someone like that, you will be more willing to listen to that brutal honesty, even if that constructive criticism stings.

energy into it. They can see things in a completely logical way and guide you based on the facts rather than emotion. A good mentor helps you work smarter, not harder. They help you focus on your goals and how to get there, as well as setting boundaries for you so you don’t overextend yourself. They teach you how to say no and help you let go when you need to move on from a setback.

2. They will encourage you to think outside of the box

In addition to expertise, building a strong network is something that can only come with time. A mentor will most likely have that already, giving you access to people and resources that would take others years to gain. These connections will lead to opportunities that might never have happened otherwise. It’s also a great confidence boost knowing that your mentor trusts and believes in you enough to invite you into their inner circle.

Years of experience can give someone a great idea of what works and what doesn’t. They’ve seen things first hand, not just in theory. At the same time, mentors recognize the importance of taking chances, calculating risks, as well as cutting losses and moving on. A good mentor isn’t trying to encourage you to be a carbon copy of them, they are trying to create the best ‘you’ possible. That includes encouraging you to take chances, and then being there pushing you to keep going forward if it doesn’t work out. A good mentor knows that even failures can be opportunities.

3. They take the emotion out of decisions and help set boundaries Unlike you, a mentor has no emotional investment in certain business approaches that you might have decided to try. There’s nothing harder than admitting something isn’t working when you’ve put a lot of time and Top Agent Magazine

4. Networking

5. Encouragement At the heart or it all, a mentor offers you encouragement and motivation along the way, in good times and in bad. After a failure, it can be hard to get back on track and keep forging ahead. It helps to have someone who has spent year getting back up after being known down and coming out stronger than ever. It’s during those moments, when you feel alone and isolated, that having someone around offering you advice and positive feedback will be a much needed salve. They’re your cheerleader, they want you to succeed, and hopefully, you’ll pay it forward one day when you become as successful as them.

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Welcome Home:

Working with Relocators in Transition People stage moves for all sorts of reasons. From the joyous and pre-planned, to the unfortunate and unexpected, new chapters begin with the help of an agent. When you’re working with buyers from a different region, state, or country, the typical complications of a transaction can be compounded. So, what’s a savvy agent to do? For starters, envision the big picture. Relocators have extra obstacles between them and 6

their dream home. They don’t necessarily know which neighborhoods are ideal for their lifestyle, what they should budget for utilities, what type of homeowner’s insurance is ideal, or how they can tour, let alone close, on a house from afar. All in all, it’s a tall order, but if you can manage a relocation transaction successfully, you could tap into a sizable pool of clientele. Think of it this way: if you’re the shining star of a relocator’s moving process, their word-of-mouth praise could be

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exponential. Likewise, a winning reputation within that client’s corporate sphere could lead to lucrative, stable referrals and partnerships for years to come. Here are a few key ways to help clients navigate the relocation process with minimal stress and maximum results.

Create a full-scale timeline for you and your client that makes expectations clear. Moving is already one of life’s biggest stressors, but relocations have a dozen more moving parts that your average deal. Consider creating a master-plan of sorts to help you and your client visualize the steps required to achieve success in the midst of a relocation. Even from afar, your client will be able to refer to the roadmap you’ve set. Likewise, this makes sure you and your client are on the same page regarding expectations, timelines, and checklists. Assemble an articulated, overarching gameplan also helps demystify the process and lower stress. Instead of clients wondering what’s next, what’s needed, who to call, and when to be ready—handy guidelines of your own devising will be at their fingertips. Top Agent Magazine

Attune your communication style so that nothing goes overlooked or miscommunicated. Establish early on how your client prefers to communicate and which methods should be excluded. Also, make sure to outline what timeframes are ideal to communicate in, and how often they expect to hear from you with status updates or follow-ups. Some clients might prefer a more hands-off approach that lets you manage most details behind the scenes with updates only when progress is made. Most clients in the midst of a serious relocation, however, will prefer to be in touch more frequently. Customizing is key. If they prefer text messages and emails over calls, that’s a helpful detail to know from the outset. If they prefer face-to-face video chats or can only speak after business hours—those are also key parameters to work within. The less mystery and hassle, the better.

Be a local resource with vetted recommendations and vendors on-hand. Relocating homeowners may not know the best neighborhoods and their amenities, or where the best school districts are, which areas are high-traffic, or where their dollar might stretch a little further. Identifying your clients’ goals can help narrow this field, but you’ll also want to be careful not to overwhelm them with information. After all, they’re taking on a huge life transition and making a move as an outsider. You’ll want to serve as a onestop-shop who can remove some steps and stress from their organizational obligations. Have a contractor who can get a head-start on home projects while clients make the move?

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Excellent. Or, perhaps you can provide an out-of-state agent referral so that clients can sell their existing property in a timeline that works in conjunction with their new purchase. Make yourself a community expert and a connector, and you’ve won a client— and their referrals—for much longer than a single transaction.

Think outside the box when weighing variables. Relocations aren’t your typical transaction. You’ll need to do a bit more planning to avoid pitfalls along the way. For instance, have you considered how you’ll tour homes with clients if they live hundreds of miles away? Are there time zone differences to factor in?

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If clients are relocating from another country, are there any special visa or naturalization considerations? How will their belongings travel? Are there pets to relocate? There are plenty of questions to ask and plan for, but the key is to be communicative and thorough up front. The more information and planning time you have, the smoother the transition will go. There are certified real estate agent designations you can pursue that set you apart for your experience when it comes to relocations, but in lieu of those—arm yourself with the planning details and methods that will make your client a raving fan. In the process, you’ll up your game, create a happy client, and hopefully field similar business for years to come.

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JERAMIE STEPHENSON Top Agent Magazine

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Top Agent Jeramie Stephenson’s goal in creating Flat Rate Homes is to, “redefine real estate services by bringing together today’s advanced technologies with old fashioned customer support and to provide outstanding real estate services that save homeowners thousands of dollars in the process.” By the age of eighteen, Jeramie Stephenson had already demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit and drive for success as the owner of several business ventures. When a friend suggested he aim his talents toward real estate, Jeramie decided to take the leap and fell in love with the industry and opportunity instantly. Over the last twenty years, and now as the founder and current CEO of Flat Rate Homes, Jeramie has built a unique and solid service model surrounding the belief that, “real estate is all about relationships. That is why at Flat Rate Homes, our support model is not based on a churn-and-burn mentality, but rather a long-term approach in which we build strong relationships with our clients by providing award-winning customer service and support.” 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

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Essentially, Jeramie’s goal in creating Flat Rate Homes is to, “redefine real estate services by bringing together today’s advanced technologies with old fashioned customer support and to provide outstanding real estate services that save homeowners thousands of dollars in the process.” Serving clients across the entire State of Utah, Jeramie has built a reputation for providing superior service and drives more than half of his business through referral-based clientele. These clients turn to him for his expertise, proven track record, and dynamic take on the industry’s approach to Realtor fees. Through Jeramie’s methodology at Flat Rate Homes, “buyers and sellers can absorb far fewer costs than the average transaction demands,” he says. Top Agent Magazine

“The service and support we provide is above and beyond because of the proprietary systems we have built, and how we utilize those systems in the service of our clients. We save our clients a lot of money by not only providing an awesome value, but also due to our vast experience and the support we provide clients, as well.” Jeramie is all about being honest and up-front with clients and putting money back into their pockets. What’s more, as a result of the hundreds of homes Jeramie and his team sell each year, they are well-versed in the region, its inventory, its trends, in contracts, values, and negotiations. This allows them to bring their clients the best possible price in a timeframe that meets each client’s needs. “Our average client saves over $10,000, if not more,” he says. 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


“Flat Rate was fantastic! We appreciate all the time that they took to make us feel important and a priority. We will definitely recommend Flat Rate to anyone we know and we will definitely use them again.” —Testimonial Flat Rate Home’s properties achieve highranking visibility across thousands of syndication channels, including multiple MLS boards, listing platforms, social media outlets, and more. He utilizes professional photography, video, and custom campaigns so that all homes headed to market are bolstered by unique and memorable marketing packages. He and his team demonstrate their aptitude by closing hundreds of homes every year, at a diverse price-point ranging from your everyday home Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

to multimillion dollar estates. All the while, Jeramie emphasizes that cost-savings are passed along to clients through their Flat Rate model, a platform they’re hoping to bring to a multi-state and national audience in the years to come. His clients are quick to praise the service they receive at Flat Rate Homes. One online reviewer recently said, “Our experience with Flat Rate Homes couldn’t have been smoother. Top Agent Magazine


It has been the best real estate experience we’ve had. They are always there to answer your questions. They handled the paperwork and helped us get more than asking price. I already recommend Flat Rate to anyone buying or selling!” Another reviewer exclaimed, “Flat Rate was fantastic! We appreciate all the time that they took to make us feel important and a priority. We will definitely recommend Flat Rate to anyone we know and we will definitely use them again.” Beyond the office, Jeramie gives back to the community through educational events designed to educate people on the steps necessary to secure financial health and make homeownership a possibility. As a result of these educational events, he is also in the process of starting his own non-profit organization that will help expand these efforts and Top Agent Magazine

better collaborate with other non-profits to bring stability and opportunity to anyone who is trying to financially get back on their feet, and to increase quality of life in Utah’s local communities. However passionate Jeramie is about the real estate industry, there is nothing more important to him than his family. He and his wife Tara have four children and he strives to be active in every aspect of their lives. “I am a workaholic” he admits, “but that’s because I recognize the importance of having a safe and loving place for my family and want to provide the same experience for others. Thankfully, I have a very patient and loving wife who understands this and shares this belief.” When he does have free time, he most enjoys time spent with his family and loved ones, and playing the occasional round of golf. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


As for the future, Jeramie is eyeing expansion both on his team and for Flat Rate Homes across the nation. Now, with two decades of experience and insight, he considers what he most enjoys about his chosen field. “A home is the most valuable asset people have and I like helping others prepare and make good decisions so that

they can move on to the next positive chapter in their life,” he says. “Buying a home can be a stressful process, but we do our best to make it as seamless as possible. There’s nothing more rewarding than helping a client and seeing the joy involved, and knowing that we’ve helped them reach a new milestone in their life.”

To learn more about Jeramie Stephenson email JStephenson@flatratehomes.com, visit flatratehomes.com, or call (801) 823–1275 www.

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24-Hour Touch-ups to Maximize Your List Price Sometimes it takes a full-scale overhaul to prepare a house for market. Other times, only a series of small adjustments are required to make a listing’s true potential shine. Whether you’re gearing up for an open house, assessing a list price, or maximizing a property’s appearance prior to photography—the devil is in the details. However, touch-ups and refreshes don’t have to dominate your schedule or break the bank. For a few ideas of where Top Agent Magazine

to begin, consider our handy check-list below for quick home projects that will fortify your bottom line.

Refresh grout for a sparkling clean look. Perhaps the quickest and most cost-effective way to make bathrooms, kitchens, and other tiled areas shine is to refresh grout until it looks

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good as new. Specialty grout stain removers and cleaners are inexpensive and sold at most home improvement stores. Plus, the project only takes a bit of elbow grease and an hour or two for a major makeover effect. Suddenly, dark, stained, and worn-down bathrooms gleam as if tile has just been placed.

Create mood lighting with soothing bulbs and fixtures. A warm white light from specially chosen LED bulbs creates a welcoming environment when potential buyers come calling. If outdated fixtures are bringing down a home’s otherwise modern styling, consider more design-neutral replacements that won’t

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detract from the property’s charms. These are inexpensive but highly noticeable and impactful upgrades that shift a home’s ambiance for the better.

Repaint doors for an updated and inviting entryway. It may sound like a hassle, but repainting doorways with a fresh coat signals a wellkept property—and that’s before prospective buyers even pass through the threshold. You can also change out generic doorknobs and switch-plates to add an updated flare while on a budget. Color-of-the-year trend choices can turn heads, while neutral paint choices signal less hassle for future homeowners.

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scrub, or with the addition of new shelves or styled bulbs.

Make windows shine— both inside and out. Cleanliness goes a long way in communicating a well-cared for home in which buyers can imagine themselves. Cleaning the inside and outside of windows not only refreshes a room, but it allows light to infuse the space while appealing to the move-in ready crowd.

Closet spaces are not an afterthought. Every prospective buyer wants storage options, and you’ve surely led a home tour where guests inspect closets and pantries. Don’t let these hidden spaces go overlooked. Make sure they’re clean, cleared as much as possible, and you can even touch them up with fresh paint, a good

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Remove tough appliance stains with a bit of elbow grease. If you’re packaging appliances with the sale of a property, you’ll want to make sure those big-ticket items are also in top shape to showcase their value. Stainless steel polish, electric cooktop polish, and stain removing pads for the kitchen sink can make your appliances look five years younger with nothing more than an hour or two’s labor.

Organize garage and basement areas to maximize storage and hint at bonus space. It may take a labor of love, but organizing and decluttering these special storage spaces

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can add significant value to a property. Instead of telling prospective buyers how much storage space there is—let these areas speak for themselves by giving them a neutral, airy bout of cleansing. That way, craft-lovers, car aficionados, and buyers with interest in renovating basement areas can witness the potential immediately. Individually, these bit to-do list items might seem like extra work without the promise of 18

a major return. But combined? These small tasks go a long way in crafting a home’s image and projecting pure potential. After all, prospective buyers imagine their lives unfolding inside those walls. That’s why cobbling together these small-scale projects can have a big payoff in the end. Not only will a home present itself in a cohesive, attractively-packaged form, but it can also translate to higher interest and a significant pay-off—in more ways than one.

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How to Throw a Networking Event

that Can Put Your Business on the Map It’s hard to argue with the benefits of attending networking events—you make new connections, enjoy industry skill-building conversation, and expand your reach in the local business community. However, have you ever considered the benefits of hosting a networking event? Instead of attending as a guest, you’ll be the wizard behind it all. Throwing a networking event can position you as a local business leader, and you’ll be able to curate the experience to your tastes and goals. This idea may be tempting, but how do you pull it off? Review some 20

of our tips and tricks below and you’ll be more than ready to throw a networking event that’ll put you on the map.

MAKE IT EASY FOR YOUR GUESTS TO SAY YES. From the outset, try to keep things as simple as possible for your guests. This means that e-invites should be structured, yet conversational. Include a link to register online so that arriving to your event is seamless and requires no signup sheets or stuffy check-in procedures. Select a venue that’s relatively well-known and central

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Throwing a networking event can position you as a local business leader, and you’ll be able to curate the experience to your tastes and goals. to your area. It should also have easy-to-access parking so that attendance is streamlined and hassle-free. Also consider sending an automated event reminder the day before and the day of the event—that way you’ll set guests up for easy attendance that they don’t have to debate.

CREATE A THEME. Capitalizing on a holiday or local event is a great way to drive attendance to your networking function. While getting to know area professionals is a worthy reason to meet up, you’re likely to engender a livelier ambiance if you incorporate a holiday or theme. This will inspire comradery among your guests, in addition to giving your event a natural focus. Major sporting events, a Thanksgiving themed pie bakeoff, or a spring cleaning themed community volunteer day can generate more interest than your average mixer.

GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR GUEST LIST. While you may be trying to keep your invite list industry-specific, you may benefit from casting a wider net. Invite area entrepreneurs, young professionals, collegiate professional organizations, and even friends and family. You never know what sort of connections will be made, and high attendance is key to keeping the energy of your networking event at a high tier. Don’t worry about only collecting info from realtors or brokers or mortgage pros. Instead, create a Top Agent Magazine

sense of community so that opportunities flow naturally and conversation remains diverse.

BE THE BOSS. As host, it’ll be your job to play matchmaker and drive conversation at your networking event. This means that you’ll get to know more people, but it also means you’ll be able to create connections between different professionals and businesses. You can maximize your matchmaking abilities by planting a few socially-minded friends around to drive additional conversations. Your goal is to keep people talking and to be outgoing. It should also be your goal to follow-up once the event is complete. Use this as an opportunity to continue to connect different people you met, or to follow-up with coffee or lunch with someone you found interesting. Try sending out a group thank-you e-mail to your guests after the fact, telling them to keep an eye out for your next event, or to get in touch with you for any questions or contact information of fellow attendees. While it may feel like a risk to throw a networking event, it’s a risk worth taking. By positioning yourself as the host of your event, you’ll drive awareness to your business and brand, and build up the local professional community in a way that’s sure to draw good will your way. Keep these ideas in mind as you go about planning a memorable networking event of your own, and above all—have a good time and others will follow suit.

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