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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. 6

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BECKY ELDE Top Agent Magazine


BECKY ELDE Surrounded by scenic views in a setting equidistant from both Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., Becky Elde knows how fortunate she is to serve as REALTOR® and advocate for a stretch of Pacific Northwest towns between the San Juan Islands and the Cascade Mountains. For more than two decades, Becky has done far more than provide exemplary service to buyers and sellers looking to take advantage of the beauty and opportunity in Skagit County. She has lived the area’s lifestyle; she has given back; and she has advocated for this landscape that blends Old West history with natural beauty and a healthy economic climate. 8 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

In the mid-1990s, after living overseas for several years, Becky returned to Washington and, at the suggestion of friends, discovered both her enthusiasm and aptitude for real estate. “Within a week, I took my class and my tests and jumped right into it!” she says. She quickly launched what has become a storied real estate career based in Sedro-Woolley, WA, and in 2014 she joined Windermere North Cascades. “Generally, I stick to Skagit County, which covers a large area, but my focus is on the towns of Mt. Vernon, Burlington and Sedro-Woolley,” she says. Her current listings include a combination of primary residential or farm and Top Agent Magazine

land, along with an award-winning winery at the foot of the Cascades. “I grew up on a large ranch in Eastern Washington, where I learned how to work hard,” says Becky, adding that she carried that mindset into real estate. “My business is on a roll. Our community is growing quickly and we’re attracting a lot of new businesses.” To accommodate the increased demand while exceeding clients’ expectations, Becky makes a point of keeping up on her education. In demonstration of her strong work ethic, she has earned several designations, including Certified Top Agent Magazine

Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and the coveted Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation held by a select 4% of REALTORS® everywhere. Her buyers and sellers value Becky’s strong negotiation and communication skills. “When negotiating, you want everyone involved to feel like they’re a winner,” she says, noting the importance of keeping everyone informed throughout the process and maintaining personal relationships with each client long after closing. Buyers give Becky high marks for her patience and flexibility as well as her ability to navigate Copyright Top Agent Magazine9

“My clients know I will always go the extra mile for them and that I have access to exceptional marketing tools through Windermere.” difficult transactions favorably. Sellers, meanwhile, appreciate her pricing and marketing expertise. “My clients know I will always go the extra mile for them and that I have access to exceptional marketing tools through Copyright Top Agent Magazine 10

Windermere,” says Becky, noting that as an independent agent who sold 49 homes in 2016, she values her affiliation with Windermere. “When I take a listing, I hire a professional photographer to ensure my pictures show very well on all multimedia platforms,” she says. She sends dozens of Top Agent Magazine

postcards in neighborhoods surrounding each listing and nurtures relationships with the 35 agents in her office to reach buyers. In addition, Becky’s visibility in Skagit County bolsters her already good reputation. She actively supports numerous local causes, serving as the 2017 president of the Sedro-Woolley Chamber of commerce and as a past-president of the Sedro-Woolley Rotary. “I was the first woman president of our Rotary, which has 100 members and is very active,” she says, noting that the Top Agent Magazine

Rotary has built several parks, a state-ofthe-art skate park, a little league field and a gazebo with a clock tower in the city center. “We also raise money to host the free summer concert series on Sunday nights in July and August at Riverfront Park. “People know that I give back to my community and I think they appreciate that.” An avid gardener who enjoys camping, hiking and anything outdoors, Becky takes advantage of the Pacific Northwest to the fullest extent, making her the ideal REALTOR® and advocate for all the area offers. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11

To learn more about Becky Elde, visit and, email or call 360.770.9427



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#Reaching the Millennial Market Through Social Media by Bubba Mills

The old adage in marketing says if you aim at everyone you’ll miss them all. I know REALTORS® sometimes fall into the trap of attempting to reach everyone and then scratch their heads when they only hear crickets chirping. If you’re one of those (or even if you’re not), stick with me and I might be able to help you.

know how to reach them. For that part, I’ll share two words: social media. Many surveys have confirmed that social media is the Millennials’ dominant source of information, even above search engines. So the best way to build relationships and trust with Millennials is through social media.

The true beauty of social media is not only its reach but its implied advocacy. When Millennials find content they relate to, they share it with their The National Association of REAL- peers. So if one person shares your TORS® has found that Millennials message, it could instantly go to hunrepresent the largest share of recent dreds (or even thousands) of people buyers (32 percent of all buyers last with the inferred praise of the person year were Millennials). But here’s sharing it. the kicker: the overwhelming majority use real estate agents. Are If you’re not using social media, lights and bells going off in your again, check your pulse. Then start learning about social media and get head? If not, check your pulse. active on it. I promise it’ll be well So a great place to sharpen your worth your time. The big ones are marketing aim is with Millennials. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr That’s half the equation—knowing and Instagram. You can Google each who to go after. The second half is to and get a feel for which ones make Let me start with one word: Millennials—those between the ages of 18 and 34.

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Many surveys have confirmed that social media is the Millennials’ dominant source of information. the most sense for you, but all of them have something to offer REALTORS®.

I’m proud of that because I know in this day and age anyone who sells anything must use social media.

Now I’m not one to toot my own horn, but for this topic I will only with the hope that you give what I say a little more weight. Last year, a national magazine named me to its 25 most connected professionals list.

So here are some tips you can start using to reach Millennials on their terms:


1. First, take time to understand social media. Join them (they’re free!) Top Agent Magazine

Millennials under stand marketers and they’re open to their messages on social media—if the messages are relevant to their lives. Otherwise, they simply ignore it.

and just take it all in. See what it’s all about and what kind of information people share. Spend at least several days learning before you share info. 2. Make sure what you share fits the specific social media outlet. For example, Facebook and Twitter are primarily personal tidbits, news and they’re both fairly casual, while Instagram is geared almost exclusively for visuals and photos. 3. Make sure your information is relevant and useful to improve the chance it gets shared. Millennials understand marketers and they’re open to their messages on social media—if the messages are relevant to their lives. Otherwise, they simply ignore it. Top Agent Magazine

4. Make it interesting. Instead of saying, ‘Gee, I have this great listing.’ Why not just share a picture of a cool looking wrap-around front porch of a house (that just happens to be one of your listings) that was built in the 1940s. Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching. com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into Real Estate Companies, Mortgage Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1800-957-8353 or visit us at www.Corcoran 15


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I’ll Take 2 Pounds of Confidence and 3 Pounds of Self-Esteem! By Barry Eisen

At least a few times per month I get emails and/or calls asking me to help develop confidence and a positive self-esteem. When you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not, you’re not. Life has its ups and downs and occasionally everyone feels like they’ve run out of gas and nothing they seem to do works. When you’re in a slump the world can look overwhelming and against you. The more you think about you’re victimhood, the more out of control you feel.What you focus upon becomes larger. Confidence, positive self-esteem...these are just words and something experienced many moons ago. Talk it out with your spouse? Sure. See a therapist? Maybe. Get a coach? Good idea. Call a hypnotist...that’s where I come in, but maybe not in an obvious way. Top Agent Magazine


Hypnosis can be of help in so many areas such as controlling weight, memory improvement, reading faster, stopping smoking, becoming a great public speaker, prospecting and growing a business, eliminating fears, becoming a better golfer/tennis player/baseball player etc., sleeping and energy, controlling pain control in dentistry and child birthing, improving wellness, passing tests and so much more. This is not an over statement. Hypnosis is a performance enhancer because it taps into the best parts of who we are to make the changes necessary to make the changes to evolve ourselves. But “programming” ones mind for confidence and positive self-esteem is not something I’ve seen done effectively. The subconscious says, “What does that mean?” “Give me a picture, what do you want?” Read any neuroscience to know (or simply use common sense) that the subconscious needs specific direction (words, pictures and supportive feelings) for these clear messages to be acted upon. A general business plan is usually a recipe for disaster. A poor teaching plan will confuse students. Mixed general messages given to a 3 year old will produce erratic behavior. A loose navigation plan will have ships traveling in circles. Just like many people. Instead of working on confidence and positive self-esteem, does it make sense to instead, work on a solid business target of success and develop a business plan that will get you there? If you’re planning for the future, is it not a better idea to set an end result and develop strategies that will make it happen? If you’re looking for better health, doesn’t it make sense to set a target for excellence and back it up with a realistic exercise and eating approach that will insure success? The confidence and self-esteem will come along automatically. Create the goal, take action, do the work, be consistent. Your business will never grow more than you do. Your health will never get better without you stretching out beyond who you now are. Your relationships will never be more secure and supportive than you are of yourself. Your confidence and self-esteem will never grow without a reason. 18

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Before you therapy or drug yourself into confidence and self-esteem, at least try (Oh! I hate that word) the 10 organic following ideas for 2-3 weeks.


Set goals that stretch you out and force you to grow. You can’t be depressed when you’re learning something. Learning takes you out of your egocentric predicament.

2 3

Create timelines/target dates for goal accomplishments. This establishes a sense of urgency. It puts a little “gitty up” in your step and mind.

List your actions of the day on your To-Do list and prioritize all items. Doing the A’s and crossing each off as done, will put a smile on your face and a jolt of small energy in your life. (Accomplishment feels good. Could you use some “feel good”/self-esteem?) You’ll start looking forward

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to these little positive jolts and do what is necessary to have them. If I was talking cocaine...that would be a bad thing, but since I’m talking non drug human motivation...that would be a good thing.


If you’re just feeling flat for no obvious reason, take on an interest/ hobby/project that’s been on your mind in the past. Learning stimulates blood flow to different parts of the brain and increases endorphin flow. (E.g. Calligraphy, sailing, martial arts, reading sci-fi, etc.)

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Follow through like your hair’s on fire. Show yourself what you CAN DO! Create some appropriate reward for the accomplishment. Balance your life with goals in physical, financial, emotional, educational, family, social and spiritual areas. Sometimes more is better. Purposely smile more, laugh easier, hold eye contact a little more (obviously, not in a creepy way) and present a stronger posture.

Learn to relax to slow down, put things in perspective, ask yourself how you feel and how you’re doing 2 or 3 times during your day. Don’t let the day rule you. Be present. Pay attention.


Act “AS IF” you were already doing things with confidence, making decisions with authority and living the life you want to live. You become what you think about. 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., 818-769-4300 20

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Tough Prospecting Environment Creates Need for New Solutions

By Richard Weylman

Agents at all levels of experience in the industry continue to have a difficult time gaining access to qualified prospects on a favorable basis. The negative image that has been portrayed of the industry together with the general cynicism of the population has translated into more and more barriers being erected to close out sales people of all types. The evidence of this continues to mount. Inquiries as well as questions at my various speaking engagements at industry functions indicate a general frustration with the state of the marketplace and the difficulty agents and managers are facing. Today’s prospecting environment requires new solutions to old problems. No longer does “make more calls, see more people” address or solve the problem. Specific relational strategies and tactics are needed to gain access to qualified prospects. Top Agent Magazine

Here are just a few of the questions I’ve received recently from advisors and managers: Q: “Voicemail is everywhere. How can I get people to return my calls?”—Stephen G., Chicago, Illinois A: People return calls based on prioritization of the other calls they’ve received. People return calls for reasons of urgency or reasons of benefit. I would suggest that you write out very specific messages that you’re going to leave for your prospects. These messages should be laden with benefits, i.e., positive reasons that the prospect should return the call. As an example, “Mr. Donovan, this is Stephen G. As a teacher, you create lesson plans. As an advisor, I specialize in working with teachers to create a financial plan. Please call me at your earliest convenience.” Devise several of these messages specific to the market that you’re working so that 21

Today’s prospecting environment requires new solutions to old problems.

each of them sounds different and gives people specific reasons to return your call. Review the to be sure they are relevant and speak the language of the market. If in doubt, create 5-10 messages and ask clients to select the ones they like and to which they would respond. Q: “How can I get CPAs and attorneys to work with me? I want them to refer their clients to me.” — George A., New York, New York A: CPAs and attorneys particularly like to stay in control of their clients and the decision-making process. For this and other reasons, CPAs and attorneys are not highly motivated to help you build your business by using them as the source of new prospects. However, positioned as a valueadded asset, you can succeed here. As an example, if you are targeting a specific market in the food industry, align yourself with CPAs and attorneys who are also working in the 22

food industry. You find them by asking current prospects and clients who their attorneys and CPAs are and then meeting with them. Ask your clients to introduce you if necessary. When you meet, give them specific reasons to work with you. As an example, by pointing out the financial knowledge and services you have available which could enhance the value they bring to their clients that will motivate them to act as a center of influence for you. They are in a competitive environment also, and the good ones are seeking to increase client value. In addition, when meeting with CPAs and attorneys, let them know of your long-term interest and that you will respect the relationship that they have with their clients. As a value-added asset, you can create a consistent prospect flow. Q: “I’m targeting executives of major companies here in Rochester. How can I best get their attention?” —Bob J. Rochester, New York Top Agent Magazine

In today’s environment, only a systematic approach to relational marketing and prospecting will keep you in sales. A: To reach executives effectively, keep three things in mind. First, you have to relate to these individuals. Two, you need to speak their language. Third, you must recognize that they are typically screened from any unwanted calls and/or mail. The best way to get their attention is to involve yourself in the activities and organizations that they support. As an example, the Senior Vice President of Marketing will most likely be involved in the American Marketing Association. The CFO will be involved in the CFO Society, heads of communication in IABC, etc.

belong to, ask executive clients to have or refer to Gale’s Encyclopedia of Associations regional edition (1800-877-GALE).

These questions represent a larger problem. In years past, the industry was focused on sales and transactions. Not a great deal was done to enable the development of the local sales agency into a marketing and prospecting organization. Advisors were expected to simply sell their friends and neighbors. Today’s marketplace, however, is significantly different. In the past, sales kept you in business; in today’s environment, however only a Getting involved in these organization systematic approach to relational will allow you to reach these exec- marketing and prospecting will keep utives and, most importantly, position you in sales. yourself as a resource to them. By serving on committees and activities C. Richard Weylman is an expert in that they’re involved in and support- marketing, selling and communicating to ing the causes to which they are affluent and high net worth people. He is drawn, it will position you as a the author of “Opening Closed Doors, Keys resource to them, someone who is a To Reaching Hard-to-Reach People," as caring and credible individual. If well as numerous sales, relationship and you’re having difficulty determining marketing and management audio and the organizations that these executives video education programs.

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Washington 3-12-17  

Washington 3-12-17