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WISCONSIN EDITION

How to Make Your Commute Productive

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

FEATURED AGENTS

Janet Ruffolo Brooke Boyle Schneider Christina Weitzel

3 Mental Tricks that Will take Your Business to the Next Level

Nanci Johnson COVER STORY


WISCONSIN EDITION

CHRISTINA WEITZEL

JANET RUFFOLO Determined, service-oriented, with a true love of real estate, Janet Ruffolo has climbed to the top 9 as a Realtor in the eastern Wisconsin region. She received her license after her husband Gabe, a previous negotiator at Chase bank, wanted her to assist him with short sales. Today she and her husband run a team at Keller Williams. Although they still specialize in short sales, they also serve a wide variety of clients, including investors, first time home buyers, sellers, military buyers, and more. Much of their business comes from repeat clients and referrals.

No matter who she is representing, her skills

With a past career in marketing, Christina Weithome to mak negotiation and service shine through17foundin 19 23 zel quickly success in the real estate world. a house, we’r out the transaction. “My natural strength is “I always thought about becoming an agent, but were made,” negotiating and representing them in the best after speaking with JT,possible. an agentI love in my areathem whohappy at ries that initia manner seeing a young age, end ofbuy a transaction, get was helping mythesister a home,andI knowing decidedthey From estate Broo agent. livejump in their their family Schneider knew shethatwanted it was time to to just in,”house she with explains. “I and they cana create a legacy for themselves,” she explains. had the sales background and the connecting real estate. While she was gr “I’m honored to be a part of that for so many with people background. Soconstantly I decided to give Another way people. You’re working with more her mother owned her own com it a shot.” Today, serves southwest Wisconby staying in andshe more people, and I get the chance to led a successful career as anl sin, including Dodgeville, Darlington, Mount a Facebook meet all different demographics, with the one common goal of helping them with their real Horeb and Mineral Point. Christina works with answers ques thirty years plus, inspiring Bro “I have a hard time talking about my numbers, needs.” Potterton Rule, estate a family-owned brokerage with to people abo her hand at the business. Whi because to me, the most important thing is my NANCI JOHNSON JANET RUFFOLO BROOKEShe BOYLE a strong sense of community. truly feels CHRISTINA WEITZEL questions fre client and their needs,” Janet explains. “We focus on them It is clear Janet loves her community, and she shows that a Bachelor’s in Business Ma SCHNEIDER has found her her dream as a real her knowledg 100%, and make everything about the client.” Their growing shethrough donating timecareer and resources to estate local charities from the also University Minn and can’tTen imagine anything else.is donated finds that of it helps pe office consists of over 100 agents, with Janet and her team agent, and churches. percentdoing of their gross income the buying/selling proces being the only ones working with short sales. This segment of to their church. Janet and her family host/attend charitable the University of Wisconsin the market is close to Janet’s heart, as she realizes how much “I’ve events, going onfrom charity rides that withI their Harley had including a lot of referrals people know. I connect grows her social media p Lac, Brooke shadowed her m she can help these clients at a time when they need it most. with Davidson which is another passion of theirs. people motorcycles, really easily,” Christina says. It is her warm and book, targeting those that “I’m helping them sell the property to pay the bank either short They are also involved with real estate networking groups learned the insitand outs of th welcoming personality that makes people feel comfortable When comes to marketi or in full,” she says. “We’re getting a lot of listings that way. and a landlord association group. first-hand. Upon graduation, Brooke the last leap a trust. Naturally, she becomes close with her made book Marketplace and en And these clients often come back to us when they are ready to and establishes clients as she works with them, and many of them become take the time and go thro buy again.” Janet and her team also have a network of invesAs Janet looks towards the future, she is eagerher to become a career in 2000. “I fell in her license, beginning formal friends. Fromwith there, business organically. up for the property I’m s tors who take distressed houses and remodel them. mega agent, $10 her million in salesgrows for the year. She also “We the business andof athe relationships,” Brooke says. Eighteen f wants to become brokers new Williams become more thanoperating just a transaction, I getKeller to know them and house, then I will look f One of her favorite parts about the business is the challenges what office in the Kenosha/Racine building it up with a team years Brooke built acare steadfast reputation hon they want. Theylater, know area I’m going has to take good of listing, Christinafor also sh some transactions can present. “We get a lot of Zillow buyers of great agents. Currently, she is on track to reach all of her their friends and family members, so they are happy to refer YouTube. oughness, and a service-oriented professional philosophy. Sh who need to sell in order to buy, and I consider that another one goals, which she attributes directly to their service oriented to them.” of my specialties,” she says. “I love the dynamics of it, they are menature. “We make Realseveral Estate Realaccolades Easy, that’s our slogan. earned and designations along the way, in As Christina looks toward selling to buy and the other person is selling or buying, it’s a We do a lot for them behind the scenes, so we can make the a multi-million-dollar producing agent,growing as the and winner of Th theeducational. importanceWeofjust buying selling remaining on lot of coordinating between all the parties. I love that.” With a Christina process understands easy, smooth and want itand to be Agentlives for twoin years inUltimately, a row, and naval base nearby, they also assist many military families with a home, a great and experience.” iser’s veryReader’s sensitive toChoice the fact Best that people’s her area. he buying or selling. happen in these houses. “My tag line is ranking ‘finding home, make she loves helping them in Women magazine’s of 10 Realtors in Wisconsin Wh memories.’ When you live in a home, you make a lot of care of my customers like memories there. There is an emotional aspect of the entire is my goal to get to know w Today, in Fond du aLac,areWisconsin buying process. InsteadBrooke of buyingisa based house, we’re buying so I can workand withserv the

BROOKE BOY

CONTENTS

4) HOW TO MAKE YOUR COMMUTE PRODUCTIVE

6) THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD: HOW TO LIST HIGH WHEN NEIGHBORS ARE A NUISANCE

15) 3 MENTAL TRICKS THAT WILL TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL 20) 7 DEADLY SINS OF PERSONAL BRANDING

across the state’s northeast region with the support of a assistant. Over the course of her lengthy industry tenure, B managed to drive roughly 75% of her business through r referral clientele alone—a proven testament to the memorab sion she imparts. What’s more, Brooke cites forthright comm Phone 888-461-3930 Fax 310-751-7068 For more |information about Janet Ruffolo, and detail-oriented client care as the hallmarks of her service call 262 671 8326 or email ruffoloteam@gmail.com, ruffoloteam.kw.com mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com also visit credits her in-depth knowledge of the area as a serious for clients the huntoffor a homeTop orAgent in search for the id No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever withouton prior consent the publisher. Copyright Top Agent Magazine Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although“I’m precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published very honest andFor to the pointinformation when I do my job,” Brook more about C materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. also have a true-to-market knowledge of the region becaus call 608 - 574 - 9145 or email cweitze To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. full-time and it’s something I’m deeply passionate about. Fro Published in the U.S. trends to where interest rates stand, I like to stay very current going on in the market and industry as a whole.” Likewis is highly cognizant of her clients’Top goals as Magazine they approach o Agent biggest transactions in a lifetime. Applying that empath https://

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How to Make Your Commute Productive The highest caliber business owners and entrepreneurs utilize every minute of their day. Though this may be a lofty goal, there are certainly ways to make our daily routines more efficient and productive. Consider the morning and evening commute—time blocks that are accounted for every day. For some of us, daily commutes may mean a lengthy drive through gridlock traffic, or perhaps just a quick fifteen-minute crosstown excursion. However short or long your commute may be, there are ways to maximize this component of your daily routine and reap the rewards. With that in mind, take a look at some ideas below to inject some energy and productivity into your daily commute. 4

Listen to the latest industry-centric podcasts or audiobooks Whether you drive, bike, walk, or take public transportation, a commute is the perfect time to tune into an industry-oriented podcast or audiobook as a way of building your skills or getting into the zone for the day. Instead of letting your commute time be passive, you can process insights from leading industry professionals, or develop your skillset on a topic you haven’t yet made time for. Perhaps you’d like to develop your social media presence, or maybe you’d like to tap into the millennial homebuyer market—whatever the case may be, there is audio material out there suited to your interests. What’s more, podcasts are free and easy to incorporate on your smartphone or

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tablet, and there are ample audiobook subscription services out there that make regular listenership cost effective.

Create a mental to-do list to get a head-start on your day, or to prepare for tomorrow Getting your thoughts in order with a straightforward to-do list can help you dive in once you make it to your desk, or serve as a conclusive mental routine to end your work day. If you drive to and from work and don’t have your hands free, don’t fret. Speaking your to-do list aloud can help you detangle your thoughts and tasks by vocalizing them. You can also try breaking down your to-do list by verbalizing the day’s goals, the week’s goals, and the month’s goals as a way of structuring priorities. If your commute is hands-free, you can incorporate a variety of apps that serve as custom-made todo lists that’ll organizationally map your duties for the day. In either case, use your commute window to identify and name the tasks ahead of you, and you’ll be able to hit the ground running when the time comes to perform.

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Tend to your personal commitments and planning A productive commute can boost your professional performance, but it can also serve your personal growth and out-of-the-office responsibilities, as well. Perhaps you can think out and plan your meals for the week so that you don’t come home burnt out and with nothing in mind for dinner. Maybe you check in with a relative or partner and catch up for a spare twenty minutes. Not only does this eliminate a few items off of your personal to-do list, it can actually give you a more focused mind at the office. If your personal life is in good order, you’ll be able to devote your full attention to work tasks. As the old saying goes, there are only so many hours in a day. If you added up all the minutes spent commuting around town, how many hours would amount? Though the trek to and from the office is an engrained part of professional life, it doesn’t have to be a drag. Account for those spare commute windows in productive ways, and in only a month you’ll have devoted a significant portion of your time to bettering yourself as a person and a professional.

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There Goes the Neighborhood:

How to List High When Neighbors are a Nuisance Troublesome neighbors are a relatively common issue that agents come across. You can control the image of your client’s property and you can control your listing presentation, but you can’t always control what’s happening on your client’s street. How do you diffuse difficult neighbors that could lower your bottom line or embarrass you in front of prospective buyers? 6

First of all, it takes tact and a gameplan. With that in mind, let’s consider a few ways you can maintain a listing’s viability and competitive edge—even when bothersome neighbors are involved. Here are a few common neighborly scenarios agents encounter and how to diffuse them to your advantage.

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How do you diffuse difficult neighbors that could lower your bottom line or embarrass you in front of prospective buyers? It takes tact and a gameplan.

as a courtesy introduction to the neighborhood. While it may seem like needless busy work, it can dramatically improve prospective buyers’ perceptions of the area. Plus, you may positively ingratiate yourself with neighbors in the area and demonstrate your above-and-beyond service to your clientele in the process.

Is the neighbor’s landscaping an eyesore? Here’s your recourse. Most towns and cities have established ordinances regarding yard upkeep. If any of the properties adjacent to your listing are wildly overgrown, littered with junk, or otherwise in a state of obvious disrepair—take it up with the city. Rather than get directly involved at first glance, you might loop in city officials whose job it is to monitor clean-up efforts on rundown yards and properties. If this doesn’t work, you may have to take a more hands-on approach. Start by thinking small and operating from a place of authenticity and neighborly service. You might explain to the neighboring tenant that you’re listing and offer to mow their lawn Top Agent Magazine

Are there foreclosed or abandoned homes on your client’s block? Do your homework. It may take a little research and digging to figure out the banking entity that owns a foreclosed home, but it’s well worth the effort. Banks are typically required to maintain foreclosed homes on at least a basic level. If you’re worried about

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squatters, an unsightly façade, or general disrepair of a neighboring foreclosed property—go to the source. Sometimes banks take their time in hiring a third party to maintain a foreclosed property, but with some proactive prodding on your part, you may be able to speed the process along and resolve eyesores even before prospective buyers come calling. Remember: the squeaky wheel gets the grease. An improved bottom line will be your reward for those few prodding phone calls and emails.

Noisy, nosy, or annoying neighbors? Don’t be discouraged. Obnoxious neighbors can really rain on a seller’s parade, especially the kind of neighbor 8

that takes their less-than-stellar behavior to their porch, front yard, or sidewalk. While this sensitive issue may seem daunting, there are a few official channels you can utilize to thwart the issue before getting personally involved. If the neighborhood in question is governed by an HOA, you might take it up with them. If the troublesome neighbor is harassing passersby or taking to the sidewalk—in other words, public space—then you may be able to involve local authorities in worst-case scenarios. Of course, it’s always possible to talk to troublesome neighbors faceto-face, but do so with caution and with safety as the priority. Always reason gently and empathetically, utilizing I... phrasing, instead of accusatory You... phrasing. After all, some neighbors are clueless about their impact on the neighborhood and may adjust their behavior after being called out. If the issue persists and no third-party authority can help, then you may have to disclose the neighbor’s issues to prospective buyers, depending on the disclosure laws in your region. While this may seem like a blow, you can at least rest easy knowing you pursued all the potential avenues for resolution available. Likewise, your client will likely appreciate your thorough efforts to resolve the issue. While troublesome neighborhoods can bring down an optimistic mood when listing a property, sometimes being real estate is all about being resourceful. With diligence, digging, and a little follow-up, you just may be able to resolve some of the issues plaguing your neighborly plot.

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Nanci Johnson Top Agent Magazine

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Realtor® | BrokerAssociate of Team Johnson Real Estate Specialists | Edina Realty in Hudson, Wisconsin, Nanci Johnson, and her son serve the Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota areas.

NANCI JOHNSON For Nanci Johnson, what started as an itch to get back to work while raising young children turned into a resoundingly successful career and a personal passion. She started, fittingly, by studying to become a home appraiser. “While doing that, I realized I preferred the sale piece in real estate, so I got my license and decided to start out slowly,” she says. “But I’m a Type-A personality, so it’s either all or nothing with me!” 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Over the course of the next 25+ years, she represented countless buyers and sellers in Western Wisconsin and Eastern Minnesota; she earned her Broker’s license in Wisconsin and, at one point, ran a team of eight agents. “Now, my son and I work together,” says Nanci, who is Broker/Owner of Team Johnson Real Estate Specialists out of Hudson, Wisconsin, with Edina Realty. “Technology has changed so much; you can do so much more with virtual assistants; my son and I handle everything!” At least 75% of Nanci’s business comes from referrals or repeat clients. “Our clients like the personal, hands-on contact we provide. Real estate is about building relationships,” Top Agent Magazine


says Nanci. “People want to know that they matter and they don’t want to be handed off.” Over the years, Nanci has been able to prioritize her clients’ needs without losing sight of what is most important in life. “I always fit in my clients, but when my kids were young, I never missed their activities,” she says. This appreciation for life balance resonates with Nanci’s loyal clients. “They also like that we keep in contact with Top Agent Magazine

them,” she says, explaining a series of client appreciation parties and events. “We host a Halloween party, movie event, pictures with Santa and a fall event with food and beverages.” She often incorporates community giving into her events. “We’ll do a toy drive at the Santa event and I’ve done Red Cross Blood Drives.” Nanci spreads the word about these events – and about the market – through social media, 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


direct mail, phone calls and in-person contact. She likes that she gets to interact with so many different people through real estate. Each of them appreciates her dedication, knowledge, experience and persistence. “They know I’m going to get things done!” Her love of homes and the real estate business shows in how she markets her listings and supports her sellers. “After we initially Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 12

meet with a seller, we give them the comparative market analysis and a simple priority list of things we recommend they do before listing.” Once they have a contract, Nanci offers staging services, along with professional photography and videography that are “second to none.” She uses targeted social media boosts across every social media platform, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Blog Top Agent Magazine


and LinkedIn. “We advertise on all the major real estate websites and syndicate to thousands of other real estate sites.” They also host broker’s opens, luncheons and, depending on the listing, will advertise in luxury or specialty real estate publications. Top Agent Magazine

Fortunately, Nanci manages to do all this and still maintain balance. “I love to spend time at our lake house and I love watersports,” she says, throwing in that she also happens to teach Zumba classes at her local gym. “My husband retired recently, at 55, and Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


he then got his inspector’s license,” Nanci adds, noting that the future of her business is in the family. “I’d like to continue providing the level of service that people should expect. I’m not about numbers,” she says.

“I want to work with clients who want to be a team, together. I enjoy working with people.” It’s through close teamwork between client and agent, she knows, that real estate magic happens.

To learn more about Nanci Johnson, visit nancilujohnson.com or go to her Facebook page, http://

email nancijohnson@edinarealty.com or call 715-377-6801

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3 Mental Tricks That Will Take Your Business to the Next Level It’s no secret that running a successful business requires careful planning and a tireless work ethic. Beyond those obvious ideals, it also takes the right mindset in order to capitalize on professional opportunity. In the world of real estate and mortgage lending, mental fortitude is a major component to reaching the next Top Agent Magazine

level and achieving longevity in a sector that requires so much self-discipline. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a few key mental tricks you can employ to reinvigorate your working philosophy. Incorporate these techniques into your daily mindfulness routine and your business will surely benefit.

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Visualization helps you work efficiently and keep your cool.

This may sound like one of the oldest tricks in the book, but there’s a reason why Olympic athletes and those serving in first-responder positions use visualization as a time-honored mental technique. Not only does visualizing your daily tasks help you organize your mind, but it amps up your ability to focus on what’s important. Visualization also helps reduce stress in the moment, since you’ve already created a mental expectation of the task ahead. Whether you’re preparing for a negotiation or a pitch to new a client—visualization primes your brain and affords you an extra sense of control as you tackle your day.

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Distill concepts into their simplest terms for ultimate understanding. As an agent or loan officer, you’re likely juggling numerous clients and commitments on any given day. That’s why it helps to distill your responsibilities in clear, definitive terms. Let’s say you have a meeting set with a client to outline a marketing approach for their property. You may understand the broad strokes, but beforehand, try verbalizing the exact takeaways you’d like to impart to your client. This may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to clarify your communication and ensure your com-

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plete understanding of a subject is to explain it aloud in its simplest terms. This crystallizes your main point and can come in handy if you drift off-topic or need to double-down on your message.

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Accept that mistakes will be made.

While it’s natural to fear failure, sometimes the dread of making an error can overwhelm your ability to perform. As the saying goes: don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. If you accept in advance that set-backs will occur, challenges will come, and things won’t always go accordingly to plan—you’ll be less confounded when hurdles do arise. What matters is keeping an even keel as you sort through unexpected delays or mishaps. Accepting that mistakes will happen allows you to shift your focus towards a solution or contingency plan. In other words, don’t spend your energy trying to achieve perfection. Aim high and work hard, but be in touch with reality: upsets are bound to occur. Accept this and you’ll be ready when they do. The path to lasting success is ongoing, and there are bound to be challenges along the way. It takes mental fortitude to make it to the top, so keep these tricks in mind as you continue to grow as a person and a professional. Seeing situations in a new light can make all the difference as you adapt, evolve, and take your business to the next level.

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JANET RUFFOLO Determined, service-oriented, with a true love of real estate, Janet Ruffolo has climbed to the top as a Realtor in the eastern Wisconsin region. She received her license after her husband Gabe, a previous negotiator at Chase bank, wanted her to assist him with short sales. Today she and her husband run a team at Keller Williams. Although they still specialize in short sales, they also serve a wide variety of clients, including investors, first time home buyers, sellers, military buyers, and more. Much of their business comes from repeat clients and referrals. “I have a hard time talking about my numbers, because to me, the most important thing is my client and their needs,” Janet explains. “We focus on them 100%, and make everything about the client.” Their growing office consists of over 100 agents, with Janet and her team being the only ones working with short sales. This segment of the market is close to Janet’s heart, as she realizes how much she can help these clients at a time when they need it most. “I’m helping them sell the property to pay the bank either short or in full,” she says. “We’re getting a lot of listings that way. And these clients often come back to us when they are ready to buy again.” Janet and her team also have a network of investors who take distressed houses and remodel them. One of her favorite parts about the business is the challenges some transactions can present. “We get a lot of Zillow buyers who need to sell in order to buy, and I consider that another one of my specialties,” she says. “I love the dynamics of it, they are selling to buy and the other person is selling or buying, it’s a lot of coordinating between all the parties. I love that.” With a naval base nearby, they also assist many military families with buying or selling.

No matter who she is representing, her skills in negotiation and service shine throughout the transaction. “My natural strength is negotiating and representing them in the best manner possible. I love seeing them happy at the end of a transaction, and knowing they get to live in their house with their family and create a legacy for themselves,” she explains. “I’m honored to be a part of that for so many people. You’re constantly working with more and more people, and I get the chance to meet all different demographics, with the one common goal of helping them with their real estate needs.” It is clear Janet loves her community, and she shows that through donating her time and resources to local charities and churches. Ten percent of their gross income is donated to their church. Janet and her family host/attend charitable events, including going on charity rides with their Harley Davidson motorcycles, which is another passion of theirs. They are also involved with real estate networking groups and a landlord association group. As Janet looks towards the future, she is eager to become a mega agent, with $10 million in sales for the year. She also wants to become operating brokers of a new Keller Williams office in the Kenosha/Racine area building it up with a team of great agents. Currently, she is on track to reach all of her goals, which she attributes directly to their service oriented nature. “We make Real Estate Real Easy, that’s our slogan. We do a lot for them behind the scenes, so we can make the process easy, smooth and educational. We just want it to be a great experience.”

For more information about Janet Ruffolo, call 262 - 671 - 8326 or email ruffoloteam@gmail.com, visit ruffoloteam.kw.com https://

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BROOKE BOYLE SCHNEIDER From a young age, Brooke Boyle Schneider knew she wanted a career in real estate. While she was growing up, her mother owned her own company and led a successful career as an agent for thirty years plus, inspiring Brooke to try her hand at the business. While earning a Bachelor’s in Business Management from the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin Fond du Lac, Brooke shadowed her mother and learned the ins and outs of the industry first-hand. Upon graduation, Brooke made the last leap and earned her license, beginning her formal career in 2000. “I fell in love with the business and the relationships,” Brooke says. Eighteen flourishing years later, Brooke has built a steadfast reputation for honesty, thoroughness, and a service-oriented professional philosophy. She has also earned several accolades and designations along the way, including as a multi-million-dollar producing agent, as the winner of The Reporter’s Reader’s Choice Best Agent for two years in a row, and a spot on Women magazine’s ranking of 10 Realtors in Wisconsin Who Inspire. Today, Brooke is based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin and serves clients across the state’s northeast region with the support of a full-time assistant. Over the course of her lengthy industry tenure, Brooke has managed to drive roughly 75% of her business through repeat and referral clientele alone—a proven testament to the memorable impression she imparts. What’s more, Brooke cites forthright communication and detail-oriented client care as the hallmarks of her service style. She also credits her in-depth knowledge of the area as a serious value-add for clients on the hunt for a home or in search for the ideal buyer. “I’m very honest and to the point when I do my job,” Brooke says. “I also have a true-to-market knowledge of the region because I do this full-time and it’s something I’m deeply passionate about. From market trends to where interest rates stand, I like to stay very current on what’s going on in the market and industry as a whole.” Likewise, Brooke is highly cognizant of her clients’ goals as they approach one of the biggest transactions in a lifetime. Applying that empathy, Brooke

inspires a sense of confidence and calm in the clients she serves. “I’ve bought and sold real estate myself, so I understand what a big transaction this is for my clients,” Brooke says. “I take my responsibility seriously and to me, my role is really a matter of taking care of clients from start to finish. That’s my number one focus.” When launching the listing process, Brooke applies her tech-forward knowledge to ensure all properties enjoy maximum exposure. Beginning with professional photography that highlights homes in their finest light, Brooke then leverages the power of the internet to net wide-ranging visibility online. Additionally, targeted social media ads paired with placements in print publications round out her marketing campaigns and net buyer interest in short order. With twenty listings currently on her roster and more than half under contract, Brooke’s track record underscores her vigilance. To give back to her Wisconsin community, Brooke participates in local causes, including sponsorships of many charity golf outings, as well as the regional Humane Society—a cause close to her heart. Most recently, Brooke sponsored National Lemonade Day, where over 500 children in the community set up lemonade stands around the county, with proceeds going toward charities chosen by participants. Last year, community efforts raised over $22,000. In her remaining free hours beyond the office, Brooke most enjoys quality time spent with her family and loved ones, playing golf, and cheering on her daughter Kabrea’s volleyball team. Looking ahead, Brooke has plans to continue growing her business steadily, with an eye on fostering the relationships she has built and nurtured over the years. For now, Brooke is excited to serve the aspiring buyers and sellers of the Wisconsin community she calls home. Finally, with nearly two decades of experience behind her, Brooke Boyle Schneider considers what she enjoys most about her career to date. “Every day is different,” Brooke says. “I’m passionate about what I do and I really enjoy meeting people. I’ve made some lifelong friends through this business and there’s nothing more rewarding than being part of such a major milestone in my clients’ lives.”

To learn more about Brooke Boyle Schneider http://www.adashunjones.com/agent/brooke-boyle-schneider/ email Brooke@adashunjones.com, visit her website here, or call (920) 923 – 4433, https://www.facebook.com/BrookeatAJ/ or visit her Facebook page here.

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and they don’t care for sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. They also like activities they can start and finish. Compliants are thinkers. They’re always wondering how things work. They want practicality, logic, fairness and a systematic approach. When talking to thinkers give facts, documentation and data. They seek accuracy. They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, detailed tasks and logical organization of information.

7 Deadly Sins of Personal Branding

some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at Corcoran Coaching, we’ve opted for a much more affordable offering: a free DIsC assessment. Just visit www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. php and you’ll be guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own What is a style ‘personal Just likeothers com- as sistently dominant andbrand’? how to read well. (across all marketing platforms), pany or product branding, it’s built around a well-defined brand can elevate agent recimaging and messaging that is designed to ognition and help to establish credibility Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding create a feeling. And in the case of personal and authority. However, when executed appropriately all takehow work But because realare estate is a people branding, it influences you and wantattention. others incorrectly, the effects lackluster at best, business, it’s simply a must. And the better at it you become, the to feel about you. From your photos to other and harmful at worst. To help you better avoid living as an or broker. brandyou’ll images,make elements andagent even content, theI promise. pitfalls of personal branding, we’ve there is a lot that goes into creating your compiled a list of what we feel are the 7 unique brand.to Displayed Best of luck you! correctly and con- deadliest sins.

Copyright©, 2015 BubbaNO Mills. All rights reserved. DIFFERENTIATION Branding about being known forvicereal estate agent who expressed to us that Bubba Mills isis not co-owner and executive president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an in international your profession. It’s about being known she was already well branded her area. consulting coaching that performance coaching and for being and different in yourcompany profession. If specializes She stated,in“When I walk into a restaurant theallimplementation sound systems Real Estate Companies, Mortgage agents were the of same, howbusiness would your in into my community, people already know Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational customers know who to choose? Lack of I’m a real estate agent.” And while that and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage differentiation is out by more far the #1 personal is a great start, it’s nowhere close to succompanies. To find about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 We love to tell the story of a cessful branding. Let’s assume I walked or branding visit us at sin. www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 20

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into that restaurant and noticed her. But I also noticed two other agents in the same restaurant. Now, who do I choose? Which

‘brand’ stands out to me? What lets me know that one of them is uniquely positioned to serve my needs?

and they don’t care for sudden changes in procedure or lifestyle. They also NO FOCUS like activities they can start and finish. In business, you can’t be all things to all side of your specific focus. That would be people. Many have and failed. In or- always quite difficult. It does mean over work. time Compliants are tried thinkers. They’re wondering howthat, things der to have business and brand, doneacorrectly), you approach. will do moreWhen and They wanta successful practicality, logic, fairness(ifand systematic you must define yourfacts, ideal custommore ofand the data. exact They kind ofseek business you talking toclearly thinkers give documentation accuracy. er and how you will super-serve that cus- want, and conversely, even stop doing They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, tomer. In other words, declare and develop the kind of business you don’t want. And detailed tasks and focused, logical itorganization of information. a specialty. By being does NOT that’s what a great brand is designed to mean that you stop doing all business outaccomplish.

some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at Corcoran Coaching, we’veNO opted for a much more affordable offering: a free AUTHENTICITY DIsC assessment. Just visit www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. Recognizable personal brands can be very You should be able to ‘breathe your brand’ php and you’ll be guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own clever and memorable, but if your brand in everything that you do. This is importdominant andlast. how to read as well. isn’t ‘you’,style it won’t If you try toothers put ant not only for your customers, but perout a persona that is different from your haps most importantly for you. There is Yes, needs and wants responding ownunderstanding and the way you people, live yourlistening life, peo- to their a tremendous amount of and confidence that ple will take notice overwork time. and The attention. most comes knowing youisare who appropriately all take Butwith because realthat estate a people incredible it’s personal brands weaveAnd pro-theyou portray, that become, you have the business, simply a must. better at itandyou thehabits, better fessional and personal intoorone. inspiration, knowledge and expertise to living you’ll make asqualities an agent broker. I promise. Your brand becomes an extension of you. back it up.

Best of luck to you!

NO CONSISTENCY

You can have a2015 recognizable memocards, postcards, brochures, etc. Other peoCopyright©, Bubbaand Mills. All rights reserved.

rable brand, but if you don’t display those ple don’t see them nearly as often, so don’t branding correctly consis- viceapply or compare your own habits and Bubba Millselements is co-owner andand executive president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international tently across all of your marketing plat- exposure to theirs. Repetitiveness in marconsulting andyou coaching company in only performance coaching and forms, it does little good. In orderthat to specializes keting is not a good thing, it’s essenthe implementation sound systems Real Estate Companies, Mortgage accomplish this taskofwell, youbusiness must step tialinto for retention. Once you determine the Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational back from your marketing and see it the overall messaging and look of your brand, and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage way others To do.find Youout seemore yourabout socialCorcoran media Consulting that look should continuecall across literally companies. & Coaching, 1-800-957-8353 every day. You see your business every marketing platform you touch. orchannels visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. Top Agent Magazine

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NO CONTENT The ultimate goal of personal branding is comfortable producing is the key to keeping to become known as an authority in your it simple. No one wants to be bogged down andchosen they niche. don’t That caremeans for sudden or lifestyle. They also withprocedure producing content. But on the flip side, that youchanges must in likedemonstrate activitiesthe they can start and finish. knowledge, expertise and/ no one knows how much you know until or experience to back up your position. you share it. Great content demonstrates your knowledge and how helps your customers Content that are best expresses youThey’re and your always Compliants thinkers. wondering things work. at the same time. In addition, it serves anbrand could be as simple as a series of They want practicality, logic, fairness and a systematic approach. When other purpose with search engine optimizaphotos, quotes, e-books, video shorts, etc. talking to thinkers give facts, documentation and data. They seek accuracy. Choosing the type of content you’re most tion and attracting prospects online.

They’re motivated by standards of high quality, limited social interaction, detailed tasks and logicalNO organization of ACTION information. CALL TO

You’re spending money to market across using other people’s money’. Your call some personality assessment tools can cost thousands of dollars, but at multiple platforms, so why not take the to action may change with different marCorcoran Coaching, opted for more affordable offering: keting channels or purposes, buta free you opportunity to extendwe’ve an invitation fora much DIsC Just with visityou? www.corcorancoaching.com/behavioralstyle. your assessment. prospects to engage It can should always, always have one. If you want people to do something, tell them a simple call be to action, such as ‘call me phpbeand you’ll guided through a quick questionnaire to learn your own you’d like them to do. That’s how you first’ or more ‘contact me others for a aswhat dominant stylespecific, and how to read well. free home staging assessment’ or ‘download my e-book and learn how to invest

move prospects one step closer to becoming customers.

Yes, understanding people, listening to their needs and wants and responding appropriately all take work attention. But because real estate is a people NOand FOLLOW-THROUGH business, it’s simply a must. And the better at it you become, the better with hundreds of agents, folWhyyou’ll is this included in branding, living make as an agentyou or may broker.munication I promise. ask? Because your brand is your bond. It’s low-through is at the top of the list when it comes to customer complaints. You don’t your handshake. When you say you’ll do Best of luck how to you! something, can people trust you if want to be that person. Putting an incredible you don’t follow through with your prom- message and image out there isn’t enough. must live up to those standards with ise? This is often elementMills. that people Copyright©, 2015theBubba All rightsYou reserved. forget altogether. And in fact, in our com- every customer, every transaction

Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), international ® Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder ofan BrandFace , LLC. ® consulting andMichael coaching company that specializes in performance coaching Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace partner. and the implementation of they sound systems into Real Estatedesigned Companies, Mortgage Together, focusbusiness on personal branding and marketing to help real estate ® professionals become theBubba face of their & a star in their market. BrandFace Companies and Small Businesses. Millsbusiness is a nationally recognized inspirational Real Estate Professionals is a book, speaking and and an exclusive and educationfor speaker, coach and mentor toprofessional the top real estateseries agents mortgage workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 For more information, visit www.BrandFaceRealEstate.com. or visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 22

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CHRISTINA WEITZEL With a past career in marketing, Christina Weitzel quickly found success in the real estate world. “I always thought about becoming an agent, but after speaking with JT, an agent in my area who was helping my sister buy a home, I decided it was time to just jump in,” she explains. “I had the sales background and the connecting with people background. So I decided to give it a shot.” Today, she serves southwest Wisconsin, including Dodgeville, Darlington, Mount Horeb and Mineral Point. Christina works with Potterton Rule, a family-owned brokerage with a strong sense of community. She truly feels she has found her dream career as a real estate agent, and can’t imagine doing anything else. “I’ve had a lot of referrals from people that I know. I connect with people really easily,” Christina says. It is her warm and welcoming personality that makes people feel comfortable and establishes trust. Naturally, she becomes close with her clients as she works with them, and many of them become friends. From there, her business grows organically. “We become more than just a transaction, I get to know them and what they want. They know I’m going to take good care of their friends and family members, so they are happy to refer me to them.” Christina understands the importance of buying and selling a home, and is very sensitive to the fact that people’s lives happen in these houses. “My tag line is ‘finding home, make memories.’ When you live in a home, you make a lot of memories there. There is an emotional aspect of the entire buying process. Instead of buying a house, we’re buying a

home to make memories in. Instead of selling a house, we’re selling a home where memories were made,” she says. In fact, it is these memories that initially prompted her to become a real estate agent. “Helping people find the home that they can make memories in excites me.” Another way Christina stands out as an agent is by staying involved in social media. She hosts a Facebook live video every week where she answers questions about real estate and talks to people about her experience. People ask her questions frequently, and she is happy to share her knowledge with the community. Christina also finds that it helps people get to know her and makes the buying/selling process easier when the time comes. She grows her social media presence by advertising on Facebook, targeting those that are looking for homes in the area. When it comes to marketing her listings, she posts on Facebook Marketplace and engages with Facebook groups. “I’ll take the time and go through different groups that are set up for the property I’m selling. For example, if it’s a tiny house, then I will look for tiny house groups.” For every listing, Christina also shoots a property video to post on YouTube. As Christina looks towards the future, she is eager to continue growing and remaining one of the biggest real estate agents in her area. Ultimately, her clients are like family to her, and she loves helping them in any way she can. “I want to take care of my customers like I would take care of my family. It is my goal to get to know who they are and what their dreams are so I can work with them on a personal level.”

For more information about Christina Weitzel, call 608 - 574 - 9145 or email cweitzel@pottertonrule.com Top Agent Magazine

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