All posts by Realty Executives International

Jenn Rooks joined the team at Realty Executives International as the Communications Manager in the Spring of 2013. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the Realty Executives brand to her role as she has proudly supported Executives at the company’s flagship brokerage in Phoenix since 1997.

EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT: Dale’s Home Selling Team, Realty Executives Integrity

Each year, Realty Executives International recognizes the leading Executives across our network through our annual awards program. As we celebrate 50 years of real estate excellence in 2015, we’re highlighting the achievements of some of our most successful agents (we call them Executives) sharing important keys to their incredible productivity in real estate, and honoring the many ways they make a difference in the lives of their clients.

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Dale’s Home Selling Team of Realty Executives Integrity — Neil Miyashita, Nicole Brown, Vicky and Dale Schaechterle, Sarah Smart, Sharon Doyle, and Becky Wilde — offer first hand knowledge of the Lake Country, Wisconsin area where they live and serve clients and customers. We chatted with the team to talk about their decades of experience and how their agents stand out by providing three things better than the competition: real estate knowledge, earned trust and professional customer service.

Areas served:
Southeastern Wisconsin, specializing in the Lake Country area: Hartland, Delafield, Nashotah, Oconomowoc, Merton, Lisbon, Genesee, Dousman, Ottawa, Pewaukee, Chenequa, Okauchee, Wales, Sussex, Waukesha and surrounding communities.

Specialties and designations:
The members of Dale’s Team work with buyers and sellers of residential and investment property, including single family homes, new construction, lake homes, vacant land, condominiums, duplexes and multi-families.

How has your brokerage supported your success in 2014?
The support of Realty Executives Integrity has been incredible and we believe their support greatly attributed to our success. The leadership team is always there to support us in our business by providing the systems and tools we use on a daily basis.  Our front desk staff is professional and offers high-quality service to our team and our clients and customers. Continue reading

50 Years of Real Estate Excellence Celebrated at 2015 Broker/Owner Conference

“The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.”
–  Arthur Koestler, novelist

Realty Executives honors top performers in attendance at annual event

Dale Rector started out with an innovative concept of 100% commission for agents. But little did he know that when he began a company, he’d really be revolutionizing the real estate industry.

More than 100 attendees from all four corners of the U.S., across Canada and even attendees from Mexico and Turkey came to Scottsdale to celebrate 50 years of innovation at the 2015 Realty Executives International Broker | Owner Conference.

The strides in technology, the Realty Executives brand as well as interactive networking and roundtable discussions were held, but the (surprise) highlight of the event were the Culture of Excellence awards. Realty Executives International started a new tradition at this year’s conference by celebrating top performers in attendance with a variety of awards recognizing growth, retention and excellence in real estate.

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Courtesy of Realty Executives Eite Ltd. Facebook | Costa Poulopoulos and Mary Johnson at the 2015 Culture of Excellence Awards

Awards included:

    • 2015 Special Recognition: Awarded to Len Huck, the former president of Valley National Bank who gave Dale the first loan to start Realty Executives.
    • 2015 Founder’s Award: Awarded to June Rector for her role in the creation and legacy of Realty Executives.
    • Agent’s Choice: Award winners represent stability, consistency and retention. Each company represented boasts more than 20 Executives that they have retained year-over-year.
    • Homes from the Heart Hero: Awarded to Steve and Nancy Summers of Realty Executives of Kansas City for their extended charitable support for Habitat for Humanity within the Kansas City area.
    • Fastest Growing: Award winners have 10 or more Executives in their brokerage and have grown by at least 15% or more during the last year.
    • Market Leader: Award winners hold major market share in their communities with more than 100 Executives in their brokerage.
    • Extraordinary Brokerage: Awarded to Jeff Murtaugh, Jeff Hawke and Joel Moyes of Realty Executives Phoenix for their leadership throughout the transition of Realty Executives Phoenix in the last year.  

For a full list of winners, click here.

EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT: Scott Grigg & The Grigg’s Group, Realty Executives Phoenix

Each year, Realty Executives International recognizes the leading Executives across our network through our annual awards program. As we celebrate 50 years of real estate excellence in 2015, we’re highlighting the achievements of some of our most successful agents (we call them Executives) sharing important keys to their incredible productivity in real estate, and honoring the many ways they make a difference in the lives of their clients.

real estate agent broker Phoenix Arizona

A native Phoenician, Executive Scott Grigg of Realty Executives Phoenix worked his way up to become a top ranked REALTOR® in the Phoenix metro area before forming the Grigg’s Group in 2008, which consists of Grigg, Kevin Petruska, Nathan Niemira and Kimberly Johnson. In the years since, Grigg has built and maintained a reputation of providing exceptional service to a variety of clientele and cited referrals as key to his success: “I always believe in doing the best for our clients the first time and the referrals will come.”

Areas served:
Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Biltmore and Arcadia

What are your specialties and designations?
Listing agent, buyer’s agent and builder representative

How many years have you been in the real estate industry?  How many years with Realty Executives?
I’ve been in the real estate industry 11 years; seven of those years have been with Realty Executives.

Did you have an “aha” moment in life – an experience that made it clear to you that real estate was the right career path for you?
When I realized that it is one of the few jobs that the more you work the more you can make. Your income level can go up as much as you want it to.

What led you to Realty Executives?
Realty Executives has the best opportunities as far as growth. I really liked that they have a satellite office program which fit well for my business. Continue reading

Realty Executives Expands Across Ontario, Canada

New real estate offices open in Toronto metro region

Realty Executives Priority One Opens in Vaughan, Ontario

REALTOR® and Broker/Owner Frank Covello brought Realty Executives Priority One Limited Brokerage to Vaughan, Ontario at 130 Bass Pro Mills Drive. The office had its grand opening in September.

Vaughan itself is one of greater Toronto’s fastest growing areas, a great office space for Covello and his agents. Covello’s team boasts decades of experience, supported by Covello’s own more than 25-year industry history.

Realty Executives Priority One Limited, Brokerage in Vaughan serves Woodbridge, Maple, Richmond Hill, North York, Toronto, Kleinberg, King City and its surrounding areas with both residential and commercial real estate needs.

The northern Toronto area sports York University as well as several golf courses, parks, and Canada’s Wonderland, the largest amusement park in the country.

To learn more about Realty Executives Priority One Limited visit frankcovello.com, email vaughan@realtyexecutives.com or call (905) 738-5478.

 

Realty Executives Infinity Opens in Waterloo, Ontario

Broker/Owner Cheryl Sarnavka has opened Realty Executives Infinity Inc., at 180 Columbia Street West Suite 1A in Waterloo, Ontario. Featuring a state of the art office, the brokerage is nestled inside what many call the “Silicon Valley of the North,” at The Realty Den and Waterloo Innovation Network (WIN180). 

As the name states, Ontario is a hub for jobs in technology. The Globe and Mail reported the Toronto-Waterloo corridor is home to more than 280,000 tech jobs at more than 1,000 companies, a more than $30 billion annual boon to the economy across the globe.

Sarnavka and her team will focus on residential properties, new home construction, condominiums as well as transition and retirement living. But the team will also work on international, commercial and investor properties in Waterloo and the surrounding community.

To learn more about Cheryl Sarnavka and Realty Executives Infinity, head to her website, email her at cherylsarnavka@realtyexecutives.com or call the office directly at 1-800-336-8037.

Top Realty Executives Brokerages Place in RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report

Seven Realty Executives brokerages from around the U.S. garnered a spot in RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report ranking the top 500 firms. The report ranks companies based on two sets of criteria: each brokerage’s total closed transaction sides and total sales volume over 2014.

Realty Executives Phoenix out of Scottsdale, Arizona, was the leader in Realty Executives brokerages, followed by several other offices around the U.S.

The other brokerages who won top honors were: Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville, Tennesee; Realty Executives of Santa Clarita in Santa Clarita, California; Realty Executives of Kansas City in Leawood, Kansas; Realty Executives Integrity in Brookfield, Wisconsin; Realty Executives Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada; and a newcomer to the list from last year, Realty Executives Tucson Elite in Tucson, Arizona.

Realty Executives Place in RISMedia Power Broker Report - 2014
Cover of RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report

 

RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston called the firms included in the list among “the nation’s most elite” stating in a release that “being ranked in the Power Broker Report validates your firm’s reputation as a trusted resource for today’s homebuyers and sellers.

The seven Realty Executives brokerages ranked overall comprise thousands of agents who within their offices closed more than $6.1 billion in real estate deals over the course of 26,211 transaction sides in 2014. Continue reading

Realty Executives’ Jim Stroo Named 2015 Hattiesburg REALTOR® of the Year

It’s been 15 years since the last time REALTOR® Jim Stroo, Broker/Owner of Realty Executives of Hattiesburg, won the designation of REALTOR® of the Year. In fact, it was just a year after he opened the Hattiesburg office. A lot has changed in that decade and a half, but one thing that hasn’t: Stroo’s love of real estate and his hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

We chatted with Stroo to learn more about the honor, the market in the Pine Belt and what makes Hattiesburg such a special place to be.

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Headshot courtesy of Jim Stroo

Realty Executives International: Congratulations on being selected 2015 Hattiesburg REALTOR® of the Year. Tell us, what makes Hattiesburg, Mississippi, such a special place to be?

Jim Stroo: I’ve lived here in Hattiesburg all my life. To me, the most wonderful thing is its size. It’s big enough to have shopping, fine medical facilities, two universities and things to do, but it’s small enough that when I walk around I see people I know. We’re small enough to enjoy not being a number in a 2-million-person city. As far as real estate in Hattiesburg, we have a fantastic purchasing power as far as what you can buy for your money. Plus, we’re a growing community but it’s not unsustainable or unplanned. And it’s because we have excellent schools, very low crime, available land at a reasonable cost, good builders that are building a quality product and when you put all of that together, you have conducive conditions for people to want to stay.

You’d been in the business six years by 1999. What drove you to co-found Realty Executives of Hattiesburg that year?

I actually didn’t have the desire to be a broker, although I’m glad I am now. I had been a REALTOR® for six years at other firms and I wanted to have some control over the work environment, some stability with the fees that agents were being charged, a place that was professional in its atmosphere, and that people could exercise their faith in their workplace without question. Long term, I felt like I needed to become an owner to ensure those things would be available. Now I love being a Broker/Owner because when I help an agent solve a problem and save a deal that I know might not have happened otherwise, it’s made them happy, it’s been good for the real estate community and it’s made a difference. Continue reading

At An Open House, Safety Is Everyone’s Job

Last year, agent Beverly Carter was murdered after showing a house to what she thought was a prospective cash buyer. Since then, September as REALTOR® Safety Month has held special significance for agents. It’s also become a rallying point to keep safety top-of-mind. Whether you’re buying a home, selling a home or showing the home, ensuring a safe real estate transaction is important.

Here are some ways each party can stay safe in both a common but possibly dangerous situation: the open house.

For the seller: Your first showing of your home happens online. Hide pictures of your children and loved ones. Tuck away identifiable information from the eyes of criminals. Know exactly when your information is going up on the MLS and be prepared to turn down unexpected visits from stop-in “buyers.” All those precautions you took for online listings? Do them ten-fold for in-person showings. Ensure calendars that display your family’s whereabouts get hidden from view. Lock up valuables like computers or jewelry. Hide any alcohol or prescription medications that might be in cabinets around your home. (Addicts often target open houses for places to pick up substances.)

For the buyer: Luckily for the real estate market and the economy, foreclosures are down from their peaks of the last decade. Lessons learned from this tumultuous time in real estate, however, are still key to safety. Research the neighborhood’s safety stats before you visit. (You’ll want this information anyway before you buy, so it’s great to get a head start.) Keep an eye out for anything strange while walking around a home once you have arrived. Have your agent check for hazards in the home from loose floorboards to surprise squatters.

For the agent: If you can, view properties—hopefully with a colleague—before you show them to a client. This helps ensure there are no unwanted visitors in say, a foreclosed or abandoned home. But it also allows a chance for you to map a safety and exit plan in case of an emergency situation in the home. Alert others when you are viewing homes if you must go alone. Establishing a predetermined “safety phrase” with your office manager or broker is also helpful. You can even dip your toe into the high-tech market with wearable technology. These new devices can help save you in a high-pressure situation.

For everyone: Here’s the takeaway—Think about safety before it becomes an emergency. Creating a game plan ahead of time is a great way to keep everyone safe while on the way to finding their dream home.

For more ways to stay safe, check out REALTOR® Magazine’s Field Guide to Safety.

EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT: Lauren Ellington, Realty Executives Phoenix

Each year, Realty Executives International recognizes the leading Executives across our network through our annual awards program. As we celebrate 50 years of real estate excellence in 2015, we’re highlighting the achievements of some of our most successful agents (we call them Executives) sharing important keys to their incredible productivity in real estate, and honoring the many ways they make a difference in the lives of their clients.

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Real Estate Agent Lauren Ellington of Realty Executives Phoenix made the switch from a corporate career to real estate more than a decade ago when she made the leap from her home state of Texas to Phoenix, Arizona. Now, Lauren is sharing a little bit about how she’s learning life/work balance, why her broker answers her calls on his motorcycle and why NBA players love her style.

Areas served:
Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa

How many years have you been in the real estate industry?  How many years with Realty Executives?
12 years in real estate and 12 years with Realty Executives

Did you have an “aha” moment in life – an experience that made it clear to you that real estate was the right career path for you?
Right out of college I worked in the corporate world. I wanted a career that didn’t have a cap on how much you could earn. I love people, houses, design and business so real estate was the perfect fit! Continue reading

Realty Executives Comes to Flagler Beach, Florida

Donna Tofal and her team have joined Realty Executives, opening Realty Executives Oceanside located at 2561 Moody Boulevard in Flagler Beach, Florida.

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“We are very pleased that Donna and her office have accepted our invitation to join the Realty Executives International network,” said Bruce Vinnick, Realty Executives Regional Developer. “Donna Tofal’s alignment with Realty Executives compliments and strengthens the growing presence of Realty Executives in the northeastern Florida area.” Continue reading

Christine Wilczek Gives HGTV’s Frank Fontana Her Expert Advice

Managing Broker Christine Wilczek of Realty Executives Elite has one takeaway for sellers: to attract buyers, make sure your current house feels like their future home. The real estate expert based out of Lemont, Illinois, had honest guidance for radio callers and for Frank Fontana, who hosts WGN’s “The Frank Fontana Show” and designs on HGTV’s Chicago version of “Design On A Dime.”

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Photo courtesy of Christine Wilczek

For those looking to sell their home, Wilczek had some key pieces of advice:

Staging your home isn’t optional, it’s necessary. Wilczek says staging is one of the most important parts of marketing a modern home because of what she called “the HGTV effect.” “Today’s buyer watches a lot of TV shows, including HGTV shows,” she said. “Today’s buyer wants to walk into staged perfection. They don’t truly have a vision of what a house can become. They want to walk into and already see the vision of what a house is. That’s how our market has changed.”

De-personalize your home. “If there are any personal pictures up, take them down,” Wilczek said. “It’s a distraction to a potential home buyer.” She also advised sellers that taking out references to pets in a home is critical as it’s a major buyer turn off. Then, neutralize wall color and remove other personal objects to ensure the home is ready for a buyer to view, Wilczek said. Continue reading