Q & A With Donna
Q: Are all agents created equal?
A: Just like in any business, there are those who are good, while there are others who are great. The same can be said for the real estate industry and Realtors. Some agents don’t have enough experience to handle the many nuances and variables that occur in this profession. Others have been doing it a long time and have not changed with the times; they aren’t using the internet and they run their business the way they did 30 years ago. In my opinion, a great agent has industry knowledge, experience, creativity, resourcefulness, and a confluence of innate qualities and skills that come together to make a great Realtor.
Q: What do you consider your three most important qualities you have that will also help your clients?
A: The three most important qualities I have that will also greatly help my clients are the combination of being determined (true grit), quick-minded, and caring. It’s important to have a determined person on your team. Being determined means that I will find a way to “get it done”. Quick-minded, in my opinion, is very important in real estate because things change and change quickly when buying or selling a home AND you have to be very smart to make the right move. Being adaptable and having intelligence and experience in a lot of areas and subjects gives me the resources to handle unanticipated events and make them work for you. Caring about people in general, my clients, and the quality of my work means that everything I do, I do it with my client at the center. I will go above and beyond the typical realtor duties because I care about you and I care about getting the best results for you.
Q: Are there any reasons why a great home won’t sell?
A: I’ve discovered there’s only three reasons a great home doesn’t sell. 1. The marketing and exposure on the home wasn’t enough to attract qualified buyers and agents in the area. 2. The home didn’t show well or capture a buyer’s emotions. OR 3. The pricing strategy. There are two prices to sell a home. You can price it where it sits, or you can price it where it sells.
Q: I see you are a Senior Real Estate Specialist. What is different about working with Seniors?
A: On a practical level, Seniors have usually lived in their homes a long time and have built up equity. They may have deferred maintenance and a lifetime of things that mean something to them. As far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed hanging out with Seniors. When I meet a Senior, I feel like I am reading an autobiography. They have pasts that I learn from and skills and knowledge that I can learn from, so to me they are the most interesting people. When I work with an elder, I treat them as respectfully and reverently as I would my own parents. Often, I must go above and beyond the normal real estate services, and I enjoy every bit of it.
Q: What advice do you give to First-Time Home Buyers?
A: There are the common things that most people know even if they are a new buyer; such as, don’t spend money on any big ticket items before you purchase a home and don’t forget to include several costs in determining what you can afford, like monthly maintenance, that you will have once you are a homeowner. For Sellers, I believe that it’s also important to avoid rushing into accepting an offer without considering a counteroffer or other offer terms in addition to the price. For Buyers, I try to make sure my clients do not make an entirely emotional decision to buy a specific home without finding out all the facts, which a good Realtor should bring to your attention and help you evaluate.
Q: What’s the worst part of your job?
A: You might laugh. The phone. Not because I don’t like to talk…I can keep up with anyone in that arena, and I can listen. Of course, I use the phone all the time in business. But I prefer speaking to everyone in person as opposed to the phone, at least at the beginning. It’s just that I learn much more from nonverbal communication than I do from isolated verbal communication. I feel that being face to face with someone paints the whole picture. Let’s face it, most people on the phone are doing something else while they are talking or listening to you; that’s not as effective or efficient as face to face, eye to eye. It’s also a lot easier to lie on the phone than it is in person.
Q: What is your hobby and how do you relax?
A: My hobby is how I relax. For me, rigorous hiking or jogging the trails removes any worry or anxiety. In fact, it invigorates me. My cliff and trail hikes around Palos Verdes are very important to me, both in mind and body. My brain works better when stimulated by the different sites and sounds. I believe that if you remain in the same place, you often have the same thoughts. That’s why people often need to get up from what they are working on and move around, change their location. When I hike the cliffs and the trails overlooking the ocean, I see beauty, nature, and lots of life. It’s positive. I am constantly reminded of the laws of nature which helps me solve problems because these laws often apply to people and situations. When I am stuck on a decision, a plan, or any other conundrum, I can see something outside that gives me an “ah-ha thought” and a solution falls into place. I often hike with others, which is also a nice social aspect to exercise. Sometimes just listening to other people gives me a different perspective or talking about something helps me process it more fully and play it out to the end. Solutions and ideas abound on my nature walks.