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Experience That Makes a Difference

by Steve Westmark

STEVE:  Hi.  I’m Steve Westmark from Counselor Realty.  Thanks for watching my blog this week.  This week, I’m going to talk about experience in real estate.  I picked this baseball field, a Little League baseball field to point out that we all start out somewhere in our careers as a brand new person.  And I started my real estate career back in October of 1973.  Through the years, I’ve learned my craft and now have produced almost 3,000 home sales. 

I think it’s an interesting phenomenon that in baseball when a baseball player hits 3,000 hits, they almost always make it into the Hall of Fame.  I hope that as my career ends and gets to the end that I’ll be a hall of famer in real estate.  But here’s some interesting statistics.  The average real estate agent in the United States sells about seven homes a year.  When you divide that into the total number of transactions, that means that I have over 400 years of experience. 

Now I’m not that old, obviously, but I’ve gained a lot of insight over the years.  So let me hit some of the things that I’ve done as far as experience that I can help people with.  The obvious ones is that I help buyers buy homes and sellers sell their homes.  But let me give you a few ideas of other things that I’ve done.  Here are a few of the areas.  Relocation.  Helping people come in from out of town or people relocating out of the area.  Understanding new construction.  Both helping builders build new homes or buyers buy new homes. 

Working in condominiums.  Working in townhouses.  Understanding lakeshore and the difference in values between the different lakes and the shorelines and deeded shores and non-deeded shores.  Bank-owned sales.  Short sales.  Selling raw land.  Helping people with their raw land develop it and sell off their properties into a subdivision.  Helping people with light commercial.  Selling their office buildings.  Selling a small apartment complex.  Maybe selling marinas, selling storage properties.  Done 1031 exchanges where people exchange for tax benefits from one property into another.  Helping people invest in real estate rentals, whether it be commercial properties or rental properties.

These are just some of the things that I’ve learned over my 30+ years in the business.  And as I help people through their process and helping them understand what’s going to be the best for them, I believe my experience can make them a winner.  So what I’d really love to do is let me go to bat for you and make your house sale or purchase a home run.  Thanks!

An Educated Realtor will benefit the sales process!

by Steve Westmark

STEVE:  Hi.  This is Steve Westmark of Counselor Realty.  Thanks so much for watching my video blog.  This week, I want to talk to you about education.  I’m here at Minnetonka High School, which is one of the things that everybody starts and gets their high school education.  Well, in real estate, there are many things that people do to get education, and I’m a strong proponent of getting good designations and good education.

Before a person can sell real estate, they have to go get their real estate license.  And of course there’s a lot of hours of credits and tests that you have to take.  And then you gain your real estate license.  Well, that allows you to be free to go out and start selling real estate.  But there’s a lot to learn before you just go start selling real estate.  The next choice that you have, I believe, is do you want to be a realtor or not.

Realtors have to go learn their code of ethics and test to show that they are going to live by a code of ethics and that they understand the ethics that you need to protect the consumer in the process.  The next designation that I worked on is what’s called GRI or Graduate Realtors Institute.  It’s over 90 hours of education that I got in my first couple of years of real estate, and it was a good foundation for helping me learn how to sell real estate.

The first big designation that I got in real estate, and I really recommend to people looking at for residential real estate agents, is the CRS or the Certified Residential Specialist.  In order to gain that designation, you have to have over 100 transactions, take five major courses, and then pass a test and have some other extracurricular activities that will allow you to gain that designation. 

The next designation that I went after was after I got my broker’s license through Minnesota was the CRB or the Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager.  That’s learning how to run a real estate business as a business rather than just being a salesperson.

The next designation that I went after was called the Accredited Buyers Representative or ABR.  Now what that means is that I’m able to after doing this study, learning how to represent buyers and their best interests through the process.  An ABR.  The next one is called an SRES or a Senior Real Estate Specialist.  That’s helping people that are Baby Boomers and seniors moving on into other areas of real estate and helping them through the process of seniors buying real estate. 

One that I recently just took was the CDPE, which is the Certified Distressed Property Expert.  That’s helping people through the process of short sales, which you’ve seen in prior videos.  Another one that I recently took was the Certified Investor Agent Specialist.  That’s helping people understand how to buy investment real estate, how to gain cash flow, and do proper tax planning so it makes great sense for them.

 And the last one I’m going to share with you is a thing called e-PRO.  E-PRO is a designation that you gain to learn how to work in real estate and technology.  As I gained that, I joined another group called the Cyber Stars, and so we’ve gained so much insight into learning how to work with websites, video blogging, social media, and all the different things that go on in helping people work with the Internet and helping our clients in the process.

Thanks so much about learning about education of a realtor today.  I hope that you’ve gained some insight into how you can find a good agent with good designations that will help you in your real estate transactions.  Thanks so much.

STEVE:  Hi.  Welcome to my video blog this week.  I’m Steve Westmark of Counselor Realty.  This week, I want to talk to you about why Counselor Realty.  You know, all the agents at Counselor Realty could work for any real estate company in the Twin Cities.  So I’m going to give you a little bit of background on what it takes to become an agent at Counselor.

Two things we look at in an agent that’s coming on is their time in the business and the quality agent that they are.  So we want to see that they’ve been in the business at least two years, that they’ve done at least $2 million in real estate sales in the last year, and that they do their business professionally.  After they’ve been approved to become a real estate agent, they’re on a 6-month probation at Counselor Realty, and we watch how they do their work and how they do their business.

And if we like them, then we vote on them and then they become a partner.  In becoming one of the 300 partners in Counselor Realty, there is a stock ownership that you buy into.  And in order to be a stock owner in the company, it allows you to have a say in what happens in Counselor Realty.  And that’s why I enjoy working for Counselor Realty.  We’re an ownership company where we have our own input, where we have rights to say what goes on and where our company’s direction is going.

The average agent in Counselor Realty has over 15 years of experience.  Plus, we work in teams in areas such as relocation, marketing, technology, growth, and franchising to make sure that we’re doing the most innovative ideas that are going on in the real estate industry today.  I’m proud to work with Counselor Realty and I hope that you want to work with me and my organization in the future.  Thanks so much, and have a great day.

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




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The Steve Westmark Team
RE/MAX Advantage Plus
14451 Highway 7 Suite 100
Minnetonka MN 55345
Fax: 952-241-1600