South Bay Real Estate Guide

South Bay Real Estate Guide

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WHO IS THE #1 AGENT, (COME ON, REALLY?) ave you ever seen this line in a newspaper or website? "I'm the #1 agent!" or "Hire me, I am # 1!" Did you also happen to notice that line on almost every page of the Real Estate section? Heck, I myself am guilty of using the term, and I am not alone. Unfortunately, it is probably one of the most over used descriptions an agent can use in trying to promote their skill. Naturally, the assumption is that sellers desire to hire the best in the business. Likewise, if an agent has ever achieved #1 at anything they should let you know about it. The fun part is reading the fine print, if they are brave enough to publish it. If they were, it would read something like this: "#1 agent… in my office for the month of April 2011." What is missing from the fine print may be that there are 10 agents total in their office, and no one else was lucky enough to sell a home in April 2011. Let me be clear that I'm not saying that it's wrong to publish one's achievements, but as a seller it is important to find out more about the agent's long term track record in the market, and not judge too quickly based on one line in a newspaper. So when does an agent's ranking have any personal effect on you as a seller or buyer? Let's say that you are a buyer: what is important to you? Most buyers want to find a great home at huge value and they want to be the first to know about it. They also want to be guided professionally, receive regular communication from their agent and to rely on educated answers to all of their questions. They want to be represented by a great negotiator. They want help with the mountain of paperwork, inspections and closing procedures. Buyers shouldn't have to spend their time comparing the awards and accolades of many agents; they should really only have to worry about having confidence and peace of mind that they are working with someone who can handle all of the above efficiently and without costly mistakes. Likewise, sellers expect a similar experience. They want their home sold in an expedient manner. They want it sold for as much money as obtainable with as few obstacles and hassles as possible. They need a strong negotiator. They want to know that their home is being promoted properly and to all of the best buyers possible. They want guidance and they want the truth. When choosing a Real Estate agent, selecting one with considerable experience can certainly curtail the many challenges that buyers and My team and I help over a 100 people buy and sell Real Estate each year. Find out what our past clients think of our service by visiting: sellers are bound to face. Experience is the best training tool in any business. If you haven't gone through a negative experience in the past, it is difficult to recognize and avoid it when it is headed your way. As mentioned earlier, I myself have laid claim to the popular "#1" line. Let me share my fine print... Last year I was ranked #1 at Shorewood Realtors. I received this award in recognition of the number of homes I had sold in 2010. Shorewood Realtors is a company that typically has between 400 and 450 licensed agents. What's interesting is that I have been ranked #2 nearly every year since I joined the company back in the early 1990's. Being a competitive person, it was a fun experience to finally pass up the #1 salesperson, however the #2 salesperson for 2010 had sold a higher total dollar volume, so effectively, they can claim that they were #1. Do you see how variable these "#1" terms can be? The bottom line is that what matters most as an agent is how well you take care of your client, not where you rank. That reason alone is why, almost 24 years ago, I elected to take the team approach to servicing my clients. With a strong team of professionals in place I am able to meet or even beat the expectations of our clients; no matter if we are representing some of the most elite clients, such as athletes and executives, or negotiating for builders and investors, or helping a new buyer with their first condo purchase. Having a highly trained and experienced team allows us to provide unparalleled service to our clients. That being said, I mean no disrespect to agents who work on their own. As a matter of fact, I admire them for their ability to maintain their business and to keep more of their income to themselves, all the while managing to balance their lives between work and personal time. As with most agents there is such as thing as a personal life and there are things that come up that demand attention, whether it's a child's sporting event, a family wedding, or medical emergency. I have built a team that is interchangeable, so no matter what is happening in our personal lives there is always someone available to take care of our clients. The Ed Kaminsky Team is designed to leave me personally available to my clients during the most important parts of any transaction. That includes negotiating with other parties in the transaction, carefully reviewing contracts, expertly answering questions and having time to properly promote our client's home to buyers, other agents, and our past clients. There are a lot of things that are necessary to run a professional Real Estate business that take excess amounts of time but can be handled by well trained team members. For example creating flyers, meeting pest control companies, delivering signs, maintaining a website, and installing lock boxes; they are all important but also take a lot of time. In addition to the above, there are three areas that a great team can help an agent best serve his or her clients. Home searches for buyers. When Marketing and promotion of listings. Marketing coordinator, Deanna Whipp has been with the team for 7 years and works a full time schedule aggressively promoting the inventory that Ed lists. Her marketing efforts have been recognized in many Real Estate association magazines and she has also helped the team win an award from the Los Angeles Business Journal for Excellence in Real Estate Marketing, as well as recognition from the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. buyers need to buy a home, our entire buyer staff goes to work seeking the perfect home to match with each buyer. Like most agents the M.L.S. is used to find homes for sale, but the advantage of working with our buyer's team, is that they pursue other techniques to find properties that other agents may not have the manpower to investigate. This includes knocking doors in the neighborhood to where the buyers are looking and picking up the phone to call all homeowners in the same surrounding neighborhood to source homes not on the market. In the meantime, I am able to constantly network with area brokers to find out about additional homes coming soon to the market. In addition, I am able to call my list of thousands of past clients to see who may be moving soon, as well as check in with my sphere of influence within the sports world through our sister company, SportStar Relocation. SportStar Relocation is a nationwide company designed to help athletes transition in and out of their team city when they suddenly have to move. Closing and coordinating of escrows. The closing procedures and paperwork required in California today is recognized to be the most difficult in the country. Katie Schwartz has been with me for 11 years and her skills are truly second to none. Watching over the daily details of the paperwork and helping clients navigate the mountains of clauses and deadlines is something my clients have come to appreciate from Katie. Without a great team it can be very challenging to fulfill all of the valid needs and expectations of today's clients. From expertly navigating the sea of homes that are available, to properly analyzing the true value of a property, to getting homes sold quickly for top dollar, to sourcing the right home at the best price, it takes a team of skilled professionals. Whether it is a multi-million dollar estate or a small condo, buyers and sellers expect the job to be done expertly each and every time. In truth, sellers pay a lot of money for real estate services and they rightfully should expect to receive a service that is deserving of its cost. STACI BROOKS, ED KAMINSKY, BECKY DAVIDSON, TINA KAMINSKY

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