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Bellevue WA | 14 Posts
Buying a House | 7 Posts
Home Maintenance | 30 Posts
Portland OR | 53 Posts
Redmond WA | 2 Posts
Seattle WA | 53 Posts
Tacoma, WA | 2 Posts
Uncategorized | 35 Posts
Vancouver, WA | 1 Posts
June
27

Portland Community Gardens

Portland is affectionately known as Rose City, but the local landscape produces an amazing range of plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Nature and community are two of the most cherished aspects in Portland, so it's easy to see why these things combine at local community gardens.

Our brokers take a look at the ever-growing (no pun intended!) network of community gardens around Portland homes for sale and let you know how you can get involved.

Community Gardens

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June
21

michael ackermanOur two-year-old white-hot market had to correct at some point, says TeamUp Seattle Managing Broker, Michael Ackerman. And while it's still a seller's market, there may finally be some opportunities for buyers.

The cooling real estate market seems to have created a "flood of inventory" for buyers. At the same time, the rise in interest rates has bumped some of those buyers in the under $750K range out of the market.  Qualifying for large mortgages is tough for all buyers, but properties in the $1M plus range are still selling, despite having slowed down recently.

Reasonably priced, well represented and staged properties, says Ackerman, may still see multiple offers. But the days of bidding wars and two-day sales for over the asking price may be in the rear-view mirror. With sellers having to adjust their strategies, buyers might be able to get into desirable properties for the asking price while interest rates are still at a relatively low at around 5%.

"We need to work with sellers – and to a certain extent also buyers - to help them adjust their expectations. There's been a palpable shift in the last month; everyone seems to be taking a collective breath.  In our locally strong economy, the market it still active. Though the January 6 hearings, the war in Ukraine, and stock market fluctuations are affecting the luxury market most dramatically with an 18% drop from last year.

Ackerman adds there's still plenty of business to go around. Market variabilities are a "psychological head game," and managing that requires flexibility.  Ackerman advises brokers to "stay buoyant and remain hopeful."  The truth is a balanced real estate market creates more win-win situations. He adds that the cooling market requires a bit more creativity.  "Hone your negotiating skills," he says.  "It's time to look at creative financing contingencies, being more aggressive about open houses and spending more quality time and energy on each listing. Make sure your systems are in good shape and that you can 'do it right the first time' every chance you get."

Interest rates may still go higher, so it makes sense to remind buyers this could be a good time for them. "Be passionate about helping clients through this important life event. Be honest, flexible and realistic as you set expectations for buyers and sellers. How can you fit into their life story?" he asks, "How can you serve it best?"

The white-hot market was unsustainable.  Knowledge is power, says Ackerman.  Make sure you know all you need to know about today's fluctuating market and set realistic expectations for your clients, your colleagues and yourself.

June
20

Seattle Waterfalls

There are plenty of nature retreats near the Seattle area, and perhaps one of the most visually stunning is hiking to a waterfall. Summer is the perfect time to view these exquisite works of art in Mother Nature's portfolio. Our brokers love having easy access to these spectacular waterfalls within a short distance from Seattle homes for sale

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June
13

david merrickFor David Merrick, broker and Global Luxury Specialist in CB Bain's Vancouver, Washington office, success is all about relationships. And he has 25 years of industry achievements to back up the value of that strategy.  As a gay realtor, David has taken advantage of his ability to assess people and his surroundings while working with clients, potential clients, and colleagues.  He acknowledges occasional challenges, but declares he's faced very few professional obstacles based on his LGBTQ status.

"You may encounter awkward situations where a client may not be as accepting as you would like. It's ok to walk away from these situations. Professionally declining their business and referring them to a broker who may be a better fit is not only better for you, but for your business in the long term. It will also improve your chances of other brokers referring comparable clients to you."

David puts effective networking at the top of his list of best practices.  He does this with memberships in multiple gay realtor organizations, such as NAGLREP (National Association of Gay/Lesbian Real Estate Professionals), the LGBTQ+ Real Estate Alliance and the Real Pride Network. He cites the high value of these networks for acquiring, as well as sending out referrals; reciprocity builds relationships. "These groups also do a great deal of work in promoting causes with NAR (National Association of Realtors) and with federal and local governments to keep equality in the conversation in real estate and beyond."

These organizations have membership listings on their websites, which David claims are well worth the minimal membership fees.  There are also other relatively inexpensive LGBTQ+ sites to help build name recognition, mainly for buyer/seller leads.  Gayrealestate.com, Gay Real Estate Directory and GayRealtyNet.com are a few. David suggests there are certain feeder markets where it makes sense to run target Facebook ads, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Chicago…you just need to know who you want to reach.

Born and raised in Southern California, David has lived in the San Francisco Bay area, New York, and Utah, but he now calls the Pacific Northwest home. He holds broker licenses in Washington and Oregon, lives and works in the Camas and Washougal area because of its "easy access to beautiful hiking trails and the Columbia River, amazing views of Mount Hood, and proximity to all the great restaurants, shopping, and nightlife that Portland has to offer."

David also uses the concept of networking with his clients.  He learned early in his retail career to listen to customers and follow up by working diligently to match their needs and negotiate their best price whether buying or selling a property. He claims that getting to know his clients is the best part of his job, and he proves that by connecting them to their new communities.  He's started hosting dinners and wine tastings for new homeowners to introduce them to members of their new community.  "Several of my clients move into the area and don't know anyone, so helping them connect with others has proven beneficial and has been well received within my sphere!"

And he applies his eye for interior design and architecture to help clients visualize the possibilities in a home they're considering or to stage the home they're selling in a most appealing way. He also works with volunteer organizations in his community – Habitat for Humanity and the local food bank being his favorites. He says, "...it always feels good to 'give back' to the community that I work in."

Being a gay broker carries with it some special safety concerns.  Realtors are easy targets, unfortunately, says David, "...as we often work alone at open houses and taking clients on property tours. So, it's always a good idea to know your surroundings and potential ways to get out of a home or property, if necessary." David says he doesn't always feel comfortable showing a property in a certain area, he makes sure he tells a trusted friend where he's going and when.

David's success as a broker draws on a comprehensive approach and a solid sense of his own talents.  Here's what he has to say about it:

  1. My personal success is based on lots of hard work and networking.  You only get out what you put in! 
  2. Being myself and not wavering from that let's my reputation speak for itself – don't be afraid to advertise your successes – people will notice and then the next time they think about real estate, they will remember something you posted and reach out to you. 
  3. Don't try to be everything for everyone – be yourself and attract clients that you WANT to work with! 

Be involved in local community and things will continue to grow as you get and stay connected.

June
13

Portland Sushi

Portland offers plenty of restaurants serving fantastic international dishes. Whether you're in search of a new favorite roll or you've never tried sushi before, join our brokers in celebrating International Sushi Day on Saturday, June 18 with a visit to one of these amazing Portland restaurants.

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June
6

Dining in Belltown

With its lively mix of trendy shops, eclectic restaurants, high-rise condos, and boutique hotels, Belltown attracts tourists and local residents in equal measure. Dining out is always a special event at these hot Belltown restaurants recommended by our brokers.

May
23

Home Tips

Reading is an excellent year-round activity for family members of all ages to enjoy. Plus, the Pacific Northwest is home to many local bookstores full of books to add to your summer reading list. While summer reading is certainly enjoyed outdoors, an indoor reading nook makes it so you can enjoy your new favorite novel even when it is raining. 

After you've stocked up on new reads, follow these tips for creating a cozy reading spot in your home. 

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May
18

Coldwell Banker Bain is proud to share its platform to recognize AAPI Heritage Month (May), which honors the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America's history and are instrumental in its future success. Within our own organization, Tina Nguyen of Mercer Island Upside Properties is an integral part of its success; her team recently won Best Team Award by Seattle Agent Magazine. As a first-generation American born to Vietnamese immigrants, Tina shares her story and how her heritage and work experience helps serve her client base.

Tina's mother is the second oldest of nine siblings. She, her three younger brothers, and two older sisters left Vietnam in phases in the early 1980s, intent on immigrating to the United States. Her mom and two sisters had a long journey that took them first through Malaysia, then the Philippines for six months waiting on approval to go on to Seattle. They arrived by plane in 1984 and Tina was born a few years later.

"My mother is the strongest and hardest-working person I know, and she never faltered. She had a home-based daycare for 20 years," Tina says. "She's taught me so much about discipline, integrity, and treating clients like family. She's been an entrepreneur her whole life and I look up to her in every way."

The industrious nature must be genetic, because Tina has cultivated a rewarding career in real estate following a career in medical interpretation. Her work foundations began with childcare and the restaurant industry.

"I enjoy working with people and in teams while also being very independent," Tina says. "I worked in the restaurant industry for eight years, where I helped my customers and assisted my team's customers in the front of the house and the staff in the back of the house; there's always something to do."

Tina also opened and ran a licensed childcare facility for over three years where she and her business partner aligned their goals and divided the daily workload to scale it into a thriving business.

"When all team members know their parts in the business and can produce, that's when you're able to make new goals and see how well you can do," Tina says. "Working with children taught me to keep things fun and be prepared for the unexpected, because anything can happen.

Tina became a Certified Medical Interpreter after graduating from the University of Washington. She notes she's always gravitated towards jobs where she can work with others and be of service. Her clients included medically distressed immigrants, and she says they were always grateful for her help.  She assisted her community with their regular appointments, surgeries, therapy sessions, and more.

Working as a medical interpreter, Tina said she could quickly adapt to different medical teams and effectively communicate the patients' needs. This field also afforded her practice in delivering sensitive information to minimize confusion. "The professionalism and work ethic that doctors, nurses, medical assistants, and staff provided to patients and me was an excellent experience to learn from and later implement in my business," Tina says.

With her attention now fully focused real estate, Tina has built a clientele of which approximately 30% are Vietnamese. Tina's own professionalism, clear communication, and attention to detail are why past clients regularly request her. Working with families and exceeding their expectations has been a critical driver of her success as an entrepreneur. Having 80% of business come from client referrals showcase that her client's satisfaction comes first.

Tina networks with her community via social media, by keeping in touch with her Vietnamese contemporaries in the real estate industry, and by attending community events and holiday celebrations. When she has extra time, you'll find her catching up on news in Vietnam or watching Shark Tank Vietnam to keep a pulse on the country's emerging businesses and entrepreneurs.

Keeping established relationships is also important to Tina. For that, she taps a CRM and she also self-tracks. She keeps a list of current and previous clients on her phone, stays in touch, and maintains an excel sheet – updated monthly complete with birthdays, anniversaries, and milestones (recognized with cards or small gifts). 

She's been in the shoes of a new realtor and offers these tips to help those just starting out:

  • Clear out your schedule, especially weekends, to shadow your team members, host open houses, show clients' homes, or go to open houses and view properties yourself.
  • Read the contract manuals and practice writing offers before working with clients so you're efficient and comfortable.
  • Take care of your physical and mental health. It's a lot of information and can be overwhelming. Every day is different, and you need to find a routine that works for you. Don't expect to memorize everything; know where to access it and slowly internalize the information.

Tina's words to live by tell you she doesn't mind a challenge or hard work. Her go-to quotes are: "Mind over matter," "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity," and "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together."

We're grateful to recognize the life experiences Tina brings to her career, her clients and her award-winning team. During AAPI Heritage Month and every day, we thank Tina for being a part of what makes Coldwell Banker Bain so dynamic.

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