The Coldwell Banker Bain of Longview office has been named "best" real estate office by The Daily News' annual "Best of Lower Columbia" ranking. According to The Daily News, this is the largest celebration of local businesses, people and services across the entire Lower Columbia region, and has been for nearly two decades.
"We are thrilled that the community has recognized our work over the past year through this program – we love living and working in this community," said Kevin Stonelake, principal managing broker of the office. "It's been a challenging year for us all, but Longview has come together and weathered the storm."
This year, the publication broadened the endeavor by adding nearly three times as many categories – to more than 130 – in which readers can nominate and vote for their favorite businesses. The Best of Lower Columbia reflects readers' opportunity to celebrate local business owners and leaders who have earned this recognition - the best of the best in their respective fields.
The categories were organized within seven main groupings: Food & Drink, Services, Health & Wellness, Entertainment & Recreation, Automotive, Merchants & Retailers and Community. All of the favorite categories from years past, like Best Burger, Best City, Best Dentist and Best Coffee are all back, as well as over 90 new categories including Best Casino, Best New Business, Best Non-profit and many more.
The weather is warming up, and the kids are bouncing off the walls. Wondering what to do with them? How about a fun, family-friendly round of miniature golf?
There are many great indoor and outdoor courses in the Portland area to enjoy a round of mini golf! To help you prepare for summer, we asked our brokers which courses their families enjoy the most. Here are their recommendations.
When you love your home, it's only natural to want to make it even better. Life in the beautiful Pacific Northwest almost demands the comfort only a fireplace can provide, but how do you know it's a good investment for your home? You don't hesitate to make simple changes, like a fresh coat of paint. When it comes to something as significant as adding a fireplace, however, there are several factors to consider before making a final decision.
Real estate agents sometimes get stuck in a rut, or simply struggle to grow their business. As seen in a recent Inman article, "I got into a situation where I was just completely in a slump," … "Nothing I was doing was working and I couldn't find my way out of it. I had been cruising along and I just hit that wall." These are just some of the comments agents had before making the decision to work with a real estate coach.
After working with one, these same agents reported an impact. "She gave me small projects to do that kind of got me back on track. She pushed me to hit that mark I wanted to hit in sales producing and got me rolling in the right direction. My transaction volume increased by 'a million and a half dollars in six months.' "
Whether new to the practice, or on auto-pilot after decades in the business, our crazy market and the myriad of changes to which we've had to respond during the pandemic makes working with a coach something from which anyone can benefit.
Enter Joe Galindo, who partnered with Coldwell Banker Bain in May 2020 and since then, those agents who are working with him have on average experienced 39% increase in Gross Commission Income. An amazing result, especially considering that the company pays half of Joe's fees for new licensees and for seasoned agents, fees are covered in full.
"My expertise is in helping brokers get organized so that they can have both a thriving practice as well as carve out personal time, in order to have balance," he said. "Making money is not hard, especially in our market, but getting to their 'whys,' helping them find the 'whys of their clients,' in order to focus their efforts is a large part of my value."
Said Tasha Pasco, CB Bain's EVP Sales and Leadership Development, "We wanted to ensure our brokers had access to a top-notch resource for coaching and Joe has shown his ability to really move the needle for many brokers over the past year. We felt that a more relational option, and different from a sales manager, would only make our services stronger."
Joe's mission statement is straightforward and committed - Joe Galindo Coaching exists to increase the productivity and work-life balance of real estate professionals through one-on-one coaching, personal accountability, and collaboration.
And he knows of which he speaks, as a residential real estate professional himself with a passion for coaching and training. Joe's career spans three decades and during that time he worked for three major Washington State brokerage firms, and has lived through the boom and bust of many real estate cycles. Joe has held several senior level leadership positions, including Vice President of Operations for the largest Sotheby's franchise in Washington State, and as the former Broker/Owner of Windermere Cascades Group, Inc. Most recently Joe served as Managing Director of Strategic Coaching for Compass Washington, and currently serves as a Director on the Seattle King County Board of Realtors.
"The biggest challenge I see with brokers who are struggling is not putting an actual business plan in writing, and not having someone holding them accountable for its implementation," said Joe. "It's a lack of consistency, of envisioning and committing to their blueprint of the plan for the year, and having someone checking in with them to keep them on track as they get busy."
As part of his Coldwell Banker Bain coaching program, Joe offers:
Here are just a few of the results seen by CB Bain brokers who are working with Joe:
Kendall Patterson, Coldwell Banker Bain of Redmond increased her production nearly three times in 2020 from the previous year. Kendall also was awarded the International Sterling Society Award for 2020, and this in just her second year in real estate.
Grayden Economides, Coldwell Banker Bain of Vancouver had a great first year and was awarded Rookie of The Year for the office.
Joe Girvin, Coldwell Banker Bain of Issaquah was the #2 broker in volume for 2020 he too saw an increase in production in 2020 by applying some basic principles. He is now in the process of hiring an assistant to help with the increased work load.
And if that weren't enough, the latest stats of his broker participants say it all:
The benefits are clear. If you'd like to hear more, talk to your office PMB or call Joe directly at 206.200.9720.
At the tender age of 13, growing up in Federal Way, Coldwell Banker Bain of Lake Union broker Monica Church and her twin sister started making videos on YouTube, at the advent of what we now know is the global powerhouse – the platform today has two billion monthly users.
"As all adolescents are, we were bored, and started out just filming ourselves talking about new hairstyles for the first day of school, and things like that," she laughs.
As they continued on the platform, and it started to be used by others, Monica discovered as she commented on various videos and received comments back, that there was a community there… and it was getting larger.
Using a camera her father had found at the beach, the sisters began building their own community and getting more and more adept at it. Their focus became on providing lifestyle and beauty-related content, and after graduating from high school, Monica's efforts had been so successful that she was able to support herself through ads placed on the platform and partnerships with brands. Today, at 26 years old, her channel has 1.39 million subscribers. On Instagram it is an impressive 198,000.
"I have filmed my heartbreaks and my moves and not getting certain jobs," she says. "Not just the good times but also the bad times."
Monica's experience with YouTube turned into a love for filmmaking, and following high school led her to California to attend film classes at Orange Coast College.
Although she enjoyed her time in California, she missed Seattle and was also starting to think about the next phase of her career – while experiencing social media success, she was ready for a new challenge and was considering how she might take a new path that would allow her to leverage the community she had built.
Monica had always loved houses, and spent a fair amount of time looking at listings – especially those in parts of the country she knew little about, and those offered at a bargain price. Upon moving back to Seattle, she decided to purchase her own home – and the experience was so positive that it moved her to become a broker.
"When I moved back here, I started looking for a home, and found Cyrus Fiene at the Lake Union office on Instagram," she chuckled. "We followed each other on the platform and I just really related to him and so I reached out. His care and feeding of me as his client was so impactful that it made me think about how I could perhaps do the same thing."
As they say, it was a match made in heaven, and not only did Cyrus help Monica navigate her purchase amidst a competitive bidding situation, it cemented their friendship and culminated in Cyrus asking Monica to join his real estate team.
"Obviously Monica knew how to relate to people, and her authenticity resonated with me as well. Her commitment to getting her license, enthusiasm about the process, and aptitude for helping people achieve their dreams is what makes a great broker," said Cyrus.
Joining the team has also helped with the isolation that comes with being a YouTube "star" as well, and Monica is finding being part of a team provides the support she needs, especially in the first year of her practice. She also credits the CB Bain brand, name recognition and reputation for integrity as reasons for her decision to join the office.
She is now busy telling her story to her YouTube and Instagram audiences, posting about her experience studying for taking the real estate exam, shadowing Cyrus, and all the other day-to-day experiences of a broker.
"Selling a house is all about telling a story," she said. "When a buyer walks in it's about the feeling that they get and so that's telling the story."
With the office only four months, she already has eight clients, one pending listing, two listings in contract and her first buyer client closed on their home last week. Monica was also recently featured on Evening Magazine.
"The biggest surprise for me has been the realization that real estate is an all-consuming practice – it's so much harder than you'd think. I have a true respect for everyone in the field," she said. "The emotional part has also surprised me – not only with buying my own home, but I'm finding I get very involved on an emotional level with my clients."
Monica recently purchased a second home in Palm Springs with her sister, a fixer-upper, so she now also has new experiences to offer her clients. "I now thoroughly understand real estate from an investment and renovations perspective," she said. "There is so much to learn and talk about on social."
And to that end, Monica plans to launch a new YouTube channel focused specifically on Seattle and the real estate market, and what she continues to learn about the industry.
"I hope to consult with other brokers on how they can utilize social media in their work, and provide some insight on what has worked for me. I'm really excited about the future," she said.
Brokers from the Coldwell Banker Bain of Portland Uptown and Lake Oswego offices recently celebrated Earth Day by partnering with SOLVE Oregon on its spring clean-up event. Founded in 1969, SOLVE's mission is to bring Oregonians together to improve our environment and build a legacy of stewardship.
SOLVE restores and preserves Oregon's environment by mobilizing the power of volunteers and partners with the generosity of donors. Across the state, it brings diverse communities together to improve the health and safety of our neighborhoods and natural areas including our coast, rivers, parks, and forests.
In total, 72 people participated in the CB Bain group for this annual event on April 22, including brokers from the offices, staff, friends and even strangers, who when walking by joined in the effort. A queue even formed around the corner to sign in for the event and that passersby openly thanked the volunteers as they cleaned up the neighborhood.
Portland Uptown broker Shannon Janssen was the driving force behind the event and Nikki Meyerink with AXIA Home Loans provided branded t-shirts to pump up the presence on the streets.
Many urban cities experienced a rise in homelessness during the pandemic, so the need for cleanup efforts has grown significantly in Portland. By the end of the day the group collected 600 pounds of trash from the community where they live, work, play and raise their families. The offices plan to make this an annual community involvement endeavor.
Portland maintains an impressive Walk Score year after year, meaning it's convenient for residents to ditch the car when it's time to run errands or head out the park. Portland is full of quirky-cool neighborhoods that are just steps away from shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations. The streets are lined with pristine sidewalks and flourishing trees that make it easy to explore on foot the sights, sounds, and tastes available in Portland. To get a sense of which Portland neighborhoods offer the best pedestrian experience, our brokers have rounded up the ones with the highest ratings on Walk Score.
Mark your calendars. Mother's Day is Sunday, May 9th! After a challenging 2020, one of the things our brokers are most excited about is the re-opening of some of our favorite Seattle restaurants this spring. If you're looking for a great place to take your mom for brunch on Mother's Day, we definitely recommend these great Seattle eateries: