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Vancouver, WA | 1 Posts
March
16

hannah dubyneMeet Hannah Dubnye, Coldwell Banker Bain's tenacious Vancouver and Camas, Wash.-based REALTOR®, striving to provide the most seamless experience to her clients through technology and social media. In her business, Dubyne Realty Group of Coldwell Banker Bain, her goal is to combine "thoughtful, personal service with social media and online presence."

Professionalism, poise, and a detailed work ethic aren't just words to Hannah.  She wasted no time achieving her career goals: During high school she managed a restaurant and in just three years, she graduated college with a degree in finance, all while working multiple jobs. After interning for several different businesses, she determined she could best apply her entrepreneurial edge and social media acumen to a career in residential real estate. Assessing her options, Hannah headed to Vancouver, an area she researched through multiple social media platforms.

"I felt the Vancouver/Camas market had been underserved, given the lack of active social media," she said.  "I built Instagram and Facebook pages as places I could introduce myself and tell well-crafted stories about listings."

She found telling authentic stories through video has enabled her to engage with almost 2,000 people.   She humbly admits her first videos weren't her best, but through trial and error, she found the right rhythm.

Hannah enjoys providing value for clients by creating useful stories on video.  She targets relocation clients by engaging and speaking to them as they comment or follow her Instagram stories. She narrates and puts herself in the buyer's shoes. 

"People want a visual, but they also want someone to walk them through a property," she added.

Hannah's Social Media Strategy:

  • Establish business-dedicated Instagram and Facebook accounts (just be willing to commit to maintaining your accounts, once you start).
  • Review other successful realtor accounts and mimic some of the things you can apply (that could mean post frequency, content/captions, hashtags, photography style, etc.). See what resonates and adopt more of that type of content.
  • Gradually add photographs and video of listings, local scenery, and a bit about yourself.
  • Research your ideal client within a 50-mile radius of your sales area.
  • "Like," posts and follow other accounts; engage.
  • Respond! Always respond to every person who comments, messages or follows you; it's the first way to communicate.

Hannah believes that the actual number of followers isn't as important as quality of the people who are interested in selling or purchasing a home. Her social accounts, which are relatively new and still growing, enjoy solid engagement and interaction. Clearly her strategy is working, as she has achieved her initial goal of representing buyers and sellers of at least a dozen listings in nine short months.

Curious to see Hannah's work in action? Check out her accounts on Instagram and Facebook. She also maintains a "Weekend Happenings with Hannah" email campaign and uses an email capture feature on her website to build that email recipient list.

Being a REALTOR® inherently commands engagement and communication; social media is just one more tool in the toolbox. If you're hoping to make your listings more accessible, to offer interactive conversations (answering questions online for the benefit of other potential buyers or sellers to also learn), attract new clientele, and share what's great about your community, consider these valuable channels. 

December
10

bain holiday giving

As we celebrate the season of giving, we're sharing the magic of holiday wishes and dreams coming true, and the warm spirit and dedication of our Bain family. Our connection to community is always a driving force in what we do, and this time of year, we're sharing joy and inspiration, giving our time and special donations to make life a little brighter for all.

Thank you for all of your donations! There's still time to donate at several of our offices...

Duvall and Everett Offices Sponsored Surviving Families of Auburn Apartments Fire
Thank you to these offices for their generosity, and for sponsoring two families of the 60-unit fire of November 4. If you want to help, please contact Chris Dantzscher.

Vancouver East / Vancouver West Clark County Food Bank Donations
Through 12/3
Thank you so much for all of your donations!

Portland Uptown Partners with Christmas Family Adoption Foundation
Through November & December
The Portland Uptown office had a goal of $500 per week to uplift local families in need. Visit the Portland Uptown Facebook page to make a donation and to find out more about Christmas Family Adoption Foundation.

Puyallup Sponsors A Family of Five
The Puyallup office is sponsoring a family of five who tragically lost their father due to COVID. The office is donating a gift card to help with holiday gifts, household needs, and more. For information or to donate, contact Loren Fanony, lorenfanony@cbbain.com, 253.273.8155.

Tacoma Partners with Salvation Army for their Angel Tree
Tacoma is sharing the brightness of the season and buying for 24 angels this year. For more information or to donate, contact Kyle Mills, kylemills@cbbain.com, 253.752.7777.

Kirkland Toys for Tots
December 4 and 5
Thank you for all your donations! US Marines, Kirkland Firefighters and Kirkland Kiwanis also helped share the spirit of the season.

Lake Oswego & Safe Families Christmas Gifts
Through December 10
The Lake Oswego office partnered with the Union Gospel Mission Women's Life Change Center to accept gifts. Also, thanks to the LO office for their co-sponsoring a Red Cross Blood Drive with WFG National Title on November 30.

Redmond Toys for Tots
December 11,
Santa and US Marines jointed this 21st Annual Holiday office event!

Bellingham Toys for Tots
Through December 15
Thanks for all of your donations!

Anacortes Toys for Tots
Through December 17
Unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the Anacortes office during normal business hours, through Friday Dec 17.

Bend Toys for Tots & Local Coat Drive
Through December 17
To donate new and unwrapped toys and coats, visit the Bend office by Friday, December 17.

Kent Station Toys for Joy
Through December 21
Unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods and monetary donations accepted at our Kent Station office.

November
17

In late September 2020, Coldwell Banker Bain donated $26,700 to Northwest Response, a partnership of the American Red Cross and KING5 TV for the nonprofit's Wildfire Relief Fund, supporting residents impacted by wildfires in Washington and Oregon. CB Bain collected donations from its brokers and employees, with the company matching all donations.

Julie Kent, corporate relations officer of Red Cross Northwest, recently reached out to CEO Mike Grady to express her gratitude, once again:

"I will always remember the email I received from KING 5 saying that Coldwell Banker-BAIN had raised funds with their employees for the Washington Wildfires," Kent shared recently in an email. "To meet with you and receive those checks from your incredibly giving employees and to see the match you and your partner had offered, it was overwhelming to see such generosity."

Kent shared an update and extended her organization's gratitude to everyone at Coldwell Banker Bain for helping those in need. Thanks to many compassionate supporters, the Red Cross has raised $48.9 million, including the value of critical donated goods and services, for those affected by the daunting wildfires in California, Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. With some funds remaining, the Red Cross will continue to provide services for long-term recovery in the impacted communities. Take a closer look at the Red Cross's 1 Year Update here.

Here's a snapshot of those 2020 Western Wildfires relief impacts, by the numbers:

  • More than 923,200 meals and snacks served with partners
  • More than 61,200 individual care contacts made to provide health, mental health, and spiritual care services
  • More than 450,100 overnight shelter and hotel stays provided with partners
  • More than 58,700 relief items distributed

Mike Grady remembers feeling compelled to make a difference in the wake of so much devastation: "It evokes emotion, remembering how we all pulled together to make something great happen," Grady said. "It's just what we do, but far more than that, it's who we are; everyone who participated should draw great satisfaction in knowing the difference we can make together."

Thank you again to all of our generous brokers and employees!

August
13

charles eckardtWhen Charles Eckardt joined Coldwell Banker Bain of Anacortes in 2017, he was recently retired after 20 years in the U.S. Navy, serving as an aircraft mechanic. Over the course of his military service, he was transferred several times during which he purchased and sold homes.

"I have always just loved houses – and also found the buying and selling process really interesting," he said. "It's funny, but I knew I wanted to go into real estate from early on, way before I was thinking of retiring."

Now, as one of the office's top producers, serving primarily military families relocating to our region, he has obviously chosen the right career path.

Joining the Navy at age 17 right after graduating high school in Connecticut, Charles was first stationed in Brunswick, Maine, where he spent eight years and met his wife Victoria. He was then transferred to Texas where he spent six years, finally moving to the Pacific Northwest for what would be his final Navy stint stationed at NAS Whidbey Island.

Charles and his family liked the area so much, that upon his retirement, they decided to stay. "The beauty and temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest made our choice easy - the harsh winters of our native New England really was the biggest reason why we did not seek to return there," he said.

Through his relocations, not only did Charles really enjoy the transaction process of buying and selling his homes, he also became handy and adept in doing much of his own remodeling work and repairs, another key interest that played a role in deciding to become a broker following his military retirement.

Growing up on the east coast, where Coldwell Banker had strong brand recognition, Charles sought out Coldwell Banker Bain after interviewing with several brokerages.

"The location of the Anacortes office, close to my home, as well as Bain's Home from Service program, which picked up the fees for my first year in business, and the company's support of me going through the relocation program, have been incredible. I am finding that Coldwell Banker Bain is a great fit for me," he said.

Today, Charles gets most of his business via word-of-mouth and referrals, and notes how important video tours have been in facilitating transactions, especially during COVID restrictions. Coldwell Banker Bain's affiliation with Navy Federal Credit Union has also been helpful given his clients are primarily active military.

"Amazingly, about 75% of my sales last year were done with clients' buying a home sight unseen and only using video, and most definitely my understanding of how the financing works for many of these families - who are using VA loans that offer zero down payments - has helped work through the deals," he said. "The biggest challenge is setting realistic expectations given even in this area we're seeing many cash offers, and that can be a difficult issue to work through with these buyers who may not always be able to compete in that way."

In addition to loving the work and being able to help military families purchase a home, Charles finds the flexibility of working as a broker a huge benefit.

"My kids play club soccer, and I'm able to work my schedule around traveling with them for that activity, as well as spend more time with them as they grow up than I would have been able to do otherwise. You can't put a price on that," he said.

July
16

Ashley Jackson, a recently licensed real estate broker in the Coldwell Banker Bain of Silverdale office, received her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from WSU in 2015. She then spent several years living and working in the Seattle area, serving as an Area Trainer for Domino's Pizza, where she helped develop and teach an award-winning training program.

When she joined Coldwell Banker Bain of Redmond as its office manager in 2018, it didn't take her long to know that someday, she wanted to be a real estate broker.

"I was drawn to the job, although the idea of running my own 'business' was a bit daunting and the thought of giving up a more consistent salary and benefits a consideration," she recalled. "I wasn't sure I could do it, but my husband always knew… he thought it was right for me from the beginning. While initially I needed some coaxing, it truly has been a great and rewarding move for me."

Following serving for a year in the office manager position, where she helped onboard and train new brokers, including helping them set up their marketing and social media activities, Ashley accepted a regional marketing specialist position for Bain. Her area of responsibility was initially the north region – Lynnwood/Edmonds to Bellingham, including Everett and Anacortes – but she was then given responsibility for the high-volume offices of Lake Union, Capitol Hill, Madison Park and Bainbridge Island.

"I provided overall marketing support for brokers that included attending office meetings, communicating to brokers the various marketing services and materials that Bain's marketing department provided, and assisting with development of landing pages, web sites, social media platforms, listing materials and providing overall general training of new brokers," she said.

Ashley spent 1-1/2 years in this position, and coupled with her work as an office manager, became even more familiar with the life and work of a broker. As she continued to be intrigued with the possibility of moving into that role, her husband's acceptance of a job in Kitsap County and a subsequent move there forced the decision - it was the perfect time to study for her real estate license.

Ashley received her license in October 2020, and joined the Coldwell Banker Bain of Silverdale office. Since then, she has joined forces with Kendall Patterson, who she worked with in the Redmond office, to launch Team HomEquity.

"Kendall started in Redmond around the same time as I did as the office manager," Ashley said. "She was always so encouraging of me, and when Kendall began to talk about starting a female team, it made great sense for me to join her. We work really well together and complement each other in many ways."

The biggest challenge for Ashley in moving from more corporate positions to a broker role has been in staying consistent and focused on a daily routine and accomplishing tasks.

"I think having an accountability partner is paramount to a new broker's success," she said. "Kendall is that for me, and I have also benefited greatly from educating myself beyond getting my license… reading all the real estate books, participating in coaching classes with Joe Galindo, developing a business plan, etc. You definitely get out of it what you put in."

Ashley and Kendall have found that being active on social media has been really beneficial, focusing on Instagram and TikTok. "Bain has a very strong and solid brand in our region, so leveraging social media and showing your personality is a logical next step to build upon that brand," Ashley said. "We do a combination of videos on real estate topics, along with lighter and fun content based on what's currently trending."

They received their first joint listing from social media, Ashley reported, and she encourages other brokers to test it out.

"My love for real estate is that of any dreamer. I have always loved imagining the different ways you can make a house your home and often played games centered around building and decorating growing up. Social media allows me to stay connected and build relationships with a variety of people I may not run into in person, especially through COVID," she said.

June
11

Brokers and staff of the Coldwell Banker Bain of Vancouver East and West offices conducted a food drive in April with a goal of raising $5,000 between the two branches. Not only did the offices meet this goal, a check exceeding it for $5,480 was presented to the Clark County Food Bank on May 13.

"Gregg White and I are so thrilled with how our respective offices responded to the challenge we issued to help this incredible organization," said David Knode, SW WA Regional Manager. "It went so well that we're planning another fundraising event in the fall to include our clients."

The Clark County Food Bank is a regional food bank that distributes over eight million pounds of food and 6.7 million meals a year. It works with 43 partners at 130 distribution sites to serve 65,000 food insecure in the community,

Said Madison Sparks, the Food Bank's office administrative associate, "It was so nice to meet you in person and receive your generous gift. You and your agents at Coldwell Banker Bain raised $5,480. Wow! That money is going to provide up to 21,920 meals to people facing hunger in Clark County. Thank you so much for your efforts that are so desperately needed."

Left to right: Jenny Jeffries, Clark County Food Bank Executive Assistant; Phoebe Conrad, Clark County Food Bank Community Outreach; David Knode, CB Bain Vancouver East; Ali Laskowski, Clark County Food Bank Events Coordinator; Gregg White, CB Bain Vancouver West; and Madison Sparks, Clark County Food Bank, Office Administration Associate.

February
12

Chad Estes, a broker in Coldwell Banker Bain's Portland Uptown office, doesn't advertise, or do any social media marketing. It's a strategy that works for this nearly 10-year real estate veteran – but if you think he's not actually marketing, you'd be wrong.

Joining the Portland Uptown office in 2012 following a long and successful career in furniture sales for J.C. Penney, where he ranked fourth in sales nationally, Chad has found that community involvement, leveraging his network and staying in close contact with clients is the best recipe for success.

"I stay in close and frequent contact with my clients and network, and that has resulted in frequent referrals and repeat business," he said. "Word-of-mouth is still a thing."

Holding a real estate license in Washington, given he lived in Vancouver for several years, has also enabled him to facilitate transactions across the border for those clients seeking to stay "local" but priced out of the Portland metro area.

He now averages 12 transactions annually in Washington, supplementing his Oregon business. On a personal level, Chad and his partner Rey are deeply involved in the Portland community, and are passionate about children who are in caught up in the foster care system.

They have fostered several children over the years, ranging in age from toddler to teen. Having that experience showed them how little voice foster parents have in the system and in how their foster children were handled after leaving their home.

"Watching how some kids were being returned to a parent when we didn't believe that was a safe option, or breaking up siblings into separate homes, broke our hearts and we wanted to do more," he said.

They now serve as CASAs (Court-Appointed Special Advocates), which promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children. CASAs are volunteers from the community who complete training that has been provided by the state or local CASA office. They are appointed by a judge, and their role is to gather information and make recommendations in the best interest of the child, keeping the child's personal wishes in mind.

Currently Chad is a CASA for a 17-year old developmentally-delayed boy, and is helping to mentor him, as an advocate for his education, safety and well-being in order to help make sure has the tools for future success. Chad will continue to be his CASA until he ages out of the system at the age of 21. 

Additionally, Chad is a long-time supporter of Cherry Park Elementary School in SE Portland, and volunteer for the Cascade AIDS Project Vancouver and Oregon Food Bank. To support the school, Chad and Rey have annually hosted a massive party at their home for about 250 - 300 people, where attendees were asked to bring a donation of either school supplies, backpacks, kid's clothes for the donation closet, or food for the food pantry. It has not been unusual for them to fill a U-Haul truck with donations for the school.

"While we obviously can't host this party right now, we continue to support the school financially, and I'm currently helping to deliver 10-12 meals each week in support of the Food Bank," Chad added.

Having spent his entire real estate career at CB Bain, Chad points to the culture as a reason he stays loyal to the company.

"There is a core group of agents here that helped me get started," Chad said. "It's an amazing, supportive environment and I am forever grateful."

This culture and philosophy, as well as what he calls a "broker-focused" approach, brand recognition, image and materials, allows him to be successful. Undoubtedly, his passionate commitment to the community has also played a role.

Indeed, according to the NAR, "Deep involvement in neighborhoods, towns, and cities helps real estate professionals position themselves in the eye of fellow community members as people who understand and care about their local area, which serves the secondary purpose of boosting trust and name recognition among the public."

Said David Sly, principal managing broker, "Chad consistently works hard to better himself and be a great agent to those he serves. He is a student of the industry and has found a niche in which he can dominate by doing the things he's already good at – listening and caring. He's really come into his own and become a leader in the market. We are proud to have Chad as a part of our growing office."

February
3

By contemporary standards, the more traditional buildings of Pioneer Square (Seattle, WA), the brick storefronts that house art galleries and sports bars, the stone archway of the Pioneer Building that fronts office spaces for small businesses, might suggest a quiescent past. But Pioneer Square's brick cobbled streets hide a history that is anything but tranquil. 

In the 1870s, the area was home to numerous "parlor houses" (brothels) run by infamous madames such as Raw McRoberts and Lila Young. In addition, the district was populated by hashish dens, pawnshops, and other dives that kept local police busy. In one of the period's, and the locale's, most ironic juxtapositions, Father Francis Xavier Prefontaine founded the Church of Our Lady of Good Help (Seattle's first Catholic church) in the central district only to have the most celebrated madame, Lou Graham, build her parlor house across the street twenty years later. And then overnight, this odd mixture of the saintly and the sordid disappeared.

On June 6, 1889, Swedish woodworker John Beck was heating glue over a fire in Victor Clairmont's shop at the intersection of Front Street and Madison Avenue. The glue boiled over onto floors covered in wood chips, caught fire, and quickly spread. In the fifteen minutes it took for the local fire squad to arrive, the fire was out of control and had spread to two local bars and a liquor store. By 3:00 a.m., when the fire finally died out, the mostly wooden buildings of both the district and the city were gone. Twenty-five city blocks were destroyed and over 5,000 city inhabitants were left homeless.

The Man Every Seattleite Should Know

The story is made more remarkable by the phoenix-like nature of the way the city sprung again from its ashes. Within a year of the fire, 465 new edifices had been built using brick, stone, and iron in place of the wood structures of the past. The new Pioneer Square, which had to be raised to deal with past drainage issues, was literally built on top of what was left of the old district. 

The man largely responsible for this miraculous resurrection was an architect most have never heard of, Elmer H. Fisher. Fisher first appeared in the historical records in 1874 in Minneapolis, where he is recorded as a cabinet maker and later a sash maker. By the mid 1880s, he had made a name for himself in Victoria and Vancouver. 

In 1888, he received his first commission in Seattle, the Korn Building. He would go on to build other notable structures, such as the Austin-Bell Building and the Schwabacher Building.  Perhaps his most recognizable contribution to the Seattle Landscape is also the landmark of Pioneer Square, the Pioneer Building. Between 1889 and 1891, Fisher rebuilt nearly half of Seattle's major downtown buildings and is still considered the city's most prolific architect during the post-fire reconstruction period.

Fisher was inspired by the Richardsonian Romanesque style, an extension of Romanesque named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson which features rounded arches, short squat columns, cylindrical towers, and recessed entrances. He was, of course, also influenced by the need for less flammable materials such as stone, brick, and metal work.

Sadly, a scandal involving a woman who claimed to be his "true wife," when he was already married to Charlotte Willey, ruined his reputation in Seattle. Though he was cleared of wrongdoing, gossip was enough to end his career in Washington. Though he later tried to establish himself in Los Angeles, he would die in obscurity in 1905.

Many of the structures he built in Seattle no longer stand or have been refurbished. But the next time you're standing in Pioneer Square looking up at the gray arch of the namesake building, think of Elmer H. Fisher, the man who rebuilt the city (and the district) out of the ashes of the Great Seattle fire.

February
1

We've made it past the winter solstice and the days are getting longer. It may be hard to imagine while snow still carpets the ground, but it won't be long before warmer days are here. And, let's face it, Covid lockdown has us all itching to get back outside. To ready yourself for those warmer days, use the time you have now to plan an outdoor space that will be so inviting you won't want to leave it once spring arrives.  

Make It Your Space

Jan Johnsen, author of Gardentopia, emphasizes that "every outdoor space has its strength," so discover your home's outdoor strength and decorate it to emphasize the space. Do you have a concrete patio surrounded by lots of green? Turn it up a notch by building lovely raised brick walls around it accented by flower beds encircled in matching brick. Make it a place to remember by adding a built-in firepit for roasting marshmallows or for snuggling by with a glass of wine.

Are you lucky enough to have a covered deck or porch? What an ideal space to install an outdoor kitchen for those nights of entertaining. Or how about accenting it with trellised greenery?

But what if you're a city dweller with limited balcony space? No problem! A little tiling or an outdoor rug can make that small space pop.  And you can get creative with foldable furnishings that can be stored away when not in use. Or try a single bench accented by hanging plants and a hurricane lantern to turn a drab space romantic.

Dream It and Theme It

Picking a theme takes you a long way toward creating that sense of unified space. For the rustic at heart, choose wood or wicker furnishings. Just remember that wood requires cleaning and oiling to maintain its look. Resin wickers have come a long way and make yearly maintenance much easier.

If you're looking for something a little more upscale and modern chic, you can find a wonderful array of powdered metal furnishings that will elegantly transform your outdoor area. Combined with glass or marble table tops, a gorgeous outdoor rug, and an eye-popping piece of metallic wall art, you'll have a space that truly speaks a contemporary aesthetic.

Whatever theme you choose, keep in mind designer advice on picking your furnishings. If you're buying pieces, for example, that require weather resistant fabrics and pillows, decide where you will store them during foul weather before you buy. Otherwise, you'll be stuck watching them fade and wear outside or using them as impromptu coffee tables (particularly if you have a small home). Buy furnishings made of easy to clean and maintain materials so that you can spend your time relaxing rather than cleaning.

Green It Up

We spend our time outside because, well, we want to feel like we're outside. One way to enhance that sense is to use greenery in your outdoor space. Megan Pflug, a do-it-yourself enthusiast, offers an innovative vertical garden as an interesting design choice. She creates a ground base of succulent plants that seem to reach skyward as she trellises ivys up the wall in interesting patterns.

If you're not that ambitious, a simple potted garden can be a great way to add a touch of outdoors. And while you're at it throw in some aromatics to add another sensory layer to the experience. Lavender, lilac, and Sweet Alyssum will subtly perfume your outdoor gatherings.

If you're one of those people who loves to cook out, particularly if you have an outdoor kitchen, take it a step further and put in an outdoor herb garden. Nothing gets guests' mouths watering like the scent of basil or a little rosemary nearby as you create culinary masterpieces for their enjoyment.

Step into the Light

A final touch to your outdoor space is to choose lighting that is not only functional but that ornaments your area. Hanging strings of cafe lights can be quite playful, and with the LED choices now available you can install strands that can be dimmed or that change colors based on whether you're looking for party central or a romantic evening.

Speaking of romance, if you have a covered space, consider hanging lights such as a series of metallic globe lights or even glass enclosed candle lanterns. For those without a roof, opt for standing or table lamps, or, for a more dramatic sense of mood, try uplighting your area. Just be sure, whatever lighting you choose, that all fixtures and bulbs are rated for outdoor use.

Get Outside

So what are you waiting for? The warmth and starry skies of spring are just around the corner. Why waste those optimal days planning and decorating. Build your dream outdoor space now and have it ready for that first cookout or that romantic evening when the weather turns.

October
12

Those of us of a certain age remember well the Seattle SuperSonics NBA championship in 1979. While the Sonics left Seattle in 2009 for Oklahoma, the championship reigns as one our favorite memories.

Part of those golden memories include second year All-Star center Jack Sikma, whom the Sonics drafted in the first round with the eighth overall pick of the 1977 NBA draft. In 1979, he was part of the Sonics' championship roster, delighting with his trademark reverse pivot and step back behind-the-head jumper move. During Jack's 14-year career, he reached the playoffs 11 times and established himself as an accurate-shooting center. He finished his playing career with the Milwaukee Bucks, and last year was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Following his pro career Jack served as a NBA consultant, scout and assistant coach to several teams, and has continued to make his home in Bellevue with his wife Shawn, where they raised their family.

"Shawn and I decided the Northwest was where we wanted to be after my time with Milwaukee," Jack said. "We've been in west Bellevue for 30 years now, and have probably built, remodeled or sold 10 or more homes during that time."

This passion for real estate resulted in Shawn getting her broker's license in 2014 and joining the Coldwell Banker Bain of Bellevue office. "We just enjoyed the process of home building and improvement, and then selling and starting the process over again," said Shawn. "Coldwell Banker Bain was my choice as we had always been represented by them for our personal real estate transactions, and were confident in the team and support."

And now Jack has joined the CB Bain team as well. Saying he's "Shawn's assistant," Jack studied for his broker's license online last year and with his degree in accounting from Illinois Wesleyan University, has proven to be a whiz at the numbers side of the practice, said Shawn.

"He has really shown an aptitude for contract and title work, as well as with negotiations – I call him a 'human calculator' " she said. His skills in negotiating during transactions most likely comes from his competitiveness, greatly benefiting their clients, she added.

Jack sees his coaching work as having a positive impact on his work, giving him the ability to analyze the value and fit of clients with particular properties, and recognize the emotional component of a deal, in order to help clients stay steady and composed, and not overplay their hands.

"It really is fulfilling to help people find their dream homes," he said. "I've been pleasantly surprised with CB Bain's support – it really is a team effort in our office, and all the brokers are genuinely happy for each other's success. So in a sense, I continue to play on a great team."

On the other side of the lake, a more recent NBA player, Solomon Alabi, who was with the Toronto Raptors for the 2010-2012 seasons, has become a new real estate broker in the Coldwell Banker Bain of Lake Union office.

Solomon grew up in Zaria, Nigeria before moving to the United States. Through basketball, he had the opportunity to attend high school at Montverde Academy. Solomon was an all-state performer and helped lead Montverde Academy to a perfect 30–0 record during his senior season. He started for the Nigerian Junior National Team at the 2007 Nike All-American camp and helped Nigeria qualify for the 2007 FIBA Under-19 World Championship. Solomon was then selected for the 2007 Nike Hoop Summit, representing the World Select Team, where he led all players in blocked shots. Subsequently Solomon was recruited to Florida State University. At FSU Solomon helped lead the team to the two NCAA tournaments and achieved multiple ACC player recognition awards.

In 2015, Solomon and his family moved to Seattle for his wife's job and fell in love with the area. Having recently retired from a professional career overseas, that led him to Greece, Taiwan, Philippines and Japan, he began thinking about his next career. While spending his time volunteering to lead basketball summer camps along with a network of other local former pro athletes, he was considering other options. Among the ideas were coaching, but he wanted something different.

A member at the Washington Athletic Club (WAC), where he plays basketball and pickleball, Solomon met a real estate broker who became a good friend and mentor, and helped the family find and purchase their first home in Shoreline.

The home buying process was interesting, to say the least, given Solomon's height of 7'1" and the lack of homes that provided adequate room for him to move around in comfortably, especially in the bathroom.

"It became very personal for me," Solomon recalls. "Not only the height issues that were a challenge, but also how it felt to be able to actually purchase a home and the safety and security it represented. Coming from nothing in my childhood made this was a very big event."

Following tours of upwards of 10 homes to find one where he could stand up straight in the shower, and not have to circumnavigate low ceilings and pillars, the family found the perfect home. The experience motivated him toward real estate.

The process, and what he observed of his friend and broker's work to find them one, was something that resonated strongly with Solomon. It occurred to him that he might enjoy this kind of work, and that it could leverage the skills he had picked up in his sports career.

John Deely, the office's principal managing broker, says Solomon is exactly the type of person who will find success. "Solomon is very personable, enjoys his family, is enthusiastic and understands the emotional component to home buying. He just sold his first house last week, and we anticipate good things from him."

Said Solomon, "I'm really drawn toward home buyers, and helping them find a home based on their unique and personal needs. My experience with different teams and in different countries also gives me a helpful perspective in working with clients from different cultures. The training and tools I'm getting through CB Bain have been invaluable and I am excited about this new chapter."

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