Hometown: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Laura Jewett, Local Real Estate Agent & Expert in Scottsdale, Arizona, recently wrote an international best selling book, Referral Secrets, to teach agents how to grow their business through relationships and referrals in their community.
Best quote from her story: “As with our family, our approach to our business is very much generational. We walk our clients through the whole process of not only home ownership but the journey beyond, one step at a time. The relationships we foster are what make us tick. Our desire to be there for our clients throughout their lifespans is really at the heart of our business.”
Laura’s business philosophy: “The best investment, without exception, is real estate! Real estate is a tax-favored asset class, is a basic need that is always in demand, provides a hedge against inflation, has capital appreciation potential, and can produce CASH FLOW! No other asset class gives you all these benefits!”
“I have been in real estate for almost 20 years in California, I can tell you firsthand that I have never dealt with someone in the business that actually genuinely cares for her clients. Laura understands how to close a deal and make her clients happy. We would not have the house we have today if it were not for her. Stop wasting your time with other agents and work with someone that gets it. Coming from someone in commercial real estate and dealing with other agents selling homes, the best advice I can give.” ~ Keith & Heather B.
“Laura is absolutely amazing! She is extremely skilled at negotiating and navigating through very tense and difficult situations. Our listing was extremely challenging, but Laura always remained calm, cool, and collected. She is very even-keeled and keeps the emotion out of the transaction. When experience and professionalism matter, you need the best on your team. We are especially grateful to have Laura represent us. We highly recommend her!”~ Daryl Z.
“I just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate your honesty and integrity. There are few like you in the world. Thanks, Laura, we appreciate all you do.”~Jim R.
“Regardless of the size of our next purchase, I wouldn’t think of using another agent. Laura has such a great grasp of how to represent her clients that you never doubt that she is doing everything possible. We always feel that we are still well-represented and supported even after the sale. I can’t begin to name all the instances in which she has gone above and beyond in serving our family.”~Jim H.
More About Laura
Laura Jewett is a Native Arizonan and has been a professional REALTORⓇ since January 2001 serving the greater Phoenix area. With a passion for all things real estate, she offers a true concierge approach to real estate for her clients, with expansive experience in design, rehab, fix and flip, construction, investment, rental, vacation rental, and many other aspects of real estate.
Laura is a top producer in the industry and is dedicated to providing superior customer service to her clients. She has been honored and humbled by previous clients’ testimonials of her service to them which she invites you to read at www.InspiredLivingCollective.com.
Accolades: Laura attended the University of Arizona and graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors with double majors in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She has always excelled academically and continues that thirst for knowledge in her real estate career having attained many credentials and specialized knowledge in areas including land sales, distressed properties, and staging. Additionally, she earned the Graduate REALTORⓇ Institute (GRI) designation, Certified Professional Property Stager (PPS), Accredited Staging Professional (ASP), At Home With Diversity (AHWD) certification, GREEN Designation, Resort, and Second-Home Property Specialist (RSPS), was a past member of the Master of Real Estate (MRE) Society and continues ongoing training in relevant areas of real estate.
On a personal note: Laura shares her love of real estate with her best friend and husband of 22+ years, Greg, who is an owner of EZ Homes Inc., the largest wholesaler of foreclosed properties in the Valley and hard money lender. They have two wonderful sons, Gavin and Brayden, who enjoy Boy Scouts, video games, racing and just being boys! Laura’s other interests include health and wellness (she is a certified Holistic Wellness Coach), family time, boating, beach time, and spending time outdoors.
Interview with Laura Jewett
What’s up everyone!
Welcome to another episode of Become A Local Leader!
On today’s show, we have Laura Jewett, one of the authors in the new real estate business book Referral Secrets.
The book is written by 23 top producing and community-minded real estate agents who share their stories and advice and simply try to help agents learn how to grow a business through relationships and referrals versus advertising. Thus ultimately building a sustainable and fulfilling business in real estate for many years. One of the themes you will notice when you read the book is that these agents focus on giving back to the community that they serve.
I am excited for you to get to know Laura because she has tonnes of ideas on how to give value to people, how to give back to the community, and how to do more than just sell real estate.
What is your main message to agents out there?
The word community keeps getting brought up. That is at the heart of everything. When you create a community, it builds everything. It is at the core of the foundation. Building community with our clients helps us build that referral base business. Building community with our partners we love builds that foundation by building their businesses and creating success in other people’s businesses. It’s the same thing with our Parkbench interviewees. We focus on our community at large but we like to give emphasis on other women-owned businesses. Helping support and grow their businesses. At the heart of everything are our partners. We have four community partners and they are four differing aspects of support they do for the community. For me helping them and getting outside of myself and my business, wrapping ourselves around them has been very impactful. Getting others to believe in that mission, to grasp onto and to help, and to see the generosity our clients, friends, and partners have helped these organizations is absolutely amazing.
If an agent came to you and asked you how to make money and feel that financial safety and also get to give back to the community, what advice would you give?
I get that fear where people come from a salary position or an hourly position where they know what money they are coming into. Real estate being commission based, there is that fear, but at the heart of everything I do is creating connections. When you create those connections, we build our database. When we build our database we build our basis of referrals. So staying connected and following up on those connections to see how we can serve them will bring the business. It’s all about the connections, fostering those relationships and following up with them, and having systems in place, when you add someone to your database, that you do something with them, to ensure that you are enhancing and fostering those relationships.
What have been your best methods for building new relationships and following up and staying on top of mind so that you do end up building a business?
One of the things we like to do is host community events throughout the year. It is a great way for us to share our love for our clients and thank them. It’s a great way for us to connect with them without asking for business and we stay top of mind with them. We also involve one of our charity partners and host a collection drive. We try to wrap a lot of the value and mission into one event. The only time we talk about real estate in those events is in the entry door prizes asking them who the next person they know that would like to buy, sell or invest in real estate. This has been one of our favorite methods.
In the same regard, as a gift to our clients after closing, we will host a housewarming party for them. We will get to introduce them to their neighbors and share their new home with their family and friends and host this party for them. We get to meet the neighbors and create more connections and add more people to our database. At the same time providing a great service to our clients. That keeps them more connected to their communities and allows them to enhance the enjoyment of their new home.
Why do you like the housewarming parties versus the closing gift?
The closing gift, in as much as you can find something that is branded with your logo, does that give people a memory of you? Not necessarily. A housewarming party is something different that not a lot of agents do. It gives them a lasting memory of you and how you made them feel. People will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel. We still do housewarming gifts here and there, a gift basket or something, but for the most part, we try to focus on the housewarming parties.
What are some of your best practices and lessons learned, about how to put on a community event?
Don’t overthink it. You can get so caught up in the details of it that you are getting a group of people just to have fun. Everyone has had a family gathering at their home, they have had a birthday party, they have had some sort of event. That’s all you are doing. You are gathering people to have fun. Pick something that you enjoy, that speaks to your heart that you like to do, and just do it. It’s all about the invitation and less about the event itself. People want to be invited. The fact that they were invited is the biggest part of it. Focus on the invitation, the reason to connect with your clients, and the reason to reach out to them to invite them to the event. We do 6 events a year. We do a movie event, which is easy as it’s at a venue. You have to come up with your giveaways, prizes, that kind of thing. We introduce our charity partner. We bring the focus back on the charity partner, we bring the focus on the charity partner at the event and everybody loves it. As far as cost goes, we are able to subsidize that with our partner that we love. Our title companies are mortgage lenders we work with, all of these people contribute and they get advertising. This Sunday we are hosting a yoga, mimosa, and brunch event.
What have you found to be the benefits of taking on courses, paying the time and money, and getting the designation? What’s been the benefit, and how do you use it?
I’ve been in the business for almost 22 years and not a day goes by when I don’t learn something new. So you have to go into this business understanding that it’s constantly changing and that you constantly have to grow and learn with it or you become obsolete. It is imperative that you take the time to take these classes, you have to do so many renewal hours anyway, so make sure you are taking classes that are interesting to you and that you think you will find value in and not simply check the box. It also fosters confidence in my clients that I am taking all these courses and I am getting expert training. It gives them confidence in my abilities and that I can be a better resource for them.
You have a construction division, building new homes, remodeling new homes, own and operate rental properties, and have lots of vacation rental properties. Where did you start and how did you get there?
When you are in the real estate industry you will have opportunities that the general public may not have access to. There’s a lot of creative financing out there to jump in there and get your first rental property. There is absolutely zero reason that every real estate agent shouldn’t have a portfolio of rental properties themselves. This is your business. Real estate by far is the best investment you can make. There are so many more benefits than any other asset class, we should be investing. It is a learning curve. Being in the industry you have a head up on most of the general public. The first rental property we bought was very bad, but then we kept growing our rental portfolio. The tenants started to see the benefits of our vacation rentals. We converted the house we were living in into a vacation rental and stayed in a guest house on a lot that we were building on. We have done it all. Be flexible. Be open to the adventure of it all. There are a lot of opportunities.
How do you talk to the homeowner who would have loved to have invested in real estate but right now is getting hesitant?
Every scenario and market is different. We are expecting positive appreciation in the 8-10 percent range. So you have to work with clients to see where they are at, what their goals are, and help meet their goals. Focus on the goal and find solutions to meet those goals with the current conditions of the market. There are lots of opportunities, where sellers are offering concessions to buy down interest rates. Keep focusing on the positive and the goal.
If I’m an agent and heard your advice and think that I don’t know what solutions to give a buyer or investor if I don’t know they exist. Where do you learn about this stuff?
Again, education. Staying informed. Looking at the stats for your market, talking to lenders, what types of programs, and what solutions can we have for these clients. There are so many resources out there. RPR is a national product that everybody has that has so much data it’s unbelievable. Tap into all the resources you have as an agent. Spend an hour a day, reviewing what’s going on in the market and different solutions that you can come up with to help your clients attain their goals.
How would you educate an agent on when they should be getting an assistant and lessons learned on how to find trained and get the value properly from an assistant?
It was life-changing for me personally and business-wise. It was a challenging step for me to take because of my personality, that control aspect of wanting to make sure everything is done exactly and perfectly how I want it and letting go of that to actually accomplish my goals. You need to acknowledge that getting things done sometimes is better than getting things done perfectly. As far as when you should be getting an assistant, when you get to a workload point of you are not able to follow up with your past clients because you are working on the transaction details of what you are currently doing, that’s when you need an assistant. I started out with a virtual assistant which is an amazing concept, it’s a lower-price, cost-effective solution that can be fabulous for a lot of agents that don’t need an in-person, full-time assistant. There are baby steps you can take before you get a full-blown, full-time assistant. You need to recognize that having those services are well worth the money that you are paying for them, which allows you to focus on your business and grow it, not just work in your business.
Agents get to a point where they have their systems, have their training, and are successful, should they go independent and have their own brokerage versus staying or switching brokerages? In your chapter, you talk about staying with the brokerage. What would be the reasons to start your own brokerage versus just working within?
If your goal is to manage a group of agents, you want to take more of an ownership and management role. Having your own brokerage is a crowded space, gaining momentum and identity in a crowded market, spending on advertising, insurance, overhead, and all the other things, you have to take those into consideration with what your goals are. For me, I want a small team of agents that are like-minded and want to foster relationships, community, and build a business based on that. That’s what I am looking for and doing that within a larger brokerage that does have the advertising, has that name recognition, and does all those things for me is well worth the commission splits.
Who are you with?
I am with Platinum Living.
Is that an independent brokerage itself that is more Arizona focused?
That’s correct. It speaks more to my heart about community. I like that more boutique community-based brokerage that really focuses on our community here.
Do they give you are CRM or do you use your own?
They do. Most brokerages do have one. We’ve built our own.
How do you use your CRM and extract a lot of value from it?
I think nearly every CRM allows you to add different tags and categories to your database. I think using that to its fullest, we categorize people, they may have ten or fifteen different tags associated with their name. So we know if they have gone to our events, if they are looking to buy or sell or if they are a past client, or if they are an investor. We know all these different things and we can categorize and cater our messaging to those specific groups. Giving information that is relevant to them, will help connect and foster those relationships better.
If you were new to the business and you heard about this new book, Referral Secrets, and here are these stories and strategies from these agents, why do you think an agent should read this one?
There are so many tips and tricks from so many different perspectives and agents around the country. Just the range of professionals that are contributing to the book in such a condensed format. This is a quick read where you can go and highlight the ones that speak to you, so you can implement that right away into your business to make a significant difference. Having so many great minds in one book, in a condensed format is really cool.
There are 66 unique ideas. We have people of all ages, different experiences, and all types of markets. Getting some golden nuggets that you can apply to your business and then grow the business because of it, are more likely to get it from this book than other books with one perspective.
If people want to connect with you, like your story, advice, and the way you think and do things, and want to learn from you, how can they do so?
Email, phone, and my cell phone will be available, I’d love to connect with anyone with questions. I love watching people grow in this business. That is one of the biggest joys of having my full-time assistant, watching her grow in the business, get her license, really flourish and blossom, and be part of an industry she loves. Sharing that love and passion and seeing it flourish in someone else is huge. I am more than happy to share any information and resources that I can with anybody, so feel free to reach out. Check out our website. Our charity partners are on there, our event profiles are on there. Just get out there and create community and business will come.
How to contact Laura Jewett
Platinum Living Realty