Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ask Wednesday: Rachel Zamorski follow-up on selling real estate

It’s still about being of service

Interviewed by Morris Dean

We last spoke with Rachel Zamorski on May 8, 2013. Then a stay-at-home mom who found success selling residential real estate, Rachel’s outgoing personality and knowledge of the local market made her a favorite among area buyers and sellers. In August 2014 Rachel joined Keller Williams Realty and created the Rachel Z Team. Katie Burkholder, previously a top recruiter with a tech firm, joined her as a buyer’s agent, and in the last year production has increased 130%.
    We asked Rachel to update us on her activities. [Our questions are in italics.]

Rachel, what do you think accounts for the dramatic increase in production? And what do you mean by “production”?
    The move to Keller Williams was a huge boost, as there are a number of talented agents at my firm and they work in many different facets of real estate.
    When I use the word “production” I am referring to the number of homes we closed – meaning everything we’ve listed has sold. In record time I might add [grins], and we’ve helped numerous buyers close on a high number of homes this year as well.

What facets of real estate does Keller Williams cover?
    On an average day at the KW office, you run into commercial brokers, property managers, mortgage brokers, and administrative professionals. We are all under one roof, so the interaction is frequent and you learn more from one another than you would elsewhere.

You mean, like, commercial guys are usually off by themselves?
    Exactly. The agents here are also very open to dispensing advice. People are helpful and it’s taught me a lot.

How has having a buyer’s agent helped. What is a buyer’s agent?
    [Rachel leans forward, you can tell she loves talking about her work.] A buyer’s agent is an agent who works exclusively with buyers. The agent learns a buyer’s wants and needs and then finds the best home for that buyer.

    Katie B, who is our buyer’s agent, knows the market really well and she does a lot of homework for our clients so she doesn’t have to drag them to fifteen houses on a Saturday! Instead, she is able to produce 4-5 matches and write an offer on the same day. People like working with us because of this. We make the process as pain-free as possible.

When we started to see “Rachel Z” and “Katie B” on for-sale signs around town, we thought that was a very clever way to plant your names in people’s minds. We even wondered whether Katie’s last name might not even start with a letter that rhymed with “Z” so she chose “B” for the purpose! Who thought of using just the first letter of the last name?
    I told my colleagues that I needed a buyer’s agent, and the first letter of his or her last name had to rhyme with mine or it wasn’t going to work....
    I’m kidding of course! We are very conscious of branding and marketing and felt that using our last initials would, as you said, make our names more memorable. Plus, both Zamorski and Burkholder are mouthfuls!

Please tell us more about Katie B.
    We have a great personal dynamic too. Our kids go to the same school and are friends, so naturally we take turns babysitting. That allows for more time for clients and less stress on mom!
    Katie is a terrific person too. Everyone loves working with her. She is a true advocate for her clients, and her attention to detail is outstanding. Her taking the reins working with our buyers has allowed me to spend more time focusing on listing (selling) and marketing homes. Our homes are selling faster and we’re getting really creative in our marketing.

What type of creative marketing have you implemented?
    Recently we listed a home that most would consider a fixer-upper – handy man’s special, if you will [grins]. We added the home to the multiple listing services but also went to the local lumber yards and big-box stores and hung flyers. The home went under contract two days later.
    That creative idea was suggested by a client! Hanging fliers may seem antiquated but we thought a lot about who would buy the home, who was our audience, and we acted accordingly. As an agent, I never want to become complacent or assume that what I’ve always done will continue to work. The average person is becoming more savvy in the ways of real estate and their suggestions aren’t to be overlooked. Although we, as the agents, are the experts and have the most experience dealing with different scenarios, I have learned to become a better listener, and that has led to better experiences for everyone.

Please give us another example or two of creative marketing. We love this!
    Earlier in the year I listed a home that I thought would sell fairly quickly. It was priced right and we’d staged it well, so it looked great and all indicators pointed to its going under contract quickly. Instead it didn’t garner any showings! Nothing. Crickets. We went to the neighbors and asked them why they lived there. Where did the commute to and from, what made them buy here, what did they like about it, etc. It turned out that the majority of the neighborhood worked at Duke and a few people had their kids at the same school in Hillsborough. I then contacted a friend at Duke and had her add the home to the Duke employees’ “selling site” – it’s their version of Craigslist – and did the same with a teacher I knew at that particular school. We also enacted an “invite a friend...” campaign, where we sent all the home owners in the neighborhood a post card to give to a friend or co-worker. The home went under contract the next week.

What else has changed since 2013?
    We’ve moved! We now live in downtown Mebane. The walk-ability of this town is the coolest thing! It’s so nice to be able to walk to the library, or to walk to Muffin’s Ice Cream shop after dinner [pauses and smiles]. Maybe that’s not a good thing! [laughs] My dress size has changed since 2013 too!

Where do you see yourself in another two years?
    The Mebane area is one of the fastest growing in the country. We are still going to see many changes. The majority of them will be good changes that impact us positively.
    [Rachel pauses and grins.] And I plan to be involved every step of the way!

Copyright © 2015 by Rachel Zamorski & Morris Dean
Rachel is a native of North Carolina and has lived in Mebane since moving from her hometown of Durham in 2006. She has been involved in real estate since 2004 and serves both the Research Triangle and the Triad areas. She can be reached at 919.323.6068.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Rachel Z! We hope we have the opportunity soon to meet Katie B (in person).