If you follow Windermere Mercer Island on social media, a week ago Friday you saw our brokers attended the 2017 Eastside Windermere Real Estate Kick-off event. And what an event! Over 500 brokers from of the Eastside offices, and the Chelan area, gathered together to get energized for the New Year.
The event, held at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Hotel, opened with a lovely continental breakfast and the opportunity to network. The opening emcee was Matt Deasy, owner of Windermere Real Estate/East, Inc. Mr. Deasy discussed how Windermere brokers provide value to their clients in 3 different ways: opportunity, synergy, and endurance. Windermere brokers are distinctively primed to take advantage of the strong local economy and educate clients regarding the hot Seattle area housing market.
The Top Producer Broker Panel featured 5 amazing brokers from Windermere offices around the region. Mike Connolly, owner of Windermere Real Estate/Central, Inc., moderated this panel that included Nicole Mangina (Bellevue Commons), Ruth Harle (Bellevue-South), Jay Agoado (Mercer Island), Clive Egdes (Kirkland – Central), and Tony Butz (Bellevue-South). Each of the stories shared by this group were unique, but their success in real estate all contained common characteristics: determination, hard work, establishing real connections with people in their communities, not being afraid of technology, and offering concierge level customer service. The panel interaction, delivered in an Inman Connect Interview format, was fast-paced and engaging. A key take-away was the importance of adding value for clients who are already data savvy regarding real estate, and to own that professional value proposition.
Tech Tools to Make You Look Like a Rock Star
Shawn Prutsman, Vice President of Technology with Windermere Services, was introduced by Julie Barrows, owner of Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island. She moderated this segment by asking Mr. Prutsman about the impressive new tools that will be available to Windermere brokers during 2017, and what technology updates to expect. An exciting topic was the updated listing photo gallery, and all of its amazing features, that debuted at the end of 2016. All the tools and updates scheduled for 2017 will provide further assistance to Windermere brokers– helping them effectively and beautifully market homes, assist buyer clients in our fast-paced local market, and stay cutting-edge in a region where technology is what helps drive our economy.
Amy Adams, owner of Windermere Real Estate/Bellevue Commons, presented a wonderful introduction of the man everyone in the room was eagerly waiting to hear speak – Matthew Gardner. As chief economist of Windermere Real Estate, Mr. Gardner prepares an annual forecast addressing his predictions for our economic and real estate climates. First, he covered our local economy – which is experiencing remarkable growth. The economies of the large cities in western states have been generally robust, and Washington metro areas have been at the top of the list. He sees this trend continuing into 2017, along with low unemployment. In fact, we should see more people relocating to our area during 2017 to fill jobs in the tech sector, and escape higher priced real estate in the Bay area. Two sectors he noted as slower growing are manufacturing and construction. We’re seeing that trend play out in lower numbers of single family residential permits being issued. Less new construction places pressure on our resale market, which will contribute to our housing market’s continued low inventory this year. House prices will see more increases in Western Washington. Housing affordability is an issue that needs to be addressed. King County homes are not affordable for many first time home buyers, which we’re seeing translated into people opting to purchase outside of Seattle metro.
NW Home Design Trends to Watch
Peter Hickey, owner of Windermere Real Estate/Northeast, Inc., moderated a panel of architecture and design specialists who detailed current home design trends that are especially popular in the Pacific Northwest. Sheri Olson of Sheri Olson Architecture, Susan Marinello of Susan Marinello Interiors, Inc., and Brenda Gage with JayMarc Homes shared their favorite trends along with what they are seeing out in the field. New materials, exploring the color black as a neutral, and simplicity are all sought after in the interior design environment. Modern, yet informal gathering places – both inside and out – are desired by homeowners in our region. Aging in place is also a hot topic in home design — with main floor masters, or dual masters on upper and main floors, an increasingly requested home feature.
The Right Mindset for 2017
Dan Givens, of Windermere Professional Development, closed out this year’s Kick-off event with a short presentation on having the right mindset to succeed at both work and home. He shared three simple, but impactful, mindsets that can redirect your outlook in a positive direction.
- Decide you are going to have fun.
- Set out to meet nice people each day.
- Help someone solve a problem.
Mr. Givens stressed during his presentation that affirmations don’t just happen by accident. If you consciously set out to change your outlook to meet your desired affirmation, that’s when the real change begins! His message offered simple ways to stay positive, and be effective in changing a habit or adding a new activity to your day.
What a great way to start of the year! The information shared during the event is so useful, and gave each broker who was in attendance tools that can help them improve their businesses, and deliver to their clients even better customer service during 2017. A round of applause is due for the owners and managers of the Eastside offices for offering such a terrific annual event to your brokers. And a special thank you to Julie Barrows, owner of the Mercer Island office, who organized this year’s Eastside Kick-off.
Photo credit: Frances Gaul