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The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® Los Gatos-Saratoga District got off to a good start for the new year with over 100 members in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting. An upbeat District Chair Jim Hamilton told members 2019 “will be what you make it.”

The first meeting featured a top producer panel with Carol Jeans (Sereno Group), Michael Nevis (Alain Pinel Realtors), Mary Clark (Intero Real Estate Services), Chuck Nunnally (Keller Williams Bay Area Estates) and Audrey Hutton (Hutton Mortgage Group).

The panelists, all experienced in the business, are doers and work hard. Nevis said “the knowledge that this is my business” is what motivates him each day. Nunnally stressed real estate takes hard work and like a hunt, he is constantly searching for business.

Asked their thoughts on forming teams, Nunnally, Jeans and Clark prefer to be independent, while Hutton believes teams are important to grow your business. Her team is comprised of five people who each have roles in the business. Nevis also has a team and finds it serves as a good sounding board. He did note you have to really get to know the person before forming a team.

The top producers stressed the importance of referrals. Referrals only happen through relationships and maintaining then, said Nevis. He likes to invite clients to his home for dinner, to meet his family and get a glimpse of his lifestyle.

“This way things are more real, more personal than talking about average price and days on market,” said Nevis.

Hutton likes to wow her clients, pleasantly surprising them with candy and the like. She holds parties and education classes for past clients.

The REALTORS® stressed the need to get to know clients at an intimate level and connect frequently. Jeans likes to write her past clients, while Clark likes to stop by their home twice a year to connect. She also holds annual client appreciation parties or invites them to events, like a Giants game.

“Keep in touch with past clients and show them your care,” said Nunnally. “This is a people business.”

The REALTORS® said the 2019 housing market may not be as fast and furious as in the past, but they don’t believe it will crash and burn either. Nunnally advises agents to attend seminars, get educated about the market, and spend money. You need to spend money in order to make money in real estate, he said.

Jeans encourages agents to learn as much as they can, work with discipline, build relationships and “remain who you are in the business.” She believes there will always be a demand for homes in the region.

Nevis encourages agents to team up with someone with experience and “find your cheerleaders,” while Hutton advises agents to be specific, have a purpose, and share their goals with their clients.

“This year will be awesome. There is opportunity in any market,” said Clark.

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