Real Estate September 11, 2023

“Behind the Scenes”

As a Realtor, I could write a book about all of the craziness I’ve seen in this business. I’m not alone… today, I have a very special guest. Shannon Heffern has full access… & I mean FULL access… the woman can ruin me with just a few keystrokes – to everything that the Katina Hunter Team does behind the scenes. She is the Team’s Real Estate Assistant/Office Manager. She’s an investor & home-owner even before she became a vital part to our team. So, her vantage point is all encompassing! Even though she has claimed the seat to my left in the office… she’s my right-hand gal! “Hi, Shannon!”
Shannon: Hey everybody!
You & I met because I listed your home in Ellwood. How did I get to be on your radar?
Shannon: Long before I was in the market to sell my home… I came across some of your videos on facebook. I remember thinking that was a different approach as opposed to just posting pictures of a listing. I thought that if I were to sell then that’s what I would like – someone that was doing something new and eye- catching. I unexpectedly needed to sell my home and thought “I want the women who does the videos!”
I’m running out of titles to give you. You started as a “Real Estate Assistant” then got promoted to “Office Manager” but really… you’ve done some crazy things for me.
Shannon: Yes.. some I didn’t exactly see myself doing.. like picking out shoes.. cleaning the bathroom before closings, buying toilet paper, installing fire extinguishers.. to name a few..
I think I put on the job description “+ MORE!” so… I guess those are the bonus parts. There are perks though – mimosas on the first day of school (not for the children… for us adults in the office celebrating) & meetings on kayaks when we need a break from the office…

Shannon: Happy Hours! Just working outside of the office periodically is nice.
I hope that you feel extra appreciated because you ARE! I know that you’ve done many-a-things that are beyond your job description. I think that’s the nature of real estate… there are things that we do that no one really thinks about. What was the most surprising thing you realized a Realtor does that the average person doesn’t know?
Shannon: I guess I was most shocked at how much paperwork is done on a daily basis. If you buy a home then you know how many pages you sign but I don’t think most people realize how much time goes into the documents before you even see them or just how many offers can be written without the agent even getting a paycheck.
What do you think the hardest part of a Realtor’s job is?
Shannon: Honestly dealing with other agents. Unfortunately, not all agents are as experienced or knowledgeable… or even pleasant. You can work really hard and do everything right, even do part of their job but you can’t communicate directly with their clients so you’re always somewhat dependent on the other agent doing their part to get the deal done.

So true… I think that takes up about 15 – 20% of my day. I think that’s why going for-sale-by-owner is so attractive … homeowners just can’t find the agent that’s the right fit. You tagged me recently in a facebook post about this. You’ve bought & listed many homes in your life… have you ever sold one For-Sale-By-Owner?
Shannon: No I haven’t.. Not necessarily because I thought it was a bad idea at the time… but because I didn’t have the time.. Now that I work in real estate.. I would never sell fsbo or advise anyone to do so. I have seen some deals not come to fruition or be very hard to put together. People don’t realize how much agents do to make a deal work. They are your representatives and are here to make sure that you get treated fairly during your transaction. They advocate for you and help you to navigate things as they come up. I also know a few people that have done it and after the experience they had wouldn’t do it on their own again.

You’re not licensed… & we’ve talked about this before, but I’m curious – why don’t you want to get your real estate license?
Shannon: Mostly because of the time involved. I am fortunate enough to have a great schedule that can accommodate my life with my kids. I watch day in and day out how much is required to do this and how hard agents work. Never say Never I guess but right now, with it just being me and my kiddos…I need predictability.. and Real Estate is anything but predictable.

If someone was interviewing a Realtor, what kinds of things would you tell them to look for?
Shannon: Personality- Just making sure that you mesh well with the person, feeling heard is important.. I’d also look into their marketing and reviews. With me it was just a gut feeling.. do you feel like this person genuinely has your best interest at heart? And will they fight for you? You want someone that will do what’s best for you their client… not someone who is just chasing a pay check.

Yup! People over a paycheck! If you focus on doing good by people on a daily basis, the money will come. What is your most favorite thing about being on the Katina Hunter Team.
Shannon: It would be impossible to pick one.. First and foremost the people- The people you work with/your work environment means a lot.. I enjoy their company. The flexibility- I am a single mom, time with my kids is important. Before this job, someone else put my kids on the bus and I got home just in time to put them to bed at night. Katina makes sure I don’t miss anything, whether it’s a school event, doctor’s appointment or even letting me work from home if someone is sick. And last but certainly not least the clients- I may not meet them all personally but I help each of transactions along.

One of the things I love about you is how emotionally invested you get in the team’s transactions. Many times you don’t even know what they look like until I release the “SOLD” picture of them in front of their new house. What are some of your favorite transaction stories?
Shannon: Most recently it was a lovely older couple who were struggling with their previous agent. They were so hoping to close on their home in a timely fashion because unfortunately the gentleman was very ill… he wanted to ensure his wife was set up well before he passed. His son asked Katina to take over their transaction… and after a very long bumpy road… they were able to close. And he was so very appreciative… his prayers were answered, and his sweet wife has one thing less to worry about. In general, though I get excited to see offers, see first time home buyers get the home they’ve dreamed of and I’m super nosy and love looking at pictures of our listings just as soon as our photographer posts them! I may not always meet the clients, but I almost always speak to them on the phone and I definitely have some part in bringing them to the closing table…so yes very invested!
I like the word “invested” better than “nosy.” It’s a good thing that your so invested because, Shannon, you make everything happen!

Katina Hunter
Team Lead for the Katina Hunter Team with Coldwell Banker