An Interview with Nicole Stinson
I have always wanted to do a job that helped people in many different ways, and when the market crashed in 2008, everyone was getting out of the real estate market. I saw an opportunity to get into a new job and at a time that people needed help. I would open the newspaper (yes, we had them back then ? , lol) and see pages and pages of foreclosure notices.
Pages of people’s names with auction dates when they would lose their homes they had lived in for years.This was the driving force to be getting into the business. I started to study and research the short sale guidelines and realized I could help them save their homes and not be on the street. There was no one in the business educating people on keeping their homes only taking the business to foreclose on them to get a commission.
I knew that my purpose was to help. I went and got certified as a short sale/foreclosure specialist and went right to work educating homeowners who had fallen behind on mortgage payments. Not to fear that if they followed some protocol and filled out some paperwork I could help them with no upfront fees or commitment to pay any if it didn’t work! It was the most rewarding job globally saving someone’s home and credit for future purchases. The challenges that came with this job were getting people to listen and trust the process’s teachings. They would get a threatening letter from the banks and then letters from attorneys soliciting their services for high costs upfront when agents do the same for no fee. It was challenging to negotiate with the banks on behalf of the sellers time-consuming and hard work. But when I got approvals through the bank and save the home from foreclosure it was rewarding. There were a few that I worked for months that didn’t have a successful outcome as the banks didn’t want to negotiate so I worked for free on those files but I turned every one of those files into lessons for the next one.
As a business owner real estate broker I am responsible for ensuring that all transactions for our office are compliant and done with the highest integrity and professionalism. I work with many past clients and referrals and attribute the repeat and referral business to me making each transaction a personalized one and not a cookie cooker process. Each client has a different story a timeline of when they need things to happen and most importantly I discuss and understand each client’s expectations before starting our working relationship. After all how can you do an excellent job if you don’t know what that particular person means by “good job”.
My advice to anyone starting in their real estate career would be:
Taking the test and passing is the easiest part. Procuring clients earning people’s trust getting referrals is the hardest part. Use every transaction as a learning tool and never prospect with the intent to gain a client. Always offer some value before talking about what you do. Never lead any action or decision with the dollar sign $$ always do the right thing even when it means you don’t win.
I started an annual event called the SCV Charity Chili Cook-Off where we pick a different nonprofit that will benefit each year. We are going on our 9th year of the event and I am proud that it has carried on to be a successful annual event in our community. It’s a fun night where the local community and business gather to raise money for charity eat over 40 yummy chilis listen to live music and more different fun things added to each year. Over the last couple of years we have been able to donate $60000.00 to local nonprofits. We are looking forward to this year’s event which had to be postponed last year days before the event due to the pandemic.