Barbara Covert got her real estate license in 2005, following her desire to help individuals and couples buy their own home.
She takes great care in helping people navigate what is sure to be one of the most important buying decisions in their lives.
Barbara, what did you do before becoming a real estate agent?
I worked in education and for the Peace Corps, and I owned a retail clothing business.
What made you want to become a real estate agent?
Everyone says they go into real estate because they love looking at houses; the reality is that that is about 15% of the work.
The real work and satisfaction for me comes from being able to help my clients identify the next best move for them, whether they are buying or selling. The real work and satisfaction comes from providing education, invaluable service and a standard of workmanship that far exceeds a client’s ideas of what to expect a realtor to provide.
What do you like best about your career as a realtor?
The same as mentioned above.
What do you feel is your greatest strength as a real estate agent?
My relationship building with other realtors. I may not know the other agent heading into a transaction, but can become both the enemy and the ally, and it is so important to know to which hand to play to develop a successful transaction for my clients. True, the best transactions are win/win for both parties, but it doensn’t always go that way. It is imperative you know how to communicate effectively – not just with clients – but with other agents.
This is where educated and intuitive negotiating skills come in. Being able to accurately read a transaction ensures the best possible outcome for my clients. Lastly, my longevity in the marketplace pulls it all toghether.
Other than referrals, what is one unique way you have marketed your business that has worked successfully?
Direct mail marketing to homes surrounding the properties I list and sell, hosting client appreciation events, fundraising for local non-profits.
What advice do you give to first-time home buyers?
Do your homework! Interview your realtor to find the best fit with someone you feel will be the best advocate for your desires.
Get pre-approved with a lender. That way, when you find the house of your dreams, you’ll be ready to perform.
Take action: Remember, if you have to sleep on it, you may not be sleeping in it. Have your trusted realtor and lender lined up before you start shopping for a home.
Are there any business, real estate, or marketing books you would recommend?
Dale Carnegie’s “How To Win Friends and Influence People.”
What hobbies do you enjoy in your spare time?
Travelling, playing cards, reading both self help books and trash novels, creative writing and gardening.
What cities or areas do you focus on?
Portland Metro and surrounding areas. This is a client based business for me, not a geographical based business. I follow my clients.
What is the biggest challenge in being a realtor?
What most people don’t realize is that it is two distinct businesses: (1) providing realtor services to clients and (2) managing a real estate business. Being able to wear both hats successfully is the real challenge.
How many hours per week on average would you say you work?
It is hard to pinpoint an average in a market known for it’s peaks and valleys. During a peak, the phone is never off; during a valley, it may only ring once or twice in a day. Our current market has been at a peak for about 24 months.
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