Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Legend of Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which one wins?” The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed.”

Many of our cover stories as children were “fed” the positive attitudes and beliefs that they could be anything they wanted when they grew up. For Margie Smith Dorrance of Salem, Illinois, her passion for excelling helped her become an award wining baton twirler and head drum majorette at her high school. When she graduated high school, she could have let the fact that most of the big colleges did not have female drum majorettes, (let alone females in their marching bands) curtail her twirling passion, but she would not let the nay sayers take away her dream. Margie would not give up and soon realized her dream when she became the head drum majorette for the UT Marching Longhorn Band!

Utilizing the same passion for excelling in everything she loves helped her establish an extremely successful real estate practice at Keller Williams Metropolitan. She is one of the most successful KW agents in Houston and one of the most admired KW agents in the country! Keller Williams International President and CEO, Mark Willis (the latest member of the REE Publisher’s Advisory Board) could not say enough good things about Margie. I know that you will enjoy her story.

Rene Salvatierra of urbanFINANCIAL most have grown up with the same positive reinforcement. Rene is a successful businessman in his own right with an incredible mortgage business and an even more incredible staff of loan officers and processors.
It has been a goal of mine to tell his story in the magazine. I have enjoyed working with all of them…you will too!

As always, good reading and good sales!

Success to You!

Steve Levine

p.s. Be sure and tell others about this blog. More to come.

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Margie Dorrance-Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan

“Excelling in the Things She Loves the Most” By Barbara R. Davis

Growing up in the small, Midwest town of Salem, Illinois did not afford many extracurricular activities for a young, energetic girl like Margie Dorrance. Fortunately, though, there was one activity available that she loved and became quite accomplished in – baton twirling. Margie began twirling in fourth grade when she was nine years old. She devoted her spare time to practicing because she loved it so much and as a result won many competitions. In addition, she succeeded in becoming the head drum majorette in senior high. Upon graduating from high school, Margie had originally planned to attend the University of Illinois or Northwestern University where her parents had attended school but at that time there were no girls in the band and also no girl twirlers. When Margie was accepted at the University of Illinois, her high school band director kept trying to dissuade her by telling her that she would miss being a drum majorette and that she should apply elsewhere.. Margie asked him, “Where would I go?” He immediately replied, “You need to go to the South!”

Ms. Dorra which she did. She had also planned to contact the University of Florida but when the University of Texas invited her to attend school there as the head drum majorette for the Marching Longhorn Texas Band and with a full scholarship, she immediately accepted, much to her mother’s chagrin. When Ms. Dorrance first arrived in Texas, she didn’t know a soul there but now considers Texas her home. Interestingly enough, there were no girls in the University of Texas’s band either. In fact, there were only two other girl twirlers in Margie’s freshman year so they always rode in the UT band director’s car because the male only band members changed their clothes in the busses

Both of Dorrance’s parents were in the field of education. Her mother, Margie Smith, taught music and her father, Clyde Smith, was a school principal. Margie’s mother insisted that she get a teaching certificate, so Ms. Dorrance got a double degree in Business Administration and Business Education.

Margie had never thought about getting into real estate but her friend, Daisy Kinard, was recruiting and wouldn’t leave her alone. She kept telling Margie, “Come on, come on, come on!” Finally, it was easier for her to just say yes.

So Margie got her license and truly thought that she would never do anything with it. The same year that she got her license was also the year that she was the Chairman for the Junior League Charity Ball. It was very much like having a full-time, year round job. One night, her husband “Bubba” and she were at dinner with some good friends and they proceeded to ask her what was going on in her life. Dorrance’s husband excitingly said, “You’re not going to believe what Margie’s doing now. She’s gotten a real estate license!” One of the friends then responded, “You know, I’ve got some friends moving to Houston in a couple of weeks. Could we give you a phone call?” Margie then said, “Sure,” but she never dreamed that she would ever hear from them.

Lo and behold, two weeks went by and sure enough they called her! They said, “These people are coming now. Could you take them out to look at a house?” Without even thinking much about it, Margie said sure again. The next thing she knew, the people were calling her, as they had arrived and were staying in a motel. They asked her to come and talk to them and so she did. She tried her best to ask questions that she thought were important in helping them to choose the right house such as what type of home did they want and what area did they want to be in, etc., etc. They gave her a few answers and she responded by saying, “Okay”. They then asked if Margie could pick them up the next day at nine o’clock. At that point, Ms. Dorrance thought to herself that this was probably not a very good idea and that she wasn’t being very fair to these folks. She confided to them by saying, “You know what? I think I need to tell you something first. Not only have I never sold a house, I’ve never even shown a house! In addition to that, I’ve never been to my office! Knowing that, if you want me to come tomorrow morning at nine o’clock, I’ll be there!” The lady then asked, “Do you know anything about Houston?” and Margie replied that she could honestly say yes. So the lady said, “I’m a real estate agent in South Carolina so we will probably do fine.”

Then for the next two days they looked at houses. At the end of the second day, Margie started thinking, “I don’t have a clue what they want and I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know what they like and I don’t think that this is ever going to work for me!” She then said to her clients, “Let me be honest. You know I don’t know much about this business. Do you want a townhouse? Do you want a house? Do you like this? Do you like that?” The client then responded, “Do you know what, Margie? You have been so honest with us. I think I need to be honest with you.” Margie then said, “Ooh, okay, that would be great!” The client then said, “You know, we have just gotten married.” Margie was surprised because they were around fifty years old. Then the client said, “I don’t have any idea what we would like, either!” Margie exclaimed, “Whew! That makes me feel better because I thought it was just me that was clueless!”

The next day they were out in a townhouse complex and passed by one that had a “for sale by owner” sign in front of it. Margie hoped they would not see the sign but of course they saw it and wanted to look at it, too. So she had to go knock on the door and all the time she was hoping that no one was home. Right off the bat, someone did answer the door and she said, “I have some folks who would like to look at your house. Would you mind letting me show it?” The man then replied, “Oh yes, come on in. I was going to list it next week, so I am happy to work with an agent.” To make a long story short, Margie’s clients wanted to buy that house and the entire transaction worked out so beautifully that Margie fell in love with the real estate business. To this day, Ms. Dorrance believes in always being up front and honest with a client and “telling it like it is”. It is her professionalism and integrity that have made her what she is today.

Having a college degree, Margie didn’t have to go to school for a real estate license. All she had to do at the time was “read the book and take the test” but it has always been in her nature to work hard at being the best she can be. Ms. Dorrance does so by taking continuing education classes at Champion’s School of Real Estate so that she can be the best at her “game”.

Margie began in real estate with Greentree Realty, and before long became one of the owners of the company. She remained with Greentree until she made the move to Keller Williams. Dorrance had never heard of Keller Williams but they were trying to open an inner loop office and a lady named Peggy Tuthill called Margie every week for months hoping to get her to join the newly forming office. As the years had gone by at Greentree Realty, the direction in everyone’s lives there had changed, too and that is why Ms. Dorrance was contemplating Tuthill’s offer. As Margie was considering the move, she asked if she were to join them, would she be able to bring anybody who wanted to come with her regardless of their production. The response was yes, they would be thrilled to have anyone she brought to become part of the Keller Williams team.

So Margie decided to join Keller Williams and a new chapter in her successful career began. Dorrance is proud that she was there at the beginning and recently wrote this testimonial for Keller Williams:

“As one of the original realtors who launched this Keller Williams market center, I was excited yet concerned about the unknown but now, nine years later, it is my pride and joy. The Keller Williams’ belief, culture, and outstanding leadership have given me the perfect platform for my business. The freedom to work at the level I choose, enjoying a balanced life, and being generously financially rewarded were goals of mine that have been and continue to be met. The education and training, the family atmosphere that is very diverse yet very united, and the desire and willingness to help each other succeed, allows each of us to bring the highest quality of service to our customers. We are a team, we have fun while we work, and we have fellowship with our Keller Williams family. We are led, not managed, and we are successful.”

Margie went on to say that Mark Willis, President & CEO of Keller Williams International is her guiding light. “It is a privilege and an honor to know and work with Mark. He inspires and motivates me. He guides and supports me and shows me leadership at its highest level. I value and appreciate being in the business with Mark and Keller Williams.”

Mark Willis has a mutual admiration for Ms. Dorrance and shared these glowing comments, “Margie Dorrance is a leader with vision. She was one of the first agents to join the KW Metropolitan market center which has grown to be one of the most successful KW offices in the nation and the most successful Keller Williams franchise in Houston. Without Margie, we would not be where we are today. She is a visionary. She is positive. She is a total team player. She’s the best. Her influence has made a significant contribution to where Keller Williams is today in the city of Houston!”

Margie is also very appreciative of the support she gets from the market center. “In the Metropolitan Office, the professional support offered by our team leader, Carol Peyton, and the entire staff along with the KW culture, provides all of the ingredients for a dynamic workplace.” Dorrance also feels fortunate that she can always get assistance at anytime from the co-op department when she needs help with the accompanied showing or an open house and the “mega agent assistant” who is available for typing, filing, or inputting computer data.

Margie works equally well with both buyers and sellers and enjoys helping them with their various needs. Satisfied clients, Rhonda and Alex Wyche had this to say, “We have bought and sold three houses with Margie and we would never go to any other agent as long as she is active in the business. She has the gift of making you feel that you are her most important client ever. She is the best kind of a “Steel Magnolia” – always gracious, always generous, and nobody’s fool!”

Going “above and beyond the call of duty” seems to be what Margie does best and John Sullivan, one of Dorrance’s appreciative customers gave this testimonial about her, “I am forever grateful for all of Margie’s kindness, consideration, perseverance, and help that she extended me in the sale of my home. Without a doubt, it was her expertise and hard work that made my hopes and desires become a reality. Knowing that my home was outside of the general area that she serves and also a great distance from her office made for countless difficulties for her and yet, against all odds, the final closing occurred less than two months after she listed my home.”

When asked about what advice she would give a new agent, she said, “It’s very important to have a positive attitude. You’ve got to make a choice and I always choose to be happy. Why would you choose to be miserable? Things happen, so just put it behind you and move on. In addition, it is important to go with a company like Keller Williams that recognizes that it is the agent who drives the business, not the company. Finally, as a new agent, you must have realistic expectations about compensation. You are going to spend money before you are going to make money and you need to have money put aside. At Keller Williams, we believe in outstanding training and education. Take advantage of all you can! Above all, have a good work ethic, give it 100+ per cent, and be honest!

Throughout her life, Ms. Dorrance has actively volunteered for many organizations in her spare time including her church, her children’s schools, and the Junior League.

Currently, she is serving as Vice Chair and is on the Executive Committee of the Houston Association of Realtors®. She also serves on the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of Realtors® and the National Association of Realtors®.

Margie loves working with such dynamic people as Bob Hale, the President and CEO of the Houston Association of Realtors® and says that she learns so much from Bob and the other leaders in the industry. Margie jokes about her “paying job” and her “non-paying job” but she feels that it so important to give back.

The Keller Williams Metropolitan office has adopted an elementary school, J. Will Jones, and Margie has served as a “homeroom mother” on numerous occasions. “We helped with crafts and games at a fall festival and at Christmas, we took cupcakes and toys. It’s not a whole lot, but if everyone does a little bit, it’s amazing!” A lot of children live in shelters and are in need of some tender, loving attention and positive role models. How lucky they are to have Margie…she sure fills the bill!

One of her newer projects is spreading the word to her fellow realtors about The Furniture Bank, adding value to buyers and sellers by helping them get rid of furniture that they no longer need and making it available to those who are in need.

Margie truly appreciates her husband, George “Bubba” Dorrance and feels very fortunate that he lets her do what she loves. “The lucky ones are the ones that can do what they want to do whether it’s work or not. I’m lucky he let’s me make that choice. It can be hard sometimes because my business does interfere on occasion with family time, and it always has, but my husband is very understanding. He is also very secure in who he is and doesn’t feel threatened in any way and is proud of my accomplishments!”

Ms. Dorrance and her husband are so very proud of their three children and two grandchildren. John, the oldest, is married to Pam and they have two boys, Austen and Justen. John is a mortgage broker and Margie is delighted that they get to work together on occasion. Jennifer teaches second grade at a private school in Houston. Jessica, the youngest, just completed a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is now working there.

Margie has always felt “at home” on a farm as her both of her grandparents had farms in the Midwest so it is no surprise that she spends the small amount of leisure time she has by going to her own farm just an hour’s drive from Houston near Bellville, Texas. Margie and her family plus their extended family and friends gather at the farm to celebrate the holidays or spend pleasant weekends just relaxing there.

The majority of Dorrance’s business is from referrals. She has clients that go back twenty-five to thirty years who are still loyal to her because of her passion for excellence. She has never been concerned about the price range of a house. She’s the first to tell you that, “It’s more about the client than the price. This is a business built upon relationships. You can’t be successful in real estate without buyers and sellers. In some cases, I have dealt with grandmothers, parents, children, and if a young family member needs a small condo, I want to be sure they receive the same quality of service and respect that I give my million dollar buyers and sellers.” She is devoted to her clients and she will do anything for them.

Keller Williams has approximately 2,600 agents in the Houston area and last year, Margie ranked #8 in individual total closed production. One year, she ranked #1. Margie is a top producer and true professional, holding the prestigious CRS designation and consistently delivering solid, factual information to help her customers make good decisions. Though Margie can’t remember who to credit for this quote, it is one of her favorites, “Today’s success isn’t about what you have achieved in the past; it is about your capacity to learn and grow in the future.”

It looks like Margie plans to continue doing what she does, doing it well, and excelling in the things she loves the most.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Have You Got a Plan for, and Visualization of, Your 2007 Goals?

A new year in real estate often means taking a fresh look at our business and ourselves. Whether 2006 was your best year ever or not as good as you wished, it is time to determine exactly where you want to be next year at this time and exactly what is going to get you there.

If you were going to plan a cross country trip by car, you would first start with a road map to determine the best route between your starting point and your final destination. You would also set goals for each days travel. Well, arriving at a new destination in your business requires a “map” as well and goals to get you there. Your map is your business plan for the year.

Our own Rita Santamaria of Champions School of Real Estate has an excellent article in the issue entitled, “What is YOUR Business Model Plan for 2007?” Rita shares with us some terrific advice on exactly what to consider for this year’s business plan. Rita would certainly know, as she has helped more aspiring top producers in Texas get to their goals and dreams than any other educator!

In the “Winners Circle,” three-time Olympian Ruben Gonzalez shares with us a technique that every champion uses…visualization. In his words, “Visualization helps you develop the intense belief in yourself that you’ll need to take consistent and persistent action on your goals and aspirations”.

But, having a plan and visualizing your goal will not happen without the work ethic needed and the determination to see it through.

This month’s cover honoree, Vicki Barazandeh of Karpas Properties, could not agree more. Here is what Vicki counsels new agents at Karpas, “There must be a plan of action, goals, and follow through. Work ethics also mean being honest with yourself and your clients, and most importantly obtaining the required education and training!”

By the way, Vicki’s mentors at Karpas Properties, Hedley Karpas (President) and Dovie Morgan (VP/Broker) are both former REE cover stories themselves. Hedley was on our April 2002 cover (our “Premier Issue”) and Dovie was on our October 2003 cover!

I have enjoyed working with Hedley and Dovie again on this issue.

Well, it is time to let you get started on the great information in this issue and on your 2007 goals!

As always, good reading and good sales!

Success to You!

Steve Levine

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Vicki Barazandeh-Karpas Properties

An Outstanding Agent at the Head of Her Class
By Woodie Stephenson

Vicki Barazandeh, a Top Producer with Houston’s renowned Karpas Properties, is as humble and as graceful as they come. With 15 years of experience in the real estate industry the broker associate has prided herself in acquiring the education required to become a top producer among the likes of her experienced and prominent peers.

“Education is not a luxury, it’s a necessity right after food, shelter and love, without it one cannot really survive, one becomes stagnant and eventually fades away to nonexistence,” Vicki says.

These powerful words were inculcated into Vicki’s own personal philosophy through her family’s influence on her starting at a young age. Raised in Tehan, Iran, she learned early on the doors that education could open for her. Iran, a peaceful monarch during her childhood, offered Vicki an early model of what life in America would hold for her.

“I come from an educated family who instilled in me the value of education,” Vicki, the oldest of her siblings, says, “They instilled in me the knowledge that education is power and wealth of the mind and soul.”

Coming from a supportive and education-oriented family background, Vicki aspired to share her passion for education with others by attaining a Primary Education Certificate. Fresh out of college, Vicki first got her feet wet in the education field teaching elementary school students in the Katy school district. With a passion to educate the young minds of tomorrow, the ambitious teacher founded a Nationally Accredited North-West Houston school that would soon boast two locations and a budding student body.

As the well-established proprietor of not one, but two schools, Vicki had first been introduced to the real estate industry through her husband Ray, an architect and industry home builder. Seeing wisdom and experience in each other’s eyes, the passionate young couple had married quickly in a ceremony that took place within a month of meeting each other. Vicki’s first interactions in real estate came not after her graduation from real estate school, but by helping her friends find their dream homes.

Real estate was made for me to do,” Vicki says. “I get a natural high each time that I can bring a buyer and seller together to reach a deal that leaves them both happy.”

Making people happy seems to be an innate quality that Vicki has always been blessed with— if there is one thing that she is most passionate about, it is definitely people. She remembers fondly at a young age reading the Diary of Anne Frank and taking to heart a philosophy about people that would stick with her forever.

“Anne Frank believed that it’s up to us to find the goodness in others and that there is goodness in everyone,” the self proclaimed people-lover says. “This philosophy is great when you’re dealing with so many different people on a daily basis such as cooperating with other agents and when there are challenging issues involved.”

Upon graduating from Champion’s School of Real Estate, Vicki joined the team at John Daugherty, a Realtor boutique office. Eager to see her begin making real estate transactions, Vicki’s sales manager encouraged her to announce her Realtor status to her friends and family in hopes that she might attract some immediate business. However, feeling uncomfortable with her manager’s request, Vicki felt that she needed more education and experience before directly handling her friends’ business. While many of her peers in the real estate industry relied on mass marketing in order to attract business, Vicki knew she needed to acquire the knowledge and experience necessary to become the best for her clients.

“Knowledge is power,” Vicki says. “All the builders and buyers I work with always seek me out.”

Persistence and education would soon pay off for the rookie agent in the form of her first transaction. After an exasperating 24 offers, Vicki was able to make the right deal for her client and boast her first successful sale. “It was a learning curve for me,” Vicki remembers of her first transaction. “Despite the disappointments that came, I never got discouraged.”

Although Vicki was able to find success early in her first two years with John Doherty, most of her fellow agents were long established leaving the ambitious young agent desiring to become part of a team where she could contribute to the growth of an office. She soon found that opportunity for growth at an emerging Karpas Properties. Headed by Houston real estate guru Hedley Karpas, Vicki’s new workplace offered an exciting environment ripe for growth and collaboration.

“When I spoke to Hedley about joining the Karpas Team, I liked the idea of being part of a really important growth,” Vicki remembers.

By utilizing her strong background in education, Vicki, who has always sought out training inside and outside the office, was able to establish and implement a training and education program at Karpas to benefit her and fellow agents prior to the addition of Karpas’ Dovie Morgan). Not only was Vicki able to educate others, but she was also able to educate herself through observing her new partners at Karpas. Vicki was also able to find in them traits that she admired and wished to instill in her own business philosophy. Although she has been able to learn much from fellow agents Hedley Karpas and Dovie Morgan, for Vicki her greatest mentor and teacher has always been at home.

Vicki’s husband, Ray, the founder of Houston builder and architecture firm, Novatecture Design Group and Park Ridge Developments, has always been Vicki’s strongest business model. Being married to an industry builder has allowed Vicki to learn the most about what creates the best customer service.

“My husband is a very well liked and respected businessman, and I think this is directly related to his philosophy that the customer is always right,” Vicki says. “He taught me not to be afraid of negative criticism and to welcome it with open arms so that you can immediately put changes into motion. He also believes that there are customer service issues with any and all businesses; however, what sets one business apart from another is how they approach and resolve these issues.”

Armed with the knowledge to serve her clients and 6 years of experience at Karpas Properties, Vicki is now proud to serve such distinct areas of Houston including Memorial Park, Memorial Villages, Bellaire, West University, Museum District, Heights, Uptown, Midtown, Downtown and the Galleria. Vicki’s consistent efforts to educate her clients concerning the potential of these areas has built lasting relationships and has resulted in landing her in a unique bracket as a Karpas Top Producer. This year, the proclaimed Top Producer is on track to reach 30 transactions which have been known to range anywhere between $80 thousand and $3 million.

Vicki’s mentor and friend Hedley Karpas is always the first to recognize the qualities that set her apart from other agents and make her a Top Producer at Karpas Properties.

“In my career I have met many wonderful Realtors. You often hear of Realtors going above and beyond the call of duty, but Vicki Barazandeh lives and practice’s going above and beyond,” Hedley says. “Not only does Vicki make sure that she communicates with all of her clients on a regular basis, but Vicki also employs a decorator who will make recommendations as to what needs to be done to ensure the property is presented in the best possible manor. Vicki has been a consistent top producer and Karpas Properties and is a valued member of the Karpas Properties team.”

Dovie Morgan, Vice President of Residential Sales for Karpas Properties, believes that four major factors set Vicki apart from other agents and make her a natural leader.

“Vicki is a true leader in our office; the things that set her apart include her creative marketing ideas for her clients, her willingness to go the extra mile for them, her commitment to education, and her appreciation of the contributions of her staff to her success,” says Dovie Morgan,

In marketing herself Vick has embraced technology by setting up her own personal website and using many online resources. Although these tools have been successful, it is no secret to those around her that Vicki’s best marketing tool has always been her reputation—after all, most of her new business comes through the referrals of delighted clients who feel they were fortunate to have done business with her.

“I must thank Vicki for handling the sale of my home,” says client Roy Murphy. “I have never in my 60 years heard of or worked with a Realtor as effective as Vicki. Her competency, professionalism, integrity, and sensitivity to the necessary subtleties in real estate transactions can only be equaled, but never surpassed. I will look foreword to my next home purchase with much greater confidence knowing that she will be my Realtor.”

Clients John P and Diane Kirk were most impressed by the professionalism Vicki exhibited and by the personal touches she used in her strategy to sell their home in record time.

“From the first moment we spoke Vicki listened carefully to our goals for selling our home. She arrived with a professional, complete marketing strategy,” the couple says. “In addition, she provided the arrangement of furnishings and art in our home to ensure it showed to maximum advantage and she carefully laid out photos that appeared on the web. The strategy paid off in the form of an accepted contract on our home in one week, whereas other similar homes had been on the market as long as 6 months! Vicki's service did not stop there—every step of the inspections, title company requirements, and other paperwork were monitored closely by her, and she made our part of the job easy. She is absolutely tops in our book!”

Vicki’s consistent efforts in customer service have attracted a long list of the industry’s superlative home builder including the likes of Northgate Custom Homes, Rosewood Development, Waterford Custom Homes, Buttler Brothers, Novatecture Design Group, and Park Ridge Developments. Ohad Yannay, CEO of Northgate Custom Homes, admires Vicki’s professionalism and principles and has utilized her abilities by using her as one of the exclusive listing agents of his new homes.

“Vicki is one of the best Realtors, if not the best Realtor that I have ever had the pleasure to work with,” Yannay says. “Her true caring persona, attention to detail, unique ability to communicate with buyers and sellers, and, not to mention, her professional demeanor are only surpassed by her actions—actions that can simply be labeled honest and ethical. It has been a true honor for me to have had the opportunity to work with her and I am looking forward to many more transactions.”

In marketing a home, Vicki believes strongly in first impression. Vicki employs an interior decorator to relieve the home’s space of clutter and add the necessary touches to increase the property’s appeal, thus allowing her to exceed her client’s expectations time and time again.

Another major factor that Vicki considers in order to provide her client’s with the utmost in customer service has always been availability. She often takes time out of her family life with her husband Ray and her 17-year old daughter Atessa to take calls from her clients at virtually any hour. But Vicki appreciates her family’s patience immensely and is the first to recognize their understanding.

“That’s one thing that definitely makes me special and unique,” she says. “When I receive a call on a property I know that the time right after the call is the most critical because a potential client’s interest is the highest.”

On her off time, Vicki serves as secretary on the board for the Society of Iranian-American Women for Education, where she helps others to acquire their educational dreams so they too can be afforded the opportunities she has been blessed with. She also volunteers as a validator for the National Association for the Education of Young Children, visiting schools in Texas and other states which are seeking National Accreditation.

Vicki was extremely excited this past year to be the chair of Karpas’ annual charity golf tournament, where she helped to raise a record $70 thousand for the Baylor College of Medicine. Vicki remembers being so inundated with the tournament that she basically made it her full-time job for an entire 3 months!

“It was an overwhelming task for me,” Vicki remembers. “Most of my worries and anxiety came from the fact that I wanted it to be successful, but when I was doing my hardest and giving 200% I did not have to be afraid— I knew that everything would work out.”

The things that Vicki is most passionate about, besides work, are her family and traveling. She enjoys when the two come together so she can experience different cultures and immerse herself in them with her husband and daughter. She considers herself fortunate to have taken the time with her family to have visited Italy several times in the past. The travel enthusiast hopes in the future to take her family with her to see Japan and Australia. “Vacationing is the one pleasure in my life I really enjoy,” the diligent agent says, “Although I feel guilty going on vacation with all the work I have.” Vicki also enjoys art, and tennis which can serve as a relaxing release from her challenging schedule.

Whenever asked what her biggest career achievement to date has been, the humble agent responds that she “hasn’t reached it yet.” Although she feels that she hasn’t reached her ultimate goal, Vicki recently received her Broker’s license. In the future, she hopes to receive a specialized license to help senior citizens with the purchase of homes.

“I have always had a special place in my heart for senior citizens as far as I can remember,” she says. “Perhaps, it’s because my grandmother was so instrumental in my life, or perhaps because I come from an upbringing where elders have the utmost respect because their life-experiences equal wisdom.”

Vicki has plenty of advice for new agents and always enjoys taking the time out of her hectic schedule to help educate them through the training program she implemented at Karpas. She advises agents to be consistent, use their extra time to their advantage, and to learn the virtues of stamina and patience.

It’s no surprise that the ambitious self-proclaimed “professional student” never wants to stop learning to improve herself and her business in the future. Vicki even has the aspiration to work towards a future MBA as a real estate attorney.

“When you truly work hard and efficiently, thing will happen,” she says. “Working hard does not equate to showing up at the office. There must be a plan of action, goals, and follow through. Work ethics also mean being honest with yourself and your clients, and most importantly obtaining the required education and training to be an educated professional. It’s important to remember that the mandatory continuing education required by TREC is only the minimum education and training required. If you want to deliver above minimum service to your clients, you must exceed the minimum education and training.”

Education and diligence are Vicki Barazandeh’s calling card and the reason for her outstanding success. By utilizing these strong attributes one can easily recognize why she’s at the “Head of Her Class.”

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