Listen to Episode 22: Danielle LaBar’s Interview
“For my office I look for a potential realtor who will be a team player, is self-assured, and is a go-getter.”
Welcome back to Agents Unfiltered! Today is our final interview where we are interviewing each other in depth. Today we are interviewing our fearless leader Danielle LaBar, the best boss there is!
What is your biggest failure in the business?
I don’t look at a lot of things as failures, but as course correction. Ok well that didn’t work out how I wanted it to, but there is a way to salvage it. I don’t want to sit so long making a decision that I don’t actually go for it.
Thinking of my biggest failure is really tough because I am constantly learning and growing. I think for me something I wish I would have done sooner is really digging into my potential sooner because it is so easy to get distracted and not be consistent and I wish I would have done things like have a mentor sooner to help increase my trajectory earlier.
When do you think you honed in on that change?
I don’t know because I feel like it has been a set of events, not one specific period of time. Probably after I had my kid and was 9 years in the business, I wanted to grow well and not totally sell but also manage and train. Before I had my oldest I would be so stressed out about individual clients and couldn’t turn my brain off. After her I had a little human and I refused to let work stress me out like it used to because I could see the bigger picture and that put me in a different direction than I had been.
What personality traits are helpful for real estate agents?
As a managing broker I look for potential agents that don’t talk back… just kidding. As I interview more people it is becoming more clear. It is different from office to office, but for my office I want a team player, feeling self-assured (even if you’re not self-assured in real estate, but being grounded), and being a go-getter (some internal self drive). I can help increase the self drive but can’t make someone have that. Also being social. It is easy even for us who are social to get burnt out, but you have to be social in order to get recognized. A lot of other things can be taught. Those would be the core traits to be set up well in the field. Everyone has fields they are suited for and if you want to be a successful realtor, these are great traits to have.
Between Cassie and I, what’s something we have grown in and what do we need to hone in on?
Cassie – your self-assuredness, knowing who you are and making no apologies for it. I feel like you are much better at setting strict boundaries.
Ali – learning how to deal with people and say no and explain the realty of the situation. Being younger and dealing with older clients (especially men) you have to show people you know what you are talking about and not push you around and you have done great at that.
In general, being more consistent (this applies for everyone). I will be amazing at social media for a month or two and then just drop off so the habits is a place we can continue to grow and be better at.
I don’t know Ali because I feel you are me 10 years ago. My dad was telling me yesterday “you’ve grown a lot especially with how blunt you used to be”. There is definitely less sharp ways to say things. Cassie, yours is the flip of Ali’s, you need to put on your sassy pants sometimes.
(Cassie) That is very true, I have to make some phone calls today and be very direct and I really don’t want to. (Ali) And I will be direct and stick with hard clients through the uncomfortable and I like that about myself, but sometimes I can be a bit of a dick and I need to reel it back in.
(Danielle) It is hard for me to be direct for myself, but if I am fighting for an agent I will be so good at telling someone what is right and wrong.
Danielle what is your origin story as a realtor?
My ex’s mom is a realtor and we were living in New York and I was working for a time share firm and people had to get their realtor license to sell time shares, but I was on the marketing side. And she had done it and she said I think you would really like it so I said okay great I will try it! I got my license and didn’t do much in New York, but then I moved to South Carolina and slowly did more work and then moved to Seattle and that is when I got a mentor and moved into residential and it really took off. If I wouldn’t have had a mentor I wouldn’t have stuck with it especially during the recession, but as I stuck with it I had a personality for it and really liked setting my own schedule and not having anyone else as my boss so it was great and I kept doing it. I was 21 when I started and it was really hard because no one my age was buying real estate so I feel like people thought WTH are you doing? But it really set me up because when I did have people around me buying homes, I knew what I was doing and I was an obvious choice as their realtor.
What did your mentor teach you the most? Resilience because of the state of the economy or what?
He was in new construction so that was a niche I could develop early on and there isn’t a lot of agents that do that so it set me up well. I was his minion, but I learned so much. I did all the advertising, open houses, as well as the selling. He helped pay for it, but used me to help him and it was great. He also got me to be super direct with hard people and it was great and that gained me a lot of confidence. He saw I could do it and so I believed I could do it.
How do you find a mentor if you’re new in the business?
Chat with all the agents. Mine I got through other people. I think my ex’s mom helped me connect with him because he was looking for an assistant. But really get to know agents who have been in the business for a while. I really carried that on when I moved back to Spokane. I would always answer peoples’ questions because that is what people did for me. But if you don’t ask or seek it out, you won’t find it. People want to see you do well. Some people like seeing the younger generation succeed. We are competition, but we are all working together as well.
What are your 5 favorite and least favorite things?
- Watching my kids become their own people
- Crystals or astrology, that whole sphere – my front room in my house makes me happy
- I have expensive taste unintentionally, I want QUALITY (but don’t care about the name)
- Listening to people chew – it makes me angry
- Mean people
- Taste of licorice
- People that can’t drive/ road-ragey drivers, be considerate
Your greatest accomplishment in life?
TBD on my kids. Can’t say until I raise them fully. I saw this thing on parenting advice and it said “I have seen your kids, don’t give advice.”
Something you’re really proud of?
Life is continued growth so that is really hard. I am proud of the community I have. I think I could do anything and be anywhere if I still had the community that I have.
Tell me your most embarrassing middle school story?
Ali – I purposely tripped and fell to talk to someone and he said “why did you fake fall on me?”
Cassie – I was so clumsy. We were doing a piñata and it hit me and I got a big fat bruise.
Danielle – When we first moved to Spokane in 6th grade my style was so different (very East Coast with skirts and leggings), but I also had an accent and I remember my teacher said why don’t you get up and introduce yourself. I didn’t want to say anything and this one girl said “I can’t understand a thing you are saying” and I was mortified.
Cassie – oh I know mine! I tried my hand at softball and our coach was trying to give us a pep-talk and he said “even if you’re slow like Cassie she pushes so hard to get to the next base…” I don’t know if everyone heard it like I did, but now when I run with people I just joke about my short little legs. I picture myself like pooh bear running. I have a waddle when I run. I was so wrecked after that, I didn’t do sports after that. I don’t think he meant it as an insult, but all I heard was you are the slowest on the team.
Okay well that is all we have for you! If you want to listen to Cassie and Ali’s interviews they are episodes 19 and 21. BYE!
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ABOUT US -🎙 Agents Unfiltered is a podcast with the goal of connecting and building community between realtors nationwide. Get ready for some relatable and relevant information about “The Do’s, the Don’ts & the What The Fuck’s of Real Estate.”