The Seattle Real Estate Divas were founded during the chaos of the great recession. And chaos it was. In this blog, we are going to revisit the Seattle Real Estate Divas founders’ story and talk about our bold new vision moving into the roaring 2020s to take over the Seattle market and forge a path for progressive REALTORS to make change in our industry.
Let’s be honest. We started during the Great Recession, and times like that create resilience within you. Right now, people are waking up to our democracy being imperiled and bought out by the extremely wealthy. Same chaos different game, ut this time we are dealing with more seasoned Divas.
At the dawn of 2020, the Seattle Real Estate Divas sense a similar optimism and uncertainty. Are we going to war? Will the President get away with well-documented misuse of power? Will a newly awakened wave of protest demand and preserve representation for all, not just the very rich? Conversations about race, misogyny, and equity are just breaking the surface. Will we be in a world that represents Divaland or Trump-land?
The Real Estate Divas are here, we are queer, and we are coming to slay. After all, to quote our favorite Diva Beyonce, “A Diva is just a female version of a hustla.”
Hold tight, clutch your pearls, bust down Thotiana, and watch us make our money moves
Seattle Real Estate Divas Founder’s Story
Over the last ten years, we have grown used to functioning on the outside of the traditional real estate cultural norm, and proving that you can still be extremely financially successful and influential politically. Back in the day, we were dealing with an industry that was constantly telling us that our use of social media will not work, that you cannot be profitable with a diverse team, and that you cannot mix politics with real estate because you will disenfranchise your sphere. Give it a second or two, and you’ll see the industry is now trying to catch up to our bold path cause haters are going to hate.
Read the whole Seattle Real Estate Divas’s origin story in Kim’s 20th Anniversary of Being in Real Estate blog to get a feel for how this all came about. Below is a quick snippet from the blog that dives into so much of what we have accomplished.
Kim had been working independently for years and doing really good work. Then she finally hired her first team member Leigh Miller. With Leigh’s help, she got her first Seattle Magazine‘s 5-Star agent award. Leigh went into academia, her wife Chavi quit her job, and the recession hit. Kim took what she learned about building a community from the early days and revolutionized it with her wife Chavi to sell houses in the recession. And it worked. Local real estate heroes Linda Aaron and Debra Trappen started passing Team Diva’s name around as examples of the next generation of agents and suddenly power players like Sean Carpenter took notice. Sean hosted Seattle REALTOR Kim at an event in Ohio. A little bit after Katie Lance put the Divas on the mainstage at a local Agent Reboot.
Bold Vision and Taking Risks Have Resulted in Many Awards for the Seattle Real Estate Divas
The Seattle Real Estate Divas’ marketing and thought processes around teams have blossomed and born fruit in our first decade, and this has been recognized by the industry. Kim first made Inman’s Top 100 in 2013 for our stellar marketing strategy. The following year, she made Choice Home Warranty’s list for Top 15 agents in Washington State. Throughout 2015 and 2016 the Seattle Real Estate Divas focused on cultivating their team and receive an Innovator Awards from Inman in 2017.
Never ones to rest on their laurels the Divas dug deep again and their new Buyer Page that once again won another Inman Innovator Award in 2019. Seattle Real Estate Divas were also named to the Social Squad at Coldwell Banker’s GenBlue several years in a row. They have also served as an Inman Ambassador. But their all-time favorite speaking gig is their annual trip to Genuine Hustle founded by friend Stacie Staub.
Currently, Team Diva is in the top 8% of all teams at Coldwell Banker nationally, they are also ranked 49th by volume in the state of Washington by REAL Trends, and just received recognition as the top LGBTQ Real Estate Team in Seattle by NAGLREP. So you could say the Seattle Real Estate Divas are “Killing It.”
Ten Bold Diva Visions To Change the Dynamic of Real Estate At the Dawn of a New Decade
Bold visions are not born overnight. They are influenced by people who are deeply involved in race and equity issues. Or by strong women who own independent real estate companies. It is influenced by suddenly being parents to a teenager when they never planned on being queer parents. And most importantly, it is influenced by our amazing Diva Dwellers who constantly show us what you can do for your community.
The Seattle Real Estate Divas have been working on this plan since last Summer. And they now have what they need to start the implementation process. Let’s do this!
10 Bold Goals and Visions for the Seattle Real Estate Divas
Bold Vision One: Diva Dwellers Are the Reason for the Season
More Intimate Localized Events With Our Diva Dwellers
Our Divaland has grown. Back in the day, we use to all fit into Retail Therapy. And now we are busting the seams at Oola and 21 Degrees. We miss being able to have more intimate conversations with our Diva Dwellers. We miss seeing their houses. We miss seeing their kids grow up. And we LOVE making political waves with all of you.
Look for an invite soon as we rotate different neighborhoods for group events, call you for dinner, and invite you to do a political postcard writing campaign with us.
Bold Vision Two: More Homeowners of Color in America
Develop and Support Implicit Bias Training for Our Real Estate Industry
Back in November, Newsday did a massive study of Realtors doing awful racist things to home buyers and sellers of color in Long Island. The issue is not isolated to New York state. It is an epidemic that infiltrates every part of the work we do.
The industry keeps acting like someone else will take a leadership role on this issue. And nothing has happened except for a few pockets here and there. So the Divas have decided to develop an online training program for brokerages across the nation.
Bold Vision Three: Smart Homebuyers Are Better Community Members
Implement an Online Master Homebuyer Class That Helps Seattle Homebuyers Make Smart Choices
Over the last year, we completed hours of video work, wrote over 30 blogs, and combined it all into one amazing Home Buyer page. Basically everything someone needs to know about the home buying process is written out in detail and we made a video for the step as well. It took a ton of work. And now we are reading to launch the program.
Naturally, we always prefer it when our Diva Dwellers want to sit down and have a bigger conversation with us before diving in. But we know you are busy. So let’s get you started right.
Bold Vision Four: Change What the Industry Expects in Home Listing Marketing
Hone a Top-Tier Marketing Program for Seattle’s Smart Home Sellers
The Divas consistently do more marketing than the average real estate broker in our Seattle market. Just very few people know what we do. We know a change in the market is coming. Our goal is to have a plan in place for unique homes, homes that have magic but are not the obvious best-of-show homes on the local block.
We’ll do it through spectacular videos, printed marketing that makes you want to take the flyer home, silent talkers inside the home that further articulate that magic, and an online marketing program that makes the home sell faster than its neighbors.
Bold Vision Five: Home Sellers Have the Tools They Need to Maximize The Value in Their Home
Create a Very Detailed Online Masterclass to Help Seattle Home Sellers Prepare Their Home for the Market
A lot of home sellers are cashing in on their home equity and doing some bold home renovations. Spending $200,000 renovating a condo is good if you plan on living in the space for a long time, but tougher to make the money back if you plan on selling the home soon. Spending $900,000 on adding a second floor to your home makes no sense when the home you want is down the street and on the market for $1,100,000.
All of these are true Diva Dweller stories we have encountered. So we are creating content to help Seattle Home sellers make the smart choice while preparing their home for the market.
Bold Vision Six: New People to Seattle Can Be Part of Our Larger Community
Create a Comprehensive Relocation Program for Folks Moving to Seattle
There is a big disconnect between newcomers to Seattle and those who are feeling the pressures of gentrification. How do these newcomers know which neighborhood is right for them? And once they are in an awesome Seattle neighborhood… how to not be that white person calling the police when there are a bunch of kids hanging out on the corner doing their thing.
We want to make it easier for newcomers to be part of the community, know where to live, and the things that are awesome about their new neighborhood. And from there the Diva Dweller community can continue to blossom.
Bold Vision Seven: Homeowners Know How to Care For Their Homes
Create and Implement a Home Renovation and Maintenance Class Series for Seattle Homeowners
Most of us live really far from our parents and grandparents. Few of us are naturally drawn to home maintenance activities. During the recent rainstorms over Christmas, we were stunned by how many of our clients were impacted. In addition, we get a steady flow of questions from our Diva Dwellers about what to do to their homes, asking for referrals for contractors, and how to go about updating one’s home.
We are partnering with a Design/Build company to do a series of workshops on home renovations and maintenance for one’s home.
Bold Vision Eight: The Next Generation of Real Estate Agents Are Ethical and Savvy Practitioners of Their Craft
Create and Start a Weekly Live New Agent Training Program
The training many new agents receive is based on the real estate practices from the 90s and early 2000s. Times and technology has changed. In addition, very few agents receive any decent training about working with homebuyers and sellers from different cultures, ethnicities, etc… And if you are a brand new agent who is African American, “door knocking” is not safe.
New agents need to have the knowledge and skills to make sure they launch themselves into this career with skills. Furthermore, they need to be taught to be aware of their own biases and how they impact people.
Bold Vision Nine: Level Up Training for Existing Agents Changes How the Industry Approaches Their Work
Develop a Level Up Training Program for Agents Who Have Been In The Industry For 5+ Years
The majority of brokerages are focused on new agent training and are completely missing the boat on existing agents. As a result, when a new company comes to town offering X, Y, or Z mid-range agents take the opportunity. And why not. This job has a high burnout factor, it is hard, and often we can lose our “why” in the process. Once you become one of the 10% who survives their first two years what do you do next to build a healthy career?
Our team needs this training. Agents we know need this training. And no one is developing this training.
Bold Vision Ten: Progressive Realtors Make Change in Our Industry
Develop Paths for Progressive Realtors to Have a Voice in Our Industry
We are done waiting for the National Association of REALTORS to offer us a voice at the table. And at that moment we realized that we have been trained to be compliant with a trade organization that does not represent our values. In the last couple of years, we have also learned that what seems obvious to two former political organizers is painful work for those who have played nice in a corporate environment.
The way forward is by doing the bold political work, empowering our like-minded Realtors, and giving them skill sets to be leaders in their own communities. Women make up over 56% of the real estate practitioners yet they have very little say in how our industry is actually managed. Time to snatch back our power.
Ten years ago we created a business and a team when others couldn’t envision a way out of the recession. And now we are in the midst of creating a bold way for agents to approach their business, be good advocates for their clients, and their political life while others worry about the upcoming recession.
– Kim and Chavi
Founders Team Diva Partners, LLC