Redmond’s Rick Smith honored as one of nation’s top realtors

Even in a strong economy, buying or selling a home is stressful. When the economy’s hurting, there’s greater pressure on everyone involved in the transaction, including realtors.

Even in a strong economy, buying or selling a home is stressful. When the economy’s hurting, there’s greater pressure on everyone involved in the transaction, including realtors.

Rick Smith of Redmond John L. Scott Real Estate knows that as well as, or better than, anyone in his profession. Smith was named one of the nation’s top 50 Realtors on the Rise in the August 2008 issue of RISMedia’s REAL ESTATE magazine and honored on Sept. 15 by a visit from John L. Scott chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott.

According to the magazine story, the common thread among this year’s Realtors on the Rise is “the fact that their ages are so extraordinarily different. From second careers to generations Y and X, this group is serious about the real estate industry … (and) the majority of our winners this year have entered the real estate space within the past 10 years.”

Smith began selling real estate in 2003, after more than 20 years in sales and marketing of musical equipment. That job required frequent travel and he was eager to spend more time with his family.

As the magazine noted, “Smith never looks at any situation as a failure, but instead as an opportunity to learn. … Having children in their 20s and parents in their 80s, Smith is comfortable with any generation. Young clients love that he can communicate with them as it relates to technology; he hears what their needs and wants truly are.”

Yet he also “uses the phone as much as e-mail and tries to create a bond with clients, so that they feel they can always reach out and touch him,” said REAL ESTATE magazine.

Mona Spencer, managing broker at Redmond John L. Scott, concurred. She nominated Smith for recognition because of his life experience, his business acumen and “the way that he treats people with the best service imaginable.”

Spencer explained, “Certain people just stand out. Rick’s always willing to share information. When he speaks, I take notes.”

Smith chuckled, “She calls them ‘Rick-isms.’”

Real estate’s a competitive field and justifiably so. For most people, their home is the biggest investment they’ll ever make. They want to choose wisely when hiring someone to sell their property or help them find the best property their money can buy.

We asked Smith what clients should demand from him or any reputable realtor.

He said they’re looking for, “someone they can believe in — references come a long way.”

And “every transaction is a journey you have to see through, from beginning to end. You must have total, complete trust (in a realtor) in this kind of market.”

Honesty is the best policy, Smith emphasized: “Some people only hear what they want to hear, but you need to be realistic in a realistic marketplace. Unrealistic pricing doesn’t sell.”

Although home prices are coming down, less here in Redmond than in some other areas, “we haven’t hit bottom yet,” Smith added. “But it’s always a long-term investment. The average person is in a home about seven years.”

Life changes, such as marriage, starting a family, death, divorce or loss of job, are what drive home buying and selling.

“It’s never an all-on or all-off thing,” said Smith, so realtors have to be ready to ride the waves and be sensitive to clients’ fortunes, good or bad.

Smith’s assistant, Lisa Minor, said she most admires that he “brings a level of humanity and amazing communication skills” to the job. “He’s so comfortable talking to people, he puts them at ease, even in difficult situations. … He has a great work ethic and stays with it until it’s done — he has tremendous perseverance.”

Redmond’s John L. Scott office is located at 16564 Cleveland St., Suite H.

To contact Smith, e-mail or call (425) 830-0067.