Richard Schalij

It took several days to reach Realtor Richard Schalij for an interview. But just like anything worthwhile, our conversation was very much worth the wait. Schalij is at once disarming and engaging, a natural story-teller with no discernable pretense, content to shift the spotlight to others. By the time our interview is over, I feel well-acquainted with his extraordinary parents and his childhood spent sailing on the Hudson and exploring Europe’s art world. Schalij is one of a kind.

When pressed, Schalij describes himself as genuine and an outside-of-the-box thinker. “I’m very much myself with buyers and I think they appreciate that,” he said. “And I’m always trying to bring options to my clients. If they’re looking at a particular neighborhood, I will always mention other areas they may not be aware of, perhaps something that’s off their radar. I try to think of what it would be like for them living there, their wants and needs.”

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Bates_Michael_Enhanced

Realtor Mike Bates is known as the ‘Turn-Around Guy.’ From restoring old homes and automobiles, to making an unsellable home into a top-dollar sale, nothing, it seems, is immune to his magic. He has built his career around selling difficult-to-sell listings. Just recently, Bates took a $3 million home that had been on the market for 255 days. He sold it in six weeks.

What’s his secret?

“It’s a combination of the basics,” he said. “Getting houses light, bright, open, smelling good. And priced well.” Not to mention, Bates pours his personal attention into each sale. “I do. I detail every house.”

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Drew Colon and Jacob Moss helm ModTown Realty.

Drew Colon comes out of the gate running. Answers ready, he requires little time to think. He’s boisterous and commanding. Jacob Moss, on the other hand, prefers to mull things over before settling on a reply. His manner is easy and jocular. So it’s not surprising when they describe their business relationship in terms of a marriage. They are each other’s perfect foil.

“We balance each other out,” said Moss. “We both know our roles, which makes our partnership gel a lot more than most.”

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East Dallas MLS Broker Bake Off chair Christina Dewbre shows off a confection as emcee Kevin Caskey holds the live auction.

When the committee that puts together the East Dallas MLS’ Broker Bake Off (an annual Texas Association of Realtors PAC fundraiser and sweet event), they batted around a few themes before someone suggested a riff off of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s epic 90s ballad — “I Like Big Bundts And I Cannot Lie: Music Through The Ages.”

Naturally, said event chair Alyssa O’Brien Ramsey, it was an instant favorite.

Brokerages were tasked with creating confections that spoke to pop music’s biggest moments, and they did a bang-up job. In all, the Broker Bake Off managed to rake in some serious dough for the Texas Association of Realtors Political Action Committee to the tune of $15,800.

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With a background in architectural design, Golnar helps clients find better living through well-designed spaces.

With a background in architectural design, Golnar Ghezelbash helps clients find better living through well-designed spaces.

Not everyone can see a property for what it is. Even fewer can see it for what it could be. But Realtor Golnar Ghezelbash is one of the gifted. Through her unique vision, she helps clients find better living through well-designed spaces.

While Golnar’s talent may be exceptional, her story sounds all too unfamiliar. When the pull of a demanding career and a busy home life lead the architectural designer to crave a better balance, she decided on a career change. “Being an integral part of projects in architecture is rewarding, but demanding,” she said. “I wanted flexibility, variety, and less stress. I wanted to be able to spend more time with my kids and be present for them.”

So after 15 years, Golnar left behind the glitz of high-end hospitality and mixed-use projects. After spending several years investing in real estate industry, she now lends her expert eye for design to the team at David Griffin & Company Realtors.

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Pam and Norm Robbins with daughter Ashley Robbins Gonzales

Pam and Norm Robbins, with daughter Ashley Robbins Gonzales

Pam Robbins was the first Realtor in the family, beginning her career 32 years ago. Ashley Robbins Gonzales, her daughter, was 10 at the time. After Ashley married in 2000, she decided to give real estate a try, too. As luck would have it, their talents made them a formidable team. With Pam as the people person and Ashley as the tech whiz, they discovered soon how much of a good match they are.

But there was a piece of the puzzle missing. After a long career at the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and later in community relations at Lockheed Martin, Norm Robbins, Pam’s husband and Ashley’s dad, had the vast network that would make this family affair take off.

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The Key Team: Julie Haymann and Lauren Savariego

The Key Team: Julie Haymann and Lauren Savariego

When it’s done right, business can be personal. Very personal.

Just ask Julie Haymann and Lauren Savariego. As young mothers determined to succeed at balanced home and professional lives, the Virginia Cook Realtors formed The Key Team to share the responsibilities of growing real estate careers. What started with a chance meeting over a decade ago has grown into a dynamic business partnership and a dedicated friendship. It’s a partnership that Julie and Lauren describe as more of a sisterhood.

“It didn’t start off this way,” Julie said. “But over the course of the past 10 years of working together, our relationship is more like sisters. We work out together, we socialize together and we work together.  We probably call each other like 15 times a day.”

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Training Room KW

That’s a lot of seats, but I’m told each and every one will be filled up in Flower Mound when I spend a few hours chatting at the KW Office Kickoff Meeting that will be held at KW’s Flower Mound home on January 12th, this Thursday. 

Pam Cottrell

Pam Cottrell

Team leaders Anne Lakusta  and Pam Cottrell booked me several weeks ago to talk and inspire about all things real estate at the first meeting of the year with more than 200 agents present!  

My agenda: trends, hot news, gossip. Where our market is headed. So easy, so fun.

Super duper hope to see you there!