Golden Girls of Real Estate: The Value of Support Through Up and Down Markets

Golden Girls of Real Estate: The Value of Support Through Up and Down Markets

Roger Pettingell Sarasota Real Estate

No matter the market, it does take a lot of teamwork to create success.

Realtors Rosemary “Rosie” Lamberson and Freddi Paulsrud of Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty are seasoned experts in Flagstaff’s dynamic real estate market. With 80 years of experience between them, Rosie and Freddi share their valuable knowledge as “The Golden Girls of Real Estate.”

Rosie: We’ve been with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s for quite a few years now and with all the changes that have happened in the real estate market, especially most recently, we recognize the value of having a constant supportive team to help analyze and navigate through challenges.

Freddi: At Russ Lyon, it is more like a family than a work situation. We play together, volunteer together and are supportive of each other both in business and in our personal lives. That has been the stabilizing force that has gotten us through down markets and up markets, the Great Recession and the pandemic. In the crazy market we have just experienced, we’re reminded of the importance of this calm, constant support from the people we work with, including our management team. We’ve adapted to meet the new normal as it changes, including doing more business through video and Zoom calls. And we’re still doing great volunteer work as well as a lot of philanthropy through the Russ Lyon Foundation.

Rosie: That’s one of our best kept secrets. We tend not to be boastful about our foundation, but it is very important to the owners of our company to support our community in Flagstaff and throughout Arizona. We provide matching funds up to a couple thousand dollars for nonprofit organizations doing important work.

Freddi: Most recently, we’ve been there to help during wildfires and COVID-19. We believe in giving back and that makes us feel good because, as Golden Girls, we’ve seen so many changes through the years in Flagstaff. Russ Lyon Sotheby’s has been the calm in the storm, through many different storms.

Rosie: How privileged we are to have the support of this company through work and play and in so many ways. In many workplaces, you find drama, tension and competition. It’s such a relief that we don’t have that. We trust one another. When we need to confer with our colleagues, they are there for us.

Freddi: I feel like in Russ Lyon in Flagstaff we have lots of concentric circles. We are always overlapping with our expertise and our advice and when we need somebody to help us, whether it’s physically or emotionally, it’s been very very grounding to know that no matter what happens out there, our colleagues, our company will be there for us. Russ Lyon also has a fund to support our realtors through tough times, whether it is a health crisis or their house burns down.

Rosemary: I think most people believe that in an up market, real estate is easy – we’ve got so many contracts in front of us, we just have to choose the best one – no big deal. But the truth is, working in real estate is as challenging now as it is in down times.

Freddi: Also in this market, we are working much harder for our buyers because it’s much more challenging. For example, we have young professionals who want to buy a house. They are very well qualified and have a good down payment. I’ll write eight or nine offers for them and it is heartbreaking when they don’t get the contract over and over again. We need to be coaches to encourage our clients when their offer is rejected and also make sure they don’t jump at something just because their contract is accepted. It all goes back to strategy, caring, education and perseverance. The process can be emotional and taxing, sometimes taking months or even years, but it’s also very rewarding.

Rosie: Remember the short sales during the Great Recession? We worked three times as hard for one sale. I think that also has been the case for the last few years with such high demand for properties and so many contracts, offers and negotiations.

Freddi: And the market can change very quickly. We saw it’s meteoric rise in the last year, and in the last month it changed once again, on a dime.

Rosie: Did we expect it? Not necessarily, but maybe we saw it coming with interest rates going up.

Freddi: That’s right. Buyers that we’ve been working with are now priced out of the market. Not because of price but because of the interest rate.

Rosie: And also, those folks who had a lot of cash and were buying in the last few years have pulled back because of uncertainty in the stock market.

Freddi: Earlier, many cash buyers were looking at real estate as a great investment. Also during COVID, people changed their habits. Instead of flying their families to Hawaii, for example, they chose to have a place where they could take their families and feel safe, so they bought a second home away from big cities. Now that dynamic is shifting. People are going back into the office and traveling again. We don’t’ have as big of a buying audience in Flagstaff as we did in the past two years.

Rosie: No matter the market, success all comes down to strategy, experience and teamwork.

Freddi: It’s important that we, as realtors, have a team to discuss ideas. It takes strategy to sell a distressed property and it takes strategy to get the most money for our sellers in this market, while still keeping their heads in reality. When we have several contracts on one property, I make a spreadsheet to compare offers and discuss it with my colleagues. It’s not always the highest price that is the best offer. There are so many variables. We are fortunate to have a fulltime broker who will sit down with us, examine the details and offer his perspective legally, professionally and morally. Having great resources within our real estate community creates the best opportunity for our clients.

Rosie: No matter the market, it does take a lot of teamwork to create success. And that, again, is what I love again about our workplace at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. FBN

By Rosemary Lamberson and Freddi Paulsrud

Rosemary “Rosie” Lamberson is a real estate agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. Her office is located at 1750 S. Woodlands Village Blvd., Suite 200, in Flagstaff. She can be reached at (928) 853-3626 or rosemary.lamberson@russlyon.com

Freddi Paulsrud is an associate broker with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty. Her office is located at 219 N. Humphreys St., in Flagstaff. She can be reached at (928) 853-3737 or freddi.paulsrud@russlyon.com


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