Real Estate Show - Interview with Tiffany Wilkerson

Real Estate Show - Interview with Tiffany Wilkerson

Full Video Transcript Below

[00:00:00] Alice Lema: Well, good morning, everybody. Welcome back to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a broker here in beautiful Southern Oregon. I am your host of the real estate show. And today we have a very interesting interview coming up with Tiffany Wilkerson. She's the general manager of John L. Scott, Ashland, Medford and Eugene, and she just has a breadth of experience and observation. We're going to ask her some questions about what's coming up in the future. Some of the trends that she's noticing, and also just some of the things that we've all had to adjust to since the shutdown in the pandemic and what we have to look forward to with the rest of the year for 2022.

[00:00:42] Because as we all know, it's been an interesting one so far and here we are. First weekend of April, the sun's coming out, we're starting to wonder if we're going to have enough water. And the housing market is doing its best to keep chugging along. We're finally getting a few more listings. It's not quite as, as scarce as it was a few months ago.

[00:01:03] And this is a trend we've been watching for a few months now. But week to week it's fits and starts. You know, some weeks there's more properties than others. And some property owners are getting multiple offers and some are just sitting. So a lot of disruption in the world is making buyers nervous and then I don't know if you've heard, but the interest rates, well, we had people getting pre-approved this week at 5.1%, and that is making a huge difference in how expensive of a property they can buy. Now, when just six months ago, a year ago, we were looking at three point something. In some cases, especially the veterans, the veterans program below 3%.

[00:01:47] So a lot of financial impact from these rate changes and the feds are talking about doing more. I don't know, we'll have to see I'm one of those folks that's still holding out that they might change their mind and maybe lower them again. But we don't really know that that's good for the economy right now, having the interest rates higher is supposed to be in the long run, but boy, it's sure a hardship on the buyers. And then that directly impacts the sellers. The sellers are having to scramble a little bit cause they just don't have the traffic they used to. And it's the price point below them. That's now getting all the action. That's all people can afford.

[00:02:28] So keep that in mind, if you're selling, if you're not getting the traffic you were used to, or you were expecting you might've lost your buyers to the next tier, you might have to do something extra to bring them back into your place. You might have to talk about the price, but either way. The world is changing.

[00:02:45] It's changing. It's changing in the meantime, we're going to take a quick break here and get on with our interview with Tiffany Wilkerson. John L. Scott general manager, Ashland, Medford and Eugene we'll be right back.

[00:02:59] Well, welcome back folks to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema broker here at John L. Scott in Southern Oregon. And I'm so excited to have Tiffany Wilkerson our general manager, john L. Scott Ashland, Medford and Eugene, who is our guest today. We're just so happy to have you, Tiffany.

[00:03:15] Tiffany Wilkerson: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[00:03:17] Alice Lema: So it's hard to know where to start. It's so great to talk to somebody in upper management at John L Scott. And you know, right before we went on the air, we were chatting a little bit about how much we been through as a company from COVID and really the doors just opened again, like, not that long ago, just recently last week, I believe. Maybe the 12th or 18th of March, march. Yeah. So not that long ago.

[00:03:43] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yeah. Super recent.

[00:03:45] Alice Lema: And that was a full two years almost.

[00:03:47] Tiffany Wilkerson: Oh yeah. Yeah. You're right. Actually, because let's say March of 2020 is when we shut everything down. We had sent our staff home for a period of time. Everyone worked remotely slowly but surely we started allowing staff to come back in increments based on their department where they were located within our building.

[00:04:04] But yeah, no, it was just. Can you believe? I just know, I really can't. It's, you know, I saw this funny meme the other day. It said you know, look at, you know, we thought we would only have one season of COVID, but look at us here now. We're officially Grey's anatomy.

[00:04:22] Alice Lema: That's hilarious. Yeah. I thought we might be shut down for a couple of months. Not a couple of years. But I am I'm very proud of all the agencies and how COVID was handled, but I'm particularly proud of John L. Scott. I thought you did a great job of How were you, you putting it before the show, the information, just doing the communication right in the beginning, what was that like?

[00:04:44] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yeah, well, you know, it was, it was a scary time, you know, in the very old, you know, the very beginning, especially you know, uncertainty prior to the vaccines and everything coming out. You know, there was a lot of confusion and how do we handle. I mean, we were in unchartered territory. You know, I, for one have only been in the real estate industry let's see here about six years. But Jim Remley, you know, our managing principal broker, you're looking at, you know, 30 years you know, you're looking at you know, Jeff Rogers, you know, the owner, you know, he's got another 15 years under his and he just, you know, you look at it, you know, accumulated you know, industry experience that we have with just our management none of us had you ever experienced anything like this.

[00:05:22] Alice Lema: And nobody, nobody in the Oregon state legislature, nobody.

[00:05:26] Tiffany Wilkerson: And so, you know, to figure out how to handle it so that, you know, we were safe, but also you know, we were obviously fortunate enough the real estate industry in general to be able to stay open and continue working.

[00:05:36] Alice Lema: But we didn't know that right away did we.

[00:05:40] Tiffany Wilkerson: Honestly anticipating having to shut down, we, you know, we're planning for that. But ultimately, you know, we got really fortunate that, there was a lot of workarounds for us. And so what we did as leaders was you know, we learned know what were the rules. What did it, you know, rules and mandates that Oregon put in place for us to be able to safely conduct business and educate our clients.

[00:06:00] You know, cause real estate has a huge impact on the economy and, it's important for us to do our role and you know, protecting the community, but the economy and tell our clients, you know, how, how we're going to do this. And so we put out consistent graphics social media content, and we did videos, every single training that we had in house. Offices, we allowed for virtual zoom participation.

[00:06:26] What we did was everything went onto this virtual platform. Where for us was unchartered territory as well, because you know, we are a brokerage that we have office space. We are, you know, we have live, you know, in-person meetings. We have conference rooms, we have clients. We have definitely, we have social events outside of the business. We as a company, network and really connect on a much deeper, you know, very genuine level. So I'm, you know, I feel like everyone's well-being is so crucial to be able to, conduct business and work, you know, with our clients. But you know, we, we were able to weather the storm and I really can't believe we're coming out of it.

[00:07:10] Alice Lema: And to our governor's credit, governor brown. And I know some people like how she handle it. Some people don't, and we're not political, we're not a political show, but to her credit, they let the real estate agents work. And some of the other states that did not people's life events were put on hold indefinitely. Because people don't realize a lot of life is what's driving somebody to buy or sell real estate.

[00:07:35] Tiffany Wilkerson: Oh, yeah, no job loss. The job market with COVID transitions people leaving major cities, major areas and relocating people wanting to live closer to their family. I think COVID had a huge impact on people and their priorities and, you know, really what was important to them. And I think that a lot of people have relocated since then to be near kids grandkids, parents you know, home offices became something crucial for us to, you know, people to ups, you know, get a larger home. And so we really had to figure out, you know, how to navigate this new market and be able to continue conducting business. And you know, here at Southern Oregon, I mean, we had multiple obstacles, fires, I mean everything.

[00:08:19] Alice Lema: Yeah. And then to turn out more sales than ever, how surprising was that?

[00:08:26] Tiffany Wilkerson: It was but you know, I think that what's interesting is, you know, Real estate. We know we're seeing a huge increase in the amount of real estate agents that we have, especially here in the valley. The number has increased substantially but when you look at it and then, you know, the bottom line how many of them are actually out there working and helping their clients and, you know, serving the community.

[00:08:48] And I think that our company, we put a huge emphasis on, you know, you need to continue working. You need to continue, you know, you cannot bunker down in your home right now. You know, I mean, you can stay there, obviously, but we're going to allow you and figure out the best way for you to be able to consistently do business, because it's not only the beneficial for you, but your family.

[00:09:07] And, you know, we as leaders, I mean, I was calling people every single month reaching out. What can I do for you? How are you doing? Are you, do you understand the market right now? You know, everything, are you good?

[00:09:21] Alice Lema: Yeah. Well, and you know, the, the clients really needed their real estate agents to have their head on their shoulders and their feet on the ground cause they were, they were worried too.

[00:09:32] Tiffany Wilkerson: Absolutely. So, but, you know, and like I said, we're more than just real estate agents to most of our clients, that's what I felt like, you know, honestly, a bigger part of my role during this time was just being someone to talk to. I mean, I had, you know, people calling me all the time that just wanted to talk to me on the phone for 20, 30 minutes.

[00:09:51] So it could have been about work. It could have been about client situations or it could ultimately honestly just have been about life, you know, that, you know, So but yeah, I am our company handled everything very well. You're right, we had record breaking numbers. Our agents have had record breaking numbers. You know, we close, like I said, over 1.4 billion in volume.

[00:10:11] Alice Lema: That's billion with a B folks. We just like our mouths dropped open. Yeah.

[00:10:17] Tiffany Wilkerson: Unbelievable. Over, you know, honestly almost 3,100 transactions last year. Well, and that's 2021. Is that right?

[00:10:25] Yeah. 2021. And I think, like I said, I think that's a Testament to, you know, our agents you know, their commitment to their business and their clients.

[00:10:34] And I think it's also a Testament to the company and the leaders that, you know, are constantly engaged and we're present and we're there for our team, if they need us and the training and, you know, the resources that we're providing them on a weekly basis for them to be successful.

[00:10:50] Alice Lema: So now fast forward, just open the doors again to the general public. And it's 2022. And it's different. It's a different world. What kind of trends are you seeing coming out of the COVID I'm not saying COVID, it's done because I'd be too scared to say that. But you know, now that we kind of know what to do, what, what do you think Tiffany. What do you think?

[00:11:13] Tiffany Wilkerson: Well, you know like I said, we are now experiencing what's what's great is, like I said, like you said, you know, I don't feel like this chapter is fully closed. But you know, I feel like everyone is definitely, the story now, we're, now we're watching the credits you know, or we're watching the credits here. But it's interesting. So we're seeing, obviously a lot of people I'm starting to have, you know, more social events, client appreciation parties we're entering spring and summer which is definitely, you know, normal circumstances, a busy season for us. But unfortunately, with the current situation in the Ukraine you know, it kind of threw a little curve ball again.

[00:11:52] And so, you know, we're seeing a lot of inflation right now which could be derived for multiple reasons, not just the current war. But you know, you have to look at oil prices. You have to look at, you know, things that are going to start affecting our market. And ultimately we started seeing you know, we were estimating at least, you know, three to five potential interest rate increases this year.

[00:12:12] But if inflation gets completely out of control, you know, we're going to see a lot more now. So the bottom line is, you know, selling, if you, if any of our clients have ever considered selling, they really need to consider doing it now because of the uncertainty of the interest rates. I personally think so, you know, I don't have a crystal ball by any means, and I can't, you know, look at, what's going to happen over the next year, but you know, I'm definitely encouraging our agents to have those conversations with our sellers and mentioning, you know, Like, you know, we have people that are qualifying for you know, perfect credit score, you know, potentially 727 or 750 and you know, 20% down.

[00:12:49] And, you know, their best interest rate that they're currently getting is 4.75, 5%. And this was just last week's numbers, you know, like I said, it changes constantly, but I think that alone also is the volatility.

[00:12:59] Alice Lema: Oh, that's shocking because that is a huge difference from just 6 months ago. Huge difference. Yeah. And we're not saying you have to put 20% down. Tiffany's is using that as the best example.

[00:13:11] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yeah. Just a complete example of, you know, where what's, what's going on, but you know, you got to think about it too. Like, you know, very first house I ever bought, which mind you, I'm only 35, so I'm young, but not the very first. But you know, the first interest rate I ever locked down was 6.5. And that used to be a good deal.

[00:13:27] Exactly it was amazing deal. And, you know, I think the biggest thing is people, you know, keep mentioning well, I'm going to wait for home prices to decrease and I don't think that's going to happen. You know, I mean, I think that we won't see the increase that we have been. I mean, in the rogue valley in general, we've seen about a 20% entry increase.

[00:13:44] You know, an overall revenue volume in the last year, but I don't think it's going to be that drastic, but there's just not enough inventory. You know, we still have a huge demand for it. So I think that the increasing interest rates are definitely going to stabilize the home price appreciation, but I still think that we'll see a subtle appreciation over time.

[00:14:03] So it's still a great time to buy, but it's a great time to sell. And so it's, you know, it's a tough market for our buyers, for sure, but it's not impossible. And so, like I said, you know, they wait any longer, their buying power is going to minimize drastically.

[00:14:18] Alice Lema: Well, you know, and that's kind of a game changer if we have higher interest rates and higher prices, because inflation is still seeping in there. That's the worst of both.

[00:14:30] Tiffany Wilkerson: So but you know, like I said, people you know, the, the positive side of things is there's still a lot of cash buyers out there. You know, that's huge. I think that that's something to really, you know, take note of because people have a lot of equity in their homes right now. And you know, they refied, you know, a year ago and landed a 2.5, 2.75 interest rate. They've got an absurd, you know, a substantial amount of equity in their home. And you being able to sell, you know, they're still going to the average home still has 4.8 offers right now. I mean, so you're still looking at, you know, competition you know, just, especially if you're working with a great agent that's experienced and can price it accordingly. I mean you're still setting, sitting pretty well.

[00:15:13] Alice Lema: Well, it's, it's definitely an interesting market. Yeah. Yeah. And, and something to keep in mind is we just don't really know what the feds are going to do. So I like your idea of people are thinking of selling to do it now, because then you at least kind of know the environment you're in.

[00:15:29] We're talking to Tiffany Wilkerson, John L. Scott general manager. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsors. Don't go away.

[00:15:37] Well, welcome back to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema, broker John L. Scott here in beautiful Southern Oregon. And today we're having a very educational conversation with Tiffany Wilkerson.

[00:15:48] She's the general manager of John L. Scott here in Ashland, Medford, and also a Eugene office, which is super exciting. And before the break, Tiffany, we were just kind of recapping all of the trauma of COVID and kind of where we've come so far. And the market, some of the folks are holding off on selling because they're not sure they know where to go.

[00:16:12] And then we have some buyers holding off because they think the prices are going to go down. So what kind of advice do you have to buyers and sellers and kind of this uncertain market?

[00:16:24] Tiffany Wilkerson: Well, like I mentioned in the first segment you know, if anyone's ever considered selling, it's important for them to, you know, take action. My advice to sellers is, you know, working with a real estate agent, especially an experienced real estate agent for multiple reasons you know, you're going to get a more competitive situation, multiple offers. And right now, especially, you know, in this market, we were at one point entering where, you know, people were they had no contingencies. I mean cash offers all different kinds of stuff. And so having the ability to really rely on somebody to help you with your negotiations and, obviously looking through all the paperwork you know, obviously it was crucial, but first and foremost, selling right now because of interest rates increasing.

[00:17:09] And you know, obviously we're seeing inflation right now for multiple reasons. But ultimately when interest rates are rising, you know, that will decrease buyer abilities. You know, for every point, I mean, that's a huge amount of money and so when, like I was mentioning earlier, I gave a very, very best case scenario, example of client just last week and mind you, like I said, this was last week, but, and those are changing consistently, but you know, somebody with a perfect credit score and 20% down, you know, only qualifying for like 4.7, five, 5% interest rate.

[00:17:44] And, you know, and we're just going to see several increases throughout the year. So ultimately as a seller, you want to get your market in positions now, especially in the springtime, it's the perfect time of year for, you know, put it on the market and , you're going to still get at least you know, probably most likely several offers on your home.

[00:18:04] There's just not enough inventory still. There's still a huge demand. I think I read somewhere last week that we're the U S in general is 4 million homes short. And builders costs are still increasing. And so with that inventory shortage, you know, as a seller, you are still sitting very, very well in the market.

[00:18:25] My advice to buyers is to, I mean, like I said, depending on everyone's situation you know, you're either going to sell or you're going to buy whatever is, you know, position, but I, for one, you know, I'm a great example of I'm sitting in a well in my current home, but I'm still looking to buy even right now.

[00:18:41] You know, even if I land, you know, anywhere from a four to 6% interest rate, I still personally think that's a great deal. You know, I'm, I'm one that the very first home I ever bought, I had, you know, a 6.5 interest rate. And so I feel like, my favorite quote is the best time to buy real estate was five years ago.

[00:18:59] It really, really it's only five years ago. And you know, you, there's so many statistics that, you know, by the time the average American retires, 83% of your wealth comes from owning real estate.

[00:19:12] Alice Lema: Well, then that makes it sound like there's no bad time to buy.

[00:19:15] Tiffany Wilkerson: There's really not honest. You know, you just have to navigate the market. You have to talk to a real estate professional and say, this is my current situation. This is what I can afford. This is what I can do. What are my options? And sometimes they're going to provide you with some like maybe a to-do list, a bullet point list of. Do this, do this, do this, do this, but you should have a goal set.

[00:19:35] Everyone should want to buy real estate. That's one of the best investments that you can ever make in your, in your entire life, especially in high inflation rate.

[00:19:44] Alice Lema: That's the part, I think the youngers don't cause they weren't around you guys weren't around, but you understand. I.

[00:19:50] Tiffany Wilkerson: I do understand. And, you know, it's I said you know, we went around the room in our office meeting a couple of weeks ago and said, everyone, get, raise your hand, tell me what your very first home and what interest rate you had.

[00:20:01] I mean, there was some people that had 10, 13%. And so I think that it's important to have that goal and be focused on it because no matter what, I don't think that ever purchasing real estate, it's a bad idea, but it is important that if you are considering buying real estate and you want to invest into it to talk to, again, a real estate professional because, or a lender and say, you know, lock in your rate.

[00:20:26] Because we are going to see multiple increases this year depending on what happens, you know, and Ukraine and everything like that. And you know, just how this year really pans out, it's really important to, you know, get locked in and get locked in quickly.

[00:20:38] Alice Lema: Well, and it seems that after the pandemic, the relocaters you know, there was a big surge of relocation people coming to Southern Oregon. Cause we were kind of one of the spots on that list. And then I don't know. If you've had this experience with the other agents, but a lot of people are worried, even though they're not involved in the Ukrainian tragedy, it's scary to them and they don't want to be in the suburban or the urban center that they're in.

[00:21:04] And again, Southern Oregon has been tagged as one of the top 20, 25 places to go, but still has high speed internet and an airport. Yep.

[00:21:12] I know

[00:21:12] Tiffany Wilkerson: it's, it's the weather here. We have the weather, the friendly small town. Yeah, no, I, I, you know what I'm raised in Ashland, 10, 10 minutes down the road. And you know, I went to Eugene and went to college and stuff and, but I came back to here to raise my family and, you know, Southern Oregon is a great place.

[00:21:29] But you know, you gotta look at the job market too. And you know, like where people are going and what people are doing. I mean, Pre COVID, Oregon's almost back to normal, which is, which is good news for us. That's great. We're still down 1.7% in 2020. Yep. Wow. Which is, which is good news. So, you know, that's encouraging, that's something positive to, you know, focus on is that, you know, we're almost back to Employment rates pre COVID.

[00:21:58] Alice Lema: Wow. That's amazing. And that's really quick. There's a lot of other areas have not recovered that well.

[00:22:05] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yeah. I got that statistic from Lawrence Hume. I'm on a NAR, a forecast study presented a couple weeks ago. So I thought that was really encouraging.

[00:22:13] Alice Lema: Now he's the is he the head economist for NAR (National Association of Realtors)?

[00:22:17] Tiffany Wilkerson: I believe so. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:22:19] Alice Lema: He's interesting. He's amazing. You know, during the crash he came to Medford and he did a little talk and he predicted a housing shortage. And we were all sitting there, all these agents that literally had boxes of Kleenex in our car to every appointment we went to, cause everybody was losing their house. And he was standing there on the stage of the Criterion and saying there was going to be a housing shortage.

[00:22:42] And none of us could believe it. And now here we are.

[00:22:47] Tiffany Wilkerson: He was highly like, like, you know, just what I was mentioning earlier, he was the same exact thing he was talking about how important it is to that if you considered selling to list now and you, and even if you're considering buying, you know, it's important to get out there and see what your, you know, qualify for and you know, what, what you can do and what you can make.

[00:23:08] Alice Lema: Well, and as uncertain as the market is right this second, at least, you know what the market is, right. This second, you can experience what it is, you know, this idea of waiting when you don't have to yeah, I think it's definitely a double-edged sword. So one of the other things we wanted to try was new construction because that's part of the problem we're having.

[00:23:26] John L. Scott seems to get quite a few listings in new construction. How are those markets doing?

[00:23:33] Tiffany Wilkerson: Those markets, you will, you know, there's still just a huge you know, building costs are still going up. And then we know we had a labor shortage but you know, like I said, there's, can't, this is simply can't build them fast enough, but there is a lot of development.

[00:23:45] And I would say you know, the good thing about L Scott is we do represent, oh gosh, like seven to eight of the major builders here in Southern Oregon. So you know, they are selling, they are. You know, we we are seeing a lot more inventory than probably, you know, obviously with our JLS first our programs, you know, that we have here, we are seeing a lot of new constructions coming on the market.

[00:24:06] But I mean, the price ranges of them. I mean, there's just no entry level homes you know, especially for new, you know, new home buyers. And so but still you know, it's, like I said you know, the new construction market is we, we wish it would speed up.

[00:24:20] Alice Lema: But we are saying we wish there was more, yeah, I guess we could sell them all two times over and still have buyers left.

[00:24:30] I know. So the other situation that's kind of interesting in Southern Oregon is the investment. The investment opportunities for people that already own homes. And like you were saying earlier have equity. That's, that's not a bad idea to start pondering. You want to speak to a little bit about how, what the mechanics are of that.

[00:24:50] Tiffany Wilkerson: There has been, which has been pretty interesting, one of our in-house lenders was talking a little bit about loans that where people are utilizing their equity and putting down, down payments you know, using that as a financial opportunity because of the amount of equity that people have in their house. Yeah, for sure.

[00:25:07] Alice Lema: So you don't have to take money out of your life you take it out of your house. Very cool.

[00:25:12] Tiffany Wilkerson: The lower interest rates and how much people had, you know, because of how much people were sitting on an equity in the, that gave them opportunities to be able to invest now. In terms of, you know, investment, I think that the rental, the, the renting situation, the laws that were put in place during COVID, a lot of people sold their investment properties, which gave other people opportunity to be able to pick them up.

[00:25:34] But a lot of them became honestly more affordable for new home buyers or first time home buyers, excuse me. But still, I think that the other thing we did was see a huge increase in was commercial properties that were purchased up for investment opportunities. Yeah. So I mean, we saw that specifically here definitely.

[00:25:54] But what was interesting is you know, like whether they were picked up, you know, some of them for Air B & B. Some of them for restaurants. But when we, you know, with COVID, we had a lot of, you know, brick and mortar stores going out of business with everything online. And so the, you know, commercial properties, you know, we're fairly and not, I don't want to say cheap by any means, but you know, a little less expensive than they had been historically.

[00:26:16] And so we definitely saw a lot of investment opportunities where those were picked up. Duplex, because of the amount of like rent, how much people can get for rent right now, which is unfortunate, but it's, you know, unfortunately this situation, circumstances, a lot of like multiplexes duplexes properties picked up for rental purposes you know, because of what people were able to get.

[00:26:36] Alice Lema: Well, the prices of those multi-family properties have doubled, I think really, really gone up.

[00:26:42] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yeah. And like I said again, you know, especially here in Southern Oregon with the whole housing inventory shortage, you know, nationwide, but especially here, you know, after the fires. And so, I mean, we saw a huge increase in rent prices for sure.

[00:26:56] Alice Lema: Yeah. Then we had the fires. Yeah, poor Southern Oregon. We have just, just been hit left and right. But but now we're recovering and you were just telling us how the Oregon employment rate unemployment rate, we're almost back to pre COVID, which is great. Great news. That means our economy is healing. Yeah.

[00:27:16] Tiffany Wilkerson: And you know, like I said, what the fires and, you know, with everything, I mean, John L. Scott we we've really tried to position ourselves to be there for our community, not just as a company, but also the individual agents. And we have organizations, you know, that we've put in place like the Metford earth angels, nonprofit organization, we've done fire and donation drives.

[00:27:34] We partnered with Guild mortgage and Trey Burke with country financial. And we did a huge dinner drive for Alameda fire victims, clothing drives. I mean we give a lot back to our community and especially through our nonprofit. So it's important. You know, that we just try to not only be there to help our clients with, you know, their real estate needs, but also with, you know, whatever they're going on.

[00:27:57] Whatever's going on here in our community. And however we can help them make a big thing.

[00:28:00] Alice Lema: Well, we've got to take a quick break folks. You're going to want to hear the next segment. We're talking to Tiffany Wilkerson, the general manager, John L. Scott Ashland, Medford, Eugene. We're thankful for our sponsors.

[00:28:12] And thank you to John L. Scott. Also the rogue valley association, realtors and Guy Giles mutual Omaha mortgage. We'll be right back. Do not touch that dial.

[00:28:21] Well, hi again, everybody. Welcome back to the real estate show. I'm Alice Lema. I'm a broker here in beautiful Southern Oregon with John L Scott real estate. And we're interviewing Tiffany Wilkerson, the general manager of John L. Scott, Ashland, Medford, Eugene. And one of the things we were just talking about before the break was real estate companies. Are more than just real estate companies. There's a lot of community activity. And John L. Scott in particular did a lot during COVID and is gearing up to do more this year, it sounds like.

[00:28:54] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yes, no, we, we love, I mean, I especially love giving back to the community in any way that we can. You know, I remember even, okay, so COVID hit, I mean, we've always done, you know, a lot of nonprofit. You know, give backs. We're part of the John L Scott foundation, which I can kind of touch base on here in a little bit, but, you know, just the way that we helped, not only our community, but also our agents and, you know, supporting them you know, COVID hit and, you know, we gave everyone a $250 marketing credit to be able to utilize as to promote themselves you know, online. Be able to spread, you know, some information you know, postcard campaigns, various things like that. But we also you know, we really watched the trends, like what was occurring. Remember when there was a huge mask shortage. And sanitizer products. You know, so what we did was we actually partnered with the Jackson county Sheriff's office and they donated a bunch of their old uniforms and from all the police departments as well. And then we actually hired a seamstress company to create masks for local law enforcement out of their old uniforms.

[00:30:00] And so that was. It was a super cool campaign you know, to be able to kind of provide for them. We did a lot of like first responders campaigns, where we gave them, you know, we would put together bags of snacks and water and, you know, various things that they needed. Speaking of water, yeah you know, we obviously have the fires come through here, so we did a huge donation drive for water supplies. We did food batteries, flashlights, bandages, first aid kits. You know, we were one of the drop-off locations. We have done, yeah, we have done dinner drive-throughs for the Alameda fire victims just recently partnering with, like I mentioned, at the last segment Guild and Trey Berkey with country financial.

[00:30:40] So ultimately, you know, We it's not that we don't do the same give backs every year, because sometimes the community needs something that's different. So we really watch the trends and what's occurring. We recently did involved in this remodel of the firehouse in west Medford to provide a safe house for children and also to learn a lot of trade skills like mechanics, electricians plumbing all different kinds of skills where, so this entire firehouse actually can hold and host these kind of, I guess it's like an area for kids to go, but it's also for them to be able to obtain certain skills. Yeah. And so John L. Scott had a huge impact on that.

[00:31:20] We raised a significant amount of money to be able to put something like that together. So, and then, you know, like I said, we're one of the main sponsors and we gave it a bunch of money to local kids, ballparks and schools and parks and rec. But one of the coolest things is actually our in-house a nonprofit company it's called Medford or angels.

[00:31:38] And you know, it's actually, the board is all includes agents and staff here in our office. And the agents can actually contribute a certain percentage of their commission checks to the organization or to the nonprofit organization. And what the board does is it, does it delegates, you know, where the money can be best spent.

[00:31:56] Sometimes it's helping our own agents in times of need. Sometimes it's helping, you know, I know that we've bought cars for people in the community. Our agents can, you know, provide applications for people, for families that they might come across, that they know that they could use a little help or support. So that's really cool to be part of that.

[00:32:12] It's all local. That's the way all the money is collected locally and donated local. Exactly and that's, you know, that's a huge part of, you know, we've obviously been very fortunate as a company to, like I said, you know, the very beginning of this interview stay open throughout COVID. And stay out, you know, be able to not only stay open, but you know, we've had very successful years.

[00:32:34] And so that's where we feel like, okay, well, you know, we've been so blessed and grateful to have, you know, these opportunities that's been given to us. So we want to make sure that we can reflect that in what we give back to our community.

[00:32:46] Alice Lema: Well, and I think real estate people in general are very caring humans. I think that it takes that kind of a personality to be in real estate anyway, because it's humans helping humans when you know, people forget that. So, and the Medford earth angels you do accept outside donations. Is that correct? Anybody can donate to that. Yeah. It's a great, great foundation. And it really is.

[00:33:10] It's pretty special specific to John L. Scott. So let's talk about some of the fun things coming up. Cause we've started to do open houses again. I heard rumors of some kind of a client appreciation party. Yeah. Yeah, true. What's going on with that?

[00:33:29] Tiffany Wilkerson: We're excited to be able to start opening up our doors to what makes our company very unique and special. You know, like I said, we're known for our technology and how innovative we are, and that's how I think we powered through COVID is because of, you know, what were we able to bring to the terms of service? However, the best thing that we do is how collectively we come together as a whole and, you know, we network with each other, we talk to each other, we support one another, we're all in it for the same common goal.

[00:33:54] And so being able to you know, April 21st, we're going to be having an open house event here in our office, just for our agents and their families to be able to come in and, you know, be able to see one another again. And that'll be really fun. You know, to be able to we're going to get some food cards and open up our office.

[00:34:10] And we did a bunch of redecorating and spring cleaning, but the client appreciation party that's in June, June 23rd. And that will be held at Humming Bird Estate this year. And that's an opportunity for our agents to be able to invite their, you know, clients and be able to come down and really see everyone.

[00:34:25] I mean, I it's, it's a, it's a celebration. It's a time for them to be able to just enjoy themselves and celebrate their clients and celebrate, you know, their families. And think of this year, it's going to be really special because like I said, we haven't been able to hold it.

[00:34:38] Alice Lema: We just got to be outside together and I can't wait. I wonder if anybody will recognize anybody. Yeah. Yeah. So that'll be really nice and that's a big deal to be able to have any kind of a party. And we're always so grateful to our clientele and their loyalty. And this is a wonderful thing that John L. Scott does every year that we're not shut down.

[00:35:06] Yeah, I'd appreciate it. So that'll be at Humming Bird. So the clientele of John L. Scott can look for hearing from their agents about that. That'll be super fun.

[00:35:14] Tiffany Wilkerson: Yeah, no, we're, we're looking forward to it and you know, just bringing people back to the office as they feel comfortable. You know, we've been doing a lot of giveaways and a lot of, you know, fun training events and educational.

[00:35:26] I redid our entire education a lot calendar this year to start hosting in person events and guest speakers. And, you know, so I'm really excited to see like what we have in store for, you know, the spring kickoff and our river rafting trip in July. And, you know, just all the fun things that we do that really make our company, you know, special and unique. But the ways that we're able to incorporate our clients into our events is really cool.

[00:35:48] Alice Lema: Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's something unique to John L. Scott, I think as well. So let's talk to us. We only have a minute left. Do you have any other tips for buyers and sellers?

[00:35:57] Tiffany Wilkerson: Just, I would say. To talk to a real estate professional call somebody from John L. Scott. I mean, you know, we, like I said, we, you know, we're very positioned very uniquely in the market right now. You know, we have a lot of visibility, a lot of experienced agents, I think six out of the top agents in the state, you know, just work here specifically in our Medford and Ashland offices. And so just have a conversation with them. You know, here's my goals, this is what I want to do. You know, are you a buyer or seller? Are you an investor? How are you currently sitting, you know, in your financial situation, in your house, how much equity do you have? When was the last time you refinanced?

[00:36:29] What's your current interest rate? I mean, there's so many factors that make your specific situation unique. And so it's important to talk to somebody, set some goals and figure out, you know, what would be in your best interest. Ah, that's why it's important to talk to an agent because they'll be honest with you.

[00:36:46] Alice Lema: Thank you Tiffany Wilkerson, general manager, John L. Scott Ashland, Medford. Eugene, appreciate you so much, please. Come back again. Have a beautiful weekend Southern Oregon bye now.

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