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Editor’s note: This week RISMedia is running a five-part series of Q&As with Top 5 in Real Estate member Valerie Fitzgerald, owner of The Valerie Fitzgerald Group ( in Beverly Hills, California. Valerie will offer unique insight into what it takes to be successful in today’s challenging times, and her new book, “Heart and Sold: How to Survive and Build a Recession-Proof Business,” due on bookstands May 19.Part 5

RISMEDIA, May 15, 2009-RISMedia: You write that markets always go up and down. Why is the market condition not the determining factor in your ability to sell homes?


Valerie Fitzgerald

Valerie Fitzgerald

Valerie Fitzgerald: Life is a series of conditions that are not within our control…natural disasters, financial situations, divorce, happy times, sad times – there’s no one condition that controls any one factor. What we need to do is have an understanding of those changing and uncontrollable conditions and to interpret them within each situation. You are leading and advising your clients so they can make the best possible decision for themselves at that particular moment in their lives.

RISMedia: You warn your readers never to fight fire with fire regarding your clients. Can you explain?

VF: I did do that a few times and I didn’t make money for a very long time – maybe for that reason. Brokers can tend to take on the personality of their clients, which is not good because when that happens, we don’t give a fair and impartial viewpoint to the client.

When you strike a strike with a strike – the end result is never good. It doesn’t slow down the momentum and give time to reflect on what is actually going on. Great fighters strike a strike with a strike – it’s their job. It’s not our job. It’s our responsibility to take pause, consider, and to give impartial, informed advice to our clients. We need to be the voice of reason especially when we are dealing with other people’s money.

RISMedia: Rumor has it that you deal with over 100 phone calls and 200 e-mails each day, and spend over four hours in the car. What’s your energy secret?

VF: I usually know what my day will be like the night before. This gives me time to mentally prepare and think about my purpose…my energy is always involved in that purpose. When you have a purpose, your energy is there – you have to show up and make it happen. I get tremendous energy from being fully connected to what I am doing and loving what I am doing.

You can read more about Valerie Fitzgerald’s insights into creating a successful business in her new book, Heart and Sold: How to Survive and Build a Recession-Proof Business, which hits bookstands Tuesday, May 19.

Missed Parts 1-4?

  • Part 1: Competitive Marketing and Pricing Challenges in Today’s Market 
    Part 2: The 3 Worst Mistakes a Seller Should Avoid 
    Part 3: What You Can Learn about Yourself Through Writing
    Part 4: The 3 Top Business Rules to Live By