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In the following interview, MaryAnn Whittaker, ONE Engagement specialist and broker/owner of Realty ONE Group Pacifica in Longview, Wash., discusses her habits for success, the local market, and more.

Region Served: Southwest Washington
Years in Real Estate: 3
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Agents: 22

What is your top tip for brand-new agents?
One thing I share with new agents is to be very intentional in connecting with their sphere and getting the word out that they’re now in real estate. When speaking with someone brand-new that isn’t in our office, I tell them to find an office that truly coaches them through that learning stage. I was in education before I was in real estate, and one important thing when dealing with students, adults or children is the gradual learning process of education. Being in real estate is all about learning, especially in the beginning.

What is your preferred method for communicating with clients?
Texting, yet I’m working toward the whole video piece because I know it’s up and coming, and I’m trying to make myself as relevant and current as possible.

What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office?
I have a file system that keeps track of any items I might need during the day, so I go in and make sure those are all ready, and I check my calendar so that I can review where my day is going. My husband and I are a team, and we own the brokerage together. He’s the big-picture vision guy, and I’m the boots-on-the-ground organization/structure person, so I check with him so that we can manage the day together.

Before leaving for the day, what’s the last thing you take care of?
I get ready for the next day, check the calendar, make sure I have everything I need and see if I need to bring anything home to finish. That’s the good and bad of the business; it’s not a 9-to-5, Monday through Friday job. It’s a way of life.

What are some of the current trends you’re experiencing in your local market?
Our area is a strong seller’s market. We’ve had a shortage of inventory, so we encourage our agents to go into their sphere and try to generate more inventory. On the flip side, we go outbound and do lead-gen purchasing for our agents so that we can jump-start their business. Ultimately, we want their sphere and relationships to sustain their business over time, but we have a number of new agents, so we need to support the health of their business and their welfare. Additionally, Realty ONE Group is high-tech, and we see that as a growing trend. We’re the newest franchised brand in our area in probably 20 years. We do things differently than other agencies, so supporting our agents and ensuring that they’re excited about their use of technology is important.

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Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at