What's Good For The Goose...

Nick Churton of Virginia Cook, Realtors London office suggests a new way of thinking when it comes to selling property.

Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates, suggests that we overestimate the amount of change which will happen over two years but underestimate the amount of change over ten. This certainly seems to be the case with real estate. Our tastes move on hugely over a decade as new materials, technology, design, our experiences of staying in modern hotels and even watching reality home shows on the television increasingly influence us.

Public opinion and governmental policy also have their effect. But underlying all these developments are the changes we see in our own lives; the amount of space we need to occupy, running costs, convenience and the time that could be spent doing other things - sometimes at stages in life like parenthood or retirement when time is increasingly precious. Retirees for example have much to consider.

Do they want to continue living in large family houses when there is no large family living there any more? And the desire to head off to rural or waterside retreats, once the dream of many, is being overtaken by the desire to live in exciting urban environments where there is life, opportunity, convenience and grandchildren. Growing old gracefully is no longer an appealing prospect to many. In the new homes sector this is a big challenge. Few of us live or want to live in the same way we used to. Developers must work out how people will want to live tomorrow and then create that model today. For some this might seem courageous speculation, but that doesn’t make it wrong. In the pre-owned home sector there are different challenges.

We are beginning to see a real trend in adapting dated, multi-zone living spaces that segregate people within the home into larger more inclusive multi-functional areas. Eating, dining, entertaining and relaxing with family and friends are now desired in one large single-function area where the bi-fold door finally brings nature indoors and makes the garden an integral part of the house.

Therefore buying a home has become akin to trading in an old car for a brand new one. When most people buy a new car today they expect plenty of fresh innovative features, not the same outdated ones their old car possessed. A new car is a finely engineered and brilliantly designed machine for driving. Buyers of all ages now think that a home should be a finely engineered and brilliant machine for living. Those who seek to leave their old homes behind and look forward to enjoying all the benefits that the next one should offer might spare a thought for the people they want to sell to.

Don’t these buyers crave modern styles and fittings also? Home sellers should remember that and either make their home attractive to the modern buyer or accept that the price will have to reflect essential modernization works.

After all, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.


At Virginia Cook, Realtors® We Believe Knowledge is Power!

Pictured L to R: Sherri Baer, Sheila Rice,  David Griffin, Denaige Pizzutello


Since Sheila Rice and Virginia Cook founded the company 17 years ago, education has been an integral part of our corporate culture.

In 2016, the company ramped it up even more with KickStart, a comprehensive five-day training program that features leaders from within Virginia Cook, Realtors® and the local industry as instructors. Topics address all the important aspects of real estate including technology, marketing, contracts, ethics and risk management. 

Better yet? Many of the classes within Kickstart provide CE credit. And, it’s ALL FREE to our agents.

This summer, the company takes this awesome program a step further. Or should we say three steps further, with three follow-up KickStart Workshops taught by our oh-so-talented executive team.

These interactive workshops dive deeper into serving home buyers, sellers and developing business. Each includes priceless wisdom from our company leaders gained through their many years of leadership in residential sales…as well as role playing to prepare each attendee for real world situations in today’s fast-moving market.

The end-goal is to ensure that our sales associates, and ultimately our clients, benefit from the most advanced professional development offered in the North Texas real estate industry.

The first workshop on working with buyers was presented July 28 by David Griffin, President, David Griffin & Company, Realtors® and Sherri Baer Wilson, Vice President/Manger, Park Cities Office, Virginia Cook, Realtors®. Here’s the schedule for the next two workshops…


Seller Workshop, August 25, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Taught by 

Sheila Rice, President of Virginia Cook, Realtors®/Manager, North Dallas Office

Russ Ambers, Vice President/Manger, Plano Office, Virginia Cook, Realtors®


Business Development Workshop, September 22, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Taught by 

Brenda Sims, Vice President/Manger, Fort Worth Office, Virginia Cook, Realtors®

Pat Rowland, Vice President/Manger, Sherman Office, Virginia Cook, Realtors®

To learn more about the KickStart Workshops and Virginia Cook, Realtors®, contact Denaige Pizzutello, Senior Vice President, Professional Development, 214.770.2324, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Totally Committed... Deeply Rooted!

Virginia Cook, Realtors®’ reach goes all the way to the Oklahoma border,
where our fabulous Sherman office is led by Vice President/Manager Pat Rowland.

A Greater Texoma resident for over 50 years, Pat brings incredible knowledge of the local market and commitment to excellent service that translates into astounding success of his office, which has been #1 in Grayson County since 2002!

Pat entered residential sales after completing an award-winning record as a manager for Johnson & Johnson. And he's always given back to the community, where he and his wife have raised their own kids, and now enjoy grandchildren. Pat’s volunteer efforts have benefited his church, the Denison ISD, United Way and Boy Scouts of America.

“It’s an honor to serve this office, which is like one big business family,” says Pat. “Many of us have lived and worked here all of our lives. We share a genuine commitment to ensuring that Greater Texoma remains one of the best places in America to put down deep roots.”

The Melnick Group, an Incredible amount of GOOD!

Even as The Melnick Group Closes as Incredible Volume of Sales…
They Each Give Back an Incredible Amount of Good to their Community!

The Melnick Group of Virginia Cook, Realtors was named Top Company Group for 2016, an honor these dynamic professionals have earned multiple times since the group’s founding by industry leader Susan Melnick in 2000.

A top producer throughout her 32-year career, Susan is a native Dallasite and Kessler Park resident who has long been recognized for her expertise in Dallas’s Intown neighborhoods and historical properties.  In recent years, her group’s focus has expanded to include new construction and renovation in North Dallas.

The diverse expertise and community involvement of Susan and her colleagues enables the group to help home buyers and sellers achieve their goals in today’s market. Members include:  Olga Salinas, a Kessler Park resident and member of the Dallas Federal Club; Kevin Stone, a military veteran, resident of Kessler Park and member of the Turtle Creek Chorale; and Amanda Schulz, who also lives in Lakewood and is a member of Altrusa Downtown Dallas.

Susan herself is a member of Altrusa Downtown Dallas, a business professionals’ organization that helps non-profit organizations serving women and children with a focus on education.  As a Historic Home Specialist, she is member of the Oak Cliff Home Tour Committee for 2017, which is preparing to present 10 premier homes in North Oak Cliff in October. And as a 32-year member of the MetroTex Association of Realtors, Susan is continuing her extensive record of service as a member of the Forms and Contracts Committee.

"Susan and her group are leaders who inspire others to give their best, both professionally and as members of their community,” says Sheila Rice, President of Virginia Cook, Realtors. 

She lives, breathes and thrives in residential sales!

Alden Karotkin doesn’t work in residential sales.
She lives, breathes and thrives in residential sales!

“I get up every morning excited to go to the office and see what the day holds,” says Alden.

This enthusiasm translates to exceptional customer service. If customers call Alden at midnight, she will answer. If they need to meet at 7 a.m., she’ll be there. When she takes a listing, the home becomes like her own. 

“I want them to be as happy with their housing decisions as I am with my career,” says Alden. “Before I will write a contract on a home I ask my clients, ‘Do you love it? Because if you don’t love it, I won’t sell it to you!’” It’s no wonder Alden was the 2016 Top Producer of the Fort Worth office of Virginia Cook, Realtors and has been among the Top 10 since joining the company in 2006.

This 28-year resident of Fort Worth is equally devoted to her community and industry.
From serving as a Board Member of the Jewel Charity organization benefitting Cook Children's, to simply showing up to volunteer where needed on any given day, Alden has made a difference in the lives of thousands of families and continues to play a huge role in making Cook Children's one of the finest medical centers in the country.

A whole lot of talent means a whole lot of doing good!

A whole lot of talent means a whole lot of doing good,
when it comes to Cheryl Chapman and her community service.

Tapping into all of her skills and high energy, Cheryl helps several charities including New Friends New Life, which restores and empowers formerly trafficked girls and sexually exploited women and their children.

As a CPA with an accounting background, Cheryl is able to help the non-profit’s clients with their budgeting activities. A social media guru, she also keeps North Texas Food Bank's needs in front of the community. And at LEAP Global Missions, which brings long-term surgical and medical to children in under-served countries, she does everything from sorting medical supplies for mission trips to fund raising events.

"It is such a small sacrifice of time and these activities help me improve life for people who live in our communities," says Cheryl, who is a member of the Park Cities office of Virginia Cook, Realtors®.

What Cheryl most enjoys is any social activity that involves face-to-face interaction with the people served by each organization. "It is very humbling, and it also makes their needs very real," she says.

But the real reward? "The genuine appreciation, laughter and joy on the faces of those you help."

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