Virginia Cook, Realtors® Continues to Expand Professional Development Opportunities in 2018

Whether you are a home buyer, seller or agent, knowledge is power in today’s fast-moving real estate market. That's why Virginia Cook, Realtors® will continue to expand an already extensive professional development and training program in the New Year.

“We are committed to providing educational opportunities for sales associates at every stage of their career, from the industry newcomer to the top producing veteran,” says Sheila Rice, president of the locally owned, independent brokerage.
 
In 2016, the company ramped up its educational focus by welcoming industry leader Denaige Pizzutello as Senior Vice President of Professional Development. Under her leadership, the company became an approved Continuing Education Provider by the Texas Real Estate Commission.

Many of the classes offered by Virginia Cook, Realtors® are approved for Continuing Education Credit, and the majority are free of charge. “To help make education convenient, the company brings classes to each of our six offices on established days throughout the year,” adds Rice.

The company has also set the benchmark for new agent training with KickStart, a free week-long program launched to put agents on the fast track to reaching their earning potential.

Taught by company and industry leaders, KickStart provides instruction on how to successfully secure listings and facilitate sales. A popular segment is Conversations with Rock Stars, where Virginia Cook Top Producers share their insight with attendees. Even veteran agents with the company audit KickStart to keep up with a myriad of subjects including legal issues, marketing, and the ever-changing technology and tools like DocuSign® and zipForm®.

“The response to KickStart was so phenomenal that we expanded the curriculum in 2017 to offer three follow-up workshops,” says Rice.

The first full-day KickStart Workshop focuses on serving with buyers; the second addresses working with sellers; and the third dives deeper into business development. The workshops are led by the company’s management team and include real-world advice, more Conversations with the Rock Stars, and role playing with scripts where practice creates ease of presentation.

In 2018, Virginia Cook, Realtors® will take education even further with a new Three-Year Referral and Relocation Certification program spearheaded by Relocation Directors Maggie Hall and Jill Johnson

Agents who complete the comprehensive program will be qualified to serve transferring executives and employees referred by corporations, third party relocation companies, and Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, of which Virginia Cook, Realtors® is a member.

"The collaboration throughout the company to bring our associates the best possible professional development is amazing,” says Pizzutello. “It is exciting and inspiring to know that this high caliber team is working so hard to ensure that the clients and customers we assist benefit from the most advanced knowledge.”

The next week-long KickStart session for new agents is March 19-23.  The first KickStart Buyers Workshop for 2018 is January 19; the KickStart Sellers Workshop is February 16; and the KickStart Business Workshop is March 16.

For more information, contact Pizzutello at 214-750-7373 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 



Investing in the Communities We Serve

Robert C. Mclaurin Principal of Walnut Hill Elementary School, Ed Murchison - Virginia Cook, Realtors & Kathy Adcock-Smith.

While helping thousands of clients successfully invest in a home and a lifestyle, Virginia Cook, Realtors has made its own investment into the North Texas communities it serves.

“Giving back to the communities where we live and work has been a core part of our culture since we opened 18 years ago," says Sheila Rice, president of the locally-owned, independent real estate firm.

With offices in North Dallas, Intown Dallas, Park Cities, Plano, Fort Worth and Sherman, Virginia Cook, Realtors’ charitable impact has been extensive with thousands of volunteer hours and dollars given to hundreds of non-profit, civic and charitable organizations since 1999.

A significant gift was made to Dallas, when Virginia Cook, Realtors funded a respite along the Northaven Trail, one of the City’s emerging commuter and recreational bike and hike trails.  

The respite at St. Michael and Lavendale has become a gathering place for community-oriented events, supported by Virginia Cook, Realtors. Along with the Friends of Northaven Trail, Virginia Cook, Realtors sponsors “Movie Nights in the Park” and recently arranged for Santa to arrive via fire engine at “Light Up the Trail”.

Education is a cornerstone for the company and support of public education is a priority. Associates Lauren Savariego and Ed Murchison have worked diligently for Kramer and Walnut Hill Schools, co-chairing Home Tours that raised over $75,000 in 2017.

In the Greater Texoma area, the sales associates serve many important organizations ranging from Meals on Wheels and Wounded Warriors to the Chambers of Sherman, Denison and Pottsboro. All while sustaining its record as the #1 real estate firm.

A highlight achievement in 2017 was led by Debbie Hudnall, who serves on the board for the Grayson Co. Women's Crisis Center.  “Virginia Cook, Realtors sponsored the 5k run that raised $35,000 for this organization, and we raised $7,000 for the center through the Purple Purse Auction. What a year we had!” said Debbie Hudnall, who also maintained her perennial status as the #1 Top Producer in Grayson County despite a full volunteer schedule.

To the west, the Fort Worth Virginia Cook, Realtors team is equally busy.  Whether it’s delivering meals to needy seniors, volunteering in local schools, helping military families make it through another deployment, or comforting little ones at Cook Children’s Hospital, the Virginia Cook, Realtors team pours its heart into Fort Worth. 

“Most of our sales associates have lived here all of their lives,” says Brenda Sims, vice president/manager of the Fort Worth office. “Our connection to the community is absolutely essential to how we do business.”

“We are positioned locally and globally to provide our clients phenomenal results,” said Rice, noting the company is a member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®,  Luxury Real Estate and also has an office in London, UK. 

“Our company will continue to flourish because we work together like family, with a focus on enriching the communities we serve.”

To learn more, visit www.virginiacook.com.

 

Virginia Cook Honored as a Real Estate Legend at WCR High Tea and Fashion Show

You can bet we’ll be at the 25th Annual High Tea and Fashion Show with bells on as the Women’s Council of Realtors® honors the Legends of Real Estate, including our very own Virginia Cook.

This is yet another jewel to add to Virginia’s crown of many accolades as she joins an elite group of women to be honored at the event by the Dallas Chapter of WCR on Thursday, October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Fashion Industry Gallery in Dallas.  

Tickets for this long-standing and favorite tradition, which will benefits the VogelAlcove, are still available at www.wcrdallashightea.com.

“We are so proud and excited to see Virginia’s contributions to our industry recognized by WCR,” said Sheila Rice, president of Virginia Cook, Realtors®. “It’s especially fitting that the proceeds of this event will raise awareness and funds for a charity devoted to assisting homeless children, a cause that has always been important to Virginia.”

As passionate about service as she is real estate, Virginia’s own record of charitable giving and volunteerism parallels that of WCR.  The first woman president of the MetroTex Association and Texas Association of Realtors®, Virginia has also been president or chair of so many organizations benefitting families, women and children, including the Dallas Woman’s Forum and Children’s Cancer Fund.

Virginia is one of the few Realtors® in the nation to have been presented with the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).  Four decades of service have also resulted in her being selected as the 2015 Woman of the Year by Les Femmes Du Monde of Dallas, an honoree of the Women in Business Awards program by the Dallas Business Journal and as one of the Great Women in Texas by the Fort Worth Business Press. 

But you’ll never hear any of this from our beloved leader. She’d much rather hear about you, your kids, grandkids, even the fur babies.  And of course real estate; talk about eyes lighting up!

Congratulations, Virginia! We look forward to being there to join our colleagues in honoring your legacy in real estate.

Kelly Jordan is Virginia Cook, Realtors® 2017 Hearts at Work Honoree

 

Kelly Jordan of Virginia Cook, Realtors® was named the 2017 Hearts at Work award recipient during a company celebration luncheon September 22 at the Park Cities Club. The award was established to honor significant volunteer service to our communities by the company’s sales associates.

“Volunteer service enriches communities where we live and work and has been integral to the culture of our company since we opened 18 years ago," said President Sheila Rice as she presented the award.

“The Hearts at Work program allows us to formally recognize associates like Kelly who bring a passionate commitment to enriching the lives of individuals, families and neighborhoods,” she said.

Kelly was one of three Hearts at Work honorees who were recognized by Virginia Cook, Realtors® during the past 12 months for their volunteer service. She was then selected as the overall award winner for 2017 through a thorough and meticulous judging process.

Kelly is a life-long resident of Fort Worth, who is dedicated to being a change maker and problem solver. These qualities have built her impressive career in residential real estate and defined her significant contributions to organizations as diverse as the Presbyterian Night Shelter and Cassata Learning Center.

Especially dedicated to opening doors to health and education for young people, Kelly often has been a friend and mentor. Kelly has nurtured the athletic and academic talent of a young person who lacked conventional mentors and who she first met in a homeless shelter where she was a volunteer. She saw talent and a fiery spirit and acted.

“A child in a shelter with a single parent, who has already had a lengthy exposure to domestic violence, drug abuse and mental illness deserves the opportunity that a dedicated and loving adult can provide,” says Kelly. Kelly stepped into that void and helped change the future.

She built trust with the mother and Kelly was able to enroll the child in a pee wee football league, taking him to practices and games. He went on to play for his junior high and high school teams, and ultimately scored a college scholarship where he continues to wow professors, coaches, teammates and fans, just like he did Kelly so many years ago.

 “"Kelly is a superb Realtor®, and a blessing to many in Fort Worth,” said Mrs. Rice, noting that her company will make a $1,000 contribution to a Fort Worth charity in Kelly’s honor. “We are so proud to honor her, and her dedication to her home town!"

Also recognized at the September 22 Hearts at Work Awards Luncheon were honorees Ed Murchison of the Park Cities office and Lauren Savariego of the North Dallas office.

Learn more about Virginia Cook, Realtors at www.virginiacook.com.

 

6 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

Virginia Cook, Realtors®:
6 Reasons Why Fall is a Great Time to Sell Your Home

As we Texans like to say, It’s Fall, Y’all!  That means Friday night lights, chili suppers, falling leaves and amazing weather for getting outdoors for fun and recreation.

Fall is also a great time to list your home for sale! Here are six reasons why:

1. Families are back from vacation. Schedules are normalized with kids back in school. And the autumn weather just seems to make everyone a little happier with temperatures that are conducive to getting out and about to tour homes.

2. The holiday hustle is still a good 65 to 75 days away. With homes selling in an average of 39 days in North Texas, that means you could be moved into your new abode just in time to go over the hills and through the woods to grandma's for Thanksgiving.

3. Demand remains high. On average, 400 people are moving into the North Texas region per day. They are highly motivated to find a home where they can hang their stockings and trim the tree.

4. Prices keep rising. The year-to-date median sales price for North Texas this year has climbed 9% from the same time a year ago.

5. Homes show well in the autumn. It's easy and affordable to create seasonal curb appeal by raking the leaves and framing the front steps and entry with yellow, gold and orange mums, chrysanthemums, pumpkins and gourds. Carry the fall them inside with some autumn-hued accent pillows, candles or other seasonal touches like a bowl of crisp red apples and a plate of cinnamon-y treats like Snicker Doodle cookies. Ideal mood music includes George Winston's new age piano album Autumn or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

6. The home team is suited up and ready to compete for you. Whether you are buying or selling a home, that’s more critical than ever because a local professional brings the experience and market knowledge to ensure that you achieve your goals with the best possible financial terms. 

“Virginia Cook, Realtors has served thousands of local home buyers and seller during the past 18 years,” said Sheila Rice, executive president.  “We all live and work here, and we care deeply about the people we have the privilege of serving. There’s no better team to choose in any season.”

 

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