Agents, Find a Better Work/Life Balance

How to find a work/life balance in real estate.  

Being in real estate can be demanding. The more clients you have, the busier you get. Since most of your clients will only be available to look at properties in the evenings and weekends, it can feel as if you work around the clock. Even though you love your job, do you ever get a minute to catch your breath? A healthy work/life balance is important for succeeding in your career and maintaining your health and relationships. Here are a few ways to improve your balance.

  • Be realistic in your expectations.

Although real estate agents are expected to work weekends and even holidays, a healthy work/life balance is achievable. However, it’s important to go into this with realistic goals. If you aim to be one of the top real estate agents in your city, this will require much of your time and energy, meaning you’ll sacrifice time with your family and friends. Consider taking on fewer clients and relax your expectations to get a feel of what you can realistically cut back on.

  • Take a couple of days off each week.

Resolve to take at least two days off per week – no matter what. You deserve a mental health break and a chance to catch your breath. Ideally, these days should be when you aren’t as active with clients. When you do take this time off, make sure you enjoy yourself! This means not replying to emails and turning off your phone if you’re tempted to check in with clients.

  • Stop your workday at a dedicated time every day.

It’s easy to spend all evening responding to emails and answering client questions, but draw boundaries so that you have time off. When you initially meet with clients, let them know that unless it’s an emergency, you don’t typically respond to emails or phone calls after a certain time, say 5 or 6 p.m. As long as you return their phone calls and emails in a reasonable time frame, clients should have no issue with this.

These tips can help you to become a better, more efficient real estate agent. When you’re looking for more tips and advice about the industry, talk to the experts at Dean Rathbun. We have the right resources for your needs.

What We’re Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving from Our Team 

The season of giving thanks is upon us! Now is the perfect opportunity for our team at Dean Rathbun to extend a huge thank you to our clients. We are so grateful that you are part of the family and we enjoy having the opportunity to help you reach your dream house goals. It is only because of your continued support and loyalty that we can do what we love. For that, we are incredibly thankful.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Whether you’re gathering with friends and family or helping out your local community in need, we wish you a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

How to Make Your Next Home Sale Over the Holidays

How to get properties moving during winter.

Traditionally, homeowners avoid selling their home during the winter months. It’s cold, it’s dark, and the holidays are already stressful and eventful. However, those homeowners that do choose to sell their homes over these months could be in for a treat. The lack of inventory means that there are more potential buyers for any single home, and there may even be a bidding war.

For real estate agents, the thought of selling a home during the winter and in the middle of the holiday season can appear incredibly daunting. For tips on how to get your listings ready to sell over the holidays, read on.

Appeal to Emotions

Individuals, couples, and families often want to be settled in a property before the holidays, so it’s a good idea to encourage a quick and easy sale to land them in their dream home before Santa arrives. If potential buyers walk into a property in the depths of winter and they still love it, imagine how much they’ll like it in the summer! Arrange viewings in the daylight, if possible, so that homebuyers can enjoy the true experience of the property.

Appeal to Senses

Make the property warm and inviting, and make sure the lights are turned on for viewings. Talk to the current homeowner about limiting the holiday decorations, sticking to neutral and simple décor. Anything with a lot of lights and tinsel is going to distract the viewer. Cinnamon or pumpkin-spiced candles can help to create a cozy atmosphere that cannot be underestimated.

Make Sure It Can Be Seen

Making the house look and feel good is important, but you may not get anyone in the door if you don’t list the property online. The internet has no seasons, meaning that many people do their house hunting online before stepping foot into a property. Winter can be a tricky period for photography, since the low sun can cast dark shadows and gloomy days can make the property look tired. Make sure you capture the home in all of its glory before publishing pictures online. Use high-quality photos and list the property to your social media accounts, website, and newsletters.

Need industry advice on how to sell a property and expand your book of business? Talk to the experts at Dean Rathbun who can help you get started today.

Tips and Tricks For Promoting an Open House Online

Steps to improve your online advertising efforts of open houses.

As a real estate agent, you know that attracting interest and foot traffic for an open house can make or break a sale. A successful sales transaction is dependent on whether you’re able to drum up enough interest to warrant an offer (or two). Sure, you can go old school and put out the front yard sign and hand out flyers, but you may benefit from advertising the open house online. Take a look at these useful tips to promote your open house event online.

Get Emailing

Although personalized invitations are better, if you’re pinched for time, sending emails is your best course of action. You want to set an attractive subject line so that users click on the email rather than sending it straight to their trash. Make it seem like an important event, list the necessary details, and include photos of the house!

Turn to Social Media

More often than not, boring posts will be scrolled right past on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You want to make your post is appealing enough for users to stop and read the information. A great way to do this is to post a photo collage of the home and add relevant tags. Once your post is set, put it on your social media accounts and on pages available in the community.

Make a Video Montage

Imagery is key, as people are more likely to look at photos than read text. Use this to your advantage by making a video montage of the property, including stunning features and views that will catch someone’s eye. You can then turn this into an invitation! Make it fun and interesting, since you’re not only enticing people to visit the open house, but you’re promoting yourself as an agent.

As a real estate agent, you help buyers find their dream homes. The team at Dean Rathbun can help agents grow their reach and book of business. Whether you need an expert network or resources to expand your agency, we’re here to help. Visit our team to learn more.

3 Ways to Stand Out as a Real Estate Agent

Top tips to help you stand out from the real estate competition.  

Today, there are more and more real estate agents and individuals flipping houses, getting into the market, and driving up the competition. Because of this, you need to find a way that gives you an edge over your competition. Sure, you can just try to shout louder and hope to be heard above the noise, but there are better strategies you can implement to stand out. Take a look at these three tips to get started!

Be active in your local community.

A great way to generate local business is to get active in the community. If you want to be seen as an expert in the area, be a part of the local community. A great way to do this is to be active on social media. Follow local groups, bodies, and organizations so that your brand starts to become a familiar name in the area.

Have consistent branding.

One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to branding is to keep it consistent across the board. Choose a font, color scheme, and logo and stick to it. If your business cards look different than your website, which also looks different than your social media accounts, consumers are going to get confused and wonder if you’re a legitimate agent.

Go the extra mile.

An agent who goes above and beyond is more likely to get referrals than one who does the bare minimum to scrape by. Take the time to get to know your clients, their needs, and only show them homes that suit their specifications. Follow up often (but not too often) and check in with people after the sale to see how they’re settling in. Thoughtful gestures can go a long way in a stellar referral review.

These tips can help you stand out as a real estate agent. At Dean Rathbun, we know how to make testimonials work for you. Learn more about how we can help your growing agency.

Orange County’s Halloween Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Local event happenings for Halloween in Orange County.

It’s that time of year again. Dig out your pumpkin candles, spooky décor, and enjoy the holiday that is Halloween. Orange County doesn’t let you miss out on any of the fun, whatever your age. Check out just a few local events that will get you in the spirit of Halloween.

Pacific Symphony presents: ‘The Wizard’s Spellbook’: October 27

Enjoy a fun and fascinating 45-minute concert designed for children ages 5 to 11. The Halloween celebration will include music from Fantasia and Harry Potter, as well as The Conductor’s Spellbook, an exciting and interactive new work by composer Paul Dooley that teaches about the instruments of the orchestra. Kids are welcome to dress up in costume, complete with a wand and broomstick! Running from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., this is a Halloween experience your little one won’t want to miss.

Segerstrom Concert Hall
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Legend of Boot Hill: October 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28

Boot Hill rises from the fog for its 19th year to haunt the residence at 16 Goldenrod in Irvine, California. This is Orange County’s most elaborate yard display, and is certainly not one to be missed! It’s free to watch, but donations will be accepted and will go towards the Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Spooktacular Fun Days: October 13, 14

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., enjoy traditional family-friendly fall activities such as treat town, a pumpkin patch, crafts, entertainment, inflatables, face-painting, carnival games, and much more. This is ideal for families of all ages!

The Great Park
5 Freeway and Sand Canyon

Casa Creepy: Haunted House: October 27, 28, 31

Have you ever wondered if Casa Romantica is haunted? Believe it or not, it is! Bring the whole family to this spooky event at one of the most haunted and unique houses in Orange County. Encounter ghosts, mummies, and creepy-crawlies that will surprise you around every corner.

Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens
415 Avenida Granada
San Clemente, CA 92672

Haunted Trails: October 18-20

Deep in the valley, there is a special crown guarded by dragons and buried within the compound. The knights guard the castle walls, while thieves search for goods. The Haunted Trails are not for the faint-hearted – this event is not recommended for children under the age of 8. When the sun sets, the trails will open, and guides will escort groups of 10 guests through the halls and tents.

Crown Valley Community Park
29751 Crown Valley Parkway
Laguna Niguel, location at the entrance to the Community Park on the emergency road.

From the team at Dean Rathbun, we hope that you and your family enjoy Halloween! Contact us for all of your home loan needs.

Tips to Effectively Show a Property

Prepare to show clients homes with these tips.

A real estate agent doesn’t just represent the seller, but they also represent the buyer. That means you, as the agent, may be required to get into a car with your clients and show them homes that you have decided meet their needs. When you’re going to be showing homes to clients, you should prepare properly. For a safer and easier process, here are a few things you should consider.

  • Research the properties.

Before you take your clients out to preview homes, make sure you have all properties in order. You should research the property listings before taking your clients out to preview them to make sure you have the most recent list available. The danger of researching properties too far in advance means that homes may have already been sold.

  • Know the routes in advance.

It’s embarrassing to get lost on your way to the houses. Drive the routes to all of the listings the day before you show properties to your clients. This way, it will be a seamless transition and your clients can rest assured knowing that you’re very familiar with the area.

  • Prepare a buyer information packet.

Your buyer’s packet should be printed and ready to be inspected by the client. The buyer packet includes information about all the properties that you’re going to be viewing that day. Print one for yourself and one for your buyer to take notes about each property.

  • Guide them through an initial walkthrough.

Many buyers tend to linger in one area of the house. While there’s no need to rush them, aim to keep them moving by offering an initial walkthrough and then allowing them time to retrace their steps at the end. It’s important to stay on schedule so that viewings don’t fall through the cracks.

  • Leave everything just how it was.

Before you leave, make sure the property is left the way you found it. If you opened windows and balcony doors, remember to close them.

  • Review the viewings and follow up.

After you’ve shown all of the properties, schedule a time to sit down with your clients to discuss each property. Review the notes they took and make sure you have a better understanding of what they liked and didn’t like. If they loved a property, advise them on the next steps. If they aren’t ready to make an offer, schedule a follow up with them shortly.

As a real estate agent, you help buyers find their dream homes. Purchasing a home is a huge decision, and it may be necessary for buyers to view a property more than once. Buying a home can be a minefield. Luckily, the team at Dean Rathbun can help homeowners and agents alike. Whether you’re looking for the right home loan or resources to expand your agency, we’re here to help. Visit our team to learn more.

OCtoberfest in Newport Beach is Back!

Don’t miss OCtoberfest this year!

Beer. Good food. Costume contests. What more could you want out of OCtoberfest? It’s back and better than ever! OCtoberfest OC has moved to Newport Beach, a beautiful waterfront location. Occurring every Saturday and Sunday from September 29 to October 21, 2018!

OCtoberfest OC has assembled the perfect mix of authentic and eclectic talents to bring you Bavarian humor, classic Oktoberfest themes, fine food, amazing beer, and live entertainment for a fun-filled weekend! Just a few features include:

  • Host Burgermeister Peter Von Melton and special appearance by Kara Eldridge
  • World-famous yodeler and singer Kathrin Jakob
  • Deutschland München Oompa Loompa dance music
  • Costume contests
  • Interactive games, dancing, log-sawing, and more!


Newport Dunes
1131 Back Bay Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660


  • Prost Pass – GA 1 day, stein with bier not included – $25.00
  • Biergarten – Admission with stein and first bier or non-alcoholic beverage – $35.00
  • OC München Bier Hall – Admission for one day, stein and first bier or non-alcoholic beverage, Bavarian-style food package, reserved seating in luxury VIP tent, VIP Restrooms – $74.00
  • Fashion Island Hotel Waterfront VIP – Limited availability – ultra VIP experience! Admission for one day commemorative stein and first bier or non-alcoholic beverage, Bavarian-style food package, reserved seating, VIP table for 8 guests, concierge, food and beverage Service, VIP parking, VIP restrooms, best of the best views in entire village – $85.00
  • OC München Bier Hall Group Table (8 Person GA, 1 Day) – Admission for one day, stein and first bier or non-alcoholic beverage, Bavarian-style food package, reserved seating in luxury VIP tent, VIP restroom – $573.00
  • Offsite parking with shuttle service – $15.00
  • Onsite VIP parking – $20.00

10% of proceeds go to benefit the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Can you hardly wait? Don’t wait in line at the door! Pre-order the inaugural 2018 OCtoberfest commemorative bier stein. It’s a great way to enjoy and remember the event.

Get your tickets here!

Are you are looking to get involved in the OC community? Whether you’re looking for a quality home loan to land you your California dream property or a growing agency looking for connections, the team at Dean Rathbun can help. Contact us for more information!

Enjoy Your Local SOCO Farmers’ Market

Looking for local produce, crafts, and more? Head down to your SOCO farmers’ market.  

We all know there’s a lot to do in Costa Mesa, California. From the nature reserve and parks to Balboa Pier and shopping, Orange County offers a wide variety of things to do. If you’re looking for a fun Saturday activity that infuses the heart of the community with one-of-a-kind purchases, look no further than the SOCO Farmers’ Market.

If you want great prices on local seasonal fruits and vegetables, the farmers market is the place to get them. It also helps to support your community, which is a winning proposition for everyone involved. To get the best in locally-grown food, visit the SOCO Farmers’ Market. It’s open Saturdays from 9am – 2pm, and located at the SOCO Collection (3315 Hyland Ave, 92626 Costa Mesa, California.) The makings of a great meal are just waiting for you there.

Thousands of people attend the market, and you can also get homemade bread and handcrafted items there, in addition to fruits and vegetables. Special events are generally held throughout the year as well. You can also enjoy coffee shops, pastry shops, home décor, barware, kids’ clothes, and women’s fashion. The SOCO Collection is your destination for inspiration. With this farmers’ market as the anchor, your Saturdays in Costa Mesa are set!

Take the whole family for food and fun! From the team at Dean Rathbun, we hope you enjoy this market. For all of your agency resources and home loan needs, contact us today.

The Important Role of Testimonials in Gaining the Trust of Clients

Client testimonials and their power in marketing.

People can often be skeptical when choosing a realtor. If they hear even one not-so-great story about your services, it could send them running to your competitor. If you want to become a real estate agent people trust, gaining the trust of clients, showcasing your success, and displaying testimonials are essential.

How Testimonials Help

One of the best things you can do for your business is to gather testimonials. The effectiveness of testimonials is rooted in the concept of ‘social proof,’ which states that people are more likely to do something if others who they respect and know are informed and are already doing it. Testimonials provide a window through which clients can visualize what it’s like to do business with you. They can even highlight your strengths and expertise. In the crowded and competitive real estate market, this can set you apart from the rest of the field.

Effective Testimonial

For a testimonial to be effective, it has to be authentic. People can spot a fake testimonial and may be put off your business for good. A good testimonial is one that:

  • Reflects your strengths and expertise
  • Refers to how you address the client’s specific needs
  • Compares you to the competition favorably
  • Sounds sincere and credible

Collecting Testimonials

Whenever you have a positive experience with a client, it’s wise to ask for a testimonial. Staying engaged and maintaining a good relationship with your clients even after a sale has been completed will make it easier to request reviews. You can also adopt a system that allows you to ask for testimonials without having to chase clients. A great way to do this is to include links, auto-responders, call-to-action features, and similar tools where clients can easily leave feedback.

Testimonials can help land you the trust of clients and prospects. At Dean Rathbun, we know how to make testimonials work for you. Learn more about how we can help your growing agency.