Guess Who Is Crushing It?
Guess Who Is Crushing It?
A Love Letter to the Abio Properties Team in a Time of COVID-19
By Linnette Edwards and Cameron Platt, Abio Properties founders
Most brokerages have the same end game: profitability and building a business empire. But Abio Properties’ mission can be summed up in one word: People.
We’re proud of how our young East Bay real estate brokerage has cultivated a unique company culture that attracts the most dedicated people. Abio agents have expertise, vibrant personalities, open hearts, and big passions.
Four years into this “experiment,” we thought we knew everything our close-knit family was capable of.
Then they surprised us.
Now more than ever, it’s been amazing to witness Abios in action at a time filled with uncertainty, market upheaval, and challenging COVID-related restrictions that kept us from meeting in person, prepping homes for sale, and showing properties.
Abio Properties agents are ride-or-die for their clients. They are MVP teammates. They are community heroes.
We want to publicly thank the Abios from the bottom of our hearts. They've been going above and beyond for clients and colleagues – all while working from home, homeschooling kids, caring for sick family members, welcoming a new baby, moving a household, and dealing with every other aspect of daily life during a pandemic.
Examples of how Abios have been crushing it during a crisis:
Guiding us through the storm: Realtors Diana Smith, Elisabeth Watson, and Mary Ann LaHaye assembled the Abio Leadership Council and are expertly tracking the constantly changing shelter-in-place rules and housing market conditions so we can provide educated updates for agents, homebuyers, and home sellers. As a result, Abio was one of the first East Bay brokerages to reach out to clients with current, relevant information.
Community heroes: Real estate pros Katie Pratt and Shannon Prokup launched the Support East Bay Local 2020 group on Facebook to promote East Bay restaurants, bars, freelancers, non-profits, and other small businesses affected by COVID-19.
As part of their efforts, Shannon has been hosting and posting video interviews with nonprofit leaders, arts organizers, and other local creatives about how they are managing during shelter-in-place. They most recently helped promote local Black-owned restaurants and pop-ups.
Helping hospital patients stay connected: When Vikki Bearman realized hospital patients couldn’t bring in outside supplies like cell phone chargers from home because of COVID-19 concerns, she began donating new packaged chargers to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek and encouraging others to do the same for their local hospitals.
Vikki learned about the lack of chargers the hard way – after her daughter was unexpectedly hospitalized for three days. She wasn’t allowed visitors, and her cell phone – her lifeline to her parents – had died.
To make your own donations, contact the hospital nearest you to learn about their guidelines. To connect with John Muir Medical Center directly, email JMHdonations@johnmuirhealth.com.
Crushing it virtually and IRL: Krista Miller and Rosie Papazian have been showing us how to win at virtual home tours. Leveraging their creativity, they’ve hosted live open houses on Facebook and Instagram.
To engage potential buyers, they promoted themed chats from inside home listings, including “How to Make Breakfast Sangria” (showing off the kitchen) and “Fun Ideas for the Yard” (inviting viewers to suggest design ideas for a home listing with a blank-canvas backyard).
Meanwhile, Andrea Schlosser launched a video series promoting women-owned businesses across the Bay Area. Check out her interview with Liz Donahue Gawel at The Corner Studio.
Hustling: Erin McGovern has been pulling out all the tools from Abio’s marketing kit, and then some, to sell homes for her clients. Video tours, virtual 3-D, postcards, peach cobbler recipes… Talk about crushing it: Erin’s listing at 1500 Havenscourt Blvd. in Oakland was priced at $499,000 and went for $625,000!
Keeping it clean: Our very own “pioneer woman,” Mariah Bradford, has been extremely generous with her hand sanitizer supply, COVID-19 victory garden tips, sourdough starter recipe, and humor.
For one recent client, a grandma whose daughter and grandbaby sadly were living in a San Francisco homeless shelter, Mariah gave her bottles of bleach, Pine-Sol, toilet paper, and hand-me-down baby clothes.
Bringing new clients home: Brian McCarthy has a new baby and moved into a new home during SiP, yet he still managed to dedicate himself to connecting East Bay homebuyers and sellers to Abio agents, using our customer relationship management tech. Thank you!
We have sooooo many other examples. But don’t just take our word for it. Read the praises that clients heaped on our Abio Properties agents recently:
“Diana Smith was a pit bull fighting for me and my family. She took care of everything. I felt like I was in good hands the whole time.”
~ Buyer, Oakley
“It was such a pleasure working with Katie Pratt. She is a caring, ethical professional who listens to and respects her clients’ wishes. I wanted to sell my home, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I became really nervous about the actual likelihood of it ever happening. Katie helped me stay calm and inspired confidence throughout the process. My house sold for the amount I desired in less time than I ever imagined possible!”
~ Seller whose Oakland home went into contract just 3 days after listing!
“Brian McCarthy helped me through a nail-biting process of buying a house in Oakland for my daughter. This took over six months, exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdown. Finally, we found a house, mortgage underwriters were satisfied with the forest of paperwork we gave them, final papers were signed, closing was imminent – when an unforeseen legal wrinkle appeared. Brian was with us every step of way, offering professional advice and solace. I'm not sure we could have done it without Brian's solicitous attention to all the details.”
~Gretchen, Oakland homebuyer
“My fiancée and I worked with Andrea Schlosser to buy our first home. Andrea was super helpful throughout the process… and especially great in navigating the uncertainty involved with buying a home during COVID-19 – supportive and extremely communicative. She stayed in touch with all the right parties to make sure our deal went through despite unforeseen pandemic-related delays.”
~ First-time home buyer, Oakland
“I appreciate Mary Anne LaHaye’s incredible partnership. She’s been amazing through this whole thing.”
~ Buyer, Clayton
“Mariah Bradford helped my husband and I sell and buy a home (on the brink of and during the shelter-in-place) and went above and beyond and made the whole process as painless as possible. She is well connected, and took care of every step pertaining to moving out, prepping our house for market, all while ensuring every penny spent would be worth the return. We accepted a great deal – way over asking – at the highest price our neighborhood has seen! Even better, we were able to buy our dream house for the asking price.”
~ Steve and Brooke, who sold a home in Concord and then purchased a home in Clayton
Are you just as awesome as we are? Come join the Abio Properties team! Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.