Kies wit and wisdom inspires new real estate agents

by: CLIFF NEWELL, Marcia Kies, real estate broker with The Hasson Company Realtors in Lake Oswego, talks to new real estate agents during her recent real estate seminar titled “On the Street and in the Trenches.”

Soon after she began her career as a real estate broker, Marcia Kies went to a home going up for sale to become the listing agent.

Instead she received an intense lecture on the evil and vile qualities of real estate agents.

'I burst into tears,' Kies said.

The person felt so bad for making Kies cry that she got the listing.

That was 21 years ago, and Kies no longer cries to get listings. In fact, she has picked up so much wisdom, experience, know-how and confidence that she now imparts it all to new real estate agents in a seminar titled 'On the Street and in the Trenches.'

Nicknamed 'The Machine' by Hasson Company Realtors owner Mike Hasson, Kies is known for her ability to sell houses with a unique energy and passion.

After all, Kies isn't looking for a quick commission. When she sells a home, she says she makes a dream come true.

'I help people,' Kies said. 'I help them get the American Dream. Because owning a home is such a huge part of who we are. It affects our lives so much. It makes us better citizens.'

With her twice-yearly 'On the Street' seminars, Kies is admittedly light on organization. This doesn't bother Kies, who says, 'It's sort of like this job.'

The seminar is basically a string of what she calls 'Sound Bytes' - aphorisms, sayings, cliches, jokes, stories and answers to questions and is held at the Hasson office on Boones Ferry Road.

But her seminar is rich with wisdom and wit. If Confucius had been a funny real estate broker, he would have been Marcia Kies.

'Marcia is great,' said Sandy Moore, a new agent for Hasson. 'Her passion is infectious. It's great as a new agent to have this opportunity to learn and be nurtured and tutored in this way right off the bat.

'It's great value, it's fun, it shapes how you go out and start doing your work.'

Kies begins the seminar with the line, 'Real estate: That fine line between service and indentured slavery!'

But don't get Kies wrong. She loves her profession, and says she wants new agents to do it right so they will love it, too.

'You've got to make it fun,' Kies said. 'I love the energy of this office. I feel sort of like I'm in a Fellini movie. This job is always new. You never know what the day will bring.'

Some key items Kies shares with atendees are:

n 'Don't forget the personality element. Real estate is relationship building, people, personalities.'

n 'Don't trip over dollars to pick up pennies.'

n 'You can't alienate and influence at the same time.'

n 'I've never in my life said anything bad on a listing presentation.'

n 'I'm a real direct person. My buyers and sellers know where I stand.'

n 'Spend a lot of money in preparing in every way. When you give, you get.'

One of the strongest points Kies makes is that agents must always protect their reputations. Even agents with two decades of success behind them.

'One bad experience costs me my reputation,' said Kies, who has spent big money to buy dinner for people in order to convince them not to buy a home. 'It's okay to say 'No.''

Kies also warns agents about working with dishonest clients, and above all she wants them to value themselves.

'Value yourself,' she said. 'That's hard to do for a new agent, but people won't believe in you if you don't believe in yourself.'

The one thing that can ruffle Kies' good humor is the idea that real estate agents do not work hard - when people think real estate agents drive up to pick up a check, then drive off and that's it. She says she knows how hard she, or any good real estate agent, works, and she much desires that other people know this, too.

At the time Kies was giving her seminar, she had not had a day off in three months, she said.

'That is the misconception about real estate,' she said. 'It's something a lot of people don't have a clue about.

'People who know me say, 'I would never do your job. You work all the time.' Past clients know what this job takes. That's why they're so loyal.'

People who know Kies describe her as a consummate real estate professional. But she looks back with bemusement at how her career began.

'It's a funny story,' Kies said. 'I was drinking a Coke in a bar and I met a builder. I was looking for a career, even though I had two degrees. He recommended I call a broker named Jack Whitmore. I had no money, but Jack would pay for my classes.

'On a Monday I saw Jack. On Thursday I was in real estate school.'

For Kies, choosing a career in real estate was rather stunning.

'I was really shy 21 years ago,' she said. 'It was a big step for me just to shake hands.'

Since then, Kies has shaken a lot of hands and gone from being a shy young woman to 'The Machine.' After 18 years of working in Lake Oswego, she is as busy as ever making people's dreams come true.

And with her 'free for all class' she's helping other real estate agents do the same thing.