Celebrating Recent Real Estate Wins!

Chris Heller HeadshotChris Heller, Licensed AgentFebruary 1, 2022



A great many real estate agents never make it through their first two years. Some underestimate expenses and overestimate income, a deadly combination. Others rely too much on old industry truisms that aren’t as valid in the real estate world that has developed in the internet-driven years since the Great Recession.

Knowing when to follow conventional wisdom and when to pursue new tactics will help you create a successful real estate outcome from the beginning of your career.

These industry titans have figured out how to navigate the ins and outs of the current real estate market. If you’re looking for inspiration, read about some of their most recent real estate wins!


betsy ronel headshotBetsy Ronel 

Betsy Ronel, a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Compass in Westchester County, New York. Ronel’s husband was a plastic surgeon and when he died unexpectedly at a young age, and she was left alone to raise their two young boys, she recreated herself, took the plunge into real estate and relocated the family across the country and is now succeeding as an agent in a challenging time in our world. Read more about her recent real estate wins:

“I have had a number of recent successes. The first is client centric:  I took a listing, in an area in which I spent my teen years, when normally I refer to another agent when the  business is out of my main area. My clients bought the home in June 2020, to leave the city when COVID had just begun. They saw how bullish the market is now from a seller’s perspective, so they decided to sell eight months later.

I put the house on with a very aggressive price; with my clients’ understanding that buyers will see the transaction history and question our pricing. I told my clients the market will decide what ballpark the house is worth and I’ll negotiate from there. While we didn’t hit our outrageous price, as I prepared my clients we would not, we did make my client a gain of $210,000 in eight months, with them doing very little work to the already-turnkey house.

We managed the market by setting an artificially high target, which forced offers to start higher. We set a record.

Another win is a personal one: I am in a coaching group at my firm, Compass; and I was invited to speak on my journey as a newer agent who has done very well. I revealed my personal story that led me to my real estate career, and it touched a lot of other agents. From telling my story, my truth, and living in transparency, I created a number of new agent relationships. These agents know my why’s and my personal journey, so they automatically feel comfortable creating a business relationship with me. The moral here is join agent- centered groups to form business relationships and tell your story, because we all have lived life up to this point, and the more you share, the more trust you’ll gain. Your authentic self is your true self, share it.”


Ryan FitzgeraldRyan-Fitzgerald-Headshot (1)

Ryan Fitzgerald is an entrepreneur with a passion for technology, digital marketing and creating better experiences and lives for everyone he encounters by doing things differently.

As the founder of Raleigh Realty, Ryan has created a LOCAL real estate company in Raleigh, North Carolina that challenges the traditional real estate brokerage approach. The Raleigh Realty business model is built around being different – Focused on providing value upfront and providing a ‘no-pressure’ experience. Despite covid challenges, Ryan has been able to pull off some amazing wins. Listen to one of his recent success that could lead to a potential new client down the road:

“One of my close client friends asked me to help him sell his home. His friend also asked me to do the same thing. My close friend decided to work with me and his friend chose another Realtor. The client who went with the other Realtor sold their home for $5,000 over the asking price on the first day. This sort of put pressure on me to produce for my client. On day one we received an offer for $5,000 over the asking price. I advised my client to wait a couple more days.

In the end, I sold his house for $40,000 more than he thought was possible after pricing the home aggressively. Needless to say, his friend called him and said he wished he had worked with me!”


Ula Zucker Williams HeadshotUla Zucker Williams

A heart of gold, unbridled enthusiasm, passion, and genuine commitment is what you will get from Ula Zucker Williams, a Real Estate Advisor with Compass Florida LLC, with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Palm Beach. Her previous marketing and public relations management experience, combined with her passion for real estate, enabled her to transition into the real estate industry effortlessly. After deciding she wanted to be her own boss more than 6 years ago, she decided to earn her Florida real estate license. She hasn’t looked back since.

Ula is an esteemed realtor, highly regarded by her clients and professionals in the industry. Ula is energetic, and her “let’s make it happen!” attitude makes her unforgettable. She is well-connected and actively involved in the community, fundraising to donate to homeless children and women living in shelters.

Ula authentically cares about her clients. She attributes her success to her client-focused and service-centered approach.  Buying or selling a home in South Florida is a complex, sophisticated, and often profoundly personal endeavor as well as a significant milestone. It takes effort, money, and time, all of which are the most valuable resources. She considers every transaction as golden and brings the same level of integrity and respect to each transaction. Through Compass Florida, she has the edge of combining her expertise, a team of professionals, and state-of-the-art technology to provide exceptional service. It’s clear to see with this recent win of hers:

“I represented a returning buyer who I had helped previously to buy a condo. She was now married and wanted to purchase what she and her husband would consider their forever home.

After many rejected offers, I then located a house that had been under contract but was accepting back-up offers. I made an appointment, and when we arrived, it was rather large, over 2,800 SF, five bedrooms on a rather large lot with a pool and a beautiful lake in the back. The house needed to be updated, but it was livable. With some love, effort, and money, this house could be fantastic. Between myself and the wife, we had the vision to see the possibilities; however, the husband said no way. He could not see past the condition of the house as it was.

The next day, I received a call, and the couple wanted to see the house again. This time, the husband walked through and changed his mind and said he thought it through, and after all, he could make this his forever home.

I called the listing agent to let her know we were submitting a back-up offer, and coincidentally she told me the contract they had on the house had just fallen apart, and I should go ahead and submit the offer. The asking price was $535,000. We offered $510,000 and negotiated and agreed to $525,000. Once we got through the inspection, several significant issues presented that needed to be repaired; the roof was at the end of its life and was beyond repair. The electrical needed a complete update, and there was water damage in various areas throughout the house. I was able to go back and negotiate a $35,000 credit for my buyer.

The listing agent agreed, and the $35,000 credit was issued and used towards closing costs and reducing the purchase price to $495,000. Then, the appraisal came back at $530,000. Talk about a win! My clients were delighted and successfully closed on the house within 30 days of the contract.”


Chris Griffithchris griffith

Chris Griffith has authored real estate blogs for over a decade.  Over the years she grew tired of the blanket statements about the Bonita Springs real estate market without regard to how local it actually was. So, she took it upon herself to write accurate coverage of the local real estate market. The truth is in every article she writes and it is usually about something that she has personally encountered or experienced during her course of selling real estate.  Everything that she’s learned in the thirty-plus years that she’s lived there and the sixteen-plus years that she’s been selling real estate in Bonita Springs is openly and freely shared to the public. Hear more about her recent professional wins:

“If there is a difficult property, it finds me. They’re all successes however, within the last few months I have managed to sell ‘dead rat house’ and ‘cat pee house’.  Both homes so bad that I can’t believe they sold quickly but one at list price.

In other creative real estate sales news. There is a 1950’s home with a guest cottage that I have sold a few times now. It is so difficult to sell. It’s a nightmare, in fact. An older home has issues in this area of Florida and it’s almost impossible to sell this house.  Let’s just generalize that the house was about 350K.  Because there are 2 structures it needs 2 home owner insurance policies and 2 flood insurance policies.  The insurances due to the elevation (flood zone) and the homeowners (wood frame/hurricane) are about $8,000 per year. I don’t have to tell you what that does to debt to income ratios.  Oh, this last sale was with a foreign seller (FIRPTA) and the cottage, because it can’t be rebuilt due to city code, can’t count as part of the appraised value. Oh, and there is a boat dock that is not deeded that transfers with the house so it ads no value and there is no way to add it to the deed. It’s just some good ol’ boy Florida boat dock situation someone dreamed up in the 50’s.

The last time I sold the home I was dealing with a very inexperienced buyers agent who had a real job outside of real estate and just sort of disappeared. The buyers called on the day of closing to let me know the a/c wasn’t working. I called an A/C person who went out immediately. The drain line was clogged, it was minor. I’m walking out the door and the buyer says, you’re just the best!  When we are ready to sell this house I’m calling you!  Of course, I said, my pleasure to help but inside the transaction was too close for me not to feel excitement for a future listing of this unusual home again.”


jeremyJeremy Van Caulart 

Jeremy Van Caulart is an entrepreneur that has worked in Music, Film & TV, and now Real Estate. He turned to real estate after servicing HGTV real estate shows. He specializes in helping millennials upsize from condos to homes. In his first year he was awarded the Master Sales award from Royal LePage for performing in the top 20% of Royal LePage REALTOR’s in his market, Toronto. Here’s a summary about his most recent real estate win:

“Two of my clients were selling their condo to move into a detached home in Toronto. I sold their condo before it hit the market within a day (win). The condo deal slowly started to unravel when my clients promise to have the flooring replaced under warranty wasn’t valid. I hustled and called about 30 different flooring companies all over Canada and eventually found the SAME FLOOR on the entire opposite side of the country. 3 days later it was in my car (shipping cost more than the actual floor). My handyman repaired the floor and the buyer signed off on it.

What happens next is wild. On their purchase of their new home there was a technical error. The owner (also the listing agent) owned two adjacent homes. My clients bought one of them. At the time the seller bought the home (2019) her lawyer didn’t realize that two adjacent partial lots owned by the same person merge automatically on title. The merged homes now needed to be severed but severances in the city take several months and closing was around the corner. 

The seller wasn’t happy (obviously). She called me in for a meeting with her business partner in a super sketchy office building in the middle of nowhere. During that meeting her and her business partner tried to persuade me to have my clients fire their lawyer so they could appoint one to them who would “help make sure it closed”. I immediately informed my clients, their lawyer, and we issued a caution on the title which spurred the seller into hiring a new lawyer. 

The new lawyer appealed to a judge for an emergency adjustment on title. The emergency change was granted TWO DAYS before close.

We did the final walkthrough and there was blood in the halls, on the walls, and there was quite obviously a party in there the weekend before (it was an airbnb property). I got my trusty email out and informed the listing agent of the worst final walkthrough I’d ever been to. The next day (closing day) the property was spotless and my clients were in their new home.

This story is a huge win for me because it is the most adversity I’ve faced in real estate yet. I’ve been practicing for less than 2 years and I’ve done over 20 transactions. This one was a real challenge and I feel like I went to great lengths for my clients and in the end we WON against the craziest odds.”


Debbie RemingtonDebbie-Remington

As a 57 year old Grandmother, Debbie Remington is not someone you would ever peg as a mobile developer, author, or entrepreneur.  She is however, someone who can speak to the power of possibilities. Like a lot of people, she spent the majority of her life raising a family and working shift work while collecting a steady paycheck and trying to keep the mortgage paid and the lights turned on. In her mid-40’s with the encouragement of family, Debbie embarked on a career in real estate. A career that changed her mindset, her outlook, and her destiny. A career that led her to establish her own residential real estate brokerage in 2013 that launched her in a direction she never would have seen. She describes her latest big entrepreneurial win:

“In early 2020 prior to Covid shutting down most of our universe, I along with one of my company’s real estate agents attended a real estate conference that would change the course of our lives. There was nothing spectacular about the conference other than an idea was born. An idea to create mobile technology that would make our jobs as real estate professionals easier and improve the quality of lives of both my agents and other agents in the industry. With zero tech experience, I couldn’t have told you what SEO stood for or what coding was and who made it.. Armed with little more than a single idea and a determination to see it through and with the help of my son and daughter-in-law “Real Estate Mentor” was created. Learned in a crash course of doing, we spent a year of our lives creating, designing, planning and building a mobile app that would loosen the stranglehold of big brokerages on user friendly technology for real estate professionals. 

The real estate industry had in some ways lost it’s focus. According to Association of Real Estate License Law (ARRELLO), there are two million licensed real estate agents in the United States. With nearly 87% expected to fail within their first five years, the fact that 13% are of the agents expected to succeed is an industry wide problem. The lack of useful, agent centered technology hasn’t helped those numbers which are complicated by the fact that the average age of real estate agents in the U.S. is 56 years old.  

Throughout my career in real estate I had been frustrated with the focus and quality of technology at available to agents. I along with the agents in my company had long yearned for a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) that didn’t require constant updating and a million steps to operate. Which, is why Real Estate Mentor is first and foremost a great CRM for agents. It links directly with phone contacts which negates the need to continuously update a contact list. Once linked, the user can easily take advantage of an array of carefully designed task management tools. Simplicity is the key and the fewer hoops for busy agents the better.”


philipPhilip Scheinfeld 

Tattooed on Philip Scheinfeld’s arm are the words persistence always beats resistance. It’s a mantra that the New York City native has maintained in his personal life as well as professional. As one of the top leaders in the NYC luxury real estate market, Philip Scheinfeld has persistently climbed to the upper echelon of luxury brokerage, with minimal resistance.

There was a time when this all might have never happened. Philip was a student at Pace University, on track to develop an app and ultimately leave school to pursue a start-up company full-time. Some wise words from his father changed his mind. “My Dad sat me down and said, Phil you can start this app and raise money or you can find something else and finish school,” he remembers. He graduated with a degree in Business Management and sought to embark on a career that spoke to something he was actively fluent in: the New York City lifestyle.

Growing up in New York’s Upper East Side, Philip navigated through 24 years of neighborhoods and boroughs at the time. He lived life in the fast lane and moved past it, yet still knows how to sell it. A friend appeared on a real estate reality series and suddenly it all clicked. Now 29, Philip has made a name for himself by working to introduce others to the lifestyle he’s been living his entire life. “I got my real estate license and never looked back,” he says.

Philip started with a small firm and quickly rose up the ranks as a top seller. He then worked for a top-ranking team at Douglas Elliman for two years before joining Compass and forming a winning team alongside a fellow top agent. In 2019, Philip moved to start his own team, complete with offices in both New York City and Miami as well as a reach to other luxury markets like the Hamptons and Los Angeles. In the last two years alone, Philip has brokered in excess of $200 million in sales. His range has varied from Greenwich Village townhouses to co-ops along Fifth Avenue to even the coveted penthouse of Flatiron’s Jade NYC. But for Philip, it’s much more than simply showing a home and selling it; there’s a story to reveal and an idyllic way to tell it.

“What I consider my biggest win in terms of real estate would be winning a spot on the sales team for 570 Broome- a luxury new development building in SoHo with 54 units. Since being added to the team, we were able to achieve nearly 80% sold while most recently selling the penthouse for $2500 per foot.”


Dennis Bowersdennis bowers

Dennis Bowers is a leading real estate expert in Southwest Florida and Principal of The Bowers Group at Compass, where he has earned the recognition of Top Producer for the region. With more than a decade of industry experience, Dennis built his business reputation from the ground up while keeping his clients’ wants and needs at the center of his work. He attributes his success to his value of integrity, trust, and honesty. After almost a decade of working with luxury builders, Dennis brought his familiarity with the market and transitioned to a full-time real estate advisor.

With his construction background and market expertise, he’s uniquely positioned to expertly guide clients to find their dream home—whether they are looking to build or renovate. He offers a full-service real estate experience, leveraging his deep industry relationships to represent buyers and sellers at a higher level and set them up for long-term success. The Bowers Group saw a record year in 2020, serving 100+ customers with more than $70 million sales volume.

“One of my biggest recent real estate wins is a record-breaking sale of a home at 8121 Via Vecchia Way in Naples for $5M that closed in less than 2 months, after it sat on the market for 1,200 days with another agent. The key to this win was using great photography, impressive marketing and our network’s vast resources. Although this deal was in a community that I hadn’t done business in for a while, I found a number of “usual” agents weren’t able to sell it, even after two of them tried the usual marketing and listing procedures.

I earned the business through a sphere of influence connection, the seller’s son is one of my mortgage brokers. He made the introductions and I used the Compass tools to put together a great listing presentation and earned the opportunity. I collaborated with my marketing team, disseminated a strong marketing video and photo package with the listing. The sale achieved a record for highest price per square foot in that subdivision. It felt great to step into a market as a lesser known agent and make a statement.”


joan-levinson-portraitJoan Levinson 

Joan Levinson is the number 1 realtor in Arizona, nationally ranked by Newsweek as one of “America’s Best Realtors, 2020”, and is Arizona’s Premier Luxury Real Estate Expert. She has consistently ranked at the top of the annual lists of top-performing realtors and is the current 2017-2020 back-to-back-to-back Number 1 individual realtor in the state.  She has specialized for the past 30 years in the finest estates in Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Arcadia. She was extra proud of this recent BIG sale:

“I sold a beautiful contemporary home in two days! The house received multiple offers and sold for almost full price. The home that recently sold is 7425 N Ironwood Dr. in Paradise Valley. Listed at $8,500,000 on 2/9/21 and was under contract at $8,400,000 after being on the market for just two days. After a very quick escrow, the deal closed on 2/25. I represented both the buyer and the seller. Talk about a win!” 


Scott JensenScott jensen

Scott Jensen, a Denver Native, started his Real Estate career by investing. He owns multiple properties from mobile homes to apartment buildings. He has built, developed, and helped many clients buy and sell. Through his journey the thing he speaks of most is being of service.  Scott leads with a service heart and always has his clients best interest in mind.  His reviews are amazing with 5 stars and he understands the CRAZY Denver market and how to navigate it. He helps to create an enjoyable first time, second time, residential, multifamily, investment or owner occupant transaction.

He loves making dreams come true and finding the perfect home or investment for his clients. Scott also enjoys being teamed up with his wife to offer their clients a Real Estate “Team” service, a creative Mortgage Broker and an amazing Financial Planner.

“A lady from my church needed to sell her home.  It was a large home with an attached apartment or mother-in-law suite in Hudson, CO.  After evaluating it, I noticed a door that entered the basement only.  I went to the city and asked for a pocket zoning of the home to be zoned as a triplex.  They granted the request and we sold the home for $60,000 more since it could now be a multi-family income opportunity for our buyer.  The sale of this home was everything the seller had financially to the end of days so maximizing the profit was VERY important.  Maximizing the home’s value is my specialty.”

Chris Heller Headshot

About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 2/1/2022



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