Spotlight’s On YOU Interview Questions
1. What is the name of your business and what’s the story behind it? I’m a Realtor-Consultant for Era Polly Real Estate serving the Central Coast from Santa Ynez to Paso Robles. I’ve been a Central Coast resident since 1981 and have more than 20 years of local sales and marketing experience in real estate, escrow and title insurance. I have a broad network of builders, lenders, affiliates and community professional and personal relationships in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties.
“Let my industry knowledge and experience be your guide in Central Coast real estate. I look forward to and enjoy making your real estate buying or selling experience smooth, professional and rewarding.”
2. Interesting, interesting. So tell us what inspired you to start your business? I’ve been an Assistant VP in Title and Escrow sales here on the Central Coast for over 15 years and a licensed Realtor for 20 years. I made a career change in 2005 to real estate sales to broaden my professional horizons and to bring unique value to the local real estate industry.
3. Touching, truly. So what were/are the biggest hurdles you’ve faced so far? An exponentially changing economy. A definite challenge to keep up with the market(s) and stay ahead of the curve. I am definitely embracing internet technologies, seeing commerce heavily moving in this direction.
4. And you’re still pushing on…there’s but one word: courageous. What about this economy? What are your thoughts about the business climate in SLO County? Experiencing hard times for some—others are not as affected by this downturn. Agriculture and technology are high spots for us. All others are taking a hit and probably will through 2010+. Yet, looking at where we are located as compared to other locales, it’s worth hanging on for the ride!
5. You said it. Speaking of SLO County, some of my favorite things are the hidden jewels. On the other hand, some things do not get enough attention. Who or what in SLO County would you like to see get more attention? There are so many bright spots in SLO County and I think our Visitors Centers and Chambers do a GREAT job in promoting SLO County amenities. I seem to hear a lot about North County Wine Region; not as much about South County/North Santa Barbara Wine Region promotion.
6. Well that should get a little attention now that you’ve let the cat out of the bag. See how good we are? That question doesn’t count by the way, just in case you were counting. We are almost half way done though. SLO County has had some really great businesses that are no longer with us. Which one was your favorite? Losing Mervyn’s and Gottschalk’s is pretty huge—not that these were my favorites, but in terms of them being large anchor tenants. I am always sad to see boutiques go away anywhere…we lose the human touch.
7. One way for your business to remain successful is by providing great value to your customers. We’d love our readers to know something of value about your business. Why do you think specifically people should do business with you, rather than say another local business or even the internet? We are blessed with professional real estate talent on the Central Coast. Being a former VP in Title and Escrow, I have worked with the “best of the best”, co-founding two real estate professional masterminds here on the Central Coast. Because of my long background in the affiliate industry and my real estate sales background, I am uniquely qualified to represent buyers and sellers because I am familiar with all phases of the transaction. This creates efficiency and ensures a smooth, professional and pleasant real estate experience.
8. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Be proud of yourself. So, SLO County is a pretty great place to live, but what about business? To you, what is the very best thing about running a small business in SLO County? Although we are very regional, I really appreciate the unique subtleties in our ‘enclave’ communities. The Central Coast has so many unique communities and microclimates. As a 30-year Central Coast resident, I am privileged to work and play here.
9. Good point. I hope we all take the time to appreciate that. But what about the flip side? Outside of the current economy, what do you think is the very worst thing about running a small business in SLO County? Because we’re somewhat disconnected (the ‘enclave’ concept) we are divided in our efforts. Cities and communities that are close to each other frequently compete for business, with the end result being an oversaturation of bureaus, task forces, and Chambers of Commerce overlapping in representation, confusing or drowning out the voice of small business. I would like to see a more regional approach , ‘pull back the lens’ so to speak, get back to the basic appreciation of the entire Central Coast. Especially with internet commerce a dominant competitor right now.
10. Your candor is to be admired. High-quality stuff, really. Since you are being so open, let’s take it back a little bit. What were your parents like? Were they entrepreneurs? How did their traits help mold you into the risk-taking rebel that stands before us? My father and mother raised eight children – seven girls and one boy. I am the oldest of the eight. My dad owned a business and building in Southern California. He was an entrepreneur and pioneering spirit owning (at that time) one of the longest running small businesses in the San Fernando Valley! My mom is a social dynamo, a beautiful lady with a radiant and charming personality, and my dad was a headstrong, persevering and highly-ethical person. I am proud to say that I am a hybrid of both!
11. With pedigree like that, it’s no wonder you’ve handled this interview like a pro so far. Such ease. So as a kid, is this what you wanted to do or is your perfect job still waiting for you out there? What job would you love to do if you never had to worry about money again? I would love to be a skin care and cosmetic consultant in a charming boutique…seriously! This is my passion to help other women find their glow. I would love that job!
12. Hey, that was my dream job. Guess I’ll settle for lowly interviewer. Almost done. Let’s see here. If you had two final questions to ask, what would you ask? Wait, that question was for me. Ah yes, here we are. If you could give aspiring entrepreneurs one piece of advice, what would it be? Be determined and positive, NO MATTER WHAT! There are no failures, only lessons. And be authentic.
13. Insightful. I’m sure that’ll cut years off the learning curve for budding entrepreneurs. So here we are at the final question. You feel good about your answers so far? Anything you’d like to change or strike from the record? Well I bet you’re itching with anticipation right about now for the last question, so I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Without further ado, the last question I have for you today covers local marketing. It’s a tricky subject we’re all trying to master, so share with us the marketing tactics that have most helped your business succeed in SLO County? A back-to-the-basics approach. With the internet and more sophisticated marketing concepts born daily, you still come in contact with people on some level every day. Always leave them with something from you – a card, a notepad, a calendar – some token. Follow up, re-touch them. Practice that ‘elevator speech’ for what you do. Just make it routine, like brushing your teeth. And have fun!
That is the stuff of genius. It’s a good thing my boss does the marketing around here because between you and me, I’m happy asking questions, collecting a check and leaving all that creative stuff to you smartsy types. Speaking of, it’s closing time.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us Pam. If you’d like to contact Pam for your real estate needs, give her a call at (805) 938-7474 or visit Era Polly Real Estate for more information.