Inman is profiling office managers. Here’s Natasha Day, Assistant Operations Manager (and Realtor) at Savvy + Co. Real Estate.
Have you ever sold real estate? If not, do you have any interest in selling real estate yourself?
I sold a home to my future in-laws this past July! It was incredibly hectic to be involved in a sale on top of all my office duties, so I probably won’t do it again any time soon. I’m glad I had that experience, though, because I’ve always been behind-the-scenes in real estate, and now I know I can actually do it!
What sets your brokerage apart? How do you differentiate yourself?
What sets our brokerage apart is definitely our marketing. We’re always receiving compliments about our signs, videos, events. Some of our sellers have even said that when they saw our listing brochure, they wondered why they were selling their house in the first place! Our marketing team goes above and beyond with everything they do, and most importantly, they keep things looking fresh.
“Some of our sellers have even said that when they saw our listing brochure, they wondered why they were selling their house in the first place!”
If you were forced to work in any industry other than real estate, which would it be and why?
I would definitely work in interior design or staging. My love for home decor is what led me to real estate in the first place. I just love all things “home.” Everything took off from there!
Have you ever managed an office outside the real estate industry? What kind? How did you make the transition to real estate?
Before coming to Savvy + Co., I was the Office Director at a real estate and property management firm. I always found myself wishing that I could focus more on the real estate side of things, but property management was very demanding! I was relieved when I came to Savvy that I could put all my energy into real estate.
How many agents work out of the office you manage? How many brokers?
I oversee operations at both of our office locations, but I work out of our Elizabeth office, which has about 40 agents and one Broker-in-Charge. Our Ballantyne office has about 15 agents and one Broker-in-Charge.
How many listings does your office manage at any given time?
Our firm usually has around 100 listings, and the Elizabeth office accounts for about half of those.
Describe your office. What is the floor plan like? What is the decor like?
I love our office space, and everyone who walks in here tells us the same! I can’t tell you how many clients have walked in and said “I should just buy this house!”
Our office is a Savvy-blue, two-story house near Uptown Charlotte and over 100 years old. A huge wrap-around porch greets each guest and has plenty of places to sit, relax or meet with clients.
We even have a front porch swing (my personal favorite)! Inside … the walls are colorful, we have beautiful rugs in every room, cozy furniture and big, bright windows original to the house.
What CRM does your office use?
We plan to implement a CRM soon, but for now, everyone uses their own methods of organizing their contacts. I like to use Google Drive spreadsheets because they’re everywhere I go!
What email system does your office use?
Most of our agents and staff use Office 365, but some people use Gmail or GoDaddy accounts. I use my Office 365 account on my Mac Mail.
Do you have a live person answer your phones, a messaging service or some other way to manage phone calls?
We always have a live person answer our phones. Whether it’s someone in the office or the on-call agent during non-business hours, there’s always someone available to help our callers!
Do you have any office manager assistants, or are you doing it all yourself? If so, how many and how do they support you?
Our Office Assistant helps me with things like mail, keeping the office stocked, etc. She’s downstairs at the front desk, and I’m upstairs, so she’s my eyes and ears on the first floor!
Are you involved in the social media strategy? How so? If not, who manages social media for your brokerage?
I’m somewhat involved. I use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to promote Savvy, but they’re all my personal accounts. Our brilliant Director of Marketing, Julie Tambussi, manages all social media for Savvy.
Walk us through a day in your life. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office and the last thing you do before you leave? What happens in between?
The first thing I do when I get to the office is check all my emails. Most of my morning is taken up with emails and following up with agents on their transactions. For the rest of the day I’m usually pulled in about a hundred different directions either helping agents, our accountant or the marketing team. I’m pretty much everyone’s “go-to” girl!
When I am at my desk in the afternoons, I’m normally doing research on how to make Savvy more savvy. We have a lot of projects in the works! Most of the time, I get so involved in what I’m doing that I don’t even notice 5 p.m. roll around.
What’s your favorite part of your day? What’s your least favorite part?
My favorite part of the day is from 3 to 5 in the afternoon. All the running around has stopped by then, and I can just sit at my computer and work diligently while listening to music.
My least favorite part is probably the morning when I’m checking my email because that’s when everything gets piled on me. I feel much better when I can actually start working instead of just adding to my “to-do” list.
What does lunchtime look like for you — do you leave the office for lunch or eat a brown-bag at your desk?
I have an hour for lunch every day, but I never go too far from the office! I like to walk down to a restaurant on the corner to pick up my lunch and eat it on our front porch swing, but a lot of times I’m so busy that I eat at my desk.
How do you support agents after hours and on weekends?
I always tell agents to feel free to call me after hours if they need help with something, but they are really respectful of my time and don’t call that much.
Would you recommend this career to someone else? Why or why not?
Real estate is definitely not for everyone, but I would recommend it to someone if I thought they could handle it! Real estate is always keeping you on your toes! Some people like that and some don’t.
What has been the biggest change to your job over the past year?
I started working at Savvy about a year ago, and it’s been nothing but progression ever since! I started at the front desk, working as the Office Administrator. Six months in, I became the Assistant Operations Manager to the company.
A few months after that, I got my broker’s license. Another few months later, I moved to an office upstairs and have been working on a new projects for the company. Lots of changes in the past year!
Are you involved in any technology investment decisions?
Yes — pretty much all technology decisions start with my research.
Do agents rely too much on you to handle things?
I think I do an appropriate amount of work for our agents. Some of them have tried assigning me to tasks that they really should be doing themselves, but I just drew the line. I’m not afraid to be honest with them. They all really appreciate what I do, and they show it every day!
“Pretty much all technology decisions start with my research.”
To what extent do you help with closings?
I am very involved in what happens post-closing, basically from the closing table to getting the agent paid. I go over all the final details and make sure they’re in shape for our Broker-in-Charge and accountant to approve and pay.
What broker or agent habits drive you crazy?
Submitting transaction information that is late or incomplete.
If you had a magic wand that would grant one wish related to your job, what would it be?
This is going to sound petty because I don’t have much to complain about, but I wish that vendors and lenders would stop bringing us donuts to try to get us to use their services. Most of us at Savvy try to be healthy, so if we’re going to cheat on our diets, we don’t want a donut.
Donuts are the ultimate “guilt” food. A cupcake or pastry from a local bakery, sure. Better yet, how about some fruit! Or nothing at all. I’d rather the vendor or lender just kindly introduce themselves instead of dropping off a box of donuts with a flyer and leaving without a word.
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