Inman Diaries is a weekly feature tracking the day-to-day activities of America’s leading real estate agents in their own words. This week, Jim Walberg, founder of The Bay Area Team at Compass, takes time for gratitude while mentoring young agents and working alongside his wife, Ann Marie.
6 a.m. The alarm goes off and I consider hitting the snooze button because of a long Sunday of client work. Nope, time for my morning gym work at 7:00 a.m. First, my morning rituals of taking time for gratitude, then on to the Wall Street Journal and a review of the latest Inman News articles.
7 a.m. Head to the gym for an hour of circuit training. Then a protein fruit smoothie, a cup of coffee and I’m ready for the day.
9:30 a.m. Meeting with my mentee, a newer agent at Compass. We review her commitments from the past week – lead generation, systems, health and family, holding her accountable for the ones that were not kept, and focusing on what is most productive for growing her practice over the next seven days. It always starts with lead generation activities.
10:30 a.m. Our Bay Area Team weekly meeting. We are four Realtors and three support staff. We check in on the progress of our listings, buyers and upcoming listings and schedule all of our social media posts. It starts our week in a very focused and fun manner.
11:30 a.m. Prepping for a listing pitch at 7:00 p.m. tonight. These are past clients moving to Atlanta with a home in a desirable family neighborhood that will likely sell in the $1.4 million range. We should get this!
1 p.m. Lunch at Piatti with Ann Marie, my wife and business partner. Ann Marie is one of the most respected professionals in our region. She focuses on our marketing and I focus on our systems. The challenge as husband and wife is that we work together from morning until late in the evening, so we have to carve out time for “us” each day. I am blessed to work with my best friend, business partner and wife.
2:30 p.m. My quarterly haircut. Those who know me may wonder why I get a haircut at all since I’m nearly bald. Well, I never would if my wife agreed to let me buzz cut what hair I have left!
3:30 p.m. Pre-listing home inspections as we prepared to launch another home next week. We encourage all of our sellers to provide potential buyers with a disclosure package that includes all inspections.
5:30 p.m. Dinner at home with Ann Marie. We have hired a chef to come in once a week to prepare two of our weekly meals to save us time. Time is the new definition of luxury and we keep designing ways to find more of it for us.
7 p.m. Listing appointment / pitch (Got it!), then catching up on emails at home. We are sad to see our past clients move but it’s a great opportunity for them in Atlanta.
6 a.m. Another early workout. Tuesdays is my personal trainer morning. After the workout I sit outside with my protein shake in our beautiful backyard listening to the splash of our fountain, which always gives me a sense of peace before I tackle the day.
11:30 a.m. Today is the Global Initiative Committee quarterly meeting for our Board of Realtors. It is being held at the 100 year old Claremont Hotel overlooking the Bay Bridge to San Francisco and the city skyline. We’re focused on outreach to bring more clients to the East Bay.
4 p.m. Meeting a contractor for a bid on a pre-listing construction project – re-doing two bathrooms to make this house amazing before we list. Compass Concierge fronting the costs makes this so easy for our client.
7 a.m. Wednesdays are my spin class mornings. I never imagined that eight years ago my spin class would create a community of friends who can’t wait to sweat together, and who celebrate life together. It is one of my tribes and my BIG cardio for the week.
1 p.m. Preparations for a listing pitch. Our new referral has expanded their family and are looking for a larger home on the westside of our region of the Bay Area – the lower part of Las Trampas Regional Park. This is the most desirable part of our region for any family. It has access to the Ironhorse Trail that is a paved path that runs through our region and literally runs through each of our cities. We expect their home will sell very quickly because this market is a hyper-seller’s market. Our average listings this year have been on the market five or less days.
5 p.m. Make the listing presentation. (Got it!) The home is in one of our many regions’ country clubs. We believe the selling price will be in the $1.6 million range.
7 p.m. Dinner at home with Ann Marie. Catching up on emails and then some reading – “The 12-Week Year.” This is a worthwhile read about breaking your year down into four 12-week “years.”
6:30 a.m. Work out, then start prep for the Brokers Tour for the launch of our latest listing – fresh flowers; beverages; needed paper products; and, checking in with our caterer regarding the food ordered. The home will generate a lot of buyer tours. It backs to open space, a pool/spa, outdoor kitchen and expansive space for entertaining.
8:30 a.m. Realtors Marketing Association weekly meeting where Realtors pitch their listings before Brokers Tour. I have been attending this weekly meeting since 1990, and I credit it for the great relationships I have with the Realtors in our region.
10:30 a.m. Hosting the Brokers Tour at our new listing always includes a catered lunch by the East Bay’s chef of the year – Rodney Worth; pear quesadillas; stuffed portobello mushrooms; pulled pork sandwiches; and desserts. All the Realtors in our region know we’ll have great food and we get a great turnout – 43 Realtors!
2:30 p.m. Inspections at one of the homes that our buyers got into escrow last week. The home is in one of our “Mayberry” neighborhoods with Blue Ribbon schools. The buyers came from San Francisco because the home price is half of what San Francisco offers and the schools are rock star status. The home price is $1,330,000.
4 p.m. Emails to all of the Realtors who stopped by our Brokers Tour thanking them for their support and feedback. Also, reminding them about the Sunday Open House in case they want to send any of their buyers through.
6 p.m. Dinner with clients at Blackhawk Country Club. We love our membership at the Club, and it is a fun place to share with our clients. It is a world class country club with two tournament rated golf courses; tennis club; swim center; full gym; Bocce ball, and more.
4:30 a.m. I hit the road to Monterey 100 miles away to speak at a luxury real estate conference. I’m amazed at the number of people up early to beat the Bay Area rush hour. I hope they also get to go home early!
8:30 a.m. Arrived for the conference hotel on the Monterey Bay and fall in love with this area all over again. My presentation was titled “Some Thoughts From An Old Guy About Success.” Nice response from the conference audience. It is time to celebrate!
6 p.m. “Martini Friday” and dinner at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club with my best friend and his wife who live in Pebble Beach. “Martini Friday” is a weekly tradition wherever we are.
7 a.m. Head to breakfast at The Lodge at Pebble Beach. The views of the ocean still take my breath away. I take a side drive along the 17-Mile Drive and stop to walk along the beach, feel the wind of the Pacific and smell the ocean. So grateful to have work that brings me here.
2 p.m. I make it back to Danville just in time to show buyers homes in the beautiful communities of Alamo and Danville. I never take for granted that we live and work in the shadows of Mt. Diablo and the Las Trampas Ridge that separates our region from the Oakland hills. There are 45+ miles of trails and it is just beautiful. I pretend I’m not tired from the past 36 hours in Monterey.
8 a.m. Ann Marie and I take a morning hike on the Las Trampas Ridge and then breakfast at our favorite spot in Danville. Our little town has been called the Western Carmel. I have been here for almost 50 years and I still love every bit of the quality of life it provides us.
1 p.m. An Open House at our latest listing. It was CRAZY. We have 81 potential buyer families stop by for a tour. It feels like we’re throwing a neighborhood party.
6 p.m. Four purchase offers are delivered to us on the home we just held open. We present multiple counter offers back to three of them. Our clients are in Dallas and one in Australia, so the logistics are challenging. Thank goodness for DocuSign. Two of the counters are signed and returned by 10 p.m. Our clients select one of the two offers and accept it by 10:30 p.m. — $65,000 over the asking price of $1.5 million. All parties are thrilled. Another very satisfied client.
Jim Walberg has been a San Francisco Bay Area business owner and entrepreneur for over 48 years – with the last 36 of those years developing real estate and growing a real estate practice, which includes local and global divisions. In 2005, he and his wife, Ann Marie Nugent, founded The Bay Area Team. Jim is a sought-after speaker, both nationally and internationally.
Inman Diaries is a weekly feature tracking the day-to-day activities of America’s leading real estate agents and brokers. To submit a diary, please send requests to Diary@Inman.com.