Nicole Happel, Ninja Mom Of The Month February 2009

February’s Ninja Mom of the month is Nicole Happel with ERA Shields Real Estate in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Nicole brings an incredible amount of positive energy to everything in her life which radiates from her.  We chatted about her life and family and how she makes it all work with real estate.

How did you get started in Real Estate?

I have been licensed since 1996.  My first 6 years in real estate were spent working as a site agent for an area builder.  After a while I knew that I had the skills and contacts to succeed in the resale market so I started working with a  team of agents as a Buyers Agent and then when our company was bought out by ERA shields, I made the move to a solo agent.

How do you make Real Estate work with being a Mom?

My daughter is 6 years old and she is a part of my life and therefore a part of my business.  In the beginning I was able to work as a site agent and bring her to work with me on site.  That worked great for about the first 2 years and then she stared in pre schools.  My mom is close by and is able to help out as well if need be.  Now that she is in first grade when I pick her up at 3:30 from school she usually comes back to the office with me while I finish up my work day.  I can’t tell you how many times she has sat next to me and colored while I have sat across from a client writing an offer. I do not currently have an assistant, but our office has some options for assistants that you can hire on an as needed basis if necessary.

Can you tell us a little about your daily routine?

I am a HUGE believe in having a daily routine. It is truly what makes my life work both personally and professionally.  My first priority of the day is to get my mind and body focused.  I walk our dog every morning and say my gratitudes out loud as I am walking.  I know that you can say them to yourself in your head, but I find that I loose focus that way and saying them out loud just seems to add a little something extra.  I also make it a point to work out every morning.  I will tailor what I do based on the amount of work I have going on, but I always do something.  I am usually in the office to start my work day by about 9am and spend about 4 hours there working on my business and getting ready for appointments.  I am extremely focused when I am there and stock my desk with healthy snacks and drinks so that I can keep going.  I do not do much socializing and gossiping in the office.  I will meet clients for lunch but I rarely go out to lunch with other people in the office.

Where does your business come from?

80% of my business is past clients and referrals and the other 20% comes from things like floor time, sign calls,and relocation.  Wh have a big military contingent here in Colorado Springs and our company does a lot of their relocation work.

What are your Best Practices?

~ Find ways to feed your soul and keep yourself excited about life.  I have started teaching ballroom dance one night a week and absolutely love it.  It is a creative outlet that actually helps keep me focused and motivated at work and at home.

~ Be authentic and genuine and true to who you are.  As parents a lot of times we are afraid to tell a client we can not meet them because we are doing something without family. Not only do they understand, they respect it.

~ I prefer to be one on one with my clients than at big parties so I do a lot of coffees,  and lunch dates and get togethers like that versus big client parties.

~ In terms of keeping in touch with my clients I am not as diligent about tracking the numbers, but I definitely tend to stay in motion so it all seems to work out in the end. I mail to about 200 people and do so once a month. I am also big on sending hand written notes and random CMA’s to clients throughout the year. I would say that I average about 15 – 20 FORD calls a week.  This year I did a newsletter in January summarizing how the market ended up last year and notes and pictures about what our family has been up to. It was a huge hit so something I will definitely do again.

~ As I have said before, I am a big routine person which gives me the stability and focus that I need to get whatever it is that I need to get done.  I use a yellow legal pad which I keep on my desk to handwrite my to dos and each day.

~ I am not a big tech person so I don’t spend lots of time on things like web sites, etc. Instead I focus my energy on being out and connecting to my clients face to face as much as possible.

~ My overall goal when working with a Buyer or Seller is to close every transaction with such a positive flow that my clients walk away feeling that it was good and easy.  That doesn’t mean that all of my transactions go smoothly, but I still think it is possible to work towards a positive outcome in the end.

Wow!  Thank you Nicole for sharing all of your thoughts and insights with us.  Your focus and being true to who you are really does pay off.  If you have further questions for Nicole, or better yet you would like to send her a referral you can contact her at or 719-487-3886.

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