Team Specializes In Seniors
Team Specializes In Seniors
Prudential California Realty’s Donna Reak has put together an unusual team designed around meeting the continuum of needs for seniors—the newly formed Senior Specialists Team. When she decided to return to real estate after years of working in the senior assistance field, Reak brought a team of professionals with her. They aren't part of Prudential California Realty, but nevertheless are part of Reak's team and vision to form an important referral network.
It isn't just about real estate, Reak says; it’s about meeting a very real and growing need in the community. "I have worked in adult day care and assisted living," says Reak. "Families come to me in crisis, usually prompted by sudden or catastrophic illness, and they don't know what options are available.” What happens when seniors become ill? What happens to their home assets? Is it possible for them to stay in their homes? These are questions that only specialists can help answer, and Reak has put together experts from several senior-related industries to help answer them.
"I've been very lucky to have management behind me," she says. "It's a progressive company."
Here's how it works. Each member of Reak's team specializes in a different aspect of senior service. A referral specialist helps find retirement or assisted care facilities for seniors. Another team member specializes in moving seniors. Another team member assists seniors who want to stay in their homes with reverse mortgages from Wells Fargo. There also is a financial planner and an attorney who specialize in estate, investment, and asset management and transfers. And if the seniors want to buy or sell a property, there's Reak.
The beauty of the referral network is that each person is responsible for pulling in business. But if one team member isn't quite the right fit, he or she refers the senior or their family to the team member who can best serve them. Some clients may work at some point with all of the team members.
"We provide a free consultation and if they access our services, we bill on the same rate as anyone else.” Reak says. “If I list a home, I get my commission. It can start with any of us to give a consultation, and we have all had years of experience.”
Team members do not charge each other referral fees.
Will it work? Reak is optimistic. "We just launched, and we are getting a brochure together and putting out a press release, but we feel there is a need in the community, and we all said this is worth doing. There may be other groups who are doing this, people who are beginning to put these teams together, but we may be among the first to do so."
Reak says the real service to the public will be education. "If they come to someone like me in a crisis, it is too late to empower them with planning,” she says. “So we are taking this concept to the younger seniors to help them plan before they have an illness or can't make decisions for themselves. Our goal is to work for the good of the senior, and the financial rewards are down the line. The word will spread.”
(c) Copyright 2003 Realty Times. Reprinted with permission.
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