Meet Lynn North, Recognized Top Realtor & Dedicated Community Volunteer
Lynn North has been a realtor for the past 15 years & ranked in the top 5% with the prestigious Alain Pinel Realtors in the Bay Area. She has served as coordinator and director of programs and is currently in various leadership positions at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Los Altos, California. Previously, she was director of telecommunications business development at Network Appliance and vice president in sales with SBC and Pacific Bell, where her large team literally built the infrastructure known today as Silicon Valley.
After earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior from University of San Francisco, Lynn’s expertise has been in helping her clients deal with change, whether it be in growing their business or with her recent board experiences, in helping families with seniors deal with the challenges of life changes. Lynn has been the Chair on the Board of Sunny View’s Foundation since 1999 & with Front Porch since 2004.
Lynn has been in several key leadership roles at Immanuel Lutheran Church for 33 years. For 3 years, she took 40 youth and adults to Mexico to build homes for the poor and has been an active role in local schools and community sports programs. Lynn is a licensed real estate agent drawing on her wealth of experience helping clients and is a fourth generation Bay Area resident, who has lived in Los Altos for 33 years. She was past president of her neighborhood association.
Lynn has earned the reputation among her colleagues and clients for honesty, integrity and loyalty. Lynn's philosophy on real estate recognizes the need for a knowledgeable consultant who can produce top results. "I work continually to keep up with this ever-changing, complex market and strive to help my clients realize the greatest return on one of their largest investments."
Q: How long have you been in the Real Estate business?
LN: I have been in real estate for 16 years, starting as an assistant for 2 of the top agents for a year to really get a sense of the business and develop a strong understanding of the details. Prior to changing careers, I was a vice president at Pacific Bell and SBC, where my team built the infrastructure that we now know as Silicon Valley with all of the large accounts headquartered here. Also, I ran our church (Immanuel Lutheran Church) for 5 years when our long-term pastor retired. As a youth director at our church during 4 of those years, I took 40 teens to Mexico to build homes for the poor, which was very inspiring and really rewarding in seeing how it gave the kids a broader perspective of life.
Q: What designations or certifications do you hold?
LN: Relocation is my current designation, where I help my clients and their families moving to this area get settled into the community. Compass has an extensive relocation program, where I have helped many of my clients buy vacation homes or relocate to anywhere in the world through their recommendations and referrals.
Q: What percentage of your clients are buyers vs. sellers?
LN: The majority of my clients are sellers. While I am in the top 1% of my business, I only take one listing at a time, so I can dedicate my attention to that seller in marketing their home. The result is I usually bring in the highest offer for that neighborhood, which gives them their greatest return on their investment. I attend to all of the details, including preparing their home for the market and directly working with all of the potential buyers and their agents. For my buyers, I really focus on what they are looking for and make sure they have a great lender, which can strengthen their offer and make them as competitive with all cash offers. Also, I have a good reputation amongst my peers, so listing agents really encourage me to write an offer for their properties, which helps my buyers as well. I am thorough in researching the comparative market sales and reviewing the disclosures, so my buyers are confident in what they are buying and at the right price.
Q: If you had to make one prediction of where the Silicon Valley Real Estate market will be this year … what would it be?
LN: I believe there will continue to be a strong demand for housing with continued struggles of less inventory and pent up demand. Most of our buyers are looking for closer commutes. Many seniors and baby boomers are not moving because of their capital gains and the need to keep their property taxes down with Prop 13 (currently they can only transfer it to 8 counties). Frequent needs in the cycle of life are first time home buyers, young families moving up, baby boomers downsizing and selling their parents’ homes, along with people from all over the world here looking for new jobs. Our main concern is buyers being priced out of the market. We have already seen a correction in our appreciation rate to a more “normal” rate (10% per year) and listing prices seem to be lower.
With 5 world-leading industries headquartered here (see list below), we continue to be a buoyant economy with so many diverse jobs requiring many different skill sets resulting in healthy appreciation rates:
· Tech including Apple, wireless, chips, Google and new AI
· Bio Tech, Pharmaceuticals & Medicine (Stanford & UCSF)
· Clean Tech such as solar, Tesla (automotive)
· Animation Entertainment (Pixar, Nvidia & Lucas Films)
Q: What has been your most satisfying moment while in the Real Estate business?
LN: Helping my clients realize their dreams in getting their first home or seeing my retired clients realize their greatest return on their investment for their retirement.
Q: You were featured in the 2019 list of Americas Best Real Estate Professionals. If we interviewed all your past clients … what is “one” common word that comes up when they describe working with you and why?
LN: My clients would say that I'm honest, trustworthy, experienced and committed to working with integrity. I truly care about my clients and am personally committed to their success, which shows in how I work with them and in my results.
Q: How do you compare Compass Real Estate from past companies you've worked for?
LN: I have had the privilege to always work and be associated with strong, respected market leaders. Specifically, in real estate, I previously worked for Alain Pinel Realtors, (a privately owned Bay Area company), which was a highly respected brand in terms of integrity, professionalism, and high standards. Compass brings that same quality in a broader scope on a national scale. It is the number one largest independent brokerage in the country with a strong financial backing (over $1.5 billion in funding as a market leader), resulting in a stronger marketing brand. This gives its agents an opportunity to invest in the company and participate in equity shares for their own financial planning goals.
The company’s mission is to help everyone find their place in the world. With the agents at the core of the company, Compass drives market insights and offers continuous new tools that help us differentiate ways to better serve our clients. They have incredible leadership beginning with their CEO, Robert Reffkin, who communicates regularly for input and encourages us to collaborate without ego.
Q: Can you tell us about your involvement with the Sunny View’s Foundation?
LN: I have been chair of the Sunny View board for over 20 years, which is a non-profit senior retirement community in Cupertino. We have created an environment where our seniors have a renewed purpose to their lives and are able to continue to thrive in their later years & fulfill their legacy. We leverage tech products such as iN2L (very large computer wall tablet) and artificial intelligence tools such as Echo dots and Nest thermostats to assist them. With iN2L, our cognitive or dementia residents in Summer House can play the piano and entertain their neighbors or other residents can see their hometowns or attend their grandchildren’s weddings. Partnering with local high schools, those students can earn community service hours in writing the biographies of our residents as a gift for their families. Residents raise money for scholarships for the staff and together they work on community projects that benefit children in the hospital. The local Lutheran churches started it, so the spiritual element is there, and we have a full time wonderful chaplaincy team, who brings wonderful programs and worship services for our residents as well.
Q: If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
LN: I would like to answer with 2 people. Jesus Christ and Abraham Lincoln. As a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln (my paternal great grandmother’s cousin was Nancy Hanks, his real mother), I would love to interview him on how we can heal our nation by realizing we have more in common than have differences. I would love to meet Jesus to learn from him on how he changed us to serve others and be inspired by his message on gratitude and being in his presence.
Q: How do you maintain a healthy work life balance?
LN: Life is so precious! Keeping a perspective and having a sense of humor (along with eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise) brings so much enrichment and joy into my life. Knowing that God, my family and my life’s work of making a difference are my priorities and keeping clarity of purpose are the keys to keeping a balance.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
LN: That the value of truly listening to my clients can really guide me to better serve them. It is the ability to focus on what clients really need and give them that concierge experience! Recently, the actor, Tom Hanks shared how Mister Rogers was a masterful listener and used the acronym, WAIT as a guide to help him improve his ability to better listen. It stands for “Why Am I Talking”, which I have found to be a great tool for thoughtful listening.
Q: What advice do you have for the next generation of women behind you?
LN: Don’t let fear sabotage your ability to take risks and don’t lose the courage to be your best self! It can be challenging for women to continue to believe in themselves and to know that they can succeed and to not lose the confidence and faith that they are on the right path despite the challenges.
Rehearse each challenging task mentally in advance, so you are ready to address them and have considered all scenarios (from Stephen Covey). Previously, as a corporate VP in a very dynamic and changing environment, I knew that the people I had the privilege to lead truly made the key difference, as they were the ones closest to the clients’ needs. Respect all those who have led the way, listen and be grateful to your mentors. All of us can recollect those who believed in us and were humbled by their incredible support. They were the ones who created your path!