Ranked as Top 1.5% of U.S. Real Estate Professionals. An Exclusive Interview with Realtor, Lynn North
Q: How long have you been in the Real Estate business?
LN: I have been in real estate for almost 14 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. Alain Pinel Realtors 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. Previously, I have had SRES, which focused on seniors.
Q: What percentage of your clients are buyers vs. sellers?
LN: The majority of my clients are sellers. While I am in the top 5% of my business, I only take one listing at a time, so I can dedicate my time 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 property, 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 in 2020 … 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. 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 11 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 for new jobs. Our main concern is buyers being priced out of the market as well. We should see a correction in our appreciation rate to go to a more “normal” rate soon (10% per year).
With 5 world-leading industries headquartered here (see list below), we continue to be a buoyant economy with jobs requiring many skill sets & healthy appreciation rates:
- · Entrepreneurial/VCs/Stanford
- · 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: 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 15 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 chaplain 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 grandmother’s 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: What’s your favorite movie?
LN: Like most people, movies that inspire me or give a historical perspective (Titanic and Hidden Figures) or funny stories such as Mama Mia or The Great Outdoors.
Q: What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
LN: My dad told me to be true to yourself as integrity is critical and then you'll be in a position to take care of others. By being a caring and honest person, you will attract the right people in your life. Make a difference and make your life count, as life is so precious.
Q: What do you like the most about living in the Bay Area?
LN: As a 4th Bay Area generation,
- · It’s vibrant with great jobs, is inclusive & multi cultural with wineries, great restaurants and entertainment
- · Has the best weather & within 3 hours of snow for skiing or half hour to the beach
- · Is intellectually stimulating (near top Stanford (dad was an alum) and Cal (grandparents and uncle were alums)
- · Close to 3 airports for easy access to travel
- · Great sports teams as we’re 49ers, Warriors and Giants’ fans
- · San Francisco, which is one of the most beautiful and coveted cities in the world