Brandi Nelson

Archive for 2017|Yearly archive page

10 things polite Realtors hate to tell sellers (even though it’s important)

In Uncategorized on September 12, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Sometimes the truth hurts. Sometimes I offend people when I tell them their house smells. Sometimes I die a little inside before I tell them their house is filthy. Sometimes I hurt their feelings when I explain not everyone loves 7 cats in the house. Sometimes I come off brash when I explain, “but you didn’t actually do those things you planned.”

But sometimes, ok most times, it’s the little things that make a big difference.

Litter box Background image via Shutterstock. Modified.

Tilted couch Background image via Shutterstock. Modified.

Messy closet Image via Shutterstock.

Dirty microwave Image via Shutterstock.

Extension cord Image via Shutterstock.

Bong Image via Shutterstock.

Switchplate Image via Shutterstock.

Moving boxes Image via Shutterstock.

Throw rugs Image via Shutterstock.

House for sale Image via Shutterstock.


Being a Realtor is easy…

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2017 at 9:32 pm


I’m generally pretty laid back, but when I let things build up, it can get a little ugly. That’s where this story starts, let me tell you about my week…

It all started on Monday when I ran into a past client in the grocery store. She was so excited to see me and tell me that she’d gotten her real estate license and was now “working” for (a not to be named, but obviously not C21) real estate company. I told  her I was happy for her and that I had no idea she was interested in the business and she said… “When you  helped us buy our home it was so easy I knew immediately that I wanted to switch to something easier.” I’m not upset with her getting in the business, not one bit. I wished her the best, in fact I told her we should have lunch sometime and if she ever needed anything to call me.

Tuesday I was driving between appointments and saw a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sign in a past clients yard. Like any good Realtor, I called them immediately and asked them if I could help… “Oh no, we’re good. You know when you sold our last house all you did was put a sign in the ground & it sold,  so we thought that was easy! we can do that and save all that money.”

At 8:30pm last night, I finally took a little time to catch up on some reading, clean out the “extras” in my email, etc and found this lovely little article on Inman News (a leading real estate news source for Realtors)… Why a real estate license empowers women & could change your life.  Should be a great, uplifting article right? WRONG!!! It promotes women having their real estate license in case they get divorced. That you should have your real estate license even if you only do one deal a year. Let me do the math… if you do 3 deals in 3 years then subtract license fees, e&o insurance, office splits, MLS dues, continuing ed classes, lockboxes, signs… well you’d be in the hole, big time and I didn’t even go into business cards, gas, advertising, etc.

Topping it all off was a call this morning at 7:32am. Nice lady called, asked some questions about a house I have listed and said it might be something her son would be interested in. She asked if we’d had any offers, any showings… I said there is a showing scheduled for tomorrow but no offers yet. I asked if her son was pre-approved for financing? “No, not yet, but he just got a great job.” Ok, has he looked at other properties? Is he looking at any other towns? “No, he hasn’t looked at anything yet, he’s very busy. I want to make it easy for him.”  The she asked if I could show her (not the son, his time is very important) 19 other properties (not interested in my listing since someone else is looking at it) this Saturday. I stuttered a little, I started to explain the need for financing pre-approval and that we should narrow down the list a little… she screamed “You’re not making this easy. I will find a Realtor that values his time.” and hung up on me.

So now I’m in a mood, need to go for a walk and have a glass of wine and try not unleash on the next unsuspecting person I run across. I’m having Dr Jekyll / Mr Hyde type conversations with myself. I go to great lengths to make my clients transactions go smoothly and without stress… maybe I should just let some of these deals blow up! No, that’s not a good idea. Maybe I should email/text them every single time I do any single thing on their transaction so they know I’m doing something… no, again not a good idea, I’d need a full time person just to send out those text/emails. Maybe I should call & email my past clients more frequently… no, I think that might qualify as stalking. Maybe I should have agreed to show 19 homes to the mom of an unqualified buyer on my Saturday… no, probably not the best use of my time.

So here I sit repeating… “I love my job, it’s easy. I love my job, it’s easy. I love my job, it’s easy…” in my best mocking, snotty, rebellious 15 year old, valley girl voice and writing a blog post to vent about it! Because in the end, I do love my job. No it’s not easy but I still love it. I’ll work tonight and I’ll get up tomorrow and I’ll keep doing my best because I do love my job.. most of it. Like 98% of it…

On the bright side… I’m doing an awesome job of making this gig look easy!




Innovate or…dissipate?

In Uncategorized on January 17, 2017 at 11:01 pm


I started in the real estate world full time in 2005 at the ripe old age of 32. New career, new goals, new outlook on life… yep, I was a bonafide newbie. I was scared to death yet had the whole world in front of me. I was willing to try, didn’t have any bad habits (yet) and didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Agents who had been in the business for years and years were quick to tell me how lucky I was to be getting in now. You see, they remembered when you sat next to your corded phone in the office and waited for a buyer/seller to call, then they called the other party 17 times until they answered, waited 11 hours for that party to call back and then had to physically drive 22 miles to get real, ink signatures then drive back to the office, make 4 copies (buyer/seller/closing dept & one just in case) and then snail mail them out to all parties. Then they got a fax machine!  I could keep going but you get the idea…

Back to me… I was young, ambitious and tech savvy. I had a cell phone, access to a color printer and… a website of my own (gasp!) I was cutting edge! Within a few years I upgraded to a smart phone with unlimited talk/text/pics, my own color printer, a better website and Facebook business account.  Never one to get behind the times I moved on to an iPad,  and hired a professional photographer & drone videoer (is that a word?) for my listings, downloaded an app for on the go scanning & started using Dotloop for electronic signatures. I assume you’re seeing the trend here…

Now here I am starting my 13th year in real estate. I no longer feel like a newbie in the business. I love when any of the “new” agents come to me and ask how to do something because I finally feel like someone thinks I know what I’m doing! My new fear is being left behind. It seems like every day I see or hear of something “new” I should be doing or trying to market my listings or find new prospects.


But staying cutting edge is a daily grind in this business. Just this morning I read an in depth article on how virtual reality tours will be the norm in our business within 1-2 years. I checked on my ads on, Adwerx and Zillow. I updated leads from Agent Machine, Premier Agent Concierge, Lead Router and Zap. Last week I downloaded a new app (you should see the # of real estate apps on my phone!) last week that would make quick, visually pretty, videos for my listings. In the past two days I’ve texted, called, IMd, Messengered, Instagrammed, Facebooked, Pinterested, Snap Chatted, Skyped, Ripled and blogged all in the name of business. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to Google+, do anything on Facebook Live, my Contactually account is behind and my BombBomb account feels neglected.

All of this said, I absolutely love Century 21’s new commercial (see below) “Not an App” because it reminds us that even with all of the innovation, even with all of the real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia and there are things that machines, apps, programs can’t do. That’s where I/we come in… the real Brandi Nelson, a real person with two real buyer’s agents (The Brandi Nelson Real Estate Team) to take care of real clients.

So yes, we plan to keep innovating but we like to talk to and meet our clients in person. We spend sleepless nights worrying about clients being homeless or complicated deals falling through. We do everything we can to make the process easier & simpler for our clients but at the same time, buying/selling a home is most likely the largest financial decision of your life and that deserves our personal attention.


One last look at 2016 & our stats…

In Uncategorized on January 13, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Check out the pictures below of most of the 58 homes & 2 businesses (sorry missing a couple of pics!) that my team helped people buy and sell this year. Here’s the rundown…

  • 46 homes, 11 acreages, 1 condo & 2 commercial buildings
  • 16 transactions were double sided (we worked for both the buyer & the seller)
  • Sale prices ranged from $22,000 to $385,000
  • Our listings averaged 43 days on market and sold within 5.3% of their asking price
  • 15 of our listings went pending in 10 days or less, another 11 pended in 11-30 days
  • 4 listings sold on the first day they were listed & had multiple offers

The Brandi Nelson Real Estate Team is extremely proud of our 2016 stats and we’ve set higher standards and bigger goals for 2017!

To see our current listings, go to

If you’re thinking about buying or selling in 2017 we’d be honored to help you, contact Brandi at 515-291-0914 or email her at

2016… was a BIG year!

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2017 at 7:38 pm

pictures bye bye 2016 best

Before we completely forget last year, let me say 2016 was a BIG year for the Brandi Nelson Real Estate Team! I added two buyer’s agents, moved my main office, hit an all time sales high and helped over 60 individuals/families buy and or sell homes!

Let’s start at the beginning… Nicole Haberkorn (now Krauel!) quit her real job and became a full time real estate agent in April, then got married in October.  Karissa Elgersma, my assistant got her real estate license in April and started working with buyers too. Now I have two right hands! I couldn’t do this without them, nor would I want to try.


Nicole Krauel


Karissa Elgersma


As you can see from the map below (its a little hard to see but its the best my tech savvy self could do!) we covered a lot of territory in central Iowa in 2016. This is a map of the 60 transactions we were able to handle and successfully close from January to December of 2016, from Highway 20 in the north to Highway 80 in the south, as far west as Stratford and as far west as Clemons. Whew, our mileage deductions should be amazing for 2016.


Personally, I moved from the Ames office to the Story City office (see New Year, New Goals, New Office ) and I had my best, highest grossing real estate year yet. I owe all my success to Karissa, Nicole, Cory (my husband), my family, a ton of great friends, my co-workers/support staff and all of my amazing clients!  I truly believe it takes a team to thrive in the real estate world. The encouragement that I received this past year from my husband, my family & friends was nothing short of amazing. The support from my team, my co-workers and support staff at Century 21 Signature Real Estate was above & beyond the call of duty. But let’s not forget the ever essential, incredible clients we got to work with and for this year – without them, none of this would be possible!


New year, new goals, new office!

In Uncategorized on January 6, 2017 at 6:38 pm

Don’t panic. I’m still with Century 21 and still very happy there!

Late last year, Century 21 Signature Real Estate (Ames, Story City, Huxley, Ankeny, Urbandale & Altoona) bought 511 Broad Street in Story City. For years and years it was the Story City Herald’s office building. It’s a beautiful brick building on the west end, north side of Broad St. (main drag), tons of woodwork and charm.

Moving our Story City office to the new building provides more office room for agents and private conference rooms to meet with clients. Lucky me! Now there’s room for me to work from the Story City office, be closer to home and be in the center of my sphere of influence. I’m super excited and I’m already loving hanging out here.

The plan is for Karissa Elgersma (my assistant and buyer’s agent) and Nicole Haberkorn (my buyer’s agent) to still work out of the Ames office, no changes there. I still have a spot in our Ames BNRE team office and will spend Wednesdays in Ames, go there for closings, meetings, etc.  With all the advances in technology and our office being 95% paperless this is a pretty easy transition, plus realistically I’m only 20 mins from Ames if I’m absolutely needed!

That’s my big news, stop in and check out our new office, I’d love to see you & we have a Keurig… just sayin…



It’s 2017… now what?

In Uncategorized on January 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Image result for 2017 images

Woohoo, it’s 2017! I’ve got all my resolutions made, goals set, plans in the works, a brand new year to look ahead to… but… wait… maybe we should start with a little reality…

The last 10 days have been great. I had a wonderful Christmas, played with some new kitchen gadgets & gifts, spent time with the family (but not too much time!), had two closings, celebrated a couple of birthdays, enjoyed a few late night/early mornings with friends, ate some really awesome food (maybe a little too much), slept til 8/9/10am everyday, relished a few really quiet hours setting up my new office, popped by a few clients to say Happy Holidays, did the whole shop/spend/return thing, ran errands for the hubby, spoiled my dogs rotten with naps/walks/cuddling,  completely cleared out our Tivo and actually loved my 10 days “off”.

It all started to go downhill about 1pm yesterday… panic and dread started to set in…


Like, actually, really work. I know, everyone does and I’m not special. Not looking for sympathy or anything, its just never really hit me like it did this year. You see I rarely take days in a row off. There have been a few vacations where we’ve left the country, I had zero communication but the longest was 7 days and I’m usually a wreck before & after. There are times when I “say” I’m off work but I’m still checking emails, answering calls and my mind is still in real estate mode because I truly love my job. I rarely think of it as work.

Image result for alarm images

My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning (Resolution #1). My FitBit silent alarm went off at 5:45. My overly ambitious self sent me a an appointment reminder at 6am that I should already be downstairs working out (Resolution #2). I literally sent a SnapChat from my bed about how unexcited I was about going back to work. At 7am I opened the fridge to find a lot of pre-made, healthy food, fruits and veggies (Resolution #3)… to be honest, it was already looking bad for the future of my resolutions. It’s early, it’s cold & windy outside, it’s January, whose bright idea was this?

But then it was like a little miracle… the phone rang…it was a new prospective client that had been referred to me (a glowing, only person you should use, type referral), then an email from a client I thought had given up the search for real estate saying they want to buy in the next 60 days, then a call from a lender that wants to do lunch and see what they can do better this year… and then the stars aligned, my to do list reappeared, ideas started flying onto the paper and I’M BAAAACK!!

Here’s to 2017 and getting back to my routine. Yes, there are some changes I’d like to make, some improvements I hope to make and new projects to start. But I’m really happy to be back to work! Speaking of which… gotta go…I need to drink another 20 oz of water (Resolution #4), still have lots of clients to call (Resolution #5)…

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