What is the secret to achieving success? Warren Buffet might have said it best: “Take a job that you love.” Yet Maya Angelou’s words are more poetic: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” That’s the allure of Lisa Turnure, an 18-year real estate veteran with Coldwell Banker Bain in the Greater Seattle area.
“I love what I do, and my career is my passion,” says the award-winning Realtor. “I am often told that I was born to do real estate.”
Her passion for her profession shows. Ranked among the top 1% of Coldwell Banker agents internationally, Turnure was recently invited to join an elite group of Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® Ambassadors. The Global Luxury ambassadors — now numbering 20 worldwide — are the best in the industry and are tasked with sharing the advantages of Coldwell Banker’s unique luxury real estate marketing platform with the world. Ambassadors like Lisa are hand-selected based on sales volume, and most typically land in the top 5% of their respective marketplace.
In honor of her new ambassador role with the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury program, we caught up with Lisa and asked her 10 questions.
What was your first job?
I worked in a department store in high school and I loved it. I think that’s where I first realized that I love sales. I don’t even consider what I do sales. Whether retail or real estate, sales is more about relationship building and helping people make. I am a people person, and I love the human interaction that this business offers.
If you were not a real estate agent, what would you be?
I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love what I do. Real estate is not my first career, so if you had asked me this question before I changed careers, being a Realtor would still have been my answer.
Prior to real estate, most of my career was spent as CFO of a marketing, brand strategy and design firm. Although I enjoyed it, I never felt that it was my passion. I wanted to do something that I loved. I always longed to sell real estate, and I made the leap almost two decades ago. My first year in the business, I was “Rookie of the Year” for Coldwell Banker Bain. I’ve never looked back.
What originally drew you to a career in real estate?
I love homes, I love people, and I like the excitement of putting a transaction together for a client. I am an entrepreneur and producer by nature, and in my previous career, I felt like I was sitting on the sidelines instead of participating in the game. I longed for a career where I had more direct influence on the results of my work. I have always been described as someone with a “connector personality.” The bottom line is, I think that passion for a career is what makes people successful.
What are three words that best describe you as a real estate agent?
Experienced. Innovative. Trusted.
What is your favorite part about selling luxury real estate in your market?
With my passions for both beautiful homes and connecting with people, selling luxury real estate comes naturally and brings me joy. I get to see many incredible homes and estates, and I also get to meet amazing people. When asked about my favorite part of my career, I always say it’s the people I get to meet along the way and would otherwise not get to connect with. I’ve cultivated some lifetime relationships and friendships through real estate, not only in the luxury market but at all price points. Nothing in the business brings me more joy than helping clients transition to their next home.
What was the biggest challenge your business faced (and how did you overcome it)?
Selling real estate during the coronavirus pandemic has been challenging. It has been an unsettling time for all of us, yet some people still desire or need to buy or sell a home. When the pandemic hit, our market came to a screeching halt and was slow in March, April and early May. I had clients who still wanted their homes sold, and I worked hard to find innovative, safe ways to do so. While I’ve always used video and other virtual means to promote my listings, I created an even stronger online experience for my listings through lifestyle/neighborhood and property videos, as well as Matterport 3-D tours. I also created virtual marketing pieces, such as brochures for my listings that allow a buyer to flip through them online before and after a showing. I brought a luxury home on the market in March, and we attracted a buyer from out of state who was not comfortable traveling to Seattle yet wanted to move here. The buyer toured the home virtually through videos and a FaceTime walk-through and purchased the home sight-unseen. They closed on this gorgeous property and then came to Seattle, saw it for the first time post-closing, and loved it. I see this happening more and more in our market.
I also feel it’s important to be a good listener and to act as a good support system to our clients emotionally. These are scary times to navigate, and moving can make these times even more challenging. Being there for our clients is as important as helping them with the logistical parts of buying or selling.
What is the one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?
In business, I feel that I’ve accomplished my goals. I have been the No. 1 Coldwell Banker agent in the state and have set the record for the second-highest sale in our MLS at $30 million. More importantly, I’ve cultivated relationships with many wonderful clients and vendors whom I am now blessed to call friends.
I feel that the work of becoming a better person is never complete. I am always striving to be the best wife, mom and friend to all the important people in my life and to put their needs and relationships ahead of real estate. I am always working to deepen my faith and my relationship with God. I try to listen to others and learn from them and my own life successes and failures, and I strive for work-life balance.
What’s your top listing right now?
My top listing is a gorgeous estate on Capitol Hill. It is one of the most coveted, architecturally significant homes on the hill and is sited on a rare 0.85-acre lot with manicured grounds, a natural stream and a pond. This property has been in the same family since it was built in 1911 and is priced at $5.98 million. I just sold a $6.4 million listing of mine in August, as well.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?
The best piece of advice that I ever received was to follow my passion. It was scary to give up a career that I had excelled in and a salaried position to take the leap into real estate. But I followed that advice nearly two decades ago, and I have never looked back.
What’s the most interesting trend you’re seeing in the market right now?
The most interesting trend that I am seeing is the shift in reasons that people are making changes and moving. With many able to work at home indefinitely, some are moving to different locations that would have been impossible to commute from before. They are also looking for different things in homes, such as more home office space, space for kids to do school at home and great outdoor spaces for socially distanced entertaining. Some are retiring sooner than planned or making dramatic career changes that are causing a desire to move. If there is any silver lining to the times that we are in, I think it’s that some people are slowing down and following their hearts, whether it’s what they want to do in their lives or where they want to live.