Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Festivals

It's that time of year again, when the weather gets warmer and Richmond starts revving up for good times!  April marks the beginning of festival season, where the spring air is still flowing with a cool breeze and we all get outdoors to watch the city bloom in all its grandeur while keeping the Claritin well stocked.  As I mentioned before, Easter on Parade is one of my favorite events to go to every year to see all the lovely hats, flowery dresses and quirky dogs, but there’s lots more in store for April!

     If you’re going to spend most of your day at worship on Easter Sunday, Maymont is holding Dominion Family Easter from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, April 4.  If you’re not afraid of crowds, head out for face-painting, crafts, easter egg hunts, games, zip-lines and live entertainment!  It's free to attend with different fees per activity.

     For those Richmonders who are art-minded and issue focused, the James River Film Festival will be underway, starting Thursday April 9 and lasting through the weekend.  Films will be shown and filmmakers will speak covering a wide variety of topics from music to ethnically driven films, environmental issues and biography.  The 22nd year of the James River Film Festival has plenty of food for thought for everyone.  Admissions vary depending on venue and film.

     For all the foodies out there, hold on to your britches!  The first annual Ardent Swine & Brine brings you a host of award winning restaurants cooking the other white meat; PORK!  They’ll be serving up swine along with lots of sides to savor.  Special brews from Ardent will be featured for the event, along with other beer selections.  When the likes of Richmond’s newest favorite brewery joins forces with such culinary powerhouses such as The Roosevelt, Metzger Bar & Butchery, Saison and ZZQ, you know the event will sell out.  The event is being held on Friday, April 10 from 4-8pm and tickets are $18.

     Last but not least, for all of you fashionistas, tree-huggers and men and women-about-town, the RVA Earth Day Festival is being held Saturday April 18th.  It’s Style Weekly’s 6th annual celebration and its always a hit!

     I’m looking forward to getting out in the nice weather this coming month! These are just some of the events I’m looking forward to and there are many more throughout the area to attend.  You’ll want to make sure you check into all the upcoming wine festivals as well, because there’s as many as there are grapes on a vine!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Giving Back: Johnson’s Charities

Some of you may already know this about me and a few of you probably don’t but I really do think of myself as very fortunate and blessed career wise, and because of that I made a promise to myself that I would give back to the community. I love Richmond and I will do pretty much anything I can to make it a better place to live, I have made it a point to give to a charity every month based on the number of closings I have. Last month I was able to donate $500 to Johnson’s charities which after a little bit of research online found out they were the kind of charity that was really worth giving to.

Johnson’s charity was founded eight years back by no one else than the Johnson’s. What they do is very unique and special, in some ways even unorthodox. They work with other charities around Richmond to collect and donate back to some of the less fortunate neighborhoods, specifically kids in those communities. They do a Christmas parade every year in which they drive around different areas of the city and hand out gifts to those who may not be able to afford them otherwise. This action has brought smiles to kids all over Richmond, and honestly they are the real life Santa Claus for some of these people.

In the last year alone, they have donated around 10k toys in Richmond and Henrico. They have been covered by various media outlets in Richmond because of their good work. If you’ll like to learn more about Johnson’s Charities please visit their website by clicking here.

The next event they have coming up is on July 11th, 2015 starting at 4pm, titled Smoke and Vine. Which will take place at the James River Cellar 11008 Washington Hwy, Glen Allen, Virginia 23059. Click here to learn more about this event. 

This is not only a great opportunity to get out and go to a unique event but this will be benefiting Johnson’s Charities and all their efforts in the community.

The Johnson's are very active in Richmond and they try to bring awareness to their cause by participating in other events in the area.

Some of the other charities that I have given back to this year so far have been:

Loving a Soldier (January 2015)
Good Samaritan (February 2015)

If you have any suggestions for what should be my next charity please send me an email with your suggestion to

Monday, March 16, 2015

#MillionDollarClub, #MostClosedLoans, #OutstandingSales

Outstanding Sales

2014..... Wow! All I have to say is what a year! I set some really crazy goals for myself and even though I thought they were plausible goals I didn't really think I would reach all three of them - but here we are. It's 2015 and looking back at 2014 I realize how truly crazy the year really was... I worked my butt off but it was definitely worth it. It totally paid off.

Thanks to Virginia Capital Realty for being there for me and providing me the support I needed to get these awards. I know that my team helped me out a whole bunch and it would've been hard to get where I am without them.

Oh and if you haven't done so already check out my all new website ->

Most Closed Loans

Million Dollar Club

With Brian, principal broker at Virginia Capital Realty

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#RVA March Events

Historic Bike Tours
March 1-28
A perfect pairing of physical and mental stimulation, it doesn’t matter what level you’re starting from.  Richmond Rides is offering several tours in March.  Take advantage of the Spring air to bike and explore Richmond.  Contact Richmond Rides at for dates, times and fees.

St. Paddy’s Day at Carytown Cupcakes
March 13, 5-8pm
     Come get your green beer, green cupcakes and live music here!  Wear something green and enter to win free cupcakes!

Innsbrook St. Paddy’s Palooza
March 14
     Free and full of fun!  Live music, food and inflatable fun for the children, this St. Patrick’s Day festival is a great way to celebrate the holiday.  There will be pony rides and a hot air balloon! Face painting, a photo booth and a petting zoo are also great additions to the festivities to be had by all.  St. Baldrick’s foundation, supporting research for children with cancer will be shaving brave men and women’s heads on the main stage to raise support and awareness.

The Mustang: 50 Years of an American Icon
March 15, 2-3:30 pm
Free in Deep Run Park
     Celebrate 5 generations of vehicles.  An overview of 9 million cars that gave the Mustang its enviable reputation in representing the best of American motor vehicles.
Contact Debbie Nolan, for more information

VA Motor Trend International Auto Show
March 20-22
Richmond Convention Center
Tickets $3-$9
The latest innovations and designs in cars, trucks and crossovers.  Visit for more information

National Waffle Day
March 25
Check your local waffle houses for discounts, deals and free waffles!  I.e. IHOP, Waffle House, Denny’s, Bob Evan’s, etc.  Mmmm, waffles :) 

Inaugural Support VA Green Tourism Oyster Roast and Festival
March 28
The American Civil War Museum at Historic Tredegar
$50/ $70 VIP
Featuring Certified Virginia Green Wineries, Breweries and Restaurants. come enjoy sustainable oysters and other small plates while listening to Notch 9 play live americana/bluegrass and folk music.  Whether you enjoy your oysters raw, steamed or fried you’re bound to find something that suits your palate from 4 VIRGINIA GREEN restaurants.  Wash it all down with delicious selections of wine from 3 Virginia Green wineries and 2 Virginia Green Breweries.  Participate in the silent auction and bid on great deals for travel packages, weekend getaways and restaurants all supported by Virginia Green Travel partners. Two drink tickets per admission, 4pm with general ticket.  For more information visit
The Curious History of the Egg
Three Lakes Park
March 28, 10-11am, ages 8-10
$6 Admission
Learn the history behind the egg as you bedazzle your own jeweled creations.  For more information contact Becky Monroe at

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

It’s All About (Online) Relationships

Any successful business person will tell you that having referrals from other clients is one of the best way to get leads. When someone recommends a real estate agent or any other individual that provides a service, they are more likely to hire them through a referral. We tend to trust others around us, but as times change people don’t meet organically as often as they used to. Today we heavily rely on text messaging, IM’s, Facebook, LinkedIn and countless social media platforms to communicate with friends and loved ones. As a real estate agent we collect leads through CRM software. 

What I find fascinating about doing business online is that there are tools  like the “endorsement” feature from LinkedIn, Facebook has a “suggest a page” button, Twitter has the “@“ so you can directly connect with other users, to “refer” those people that you prefer working with to others. For those who know me, you know that I am all over the place. I belong to tons of different networking groups, I donate to different charities every month and I host events to connect with others in person but all of that needs to be complimented with an  an online presence. So let’s say that we do capture leads online via our website or social media, what's next? 

Online relationship don’t end online, it’s about follow up and having a personal touch to that relationship. Stay away from generic emails, make sure to ask questions and if appropriate, follow up via phone or in person. Always make sure that you do a thank card or email for your customer’s business and make yourself available to them even after your services have ended. 

I set aside one hour every day to follow up with existing clients, check out my CRM, harbor those online relationships via phone or email and figure out ways that I can personalize the way I contact people. Some of these things include congratulating someone on a new job which can be easily on LinkedIn, wishing people well on a vacation or just sending a small gift when parents have a baby. These are the things that make you stand out and make you memorable, and all of these leads can be found online or in your CRM. Finding leads has become easier than ever, it’s just a matter of proper follow up.