So, tell us a little bit about yourself, and specifically what brought you into real estate as a career.
Well, I’ve got my mother with me, Janet Armkrecht. We’re a mother-daughter team, so my mom will chime in with this interview as well. I live here in Las Vegas, and went to UNLV. Basically what got me started is my mother. She’s been a real estate agent since 1991 — the year I was born. From a young age, I was always with her in the back of the car with all of her clients, helping her and just mostly tagging along. My dad was also a real estate investor and he would purchase homes, renovate them and then my mom would sell them. So it was like a family business. I remember tearing down walls and overhauling houses. It was such a big part of my life that it became a pastime, so I knew then when I got older it was something that was really close to my heart and it was also something I was well-versed in.
So, I’ll ask you this: what is the one thing that your mom taught you, whether it was just modeling her behavior or what have you? What is it that you gleaned from her that you use now actively in your real estate career?
I think it was just seeing her clientele as part of her family. She’s a very outgoing person who really cares. With everything she did, she had their best interests in mind. When she tries to find them a home, it’s a very personal thing to her. So I feel like each client was like family, like another part of our family. She was always with them, always involved.
Why Las Vegas?
I was born and raised here, so I’m very familiar with the area. I know these neighborhoods inside and out. It’s actually a very interesting market. I have a broader perspective as I get older, watching how it has evolved, with the influx of people, businesses, and sports teams. This city is constantly growing and I don’t see myself leaving. When I was younger I would always say, “Oh, I’m going to leave and go to California or New York, one of those big cities.” Las Vegas is now becoming a big city with old roots. I feel like it is growing to be one of those big cities I have always dreamed of selling in. I’m really excited about real estate here so I don’t see myself leaving any time soon.
What is a typical day in the life of a Las Vegas realtor?
Frankly every day is a little different. I usually start when I wake up at five in the morning and start searching for houses, doing research, and then I’m talking to clients, making sure everything’s in order for my sellers, from the photography, staging, to the marketing materials. It’s a twenty-four hour business. My phone never really gets turned off. My mind is always running around the clock to be sure I meet the needs and standards of my clients.
What do you think is important for a potential client to ask when looking for the best agent for them, whether it’s a listing agent or a selling agent? What are the some of the questions are most important to ask?
I’ll let my mom chime in on this one, first.
Janet: Well, on the selling side, I find that they like you to know the ins and outs of their neighborhood, the school systems, quality of life, and generally what will bring a buyer to come and see their home.
Maria: Right, we look at what stands out within that community. And from there, we take it and we show how we can highlight the unique features of the home. We are knowledgable about their area and what makes not only their home impressive but the local amenities that appeal to buyers as well.
The cost of everything, that’s very important to them and it’s what they want to see, initially. I also think they want to see more heart in it. I think how we get our listings so easily is that our clients know we care and we treat them like their home is our home. We’re taking care of the home throughout the whole process, so our clients trust us to pay attention to their individual needs.
Janet: Also, when I have a buyer, I always start with saying this is a process and it’s going to take some time to find the perfect home for you. It’s probably the biggest purchase you’re going to make, likely in your lifetime. And I tell them that I have the patience and the knowledge to take care of you. And I don’t want you to feel like you’re being rushed in any way.
Mariah: It’s because we’re not only real estate agents, but we’re also a bit like counselors. We really have to mentor and walk our clients through the ups and downs when purchasing or even listing a home because it’s such a personal thing. Sometimes they feel like they’re giving away part of their heart when they’re selling their home. I don’t want to say we market ourselves that way, but we let them know, you can count on us. Even if it’s something you’re struggling with, we’re your friend as well, and we can help you move through the process gracefully. There’s never too small of a request, even if it’s just a fear or concern we can help you through.
I had this one client, and when she sold her home she was so happy because she lives in California so she didn’t really need it anymore. It was so great because she was crying and was also so relieved. She gave me the biggest hug because she was so appreciative of the work I did for her. When you sell your home, it feels almost like a significant loss of memories. So you have to be there for them in so many different ways.
In terms of real estate agencies, there are quite a few out there. What made you and your mom choose Synergy Sotheby’s?
Well, we started with more of an a-la-carte kind of boutique agency and that really worked for us. There’s something about Synergy Sotheby’s Realty that impressed me and I wanted to go with a company that I felt proud to be with, and it feels to me like they have more of an international marketing program which appealed to me. It was the best decision for us because we want to grow with a reputable agency and brand. I admire their integrity and repect for not only their clients, but their agents as well. I see myself succeeding in the company because of their structure and that’s where I want to be, growing and expanding. I thought it was a good fit for us to align our goals with a company that has the same goals.
.And what goals are that? What goals are you speaking about specifically?
Mariah: I think just branching out. It’s inspiring to me how they cover so many parts of the world After all, everybody knows the Sotheby’s brand and what it stands for. People know the brand and they know the name. No matter where I go, if I’m in Venice, or any part of the world, everyone knows Sotheby’s. I think as far as goals, I want my business to grow and prosper along with Synergy.
Janet: Synergy is very good at teaching the specific real estate and marketing tools which we think we all know. I’ve been in it for so long I think I know everything, but I don’t. And with Sotheby’s, they take you and they mentor you no matter how much you’ve been in the business. They smooth you over to be the best there is in the business, and that’s why I love working for Sotheby’s.
Mariah: With Sotheby’s it feels like you have a brand behind you. Instead of me being Mariah Armknecht of simply Vegas, it’s this big name I’m standing beside.
Janet: They stress that the best agents work for Sotheby’s. They’re trained right. You know that you’re getting a professional support network behind you.
Mariah: Oh and also, I’ll say that, agents that I look up to, from a Vegas standpoint, are all within the company.
Janet: Yes, absolutely.
What sets you apart? Not only just as a realtor, but also as a person?
Mariah: Well, I modeled for several years. I’ve been on several advertising campaigns in magazines and billboards on the Strip. I think people, when the hire me, they think, “Hey, I’ve seen her somewhere but I can’t place it.” So there’s a little notoriety for me in this town, with my past and what I’ve done. I get a lot of attention. So that’s pretty interesting.
Also, I love interior design. That kind of goes hand-in-hand with real estate but I just have a passion for it. I think people don’t realize I’m a resource for interior design when it comes to flooring, countertops — just about anything that you need in your home. With my eye for design I help clients find new furniture, picking out the right carpeting for the space, wood accents, or anything; I’m just crazy about design.