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Meet Patricia Norwine of Dolce & Associates Realty in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Norwine.

Patricia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Real estate is actually my third career. Advertising and advertising sales came before real estate. Having this background has helped me greatly in real estate.

My first year in real estate was the hardest. Here I was with a license (to kill for my clients) but who is going to trust me with no experience? Not even a family member, (sigh) but I couldn’t blame them. I had lots of offers from real estate companies to come work for them- which was a real high. But when I went to their introduction meeting, I found that I would be in debt the minute I started working for them. The fees added up the minute I walked through their doors. So my advice to anyone getting into the business is to have one year of savings in order to stay alive.

I got my license in 2006 when the market was just beginning to feel the effects of people losing their homes due to 100% financing. Short sales were starting to take off. So I studied everything I could about them and went after that market. I worked with people who were losing everything. I knew I could make a difference in their lives. Working with the bank’s short sale department though was a totally different story.

I would call every day trying to get answers before the bank foreclosed. When I couldn’t get answers, I decided to contact the president of the bank. That got results. Here is where my advertising sales background helped tremendously. I had called on senior management so I felt comfortable in how to deal with them. I had a high success rate with short sales but eventually I got burnt out.

After a few years of short sales under my belt, I started getting referrals to work with buyers and sellers.

As an advertising director, I had to put together a marketing plan so I put this experience to use with new clients. In advertising sales, I always put the client’s needs before my own. This work experience and ethic has paid off in real estate sales.

So coming to real estate late in the game wasn’t a hindrance for me.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As I mentioned earlier, the first year is the hardest. It’s hard to find someone who is going to trust you with selling their home or to negotiate the best price for them. So you need to have at least one year of savings to live on until sales kick in.

Reality really hit me when I went to my first interview with a real estate firm. I went in singing “The Eye of the Tiger” and came away singing “I Will Survive”.

Learning and negotiating short sales was tough but it kept me alive in my first years of real estate.

I don’t consider real estate a smooth road even today. Just smoother than my first year.

Having the internet has made it easier for buyers and sellers. The downside is that many think they know more than an agent. Why do they need an agent? My place will sell easily. Will I split the commission with them? Why should the seller get more when they paid so little for it 10 years ago? Why do I need to de-clutter my place before putting it on the market? Who wouldn’t love my German Shepherd? You get the picture.

So anyone getting into the business thinking they are going to make a bundle of money quickly, think again.

It takes hard work just like any other growing business. On the other hand, the rewards are great when you look at the joy you brought to people.

Please tell us about Dolce & Associates Realty.
I work for Karen Dolce. She took over her father-in-law’s real estate business over 30 years ago. She has a great reputation. When I started my search for a broker, my top consideration was their ethics.

Karen’s name was at the top of the list from a couple of title reps. I haven’t regretted my decision all these years later.

It was also important for me to work in a team environment. I knew that sales, in general, could produce a toxic environment and that was not what I was interested in.

As a result, all of agents help each other and share information. There isn’t any pressure to sell, sell, sell. That gives the agents the freedom to produce their best work for each client.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Wow that’s a tough one. But I guess I look back at my time with my grandparents. I was their first grandchild so I spent many weekends and vacations with them. They treated me like an adult rather than a child. They took me on vacations to Las Vegas at 7 and 8 years old. I remember one night they put me in a movie theatre to see “From Here to Eternity” (what were they thinking?) while they went gambling. When I came out, I didn’t see my grandmother. For some reason, I wasn’t afraid. I decided to walk across the street to the drug store to get a coke and when I did, I saw my grandmother sitting in the car waiting for me. She never saw me come out. I believe because of them, I grew up comfortable with being independent and safe in taking risks when necessary.

Contact Info:

Me and my real estate partner, TJ Convertino and his partner, Tim

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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