- Anna 'Banana' Kruchten - Phoenix Real Estate Broker,CRS 602-380-4886
- Phoenix Property Shoppe
- Brand Affiliation
- Independent Brokerage
- Contact Anna 'Banana' Kruchten - Phoenix Real Estate Broker,CRS 602-380-4886 (Phoenix Property Shoppe)
- Google Profile
- Find me on Google+
- Office Phone
- (602) 380-4886
- (888) 706-5353
- Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Tempe,Glendale, Mesa, Gilbert, Peoria, Surprise, Anthem, Maricopa County
- Hi I"m Anna "Banana" Kruchten from Phoenix AZ. Buying or selling real estate is most folks biggest transaction in their lives. It is critical to hire and agent with experience and that you trust.
Anna Banana's Phoenix Area Real Estate Blog & Fun Stuff!
I opened the Phoenix Property Shoppe in 2006 after many years in the real estate industry with a top local firm. About a year later the housing market crashed and there we were, big office, many agents and not much business being done.
I had to find a way to survive and thrive through this down time
and I had no idea of what that looked like - at least at first.
I had been through the savings and loan challenge in the late 80's but that was not even close to the market crash of 2008. After much studying and talking with experts, I hired an Internet coach. I absolutely KNEW that in order to create a long standing real estate business I needed to learn how to market on the Internet. It was clear to me that all business was headed toward marketing on the Internet and..... fast.
Active Rain became a huge part of my business building model. Little did I know when I first began blogging on Active Rain that I would learn at such a rapid rate on how to market on the Internet and, that I had the top experts in the real estate industry supporting me and coaching me along the way. What a stroke of luck for me! I'd like to call it genius but it wasn't - it was divine inspiration!
It was a steep hill that first year on Active Rain but it was by a long shot, the BEST business decision I made in 2008. As I write this update it is now 2012 and I'm alive, thriving and passionate about being a REALTOR® more so than I've ever been before. I am grateful for the countless people in Active Rain Community that have helped and supported me this past 3 years. And - I'm having a blast teaching and training all those agents that are just beginning their Internet Road Trip. Life is Good!
Real Estate and Working with my Clients is my Passion!
I take my clients trust in me very seriously. I'm known for 'telling' it like it really is - not what somebody might think it should look like. This may sound tough, but in the long run if you want to sell or buy a home you need to know the real facts in order to make a wise investment.
If YOU want the truth....I'm the Real Estate Agent for You
Together, you and I will work as a team towards accomplishing your goal of selling or buying a home or purchasing investment properties. I know the 'team principle' inside and out from my over 24 years in the Arizona Real Estate Market. My clients come back to me year after year because they know I've got their best interests foremost and upfront.
Most of my business is by referral for a reason! My reputation which I've built over the last 24 years in real estate is extremely important to me and my clients.
What does my reputation mean to my clients? It means a guarantee that I will go above and beyond the call of duty for their family and friends that they refer to me. It means putting my clients' interests first, always. It means that I am there for my clients every step of the way. I ensure that every real estate transaction is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
This isn't always as easy as it used to be... With short sales and foreclosures flooding our Phoenix market it takes a great deal of expertise, knowledge and patience to navigate our current real estate market. I continually stay ahead of current changes - and trust me - changes happen week in and week out concerning distressed properties. That is why it is of utmost importance to hire an agent who really knows the market to work with you, whether selling or buying a home or investment properties.
The CRS symbol lets you know I am among the Top 4 percent of all Realtors®with the Certified Residential Specialist designation, the highest designation awarded to professionals in the residential sales field. The designation recognizes professional accomplishments in both a high level of experience and education.
The CDPE symbol means I am a Certified Distresed Property Expert and I specialize in short sales and foreclosures. I provide comprehensive information on foreclosure avoidance options for homeowners. As most know, we are in the middle of the most challenging market - ever - and this certification is extremely beneficial to my clients facing difficult decisions in short selling their homes.
The e-PRO symbol tells you I know my way around the internet and how to market succesfully in today's online world. In fact - I teach internet marketing to both REALTORS and other businesses.
As a Graduate of the REALTOR®Institute, I made a serious commitment (many years ago) to providing the highest level of professional services by pursuing a strong educational foundation. The GRI course is a series of 12, 1 or 2 day courses that provide an outstanding level of education and business building skills. My goal is to serve and protect my clients to the best of my ability.
The Women's Council of REALTORS® is a network of successful REALTORS® empowering women to exercise their potential as entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Through my influence as successful business professional, I effect positive change in the profession and in the broader community.
As a graduate and staff member of PSI Seminar and the Women's Leadership Seminars, I have done a great deal of work in the area of personal development. Each PSI seminar helps people achieve success in different aspects of life, from professional to health to financial to home life.
Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource Certified: I have extensive short sale and foreclosure knowledge and expertise.I have the expertise to qualify sellers for short sales, develop a complete short-sale package, negotiate with lenders.I am also a specialist at negotiating purchases for buyers wanting to buy a short sale or foreclosure. It is extremely important to have a foreclosure specialist guide you though this process.
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) chose me as one of the 12 Masters of Real Estate. I am the Prospecting Master. The NAR staff spent two days with me in Phoenix going through my business model and business practices to create a teaching video for other agents nationwide. It was truly an honor to be chosen as a Master of Real Estate. Please watch the video below!
The Phoenix Market
- Are you ready to quit paying rent and watching your money go down the drain?
- Are you sick and tired of boring white walls and noisy neighbors?
- Do you have a desire to have a place you can call your own?
- Would you like to start building equity and having a tax write off?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, it's time
for YOU to investigate your opportunity to buy your first home!
Prices have hit bottom in the Phoenix Metropolitan area and are beggining to go up slightly. Now is the optimal time for the Phoenix Area first-time homebuyer to purchase a home at a great price, with good terms and conditions. With interest rates being low it makes buying an affordable homes within reach. There are also some excellent loan programs available that allow a very low down payment, or almost no down payment. Yes that's right, almost no down payment, as long as you have good credit and a strong work history.
Great starter homes are available in the Phoenix market from $50,000 to $150,000, and with an FHA loan, you could go as high as $346,000. We have many homes on the market to choose from, so whatever your style, we can help you find and own your dream home!
I've been a real estate broker for more than 24 years, and I haven't seen prices and terms this low in at least 10 years. It's absolutely amazing to me. It is so rewarding to help first-time homebuyers through the process. Our goal is to keep buying your first home simple, easy, and stress-free. For so long, it was tough for first-time buyers to even think about getting into a home. They were simply priced out of the market. Not anymore! Now is the time for you to investigate your options.
If you want more information on buying your first home in the Phoenix market, click here to download my FREE eBook, 8 Secrets to Make Buying YOUR First Home EASY!
When it's time to sell, you must be confident that you've got every element in place for negotiating the best terms and highest price ... before you even list your home. The Phoenix real estate market is dynamic, and you want an experienced residential pro in your corner who can help you move your house as quickly and professionally as possible. Anna Banana is a professional full time broker you can count on to go above and beyond your expectations.
Forbes magazine recently selected Phoenix as one of the Top 10 cities in the country to invest in real estate. We have seen an increase in sales in many neighborhoods, especially those that are closer in town and nearer basic amenities. The outlying areas where people "drove to afford" have been the hardest hit of all the neighborhoods and the prices are very low.
When you are ready to sell your Phoenix Area home, I will be your advocate, guide, and fierce negotiator. I will work hard to make your transaction as smooth and stress-free as possible. Guaranteed!
- Find the right representative. The experience and knowledge of a dedicated real estate professional can be priceless. A good Realtor® forms a powerful team with his/her clients to ensure a smooth, successful, stress-free sale.
- Determine your needs/wants for the sale and for your new home. Selling your primary residence can be tricky because you must simultaneously think about where you would like to buy. First, weigh your priorities - selling price is certainly important, but having a quick and efficient sale can often be a fair trade-off for a slightly lower offer. Talk to your agent and make sure you are both on the same page about your personal priorities. At the same time, you should be compiling a needs/wants list for the home you will buy. Chances are good you will have to act fairly quickly when your house sells, so any preparation you can do in advance will serve you well.
- Prepare your house for showings. Unprepared homes can create sales disasters. Your home will never get as much attention from potential buyers as when it is first listed, so it's essential to clear clutter, clean, make repairs, and put your home's best foot forward. Don't "open for business" until your home is ready to be seen as favorably as possible.
- Get the facts and statistics on your local market. Being realistic about your market is the key to a smooth sale. You can attempt to do it yourself and save a few thousand dollars, but there's no substitute for a professional real estate representative when it comes to local market knowledge.
- List your home! Lots of photos and online exposure are the key to getting a good response for your listing. Anna' Banana' Kruchten knows her way around the internet - and that is where potential buyers are looking for homes - online. Now just "open" the house and sit back and wait for the buyers!
If you'd like a FREE market analysis of your neighborhood call me today and I'll email a market analsyis for your neighborhood. When you're ready, will meet at your home and discuss a listing strategy that works.
Although Arizona's nickname is the Grand Canyon State, we're probably best known for the sunny desert climate that gives the Phoenix area an average annual low of 59.3 and an average annual high of 85.9. As our nickname indicates, we are home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as:
- A vibrant metropolitan culture in Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the country, and its surrounding areas
- Three world-renowned state universities and more than a dozen other high-quality advanced degree institutions
- Cactus League Baseball (15 of the 30 MLB teams train here each spring), as well as professional football, basketball, and hockey
- Tons of festivals, art, and culture, from Southwestern art to the Heard Museum to the Chinese Cultural Center
- A plethora of restaurants that feature cuisines from around the world
- 200+ golf courses that were designed by the game's legends, people like Robert Trent Jones, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer
- New light rail system that runs through the heart of downtown
- A strong economic sector, focused around aerospace, electronics, and semiconductor manufacturing; printing and publishing; food processing; transportation and tourism; high-tech research and development; business services; back-office operations; agriculture and mining; building, construction and real estate; and government
Phoenix is ranked the 5th largest city in the country. With great weather, affordable housing, a growing job market, all four professional sports, expanding arts and culture, close proximity to LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, Denver, Albuquerque, and myriad recreational opportunities, many first-time visitors fall in love with Phoenix and decide to relocate to our gorgous city.
Having grown up and attended college in Minneapolis and St. Cloud, Minnesota I love working with people who are relocating to Phoenix! I enjoy helping folks find the perfect home, neighborhood and lifestyle and it's my pleasure to introduce them to all that the Phoenix Metro Area has for them.
And if, by chance, you are Moving from Phoenix to another part of the state or country, I can refer you to a Realtor® who will help make your move as smooth and easy as possible. I am part of the largest real estate community, Active Rain, and have personally met hundreds of agents across the nation and Canada. I will make sure your agent in your new city gives you excellent customer service - just like I do for all of my clients.
ABOUT METRO PHOENIX
Although many people refer to the entire Greater Phoenix area as simply "Phoenix," the City of Phoenix is the nexus of everything. One of the fastest growing cities in America, Phoenix recently achieved the status of the 5th largest in the country. Greater Phoenix includes about 23 cities and towns. Families represent 66 percent of the Phoenix population, with the median annual income running about $47,200. Almost 23 percent of the Phoenix population has at least one college degree.
High tech, aerospace, and service industries comprise the majority of industry in Phoenix. Major employers include Banner Health, Honeywell, Wells Fargo, and Target.
Phoenix is home to a number of higher education institutions, including Arizona State University Downtown, Phoenix Community College, Ottawa University, DeVry University, Grand Canyon University, Apollo College, Western International University, and others.
As you can imagine, there is LOTS to see and do in Phoenix! Some favorite attractions include the Arizona Science Center, Heard Museum, Desert Botanical Garden, Chase Field (home to the World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks), Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix Art Museum, Wrigley Mansion, and the Phoenix Symphony.
Please click the links below for further information
on any of the various areas within Greater Phoenix.
Desert Ridge is a master planned community bordering North Phoenix and North Scottsdale. It is located south of Pinnacle Peak Road between Scottsdale Road and Cave Creek Road. Construction on the 5,700-acre community began in the late 1990s. Its communities include Desert Ridge Aviano and Fireside at Desert Ridge. The current Desert Ridge population is just over 6,000. Single-family homes in Desert Ridge start as low as $235,000; higher-end homes go for close to $1 million.
Fountain Hills, a planned community of more than 19,000 residents, sits tucked into the foothills between Scottsdale and Mesa. Founded in 1970, the tiny town is bordered to the north by McDowell Mountain Park, to the south by the Salt River Indian Reservation, to the east by the Ft. McDowell Indian Reservation, and to the west by the McDowell Mountains. Homes in Fountain Hills begin around $150,000 and range upwards of $2 million. _______________
With a population of nearly 250,000, Glendale is Arizona's fourth largest city. This friendly community has a small-town feeling, the charm and character of its past as important as its growth and progress toward the future. Most Glendale residents are young, college-educated, married with children, and an average annual income of more than $53,000. Glendale homes run the gamut from newer, luxury estate homes to older houses, cozy bungalows, charming townhomes, planned communities, and many houses affordable to the first-time buyer. Prices start at about $50,000 and head northward of $3 million.
Located in north Phoenix, Moon Valley is a small planned community that offers close access to the amenities of the metro area, while maintaining a quiet refuge away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Moon Valley is bordered to the north by Bell Road, to the south by the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, to the east by Cave Creek Road, and to the west by 19th Avenue. The Moon Valley Country Club offers a full range of family activities, in addition to a championship 18-hole golf course. Home prices in Moon Valley start at about $200,000 and range all the way to $3 million+.
Northeast Phoenix, a family-friendly suburban area of the city, adjoins Scottsdale, Carefree and Cave Creek to the east, Anthem to the north, and Paradise Valley to the south. The Northeast Phoenix real estate market is diverse. Home prices range from around $85,000 to better than $2 million. Whether you're looking for a cozy condo, a modest single-family home, a winding estate, or something in between, you're sure to find the perfect home in this beautiful community.
Northwest Phoenix is a suburban residential area that generally refers to the North Mountain, Deer Valley, Desert View, and Happy Valley areas. The median sale price for homes in Northwest Phoenix is $159,900.
With a population of about 15,000 and covering a geographic area of 16.5 square miles, the town of Paradise Valley is zoned for one-acre lots with one house per lot. It showcases breathtaking views of the scenic Mummy and Camelback mountains. With one of the most exclusive zip codes in the entire country, Paradise Valley is home to twelve resorts and some of the best golf courses in the Valley. The median home price in Paradise Valley is $1.74 million, most of which are custom or semi-custom homes.
Founded in the 1880s, Peoria is a suburban community located about 11 miles from Central Phoenix, named for after the hometown of families from Peoria, Illinois, who moved to the area to work the fertile land created by the Arizona Canal. One of its best-known attributes is the Peoria Sports Complex, Cactus League Spring Training home to the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. Today, the city is home to some 85,000 residents and covers about 117 square miles northwest of Phoenix. _______________
Scottsdale, the "West's Most Western Town," has a population of about 236,000 and more than 300 days of sunshine each year. Scottsdale is loosely divided into several areas: South Scottsdale, Old Town Scottsdale, Civic Center/Fashion Square, Shea Corridor, and North Scottsdale. With a median age is 39, Scottsdale's resort lifestyle permeates beyond the world-famous hotels, as many of Scottsdale's housing developments feature first-rate golf courses, spas, recreational complexes, and the finest shopping anywhere. The city's architecture generally combines Mediterranean and Southwestern styles.
Sun City is the largest master-planned retirement community in the world, with a population of 45,000. Friends and neighbors, the arts, physical fitness, and golf are key components of the active-adult lifestyle. As a retirement community, Sun City is age-restricted: one member of the household must be 55 or older, and no one under the age of 18 is permitted to live there. Sun City real estate options include single-family detached homes, condominiums, townhouses, and land lots. _______________
With a population of about 91,000, Surprise is bordered by one of Arizona's largest mountain preserves, and is situated in the stunning desert, adorned with mighty saguaros. Brimming with small-town friendliness, this quaint city is perhaps best known as the Spring Training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers.
Arizona's sixth-largest city, with more than 176,000 residents, Tempe successfully blends the dynamic environment of a high-tech business center, the fun and excitement of a resort community, the warmth of a comfortable neighborhood, and the quaint appeal of a small-town college community. Tempe is home to Arizona State University, one of the three largest universities in the country, with an enrollment of 67,000 students. Many housing developments are centered around Tempe's extensive network of parks. The median income in Tempe is $47,700.
LINK to ARIZONA CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE
Click on links below for Information about Phoenix and Arizona!
It's a fact of life these days ... the Phoenix Metro area was hit hard by the housing collaspe. 1 out of 5 families are underwater on the home. That is an astounding number none of us ever imagined seeing, ever.
SHORT SELLING YOUR PHOENIX AREA HOME
If you're a homeowner who is behind on your payments, lost your job, has had health issues making it hard to work, or your facing foreclosure, please call me sooner rather then later. Make the call, it's important
I may be able to help you find a way to stay in your home, or if that is not possible work with you to avoid foreclosure by short selling your home. I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert that has helped many families through this difficult time.
I've been asked a lot of question about the difference between purchasing bank-owned properties vs. short-sale properties. The term "bank-owned" (also known as REO or Real-Estate Owned) refers to homes that have gone back to the bank after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. Short sales are still owned by the seller, but they owe more on their homes than they are worth in the current market - what most folks know as 'underwater'.
Both bank-owned homes and short sales will allow you the opportunity to do a home inspection, upon which the sale is contingent. Bank-owned properties are normally sold in "AS IS" condition, so expect that the bank will make no repairs. Also, since the seller (the bank) has never lived in the home, they have no real knowledge of what may or may not be a problem situation with the property. It's the old "buyer beware" situation. This isn't to say there aren't some great deals to be bought in the Phoenix market ... there certainly are some great buys! Just be certain to hire an ASHI-certified home inspector and find out up front what your added expenses will likely be after you close on the home. In this circumstance, no surprises is a good thing.
With most short-sale properties, the seller has no money to do any repairs, so it puts the potential cost of repairs on the buyers' shoulders. On the positive side, the seller often has lived in the home or is still living there, and has full knowledge of the home's condition. The seller can tell you if the AC has been replaced or if there've been any plumbing problems, roof issues, etc. ALWAYS have a home inspection when purchasing a short sale property.
The biggest complaint both home sellers and home buyers have about short sales is the lenght of time it takes to complete the sale. Some banks have gotten their process down much better now and the quickest we've closed on a short sale is 65 days - BUT - don't count on that as the norm. Most short sales take between 4 to 8 months and could take longer depending on which bank it is and if there is more than one loan on the home.
I have assisted many buyers purchase both bank-owned homes and short sales. I know the process for both and can advise you along the way. It is critical to have an experienced real estate agent when buying a REO property or a short sale. Call me if you're considering purchasing either a bank-owned property or a short sale.
As mentioned above, referrals are the lifeblood of Phoenix Property Shoppe. Here are a few testimonials we've received from clients over the years. You may notice a theme running through all of them: my clients are more than just clients to me - they become my friends, true friends, and each one knows how much I sincerely care about them and their families.
My son was a first-time home buyer at the age of 21 and used Anna as his agent. Anna knew how to communicate with him as a first-time buyer. He had many questions and needed a lot of help to get through the paperwork. Anna Banana patiently guided him through the whole process to make it seamless and fun! Anna's skills as a negotiator came through at the time of the offer, and she helped my son get a great property at a great price. Thanks again, Anna, for all your help!
Anna and her staff were great! Throughout our entire process, she was courteous, professional, extremely knowledgeable, and just downright fun! She truly made our potentially exhausting hunt for a house a pleasant, stress-free experience. Without a doubt, we would recommend Anna Banana to anyone who is considering purchasing a home in the Phoenix area.
Anna 'Banana' Kruchten was referred to me by a friend who knew I was at my wits' end with the underwhelming performance of my current realtor, one of those 'big, corporate types.' I called her office, not really expecting the owner, Anna, to help me, but she got on the phone right away, no call back necessary. I was so comfortable with her professionalism, knowledge, and friendly attitude that I immediately knew she was the realtor for whom I'd been waiting.
I was a 'first time home buyer' in a buyers' market. I don't make tons of money, but I do have really good credit and had a down payment. I thought I would be a realtor's dream, but alas, my first experience was less than optimal. Then Anna took over, and my experience became the fun, exciting, educational one I had anticipated. It was hard work, but Anna was patient with me as I got up to speed to learn what I needed to know to make the best decision for me. I now am the proud owner of a two bedroom condo in North Central Phoenix, and it appraised at $15K higher than my purchase price! Thank you, Anna!!
Rhonda & Eric W.
Would I recommend Anna Banana to someone looking for a Realtor? Absolutely!!! I would and have many times. What makes her different? When Anna was recommended to me by a mutual friend, I thought at best I would find someone who would take the time to listen to what we wanted and work real hard to find it in our price range and in an acceptable neighborhood to raise my children. Afterward, I really didn't expect to hear much from Anna until I was in the market to buy or sell a home again. Boy, was I wrong! Not only did she do exactly what we hoped for, but we gained a Realtor for life.
And, I can truly say we have a friend in Anna Banana. It is almost embarrassing to tell you how many times Anna has been there for me and all the wonderful things she has done for me and my family. She brought me dinner when I was pregnant and stocked my freezer with food after the baby was born. She rarely misses a holiday to bring something over for my children. She has had my family to her home a number of times just to hang out at the pool. Anna has thrown two exceptional home parties for me to support my at-home business. I could go on and on, but I would be here all day writing about the special person I found in Anna Banana. Would I recommend Anna to someone who needed a Realtor? Yes, if they had the right credentials to be associated with my friend.
Kevin & Connie S.
Anna has done a fantastic job for us over the years. We purchased our first home from her over 20 years ago, and she made sure it was going to be an excellent investment for us. Now that we're getting ready to sell and buy a new loft(s), we are again working with Anna because we know she has our wants and needs down to the nitty-gritty! We are busy people who don't want to worry about details, and it's comforting to know she takes the stress out of selling and buying. You can count on her to go over and above the call of duty, and then some. What we don't understand is how she gets it all accomplished - she makes it appear to be effortless. We have referred many, many of our friends and associates to Anna over the years. The feedback from all of them is what we expect from her: pleasant, outstanding service and expert knowledge.
Anna "Banana" was the real estate broker I chose when I sold my last home and purchased the home I am currently living in. Anna gives each client of hers a special feeling, not just an "another customer" kind of feeling. When she first came and assessed the house I was selling, she gave me some honest criticism about things I could do around the house to get the most money out of it. The items that needed to be done were not expensive to do, but added the needed touch. I really appreciated her advice. The house sold in less than a week.
When it came time to purchase my new home Anna was awesome. I told her what I was looking for price- and size-wise, etc. We looked at the homes she chose and she made comments about some of them, both good and bad, so I knew she truly had my family's interest at heart and was not trying to make a quick sale. We found the perfect home, and the rest is history!
One of the personal touches Anna added, which I have never seem from any realtor, was that when we moved into our new house, she gave my family a gift card to Home Depot ... a "little token of appreciation," she said! She only knows me through the selling and purchasing on my homes, but she makes me feel like she is a friend, not just a realtor. I refer her all the time to anyone I know who wants to buy or sell their home. Anna is without a doubt "THE BEST IN THE WEST!"
Anna Banana, the woman who can do it all! Anna not only got the highest price ever seen in my neighborhood when I sold my home, but to top that off, she sold my home in just ONE day! Her first words to me were ... "Do you trust me?" When I said yes, she was off and running. Before I knew it, my home was transformed to look like anyone's dream home. I think they call it "staging." Anna's special touch worked, and the closing was quick, easy, and stress-free.
After I moved out of the house but before I closed, my hot water heater burst in the garage ... while I was out of town. A neighbor saw water pouring out of the garage and called Anna from the number on her sign. The Banana was quick to my rescue. She jumped into action as she always does and got the water turned off and a plumber to install a new water heater that very day. Now that is service in my book!
Oh, and did I mention Anna also helped us find our dream home? And let me say, the buying was as much fun as the selling. My experience was simply amazing with Anna. I am so glad my friend recommended Anna to me. Anna is the BEST agent I've ever worked with and I would recommend her to anyone who wants their home sold with the quickest of ease and for the highest possible price. Once you give her the go ahead ... she will make wonderful things happen for you as well.
Since 1992, I've been known as Anna "Banana" Kruchten in the Phoenix real estate community. As you can imagine, Anna Banana is a nickname I've heard all my life. When it came to my business, I thought, "Why not use Anna Banana to brand myself with my prospects and clients?" Little did I know that the Anna Banana brand would have such a huge impact!
Everyone loved working with "Banana," as they came to know that buying or selling a home could be enjoyable, instead of a stressful nightmare. They also knew my main mission was to offer extraordinary service and expert advice. Along the way, I discovered that people can't help but smile when you say your name is Anna Banana. That smile is the start of a relationship, and it opens doors much more easily than the normal route.
When I opened my own company, Phoenix Property Shoppe, in 2006, I gave serious thought about whether or not to continue with the Banana brand. We did for awhile but it became apparent that we needed to shift the company name to a more traditional name. We still have fun as a 'bunch' dressing up in our banana suits for various community events and charities. It has opened doors easily, and with smiles all around! What we didn't realize initially was that people would routinely ask us, "Can we take a picture with you?"
Are you seeing the opportunity here? We're always delighted to take pictures with the potential clients and their kids! They give us their names and numbers and beg us to send them copies of the photos. What a brilliant way to build the Banana Bunch's list of potential clients and newfound friends.
Last year, the local paper got wind of what we were doing and wrote an article about us in the business section. We took some ribbing from some of the other brokers and agents around town, but that was fine by me! We've worked hard to build our brand - the article meant it was paying off.
Granted, it's an unusual group of people who are willing to be silly and dress as fruit to build their business! Through the process, we've grown as a team and have created fantastic camaraderie among our whole office. Just a few examples:
- We attended our local Harley Davidson dealer's networking mixer as Biker Bananas.
- We helped another business associate re-launch the Dolly Steamboat.
- We attended the opening of the Phoenix Light Rail.
- We have done charity events for the Phoenix Childrens Hospital.
- We love to participate in school, church and other events for kids.
Regardless of the event theme, we brainstorm ideas and accessorize our banana suits accordingly. Honestly it's been a lot of fun over the years!
Just because we have a lot of fun does not mean the Banana Bunch should be underestimated. We are very serious about growing our business. On an everyday basis, we dress as business professionals. I have weekly training programs in place for our agents which they are expected to attend. Everyone is accountable, and they value the wisdom of mentoring and coaching. We are systems-oriented and strategically employ the top 20 percent of activities that are known to build a strong, sustainable real estate business.
Most of our clients come through referrals, and we pride ourselves in building and maintaining long-term relationships. We are especially well known among our clients for providing extraordinary service before, during, and after the closing. No detail is left unattended when it comes to our clients. We put their wants and needs first, always. And we tell them the truth, some of which they may not want to hear - but they listen and they believe us. Our goal is to be the real estate experts for our clients.
Picture in your mind a 4-year-old little girl. One chilly Sunday afternoon in Duluth, Minn., her parents took her with them to look at new homes, instead of her older brothers and sisters. It was very cold, so the girl's mom wanted her to wear her little blue coat. She really didn't want to, but put it on anyway, which turned out to be a very good thing, indeed.
When they arrived at the house, a very pretty lady met the girl and her parents at the front door. The lady addressed the girl directly, saying, "My don't you look all dressed up, and so grown up in your blue coat and hat! Would you like to be my helper?" With a big smile, the little girl quickly nodded her head, "Yes!"
The real estate lady gave the little girl a card, asking her to put it on the table so the owners would know someone had looked at the house. "That's what agents do," she told the little girl. She then asked the little girl to describe what the room looked like. The real estate lady helped her to use the right words to describe all the rooms throughout the house. "Here is the music room where you can practice the piano. Here is the sun room where maybe your mom might let you make a playhouse for your dolls. Here is the living room where you play with your brothers and sisters."
As they went through the house, the girl's parents told her what a great job she was doing, and that maybe someday she could become a real estate lady. By now you've probably deduced that the little girl was me! Somehow that day stayed in my heart and mind, and I always knew I wanted to be a real estate lady.
I bought my first house at an auction with my parents' help, then remodeled the entire thing and sold it a couple years later for a profit. It was several more years before I actually got my real estate license. Eventually I relocated to Vail, Colorado ... and then to Flagstaff, Arizona ... and then to Phoenix.
I've been a real estate broker for more than 23 years and still love what I do! I feel so blessed to have the most wonderful clients. Once they become my clients they become part of my family, and I become part of their family. It makes me smile to know how often I've been able to be part of the "dream-making" process with my clients. How many times I've been able to hand over the keys and say, "You are home!"
I think it's important to know something about the person you choose to be your trusted advisor in a transaction as big as a real estate purchase. In addition to my love for the real estate industry, I have a solid business background. I combine heart, mind, and soul in my business. That has made me feel so blessed, and successful, in my chosen profession. I stand by these principles every day. And these principles are what I teach my agents. The only agents who join my firm live from these principles. We choose to do business from our minds and hearts.
So, who do you do business with? I do business with people I know, like, and trust. I have to imagine you prefer to do business with the same sorts of people, right? Here is what I ask of you ... if you are thinking about buying or selling your home, give me a call at (602)595-8900 so we can get to know each other. I believe you will be pleased by my level of real estate expertise and my genuine ability to blend heart and business to create the best possible results. I look forward to meeting you soon!