For Realtor Kim Pacini-Hauch, it’s safe to say that real estate is in her blood. Her father was a homebuilder in the Lake Tahoe area, her uncle was a real estate agent in the Bay Area, and her great-grandfather was a real estate investor in the 1930s and ’40s.
It’s also safe to say she’s hitting milestones that none of her family did. Over the last 12 months in the four-county Sacramento area, Pacini-Hauch was involved in the sales of $51.5 million worth of homes. That’s more than any of the more than 33,000 agents she competes with. Her employer, RE/MAX, gave her its first Titan award earlier this year in recognition of her prolific selling record.
“It’s overnight success, after 30 years,” Pacini-Hauch said cheerfully. “There are just some people who grab the ring. I’m one of those.”
Even though she’s gaining notice now, Pacini-Hauch said she’s still conscious of how far she’s come. Pacini-Hauch, who works out of RE/MAX Gold’s Sierra office on Fair Oaks Boulevard, said her drive stems from seeing how hard her dad worked. Real estate in the Tahoe market is somewhat cyclical, she said, adding that she saw him put in lots of hours to take advantage of the good times.
Working in real estate wasn’t on her mind, however, when she attended the University of Nevada Reno, where she got a degree in business with an emphasis in marketing. Pacini-Hauch’s first post-college jobs were selling ads for a radio station in Reno, then working at an automotive-centered ad agency in Sacramento for about four years.
Eager to use her marketing skills in a more entrepreneurial way, Pacini-Hauch got her real estate license in 1987. She had a base to start from because of her clients at previous jobs. And that, she said, was more important than knowledge about the profession itself.
Early on, Pacini-Hauch put her marketing skills to work. From calendars to glossy magazines to ads in community newspapers, she gets bright, colorful photos of her listings in front of people. The only way to sell a home, Pacini-Hauch said, is to get people in the front door to look at it.
Glossy photos impress the most when properties stand out. Although she sells homes at all price levels, Pacini-Hauch gravitates to luxury-market homes, priced around $900,000 or more.
While that makes the presentation side easier, there are other challenges in the upscale sector. The buyer pool is smaller, so homes take longer to sell. This year in Sacramento County, she said, there were only four homes that sold for more than $2 million.
And the buyers who are looking for luxury homes have higher expectations. They want to know the age of the home, how well it’s maintained, how the mechanical systems work, and how the pool and wall insulation are holding up.
Her strong emphasis on marketing makes Pacini-Hauch stand out, said Mike Kooken, sales manager with RE/MAX Gold’s Sierra office.
“She’s got that market awareness and leveraging her brand gives the consumer confidence,” said Kooken, who’s worked with Pacini-Hauch for about two years. That’s important when you’re working with wealthy clients who expect strong performance from their agent, he said.
Pacini-Hauch said she’s also found it helps to specialize, not just in a price point, but also a market. In her case, it’s Sacramento to Fair Oaks, an area encompassing some of the more stately and often older upscale homes in the region.
To help generate business, Pacini-Hauch has created a website to show off homes. But she’s also distributes copy by direct mail. “Print is still very viable,” she said. “There’s a part of the market that does nothing online, and you have to reach them.”
To stay in touch with her market, Pacini-Hauch lives in Carmichael, making it easier to be available quickly if a showing comes up. Concentrating on her own backyard, metaphorically, helps her hone in on what her clients want.
By working with a team, Pacini-Hauch said she gets to share what she’s learned with those relatively new to the industry. She said she tells them to earn their stripes and learn with every contract, especially the ones that go south.
A broker who worked with Pacini-Hauch on a high-end sale in the Arden-Arcade area said Pacini-Hauch’s team is available at the drop of a hat. But they take their cues from the team leader, said Beth Foondos, a broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “I don’t think she rests,” Foondos said. “She’s very, very knowledgeable about what she does. I learned quite a bit from her.”
By keeping a fast pace, Foondos said, Pacini-Hauch keeps the deal pipeline flowing. “One transaction rolls into another,” she said.
Attitude seems to help, too. Pacini-Hauch said she still likes the job because every day is different, and because people are counting on her to help make a big change in their lives for the better. She said she’s often working with people of estimable stature: legislators, high ranking state officials and doctors. And she recently helped retired basketball player and current Sacramento Kings executive Peja Stojakovic find a home.
Pacini-Hauch said that being chronically available is the hardest part of her job. But, “when you achieve a level of success, you have to have gratitude,” she said. “It’s hard to get to this point, but it’s really hard to stay here.”
That said, she has no plans to retire anytime soon. “As long as I love it, I’ll do it,” she said.
Kim Pacini-Hauch, Realtor, RE/MAX Gold
Education: B.S. in business administration/marketing, University of Nevada Reno
Career: 1981-1983, radio ad sales, KOLO radio in Reno; 1983-1987, vice president of advertising for Sacramento-based ad agency; 1987-current, real estate sales agent, currently with Re/Max.
Personal: Married to Dr. Richard Hauch, three stepchildren and two grandchildren
Fantasy job: Author/script writer
Biggest professional worry: “About 33,000 Realtors competing for the same job in our four counties and the consumer not understanding the difference in our expertise.”
Toughest professional decision: “Saying ‘no’ to business when I know it’s not a good match of personalities.”
Biggest misunderstanding about your job: “That it’s glamorous.”
First job: Unpaid dishwasher at Stanley’s Incline Village
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