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Spring Forward: Dawn Thomas: ‘Stop discounting yourselves!’


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This Spring, Inman is obsessing over helping you to tune-up your business, with actionable insights, the best advice from top agents, and hundreds of helpful stories from all over the world. Interested in sharing your advice and insights with us? Reach out to me at

Don’t forget that we’ll also be focusing on how agents and brokerages can all move Faster, Better, Together this July at Inman Connect San Francisco. Not got your ticket yet? Buy them here, and remember that Select members get a $100 discount. Thinking of bringing your team? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.




As a Broker Associate with Sotheby’s International Realty, Dawn Thomas serves clients with luxury homes and estate sales in the Palo Alto and surrounding areas of California. With more than 20 years of experience in negotiations, sales, and marketing, her background is a foundation of experienced and cohesive team building and client-facing abilities, as a true “people person.”? Her ongoing and extensive sales background has made her a seasoned and fierce negotiator. Known as a “tiger”? by some of her clients, she uses her people skills, experience, and love of technology to consistently be amongst the Silicon Valley’s Top Producers.

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We recently had the opportunity to chat with Dawn about what it takes to work with sellers on effective pricing, how her team wins listings, and where she sees opportunities for growth.


What are the 3 most effective things you do every day to grow your business? Stay in touch with my prospects, clients, sphere, colleagues, vendors, etc. with customized communications. Not one size fits all.  I had several campaigns for various audiences. I will scream if I get another “Don’t forget to turn your clocks back” email reminder from a Realtor or see an Open House advertised on LinkedIn!  🙂


 I have an outstanding online presence and know who my target market is.  If a Realtor is going for affluent clientele, they might want to seriously consider investing in their online presence so that it is consistent and classy throughout–on ALL platforms.  


 Ask myself:  “How can I add value to someone or a group of people today?”  My mission: To be an instrument of positive change and enjoy giving love to myself and others every day.”


What tactics do you use for driving referrals and winning listings presentations?

See 1a. above.  I would also add that I attend networking events quite often and those Realtors or business people I meet hear from me once a month with suggestions that I find helpful in my business. I’m all about giving first. In the past, I spoke at many national conferences, which got my name out there as the Silicon Valley expert.  I would add that being with Sotheby’s International Realty helps in winning listing presentations because of the company’s worldwide marketing reach and brand recognition. I do get a lot of referrals from other Realtors, which is wonderful. When I am in front of a potential listing client, I am very prepared and send them pretty much everything I am going to review with them ahead of time.

Sometimes they will read it upfront, and sometimes not (and with analytics, I can tell if they have or have not), but at least I have provided them with a cohesive plan to prepare their property, marketing it, foresee any problems, negotiate it, and get it sold in the least amount of time, for the highest price and with as little stress as possible. In the end, that is what clients want.  They want us to handle it all for them, and we do. For instance, we have a URL which gives them a copy of our “No Hassle, Stress-Free Guide to Selling Your Home.”  On our website, we have 63 pages of Buyer and Seller steps. See below under “stop doing – question 5.”  People are going to get the information anyway. Be the resource for them. Provide value–always!


How do you handle working with sellers on pricing?

I give them the information on relevant sales (I do not used the term “comps” as that’s what they’ve been trained to hear or use).  Relevant means the properties to which I am using to come up with a price range for their property are just that–relevant. I don’t select the price for them.  I give them a range and we discuss two things: 1) do you want to sell faster; or 2) do you want to sell for the highest possible price. Not everyone is necessarily interested in the highest price possible.  Most are, but every so often someone would rather wait for the right buyer. It’s imperative to know exactly what the clients’ goals are and not to presume you know.


What’s the best piece of advice you ever heard?

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  My dad started saying that to me with I still wore my hair in pigtails.  MANY moons ago! This goes for clients. If someone is not a nice person upfront, believe them.  It’s my choice on whether or not I want to work with them. I only work with nice people!


If an agent should stop doing one thing today, what would it be?

Stop discounting yourselves! Instead, know your value. If you feel you cannot articulate your value, then get the appropriate coaching, training, and most importantly, mindset!  Also, stop trying to hide the information. Consumers are absolutely going to get it anyway. Why not be the source?




Want to connect with Dawn? You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

You can also contact Dawn at her office address:

The Dawn Thomas Team, Inc.

Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, 728 Emerson St, Palo Alto, CA 94301


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