SALLY FORSTER JONES
MANAGING THE DETAILS
by Michelle Llamas, photography by Yulia Barr
Sally Forster Jones does more than just lay claim to the title of: "leading REALTOR® expert on the Westside"-she has the proven track record to back it up. Her strength lies in her superhuman dedication and incredible talent for managing the details, no matter how complicated a transaction may become. Combined with a rich resume built on over three decades of real estate experience, she has found her own recipe for success that has served her and her clients well.
A self proclaimed "real estate junkie," Sally thrives on the relationships she creates and meeting the needs of her clients. She loves living and working in the Westside where she enjoys the city life as well as the sense of community. "You get the best of both worlds," she says of the area. "There is a unique tempo to the Westside lifestyle. It is sophisticated and cosmopolitan while still retaining a sense of casual elegance and a small town feel. Residents get to enjoy the outdoors, the beach and of course-the sunshine!"
In many ways this unique blend of qualities in the area she services carries over into Sally's business. It is both personal and sophisticated.
Sally is uncompromising about her philosophy that real estate is a very personal business. "I cannot stress the fact that listening is one of the most important things to fulfilling a client's needs. In some cases, the clients don't even know what they need but a good agent can help them through the process. Staying focused on a client's needs without being motivated by the monetary aspect of a transaction is extremely important."
Her clients always know that she is a tireless advocate for their needs. Aileen and Salvatore Iannucci describe Sally as a "pro with a heart in a profession that can be tough and cold." The couple relates their experience with Sally, "We liked her style, knowledge of our local area and her gentle manner. We had lived in our much loved home for 32 years and decided it was time to move to an apartment. While we were sad about selling the house, Sally was calm and reassuring. Her personal attention led us through a difficult life-altering process that could have been overwhelming. Our sale was completed successfully. Sally followed up with phone calls to see how we were doing. As busy as she is, Sally is a highly experienced agent who makes time to care about her clients."
While Sally is very much involved in the care and guidance of her clients on a personal level, the tone of her business is always sophisticated and professional. This is reflected in her highly efficient, well organized team and her marketing.
Sally has brought together some of the brightest minds in the business to make up her incredible team at Coldwell Banker. Sally comments, "Effective organization is important to prevent details from slipping through the cracks. I was able to put together a great set of people and place them in positions where their expertise best serves my clients. Having these great people manage the other aspects of my business I am able to concentrate on meeting with my clients, negotiating and managing all aspects of the transactions."
With Sally at the helm, her team is always at the forefront of the industry-their goal is to continually stay ahead of the curve balls in the market. A professional and highly educated team is in a better position to keep a transaction together regardless of the troubles that may arise and Sally's clients know they are in good hands.
Brigette Cox spoke highly of the fantastic team. "Sally can be proud of her great staff. It was a total pleasure to deal with them. Not only was everything done with total care and efficiency, I believe she personally did an outstanding job with the final negotiations and sale of my home on Queensbury. I will continue to recommend Sally and her team to anyone wishing to buy or sell a property!"
Another aspect of Sally's business that contributes to her consistent top performance is the method in which she markets her brand and her properties. Her marketing is so effective that people she has never met often feel they know her. "I consider it a compliment when I can walk into a party and though we have never met, people feel they know me as a result of the presence I manage to keep through my marketing. In addition, I personally invest a lot of marketing dollars and time in making sure that we use only the most current and effective technology. With the advent of the Internet, the world is so much smaller. As a result, my marketing is very high end and focused on a local as well as global scale. My team and I are always moving forward."
Sally adds with a chuckle, "The world is fast moving and in constant flux and we cater to impatient people!" This commitment is evident in her professional website, informative e-newsletters and impressive Internet presence. Each property is marketed on at least ten websites and the results are carefully tracked by Sally's team. All her methods are geared to produce maximum results. While she has developed an impressive expertise in the area of high-end homes she stresses it is about relationships and provides her assistance to clients from the entire price-point spectrum with the same focus on service.
Birgit Lane worked with Sally on the sale of a home in Bel Air. She was impressed by the real estate expert's grasp of the personality and effective marketing of the home and as well as her suggestion of the ideal price range. "She expressed it brilliantly in advertising and in just enough words was able to capture all the essentials," says Birgit. "Her advice to make the house present itself at its best implied only minor changes but produced major impact. Her warmth and genuine concern combined with professionalism, intelligence, extended knowledge of and attention to every detail in negotiations and ultimate terms were unique and enviable."
This former New Yorker turned Los Angeles enthusiast makes the most of her days and evenings both at work and away from it. She jokes that she "has given up sleep. That is the only way I can get extra hours in a day!" Even when on vacation, Sally is constantly connected to what is going on with her business and the needs of her clients. She feels fortunate to have a loving and supportive family that understands the demands of her career.
Her husband, Donald, is an attorney and provides a "good sounding board" for Sally when she needs it. The couple is also very active politically and with several charitable organizations. Their six children are all involved in one aspect of real estate or another, a fact that makes Sally smile.
"It involves quite a bit of juggling to make sure that every aspect of my life gets the proper attention," shares Sally. "It takes quite a bit of scheduling and priority setting." Fortunately for Sally, she excels in this endeavor. Before she became a full time residential specialist, Sally owned her own company that covered every aspect of real estate from lending to commercial properties. She explains, "After I realized that my true love was in the residential aspect of the business, I scaled back and decided to concentrate on it." However, the business woman in her was able to translate all those talents for managing and running a successful company into starting a highly efficient and celebrated residential real estate team.
Sally is sure she will always be involved in real estate. "I just can't help myself," she says enthusiastically. "There are infinite possibilities to explore in this industry and that is what I love about it!"