For Heidi Ward, Modern and Luxury Real Estate is where she shines brightest. A nine-year winner of Seattle Magazine’s “Best in Satisfaction” Survey of Real Estate Agents, and an eighteen–year veteran of Pacific Northwest real estate, Heidi Ward’s passion, drive, and empathy—combined with an astute understanding of the current market and the process of negotiation—has proven to be a winning combination.
Though she focuses on luxury properties of all types, Heidi’s appreciation for all things modern is a personal passion that can be traced back to her hip grandmother’s home in Southern Oregon, which was filled with Danish Modern furnishings and modern art. After years of trolling estate sales and spending Sundays walking through midcentury modern open houses, she decided to turn her zeal into a vocation. She considers herself “incredibly fortunate” to have realized the opportunity to combine her love for modern architecture and background in sales and marketing into a fulfilling and successful real estate career.
This week, we were able to spend a few minutes chatting with the co-owner and managing partner of 360modern, Heidi. Currently a Greater Seattle Area Real Estate Broker, we dive into what inspired her to go into real estate, what she loves most about the business, and why she specializes in modern and luxury homes. Check out the full interview below.
360modern: As a nine-year winner of Seattle Magazine’s “Best in Satisfaction” Survey of Real Estate Agents, and an eighteen-year veteran of Pacific Northwest real estate, what originally drew you to the real estate industry?
Heidi Ward: I’ve always been drawn to interesting design and architecture, particularly anything midcentury modern. I used to go to estate sales and open houses a lot when I was younger, and in the back of my mind I always thought I would end up working in real estate. When I met (and subsequently married) a guy who shared my passions, that sealed the deal.
360modern: That’s so romantic! So, tell us, while you’re happy to help buyers or sellers on any type of home transaction, your personal passion lies in luxury homes and modern homes. What about these two categories catches your eye?
HW: It all goes back to the fact that I’m drawn to interesting design. I love the understated beauty of classic midcentury design, and very much appreciate how the architects and designers of the fifties and sixties worked within a very limited palate of materials and yet created such innovative beauty. Good design really is timeless, and these Midcentury modern gems are testament to that. As for the luxury realm, I’m drawn to beauty, and I like nice things (who doesn’t!). Still, luxury to me isn’t about spending a lot of money. I’ve seen multi-million dollar homes that have zero design cohesion. Instead, what excites me is seeing a home where it’s obvious the owner had a fairly substantial budget, and every material is top-tier, but it’s has been brought together in an understated, non-ostentatious way. To me, that is the epitome of luxury.
360modern: You are an owner of 360modern, how does that benefit your clients?
HW: 360modern has a very loyal (and constantly growing) following. I’m able to leverage the 360modern marketing platform to my modern sellers’ advantage through our weekly Mod Mail e-blasts and social posts, among other things. I know how to get these homes properly staged, and prepped to appeal best to this very specific audience. When working with buyers, I’m able to tap into a deep bank of knowledge of the modern inventory in and around Seattle to help them find these elusive gems.
360modern: When working on selling a home, modern, luxury, or other, what are the key steps you believe are the most important to getting the home ready to sell at a great price and quickly?
HW: Every home is different obviously, as is every homeowners’ ability and/or willingness to invest in getting their home in “fighting condition.” That said, I work with them to advise on where their money would be best spent to prepare the home for market. We lay out a strategy that works, and then I help them pull it all together as needed. I’m also a HUGE proponent of staging, and I have relationships with fabulous stagers. Getting the “right” staging in a home is critical, and I work with different stagers depending on the style of the home. For instance, a classic midcentury modern home needs to be staged very differently than a stately turn-of-the century home. It’s about creating the right look and feel so that when the listing goes “live” we’re creating a visceral reaction from the potential buyer that hooks them and makes them feel excited to go see the home in person. Beyond anything though, pricing strategy is, in my opinion, the single most important piece of the listing puzzle. I spend a LOT of time analyzing the market, all the way up to the last minute before I have to send my brochure off to print, to determine what the smartest strategy is to bring the biggest sales price possible in that current market.
360modern: When working with a client to purchase a home, what is the most important tool a broker can bring to the negotiating table for their client?
HW: In this current competitive market, the most important tool that I have in my tool belt is experience and a lot of success in prevailing in multiple-offer situations. Knowing how to craft a competitive and compelling offer is critical for a buyer’s broker these days.
360modern: Tell us a little more about yourself? What are your passions outside of real estate? What is your community involvement in Magnolia and the Greater Seattle Area?
HW: I rediscovered yoga about a year and a half ago, and I think it’s safe to say that is a passion. I also love to cook, and whenever my schedule (and the weather) permit I LOVE to work outside in my yard. Throw in a power walk along Magnolia Boulevard, and some quality time with my family and close friends, and I’m a pretty happy camper. With two kids having attended Catharine Blaine (our youngest is in his final year there), I’ve spent a lot of my “free” time over the years volunteering for various things at the school, and I am a fervent believer in supporting our various business gems in Magnolia, and go out of my way to “shop local” as much as possible.
To reach out to Heidi Ward about finding or selling a home, please feel free to call her at (206) 419-4285 or email her at Heidi@360modern.com. You can also learn more about her background at http://www.heidiwardrealestate.com.