Naples Real Estate

Hair 4 You

Up and coming is a sexy phrase to describe a neighborhood in transition. There have been some investments made but they are not necessarily up to their full potential. The Bayshore Arts District falls into this description.

There have been brave visionaries who have taken the risk and invested in this community: Rebecca Maddox, Adam Kelley, Alex McEwing, Diane Sullivan to name a few. These business owners have been instrumental in bringing change to Bayshore. NBBR has been here for years now but we find it funny when other realtors who don’t live here, were not there at the beginning of the struggle come into the community, snap a few pictures, and tell people to come and play here. We live, spend our money, and are invested in Bayshore. We encourage people to support. To be a part of the action. Denise, the owner of Hair 4 You, has done just that.


It was drizzling and uncharacteristically windy the day we caught up with Denise. A male client was leaving and another client was in her chair. She was busy but graciously discussed with us life and the start of her business. She has been in the hair business for 35 years. She is soft-spoken and kind. A mother and grandmother of two, Denise says part of her strength comes from the support of her loved ones.


NBBR: How long ago did you get into the business?

Denise: I got into doing hair will I was in high school. I went to a technical school and in my junior year, I started cosmetology class.

NBBR: What prompted you to get into hair?

Denise: My guidance counselor asked me what I wanted to do. I was never a “book-type” of person; I was always hands on so I thought about it. My father and I talked about it and he suggested I do something that I like. I liked doing hair so I got into cosmetology. When I got into the class, the first year was more book/technical [learning]. When it came to the hands-off stuff, that’s what really got me.

NBBR: I feel in this line of business, you have to have a passion for it. It kind of reminds me of real estate, where a lot of people use it for additional income or get into it for the money. With hair, you have to love it; you’re on your feet all day. Do you notice that?

Denise: You have to have a knack for it. A lot of people want to get into doing hair to profit but if you’re not good at it, you’re not going to create a clientele. If you’re not passionate about helping people look good and you’re only in it to see how much you can charge people for a service, you’re not going to make it.

NBBR: How long have you had your own business?

Denise: I just opened in October.

NBBR: What was the scariest part of opening up your own business?

Denise: People don’t like if you move a lot. I worked in one salon for 25 years but I still worried about my clients.

NBBR: What has been the best experience of working in this business for so long?

Denise: You know, I have grown. I have a lot of good customers. Some I’ve had for 20 years. It was good they all followed me. When I finally [left], they said, “you should have done this a long time ago” and that makes me feel good. They try to get me other customers, that makes me feel really good.

NBBR: Just like you have followed them through their different life stages, it must have felt amazing they followed you through this one.

Denise: A lot of my customers have been with me since my kids were little. My daughter got married three years ago, has two kids. It’s almost like a family thing now. They come in and ask me, “how are the grandbabies?” “How is your daughter?” You know, they know the struggles I have been through.

NBBR: What inspired you to open in Bayshore when certain people still consider this community a “business risk”?

Denise: What inspired me was when I met Diane [Sullivan] and she was telling me all the upcoming things, then I got excited. It was time for new things, new adventures.

NBBR: If you could give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would that advice be?

Denise: My son, when I was going through some difficulties, told me, “mommy, don’t be afraid. Life is about change. You have to step out on faith. When I was younger, I was timid. Always afraid to do something. When I look back, I would say that. “Don’t be afraid. Life is about changes.” If you fail, if you fall, get back up and start all over again. Life is a revolving door, an unending circle. Keep striving to do the best you can. That’s what I would tell my younger self.

NBBR: For anyone looking to start their own business, do you have any advice?

Denise: Because I have been in the hair industry, I knew the ins and outs of what I should and shouldn’t do, I would start with this great organization called SCORE Naples. It’s free advice from professionals who have retired. It’s really helpful and it’s all free. Always get advice and make sure you have everything you need to start your business.

NBBR: Thank you. For those looking to make an appointment, what kind of services do you offer?

Denise: I offer all hair services: hair coloring, highlights, relaxers, perms and I work on all types of hair.

We want to thank Denise for taking the time to speak with us. If you need any kind of hair services, we suggest you pay her a visit at The Gardenia House or call (239) 919-3139.

Salon Hours are Tuesday through Saturday 8:30 AM to 5:30 AM.

Caution: Team May Be Worse Than It Appears

I was lucky to have worked in a Real Estate office, side by side with the broker, before considering getting my Real Estate license. Others do not have the same luck; they go on to do Real Estate on their own or they join a team. Now, I am not against joining a team. I am against joining a team that is not a right fit for you as a new Realtor®.  With that being said, I am sure you are thinking, "I can't possibly do it by myself. I need someone to guide me".  "He/she is successful in Commercial, Residential, luxury, etc. Real Estate. They can help me be successful in that market too." Yes, there is some truth to both statements.  However, there is only so much a broker can teach you or so many doors another Realtor's name can open for you. You have to be willing to put in the work, be self-motivated, and dedicated to working "smarter", consistently. The drive to make it in Real Estate is not something a broker, team, or other Realtor® can teach you.

The ideal team leader will take the time to sit down with you to discuss your goals and realistic plans to achieve those goals. They will ensure you join them during listing appointments, show you how to write listing agreements and sales contracts, they teach you which addenda you will need to protect your Buyer or Seller, and most importantly, they will be available at all weird times for you to pick their brain. I haven't met many team leaders who fit all of this criteria. I have met team leaders who were always on vacation leaving the other newish team members to help the newest ones. There are the team leaders who are too busy or impatient to teach you every aspect of the business. They are most likely out there selling Real Estate while you wait for them at the office. There are even team leaders who take an arm and a leg portion of your commission for you being on their team. Here is the thing: Not everyone has the communication or teaching skills to be leading a team. They are great as an independent Realtor® or as part of the husband-wife (parent-child, sibling, enter any other kind of relationship here) team. 

Here are my Do's and Don'ts of joining a team: 

Do: Have a sit-down meeting with the Realtor® or team leader you are planning on joining. Make sure you are on the same page and have your goals at the forefront.

Don't: Rely on your friend's recommendation, email or text communication, or the team's/ Realtor's big name as a way of determining this is a good fit. 

Do: Make sure you like this Realtor® or team leader as a person. 

Don't: Join a team because of the other team members. At the end of the day, it is the team leader's group and if you can't see eye to eye, there's not much other team members can do. 

Do: Discuss money. You don't want to join a team only to find out your split is small compared to what you have to give towards the team/office. Besides, open and transparent communication is important for all aspects when working with others. If the team leader doesn't promote open dialogue, DON'T JOIN THE TEAM!

Don't: Assume they will bring up money. If money is more important than the experience or amount of help, make sure to say so. 

Do: Join a team/ Realtor® who is settled or has been with the same company for at least two to three years.  

Don't: Join a team/ Realtor® who is in the middle of moving brokerages. The reality is, you will likely not get the attention, lessons, information you need to get yourself started in this industry. Besides, the listings belong to the broker and most Realtors will not willingly or easily give up their listing and will have you waiting at the new office until the property(ies) get(s) sold. 

What I am long-windedly trying to say is DON'T let anything or anyone put you and your Real Estate career on hold. Get started whether you are part of a team or not; learn from those who are experienced and willing to teach. Be patient, flexible, and practice open communication to express what your needs are to be successful. For me, a team did not work but learning from my broker in a one on one setting, did. She guided me, invited me to every listing and showing appointment, and made sure to get my name out there. 

I hope this shed some light if you were considering joining a team. Did I miss anything? Feel free to let me know in the comments. I would love to hear from you! 

The Truth About Realtors®

 As of July 5, 2017, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation had 195,613,810 Real Estate Agents registered in Florida! I hate to admit this but here is the truth: Not all Realtors® are created equal.  To some, customers are merely a way to pay the bills. Others use their sense of power to scam money out of potential buyers or sellers. Then there are the those you give their customers the bare minimum.  Those are the ones who put a sign up, cross their fingers and hope it sells. You know, the kind who take photos of your property with their cell phone and place them in MLS, toilet seat up and all. If your Realtor shows up for pictures with their cell phone and tells you the mess in the room is fine, rip your contract up! A "good" Realtor® will see the problem (dirty room, bathroom, etc.) and offer a solution (Photoshop the mess out, hire cleaning people, etc.). I remember early on in the Real Estate career,  I went to take pictures of a property my customer was selling and one of the rooms was a complete and utter mess. I did not want to skip taking pictures of the room and I did not want the mess to end up in the photos so I did what I had to do: I took every unnecessary item out of the room, took the pictures and then put everything back. Was it ideal? Not really but it was a solution.

When it comes to Realtors®, you have to hire one who is willing to do what is best for you. Don't hire your neighbor, your mom's friend, your friend from high school or anyone else you feel obligated to hire. Hire the Agent who cares about you and places your needs ahead of their own. I had a customer who called me back in 2015 wanting to buy a lot in a particular area we were selling. After talking with her about how much money she had, what she wanted to do with her money and her goals, I figured out a better area for her to put her money; it was an area with a lot more growth. She ended up calling me again in 2017, wanting to sell. I talked to her and although I wanted to sell her lot, I advised her to hold on to it a little bit longer because it would be worth more in a matter of a year or two. She insisted on selling and so we put it on the market and in less than one month, we had an offer. We sold it for almost double what she paid for! The moral of the story is, find a Realtor® who will listen to what you want and do what is best for you. I could have sold my customer the original lot I was selling in the other neighborhood and made commission off of both sides but I didn't because that would not have best suited her needs. I could have jumped at the opportunity to sell her lot without looking at the numbers but again, I didn't. I told her the truth: she would be better off waiting. Your Agent needs to listen to you and advise you as best as they can. They shouldn't consider your business as a way to pay an upcoming bill.