About • Lab Tested Real Estate

Have you noticed? There's something a little bit nuts about the real estate industry.

Let me explain...

Irene Nash and "Lab Tester" Libby

I'm Irene Nash, and for 19 years I've "done real estate" in the busy Seattle area housing market.

When I started out as a new agent I was fresh off of fishing boats on the Bering Sea, I knew virtually nothing about real estate... and I had a whopping 12 people on my contact list.

(I know, yikes, right? :)

Through hard work and hanging in there (and with the support of one extremely patient dog), I built a thriving business with many happy, loyal clients.

But for 19 years I've watched other agents struggle with all the same things I struggled with.

Here's what I've realized...

I'm Irene Nash, and for 19 years I've "done real estate" in the busy Seattle area housing market.

When I started out as a new agent I was fresh off of fishing boats on the Bering Sea, I knew virtually nothing about real estate... and I had a whopping 12 people on my contact list.

(I know, yikes, right? :)

Through hard work and hanging in there (and with the support of one extremely patient dog), I built a thriving business with many happy, loyal clients.

But for 19 years I've watched other agents struggle with all the same things I struggled with.  Here's what I've realized...

Irene Nash and "Lab Tester" Libby

The traditional "Real Estate System" makes it very hard for newer agents to succeed.

Think about it...

When new real estate agents join their first brokerage they're likely to get a ton of advice on how to market themselves and get new clients.

(It may not be practical, actionable advice, but it will at least be something.)

But...

When it comes to learning how to actually DO real estate, most agents get virtually ZERO advice! Crickets.

Yup, like this...

Seriously, how crazy is that?

Astoundingly, the tradition is to learn as you go... whether it comes to writing contracts, pricing a home correctly, advising buyers during an inspection, or knowing how to help a seller generate the absolute best sale price for their home.

But doing real estate well is not EASY.

Imagine saying to a new doctor:

"Congrats on passing your exams! Oh, you'll figure out how to stitch up a wound and do a pelvic exam once you get a patient."

Wouldn't that sound nuts? (And would you want to be that doctor's patient?)

I'm guessing the answer is "No"...

But in real estate, that's the norm for newer agents... and there's so much at stake!

Our clients are investing huge amounts of money, and we're spending time, stress, and marketing dollars trying to do a good job for them while growing our real estate business.

(I had far more in-office training than most agents get, and I still learned 90% of what I needed to know through trial and error.)

Maybe this is why I sometimes see experienced agents still making mistakes that could have been caught years ago.

I totally understand that all agents need clients, and marketing ourselves is a huge part of real estate. But...

Doing real estate like a pro so we help our buyers and sellers make the best choices in real estate is absolutely crucial.

Good news: It's also great for business!

When we're highly competent our clients win, and so do we.

Happy clients sing our praises and send us a pipeline of referral business.  Here are just a few examples of what I mean from my own business:

The work that they did was far above and beyond what we expected. They completely transformed the house. And got us $60-70K more than we were expecting. :) All, in all, I cannot recommend them enough.

After getting recommendations from friends, we interviewed 3 agents and chose Irene based on the following: – She took a lot more time than I thought she would to help us figure out what we needed. – She was very straight forward with us about all points of the home-buying process. – She has great confidence and knowledge, but still managed to be extremely patient with us.... I was nervous she might shoot down my ideas, but she was totally respectful and supportive throughout the entire process.

Irene represented us in selling our condo and buying our first home. We were guided with not only her expertise, but with her sensitivity and understanding. She explained the selling and buying process, making sure we understood and were comfortable with every step along the way. She kept us apprised of every detail and was always available to us. We felt Irene was always committed to our best interests.

"Let them stage your home. The end results will be well worth it. I would recommend them to anyone that is buying or selling a home."

Irene and Mike Nash are the sincere, supportive and knowledgeable partners needed to prepare for, and accomplish, a smooth, rewarding home sale.

Irene and Mike have been the most professional, knowledgeable and responsive realtors I’ve ever worked with.

Irene is extremely meticulous and organized. She is the only person I know who has MORE attention to detail than I do myself..... She is very ethical and it is always apparent that she is your advocate. She looks out for your best interests. She is a wonderful person to have in your corner and I could not recommend her more highly.

Can you think of any expensive "marketing strategy" more likely to get you a new client than these testimonials?

When we're experts in real estate it's truly "win- win" for clients and agents.

And becoming an expert early saves years of wasted time and frustration... plus many tens of thousands of dollars in commissions that would otherwise have been lost.

(Besides... to not do everything we can to be as competent as possible for our clients would be, well... kind of malpractice-y, right?)

That's why my mission is to share with you what I've learned over the last 19 years in real estate, with practical, ACTIONABLE step-by-step guides and training.

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Still reading? :)

OK, then you may be wondering...
What's up with the "Lab Tested"?

Well, everything I share with you on this website is lab tested. In the best possible way, and by that I mean by a Yellow Lab/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.

Here's how it happened...

When I had been in real estate for a few years I acquired a lovely six-month-old dog from a local rescue organization.

Libby had seen some rough times and knew how to tip over trash cans for food, but she was smart and good-natured and quickly learned how to adapt to real estate life.

Libby's sweet, quirky, amazingly loyal personality made her the companion of a lifetime for me, and a fun diversion for many of my clients.

Together we logged thousands of real estate miles, and she was even the stand-in when one of my clients was too camera-shy to be in her own "Just Moved" postcard.

When I had been in real estate for a few years I acquired a lovely six-month-old dog from a local rescue organization.

Libby had seen some rough times and knew how to tip over trash cans for food, but she was smart and good-natured and adapted quickly to real estate life.

Her sweet, quirky, amazingly loyal personality made her the companion of a lifetime for me, and a fun diversion for many of my clients.

Together we logged thousands of real estate miles, and she was even the stand-in when one of my clients was too camera-shy to be in her own "Just Moved" postcard.

Nearly all of my experiences in real estate involve Libby in some way, so it would be impossible for me to share the spirit of those experiences without including her.

More importantly, I believe dogs can teach us lessons we would do well to learn.

When I think of Libby's unquenchable good nature, patience, resilience, courage and optimism, I realize those are high standards to live up to.

They're also key character traits we all need in order to be successful in real estate and in life, right?

So yes, that's why this really is "Lab Tested Real Estate". :)


Something else that's important...

Let's think about why we make money.

This is near and dear to my heart.

I truly believe that one of the best reasons to work at making any level of income is to be able to share some of it with those who are less fortunate.

If you're reading this like I am, in a First World country with no one actively trying to kill or persecute you right now, that means we've landed in a far better position than countless thousands of other people.

If in addition to that we're relatively healthy, in my opinion we've essentially won the global lottery compared to millions of others.

With that in mind, Mike and I "give back" every year to charitable organizations, as well as occasionally to some causes that aren't official non-profits (i.e., individual humans).  We split our giving between local, national, and international causes that help humans, animals, and the environment.

The reason I mention this is because, well, this is an "About" page, and this is a big part of what we're about. :)

The other reason is to bring up the following point, seeing as this site is geared towards newer agents growing their real estate businesses...

You don't need to be making big money to make a big impact.

I do believe in giving money in the U.S. as well as abroad, but the fact is, transforming someone's life in the Third World costs very little by our standards. This means we can have enormous impact even when we're not swimming in cash.

Think about it...

$20 to Heifer Project International buys a flock of chicks or ducks for a family to raise for eggs and to build up a flock.

$120 buys a sheep for milk and wool.

$250 buys a water buffalo that can be used for farm labor. (One lady in India even rented out her water buffalo to the neighbors, meaning that the gift of a buffalo opened up the door to entrepreneurship for her.)

And when you read the stories behind these gifts it's not "Gee, it was great to have another animal to add to my herd".  Instead, it's "We used to be hungry all the time and had no money to send our kids to school, and now we have milk and eggs to eat and sell, and our kids are getting an education."

A "hand up" worth $20 or $120 can be life-changing.

Another one of my favorites...

$586 pays for a surgery to repair an obstetric fistula for a woman in the Third World through the Fistula Foundation.

If you're not familiar with what obstetric fistula is, it's damage that occurs during childbirth that leaves the mother incontinent in every... way... imaginable.

These women often end up getting abandoned by their spouse and even sometimes their family because of the condition they're in. It's nearly impossible for them to make a living because no one wants to be near them. And they can spend years like that, sometimes not even knowing there's a solution.

If that happened to one of us in the U.S. and we needed money for the surgery, what do you think would happen?

Most likely a hero friend or neighbor would start a GoFundMe and everyone would donate until all the money was raised, even if it was $200,000... because the alternative would be an unthinkable existence, right?

Well, saving someone from that unthinkable existence costs $586 in the Third World. 

And while giving away $586 might not always be feasible, teaming together with nine friends and giving away $59 each probably is.  Just think of the impact.

OK, you get the picture.

Oh, and worth mentioning...

Libby was a generous soul, always willing to lend her dog bed and even her winter jacket to visiting pooches.  Leading by example, as usual. :)

OK, that's the scoop (no pun intended) on Lab Tested Real Estate...
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