"People don't buy for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons." — Zig Ziglar
When Sara Smith first entered the world of real estate sales in 1996 as an assistant for a top-producing agent/contractor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, she never dreamed where the industry would take her — from real estate sales to title and escrow, mortgage underwriting, loan processing, and a two-year stint as a mortgage loan consultant — before bringing her back into real estate sales a full 22 years later!
With a background in marketing, writing, graphic design, and e-commerce, Sara knows it takes far more than snapping a few pictures, posting them online, and crossing your fingers. There is an art to selling anything and everything and real estate is no different. Good sales techniques and strategies do not come from years of industry experience, but from years of constant learning, evolving, and embracing change.
Since her days in the real estate, title, and mortgage industries, she has been busy creating and operating several successful small businesses -- online and offline! Marketing, promotions, web design, and creative works are at the core of who she is. Smith is the proud owner of close to 18 specialty websites and webzines and is also a published author of two children's books and an upcoming series for writers wishing to publish their words of art.
Born and raised in International Falls, Smith found her way back to the northern border in her late 20's with a new appreciation of her hometown. A lifelong storyteller and graphic design aficionado, Smith lives on the incomparable Rainy Lake in northern Minnesota with her husband, two boys, a bumbling dog, and independent cat.
Shannon started her real estate journey in 1998 at a local law firm that specialized in the field. She assisted in producing title opinions, title insurance policies, researching county records for property history, judgments and liens. She also coordinated loan closings for various mortgage companies by obtaining the necessary signatures and documentation that fulfilled the requirements of the lender. From that experience, she was asked to become a mortgage broker with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in 2000. She then was responsible for working with clients on determining which loan programs would suit their needs best, what they would need to do in order to qualify and taking them through the entire loan process. From 2002-2015, she stepped out and started her own national woodworking business building custom window shutters which she sold all over the US and Canada. She considers herself very blessed to have had a successful home-based business and raise her three children at the same time. During that time her and her husband also bought and renovated houses and she was always staying up to date on the local real estate market. In 2015 she decided she was ready to retire from woodworking and sold the business. Since she had a natural passion for real estate, she obtained her sales license in 2016 and with the help of a neighboring broker from another town she opened up and co-owned a local office. She knew her small remote town needed national exposure and while researching ways to do that, United Country would always come up in searches. In 2019 she obtained her broker's license and committed to buying out her business partner and starting her own United Country office. Learning about UC's marketing and national platform makes all the difference in the world in her mind. Its exactly what her community is needing. Now, she's happily operating her new venture and enjoying time with her grandkids and family. She's loving life!
All great offices and teams start with an amazing coach, manager, and organizer extraordinaire. United Country Voyage North’s amazing organizer, coach, and chief monkey wrangler is Rick Perrault, our dedicated office manager.
Rick comes to us with over 20 years of experience in medical systems from Seattle!
His resume is long and very impressive! Rick's know-how and organizational skills keep our office running smoothly and efficiently. He takes the time to make sure all of our "ducks" are in a row and is very proactive at creating systems within our office so everything is consistent and sensible.
Rick's professionalism and customer service skills are top-notch as he greets everyone who enters our office or calls our phone with a friendly smile and the courtesy everyone deserves.