The Power is Now

Property Sisters combine strengths as real estate duo in Kearney area – Norfolk Daily News

KEARNEY — Sisters Amber Otto and Tia Stratton have become a dynamic duo in real estate.

For the past three years, Otto and Stratton have combined their personal strengths, skills and enthusiasm as the Property Sisters.

Stratton is the detail freak, and Otto has the friendly face.

While Stratton is sweating the small stuff, Otto is warming up their clients. Relationships are important, Otto says — as important as closing the sale.

Stratton agrees. “Our mission is to build relationships. Finding people a house is a side benefit.”

Sept. 1 marked the women’s third anniversary as the Property Sisters.

During those three years, they have honed their Property Sisters identity. Like most real estate agents, the pair takes advantage of technology, including videos that can take customers inside homes for virtual tours.

Although most real estate videos use a simple format — panning shots that focus on the features in each room — the Property Sisters want to take their videos to a higher level.

Stratton said the goal with a Property Sisters video is to keep the audience engaged. Doing that takes energy, creativity and a sense of humor.

“We’re a little more brave,” Otto said. “Other realtors say, ‘We could never do that.’”

Stratton and Otto attack people’s funny bones. Many of their videos have a humorous theme.

In one of their earliest videos, the Property Sisters invite their audience to a barbecue. It’s a strategy that injects a lot of action and human interest that keeps potential buyers interested through the entire video.

Putting so much emphasis on the production takes time shooting and editing, but it’s effective, say the Property Sisters.

Three years ago when Stratton and Otto created their first humorous videos, their goal was to sell a home that had been on the market an entire year. Three weeks after the Property Sisters posted their video, the house had a “sold” sign sticking up in the front yard.

Their initial success inspired the Property Sisters to capitalize on their talent, enthusiasm and skills in other ways.

They said they are enjoying their real estate work so much that it’s hard to believe what their lives were like growing up together in Bertrand.

Otto and Stratton said the two of them just couldn’t get along.

It was a daily brawl. It may be no surprise, then, that when they were old enough to move out, the sisters went separate ways.

Property Sisters

Amber Otto (left) and Tia Stratton have become familiar faces to the community through their real estate partnership as the Property Sisters.

Otto operated an in-home daycare.

Stratton was inspired by an aunt who was in real estate. After Stratton graduated from high school, she dove directly into selling houses but shifted gears after five years when she went to work at Horizon Designs in Kearney. She enjoyed the creative environment, but she was ready after 12 years to return to real estate.

By that time, Otto had acquired her license and had been selling homes for 3-4 years in the Holdrege and Kearney areas.

That’s when the idea struck Stratton to join forces with her sister.

“One day I called Amber and said, ‘Why don’t we become a team?’” Stratton said.

Partnering with her sister sounded exciting, Otto said.

They had skills and attributes that made them stronger as a team. But to be a team, Stratton said real estate rules required special training.

The women completed the training, and the Property Sisters were born.

“Amber’s strength is that she’s more warm and friendly,” Stratton said about her sister.

“Tia is on top of all the paperwork,” Otto said.

Stratton and Otto sold 19 houses in their first year as the Property Sisters.

Their sales included the house that was unsold for an entire year. Stratton and Otto filmed a video, and the house was sold three weeks later.

Their creative juices are flowing each time they produce a Property Sisters video.

Sometimes they imitate famous cable programs such as “Cribs,” Stratton said. “Welcome to PSTV.”

“In one video I sat in the tub with cucumbers on my eyes,” Stratton said. In another video she leaps high and flops onto a king size bed.

“Santa appeared in one of our videos,” Otto said.

They said Kearney and Holdrege are strong real estate markets, and because they are a two-person team, one of the sisters can be in Holdrege while the other is in Kearney.

That’s one of the advantages the Property Sisters have compared to realtors who operate solo.

Otto said the pace has become quicker in Holdrege. “You would be surprised how many people are moving to Holdrege because of jobs at the hospital, at Becton Dickinson and Allmand Bros.”

Otto and Stratton decided from the beginning that the Property Sisters would equally share earnings. They also decided to stay focused on the positives. They say there are many advantages to being a two-person team.

“We’re a little more brave as a team,” Otto said.

“If you’re not a team, it’s impossible to do two open houses at the same time,” Stratton said.

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