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New: The 411: The PNW Operations Retreat

Posted on Mar 18, 2019

Every year, Pickett Street’s Admin Department (aka Command Central) organize the PNW Operations Retreat. This 3 day retreat focuses on building community and helping fellow admin professionals realize their value and full potential, in order to disrupt the real estate industry in positive ways.

This year’s retreat, happening April 4-7, is particularly special. Three major speakers will share their stories: Gary John Bishop, author of Unfuck Yourself, Tyler Schmitt, Executive Assistant to entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk, and En-may Mangels, Strategic Intuitive Advisor.

If you’re interested in the retreat, reach out to Margaret at #206-228-5067 or Also, I was able to chat more about this event with Pickett Street’s Director of Operations Margaret Smith and Team Admin, Sarah Troske.

Here’s what they had to say.

1.    Okay—I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about this Operations Retreat! What is it? Who’s it for?
Margaret: My goal with this retreat is to show admin just how powerful they can be through persistence, hard work, and networking. Many admin are afraid of talking to their team leaders/bosses about what they want or think they deserve. Thus, much of this retreat is about personal development.  By working on ourselves first, we create space for positive changes and outcomes in our lives.

When I first came to the real estate world in November 2012, it was apparent to me that the operations side of the industry lacked talent and leadership. I spent the first two years getting to know the industry and business, and then I began teaching a class called “Perspective, Through the Lens of an Executive Assistant” in July 2015.
I decided to organize the retreat because I realized we needed an event where we had more than a few hours together. I also thought the retreat would shine a light on the need for effective, driven admin.
There are many events, conferences, and retreats for real estate agents. There are very few, if any, for real estate admin/operations.

2.  What gave you the idea to start this retreat?
A few years ago, I was at happy hour with a few other admin. Someone threw out the idea that we should go somewhere for the weekend and spend those days masterminding and getting to know each other. I just took it a step further.
Planning this retreat came somewhat naturally to me—I have a lot of event planning experience. Like anything else I plan, I started with the end in mind and worked my way backwards.

3. What was your favorite moment from past retreats?
Margaret: In our April 2018 retreat, after listening to Monique Helstrom, Executive Assistant to Simon Sinek, I became emotional. I realized I did not want to be an Executive Assistant for much longer. Now, my title is Director of Operations (there are over 63 different titles for Admin), and I’m also a leader. I know that there is much more in store for me in life than I even realize right now.

Sarah:During the 2018 retreat we did an experiential exercise that included silently staring into someone’s left eye for 10 minutes. It was awkward and uncomfortable. The focus was to see the other person, get to know them silently, connect/exchange energies, and pay attention to the present. It was a very special moment for me.

4. Funniest/weirdest thing that has happened at the retreat?
Margaret: LOL! When you put 31 girls in a lodge together…much happens. The funniest was watching people laugh until they cried—I love watching people laugh. It’s the best reaction I can imagine.

Sarah:One night some of the ladies stayed up talking, telling funny/embarrassing stories, and sharing hidden talents. It’s the bonding time and getting to know these other women from across the country in our industry that is so awesome to me!

5.  What were you hoping participants would take away from this retreat? What was the biggest thing you took away from the retreat this year?
What I hoped participants would take away: you are much more powerful than you realize. We can all create change; we just have to be willing to take action.
The biggest thing that I took away is that I was meant to do this. I was meant to help people see their unique individual paths. This work feels very natural to me and gives me immense joy. I believe that I can help create change by doing what the average person thinks is impossible.

Thank you, Margaret and Sarah!
Again, be sure to reach out to Margaret at #206-228-5067 if you are interested in this unique opportunity and future Operations Retreats!

*Sponsors for the 2019 PNW Operations Retreat, all contact information is in the gallery images below! HUGE thank you to our sponsors for helping to make the retreat happen this year!

The Touchette Team with Caliber Home Loans
Julie Banta, Team Leader of the Keller Williams Bothell Office
Agent REbox
Summit VA Solutions

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