Nikolas Allen Real Estate Agent
I first met Nikolas Allen in Mount Shasta about 10 years ago. He has always been one of my favorite people with his big personality and creative energy. He was a helpful volunteer in the arts scene helping me hang shows at the old Arts Council's gallery. He also was the graphic designer creating postcards for numerous shows. Nikolas and I mentored high school students interested in poetry. He was one of the presenters when we produced The Business of the Arts, conducting a workshop on Marketing for Artists. He and his partner Brenda Eastman performed music at a fundraiser for the Siskiyou Arts Museum, He continues to work as the emcee for the Liberty Arts Fashion Show and Butteville Art Auction. Nikolas is the author of several books;Death To The Starving Artist - Art Marketing Strategies for a Killer Creative Career, and Heavyweight Marketing - Knockout Strategies for Building Champion Brands. and now he is using all of his creative talents selling homes in Siskiyou County.
Visit The Bill Plate's Movies, Books and Songs about Food to see Nikolas' favorites
Lauri: How did you get interested in the real estate business?
Nikolas: I'm a Realtor with J. Harris & Associates of Mt. Shasta, CA. Prior to getting into real estate, I enjoyed a 22-year career in marketing and advertising design.
In 2015, I purchased my first home after decades of renting, and fell in love with the experience of home ownership. I was feeling a bit burnt out on marketing, so I got my real estate license in order to help other first-time homebuyers experience the same thrill.
It was also helpful that my mother, Jessie Zapffe, was a broker in the agency I started with. She's a very successful agent, and has been quite inspirational. I never thought I would become a Realtor, but now that I'm in it, I love what I do, and can't imagine doing anything else.
Lauri: I know you from your artwork and writings. Do you still make time for your creative work?
Nikolas: I’ve pursued various creative avenues throughout my life, including music, filmmaking, writing, and fine art. And I've never been the type to "dabble," so I would dive deep into each pursuit, until it was time to move on to the next. Lately, I have been bitten by the music bug again, and am writing, recording, and performing songs again for the first time in years. Check out music by Nikolas Allen on Soundcloud.
One cool thing about having this extensive creative background is that I can put all of the skills to use as a Realtor. When marketing myself, and my clients' properties, my use of design, music, video, and writing really helps me stand out from the rest of the pack.
Lauri: Did you go to school to do what you do?
Nikolas: I chose to play in rock bands after graduating high school, so I skipped out on the traditional 4-year college route. Eventually, I got an Associates degree in Advertising Design through a 2-year course at Brown Institute, which got my marketing career started. I also took a few college courses in music theory, and filmmaking to learn more about those topics. For real estate, I took an online course from Allied Schools, which helped me prepare for the exam. After six months of study and tests, I went to Sacramento and successfully pass the exam to get my license.
However, with real estate, getting your license is only the first step. Your education really begins out in the field…and it never ends! There is always something more to learn about yourself, your clients, and the market in general. And when you enjoy learning and growing as a person as much as I do, that’s a great thing.
Lauri: Where do you get the inspiration to do what you do? Since now it's selling homes I'd image the rewards are both monetary and inspiring seeing people find their home sweet home. That’s got to be both fun and challenging.
Nikolas: I love helping people through the complex process of buying and selling their homes. There are some people who are super fun to work with as we move towards achieving their real estate goals. There is plenty of hard work, uncertainty, and struggle with every deal. The thrill that buyers and sellers feel when the deal closes successfully makes it all worthwhile!
Some clients are more challenging, but that’s okay, too, because it offers lessons on patience, compassion, and communication. Becoming a Realtor has been the most fun, challenging, and rewarding career, both personally and financially, that I have experienced to date.
For market updates and real estate tips, connect with Nikolas online:
Lauri: Any special summertime plans?
Nikolas: Summertime is where the real estate selling season really picks up. The market has seen a slower buildup this year than it has in the last couple years due to changing tax laws, rising prices, and increasing mortgage interest rates. However, activity finally started to bubble up in June, and though it got a later start than usual, I’m certain the busy season will continue strong through summer, fall, and even into the holidays.
On a personal front, my partner, Brenda Eastman, and I are heading to England for a 10-day vacation this fall, and we’re very excited to explore London and its surrounding areas. We may even begin our search for that perfect retirement cottage in the English countryside.
Lauri: What is your favorite part about sharing a meal friends and family?
Nikolas: I love the conversation and connection that happens around the table with friends and family. Brenda and I try to have one small dinner party every quarter. And at least one house or yard party per year. Plus, we’ll hit restaurants with friends or clients every month or two. There’s nothing quite like talking, laughing, relaxing, and catching up with friends and family over a leisurely meal to make you feel connected to the people who matter in your life.
Lauri: What is your favorite meal at a local restaurant?
Nikolas: Up until two years ago, I had been a vegan for 15 years, so my meals were pretty much limited to salads, veggie burgers, and other not-very-exciting options. Since I became a carnivore again, I’m on the ultimate search for great burgers, such as the ones found at Yaks in Dunsmuir. I also love Thai food from Andaman in Mt. Shasta, and Natalie Thai in Yreka. Mike & Tonys in Mt. Shasta has a great Chicken Picatta. In short, I’m having fun discovering all sorts of dishes that I haven’t been able to enjoy over the past 15 years. Oh, and if they serve a good red wine, all the better!
Lauri: What is your favorite meal at your favorite destination restaurant or road trip eatery?
Nikolas: I recently discovered View 202 in Redding, and was very pleased with their service, ambiance, and food (I had the Fish Tacos). Brickroom in Ashland, OR, is pretty amazing. Denny Bar Co. in Etna is a real boon to the area. The vision and execution of that place is on a higher level than anything in the county. I love road trips in general, and discovering hidden gem eateries along the way, even if that turns out to be a little greasy spoon in the middle of nowhere.
Soft-Shell Street Tacos
Nikolas Allen's Soft-Shell Street Tacos
One of my favorite meals to prepare at home is soft-shell street tacos because they are small in size, with minimal ingredients . It’s a fresh, healthy, and gluten-free meal that is tasty and easy to prepare. You can add a veggie side such as steamed broccoli, Brussel sprouts, or corn on the cob. Chips and salsa are optional, but always a fun addition.
Ingredients: These can vary depending on what you’re in the mood for, but ours often look something like this...
Organic white corn tortillas (choose corn tortillas and chips if you’re aiming for gluten-free)
Fresh cabbage or lettuce
Cilantro - We grow it in our garden
Black or green olives
Protein of choice (beef, chicken, fish)
Avocado Oil Mayo
Cook your protein on stove or grill. Dice lettuce, cabbage, cilantro and slice olives, and avocado. Heat tortillas on stove or in the oven. Add light dab of mayo and squirt of spicy mustard on warmed tortilla. Assemble ingredients and top with salsa - Enjoy!