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Best Practices – How to Build Your Brand

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, April 12, 2008-Do you spend too much of your time checking e-mail? What’s the best way to deal with difficult clients? How do you stand out in your marketplace? For Pat Hoferkamp, these questions can be answered confidently as she leads New Jersey’s-own Burgdorff ERA Realtors through today’s challenging market.

Pat Hoferkamp
President
Burgdorff ERA Realtors
Parsippany, New Jersey

Region served: Central and Northern New Jersey
Years in real estate: 30
Number of offices: 14
Number of agents: 700
Average sales price: $660,000
Average time on market: 57 days
Best time management tip: As important as e-mail is, I find it to be a time stealer. Every morning when I come into the office, I allot a half-hour to take care of my e-mail and phone calls. Once this time is up, I don’t look at my e-mail until the afternoon.

Most effective way to motivate agents: I tell all of my new agents that they need to follow their passion and do what they love. Anything you do with passion you will do well.

Best tip for dealing with difficult clients: Try and understand what is causing the difficulty, and then come up with a solution to help them. Put yourself in their shoes and be able to empathize with them. Always be there to help and support them.

What is your company’s best competitive advantage over other real estate companies in your area?

As a company entering its 50th year, we are well-known in the communities we serve for our in-depth knowledge of the market as well as our professional and personal service.

What marketing strategy or ad campaign has your company found to be the most successful?

We are extremely proud of our company’s commitment to the community and this spirit of philanthropy is an important part of the Burgdorff culture. As ardent supporters of two child-focused charities-the Make a Wish Foundation and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of New Jersey-we make a real difference in the lives of our neighbors.

How do you split your budget between print and online advertising? How has this ratio changed in recent years?

Every year, we cut back slightly on print, and focus more of our budget toward online advertising. We know that print will never be obsolete, so we focus on a marketing plan that is all encompassing in which we can advertise through every outlet. We are always looking at more websites and ways to improve our online marketing, and so we tweak our budgeting every year in order to achieve this goal.

What are two fundamentals that you feel are essential to your company’s continued success?

Our company runs on the basic principle “it’s not about you, it’s about the consumer.” In order to remain successful, we need to give our customers what they want, and when they get what they want, we, in turn, get what we want. Burgdorff is a service-oriented company and we need to give the consumer the finest service that there is. When that happens, we are in a great place.

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