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Refocusing Your Real Estate Mission, Working for People

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By Chuck Green

RISMEDIA, April 29, 2008-In real estate, considering all of the latest advances in technology, it’s important to remember that agents still work for, well, people. Thankfully, Tony Marino, broker/owner of Real Living Real Estate Solutions, figured this out early on, and positioned his business as a people-business, reaching out and finding success for all parties involved.

marino_tony.jpgTony Marino
Real Living Real Estate
Orlando, Florida

Years in real estate: 7
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 16
A career change: I worked in the automotive industry for much of my adult life, while I lived in New Hampshire. I moved to Orlando to work for Budget Corp. after my daughter decided to attend the University of Central Florida. I started to look into real estate, and the more I saw, the more I thought there was an opportunity for me there.
Region served: Southern portion of Orlando
Average sales price: List side, $440,000-$450,000; sell side, about $360,000
Average time on market: In Orlando, the average time on the market is only 115 days, but the inventory is over a year in supply.
Loving Orlando: I love the climate here. We get 260-plus days of sunshine each year. It’s so easy to be in a good mood with the sun shining in your face. Plus, outdoor plans are rarely compromised by weather.
Personal Motto: It’s by Ben Franklin: “Well done is better than well said…”

How are market conditions affecting buyers and sellers in your area?
There’s a bit of turmoil here. Consumers are being influenced by some distress selling, which is either a result of the foreclosure market or the fact that housing inventory is so high.

426-lead-web.jpgIs there a certain demographic that your clients most represent?
No. Orlando has a diverse population, which is great. You get to work with and interact with people from many different backgrounds, which I really enjoy.

How are you setting your company apart from the competition?
We try to run it as a family business and to bring in full-time agents who have philosophies similar to ours in terms of staying in one place for a very long period of time. We saw that philosophy in what Real Living corporate had accomplished at its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. When we acquired a Real Living franchise in Florida, we wanted to duplicate that here. We want people to come here and think of it as their last stop in the real estate industry.

How has your approach of treating agents like family contributed to your company’s success?
One thing that we found early on was that the commission spreads, computer systems and fancy offices are all great, but agents work for people. That’s why we decided that we wanted to have a business that really did reach out and find out what people needed in order to make their lives and the business successful. If you can complement someone’s life, I think they’ll want to stay with you forever. The commission structure sometimes gets people on the edge of thinking they have to move on, but we have 10 commission structures, so no one ever leaves us for money.

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