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The Keys to Being Accountable in Today’s Market

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By Kayla O’Brien

RISMEDIA, August 30, 2008-Whether it’s creating your listing presentation, working with buyers, or teaming up with fellow industry professionals, your entire business plan must entail a great deal of consistency. “If you’re not doing a good job, someone will,” says Michele Sullivan, broker, Realty World-Luxury Homes. Here, Sullivan speaks to her challenging market and the tips she offers to rise above it-starting with being accountable.

Michele Sullivan
Realty World-Luxury Homes
Las Vegas, Nevada

Years in real estate: 9
Market served: Entire Las Vegas Valley
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: Over 40
Average listing price: $250,000
Biggest market challenge: Nevada comes in number one for foreclosures
Secret to building trusting relationships with clients: By doing your job, getting the work done, and being accountable. If you make a promise that something will be done, get it done-especially with the banks. If you’re not doing a good job, someone will because so many agents want that business.
Most effective website feature: Giving buyers the ability to look at MLS listings, new homes, etc.
Device you can’t live without: My BlackBerry. Responding to an e-mail is just as important to responding to a telephone call. A quick response to a buyer looking for a home online is key.
What’s your formula for your marketing spend? 85% is print and 15% online. It should be more of a balance, but right now we’re not focused on the website. Our local newspapers work best for us, however, people should have a bigger balance since the Internet is so huge right now.

What has been your best idea for listing presentations?

The most important thing for a listing presentation is being prepared. Using your laptop-if you can provide slideshows or PowerPoint-they serve as a helpful guide for the seller to follow along with. Then, following up and being honest with your sellers is key. In a typical market, it is also important to ask them questions about their goals.

What are some effective ways to keep your agents motivated and prepared for today’s market?

I keep agents updated on a weekly basis. We have weekly meetings with guest speakers like builders and loan officers. Because our market is constantly changing, we offer them strategies and updates for themselves and to give to their buyers and sellers. We have a competitive team, so when agents see a team member with several deals on the board, it motivates others to do the same. It’s about giving them positive information and helping them create a plan to be successful.

What are some suggestions for agents looking to work closely with banks?

You really have to do a lot of research and see which ones are working in your area. Our in-house lender distributes REO listings to agents who use them to prequalify their buyers. Making relationships with the different banks to get the business is huge-especially in the next couple of years.

For newer agents, what does it take for them to succeed in a market like today’s?

Consistency, hard work, showing up and being organized. You must also implement a business plan. If you have a plan of what you want to do each day, like making so many calls to short sales or banks, you will stay busy. Then of course, you should also be doing open houses and have a good system with follow-up. It is possible to make a lot of money in this market because in addition to working with sellers, you work with banks.

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