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Staying Ahead of the Curve – Arm Your Customers with the Knowledge They Need

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, April 25, 2009-In this tough economy, real estate professionals are working hard to stay ahead. While homeowners find themselves struggling to make ends meet, Wayne Hall, operating principal/broker, Keller Williams Realty in Sacramento, California works closely with his customers to make sure they have the knowledge they need to move ahead in this market.

Wayne Hall
Operating Principal/Broker
Keller Williams Realty
Sacramento, California

Region served: Northern California, specifically the Sacramento area
Years in real estate: 33
Average sales price: $195,000
Average time on market: 65 days
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: The financial strain on customers is the most difficult part of the real estate business. Sellers are upside down and many don’t have equity, so we are focusing on coaching our customers on how to move forward in this market.
Key to staying profitable: Adapting to the market. 2008 was a good year for us because we focused on REOs, which made up about 78% of our business.

How do you ensure that you always get the right listing price?
We have found that coming to terms with the right listing price is tough from a psychological standpoint, consumers are realizing they must trust their real estate professional to properly price and sell their home in this market. Our customers have to compete with short sale and REO prices, so it is crucial that our agents look at the CMAs, know the market and present the consumer with the real market price.

What are two fundamentals that are essential to your company’s continued success?
We believe that training our agents on the current market-now made up of short sales and REOs-has put us in a unique position. Essentially, being at the forefront of the REO shift has allowed us to prosper. Ultimately, the key is to keep our agents educated and informed about the current market and train them on the big picture in our market.

What is the biggest challenge your company faces in today’s market?
The biggest challenge that we face is maintaining our sales force. We are always looking for better techniques to train our agents, so they know how to adjust and make sales today. Training is both the key and the answer if you can provide it and be able to show your clients that you are putting these techniques to good use. We need to be able to shift when the market changes, and we want to be at the front of the curve instead of behind it.

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