By Paige Tepping
RISMEDIA, September 24, 2010—Finding success in today’s real estate market is proving to be a challenge to real estate professionals across the board. Here, Maurice Vaughn, CEO, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Hometown Connection in Clarksville, Tennessee discusses how he has set his company up for success in today’s market, as well as into the future.
Region served: Tennessee
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 62
Average listing price: $181,000
Average time on market: 88 days
Best idea for time management: Mobile multi-tasking—using the drive into the office to plan out the day and then catching up on what has happened on the drive home. In addition, I don’t let my cell phone control my time—if I’m in a meeting, I won’t pick up.
Favorite part about working in real estate: I have been in real estate for 26 years, and I enjoy everything about it. But my favorite part is getting the chance to spend more time with my family since my wife, Terri; daughter, Amanda; and sons, Jon and Andrew, are all in the business.
Can you talk about the success you’ve found since joining Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate?
In 10 months with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, we have grown nearly 800%. We went from a small, independent company with just seven agents to 62 agents, and growing. The agent community around here seems reinvigorated and we expect to see even more growth.
What have been some of the biggest benefits you’ve seen in joining the BH&G franchise?
Technology will be the single biggest factor driving this industry forward. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate puts the latest technology in the hands of my agents each day.
For example, we have PinPoint, a direct marketing tool that leverages Meredith Corporation’s U.S. database of more than 85 million consumers who interact with the Better Homes and Gardens brand. The platform allows us to create targeted direct mail pieces, using custom demographic and geographic segmentation that links to a printing-and-postage fulfillment vendor. We have plenty of homes for sale, so we need to efficiently prospect potential buyers as well as sellers. This tool helps us do that.
Another advantage in the area of technology includes a system that sends any lead that comes into the website to an agent across all mediums—e-mail, text message and voicemail. This ensures that our agents—who are now more mobile than ever—can stay in contact with a prospect whether they are at the office, in the car, at home or anywhere else.
What are some of your best recruiting, retention and motivational techniques?
Everyone wants to be with a winner and they want access to the latest technology that will give them an edge. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand is a winner that brings agents to our offices, but the technology and ability to access the very latest resources is what keeps them. We are in an age of the self-directed consumer and while it is hard for a small company to have all the systems agents need to do business, this franchise is enthusiastic and forward-thinking, and it is important to be affiliated with someone that is on the leading edge in an industry that is constantly changing.
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