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Broker Best Practices: Maintaining a Competitive Edge

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By Paige Tepping

Bill Lublin
CEO
CENTURY 21 Advantage Gold
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Region served: Southeast Pennsylvania and South New Jersey
Years in real estate: 40
Number of offices: 7; plus 1 corporate center
Number of agents: 200+
Average time on market: 86 days
Average sales price: $165,000
Current market conditions: While we’re experiencing a slow market, people are starting to get off the sidelines, especially those that either need to buy or sell. As long as people continue to get married, have babies or get divorced, they will continue to move. At the moment, we’re focusing a lot of our time and effort on foreclosures and REOs, as they are an important part of our business.

What is the key to staying profitable?

There are three main areas that we’re focusing on in order to remain profitable. The first involves working with both new and experienced agents on core skill sets that will help them succeed in the current market. By working closely with our agents to help them get back to basics and providing them with the tools they need to gain a competitive edge, we’ve managed to outperform the marketplace. We’ve also taken the time to utilize technology to minimize expense and maximize return. By relying more heavily on technology, we’ve been able to reduce the amount of print material we generate and instead focus on utilizing social media to create a stronger brand identity. Centralizing our infrastructure is another way that we have been able to manage our expenses.

How do you help your agents achieve their goals?

While the reasons for their motivation may differ, we are committed to helping our agents meet their goals, both professionally and financially, by providing them with a supportive environment, good tools and a strong affiliation with a national brand. Since the success of our agents and the company is intrinsically combined, my managers make it a point to meet with their agents weekly so they can discuss things that are going well and areas that need improvement.

What is the biggest challenge associated with today’s market?

The biggest challenge in dealing with today’s market is the lack of confidence due to job fear and the high rate of unemployment. In addition, banks have become so risk adverse that common sense loans aren’t being made. Not only do we need to begin restoring confidence so that a larger number of people want to buy, we also need to work on liquidity so that more people are able to buy.

How do you keep your company top of mind in the eyes of prospective clients, existing clients and the communities you service?

By using social media and the power of repetition through syndication, we’re able to connect with existing clients and promote our company to prospective clients as well as the communities we serve. We have a well-developed Facebook strategy that allows us to engage with our audience and provide them with the community information they are seeking. Facebook enables us to communicate with our clients, customers and consumers on their terms, in the manner they want to be communicated with. In addition, through our affiliation with CENTURY 21, all of our listings are syndicated to an additional 500 sites, and each listing features its own YouTube video.

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