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Top 5 Spotlight: Standing Out from the Competition

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By Lesley Geary

Staying on top of your industry game is crucial when it comes to succeeding in a fluctuating market. So what is next for real estate? We turn to Mike Parker of Huff Realty to find out.

“I see more and more agents with large teams going to boutiques or forming their own companies,” says Parker. “Today, it seems that the big real estate companies are not connected with their top people, so you are beginning to see large teams starting their own companies. Also, branding does not mean as much as it used to.”

Read on to learn how Parker stays motivated and relevant.

Parker_Mike_fullMike Parker
Huff Realty
Years in real estate: 26 years
Region served: Northern Kentucky

What sets you apart from the competition?
We are ahead of everyone on Web marketing. I have been using the Internet and have had a website for the last 15 years. This area in Kentucky is very conservative and most agents here are not as into developing a Web presence, so whenever someone does a Web search, our name comes up first, or very near the top.

What are your best strategies for prospecting?
I like to go after expired listings that are 1-3 years old. We educate and help those sellers. From that process alone, I am able to get 20 – 30 refis a year for one of my bankers.

How do you cultivate leads and turn them into closed business?
I buy leads on Trulia and Zillow, and average five a day from our own site. The key to converting leads is getting back to people as soon as possible—at least within the first couple of hours—and getting them the information they want. Then, ask for their business.

How do you stay motivated?
After working non-stop for a long period, I like to travel. When I come back, I am refreshed. I also attend 3-5 conferences a year and I always come back motivated. I have a group of my own called Real Estate Experts and I lead my own conferences. Sharing and picking up new ideas always keeps me motivated.

How do you keep buyers and sellers realistically informed and positive?
We send a weekly report to sellers so they always know what’s going on with their properties. With buyers, we show them sales price ratios and give them as much information as we can to help them make informed decisions.

Which up-and-coming trends in real estate do you think will yield big opportunities down the road?
I see more and more agents with large teams going to boutiques or forming their own companies. Today, it seems that the big real estate companies are not connected with their top people, so you are beginning to see large teams starting their own companies. Also, branding does not mean as much as it used to. The Internet has leveled the playing field.

Why is real estate a good career for you?
I like that you are on the go and out in the field. I could never sit on a chair in a cubicle toiling at the same thing day after day. And I love working with people.

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