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Tales from Downturn Abbey: How the Slump Turned Out to Be the Best Thing that Could Have Happened for a Determined Colorado Company

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By Barbara Pronin

“We knew we had a brand that had a great reputation and a wonderful array of resources,” Whitehouse explains. “Our plan was to use those resources to bring a level of service to our agents that they weren’t getting anywhere else—and to provide them with the tools and systems, as well as the training they needed, to bring a higher level of service to their customers.”

The partners put their energy and dollars into innovative marketing and communications tools to help their agents outperform the competition. Automated systems. Mobile resources. Onsite training to keep agents on the cutting edge of the newest technical advances. But they also insisted on a level of personal commitment that brings customers for life.

“We are living in an age of emails and texts, where electronic signatures are the norm,” Whitehouse says. “But it’s too easy to shout out a text, and blast emails can end up as spam. Real estate is still a person-to-person business, and never before has there been more value in a simple, handwritten note. That’s the kind of vanishing personal service customers remember and respond to.”

The tactic worked, helping the partners establish a stable and respected company, attracting top-notch talent, and retaining their most productive agents.

But it was only half of their two-pronged strategy for growth.

“We were aware early on that the devastating downturn was forcing some good companies to re-evaluate their options,” Whitehouse says. “So we decided to swing for the fences and make some strategic acquisitions.”

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