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The following Ask the Experts Q & A features advice from Doug Breaker, the president and CEO of Homefinder.com.

Q: How can agents stay one step ahead in a rapidly evolving industry?
A: With low inventory and low interest rates, the market is heating up, and heating up fast. For agents and brokers, the last few years have meant patience as homes sat for months or even years; now, real estate professionals must learn to turn on a dime, as houses sell in days or even hours. Our 2013 HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes will focus on that change and help the five winners and thousands of participants understand the changing landscape and adapt to the new normal. Below are a few thoughts on how you can be well positioned to take advantage of the changing landscape:

1. Be the agent you want to work with: As a real estate agent, would you hire yourself? Do you feel like you offer clients experience, knowledge and expertise? Are you establishing a personal rapport and nurturing client relationships before, during and after the sale? If the answer is no, identify your weakest areas and find resources to help you grow as an industry professional.

2. Power of planning: Do you want to improve your marketing strategy, stay in touch with past clients, or increase your commission? Write down how you plan to achieve these goals. If you fall into a rut and think you haven’t made any progress, revisit your plan; you’ll be astonished at how far you’ve come!

3. Let go of what’s not revenue generating: Hire a full-time, part-time, or even virtual assistant to relieve your task-oriented workload. When you hold on too tightly to parts of your business that someone else can manage, you lose the ability to maximize money-making opportunities.

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