In the following interview, Zelda Heller, Jamie Coley and Leigh Reed of The Heller Coley Reed Team with Long & Foster Real Estate discuss marketing, management, and more.
Years in Real Estate: 28
Region Served: Washington, D.C. area
Average Market Time: We’re in a very fast market. If the property is priced and staged correctly, it may sell in a day.
Number of Team Members: 15
Your agent team is an award-winning team renowned for concierge service. What are the most important steps to take in offering such high-level service?
Zelda Heller: Training and education. In our experience, we see some agents treat real estate as a part-time job, which it isn’t. Real estate is a full-time business—a full-time profession. In fact, some agents come into the business so unprepared that we believe the whole criteria for licensees should be raised. We’re very selective about the agents who join our team. It’s not about how many agents we have—it’s about finding and training agents to be great matches for our team. Therefore, we teach a multitude of lessons to our agents.
It’s also important that the entire aspect of the team be cohesive, so we train agents about what the market is doing, to have the pulse of it always at hand, and to be well-informed about all aspects of area trends. Group training on a weekly basis is also very important to us. The best way we find to give superior service is to make sure the people we work with—whether they’re buyers or sellers—work with us as partners. If the seller isn’t motivated—cannot understand the need to price properly, for instance—we don’t usually work with them. We also work with a group of contractors who know how to paint, landscape and make the house very presentable. When we all work together to put the house in the best possible position to sell, we all win.
What are the benefits of having a team versus acting as a solo agent?
ZH: At its roots, we’re great individual agents who are uniting to make an even greater whole. An excellent team with great synergies makes for the best of all worlds. Although the three of us have very different strengths and perspectives, we have great energy together and can cover most bases. We all have very high standards, as well. This means that one of us is always available for our clients. Not only do we want to be there to help our clients from start to finish, but we also want to make sure the whole process is pleasurable. I’m not certain one can give this type of service as a solo agent.
Where do you spend the bulk of your marketing money?
ZH: A lot of our marketing money is spent on direct mailing. We pay two people in-house to cover social media and our various marketing materials. We also do print advertising. And lastly, we may do bulk mailing to one particular neighborhood that we believe we can best service.
What are you most proud of about your team?
ZH: Our reputation—it’s the gold standard. I also enjoy watching our team members come in as young and hopeful and seeing them grow and flourish as REALTORS®. That’s been a terrific reward in and of itself.
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