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By Marylyn Schwartz, CSP

RISMEDIA, Feb 12, 2007-After only 12 years in the real estate industry, Bonnie Koff, managing broker for Prudential Richard Albert, Realtors®, Croton-on-Hudson, New York, has managed to distinguish herself as a top sales producer and a manager/coach to a team of successful professionals.

Formerly a successful entrepreneur, Bonnie, a self-proclaimed "natural nurturer" decided to give the real estate industry a go. After a few years of meteoric success, she felt her nurturing side "call" her toward management.

What makes client and office relationships so critical to the success of an organization? "Relationship building goes beyond the office. It's not necessarily an internal office phenomenon. Rather it comes from how a person perceives life. A desire to bond is fostered in childhood and carries through life."

Bonnie believes that the most important elements in creating a solid foundation with clients and the members of the office team are honesty, consideration for others' feelings and a caring spirit. "There are those agents who "care" because it behooves them in some way to do so. When agents care because it is the right thing to do, clients and co-workers recognize the difference."

Of course, an office team with weak links is not in the business of building strong relationships. Bonnie believes that successful team building relates well to the analogy of an equilateral triangle. "Without a wide foundation, the triangle will never have success at the top. In the same way, client relationships are damaged when they lack a strong foundation. When issues are allowed to fester and open communication is not the norm, relationships spiral downward."

What happens when there are internal problems within the office team? How are these addressed in order to nip them in the bud rather than having them become the source of unrest and resulting reduced productivity? Bonnie believes that immediate intervention is the key to keeping relationships thriving.

"There is no room in our team for gossip, unethical behavior or a lack of desire to be, and do, the best that each of us can. When problems arise, and they do and will, the first thing I want to know from the team member is if they are happy here? If someone is not happy, we have to either work on correcting the problem immediately or acknowledge that perhaps this is not the right place for them. It takes courage and dedication to build strong relationships, to be part of a dynamic team and to care about what our clients care about."

If the lifeblood of the real estate industry is repeat business, Bonnie is generating success one agent and one client at a time.

Marylyn B. Schwartz, CSP, is an expert in real estate and corporate sales training/management and team development. She is president of Teamweavers and a trainer for Leader's Choice®. Contact her at www.marylynbschwartz.com or e-mail: Teamweaver@aol.com.

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