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Henry Hoche
Innisfree Realty

Years in real estate: 20
Years as an agent team: 20
Number of team members: 2
Region Served: Cashiers & Glenville, North Carolina
I formed an agent team because….when I first rented my office in Orlando it was just me, one person, and I built it up in a relatively short period of time from me to 200 people and five offices. I sold that business and moved to North Carolina where it is me again with one other broker and I am just about to add a few more people because there is so much opportunity here now and I need the help again.

What creative ideas and strategies are you using to create new business?
We do many things here that are out of the ordinary but perhaps the most creative thing we do is our Champagne Cruise. The area we serve is Western North Carolina, two communities that surround Lake Glenville. Lake Glenville is the highest lake east of the Rockies and there are waterfalls and islands and 26 miles of lake frontage. It is 3,500 feet above sea level and mountains surround the lake. I cannot begin to describe the beauty of this area. Our primary interest is home sales that have a view of the lake or are on the lake, so we have a pontoon boat that will carry 12 people. We take people out on the lake and they get the most magnificent view of the area from the water. It’s a wonderful cruise. We stop and feed the ducks. I point out all of the houses and they get very excited and interested about living here. They may never have thought about buying on the lake. And if they can’t afford to be on the lake they can at least get a house with a view of the lake. So this cruise has been a very effective selling tool for us.

What is the most important thing you are doing to make a difference in this market?
Keeping a very positive attitude. North Carolina is still a good market. Many Realtors have just given up. They have decided it’s a bad market and that they aren’t going to sell anything. They become their own worst enemy. They figure nothing will happen so they don’t follow through-that has helped us tremendously. We just stay focused and positive and are doing very well in this market. When times get tough you work more not less. I have taught this all my life. I pep myself up every day talking to myself and telling myself I can do it.

What are you doing differently this year than last with your buyers?
Buyers should jump in right now and buy because buyers markets do not last. It doesn’t take a lot of volume up here but as soon as buyers start buying, the market can quickly shift to a sellers market. I know up here we have had a sellers market for over 20 years so this is a great, rare opportunity to buy and I make sure that my buyers understand this.

What are you doing differently this year than last with your sellers?
Negotiating better. Most sales associates list for whatever the seller wants so they get the listing. But I believe the house is sold at the time of the listing. So the most stupid thing you can do is not negotiate what the price should be. You need to present what you think and back up your price with solid information. In today’s market you have to explain that we are in a buyers market. That tells the seller that he needs to be realistic if his house is going to sell.

Success Strategies

What type of advertising works best for you?
Right now print is not doing much. I am actually using radio very successfully.

Are you spending more or less on advertising and marketing than last year? I was spending more last year. I have actually slowed down on the print. We are a little different here. We have only one radio station here and that is my best bet.

What’s the one thing a seller must do in this market to sell the house?
Stage the property properly. Most people move and just leave the house vacant. But in this market you have to make sure that your house is as perfect as possible and that means very careful staging. It also means getting rid of any negatives. If you have a dog, get the dog out of the house. If you have a cat, get the cat out. Get rid of the litter box. The smell alone can kill a sale. De-clutter. It is just so important in this market to make sure everything is as perfect as possible. You just can’t leave anything to chance.

What’s your philosophy for a successful life in real estate? Win within. Believe in yourself. Do the things you know you should do and act like a winner. I don’t care if you have ever listed or sold anything. Dress like a winner and have lots of enthusiasm. Envision yourself winning and selling. Listen to tapes and cassettes from the great motivators. #

Lesley Geary