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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, Oct. 11, 2008-When it comes to a challenging market, some real estate professionals aren’t leaving room for excuses in their day to day productivity. For James Plaster, broker/owner of ERA Tradewind, foreclosure bus tours have been a successful tactic for his company during this slow market. “In addition, keeping our buyers, sellers and agents educated is a top priority at this time, so we have been offering first-time home buyer seminars and classes that focus on financing to make sure our consumers are getting the information they need to make good decisions,” he says. Here, learn more about the ways Plaster is taking charge in his Colorado market.

James Plaster
ERA Tradewind
Longmont, Colorado

Region served: Northern Colorado
Years in real estate: 10
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 100
Average sales price: $234,000
Average time on market: 110 days
Best tip for running a productive meeting: Make them entertaining and fun. Nobody likes a meeting, but everyone likes an event.
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: Be patient
Best tip for getting the right listing price: Use the local data and show your customers what is actually occurring in the marketplace. Be real and honest with your sellers.

How do you effectively communicate with your agents?

The most effective way that I communicate with my agents is face-to-face. The second way is through e-mail; phone calls are a last resort. I send out a company-wide e-mail on a monthly basis to update my agents as to what is going on within the company or to simply touch base. Daily e-mails that include minutes from meetings that we hold are sent out as well. It is important that my agents hear news about the company directly from me, instead of through the grapevine.

What strategies are most effective for you in terms of training?

We offer a class called “Millionaire Monday.” It’s been an effective way for us to get our agents the information they are seeking. The classes are agent driven and are centered on a revolving topic.

What is your company’s best competitive advantage over other real estate companies in your area?

The fact that we are a franchise is a huge benefit when it comes to us remaining competitive over other real estate companies in our area because we can offer our customers tools and services that other companies can’t. Our guaranteed buyout program is important, especially in today’s market, as well as our stability in being the largest company within our market.