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By Lesley Geary

RISMEDIA, Dec. 26, 2008-What’s your best strategy for keeping your real estate office productive? For Doug Rebert, managing director of Prudential HomeSale Services Group, it’s helping agents to build a business plan with a strong emphasis on prospecting. Here, learn other ways Rebert and his team of just under one thousand are standing out in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area.

Doug Rebert
Managing Director
Prudential HomeSale Services Group
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Years in real estate: 33
Number of offices: 20
Number of agents: 986
Region served: South central and southeastern Pennsylvania
Average sales price: $200,000
Average listing time: 70-80 days

The best way to keep agents productive: Coach the agents to develop a business plan with a strong emphasis on prospecting. Help them formulate a specific prospecting strategy with dialogues. For example, help them with what to say about the $7,500 first-time home buyer credit when calling a friend who happens to be the parent of a 25 and 35-year-old. Encourage agents to concentrate on successes and to view a rejection as one step closer to the next “yes.”

The most creative ad we’ve run: Although perhaps not the most creative, we recently ran an ad that was extremely effective. In a major local newspaper, we ran full-page color ads with photos and addresses of the homes we have sold in the past 60 days so people could see that “houses are selling in our markets.” The response of the public and our agents was very positive.

Tips for getting the right listing price: Foremost, work with a properly motivated, realistic seller. Put together a top-notch CMA, using the freshest comparables possible, explain average days on market, explain absorption rate, and utilize visuals, such as a graph that shows how sales-proceeds drop with extended marketing time.

Advice for real estate rookies: Teach them that it is not intelligence, size, attractiveness, who you know or who has the best dialogue that most determines success in real estate. The one thread among all successful real estate practitioners is persistence.

Recruiting recommendations: First, make sure that your current agent base is succeeding and that your retention is high. Who wants to come over to a new ship when the mice are fleeing from the gangplank? Second, as a leader, devote time to recruiting. When you make recruiting activities a top priority without allowing distractions to take you off course, your managers will see you as the quintessential role model.

In your opinion, what differentiates your brokerage from others in the marketplace?

The overriding mission of leadership in this company is to provide our agents with training, programs and services that give them a distinct edge in the marketplace. Many of our programs, such as our Call Center, our Showing Center, and our Agent Benefits package, are exclusive to our company in our marketplace.

What is your best tip for running a successful meeting?

Have something of value to share, rather than just having a meeting because it is a particular day of the week. Inject some humor, dole out some praise, share success stories and provide some motivation and education. Make it a reasonable length. Stick to the agenda. Make sure that everyone feels it’s OK to contribute and that their idea is as valid as anyone else’s. Respect people’s time, and they will respect you for it.

What is your best idea for time management?

There is a time management parable used by trainers: If you have a jar, some rice and some walnuts, and you put the rice in first, the walnuts won’t fit. By putting the walnuts in first, the rice will sift down around them. In other words, schedule the big (the most important) things first.