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RISMEDIA, October 30, 2009—Staying ahead of your local competition while keeping your name in front of your clients is crucial to staying profitable in any real estate market. As technology continues to advance, it is important for real estate professionals to take advantage of the various mediums through which they can stay in touch with their clients enabling them to stand apart. Here, Joyce Bytoff, owner of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, Inc. in Appleton, Wisconsin discusses what her company is doing to stay ahead of today’s market. 

Bytof_ JoyceJoyce Bytoff
Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group, Inc.
Appleton, Wisconsin 

Region served: Northern Wisconsin
Years in real estate: Since 1964
Number of offices: 16. We also have a number of satellite offices in various small towns throughout Northern Wisconsin.
Number of agents: 450
Average listing: $137,000
Average time on market: about 90 days
The best way to stay in touch with agents…We have several ways in which we stay in touch with our agents. Our internal, Web-based communication system is updated every three hours and provides our agents with new listings in addition to when a home has been sold or is in the closing stages. In addition, our voicemail system allows me to stay in close communication with my agents and keeps the community feel of the company intact.
Key to staying profitable…Stay in front of the market. We have decreased our print advertising considerably and turned to the Internet and have embraced social marketing so that we are always in front of our clients.
Best strategy for dealing with difficult customers? We have a reputation in our community of always doing the right thing for our customers and this has enabled us to gain over 50% market share within our primary market. Not only do we honor what we say, but we are heavily involved in the community. 

How are you reaching out to first-time home buyers?
The $8,000 Federal Tax Credit has been a huge marketing point for our company. I have TV spots that are shown twice a day within the area that talk about the credit and its advantage for first-time buyers. In addition, we have a countdown to when the tax credit ends within our local newspaper as well as on our website. We are doing everything we can to get the word out to potential buyers about the tax credit and to show that now is the time to buy a home. 

What’s your best strategy to get buyers to see a listed home?
Last year we partnered with the Green Bay Packers and ran a promotion in which we held a drawing and gave away tickets to a game. With a wait list of 78,000 people to buy a ticket, whoever came to our open house had the opportunity to be entered into a drawing to win a ticket. 

How are you keeping consumers in your marketplace educated about the buying opportunities available today?
We work hard to keep our consumers informed and reach out to them through various mediums. Not only do we take advantage of radio, TV, word of mouth and our website, we also include teaser ads in the newspaper. This way, we can grab their attention and then lead them back to our website where they can find additional information about the property as well as our mapping tool, which allows consumers to be able to look at the area surrounding the property.