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RISMEDIA, November 9, 2009—Treating your clients the way in which you wish to be treated is an effective way to build trustworthy relationships with your clients. Here, Jim Dohr, president of Coldwell Banker Gundaker discusses how always treating your customer right will enable everything else to take care of itself. 

Dohr_JimJim Dohr
Coldwell Banker Gundaker
St. Louis, Missouri 

Region served: Saint Louis metropolitan area
Years in real estate: 32
Number of offices: 27
Number of agents: 2,100
Average sales price: $200,000
Average time on market: 100 days
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: Practice the Golden Rule and put yourself in the other person’s position. Always treat the customer right and everything else will take care of itself.
Keep meetings productive by…Starting and ending on time. Also, have an agenda and stick to it.
Key to staying profitable: You have to be willing to make tough decisions and do the right thing no matter what. When making these decisions, remain objective and remove emotion from the process as much as possible. 

What is your biggest challenge in today’s market and how is your company taking it on? Our biggest challenge is staying profitable in today’s declining market. We are coping with this challenge in that we are willing to look hard decisions in the eye and make them, but at the same time, remain sensitive to maintaining the company culture. With each decision we make, we focus on how it will affect our agents’ attitudes and employee morale. Keeping our company culture intact is crucial in today’s market. 

What’s your best strategy to get buyers to see a listed home? Our three best strategies to get buyers to see listed homes are to price it correctly, increase the commission payout that goes to the cooperating broker and have a comprehensive Internet marketing strategy. 

What are your best marketing techniques? Everything we do drives traffic to our website. Whether we use print advertising, billboards or TV, we direct everyone to our website because that is where the action is. 

How are you keeping consumers educated about today’s buying opportunities? We have a very interactive PR campaign taking place at the moment in which we are conducting interviews on radio, TV and through print. In addition, we spend a lot of time educating our agents and providing them with the tools they need, such as statistics and hard data so they can educate consumers from their end. 

How do you keep your agents motivated? Keeping our agents motivated starts with communication. We are always in touch with our agents, providing them with hard data and statistics and then using the data to find positive stories about the current market. We also conduct numerous workshops and hands-on training to help our agents focus on what is in their control. The workshops focus on relationships and basics like selling 101. We present ideas to enable our agents to work harder and smarter. 

What are the advantages to being able to offer your customers home warranties? The home warranties that we provide through American Home Shield have been a great tool for us. Statistics show that when a home has a warranty, it sells 23 days faster, on average, in addition to the price being 4% higher, on average, as well as the final price being closer to the listing price. Home warranties give our buyers peace of mind especially in today’s market, and they have been a huge advantage for us.