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13798.PWattamTOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE, December, 2009—Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First
Years in real estate: 26
Region Served: Greater Baton Rouge, Louisiana area
Average sales price in your market: $200,000

How do you distinguish yourself from other agents in the market?

By my marketing. My tag line is, “Pat sells a house every three days” and we have our “slogo” which is “making things happen.” These both really set me apart from other agents. The perception is that the market is slow, but because I sell so many houses we are letting consumers know that the market here is great and that we are the best ones to help them with their real estate business. It’s all in the perception.

Do you do any print marketing to consumers today?

Yes. In fact quite a bit of our marketing is in print. We advertise heavily in the newspaper and we also use Real Estate Finder Magazine. I would say that 70% of our business is repeat and referral but we are still spending the money on print. People aged 45 and up read the newspaper and when you think about it, they have the money. Then for the younger generation, people 35 and under, I have a strong Internet presence.

How do you connect with today’s more savvy real estate consumer?

Through our strong Internet presence. Our real estate market is not what the rest of the country is seeing. We have to really educate buyers on our market as opposed to what they hear on TV. I use a lot of varied tools from podcasting, to blogging, to video podcasting, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

How do you ensure you provide relevant, useful information to consumers?

That falls on me. My job on the team is to be the think tank. I do a lot of market research and check stats. I keep a pulse on the market and meet with my team weekly. I attend a lot of educational seminars and conferences so that the information I gather is from many different sources.

How do you deal with buyers who expect unrealistic bargains?

We educate them. That is a huge undertaking for us. We have to build trust and we do that by sharing our knowledge. Sometimes buyers have to lose a few houses before they understand that in this market they have to pay for the house.

What are some of the most creative marketing promotions you’ve done?

I do a lot of promotions throughout the year, but especially at Christmas. So this year I will send out an ornament to everyone I have helped over the last 25 years -.that means 900 ornaments! I send out 300 Christmas CDs to our top clients who refer business to us or bought/sold in the past 2 years. And we send 225 Santa letters to children. We know our promotions are working because I have a very high retention rate.

What is the key to a successful life in real estate? Tenacity and a positive attitude.

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