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RISMEDIA, December 24, 2009—Constant communication between yourself and your clients is one of the easiest ways to create top-of-mind awareness. While real estate professionals across the board have numerous best practices in place to stay in front of their sphere of influence, Steve Brown, Executive Vice President, Crye-Leike Realtors discusses how he and his sales associates stand out to their clients and achieve customer loyalty.

Brown_SteveSteve Brown
Executive Vice President
Crye-Leike Realtors
Memphis, Tennessee

Region served: Southeast U.S.
Years in real estate: 35
Number of offices: 106, plus 35 franchisees
Number of agents: 3,034
Average sales price: $155,600
Key to staying profitable: Look for ways to right-size your infrastructure and staff, as well as staying focused on recruiting and training.
Best idea for time management: No magic here—get up earlier and prioritize your activities.
Best tip for keeping your agents productive: They always have to be scheduling prospecting time and then following through. Preparation is worthless without execution.
Favorite thing about working in real estate: Seeing our agents succeed after lots of hard work and creativity and seeing equity growth for our homeowners over the long-term.

What are your best marketing techniques?
Our two best marketing techniques are our use of both VoicePad and ListHub. We implemented VoicePad during the downturn and this has given our customers access to property information 24/7, which has enabled our clients to get the information they need on their terms. We also get instant callback information for follow up. In addition, our deal with ListHub allows us to have our properties posted to 30 different portals and all of the traffic generated through these sites comes back to us.

What strategies do your sales associates utilize to stand out to clients and achieve customer loyalty?
Customer loyalty can only be achieved through constant communication. We have a program in place that reaches out and sends jumbo, color postcards to everyone in our customer base for seven years so that we can keep our name in front of clients we have worked with. What gets loyalty from our clients is results, empathy and perseverance, so the postcards are used to create top-of-mind awareness.

How are you staying one step ahead of your local competition?
We stay ahead of our competition through right-sizing our company as well as having embraced the one-stop-shopping concept. In addition, we are spending a lot of time training our agents on topics that will get them through today’s market, such as short sales and negotiating. While many of our agents have experienced a short sale, only a small percentage has had special training on the subject, so we recently posted podcasts and webinars on our intranet to get everyone up to speed.

What makes your company unique in today’s market?
What makes us unique is that we are constantly innovating and reinventing ourselves. We are the third-largest, privately owned real estate service in the U.S. We got here through lots of hard work. There are no bureaucracies in our company—our owners and managers are held accountable for responding to feedback from our agents and we take pride in the close communication lines we have established with our agents.

Why is it important to be able to offer your clients home warranties through American Home Shield?
Home warranties offer peace of mind for both the customer and the agent, especially in today’s market. Not only do they act as time savers, but they reduce the out-of-pocket expenses for owners.