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RISMEDIA, January 20, 2010—Keeping everyone within your organization involved is just one way that real estate professionals can keep agents invested in their company, especially in today’s difficult market. Here, read how Maurice Vaughn, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Hometown Connection discusses how he respects his agent’s time and promotes company-wide involvement.

Maurice Vaughn
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Hometown Connection
Clarksville, Tennessee

Region served: Clarksville, Tennessee and Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Years in real estate: Since 1984
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 12
Average sales price: $158,000
Average time on market: 89 days
Best tip for running a productive meeting: Respect everyone’s time by having an agenda (even if this is only your own personal notes) and have a goal for the meeting. Then, get everyone involved so everyone in the room is invested. Finally, be upbeat. If you are not excited about the meeting items, who else will be?
Effective retention techniques: It takes a lot of sacrifice to be an agent. It requires a lot of nights and weekends. Show your agents you respect their commitment by giving them a voice and listening to what they have to say. In addition, let your agents know that their family is always welcome in the office, as it is important their significant others and children know where they work and feel comfortable in the environment.

What is your best online marketing strategy?
We are constantly updating the information on our website in order to keep it fresh since so many prospective buyers begin their home search on the Internet. In addition, we have a company blog that highlights the latest trends and news in the industry to keep our site visitors up-to-date with the trends and changes occurring in today’s market.

How do you ensure you always get the right listing price?
Despite lots of changes in technology, it has always been more of an art than a science. There are so many variables, such as the age and condition of the home, but generally speaking, there is no substitute for doing your homework and knowing about comparable sales in the area. In order to get an accurate price on a home, you have to be prepared with the correct information.

What makes your company unique in today’s market?
Having been in the business for 25 years, our name is recognized throughout the industry, which drives a lot of repeat business our way. Seeing our name coupled with Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate has been a huge advantage for us in our marketplace as well.

What are you looking forward to about being part of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate brand?
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is a firm that is uniquely suited to be the brokerage of the future. They began arguably in the midst of one of the most challenging housing markets in generations, with a focus on accommodating today’s changing consumer who trends to the Web for the information. They offer something new in real estate and I think people are responding enthusiastically. Their brand embodies Main Street and they have quality individuals representing their entire company. I am looking forward to learning from them as well as collaborating and sharing best practices among the group.