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RISMEDIA, March 27, 2010—Creating schedules to help you stay on track and focus on what needs to get done on a daily basis is one way that real estate professionals are helping to easy the anxiety that comes with today’s turbulent market. Here, Jeffrey Samuels, President, ERA Signature Homes in Honolulu, Hawaii discusses how he is encouraging his company to stay on schedule and tackle the challenges they are presented with.

Jeffrey Samuels
ERA Signature Homes
Honolulu, Hawaii
Region served: State of Hawaii
Years in real estate: Since 1998
Number of offices: 4
Number of agents: 75
Average sales price: $550,000
Average time on market: 34 days
Advice for real estate rookies: Learn your market and inventory because you can’t sell what you don’t know.

What is your biggest challenge in today’s market, and how is your company taking it on?
Our biggest challenge today is the fact that our unit counts are down as well as our number of sales. We are tackling this challenge by getting back to basics, such as sending out postcards, making phone calls, holding open houses and marketing in our local newspapers. The tools that ERA provides us allow our agents to stay ahead and have a better stance than other agents when they go out on listing appointments. The Seller Security Plan that ERA provides has been a big selling point for our company. Since the plan isn’t very well known around the island, we have spent time advertising it, which allows us to get more listing appointments for our homes since we can guarantee the sale.

How are you staying one step ahead of your competition?
By focusing on different marketing techniques compared with other real estate companies in the area. We recently put out 50,000 issues of our ERA Signature Homes magazine around the island, in addition to putting them in the seat-back pockets on one of the major airlines on the island. Our agents use the magazine as a marketing tool as well when they go on listing appointments.

How do you ensure you always get the right listing price?
Not only do we go over the numbers and comparables when we are in the process of pricing a home, but we also put together a graph that lists all the features of the particular property, much like a Broker Price Opinion. In addition, we don’t price any of our homes more than 5% above other comparable homes on the market.

What is your best strategy to get buyers to see your listed homes?
We recently started a walking tour out of one of our offices on Waikiki that has been hugely successful. A group of 10-20 interested buyer’s are shown five to seven buildings and units, while at the same time being told about the history of the island and the homes they are seeing. We also make sure that we provide more than the usual amount of photos to go along with our properties that are listed online. Providing a detailed description of the property is another way we pique prospective buyers’ interest.