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RISMEDIA, December 16, 2010—Today’s market has provided numerous challenges for real estate professionals to overcome. Those who have come out ahead have had to stay on their toes and react quickly to the ever-changing market. Here, Michael Zagaris, president of PMZ Real Estate in Central Valley, California, discusses how his company went above and beyond to face challenges head-on in order to find success in today’s market.

Michael Zagaris
PMZ Real Estate
Central Valley, California

Regions served: Modesto, Stockton, Lodi, Oakdale, Turlock, Tracy, Ceres and Manteca, California
Years in real estate: 33
Number of agents: 600
Average listing price: $150,000
Average days on market: 30
Most beneficial background experience: Having my father as a mentor. My father began his real estate career in 1947 and started taking me with him to open houses in the early 1950s. I feel very fortunate to have had his support and inspiration.

What is your biggest challenge in today’s market and how is your company taking it on?
Our market is among the most impacted in the U.S. Our biggest challenge is to help our sales professionals adjust in positive ways to this “new normal.” Our management team works tirelessly to help our sales team reframe their interpretation of reality so they see the very real opportunities that exist today.

How do you incorporate your home warranty provider, American Home Shield, into your business?
We have had a deep relationship with AHS since the late 1970s. It has been the most consistent and deepest relationship we’ve had with a third party. It assists our clients and better protects their interests. It has been a long-term relationship—we strongly encourage our agents to promote the importance of home warranties in their practices.

What tools and resources are most critical to staying successful?
The most important resource we have is our team of real estate sales professionals. We are deeply committed to providing a learning environment and a positive experience for each member of our team. With respect to tools, our most important one is our website, But is only one element in a complex and ever-growing universe of online solutions we are offering. Our most recent technological tool is our new “mobile agent application” that enables agents using smart phones to do business in the field.

How have you incorporated social media into your efforts?
We view our online and social media-related activities as an online ecosystem. In this ecosystem, social media plays a vital role at the brokerage level and the agent level. We invest a lot of time and money in providing learning opportunities for our agents so they can best utilize social media to its fullest potential. We also have corporate initiatives in this area as well.