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RISMEDIA, April 18, 2011—Successful real estate professionals know that equipping their agents with the tools they need to stay in touch with their clients and provide the most up-to-date and accurate information is one way to stay ahead of the curve. Here, Dottie Bowe, owner of Keller Williams Realty in Portland, Maine discusses how her company places its agents at the center of the business.

Dottie Bowe
Keller Williams Realty
Portland, Maine

Region served: Southern Maine
Years in real estate: 30
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 240
Average time on market: 60 days
Average sales price: $234,000
Key to staying profitable: Focus on your numbers. It is also crucial to write down your goals and have a focused business plan.
Favorite part about working in real estate: Making a difference in other people’s lives and helping them find success.

How do you effectively motivate your agents?
Instead of viewing ourselves as a real estate company, we think of ourselves as an education and training company. Keeping our agents motivated comes through providing our agents with the tools and information they need to find success. We offer at least eight classes a week so they can pick and choose the areas where they need guidance.

How are you keeping consumers educated about today’s buying opportunities?
Keeping our consumers educated about today’s buying opportunities is done one person at a time. While we use many media avenues to keep consumers up-to-date, our agents play an integral role in this effort. We make sure our agents have the latest facts and figures before they sit down with buyers or sellers.

What is your best online marketing strategy?
One important part of our online marketing strategy is our listing site, which populates over 100 other websites to make sure our sellers’ listings get in front of as many buyers as possible. In addition, we believe our agent-driven environment sells homes, not our brand, so we encourage each of our agents to have their own domain name where they can maximize their strengths and drive business to their sites. We recently rolled out eEdge, our all-encompassing business platform which will help bring our technology initiatives to the next level and enable our agents to work smarter.

How are you working to stay one step ahead of your competition?
We are always preparing our agents to have the skills they need to work successfully with today’s buyers and sellers. We also take advantage of our innovative nature instead of waiting around to see what everyone else is doing.

What is your biggest challenge in today’s market and how is your company taking it on?
Our biggest challenge is working to stay ahead of the curve in addition to staying focused on recruiting and retention. It is important to go above and beyond to meet the needs and challenges of our agents.