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What is the key to happiness in the real estate business? According to Brandon Brittingham of Long & Foster Real Estate, it’s hard work. Read on for Brittingham’s tips for maximizing your online presence, connecting with your community, and more.

Brittingham_headshotBrandon Brittingham
Long & Foster Real Estate
Years in real estate: 5
Region served: Maryland

How do you remain a market expert?
By living it and breathing it every day. Also, I find training is extremely important as well as being on the cutting edge of technology and consistently being willing to learn.

How do you stay informed in regard to the industry?
I am heavily involved with the distressed end of the market, working with REOs, short sales and foreclosures. In order to best service this market, I work in the state of Maryland’s Task Force on Foreclosure, which is an important network for me. We have the tools to actually help people in this situation, so it is crucial that I know everything possible about it.

How do you maximize your online presence?
This takes a combination of things. I have a staff devoted full time to search engine optimization. We also rely heavily on blogs, social media and our websites for mobile. It is fair to say that we attack online heavily.

How do you stay motivated?
I am not motivated by money. I am motivated more by a determination to be No. 1 in the market. I set outrageous goals for myself so I am consistently working toward something and never let myself get complacent. I try to set a goal for the day, the month, the year, the next three years, etc. I want to leave a legacy, and working toward that goal keeps me motivated.

How do you connect with your community?
I am involved in a lot of nonprofits in my community, such as Habitat for Humanity. I also work with the state, helping to do everything we can to help people avoid foreclosure.

What are some of your most successful follow-up tactics?
I try to call people back right away and I am consistently in touch with my client base, so rather than being a secret agent, I am their very present real estate agent.

What’s the best way to market a home?
The Internet is huge, as is social media, blogs and, of course, pricing. I also use print media, too—there is still a segment of the market that uses print.

How do you stay happy in this business?
It is very simple: Hard working agents are always the ones that rise to the top. Treat it like a business, work hard at it and you will love the returns.