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If you want to succeed in today’s real estate industry, you will have to set yourself apart, get creative, and strategize the best ways to invest your time and money. In the following interview, KC Butler with RE/MAX 100 walks us through winning ways to build better business.

Butler_KCKC Butler
RE/MAX 100
Years in real estate: 31
Region served: Denver, Colo.
Average sales price in your market: $300,000
Average market time: 26 days

Lesley Grand: How are you operating your business more efficiently? Where have you cut back and where have you invested?
KC Butler: I have hired a buyer’s agent so that I’m not wasting leads I don’t have time to work. I am spending less of my budget on print media and more on electronic. My print advertising now accounts for only 1 or 2 percent of my ad budget. I am also working harder on my online advertising, which of course, means using social media. We work with the usual platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. And we are also developing our use of Pinterest.

LG: What was your most challenging listing and why?
KCB: Remote land is always the most challenging listing. I have sold some remote acreage and I have several other pieces of land that I am working on. There is such a small audience, such a small buyer pool looking for it, and there is a lot of competition. I had one 35-acre parcel that sold quickly, but it is harder to gauge the timing. What you have to do with land like this is manage expectations and have a lot of patience; you have to consistently keep it out there, always trying to look for a new audience. It also requires change—sometimes price adjustments and sometimes changing the photos.

LG: What’s your most creative marketing idea?
KCB: I have been going over my business plan and find that referrals are far and away the most profitable part of our business, so we reward referrals. When someone passes our name out, we immediately send a gift: a customized cookie tin with chocolate chip cookies. The lid says, “Thank you from the KC Butler Home Team.” Then, every year at Christmas, I hand-deliver a case of fruit to anyone who referred us during the year. In 2013, I gave out close to 30 cases of oranges and grapefruits. It’s a great, healthy gift and it gives me the opportunity to go to the person’s house and say hello and thank you.

To create great brand awareness, I host client events such as a charity bowling event, a fall barbecue with a live band and hay rides, even a balloon lift-off during an end-of-summer fest. The RE/MAX balloon rides always generate excellent brand recognition.

LG: How do you most effectively communicate with clients?
KCB: I do what they are the most comfortable with. Some clients want to talk on the phone, some would rather text. Others only want to be contacted by email. It becomes evident very quickly and I follow their lead.

LG: How do you stay motivated?
KCB: I set ambitious goals each year and keep my eye on the prize.

LG: How do you manage your time?
KCB: I prioritize.

LG: What’s your key to success in real estate?
KCB: Consistency. I contact clients when I say I will, and I try to call clients back as quickly as possible. Beyond that, I try to stay in touch and follow up, follow up, follow up. The client has to know that you have not deserted them—that they can always count on you.

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