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In the following interview, Realty Executives Leading Edge President Joe Yost shares his top relationship building strategy, current driving demographic segments and shines a light on the future of real estate in his busy Washington D.C market.

Yost_JosephJoe Yost
President, Principal Broker
Realty Executives Leading Edge
North Bethesda, Md.

Region served: Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia
Years in real estate: 22
Number of offices: 4
Number of agents: 140
Current market conditions: Our numbers have gone down dramatically since the boom years, however, the economy is looking pretty good at the moment. While there’s a slight variation in terms of market conditions among various pockets in the area, inventory remains tight.
Favorite relationship-building strategy: Be hands-on, genuine and sincere.

What demographic segments are driving your business today?
A lot of the sales we’ve been doing recently have been to people who live outside the area and are buying investment properties, therefore, we’re seeing a lot of cash sales. Since the area is a hub for so many things, we’re seeing a lot of people relocating from places as far away as Hawaii, as well as a lot of activity among move-up buyers.

Where does your market stand in terms of consumer confidence?
Confidence among consumers has been pretty steady, although we did see a little hesitation during the 2008–2009 timeframe. That being says, I think the level of confidence among consumers is much better in our market than it is in a lot of other places, mainly because of our close proximity to government.

Having recently converted to the Realty Executives brand, what are you most excited about in terms of what the brand has to offer?
Our affiliation with Realty Executives has moved the company from one extreme to the other, from being an independent company to being able to offer our agents everything under the sun. Not only has the Realty Executives team helped us step up our recruiting efforts by working with us to create ads that recently debuted in local board magazines in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., we also have access to a wide range of tools and systems. From a mobile marketing system that provides agents with their own website to new technology that automatically sizes content depending on whether a consumer is accessing it through an iPad, iPhone, tablet or computer to the use of sign riders on all of our properties, the tools and systems provided through Realty Executives will gain us marketshare and profitability.

As we continue through 2014, what are you most looking forward to?
Working with my agents and solidifying all the systems and tools we have access to through Realty Executives. At the end of the day, some of our agents are going to be on board, and others will probably only use them very little, but our goal is to show them the systems and get them set up so that they can begin using them to their advantage. We’re also looking to bring in additional agents by targeting productive agents who are somewhat familiar with these tools and systems, or those who may not have access to them already.

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