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From saving time to tips for selling in summer and building long-lasting real estate relationships, Colleen Holmes, a broker with Engel & Völkers Lake Placid in Lake Placid, N.Y., offers a wealth of information on winning in the real estate industry.

Holmes_ColleenColleen Holmes
Engel & Völkers Lake Placid
Lake Placid, N.Y.

Region served: Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains in New York
Years in real estate: I belong to a multi-generational real estate family. My father, myself and my son represent three generations of real estate expertise in Lake Placid. Our family has been in the business since 1968; I’ve been a broker for 10 years and have had my license for 20.

Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 8
Average time on market: 7 months
Average sales prices: $530,000
Favorite way to connect with clients: Our clients are primarily second-home buyers who know the area as a vacation destination. But as their broker, I offer the insider’s point of view of all the beauty Lake Placid and the Adirondack Mountains have to offer. Instead of driving clients around in a car, I take them out to see properties on six wheelers, snowshoes and boats to show them views most have never seen. In this way, we connect through a shared passion for the area. I then maintain contact through our marketing efforts, which include professionally designed newsletters, emails, telephone calls and the fact that they stop by our shop whenever they return on vacation.
Best time-saving secret: Having a talented, experienced and committed team, which includes an office manager I’ve been working with for years and a marketing director who has extensive creative expertise that is instrumental in managing the quality of the materials we produce.

What are some of the most difficult challenges buyers face today?
For our second-home buyer clients who typically have the resources to ensure a smooth transaction process, the challenge is time. For other clients, the challenge often centers around arranging the finances to fully achieve their real estate goals.

How is your company helping buyers overcome these challenges?
The expertise and relationships we have built in this market allow us to deliver a high degree of information, options and services for those looking to move quickly. Those same great relationships with the area’s bankers, attorneys, insurance and title companies help provide flexibility and options for clients who require assistance with organizing their finances.

How are you implementing technology?
We have access to world-class technology tools that have been developed by Engel & Völkers and used by market-leading agents and brokerages in markets around the world. We have a gorgeous website, mobile app, and a marketing technology platform that produces high-quality print materials. All are consistently branded across the board. Through the E&V network, we recently closed on a property purchased by a family in Singapore all through technology. While they haven’t physically seen the property, we were able to provide a virtual tour using an iPad.

What is your top tip for keeping expenses down while remaining ahead of the competition?
We have the expertise and talent that allows us to produce high-quality marketing materials and provide excellent service for a fraction of the cost. We also have technology that allows us to accurately track our results and apply our resources where we’ll see the greatest impact.

What is your top summer selling strategy?
Our top, summer-selling strategy is the same as our strategy year-round, which is to work hard to provide the best service possible, maintain our relationships and to always be prepared to meet new visitors to our market. We’re in a market that receives two million visitors a year, and our national and international network as an Engel & Völkers brokerage helps leverage opportunities from afar.

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