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In the following interview, James Watson, broker/owner of Realty Executives Fort Leonard Wood in St. Roberts, Mo., dishes out the details on staying flexible and stimulating growth through healthy competition.

Watson_JamesRegion served: Central Missouri
Years in real estate: 12
Average time on market: 110 days
Average sales price: $165,000
Current market conditions: Not only do we serve a strong military market (my office is located just outside the front gate of Fort Leonard Wood), we have a good, consistent turnover. At the moment, we’re currently experiencing a buyer’s market.
Top tip for new agents: Always answer your phone and emails.
Tech tool you can’t live without: My smartphone and iPad.

In this ever-changing market, how does your company stay flexible?
Staying flexible is all about providing more than our competition. Not only do we provide clients with a one-stop shopping experience, we also have a lender from Veterans United Home Loans working inside our office. This way, buyers don’t have to leave the building to initiate the loan process or to close their transaction—it’s all done right here within the walls of our office.

What is your most useful piece of business advice?
Never let a customer slip out of your reach. This can be achieved by taking your job as an industry expert seriously, communicating frequently and offering solid advice to buyers and sellers alike. In addition, I advise everyone to buy a lead-generation system such as Market Leader, TigerLead or BoomTown.

What is your favorite way to reach today’s consumer?
My favorite way to reach the masses—whether it’s buyers or sellers—is with the help of the Realty Executives brand and Veterans United Home Loans. I’m constantly promoting the American Dream of homeownership, even when participating in fishing tournaments all across the country. You would be amazed at the amount of impressions my branded truck and boat wrap receive by the people I come in contact with at weigh-ins, seminars, guest appearances at schools and even where I find lodging.

Now, I understand you’re a bit of an expert fisherman. Can you tell me how your competitive nature—or your love for sport—ties in with your love for real estate?
I love the challenge of being the best agent I can be; listing more homes and writing more contracts, which can only be achieved by working longer hours and investing more of your hard earned money in advertising and lead-generation systems. The same thing goes in the bass fishing world where I fish professionally on the Walmart FLW Tour on NBC Sports and on The Outdoor Channel television show “Major League Fishing.” I have to spend my time traveling and fishing new waters—in addition to promoting myself and what I do—to be competitive. To be successful in both real estate and fishing, you must be willing to put in the enormous amount of time required to be the best at your craft while promoting your product and setting yourself apart among the competition.

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