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Success comes in many forms. To get there, it takes a lot of hard work, and the right attitude. In the following interview, John Hummer, broker/owner of Steinborn & Associates Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, lets us in on his method for success, his tips for staying flexible, and more.

Hummer_JohnRegion served: Southern New Mexico; primarily Las Cruces and Dona Ana County
Years in real estate: 8. Prior to acquiring the company, I was an executive for 17 years, and spent 12 years as CEO of investor-owned acute care hospitals throughout the country.
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 100
Favorite relationship-building strategy: Be yourself and treat people with respect.
Top tip for staying organized: Delegate and triage tasks.
Motto/work philosophy that you live by: We will be successful. This statement speaks to optimism, confidence and faith. And when it comes to success, it’s not always about the money. Earning respect through one’s character or accomplishments is more valuable to me personally than earning money.

Describe the current consumer-confidence climate in your area.
As in most cases, it depends on the consumer price point. Anyone in our market who owns a home above $400,000 has a low confidence factor and rightly so. Anyone who owns a home in the $250,000 price range has a higher confidence level. Overall, I would say it’s improving, but in a steady, incremental fashion.

What is one of the challenges your market faces and what are you doing to overcome it?
Without a doubt, it’s the creation of new economic base jobs. New Mexico, and our region of the state, is lagging the nation in job growth. And with more jobs, there are more homes to build, sell and buy. I sit on the board of our local and regional economic development organizations, which includes our neighbor El Paso, Texas, and we’re beginning to think regionally and work together. I believe this regional effort and movement will only serve to help us grow quicker than we could if we were in a provincial (win/lose) posture with El Paso—a 30-minute drive from Las Cruces.

What is your best tip for dealing with a picky buyer?
Ask the right questions, and most importantly, listen to them. Obtain a mutual understanding of their needs and set the expectations up front versus having to backtrack due to not grasping their wants and needs.

How does your company stay flexible and current?
By making it a point to listen to our team members and continuously ask for their input on strategic moves. We’re very active in local, state and national real estate organizations, such as Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® and the National Association of REALTORS®. We’re also members of The Brainstormers, a peer group that consists of fellow independent and progressive companies. The group meets twice a year to openly share ideas and strategies. Some of our best ideas for change have come from this group.

How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate?
Preparing for the future is all about staying focused and emphasizing the basics of real estate prospecting and relationship building while continuously evaluating the best and most cost-effective technologies to support the growth of our agents’ business.

How do you see your market evolving throughout the next year?
I tend to be an optimist, but taking that aside, I see our market continuing to improve in terms of home-price appreciation and new residents and jobs, resulting in more overall units sold.