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From keeping on top of technology to shifting your marketing strategies, the real estate industry is all about adaptation. In the following interview, Maureen McEnearney Dunn, President of McEnearney Associates, Inc. REALTORS®, dishes out her top tips for success in a fluctuating industry.

McEnearney_Dunn_MaureenMaureen McEnearney Dunn
McEnearney Associates, Inc. REALTORS®, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
McLean, Va.

Region served: Washington D.C. Metro Region
Years in business: 34
Number of offices: 7
Number of agents: 325
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: Listen, be calm and be direct with any response. And ask thoughtful questions.
Most effective way to motivate agents: Sincere recognition and respect for their efforts.
Can’t live without tech tool: Homesnap. It’s the best mobile app we have found for consumers and agents alike.
Key to working together: Open and honest communication with our agents, staff and clients in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect.

How do you determine your marketing spend and how has this ratio changed in recent years?
Our management team takes a fresh look at our overall marketing plans every six months, and our focus is on the competitive landscape, rather than on a fixed goal of allocating a certain percentage of our spend to print or online. We aren’t hesitant to make a major investment in print when it makes sense to do so—we did that in early 2013 and this year, too, with the Washington Post after several years of significant cuts in print ads. Our spending naturally tends more toward the Web and virtual marketing though. We’re spending almost three times as much on our online marketing than we did just three years ago.

Please talk about a few of your technology best practices.
When it comes to technology, we have two fundamental guidelines: any tool we use and any tool we introduce has to be fully mobile, and for every dollar we spend on technology, we spend 50 cents on training and support. Great tools without agent adoption are pointless. Therefore, our technology team is constantly evaluating our current resources and tools and scanning the marketplace for new tools that could enhance our agents’ productivity and their ability to best serve our clients. We also established a 24/7 help desk that agents can contact when they have questions.

What are two fundamentals that you feel are essential to your company’s continued success?
From the very first day, our focus has been on the client. We also take great care in hiring and supporting agents who are fully committed to serving our clients. Our success and steady growth are borne from a consistent and persistent focus on our clients.

Is there some program, activity or other development going on at your office that is helping keep your company top of mind in the eyes of clients and/or in the communities you serve?
Our agents are very involved in local community activities and charitable organizations. Last year, we supported over 100 different charitable organizations, from Little League teams to 5Ks to major fundraising events. It’s not just about giving money. It’s about being present and involved in the community—at all levels. As we continue to become more successful, it’s wonderful to be able to give back without having to debate making a sizable donation to worthy causes.

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