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Real estate is a past, present and future business. Successful agents need to stay in the moment, while still connecting with past clients and paving the way for a smooth future. In the following interview, Stanley Bishop, President/Broker of EXIT Real Estate Gallery in Orange Park, Fla., discusses how his team works together for a common goal.

Bishop_StanleyRegion served: Northeast Florida
Years in real estate: Since 2002
Number of agents: 315
Number of offices: 6
Key to staying profitable: Run your real estate company like it’s a business.

Please describe the current consumer-confidence climate in your area.
We were impacted significantly with the downturn of the real estate market post 2007, a time in which we saw a lot of foreclosures and short sales. While consumer confidence is picking up today, there are still a lot of people who are feeling the after effects of the foreclosures and bankruptcies they had to go through. That being says, values are coming back, although we’re still about 20 percent off the height of the pre-recession market.

How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate?
Preparing our agents for the future is a responsibility that rests on my shoulders, as well as those of my two business partners. While we all have different backgrounds and areas of expertise we bring to the table, I’m the business guy, so I focus on training and teaching agents how to be profitable within a business. My partner who has a financial degree focuses on teaching agents the political side of the business, which includes how to do things the right way and how to navigate difficult deals. And last but not least, my other partner comes from the hospitality industry. Not only is he our luxury expert, he teaches our agents how to grow their business by exploring new niches. The three of us could not be more different, but it works well since we’re all working toward the same end goal.

What fundamentals are essential to your company’s continued success?
Recruiting, retention and per-agent productivity are most important to our continued success. In fact, everything we do centers around these three areas.

Can you tell me a little bit about your marketing strategy?
Our entire marketing plan is built around an integrated marketing campaign that focuses on getting the message in front of the consumer in the way in which they want to respond, whether it be via print or online. In addition to marketing the company through these channels, we also sponsor our local football league—the Jacksonville Sharks. Not only do we set up a booth at every home game, we make sure we’re present at any and every event in the area in order to maximize our exposure. In the end, it all boils down to the fact that we’re more of a marketing company, rather than just a real estate company.

I’ve noticed that you advertise in The Real Estate Book and on Which tools in The Real Estate Book marketing program do you find most useful?
The Real Estate Book provides value to our company on multiple levels. Most importantly, it’s a takeaway for the customer when going on a listing presentation when they see that their home is listed in a physical magazine. In addition, their online platform benefits us by way of increased online exposure.

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