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In order to grow, you have to be willing to change. In the following interview, Mike Zagaris, President and CEO PMZ Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® in Modesto, Calif., offers insight into driving business, staying flexible and more.

Zagaris_MikeMike Zagaris
President and CEO
PMZ Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Modesto, Calif.

Region served: Central/Northern California
Years in real estate: 38
Number of offices: 16
Number of agents: 600
Best source of industry/local market news: We get the most valuable industry news from the Realty Alliance. We get the best local market news from our local Associations of REALTORS®.
Top tip for staying organized: For agents, I would embrace one of the Customer Relationship Management programs available. I would also recommend planning every week in advance with particular emphasis on business development.

What demographic segments are driving your business these days?
Baby boomers are adjusting their lifestyles with many of them downsizing into gated communities and planned developments. On the other end of the spectrum, we’re starting to see millennials enter the market with their own specific needs.

What is your top strategy for closing a transaction?
Structuring the contract properly on the front-end can help reduce the amount of friction later in the transaction. Also, staying in close communication is critical since things can change from day to day.

How does your company stay flexible and current?
At PMZ, it’s the leadership’s responsibility to focus both on executing the fundamentals of the business and on acts of creative destruction. We’re committed to constantly reinventing ourselves. It’s both fun and, at times, scary.

What is the most significant trend positively affecting your business right now?
Younger professionals entering our industry have given us great hope. Many millennials are starting to see that a career in real estate can work with great lifestyles and flexible schedules. We’ve created a Young Professionals Network that has really been popular with our millennials. Having this new network allows us to plug new agents into a group of their peers who are like-minded and have similar goals and aspirations.

What are some of the most creative ways you’re using social media?
We have a Facebook Open House campaign where we advertise all agent open houses on Facebook two days prior to the open house date and time. This helps drive a lot of buyers to our agents’ open houses who would not have normally attended through the traditional methods. We also utilize social media from a recruiting standpoint by “friending” and messaging leads through a personal Facebook account.

How do you see your market evolving throughout the next year?
We see the market continuing its transition toward a traditional market. We’ll continue to see fairly low inventory due to limited new-home construction.

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