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To really push ahead in real estate, you can’t just meet your client’s expectations; you must exceed them. In the following interview, Nancy Quinn of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices N.E. Prime Properties lets us on in her secrets to success.

Quinn_NancyNancy Quinn
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices N.E. Prime Properties
Maynard, Mass.

Region served: Massachusetts (including Cape Cod), Southern Maine and Rhode Island
Years in real estate: 38
Number of offices: 18
Number of agents: 250
Most successful marketing practice: Go above and beyond to exceed customers’ expectations. An example of this would be handwritten notes and little extra touches to show you care.
Favorite relationship-building strategy: Be a good listener and follow up with something the other person told you.

Please describe some of the current trends you see in your market.
Multiple offers, sales prices over asking, high demand and low supply, backed-up service providers (home inspectors, attorneys, etc.), closing delays and no contingency offers are all trends that agents are dealing with on a daily basis. Additionally, most appraisers/lenders are reluctant to make adjustments for the appreciating market, resulting in many appraisals coming in lower than the contracted price.

In terms of consumer confidence, where does your market stand?
Consumer confidence is on the rise; however, at a relatively slow pace. Consumers continue to have some trepidation in our market and verbalize some concern about the future. While unemployment rates have improved significantly, many of the jobs created are lower level, or part-time. The ‘disposable’ income that was prevalent in the ’90s has disappeared. In terms of real estate, there’s also concern that prices are going up too fast and the market could be setting itself up for another fall.

What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
The largest factors influencing the real estate industry today are the strict regulations and government disruption regarding credit worthiness/loans/finances, in addition to pulling away mortgage interest deductions.

How do you keep your agents motivated?
Not only are agents encouraged to share their successes at sales meetings, we include some of them in our internal company newsletter. We’ve also created a family or team-type atmosphere, both in the branches and at the company level. Discussion of ongoing activity creates a friendly, competitive atmosphere.

What is one of the biggest challenges your market faces and what are you doing to overcome it?
Appraisals coming in lower than the agreed upon sales price is the biggest challenge our market faces. This is due primarily to the fact that appraisers are not making time adjustments for the appreciating market. To overcome this challenge, sales associates are encouraged to explain this issue to buyers and sellers and strategize in advance. We ask buyers if they’re willing and financially able to go forward with the agreement, even if the appraisal is lower than the contracted price. Also, preparing the seller makes the scenario easier to deal with should it occur.

In what ways does your affiliation with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices provide your firm with a competitive edge?
The largest factor that has given us the competitive edge in affiliating with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has been the name itself. The recognition of the esteemed Berkshire Hathaway name, along with its well-known chairman, have given my company more than could have been imagined, particularly in the affluent and commercial markets.

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