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In the following interview, Collette McDonald of RE/MAX Around Atlanta Realty discusses the various ingredients that lead to being a top producer in real estate.

July 8, 2015, Atlanta, GA. Colette & Associates. Photo by Michael A. SchwarzYears in real estate: 15
Region served: Atlanta, Ga.
Average market time: Less than two weeks

RE/MAX Regional Services has honored you and your team as top producers by selecting you as one of the first members of the company’s Titan Club. What is the key to your success? 
We try very hard to give the very best client service possible. We understand that what we do, helping people find and buy homes, affects them and the quality of their lives. It is awesome, and it is also a huge responsibility that we do not take lightly.

What does your team do that sets you apart from the competition?
We use video for everything. For instance, for every listing, we do a full video walk-through presentation of the house. I am the only agent in the market who makes such videos, and they are tailor-made for social media. Each one is a 7 – 10 minute tour of the house, room by room. When a buyer clicks on the listing online, the video gives us unfiltered access to that buyer. In turn, it lets the buyer see the house room-by-room with my video explanations, so that buyer is able to establish right then and there if they would like to see it in-person. It saves time, because I don’t have to disrupt the seller if the buyer doesn’t happen to like the way the rooms are laid out. The seller has a beautiful video to keep forever, and the videos are invaluable for all phases of the transaction.

I also do video emails. When a buyer calls on a listing, I reply by sending them a video email introducing myself. I include links to everything the buyer might need, such as where and how to get pre-approved, a link to the walk-through video, and perhaps another link to transportation and schools in the area. And for sellers, what my team has to offer is three-fold: We almost always get the highest price possible, with the least amount of time on market and the fewest hassles.

What about education and training?
I am a firm believer in education. I use a trainer from out of the area, which connects me with the best brokers and agents nationally. I got the idea to do the video walk-throughs from an agent I admired in Washington, D.C. And my coach—from Harris Real Estate University—is by my side every step of the way, helping me take whatever I do to the next level.

How do you motivate your team?
A lot of the motivation happens through doing—what I say, I will do. I touch base with everybody once a week and give them focused goals. And perhaps a great deal of it comes from the fact that not only am I a strong leader, I’m also positive.

You have also been recognized as a leader in earning top commissions. What does it take?
When I sit down at a listing presentation, I let sellers know that they can shop at Walmart or Nordstrom. I know that they have a choice. And I let them know that while they will pay a top commission price with me, they will also get Nordstrom- or Saks-type service, and they will get the best possible price for their house.

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