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Steve_AbbeThe following interview features Steve Abbe and Betty Mullinnix of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty discussing success, marketing, and more.

Years in real estate: More than 30 years combined
Region served: Sarasota and Manatee Counties, Fla.
Average market time: 104 days

Betty_MullinnixLesley Grand: Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices awarded your team in both 2014 and 2015. What is the key to your success?
Steve Abbe: Betty and I are very specialized, selling properties either in golf communities or luxury waterfront. I was a golf pro for over 20 years, and Betty has always been in high-end real estate.  By teaming up, we’re able to basically own this section of the market, and provide very personalized service. When someone comes to us wanting to live in a golf community, we give the person a list of questions about their golf game and their lifestyle. We’re then able to pinpoint their exact needs and match them up with excellent properties in the best country clubs.

LG: How do you and Betty set yourselves apart from the competition?
SA: We focus primarily on three country clubs and their surrounding communities and give excellent customer service. We’re very hands-on, going above and beyond for our clients. We help people move whatever they need. We’re so service-oriented and have built such an excellent reputation that 75 percent of our business is referral-based. When we go to a listing appointment, we provide the seller with a list of all the sales we’ve done in the past 10 years and let them choose anyone on that list to call and ask about their experience with us.

LG: How does Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices corporate support the success of your team?
SA: The name, for starters—it’s the most respected company. As advertisers, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices brings more to the table than anyone else.

LG: What are the specific needs of the golf community, and how do you and your team help facilitate homeownership in this group?
SA: People who play golf have all different sets of needs. Do they play all the time? Do they have a high handicap? What’s their driving distance? The average REALTOR® has no idea that there are such differences, and doesn’t know how to find the right golf community for a prospective buyer. Betty and I are very knowledgeable and can focus on their needs. I can pretty much tell which golf course will be best for a particular buyer. From there, we go to work finding the right house in that particular community. But I never ask them to take my word for it. Before they buy, I get them to play the course.

LG: What’s your best advice for marketing to the golf community?
SA: Know the golf club inside out. Know the demographics and the pulse of the club. On the listing side, remember that you can’t be everything to everybody, so narrow it down to a couple of clubs and concentrate on those. In addition, do what you say you’re going to do. Most agents mess up because they aren’t consistent. There’s no follow-up. Betty and I set a specific marketing plan, implement it, and follow up.

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