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It takes teamwork to dominate in real estate. Read on as Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates’ Dennis Farrelly talks reigning in success and standing out from the competition.

Dennis Farrelly 
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Wilkins & Associates

Years in real estate: 13
Region served: The Poconos, Pa.

Your team was named the No. 1 BH&G Team in America based on units sold, winning the firm’s Emerald Elite Award the last three years in a row. What is the key to your success?
Dennis Farrelly:
We have a great team. The four of us work very well together. We each have a special area. My brother Tommy and I are agents, my wife Kathleen is an appraiser and Donna Sorrentino takes care of most of the behind-the-scenes work. What’s more, we do not shy away from work, putting in anywhere from 10 – 12 hours a day, 6 – 7 days a week. The other piece is that we specialize in handling foreclosures. Our Better Homes and Gardens broker, Tom Wilkins, has relationships with lending institutions including Bank of America, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so we’re awarded many of the area’s foreclosed properties. Last year alone, with only four team members, we closed 245 units.

You recently converted the Carl Maurer Team into the Dennis Farrelly Team after Carl retired. What is the secret to making a smooth transition?
When Carl had a stroke a year ago and I had to jump in, it was hectic. Carl had his own systems in place and we had to adapt them to our own. Kathleen was there already and she worked diligently to help us take over. Basically, we just jumped right in.

You are known for your expertise in handling area foreclosures. What goes into that?
We make the process easy for other agents. We work very well with the lending institutions that have awarded the listings, and we follow through. We actually have it down to a science, with Kathleen figuring out the correct price and whether or not it makes sense to make repairs and then sell the property, or to just sell it. If we do take the repair route, we oversee the construction, making sure everything is done properly. Our goal, as is the bank’s goal, is to fix up the property for first-time homebuyers. To that end, we always want to make sure that everything is in good working order so that the new homeowner doesn’t move in and find out that he or she must now put on a new roof.

How do you set your team apart from your competition?
Diligence and motivation. Perhaps our best attribute is the most basic: We answer the phone. We answer emails. And we get back to people. In order to succeed, you have to make people happy, and much of making them happy is being there for them. The other important work we do: We adapt. The real estate market is always in flux. We’ve seen over and over again how quickly the market changes, so we have to be prepared for change and go with it.

How does Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate support the success of your team?
Our broker, Tom, is a great broker. He’s always checking in, asking what we need. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has a great website. Frequently, it isn’t 10 minutes after I put up a listing that we have phone calls. It’s just a great office. Great back-end. Very supportive and the perfect place to do business.

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