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Walter_PerschbacherIn the following interview, Walter F. Perschbacher IV, vice president of Branch Development for Greenridge Realty, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® in Grand Rapids, Mich., discusses the Western Michigan market, social media marketing, and more.

Region Served: Western Michigan
Years in Real Estate: 13
Number of Offices: 19
Number of Agents: 400
Favorite Way to Unwind: Golf when it’s warm enough, or cooking for friends

How does your company stay flexible and current?
We’re family-owned and -operated—and have been all the way through—which allows us to make decisions more quickly than we could if we were dealing with a national brand. We also have a leadership team that’s made up of our owners and a 15-person management team, both of which allow us to easily come together to discuss what’s happening in our local market. Being a part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE®) and The Realty Alliance is also instrumental when it comes to staying flexible and current.

How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier?
Our management team’s hands-on approach to managing our agents through coaching and accountability is critical. The management team is responsible for putting individual accountability programs together for the agents who want them, in addition to providing goal-setting and coaching meetings. We also provide a full-service marketing department so our agents can spend their time out in the field where they’re most important, rather than being stuck in the office creating marketing materials, prospecting plans and working their CRM. As we make our way through 2017, we’re planning to expand our offerings in this area, giving our agents more access to it so they can truly focus on building and establishing relationships. We also created and instituted a new mission statement: We Care. Not only is it simple and easy to remember, but also, our agents can use it in their listing presentations and talk to it in public.

What is one of the challenges your market faces, and what are you doing to overcome it?
We’re still very much in a seller’s market, with a market supply that currently stands at 1.9 months (at press time). To combat the tight listing supply, we’re constantly looking at areas where clients are trying to find homes—or areas where we aren’t capturing as much of the listing inventory as we have in the past. We also hold listing contests among our offices to rally our agents and keep them going.

In what ways are you using social media?
While our agents are actively involved with various social media platforms, we have an agent marketing/branding specialist to help them with their social media campaigns. This individual is in charge of our social media plan at the company level, as well, offering a centralized approach to our social media channels, blog, etc. In addition, my partner and I take advantage of video to stay in touch with our agents on a weekly basis. A company-wide initiative that came about as a direct recommendation from our agents, these videos offer an easy way to share pertinent information or update our agents in regard to what’s happening in the industry.

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Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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