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Bill Olson rubbing shoulders with ERA President and CEO Sue Yannaccone.

For Bill Olson, being ERA Real Estate’s national Rookie of the Year is not just about production; it’s about being a leader.

A resident of Charleston, S.C., Olson came from a restaurant background. Two-and-a-half years ago he met Eddie Wilder, broker/owner of ERA Wilder Realty, while waiting on his table. Olson mentioned he was looking to buy a house and Wilder left him with a business card that read “Happy house hunting.” The low-pressure, service-oriented approach made an impression on him and he kept in touch, ultimately changing careers.

According to Olson, his previous job and his current career are all about customer service—but the benefit of real estate is that now he doesn’t have to work until 2 a.m. (much) and can find a little more time to enjoy the beach these days. (He bought his house in 2015.)

For people starting out in real estate, Olson offers these insights:

Understand people want to “Click the mouse and buy the house.”
People don’t want sales-y service. They want someone to validate and facilitate their purchase. Don’t be Neiman Marcus when they want Amazon.

Provide something of value for free.
He serves on the board of his HOA (homeowners association) and has leveraged that position to sell in his neighborhood, giving the board info on prices in their community, but not selling himself as a REALTOR®. His approach is to give them something of value (market information) for free.

Keep in mind that the best offer is not always the highest.
One way to ensure a deal closes and closes quickly is to find lender who can go through underwriting first. In one case, he was working with a client whose offer was less, but it was guaranteed. The best offer is not always the highest.

Create your value.
Olson was the resident social media expert in his ERA Wilder Realty office before he ever closed a deal. He says he helped two people with their social media needs and then when he had his first offer, they dropped everything to help him.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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