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Bill_Kratz&Rob_FoglioIn the following interview, Bill Kratz, co-owner/managing broker, and Robert Foglio, co-owner/director of Operations, HomeSmart Realty Advisors, discuss the advantages of the HomeSmart brand, agent development, and more.

Best Tip for Dealing With Difficult Clients: Always keep the end goal in mind and help facilitate everyone meeting in the middle.
Best Time Management Tip: Encourage agents to maintain consistency in work habits and daily routines.
Most Creative Ad, Promotion or Marketing Campaign You’ve Run: To generate leads for prospective real estate attorneys, we mass-mailed mini back scratchers with a note that said: “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine.” The phone rang off the hook with responses.

What strategies do you have in place to help your agents succeed?
Since many of our local markets are so strong, buyers are challenged, so we’re teaching agents to follow buyer representation guidelines to the letter while also urging them to advise prospective buyers to be pre-qualified to borrow. It’s also important that our agents help to ensure that buyers don’t overpay for a property. In addition, we strive to maintain a 24-hour showing guarantee because homes are selling so quickly. We also coach agents on effective information gathering to help facilitate a contract by asking specific questions of the listing agent.

Your agent count has increased dramatically in the last six months. What is it that attracts agents to your firm?
In the past six months, we’ve increased our agent force from 12 to 40 by providing educational mastermind workshops to help agents learn about marketing themselves. We find that most agents don’t consider themselves CEOs of their own mini real estate organization, so we provide them with training, tons of free marketing, free technology and IT support, and an infinitely more generous commission structure that helps them achieve their income and investment goals.

What are your technology best practices?
We wouldn’t be able to do what we’re doing so successfully in such a short amount of time without the HomeSmart IT backbone. It’s an amazing value. The level of technology support we provide is equivalent to agents buying their own turnkey operation. For instance, our marketing/design center with drag and drop templates for listing presentations, signs, business cards and social messaging is one of the best in the industry. And it’s constantly updated so that agents are out front with the best-looking marketing materials.

How did you choose which real estate company to affiliate with when launching your partnership?
First and foremost, we found that HomeSmart allows us to focus our attention on our visioning. Creative flexibility is huge, and they give us that. Our goal is to see more agents earn more money for themselves while working fewer hours. With our business model and commission structure, our agents are seeing more earnings in their own pocket for the hard work they do. We enjoy helping real estate professionals achieve the lifestyle they hoped to have when they chose this field, and it doesn’t take long for them to see that HomeSmart can help us all get there.

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