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Nancy_FennellIn the following interview, Nancy Fennell, president of Dickson Realty, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, in Reno, Nev., discusses the local market, marketing, social media and more.

Regions Served: Northern Nevada and Northern California
Years in Business: 32
Number of Offices: 9
Number of Agents: 275
Best Tip for Dealing With Difficult Clients: Keep your calm, do your homework and be a master at what you do.
Most Effective Way to Motivate Agents: Listen to them. Figure out what they want to accomplish and what you can do to help them reach their goals.

What do you like most about the region in which you work?
It’s a pretty spectacular physical environment. There’s Lake Tahoe, skiing, hiking, biking and fishing. We also have a strong arts and cultural presence. In fact, we have an internationally known museum of art, the only accredited art museum in the entire state. In addition, we have a world-class philharmonic orchestra, an unbelievable chamber orchestra, an opera, a ballet—we are “The Biggest Little City.”

How are you using technology to better serve your clients?
I think technology leverages time for agents and companies. We’ve spent a lot of time and energy on having a terrific website that links us up to a CRM and back-office products. We work with both a national and local digital firm, and I think they’re just killing it. What we want to do is drive people to our website who will then look at our offerings and how we present ourselves, and if they don’t know us, they will want to know us.

What sets your team apart from the competition?
We’ve been here for a very long time—since 1973—so we’re part of the fabric of our community. We take leadership roles, working with the Red Cross, the children’s Discovery museum or the university. We take it seriously that if you’re going to do business, you have to be part of making your community the very best it can be. Secondly, it’s about the people. We surround ourselves with smart and giving employees, and that makes a difference.

What kinds of marketing give you the highest ROI?
Digital, digital, digital. I have some highly visible people on social media. Leveraging social for personal relationships is what takes it to the next level.

Do you conduct a lot of agent training?
We do a ton of training. To come to my company, you have to go through a three-month apprentice program, and that’s three times a week—from nine until noon or nine until four—and then there’s homework. We want people who take real estate seriously. We truly believe in the concept of mastery in real estate.

What social media does your company frequently use?
Not only do we do a lot of blogging, but also we’re on Facebook a lot. Our VP of Relocation is a master of digital, and she’s also on Twitter. We’re starting to use LinkedIn for more research-oriented tasks, but Facebook is a dominant force for us.

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