In the following interview, Mark Fields, president of CENTURY 21 Mark Fields and Associates in Asheville, N.C., discusses branding, culture, luxury marketing, and more.
Region Served: Asheville, N.C., and surrounding areas
Years in Real Estate: 40+
Number of Offices: 1
Number of Agents: 10
Favorite Way to Communicate With Clients: Face-to-face. A lot of communication is nonverbal, so when you text, email or speak on the phone, a great deal of nuance can be lost. It’s the expression on someone’s face that can identify best how a person is feeling, and it could also lead to solutions to challenges and overcoming objections.
What is your top tip for real estate newbies?
Affiliate with a company that represents your values and provides the culture of learning and support you will need to get started—one that ensures its people provide the highest possible level of service to your buyers and sellers. Second, learn the real estate contract. Know all the legal ‘ins and outs,’ but remember that more than 50 percent of being a great real estate professional isn’t what you learn in real estate school. Third, learn how to be a good communicator, which starts with being a good listener.
How do you build yourself as a luxury brand?
Marketing. I have a background in marketing, not through formal education, but through experience. I’ve watched the best people market themselves, and so I learn from the best. Early on, I asked myself who was doing great luxury marketing. I take inspiration from the “greats.” I built my company reputation by becoming the best I could be.
Please describe your company culture.
We are a family. When I hire, I make sure the person’s heart is in the right place. They’re not going to be competing with our family or undercutting the people we work with, and for. We are here for each other. We support each other. No matter how big we become, we care about each other.
What sets your team apart from other brokerages?
When I bring people in, I make sure they’re committing to my company for the right reason—not just to make money, although that’s an important motivator, but to provide the very best service they can. I can’t have mediocrity. I need people who strive to be the best they can be—to provide the best service they can, no matter what. As high-end real estate professionals, we make a lot of money. If you’re going to play the game, you have to truly earn it. You have to offer equal value for what you’re earning. My goal is to never get to a closing table without feeling 100 percent sure that I earned that money.
How are you staying abreast of industry and market shifts?
We’re in it. We’re living it, so we feel it. Every time there’s even a small ripple here, we feel it.
For more information, please visit www.century21.com.