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Cheryl_Eldinger-TaylorVitals: ERA Key Realty Services
Years in Business:
Size: 15 offices, 335 agents
Regions Served: Central Mass., Middlesex County, Norfolk County, Northern Rhode Island and Connecticut and Southern New Hampshire
2017 Sales Volume: $770 million
2017 Transactions: 2,385

As a 28-year veteran of the real estate business, Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor loves many facets of the industry, from the agents to the consumers to the transactional process itself. But helping people reach their goals is perhaps her favorite aspect.

Eidinger-Taylor serves as president and COO of ERA Key Realty Services of Northbridge, overseeing 15 locations from Auburn to Westboro, Mass. The firm is one of the top 10 in the ERA Franchise system, recording more than $770 million in sales last year.

How has your market fared in 2018?
Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor:
Our market has been robust and very similar in sales volume and transactions to last year. Our firm is seeing the same results. A high demand for homes is helping contribute to this, yet as everyone knows, our supply of homes is very low, so things are selling very quickly. This is making it difficult for buyers, so our agents are having to coach them more carefully about setting themselves up for winning offers and being patient during the process.

What are your plans for growing the firm in the next 12 months?
We intend to increase our agent count by about 10 percent. This will be done via some expansion of existing offices and the potential opening of one or two more offices in new marketplaces.

What sets your firm apart in the marketplace?
A small company feel (teamwork, family) in an environment that can provide the support and tools of a large company. I feel that our training and career development programs are top-notch, and that our agent sphere marketing program is one that doesn’t exist in any other firm locally.

How else are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of today’s consumer?
Many of our career development programs, tools and trainings are focused around how we can best serve our clients. We’re focused on keeping pace with technology, understanding today’s consumer and still making sure that there’s a personal touch in all that we do. No matter how savvy the consumer becomes, trust is still critical, and that can best be built with human interaction.

What are the biggest opportunities for increasing business right now?
I think one of the largest opportunities for increasing business is to be serious about being a professional in real estate. We’re seeing a bit of a polarization in our industry where some appear to be riding the wave, in it for the short term and quick sale. Those who are serious and work on becoming more educated, dedicating time to their profession and prospecting regularly, are separating themselves from the pack. I also believe that if an agent can focus on prospecting for listings, this is an area where they can outpace their peers.

What are the biggest challenges you’re currently facing?
Getting potential recruits to understand that there’s more to a successful career in real estate than a brokerage’s split. It’s difficult to measure or quantify the value of the support, growth opportunities and business opportunities we can provide, yet we see agents come from higher-split companies and do more here with the support and tools we have available.

How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers?
We have a few service-based benefits that we use to retain our top producers, many of whom have been with us for a decade or longer. We also celebrate our top producers’ success by holding periodic appreciation outings and gatherings to let them know how proud we are of them and to spoil them a bit. We try to attract experienced agents to our firm by getting the word out about who we are and what we provide. We also embrace adding new talent (new licensees) to the team, and we use all of our training and career development to get them to a successful point in their new career.

Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.

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