Being smaller has its advantages, such as the ability to offer the personal touch. Schmidt maintains a database of past clients and sends them an item of value each month. This usually consists of timely information about home-care topics such as winterizing your house. Her office takes this one step further and occasionally goes door-to-door with gifts. Recently, Schmidt handed out pizza cutters emblazoned with the phrase “great service any way you slice it” and the Help-U-Sell logo. In the past, she has delivered Christmas cookies, Valentine’s candy and pumpkin bread.
Her eventual goal is to get 90 percent of her business from referrals. For now, half of her business remains foreclosures and short sales. Schmidt said the market is picking up in Owatonna. Her goal for 2012 is to increase the number of listings and sales by 50 percent over 2011.
Schmidt attributes her office’s success to and pins her future growth on the following simple-but-effective tactics: “Do what you say you’re going to do. Keep in touch with buyers and sellers. Know what’s going on in your market.”
For new brokers, she advises, “You need to be in real estate for more than just the money.”
If you have advice for new brokers or agents, please share it with us in the comments section.