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Get Motivated!/Users/adamp/Desktop/SolutionsGuide08/images/motivated

Need a boost? Find out how these real estate professionals motivate themselves every day.

Let’s face it—real estate professionals are a glass-is-half-full kind of group. You have to be when you’re in sales. After all, the many pieces of a real estate transaction don’t always fall flawlessly into the right place in the puzzle.
We spoke with real estate sales associates and brokers to find out just what they do every day to stay motivated. 

1. Seize the day and shine, says Michelle Cremata, a certified luxury home marketing specialist with Coldwell Banker in Coral Gables.

“Now is when those of us who are committed (to real estate) are rising to the top. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to become well known,” says Cremata, who runs her business with partner Audree Barrow.

They stay motivated by keeping abreast of the latest trends in their luxury market niche so that they can distinguish themselves as experts in helping sellers price their homes. Their strategy is working—they’ve sold several properties within the first week of making the commitment to price realistically or refuse the listing.
2. Launch a positive press campaign, says Debra Lichter, an associate in the Longboat Key office of Michael Saunders & Co. and chairperson of the public information committee for the Sarasota Board of Realtors®. In January 2006, the Board sponsored a move to “take the high road with negative press” and feed the local newspaper positive real estate stories, Lichter says.

The Board also started “The Time to Buy” multimedia campaign ( in November 2006 to get the word out that buyers have a wonderful selection of well priced homes available to them, says Lichter, who’s also chairwoman of the time to buy committee.

She feels the campaigns are working as the market saw an increase in buyer activity within six months of the campaigns’ launching. “It’s important we educate consumers, and I find that motivating,” she says. 

3. Keep a file of accolades, says Eileen Ferrell McVeigh, broker/owner of RE/MAX Coastal Real Estate in Ponte Vedra Beach. She’s been maintaining a file of thank-you notes for about 20 years.

“On bad days, I take it out and read it, and realize there are people [who] appreciate what I do. It refocuses you,” McVeigh says.

The notes help her realize that her business is not just about selling homes; it’s about making a real difference in people’s lives.

4. Keep sellers positive by educating them, and that will boost your mood, too, says Margaret Reyes, broker-owner of the Florida Real Estate Store Inc. in Spring Hill.

In May, she catered a dinner party for 10 past and prospective clients who were facing foreclosures. A bankruptcy attorney discussed legal rights and then offered free, private consultations. Seven of the 10 worked out their issues. One woman on a fixed income even discovered she was protected from foreclosure. Other clients filed bankruptcy to save their homes. Reyes received two vacant land listings from one of the clients at the dinner, plus five different referrals from some of the other invitees.

“I feel great, because I was able to make a difference, and it was genuinely appreciated. The referrals from these special sellers have not stopped coming. They think of us as family,” Reyes says.

5. Look for “The Tipping Point,” says John “Chip” Ard, of SHAR Realty in Fort Lauderdale. He read the national best-selling book of the same title, which discusses societal dynamics and learning how to get ahead of the wave of change. Ard decided to adopt the concept by changing the way he did business.

“I moved my ego out of the way and [expanded my business to managing] rentals. I realized that the people who needed to sell could not sell and needed that service, so I opened up to that,” Ard says. “I started surviving without fear—generating multiple streams of income from different sectors.”

His customers’ mindsets changed, too. “I alleviated their fears and motivated buyers. The [sales associates] I trained were inspired,” Ard says. “If you love this business, it means getting out there and finding what it takes to survive, because transactions are happening every day.”

6. Adopt a store retailer’s mindset, says Bette Abrams of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Coral Springs. Abrams is a former owner of a sportswear manufacturing operation. In January 2007, she decided to employ the approach to housing inventory that she had used when she sold clothing.

“This is all about inventory management,” she says. “Today, a house is a commodity. It’s depressing to look at inventory increasing with no money coming to you.”

She turns down people who aren’t willing to work with her on price. So far this year, she’s had more than five transactions. Recently, she closed one house after 63 days. Her sellers tell her that she’s “doing magic.”
“They’re very happy, and when they’re happy, I’m happy. It’s a tremendous high,” she says.

7. Go back to basics, says Anthony Black, of Ocean View International Realtors Inc. in Pinecrest. He’s returned to prospecting for-sale-by-owner clients and re-evaluating his business plan. His goal is to obtain a listing every two weeks, and ultimately, 24 total listings by press time.

Black switched firms in 2007, and business has been very slow for him. But that doesn’t mean he’s not motivated, he says. “When you get a lead after prospecting, it makes you happy and gives you motivation,” he says. “It is the nature of our business and profession.”

Heidi Russell Rafferty is a Kentucky-based freelance writer.