BY MICHELLE HOFMANN
Back to Basics
Two years ago, Jeff Quintin closed 82 transactions and grabbed a spot as the top salespeople in Ocean City, N.J., a competitive island resort with 500 full-time sales associates and 23 real estate brokerage companies. It also got him a spot in REALTOR Magazine’s first ever “30 under 30” article profiling top young real estate professionals.
Back then, it seems his goal was simple: continue to be number one. But being the top producer created its own dilemma: how do you stay on top once you get there?
“When you start to get a lot of deals, the new challenge is being able to manage your current pendings and still go out and grab new business,” says Quintin, who sells an average of two homes per week. “Maintaining the production level can be difficult, and the whole transaction can bog you down.”
Stepping safely through that bog required change. So Quintin got organized. He starting following a daily schedule—prospecting from 8:30 a.m. until noon, then returning calls and negotiating contracts in the afternoon, hired a licensed closing coordinator, and developed a business plan to help him focus on income-income producing activities. “I concentrate on time-management; when I am here, I work,” he says.
Part of Quintin’s new-found concentration comes from an added sense of responsibility. “I got married in September, so my focus has changed,” he says. “Now, once I set a goal, I figure out a way to get there and then break that plan down to monthly, weekly, and daily goals. As long as I can achieve each daily goal, I know I’ll get closer and closer to my main goal. I am focusing harder to make the next 10 years the best they can be. If I put my time in now, I can retire by 40.”
To keep himself sharp, Quintin works weekly with a personal coach to get feedback on marketing strategies and business decisions and help to keep his goals in sight. He also makes time for regular role playing activities with other tops salespeople to keep his listing and negotiating skills honed.
Streamlining his business has made it easier to service the customer, says Quintin and helped him close122 transaction sides (10 percent of his market) last year. The resulting $366 million in sales was more than double the $17.2 million he netted in 1999.
Two years ago when REALTOR Magazine interviewed him, technology and his Web site were big parts of Quintin’s marketing plan. These days, this relocation specialist has gone back to basics. “When you’re successful, you can get complacent. You’ve to keep going out and getting the business, not just wait to have it come to you. I get on the phone and prospect two to three hours each day. I concentrate on prospecting my past clients and customers for their referrals and encourage them to purchase additional investment properties,” he says. “I know that someone in every marketplace is going to buy or sell real estate every day. My job is to find them.” Referrals and additional business from past clients represented 57 percent of all Quintin’s transactions for 2001.
Hager Real Estate’s top producer says working and learning from other successful sales associates helps him stay at the top of his game. “I’ve been in the business for 10 years, but if I had to do it all over again, I would go to the top one or two people in my marketplace and ask if I could work for them and learn what they do,” he says.