In the following interview, John Bobo, broker, and Felice Katz-Bobo, agent, with HomeSmart Professionals in Lakeside, Ariz., discuss their brokerage’s community involvement, expansion and mentoring program.
Region Served: Lakeside, Flagstaff, Payson and Lake Havasu
Years in Business: John: 9; Felice: 4
Number of Offices: 4
Number of Agents: 50
No. 1 Tip for Getting the Right Listing Price: Never price a home without viewing it first.
Most Creative Marketing You’ve Ever Run: Lighted yard signs (lit from the inside out, not just shining light on them). They set our listings apart from other brokerages since no one else in the area is using them.
You recently opened your fourth office. What made you target the Lake Havasu area?
Our corporate office is located in Lakeside, Ariz., which acts as the hub for our branch offices in Flagstaff and Payson. While the majority of our locations are primarily second-home communities, Lake Havasu and surrounding areas are seeing tremendous growth, so we saw this area as the logical next step for our brokerage and team expansion. Next, we’ll be looking at a branch office in Bullhead City, as well as future expansion to Yuma.
As you proceed with the launch of a new mentoring program, what are the most important benefits participants will gain?
Newly licensed agents only know what they learned to pass the test, so one-on-one mentoring is the best possible way for them to learn the realities of the job. While the newcomers will work directly with an experienced agent who oversees everything they do, mentors will benefit at the same time by sharing their knowledge and experience. Better trained agents are happy agents, and we expect they will pay it forward by sharing their experiences as future mentors.
Please describe some of the HomeSmart tools that are producing the best results for your company.
The free HomeSmart social media marketing materials we have access to are some of my personal favorites, as they provide our team the opportunity to reach out to clients without asking for anything in return. Our RealSmart Agent (RSA) system is another tool that’s producing good results for the company. In addition to making our team members’ transaction coordination quick and easy, it frees up their time so they can focus on listing and selling homes, rather than paperwork. That’s why our tagline is “Real Estate Made Easy.”
What philanthropic/volunteer initiatives do you take part in that help keep your team top-of-mind in the communities you serve?
We participate in White Mountain Clothe-A-Child twice a year, a foundation that helps children get the school clothes and necessities they need. Our brokerage also began adopting local families that were in need this past holiday season. One of the most humbling experiences for our entire staff, everyone chipped in to help with shopping and wrapping to surprise the children of these deserving families. John also volunteers as an emcee or auctioneer for charity events, while I spend a lot of money buying items that he’s auctioning.
For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.
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Paying It Forward