Every week, we ask an Atlanta real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Atlanta real estate.
This week we talk with Gail Holman, an agent with RE/MAX Around Atlanta. A 30-year veteran of the Cobb County, East Paulding County and Town Lake area of Cherokee County real estate markets, Gail operates with a “client first” philosophy, and incorporates the latest technology into her real estate business.
Atlanta Agent (AA): One of our most recent cover stories dealt with top producers in Atlanta real estate, and how agents can reach their levels of success; what advice would you have for agents who are looking to succeed?
Gail Holman (GH): They need to be persistent. That’s probably the number one thing. There is nothing in real estate that is easy or fast, and when you get into this business, you always need enough money to go six months without making any money. I’ve been in real estate since 1978, and there are a lot of ups and downs.
I have a lot of folks who say, “Oh, you sell real estate, that’s so easy; you set your own hours!” Well, you set your own hours as long as the people who want to look at houses are off. You’re only off when they’re off. The only holiday I’ve never worked is Christmas, but I’ve worked every other holiday. I was late for Thanksgiving dinner this past year, but I made it.
Also, when I am looking at homes with clients, I always tell them that I will not put them where I would not want to live. It’s like the golden rule. That is just very necessary in our business.
AA: We published a blog post that looked at marketing challenges that agents will face in 2014; what are the approaches that you take to your marketing, to ensure that it’s aiding your business?
GH: I try to do things that will make people notice. Most of my things are online. I advertise on realtor.com on a monthly basis, and I also have a professional photographer – that is not my area of expertise, and I know that. I also have a stager who will help me make the homes look the best they can look, especially when you get into the pricier markets.
I started marketing on the Web 18 years ago, right when realtor.com first got started. I do not take advantage of as much of it as I used to, but I have found the niche that I want to be in.
AA: We recently looked at bidding war strategies here in Atlanta; with inventory still tight, are there any strategies that you utilize when you find yourself in multiple-offer situations?
GH: One of the things that I have done in the past is only give the seller a couple hours to answer, which means they don’t have the option to wait. In this market, we usually give them 24 hours or maybe more, depending on their location.
I had one transaction recently where we did have two offers, and one of them was mine. My buyer asked me what we could do, and I told her that we had to make the offer so good that they couldn’t say “no.” So we ended up making the offer with no required inspection, and I believe that’s how she won the offer. I did not recommend forgoing the inspection, but her husband knew about construction, and he had looked at the property and felt the home was in great condition. It was, thank goodness, and they are enjoying the home.