A reliance on technology and a willingness to delegate have both played a large role in the success of Hall of Fame and Platinum Club member Les Twarog . An Associate with RE/MAX Crest Realty (City Center) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Twarog ranked No. 13 among Canadian Individuals through July. He shares his insights:
Estimated sales volume:
Last year I did about $10 million. I expect to do about the same this year.
Average sales price:
From $250,000 to about $2 million.
What kind of listings do you generally work with?
About 70 percent of my business is in condos and high-end penthouses in downtown Vancouver. Another 10 percent is single-family homes and about 20 percent is commercial business.
How many hours do you work each week?
I work seven days a week and close to 12 hours a day ? except on Sundays when I try to work only between six and eight hours. But I take about four week-long holidays a year.
What is your favorite tech tool?
Definitely my laptop. I take it everywhere ? even poolside in Mexico. I can connect to my home computer with my "PC Anywhere" broadband access so I always know what's happening with the business even when I'm away. And, of course, my Web site. It generates at least 40 percent of my business. I have 10 different addresses - most of which funnel to my main site, http://www.6717000.com/ and I get about 1,000 unique viewers each day. My Web site is in nine different languages and I have maps of downtown Vancouver where I sell. Visitors can click on almost any building on the map and pull up a floor plan of the building, along with some photos of it. The maps operate strictly as a reference guide for consumers.
What is your favorite part of the selling process?
Meeting people. Every day in this business is different. I enjoy the thought of going to work every morning. I don't look at it as a job - I think it's fun.
Describe your marketing strategy:
I send a fair bit of direct mail to my farm area. I send out brochures, just sold cards - with maps and floor plans - that include all recent sales in the same building. I have an assistant that designs all these materials in-house. I also advertise in the Real Estate Guide and the Condo Guide, which brings in about 30 percent of my business.
If I had it to do over again?:
I'd keep in better touch with my database of past clients. I have between 1,500 and 2,000 people in my database and I only recently started really concentrating on staying in touch. I bought a contact management software and my goal is to improve this area of my business. After all, advertising is expensive and past clients are a great source of referrals.
The biggest key to your success:
Delegating. Not having to run around or take care of all the paperwork frees my time for listing and selling ? the activities that make me money. My business is growing every year since I've hired my assistants.