Sales consultant and managing director
The Matt Garrison Team, Coldwell Banker
1457 W. Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657
United States
Illinois US

“Working for yourself can be a liberating thing.”

Shortly after he started working in June 2002, he recognized he needed help and hired nine salespeople over a 20-month period. He attributes his success to the healthy niche he spotted in new construction and to providing developers with market research about homebuying wants. Last year his team generated sales of $27 million.

The survey says: Garrison surveys customers on why they bought and what specific features they wanted, analyzes third-party studies, and tracks prospects who come through developers’ sales centers. When he saw a trend of buyers wanting to work from home, he convinced developers to build in workstations.

Business strategy: He tells developers, you’re hiring a marketing department, not just a broker. He has mastered marketing skills without a formal degree but from on-the-job training and common sense, he says. Through his market research surveys for developers, he recently secured work with Chicago developer RDM Development and Investment LLD, “from inception through completion,” he says. “We’ll put together brochures and advertising strategies for the company and handle its listings.”

Deferred gratification: He reinvested profits from early transactions to build his team. He also spent money building proprietary software to manage mailings and give clients Web-based information. He’s rolled out a $100,000 advertising campaign, which runs through October. “Enjoy the profits later,” he says.