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This article was published on: 01/01/2005

SELLING: Sales Shorts

Language arts
To reach an affluent, international, yacht-loving clientele interested in South Florida houses, broker-associate Joy Triglia and her sister-in-law and sales associate Grace Triglia are using their Italian and Spanish. Joy grew up speaking Italian; Grace, from Uruguay, is fluent in both. The women, with Intercoastal Realty Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., know many prospects from South America and Europe want to buy properties there.

“Few practitioners in our market can speak and write in another language,” says Joy. The women tout their marketing advantage in two glossy foreign magazines; full-page ads are expensive—between $3,500 and $4,000—but worthwhile since houses in the Triglias’ market start at $1.7 million, Joy says. In two months, the two women have signed three listings and closed one transaction. The Triglias also customize prospect CDs with listing information in either language. Next tongue they plan to master: French.

Seeing is believing
A photo is said to be worth a thousand words. To salesperson Deb Gorham, GRI, with Long & Foster in Reston, Va., photos are worth their weight in closed transactions, too. Since sellers don’t see their homes the way prospects will, she shoots 100 digital photos of a home and prints them to show homeowners where they should make changes. “Prospects only take away a [mental or physical] snapshot of homes since they’re busy seeing maybe 10 listings in one day,” she says.

After her photo show, many sellers “get it,” she says. For instance, one seller recognized that a busy tablecloth crowded with objects made his small dining room look even smaller and didn’t do justice to the oak table. Gorham removed the cloth and tchotchkes, added a Waterford bowl from her inventory, re-photographed, and the owner was sold. The house sold, too—within two days.

Have tech, will connect

When you operate a two-person company, you need all the help you can get. Salesperson Warren Sloane, e-PRO®, a partner with his mother Anita, CRS®, GRI, at Sloane Realty in Charleston, S.C., uses an array of technology tools as assistants when he hits the road in his Ford Expedition.

His lightweight, three-pound HP Compaq Tablet PC and a Sprint wireless aircard allow him to access MLS listings. To print listings, he pulls out his HP DeskJet 450 printer with portable battery. He also totes a cell phone, PDA, and digital camera. He finds the camera and a software program called “Journal” particularly useful during inspections. “I mesh photos for any problem areas with the inspection report and can e-mail copies to prospects,” he says.

Although he can’t quantify the boost tech’s brought to his business, he knows it saves him time, especially writing contracts in the field.

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