|This article was published on: 09/01/2001|
TOP 100 SALESPEOPLE
BY LESLIE CUMMINGS
TOP 10* RANKED BY SALES VOLUME (in millions)
Gold numbers represent “Top 100” ranking.
There’s a great industry debate about whether sales-team leaders belong on any list of top-producing salespeople. How can they be compared with people who provide excellent service and earn an excellent living without the help of an entourage?
More top salespeople . . . See our “Top 300” list at www.realtormag.com.
TOP 100 SALESPEOPLE
THE SPECIALIST (Allan Domb #1)
Allan Domb of Allan Domb Real Estate in Philadelphia gives his clients and customers special attention.
That “something extra” that Domb puts into his work has thrust him to the very pinnacle of the business. With a niche selling condominiums in Philadelphia’s tony Center City historic district, Domb has earned the local title of “condo king.” Working with two assistants, he did $135 million in sales and closed 754 transaction sides in 2000. And although Domb didn’t report the highest number of transaction sides in the country, his sides and sales volume combined make him the No. 1 salesperson on our list.
Domb’s success didn’t come by happenstance. “I wanted to take just one area and become the best,” he says. It was 1979, and he set out to conquer the downtown condo market. “I wanted an area where no one was specializing or had more than 20 percent of the market,” he says.
If you choose such a niche, Domb recommends doing research first. “Check the turnover rates for the area and pick a location with a manageable size but not smaller than 750–1,000 houses or units. You can always expand later,” he says. “Also, select an area you’re comfortable with and believe in, where the valuations aren’t going downward. Then learn everything about the area.”
Once you’ve chosen your niche, stick to it. “Some sales associates spread themselves too thin. It’s better to give business away than to work on a sale in an area you don’t know,” he says.
Besides knowing his market, Domb sets goals. “What’s important when you’re setting your goals is to compare how many houses you’ve sold with how many you’ve listed,” he says. “Having a larger area to farm doesn’t mean you’ll have a higher number of sales.”
In order to grow his farm area, Domb gives service he describes as “above and beyond what people expect.”
“When I started, I did everything in person,” he says. “I brought contracts to customers personally, even if I had to fly to their home city.”
He continues his specialized service today by resolving customer issues before his promised deadlines: “I overdeliver. If I tell them I’ll give them something tomorrow, I try to get it done today.”
Domb uses every free moment to stir up business throughout his farm area, which he estimates has almost tripled since 1979. He makes about 100 calls a day. “I return all listing calls right away,” he says. “I believe the world stops when someone wants to list a property.”
Between calls and appointments, Domb refers to his list of 10 top moneymaking, productive actions he can take each day. They include prospecting, listing, selling, and negotiating activities. “The list might say ‘Close two-bedroom, two-bath,’ and I try to do that,” he says.
One way Domb expanded his number of listings during the recent seller’s market was to move into condo development. “But you have to be careful,” he warns. “If customers think all you’re doing is developments, they’ll stop giving you listings.”
That hasn’t been a problem for Domb, who seems to have just the right touch, no matter what the challenge. Says Domb: “I try to make everyone I come in contact with my ambassador of goodwill.”—Leslie Cummings
DESTINY CALLING (Cristina Martinez #10)
“I don’t just list and sell homes,” says Cristina Martinez, president of Century 21 North Valley, San Jose, Calif. “I create a dream for my clients. I change their financial destiny.”
GOLDEN GIRL (Jill Rudler #16)
Jill Rudler has three simple rules for success: Hire great people, focus on your strengths, and care about your customers.
TREND SPOTTER (Sam Gottlieb #19)
The early bird really does get the worm.
THE RAINMAKER (Debbie Schrader #25)
Delegating and organizing have helped Debbie Schrader, owner of RE/MAX Excels in Geneva, Ill., do what she does best: rustle up sales.