Want more business? Ask for it, says Debbie Reynolds with Prudential Professionals Realty in Clarksville, Tenn. “If I have a chance to interject real estate into any conversation, I do ask for the business.”
Debbie estimates that about 40 percent of her clients come to her via referral and the rest of her business she generates by talking to people. “Wherever I go I start up conversations to learn about people, and with that I am able to generate business I wouldn’t have otherwise. I work no company referrals, so the referrals I do receive are generated through my membership networks,” as well as her personal sphere of influence, she says.
“Again, I am always asking for the business wherever I go, so the business just comes.” While she makes it sound simple, we believe that it helps to ooze southern charm, as Debbie definitely does.
A Miami, Florida native, Debbie landed in Clarksville in 1979 when the city was still somewhat a small town. As she embarked on her real estate career she discovered she had a knack for marketing as well and thus has played a dual role over the years: working as marketing director at several brokerages as well as selling houses.
“I wrote all the advertising for the company I worked for, starting out in real estate. It was a huge task as we were a large company, and print media and newspaper advertising were the mainstays of the real estate industry.” She went on to handle all the marketing for her own real estate company for over a decade and served as the marketing director at her current brokerage for several years.
The most important marketing lesson learned over the years? “One thing is for sure: What worked last year will not necessarily work this year. You have to do cross-marketing and be consistent to see results. People give up too soon or don’t follow through on their plans and then fail to get the results they are looking for,” says Reynolds.
While Debbie has had staff members at different times during her 32-year real estate career, right now she has one part-time, non-licensed assistant. Without a team she still manages to pop out 70 to 90 sides a year.
With a name like Debbie Reynolds one would expect to find a woman the camera loves, and one would be correct. Debbie currently finds herself playing with various video techniques, especially the injection of a bit of humor, “so the viewer will stay interested,” she says.
Unlike the actress, though, our Debbie Reynolds also holds a contractor’s license. Although she doesn’t build homes, she does enjoy working with new construction clients and has the knowledge to answer any questions they may have.
Thirty-two years is a long time to be involved in any industry, especially real estate. We asked Debbie which type of clients, after all these years, she likes best, and, although she quickly answered that she loves all her clients, she particularly enjoys “working with our soldiers in helping them buy and sell their homes.” Because of its proximity to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Clarksville draws a lot of military real estate clients, and Reynolds receives her fair share.
Debbie has systems and techniques in place that help her avoid the typical 70-hour week of many high-producing agents, although she still puts in anywhere from 50 to 60 hours a week. When she isn’t working she can be found with her husband, exploring their twin passions – travel and history. “We try to plan our time away to visit museums, historical sites and places of interest.”
When not traveling she likes to fatten up her husband – who claims he gains three pounds a year from her good cooking. “I like to garden and I grow my own herbs for cooking. I also like to spend time with family and friends and to see my grandsons as often as my schedule allows,” Reynolds remarks.
Debbie loves training other agents and, during the training sessions she stresses the importance of having a positive attitude and self-confidence, qualities Debbie exhibits in abundance when asking for business. “I also tell them to have fun and enjoy working with people. There is nothing they can mess up so badly that it can’t be fixed, so I tell them to relax and just do their best.”
We think that’s prudent advice for any business. Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Reynolds.