Friday
April 18, 2014

Top Performer: James Mattz

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Top Performer: James Mattz

Destiny calls

James Mattz has been pondering a real estate career since childhood. His mother worked in domestic jobs, and he often tagged along when she went to work.

“I’d marvel at some of those houses, and I told myself that one day I’d live in one like them,” Mattz recalls. In talking to some of the property owners, Mattz learned that many of them made money investing in real estate.

Their advice to young James: Get an education, make good grades, and find a job. He did.

His first taste of owning real estate came during a stint as a salesperson in corporate America, where Mattz started using his commission checks to buy apartment buildings. He was hooked.

When it was time to leave the corporate world and start his own shop, there was little question that his business would be real estate.

Here’s how Mattz and his team--one buyer specialist, two listing specialists, and two support people--build their business.

Best listing technique: I was trained as a professional salesperson by some of the country’s best corporate marketing organizations.

I’ve transferred those skills in terms of figuring out how to cover a market area in the most effective way. This is a pipeline business, and you always have to keep that line full.

One way I keep it full is by focusing on expireds and FSBOs. I spend three hours every morning calling on them.

I’m empathic when FSBOs and expireds have a bad taste in their mouth from an unsuccessful experience with another practitioner, but I also say they can’t convict the whole trade because of one bad situation. I ask for the opportunity to help, but I don’t tell them what they want to hear just so that I can get an appointment. I usually net one appointment and one new lead every day.

I’ve also become a specialist in new construction—so I have quite a few builder properties in my inventory.

Biggest marketing success this year: I treat other practitioners like clients. Rather than waiting for them to see my properties on the MLS and call me, I actively market my listings to them.

There are 300 practitioners I contact regularly with information packets on my listings. I also talk with other practitioners every day to see what their buyers are looking for and try to direct them to appropriate properties in my inventory.

Biggest marketing mistake: Buying into an expensive monthly direct mail system. Recipients thought the mailers were cute, but they didn’t generate any sales.

How I get buyers to make a decision: I tell them we’re the experts and we’ll get them into a home. I have a step-by-step buying system in place that I explain to prospects. They know in detail what will happen as the process progresses from prequalification to the closing table.

Biggest obstacle I face in my market: It’s a buyer’s market, and there’s a lot of new construction competing with older homes. Pricing properly positions the home competitively and reduces days on the market.

James C. Mattz Jr.
Century 21--Dabbs & Associates, Homewood, Ill.; 708/957-7070

1998 gross production volume $21.6 million
Average sales price $170,000
Average number of listings 90
Hours per week I work 65
Career before real estate Account manager

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