Tuesday, January 02, 2007

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Martin Bouma
The Bouma Group- Keller William Realty
Ann Arbor, MI

Graduating with a degree in Biochemistry Martin worked for a while at St. Joseph’s Hospital as a Respiratory Therapist. Little did he know that a successful career in real estate was awaiting him in Ann Arbor. Now his team provides service that is second to none and, most important of all; he manages expectations by telling the truth and backing that up with facts. Thorough market knowledge, exceptional follow-through, and good old common sense are the hallmarks of Martin’s continued success. Martin Bouma has been the #1 Realtor in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County for several years.

What is your personal background and how did you get into real estate?
"I obtained a biochemistry degree from the University of Michigan and wanted to attend medical school. I didn’t get into medical school and started to work as a respiratory therapist at a hospital. My father owned real estate and I wanted to learn more about it, so I got my real estate license. The broker that sponsored me in the business encouraged me to try selling, and the rest is history."

Do you believe goals are important to your success?
"Completely I follow the Keller Williams model. I know what I want to make and I work backwards and I know my conversion ratios. You start with what you want to make and I am driven by that. Every week we review our goals."

"I know that if I do a certain number of things everyday, I will get there. I have a goal of 28 listing appointments per month. If I go on 28 appointments per month, everything else will fall in place."

What single quality has made you more successful than others?
"This last year we hired a systems coach who spent 2 hours a week with my staff. He analyzed the workflow of the office and helped us systematize the whole office. Every staff person has a task matrix. We have a primary and secondary backup person. We have work procedures for each task. It has massively decreased my management time. This has totally streamlined the workflow and allowed me to stop micro managing."

Did you make any big mistakes that you want to warn others about?
"The biggest mistake we make is hiring the wrong people. Making the transition from salespeople to business people is very hard. Someone with three great employees will far exceed someone with three good employees. Too often we hire the wrong people, and take too long to fire them. They do not learn how to manage people. The other big mistake we make is that we don’t track where our business comes from."

If you had to do it again, today, from a starting point of making $100,000 per year, what would you suggest for delegating, outsourcing and staffing?
"Start with a business plan or model, and develop systems to implement your plan. Then hire the right people to implement your systems. This will result in the fulfillment of your business plan. Tweak as necessary."

Martin was able to massively decrease his management time and streamline his work flow. In the book "Billion Dollar Agent - Lessons Learned", Martin goes on to describe to Steve Kantor how he finally was able to stop micro managing. Pick up the book, now available in paperback, to read about this and learn more about Martin's systems.

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