Please Note: Article was originally published in The Residential Specialist May/June 2019 Issue
Waylon Chavez, ABQ Premiere Properties, Albuquerque, New Mexico
How did you get interested in the CRS Designation?
I started working in real estate in 2006 and wanted to open my own brokerage. Other agents encouraged me to get the designation. Being a CRS caught my eye for two reasons: I loved the education component and I liked the requirement that you had to have a certain level of production. You couldn’t just sign up, pay a fee and get the designation.
What work-related activities have kept you active?
In my first seven months, I closed on 19 homes and was nominated for rookie of the year through the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®. I own my company and served as a board member of the REALTOR® Association of New Mexico. I’ve also served on a variety of boards for RRC—as president of the New Mexico RRC in 2012—and was also named CRS REALTOR® of the year. I’ve also worked closely with the National Association of REALTORS® and the Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®.
What is unique in your local market?
It’s a diverse population. Albuquerque is a community with many generations who have been here a long time. But there are also many federal employees here at military bases and laboratories, so there are many people from out of state.
Do you focus on a niche market?
I presented a session at Sell-a-bration 2019 called “Six Hours to Six Figures” that explained how to “find a niche and get rich.” You will be more successful as a specialist—a local expert. I focus on the military and the west side of town, where the most recent real estate developments in Albuquerque are located. I live, work and play in that part of the city.
How do you promote your business?
I’m old school—I value personal relationships. Social media is a tool I use to stay in contact with people, but it’s not a replacement for face-to-face contact. I text clients to stay in touch, but I knock on doors and get involved in the community. I host a happy hour once a month for clients. I’m a community ambassador—I don’t just put up a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard, I promote the neighborhood.
How do you communicate the value of the CRS designation to potential clients?
First, it’s not up to the Council to do it—that’s our job. For sellers, I have a pamphlet about how to choose a REALTOR® and it explains the difference between a CRS and other agents. I tell sellers that I want to educate them, so they fully understand the process. I don’t just talk about me—it’s about them, so my process is tailored toward their needs. I also explain that all agents have access to the same tools. What matters most is who you are comfortable working with.
What other approaches do you use to pursue leads?
I promote things in the neighborhood rather than myself. I go to city council meetings, talk with local business owners and attend groundbreakings. I knock on doors twice a week and I chase FSBOs. When I knock on doors, I don’t ask for the sale. I let them know I’m here to educate, so I provide market stats in the neighborhood.
What keeps you busy when you’re not working?
I love to be at the beach, hike in the mountains and travel with my wife and son. I also work in the Air Force Reserve inspecting planes at the subsurface level using various technologies.