Broker/Agent Magazine

Pearl S. Buck once said, "The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible, and achieve it, generation after generation." This statement could not be any more true than it is for a wonderful group of 'thirty-something' REALTORS® who make up the Wollmering & Elliott Real Estate Team. Scott Wollmering and David Elliott have comprised a strong team of individuals who understand how to provide their customers with personal, quality service while also implementing the latest technological advances available in the real estate industry today, which sets them apart from all other agents in their field.

Scott and David, who are brothers-in-law, along with their wives, Andrea and Teressa respectively, are no strangers to doing business together as a family. Both families have previously co-owed three Christian based daycare centers in the southern Twin Cities area, where they learned the importance of providing superior customer service for the many children they cared for. "Children are the most precious gifts from God to any family, and when parents need daycare for their children, they only want the best daycare providers available. Managing our daycare centers instilled in us a strong understanding of the importance of providing service with excellence that has also carried over into the way we conduct our real estate business today," comments David.

Andrea Wollmering was the first to enter the real estate business, where she went to work for a builder in new construction sales. Scott had always been interested in real estate and soon decided to get his license also. After only six short months, Scott's business was growing so quickly that hired Andrea's sister, Teressa, as a licensed assistant. Finally, after seeing the potential available in real estate through the success of his wife, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law, David took up the challenge as well. At that time, each couple felt it would be easier financially to handle their businesses separately, so David and Teressa branched off on their own, while Scott and Andrea worked on their own. In addition, since their real estate businesses were expanding rapidly, they decided to sell two of the three daycare centers. "We sold two of the three daycare centers in early 2000. We decided to keep the daycare center in Lakeville called 'All God's Children', where Andrea and my two children, and David and Teressa's four children, attend. Our real estate businesses were expending so quickly that we did not feel we had the time to handle all three daycare centers in a way that would provide the type of quality service we expect of ourselves," explains Scott. During this time Scott expanded his team by adding four licensed agents, while David and Teressa hired one additional agent. "We never felt like we were competing for business, and because we were comfortable working together, we always shared our business ideas. We were all introduced to a Web idea that was like nothing we had ever seen offered in the industry before which, among other things, provided free access to search all MLS listings without customers having to sign-in. We knew this idea was revolutionary in the industry and we were anxious to implement it; however, after taking into consideration the expense necessary to make it work, we felt the best option was to join forces in this new venture in order to provide the best service to all our clients."

Wollmering & Elliott was formed in early 2002, and has since become one of the fastest growing sales teams in the industry. "We sold almost $100 million our 1st year after joining forces as the Wollmering & Elliott Real Estate Team.                                                                                                                                       
 
Another important lesson in customer service for the Wollmering and Elliott team is 'do what you say you ar going to do.' "Everyone who works for the Wollmering and Elliott Real Estate Team does what they say they are going to do and we hold ourselves accountable. We accomplish this by making several guarantees to our clients that essentially 'puts our money where our mouth is.' For example, we promise to always call our clients back within one hour. If we go over even one minute, we'll pay them $25 per occurrence... although we have never had to pay yet!" remarks Scott. "We also give our clients an 'Easy Exit Listing Agreement' in which they are free to get out of the listing agreement if for any reason they are not happy with our service."

Honesty by all Wollmering & Elliott team members is another key virtue Scott and David a re adamant about when it comes to servicing their clients. They have developed a strong reputation for conducting themselves in an honest and forthright manner whether they are dealing with clients or other agents, and they have exhibited an uncommon degree of moral courage when faced with difficult situations. "There are hundreds of opportunities each day to act unethically in this business and we refuse to give up our integrity. We feel one of the most important areas we need to be honest and up front, with regard to our sellers, is to give them a realistic and honest opinion about the price their home will likely sell for. Rather than making over-exaggerated promises in order to gain a listing and later pressuring a client to lower the asking price, we feel sellers need to be given accurate numbers up front, particularly with regard to a specific amount they can expect to receive after closing since many people base their decisions on these net figures. By providing an accurate up front analysis of current market conditions, comparable home prices, measure against the unique aspects of the client's home, we will not only be able to provide a realistic idea of what their home will sell for, but it will put their home the best position to sell quickly and at an optimal price. We have sold 99 percent of our listings within 1 percent of our estimated sales price, which is a true testament to the success of our strategy," explains David.

"We are just as committed to our buyers when it comes to honest, friendly service. We make sure our buyers are aware of all the pros and cons of a home before they ever make an offer, including issues related to resale, location, and surrounding amenities. If there is something negative about a home, we are going to speak up, even if that means we have to continue to search to find the perfect home for them. We would rather sell the 'right' home for our buyers, rather than just any home," comments Scott. "That is also why we also offer our buyers our 'love it or leave' guarantee. If for any reason they are not satisfied with their home purchase within the first six months of moving in, we will sell it for them free of any brokerage fees to ourselves."

The Wollmering & Elliott team's service commitment does not stop there. "We continually seek to understand what our clients want and make it easy for them to get. For example, there is nothing more frustrating for a seller than to not hear from their agent. We make a commitment to contact our sellers at least two times per week through email or phone call.  We also hold open houses for all of our listings every weekend, unless the seller requests not to have them. Because we do this, we come in contact with more prospective buyers; therefore, we sell our own listings at a rate 10 percent higher than that of the average agent," explains Scott.

"We also make it a point to be very accessible to our clients. Our cell phones are the only 'office' phone numbers our agents use for client contacts and all advertising purposes whether on for sale signs or print ads. This ensures that we are very reachable for our clients, and prospective buyers who call for information on one of our listings." Of course, this does not mean that if a clients calls one of the Wollmering & Elliott team members at three in the morning, he or she will get an answer; however, it does show clients that their transaction is important and they have a question, they have the means to talk directly to their agent.

For Scott, David, and the Wollmering & Elliott Real estate Team, real estate is not so much a matter of 'sales' as it is a matter of 'service'. "We are here to provide a service that enables our clients to buy and sell homes with the least amount of inconvenience to them while protecting all of their interest. We do this by not only maintaining an extensive knowledge of the real estate market, but applying the highest standards of honest and effective service through our unique satisfaction guarantee with every sale," comments David.