This year’s inductees
to the REBAC Hall
of Fame explain how
they’ve made their
mark in this industry.
There are many paths to success in real estate, whether
it’s coaching others, carving out a niche in your local
market, or becoming a sales champion. The Real Estate
Buyer’s Agent Council is recognizing four buyer’s
agents whose di;erent paths have garnered them a
coveted spot in this year’s REBAC Hall of Fame.
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey
Jennifer Baker, ABR®
RealtyUSA, The Jennifer Baker Team, Corning, N. Y.
Relationships First. More than a decade ago,
Baker wasn’t sure she had the guts to leave her secure,
Pennsylvania, is a multimillion-dollar top producer. She focuses on
first-time home buyers and military clients, helping them navigate
complex transactions and manage the data flow from various online
sources. She provides a custom toolkit to every buyer, including
financing information and vendor resources. “No two transactions are
the same,” Baker says. Looking back, her choice to pursue real estate
no longer seems scary. Her keys to success: “Be organized, educated,
ethical, and honest,” she says. “And don’t forget about you—take a
Steve Merchant, ABR®
Global Realty International Inc., Orlando, Fla.
Meet a Higher Standard. For Merchant, profes-
sional development is the key to expanding his network
and staying competitive. He has sought numerous real estate cre-
dentials in addition to ABR®, including certifications as a Short Sales
and Foreclosure Resource and a Military Relocation Professional. A
former Marine Corps pilot, Merchant started his own company, Global
Realty International Inc., in 2005, and in 2012 he added a property
management arm. In 2013, Merchant served as the president of the
Orlando Regional REALTORS® Association, a platform which he used to
emphasize the importance of REALTOR® education. One of the biggest
takeaways: Treat all customers equally. “One thing I’ve learned and
that I train my agents in is never to prejudge a customer or turn away
business because you think it’s not important enough. You never know
where that customer will lead you one day.”
Alison J. Maltby, ABR®
The Anderson Group & Co Pl, Orlando, Fla.
Take a Client-Centric Approach. There’s no
question what comes first for Maltby. “My clients are
the priority, seven days a week, regardless of their geography or dollar
amount,” she says. Maltby’s broad focus means she can easily adapt to
changes in the market. During the housing crisis, Maltby, who holds the
Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification, was able to respond
to the wave of clients needing that expertise. Now, the upturn in the mar-
ket means she has more time for traditional sales and new construction.
She serves clients of all types, from first-timers to international buyers.
Regardless of her buyers’ situation, however, she finds their challenges
similar in this fast-paced market. In all cases, she preps them so they’re
ready to make an o;er instantly, if necessary. They come to see that
her responsiveness, persistence, and negotiation skills help them reach
their goal. “An ability to think creatively, find resolutions, and close
makes me invaluable to a buyer in any type of market,” she says.
Rich Hart, ABR®
Atlanta Communities, Evalucore Institute, and
Wealth Wave360, Atlanta
Keep the Focus. Hart isn’t afraid to make bold prom-
ises to clients. He tells them: “I’m going to show you five houses. And
you’re going to buy one.” Often they see just three before they’re ready
to make an o;er. Hart keeps his clients’ search ultra-focused, prevent-
ing them from being hampered by indecision. Indeed, “focus” is the
buzzword behind much of Hart’s work, not only as a buyer’s representa-
tive and broker but also as an internationally recognized sales coach.
He also serves as an instructor for several REBAC and NAR designation
courses. Hart advocates that sales professionals realign their goals: “It’s
not about chasing paychecks but focusing on what can be done to make
your mark in the business. You have to have the right people in your
business network to create opportunities and create living dreams.”