Email Interview of WM B Martin by Tom West (Part 3 of 3)

Email Interview of WM B Martin by Tom West (Part 3 of 3)

Today’s posting completes the three-part interview of industry veteran WM B Martin by BBP’s Tom West. It picks up after Bill’s second “retirement” and includes what Bill considers to be the secret of his success.


Tom:

But, there’s more to the story.

Bill:

Yes, when ABMI in Kansas City (the brokerage I’d started in 1989 and sold in 1998) found out I was no longer involved in other enterprises, they asked if I’d consider moving back to KC, and taking on a short term consulting contract, to advise them on returning ABMI to the “basics” we’d pioneered at ABMI, that they’d gotten away from. We worked out the details, and from 5-1-10 through 10-1-11, I consulted with ABMI. We were able to re-introduce the “basics” over that time, including recruiting and training managers to continue ABMI’s progress.

 

 

 

Tom:

So, what have you been doing since Oct 2011?

Bill:

As keeps happening to me, starting last year, I received referrals from bankers, lawyers and accountants, who asked me to help their clients (business buyers and sellers) with various transactions. No longer affiliated with ABMI or USBB or FNBC, I couldn’t resist accepting some of those engagements. So, through a company I’ve owned for many years, Dearborn Property Management, Inc, we’ve started again. I changed the name of DPMI to Dearborn Business Advisors Corp (DBIZCO), hired 2 agents, moved into beautiful new offices in Overland Park, Ks (a suburb of KC), written and launched a new web site, and in just the last 6 months, from an absolute start up, originally with no agents, no buyers, no sellers, no secretaries, operating the first months out of my home, we’ve already closed on over $2,800,000 in transactions, with more deals pending.

Tom:

Bill, what do you think has been the primary cause of your success?

Bill:

Tom, I’m convinced that if “brokerage Bill’s Way”, in fact, is “different” than some other professionals practice, it is due to my belief that careful selectivity is more productive than simply taking on all projects. As you know from our many talks, I’ve never believed, for example, in “listing any owner who can fog up a mirror”. And, I’ve always taught that our energies/talents/time should be spent with buyer prospects that prove to us that they are “deal makers”, not just “deal talkers”. That approach demands that our agents “say no” to most prospective buyers and sellers (although I also believe in “saying no” respectfully and professionally, not with rudeness). That, alone, is fairly revolutionary, compared to most business brokers, who seem to try, too often, to make un-makeable deals. Most trainers in our industry teach the opposite of my “selectivity” theory, and teach that “over qualifying” is a mistake.

I’ve even become selective geographically. DBIZCO is only involved in working with sellers and buyers who want businesses in 2 counties of Kansas, Wyandotte and Johnson counties (2 adjoining counties in the metro KC area). Realtors call this selectivity “farming” a territory. With over 150,000 operating businesses in metro KC, there are about 50,000 of those in these 2 counties. That’s plenty of prospective listings for me to make all the money I wish to make, and stay as busy as I want to be. And wow, does this selectivity make sense from a logistics standpoint. Farming these two counties dramatically reduces my “in transit” time between listing servicing calls. And, as we all know, if you have the attractive listings, there are always plenty of buyer prospects.

And, for me, over the last 30 years, with agents I’ve trained nationwide handling hundreds of millions of dollars in transactions, with no negative legal repercussions against our agencies, and no complaints with the Better Business Bureaus in our towns, not only have we been blessed with incredible success in this fascinating career, but also, I simply believe that careful selectivity of prospect attitudes/motivation/decisiveness is a more sane, productive way to live.

So, here we go again.

Thanks, Tom, for your continued interest in our activities. I’m very flattered. And, as you know, I’ve never claimed to have the “only answers” to these questions.

What I’ve learned about our wonderful profession is…there are many, many ways to list, sell and manage the other details of business brokerage. And there are brokers who are successful, practicing different methodologies. That’s how wonderful and interesting it all is….you can even do it “wrong” (wrong, in someone’s opinion), and still do well. Amazing.

But, for me, doing it “right” (right, in my opinion), has worked out best for me and for the agents who follow our theories/practices.

 
 
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