Turnaround Artist: In early 2008, Harma Hartouni, a top salesperson at Keller Williams’s Studio City office, accepted an offer to become team leader and manager of the firm’s nearby Encino-Sherman Oaks branch.
Making it work: Since then, he has recruited about 80 new salespeople and instituted new educational and accountability programs that have revived the formerly struggling office. "Ensuring that my salespeople are continually inspired, motivated, and accountable is a top priority for me," he says. Meanwhile, he doubled his personal sales volume in 2008, closing 42 sides and $19 million in sales. Hartouni moved aggressively into short sales and foreclosures, becoming a certified REO broker through the National REO Brokers Association and establishing relationships with Wells Fargo and and IndyMac, among others.
Back to basics: For all the talk in real estate circles about texting and tweeting, Hartouni stresses the basics. "Face to face is better than the phone," he says. "I believe in walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors."