In a city with more than 1,600 REALTORS(R), Shoaf relies on over-the-top service and a heavy dose of marketing to stand out. At one time, half his earnings went into advertising. Those tactics helped him chalk up $11.3 million in sales last year. "I operate from a small-town mentality. When I meet people, I treat them as if I've known them forever," he says. Shoaf creates his own TV ads and hosts a weekly "Radio Real Estate 101" show on a local station. He also customizes his mailings, sending direct mail notices of new listings to at least 500 people whose demographic makeup suggests they might be interested in the property.
Teaching others: Shoaf shares his philosophy with salespeople he mentors. "If my associates don't treat their clients so special that a client can't wait to write a testimonial for them, then they're not doing the job right," he says.
Making memories: Shoaf sometimes coordinates and hosts parties for sellers and buyers. Neighbors can say goodbye to their friends and meet the new owners at the same time.