Tip for the Times: Productivity

February 1, 1996

Since her company has only seven full-time salespeople, Betty Steinbacher, broker-owner, Century 21--Betty Steinbacher Real Estate, Williamsport, Pa., says, "I'm too small to purchase all the tools and toys we'd like to have." But she still needs to make each salesperson as productive as possible.

So she bought reconditioned IBM 286 and 386 computers at a monthly computer auction. The computers came with a 90-day guarantee. Her total investment for four computers was $1,100.

She placed three of the computers in salespeople's homes so that they could have a word processor and MLS access. To earn and keep a computer, salespeople must produce two closed sales in a two-month period and maintain their computer. For salespeople who already had computers, she provided reconditioned laserjet printers.

Steinbacher says, "The arrangement frees up my office phone lines, makes salespeople produce consistently, and gives them more time to be with buyers and sellers, and they remain loyal once they become addicted to having a computer at home."

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