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2 reach home sales mark of $50 million

February 8, 2005 -2 reach home sales mark of $50 million
by Joseph Barrios

You'd think being at the top of their game would bring more enthusiastic responses from Robin Sue Kaiserman and Russell P. Long, both of whom made record home sales in 2004 of approximately $50 million.

Kaiserman, something of a celebrity in the business, was tops in sales for nine years, according to Tucson Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service data. Then in 2002, she was "dethroned" by her fellow Long Realty agent when he sold $41.1 million worth of homes in the Tucson market, about $5.5 million more than Kaiserman.

This year, they tied. Both made record sales in a marketplace that many in the business have described as "crazy."

It's good to be at the top of the game, right?

Well, sorta. Kaiserman doesn't work long days and weekends to be on top of a list. She likes to help people, she likes to be successful, but she doesn't really like the competition. "We're sort of stuck with it. Between Russell and I, we'd really like to get rid of it," Kaiserman said. Long says there's no doubt about it. It's fun to be number one - when you haven't made it there before. Once you have - and for Long, that happened after almost three decades in the business - that laurel has lost its luster. "I've had my turn at being number one and I just want to do a good job for people," Long said. "As far as I'm concerned, the being number one thing is totally overrated. You can't get a big head about it. You get a big head, it's just a larger target for a two-by-four."

According to Long Realty, the $50 million figure for any single agent and/or their buyer agents sets a new record for the Tucson area. Many Tucson agents saw a busy and profitable year in 2004.
Rosey Koberlein, president and CEO of Long, said 44 additional Long Realty associates each achieved more than $10 million in sales in 2004. Four years ago, there were only about 20 associates in the Tucson area who achieved $10 million or more annually in sales.

Kaiserman said she's busy, but she doesn't just take any client who comes along. When potential clients are interviewing her, she interviews them right back. "The people need to be nice. I know it sounds trivial, the word nice," she said. "I want to deal with nice people with nice homes." People who aren't nice can often be impossible to please, she said.

Online renewals

Maybe it's real-life success stories like Kaiserman and Long, maybe it's those pie-in-the-sky promises of wealth from late-night infomercials. Either way, something is encouraging people to get their real estate licenses in Arizona. According to the Arizona Department of Real Estate, there were approximately 50,000 licensees in 1999. In 2004, that number increased to 67,000.

And while the number of licensees has gone up, the staff that handles license renewals has gone down.
Thus, Real Estate Commissioner Elaine Richardson is giving a valentine to the thousands of folks who deal in real estate. Beginning Monday, licensees can go online at www.az.gov/real-estate, to fill out a simple form to renew their licenses. The Online Renewal System, developed by the state Government Information Technology Agency and IBM, can also be used to change employment status, report on continuing education, change personal information and pay by credit card.

The ballooning number of real estate professionals also explains another department endeavor: an education committee. Mary Utley, department spokeswoman, said real estate educators will be pulled together beginning in March to review standards for licensees.

At a recent Tucson chapter meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Richardson was asked if she was concerned about the number of people obtaining real estate licenses in Arizona. She said she wasn't concerned about the number per se but does want to examine the quality of education available to new agents.


Copyright 2005 The Arizona Daily Star

Robin Sue Kaiserman

Tucson's #1 Real Estate Agent for 12 years

Office: 520-918-5411
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