Roadmap to Success: It’s All About the Personal Business Plan, Says Zephyr Manager Don Saunders

Posted by Karen Monroe — May 29, 2007

San Francisco, CA – May 30, 2007 – The roadmap to success for any real estate professional lies in having and executing a sound business plan, according to Don Saunders, Managing Broker at Zephyr Real Estate. He would know. Saunders has been a REALTOR® since 1978, and has always relied on the personal business plan as an effective working tool for himself as a manager and the agents in his West of Twin Peaks office.“A successful business plan reflects the agent’s personality – each one is unique,” said Saunders, a partner of Zephyr, the largest independent real estate firm in San Francisco. “Agents need to see where they are currently, and understand how to change things to get to where they want to be.”Saunders believes in providing agents with all the support, wealth of technology and marketing tools Zephyr has to offer. Then he helps them focus on the business plan. At the end of the day, Saunders said it comes down to what each individual person brings to the table that matters most. Knowledge of the marketplace, familiarity with specific neighborhoods, an understanding of the value of high-level service and a personality people respond to are qualities he believes a good REALTOR® should possess.The ability to use common sense when dealing with people is what makes Saunders a strong manager. “If you respect people and listen to their opinions, that goes a long way, especially in management,” said Saunders, 63. “My philosophy is: You get good people, give them what they need to succeed and then stay out of their way.”Saunders decided to pursue a career in real estate when he was buying a house in Riverside, Calif., using the G.I. Bill. The agent he worked with did not know anything about financing a government loan. “I not only wanted to learn for my own transaction, I realized I could find success in this business if I planned properly and worked hard,” he said.His rise to management was swift. Within two years of getting his real estate license, Saunders was recruited to join management by the firm he worked for in Southern California. After moving to Northern California several years later, he continued the real estate fast track to become president and partner at a small agency in San Francisco. When the opportunity came to become a managing partner at Zephyr and open the West of Twin Peaks office, he immediately took it.Saunders has an enviable history in the San Francisco real estate community, having served on the Board of Directors and served as president of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS®. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the California Association of REALTORS®, serving as chairperson of the Equal Opportunity, Membership, and Executive committees over the years.Saunders has a Bachelor’s degree from Washington State University. After graduation, he served in the United States Air Force, rising to the rank of Major before retiring and turning his talent and interests to real estate.Zephyr Real EstateFounded in 1978, Zephyr Real Estate is San Francisco’s largest independent real estate firm with nearly $1.5 billion dollars in annual gross sales in 2006 and a current roster of more than 200 full-time agents. Zephyr has six offices strategically located in San Francisco and serves a large customer base throughout the city. For more information, visit www.zephyrsf.com.

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