What’s it like at the top of your game? It may sound easy, but to stay there requires great skills at managing both your business and your assets. Top-producing agent Paul Chiolo is a good example. His management approach reminds me of a wealthy old fellow who told his new stockbroker, “I don’t need you to make me rich, young man; I need you to keep me that way.” Even as Chiolo has diversified to keep all his money working for him, he has kept close watch on his core business, investing time and money into the real estate practice that made him successful in the first place.

Chiolo runs Oceanside Realty in Wildwood Crest, N.J., a beach resort town catering to second-home buyers and vacationers. Chiolo (pronounced key-o-lo) specializes in renting and marketing homes and condos and selling beachfront hotels. He has also expanded into hotel ownership and real estate development. Last year Chiolo was ranked #109 in sales nationwide by the National Association of Realtors.

Chiolo learned management skills early in his career by owning and operating a small motel and later a restaurant. In 1991 he opened Oceanside Realty from a house with his office on the first floor and residence above. That demonstrates Rule #1 of good business management: start small and keep your overhead low. At first, sales were slow, but Chiolo saw a way to make money on the busy rental market. He put a neon sign advertising rentals in front of his office, and when vacationers drove up in the evenings looking for a place to stay, he’d make a few calls and drive them to a hotel, making a small commission on the deal.

Here are a few other techniques Chiolo has used to build his practice and manage success.

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