2008 Nationals: The Perfect Storm of Sales Success

Donna Haas and Joanne Stump of The Ryness Co. received the Sales Team of the Year award at the 2008 National Sales and Marketing Awards.
By By Felicia Oliver, Senior Editor | March 23, 2008

Working together as a sales team isn't always easy. It can take a while to get the feel of each other's methods, rhythms and moods. And sometimes, no matter how long you are together or how hard you try, it never quite gels.

Then there are times when the synergy happens naturally. Donna Haas and Joanne Stump were chosen by sales manager James McWhorter to sell Pacific Cove, a condo conversion outside Los Angeles, near the airport. "It was very interesting, watching them work together," he says. "You would think those girls had worked together for years, and they had just met each other."

They've worked together now for more than a year and sold out a community of 80 homes in about nine months — far sooner than the 14 to 18 months that was projected.

Stump is a self-described newbie; selling Pacific Cove is her first new-home sales job. Previously she was a junior loan agent and then worked as a part-time temp at JWilliams Staffing, a real-estate recruitment and placement firm, where she did everything except write contracts. Haas has been with Ryness since June 2006; prior to that she worked directly with a developer, moving from sales associate to sales manager and opening up several offices.

"I've managed many teams of sales folks — some larger, some smaller than Donna and Joanne," says McWhorter, who nominated Haas and Stump for this award. "It's not often that you get team members that come from different projects or different areas that sort of meld immediately."

Haas and Stump instinctively understood and capitalized on each other's strengths and experiences.

"Joanne had her background in the loan industry. I had mine in condo conversions," says Haas. "I had done many other projects. ... And she's so good at follow up. She would do things that just

amazed me for someone that is brand new, making sure that the customers had everything that they needed and all the answers."

"Thank you!" Stump says warmly to Haas in response to the compliment. "And I would have to say that we both did whatever it took. We didn't mind staying after hours or even going to a buyer's home to write a contract."

"We both are willing to put in 150 percent," Haas adds. "There was no competition between us. We worked as a team. It was so nice."

The product they sold had its challenges, particularly in showing the models. But the team spun negatives into positives.

"Developers were using all kinds of crazy incentives to get people in the door. We really didn't have to do any of that," says McWhorter.


Category: Sales Team of the Year
Gold Winner: Donna Haas, Community Sales Manager; Joanne Stump, Sales Associate, The Ryness Co., Newport Beach, Calif.
Price range of homes: $450,000 – $600,000
Net sales: 80