By Scott Newman
So you just found out your buddy got a big promotion and is now ready to buy a sexy luxury condo in downtown Chicago. He’s your boy–you’ve known him since grade school–of course he’s going to give you first crack at the business, and you’ve already started spending the commission check. But before you blindly agree to be his agent, stop and think of the potential consequences of working with close friends and how you can make sure it’s a positive experience for both of you.
Treat Them Like Any Other Client
Many real estate pros go one of two ways when they work with friends – and both are bad. The first is when all their professional experience and training goes out the window and they act super lax and unprofessional thinking it will be OK because they know the client.
The other is the agent who takes things so seriously that they literally suck all the fun out of the entire process for the client, who then ends up never wanting to work with–or refer anyone to them–again.
What’s the lesson here? Forget about the personal relationship you have with this particular client and give them the same high level of service and overall experience you provide to all your other clients. If you follow that golden rule, you virtually eliminate the risk of damaging the personal or professional relationship with the client.
Expect To Go Above and Beyond
I have literally seen agents arguing with close friends they are representing while in the hallway outside the closing office. The expectations the client had vs. the expectations the agent had might as well have existed in two separate universes. Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
So you’ve made it through the worst of the real estate bubble, you’ve developed a nice client base, and you’re taking over the entire industry – great! If that’s the case, then this blog isn’t for you.
Instead, this blog focuses on what we as veterans of the industry can share with the newbies to shorten the learning curve and help create another reputable professional who gives our industry a good name.
The following are my top three “I wish I knew that when I first started” tips to make your transition into a real estate career as painless as possible.
1. Simple Math
So many real estate agents come into this business thinking of the riches they’ll make selling homes for a living. Many even come up with lofty goals for themselves, “I’m going to make $200,000 my first year in the business.” Does that sound familiar?
Well, the problem is that most agents don’t stop and break down the math behind creating that kind of volume. They end up focusing on the big picture when it’s the attention to the little details that will create the success they desire.
For example, let’s say you’re new to the business and don’t know a lot of people, and that the average home price in your area is $200,000. Simple math tells us that you will make $3,500 per transaction at that price, assuming you have a 70/30 split. At $3,500 per deal, you’d need to complete 58 transactions a year to make your $200,000 – that’s more than one house a week, which is a large volume even for a veteran real estate pro. Continue reading »
By Alex Milshteyn
I’ve attended the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo since 2005. A lot has changed since my first annual conference, which also took place in San Francisco, but a lot has also stayed the same. Here is a list of some of my memorable changes:
- In 2005, I didn’t have in-flight internet. I am not sure how I survived 4.5 hour flight without checking e-mail.
- In 2005, I came to San Francisco with no technology. No iPhone, no iPad, no MacBook, no battery pack, no 3 chargers.
- In 2005, I carried a fancy silver flip phone on my belt.
- In 2005, I walked by at least four “Internet Cafés” from my hotel to the convention center. I used these cafés to check my e-mail only once a day.
- In 2005, the only “tech” sessions offered were training on how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint. I remember taking a class on how to create a listing presentation in PowerPoint. I was one of 20 REALTORS® that attended this class.
- In 2005, social media was non-existent at the conference.
- In 2005, Zillow and Trulia didn’t exist.
- In 2005, I bought my first package through realtor.com®, I agreed to pay them $300 per year to “showcase” my listings.
- In 2005, the conference registration cost $300. It was $400 for this year.
- In 2005, Dr. Phil was the keynote speaker.
- In 2005, the expo had “tech” companies that mostly included only website creators like z57 and iHouse.
A lot has changed in eight years. But also, a lot has stayed the same. The sessions on selling real estate are mostly the same; old school methods still work. Technology has made it easier for us to communicate but it hasn’t replaced us. I’m looking forward to the next REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Francisco in 2019 so that I can report the changes that have happened since 2013.
Alex Milshteyn, GRI, ABR, is a REALTOR® in Ann Arbor, Mich., who runs a real estate team of five professionals called Alex Milshteyn Real Estate Associates. Connect with him at www.alexmi.com.
Members of the Young Professionals Network stood tall and proud at NAR’s 360 Thursday, waving U.S. flags in the air to symbolize their commitment to “10 for 10” – investing $10,000 to the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC) over the next 10 years.
Christian Zarif with Better Homes and Gardens Kansas City and Matt Case with Coldwell Banker Schmidt Family Companies in Traverse City, Mich. (pictured right) are among the more than 50 practitioners who have taken the pledge targeted specifically for young professionals.
RPAC funds are used to promote the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates. “This is the next generation of REALTOR leaders stepping up to the plate,” said 2013 First Vice President Chris Polychron during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. To learn more about the “10 for 10” pledge, visit www.realtoractioncenter.com/10for10.
By Melissa Krchnak
Do you have a wig?
No, I’m au natural.
I’ve been learning about “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” and getting my Wildly Important Goal (WIG) figured out.
Oh, that kind of a WIG… Yea, I’ve got one of those!
Most of us do not have a problem coming up with great ideas. Hell, we could revolutionize our industry with all the awesome thoughts we have throughout the day. It’s the plan for execution we trip on. Yep, I’ve got those bruises, too.
So, figure out what’s your first domino: What is the “ONE Thing” that will make all your other little goals easier or unnecessary when you achieve it? That, my friends, is your WIG.
There are three other steps, which I will discuss in my future YPN Lounge posts. However, you have to build a rock-solid foundation before you throw up beams and a roof and call it a home. Nail the first discipline then move on to the second.
Melissa Krchnak is the team leader for Keller Williams in Pikesville, MD. Connect with her on Twitter @mkrchnak.
By Scott Newman
The market is recovering—in some areas it’s even a seller’s market—and that means sellers can once again be a little more demanding…and a little more unrealistic.
So your client is turning into a “sellerzilla.” What do you do when your relationship with the client is on the line, but you need to get your point across? Read on…
Show Them, Don’t Tell Them
If my seller client isn’t willing to listen to my pricing advice and they think they know better me, I prove to them that I’m right. But I don’t do this through arguing, CMAs, or anything of that nature. Instead, I utilize their own two eyes.
If your client wants to list for $275,000 and you know the house won’t sell for more than $240,000, schedule 45-60 minutes with your seller prior to listing their home and take them to see homes for $275,000. When your client sees that the homes in his or her intended price point are bigger, nicer, and overall more appealing, then you significantly strengthen your argument without having to risk isolating your client.
They say it takes 21 days of doing something everyday to make it a habit. The same concept comes into play with unrealistic sellers. Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
In the midst of the government shutdown, we are still working with our clients to get their deals closed. Yes, the FHA is still committed to getting loans processed, but other government entities are closed, including the IRS. Lenders require a 4506-T form, but the IRS is now unable to fulfill requests. So what does this mean? If your lender requires this, the loan won’t close until the IRS reopens, thus putting your deal at risk. Some lenders are waiving the 4506-T requirement, with income verification to follow later. But you can be proactive and help your clients. Here are some tips:
1. Contact any buyers you currently have under contract and talk to their lender about this. Evaluate your buyer’s current situation and determine if they have the ability to close or not.
2. If the lender needs the 4506-T and doesn’t have it from the IRS, then your buyer’s earnest money may be at risk. Check your due diligence deadlines and possibly extend them.
3. Talk to your sellers and warn them of the potential issue of delayed closings. Be proactive right now so your sellers don’t pack up and then their home doesn’t close. Show them you are a professional and proactive in helping alleviate stress.
4. Renegotiate with sellers on closing dates, if possible. The odds are in your favor, as the only way a seller can close with a different buyer is if they find a cash buyer.
6. Stay up-to-date with the government shutdown and its impact on real estate here: www.realtor.org/articles/government-shutdown-updates
If you are seeing any workarounds regarding this issue, please post a comment. Also, if you are experiencing other issues related to the shutdown, let us know!
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is broker/owner of UtahDave.com Neighborhood Experts.
By Lynn Minnick
I’ve just come back from an amazing summer in Europe with my young family. The time had come again to get off the continent for vacation, because we all know that if you’re somewhere reachable, it’s going to happen that clients and other agents will find you. In the past 10 years or so, doesn’t it seem like everyone feels they can still contact you when you’re clearly not at work? I blame technology.
For the first week I admit I didn’t think about work for even a nanosecond. By week two, a few stray thoughts crossed my mind (mostly about buying a little castle and staying forever), and I was drunk on British architecture. I had my business well-covered by partner agents, so there was little to worry about. I started taking photos of “estate offices” in Great Britain — “The Guild of Professional Estate Agents” struck me as particularly nice. We strolled through Notting Hill and Kensington in London and picked out several apartments that would suit our family.
In France I started to pick up my favorite glossy real estate magazines. French real estate ads read like poetry and their romantic descriptions made me fall in love with several properties sight unseen. I took more photos of charming houses. I sought out offices and delighted in finding those with specializations like in the Champagne region, where one exclusively handled vineyards (and I imagined how glamorous that must be!). I watched the French version of “House Hunters,” which I loved because it portrays a more honest reality, where sometimes the buyers don’t actually find a house or apartment they like, and their agents pout and shrug and admit it would take a miracle to find them something in their budgets. The French buyers bring their friends along for approval and offers are scribbled on a piece of paper or made verbally and the notaries handle the rest of the transaction. Everyone drinks champagne. Continue reading »
By Derek Sandoval
Through FHA’s “Back To Work – Extenuating Circumstances Program,” borrowers who have gone through bankruptcy, foreclosure, deed-in-lieu, or short sale, may be eligible for an FHA-backed mortgage sooner if they can prove their financial hardship was the result of an economic event, such as job loss or a significant decrease in income. In this video, Noel Brownell of Comstock Mortgage and I will explain the new program further.
Derek Sandoval has worked for Keller Williams Realty in Roseville, Calif., since 2009, and specializes in residential, REO, and short sales. Find Derek at www.dereksellshomes.com and dereksellshomes.featuredblog.com.