By Jessica Hickok
As in every job, there are difficult tasks that you have to take on. One of the difficult tasks that we face as REALTORS® is telling a seller that their house is overpriced and that they need to make a reduction in order to get it sold. However, you can make this job easier taking the following action steps:
- Documentation. Sure, this one is easy because we’ve heard it a million times. Do your homework and show the actual market analysis and really study the comparables. Especially the U/C’s and Solds in the last six months. Know the data inside and out and then show your seller the facts on paper. It’s hard for anyone to ignore the data and the facts when they are staring them in the face.
- Don’t use the economy as an excuse. Actually, don’t use any excuse or apology when advising your seller to lower their list price. Oftentimes people feel like they need to apologize to soften the blow. You have nothing to apologize for, because it is what it is. Give the facts and stand firm in it. You didn’t create the market conditions.
- And lastly, stay in contact with your seller. Don’t let several weeks go by without being in touch with them. When you are constantly in contact updating your seller, it will be easier to ask for the price reduction. Keep in contact with your sellers via e-mail, text messages, Facebook and/or short phone calls just to say hello and give a quick update.
So swallow the frog while it is still a small tadpole. Be proactive in research, make no apologies for doing your job and keep in contact. It’s been stated that one of the big pet peeves a seller has is that their real estate practitioner doesn’t let them know what’s going on. The bottom line is that your sellers will respect you for doing your job.
Jessica Hickok, a self-proclaimed blogging- and Twittering-fanatic, is with Dizmang Properties in Springfield, Mo. Visit Jessica’s blog: www.jessicahickok.com.
By Patricia Kennedy
Last week, I found myself packing for the most amazing vacation I’ve taken in years, maybe ever: three weeks on the beaches of Maui with a man who makes my heart skip beats every time I look at him, and a convertible. As I was packing, it occurred to me how Type-A I have become over the last few years. I mean, look at the stuff I brought:
- Strappy sandals – check
- Bathing suits – check
- SPF 50 sunscreen – check
- Shorts and t-shirts – check
- MacBook Air (with contract writing software) – check
- Kindle – check
- iPhone – check
- Digital cameras – check
- Snorkeling equipment – check
- Battery packs and chargers for items 5 through 8 above – check
With all of these miracles of modern technology, I can be away and still be connected to my clients.
But wait. This picture is out of focus!
So often, real estate practitioners try to get away to recharge and refresh, only to make themselves crazy by trying not to lose a single deal while they are away. So, why even bother to take the trip?
Before I left, I decided that this trip would be different. I called all of my clients to let them know I’d be gone, and that a trusted colleague was on call to cover any real estate emergency that might arise. And guess what? Most of them were headed out of town as well!
I will be checking my e-mail a couple of times a day and answering my phone when it rings — on the iPhone in the convertible. But by and large, I’ve been able to disconnect temporarily from my Washington, D.C. real estate practice. And I am really fortunate to have two highly professional colleagues watching out for me.
And, of course, it’s much easier knowing that Mother Nature dumped a couple of feet of snow on my market area, thereby diminishing any desire any of my clients might have to go look at property!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the gorgeous beaches of Maui!
Patricia Kennedy is an associate broker with Evers & Company Real Estate.Visit Pat’s blog: www.housepat.activerain.com.
By Brian Copeland
When I was 4 years old, I asked for an Easy Bake Oven. You brought me some Garanimal outfits. When I was 8, you obliged my request for a Glo Worm with that cowboy comforter set my brother wanted.
Each year, you have threatened me that if I wasn’t good, I wouldn’t get my gift. When I did exactly as you said, I didn’t get what I wanted. Dude, what are you? Some kind of kids’ terrorist?
Now, I’m in my 30s and feel like I can take up for myself; so, here’s what my people and I want for 2010, BUDDY!
1. Appraisal Coupon Book: I bust my tail to make sure I’m pricing these homes correctly, then my value is questioned, making me look like an idiot. Just make me a coupon book of 30 to 60 coupons that I can give to the bank that says, “Trust me. It’s worth what I advised my clients to price it.”
2. A Seller Brain-Altering Device: The hour I spent explaining pricing and market to my evening listing appointment peeps could have been spent watching “Glee,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” or “The Office.” After talking ‘til I was blue in the face about the importance of price, they still wanted to price in 2006’s sellers market with that most-dreaded statement: “But our house is special and different from all those others.” If the device could be iPhone compatible or at least have a USB plug, that would make it very convenient to alter their brains a bit more easily.
3. Anthony Gilardi and Kim Myles In A Box: A 24-hour handyman and home designer from HGTV at my constant disposal would make my job SO much easier this year. Knock them off of HGTV and bring them to my office in Nashville.
4. Food and Lodging for Anthony and Kim: Ooops…I’m not feeding and housing them, by the way.
5. An E-mail/Phone Call Solicitation Crystal Ball: I spend at least 30 minutes a day on the phone or e-mail with someone promising to “Make me #1 on Google,” “Bring me #1 placement on magical website” or “Get my fancy calendar and postcard into more consumers mailboxes.” This crystal ball should screen those calls and only connect me to the real deals that will make me $52 bazillion dollars over the next 12 months.
6. World Peace: Sandra Bullock in “Miss Congeniality” proved that if you ask for this, no matter how bad circumstances get, you still win. If you can’t bring me world peace, then at least get that one agent who keeps shooting me 50 percent off offers to pick up a few REALTOR® designations and learn how to peacefully, win-win negotiate.
Santa, thanks for understanding. I know the economy has been tough and times have changed. The days of me giving my client what I think they want and need are over; so, the days of you giving ME what you think I need and want have also ended. See you in a few days.
P.S. If I had an Easy Bake oven, I’d have a way to bake you some cookies. I see organic rice cakes in your future, Big Guy.
By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor
Three exceptionally talented and highly involved YPN chapters were in the running for 2009 Chapter of the Year: Houston, Missouri, and Minneapolis. All three took on creative planning to grow membership and provided constructive networking and educational opportunities for young real estate professionals.
In the end, the Minneapolis YoPros took home the title to become the first-ever YPN Chapter of the Year. The group was presented with the Chapter of the Year trophy during the YPN event at the 2009 NAR Conference and Expo in San Diego on Nov. 13.
“When it came down to deciding who should win the YPN Chapter of the Year Award, it was a very difficult decision,” said YPN Manager Rob Reuter. “The Minneapolis YoPros were already a well-established chapter and showed how far a YPN chapter can really go.”
The YoPros began meeting in mid-2008 and were formally inducted as a YPN chapter with NAR in February 2009.
One of the most notable initiatives the YoPros have developed is their signature “Squaretable Meetings.” Described as “speed dating meets roundtable discussions,” the events consist of individual table presentations led by a real estate practitioner or industry professional who share their expertise to a small group of attendees. After 20 minutes, the group moves on to the next table of their choice, with topics ranging from technology to alternative financing, social media to governmental/legislative issues, and more.
“Strong communications and monthly YPN events and meetings are two big reasons for the success of the YoPros,” Reuter said. “They are even in the process of creating a YPN designation through their board.”
Nobu Hata, ePro, is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis and a founding member of the YoPros. He is collaborating on the creation of the YoPros’ YPN designation. “We feel with the advent of new media and empowered consumers into our brick and mortar business, there are new policies, plus old-school practices, that need to be introduced and reinforced to help us be better advocates for our clients,” Hata said.
The group is putting together a curriculum of designation classes involving technology, ethics, fair housing, and best-practices. They hope to have the designation approved by this summer.
“What impressed me the most about them was their structure and their out-of-the-box thinking,” said Shannon Williams King, chair of the national YPN Advisory Board. “They have taken it beyond networking and social hours to provide educational opportunities for young real estate professionals. I’m excited for them.”
Hata, who was present during the Chapter of the Year announcement in San Diego, said he was in shock when the YoPros received the award. “What Missouri and Houston had done — what their members have been involved with — I thought had been significant,” Hata said. “I like to think that this award is shared amongst our three chapters, we’re all doing our part for the betterment of the industry.”
For newly-formed YPN chapters just getting their footing, Hata said that membership is key to success, and not to give up because YPN prospects are out there.
“What we’re doing — injecting new life into our industry — is slowly but surely shaping the way our industry works,” said Hata. “We finally have a voice; let’s use it.”
The Young Professionals Network (YPN) is a great place to connect with other real estate industry professionals. By getting involved or starting your own local chapter, you’ll create a bridge to many industry tools, resources, and networking events. For more information, or to download a chapter application, visit www.realtor.org/ypn.