By Kelly Reark
Career, health, relationships, spirituality, and finance are just a few of the many aspects of your life. Are you living a balanced lifestyle? If New Year’s was the last time you stopped to evaluate where you are, how far have you come? As you put one foot in front of the other to reach your goals, make sure that none of your key aspects are lagging behind.
Success has different definitions for each person. Write out what success is to you, and make a plan to be successful. Take the time to exercise and nourish your body. Call at least one friend while you are making your cold calls to heat things up a bit. Step away from Facebook and remember the value of meeting socially offline. Check your business plan and get on track to meet your sales goals for the year if you aren’t yet there. If you are, reward yourself. Rest one day a week, away from gadgets and gizmos, breathe deep, and meditate on something peaceful.
Living a balanced life will bring success and happiness to you!
Kelly Reark is a native Floridian and e-PRO® with Gasparilla Properties, Inc. in Boca Grande, Southwest Florida. Visit her blog: www.BocaGrandeRealEstateNews.com.
By Dave Robison
When the Focus is On Getting More Money:
Recently, I talked to an agent who, unfortunately, didn’t quite know where their focus should be. It can be really tough to know. If more agents did, they would be selling a lot more homes.
If you can learn these secrets, though, you could be consistently successful. As John Wooden would say it, “Skill may take you to the top, but it takes character to stay there.”
The agent who didn’t quite know their focus had many outside influences affecting them: They were doing a loan modification; their time was limited due to a new baby; and they stacked up a lot monthly bills creating a “higher lifestyle” for themselves in previous years. All of these things added stress, taking time and focus away from work, on top of less pay than previous years and too many bills.
But this particular agent figured the split with their broker was the cause of stress. They thought that if they got more money for what they were already doing, it would help.
So this agent went to the other agents in their office to see how they felt about getting a higher split. “A higher split?” some of the other agents asked. “Of course. But is that possible?” The agent wanting more money said, “Of course its possible. I mean, look at the broker and all the vacations they are going on. We are the ones struggling with a loan mod and the broker is in Cancun, we deserve more money and the broker can afford it.” Continue reading »
By Brandon Rodriguez
When I first became an agent just shy over 7 years ago, I was a novice and this dichotomy was not apparent to me. I was under the impression brokers were in charge. They gave you a desk space or office, nice decorated conference rooms, brochures, and you could even do desk duty for them. Not to mention nice team meetings. I am positive back in the 80s and 90s this was the case.
REALTORS(R), with their demand of technology and different commission structures, have changed everything in real estate. My dream of being a broker making lots of money put a glimmer in my eyes and a huge Kool-Aid smile! I could not have been so wrong. Brokers are competing for agents to join their firm. Buyers and seller rarely want to go to an agent’s office to sign papers because we live in “real time,” meaning, they do not want to waste their time and gas to go sign papers. They’d rather you fax (becoming obsolete in itself), e-mail (also becoming a nascence when you have to scan) and the most preferred way is something like DocuSign (not endorsing any company here, but I use them). “Click, click, send.”
The real estate sales people, who are more tech-savvy, rarely need to go the broker’s office anymore. At times I have heard, “I don’t know why my broker wants me at the office. I have everything I need at home.” Walk-in traffic is becoming unheard of since buyers and sellers do most of their hunting online. This is where tech savvy practitioners know how to capture the majority of their clients. Continue reading »
By G. M. Filisko, contributing writer, HouseLogic
Sellers have a lot of plates in the air during their home sale, and sometimes making their yard stand out is the plate that drops.
Make sellers’ lawn-job easier with tips on landscaping for curb appeal from the June “Exterior Upgrades” package of articles now available at the REALTOR® Content Resource. Here are just three tips on keeping grass looking golf-course green:
1. Green up the grass. If your house has a front yard, you don’t want bare spots, sprawling weeds, or an untrimmed appearance. “It’s so simple to go to Home Depot, buy fertilizer, apply it every six weeks, and water it,” says Mitch Kalamian, a landscape designer in Huntington Beach, Calif.
2. Get sod. If the yard looks really scruffy, you may decide to invest in some sod. According to the National Gardening Association, the average cost of sod is 15 to 35 cents per square foot. If you hire a landscaper to sod your yard for you, labor will add 30 percent to 50percent to the total cost of the project.
3. Substitute turf grass for sod. Another alternative is to plant low-maintenance turf grasses. Turf grasses are durable and drought-resistant. Expect to pay $18 to $30 for enough turf grass seed to plant 1,000 square feet of lawn area.
Get even more tips on landscaping for curb appeal at the REALTOR® Content Resource. Also available as part of the “Exterior Upgrades” article package are tips on choosing an exterior door, achieving the perfect paint job, low-maintenance lawn alternatives, and outdoor lighting for curb appeal and safety.
The REALTOR® Content Resource, the new tool brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is an exclusive NAR member benefit that entitles you to download free homeownership content to your consumer website, blog, or e-newsletter. HouseLogic is the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® no-topic-left-uncovered consumer website geared to helping homeowners make smart decisions to maintain, protect, and increase the value of their home.
By Toby Boyce
It was a quiet Monday night until the cell phone rang. My mother-in-law was on the other end, and five hours later my wife and I arrived in Cleveland – via Bellevue – and the Cleveland Clinic as my father-in-law was admitted.
It would go without saying that we were scared, nervous, and extremely worried as we were settling in for what would be a four-day stay in a hotel that we were barely prepared to stay for a single day. We were not prepared for this situation – but the Cleveland Clinic was. They have dealt with this on a daily basis for hundreds – if not thousands – of patients that arrive on a daily basis to the premier health facility.
They were prepared for us to ask questions we didn’t even know we had. We knew the clinic’s reputation – that’s why we were there – for health care, but its total commitment to the patient and family care is where the correlation to real estate begins in this post.
The first night we were there, I was wondering around looking for some food. It was going on 11 p.m. and none of us had eaten since lunch. I was half-awake, half-aware, and totally-hungry as I stepped off the elevator at the first floor. I looked left, then to the right, and stopped. A gentleman pushing a broom stopped and smiled asking, “Can I help you?” He directed me to the all-night diner where I picked up food for the mother-in-law and headed back to the room.
But that was the beginning of my amazement. “How can I help you?” Five words, none more than two syllables and they changed the entire way I looked at the clinic experience. Continue reading »
By Jonathan Osman
Step 1: Find a buyer. In my market, the unemployment rate is 11.1 percent and the under-employment rate is around 16-20 percent. While a few years ago, one could conceivably purchase a house without a job; today, employment is essential.
Step 2: Find the buyer a loan. As long as the buyer has a job, modest credit scores, and reasonable debt load, this can be accomplished with relative ease. However, only 75 percent of buyers ever make it past Step 2.
Step 3: Find the house. SO VERY EASY especially with only 24,000 homes in the market to choose from; 5 percent being REO, and the buyer wants “a deal.” The buyer then proceeds to view all 24,000 homes, making offers at fifty cents on the dollar, with only a $10 earnest money check.
Step 4: Under contract: Oh yeah baby. I can count the dollars now. Just sit back and wait for the closing day. If that were only so true…
Once the home is under contract, now there stands a nearly insurmountable set of obstacles that will kill any transaction such as (All of the following actually happened at some point in the last 3 years):
- Did the inspection reveal needed repairs? Yes. Will the seller repair? No! Deal dead.
- Does the inspector freak the buyer out over unnecessary repairs? Yes! Deal dead.
- Does the house have mold? Yes every house has mold? Buyer freaked? Yes! Muerto.
- Did the house burn down before closing? Yes! Does the buyer still want it? No! Done. Continue reading »
By Michelle Flaherty
Having grown up in a family real estate business, I have seen my parents conduct themselves in certain ways. Now that I’m a REALTOR(R), I try to model their behavior as much as possible. In almost every instance, this has been invaluable to me – I’ve been able to use them as resources for uncharted situations and have adopted the principles and systems on which they’ve built their success.
However, I learned this weekend that the way they actually attract their clients (a pretty important step) is not a strategy that can work for me. My parents grew up in Portland at a time when life was slower. The Internet did not exist, and the only way to socialize was face-to-face. Most of the people they grew up with still live in town, and to this day, my parents remain known, respected, and thought of when people think of real estate. Because of this, they don’t “prospect” at all, yet still enjoy a steady stream of referrals from people they know.
This weekend, I saw an old friend from high school at a barbecue – someone who is my Facebook friend but who I don’t see very often. She filled me in on what she’s been up to, that she and her husband are looking for homes, and asked me what I’ve been doing lately. I told her work’s been really busy, and when it occurred to her that I sell real estate she was genuinely surprised, and bummed that she didn’t know before she signed up with a broker. She was like, “You need to get the word out – everyone would go through you!!” Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
Anyone who knows my business knows I pride myself on strong counseling of all my clients prior to any signed documents. It’s the secret sauce of my business.
This week, I messed up…bad! During the hustle and bustle of NAR Midyear, I had a remote buyer counseling session. I was so busy that I condensed the normal hour-plus session to a smooth 25 minutes. One of the biggest parts of the session is discussing pre-qualification and lending process. Since the buyer had checked, “Yes, we are prequalified with undisclosed mortgage lender,” I took it at face value.
Last week the buyer came to town. We spent two days together. We were ready to go to contract. Buyer says, “Oh by the way, my lender can’t do loans in Tennessee.” They call a lender I often use. They can’t even think about buying a home.
While my initial response was to internally be annoyed at the buyer, after about two minutes of mental processing, I realized I had used a short cut in one of my core business values. I realized this was solely my fault. I am the professional. It is my job to prepare and pave a path of success for all my clients. Continue reading »