By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
As YPN charges forward in 2011, we are welcoming several new bloggers to the YPN Lounge. We look forward to their ideas and opinions this year:
- Cory Brewer (Seattle) – a REALTOR® in the Seattle area and is the branch managing broker at RE/MAX Preference on Mercer Island.
- TG Gallaudet (La Quinta, Calif.) – has been a REALTOR® in La Quinta, Calif., since 2004 when he joined his two parents and created Gallaudet Properties, their family team.
- Subhi Gharbieh (Dallas) – a real estate broker and chair of the Young Professionals Network at the MetroTex Association of REALTORS® in Dallas, Texas.
- Jared James (Milford, Conn.) – As a REALTOR®, Jared James built one of the largest and fastest growing teams in the country. He was inducted into the International Hall of Fame for the world’s largest real estate company, wrote a best-selling book, and was even voted by the over 1.1 million readers of the international publication REALTOR® Magazine as the Web choice award winner among the “30 Under 30” class of 2009.
- Jennifer Klein (Roseville, Calif.) – As a Northern California native, Jennifer A. Klein’s experiences are rooted in short sales, investments, and property management.
- Lynn Minnick (East Hampton, Conn.) – has been a REALTOR® in Connecticut since 2000, is the author of the popular blog TheGreenCTRealtor and is often known for being international, organic, and as reading too many design and travel blogs.
- Chris Nichols (Orem, Utah) – is a graduate of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Leadership Academy as well as the Utah Association of REALTORS® (UAR) Leadership Academy. He will be serving in many capacities in 2011 at the national, state, and local levels, including: president of the Utah County Association of REALTORS®, NAR Strategic Planning Committee, NAR Public Policy Coordinating Committee, and dean of the LeadershipUAR Program.
- Jason O’Neil (Indianapolis) – is a broker and an owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis and is dually licensed as an Indiana and Florida real estate broker.
- Randy Pereira (San Antonio) – After a rewarding 10-year military career, Randy settled in San Antonio two years ago needing a new challenge and focused his efforts as a REALTOR®. He treats his clients like family, with a genuine passion for helping them make wise real estate decisions.
And, of course, a BIG thanks to our returning bloggers: Toby Boyce, Travis Broadwater, Drew Burks, Brian Copeland, Michelle Flaherty, Stefanie Hahn, Nobu Hata, Jessica Hickok, Dawn Miller, Maura Neill, Jonathan Osman, Kelly Reark, Dave Robison, Laura Rubinchuk, Amy Steele, Crystal Webster, Jeremy Williams, and Brooke Wolford. We look forward to another great year from you!
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
With everything that is currently going on in many parts of the Middle East, specifically Egypt, it really made me think about how blessed we are to live in this country. Being a first generation Palestinian-American, it hurts me to see what the Egyptian people are going through. But I am proud that they are standing up for what they believe in, a true and fair democracy.
Sometimes, we take for granted the rights and freedoms we have as Americans. Many people around the world only dream to have the freedom, justice, and liberties that we have. We live in a country that allows us to vote for our leader, as well as many other rights. Freedom of religion, the right to a fair and just trial, the right to bear arms, and the freedom to own property, to name a few.
While you may think: “Most, if not all, countries around the world allow their citizens to own property.” Yes, this may be true. But there are not too many countries that have a government in place that is actively involved in assisting its citizens with home ownership. With the existence of our government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, tax incentives and deductions — The American Dream of owning a home can very well become a reality for those who desire it.
Another thing that I am greatly thankful for is level of organization and accountability that we have in this country. A perfect example is the NAR Code of Ethics that we are upheld to as REALTORS®. Article 10 in the NAR Code of Ethics says:
“REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.”
This statement just shows how diverse our country is, and that everyone has the right to own a home without being discriminated upon. We all came to this country on different boats, and different times. Let’s not criticize our differences, but rather learn to appreciate them. It is our diversity that makes this country so great.
By Jason O’Neil
Are the two at odds with one another? I say yes. I begin each buyer consultation with the simple question: “Do you want a great deal or do you want a great home?” The responses are typical:
“Both! Ha Ha Ha…I mean, can’t we get both?”
“Uhhhhh. Great home?”
“Great home. Good deal. Is that possible?”
Most home owners forget what they paid for their home the instant after they move their stuff in. And while most of them get a monthly reminder about how much they owe on their home, very few remember the asking price, let alone the prices of the other 10 homes they looked at before they found “The One.” The hang up on the good deal is so over emphasized that I predict it will fade in the next 12 months.
I know that there are naysayers out there, but I am having some serious deja-vu. In 2006, home sellers had the golden tickets. Price? Price had nothing to do with selling a house, heck, if you missed the mark on price the market would quickly appreciate so fast that the market would catch up with the price. Sellers didn’t have to negotiate and buyers were at their mercy. My how the tables have turned. But have they really? I am starting to see the same type of overreaction in buyers. I had a buyer ask the seller to fix the neighbors house during an inspection negotiation!
Sellers are saying enough is enough and our market is normalizing. The great homes sell and sell quickly for close to their asking price…some get multiple offers. The homes that languish on the market are the ones that have been over looked, or been rejected by other buyers and the market as a whole. Do you want a great home or a great deal?
Jason O’Neil is a broker and an owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his Web site: www.McKenzieListings.com
By Toby Boyce
The couple slid through the front door, their faces painted with obvious pain and anguish over having to go through this all over again – and after talking to them, it became very obvious why.
This was the first time I’d met the couple, but I was far from their first real estate agent who they’d viewed houses with. A past client referred them my direction and as we stood in that house, it became obvious that the agents they’d met were not paying attention to the clients.
While I’m sure that no one that reads the YPN blogs is guilty of this at all, it seemed a good time to remind other professionals of a few items.
You Work for the Buyer (or Seller). This is an amazing concept, I know. While many clients will lean on your expertise the key is to remember that every – and I do mean EVERY – decision in this transaction is theirs. Stop putting your values, ideas, and personal biases on to your customers – they don’t care and more importantly it could be a lawsuit waiting to happen if it is deemed to be steering due to a protected class.
Lead the Horse To Water, Let It Drink. The neighborhood isn’t the best one in the market – but which is the best? Is that a subject or objective statement? Of course it is subjective which means it needs to be left up to your clients. Showing houses last weekend and the street felt very busy to me and the buyers have a young child – made me uncomfortable. Did I voice my concern to the buyer? Of course, but it was in a constructive way, suggesting they come by the house a few times to make sure they were comfortable with the traffic and speed on the street. Led them to the water hole, and to drink or not was their decision. Oh yeah, and they wrote on the house.
Show Some Personality. I’m unique; actually I believe when I was in school the word was “special.” And I’m proud of that. You should be to. Embrace who you are and utilize it to the best of your abilities. I’m a natural educator and I believe that my home buyers are some of the most educated about the process in the area. I work with people who share similar beliefs from an affiliate stand point and it has worked for me during my four-and-a-half years in real estate. Continue reading »
By Lynn Minnick
I’ve been marketing the crazy out of a high-end listing. (Yes, I’m fairly sure I just made up that expression…but this is about getting creative, right?) This is easily the hardest I’ve ever worked to sell a listing. In this market, I went in knowing it would be a challenge, armed with an arsenal of creative ideas and a full social media marketing plan. Taking a partner on this project was necessary because I knew I would be traveling abroad for an extended time during the listing period, but it has been great to have someone to bounce ideas around with. Because of this, we’ve done some interesting things that might give you a few ideas.
We started off with hosting “An Evening With Monica Seles” in NYC through the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., and by sponsoring the Campbell Tennis Tournament. We did this because the property has a Har-Tru tennis court overlooking the Connecticut River. (See, Monica is such a good sport – having her picture taken with our sign!) Sure, we had broker tours as well as the requisite broker’s open house, but we made it memorable by creating a micro-cocktail named after the property (we called it “The Knowles”), sushi and seafood appetizers, a wine and dessert tasting by the river, and an amazing door prize giveaway (tickets to the U.S. Open!).
We’ve been in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on every online venue we should be. We’ve targeted the agents selling high-end waterfronts with glossy mailers and e-mails. Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
I loathe business planning. Recognizing one’s failings from the previous year, and moving forward, learning from mistakes is a hard thing to do. And since the economy hit the skids, it’s become increasingly difficult to “plan” for anything as of late.
But the one thing I’ve made a commitment to do this year, is to ask advice from those agents who are still thriving after 20-plus years in the industry, every chance I get. I’m going to put my money where my “industry hasn’t changed, but the tools have” mantra is. These folks have seen previous recessions, have experienced double-digit interest rates, and walked uphill to listing presentations – both ways! – to boot.
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received so far this year is to door-knock – “Go out and find the inventory that’s lacking, for your clients…”. The very thought of getting a door slammed in my face, in real life, scares the bejeezus out of me; but I’ve got clients interested in a particular neighborhood where no blogging/social media/twitter campaign will work, so what the heck. As luck would have it, I happened upon the neighborhood while the homeowners were digging out of some monster snows we had, so I took the dog for a walk and chatted up the neighbors as I walked by. Six prospective sellers, and a hit for my client later, I was sold. And it only took an hour to do it!
Us REALTOR2.0’s like to strut our stuff with the Facebooks, blogs and Tweets, but every now and then it pays to get some fresh perspective from the professionals who are still alive and kicking in these tough times. After all, some of those “tools” haven’t changed a bit!
So go old-school! Which old tool will you use in a new way this year?
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.
By Dave Robison
According to NAR’s report about real estate professionals, the majority of us came from admin jobs rather than sales jobs. There is a high probability that the majority of you reading this are order-takers. The good news is you can change that. You can become a better sales person.
I admit it, I was an order-taker and learned this lesson almost 11 years ago. I was showing a friend of mine houses so he could buy his first home. No luck in writing an offer though because he couldn’t make up his mind and he was reluctant to put in an offer. (It was his fault, right?) My dad came out with me to show my friend the same homes a second time around. My dad said, “This is a great house, Kelly. Lets write an offer.” My friend said, “Okay,” and I got my first sale. (Oops, I blamed it on my client but it was really my fault!)
What was the difference? I was just showing homes, I was an order-taker. My dad was a salesperson. Here is how you can know what an order-taker will do versus someone who is a salesperson:
Example – Listing Client: “I’m not in a hurry. We don’t have to sell. We will move if that one buyer comes along.”
Order-Taker: “Okay, I will keep you updated with showings and whether we get any offers.” *Tries to smile while they feel frustrated with their client.*
Salesperson: “What do you mean by that?” “Tell me more about that.” “What is your timing on when you want to move?” (A salesperson will ask more questions so that the seller can come to a better conclusion. Being a salesperson means being a counselor, too!) Continue reading »
By Laura Rubinchuk
Millions of people tuned in last night to watch football, commercials, eat junk food and drink beer, or maybe you were just waiting to see when it would be over to catch the new episode of Glee. Regardless of your motivations, the Superbowl is the largest television audience all year, giving advertisers the ability to spread their brand awareness tremendously! Here’s what I learned from the game, and how I applied it to my real estate career:
The Green Bay Packers
Losing Woodson and Driver early, the Packers went up against more odds and yet somehow pulled together to pull off a great down-to-the-last-minute win. In real estate, we often encounter bumps from contract to close, so it’s imperative you work with a group of people who know how to get their jobs done.
The Pittsburgh Steelers
Favored to win, the Steelers had too many interceptions and not enough defense to win this game. Feeling entitled and like you’ve got this “in the bag” won’t actually get you anywhere – in football or in real estate. Keep working, everyday, to get better.
If you’re hired to do a job, it’s best you come prepared to actually perform. Forgetting lyrics and screeching musical notes don’t qualify as a good performance or doing your job. Much like in real estate, if you come unprepared, you’ll get ripped apart as well. She also taught me that it’s not about me – it’s about you (the client). She butchered the National Anthem to try to show off her musical talents, but failed to actually do the song justice or properly honor the history of the Anthem. Don’t look out for only your own benefits, look out for theirs. Continue reading »