By Lynn Minnick
I recently found myself thinking about how the changing market has forced us to change, to adapt, to constantly improve on the skills necessary to survive and succeed in this business. Then I realized that as the years have gone by, the cast of characters in my real estate career has also changed. Sure, there were some I was happy to distance myself from, but there are others I’ve been sorry to see go, and other people new to the scene who are influencing the way I view and run my business.
Do you think about how the people you choose to surround yourself with affect your work, your success, your attitude? I believe those people can motivate you, support and help you, slow you down, or suck up your time and energy, among other things.
Since the changes in the mortgage industry and the consequent onslaught of short sales and foreclosures came upon us, I’ve found certain key people (lately it’s been other REALTORS® and attorneys) have been instrumental in helping me navigate my way. Just like knowing the better home inspectors and lenders, septic guys and termite guys, I’m stacking my deck with winning cards and they’re my aces.
It’s in your best interest to cultivate relationships with those who can have a positive influence in your career, but I also believe in give and take…that you get back what you put out there. (Are you the kind of agent who supports other agents in your community by attending their events or broker’s opens and follow up with feedback after showing their listings? Do you serve on committees or volunteer in your community? Believe me, those good relationships you’re building will help you!) Reputation goes a long way in real estate.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably building your social media village too. Are the rules the same? Probably. Are you working with those people in your day to day business? Generally speaking, I’m not, but they are there inspiring me, sharing new ideas and positive attitudes, and for that they are an important part of my village as well.
By Jared James
Spring is the time when more people will be making a decision about who to use as their REALTOR® than at any other time of the year. So is there a magic bullet to create more transactions in the next couple of months?? Watch the video below and you decide. I look forward to your feedback and connecting with so many of you. Good luck!!
Jared James is the CEO and founder of Jared James Enterprises (JJE) and travels around North America speaking to and coaching REALTORS®. Connect with Jared at www.jaredjamestoday.com, on facebook.com/jaredjamestoday, or follow him on Twitter @jaredjamestoday.
By Chris Nichols
I had the unique opportunity to attend a special event this last Friday. I didn’t realize how unique this event was until I got there and heard the speaker admit that he was a little nervous as he had never spoken to a stadium full of people before. That was kind of shocking to me since the speaker was none other than the founder of a little website many of you use daily… Facebook!
That’s right, Mark Zuckerberg came to visit a few thousand of us packed into the Marriott Center at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. There was a lot of buzz surrounding this event and he was greeted by an awestruck audience as he entered the facility to answer various questions that were posed to him, on what else but a Facebook page! Mark discussed many interesting things as he answered the wide spectrum of questions, but two of the answers intrigued me most.
The first question was regarding what college classes have been most beneficial to him. Mark admitted that he wasn’t in school for that long and that he was a double major in computer science and psychology. Surprisingly his response wasn’t a computer science course, it was psychology! He said, “At the end of the day, all of the problems we face are about people. People care about people.”
The second question was asked about what advice and or character traits a budding entrepreneur needs to possess. Mark’s answer was spot-on, “You have to have passion for what you are doing. If you don’t completely love or believe in what you are doing, the natural thing will be to give up when you face the challenges that will inevitably come. More than anything you have to really have faith in what you are doing.” Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
A few years ago I experimented with a very powerful lesson. I was four hours away from home and had a potential seller call me up. Becky explained to me that due to time constraints she could only meet with me at 6 p.m. I wasn’t due home until 8 p.m. I decided to leave early and I told her I would make it work.
After listing her home at that appointment, on my way out the door she said, “Ohh…you didn’t leave early just to come to our appointment did you?” Naturally I wanted to say, “Oh no…I had other things to do as well.” Or many other people say, “Ohh, I do it for all my clients.” Or people say, “Oh, it’s no problem. Don’t worry about it.” Saying any of these actually make you a failure at relationship building. I recognized that this was a moment of relationship building power. It popped in my head because I had been listening to tapes by Robert B Cialdini on Influence. I also recognized that I needed to be honest. How many people say, “Oh, it was no problem; I was planning on coming here anyway.” They basically lied. Your intent for leaving early was the appointment so don’t dodge that. Tell the truth and embrace the moment of power. So I said to her, “ You bet I did.” She started to blush as her eyes grew big with gratitude and she said, “Noooo, you shouldn’t have.” She is a very high “S” personality on the DISC which S personalities don’t like to be a burden on others..they are the peacemakers. I continued, “Of course I did…that’s what we do for each other.” Our relationship grew that day. We had a stronger and closer relationship. It didn’t just make her know I’m committed to her…but it also made me feel great and closer to them.
Now for the cherry on top. The next morning I got a call from her neighbor. Her neighbor recited the exact story to me and said, “I want you to list my house.” I got two high-priced listings in that neighborhood. And I continue to get listings in that neighborhood because after selling those two homes word got around that if you want something sold you need to call Utah Dave. That day, I learned from personal experience that changing one sentence can be the difference between success and failure.
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Jason O’Neil
March. In like a lion out like a lamb…it is one of my favorite months. Yes, my birthday is in March, but so is St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of Spring, and let us not forget about the Ides. More popular than all of those combined is the NCAA Division One Men’s Basketball Tournament, simply known as March Madness or The Tournament.
Amidst the excitement this past weekend it dawned on me that much what happens all season long doesn’t mean anything once the first whistle blows. I was drawn toward the parallels of pricing and selling a home. You see, the price of a home is a very academic thought out process that involves averages, standard deviations, seasonal adjustments and countless other adjustments. As an agent, I spend countless hours with my sellers developing a pricing strategy.
The time spent developing a pricing schedule is similar to ranking, or seeding, teams in The Tournament: strength of schedule, margin of victory, conference wins, play ins and automatic bids.
But then the game starts, the sign goes up and first whistle blows. And none of it matters.
It really doesn’t.
All the academic work to develop the pricing strategy or to see who is an 8 seed versus who is a 6 seed or if the home should be listed for $275,000 or $250,000 is out the window. Now it’s up to who, in basketball has more points when the clock runs out, or who in the neighborhood is going to get an offer on their home first. Butler is still an 8 seed, even though they beat a 1 seed. Statistically speaking, that is not supposed to happen. But the funny thing about about things that aren’t supposed to happen is that sometimes they do.
Once the sign goes up all that matters is what the buyers who are active in the market think, and more importantly how they act. At that point agents and their sellers need to pay close attention and react to the initial pricing strategy…once a home is listed the “comps” no longer matter, the only thing that matters is buyers making offer. In basketball, the only thing that matters is winning.
Jason O’Neil is a broker and an owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his Web site: www.McKenzieListings.com
EDITOR’S NOTE: The 50 finalists will not be revealed until March 26 at www.realtor.org/realtormag. Good luck to everyone who applied!
By Jared James
One of my favorite times of the year has come yet again. It is voting time for REALTOR® Magazine’s annual Web Choice Award, where we select our favorite REALTOR® among the 50 finalists for the 30 under 30 issue. I had the great honor of winning this award just a few years ago and can truly say that it had a profound impact on me because it is one of those amazing achievements, similar to a college diploma. It is yours forever once you get it.
Voting for this year’s Web Choice Award starts 8 a.m. EST Saturday, March 26 and runs through 11:59 p.m. EST Sunday, April 3. You can access the voting through REALTOR® Magazine’s homepage at www.realtor.org/realtormag starting March 26.
Since winning the award myself, I’ve gone on to write a book and keynote real estate events all over the world. While I am not naïve enough to believe that this is all because of the Web Choice Award, I also recognize that it didn’t hurt to get my foot in any door early on. I was able to start off my introduction with the sentence, “By the way, I was fortunate enough to be voted by the readers of REALTOR® Magazine, with a circulation of over 1.1 million people, as their readers’ choice pick among the finalists for their 30 under 30 issue.”
I can remember the nerves I felt as I waited to hear if I was one of the top 50 finalists. When I got the news that I made it, I was elated to say the least, but I immediately started thinking about the 30 under 30 and went right into action getting everyone I knew to vote for me. At one point I believed my odds were very slim at winning the vote when a gentleman that I had sent to the site to specifically vote for me called and said, “Man. It wasn’t easy. You are nowhere near as good looking as some of the ladies you are up against.” To this day he promises that he did vote for me, but I am not convinced. Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
I just got back from the 2011 NAR Issues Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico and wanted to share with the YPN Lounge some of the highlights of this wonderful event. This is, by far, one of my most favorite meetings of the year. It was exciting to see a good number of YPN members in attendance.
The meetings kicked off with a welcome by NAR President Ron Phipps, reminding us that “Home Ownership Matters,” with information and statistics relating to his recent testimony at the capitol. Real estate represents 15 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, and touches almost every aspect of our economy.
We then had a fascinating look at the recent election results and how the current polls are trending with Bill McInturff and Peter Hart. They pointed out that this era will be defined by a massive shift in power from the states and institutions to the people and communities. Confidence in Congress is at 9 percent, and it has been a decade since the majority of Americans have felt the country is heading in the right direction. I did find it amusing that one poll found that 29percent think the economy will get better, while 29 percent think it will get worse… anyone got a coin? Another poll found that 21 percent of Americans believe that their home value is increasing, while 18 percent believe it is decreasing.
Bethany McLean, author of “All The Devils Are Here,” spoke to us about the financial collapse and her inside look at the players involved. Her research into this subject matter was very intense and she had amazing things to share with us. I highly recommend you read her book. She did leave us with a glimmer of hope after she shared so much negative information, when she told us that bad business tends to get the spotlight and press, but that there is much more good business outweighing the bad. Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
A week or so ago, I was approached by a long time friend who I have known since elementary school. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, and even graduated from the same university. I remember as kids, we would always talk about how successful we wanted to be when we grew up, and how we were going to help each other become successful.
He called and asked me a few real estate related questions. He said that a relative of his had a property in mind that he was ready to move on, and needed some consultation. I thanked him for the referral, and gave his relative a call. We met, discussed the whole buyers representation process, and everything went pretty well.
A day or so later, I received a call from this friend of mine, saying that his relative was going to approach this property representing himself, without a REALTOR®. I respectfully accepted that and didn’t think too much about it. Immediately following that, he calls me again, this time saying he would convince his relative to purchase the property with myself as his REALTOR®, only if I gave him 50 percent off my commission. (The subject property listed at a little over $2 million dollars.)
Just remembering the friendship that this person and I had as kids, this “offer” felt like a slap in the face (I’m 22, it wasn’t that long ago). I explained to him that it might seem like he is dropping a large amount of money in my lap, but the process to acquire a property of this value takes a lot of time, knowledge, negotiation, and liability. He wasn’t convinced. Long story short, I declined to represent the buyer. Continue reading »
By Laura Rubinchuk
All of the tag lines we hear somehow incorporate the following: Who do you know who’s looking to buy or sell in the next 30 days? Notice we never hear “rent” in those scenarios. Well as REALTORS®, how do you know when to focus your time on a rental, versus a bigger money maker like a buyer or seller? Where do you draw the line?
After a recent experience with a renter where I showed 16 houses and counting, I started to wonder – would my efforts be better focused elsewhere? Am I just donating my time at this point?
I’ve had some wonderful experiences with renters in the past, as I generally do about 6-8 per year (both landlord rep and tenant rep). I’ve had some old renters turn into listings, buyers, and referrals, and then I’ve had some turn into nothing at all. So I tried to come up with a way to evaluate whether to take on a rental client:
1. Is their price range realistic for the market? If they’re looking for a diamond in the rough, I may decide to refer them to an agent who only deals with rentals.
2. Do I have more “A” clients who need my time? I like to devote as much time as necessary to each client to make them feel they’re getting the level of service they require. Taking on too many things will only spread you thin and not make anyone happy.
3. What is their level of commitment to my services? Are they looking at Craigslist too? Would they be willing to pay a retainer fee to assure their commitment to me? Continue reading »