By Jared James
All goals really have nothing to do with money or other things. Think about it. Are you really after a bunch of pieces of paper with dead people on them? No. Everyone of us is after a feeling whether it be power, security, influence or whatever. Take a moment and watch the video below and then reassess why do you want what you want?
PS. Do I look completely exhausted in this video? I literally flew in just before recording this after being on the road for almost 3 weeks. I promise to be more spruced up on my next vlog!
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 Brian Copeland
I’ve been a part of many referral organizations in my short real estate career. Some have been a wasteland of nothingness. One or two others have been the Promised Land of Income. In my time, however, I’ve never seen a new force of referral energy emerge on the scene until now. The YPN referral network is booming.
Daily, yes, daily, I receive word of someone closing deals together across the miles. I’m seeing praises on facebook walls about a client well-served by a network member. I’m hearing story after story of YPNers cooperating from coast to coast. Two questions: Is YPN the next big referral engine? Why is this medium for REALTOR®-to-REALTOR® referrals growing so much?
The first answer is easy. Yes, YPN is the next big, if not the current, big organic referral engine, without question. More importantly, I think we need ourselves and our surrounding organizations to understand why.
1. I’ve honestly never been a part of such a close-knit group of people. Even as a former fraternity president and director of youth leadership programs, what we have is rare. Our generation has the knowledge and power to leverage strong, deep relationships that begin either in person or online and continue to grow in media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare. While other groups are scratching their heads, criticizing “all the computer play” as a fad, our YPNers are oblivious to the confusion. We’re just roller skating along enjoying the moments.
2. Our demographic is hot in real estate sales. Gen Y and Gen X buyers and sellers are the majority of the market. While many of them still work with agents out of our generations, many are now comfortable with the level of professionalism we all continue to bring to the table. No longer is the argument, “Ah, they’re new and too green to the business,” valid. We are an arsenal of smart, hard-working, ethical REALTORS®. Continue reading »
By Lynn Minnick
Although I’ve been in real estate for 10 years now, I just closed on my first HUD foreclosure. We haven’t had that many in my market (yet!) and so far I’ve somehow managed to avoid them. I almost fell out of my chair at the closing when the HUD attorney handed me a survey to complete regarding my experience selling the property! Really? I had a lot to say about not getting answers from the transaction management company when I asked, but mostly my beef was with the additional expenses incurred by the buyer.
1. When the information lists a repair escrow, it’s not the same as you’d think. In this case, it meant the buyer has to mortgage the amount listed ($2,000 in our example) which is held in escrow by their lender, and paid out to the contractor upon completion after the closing. This was unclear to me, the buyer, the lender and the attorney involved. There really should be some type of disclosure/explanation attached regarding this on the offer documents or somewhere in the paperwork.
2. In the case of a condo, as mine was, HUD does not provide resale packages. At $100 a pop, this was another surprise expense to the buyer, and there is no clause for condo document review. There was no ability to add such a clause either.
3. Not only are there no keys to the property, which of course I expected, but there was no remote garage door opener, and no mailbox key. (Looking back, I suppose none of that should have come as a surprise – we imagined we’d be able to get an extra mailbox key from the association – that wasn’t the case – the buyer has to install a new lock there as well. That’s more of an annoyance than an expense.) Continue reading »
By Randy Pereira
Regardless of what we call ourselves; REALTOR®, Agent, Consultant, salesperson… the bottom-line is, we are in a “Customer Service” business. Our service is what sets us apart in this field.
You can impress customers with the latest and greatest toys, perhaps even with the remarkable gift of gab. However, at the end of the day, it is how well you serve your customer that leads to repeat business and/or referrals.
So what does all this “Customer Service: C.R.A.P.” mean…
C is for Communication: Lack of communication is always cited as a problem, especially in our industry. Discuss what is to be expected communication-wise from you and your customers. *Is your definition of a timely response really the same as your customers?
R is for Respect: Treat your customers with the same level of respect you would give your boss… let’s face it, they are! If you need to quit, don’t burn your bridge in the process.
A is for Attention: Never be too busy to pay attention to the little details. It is the little things we do in this business that add value.
P is for Pride: If you are going to do the job, take pride in your work. Always look for ways to improve on a process, not just go through the motions. Your customer is watching what you’re doing, and your next customer probably is, too!
We’ve all had terrible customer service experiences in our own lives. Are you being that terrible experience for your customers? Hopefully these basic principles will help you, as they have for me.
By Chris Nichols
We all remember the New York Times best seller, “Who Moved My Cheese.” Published in 1998, it’s a great book by Spencer Johnson about change in the workplace and in life. A couple days ago I popped into a Borders bookstore, I was drawn in by the 50 percent off signs, as this was one of many stores that was being shut down as part of their bankruptcy. The irony wasn’t lost on me when one of the first books I saw had a cartoon image of a rather large cat on a lazy boy with the title above it, “Who Moved My Mouse!”
We see it all around us, Borders is just one example of a company that didn’t see the change coming as more and more consumers have switched their purchasing habits from actual books to ebooks. We are seeing similar transitions in our very own industry, the cheese has definitely moved, and the cat is trying to find that mouse searching for the cheese!
I’m in San Diego right now at a real estate conference and had the opportunity to listen to Troy Hazard tell the interesting story of the Asian financial crisis that impacted his business in the 1990s. His message was simple, as he asked us only to remember three simple words – “Change or Die.” Troy hit us over the head when he said, “Stop buying in to the dream that things are never going to change. Things ALWAYS change!”
Some key suggestions I took away were:
1. Take responsibility, the first step with most things in life!
2. Stop thinking you don’t have the time. We choose where, when and how we invest our time.
3. Eliminate all the things you can’t change or influence. Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
Recently, at the Minneapolis YPN SquareTable event, I had a discussion with a few agents about what type of car you should drive to protect your image as an agent. It went back and fourth based on where you lived, who you served, etc. While I agreed with a lot of the responses, I also feel that having a certain type of vehicle does not make you a good agent. It’s all about what you do for your clients.
Take me for instance. I live very frugally. I have a nice car and all, but it’s really nothing special. When I go grocery shopping, I clip coupons. I rarely shop for novelty items and money really is not an issue with me. I worry about making sure I’m able to support my family and being able to retire some day — both are very important to me.
While discussing this with the other agents, someone suggested that you talk to your past clients and see what they thought about the vehicle you drove. I decided to survey some of my clients and see what they said. I sent an email out to them with the following questions:
1. Is there anything that would have deterred you from using me as an agent? Examples: If I had purple hair, tattoos or drove an ugly car, etc.
Client #1- “If you had purple hair, I might have run after meeting you in that open house, but I could care less about tattoos or the car you drove. “
Client #2-“Honestly, was impressed because you drove the same car as me. I know the quality of the vehicle you drove and I think it says a lot about a person by choosing a high quality vehicle. “
Client #3- “Well, I believe in first impressions. I didn’t know what type of vehicle you drove when we first met. I had the opportunity to work with you and my loan officer for a while before I started to view homes, so it really didn’t matter anymore. I was happy with you.”
2. What are the reasons you used me as an agent? Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
Starting a YPN group can be extremely rewarding, but also challenging. So I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned after co-founding a successful network in my Pennsylvania market. The ultimate goal is forming strong relationships, learning, and growing as real estate professionals. From there, involvement in our communities and local/state associations will follow.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Malvern, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Brian Copeland
Over the past few months, I’ve been catching wind of a LOT of referrals between YPNers. As Daddy Goose, I’m so proud! As Daddy Goose, additionally, I think it’s important we chat a little about how to handle those agent-to-agent referrals.
Three weeks ago, I sent out three referrals to three different REALTORS®. None of those agents followed through, forcing me to back step and save face with my clients. Now, I know none of you reading this would have done that, but just in case one of those slackers stumbles upon this, here’s my good, ol’ fashioned checklist of best practices.
1. When you’re contacted by an agent, respond in his or her contact medium. Simply put, if he/she emails you, email them back. If he or she calls, pick up the phone and call them back. Now, if he or she says on the voicemail, “You can just email me at…” then you’re good, but Daddy Goose calls communications faux pas for any other behavior.
2. Include the agent in all client communications until he or she asks you not to. Over-communication is better than no communication. Even if you send a simple email that says, “Hey, Joanne. Just wanted to let you know, it’s been three weeks, and your buyer is still receiving daily listings, but won’t be in for another two months. I wanted to touch bases to let you know. Thanks, again, for trusting me with your buyer,” that’s a perfect way of giving that agent peace of mind.
3. Get the referral agreement to the referring REALTOR®, ASAP. Last week, I heard a horror story of a YPN who “trusted” the REALTOR® to do the right thing when she sent the referral. She didn’t see her money and had no documentation to support anything. Will she ever refer to that agent again? Of course not, and this was a supposedly a good friend! We have contracts and written agreements for a reason. Use them quickly, clearly and wisely.
4. Make contact with the REALTOR®’s referral your top priority. If an agent calls/emails/messages you at 10 a.m., you need to have reached out to his referral within the hour. No matter if they answer or not, let the agent know you have been in touch. It will give him the assurance he called the right REALTOR®! Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
Working away in cramped cubes at the D.C. REALTOR® headquarters are the NAR Staff behind the REALTOR® Political Action Party. John, Chris, Bethany, Mica, Jay, Claire and crew, not gleamingwhitetoothed Politicians – or even REALTORS®, mind you; they’re regular, politically-charged folks working on our behalf on Capitol Hill, for our livelihood.
Brian Copeland, YPN/RPAC Liaison Mike Oppler and I had the opportunity to meet the people behind cause, and I can tell you that it was a humbling experience. There’s only a handful of these guys dealing what are direct affronts to the covenants of home ownership: Mortgage Interest Deduction, GSE reform, Flood Insurance issues, the list goes on and on.
Issues that aren’t red or blue.
Issues that our clients will grapple with, sooner or later.
Issues that – let’s face it – we neither have the time, nor wherewithal to deal with.
Make your next YPN event this March an RPAC Awareness Event. New Jersey is having a Dareoke event, Tennessee is fund-raising, Minneapolis will be taking part in their state’s Legislative Impact Day, Colorado and Texas will be rallying at “the Hill!”. What will your network do this March?
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.