By Brian Copeland
This week, I turn 40 and my future with you is, well, uncertain. While we’ve never defined “under 40” as what the Young Professional Network’s age limit is, it has turned into an awkward elephant in the room no one is willing to talk about. So, let’s talk about it.
We’ve heard “young and young at heart” as the basis for who we are and who we want to be. Is this program of NAR about youth, leadership entry or new, bright attitudes? I don’t know, but hopefully in this dialog today, I’ll have a clearer picture.
What if YPN is in the middle of turning the statement “60 is the new 30” on its head? What if 30 is the new 60? Huh? We’re in the middle of equipping, training and inspiring a new generation to have the knowledge, street-smarts and tatters of a seasoned veteran to this industry.
I look at REALTORS® like Tiffany Curry who is 32 years old. Already, she has been the REALTOR® of the Year for one of the largest associations in America. She has served as president of a major metropolitan’s Women’s Council of REALTORS® chapter. She has chaired her local YPN, served on a heavy-weight NAR Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), and sat on numerous NAR committees.
I see Kenny Parcell. Kenny hovers below that 40 mark with a resume that would support the “30 is the new 60” hypothesis perfectly. He’s been his local president, state president, NAR Leadership Academy graduate, NAR liaison, and chair of several leadership groups.
Are these examples the exception? They could be, but I would argue that this type of mentoring and nurturing is part of a new breed NAR has started to grow. So, that leads me to the most troubling question, should we be called the Young Professionals Network? Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
In late 2010, Rock The Vote commissioned a hefty research project on political issues as they relate to young adults. Some of the findings surprised especially the political parties. For example, 36 percent say that it doesn’t matter to them which party is in control of Congress. A whopping 83 percent say that their generation has the power to change the country. They are also likely to support a candidate who supports investing in new technology to create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
When I look at these figures, they totally support what I heard in our recent YPN Advisory Subcommittee meeting, which was called to discuss The REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative (RPPSI). We came together as a group to discuss the proposed $40 dues increase (from $80 to $120 annually) and whether we as a group wanted to make a statement of support or not. Candidly, I was nervous. This topic has been dominating the real estate blog world for several weeks, and it’s clear that many people are furious about this.
In our meeting, I heard the concerns I had been hearing locally, but I interjected to remind them, “I want to hear what YOU and your YPN locally are saying and thinking about this.” Wholeheartedly, with zero dissent, many YPNers who have spoken out are behind the RPPSI. In fact, one member reported that they polled their YPN members locally and only one person out of 30 brought up an issue with RPPSI. The majority in her YPN said they felt they would be watering down the industry without the RPPSI initiative. Member after member spoke passionately about the need for this.
After I left the meeting, I had to digest. Was I really hearing what I thought I heard? That’s when I started searching out voter information on our demographic, and it hit me. Again, nationally, 36 percent of young voters say they don’t care about parties in Congress, and that statistic supports the notion that our YPNers are not falling into the mindset that RPAC is too partisan. Continue reading »
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 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 Brian Copeland
I recently had a lively discussion with one of my Baby Boomer, dearest real estate friends on the phone. Of course, it was on the phone, that’s what Baby Boomers do. They want to meet and talk on the phone all the time. I had asked her if we could just e-mail, but she insisted on a phone call.
This phone call went into a long talk about what young, professional REALTORS® and our organization are in motion to do. I can always best sum this up in one word…availability.
Availability tears down walls of confusion. Availability creates strong bonds and ties across generational lines. Availability facilitates amazing, reciprocal relationships. In fact, in November alone, I had two association executives come to me and say virtually the same statement.
“Thank goodness for YPN. Had we not had our YPN committee, we would’ve never known that <insert name here> was even part of our organization. We put her in this association membership position and she was the shining star. We now have a new leader thanks to YPN!”
As Mickey Mouse-cheesy as it sounds, it’s true. Your availability as a young professional is truly making our real estate industry stronger, more diverse and salient to those who have us on their radar. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
If you are a young professional and have entered the real estate profession any time from 2004-2007, I want to be the first to congratulate you.
When you can no longer consider yourself a whippersnapper and Lady GAGA music is now playing on the Golden Oldies station, you can then say one thing proudly as a REALTOR®, “I’ve seen the best market in our time. I’ve seen the worst market in our time.”
You’ve officially navigated both and come out on the other side stronger. Remember, our defining moments arise out of adversity. I thank goodness every day for that teacher who said I’d never make it past my first year of college. I’m grateful for that boss who knocked me off my employment platform in my first job. Soon, you will be thanking the passing economy for making you one of the strongest real estate advisers of your day.
While millennial generation agents will still be able to say the same statement, our generation will be able to say our training grounds were in these two markets. Who wouldn’t want an airline pilot who was trained during the worst storms of the century simply because that was the time he got his pilot’s license?
I hope you will begin today, preparing yourself for tomorrow’s market. It’s going to be amazing, and the consumers will know more than ever that a smart, savvy REALTOR® who has navigated these treacherous waters needs to be on their side.
Use the next few months to finish a designation like GRI or CRS. Use 2011 as a time to get more involved in your local association than you ever have been before. Use the coming weeks to school yourself on the legislative issues that continue to affect your and your clients’ future. You’ll want to do it now, because the business you’re going to see in 2012 and beyond requires you to be at the top of your game. I’ll see all my YPNers AT THE TOP!
By Brian Copeland
NAR Leadership Summit 2010 is underway this week in Chicago, Ill., and YPN is out in full force. I have experienced no clearer message over the past few months than this…NAR is serious about training, raising and nurturing the future. In a greater culture that sometimes dwells in the past and present, it’s overwhelming to know that I’m part of an organization that looks beyond; and, last night, the importance of that point was brought home strongly in a simple situation.
On Tuesday night, a large group of YPNers descended on Wrigley Field to enjoy a Cubs game. We dominated an entire section; so, needless to say, we were hard to miss. With this type of group and energetic personalities from California to Florida, from Wisconsin to North Carolina, you’re bound to cause a scene.
YPN Manager Rob Reuter had an interesting experience he shared with me in the stands. The group immediately behind us was obviously enjoying our unity, laughter and spirit. They asked Rob what type of organization we were with. When Rob told him we were all REALTORS(R), they were visibly and pleasantly shocked. While the reaction is not earth shattering, it speaks volumes to the importance of positive visibility. 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 »
By Brian Copeland
I grew up in a hometown notorious for its horrible discriminatory history. In 1956, the high school was bombed when 12 students of color were desegregated into the school. Today, I look back on such acts and honestly cannot believe they happened. It seems like some goofy urban myth that someone would want to discriminate.
Today, from our country’s dramatic and rocky diversity history, we now find ourselves having to pass “rules,” “guidelines” and laws about how we should treat each other. While obviously we still have a long ways to go as a nation, the REALTOR(R) Party took a huge step at the Midyear meetings in D.C. to show this organization’s dedication to diversity and equal housing. I sat in my chair on the professional standards committee and watched a huge room of diverse people unanimously vote to add equal protection for sexual orientation to our Standards of Practice. There was no partisan bickering. There was no drama. There was no dissent. There was only a roll of applause when the chair announced it passed.
I could not be prouder to say I’m a REALTOR(R) today. Our organization took a step ahead of national policy and set the tone for others to follow. As YPN, many honestly don’t understand why we have to have these kind of words in our practice. I’m proud to say that sitting on the YPN Advisory Bward, hanging out with the “mindset” and being part of the amazing YPN culture, I never hear of, see or read anything that would raise a flag. As a former congressional race employee and growing up in the South, I’ve always heard “back door” discussions about races, genders, sexual orientation and the like; however, YPNers don’t seem to get it. YPNers are clueless. YPNers simply aren’t in the loop. What a wonderful compliment to be paid to our group! Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
In 1982, I faintly remember my mom going to fight at Kmart for the newest batch of Cabbage Patch dolls. It was a big deal. They were the hottest toy. All the little girls (and some boys) wanted one. It was only a few weeks to Christmas. It was a recipe for opportunity or disaster. She could get in the fight, get the doll and have a happy Christmas for her niece or wait until after Christmas, get a new batch, miss the rush but miss the holiday.
Showing houses to buyers over the past few weeks here in Nashville, I kinda get an idea of how mom felt back in 1982. It seems that every house we walk in priced below a certain price is either (1) in multiple offers, (2) a short sale that can’t make the contract deadline or (3) just contracted.
So, where does that leave us, the practitioners, and our buyers today? If they wait for a better inventory, they miss the tax credit. If they go to contract now, they may be making rushed decisions. As great buyer’s agents, it’s our job to guide them to the best decisions possible. Here are a few tips I’ve been working out with my current buyers.
- Pre-counseling is mandatory. In the counseling session, it’s imperative to discuss short sales and foreclosures in depth, giving them every scenario possible. Explain to them the “season” of searching they are in and what to expect between now and April 30. Continue reading »