By Dave Robison
Have you ever received a letter after a closing from the other brokerage thanking you for the successful closing? Have you been bombarded by e-mails stating that XYZ Brokerage has the best broker and systems to help you be successful? There are literally hundreds of brokerages to choose from, and yet I feel they say the same thing: higher splits, best service, etc., etc.
The question is, how do you really know XYZ Brokerage is going to help you more than ABC Brokerage? Is it by the number of agents at the brokerage? If the brokerage has hundreds of agents, maybe that is the place to go? I have had a thought lately that if an agent wants to choose a brokerage that will help them succeed, it’s time to find a brokerage that is willing to put their money where their mouth is.
When I was a kid, I remember I wanted a Sports Illustrated subscription. It was the cool magazine for kids to read. I asked my mom and she said that if I practiced the piano a few times a week and did some other chores she would get me the magazine. I got the magazine, but you know what…I never did any chores or practiced the piano. I remember thinking, “Mom hasn’t even asked me if I did what I agreed to.” I remember thinking she must not care, so I never did it but I still got the reward. I occasionally think of that moment and the principles of accountability. My mother never had a system of holding me accountable. I was free to do what benefited me the most. Since I wasn’t held accountable, I didn’t perform.
In building a real estate team, I learned that people perform if they are held accountable. When you are held accountable, you put your money where your mouth is. You perform or you don’t benefit.
I believe there is a brokerage of the future that would embrace this principles of accountability. Today, if a brokerage wants to grow profitability, they recruit an unlimited amount of agents. They may promise to help you be more successful, however, they are free to recruit your competition to help them be profitable as well. If we are to apply the principles of accountability to a brokerage, then it would be structured differently. Imagine a brokerage where they only had a limited amount of agents. Let’s say 100 agents. How would they grow profitability? The only way they would grow is if their 100 agents continually sold more homes and were more successful. Now their focus is on you being more successful (not recruiting their fallback) because they are held accountable to it. I believe the broker/owners would innovate and personally grow from it. This is a brokerage that puts their money where their mouth is.
Are there any brokerages that you know of that do this? Is it a brokerage of the future? Would you prefer to be with a brokerage of 1,000 agents doing three deals a year, or a brokerage of a limited amount of 100 agents who are all doing 50 deals or even a 100 each a year? Who will put their money where their mouth is?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker/owner of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Hilary Hale Brown
I had the pleasure of spending most of a recent afternoon with Avis Wukasch. For those of you unfamiliar with this vivacious woman, Texas Real Estate Commissioner, and 2012 Texas REALTOR® of the Year, I highly recommend spending a few moments to read her bio online. She reminds us all of what we can accomplish in this crazy game called real estate.
The purpose of her most recent trip to the Permian Basin was for feedback from REALTOR® members on the current issues affecting them at the Texas Real Estate Commission: from the launch of their new website, to educational requirements for brokers and continuing education for licensees, as well as issues affecting appraisals, one of the newest additions to TREC’s scope of oversight.
The informal discussion held after the luncheon gave us all an opportunity to feel like our voices were heard. Speaking directly to a commissioner, when the most communication we might have had with this mighty state organization is an automated email, spoke to the heart of what being a REALTOR® is about: people.
The experience of sitting down across the table from her and feeling like our voices were heard is no different than what we do on a daily basis with clients. We listen to what their concerns and needs are and find a solution for those. Whether it is locating the perfect property or easing someone’s mind over inspection issues, or making sure the lines of communication remain open between agent and client, we sit down in the same way Avis sat down with us and let others know they are heard.
A big thank you goes out to Avis Wukasch and the wonderful inspiration she brings to people of all ages in our industry.
Hilary Hale Brown is a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Realty in Midland, Texas, and serves as chair of the Permian Basin YPN. Connect with her online at hilaryhale.yourkwagent.com.
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 Heather Soldonia
Despite the condition of the nation’s real estate market, California still holds some of the strongest property values in the country.
Forbes Magazine recently released its annual article of America’s 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes. And it’s actually easier to identify which San Francisco Bay area towns aren’t listed. The median home price in Sunnyvale (#498) was $499,000 and the median home price for Atherton (#2) was $3,850,000.
Simply put, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the toughest housing markets for first-time home buyers to break into. Entering this market requires strategy. It’s not for the faint-of-heart and it’s not for the uninformed.
The following are things I believe will help your clients succeed in this, and any market:
- Manage your clients’ expectations.
- Get them pre-approved before you show them a $700,000 home when they are only approved to finance a $500,000 home.
- Remind them that their first home DOES NOT NEED TO BE THEIR DREAM HOME!! It is just a step to get them in the game.
- Direct them to ethical mortgage brokers.
- The Life of the Loan is the most important aspect to consider. If they have no intention to grow old in this starter home, it’s not imperative to obtain a conservative loan.
- Creative Financing is what will get them into a $500,000 home here. It’s important that you direct them to someone who will educate them about the financing process and potential problems so that they can make informed decisions.
- Suggest Home Buyer Programs.
- Local Programs: http://www.hud.gov/local/ca/homeownership/prgmscity.cfm
- State Programs: http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/programs/index.htm
- Federal Programs: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/index.html
Heather Soldonia is a Broker/REALTOR® in the San Francisco Bay area with Windermere Welcome Home. She can be found at www.heathersoldonia.mywindermere.com.