By Jason O’Neil
Last week, I received an unusual call from a seller. As a REALTOR®, getting a call from a seller is not out of the ordinary. However, when this particular seller explains that he has developed a list of questions to use for a “prescreening” of potential REALTORS®, I really perk up. Despite what some may think, the approach did not come across as arrogant or stodgy, and as he asked his questions, I could only think how professional, thorough, and very interesting they were, and how crucial it was for me as his prospective employee to answer them.
After I hung up the phone, the experience prompted me to develop my own set of questions that are not only important for sellers to ask, but are also equally as important for REALTORS® to answer:
1. In what areas or neighborhoods do you predominately sell homes?
2. On average, how many days do your properties spend on the market?
3. What is your sale price to list price ratio?
4. More important, what is your sale price to original list price ratio?
5. What is your marketing strategy?
6. What is your communication strategy? How do you reach out to potential clients?
7. What is your team or company composition?
8. What three attributes set you apart from other agents?
9. What is your process for determining a listing price?
10. How do you make your listings stand out in the market?
I know most real estate professionals have been asked these questions countless times before. We could talk for hours about just one of them, explaining our marketing strategy or relating all the ways we are unique when compared with other REALTORS® in our market. But have you ever really taken the time to craft written answers to these questions? Continue reading »
By Jason O’Neil
I was going through our listing system the other day and became amazed at the amount of things we do to list a home. The list seems to get longer and more comprehensive as the years pass. One of these days, I may consolidate it and eliminate things, but for now it works and works well.
This exercise got me thinking of a key differentiator I discuss in my marketing consultations with sellers. I effectively let them know that I do not subscribe to “The Three Ps of Real Estate” — they get a quizzical look on their face, and I say, “You know: ‘Put out a sign, Put it into the MLS, and Pray.’”
A quick laugh or chuckle ensues, a little ice may be broken, and I begin to go through the laborious detail taken to list and effectively market their home. The discussion continuous and we begin to build rapport and see if we are a good fit for one and other.
My point for writing this is not to say that the specifics of what I do when listing a home is dramatically different than my competition. Different, yes; more than dramatically different, hard to say. One thing I do differently is communicate exactly what I am going to do, step-by-step, to get their home to market. Then I communicate when I am doing those steps, when they are complete, and I constantly communicate the results.
I had a professor in grad school once tell our class, “If you’re going to do something great, you had better let someone know. Otherwise, you’ll live in your boss’s (read client’s) mind along with those that did nothing great.” This is so important in our business, we do so much when representing our clients and their interests but we forget to communicate or progress and our results.
If you fail to communicate on an ongoing basis what you’ve recently done to perpetuate the sale of a client’s home, you’ll live in their mind as subscribing to The Three Ps of Real Estate.
Jason O’Neil is an associate broker with Encore Sotheby’s International Realty in Indianapolis. Connect with him at jasononeilrealtor.com.
By Jason O’Neil
I believe that we as a country, a world, and a species are suffering a crisis of confidence. I know, that’s a bold statement. But the magnitude in which our world has changed over the past 25 years is nothing short of overwhelming.
Confidence used to be something that was a part of our fiber, woven into everything we did. People not only had confidence, but they instilled confidence in others. Confidence was derived from neighborhoods, communities, religions, political parties, long standing jobs, and pensions. But many of these have been derailed and forced, even the most ardent of supporters, to question some very core tenets. Rightfully so, skepticism tends to be the norm.
I have heard it said, and I believe, that confidence is the single greatest asset one can have. Do not confuse my use of confidence with overconfidence, arrogance, conceitedness, or big-headedness, because it is not. Confidence is what gives us the ability to do what it is we are good at. Without a bit of confidence the world would never have heard The Beatles., we would not know the name Bill Gates, and Phil Mickelson would be a really good country club player. It is scary to raise your hand, to stick your head out and make progress. It is confidence that moves us forward step by step.
But confidence, the type of confidence I am talking about, isn’t just results and dollar signs, or awards and progress. It is the way we make people feel. I’ll go further, it is what we bring — our passion. It is the value that we, as REALTORS®, add to a transaction, a deal, a negotiation. Jim Collins wrote, “Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step.” We are, in fact, handling the transfer of a exceptionally large assets. While easy to forget, it’s important to remember that the average person will move every six to nine years. Extrapolated over a lifetime, the average person will sell maybe seven homes. Many of you reading this sell that many homes in a given month. The last time that the average seller in 2012 sold a home, nine years ago, the real estate market was drastically different than it is today. Zillow, Trulia, REALTOR.com and Red Fin did not exist, computer-based forms were in their infancy, and not everyone e-mailed. Continue reading »
By Jared James
At almost every event where I speak, I try to include the topic of environment whenever possible. Some would probably question why I would do that when I am primarily talking to REALTORS®, salespeople, and entrepreneurs, but I always wonder why it is not discussed more.
A few years ago, a study was conducted to try and find common denominators among the top 100 salespeople in the world. They were expecting to get results like customer service, systems, or drive. Those are definitely important, but do you know what the No. 1 was commonality among the top 100 salespeople in the world? It was something called “the ability to manage or ability to control one’s state of mind.”
For any of you who have attended an event I have spoken at live, you know that I could talk about “state of mind” all day long, but that is not the specific point of this article. The common denominator found among the top 100 salespeople is interesting though. When was the last time that you saw a breakout session or keynote dedicated to this topic at your company or state convention? (Cue the cricket sounds in the background.)
So how do you do this? Let’s get practical about it.
Scenario No. 1 – Let’s say you went to a closing where you were representing the seller. At the closing, your seller decides that he/she is going to back out of the deal because they don’t like what the buyer is wearing that day. I would imagine that you would be pretty ticked off about this. While you are in this ticked off state, imagine that you receive a phone call from another one of your clients…
Scenario No. 2 – You are now at a closing where you represent the seller and the seller decides at the closing that you have done such an amazing job that they are doubling your commission. You leave that closing in a jubilant state and receive the exact same phone call as scenario No. 1, only this time you are overjoyed and happy.
Here is the question… Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
What is the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe with a real estate license? Can anyone you’ve asked from the public answer that question correctly? Better yet, can all of the REALTORS® in your office answer that question? I feel like it was indoctrinated in me through continuing eduction classes. So, from what I’ve been taught, a REALTOR® is this: A REALTOR® is held to a higher standard because they’re a member of NAR and must follow the Code of Ethics.
Our MLS recently had WAVgroup.com do a survey on behalf of our members. Marilyn Wilson from the WAV Group spoke at a recent meeting about the research they discovered regarding our industry. First, she said that 99.9 percent of the public doesn’t know the difference between a REALTOR® and a regular old Joe real estate licensed agent.
What does that say about our strategy for educating people about what makes REALTORS different? It says that it doesn’t work. Our Code of Ethics is what we think makes us stand apart from other real estate agents. But if the public doesn’t know… then it’s not working.
So why is it not working? She exhorted that the level of service from one REALTOR® can be drastically different from another REALTOR®. This is actually the reason why I never considered joining a big brokerage… I didn’t want to be in a group where my level of service was drastically higher than the guy/gal with the same brokerage name on his or her name-tag. There’s no minimum level of service at the big brokerages, and the service level varies between agents.
As long as there isn’t a minimum standard of service, no one is going to know what sets us as REALTORS® apart from licensees. The public doesn’t even recognize us as a club. We will continue to remain commodities.
Do we want to be recognized differently? Is it a benefit to be viewed differently? With all of the REThinking this year, it seems to me there could be a good opportunity for REALTORS® to figure out what they want to happen on this topic. I’ll admit, I’m not really sure what REThink is thinking about. Most the people I talk to are confused about it as well. But as an association, if the very reason why we are different isn’t working, maybe we need to adjust our vision on what we are trying to achieve that makes us different?
How would you adjust it?
Dave Robison, known as “Utah Dave,” is a broker/owner of Robison & Company Real Estate.
By Anand Patel
With all the methods of communication today — from e-mail, to social media, to text messaging — it almost seems like the ancient art of having a conversation on the telephone is dead.
As a broker, inevitably part of our jobs is putting out fires (or stopping them before they can start) with agents and their transactions. I find MANY of the problems that arise can be avoided in the first place if either agent involved in the transaction would just pick up the telephone and call the other party rather than texting or e-mailing.
Yes, texting is very convenient. And yes, you can send an e-mail at 3 a.m. without bothering the other person. But there is so much that can get lost in the interpretation of written text that could have been clearly explained over the phone with your vocal tone, the style of your conversation, and your word choice.
I am as much in tune with technology and the use of social media as the next guy, but there comes a point in a transaction when one must step back and think to themselves, “Would I be better serving my customer by communicating with the other party over the phone in this particular situation?” If the answer is “yes,” then pick up the telephone! I still recommend following up the conversation with an e-mail, but sometimes it’s just better to start the dialogue with a phone call.
What are your thoughts? Have you been in a transaction that could have been saved if someone just picked up the phone and called?
Anand Patel is broker and president of Pangea Realty Group based in Tampa, Fla. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/prgtampa; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1; or on the Web at www.anandsblog.com.
By Jared James
I am going to keep this brief. I’m writing this article sitting in the West Virginia airport on my way home after speaking at the West Virginia Association of REALTORS®. I am right in the middle of what I call “convention season,” which consists of the months of September and October. During this time I will keynote more than 20 events for state associations and companies, requiring me to hit the road pretty hard.
In the last month I have spent a collective one week at home, which can be difficult with two adorable boys at home, ages 5 and 3. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I had just finished up speaking at the Texas Association of REALTORS® Convention and Xplode Conference and had to speak in Wyoming the next day. It seems like an easy flight from Texas to Wyoming, but instead I decided to fly back across the country, land in New York, drive home and spend 2 ½ hours with my kids and put them to bed, just to go back to the airport and fly back across the country to Wyoming to do my event. For the parents out there, you know that this was a small price to pay to be able to tuck my kids in at night instead of the usual Skype call before they went to bed.
While these two months are not the usual for me and my family, they are still a reality. While my job requires a lot of travel, it is also true that most events are not held on weekends so I am almost always home and able to coach my kids’ teams on Saturdays and Sundays – with exception of this last weekend when I had to miss my 5-year-old’s soccer game because I had to catch a flight.
I don’t write this so you will feel sorry for me. I have a great life and I’m able to inspire and have an affect on a lot of people, which is an amazing feeling and a great calling. I am more so writing this because my life is not normal, I admit, but I have the honor of working with a lot of REALTORS® and salespeople and the one thing I always hear them tell me is that their family comes first. While, for some, this may be true, actions speak louder than words. Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
I obviously am not an expert in what anyone else’s listing presentations are like, I only know mine. Yet I heard someone talking about the Olympics recently, and with my market’s emphasis on the need for more inventory, it got me thinking. Is your listing presentation like watching cycling or gymnastics?
I can dig both, and yet I watch them with a different level of interest. See, I can put cycling on and read a book or cook my breakfast or check Twitter. I know I probably won’t miss anything major and I’ll look up every now and then to see who’s ahead. With gymnastics though, it goes from one event to the next so fast. I’m so engrossed with how competitive it is, that I have to keep my eye on the TV or I’ll miss something great. So, is your listing presentation creating lots of interest with a fast-paced and quick finish? Or is it uneventful and lasting for hours?
My suggestion if it’s dragging on? Hit the high points, move through each piece effortlessly, and put a bow on it in 45 minutes or so. Any longer and you’re losing them. Remember what your mom used to say about visiting friends’ houses? “Don’t overstay your welcome!” Just get your agency and listing agreement and get out. You can get disclosures signed, pictures taken, etc., another time. This is strictly presentation time.
So, are your clients watching cycling or gymnastics when you’re presenting?
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.