By Scott Newman
The market is recovering—in some areas it’s even a seller’s market—and that means sellers can once again be a little more demanding…and a little more unrealistic.
So your client is turning into a “sellerzilla.” What do you do when your relationship with the client is on the line, but you need to get your point across? Read on…
Show Them, Don’t Tell Them
If my seller client isn’t willing to listen to my pricing advice and they think they know better me, I prove to them that I’m right. But I don’t do this through arguing, CMAs, or anything of that nature. Instead, I utilize their own two eyes.
If your client wants to list for $275,000 and you know the house won’t sell for more than $240,000, schedule 45-60 minutes with your seller prior to listing their home and take them to see homes for $275,000. When your client sees that the homes in his or her intended price point are bigger, nicer, and overall more appealing, then you significantly strengthen your argument without having to risk isolating your client.
They say it takes 21 days of doing something everyday to make it a habit. The same concept comes into play with unrealistic sellers. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
“Why do you do this for free?”
“What do you get out of it?”
“When do you have time to make money?”
“Why do you waste your time with that?”
“What’s the point?”
If you volunteer some of your time and talents to National Association of REALTORS® (or any other organization) at the local, state, or national level, you have heard all of the comments above before. Obviously there needs to be a balance between giving of your time and working your business, but you and I both know the incidental benefits, rewards and satisfaction that come with giving back to our industry.
Do you have a spouse, a business partner, a friend or family member who takes on some of the burden while you are volunteering? I am not nearly as involved as many of my colleagues in the industry around the country and abroad, but with two young children at home I know my wife takes on a lot of burden while I am away at conferences, leadership academy sessions and other meetings. And I admit, many times I take it for granted. I am writing this post not only to serve as a reminder to each of you who also give of your time, but also really for me to never forget that we need to take the time and thank those who support what we do in helping improve our industry. They may not always understand why we do it as there are usually no visible short-term benefits, but they still support us. We travel for a few days, we attend events in the evening, we are working on the weekends on matters that do not seem to directly correlate to our businesses, but our friends, family, and spouses still pick up the slack for us.
Take a moment and say thank you to your business partner who stays back while you hit the annual conference, your family or spouse who helps with the kids while you are away, and anyone else who makes it easier for you to keep giving back. To my wife, today, I say thank you! Thank you for always supporting me. You truly are “Super Mom!” Oh….and by the way, I’ll be gone to San Francisco for a week in November for a conference…gotta run!
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, or LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1.
By Sammer Mudawar
Buying and selling residential real estate is one of the most emotional transactions consumers conduct. Understanding client psychology, managing expectations, and using effective communication are the three most valuable skills that a real estate professional needs to develop for a successful career with less stress.
Understand the psyche of your client and your chances of a smooth transaction increase dramatically.
Is the client a standard seller who has lived and raised their family in the home for the past 25 years, but has not done many upgrades? Perhaps prepping this client for the possibility of offensive offers from cash investors will be important to making sure they don’t take things personally, or worse, become unreasonable sellers.
Understanding client psychology is important, however, equally important is they understand your psychology. It is vital to the client relationship that they understand your goals are in-line with theirs, and as a fiduciary you will only represent their best interests. Breaking down the walls in the beginning is one of the best ways to get on the same page as your client.
Here are two examples of how to manage expectations with buyers and sellers. Continue reading »
By Jay O’Brien
Are you new to the industry? Have you been in the real estate business for 25 years? Well, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a novice, professional, or anything in between because I have a little gem of advice that is applicable to everyone.
Put yourself in the shoes of a consumer for a moment. Think about the house you are about to buy or the last house you did buy. Who represented you? Would you choose him or her to represent you again? What characteristics make up a truly great agent? If you had to boil it down to one word, what would the most essential characteristic be?
I am going to venture a guess and say that most people would have completely different answers on this topic. However, in my experience, I have found one significant common denominator that unites all descriptions of a successful agent and amplifies the possibility of future business:
No, not being the “local expert” or the agent with the most listings. The most important quality to possess is communication. You must always be someone who routinely explains contracts with thoroughness until a client fully understands; someone who reviews the market with them one-on-one; someone who answers and returns phone calls around the clock. You must never be the agent who leaves his or her client in the dark. A client would rather work with a REALTOR® who finds answers quickly than with one who knows the answer but doesn’t communicate them properly.
I used to work in the retail sector. Actually, that’s just a fancy way of saying I was a sales associate at Best Buy. Anyway, while immersed in the retail environment, I acquired an abundance of skills and learned many lessons that can be applied to any field, especially real estate.
A lesson that always resonated with my business compass was based around engagement. Studies continually show that customers who are not acknowledged by an employee when first entering a store will wait on average only a few minutes before leaving. Why don’t most of these neglected customers stay? Because people want to know you care. That’s all they need to know and the rest will work itself out. What’s worse than the professional you’ve trusted with the largest transaction of your life not being there for you?
In 2012, 48 percent of my business came from clients who were displeased with their current agent. My suggestion: Don’t be an agent who runs a sales prevention desk. As a REALTOR®, it’s your job to be the concierge to the guests of your personal business.
Jay O’Brien is a REALTOR® with RE/MAX Prestige in Anaheim Hills, Calif. Aside from real estate, he regularly supports the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and is the co-founder of Mico York, a nonprofit organization that helps kids worldwide through their own personal artwork. Visit Jay on the web www.jayobrienrealestate.com or contact him at: Jay.email@example.com.
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 »