By Cory Brewer
My blog entry for this quarter will not come as news to most of the people reading it, but I think it’s a good reminder nonetheless: Every now and then, the clients and colleagues you work with will tell you one thing, but then do another.
Raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before from another agent: “I’ve got a great offer for you and my clients are really excited about the house.”
This “great offer” may even be full price…only you find out later that the buyer has a horrible credit score and can’t get a loan.
The point I’m trying to make is this: Nearly everyone I’ve talked to lately can feel the market starting to come back. Buyers, sellers, agents, lenders…everyone. It can be easy to get wrapped up in the excitement but I think it’s important, as an agent, to keep your cool and be level-headed while coaching your clients. It’s important to cover all the details of a deal, and a positive, optimistic attitude is key. But I also think it will serve you well to prepare your clients for the worst-case-scenario, because unfortunately sometimes that is exactly what can happen.
Draw on your experience – that is probably a big part of why your clients hired you in the first place. Cover your bases, and do your best to set the proper expectations from the beginning. So when that dream deal actually DOES come together, your clients will be thrilled that they were lucky enough to be working with you…rather than expecting everything to go smoothly only to have to suffer through unforeseen bumps in the road.
The market is coming back. It’s true. But don’t get caught up in the hype. Remember that a deal is not a deal until the ink on the contract is dry.
Cory Brewer is a REALTOR® in the Seattle area and Operations Manager at Windermere Property Management / LGA in Bellevue. Connect with Cory at www.wpmnorthwest.com.
By Cory Brewer
I was recently a guest on a local radio show to discuss my brokerage and our services. The platform for the show revolves around business, finance, and real estate…and the other two guests on the program were an investment fund manager and a representative from a non-profit group advocating cancer research. It was a well-rounded group and we had some good conversation before and after the show off-air.
Near the end of the program, after completing our individual interviews, they brought us all back on the air to have a round-table discussion to answer the question “How do you find a trustworthy professional to work with?” The gut reaction answer is “get a referral,” but the producer of the program told us specifically to come up with something a little more creative than that. My initial input was to “ask for a referral from a professional that you already know and trust in a related industry,” and the conversation stemmed from there.
Across the board, we agreed that the best way to find a trusted professional in one industry is to find someone you already know who has exposure to them in a professional capacity from a related industry. It’s great to ask Aunt Sally if she knows a good dentist…but wouldn’t it make more sense to ask your doctor for a good dentist referral? In the real estate world, I believe there’s a lot to be said for this sentiment. Anyone who has spent an appreciable amount of time in the real estate industry can’t help but to have built relationships with other professionals in related industries (and if you haven’t, you’re doing something wrong).
Align yourself with a professional network of people who are likely to have exposure to your would-be clients. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
I recently received a really negative comment on one of my YPN Lounge posts. When I first received word of the comment, I was really taken aback. It seemed as if the person who commented had some personal issue with me. I was honestly very offended.
I debated over the weekend whether or not to address the individual who wrote the comment. Being the person that I am, I would normally address the person directly, in a professional manner. I could explain that I understood this reader’s opinion and not everyone feels the same way about this topic.
I never expect that everyone is going to like what I write or that they even understand where I am coming from. I completely understand that things of this nature could and will happen.
If I could give any advice to those of you who have a blog, I would say allow the comment to be published and address the comment directly on the post. I think this will show your readers that you have some class and that you can be professional when dealing with less-than-pleasant people or those who simply disagree with you.
Don’t get offended by how others feel. You can’t force anyone to understand your perspectives or opinions. Cherish the fact that what you have written has caused someone to be passionate enough about it to debate the issue.
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Melissa Krchnak
We all have pieces of our business that can suck our time away from being successful: meetings that don’t feel productive, emptying our inbox, conflict resolution, admin tasks, and chatting with our friends and colleagues. Just yesterday I encountered the worst of the time sucker, the commitment-phobe. This particular person is an over-analyzer who uses that as an excuse for, you guessed it: Never. Making. A. Decision.
I’ve met with this person three-to-four times over the last couple of weeks with each meeting lasting an hour or so. Yesterday, when he was supposed to be signing on the dotted line, he again wanted to ask more questions. He knows this is the best decision, but can’t “buy in.” I worked through every objection masterfully until I was fed up. So, I gave an ultimatum. “You need to make a decision on how you want to move forward by Wednesday at 3 p.m.” No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I don’t know what Wednesday holds precisely, but one thing it certainly does possess is a resolution.
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Jason O’Neil
One of the places where I have focused my business is on referrals and past clients. This isn’t unique. But the way I look at it is unique, and it has to do with what I call “The Gap.”
Here’s what I mean: According to NAR, in 2011, 69 percent of all sellers said that they definitely would use their agent again, yet in that same year only 22 percent of all sellers had previously worked with their listing agent.
Knowing that the average person moves every four-to-eight years, and moves 18 miles …what happened? Why would so many agents end the relationship brilliantly (presumably with a sale) yet fail to get the listing later on? I think there are only two real reasons for this: the agents goes out of business or the agent fails to talk to their clients.
- Have and use a database
- Develop a client touch program
- Minimum two touches per year
- Anniversaries (Home sale anniversary)
- Daylight Savings time
- Monthly Touch Program
- Monthly Mailings involving quotes and/or give-aways
- Vendor Partner Programs
The key is to be mindful of “The Gap” and develop strategies to avoid it. What are you doing in your business to Mind the Gap?
Jason O’Neil is a broker-owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his site: www.McKenzieListings.com
By Anand Patel
We’ve all been there before: You’re at an important meeting and asked a question that you just can’t seem to formulate the perfect answer to on the spot. But, 30 minutes later, on your way home as you replay the meeting in your mind you come up with numerous things you wish you had said earlier. Now you are kicking yourself thinking, “Why didn’t I say that!?”
What if I told you there is a very inexpensive way to help you develop the skill to think on your feet along with improving your overall communication and leadership skills?
One of the single most important organizations I got involved with a few years ago is my local Toastmasters club. Toastmasters provides a friendly, encouraging environment that helps individuals improve their speaking and leadership skills regardless of their current level – amateur speaker to orator, mail-room clerk to CEO (my club consists of entrepreneurs, professors, artists, IT professionals, military personnel, students and many others). It is a workshop type setting where you learn-by-DOING. If you want to learn more about the history of Toastmasters or how to join, you can visit www.toastmasters.org; but in this post, I want to briefly share with you four ways you will immensely benefit from joining and participating in a local club.
Learning to speak “off the cuff”
One of the most beneficial parts of a Toastmasters meeting is the “Table Topics” section. This is where you are called upon to speak for 1-2 minutes on a topic that someone has just told you about. You have to quickly formulate your ideas in your head and speak “off the cuff.” There are numerous benefits in developing this skill for real estate professionals – from improving your negotiating skills to handling seller objections on a listing presentation.
Developing leadership skills Continue reading »
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 Toby Boyce
The sun rose over the eastern sky as my alarm went off on what was quite the unusual March morning. Well beyond the fact that it was nearly 50 degrees, I decided to take my wife’s advice and go to the neurologist and chiropractor after six days of constant migraines.
As I sat in the chiropractor’s office, I was reliving every Charlie Sheen joke about chiropractors from “2-1/2 Men” in my head and sadly it blended very well with my own personal experience. But as I sat there waiting for my name to be called, I read through the pamphlet that was provided to me by the office manager – it dawned on me – these people were on the ball.
Are you on the ball?
They gave me three sheets of paper that outlined three key things that I wanted to know.
- What was going to happen on the first visit.
- What is going to happen on the upcoming visits.
- How to work with insurance and other options to pay for the treatments.
It got me thinking. Am I preparing my clients this effectively for the transaction? Sadly, REALTORS® have about the same reputation as chiropractors for working their clients over.
How can we take a page from this chiropractor?
- Provide a pre-meeting itinerary that outlines exactly what the meeting will cover and how it will go. This does a few things, but most importantly it keeps the meeting on track and provide a road map, keeping the awkward silence to a minimum. Continue reading »