By Brooke Wolford
I arrived home yesterday from the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Anaheim, Calif. I felt invigorated and yet somewhat overwhelmed. I had taken so much in while at the conference and my REALTOR® A.D.D. kicked right in. All the information I received while at the conference was amazing and I really didn’t know where to begin implementing the things I learned.
There were many sessions I attended where I learned valuable tools to use in my business. But I have to say, I learned the most from the fellow agents I met while at the conference. I never realized how much other agents would be willing to share with me.
On my plane ride in, I met Deanna Wiener, Broker/Owner of Cardinal Realty in Oakdale, MN. We spent a good amount of time while in flight discussing our business. It was terrific to hear about her business as she was a veteran agent and had so much insight on our real estate market. I was able to share some things with her as well. It was a great start to the weekend.
I met some really amazing people while at the conference. Fellow agents were so willing to share information with me. At times, I was really taken back by other REALTORS®’ generosity. Continue reading »
CENTURY 21® is a proud sponsor of the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Anaheim and our home base will be booth #325. We will greet guests at the International Welcome Reception on Thursday, November 10th. The CENTURY 21 brand is co-sponsoring the International Night Out on Saturday, November 12th, a premier opportunity for real estate professionals to network. In addition, CENTURY 21 is also supporting the Young Professional Network (YPN), which is one of the fastest growing industry networks in the nation.
On Sunday November 13th, the CENTURY 21 System will host an invitation-only tailgate complete with beverages, ballpark food, and flat screen TVs that will broadcast both AFC and NFC games. And here’s the exciting part! We have a limited number of tickets for YPN Reception attendees on a first come first serve basis. To get your Tailgate ticket, go to the CENTURY 21 booth and show us your business card. That’s all you need to do to attend the hottest Tailgate party of the year!*
Beyond the conference events, we will be at the booth to share how the brand is working “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” with online, social and mobile platforms. From branded Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages to location based services like our smart phone app, to the @C21-Home Matters Blog, the brand is continuing to evolve our strategy for reaching the next generation of homebuyers. Recently, CENTURY 21 became the first brand to buy real estate in ngmoco’s We City, a leading mobile game.
*Note, you must be registered for the NAR Expo on Sunday, November 13th to attend the Tailgate party.
By Amanda Stinton, NAR’s Green Designation Specialist
If you haven’t already heard, NAR’s Green REsource Council is hosting two days of courses November 9-10, prior to NAR’s annual REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Anaheim. The courses are only open to REALTORS® who belong to their local YPN. In addition, the courses are taught by top national instructor and green building expert Bob Hart and they’re absolutely free!
If you aren’t a YPN member yet, join! Then just visit our site and submit a registration form: www.greenresourcecouncil.org/ypn. We’ll follow the second day of class with a wine and cheese reception. All students in this class will also get a coupon allowing them to take the final course, Green 300: Greening Your Real Estate Business, online at a discount.
So, maybe you’ve noticed different labels on products in homes or maybe there are green features abound that you simply haven’t noticed because you haven’t learned what to look for. Your clients want a home that’s healthy, durable, efficient, and nearby to the places they frequent. The question is, do your clients consider a healthy, durable, efficient, well-placed home a description of a green home?
As real estate professionals and REALTORS®, it’s important that we know how to guide clients so that they can make the best homeownership decisions for their priorities and needs. What if you could show your buyer client the home that meets their requirements and saves them money each month on utilities when compared to other homes in the area? How about the home that could sell for a premium when your seller decides to move because it’s green certified? Earning NAR’s Green Designation will help you position yourself as a trusted advisor.
More than anything, it’s a fascinating niche in the industry full of energy and interesting people. Of course, I’m biased having worked with NAR’s Green Designation, but there is real value here. I encourage you all to harness it!
By Brittney Bissett
For my first YPN Lounge blog, I thought about what a new agent who has been licensed barely six months could bring to the table that more experienced agents would want to read about. Then I realized that with my “newbie” status, I could share how the newbies on the block see the business!
As a new agent, I think one of the most important things for us to do is find someone who we see as a mentor. If you are able to cultivate a working relationship with them, all the better. If not, find someone in your office, company, or area who works in a style you admire and just watch how they succeed. Watch what they do and then try to do it one better. It was probably one person who invented the wheel, but look at all we do with it today! The same goes for something you see as success story — you do it too, and do it better if you can!!! (Unless it’s copyright infringement, of course.)
Personally, I have been extremely lucky in landing in a situation where I had a strong and intelligent woman to take the reins in our office and share what works. Having a proven producer take you under their wing is a great way to boost not only your confidence, but also your street credibility. Watch them. Copy their style. Do their grunt work! It will pay off in the end. You will, in turn, pick up their habits that put them where they are today. Also pay attention to the tips and tricks your company gives you. They wouldn’t push it if it didn’t work.
And to the experienced agents… be nice!!! The new kids, while not necessarily having their feet under them, are still your colleagues. We are still learning and doing the best we can. A good manager will help get some of the kinks worked out, but everyone should be able to remember the first contract they wrote or their first listing that got an offer! Hopefully we can all play nice in the sandbox together.
By Crystal Webster
The Get Motivated seminar series recently came to Kansas City and I was pretty excited to go! On top of tickets being about $5; Bill Cosby, Joe Montana, Laura Bush, Gen. Colin Powell, Rudy Giuliani, Steve Forbes, John Walsh (the list goes on and on) were speaking.
I had some difficult closings happening that week, but aren’t all closing difficult these days? So I decided to take the day to “get motivated.” I walked in the door of the arena to about 20,000 others looking for some mojo too. It felt like a huge rock concert (at 7 a.m.) with people everywhere just excited to be there. We stocked up on our $50 worth of snacks for the morning (it’s still in a concert hall so we got concert pricing…) and went to find our general admission seats.
Wow, just wow. Seeing these people–in real, technicolor life–was pretty powerful. To think, these people were once at the very tippy-top of their industries…
However, the message was not that powerful, nor motivating. There was a lot of, “Remember the time I did this? Yea, I’m awesome.” And this: “I overcame adversity and become the biggest name in ______. I rule.”
I was expecting (or at least was hoping for) some helpful hints about getting ahead, staying organized and motivated, and maybe a little creativity. Instead, I seemed to get a big pat on the back fest. Oh, with a couple of infomercials for investment products thrown in to make up for the fact that the tickets were only $5.
By the end of day I just wanted to take a nap (and, really, get the last 8 hours of my life back). So my recommendation, if you get the itch to go to the get motivated seminar, is to instead buy their autobiographies, burn a $20 bill, and read one of those Dale Carnegie books that’s collecting dust on your bookshelf.
By Brooke Wolford
I have gone through a recent run of buyers who seem to take an extremely long amount of time to purchase a property. I began to feel pretty frustrated. I understood that this was happening with many buyers outside of my own, but it still seemed to frustrate me.
I then found what seemed to be a perfect buyer. She was approved, knew what she wanted, and had a deadline of when she wanted to move. I couldn’t have been more excited.
I began to show her properties. We would find something she loved. She would take her parents and boyfriend through the property. I would expect her to put an offer in and then she wouldn’t return my phone calls or emails for days. This repeated itself several times before I finally sat down and had a talk with her. (I don’t know why I waited so long).
After speaking with her about this issue, she told me that she has a mental condition. This condition is called kainotophobia (Fear of change). I immediately felt horrible. Here I was getting all frustrated for months and all along she hand this condition that could completely prevent her from purchasing a property at all. Besides that, I had concerns about her feeling like she could or would make a poor decision.
This type of thing has to pretty common, right? Maybe we as agents need to get some of of specialized training in mental illness?
What I can say is that we need to be empathetic to our clients. We need to be able to communicate to them better. In my case, I should have spoken with her sooner.
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Brooke Wolford
I recently chatted with John DiBiase, NAR’s Government Affairs communications director. We got into a discussion about YPN and how it changed my career. I though it’s a valid story to share.
When I first obtained my license, I began working in a large office. I started out by assisting a fellow agent. Within a month of me having my license, the agent I worked for business went downhill. My hopes of being able to learn from a veteran agent were gone. Besides that, the office I worked in was so large, that I got lost in the shuffle. I began to realize that this office was not the best place for me.
I ended up moving to a new company. I love the company and the technology tools it had. While I loved my new company, I still felt like I was missing something. I couldn’t seem to get on track and get my business going. I began to research ways to launch my business and I soon ran into the YPN website.
I couldn’t believe the information I found. I would read blogs in complete amazement of what other agents were doing. Some if the things I learned I had never even heard of before. I went on overload a bit. But I have to say, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.
I have been able to grow as an agent. My business has improved tremendously. Some people may say that I know what I am doing now. Outside growing my business, I have also become more involved with my industry at-large. Not to mention being able to connect with people at NAR like John who I have been able to get advice from and be able to voice my opinion to.
So if you ever had any doubts about YPN, I am a perfect example of why it works. I am not paid by NAR or YPN to say this; it’s the truth. If I hadn’t found YPN when I did, I can’t say that I would still be in the business.
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Stefanie Hahn
At the recent REtechSouth conference in Atlanta I had the chance to see Robert Hahn of 7DS Associates speak on a subject he titled, “A Time for Greatness.” This presentation was geared to association execs and REALTORS® who are leaders within their organizations – a group well represented in the RETSO crowd. Since YPN has given me the opportunity to be a leader in my own state I felt compelled to attend and scribbled mad notes throughout the two-part session.
Let me say two things right away…
1.) Rob and I are not related.
2.) This is my interpretation of the presentation based solely on my notes. If you want a deeper look, read Rob’s post-event blog post or talk to him directly – he likes to engage with others in this field.
The first thing I noticed is that Rob has little hope for our generation if things don’t change – not fatalistic, but just not hopeful. The other thing I noticed is that Rob is really smart. Combine those two things (little hope and big brains) and I knew this was something that had to be shared and something we could work on.
Rather than focus on the industry issues many of us already know exist (and during his talk he covered all the favorites including low industry standards, high turn-over rates, and public perception) I think we should use Rob’s talk as a clarion call to think about possible solutions. That is what I have chosen to do. I know others are too – in fact many associations are already considering new directions – but in this case perhaps doing it from a YPN perspective makes sense.
One of the first suggestions Rob made was to reform governance within the REALTOR® associations. Perhaps organizations don’t need all these people to make decisions. This one hits close to home, of course, since I just managed to earn a seat on my state board of directors. I must agree with Rob though that many associations should consider whether longer terms are necessary (after all, just how much can you accomplish knowing you have just 365 days to get it done) and should give more thought to whether direct elections are the way to go. Certainly from a YPN perspective, knowing you can “be a part of the process” from the outset may encourage more direct involvement. Continue reading »
By Brett Caviness
I simply couldn’t wait two more years to graduate college before entering my dream career as a REALTOR®, so I didn’t. I went active as a real estate agent in Cedar Falls Iowa in 2009. Since entering the business, I have worked hard to manage my time. With class, work on campus, activities and friends I was able to make time to schedule showings, and close deals in-between. There are a lot of things I wish I knew before I got into the business; I mean this is hard work! So I made a list of a few things I wish they told me about the real estate world in my weekend classes.
1. A real estate license doesn’t mean sales. Your office doesn’t just hand you over some magic list of names of people ready, willing and able to buy or sell. You have to find them yourself.
2. Even if you are a part time agent, this is a full-time job. I didn’t realize between classes I would be on the phone with clients, offices, the abstract company, lenders and others while reviewing important documents on my Blackberry.
3. Starting a career in real estate is like starting your own company. I have quickly learned to be my own boss, marketing director, web master, public relations manager, and accountant while always working in research and development. Continue reading »
By Kelly Reark
We were all standing around complaining about our feet hurting in the shoes we chose, wondering if it was our third or fifth cup of Starbucks that day, when the idea hit me that maybe I should put together a quick list of dos and don’ts for anyone attending one of our marathon REALTOR® conferences throughout the year. I have been to a half dozen of these events, and I should know better. With the REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo quickly approaching, here are my survival tips:
1. Wear comfortable shoes (or go ahead and show off those cute pumps but bring a big purse with a pair of flats just in case). Guys, just make sure you have on socks. Invest $3 for a stick of Band-Aid’s blister block. Shoes you’ve not walked in for awhile will do you wrong at a conference.
2. Take it outside. Now, I know this should be rudimentary, like arriving on time or not interrupting the speaker, but make sure you switch your phone to silent mode. If a call comes in, and you must answer it, go out of the room. Business is definitely important, so don’t gab in the middle of a room full of people. I sat in more than one class during the mid-winter event thinking, “are you kidding me?“ Oh, and the “looking around acting like it’s not you” thing while your phone plays your entire ring tone really doesn’t work.
3. Bring an extra cell phone battery. Twelve hours of checking voicemails and texting between events will leave you powerless.
4. Dress in layers. Even in sunny Florida, dressing in layers is critical. A few minutes in the sun will have you sweating, but the event center might have cranked the AC in anticipation of all of us hot-heads. It’s good to be versatile on the fly.
5. No time for a workout this trip? Says who? Don’t offer to hang on to someones stuff unless you really want to work your arms, back, and patience for the day. Even 5 pounds feels like 50 after you have lugged it all over an event. Continue reading »