By Scott Newman
So you just found out your buddy got a big promotion and is now ready to buy a sexy luxury condo in downtown Chicago. He’s your boy–you’ve known him since grade school–of course he’s going to give you first crack at the business, and you’ve already started spending the commission check. But before you blindly agree to be his agent, stop and think of the potential consequences of working with close friends and how you can make sure it’s a positive experience for both of you.
Treat Them Like Any Other Client
Many real estate pros go one of two ways when they work with friends – and both are bad. The first is when all their professional experience and training goes out the window and they act super lax and unprofessional thinking it will be OK because they know the client.
The other is the agent who takes things so seriously that they literally suck all the fun out of the entire process for the client, who then ends up never wanting to work with–or refer anyone to them–again.
What’s the lesson here? Forget about the personal relationship you have with this particular client and give them the same high level of service and overall experience you provide to all your other clients. If you follow that golden rule, you virtually eliminate the risk of damaging the personal or professional relationship with the client.
Expect To Go Above and Beyond
I have literally seen agents arguing with close friends they are representing while in the hallway outside the closing office. The expectations the client had vs. the expectations the agent had might as well have existed in two separate universes. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
In an attempt to jumpstart the fitness routine I once followed, I decided to sign up for a three-week boot camp. As we are now entering the third and final week, I am wondering how am I possibly going to work-out with the same intensity and discipline at the gym on my own once the week is over. There is something about exercising in a group environment (or even with a partner), having each other and a trainer to encourage and push you beyond what you mentally thought you can achieve that makes boot camps so successful. Come on! One more pushup!
It got me thinking about a truth that also applies to our personal and professional lives – who do we surround ourselves with? Just as the boot camp environment works by having your peers challenge you to continually improve, we also need similar peers around us in other aspects of our lives. Sit back for a moment and think about the people who you surround yourself with in your life. Would you consider them people who encourage you? Or do they bring you down? Do they push you to think bigger and strive for more? Or do they cloud your judgment with fear and negativity?
In real estate, we all know agents who are complaining about how bad the market is, and blaming the economy for their lack of sales. We also know agents who, in spite of the market, are optimistic and making the best of the situation. These agents are doing extremely well. Which ones do you surround yourself with? Which ones do you allow to influence your thoughts and mood?
Now, keep in mind, this goes both ways. Are YOU a person who uplifts others, encourages them, and pushes them to do more and grow personally and professionally? Or do you bring them down, discouraging their goals, dreams, ideas, and ambitions? Which person do you want to be?
Just some food for thought as you start off your week. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a couple of more pushups I need to knock out.
Have a great week!
Anand Patel is a broker licensed in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi with Elite REO Services and Elite Premier Properties. You can connect with Anand on Twitter: @anand_tampa; Facebook: www.facebook.com/livingelite; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1 or on the Web at www.anandsblog.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 Lynn Minnick
I recently found myself thinking about how the changing market has forced us to change, to adapt, to constantly improve on the skills necessary to survive and succeed in this business. Then I realized that as the years have gone by, the cast of characters in my real estate career has also changed. Sure, there were some I was happy to distance myself from, but there are others I’ve been sorry to see go, and other people new to the scene who are influencing the way I view and run my business.
Do you think about how the people you choose to surround yourself with affect your work, your success, your attitude? I believe those people can motivate you, support and help you, slow you down, or suck up your time and energy, among other things.
Since the changes in the mortgage industry and the consequent onslaught of short sales and foreclosures came upon us, I’ve found certain key people (lately it’s been other REALTORS® and attorneys) have been instrumental in helping me navigate my way. Just like knowing the better home inspectors and lenders, septic guys and termite guys, I’m stacking my deck with winning cards and they’re my aces.
It’s in your best interest to cultivate relationships with those who can have a positive influence in your career, but I also believe in give and take…that you get back what you put out there. (Are you the kind of agent who supports other agents in your community by attending their events or broker’s opens and follow up with feedback after showing their listings? Do you serve on committees or volunteer in your community? Believe me, those good relationships you’re building will help you!) Reputation goes a long way in real estate.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably building your social media village too. Are the rules the same? Probably. Are you working with those people in your day to day business? Generally speaking, I’m not, but they are there inspiring me, sharing new ideas and positive attitudes, and for that they are an important part of my village as well.
By Laura Rubinchuk
All of the tag lines we hear somehow incorporate the following: Who do you know who’s looking to buy or sell in the next 30 days? Notice we never hear “rent” in those scenarios. Well as REALTORS®, how do you know when to focus your time on a rental, versus a bigger money maker like a buyer or seller? Where do you draw the line?
After a recent experience with a renter where I showed 16 houses and counting, I started to wonder – would my efforts be better focused elsewhere? Am I just donating my time at this point?
I’ve had some wonderful experiences with renters in the past, as I generally do about 6-8 per year (both landlord rep and tenant rep). I’ve had some old renters turn into listings, buyers, and referrals, and then I’ve had some turn into nothing at all. So I tried to come up with a way to evaluate whether to take on a rental client:
1. Is their price range realistic for the market? If they’re looking for a diamond in the rough, I may decide to refer them to an agent who only deals with rentals.
2. Do I have more “A” clients who need my time? I like to devote as much time as necessary to each client to make them feel they’re getting the level of service they require. Taking on too many things will only spread you thin and not make anyone happy.
3. What is their level of commitment to my services? Are they looking at Craigslist too? Would they be willing to pay a retainer fee to assure their commitment to me? Continue reading »
By Lynn Minnick
I’ve been marketing the crazy out of a high-end listing. (Yes, I’m fairly sure I just made up that expression…but this is about getting creative, right?) This is easily the hardest I’ve ever worked to sell a listing. In this market, I went in knowing it would be a challenge, armed with an arsenal of creative ideas and a full social media marketing plan. Taking a partner on this project was necessary because I knew I would be traveling abroad for an extended time during the listing period, but it has been great to have someone to bounce ideas around with. Because of this, we’ve done some interesting things that might give you a few ideas.
We started off with hosting “An Evening With Monica Seles” in NYC through the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I., and by sponsoring the Campbell Tennis Tournament. We did this because the property has a Har-Tru tennis court overlooking the Connecticut River. (See, Monica is such a good sport – having her picture taken with our sign!) Sure, we had broker tours as well as the requisite broker’s open house, but we made it memorable by creating a micro-cocktail named after the property (we called it “The Knowles”), sushi and seafood appetizers, a wine and dessert tasting by the river, and an amazing door prize giveaway (tickets to the U.S. Open!).
We’ve been in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and on every online venue we should be. We’ve targeted the agents selling high-end waterfronts with glossy mailers and e-mails. Continue reading »