By Alex Milshteyn
I’ve attended the annual REALTORS® Conference & Expo since 2005. A lot has changed since my first annual conference, which also took place in San Francisco, but a lot has also stayed the same. Here is a list of some of my memorable changes:
- In 2005, I didn’t have in-flight internet. I am not sure how I survived 4.5 hour flight without checking e-mail.
- In 2005, I came to San Francisco with no technology. No iPhone, no iPad, no MacBook, no battery pack, no 3 chargers.
- In 2005, I carried a fancy silver flip phone on my belt.
- In 2005, I walked by at least four “Internet Cafés” from my hotel to the convention center. I used these cafés to check my e-mail only once a day.
- In 2005, the only “tech” sessions offered were training on how to use Microsoft Word, Excel, Publisher, and PowerPoint. I remember taking a class on how to create a listing presentation in PowerPoint. I was one of 20 REALTORS® that attended this class.
- In 2005, social media was non-existent at the conference.
- In 2005, Zillow and Trulia didn’t exist.
- In 2005, I bought my first package through realtor.com®, I agreed to pay them $300 per year to “showcase” my listings.
- In 2005, the conference registration cost $300. It was $400 for this year.
- In 2005, Dr. Phil was the keynote speaker.
- In 2005, the expo had “tech” companies that mostly included only website creators like z57 and iHouse.
A lot has changed in eight years. But also, a lot has stayed the same. The sessions on selling real estate are mostly the same; old school methods still work. Technology has made it easier for us to communicate but it hasn’t replaced us. I’m looking forward to the next REALTORS® Conference and Expo in San Francisco in 2019 so that I can report the changes that have happened since 2013.
Alex Milshteyn, GRI, ABR, is a REALTOR® in Ann Arbor, Mich., who runs a real estate team of five professionals called Alex Milshteyn Real Estate Associates. Connect with him at www.alexmi.com.
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 Jay O’Brien
Now that I (maybe) caught your attention with such a money-hungry, eye-grabbing, cliché of a title, allow me to attempt to pave a thought process in your mind on how to achieve such an ambitious monetary goal without being too Robert Kiyosaki about it.
First, focus on connecting the dots more than selling houses. Learn how to spot opportunities.
Forget about the postcards, lose the expired listings scripts, and think. For example, is your neighbor having a garage sale? What’s their story? Maybe they’re gearing up for a move. What do you do? You have their address…now look up tax records, find out information, and send a personalized letter to help figure it out.
Here are two other ways to seize a business opportunity:
1. Have you ever received a phone call on one of your listings that was already in escrow? Think about EXACTLY how that conversation went. Most I have heard sound a little something like, “Nope, nope. Sorry. That property is pending and will be closing soon. Yep. Yeah. Thanks for calling,” in an annoyed and disturbed voice.
When a sign call comes in, prospective clients are calling your buyer’s hotline. It’s our job to capture this call, convert this lead, and represent this individual on a different transaction. I personally like to ask questions such as: Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
We can’t help it.
As real estate professionals we sometimes are trapped within an industry bubble. We attend conferences, meetings, seminars, mastermind groups all related to the real estate industry. We spend most of our time with fellow real estate professionals (our whole business is based on cooperating with our competition). The topic of many of our conversations inevitably revolves around buying and selling real property. It’s easy to get stuck doing and thinking the same…day in and day out.
Because of this, it’s no surprise that a majority of the disruption and innovation happening in the real estate industry today is coming from individuals and companies outside the field. Why? They provide a fresh perspective as an “outsider” peering into a profession that, in their eyes, appears broken. Many of those taking on the challenge personally went through a real estate transaction and realized a need that wasn’t being met.
There is no reason why more solutions can’t come from within the real estate industry.
Imagine the innovation that can take place if more professionals within the industry adapted a broad-minded perspective to challenge our everyday thinking. It doesn’t have to be a major disruption to change the whole industry – it can be something as small as going paperless in our offices, changing how we communicate MLS listings with our buyers, or perhaps considering unconventional marketing techniques.
Here are some ways to help start thinking “outside the house”: Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
Every real estate professional has experienced it: those slow times, the off-months, the hot streaks that suddenly go cold… call them what you will but when things turn sluggish at the office, it can not only be a confidence and momentum-killer but also a disaster for your business plan. So how do you avoid the roller coaster of income fluctuations typical of our industry? For me, that question can be answered with one word: networking.
But merely handing out business cards or posting flyers to community bulletin boards won’t put money in the bank. To really make networking your solution to spotty earnings, I propose thinking outside the box. With a little creativity, you can truly use the practice to generate a more consistent flow of business.
As REALTORS®, we all love to schmooze. It’s basically written into the job description. It’s also one of the best ways to meet new people and generate leads. Who’s to say you’ve got to wait for the next Facebook invite to come through before you have an opportunity to stretch your schmoozing skills? Imagine for a moment that you were the one organizing the party instead of just being an attendee. In fact, why wait for an event when you can plan one of your own at the very time your business needs a little boost?
Along with some referral partners, I’ve been hosting a quarterly networking event for the past year that’s gotten rave reviews. Setting up the event is relatively painless; I partner with a local bar or restaurant and bring in sponsors to cover the bulk of the costs. Then, I invite a wonderful mix of local prospects, business connections, and past clients. Everyone has a few drinks and a bite to eat and it’s a great way to stay top-of-mind when it comes time for people to recommend your services. In fact, I have closed several deals with people I’ve met at my networking events already! Continue reading »
By Michelle Flaherty Philbrook
A while back, I got a call on a condo listing of mine. The potential buyers were a retirement-age couple looking for a new place just large enough for their kids to stop by for a visit, but just small enough that their fledglings couldn’t fully return to the nest.
I showed the condo, and when it wasn’t a fit, I brought them on as buyer clients. After we became more comfortable with each other, this couple confided in me that they initially thought I looked “way too young to be [their] agent,” but that in the context of having met other agents both recently and over the years, they felt I was uniquely equipped help them meet their goals. I think the reasons we were so compatible can be applied rather universally, so if you don’t mind entertaining the occasional demographic stereotype, read on for how Gen Y traits can uniquely serve some common Baby Boomer needs.
Baby Boomer with a Sense of Urgency? Meet Gen Y with Fast Texting Fingers. As a general rule, most people don’t become more patient with age — a fact of life that works in favor of agents raised in the age of text messaging and real-time e-mail. When these buyers inquired via e-mail on my condo, I called them right away. And when the property didn’t work for them, I got their search set up the same day. They told me later that none of the other brokers came close to that level of responsiveness.
Baby Boomer with Intelligent Questions Based on Experience? Meet Gen Y with Fab Research Skills. The way that I was able to quickly aggregate property information from multiple (and at times obscure) sources beyond the MLS really impressed my boomer clients. The 2010 Census confirmed that the percentage of post-secondary graduates among the U.S. population is at an all-time high, so it follows that most YPNers can likely offer extensive research skills. And in an industry like ours with ever-changing guidelines, best practices, and technology, it is more valuable to be a quick study than a deep topic expert.
Baby Boomer with Very Specific Needs? Meet Gen Y Power Networking: Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
The invention of the DVR was a beautiful thing. According to ACNielson, the marketing research firm, by 2011 more than 40 percent of U.S. households had DVRs giving families the ability to breeze right over TV commercials and get right back into their favorite shows. Who wants to watch annoying commercials for products and services you have no interest in, right?
Just like fast forwarding television commercials we have no interest in watching, many residential agents pass up on perfect commercial real estate referral opportunities simply because they have no contact (or interest) with the commercial world. Instead of tapping an additional income source, they are skipping right over the commercial.
If you work exclusively as a residential sales agent, what do you do when your buyer, who just moved, to town asks you about commercial real estate because they want to open up a new business? Do you tell them you have no clue and wish them luck in their search? Or, do you have a basic understanding of the commercial market in your area and a great commercial REALTOR® you can refer them to?
In many markets, commercial real estate is picking up. Here in Tampa, Fla., we are seeing new businesses enter our market as they are in expansion mode. I have talked to several new entrepreneurs who are also looking to call Tampa home, as they are finding this to be prime time to make the move both personally and professionally. This scenario is playing out in many markets around the country.
This is a ripe opportunity for real estate professionals who only work in residential real estate to make referral income by partnering with a strong commercial agent. Here are some ideas:
- Attend introductory commercial real estate educational classes held at your local REALTOR® association. If they don’t offer any classes, now is a good time to encourage them to do so. Better yet, this may be an opportunity for your YPN group to offer a commercial 101 class, filling a void in your association’s current educational offerings.
- Attend networking events Continue reading »
By Dolores Esanu
It’s 2013 and we’re revamping our lives and even our closets. Some things fit, some things don’t, and some we hope will fit again. In business, the thinly veiled line of what’s acceptable is becoming even more transparent. One hundred years ago, for a businessman, nothing less was expected than a tailored three-piece suit. Post-war American, working women wore sweater sets and full skirts, always past the knee. The 1980s brought the “linebacker suits,” fully accompanied with the ever so flattering shoulder pads.
So what about today? In real estate, we can receive a call to show property only find ourselves trekking through 40 acres of muddy land. Business functions can even be challenging. A recent banquet invitation specifically stated “Business Formal,” and I went on to witness long formal gowns, pant suits, and even blue jeans!
Wondering If I’ve been guilty of these business fashion crimes, I begun to research. What is the definition of the main types of business attire? The list below confirmed my curiosity:
Business Casual – Men you can disregard the suit with this one, but you can’t put on jeans either. Polo, collared shirt, tucked in with khakis fit under this category. Ladies, you can sport anything from skirts, to dresses to dress pants with a button down or countless blouses.
Business Professional – Consider it one step above Business Casual. Real estate may not see this as a norm very often. But careers involving finance or law may have this stricter dress code. Blazer and skirt or suit pants for women and suit with any color/print tie for the guys.
Business Formal – Guys, you can bring out the cuff links with this one, but a tux is not necessary. A dark colored suit and tie would be more than acceptable. Ladies can adorn a suit and skirt with heels, preferably closed or a conservative dress.
Smart Casual – Ah, the one us REALTORS® can relate to. Men can wear crewneck tees, sweaters, dark colored jeans and loafers. Ladies have an advantage as the options are greater. Tailored jeans, fun colored blouses; anything that is harmonious and pulled together would suffice.
Each office is different, each agent is different, and each day is different. Our attire can change drastically in a day due to the unpredictability. But isn’t this what makes our industry so exciting?
By Cory Brewer
Last week I spent some time with my local YPN planting trees at a nearby park. Next week we are hosting an elegant networking event in ther 43rd floor penthouse at the newest condo tower in downtown Bellevue, Wash., complete with valet parking and a red carpet. In the past 12 months, we have also hosted free clock hour classes, educational panels, and “get to know you” happy hours in a casual environment.
The reason for this blog post is a simple one: Get involved!
You never know who you’re going to meet or connect with. Our local network is focused on bringing REALTORS® together along with professionals from other industries (law, finance, etc.) to foster relationships and help one another grow our businesses. We have taken many cues from other YPNs around the country, and their efforts have been a great inspiration to us.
So there you go — a shameless plug for YPN!
Keep up the great work, everyone. There is something for everybody – and the more you get involved, the more you can help make it what you want it to be. Invite your friends, invite your colleagues, and encourage them to attend your events. From community service, to athletics, to education, to parties…be there or be square!
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 Jennifer Klein
I’m a two-year chair of the Placer County Association of REALTORS® Young Professionals Network and I was recently nominated to the 2013 Placer County Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. In my video below, I share why and how I became involved with the board, as well as the benefits of getting involved in your local association.
Jennifer Klein is a REALTOR® in Northern California who is experienced in short sales, investments, and property management. Connect with Jen at RosevilleAndRocklin.com, JenKlein.com, and @JenKleinSac.