By Paul Everett
The first indication from many home owners that they are seriously considering selling their home is often through a free listing on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, StreetEasy, or other regional and national For Sale By Owner sites.
With the expansion of FSBO advice companies as well as online listing tools—particularly Zillow and Trulia—an increasing number of home owners are feeling empowered to take a spin at selling their homes on their own, in order to cut out the potential fees associated with agent sales. As we all know, FSBOs most often learn after a few weeks that selling a home is hard work, and best left to professionals! Placing yourself and your real estate services in front of the home owner during this moment of realization is the key to securing listings from online FSBOs.
When the home owner starts feeling the frustration of selling on his or her own, this is the seed of your opportunity. Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one who knows the time is ripe. Rest assured that many like-minded and hardworking agents in your area will all be thinking the same thing at the exact same time. Therefore, timing and approach will mean everything if you want to be the one who gets the listing. Here are five tips for putting yourself ahead of the pack: Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
The word “role model” gets a lot of lip service. We live in a society that loves to point fingers at our teachers, musicians, athletes, and actors when our kids behave badly. Personally, I never deeply considered the importance of being a role model until recently.
As you may know, I reference my 3 1/2-year-old daughter every now and then in my posts. The fact is, she has inadvertently taught me many life lessons since her birth that I continue to learn. Well, she is now at the age where she will copy what we say and do — from her mimicking a recent conversation I had on the phone with another real estate agent to her skipping through the living room on an imaginary horse as we watch Psy’s Gangnam Style video. This has really caused me to reconsider many behaviors — things as simple as eating a piece of chocolate in the evening when she asks me, “Why are you allowed to eat sweets before bed but I can’t?” She was right. I had two choices, either I changed my behavior, or I let her do what I was doing. The choice was mine.
Have you considered that we are also role models for those we interact with on a daily basis? If you are a broker, you act as a role model for your agents. If you run a team, your teammates look to you for guidance. Even your customers to an extent look to you as a role model:
- How do you dress when you meet with your buyer or seller?
- Do you show up on time?
- Do you show up prepared?
- How quickly do you respond to their requests?
- Do you listen?
Our behavior gives others permission to do the same with us. We set the example. As you look to define or redefine yourself in 2013, keep this in mind: What you give is what you get. What kind of role model will you choose to be?
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; LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/anandpatel1; or on the Web at www.anandsblog.com.
REALTOR® University launched its first Master of Real Estate course, Real Estate Law (RE520), on February 27. The Master of Real Estate curriculum emphasizes the practical skills and concepts the real estate industry demands from real estate professionals and blends theory with real-world applications. Even if you missed the first class, four eight-week sessions remain in 2012. The next session begins April 30.
Sign up now and save! The first 40 students in the Master of Real Estate program this year will receive a $2,500 grant for being part of the charter class. This will be distributed as $500 per course for the student’s first five classes. Want to learn more? Call 855-786-6546 (RUONLINE) or visit RealtorU.com.
By Veronica Barragan
Some REALTORS® conceived 2012 as “The Year of Volume Transactions” because lower home prices created the need to increase transactions to keep up with personal career goals while maintaining life styles and income. In actuality, 2012 has quickly become “The Year of the Professional.”
We’re in an environment where REALTORS® celebrate authentic, professional standards, and embrace all markets as a visionaries. They can stand back and understand the big picture, while in turn, offering excellent client service with integrity.
For example, in states such as Arizona where I currently practice, many REALTORS® have shifted their business dramatically and quickly from the dwindling REO niche back to buyers and sellers. REALTORS® are going back to basics, which should have never been ignored if they planned on making real estate a long term career. “The basics” encompass key fundamental characteristics that never ever disappear and easily transcend time. The basics include the utmost professional attention to each and every client’s needs, appreciating every phone call as the gateway to referrals because of the agent’s attention to detail, and, more importantly, having the ability to be fully present and aware of the intentions, desires, and needs of every individual who comes to you, as an agent, for your real estate expertise.
Today’s market is diverse and includes first-time home buyers, the tech-savvy newest generation, the growing and underserved Hispanic community, investors, second home buyers, and sellers in a hardship situation. To be able to serve this new and diverse clientele effectively as a professional, you must be able to adapt the basics into your business plan and into your soul.
There is no more sitting back and waiting for the bank to assign you that distressed property, because you will not survive — Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
Monday night on my flight home from the National Association of REALTORS® Midyear meetings in Washington, D.C., I noticed that the flight was offering free satellite TV and it just so happened one of my favorite shows was on – Survivor. I have been a fan of the show for all of its 22 seasons, and every season ends up practically the same, with the finalists sitting in front of the jury (aka: losers) enduring all sorts of attacks and personal jabs from those who wish they were sitting in the finalist’s position.
This led me to recall recent events in game 4 of the NBA Conference Semifinals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were just 2 minutes away from being swept in the series when frustration took over and Andrew Bynum and Lamar Odom committed two of the most flagrant and classless fouls in the history of the NBA, leaving an indelible mar on the coaching career of Phil Jackson, not to mention a bad taste in fan’s mouths across the country.
Both of these events then reminded me of the meeting I had just attended, where the Board of Directors for the National Association of REALTORS® had just passed a $40 dues increase to fund a Political Survival Initiative. The tweets and social media comments that sprung up as a result of this vote passing were much like the jury on Survivor and the frustrated Lakers, full of animosity, name calling and all around unprofessionalism.
So this raises the question – have we lost the art of losing? Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
I’ve been a part of many referral organizations in my short real estate career. Some have been a wasteland of nothingness. One or two others have been the Promised Land of Income. In my time, however, I’ve never seen a new force of referral energy emerge on the scene until now. The YPN referral network is booming.
Daily, yes, daily, I receive word of someone closing deals together across the miles. I’m seeing praises on facebook walls about a client well-served by a network member. I’m hearing story after story of YPNers cooperating from coast to coast. Two questions: Is YPN the next big referral engine? Why is this medium for REALTOR®-to-REALTOR® referrals growing so much?
The first answer is easy. Yes, YPN is the next big, if not the current, big organic referral engine, without question. More importantly, I think we need ourselves and our surrounding organizations to understand why.
1. I’ve honestly never been a part of such a close-knit group of people. Even as a former fraternity president and director of youth leadership programs, what we have is rare. Our generation has the knowledge and power to leverage strong, deep relationships that begin either in person or online and continue to grow in media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Foursquare. While other groups are scratching their heads, criticizing “all the computer play” as a fad, our YPNers are oblivious to the confusion. We’re just roller skating along enjoying the moments.
2. Our demographic is hot in real estate sales. Gen Y and Gen X buyers and sellers are the majority of the market. While many of them still work with agents out of our generations, many are now comfortable with the level of professionalism we all continue to bring to the table. No longer is the argument, “Ah, they’re new and too green to the business,” valid. We are an arsenal of smart, hard-working, ethical REALTORS®. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
Recently, at the Minneapolis YPN SquareTable event, I had a discussion with a few agents about what type of car you should drive to protect your image as an agent. It went back and fourth based on where you lived, who you served, etc. While I agreed with a lot of the responses, I also feel that having a certain type of vehicle does not make you a good agent. It’s all about what you do for your clients.
Take me for instance. I live very frugally. I have a nice car and all, but it’s really nothing special. When I go grocery shopping, I clip coupons. I rarely shop for novelty items and money really is not an issue with me. I worry about making sure I’m able to support my family and being able to retire some day — both are very important to me.
While discussing this with the other agents, someone suggested that you talk to your past clients and see what they thought about the vehicle you drove. I decided to survey some of my clients and see what they said. I sent an email out to them with the following questions:
1. Is there anything that would have deterred you from using me as an agent? Examples: If I had purple hair, tattoos or drove an ugly car, etc.
Client #1- “If you had purple hair, I might have run after meeting you in that open house, but I could care less about tattoos or the car you drove. “
Client #2-“Honestly, was impressed because you drove the same car as me. I know the quality of the vehicle you drove and I think it says a lot about a person by choosing a high quality vehicle. “
Client #3- “Well, I believe in first impressions. I didn’t know what type of vehicle you drove when we first met. I had the opportunity to work with you and my loan officer for a while before I started to view homes, so it really didn’t matter anymore. I was happy with you.”
2. What are the reasons you used me as an agent? Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
The couple slid through the front door, their faces painted with obvious pain and anguish over having to go through this all over again – and after talking to them, it became very obvious why.
This was the first time I’d met the couple, but I was far from their first real estate agent who they’d viewed houses with. A past client referred them my direction and as we stood in that house, it became obvious that the agents they’d met were not paying attention to the clients.
While I’m sure that no one that reads the YPN blogs is guilty of this at all, it seemed a good time to remind other professionals of a few items.
You Work for the Buyer (or Seller). This is an amazing concept, I know. While many clients will lean on your expertise the key is to remember that every – and I do mean EVERY – decision in this transaction is theirs. Stop putting your values, ideas, and personal biases on to your customers – they don’t care and more importantly it could be a lawsuit waiting to happen if it is deemed to be steering due to a protected class.
Lead the Horse To Water, Let It Drink. The neighborhood isn’t the best one in the market – but which is the best? Is that a subject or objective statement? Of course it is subjective which means it needs to be left up to your clients. Showing houses last weekend and the street felt very busy to me and the buyers have a young child – made me uncomfortable. Did I voice my concern to the buyer? Of course, but it was in a constructive way, suggesting they come by the house a few times to make sure they were comfortable with the traffic and speed on the street. Led them to the water hole, and to drink or not was their decision. Oh yeah, and they wrote on the house.
Show Some Personality. I’m unique; actually I believe when I was in school the word was “special.” And I’m proud of that. You should be to. Embrace who you are and utilize it to the best of your abilities. I’m a natural educator and I believe that my home buyers are some of the most educated about the process in the area. I work with people who share similar beliefs from an affiliate stand point and it has worked for me during my four-and-a-half years in real estate. Continue reading »
By Jason O’Neil
In today’s day and age of hyper-competition and hyper-information, consumers are looking for substance and relevance. They are looking to buy but not be sold. But how is that possible? How does one buy if they aren’t sold?
Bill Gates wrote in his 1999 (but still relevant) book Business @ the Speed of Thought, ”The most meaningful way to differentiate your company from your competition … is to do an outstanding job with information. How you gather, manage, and use information will determine whether you win or lose.”
Sounds easy enough — but showings are almost nonexistent, sign calls have dried up, and football season starts this weekend. No one will be going to my open houses.
True, and the fact of the matter is that a potential home buyer can see virtually every angle of your home online…in most cases they can find out the details and the price on their smartphone in half the time it would take to call the number on the sign and hope for a live person.
In the spirit of the aforementioned Gates quote, I propose that we, as REALTORS®, incorporate the following to make certain we are winning in the eyes of the public:
1. Be accurate. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
Back in January, I wrote a blog post about a recent dispute I had with another practitioner. At the time, the incident had just happened and it hadn’t been completely resolved. Things are finally getting pieced together.
The whole situation was a hard thing for me to go through. My fellow co-workers had always given me respect and knew that I did things professionally. But in every office there is always the one person that maybe doesn’t share the same opinion as you. In my case, I was the type of person who doesn’t get into all of the drama. But when I started getting e-mails from others in my office, the day after the situation happened, I was floored! But at the same time I did not respond to the e-mails and questions from other people in the office. I felt it was inappropriate to say anything. But at the same time, it was hard for me to hold back the urge to defend myself.
But I still tried to take the high road. This has been a whirl wind experience for me. But from every experience, there are valuable lessons to be learned. Here are some tips to better handle an in office dispute.
- Until the issue is resolved, keep it to yourself.
- Be an adult and try and work it out with the other practitioner.
- If you can’t get the issue resolved between you and the other practitioner, always get your manager involved.
- Make sure you have your facts straight. Speculation doesn’t get you anywhere.
- Try to put yourself in the other persons shoes.
- Don’t let yourself get too worked up. Letting yourself get emotional will only hurt the situation.
- Be willing to comprise, if possible.
- If you are right and you have the facts to back it up, don’t give up!
- Don’t get down on yourself if you’re wrong. We all make mistakes!
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at strugglingrookierealestateagent.blogspot.com.