By Sam DeBord
The National Association of REALTORS® recently voted to approve updates to its operating agreement with realtor.com® and allow more flexibility for the Web site. There has been a wide range of reactions from REALTORS®. This blog is part one of my five-part series in which I will discuss the propriety of the agreement.
Let’s start with some background: NAR does not own the Web site. It merely owns the domain name, realtor.com®, which it has licensed to Move, Inc. to operate. Many discussions center on this issue still today. This agreement started in the mid-90s. Whether or not some members liked it, it is a 20-year old moot issue. NAR only owns about 2.5 percent of Move, Inc. They are merely a marketing partner with whom REALTORS® have regulatory clout because of our ownership of the domain name.
The new agreement between NAR and realtor.com® approves four major changes:
- Display unlisted new homes and new-home communities.
- Display unlisted rentals.
- Obtain listings from entities that are not REALTOR®-owned and controlled, as well as from brokers who are not REALTORS®.
- Identify properties where a notice of default has been recorded, auctions of distressed properties, short sales, foreclosures, and bank-owned properties. (Listing brokers will have the option to opt out by calling the realtor.com® customer care center.)
Individual consumer FSBOs remain precluded from the site, and the changes will be implemented in a way that preserves realtor.com®’s accuracy advantage, according to Move executives.
NAR directors are members—not some faraway body of executives. Continue reading »
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 Sammer Mudawar
Buying and selling residential real estate is one of the most emotional transactions consumers conduct. Understanding client psychology, managing expectations, and using effective communication are the three most valuable skills that a real estate professional needs to develop for a successful career with less stress.
Understand the psyche of your client and your chances of a smooth transaction increase dramatically.
Is the client a standard seller who has lived and raised their family in the home for the past 25 years, but has not done many upgrades? Perhaps prepping this client for the possibility of offensive offers from cash investors will be important to making sure they don’t take things personally, or worse, become unreasonable sellers.
Understanding client psychology is important, however, equally important is they understand your psychology. It is vital to the client relationship that they understand your goals are in-line with theirs, and as a fiduciary you will only represent their best interests. Breaking down the walls in the beginning is one of the best ways to get on the same page as your client.
Here are two examples of how to manage expectations with buyers and sellers. Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
Many agents forget that barriers to getting deals to the closing table exist in both good and bad markets. We are seeing a lot of appraisal issues in the Chicagoland area as over-regulation and timidness on the part of appraisers to push values — despite undeniable appreciation — has resulted in many deals dying at the financing stage.
How do you avoid becoming one of the statistics? Follow my 3 practical tips below…
Know Thy Appraiser
The biggest mistake an agent can make is not meeting the appraiser at the property.
To assume that your appraiser is a true expert on that particular neighborhood, city, property type, etc. is foolish. You know what they say about people who assume!!
You need to be there — both agents should be present, in fact, to show solidarity. Make sure you walk that entire property with the appraiser and give him or her the comparables you feel best reflect the true value of the home. Also, follow up with them afterwards to make sure things are going smoothly.
Remember, lenders are no longer allowed to speak to the appraiser on their file, so you are the first and last line of defense in making sure someone who’s under-qualified doesn’t blow up your deal .
Know Thy Lender Continue reading »
By Jason O’Neil
Sit tight. Last week mortgage interest rates jumped drastically. Some say without warning, but then again, most have been preaching for months, if not years, that rates can’t stay this low. Can they?
Why did they rise? Is Wall Street fed up? Was the Federal Reserve testing the market’s tolerance with some well thought out comments? “The downside risks to the outlook for the economy and the labor market have diminished,” said Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke on June 19. Will the Fed begin to unwind its efforts? Time will tell the answer to all of these questions. But I do assure you that the ride is not over. As we’ve seen in years past, there is always a secondary action to the immediate (usually over-reaction) reaction.
Rates will likely dip again and level off in a somewhat upward trajectory. We have likely seen the record low rates come and go.
This happens. It is the cycle. It is not doom and gloom. Rates are still low and people are still interested in buying houses. In fact, I typically see an uptick in home sales immediately after an interest rate rise as homebuyers fear further increases.
As real estate professionals, we don’t have all the answers when it comes to the future of interest rates, but we owe it to our clients to partner with mortgage professionals who are pro-active and knowledgeable about their industry. Rates will be what they will be, and while they have an impact, they certainly are not the largest reason that someone should or should not buy a home.
Jason O’Neil is an associate broker with Encore Sotheby’s International Realty in Indianapolis. Connect with him at jasononeilrealtor.com.
By Dave Robison
My brokerage had one crazy month a few months ago. We had five buyers who failed to perform on a contract and lost their earnest money. Now in Utah, getting the buyer’s earnest money is supposed to be as easy as the buyer’s broker writing a check in about 24-48 hours. But in all five cases it was a fight, with hours of discussions and arguments. In the end, our sellers received their checks — although, in some of the cases the buyers and their agents were very bitter about turning the money over to the seller.
In the midst of the stress, there was one agent in particular who shined through. I believe this person will always be more successful than others (and he is, actually). His attitude reminds me of the attitude held by one of the most successful people I have ever met: Bill Child.
Bill Child sold his furniture store called RC Willey to Warren Buffett. Bill met with me and several friends and told us his story. I also read the book written about him: How to Build a Business Warren Buffett Would Buy. The great thing about Bill is that his attitude toward working with others never changed from the time he took over RC Willey to when he sold it.
Bill took over the business when his father-in-law died. He didn’t realize it at the time, but the company was laden with customer service problems, debt, and tax burdens. Bill turned all that around. For example, the company had sold an appliance that later became known to have a defect. There wasn’t a manufacturer warranty or guarantee on the product, but Bill wasn’t about to let his customers down. He took on the responsibility himself to do the repairs on all the units, even though he knew it would make his company go in the red. Most companies would just blame the manufacturer and keep their money in their pockets, but Bill’s customers were his No. 1 priority and he took the responsibility himself when legally he didn’t have to. He cared more about his relationships and his customers than he cared about profits.
Now, I don’t know the details about all the conversations the agents had with their clients regarding deadlines and earnest money, Continue reading »
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 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 »