By Sam DeBord
When I started out in the real estate business, my biggest fear was probably the same as many other agents’: “What if they ask me how many homes I’ve sold?” There was an almost inescapable fear that every new client I met would find out that I hadn’t been selling for very long, and abandon me for a more experienced agent.
The interesting part, looking back, was that I’ve probably only ever been asked that question a half-dozen times by the hundreds of clients I’ve worked with. Those that did ask, always kept working with me, whether it was in my first year, or after five years. The fact that I didn’t lose clients over that single question isn’t nearly as satisfying today, though, knowing how much mental stress it put me through in my first year, as well as how it was detrimental to my ability to concentrate on my clients at the start of my career.
Being experienced in real estate is a big advantage. To downplay it would be disingenuous. However, a calm, practiced response to questions about experience can make the real estate transaction much more relaxed for the new agent and to the clients. More importantly, it allows the agent to focus on what the client really wants – a partner who is easy to work with, listens to their needs, and follows up professionally.
It’s very easy when you’re new in the business to try to craft the perfect answer to every client question. You may feel you need to know everything, and if you can’t answer a question about a certain home or property type, you’ll be exposed as inexperienced. In reality, most home buyers and sellers would prefer that you have an affable personal relationship with them, and let them know that you’ll “look into it a bit and get back to them.” While your knowledge is important to the client, your ability to make them feel comfortable is even more important. Nobody likes to spend their day with a fidgety, nervous wreck of an agent. Continue reading »
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 Melissa Krchnak
For everyone who laughs at a joke a comedian makes, there’s that one person that doesn’t get it. And yet the comedian doesn’t change his joke. For every person who appreciates you being on top of it with your follow-up, there’ll be that one person who thinks you’re too aggressive. Don’t stop your pursuit of success.
I heard someone on Oprah talking about how life can be tough if you take things personally. She used the analogy of someone not liking her to herself not liking pineapple. So, when she doesn’t like that one person or they didn’t like her, it is akin to her not liking pineapple. It’s not personal; it’s just that the two aren’t meant to work together.
So, to my YPN cohort: Don’t get hung up on that one person who thinks of you like pineapple. For so many others, you’re exactly who they want.
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Jason O’Neil
I believe that we as a country, a world, and a species are suffering a crisis of confidence. I know, that’s a bold statement. But the magnitude in which our world has changed over the past 25 years is nothing short of overwhelming.
Confidence used to be something that was a part of our fiber, woven into everything we did. People not only had confidence, but they instilled confidence in others. Confidence was derived from neighborhoods, communities, religions, political parties, long standing jobs, and pensions. But many of these have been derailed and forced, even the most ardent of supporters, to question some very core tenets. Rightfully so, skepticism tends to be the norm.
I have heard it said, and I believe, that confidence is the single greatest asset one can have. Do not confuse my use of confidence with overconfidence, arrogance, conceitedness, or big-headedness, because it is not. Confidence is what gives us the ability to do what it is we are good at. Without a bit of confidence the world would never have heard The Beatles., we would not know the name Bill Gates, and Phil Mickelson would be a really good country club player. It is scary to raise your hand, to stick your head out and make progress. It is confidence that moves us forward step by step.
But confidence, the type of confidence I am talking about, isn’t just results and dollar signs, or awards and progress. It is the way we make people feel. I’ll go further, it is what we bring — our passion. It is the value that we, as REALTORS®, add to a transaction, a deal, a negotiation. Jim Collins wrote, “Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning, and through your day with a spring in your step.” We are, in fact, handling the transfer of a exceptionally large assets. While easy to forget, it’s important to remember that the average person will move every six to nine years. Extrapolated over a lifetime, the average person will sell maybe seven homes. Many of you reading this sell that many homes in a given month. The last time that the average seller in 2012 sold a home, nine years ago, the real estate market was drastically different than it is today. Zillow, Trulia, REALTOR.com and Red Fin did not exist, computer-based forms were in their infancy, and not everyone e-mailed. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
With conference season in full swing, I have met many new and seasoned real estate professionals debating if conferences are worth attending at all. For newer agents—the conference virgins—they look at the cost and automatically dismiss the events as too expensive to even consider. Some seasoned agents—those that have gotten rusty at it—are “too busy” to waste time at a conference. Is it worth attending conferences, events, and seminars? It all depends on your mindset going into it.
From my experience I have found that, in general, I learn more from fellow attendees than from those speaking on stage. This only happens if you make it a point to meet new people, share ideas with others, pick up tips from them, and then go home and IMPLEMENT something you learned. If you go in with an open mind and a clear intent on learning and sharing, you will find value in attending conferences. You may have heard the quote that “each person we encounter is a teacher,” well that rings true for those you encounter at conferences. Keep an open mind, filter out the bad traits and learn from the good you find in fellow attendees.
I just got back from our Florida REALTORS® Conference and can tell you I made some wonderful new connections (and referral opportunities) that will continue long after the conference ends as long as I work to foster those relationships. If I don’t keep in touch, then yes, it will have all been a waste of time. If I don’t implement anything new I learned, then yes, it was a waste of money. It’s all up to me to make it worthwhile.
Are you a conference virgin? If so, here are some tips for your first time (or if you are getting back into it): 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 Lynn Minnick
I was lucky enough to have been picked to participate in NAR’s Leadership 200 and 300 classes this week at my association. I say lucky enough because we’re the largest association in our state and there were only 35 seats open. Last summer I was involved in our two-day strategic planning session, which was a first for me and pretty much blew my mind. (Rumor has it we “younger” members have an in because they’re grooming us to become the future leaders of the association!)
While the courses are definitely aimed at becoming leaders in your association, the information and experience was much more than that, as it should be if you’re going to take an entire day away from showing and listing appointments, right? The classes covered topics such as how meetings are run, Robert’s Rules, strategic and operational planning, conflict resolution, and more.
1. Always keep your association’s strategic plan at the top of your mind in committee meetings. For those who are serving on association committees, how is what you’re doing going to advance your association’s strategic plan? If it isn’t, it shouldn’t be on the agenda at all. Shouldn’t we be keeping that same focus in our own personal work agendas? Also, do we have the metrics in place to track our progress?
2. Plan more, worry less. Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
The problem client:
That’s what an agent said to me over a year ago. “Dave, this client calls me a lot and is really high maintenance. Her listing price is unrealistic, we should just drop her listing.” This agent was selling 40 listings a year. He should know exactly what he is talking about right? Many sellers have pie-in-the-sky pricing on their listings and they may blame you that its not sold! Phone rings… “Mr Agent, why haven’t you sold my unrealistic high priced listing? I mean you haven’t even brought one buyer over to see it!” (Ummmm…probably because no one wants to see an overpriced listing, duh.)
Well, this seller had a hard time reaching their listing agent mainly because the agent felt like she was high maintenance and his time was better spent elsewhere. As a result, when her mother asked if she liked her agent, her response was, “Not really.”
There went $20,000 in referral commissions down the drain. The mom went and used another agent.
I took over:
Right about this time I heard through the grapevine that she wasn’t happy. The agent wasn’t happy either. So I took over. I sold her home and helped her buy another one. That client was worth $20,000 in commissions on those transactions. If she had been happy there would have been another $20k in commissions for a total of $40,000 in commissions made.
Where success comes from: Continue reading »