By Dolores Esanu
When I was 17, I walked into an up-and-coming real estate firm and asked for an internship. The firm consisted of a mother/daughter team. Initially, the mother hesitated at the thought of hiring a teenager with no work experience, however, the daughter gave me a chance. She went against the grain and the hesitations of her business partner and allowed me to step in. Her faith in me helped me flourish as a young adult and young professional, ultimately shaping who I am today.
My point? All it took was one person to stand up and take a risk. I didn’t ask her to be my mentor — she became one. From day one, her guidance and input influenced my decisions about my career, coworkers, and outside resources. After a year of interning, I was hired as an assistant. Her mentoring morphed into a whole different genre. She started helping influence my assertiveness, people management skills, and taught me the importance of multitasking in real estate. Eight years later, I am now licensed and her mentoring still comes into play. I find myself marching into her office asking for her advice on advertising, guidance on handling difficult clients, and even everyday things such as closing gift ideas.
Do you have a mentor you can rely on in real estate? That solid rock of foundation in your life who can give you an answer — and not just any answer — but an answer full of experience, knowledge, and consideration? They may not always say what you want to hear, but at the end of the day, what you need to hear will benefit you more. I firmly believe that as a new agent or a new assistant, a mentor is a necessity. They keep us motivated, grounded, and most of all, on the right track to success.
By Anand Patel
Earlier this year I gave a presentation locally that I entitled “The Pipsqueak Principles” — three lessons my now 2 ½-year-old daughter inadvertently taught me during her first year. You see, before her birth (as those of you who are new parents may attest to) I lived in my own bubble and didn’t pay much attention to anything that didn’t affect me personally. But during the first twelve months after my daughter was born, I began to see things around me in a very different perspective. Three principles in particular that I learned from my little “pipsqueak” (in addition to changing dirty diapers!) were to 1.) Love unconditionally, 2.) Give back to the community, and 3.) Connect with others.
Love what you do. To truly be successful in real estate — not just financially, but for it to be personally fulfilling, you really need to love your profession. If you don’t love being a REALTOR®, you inevitably will be unhappy, no matter how much money you make doing it.
Give back to your community and profession. As a real estate professional in the field, you see firsthand the amount of change that needs to take place in our communities. We all want safer neighborhoods, affordable housing for the poor, better transportation options …well WE need to get involved and do something about it. The same holds true for the professional associations we belong to — by giving back and getting involved, everyone benefits.
Connect with your peers. By networking and connecting Continue reading »
By Crystal Webster
DISCLAIMER: Please read this as a challenge; a challenge to use our predecessors as a spring board to do bigger and better.
In case you aren’t aware, we’re in a heat wave – it’s REALLY hot. My car thermostat has said at least 100 degrees for the past 2 weeks straight, and that’s not even with the heat index or adding the Kansas City humidity. But, I have to ‘TCB’ for my clients (take care of business). I suck it up, take eight showers a day, and wear as few clothes as possible without getting arrested.
I recently had to request the same addendum from a “more seasoned” agent eight days straight. She wasn’t able to get me the paperwork because she was afraid she had heat stroke. Once I finally received the information it was dated 12 days prior (as well as the email she forwarded it from). REALLY lady?!? Your heat stroke kept you from forwarding an email in the comfort of your own air conditioned home; even after I bothered you every day for over a week?
Later that same week I received a resolution from unacceptable conditions from a buyer’s agent. Items needing to be fixed? “Anything that the Kansas City Dream Program wants.” REALLY!?! Can you please be a little more specific? After calls to the buyer’s loan officer, the city, county, state, both brokers and BEGGING a city inspector to come out (in the thousand degree heat) I finally finished up her job and found out exactly what needed to be completed for the home to qualify for the program. Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
I recently attended a conference where I heard the following story related:
An elderly man had dreamed of taking a cruise to the Mediterranean for most of his life. The man did not come from means of any sort and had saved for years and years to make this dream of cruising a reality. Being frugal with his money he kept mostly to his cabin, venturing out only when the ship was docked at the various ports he was so anxious to see. He brought several cans of food with him on this trip and ate in his cabin, avoiding the fancy dining establishments throughout the ship. He also skipped all of the parties and entertainment opportunities the ship offered throughout the cruise. On the last night of the cruise as he was returning to his cabin to prepare another meal of canned food, a crew member inquired of him which of the various final evening parties he planned to attend. The man quickly responded that he could not afford to attend any of them. When the crew member explained that all of the parties, entertainment and food were included in his ticket, the man suddenly realized that he had been living well below his privilege for the entire cruise.
This story struck a nerve with me this last week as I have watched the blogs, Twitter and other social media venues light up with discussions on the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative (RPPSI). While there tends to be vociferous opposition to RPPSI, what disappoints me even more are the number of NAR members who have chosen to live well below their privilege of membership in our great association. Much like the man on the cruise, many members choose not to understand or exercise all of the benefits and opportunities that are already theirs for the taking at no additional cost. It pains me, as I am sure it pained the crew member who informed the frugal man, to see members missing out on so much simply because they haven’t taken the opportunity to discover the world of benefits that membership in NAR provides to them. It’s not like they are hidden, or that NAR hopes you don’t take advantage of them. Simply by visiting REALTOR.org, most, if not all, of these benefits are just a few clicks away. (Check out where your NAR membership dues go.) Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
Starting a YPN group can be extremely rewarding, but also challenging. So I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned after co-founding a successful network in my Pennsylvania market. The ultimate goal is forming strong relationships, learning, and growing as real estate professionals. From there, involvement in our communities and local/state associations will follow.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Malvern, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
Consumers who’ve been through foreclosure may think their days of owning a home are over. Not true. Share the “5 Steps to Owning a Home Again After Foreclosure” from the November “Foreclosure Resource Guide” now available at the REALTOR® Content Resource. Here’s just some of the information:
1. Rebuild your nest egg. Establish a safety net. Since you’re coming out of foreclosure, having six months of living expenses in a liquid account is a minimum to show stability and that you’re able to pay your bills if you lose your job.
2. Raise your credit score. After foreclosure, your credit score, according to myFICO, probably dropped by about 150 points. Raise it with perseverance. Pay bills on time, and keep your credit card balances below maximum levels. The foreclosure will stay on your credit report up to seven years, but it will become less of a red mark as years go by.
With new enhancements to the REALTOR® Content Resource, you can now share this and other articles with consumers via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail directly from the REALTOR® Content Resource.You can also search more easily for content by themes (formerly “Collections”) or keywords.
While you’re at the REALTOR® Content Resource, log in to enter the REALTOR® Build-Your-Business Sweepstakes, featuring monthly drawings for an iPad and weekly drawings for a $150 Visa gift card.
The REALTOR® Content Resource, brought to you by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, is an exclusive member benefit that entitles you to download free home ownership content from HouseLogic to your marketing materials.
HouseLogic is the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’® comprehensive consumer Web site geared to helping home owners make smart decisions to enhance, maintain, and protect the value of their home.
By Kelly Reark
What ways do you network with your fellow real estate agents? Do you walk away from a happy hour or business card exchange really knowing much about them or their business? Likely not. Do you ever wonder why?
Having a pocket full of business cards is one thing, but getting to know other real estate agents is another, and very beneficial. You want to broaden your referral network with more than just a name on a business card.
Recently, I made it my mission to take networking a step further. I had collected business cards from a real estate retreat that I had attended. I began with an agent I thought I could refer business to that is in a market about two hours from me. She brought in another agent, who brought in another agent… and on and on. The best part is that we all have specialty areas in which we work. We have spent a full day in many of our markets, learning about the areas from one another. The plan is to keep learning and growing. It is amazing how much we are able to teach each other. Frequently, our preconceived notions of an area were corrected.
I now know that I have a completely fabulous, intelligent, trustworthy, bright agent network to refer my customers to in a variety of market areas. I know that they will be taken care of, and so will I. I know that if they have sticker shock in one location, they can be referred out to another with similar lifestyle qualities. Or if their preferred lifestyle is not available in my market, I know which agent to send them looking with. Plus, I can call on them to tap into resources or fresh ideas for marketing, technology, and peer training. My network of international agents grows stronger by inclusion of each of their networks. Continue reading »
By Kenneth Culbertson
“Who are you to tell me that I need to bring $10,000 to the closing table? You’re just a kid!” ~ Seller
These are the types of words I would hear when I was first selling real estate back in 1995 at 23 years of age. How would I overcome such critique? FACTS and STATISTICS!
The numbers don’t lie – I would look at things as objectively as possible and show my customers the numbers as sincerely as possible. I figured that what I lacked in “experience” I could make up in both fact-finding and delivery. I would have to offer more knowledge, more enthusiasm, and more effort.
Over time, these qualities would lead to referrals and repeat client transactions. My key to success as a young REALTOR®, as well as a seasoned agent now (38 years old, 15 years experience) has been to surround myself with top notch professionals so I can be a quality resource for all things real estate. Clients gain confidence and trust – two of the leading reasons buyers and sellers choose their REALTOR® – when I provide the resources needed to structure a smooth flowing transaction.
Ken Culbertson, known as “The HOME Coach,” is a broker-associate with Keller Williams Realty in Cherry Hill, N.J. Visit his Web site: www.kwhomecoach.com.