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 Rob Mehta
Recently, I attended one of the most “unique” YPN events I have ever attended. Quite simply, it was the “World’s Largest Tuesday Morning Sales Meeting.”
Drawing a crowd in this industry is no easy feat, but when a group of Midwest minds with moxie got together, they were determined to attract more than just a couple people. Thus was the birth of the “Biggest Tuesday Sales Meeting EVER,” a free education event in June that drew a whopping 430 attendees. It was created by the Metro YPN (Young Professionals Network) of the Saint Paul Area Association of REALTORS®.
Success of this event, like so many others, relies heavily upon the shoulders of the chosen speaker. SPAAR’s Metro YPN invited Travis Robertson this year, and he continued his long streak of dynamic, informative presentations. Robertson spoke about the world’s top agents and their marketing techniques, citing specific examples. He had attendees laughing, hugging, and asking a plethora of questions.
SPAAR’s Metro YPN consists of 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 »
By Subhi Gharbieh
On Thursday, Nov. 8, my fellow Dallas REALTOR® Joe Atkins and I booked the 6 a.m. flight from Dallas-Fort Worth to Orlando so that we could make it to the YPN Advisory Subcommittee meeting that started at noon. Being the responsible adult that I am (not), I tried to pull an all nighter so that I wouldn’t miss my flight early Thursday morning. That worked out well! I ended up falling asleep around 3:30 a.m., and the five alarms that I set to wake me up, well, didn’t.
So I missed the YPN meeting (bummer), but Joe, our MetroTex YPN chair, made it to the meeting and represented us well. After I got to our hotel later that day, Joe and I immediately left for the convention center to get registered and pick up our convention packet. The NAR staff do such a great job organizing the registration and welcome process. They are so efficient.
Thursday evening was pretty relaxing. We met up with some fellow YPN members from around the country at the Peabody Hotel. We caught up with some old faces and met some new ones. One thing that I have learned from attending the REALTORS® Conference & Expo for the last three years, is that we may only meet a couple times a year, but when we do, it feels like it was yesterday that we were just together at the last convention.
I was very proud of our Dallas YPN network for making such a strong showing this year in Orlando. For the last couple of years, the norm for us was about two or three members travel to attend the convention. This year, we had right around 20 of our YPN members attend — that made me really proud.
Being the chair of our YPN network last year, I was really hoping that we would win Network of the Year during my term. That didn’t happen. We worked really hard and felt like we had done a lot of great things to win the title for Large Association Network of the Year, but we were topped by Chicago YPN.
Nevertheless, we started off 2012 focused on the same goal. We did a lot of great things in 2012, but when it came time to fill out our application for Network of the Year, we really felt like we could have done more. We completed our application thinking that we really came up short of our goals as a committee. The competition is so fierce among YPN Networks all over the country, and seeing some of the great things that some other networks had accomplished throughout the year, we didn’t think we had a shot at winning. Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
With the market picking up steam, buyers are out there scooping up homes and they’re counting on you as their agent to help them navigate the treacherous waters of their transaction. When they are buying a condo, that path can be filled with even more landmines, and you have a whole new realm of elements to account for when advising your buyer clients. I’ve outlined some best practices for agents below who are representing buyers purchasing a condo.
Understand the Financials
Nothing will make you look more foolish than advising your client to make an offer, having it accepted, and then finding out there is something wrong with the building that prohibits financing. Review condo documents and know what’s going on with the overall health of the building your client is interested in — this is not just your attorney’s job post contract execution — it’s your job before your client ever puts pen to paper! Request a 22.1 disclosure, call the management company, speak to the listing agent — do whatever you need to do to ensure that the building your client wants to buy in qualifies for the type of loan your client is applying for.
Know Your Client
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had a listing that gets put under contract, only to have the deal fall apart for ridiculous reasons that could have been brought to light long before an offer was made. Again, as the buyer’s agent, your job is to stay on top of these situations to ensure that you come across as a professional and that your client isn’t wasting their time. The only way to do this is to ask the right questions!
Do your clients have a dog or are they planning to buy one during their residency in the building? Are they planning to smoke inside their unit? Do they like to host company during very late hours? These can all be potential issues for a client as the rules in condo buildings can vary wildly, so it’s never safe to assume anything!
All of the above are examples of questions you should be asking to ensure that your client isn’t wasting their time. Get the right information ahead of time and call the HOA or listing agent personally to ensure that your client’s unique needs will be met by the building.
Do Your Homework
The time to find out whether or not the building has a pool or how nice the gym is should not be when you show up to the property with your client. 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 Scott Newman
I recently had the privilege to do some work for high-profile clients. While I did enjoy working with them, I was reminded of just how different their expectations can be. As such, I thought it would be pertinent to review some simple tips and strategies so that should you ever have the opportunity to work with such a client, you’ll be prepared and ready to do a great job.
Respect their privacy: This is the first and most important rule when working with high profile clients. Nothing will get you blackballed in the VIP community faster than blabbing to the press, or anyone, really, about where they’re living or how much they spent, etc. Keep in mind that while people finding out where you live wouldn’t be too much of a hassle for you, it can become a huge problem — and even a safety issue — for high profile people.
Understanding how important privacy is to VIP clients can not only make or break your reputation, but it can also be used as a selling point. Make sure you let them know right up front that you are trustworthy and will keep their information confidential…and make sure you don’t go back on your word for any reason.
Be flexible with your schedule and plan accordingly: Many VIP clients do not do well with schedules because they often have many people pulling them in many directions, and getting them places on time can be difficult. I have had several clients in the past who routinely showed up 30-45 minutes late and that was just something I had to learn to work around. I quickly figured out that I should give the agents we are meeting a time-window and explain the likelihood of my client being late.
Another simple strategy is to schedule more than enough time between showings. Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
I love the game of golf! Many lessons can be learned from the sport; and one was learned poignantly on Sunday at the Master’s in Augusta, Ga. Phil Mickelson was within striking distance of the lead in the final round when he was faced with a difficult decision due to an errant tee shot.
The choice he faced was to go back to the tee box and take a penalty or attempt the impossible and play the ball as it lied, covered by plants. Inexplicably, Phil played the ball and got a triple bogey. Had he taken the penalty and gone back to the tee box, he most likely would have shot a bogey on the hole, saving two shots and possibly tying him for the lead at the end of the round.
As I watched Phil play the remaining holes, it was easy to see that the triple bogey weighed heavy on him. He missed a few key putts that might have even put him in the lead. It became increasingly obvious that he should have chosen to reset and start over on that hole.
How many times in our businesses do we find ourselves down an errant path, and instead of taking the opportunity to reset and start over, we continue down the same path hoping it will turn around? Spring is a wonderful time of year when the planet seems to reset and start over fresh. Take this time to do the same with your business and don’t make the same mistake Phil made.
By Jason O’Neil
One of the places where I have focused my business is on referrals and past clients. This isn’t unique. But the way I look at it is unique, and it has to do with what I call “The Gap.”
Here’s what I mean: According to NAR, in 2011, 69 percent of all sellers said that they definitely would use their agent again, yet in that same year only 22 percent of all sellers had previously worked with their listing agent.
Knowing that the average person moves every four-to-eight years, and moves 18 miles …what happened? Why would so many agents end the relationship brilliantly (presumably with a sale) yet fail to get the listing later on? I think there are only two real reasons for this: the agents goes out of business or the agent fails to talk to their clients.
- Have and use a database
- Develop a client touch program
- Minimum two touches per year
- Anniversaries (Home sale anniversary)
- Daylight Savings time
- Monthly Touch Program
- Monthly Mailings involving quotes and/or give-aways
- Vendor Partner Programs
The key is to be mindful of “The Gap” and develop strategies to avoid it. What are you doing in your business to Mind the Gap?
Jason O’Neil is a broker-owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his site: www.McKenzieListings.com