By Scott Newman
I often encounter other REALTORS® who see little to no value in developing relationships with their fellow agents, and it just baffles me every time! We are in one of the most challenging real estate markets in U.S. history, not to mention we’re in an environment where rules and regulations change daily, which is only adding barriers to establishing a successful business. I think we need the support of one another now more than ever.
But how do you develop those bonds? Read on, as today I’m presenting a few great tips for building your agent network as a way to grow your business in 2012.
This is by far the most important piece of advice I can possibly share with you. Put down the phone, computer, tablet, and anything else with a power cord if you really want to network with your fellow agents properly.
I love social media, and I owe a great deal of my success to our ability to market effectively on that platform. But when it comes to connecting with other REALTORS®, you simply can’t replace face-to-face interaction with any technology that currently exists. Make it a point to attend one live networking event a week related to our industry, giving you have a chance to meet other agents in person. Bring plenty of business cards and come ready to mingle.
Here’s another great tip: Take some time to figure out what distinguishes you from your fellow agents so you stand out. Whenever I’m around other agents, I make it a point to nail home just how successful and interested I am in working with short sale listings. More often than not, another agent in the room is all too happy to take a referral fee for the few short sale listings he gets each year, which is a win-win for everyone.
Maybe you do leasing, or you’re a luxury specialist — whatever it is, emphasize your specialty and talents to distinguish yourself from the crowd and elevate yourself as the top expert in the room. It will go a long way towards cementing relationships and help you create pipelines through which new business and referrals can flow.
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By Anand Patel
One of the most helpful pieces of advice I received several years ago that I continually advise my agents to do today is to recap, in writing, your conversations with clients, attorneys, title companies, appraisers, fellow agents – any and all parties involved in your transactions. These details will help clarify the conversation you have, leaving no confusion about who said what. It will help cover your “assets” if things go sour in a transaction, and it will aide you in solidifying and growing your relationships.
Here’s what I recommend:
Take detailed notes of your phone calls. I keep a notebook by me at the office at all times and also take it on the road with me. When I’m at the office, if I’m on the phone with you, I probably have you on my hands free set and am taking notes at the same time. If taking a call on the road, once I get to my destination I’ll jot down some notes in my notepad (or sometimes in Evernote on my iPad or iPhone).
Things to write down: Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
It’s interesting to read REALTORS®’ social media posts because I’ve been seeing a lot of the same thing lately. Here is a typical agent Facebook post (or comment in person): “This market is going crazy. I’m so busy right now. I’m busier than I have been in years!”
Wow…they must be having success, right? Let’s look up their stats in the MLS and see what their sales are like.
First “busy agent” stats: Sold six homes in the last year.
Second “busy agent” stats: Hasn’t sold a home for 3 months.
Let’s be blunt here. To all those who think they are busy: You are fooling yourself! Stop focusing on being so busy and start focusing on creating results! This goes for anyone, even if you are selling 30 homes a year.
Chet Holmes talks about these “busy people” in his book “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” He has some great tips on time management. Here are some tips to overcome this syndrome:
1. Stop talking about how busy you are. You are just attracting busyness while pushing away business.
2. Create a list of “Big Rocks” to accomplish every day. Continue reading »
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
It’s official: 2012 has kicked into full gear. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start your business planning. Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2012 chair of NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee, recently asked YPN members what kind of statistics they consider when forming their annual business plan. From my former selling days, I focused mainly on two statistics:
- Absorption Rate: Focus marketing in areas/neighborhoods/price ranges that have high turnover rates and low time on the market.
- Frequency of Income-Producing Activities: Where does my business come from and how much time/energy do I put in these areas?
Several other YPN members have great ideas as well:
Dollars/Hour Earned (Brian Copeland): How much are you earning per hour? Take your gross annual income and divide it by the number of hours you worked. Increasing this number means you are making more and working less!
Months Supply/Inventory (Nobu Hata): Communicating this information to the consumer effectively will help ensure more accurate pricing.
80/20 Rule (Tiffany Curry & Kate Koplinka): Are you part of the minority doing the majority of the business?
Market Share (Lena Williams): Increase the percentage of your market share if geographical farming is part of your plan.
Average Sales Price (Kenny Parcell): Continue reading »
By TG Gallaudet
Wait…I’m totally lying. Is there anything more painful? It’s no mystery that short sales can be really tough because of all the variables involved:
* Unclear timelines from the bank.
* Undisclosed liens.
* Back HOA expenses the bank won’t pay.
* Non-straightforward buyer.
* Inexperienced listing agent.
* Cash contributions (increasingly more and more).
* Etc., Etc., Etc…
But the hardest side to represent as an agent is the buyer’s side of a short sale because the buyer’s agent has no control of ANYTHING, and has to hope for a solid listing agent who knows what they’re doing. Right?
I just ended a painful short sale transaction where I represented the buyer that lasted 7 months and went nowhere. Granted, it wasn’t the easy one-loan in equator kinda deal, but we had absolutely no worthwhile answer from the bank after 7 months, which is totally inexcusable in 2011 as far as I’m concerned. The main problem, in my opinion, is that the listing agent saw this sale as a small income producer and pawned the negotiation responsibilities over to his part time TC. The TC had little-to-no experience with short sales, or negotiating any deals, and therefore little experience in working with banks. Because of her inexperience, I think she had little confidence in dealing with the bank and their personnel and couldn’t push back or demand results when she was entitled to do so. After being a listing agent on several short sales, I’ve come to understand that the burden of success lies heavily on the listing agent and specifically how s/he communicates to both the buyers’ agent and buyer, how she sets expectations and what answers she deems acceptable from the bank. Continue reading »
By Jennifer Klein
Follow these two rules during any negotiation and you’ll find success!
Jennifer Klein is a REALTOR® in Northern California who is experienced in short sales, investments, and property management. Connect with Jen at RosevilleAndRocklin.com, JenKlein.com, and @JenKleinSac.
By Cory Brewer
Last summer, an agent in my office took on a listing with high hopes…the market in this particular neighborhood was moving fast and prices seemed to be pretty stable. Unfortunately, though, by the time the clients were ready to hit the market, some of the neighboring comps had slashed prices (assumably to try and get sold before the start of the school year). As time went on, the comps dictated that there was really no way we could sell for our asking price, which meant we were approaching the dreaded “short sale territory.” This was a major game-changer, and there were many occasions on which our clients thought it would be best just to pull the house off the market and maybe even stop making their payments.
At times we almost felt like this was going to be a lost cause, but two things came to mind: If that house didn’t stay on the market, there was no other way it was going to sell…and the sellers are in a position where they have a legitimate hardship and NEED to get out from under the house and move on with their lives. I also didn’t want my agent’s sign to come down from what is a very high-traffic neighborhood.
Long story short, the sellers agreed that keeping the house on the market truly was the best course of action to meet their goals. At press time, we are thick in the middle of a win/win situation: They have accepted an offer on the house from a buyer who is willing to wait out the short sale process and our negotiator is well underway with the lienholder in getting that approved. In the meantime, the agent received several sign calls on the house…each time knowing that there was little chance the house would sell to that caller given the short sale situation. No matter…they pursued the sign calls and are currently under contract with one of those buyers on another house nearby (scheduled to close later this month). Continue reading »
By Brett Caviness
I simply couldn’t wait two more years to graduate college before entering my dream career as a REALTOR®, so I didn’t. I went active as a real estate agent in Cedar Falls Iowa in 2009. Since entering the business, I have worked hard to manage my time. With class, work on campus, activities and friends I was able to make time to schedule showings, and close deals in-between. There are a lot of things I wish I knew before I got into the business; I mean this is hard work! So I made a list of a few things I wish they told me about the real estate world in my weekend classes.
1. A real estate license doesn’t mean sales. Your office doesn’t just hand you over some magic list of names of people ready, willing and able to buy or sell. You have to find them yourself.
2. Even if you are a part time agent, this is a full-time job. I didn’t realize between classes I would be on the phone with clients, offices, the abstract company, lenders and others while reviewing important documents on my Blackberry.
3. Starting a career in real estate is like starting your own company. I have quickly learned to be my own boss, marketing director, web master, public relations manager, and accountant while always working in research and development. Continue reading »