By Toby Boyce
I stood quietly waiting for the smiling-innocent faces to calm down as they stared back at me. They were so fresh and ready to change the world.
Was I teaching another class of new REALTORS® in one of my CE classes? I wish; the faces were third-graders at a local middle school. I was their “guest teacher” for the day.
Yep, that’s right, for the second time since becoming a full-time agent in 2006, I’ve had to pick-up a second job to stay afloat. I know I just lost a collection of you — as I’m now one of those part-time agents. Really? I am? Tell that to my wife and she’ll laugh at you.
Too often this question becomes too black-and-white. Is real estate my only source of income? No. So I’m not a full-time professional? That’s crazy talk. How many of us have accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc. who are doing property management to add a little extra income? So does that make them less of a doctor?
The bottom line is that it isn’t whether an agent is full- or part-time on the clock, but how they are in action.
I have two short-sales in contract and buyers are represented by a full-time and part-time agent. Which one responds to e-mails, calls, and knows the contract verbiage better? Yep, you guessed it — the part-time one.
So next time you go to bash a “part-time” agent — remember it could very easily be you.
Toby Boyce, MBA, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Consultants Realty in Westerville, Ohio. Visit his Web site: www.delawareohrealestate.com.
By Toby Boyce
Football season is on us and in Ohio that means a lot of cheering on Friday and Saturday and praying for our NFL teams on Sunday. Football is a passion and as I’ve matured and grown older and – hopefully – wiser, I see the wisdom in those screams and rants from my childhood coaches.
“Football is the game of life,” I remember Mike Billow screaming as we worked over-and-over to perfect a task. And the older I get, the more I realize that his statement was right on the mark – and it can even double when taken into application with a real estate career.
I thought I’d share a few of Coach Billow’s favorite “sayings.” I know many of them weren’t original to him, however, on those hot-August days in Danville, Ohio, he made them his.
- Look Down, You Go Down. How often do we see it in this market? The “naysayers” start talking about how the sky is falling and it isn’t going to last. Well, they are exactly right. For as soon as they put their head down to avoid the falling sky, their business fell. Doesn’t matter how beaten, weathered, or challenged you feel – keep those eyes up and looking at the prize.
- Did you get better today? You never stay the same. We practice our craft, hopefully every single day, to improve those listing presentations, get more buyers, convert more short sales, etc. The reason is simple. If you don’t practice it and make a conscience effort to get better, you will by default be getting worse – because you never will stay the same. Life – and real estate – is about eternalizing responses (i.e. scripts) so that they become a spontaneous response. If you aren’t role playing and practicing, is that possible? Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
I am the technology director for my office and have been doing a lot of teaching and developing new continuing education classes to assist those agents that are still struggling with technology and harnessing it to improve their business.
To develop a sense of what was needed, I spent a lot of time talking to top-notch agents … you know, those who make up the “cherry on top” of the Central Ohio real estate industry. It became very apparent that I was neglecting a key piece in the business.
Of course, just like the majority of agents, I have the business plan in the corner gathering dust written in an hour of inspiration to be looked at every May to see what goal I missed on or never achieved. But when was the last time you really had an evaluation?
You evaluate your leads as they come through the pipeline … usually on a “can they or can’t they” buy basis. So why aren’t you doing the same thing with yourself?
These top-notch agents all had teams. They had multiple buyer’s agents and make no bones that they ranked their buyer’s agents based on ability to achieve the ultimate goal – close the deal in a way that is consistent with the team’s values and objectives. Ouch. That seems harsh doesn’t it in this world of “competing is good enough,” but isn’t it a refreshing thought? Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
As an agent, would you prefer your brokerage to have an amazing brick and mortar location or an amazing online presence?
The question flowed from Michael McClure, president and CEO of Professional One Franchising, on Twitter (@professionalone) recently. There were several agents who jumped right into the discussion — and being on Twitter, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure the direction the discussion went. Brick and mortar are so old-school; who does that stuff anymore? But, then isn’t a great virtual presence just a new look on the old-school mind set?
The idea that the brokerage would require this wonderful “awe inspiring” location — whether geographically or virtually — continues to propagate the notion that the brokerage is the one that feeds the agents. Isn’t that the type of management structure that agents have been rallying against for years? Whom do these big audacious locations benefit? The walk-ins — or at least the signage on that beautiful castle — and the Internet leads go into the brokerage’s pool and dispersed across the masses of agents that are chirping like baby birds for a free worm.
I’m sorry — well not really — but I’d rather the brokerage assist me in creating that presence for me, “The Agent,” so that there is only one fat, well-fed bird getting those leads. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
It was a quiet Monday night until the cell phone rang. My mother-in-law was on the other end, and five hours later my wife and I arrived in Cleveland – via Bellevue – and the Cleveland Clinic as my father-in-law was admitted.
It would go without saying that we were scared, nervous, and extremely worried as we were settling in for what would be a four-day stay in a hotel that we were barely prepared to stay for a single day. We were not prepared for this situation – but the Cleveland Clinic was. They have dealt with this on a daily basis for hundreds – if not thousands – of patients that arrive on a daily basis to the premier health facility.
They were prepared for us to ask questions we didn’t even know we had. We knew the clinic’s reputation – that’s why we were there – for health care, but its total commitment to the patient and family care is where the correlation to real estate begins in this post.
The first night we were there, I was wondering around looking for some food. It was going on 11 p.m. and none of us had eaten since lunch. I was half-awake, half-aware, and totally-hungry as I stepped off the elevator at the first floor. I looked left, then to the right, and stopped. A gentleman pushing a broom stopped and smiled asking, “Can I help you?” He directed me to the all-night diner where I picked up food for the mother-in-law and headed back to the room.
But that was the beginning of my amazement. “How can I help you?” Five words, none more than two syllables and they changed the entire way I looked at the clinic experience. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
As I flew home from the Midyear Meetings, quite a few things were rolling through my head.
Like, why did the engines just get really quiet? I apologize, self-preservation mode there for a second. Now back to our originally scheduled programming.
This year’s Midyear was my induction into a national event — and I must say, I’m quite impressed. A lot of the preconceived notions were born out to be untrue.
1. Erica Christoffer — the wonderful person behind this site — does exist. I had begun to think she was a computer. But, I met her and hugged her so she is real — though I didn’t check her neck so a cyborg isn’t out of the realm.
2. NAR is out to get me. I know, I know, all the conspiracy theorists out there are going to hate me. There has been a lot of “us vs. them” talk amongst agents when it comes to NAR. I found it to blatantly not be true. Every staffer I spoke with was open honest and truly out to do the best for the REALTOR(R) Party.
3. NAR will never change. An organization the size of NAR takes time to move and change course. However, you are going to be hearing a lot about fair-housing and the inclusion of sexual orientation to the list. We are leading the charge and I know at least one agent has been called back to D.C. next week to make this change at the federal government. Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
Recently, my wife and I had a chance to attend the final game for the Columbus Blue Jackets this season at beautiful Nationwide Arena. No I’m not bragging this does have something to do with real estate – just give me time.
In case you are not a hockey fan – or even if you are – this past season for the Blue Jackets was pretty disappointing. After making the NHL playoffs last year for the first-time in franchise history this was supposed to be “the” year. The coach – Ken Hitchcock – and star players were going to make a run into the NHL playoffs and make this city proud. Well, everyone is a winner when the season starts, but fast forward to April and “Hitch” is gone as well as any chance of this squad making the playoffs.
As we sat and watched this game unfold it was obvious that the Blue Jackets – both on the ice and in the stands – had mailed in these final couple of weeks. The Red Wings were consistently on the attack and the fans were sitting on their hands. The atmosphere in Nationwide usually has a pretty strong level of energy, however on that night it was like a wake – and not an Irish one at that.
Okay, so how does this relate to real estate?
Well think about those new listings. Sitting at the kitchen table when that John and Susan Seller signs those documents and you have that brand new listing it is a great feeling. You’re confident it is priced right and the buyers are going to be lining up for this property. Continue reading »