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
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 Brian Copeland
This week, I turn 40 and my future with you is, well, uncertain. While we’ve never defined “under 40” as what the Young Professional Network’s age limit is, it has turned into an awkward elephant in the room no one is willing to talk about. So, let’s talk about it.
We’ve heard “young and young at heart” as the basis for who we are and who we want to be. Is this program of NAR about youth, leadership entry or new, bright attitudes? I don’t know, but hopefully in this dialog today, I’ll have a clearer picture.
What if YPN is in the middle of turning the statement “60 is the new 30” on its head? What if 30 is the new 60? Huh? We’re in the middle of equipping, training and inspiring a new generation to have the knowledge, street-smarts and tatters of a seasoned veteran to this industry.
I look at REALTORS® like Tiffany Curry who is 32 years old. Already, she has been the REALTOR® of the Year for one of the largest associations in America. She has served as president of a major metropolitan’s Women’s Council of REALTORS® chapter. She has chaired her local YPN, served on a heavy-weight NAR Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), and sat on numerous NAR committees.
I see Kenny Parcell. Kenny hovers below that 40 mark with a resume that would support the “30 is the new 60” hypothesis perfectly. He’s been his local president, state president, NAR Leadership Academy graduate, NAR liaison, and chair of several leadership groups.
Are these examples the exception? They could be, but I would argue that this type of mentoring and nurturing is part of a new breed NAR has started to grow. So, that leads me to the most troubling question, should we be called the Young Professionals Network? Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
I recently attended and volunteered at the Minneapolis RE BarCamp. I was a BarCamp virgin. I knew the concept and felt excited about it. I also anticipated excitement among fellow agents. I didn’t, however, realize how amazing the atmosphere would be.
Agents came in early and could wait to view the session board. I saw many popping in and out of sessions just so that they could get a taste of everything. You would see excitement in their eyes once they realized the concept. The event was free and you learned way more than you normally would learn in the traditional CE course.
This made me look back at educational events I attended throughout the year. I remember just a few months ago realizing that I didn’t have all my continuing educations credits even though it seemed like I was constantly training throughout the year.
I chose the events that I attended based upon what I would learn. Not the CE credits I would receive. Many of the events were not even focused on real estate at all. I chose them to learn something I didn’t know or because of who was speaking.
My point is, don’t focus on your continuing education hours. What you learn should benefit you and your clients. Look into other business areas. There is a ton you can learn from other industries. Don’t be afraid to step outside the box!
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Dave Robison
According to NAR’s report about real estate professionals, the majority of us came from admin jobs rather than sales jobs. There is a high probability that the majority of you reading this are order-takers. The good news is you can change that. You can become a better sales person.
I admit it, I was an order-taker and learned this lesson almost 11 years ago. I was showing a friend of mine houses so he could buy his first home. No luck in writing an offer though because he couldn’t make up his mind and he was reluctant to put in an offer. (It was his fault, right?) My dad came out with me to show my friend the same homes a second time around. My dad said, “This is a great house, Kelly. Lets write an offer.” My friend said, “Okay,” and I got my first sale. (Oops, I blamed it on my client but it was really my fault!)
What was the difference? I was just showing homes, I was an order-taker. My dad was a salesperson. Here is how you can know what an order-taker will do versus someone who is a salesperson:
Example – Listing Client: “I’m not in a hurry. We don’t have to sell. We will move if that one buyer comes along.”
Order-Taker: “Okay, I will keep you updated with showings and whether we get any offers.” *Tries to smile while they feel frustrated with their client.*
Salesperson: “What do you mean by that?” “Tell me more about that.” “What is your timing on when you want to move?” (A salesperson will ask more questions so that the seller can come to a better conclusion. Being a salesperson means being a counselor, too!) Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
If you are a young professional and have entered the real estate profession any time from 2004-2007, I want to be the first to congratulate you.
When you can no longer consider yourself a whippersnapper and Lady GAGA music is now playing on the Golden Oldies station, you can then say one thing proudly as a REALTOR®, “I’ve seen the best market in our time. I’ve seen the worst market in our time.”
You’ve officially navigated both and come out on the other side stronger. Remember, our defining moments arise out of adversity. I thank goodness every day for that teacher who said I’d never make it past my first year of college. I’m grateful for that boss who knocked me off my employment platform in my first job. Soon, you will be thanking the passing economy for making you one of the strongest real estate advisers of your day.
While millennial generation agents will still be able to say the same statement, our generation will be able to say our training grounds were in these two markets. Who wouldn’t want an airline pilot who was trained during the worst storms of the century simply because that was the time he got his pilot’s license?
I hope you will begin today, preparing yourself for tomorrow’s market. It’s going to be amazing, and the consumers will know more than ever that a smart, savvy REALTOR® who has navigated these treacherous waters needs to be on their side.
Use the next few months to finish a designation like GRI or CRS. Use 2011 as a time to get more involved in your local association than you ever have been before. Use the coming weeks to school yourself on the legislative issues that continue to affect your and your clients’ future. You’ll want to do it now, because the business you’re going to see in 2012 and beyond requires you to be at the top of your game. I’ll see all my YPNers AT THE TOP!
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 Jeremy Williams
When meeting with one of our top-producing REALTORS® today, the topics covered made me think about how often both seasoned agents and new agents try to “wing it” when it comes to their businesses. Taking this approach can lead to undue stress and burnout if not addressed quickly. It can lead to the question, “Why am I doing this?” If you are experiencing these feelings, here are some steps to get you back on track.
1. Write down a list of all your weaknesses.
2. Sit down with your broker, manager or team leader to go over the list. Prioritize the list. Don’t expect to address all areas in which you are weak at one time. Take your top three-to-five areas in which you need improvement. Focus on items that are directly tied to the amount of time you are working and those items related to revenue generation. Examples: You need an assistant to leverage your time. Your database is not in order, and your follow-up with potential clients lacks as a result of not being organized.
3. Create a plan to address those issues.
4. Set realistic objectives and goals to overcome your highlighted weaknesses. 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 Nobu Hata
I am loathed to do this, but I’m going to plug a class. If there’s one class or certification training you take this year, make it NAR’s Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) training program.
I must admit, after hearing about it from the kind folks at REBAC, hearing about my own company’s training program, and learning about CDPE, there was a bit of short-sale overload on my part. Then after hearing that it “focuses on buyers” from a fellow agent, I had pretty much ruled out. Everyday, we struggle to find the CE classes with the most value and the first impressions I had of it turned me off. Boy was I ever wrong.
The six or so hours flew right by. The content was not only relevant, but looks to able to transcend the passage of time and legislation. Since it was such a timely subject, interaction was lively, and agents shared stories amongst each other; I left with names and numbers of folks at different banks should my need for them arise. In the end, you leave the class armed with the know-how to become a “resource” for your clients – past, present and future.
The big plus? You have bonafide NAR certification (that still means something guys), and you have access to webinars that will be constantly refreshed to fit the times.
The reality is this: short-sales, foreclosure, distressed properties; we’ll be dealing with these homes for the foreseeable future. Continue reading »