By Sammer Mudawar
Let’s face it, in the eyes of the consumer, especially the internet shopper, all real estate agents are the same. In fact, they don’t even know why you get paid since they find properties on the internet themselves. Does this sound familiar?
Regardless of experience level, 6 months in the business or 16 years, most agents are insecure when discussing income with clients, especially on the buying side. Why? We work nights, weekends, and holidays to earn their income, but if you cannot demonstrate value in yourself, the consumer will not see value in your service.
First, let’s separate seller representation from buyer representation.
Most agents have less difficulty discussing compensation when dealing with sellers. I’m sure many of you are thinking the opposite; the buyer side is easier because there is no discussion, you just accept MLS offered compensation and the subject is never brought up. So let me explain, this industry has trained sellers to understand two things: 1.) A listing agreement will be required; 2.) A percentage of the sale price will be paid as compensation. In a listing presentation, the expectation of payment is already there, half the battle is already won, now it’s a discussion of how much.
However in buyer agency, the consumer doesn’t expect to pay or they don’t even know how compensation works. Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
We often get asked, “What’s the return on investment on this or that?” And most times, we can quantify our answer. Although if it’s about Facebook, we might respond the way Gary Vaynerchuk would: “What’s the ROI of your mother?”
But do you know the difference between something being an expense versus asking about its ROI? As REALTORS®, we all probably have those inevitable monthly expenses: sign storage, database management software, and digital signature services. Have you ever taken the time to really think about these things and what they mean—and cost—for your business?
I was having this conversation with a colleague and here is how he described the difference: An expense is something in which we’ve yet to find the value. That was a big BOOM moment for me! I see the value in those “expenses” just listed and yet I’ve never questioned their ROI.
Go check your bank statement and see if there’s something on there you’re not finding valuable. That, my friend, is an expense. My advice is to pull out your income statement and clear your books of these “expenses” so you can better invest in items with an “ROI”. Don’t have an income statement handy? Here’s a sample chart to peruse.
Melissa Krchnak is the team leader for Keller Williams in Pikesville, MD. Connect with her on Twitter @mkrchnak.
By Kelly Quigley, REALTOR® Magazine – Video By Erica Christoffer, REALTOR® Magazine
With a guest list of 500 career-driven REALTORS® and their friends, the networking scene was hot and the dance floor even hotter Friday night at the exclusive Young Professionals Network party.
“It’s incredible to see the energy of these folks,” said attendee Eric Berman, communications director for the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®.
The National Association of REALTORS®’ dynamic YPN community has grown to more than 200 local and state networks across the country, with an estimated 15,000 REALTORS® participating. Three of those YPN groups were honored Friday night as Networks of the Year: California Association of REALTORS® YPN, Chicago Association of REALTORS® YPN; and the Athens, Ga., YPN.
“Keep it up, we’re doing great things,” Nobu Hata, 2012 chair of NAR’s YPN Subcommittee told the crowd.
The event, held at the at the Heat Ultra Lounge in Anaheim, was sponsored by Century 21 and Kodak. To learn more about YPN and access resources to help start a network in your area, visit REALTOR.org/YPN.
Watch as members explain how their involvement in YPN has helped boost their real estate careers:
By James Dunn
Having been in the business for the last six years has been quite an experience. Beginning as a temp and working my way up to being a full-fledged REALTOR® is something I take much pride in (especially in this economy). I have prospered. I should point out that I define prosperity in my life as experiencing balanced growth in personal, professional, and financial arenas. Although money always helps with prosperity, I do not weigh success and prosperity entirely on the amount of money I make (or others, for that matter). I believe growth within one’s self reflects in all areas of life. So as I grow, so do my finances, my career, and my relationships. So congratulations to all of us who have prospered in this time, and here’s to future growth and prosperity.
I have had the luxury of starting from the bottom as a temp and working my way up the real estate ladder. I’ve done my best to remain humble and reserved most of the way. Most of my life I’ve felt a bit awkward talking about myself, so I kept most of my thoughts to myself. Unfortunately that tactic doesn’t get me very far in real estate sales. In the beginning of my career as a self promoting real estate agent, I wasn’t very vocal about who I was and what I did. Obviously that made it a bit harder to generate leads and sales. These days, I get out of my comfort zone and express my opinion in and discuss my career without feeling like a ridiculous infomercial.
I haven’t changed my personality or my character. In fact, nothing about how I present myself has changed. Every part of my exterior pretty much stayed the same. What did change was my mindset. The thoughts I have about my business have changed. I used to worry that if I discussed my company and services that it would be a burden on the conversation. Now I have a much higher value for what I do. I believe I am an asset to anyone I work with. It’s so simple, but that idea eludes so many of us. So my message today is value yourself. Know you’ve got something great to offer, then share it passionately with those around you. When they see your conviction, they’ll know you mean business. Then you’ll do business.
By Chris Nichols
About a week ago, I had a young couple looking to buy their very first home come interview me. I was quite impressed they were actually doing an in-depth interview to find the right agent to represent them in such an important transaction. It was a welcome surprise, and brought back memories of my experience with a consumer focus group that NAR had me observe. Those buyers had realized they hadn’t interviewed potential representation and had simply gone with the first agent they met.
I was really impressed with the preparation that this couple had put in to asking the right questions. We spent almost an hour together and I enjoyed every minute of it. One of their questions was of particular interest to me. They asked me if I was willing to give up some of my commission if they found the home they wanted to buy on their own and I just handled negotiations and contracts. I explained to them that I was not willing to do that. I told them that where I earn every penny of my commission is in the negotiations, the contracts and in protecting them throughout the process.
I continued by explaining that very rarely do I even get involved in the home searching process, that buyers know what they want better than I do and that using the various online tools allow the consumer to do that quickly and easily. I also made the point that someone who didn’t feel their services were worth every penny and would give up some of their commission for the most important aspects of the transaction, probably wouldn’t be the best negotiator on their behalf.
Fast forward a week… Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
At the recent REtechSouth conference in Atlanta I had the chance to see Robert Hahn of 7DS Associates speak on a subject he titled, “A Time for Greatness.” This presentation was geared to association execs and REALTORS® who are leaders within their organizations – a group well represented in the RETSO crowd. Since YPN has given me the opportunity to be a leader in my own state I felt compelled to attend and scribbled mad notes throughout the two-part session.
Let me say two things right away…
1.) Rob and I are not related.
2.) This is my interpretation of the presentation based solely on my notes. If you want a deeper look, read Rob’s post-event blog post or talk to him directly – he likes to engage with others in this field.
The first thing I noticed is that Rob has little hope for our generation if things don’t change – not fatalistic, but just not hopeful. The other thing I noticed is that Rob is really smart. Combine those two things (little hope and big brains) and I knew this was something that had to be shared and something we could work on.
Rather than focus on the industry issues many of us already know exist (and during his talk he covered all the favorites including low industry standards, high turn-over rates, and public perception) I think we should use Rob’s talk as a clarion call to think about possible solutions. That is what I have chosen to do. I know others are too – in fact many associations are already considering new directions – but in this case perhaps doing it from a YPN perspective makes sense.
One of the first suggestions Rob made was to reform governance within the REALTOR® associations. Perhaps organizations don’t need all these people to make decisions. This one hits close to home, of course, since I just managed to earn a seat on my state board of directors. I must agree with Rob though that many associations should consider whether longer terms are necessary (after all, just how much can you accomplish knowing you have just 365 days to get it done) and should give more thought to whether direct elections are the way to go. Certainly from a YPN perspective, knowing you can “be a part of the process” from the outset may encourage more direct involvement. Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
A week or so ago, I was approached by a long time friend who I have known since elementary school. We grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same high school, and even graduated from the same university. I remember as kids, we would always talk about how successful we wanted to be when we grew up, and how we were going to help each other become successful.
He called and asked me a few real estate related questions. He said that a relative of his had a property in mind that he was ready to move on, and needed some consultation. I thanked him for the referral, and gave his relative a call. We met, discussed the whole buyers representation process, and everything went pretty well.
A day or so later, I received a call from this friend of mine, saying that his relative was going to approach this property representing himself, without a REALTOR®. I respectfully accepted that and didn’t think too much about it. Immediately following that, he calls me again, this time saying he would convince his relative to purchase the property with myself as his REALTOR®, only if I gave him 50 percent off my commission. (The subject property listed at a little over $2 million dollars.)
Just remembering the friendship that this person and I had as kids, this “offer” felt like a slap in the face (I’m 22, it wasn’t that long ago). I explained to him that it might seem like he is dropping a large amount of money in my lap, but the process to acquire a property of this value takes a lot of time, knowledge, negotiation, and liability. He wasn’t convinced. Long story short, I declined to represent the buyer. Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
An article recently came across my Twitterstream from Wired.com which, punditry (and ‘Granted, I live in Manhattan…’ caveat) aside, is a pretty good read.
Go ahead, it’s a short one, I’ll wait for you right here. (http://www.wired.com/magazine/2010/11/st_essay_ownership/)
Where my and the writer’s opinion splits is that to me, a home DOES have sentimental value. A house is something everyone connects with emotionally. A house becomes a home, a member of the family. The rentorship attitude is a copout – if I was a writer in New York City, I’d want everything on the cheap, without commitment too. But I digress.
Was it a horrible essay? No. But what it does is epitomize the current state of consumer confidence in home ownership, as does the 90 or so comments, many rebutting the article itself, and that’s the key to remember.
Our generation agent is working in a time of unprecedented backlash from both our buyers and sellers, and the media. We live amidst a “throwaway” and non-committal culture. Simply stated: Home ownership isn’t for everyone. But what I like saying is that everyone knows someone who wants to buy or sell. Naysayer aside, I’ll take a few of those folks sticking up for homeownership rebutting him any day.
Our job will be to find those 90 people; our client base, those buyers and sellers who see value in home ownership, and give them the service they want and need. So what do you say? How will y’all be reaching these people in 2011?
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.