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CONTACT WALTER

559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

P.815.929.9258 P.815.929.9200

walter@waltersanford.com

Thank you for your words of wisdom and experience. I have already benefited from some of the techniques in your materials. My return on investment will be huge! Thanks again. Mike Fortin, Platinum Group REALTORS®

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Where Do You Put Your Money? December 17th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

PROVERBS 21:20 – “There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man spendeth it up.”

I love the business advice in Proverbs!  Proverbs 21:20 is one of my favorites and an understanding that I wish I had in my heart earlier in life.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying beautiful things.  I always thought it was smarter to purchase antiques to use instead of modern furnishings.  Many times, antiques were close to the same price and had superior resale value.  The ingenuity and craftsmanship is unique from today’s mass-produced items.  The calm tones from a grandfather’s clock or the glow from a stained glass, leaded shade give me a sense of tranquility from a slower time.

I also used to covet “things,” allowing them to become idols and getting in the way of my walk with Christ.  Now, I laugh at the amount of time and money I spent on chasing symbols of wealth.  They promised satisfaction but never delivered.

How does the successful real estate agent balance four major Biblical edicts – not spending it up, giving the first fruits, rendering to Caesar, and having treasure to be desired?  Before you stock up on treasure and beautiful things, please follow this chronological list that I have found to also be a source of peace:

1.       Provide 10% of your first fruits to God.

Your Lord gave it to you and this is the minimum to give back to Him.  Do you provide 10% of gross or net?  My pastor says, “Do you want blessings based on the larger or smaller amount?”  Luke tells us “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I had already committed heavily to a business and investments that took up most of my gross; however, it is important that I work toward the above goal so I work every day to free up more liquid net.  Additionally, I have directed my trust to disperse investment assets to my church when I meet the Lord.

For now, this works for me.  I could have done better with better planning, which is yet another reason for young REALTORS® to NOT repeat mistakes of those who have gone before them.  Study your Bible.

2.       Render unto Caesar.

Pay the tax man!  Of all the problems that I have ever had in my life, having problems with the IRS was the worst!  I do not like what the government does with my money, but in Romans, it is clear that not paying the government is not an option to express your discontent.

Therefore, like everything else in my business, I developed a system.  I make sure that quarterly payments go out on time and in the correct amounts.  I personally impound property taxes on my rental investments.  With professionals, I explore how to make sure I am legally minimizing the pain.  This is your second most important payment.

3.       Invest in Savings.

There is a reason that old timers suggest having six months’ earnings in the bank.  Things happen to you and your family so you need to be ready for them!  I personally like to keep my six months’ savings in liquid assets such as gold and silver.  It is my personal expression of discontent with a financial system represented by paper and backed by a negative cash flow government.

4.       Buy minimum insurance.

Buy the minimum insurance to protect you and your assets.  Disability insurance should be toward the top until you own enough cash flow real estate to take care of you and your family.

5.       Fund government-sponsored retirement accounts.

Please do every legal activity you can to minimize your tax “bite.”  The trick is to fund this account all year long rather than waiting until April.

6.       Invest in the rental real estate.

As a real estate agent, you should know rental real estate better than any other investment medium.  It is now time to start looking at cash flow rental real estate and have the tenants pay off the mortgage.  The time comes sooner than you think when you want to do activities other than letting sellers know they need to drop their price!

7.       Do what you want with the balance!

This fund for “luxury” items grows every year that you are in the business.  You will find that some of those goals for the Rolex, Rolls, and retreats will lose their glow as the Holy Spirit works in your life to fund activities that are important to God.

Not only is this is an important order for your spending habits, but also, it works as a goal in pleasing God.  Many of my coaching clients and I have found that goals which please God are easier to obtain.  I just wonder where I would be today had I not been a foolish spender early in life but had instead allowed the Holy Spirit to work through me.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com.

Drip Those Online Listing Leads November 14th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

My coaching clients are beginning to find more success with their online listing leads. Whether the lead is coming from postcard-generated invites to complete forms on their site or third-party consolidator leads, the web leads are coming in. The problem with a lot of these leads is bad phone numbers but good email addresses. The question is – how do we engage them in a conversation that leads to a listing appointment?

Uncovering the seller’s needs prior to an appointment is always the first step in creating client satisfaction, but it’s very difficult to do without good contact information. By showing these potential sellers value, my clients have found that many sellers who wanted to remain anonymous are now holding up their hands and shouting “I want some of that!”

The drip system that creates this kind of excitement is one that’s immediately started after the lead is received. The system shows the value that you can bring to their discovery process. Every three or four days, send an email that lets them know that there is so much more that a top, local, professional agent can add to their search.

With my clients, we only give a little bit of information at a time. Usually within a few weeks, we have the serious leads contacting the agent for an over-the-phone consultation.

Below are some of the points that we stress in our drip system email campaign for online listing leads:

Week One: Thank you for contacting us for more information regarding the sale of your property. I hope the information we have already provided was of some help to you. We believe that a real estate relationship should be based on the client’s needs. Once we know those needs, we have some very unique solutions that our past sellers have mentioned were available nowhere else. Please give us a call so we can supply some unique answers to unique challenges.

Week Two: In our earlier email, we talked about unique solutions. One of the unique solutions we provide our sellers is a pre-listing consultation. Go to www.(yoursite).com/prelistingconsultation to answer a few questions and schedule a phone call that’s convenient for you. This will allow our team to be better prepared to give you some insights regarding what to expect in this market.

Week Three: In continuing our theme of delivering value to our potential sellers, one of the most appreciated value propositions that we give our potential sellers is our “seller education system.” If you call us, we can program a search for brand new listings each morning. The search will include specs that compare to your home and the results will be emailed directly to you. This provides you with brand new listings that would be competing with your home, if it was on the market. This makes you the most educated seller in town knowing what the competition is. You’ll receive these new listings at the same time agents in (your town) receive them!

Week Four: Occasionally, we have a seller who isn’t interested in considering a sale unless he/she knows the value first. We came up with a solution that eliminates a lengthy listing presentation. We call this our free 48-hour phone value analysis. Go to www.(yoursite).com/valueanalysis. Complete the form and within 48 hours, one of our team members will call you. Based upon the same comparables that appraisers would use, we will let you know the value of your home. This is a fast and inexpensive way to bridge the gap of an expensive appraisal or a time-consuming listing presentation with a service that can be just as accurate. There is no charge for this service, and we are happy to put the numbers together for you!

Week Five: One of the services that our sellers most appreciate is our “meet the team” concept. You can go to our website or call us directly for the contact information on a trusted team member for almost any service. We know the best plumbers, HVAC techs, electricians, roofers, landscapers, painters, carpenters, and carpet installers in the area. We use them on our own homes, we trust them, and we have long business relationships with them. If you need anything done around your home to prepare for a potential sale or if you just want to get it ready for a special occasion, we know who does the job well here in (your town).

Week Six: Our sellers get higher prices because we make their homes desirable to buyers! We call this service our “primp and polish” service. Any consultation is free! We can provide you some simple tips to make your home more inviting to buyers. We will point out any potential red flags and help you place furniture to get things ready to create that emotional pull. We have professional decorators on call.  Their services cost money, but we have found their service is a good investment based on the additional monies that we receive for our client’s properties. The initial consultation is free! Please give us a call so we can set this up for you.

Week Seven: Did you know that our company has access to a majority of the top real estate agents in any city in the world? If you are considering selling your home here and buying out of town–we can send you to top agents who understand your needs. Top agents know they can’t solve client’s challenges without first knowing what those challenges are. If you want a special house out of town, then give us a call. We know agents who will not only show you standard MLS properties but also properties that are not yet on the market. We call these “secret properties.” These secret properties can be owned by past clients who might consider selling or sellers developed from a postcard mailing campaign in your neighborhood of interest. These agents know many ways to find property that other agents will not show you. We find this service to be one of the best that we provide for our buyers so we wanted to make sure that you get the same service when you move.

Week Eight: If you’re not quite ready to list your property, we have a system called “sell the sizzle before the steak.” I know it sounds a little corny, but we can discretely present that your home might be available to our database of buyers. This helps us to do a little pre-marketing prior to a full commitment of our complete marketing plan. If you are interested in this service, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Week Nine: Did you know that we have a policy where no real estate agent will be allowed to negotiate with you in person? We do this because many times real estate agents can be very forceful in the presentation of offers from their clients. We ask for that offer to be presented to us, and we will spend as much time as you need with just us – your representatives. This eliminates awkward meetings where you need more time to think, and the buyer’s agent is pushing for an answer. We believe that selling a home should not only be massively profitable but also fun. If you’d like more ideas on how we differ from the competition, email or call me at your convenience. All contacts will be kept confidential.

Well, I hope you get the idea that we’re trying to start a conversation with that potential seller instead of letting them fall through the cracks.  A drip email campaign for a seller is similar to the campaign for buyers.  It’s necessary for listing leads since the majority of information requests come via the web with incorrect or inoperable phone numbers. The only way to get these leads talking is to present them better value than everyone else.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com

God’s Word Regarding Real Estate Debt October 10th, 2014 | Posted in Other Interests

PROVERBS 22:7 – The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower servant to the lender.

If only I had been a student of God’s word sooner…. The pain I could have avoided and the good I could have done! Now, in a position to coach some of the top agents and make presentations all over the world, I’m careful in what I endorse.

Here are 15 changes that I would have made early in my career had I been a better student of the Bible:

  1. Lose the “big hat, no cattle syndrome.” I went into debt for big houses in multiple areas, fancy cars like a Rolls Royce under the false teaching of “fake it till you make it.” People respect your hard work and goodness, not your car.
  2. The real estate industry is still pushing for lower down payments and loans open to more people. When they cannot afford the payments, people find themselves being a slave to the lender.
  3. Keeping what you own and not risking your holdings on more leverage can be a little boring, but, in the end, it is the smartest financial move. Worrying about making payments lessens your availability for other important matters.
  4. Do you have enough money to tithe? You need to have better systems in real estate and less debt, if you do not.
  5. From now on, don’t bet on the market. Bet on the income. Sure, flippers make it when it’s good, but investors make it always. You can buy to flip, but it better have a long term cash flow just in case.
  6. Being positive after taxes is a misnomer. If you don’t have taxes to pay because of a bad year, then that means it is negative (negative cash flow.)
  7. Don’t borrow short on long term assets. You might own things longer, or their completion may take longer. Always go for the fully amortized loan.
  8. Before going into debt for the fancy office, assistants, third-party lead generators, and buyer’s assistants – learn how to generate leads by yourself and for yourself.
  9. The old ways are the best. Save for taxes, pay your insurance, and have a rainy day fund before you invest.
  10. Make it a goal to have no interest rate higher than the loan on your cash flow piece of real estate. Miss a payment at Lowes and it is 20.4%.
  11. Did you know the expense factor on a piece of free and clear real estate can approach 50% of its gross income? Know how to figure net cash flow on real estate.
  12. Make sure your weekly “perfect week” reflects your core principals of how you want to live your life. Is there enough time blocked for faith and family?
  13. What good are you doing with your money? After the income starts rolling in, let’s invest in God’s work rather than adding more feathers to our nest.
  14. Can you afford to give that good tenant a break this month?
  15. When you do get rich from this great business, do you give God the glory?

The funny thing is–I have always had all the breaks, the training, and the backing. I have been blessed in real estate and life. The only times that I have felt pain in my life is when ignored God’s word. Following the rules become easier after accepting Christ and allowing the Holy Spirit to coach you.

I can give you the real estate systems through books, software, speaking events, and coaching. What you do with your success and to whom you give the glory will be a matter of how good a student you are.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com.

 

Don’t Got Into Winter with a Low Listing Inventory September 11th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

I am afraid that a lack of holiday listings will make it ugly for you in February. You still have a few months to increase your inventory so even if you hate seller lead generation — it’s only for a few months!

Here is a list of what I would do, if I wanted more listings in the last quarter. I have a list of twenty. Choose TEN and implement. You should have a happy start to 2015.

  1. Call the more expensive expired listings every morning.  Get some help from Landvoice.  Visit https://www.landvoicedata.com/waltersanford to get a discount, too!  Landvoice provides a service so you don’t have to research the phone numbers.
  2. Call all the homes, condos, and small multi-unit properties for rent in the weekend paper and/or Craig’s List.  Ask if they might consider selling or doing a 1031.  Unless it’s a multi-unit, it’s a 100% vacancy factor!
  3. Have forms for sellers to complete on your website like a free 48-hour phone value analysis or a buyer matching database.
  4. Email/call/mail everyone in your database with at least 5 valuable services that you can perform for them.
  5. Re-call all listing leads and let them know that the most motivated buyers come out in the winter when other sellers hibernate.
  6. Send a good FSBO letter to all FSBOs every week until the end of year. Have your favorite team lender call them with help on financing plans that can be advertised and pre-approval of all potential buyers. Have your lender use your name in the conversation.
  7. Send just sold and just listed cards out and call behind them. Get the Cole Realty Resource to help. Visit http://www.colerealtyresource.com/landing/Sanfordsystemsandstrategies/ for a special discount, too.
  8. Get the newspaper and cut out positive articles that are relative to some of your area “movers and shakers.” Add these individuals to your database, too. They won’t forget you.
  9. Hold a good open house — good area and a new listing. Ask if the attendee is a buyer or seller and provide free value for them.
  10. Call the human resource manager at the big companies. Give potential sellers the estimates of value, based on the same comparables that appraisers use.
  11. Call assisted living centers and take the tour. Ask who they use to sell the homes of their incoming clients.
  12. Mail and call all of the divorce attorneys. Offer fast valuations and a written, aggressive marketing plan for their client homes.
  13. Mail all divorcing couples with the problem of a quit claim/grant deeds and underlying loans.
  14. Send an “I have investors” letter to poorly kept properties in better neighborhoods.
  15. Send a letter to owners of 2-4 unit properties about their value because of preferential financing, 1031s, and your management expertise.
  16. Send a letter to old expireds and old FSBOs long after other agents have ceased soliciting. Follow up with a phone call.
  17. Provide ten services to out-of-state owners. Offer things like rental agreements, vendor suggestions, management referrals, 1031 accommodators, etc.
  18. Work on friending/connecting/following your database via social media outlets and spending a few minutes a day entering any conversations into your database.
  19. Have forms for sellers to fill out on your website.
  20. Call all the clients who used to belong to the agent who left the business. Let these new clients know that the broker has asked you to be their new representative at the office.

It is a matter of designing the above systems and time-blocking them as the most important activities of the day. You will never have had a better first quarter!

If you need help with these systems, we have been making improvements to them with research techniques, multi-media approaches, overcoming objections, and follow-up.

We offer solutions in many forms with books/software, seminars, and coaching. Many top agents use Sanford Systems as their trusted resource. Call us at 800.792.5837 if we can help your business.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com

 

Loyalty to Affiliates August 12th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

Real estate agents are competitors, but affiliates can be team members. An affiliate is a service provider who affiliates with your business to earn a piece of the transaction. They can be lenders, home warranty providers, title representatives, inspectors, etc. For our purposes here, we’re going to use lenders but really the same principles apply to all.

First, your broker or firm might warn you about suggesting affiliates for your clients to use. I understand this warning because if the affiliate messes up, there might be liability attached to the referring party. Maybe. In my affiliate relationships, I took care of that concern with a removal of liability clause in my listing and buyer brokerage agreements.

Furthermore, I always did what was right for my client. The client’s best choice was always an affiliate who was afraid to lose my business, if they did not meet expectations. It’s simple: if you are loyal to a great affiliate, they will devote the resources to make your life easier as a REALTOR®.

I had a favorite one to four unit lender. Look for a hard-working, smart individual who understands that top producing REALTORS® are his/her preferred client. He/she always under-promises and over-delivers. My lender would tell me when I had a client in a low-closing proposition. My lender stayed out of my office and did not tie up my assistant in gossip. 

Rates are competitive. My lender knew how to get in touch with the underwriter to “explain” things when needed. My goal was to go to the top of the list for service, follow-up, and favors.

These are the steps I followed in getting my top lender’s attention:

  1. Asked for his picture and résumé to put on my “meet the team” section of my website used to promote my one-stop service for clients.  
  2. Sold his services to my seller at the listing presentation by mentioning that the only way I could guarantee my service completely is if I worked with the team members who best know the process.
  3. Sold his services to my buyers by not wanting to work with lenders with whom I wasn’t familiar.  It is hard to orchestrate a closing with lenders who are servicing a new account where their prospects of future loans are bleak.      
  4. All offers that come in with a non-team member lender are automatically countered by a pre-counseled seller who now believes that a non-team lender may be a hindrance to close.  Counter is written: “Buyer to pre-approved by (lender) at (company).  After pre-approval, buyer is free to use any lender of their choice.”

 

Loyalty can bring many benefits:

  1. I liked to time-block my weekly follow-up on pendings for Wednesday at 1PM. My lender was always ready with a report.
  2. My lender looked for referral business for me.
  3. My lender participated in lead generation systems where it benefitted him. For instance, I did all the FSBO research and mention in my advertising to them that I had a lender who could help them. I would then have the lender call the FSBO to offer value. My lender ended up with many loans on FSBO sold real estate.
  4. My lender ceased coming in with rate sheets. Who cares about rates where the yields between lenders are almost the same? Fewer interruptions from all affiliates allowed me to work on filling the pipeline.
  5. I was on the top to the list for challenges to be satisfied. 

Try a little loyalty to a hard-working affiliate and see how you can work together as a team for mutual benefit.

For great affiliate systems, check out Teaming Up or call our office at 800.792.5837 for special pricing. 

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com.



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