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559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

P.815.929.9258 P.815.929.9200

walter@waltersanford.com

"I think we had a great meeting in Savannah. The comments received in your presentation were all positive. Thank you so much for what you did for us. It was a big help to ensure a great meeting for us. You always go the extra mile." Maurice Johnson,Realty World

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What the top 1% do December 3rd, 2019 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

This is probably a misleading title.  It’s probably more like “What the Top 1% of the Top 10% Do,” but that was too long of a title…even for me!  For years, people have been asking me what the differences are between the top agents and the “middle of the pack” agents.  They ask because I once was a “top dog” and secondarily, I either coach, train, have been mentored by, or mentor most of the top producers in North America. 

When you talk about top producers, I’m not talking about the guy who consistently wins the top sales award at the office.  I am talking about the people who are consistently at the top of their franchises or the top of their regions.  Not only those who are just at the top regarding units sold but also those who are at the top in take-home pay. 

I believe this person would be someone who is a high achiever, has a life, has a net income, and has the numbers to back it up.  For years, I have researched the various causes for success in top agents.  The upcoming list includes items that I have personally implemented, allowing me to be at the top of my game for so many years. 

A lot of these items are common but not implemented.  This is the missing link as to why there are so few top producers in the world.  It takes dedication and devotion to consistently do what others don’t do so hopefully I can make this a little more compelling and a little more fun.  The bright light at the end of the tunnel is the fact that you can earn enough money to buy real estate at possibly the best time in our lifetime.  You’ll then be able to reap the cash flow and appreciation for future years along with a fixed, low-interest rate loan that will be paid off during your career.  Yes, you can get rich in this business!  I have done it, I’ve seen other people do it, and my coaching clients are currently doing it. 

Here’s the list to move your way to the top:

1.      I’m sure this first one is going to be a shocker – set goals.  Don’t wait for what walks in the door.  Don’t base your business upon a few good months and then take some time off or buy stuff.  Know how many listing appointments you need to make every week, and know how many buyers you need to have under contract.  Know your commission rate and know how to consistently answer the objections that get in the way of your goals.  Have a plan for each day, each week, each year, 5-years, 10-years, and beyond.  The best of the best have their day at least 2/3 time blocked knowing that it is the only way to accomplish the mandatory items to maximize real estate productivity.  One of the tricks is that you have to know what those items are!

2.      Fill your time blocked schedule with activities that actually make money in real estate.  You won’t find too many of the elite agents spending half their day in social media.  What you will find is pro-active, seller lead generation minimizing buyer participation, minimizing print advertising, maximizing their abilities to price correctly, and using the leverage that is natural to this real estate business.  Top agents know that listings generate buyers, and if buyers are shown the right inventory, this will generate listings.  As a top agent, understand that buyers and sellers generate commissions while also allowing the agent to evaluate real estate for their own purchases.  It is an amazing business.

3.      Understand what the objective of your activity.  When you’re talking with a seller on the phone, you have two objectives: get the appointment and make certain they have enough motivation to make the listing presentation worthwhile.  At the listing presentation, get the one-year listing at 7%, determine motivation, and price at the right price or have a future price reduction signed.  Top agents understand the goals at each meeting, and it difficult to get them to leave until they have tried at least a few times to achieve these objectives.

4.      The top 1% ask more questions, allowing them to get to the heart of the issue.  When a seller says they want to sell because the house is too big, you can expect a top agent to ask more questions like these:

  1. “Why is a large home a problem for you?”
  2. “I understand that there is a lot of maintenance involved with a house this size.  Did you know that you could pay someone to perform a lot of these items for you at a reasonably small price?”
  3. “Could you tell me again why a large house bothers you?” 

A top agent would keep this line of questioning going until they found out that the true reason the person is selling, which is most often that they simply couldn’t afford the property and/or they wanted to free up some equity for other activities.  Many sellers would be too embarrassed to explain this detail up front to regular agents so these agents would assume the house is too big.  How can you get a seller to look at today’s realistic prices without constantly reminding them what the finish line looks like?  Top people ask questions so that “finish line” can be determined and highlighted on a consistent basis, allowing the tough decisions to be made in this market.

5.      Understand exactly what your customers want.  Listen.  Many consider most top agents as one who is full of ego, never shutting up in a meeting.  The opposite is really true.  The agent who knows the seller the best will the agent who wins the listing presentation.  The agent who knows the buyer best is the agent who spends less time in converting them to a closed transaction.  My coaching clients grasp this concept early – get the clients to tell you about their needs.  This is the difference that will allow you to create a customized marketing plan to achieve their goals and achieve those goals faster than regular agents.  When your client’s reasoning just doesn’t make sense, ask more questions.

6.      The top people constantly are saying “I don’t understand what you mean by that.”  They say this because they want the client to keep talking about any items on which they are unclear.  The majority of agents is just happy to be talking with a buyer or a seller and is looking for the signature.  Top people need to know with clarity what they need to accomplish.  Top agents never forget that clients cost money until closing day and quality clients are required to make high incomes.

7.      Top agents prepare a presentation based upon the client’s needs.  For years, we were taught about canned listing presentations when that is about as far from reality as you can get!  As stated earlier, the agent who asks the most questions to determine a need then prepares a customized marketing plan to fulfill that need will be the “winner” at the listing presentation. 

8.      Top agents stay in touch with their customers.  Look for unique ways to constantly add value to your customer’s lives and “WOW” them.  My past clients were treated to all of my listings before they hit the market as secret properties.  They were given two phone calls a year to make certain each of their needs were met.  They were offered opportunities for their accountants to call me regarding their tax returns after a major transaction.  We followed a long list of major value points that we offered to a past client, requiring us to stay in touch with them.  The top 1% constantly builds business from their current database.

9.      Spend approximately half of your day in pro-active seller lead generation.  Understand that obtaining a listing is the most important activity in real estate.  Work hard to sell the home, prior to submitting it to the MLS but only with the seller’s blessings. 

10.    Top agents are relentless follow up artists.  One example of one of my follow-up systems is the “Listing Leads A” (LLA) category.  LLA is for a client that you weren’t able to close on a listing or who is “soon to list.”  They have one of a million excuses as to why they wouldn’t sign that night.  They might also be a seller who gave you a time in which you should call back for when they would be ready to list.  These people are always ready to list sooner than they say they expect.  If someone said they were going to list in three months, I made sure that every week I would time block my schedule to call all LLA with a piece of value such as a new listing, new sale, or a new interest rate that would affect their value.  I would give them value so they weren’t upset at me calling prior to the scheduled time they asked me to call back.  I could take advantage of any motivation that would cause them to list sooner.  Follow-up needs to be built into all of your systems.

11.    Make sure your client knows the next step.  Have a time or a date for the next meeting.  Have a checklist on what everyone needs to accomplish for the next meeting.  By preparing your client, there is clarity at the end of a meeting and everyone knows what is expected.   

12.    Top agents become experts at answering objections.  What do you say when a client states, “Well, I’m just going to rent it”?  What about the objection of “I’m taking it off the market now”? These types of objections should be handled seamlessly, succinctly, and smoothly, creating an opportunity to once again show value to the client.

13.    A top agent is always seeking to find what’s in it for their client.  Though these agents could be top in the world, top in their franchise, or top in their city, rarely will they be bragging about it because know the client just doesn’t care.  A top agent will find what’s important to the client. 

14.    Top producers can relate.  They relate their marketing plan or their sales plan to the client’s needs.  They spend so much time evaluating motivation that now they tie that motivation to the end result.  Top producers help clients relate as to how their service will achieve a client’s goals.

15.    The top 1% are amazingly flexible.  They have plans for what will happen when interest rates go up, and they have plans for what will happen when government changes the rules.  Daily, weekly, and monthly work plans are constantly evaluated to make certain they are doing what is most profitable. 

16.    Seek out the concepts that are most profitable.  It is always great to hear people talk about the things that are most profitable in real estate, but if you don’t know what they are, they are of little help.  Many trainers were not top producers themselves and are myopic in offering just one product or service.  It is very difficult to build an entire career on staging, Feng Shui, social media, or stealth websites; however, if that is the only product, that is what you are going to hear about all day.  The top producing coaches are expensive, create results, and demand that their clients are working the most profitable activities in real estate.  If you don’t like it, you ain’t gonna do it!

I hope that you have enjoyed this insight into how a top producer’s mind works. 

Since I have retired from the speaking circuit, I have my systems (large books with software) that I was selling from the back of the room at about $1500.00.  These are my newest products and this package includes everything that I have ever done.  As a “pay it forward” opportunity I am now selling these same books and software at my cost, about 94% off.  This is the start of your plan to get to the point where you are living the dream.  This is not anything but selling you the best real estate training materials in the world for 94% less than they were selling for a couple of weeks ago.  You will get 9 books, a whopping 40 pounds of checklists and information that is easy to use.  These volumes have been used by agents in the US and Canada to be the best agent in their market place.  Go here to pick up your foundation for the future.

Planning for 2020 November 21st, 2019 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

I know how scary it is to think that you have to start over at zero on Jan. 1.  However, between now and the end of the year you may be able to call each of the people in your data base and ask if:  1.  They have any real estate needs for 2019 and into 2020 because the sooner you know about them the more planning can go into the execution and then we can create better results!  2.  Do they know of anyone that may be thinking of buying or selling?  3.  Have they ever considered investment real estate or self-directed IRA’s? and 4.  May I check your email address?  This exercise will put you well ahead of the competition starting on the first.

Next, I want you to get ready for huge expired days on the 31st and 1st.  Get your packages ready, line up someone to deliver, and get your phone number researching gear together.  The script is easy….Hi, my name is Walter Sanford over here at XYZ Real Estate and I would like to find out what it takes to apply for the job of selling your home at 123 Anywhere?  This two or three day exercise will give you enough business for the next 60 days after the first.

Lastly, I want to help you carry your momentum out through the year.  There are still a few of you that have not got my life’s work.  Nine systems that last year I sold at $1500 for the package on the road.  Now that I am retired I am putting them out to you for $90.00 (production cost) plus shipping.  Let’s clear the warehouse this time!  Take the manuals and software and do this between now and the end of the year:

  1.  Pick one new way to turn your site into something that produces seller leads.
  2.  Pick one new easy, consistent, proactive seller lead generation system.
  3.   Make one improvement to your listing presentation..
  4.   Add one checklist to your systems.
  5.   Ask your lender affiliate to work with you on one project.
  6.  Set up a system where you can review one cash flow rental property for yourself every week.
  7.   Add one more hoop to your buyer system so that you get rid of time wasters, faster.
  8.   Go back to one basic activity that was profitable in the past
  9.   Come up with one inexpensive marketing idea.

There are hundreds of ideas for each one of these in the tools, systems and software you are about to get.  Click here and order today and I will get your 40 pound box off to you right away. I promise if you do these things not only will your fear of next year starting over, be over, but you will be excited about real estate again and also all of my coaching clients that start this way increase their net income by more than 30%.  Yes, it really is that easy.

Ask Wally – Pricing is 95% of marketing and the best way for sellers to obtain their desired net. October 2nd, 2019 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

Many agents actually try to spend marketing dollars to overcome an overpried property. It is a question that I am frequently asked. Most of the items in the answer are items the seller has to be responsible for. They cannot depend upon false pricing or marketing from a REALTOR to obtain a value that is not there.

Question:

Good morning, Walter. What are the “Twelve Secrets of Selling Your Home at Above Market Prices?” Thanks!

-R.H

Answer:

Great question! I assume that you read that somewhere in one of my writings. Even though we all know the answers can be personal to the agent providing the marketing, I’ll do my best to give you some direction.

1. Price the property to be the most competitive to attract every buyer in that demographic.
2. Remove clutter, huge collections, and personal items that are necessary to the current owner’s life but not necessary to the potential owner’s life.
3. Repair obvious problems in the major systems. Get a post-listing inspection report and have the work done now rather than waiting for a nervous buyer to make their choices.
4. Provide easy access to the property. Anything less than a lock box with a warning call prior to showing will reduce showings.
5. Offer a 10% second to assist in the financing.
6. Follow-up assertively and determine why offers are not being written after showings. Express those concerns to the seller with solutions.
7. Make sure the features and benefits of the property are compelling and are expressed to the agents who have had a sale in area or price range in the last 2 years. Do this on a weekly basis.
8. Implement an effective SEO strategy that allows the world to find the home. Once the home is found, present a quality “showing” that will elicit REAL showings.
9. Offer “secret property” to your database to create buzz, prior to the listing hitting the MLS.
10. Add one value enhancement to the property for every week that it does not sell.
11. Put together 10 financing packages to show buyers that they can creatively obtain the keys to this new home.
12. Call your team member, the seller, religiously once a week and be straight with them. No showings in two weeks equals another price reduction or value enhancement. No offers in one month equals a price reduction or value enhancement.

If you can answer why price reductions in a tough market actually increase many seller’s nets, then you have made it.

-Walter

Since I have retired from the speaking circuit, I have my systems (large books with software) that I was selling from the back of the room at about $1500.00.  These are my newest products and this package includes everything that I have ever done.  As a “pay it forward” opportunity I am now selling these same books and software at my cost, about 94% off.  This is the start of your plan to get to the point where you are living the dream.  This is not anything but selling you the best real estate training materials in the world for 94% less than they were selling for a couple of weeks ago.  You will get 9 books, a whopping 40 pounds of checklists and information that is easy to use.  These volumes have been used by agents in the US and Canada to be the best agent in their market place.  Go here to pick up your foundation for the future.

Ask Wally – Making Sure You Are The Last Agent In September 12th, 2019 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

Q:  Walter,

I know it is very important to try and be the last agent in when booking a listing appointment.  What do I do when my assistant is confirming the listing appointment and finds out the seller has booked an appointment with an agent after my scheduled appointment?  Is there a script for trying to get it re-booked so we continue to have the last appointment to see the seller?

-John

A:  Hey, buddy.  Most assistants cannot successfully navigate the last appointment without being clumsy.  I assume that you did not make the appointment, so let’s start there.

For every appointment, you should request that you be the last agent to be interviewed.  Then reinforce this request, even if there is no concern, with the client.  The assistant can say the following:

“I would like to explain why we ask to be the last interviewed.  The reason we ask to be the last appointment is so John will better understand your goal of moving to Edmonton.  When John is the last agent you interview, you will already have a good idea from the other agents of what’s available in the real estate community to achieve your goal then you’ll also discover the additional and unique tools that John provides beyond other agents.  Also, your feedback will be better because you understand the process better.  John has found that clients can make better decisions about options when they have more knowledge obtained from earlier appointments.  Please call us if another agent makes an appointment after us.  We are flexible and can remake this appointment, if necessary.”

If your explanation has been given when the appointment is set and if they later violate that pact, then your assistant can say, “Let’s do this — I have an opening for the same time on Thursday.  That actually helps us because John is waiting for another comparable that did not show in the MLS, too.  He has some great ideas and is looking forward to meeting you and helping you move to Edmonton.”  If there any further problems, your assistant needs to get you involved.

Of course, lesser agents don’t care this much about being the last agent.  If you build the value by phone and follow-up with a killer, pre-listing consultation package, your chance of them listing before you get there is low.  If you are not the last one in, the chances of them listing with someone else is greater.

You are probably going to be one of the lower priced presentations with one of the higher commissions.  You have to sell yourself after they have considered all other offers so you can handle the objections effectively.

The priorities of the pre-listing sales program are the following:

1.  Consider the motivation.

2.  Evaluate the ability.

3.  Make the appointment.

4.  Determine competition.

5.  Arrange to be the last presenter.

It is funny how agents spend so much time working media but don’t invest the time to understand the real way this business works!

-Walter

 

Since I have retired from the speaking circuit, I have my systems (large books with software) that I was selling from the back of the room at about $1500.00.  These are my newest products and this package includes everything that I have ever done.  As a “pay it forward” opportunity I am now selling these same books and software at my cost, about 94% off.  This is the start of your plan to get to the point where you are living the dream.  This is not anything but selling you the best real estate training materials in the world for 94% less than they were selling for a couple of weeks ago.  You will get 9 books, a whopping 40 pounds of checklists and information that is easy to use.  These volumes have been used by agents in the US and Canada to be the best agent in their market place.  Go here to pick up your foundation for the future.

Ask Wally – Hiring A Buyers Agent September 11th, 2019 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

Q:  I was wondering if you have a job description for a buyer’s agent. I am planning on bringing on two of them to my team. One will also double as an assistant. I’m wondering how to work the compensation, etc. for each as well. Any suggestions?  Thank you.

Peggi from Bend, OR

A:  Huge discussion.  Do you have any of my buyer materials?

Q:  I guess that would cover a lot!  I have several books but haven’t seen anything like that.  What specific materials should I get?

A:  Here is what my coaching clients implement –

  • A business based on listings and listing generation, and
  • A natural outcome from that activity results in buyers.

Incoming buyer leads are asked 25 questions to determine motivation, asked to obtain pre-approval, and will meet to sign a loyalty agreement before they see property.  This eliminates 60% of low-end buyer leads.

We are able to do the above because we offer services that no one else offers.  We show them inventory beyond MLS including pocket listings, advertise their needs on our site and in the media, mail to the area they want, contact old matching expireds and FSBOs, contact owners of matching property in our database, guarantee they will be first into any matching property that we list, etc.  All this means they will see property through us that other brokers will not show them.

This forces your BAs to generate listing leads by designing ads that sellers call on, talk to expireds and FSBO, do postcard mailings to target neighborhoods, etc.

So, if we can get a BA to handle buyers this way, they will eliminate the junk leads, have a higher closing ratio on the ones that do follow the above steps, and generate listing leads for you want.

They get paid 50/50 on buyers and a 20% referral fee on all listings that you take and sell.

I basically just boiled down 400 pages of forms and systems in the above.  The products that most agents start with are Super Emails, Letters, and Web Content, Grow Your Leads: Just Add Walter, Time-Saving Checklists, and Fast Lane Buyer Systems. 

-Walter

Since I have retired from the speaking circuit, I have my systems (large books with software) that I was selling from the back of the room at about $1500.00.  These are my newest products and this package includes everything that I have ever done.  As a “pay it forward” opportunity I am now selling these same books and software at my cost, about 94% off.  This is the start of your plan to get to the point where you are living the dream.  This is not anything but selling you the best real estate training materials in the world for 94% less than they were selling for a couple of weeks ago.  You will get 9 books, a whopping 40 pounds of checklists and information that is easy to use.  These volumes have been used by agents in the US and Canada to be the best agent in their market place.  Go here to pick up your foundation for the future.



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