559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

P.815.929.9258 P.815.929.9200

I have been using "If I Could Start All Over Again" and have spoken with (so far) seven area top producers - wow!!! Everyone should do this! Daniel H. Peaslee, Century 21


Killing Clients with Kindness and Value April 10th, 2015 | Posted in General Real Estate

Sometimes, we need to “kill” our clients with kindness and offer value.  I know it goes against everything in our nature to do so.

Recently, a coaching client had some challenges with a particular client, and I’m sure you have also worked with the kind of client who discourages you so much that you just want to hit the delete button!

How about offering a response that increases your fame and makes the client always wonder what they may be missing?  They might not list with you, but they will never forget you.

Included in the balance of this article are the email from the client, the request for help from my coaching client, and then my suggested response.


Email from the Potential Client:

Sorry, I have been really busy. Let me tell you where I’m at with everything. You may or may not be interested.

I am definitely putting the house on the market.  The house has been rented for the last 5 years with the same family.  They originally signed a rent to own lease. Three years ago, they decided they didn’t want to buy it.

Anyway, I recently informed them that I’m going to put the house on the market. Now, they are reconsidering buying the house. I don’t think they will buy the house, but I guess you never know.  If they do buy the house, it would be for sale by owner.  I will not let them drag their feet.

We happen to know a lot of REALTORS® in (area).  Some are pretty good friends and with that comes opportunities at rates way under the norm. One of them did sell our last house quickly but circumstances have changed. I know you are a very good REALTOR®, because I have heard other REALTORS® talk about you.

You may not be interested at this point anymore.  If you are still interested, let me know what your best rate is.  Let me know if you are okay with the current tenants on a “for sale by owner” agreement, if that happens. I would want a short-term agreement.

The current rent is higher than my mortgage payment so I’m okay if they don’t buy and I’m not forced to sell at a low price.  However, I want to sell ASAP.  I’m wanting to purchase another property so I’m not going to overprice the house and I will negotiate.


Email from Coaching Client to Me:

Walter, this guy is a college basketball coach.  I want to help him, but I need to have a chance to run a successful business, too!  How do I answer this?


Email from Me to Coaching Client (to share with potential client):

Thank you so much for the nice words.  It is very exciting to hear that our hard work is creating some buzz.  I think we can accommodate you and exceed your expectations:

1.       We believe that we exceed client expectations more often than most agents, because we spend the time to understand what the client needs.  Then we develop a customized program to meet and exceed that goal.  We would love to help you in accomplishing your real estate needs.

2.       We would be happy to exclude the current residents from the listing agreement for 30 days.  This would help in motivating the residents to move in that they can see the commission discount if they commit within the 30 day period.  I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. We would like to offer you our closing service that handles everything for a flat fee of $4,000.  This handles the contract phase, aligning the team of affiliates, and the closing.  This, of course, is at your option.

3.       Our commissions are normal for our market, but we save you more money.  Our specialty is increasing your net proceeds.  We do this by bringing you more buyers with more effective marketing, better negotiating, better systems for handling inspections, better pre-approval tools for your buyer, better contracts, and less post-seller litigation from better contracts.  Commission discounts usually cost you money because of the agent’s lack of emphasis on your net proceeds check.

4.       Our rate is retail 6%.  This may eliminate us, but that would be a short-sided conclusion.  Here are 5 of the ways we can beat any commission discount:

A.      We beat the average List to sell ratio in (area) by a larger margin than any discount.

B.       We beat the days on market, which affects your carrying costs and lost opportunity costs on your equity.

C.      We have a low litigation rate as compared to national standards.

D.      We can market your home a little over retail due to our marketing.

E.       We urge a pre-inspection plan to get rid of the little and big problems before a buyer is involved.

5.      Our agreements are 6 months, but that is not what sells properties.  Marketing and price sell property.  If we are wrong about those two items, we will adjust every week based upon showings.

(Client’s name), you know the difference superstars make on a team.  Let’s go for the win.

It’s not so much whether my coaching client obtained the listing, but he needed to stand up for a profitable, long term business.  Never sell yourself short to get business.  You will never be happy.

In these situations, I cannot guarantee an outcome, but I can guarantee the client will never forget you.  Whether he/she admits it or not, he/she will have respect for you.  Do more lead generation so you won’t have to work so hard on leads like these.

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, or chat with us online at




Your Open House Profit Kit March 10th, 2015 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

Through the years, I have discovered that more and more agents are fearful of meeting face to face.  Some agents hoped that technology would put a barrier between them and rejection, but all they found was a smaller income.

The top earners still know how to find what people need and give it to them.  Some of my top coaching clients are actually doing a few open houses to re-introduce themselves, face-to-face, with the neighborhoods that made them famous.

Below are the processes to add profit to your Sunday endeavor:

The agent chooses a great house with good visibility.  The sellers are counseled as to what it means to have a house ready to show.  The agent cures his/her resentment in giving up family, fun, faith, friends, and food by setting a goal to receive at least five good leads from the open house.

The agent advertises in social media and the newspaper, and they also send invitations to the neighbors.  Hopefully, this was the first open house in a long time on this property.

Upon arriving, he/she parks across the street as to leave plenty of room for others arriving to see the home.  Five to fifteen directional signs are placed at nearby corners along with signage at the front of the house with flags to make the property inviting.

Each guest is greeted with a simple greeting — “Thank you for coming.  Are you buyers or sellers?”  If they are buyers or sellers, they are given clipboards with appropriate forms to provide value.  The guests are given the opportunity to walk through the home and complete their value-filled checklist.  The agent spends more time with potential buyers and sellers than the professional open house attendees.  At the end of the three hour stint, the top agent calls it a profitable day by meeting that goal of five leads.

Here is the open house kit that you will need in your trunk so you are ready for to survive your occasional “rock the neighborhood” tour.

1.       o       Brochures

2.       o       Dream Home search form for buyers or sellers wanting to be educated about this neighborhood

3.       o       Pre-listing consultation form for sellers

4.       o       The free 24-hour phone value analysis form

5.       o       All flyers on all your listings

6.       o       Music

7.       o       Air freshener

8.       o       Contracts/ZIP form

9.       o       Mock listing file for that seller who is ready to go

10.     o       Laptop/tablet and printer

11.     o       Open house display cards

12.     o       Resume

13.     o       Flags at property line

14.     o       Home warranty information

15.     o       Original plans, if available

16.     o       Fireplace gas key

17.     o       Business cards

18.     o       Guest cards

19.     o       Vanilla

20.     o       Specific financing sheet

21.     o       Ten clip boards

22.     o       Counteroffers

23.     o       Buyers/sellers net sheet

24.     o       Table, chairs, and toilet paper, if vacant

25.     o       Busy work

26.     o       Lead sheets

27.     o       Maps of local area

28.     o       Put all valuables away

29.     o       Flame logs

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, or chat with us online at


What Gets You Up in the Morning? February 10th, 2015 | Posted in General Real Estate

Psalm 62:10: “Though riches increase, do not set your heart on them.”

The real estate boom early in the new millennium created many wealthy REALTORS® and lenders.  The owners of huge brokerage companies started thinking they were geniuses!  Huge homes, second homes, vacations, and cars were on everyone’s lists.

When the bubble burst, real estate prices along with many other asset classes plummeted.  Many investors and real estate companies declared bankruptcy; many owners found themselves upside down.  I had personally been through two other “big bursts” in my 40-year real estate career.

In 1997, I knew there had to be a better way, and I started being pulled by the Holy Spirit to know Jesus better.  Some people talk about a flash of light, an immediate understanding, or a time when the Spirit rocked them so hard there was immediate clarity.

For me, it was the presented paths and a gentle push to take the right one.  It was the presented opportunities, the people put into my path, and the people sent packing.  It was so clear that God was influencing my life, and I found myself having a constant conversation with God to show me the way He wanted it done.  Looking back, it is so clear that I have been led.

For you who knew me as a world class sinner, I still am a sinner!  But with God’s grace, I am daily striving to live a life for His glory.  I’m not winning less at what I’m doing, but I’m certainly winning for a different reason.

Verses 11 and 12 of Psalm 62 provide the way for you to move forward.  God has all the power and has unfailing love.  God is a refuge for us and He cares for us.  He is the only One in whom we can put our trust.  I want to provide a God-glorifying dividend in everything I do!

Sure, I still want to increase my riches, but now, it is for who and what I can help.  In fact, instead of material dreams, I dream about making a difference.  This change has affected my real estate investing, and I have seen it affect my wife’s real estate brokerage as well.

For me, flipping for profit is dead.  Buying low and selling high with some en vogue grey paint in between is not a game that I want to play.  It involves the maximum IRS involvement plus the costs of the sale, repair, and taxes cut into your estate.   It’s now keep and build equity with equity paydowns, change a tenant’s life with the best rental at the best rate, and pay off the mortgage waiting for the time when I can move the equity to an entity better positioned to serve God.

The concept is simple, and this financial environment supports it.

1.       Find property that is lower maintenance and in good school districts.

2.       Offer prices where, with your down payment, there is enough rental income to pay off a fixed, fully amortized loan.  Use at least a 40% of gross income expense factor as your cost of operation on everything, except principal and interest payments. 

3.       Shelter your income with depreciation expenses on fixed-loan properties and inflation will push up your rental income.  Take any positive cash flow and apply to the underlying loan for faster amortization.  Get your first free and clear property.  Use the income from that to pay down your other highest rate mortgages.  Continue working your real estate job.

4.       Provide a home for your tenants that blows them away!  Improve the property substantially at every turnover.  Treat your tenants as family.  Respond quickly and effectively.  Charge a fair rent and give deserving people the chance they need to change their lives.

5.       Have lots of free and clear properties that you can give or will to your church.  Use the income to fund missions you believe in.

When this became my business plan, the bubble pop did not affect me.  There was no negative cash flow.  God led me to a path that included Kankakee, Illinois (high income to price ratio real estate).  Add in my knowledgeable and supportive wife and a church that made the Bible relevant to make the equation more complete.  Therefore, riches increase and my heart is set on how they will work into God’s plan.

Now, I know some of you hard-boiled movers and shakers think that I have been overcome in drinking the “Kool-Aid.”  The path that has led me to navigate this crazy real estate market, find peace, and have purpose are just too obvious to not be orchestrated by God.  Therefore, consider the good you can do as your riches increase.  Riches are not promised by God, but it will be exciting to wake up each morning and see the path laid before you!


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, or chat with us online at


Start Helping Expired Listings Sell Their Homes January 12th, 2015 | Posted in General Real Estate

Many of you are looking for unique ways to solicit expireds. My coaching clients use multi-media solicitations to this hot demographic group. They solicit expired listing owners by adding the line “Helping Expired Listings Sell Their Homes” to their postcards, letters, voice mail messages, emails, blogs, website, social media, and any place else an expired seller may see the offer. The website link could be At this link, the expired might be required to fill out some questions to get a free, 48-hour value analysis and the ability to sign up for a pre-listing consultation plus also receive answers and demonstrations to the following list:

1.  You missed marketing opportunities that sell property in the (your market) area. We will show you marketing procedures that have worked in the last 12 months.

2.  The marketing was not customized to your personal needs and desired outcomes. We ask many questions to determine your exact needs and then draw from a large quiver of tools to customize your experience.

3.  Your agent was not a buyer magnet. We will show you the unusual services that we have for buyers which drives them to interact with us — most times under contract.

4.  Your features and benefits of the property were not adequately delineated and distributed to the world through an aggressive search engine optimization procedure. We will demonstrate and guarantee results.

5.  Your price needs to be adjusted. There is a delicate balance of pricing at the next level to take advantage of a better market with lower interest rates, but not too high as to be rejected by appraisers. How many times was your price adjusted up or down to make allowance for the market?

6.  Your agent needed a better grasp of the comparable sales. Smaller homes have a greater price per square foot. Some improvements greatly increase prices, some reduce. Decorating causes emotion, emotion causes sales. We have personal knowledge of the sold comps and the staff to help you make changes to your home, if you desire.

7.  Your agent lacked creativity. In the past, we have purchased a buyer’s home to allow them to close on a new property. We have loaned buyers their down payment from our commission so they could qualify for a loan. We have a lender team member who has come up with innovative financing plans to squeeze that buyer into a home. Through experience, we are innovative and that innovation gets homes sold.

8.  Showings on your home were not seamless. One phone call to our office gets agents into your home for showings. The owner gets previous notice of the showing and then after the showing, they receive feedback so they are aware of what the market is saying.

  9.  You did not evolve with the market. Every 10 working days, we have a meeting with you to look at the changes we can make based on the competition, the sales, and the feedback. We have a fluid marketing plan to provide what the market calls for in obtaining offers.

  10. Interest did not result into contracts. We follow up on interest and make suggestions on how contracts can be formulated to achieve buyer’s goals while keeping your needs in mind. Newer agents representing buyers may not have the tools to move a buyer across the finish line. We will help with a little push!

Implement some new ways for the expireds to interact with you.  Some of my clients are controlling 15% of the listed expireds in their area by offering more value to get the expired listing to call or email you.

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, or chat with us online at



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, or chat with us online at


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