559 S. Washington Ave., Kankakee,IL 60901

P.815.929.9258 P.815.929.9200

The gifts of giving with love to others with return to you a hundred fold. Thank you for a new level of life. Terry Murphy, Real Estate Speaker


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

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, or chat with us online at


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