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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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Are You Thinking about Opening Your Own Place? December 9th, 2013 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

Recently, I was asked to answer some questions regarding an agent opening their own brokerage.  Below are the questions with my responses, which have been taken from my personal experience and my experience with my clients.

 

Question One:

What are the telltale signs that a REALTOR® should break out on his/her own and start a brokerage? What are the typical tipping points in these situations?

Answer One:

Square footage!  When there is need to add to the team or add infrastructure/technology but there is no place to put it, it’s time to move out on your own.  A team that is separated loses synergy.  If the broker cannot or will not add square footage, the agent may be forced to get his own.

Another area is lead generation.  Some of the teams that I coach are so effective in generating leads that occasionally there is spill-over to other agents in the office and leads are lost.  A destination without in-house competition is sometimes the answer.

Compensation is another area to consider.  Sometimes top agents already supply the services for themselves.  When that top agent crunches the numbers and adds up the total costs of splits, fees, and franchise costs – many times they find that that amount of money can pay the monthly mortgage payment on a building.

Sometimes a broker’s vision and goals differ so much from the top agent’s that there is dissention within the office. 

You need a change of business plan.  Working the pure commission life is hard!  Sometimes agents want a different business model that allows income from splits and fees so that they can get away from the daily business of one-on-one sellers/buyers.

Finally, sometimes a different management style necessitates a move.  Maybe an agent wants to provide a heavier training regimen or hold agents accountable, and he or she might find that easier to implement in a different environment. 

 

Question Two:

What are the first few steps that a REALTOR® should take when the points discussed in #1 above actually happen?

Answer Two:

A.      Find a location

B.       Prepare a budget — looking at all costs and applying the knowledge of previous abilities to bring in income.

C.      Make a list of all the marketing materials, phones, internet, and image changes.

D.      Decide whether this is going to be a secret move vs. a well-advertised move.  This usually depends on the relationship between the broker/owner and the vacating agent.  It also heavily depends on whether the broker has a reputation of allowing a vacating agent to keep his or her listings. 

 

Question Three:

Where do REALTORS® generally go wrong in these situations? What challenges do they encounter and how can they work through these issues?

Answer Three:

Bad mouthing by either party is not the way to go!  The management of the previous brokerage bad-mouthing the leaving agent and the leaving agent bad-mouthing their previous affiliation will not help anyone.  There is no reason to do either.  It only hurts the image of either or both parties.  The brokerage should be proud that they could provide the foundation for an agent to open their own business.  The leaving agent should be thankful the experience gained at the old brokerage. 

If the broker supports your moving on, then full disclosure of the move is the best way to go.  Another item of contention is that the vacating agent should initially look to recruit new agents from other companies, rather than the one they are leaving. 

 

Question Four:

Do you find that REALTORS® tend to jump the gun in these situations and perhaps not think through what it really takes to run their own brokerage?

Answer Four:

No, since most of the great agents want to stretch their wings.  They were successful agents because their planning and coaching allowed them to move to the new endeavor.  If there was a problem, it would be underestimating the costs of having your own brokerage.

 

Question Five:

What other advice would you give a reader who is thinking about this right now?

Answer Five:

The concept of the broker trying to keep listings or charge higher splits during a transition time will cause innumerable problems.  Letting great people do their own thing is the gracious thing to do. 

I hope this helps you make the important decisions involving opening your own brokerage.  Doing so means you are opening a new type of business.  You will be taking much time away from personal production and the other challenges while trying to live off of other agents in your new office.  We have coached many top producers and their teams through this year long process.  Good luck in your planning!

 

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.

The Best Agents Initiate Consistent Systems to Obtain Listing Leads September 5th, 2013 | Posted in General Real Estate

Well, all the sellers are taking “happy pills.”  There are more FSBOs, and they are tougher to talk to now.  What are my coaching clients doing right now?

  1.  On the FSBOs, they are setting up spreadsheets that keep track of the information on all FSBO’s in their market area. 
  2.  They subscribe to services like Landvoice and REDx to get lists of FSBO’s. 
  3.  They check their hometown newspaper and subscribe to the rags where the really cheap FSBOs might advertise. 
  4.  They check all the FSBO websites. 
  5.  They have built a team of family, assistants, and affiliates who drive through town, always taking different routes.  This team writes down all the FSBOs addresses with their respective phone numbers, and they pull brochures, if available. 
  6.  They time-block this weekly accumulation of information for about an hour on Monday morning.  Each of the affiliates knows to get his/her information in before that time frame.
  7.  Next, my clients carefully go through the ads and complete their spread sheet columns.  The columns would be the following: property address; situs address; owner name; 4 spaces for phone numbers with the first one being the one used in advertising; bedrooms/baths; square footage; extra rooms; garage space; lot size; basement; upgrades; best features of the home; email address, and special circumstances.  Additionally, including columns to answer these questions: is the seller a local buyer; in what city do they need an agent; why are they selling; and what date they have to close. 

 

The first week of these activities will be tough, but it will get easier after that!  After the information is assembled for the week, a call is made to the seller.  Let the seller know that you show your buyers more than just MLS property.  If they tell you they won’t pay a commission, tell them that commission is taken care of by an agreement with the buyer via a buyer brokerage agreement.  Complete any empty slots in the spreadsheet.  Let them know you would like to send them articles and information that may help them, and let them know that you will call them after they receive the letter or email.

Send them letter/email #1 out of “Grow Your Leads: Just Add Wa(l)ter” from the FSBO chapter.  Call to follow-up on the value that you mention in the letter on Thursday.  Time-block it.

On the next Monday, do it again.  Send letter/email #2 to last week’s FSBOs and letter #1 to the new FSBOs for this week.  Call the new ones on Monday to fill in your spreadsheet.  With each call, you may be adding more information to your spreadsheet.  Call everyone again on Thursday to see what value that has been mentioned in the letter that you can deliver to the FSBO.

There are twelve letters and twelve phone calls in addition to the initial phone call to complete the spreadsheet.

Give copies of your spreadsheet to your buyer’s assistant(s) so that he/she can start showing the FSBO whenever they have a buyer who is even close.  Make sure he/she leaves a lot of material with your picture and name on it plus mention your name liberally.

Pay special attention to nice FSBOs who take value from you, have a clear reason for selling, and especially, have a definite move-out date.  “Special attention” means previews, personal consultation, pre-listing consultations, and sessions to show that if you use their closing date and work backwards that now would be the time to list.

Most sane FSBOs who need to sell, have taken help from you, talk with you, and have not sold should be talking about listing around the 7th week.  

In the meantime, show the property to your buyers and earn commission.  Talk the “sold” FSBO into being your buyer and earn commission.  Send the FSBO as a buyer referral someplace in the world and earn a referral bonus.  Get the buyers to whom the FSBO didn’t sell and earn commission.  Finally, build the FSBO into a raving client who becomes part of your database and earn money from the referrals and business after they have learned that being a FSBO is no fun. 

As I used to own this demographic, I’m proud to see my coaching clients dominating their individual markets’ FSBOs, too!  You could send another request for someone to like your Facebook page or get to work with great systems that make lots of money! 

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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