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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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Need to Be Able to Say “NO” to Bad Business February 7th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate, Real Estate

I have the privilege of coaching some great agents.  They have enough business so that they can effortlessly say “no” to business that they believe has a small chance of closing. 

You are in a contingency business.  Your income is contingent on the property closing.  Lawyers who work on contingency are very careful in choosing what cases they work, and they get a 33% commission in most cases.  Similarly, you need to abide by the rules below…or you will be working too much business that does not close. 

Quickly, let’s go over what happens to you when you exert energy on non-closing transactions:

1.       You lose your enthusiasm for the business.

2.       You are less likely to have time & money for the important things in life.

3.       It is time you’ll never get back.

4.       You don’t do a very good job on low-closing percentage transactions.

When deciding to take business (a client)….

For buyers: 

1.       Have questions for them to answer before you meet.  Let them know that you can deliver additional properties to see — some “off market” — if they will answer some questions about their needs and goals.

2.       Have them pre-approved.  Let them know with their pre-approval on lender stationery provides surety of close to a seller, and therefore, gives the buyer negotiating leverage.

3.       Have all decision-makers meet when possible.

4.       Go over the plan of showing “off market” property.  Explain that this is a high-overhead activity and that you would like their loyalty.  When the answer is “yes,” have them sign a buyer- brokerage agreement.

5.       If they only want to see one property and do not concede to the items above, they are a low-closing percentage client.  Refer them by saying, “Okay, (name), if you only want to see the one property at (address), then let me give you to the office specialist in that property.  His/her name is (name of a new agent, preferably).  Let me connect you with him/her.”   Be sure that you’ve previously arranged a referral agreement with this individual.

For sellers:

1.       Have questions for them to answer before you meet.  Let them know that the more you know about their needs and goals, the better job you can do in customizing the marketing plan to achieve (their core motivation/goal in selling).

2.       Make sure they have a motivation that is real enough for them to “jump through the hoops” of a sale.  You might have to ask numerous questions about what a sale will do for them.

3.       Take the listing, if they have motivation, even if the property is slightly overpriced and ugly.

4.       If there is a lack of motivation, BE CAREFUL about taking overpriced properties or properties that don’t show well, since the price doesn’t compensate the buyer for the property deficiencies and there is little chance they will drop without motivation. 

5.       If the listing is overpriced, their motivation is low, and your warning bells are going off — refer it by saying, “(Name), I understand what you are trying to achieve, but there might be an agent at our office who has had more success in similar situations.  Let me connect you with (name).”

The only way you have the ability to refer bad business is to make sure you have the systems to generate consistent, new business.  Be proactive about new business so you don’t gum up the works with inventory or buyers that weigh you down. 

If you would like our multi-page question lists for buyers and sellers, please reply to this email with the name and contact information of someone who is hiring speakers for real estate events in your area. 

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.

 

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.

What Are Some Habits of Low-Producing Agents? October 8th, 2013 | Posted in General Real Estate, Other Interests, Real Estate

  1. Signing up for expensive lead generation when they are not effective in following up on the leads — There are many sources of purchased leads, and a lack of good systems for turning those leads into business means little closed business.
  2. “Pop-Tart” activities in handling business — This is an activity of jumping up to handle urgent business rather than finishing profitable business.  A lack of time- blocking will cause an agent to put out fires rather than working on a proven plan.
  3. Taking stupid business — What is stupid business?  Under-motivated sellers and buyers are two sources.  Low producers disregard the warning signs on these two groups, because they do not have the systems to produce leads and need to prove they are busy.  The problem is agents actually lose money working with transactions that probably won’t close while hoping for success.
  4. Buyer house calls — Low producers jump at the chance to work with a buyer.  Top producers ask them buyers questions, get them pre-approved, have a meeting with them, and have them sign a buyer-brokerage agreement while making the buyer feel they are receiving the best service available.
  5. Not being able to walk from sellers who have no reason to participate in this market
  6. Working with buyers who have both minimal credit and minimal down payments
  7. Working short sale clients who have second mortgages that are not with the same party as the first and also where there is not enough money to pay the first
  8. Going into a short sale where the buyer will not pay for an appraisal and inspection, prior to approval
  9. Taking too long to start lead generation — Just go out and knock on some expired doors…this morning. 
  10. Dealing with inexpensive properties — Start generating leads of more expensive listings today.
  11. Having REALTORS® as the major component of your sphere — It’s time to get out in the real world. 
  12. Have an assistant that only gives assistance — My past assistants and those of my coaching clients generate leads. 
  13. Setting up elaborate systems to stay in touch with class “B” buyers and sellers — There are enough “A’s” to keep you busy.
  14. Spending too much time on social media — Social media is one of the most overrated activities in real estate.
  15. Having a website that specializes in buyers rather than sellers
  16. Waiting for market changes — Forget the market and get seller leads.  You make the change today.
  17. Keep staging in your pocket until it is asked for by a client
  18. Waiting for the buyer to do an inspection after they write a contract — Get the seller to do an inspection right after they list the property. 
  19. Having so little business that they cannot walk away from a bad deal, bad situation, or an unreasonable client in a nice way
  20. Writing loose counter offers
  21. Not keeping the pipeline full
  22. Not handling the big problems early in the morning
  23. Not working enough
  24. Not spending enough time talking with or seeing clients
  25. Having a mentor who did not sell a lot of real estate.

 

There are many more, but let’s start considering these first.  We have systems that help with these and out right replace most of these habits.  We would be honored if you became involved with us by obtaining our training systems, attending our seminars in your area, or considering personal coaching. 

We have systems that help with these and out right replace most of these habits.  We would be honored if you became involved with us by obtaining our training systems, attending our seminars in your area, or considering personal coaching. 

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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