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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 Going to Do the Same Things Again? January 9th, 2014 | Posted in General Real Estate

Going to bed late, waking up late — the world is already at your doorstep so there’s no time to exercise.  Maybe you will take a look at Facebook.  Oops!  Where did that 40 minutes go? 

An incoming call from a buyer comes next.  You might really need a deal so you pop up and show the property.  The buyer is a little late so you wait.  The buyer sees you waiting at the door but stays on his phone until he finishes his business.  When he sees the house, he asks you a ton of questions but does not do much answering.  It was all wrong for him, but he says that he will get back to you. 

You’re back at the office now and see that you have nine leads from third party consolidators and your IDX.  They have no phone numbers, but you have a great drip system that sometimes causes the leads to interact.  Most of time, they do not. 

You see a flyer on your desk about continuing education.  It’s another ethics class along with “Winning in the Social Media Game.”  You need the hours so you sign up even though you suspect it is the last thing you need to increase your sales. 

Your few sellers are mad that there are not enough showings, but they are very firm that there should not be any price reductions. 

After adding up your bills and looking at your probable closings, you’ve realized that there just isn’t enough money to satisfy all.  

Oh, another incoming call.  This one is from a coop and the buyer didn’t approve the inspection.   

Look, real estate done without a plan will kill you.  There are cures to every evil in real estate.  There are better business plans.  You can time-block a few, proven, profitable moves.  You can decide where to put emphasis.  You can eliminate the time killers that are suspect in net profit potential.  A simple, perfect week could fix everything.  I know since I get the top agents in the nation to implement more effective business plans. 

Here are some of the areas they will be working on in 2014:

  1. Implementing at least 5 new ways to aggressively generate seller leads from the best demographics.
  2. Converting websites from mostly buyer generating to seller generating.
  3. Pointing all lead generation machines to more expensive property.
  4. Making a faster listing presentation at a higher commission with fees.
  5. Hiring an assistant who takes care of administration and generates leads for at least 2 hours a day.
  6. Getting a better presentation that offers value a buyer can’t get on the internet.
  7. Knowing what you have to do every day of the week and having the systems tostick to it.
  8. Cutting expenses, increasing gross, and managing your personal assets.
  9. Buying real estate for the long term and having the tenants pay off the mortgage.
  10. Walking away from bad business and bad clients faster.
  11. Implementing systems for better and more effective lead follow-up.
  12. Leveraging business – i.e. build you buyer business into a seller lead generator or solicit old expireds around a new listing on your listing checklist
  13. Overcoming objections effectively and providing more value. Reducing interruptions
  14. Learning to work at work and be off otherwise.

 

Maybe, it is time for a tune-up.  Our products, seminars, and coaching are designed to increase your net proceeds so you can buy income-producing real estate…and RETIRE.  It’s time to get started NOW so that 2014 looks better than 2013. 

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.

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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