Monthly Archives: April 2014
It’s a wonderful thing when a person says they are going to do something spectacular and even more wonderful when they accomplished what they said they would do! Less than 6 months ago Leeann Iacino joined Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage as the Vice President of Operations with a vision to dramatically improve the already great marketing operations being offered by the firm. While being in charge of multiple different departments, Leeann’s focus on Marketing was paramount as she recognized how critical marketing would be in the newly shifted marketplace to both agents and customers!
It’s incredible to be part of such an incredible company and witness the total transformation and commitment put forth when it comes to marketing! While so many companies consider marketing to be to be a great buzz word to use to attract agents, the end result is often underwhelming at the ground level where it really matters. Valiant and heroic efforts are made by great people who have a genuine desire to deliver great products and services, yet are stretched beyond belief and understaffed for the eventual demand. The better the marketing people and materials are, the higher the demand and more pressure to deliver on a larger scale. This is where Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has shown a continuous commitment to deliver incredible marketing staff, support and service to the agents within the firm and ultimately the customers that hire those agents to sell their homes.
It takes many great and talented people for a company to succeed in offering world class marketing products and services to it’s agents and customers!
From having a full CREATIVE, STRATEGIC, and ADVERTISING team to full time experienced MARKETING COORDINATORS in every branch, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has successfully covered every critical aspect of marketing to ensure the agents receive the highest level of products and services, while positioning and even refreshing an already world class brand… COLDWELL BANKER RESIDENTIAL BROKERAGE!
With this constant retooling, growing, and improving of our marketing approach, and almost obsessive commitment to results, it is no wonder why so many agents choose to affiliate with Coldwell Banker because of the amazing marketing tools and support offered!
If you are currently lacking in marketing tools or support, or have never seen what Coldwell Banker has to offer, please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me directly at (714)782-2723 or Brad.Pearson@camoves.com, and I would be happy to schedule a private confidential appointment with our Marketing Coordinator!
So, after 21 years I’ve seen a thousand different ideas, tools, marketing programs, etc. on how a real estate agent can become productive or grow their business. Some are as simple as door knocking and as complicated as using neighborhood algorithms to try and determine who is going to sell their home next, but regardless of what the “strategy” only one thing remains the primary critical component to make ANY of them work…. NUMBERS! When it comes to growing a business, until and unless there is a strategy to contact, connect, and expose your offering to A LOT of people on a consistent basis, then NOTHING will work. In this blog post I want to just share a few examples of how you can take the simplest of strategies and grow your business exponentially.
Let’s look at the power of relatively small “numbers” combined with a couple of simple strategies that anyone can do:
1. If you simply wrote 5 handwritten personal notes to past clients, SOI, thank you’s, great meeting you’s, etc. per day, 5 days per week, 250 days per year only (allowing for a 2 week vacation), that would equal 1,250 handwritten personal notes! Considering the “high touch” factor of a personal note, it would be a near impossibility to not yield a good return of at least 1/2 of 1% at the worst case scenario, which would be 6 closed transactions at an average commission of $10,000 in Orange County, that’s $60,000!!!!
2. If you simply committed to handing out 5 of your business cards per day to perfect strangers and said “Hi, I’m ______, I know this is out of the blue, but I’m a local Realtor and looking to grow my business in (city/area), if you or anyone you know is thinking of buying or selling a home, I’d love to help!” This would be the same numbers as the above example and worst case scenario, add another 1,250 contacts and $60,000 to your bottom line!
3. If you simply CALLED 5 people per day that you know, or even that you don’t know, and simply offered your services as a Realtor once again, that would be another 1,250 people that you connect with, and another $60,000 in a year!
With these 3 extremely simple strategies, it is hard to dispute the sheer impact of the numbers with a modest 1/2 of 1% return over a year period, that would make you at least $180,000!!! Now if you are skeptical on my return percentage then go ahead and cut in in half… Then it’s still $90,000 for doing the most simplest of things on a daily basis! Cut in half again and it’s still $45,000! Not a bad return for writing a few notes, making a few calls, and handing out some business cards each day!
So now just think what could happen if you are a great presenter, great with scripts and dialogues, and relentless with follow up… what your return could be!
So why isn’t everyone making this kind of money in real estate? Here’s the answer… They don’t or won’t do these numbers on a consistent basis! And many just won’t do anything on a daily-consistent basis. Many agents will try different things and decide in a few weeks or a month that “it doesn’t work” and start looking for something new to do and then do that for a few weeks or months, and then keep repeating the process, yet if all they did was remain consistent and focused on building up the numbers with A FEW strategies, they would begin to see a huge return over time.
It is my absolute belief that those who decide to just stick with a few simple strategies on a short and long term basis, that they will, as many others do and have, find tremendous success in real estate!
As always, I am here to help, and talk about how a move to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage along with my free coaching could dramatically change your career for the better! Feel free to call or text me at 714-782-2723 or email me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com .
Finally! A market where true sales, marketing, negotiation, and hard work actually matter again. Let me explain… Looking back over the last 10 years to 2004 thru 2014, we have experienced two completely different markets. 2004-2006 we had a huge run up in prices, easy financing, and every seller was happy with the price they got for their home, then from 2006-2013 we had a massive percentage of short sales and REO’s followed by some incredibly low inventory blips that made every agent look like a genius. If we look at the skill necessary to succeed in these markets, they strangely had one big thing in common… Sales skills, marketing, negotiation skills, all were not very necessary to succeed in real estate sales. From 2004-2006, agents really didn’t have to convince their sellers to price the home competitively since the easy financing and boom market caused the buyers to just pay outrageous prices for every home since they were buying payment and could get a large loan by simply fogging a mirror. Negotiating commission, listing period, contingencies, repair requests, etc. etc. were not very hard when the seller was making hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit in many cases. Sure, there was some negotiating here and there, but let’s compare it to the early to mid 90’s when many of us had to tell our sellers that their homes would be worth less every single month that their home sat on the market, and their equity was evaporating. If you cut your teeth in the 90’s like I did, then you know what I’m talking about. There were some amazing agents in the business that knew their scripts, dialogues, strategies, etc. and good skilled agents made a great living. Yes, there were lots of distressed sales, but very different market from 2006-2013. In the 90’s, the government didn’t pass short sale legislation and short sales meant a whole different thing to sellers, banks were still somewhat human and we were able to speak to a negotiator rather than upload documents into a website and receive an email back with their decision. If the bank rep said no to something, we could call and talk to them. We also had 6% commission HUD REO’s, Fannie and Freddie REO’s, VA REO’s, and we were almost always able to talk to a human being and negotiate for our clients. In 2006-2013 the average short sale client could care less what our commission was and advertising, marketing, negotiation skills, all were almost completely unnecessary. Price it right, reduce the price if it doesn’t sell, and open escrow. Unlike the 90’s, agents even hired “short sale negotiators” to do the hard part. Times are changing dramatically and it is my hope that it stays this way for a while!
So here we are, big shift in available inventory, short sales and REO’s are disappearing rapidly and represent a very small part of the market now in Orange County/Southern California. Prices ran up over the last 18 months due to inventory challenges kick starting the market, forcing us to a point of stabilization and leveling off of prices with us looking forward to very slow and sustainable price increases that are more based on legitimate supply and demand, economic conditions, employment numbers, etc. If you look at the recent graph covering the last 12 months, you can see that sales counts are close to resembling the 12 month ago numbers plus or minus a few hundred. But look at the active listing count… Rather than “hundreds” more, we are looking at “thousands” more homes on the market. This will make the market “feel” much slower than last year “felt”, but it’s only because now their are many more homes on the market. What does that mean? Well, it means that we will definitely have to see “List” price corrections, expired listings, sellers unhappy with their agents, for sale by owners, days on the market will increase, and buyers will become much tougher at negotiating now with thousands of more homes on the market.
Below, I am listing the things that WILL once again be important and the agents who sharpen their skills, and affiliate with full service firms that offer support in these areas.
1. Become a skilled salesperson again! Your clients are depending on YOU to sell their home or sell them a home. YOU will need to be able to properly articulate more than ever the reasons your clients need to take certain actions, and allow you to do your job. Over the years, the term salesperson has become a bad word, yet despite the overall negative connotations of sales people, we are the people who keep the economy moving! Every time a great salesperson is able to ethically make a sale, the economy gets better and someone gets something they want or need. Embrace your inner salesperson and learn your objection handlers, scripts, dialogues, strategies, tactics, and become a great communicator of information.
2. Sharpen your negotiation skills! You’re going to need them! Getting a transaction accepted will not be as easy as before. A great negotiator can NOW save their client thousands of dollars, and avoid huge headaches. Get back to presenting offers in person and show off your negotiation skills verses the co-ops agent and save your client money because they chose YOU! Or just fax over your offer and hope for the best like so many other agents will keep doing!
3. Better learn to fight for your fee! Sellers are smart and if you can’t even stand up for your fee/commission then how can you stand up for their equity???? Believe in your value based on your ability to deliver incredible results, service, and convenience! If you don’t then they won’t. Commissions are negotiable. Great negotiators will be paid more, and because they are great negotiators, they are worth more!
4. Marketing matters more than ever! If your company doesn’t provide any marketing support, then you need to do it yourself. If you have to do it yourself, then you will have a huge challenge keeping up with huge national real estate company’s advertising and marketing offerings. While your company may have told you that “print is dead”, “marketing doesn’t matter, just price it right”, “brand doesn’t matter, you’re the brand”, etc. this was almost believable the last 10 years, but now, no one in their right mind believes those statements anymore. A massive print strategy, combined with a massive online strategy, with professional photography, high quality marketing materials, social media, video, international advertising, and a legitimate budget dedicated to each listing, orchestrated by a skilled and experienced marketing person (not most real estate agents) will not only get listings sold for top dollar, but will get you more listings! Does your company have a marketing department, marketing director, marketing coordinator, etc.? Or do they still keep telling you it doesn’t matter? “But I’m on a 100% split!”, try telling your listing prospect that they should list with you because of your split. 🙂 What is your marketing strategy, budget, timeline, for each listing? Can you articulate it to a seller prospect? Or is your strategy just to work them over on their price?
5. Must embrace technology! Most got away with not embracing technology this last 10 years. The sellers didn’t care if you knew how to use an iPad when they were in foreclosure and just wanted you to get them out of their debt. But now when one agent shows up with a full multimedia presentation and can show how this will make their transaction easier, and how they will be able to use cutting edge tools and strategies to expose their home to the market, and another shows up with a huge folder with papers falling out all over the place, all other things being equal, the high tech agent is going to win! You need to know how Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and others, work and be able to show them how you will maximize the use of these sites. You need to show them that you have a legitimate social media marketing strategy as well.
6. Know your company value propositions and HAVE a strong company/BRAND! While brand may not have mattered when the clients were in short sales, or prices were escalating by 20,30,40,50+% overnight, sellers will, as they always have, choose the company they trust and feel the safest with when their equity is at stake. When a seller can get a large, reputable, well known, financially stable firm, for the same price or maybe a tad more than a small unknown firm, if presented properly, they’re going to likely choose the well known BRAND. Brand does matter despite some company’s saying it doesn’t. If brand didn’t matter, then no one would ever buy a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Bentley, Rolls Royce, when they could by a similar car in size and shape for a tenth of the price. To believe that brand does not matter, requires someone to take a complete departure and vacation from common sense. 🙂
7. LEADERSHIP! Finally, leadership is going to matter more than ever. Great leadership that is! The best athletes in the world excel with great leadership, and so will you as a real estate agent. Your manager, your broker, your legal team, training, executive team, all need to be fully engaged in your business in one way or another. When you have a transaction going sideways and need help, you need to know that you have the best of the best on your team. Time in the business is not the only thing that matters, it’s experience and success in the business that matters more. Great leadership will help you close transactions that would otherwise fall out. Great leadership will help you grow as a business person and do more business with less effort, work smarter, and grow in your profession. Is your leadership team engaged or distracted constantly? Are they still teaching 20 year old strategies or are they bringing new and challenging strategies, tactics, and ideas to you consistently that keep you ahead of your competition? Are you inspired and motivated by your manager/broker? This is one of the most critical components of success in real estate, and one of the most overlooked.
In closing, remember, this is an “agents” market! This will be a market where focus, skill, and a thorough marketing strategy will set you apart from so many agents who will still use last years strategies this year. Inventory is UP, sales are level or very slightly down yet increasing. There is more opportunity to build a phenomenal business and career that will transcend any market. Finally, we will get to deal with real homeowners at the dining room table again and showcase our true value to them. When another agent fails there will be opportunity for the skilled agent/salesperson to come to the rescue! So watch those expired listings this year!
Get back to sharpening your skills, attend great training programs, attend great sales meetings, get a coach, and take advantage of this phenomenal market that we have before us! Your clients need you to be the best you’ve ever been!
As always, I am here to help and am known for my strategic mind and ability to use cutting edge tools and tactics to impact agents in a way that helps them grow and succeed. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me whether you are already a Coldwell Banker agent, or not, as I am always open to sharing why my team and I have been so successful over so many years!
I can be reached via email at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or via cell/txt at 714-782-2723.