Category Archives: Education/Coaching
Well if I’ve heard it from our competitors once, I’ve heard it a hundred times… “Corporate owned is bad, Corporate owned is slow, etc. etc. etc.” For many years I believed the same thing and perpetuated that belief. Which unless we have been there, done that…bad on all of us to make such assumptions on anything, anyone, or any company, really without walking a day in those shoes. And then after nearly 20 years of working with several smaller independent brokerages and frankly loving many things about them, I made the move to the largest corporate owned Real Estate company in America. To say that I was a fish out of water would be an understatement! Almost immediately I was issued a “worldwide ID number”, given a list of usernames and passwords, and a 3 inch thick packet of orientation pamphlets, instruction sheets, and welcome letters. Of course, understand I was an employee and not an independent contractor…but I was certainly taken back regardless. Within a few weeks I was in a full day orientation meeting followed up with online ethics, anti-harassment, and, international commercial bribery classes. Not how to do it of course but what NOT to do! The look on my face when I got my tour of the enormous regional corporate office and support staff was reminiscent of the Clampetts when they arrived in Beverly Hills.
Now I’ll admit, I spent some time looking back early on in my corporate relationship and at times missing the simplicity and informality of my previous lives at the smaller independent highly personality driven firms. There was certainly some advantages to being small and nimble and I definitely admire the enormous personal investment an independent entrepreneurial owner brings to the equation when it comes to competing in a highly competitive industry like Real Estate, especially with the big brands at play in the sand box.
However, what I have learned in the past year and a half working within a very large corporation, would surprise many. The advantages FAR OUTWEIGH any of the perceived negatives. As a matter of fact, many of the things that I and others perceived as “negatives” are precisely what makes the company so great, so financially stable, and so professional. And when the perspective is changed to analyze the actual reasons behind many of the systems and processes, it becomes blindingly obvious that this is how any professional organization should be ran in America today.
Allow me to share some specific reasons a large public company offers so many more advantages and benefits to all of those affiliated with, employed by, or a customer of such a firm:
1. MAJOR DECISIONS ARE NOT MADE IN HASTE OR TOO QUICKLY – For a major decision to benefit an organization, it’s associates, employees, and the customers, time should be given to analyze and ensure that the decision can be announced, and executed upon in a clear and systematic approach. All departments involved have the opportunity to share input on their role and ability to deliver, a solid timeline is determined, and all front line employees are clearly directed on their specific roles, trained if necessary, and supported to deliver to the field. When time is given to properly and by the appropriate people, then once the decision is made, you can take it to the bank with a large company like Coldwell Banker. When a product is rolled out, it is here to stay and will not go away unless it is for an improved product/upgrade.
2. FROM THE FIELD TO THE BOARDROOM: I always though a corporate company leads from the board room down. Not here. It lives and breathes from the field to the boardroom. Input from the field is bigger than life in vison, philosophy and execution. Not only do employees and departments bring ideas, feedback and input but independent contractors and customers ideas and feedback is weighed heavily.
3. NO PERSONAL BIAS – In a large public company, decisions are made on the merit of the business objective. It is included in our education process and managed closely so that there is not a conflict of interest at any level. It’s really simple. We ask the right questions and evaluate the opportunities with full disclosures, proper checks and balances. Will it help grow the business, make the business more efficient, assist our independent contracts and customers, and reduce risk and liability exposure for all involved? It’s not about the person proposing it, or someones personal feelings or agendas. If the business and it’s people and customers will benefit, then it’s a no brainer and put into the queue to ensure a successful implementation at a strategically appropriate time. No… It doesn’t happen overnight, but it happens at the appropriate time and for the appropriate reasons. It happens right the first time and with no chaos.
4. LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP – While it’s great to say that “the buck stops here”, no one person in a large public company has the power to hurt the entire business unit. Certainly not for long before change is made. Everyone’s focused on delivering a positive result and outcome and having levels of leadership and approval processes ensure that everyone is protected with proper gate keepers that ensure the success of the organization as well as it’s longevity!
5. NO DRAMA – Just business! Drama serves no business purpose. Only personal agendas. It is unfair as well as unprofessional for drama to be brought into a professional organization at any level. Large corporations are able to manage this a lot more effectively than smaller mom/pop shops where personal dramas not only can interrupt business emotionally but financially.
6. SUCCESSES ARE REPEATED, FAILURES ARE NOT – Large public companies are held on high expectation and performance plans NOT to repeat them, especially in this day and age. Failures can make national headlines in large public companies as we have seen in past years. This scrutiny forces better decision making processes. This is good for all who are involved in and around corporate companies. Sign me up!
7. TRUE HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT SUPPORT- The people make the business and in large public companies there is no higher priority than the fair and respectful treatment of its people. No one is above the law or the rules regardless of position in the company. Checks, balances, processes, and
experienced HR personnel are in place to ensure everyone is treated fairly and properly. Continuous training/education is in place to keep everyone abreast and up to date on all applicable laws, policies, and procedures. This creates a phenomenal work environment for everyone in the company leading to higher levels of productivity and service. Everyone knows exactly where they stand in the company at all times.
8. FINANCIAL RESOURCES – It goes without saying that with the extraordinarily large dollars in resources that better decisions are made, problems can be solved, and time and support can be given to realize bigger and better objectives for all. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage with its size and power is the only firm I know of that even offers their own legal assitance program vs just insurance which includes claims/disapprovals, large deductibles and probable delays and red tape. Coldwell Banker’s Legal Assistance program is the only one I have ever heard of that goes all the way to $20,000,000 per transaction in claim assistance with a NO Independent sales associate dollar participation – meaning that the independent sales associates are in good hands in the event of a legal challenge. On a good note, with large financial resources, it’s no wonder CB can offer so much more advertising, technology, branch and corporate staffing -including a marketing coordinators in each branch onsite, and world class facilities.
9. FINANCIAL STABILITY – A well ran large public company will do what is necessary, absent any ego, to ensure the longevity of the business for the good of the people within it and it’s customers and shareholders at all times.
In the past year and a half, I have learned to LOVE the large corporation from a business as well as a personal perspective. I have learned that good solid business principles with healthy accountability help to dramatically clear a path for employees, and independent sales associates to focus on and thrive in their jobs at work and their families at home while having the confidence that the business will be around for a very long time. With that said, I’d say that the biggest “aha” was in seeing all of the people who have affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage since I joined, fall in love with this organization and it’s immense professionalism with no complaints about it being too “corporate”. There’s no question that there are incredible smaller companies that are amazing places to work and do a phenomenal job so this article is not intended to take away from their amazing accomplishments but rather end/clarify the perception that large “corporate” is bad in comparison. Let’s just say that there are clear benefits to each and this article was to provide another perspective – mine, one I have personally lived through for over a year and half and feel quite qualified to comment on. These are my opinions and observations and should not even be construed or reflective as the view or opinion of Coldwell Banker or other corporate companies.
In closing I would challenge anyone who is still holding on to the belief that a big “corporate” organization is bad, to pick up the phone and call any of our independent sales associates who have joined us from a smaller or non-corporate run company and ask them what they think after affiliating. I’ll bet you’ll be surprised that the last thing they say is that “Corporate” is a bad thing or a bad word! Corporate to them is resources, stability and FUN!
If you’d like to come find out why Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is such a great place to work, then feel free to email or call me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or 714-782-2723 for a confidential appointment.
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Like the old saying goes; “if all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail”, for many real estate agents, their solution to every single homes failure to sell is to “reduce the PRICE”. Some agents work expired listings and actually do nothing more than over focus on getting a price reduction rather than actually analyzing the overall marketing efforts and other factors that could have caused the failure. Unfortunately many home sellers don’t interview enough agents and/or select their agent based on commission, price opinion, or because they got a notepad left on their doorstep and after a month or two for sale the agent begins to send emails recommending price reductions. While certainly in some cases price is the issue, until the 5 other items are examined and executed on thoroughly it is absolutely premature to ask a seller to reduce their price in many cases. I’ve said this a million times if I’ve said it once, asking a home owner to reduce their price should be taken very seriously and treated like a doctor prescribing surgery to a patient. Just as a good doctor would not prescribe surgery to a patient without exhausting all other options, a good real estate agent should not recommend a price reduction unless all other options have been exhausted and of course as long as the home is priced fairly amongst the competition and comparables in the area.
Here are the 6 primary reasons a home fails to sell in today’s market:
1. EXPOSURE – Lack of exposure, negative exposure, over exposure, bad marketing, MLS misuse.
(While we all know that Exposure Creates Demand and Demand Drives Price, it also drives the sale! Not all agents and companies can provide adequate exposure. In past markets with low inventory levels and a high number of distressed properties on the market many companies and agents got by without much marketing and advertising. In today’s market, cutting corners can cost a seller money and cause some agents to over focus on price since their ability to market and advertise adequately is limited. When a home owner interviews a Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Realtor they are often blown away by the amount of advertising and marketing we do for every listing in comparison to some competitors.)
2. TERMS – Impossible or difficult to meet terms can dramatically reduce the buyer pool. Ex. Cash only, Conventional only, difficult to finance properties, no contingent buyers, and even overly paranoid agents who use the agent remarks in the MLS to make it very difficult for buyers to submit offers. Ex. Unreasonably/unnecessarily large deposit required, unnecessary cross qualifications, other terms and restrictions listed unnecessarily in MLS.
(Always as sellers if they are open to carrying a first or second loan for a buyer, always fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of offering the property to contingent buyers as many sellers may not mind the risk and extra time in exchange for a higher sales price. Remember, it never hurts to get more offers and the seller can always counter terms during the negotiation process!)
3. DESIRABILITY – i.e. Condition, Location, Functionality, etc.
(Some of these you can control and improve and others you cannot, but addressing this is critical. Improving the condition of a home is something fairly easy to do if the seller can afford it, but there’s little that can be done about location of course.)
4. ACCESSIBILITY – Restrictive showing instructions, no lockbox, limiting showing hours, appointment only, etc.
(With thousands of homes on the market, many agents are looking to make their jobs easier and difficulty in showing will cause a reduction in showings, leading to fewer potential buyer opportunities. Unfortunately this is a reality, especially in higher inventory markets.)
5. COMMISSION – An uncompetitive co-op broker/buyers agent commission offering can potentially limit showings. While it may not be right or fair, let’s be honest here… If there are 3 similar homes on the market and one is offering 4%, another is offering 3%, and the other is offering 2%, which one do you think the buyers agent is going to go out of their way to show and sell? In most cases, a buyers agent has shown 20, 30+ homes over several months in some cases, it’s impossible to believe that they aren’t at least taking a passing glance at the commission being offered on the homes they are showing.
6. PRICE – A home should be priced very carefully and thoughtfully within a reasonable range of closed, pending, and active listing comparables while taking into consideration the current market factors, condition of the property, location, amenities, and many other factors. The best agents use very many factors as well as their depth of experience to properly recommend the right asking price for the property. If a home is not selling after adequate time on the market, and after the above 5 other items have been thoroughly executed, then it is reasonable to determine that price is the issue.
So whether listing a home for the first time or prospecting expired listings, being able to articulate the importance of these 6 items while providing a clear and concise analysis of each one along with a comprehensive plan to execute on the plan with guarantee success while ensuring that your seller achieves top dollar for their home.
As a Coldwell Banker agent, you have the most extensive marketing and advertising and will have no problem showcasing your ability to reach more potential buyers than any other firm. From our View Magazine with 1.2 million in distribution per month, to our massive online exposure, you can easily show a prospect that they have the best possible chance at achieving their price. Using the list above will enable you to have a professional discussion with your clients that will allow them to make solid financial decisions based on facts rather than opinions and they will know that if you are having a price reduction conversation with them, that you are doing so only after exhausting all other efforts.
If you are not with Coldwell Banker and you feel like your current firm has limited tools to enable you to adequately expose your listings to the market place, then it may be time to explore the opportunities at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage!
As always, it is my goal to help all agents grow and achieve success in Real Estate. If you are not already a Coldwell Banker independent sales associate, and would like to explore all that we have to offer our agents and our customers, please give me a call or email at 714-782-2723 or Brad.Pearson@camoves.com. Or visit http://www.WhyCB.com
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Escrow is closed and your buyer is moved into their new home! What an accomplishment in a market where so many transactions are wrought with challenges. We are so happy to have helped our buyers get their home, and often feel like taking a bow in front of them after spending 30 to 45 days or more at maximum stress level working through one obstacle after the other to ensure a successful closing. Even in the “easy” transactions that go perfectly, we are so shocked and surprised sometimes that we sigh in relief at the closing and can’t wait to hand over the keys to the buyers and fulfill their dream of owning this home. If you’re a Coldwell Banker agent, there’s no doubt that you set them up with our Concierge Service and covered every base to make their move as smooth as possible. But there’s one thing that we rarely address aside from our normal conversations with our buyers during a transaction… The almost immediate lonely feeling of being out of place in new surroundings. From going from knowing all of their neighbors, to waving uncomfortably at their new neighbors they’ve never met on the way to work in the morning…they’re starting all over.
In this blog post, I will share a way that WE as Realtors can help our buyers feel more welcome in their new neighborhood, bring people together, and make a strong impact on them that they will never forget. By doing this simple and kind thing, you will strengthen your relationship with your buyers, as well as make a phenomenal impression on the immediate neighbors and very likely get more business from that neighborhood and more REFERRALS from your buyers.
For about $2-$5 you buy a large “Welcome to the Neighborhood” card (here’s a link to some
http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/welcome-to-the-neighborhood-neighbourhood-cards/houses-welcome-to-the-neighborhood-583399?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=google_base&campaign=googleshopping&gclid=CLzStvbWvMACFSpp7AodoTEA9Q). Then simply go and knock the doors of the surrounding neighbors and ask them if they would like to write a short welcome message to your clients. NO ONE will say no, and most will be so appreciative of the proactive and thoughtful gesture you are making to gather these welcome messages. I’ve also suggested carrying extra cards with stamped envelopes for those neighbors who are not home with a note from you and your business card attached. If someone says they don’t have time, hand them an addressed and stamped card and envelope for them to take and write their message and drop in the mail later. How many should you do? My suggestion is to at the very least, try to get the immediate 10 homes across the street, and the 5 on each side of their home, but the more the better of course! Another great touch is to write a letter of introduction to your clients, with their permission of course. Here’s a great article that you could even use as a handout with the introduction letter: http://www.wikihow.com/Welcome-New-Neighbors
I can assure you that if you begin doing this for every buyer on every transaction you close, you will NOT have to even ASK the neighbors to list with you, or ask your buyer for referrals. YOU will have their business! Every agent that I’ve talked to that has done this has stories about their buyers literally getting emotional with sometimes tears of happiness when they read the notes from the neighbors. Another interesting thing happens very often too. Some of the neighbors are inspired by your gesture and actually go introduce themselves to the new buyers and a new relationship is sparked. All because of what YOU did.
Of course, if you are the type of person that likes to take things to a higher level, you can even host a “Let’s welcome our new neighbors!” party at the local home owners association, a local restaurant, or even another neighbors house.
Another great thing to do is to go visit all of the closest local businesses, restaurants, etc. and talk to the owner or manager, and ask them if they would like to sign the welcome card. You’ll find that many of them will even offer small gift cards & coupons that you could include when you deliver the finished card.
As always, I enjoy sharing strategies and ideas on ways to grow your business and improve the level of service we all provide to our clients. Of course, this is one of many unique strategies I share with the agents I work with and coach on a regular basis, and I am always open to sharing how a move to Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage can help you dramatically grow your business! For more information please don’t hesitate to call, text, or email me at 714-782-2723 or Brad.Pearson@camoves.com .
To your continued success,
It’s 8 in the morning and you start your day (hopefully) by running that days expired listings. You review each listing and after years of being taught that if a home failed to sell, “it must be the price” so you start to figure out how big of a price reduction is needed to make each listing salable, subject to seeing the home of course. Then you start making your calls or visits to set appointments to get the opportunity to try and get the listing at lower price so you can sell it. In this blog post I will offer you a much better strategy to get these listings and actually show the seller that YOU are the best choice for them to provide the opportunity to sell their home.
Let’s start with a addressing the elephant in the room… PRICE! The LAST thing these sellers want to hear is that they need to list with YOU and drop the PRICE. If PRICE was the only reason their home failed to sell, then they really don’t need to change agents, they just need to change the PRICE. So how much sense does it make to tell a seller that you’re the best agent with the best company, best marketing, advertising, etc. but they still need to drop their price $25,000? The whole scenario begs the question “If you’re so great, and we should list with you, then why are you telling us to drop our price?” This is why any agent worth their value propositions, should be willing to take that listing and at the least give everything they’ve got to try and accomplish what the other agent couldn’t do before even discussing price. A simple comparison to going right after price would be if you went to the doctor with a stomach pain and the immediate diagnosis is surgery. Any good doctor would try everything they could before deciding that surgery is the answer. In the same way, we as Realtors, should do anything we can to make absolutely sure that when we recommend a price reduction that we’ve exhausted all other options because to a homeowner, a price reduction is major surgery to them.
Let me suggest a simple, yet powerful strategy:
1. Run the full printouts and examine all of the data, photos, accessibility, location, commission, unnecessary hoops to jump through in agents remarks, etc. and look for reasons, other than price, that could have contributed to the home not selling.
2. Once you’ve discovered the areas that YOU could and would do BETTER, then go to the sellers home and share this with them with the following script;
“Mr. & Mrs. Seller, I’ve reviewed your previous multiple listing information and have determined that with some changes and improvements to the marketing of your home and the exposure that my firm and I can provide, that I may be able to get your home sold. What I can assure you is that IF I cannot sell your home in the next 30-45 days, then we will be able to accurately make the determination that price is the issue. But only after I do everything I can to properly expose your home to the market would I even consider suggesting a price reduction. I’d love the opportunity to sit down with you and show you everything that I and my firm do differently to get top dollar for our listings.”
With this approach it completely supports your entire listing presentation and value propositions. It also provides with the seller a solid and legitimate reason to list with you over re-listing with the previous agent who was likely pushing for a price reduction for weeks before the expiration.
Now it’s important that you actually can improve the marketing and offer improved exposure and presentation to the market! Here at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage we have incredibly powerful tools as well as an in house marketing expert that you can utilize to actually demonstrate to your prospect that you CAN and WILL dramatically increase the advertising and marketing for the home when they list with you. Tools like the View Magazine with 1.2 million copies distributed each month, the View China for international exposure, our exclusive FAB+ program, our powerful and free Social Made Simple social media program, professional photography, staging, Quickview internal exposure program, YouTube On Location exposure, etc. etc. etc. will set you apart from every agent in your marketplace and instill confidence in your seller that you have what it takes to drive traffic to their home.
As always, I am here to offer ideas, strategies, and coaching to help you grow your business. For more information on Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage please feel free to email/text/call Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or 714-782-2723.
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At least once a week I find myself in a conversation with a real estate agent who shares with me their frustration with being able to stay in front of their database, grow their database, and bring value to their database on a consistent basis that will yield a return in quantifiable repeat and referral business. I find myself sharing all kinds of ideas with them that all require them to be a very active part of the contacting process. From mailing out note cards, newsletters, and making phone calls, to the horribly ineffective old fashioned email campaigns, it just seems like the challenge will never go away. The constant pursuit of something easier, some magical program, seems to be the mission. Yet within minutes of our discussions on this topic, we all find ourselves checking in on Facebook, commenting on posts, and looking to see what everyone is up to, etc. This got me to thinking and being an avid Facebook Group user and member of many different groups, and seeing others using Facebook Groups fairly effectively for many different reasons, I felt it was worth sharing some ideas on how agents could use this free feature to build, manage, and stay in close touch with their database as well as build captured audiences around them by being the creator and moderator of a their own Facebook Groups.
Let’s first define Facebook Groups… Definition according to Webopedia: Facebook Groups are pages that you create within the Facebook social networking site that are based around a real-life interest or group or to declare an affiliation or association with people and things. With a Facebook Group, you are creating a community of people and friends to promote, share and discuss relevant topics.
The definition alone should spark some thought and ideas. One of the greatest benefits of the internet is the ability to collaborate with others on subjects and topics that you share in common. I belong to several Facebook Groups on Real Estate, my community, my hobbies, politics, and business. I visit these groups constantly and have my notifications set to alert me to new posts by other members. When a post of interest is made, I can simply go to the group and read it, like it, and comment. Often times, there are spirited debates that take place in these groups, difference of opinions, etc. but overall, if we are in the group together, we share a common interest. The groups are very interactive and incredibly collaborative in nature. In one real example, I was reading a post on a group I’m in about quadcopters/drones, and was able to avoid a huge and expensive mistake that I was literally about to make that would have destroyed my motors on my drone. Situations like this and others happen every day on these kinds of groups. The power of collaboration amongst like minded people with similar interests is immense.
So, as a real estate agent, whom everyone is your potential client, it only makes perfect sense to not only join Facebook groups that meet your interest, local groups that bring you closer to your community, but it makes perfect sense for you to start your own groups! And frankly the more the better in my opinion. Let me share some ideas, but feel free to explore your own creativity to discover great ways of using these groups.
-Neighborhood group! Farm or live in a particular tract or community? Start a group for that community for all of the neighbors to stay in touch, share local information, collaborate, discuss neighborhood watch topics, yard sale announcements, etc. etc. Offer to manage a group for the local homeowners association even. This is a no brainer for real estate agents since we are always deeply involved in our communities and neighborhoods. Simply start the group and notify the neighborhood with visits, mailers, calls, etc. and before you know it you will have a few hundred people involved and loving YOU for creating it!
-Past Client & SOI business networking group! Create a group where all of your past clients and sphere of influence can connect and network their businesses.
-Local Business networking group! Create and invite all of the local business owners to connect with each other on this group and share ideas on growth and the local business climate and opportunities.
-Real Estate Information group! Create a local group just for real estate information to those interested in the area.
-Local hobbies, interests, sports, groups! Coach a local little league team? Start a group where games can be announced, posted, pictures can be shared, etc. Love fishing? How about a local fishing hot spot group for all of the nearby lakes in the city? Poker, bunco, etc. groups where games are announced. Local Golf group where information on the local golf courses can be shared, pictures, special prices, golf tips, videos, etc. Cycling group. Arrange group rides and share safety tips.
-Best Friends group! How about just starting a group for all of your friends so you can all stay in touch and share with each other.
-Family Group! Create a group for all of your close and distant relatives and reconnect everyone with each other. This group will collectively refer business to you so stay in front of them while bringing them all closer together.
-Charity Group! Create a group to support the local charities, or the cause that interests you the most. Love helping animals? Connect with others who are passionate about helping animals!
-Health and Fitness/Dieting group! Create a local group for people in the community that are focused on getting and staying healthy. Support people who have weight loss goals.
I can go on and on with ideas! There are no limitations on topics that will interest people. And if you are the person bringing this to them, then you end up with a captive private audience to promote yourself to subtly on a consistent basis while bringing something of value that they use daily.
As you’ve no doubt heard me say before, we as real estate agents need to give first, and be on a mission to help our communities and clients. Because none of us are completely defined by our jobs, it is important that we stretch beyond just the topic of real estate and work to connect and bring our communities together. A simple Facebook Group can help do that, and ultimately make you the real estate agent of choice amongst the group members!
Here is a link to learn how to create a Facebook Group in just a few simple minutes: https://www.facebook.com/help/167970719931213/?q=how+to+create+a+page&sid=0OK4UtwGVxhISdfMo
As always, I am here to help you grow your business regardless of company affiliation which is why I write this blog. With that said, I am always looking to add more great agents to our firm and office, so don’t hesitate to give me a call or text at 714-782-2723 or email at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com if you would like to discuss the opportunities at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage!
Now go create your groups!
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.
There was a time when some of us tech geeks would fantasize about the future of technology in real estate and try to figure out what the next big thing would be. I got my license in 1992 right as Windows 3.1 was finding it’s way into real estate offices. The MLS was a DOS based system and Word Perfect was still on many computers that we printed to our dot matrix printers with the paper with the holes we had to tear off the sides after printing, and there was no such thing as WIFI or high speed internet and we were all on dial up. Oh and we all carried pagers and cell phones were few and far between, not to mention enormous. Yes, I’m dating myself, but I am fortunate to have started in real estate when I did. In 1992, MLS books were disappearing and the world was changing despite a full blown recession had started. I was sitting in a real estate office listening to agents complain about the things that were going away, and expressing frustration with the new technologies that were showing up. For me, being a budding 22 year old tech geek, I was in heaven! I spent $3000 on my moms credit card at Circuit City with the promise to pay back when I “closed a sale”, on a giant 100mhz Windows computer that couldn’t even fit in the trunk of my car. As I hauled all of the big boxes into my office, I had agents looking at me like I lost my mind. Some asked, “why would you buy that and not just use the office computers?”, and my response was, “because I want my computer to do more!”, then they asked “More what?”, and that’s where I said, I’ll let you know when I figure that out!” I share all of this because we are and have been in a period of time where the world has changed so much technologically that if someone told us that we would have a device that fits in our hand that is hundreds of times more powerful than the huge computers we used to use in the 80’s and even 90’s we would laugh at them. Now we have the ability to do so much from anywhere on a small device that fits in our hands, yet there is still a large part of the real estate industry that hasn’t embraced the technology, leaving opportunity for those who do to outperform them with efficiency and service to their customers! Just like in 1992, things are changing all around us and those who jump on the hottest tech early will be light years ahead of the rest competitively while providing their clients a higher level of service.
First let me get the Android vs. IOS/iPhone/iPad debate out of the way. In real estate, IOS is the only way to go… Period. Why? Simplicity and features! While I carry an iPhone/iPad and a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, I rely mostly on my IOS devices for daily use in real estate. To break it down and end the argument, try to seamlessly open a contract from Zipforms Mobile to a signing App, sign, and email to a client. On Android you will be there forever emailing to yourself, or trying to use the native Digital Ink program and give up frustrated, on the iPhone or iPad you can do it seamlessly with the “Open In” function and be done in literally seconds. Try creating and presenting a Powerpoint or Keynote presentation on an Android device… First you need to find the right app amongst many that will do what you need it to do. On the iPad/iPhone you can use the Keynote app and create or play Powerpoint or Keynote, and even export as PDF to share the slides with anyone. I can go on and on. It is my hope that at some point these issues are simplified on the Android OS for us as I do love so many things about my Note 3, but for now, the iPhone/iPad wins for real estate.
Now let’s get down to the iPhone/iPad apps that you should have if you are in the real estate business. And while I know there are many more than what I’m listing below, I want to just give you a solid starting point.
1. Sign n Send = There are many signing apps, but this one is the easiest and most versatile in my opinion. But I’m open minded so if you found one that you think is better, then please share!
2. Keynote = This app will allow you to create, edit, play, and present both Powerpoint and Keynote presentations. Built-in templates, easily share a presentation via Apple TV or VGA Cable to TV with adapter, and send out a copy right from the app in PPT, Keynote, or PDF format. Very easy to use.
3. iMovie = Create videos on the fly with music, transitions, etc. You can use built-in themes and even make movie trailers if you so choose. Upload directly to your YouTube channel and promote your listings or information in seconds and look good doing it.
4. PDF Splicer = This app will allow you to combine, sort, re-order, your PDF files, documents, etc. This comes in handy when you have a lot of contracts to get signed and don’t want to keep having to go back to Zipforms over and over. Just prepare before the appointment and have one easy file to open and sign in Sign n Send.
5. Scan To PDF = This app will allow you to scan documents using your iPhone/iPad’s camera function and send via email as a clear PDF file. This is great for online transaction management platforms where you can just scan and email documents right into the system. Easily send signed copies to your TC, co-op agent, and client and forget about the old fax machine or complicated scanner at the office.
6. Dropbox = Move all of your important files to your Dropbox on your computer and have them anywhere you go on your iPhone/iPad. Share public links with people, create shared folders, upload photos from your phone to the Dropbox and have them accessible on all of your devices or any computer.
7. Penultimate – Evernote = Take notes on your listings, in meetings, etc. Treat it like paper. Use your finger or a cheap stylus and have your notes automatically on every device. Start a new file for each listing and actually have a conversation log that can help you in the future in the event of a dispute or legal challenge.
8. iBooks = This native app is perfect for keeping important and often used PDF documents at your fingertips. Have your PDF listing presentation here to be able to review and then easily email to a prospect. Keep copies of your marketing materials, post cards, property flyers, real estate license, scripts, business plan, testimonial letters, and anything that you may need to refer back to or share quickly with someone in person or via email.
9. Pages = This app enables you to create beautiful flyers on the go for almost any situation. There’s even real estate listing templates preloaded! Thanks for thinking of us real estate folk Apple! Create your letterhead, compose letters, open in Sign n Send, sign, and email out without ever printing to paper. There’s so many possibilities with this app and it’s so easy to use.
10. Title company apps = I would suggest that you talk to your title rep and ask them if they have an app. Most of the large title companies have phenomenal apps that enable you to do many great tasks including pull/order property profile information directly from the app enabling you to provide your clients with accurate data on the fly.
Bonus app recommendations = Google Earth, Google Voice & YouTube. These great products work perfectly on the iPad/iPhone via the apps. Check them out and you’ll see immediately how they can help you gather information, showcase information, and connect better with your clients.
In closing, if you’ve seen my presentation on these tools, then you know that I tout these as the way to provide a more personal level of service to your clients. While many see technology as an attempt to depersonalize our business, I see it completely differently. Using tools like Skype enables us to be face to face with distant clientele, Google Voice offers the ability to have a personal voice mail greeting for each and every person in your address book, going paperless and being mobile makes you more efficient so you can spend more time working to seller your clients home or find them a home rather than standing in front of a copier or fax machine fixing paper jams, using your tablet or smartphone to provide factual accurate data rather than just opinion can help your clients make huge personal life decisions based on solid information/data…. And lastly, realizing that our clients would rather spend more time with their friends and families and less time with their real estate agent, sharing this technology with your clients will enable you to get more done in less time with them, enabling them to have more free time to do what they want, rather than what we want/need.
As always, I’m here to help you grow your business! Having been a guest speaker at the local Apple retail store to Realtors on using the iPad in their business, and personally using the iPad and iPhone as my primary daily business devices, I can also help you learn and use the most cutting edge tools available to us. I am constantly staying on the cutting edge of any technology that I see as being useful in our business and can help you decide where to spend your hard earned money when you begin the search fora device or look to upgrade/update what you are currently using.
I’m proud to say that Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage recognizes the impact that new cutting edge technology has in our industry and offers our agents the most powerful tools to help them be more productive and capture more business. For more information, call or text me at 714-782-2723 or email me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com
With so many important paragraphs in our Residential Purchase Agreement, it’s one of the smallest that seems to create the most stress for our home sellers and buyers. Unfortunately, many agents don’t often put enough thought into the impact of it. “Page 3, Paragraph 5. Closing and Possession:” addresses what is widely recognized as one of the top most stressful life events. In many surveys I found simply google’ing “moving home stress”, moving ranks ahead of even bereavement and far ahead of even selling the home when it comes to stress. Having been a real estate agent for over 21 years and in leadership positions for nearly 15 years, I have seen the best and the worst in people involved in the stress of moving out or even into a home and I can honestly speak for myself that I would rather do almost anything instead of moving to or from a home. Arranging movers, packing boxes, scheduling utilities, changing schools for the kids, etc. etc. etc. and then the chaos of the actual moving day. I’ve watched spouses battle with each other, neighbors complain about moving trucks blocking the street, movers arriving late, kids crying because their favorite toy was packed up, and more. But the biggest and most preventable hiccup is when the real estate agent forgot to properly fill out Para 5 or they didn’t allow enough days for the sellers to move, and the buyers are pushing to move in before the sellers are out, or have had a chance to clean the home up after the move. Add it all together, and you have a living nightmare before you that could have been prevented. Some of the tips below can help you as a professional real estate agent, avoid being the cause of additional stress during your clients move.
– ALWAYS discuss Para 5 with your clients. Make sure they understand that this is a completely negotiable time frame and the time to ask for more time is during the initial negotiations and not after the acceptance.
-Plan for the worst, expect the best! Consider how long the sellers have lived in the home, the amount of occupants, size of the home, and your past experience in the real estate business, to properly counsel your clients and establish legitimate expectations for the time it will take to move.
-Have your buyers and or sellers consult with movers EARLIER than later. At Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, we have a personal Concierge Service that will personally discuss and assist in making moving arrangements, hiring movers, etc. ConciergeService.com
-Don’t trust that the co-op agent knows what they were doing when they left Para 5 blank or wrote a short time frame in. Double check, and ask to be sure.
-Be careful on Contingent transactions! Remember, if the buyer is closing escrow first, and then sending their money to escrow to close on their new home, there could be a day or even two that the next transaction is delayed depending on escrow and title, loans, etc. And if that buyer had 3 days after the close to move, and the seller on their purchase only has 3 days to move, then they are going to intersect right in the middle and you will have a conflict that you will remember the rest of your career. I’ve always recommended that the buyers as for up to 5-6 days to move from their home to plan for any delay in their purchase/sellers move time frames. It can get confusing, but once you experience this mistake it will become very clear and you won’t ever make it again. 🙂
-Be very careful with tenant occupied homes. The seller should work to have the tenants moved prior to the close of escrow at all times. They need to commit to selling their home and just accept that this is the safest decision. If the tenants decide not to move out, or delay their move after the close of escrow, this could be disastrous and now we have a landlord tenant law situation in the mix.
-Short Sales should be carefully considered based on each individual sellers situation. While most sellers will abide by the time frames, it is important to ensure that all of the parties in the transaction understand the agreement they make. In some cases, it may be best for the sellers to move prior to the close, and in others, it may not. Either way, everyone should be aware of the risks involved.
-ALWAYS stop by on moving day to offer to make calls, answer questions, help create calmness, show support, etc. This will go a long way in establishing a great referral relationship. Just being there for people in times of stress is a big and memorable deal. Bring by some cold sodas, snacks, order them some pizzas at lunch, drop by some breakfast burritos, donuts, and they will remember you forever! If you give closing gifts, deliver it on moving day to make the biggest impact and give them a moment of joy in a time of stress!
I hope these tips and suggestions can help you avoid a nightmare after the close and help you lower the stress to your clients during this difficult yet exciting time in their lives.
As always, I am here to answer any questions and support you in the growth of your business! No challenge is too big for me to assist you with so don’t hesitate to reach out!