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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,
We all know how stressful moving can be. The strain put on the human mind during the move from one home to another is immense. Just Google “life’s most stressful events” and you’ll find pages and pages where moving is in the top 5. Healthstatus.com lists “moving” number 3 following death of a loved one and divorce, and is ahead of major illness, and job loss. (http://www.healthstatus.com/health_blog/depression-stress-anxiety/top-5-stressful-situations) Anyone who has moved recently can easily relate. Just the thought of moving sends shivers up my spine, and I’m clearly not alone. From the emotional stress of leaving a place that was so personal and full of memories, to the overall logistics of the actual move process, the nightmare of planning out the move, interviewing moving companies, packing up, and then worrying about everything making it to the destination in tack, and then the weeks and even months of unpacking. It never fails that the one thing you need too is always the last thing to get unpacked.
What is so surprising to me, after 21 years in the Real Estate business, is that so little attention is paid to helping our clients with the actual move process. Of course we all talk about it with our clients, but very few companies actually offer any real support and assistance with the process. As a matter of fact, short of making a referral to a moving company that may offer a discount, most companies and agents do not offer much more than that. So here we are, selling homes for people and for the most part, each agent is on their own to decide how much, if any, support they will offer. Now I realize that there are some agents out there that likely offer more than others, but those would certainly be the exception rather than the norm.
Maybe it’s because of how much I loathe moving, but within a week of joining Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, I was barraged with hundreds of incredible tools for Realtors, and their clients, but one stood out to me more than the others. Several of the great folks who were helping me get oriented with the company were a little surprised at how I kept going back to this one client offering. It was the client Concierge Services department within the company and website ConciergeService.com. The website alone is incredible in it’s easy design and all of it’s offerings, but what really impressed me the most was that this is an actual department within the corporate office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage staffed by great people dedicated to assisting our clients with the many aspects of the move process, as well as so many other benefits. The fact that our clients can call this department by phone and talk to an actual move specialist was astounding. I just kept thinking that this is a huge reason why our firm is so successful, why our agents have such a huge referral base, and why we are #1 in corporate relocation in the US. The weight that this free service takes off of our clients during such a stressful time in their lives is something that we take seriously and actually invest large financial resources to make available as well as constantly improve upon. Yet, it is one of the things we talk about the least. I had the great opportunity to meet Pete Nordstrom several years ago, yes, the Nordstrom departments stores family member, and he said something that I had never thought about. He made a great point that Nordstrom NEVER makes a big deal about their service. It’s not in their tagline, or commercials even. They just “provide great service” and their customers spread that word. Clearly their strategy has worked! I have to liken this to how CBRB has positioned this great Concierge Service. Aside from this blog post, you won’t see it in our commercials, or all over our ads, it’s just an offering that is available along with so many others to make the experience of selling or buying a home a great one. And our statistics and rankings as the Number 1 residential real estate company in America confirms that our clients are happy and spreading the word. We weren’t just Number 1 last year, but for the last 17 years consecutively. While so many great firms are out there, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage is the ONLY firm to offer a service like this.
Below are some quotes from just a few of our clients that confirm that it’s more than enough for us to just let our clients spread the word on their experience;
“I am a homeowner and wanted to tell you how much I appreciate Concierge and what a help it has been to me. We are just getting started on a bathroom remodel. What a wonderful help and quite a nice perk from Coldwell Banker to have this type of a thing. I do appreciate how helpful everyone has been!” — J. Tschetter, Satisfied Customer
“Thank you so much for your help. It is especially difficult organizing a complex move from Australia, and I am appreciative of any advice and assistance that you can provide. Again, I very much appreciate your guidance and assistance in organizing this move. It was a great relief to learn of this service provided to Coldwell Banker clients.” — K. Palghat, Satisfied Customer
“I genuinely want to thank you and Coldwell Banker Concierge for your help and for the outstanding list of companies you recommend to new homeowners.” — J. Mandel, Satisfied Customer
“The vendor was very flexible and professional, working with me to give me exactly what I wanted for the best price possible. They worked really hard to get the work done on the schedule I wanted – good job! It looks great.” — F. Reingold, Sherman Oaks, Satisfied Customer
“Your service is exceptionally unique and good. We appreciate it very much and our confidence in Coldwell Banker is #1.” — D. Schneider, Satisfied Customer
“It was a mammoth move and the mover did a very good job! The mover paid attention to detail and close follow ups with supervisors.” — M. Firestone, Satisfied Customer
Just imagine how those customers felt and how different their experience could have been without such a great service!
If you would like more information on this great free service, just visit http://www.ConciergeService.com. If you are a Realtor and interested in learning more about the offerings at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, don’t hesitate to call/text or email me at 714-782-2723 or Brad.Pearson@camoves.com.
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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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About 9 months ago, there was no shortage of those who said it “couldn’t be done”. They said “the chances of opening a new office in Yorba Linda amongst some formidable intrenched competitors was a long shot”. And to be honest, and to make a little public confession, there was a little part of me that believed them at first. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t have some doubt when tasked with a huge undertaking, risk, and a huge audience of people that plan to work hard to ensure your failure, called competitors. With that said, I am incredibly thankful for those who not only said “it CAN be done and we CAN do it”, but especially for those who said “we are with you!” I am also thankful for the foresight of such a great company to entrust me to lead this great undertaking and provide us all an amazingly professional and respectful environment that allows for everyone to grow and enjoy their career in real estate. And I would be remiss not to mention my incredibly supportive family who have had to endure many early mornings and late nights to get to this point.
So where are we now? With tremendous pleasure, I can say that we are now at 83 Independent Sales Associates, with many more great people affiliating each week that goes by. We have consistently had “record months” so many times that the bar just keeps getting higher and higher. And the month of July is another one of those record months! This amazing group of agents already have 50 sales with over $30,000,000 in volume and are on track to potentially pass 60 new sales and scare $40,000,000 for the month of July! To put this in perspective, this represents over $1,000,000 in projected Gross Closed Commissions that will be paid to the Independent Sales Associates in one month! Now for a group that is working out of two separate, temporary facilities, and for all intent and purposes, “camping out” until the new Yorba Linda flagship office is opened, this success speaks to their skill, talent, and tremendous focus. While many in the real estate business right now are lamenting that it is “slow”, we are experiencing quite the opposite.
The theme for this weeks video that I’m posting below is “Here we come!”. While we are still in the rear view mirror of several of our competitors, our front license plate is becoming very clear as you’ll see in this fun video!
If you are not yet with our great firm and would like to find out why so many great people have affiliated with us over the past 9 months, then please feel free to email or call/txt me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or (714) 782-2723.
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Another week has gone by and huge progress has been made! I must admit that I’ve learned a lot through this incredible process of transforming a vacant medical office building into the beginnings of a luxury Real Estate office. The facilities folks here at Coldwell Banker are just plain amazing. During the demo and construction process, I’m finding that it is inevitable that we will run into obstacles here and there with surprises that come up. What is impressive is that the team not only expects these little surprises/obstacles, but they are prepared with almost immediate remedies and solutions to every situation. Something as simple as a support beam that was discovered and immovable, goes from being an eyesore requiring a complete redesign of our lobby, to a perfectly positioned redesigned modernistic curved reception desk with an inviting walkway to the bullpen and conference rooms. It literally is the mindset with these pros that where there is an obstacle, it can easily become an opportunity to use creativity, collaboration, and plain teamwork to not only resolve the challenge but improve the original design/plan. And this is what happened last week! So along with the beginning of framing some offices upstairs, our lobby has been modified slightly and frankly improved from the previous plans. What I know is that while our move in date is still fluid and subject to many variables, we are making huge progress and the best people are on the job to make this office an incredible showplace once opened!
Lastly, the office and desk count is going to allow us to grow with room for over 100 great Independent Sales Associates! We will have a full compliment of staff and services to provide the support that our agents and clients deserve. The office will be staffed as follows:
-Full time office administrator
-Full time office admin assistant/receptionist
-Full time Marketing Coordinator on site to support and assist agents with their marketing, advertising, farming, design, and more!
-Weekend reception coverage Saturday and Sunday…when real estate sales happen! Few if any of our competitors are staffed on the weekends anymore, yet we believe our clients and agents deserve to have professional reception and assistance on the weekends. Our office will be the busiest in North OC on the weekends!
-Full time Transaction Coordinator
-Full time Branch Manager/coach/leader
-Full time Assistant Manager/coach/leader
-On site full time professional Escrow and Mortgage staff
-2 full time on site mentors
-On call IT support as needed
-Client Concierge Services on demand
As you can see, we are committed to a level of service and support well beyond the average real estate office in the area.
So, not only will we have an amazing facility, but we will be delivering a high touch, high service option right here in North Orange County to those who are looking to grow their business in all price ranges, but especially the high end!
Below is my newest short fun video update. Take a moment to watch it and you’ll see the progress coming along beautifully!
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or text/call 714-782-2723.
It is amazing what can be accomplished when a group of properly motivated, and talented people are inspired by a goal and objective and empowered by great leadership at a phenomenal, professional, and financially strong company to execute on a near perfectly thought out plan. While that was a bit of a mouthful, it pretty much sums up perfectly what has taken place here in North Orange County over the past 8 months with the launch of the new Yorba Linda Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage/Previews International office.
From the moment I joined the company, I was introduced to great people with smiles on their faces and a genuine desire to support the mission that I was tasked with out in the field. From the great people in facilities, accounting, marketing, operations, relocation, administration, and the many vendors, to the executive leadership team, everyone is clearly focused to support the mission of launching this new branch. Without exaggeration, I was made to feel like every one of these great people were doing nothing but working to execute on our Yorba Linda plan, when in reality they are all working on a multitude of other projects and office additions and expansions, acquisitions, etc. One thing I realized really quickly with this company was that everyone is focused on removing all obstacles that could slow the execution of the plan. Information was thoughtfully requested to assemble a solid move forward budget, obtain all approvals, and make solid decisions to enable everyone to simply do the job they were tasked to do. Very few meetings, zero conflict, and absolute clarity and follow through with open communication. This whole process was so impressive to me that at first I almost couldn’t believe it and was waiting for something to go wrong. When a decision was and is made, that decision has been well thought through and there’s a solid plan to execute. Well, it finally hit me, these people were the “real deal” and with over 700 company owned offices, the depth of experience in launching new offices was apparent yet humbly showcased with class and professionalism.
The core of the entire process was and is always grounded in this one simple philosophy; “Will this be the best thing for our Independent Sales Associates, attract more great Independent Sales Associates, and create an environment for them to grow and succeed?”. Everyone was clear that if the answer was yes to the above question, then we all would win and we would move forward!
All of the above is what has lead to where we are now. Our spectacular 10,000 square foot, luxury, state of the art, office is well on it’s way to completion! With 26 private offices, luxury spacious work areas, finely appointed conference rooms with the latest technology, and a jaw dropping lobby to greet your valued clients while offering them a choice of 10 different beverages from espresso to hot chocolate, any professional Realtor will be proud to show up to work here daily! Needless to say, the excitement has become contagious and the anticipation is exhilarating! Every single week that goes by, the office is transforming into what will be the premier real estate office for some of the best Realtors in North Orange County. This beautiful facility will be much more than a grand showplace of beautiful design, gorgeous decor, and modern technology, it is and will be the culmination of a positive, professional, fun, and collaborative culture with high standards that will ultimately define it. The people who embrace and seek out this culture are what will make this the greatest place to thrive and grow a real estate career in North Orange County.
Over the past several weeks I have made a couple of short fun videos showcasing the progress of the office building transformation. I am posting the links below. I am sure you will feel the energy!
If you would like information on affiliating with Coldwell Banker please do not hesitate to call/text or email me at (714) 782-2723 or Brad.Pearson@camoves.com. Aggressive transition packages available for qualified Independent Sales Associates! Make your move with zero costs! Call for details!
I get asked at least once a week by agents and even some affiliates “So who owns the Coldwell Banker office you’re opening in Yorba Linda?” And my answer is simple “NRT LLC who is owned by the Real Estate giant Realogy (NYSE: RLGY Visit: http://www.realogy.com/about/nrt.cfm)”. But what does that mean? I’ll get to that in a bit… After spending over 21 years in the real estate business and seeing so many offices and companies come and go, I completely understand why this question is being asked and how important it’s become when it comes to trying to evaluate the chances of success of a new office in a market area. Most real estate companies in America are “independently owned and operated”, and in many cases they are franchises. A lot of these companies are very successful and were started by the good old fashioned entrepreneur, which has been and always will be the heart of America when it comes to defining “the land of opportunity”. These companies were built with passion, heart, “blood, sweat, and tears”, great leadership, and many have amazing histories of how they started with their life savings, or a small business loan, along with long hours, tough struggles, and huge sacrifices. So please understand that all of these owners have my utmost respect and admiration. The connection with these great companies and NRT LLC/Realogy is a lot closer than most think. Here’s how… In many cases, these great entrepreneurs, upon reaching a high level of success with their business, reach a point where they are approached by a very large company who has recognized their tremendous accomplishment and an offer is made to purchase their company. NRT LLC/Realogy has been one of the biggest purchasers of successful real estate companies in America. For these owners this is a dream realized after years of hard work. Often these great owners/entrepreneurs accept leadership positions with the company that purchased their company, and at NRT so many of the great leaders in the firm came to the company in this way. So while it is true that NRT LLC is the single largest Real Estate company in America, it is ran with all of the qualities of a smaller independently owned firm, yet with the financial power, professionalism, and accountability of a Fortune 500 company. With over 700 offices with NRT LLC and 41,000 Independent Sales Associates, and approx 5000 employees, as well as achieving the #1 Real Estate Company in America for the 17th consecutive year in 2013, it goes without saying that the company has created something special. From acquiring great firms throughout the country to starting up brand new offices like the new office opening in Yorba Linda CA. this summer, the business growth strategy is one that has proven itself a successful one on a massive scale.
So, while that was a long explanation to what really is a short answer, I felt it worthwhile to elaborate to help provide clarity and confidence to those who are contemplating a career change or company change and want to be certain that they are joining a strong and stable company. I also wanted to dispel the myths spread sometimes by competitors that Coldwell Banker NRT is too large and impersonal. Having been with the firm now for 7 months, I can honestly say that from the highest level executives to the support staff in the branches, these are all real people with real lives, real dreams, goals, families, and absolute clarity on the importance of the independent sales associates and the customers and they show up everyday with a clear vision to deliver an incredible experience to everyone associated with the firm. Ethics, standards, and professionalism combined with a tremendously successful business enterprise makes Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (NRT) a hard to beat firm on any level.
It is also with tremendous pleasure that I announce that construction has begun on our new 10,000 Square Foot facility in Yorba Linda and we are already at 71 outstanding independent sales associates! We will move into the facility close to full and with a massive momentum towards our goal of #1 market share in the city!
Below I have posted some more great information for you to get an even better idea of how phenomenal this company is, and combined with a total of 3100 Coldwell Banker offices in 50 countries and territories in the network, our customer value proposition IS the most powerful in the industry leading to incredibly successful agents throughout the firm!
Feel free to contact me directly for more information on becoming part of this great firm! Call or text to 714-782-2723 or email me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com
©2014 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office is owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker® and the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Previews International® and the Coldwell Banker Previews International Logo, are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.
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.