Sunday, October 22, 2017

Julie Escobar

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Julie brings more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the real estate and speaking industries. From copy writing to convention management, you will find her consistently seeking out innovative solutions, fresh ideas, as well as creative products and tools for the real estate industry.

A Quick Q&A with industry leader Floyd Wickman and Short Sale Specialist Will Weaver

By Julie Escobar, Floyd Wickman and Will Weaver

In this time of constant economic change, understanding how to service your clients and your market area to the best of your ability with expansive knowledge, real solutions and true compassion for homeowners facing overwhelming decisions can make you the ‘go-to’ agent in your marketplace – and more importantly – give you the quiet peace of mind of knowing that you have helped customers help themselves.  I had the opportunity to expound on this topic with both Floyd Wickman and his protégé, Will Weaver for a look at the questions asked by agents across the nation as they seek the timely tools necessary to solve the financial dilemmas facing consumers in today’s market.

Q:  First off Floyd, what made you decide to get into the business of Short Sale Seminars?
FW:  Well, I’ve been hearing about Short Sales for several years and never really learned much about them until now.  When I saw a real need in the industry, I put together a team of gentlemen: Sham Reddy, Bob Daniels and Will Weaver who collectively have experienced more than 600 Short Sales in the last five years.  In my opinion, that makes them industry experts on the do’s and don’ts of Short Sales.  With them, I fine-tuned a seminar to teach some fundamental principals and skill sets to the real estate industry.  Unlike some Short Sale seminars you’ll find out there in today’s market, ours is designed to be both Seller and Lender-friendly.  What I mean by that is that it is designed to help sellers possibly save their credit and perhaps even stay in their homes and helps the lender settle for a fair sum.  Most of the other seminars on this topic that we have experienced are basically designed to show investors how to “steal” houses and that’s not what we are about.  We’ve always been in the business of helping people.

Q:  All right guys, I guess we need to start at the beginning, and Will, I will address most of these questions to you, OK?  Now, what exactly IS a Short Sale?
WW:  The best answer I can give you Julie is that by definition, the “short” in the title of Short Sale refers to the fact that the payoff amount agreed to in the transaction is indeed, shorter than the mortgage balances on the property.  In other words, there is more owed on the home than what it will sell for.

Q:  Why should a seller do a Short Sale?
WW:   Well the reason a distressed seller would consider a short sale is that they are really faced with a big decision and only a few real options:
1. They could let the lender foreclose, ruining their credit.
2. They can use an agent to help them negotiate a Short Sale, which would be a charge off on their credit –- so a “bruise” if you will– rather than a foreclosure, which gives them the option to buy again within two years.
3. They can choose a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure, which means they sign the house back to the bank.  This is only an option however, if the bank wants the house back.  In a declining market, lenders are more apt to suggest sellers find an agent and consider a short sale.
4. They can reinstate their mortgage by coming up with all of the past due monies, interests, penalties and fines.  Obviously, that is not an option for most consumers in this position.
5. They can try what is called a Forbearance Agreement.  In other words, they then take what is owed and move it to the back of the loan and start all over.  This would depend largely on their credit, their payment history, how long the lender has carried the loan and if they feel comfortable enough with that particular homeowner to take the risk.

Clearly, if a homeowner is truly in tough financial turmoil, a Short Sale can be a viable option to get themselves out from under a bad situation and back to rebuilding their lives and credit.

Industry expert Bill Barrett shares valuable trend-watching advice for today’s agents.
Second in a series of Q&A articles focusing on current tough-market challenges.
By Julie Escobar

The ability to keep a close eye on the horizon and a finger on the pulse of market and economic trends is no longer a “sometimes” skill needed by industry professionals; rather, it is now a necessary tool of the trade.

Our team of trainers and I have been fielding hundreds of questions from sales associates seeking to circumvent the tough market syndrome that seems to overwhelm so many agents. They’re tapping into the knowledge and resources all around them in an effort to uncover the NOW strategies needed to stay inspired, motivated and ahead of the competition.

When it comes to trend-watching and overcoming challenges, our friend and industry leader Bill Barrett is the man in charge. I recently turned to him to get his insight and ideas on maximizing momentum in a changing market. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:

Q: I have always admired your ability to accurately read and communicate market trends to your audiences. What do you feel is the most significant trend in our market today?

A: Like you and your team, I hear that question a lot. I would say the single biggest item that agents need to focus on today is getting their listings priced correctly. And the single biggest challenge is that the market is still going down.

This is a very unusual time in our economy. Real estate is a leading industry today, instead of a following. In other words, in the past, interest rates have gone up, unemployment goes up and corporate rates go down. Now, interest rates are good, unemployment is down and corporate rates are fine—but the real estate market in many pockets of the country has plummeted. Why? I think what we are finding is that prices went very high—too high, in fact—and now we are seeing a dramatic “normalizing” of the market.

Q: What does all of that mean to agents on the street?

A: Well, I think there is a real problem right now in the industry, psychologically. There are so many articles out there talking about how the market is down, bubbles bursting, etc., and I believe it may continue to decrease and may be that way for a year or so. That is why it is more important than ever for agents to stress to their sellers the importance of pricing their homes correctly. Otherwise, they run the risk of missing target buyers altogether.

Q: I remember a charting tool you suggest your Superstars use to help communicate this point effectively with sellers. Can you share that?

A: Sure! I tell my students and audience participants to develop a 5-Year Chart for their market area. Down the left side, I suggest writing:
• 5 Years
• 4 Years
• 3 Years
• 2 Years
• 1 Year
• 6 Months
• Today

Then I have them make the following column headings across the top and write in the statistics for each time period above:
• Average sales price
• Average days on the market
• Amount of inventory
• List-to-sell ratio

Now, instead of “selling and telling,” agents are better able to “educate and inform.” Then the real estate agent becomes the messenger.

We need to educate sellers on the fact that real estate is still a local event and that not all “national trends” are applicable to their particular area. For example, look at the Portland and Seattle areas, which are currently seeing 8% to 12% increases. Develop your local stats chart, and become both an advocate and an educator for consumers in your area.

With the November 13-16 NAR convention quickly approaching, ProspectsPLUS! is gearing up to bring its best and most innovative offerings to Las Vegas, including their all new coaching solution. The Florida-based company will use its more than 400 square feet of exhibit space at the Sands Expo and Convention Center for hands-on demonstrations and information resources designed to help REALTORS® excel in today’s quickly shifting industry. Highlights at ProspectsPLUS!
booth #4241 include:

  1. ProspectsPLUS! Achievement Coaching™. Presenting an all new coaching system which successfully partners the timeless tools and solutions offered in the ProspectsPLUS! technology products with highly trained, extraordinarily effective coaches, all of whom boast a healthy track record for helping entrepreneurs increase their annual income by $65,500. Working smarter, not harder has never been simpler.
  2. MLSmailings.com. This innovative and automated, cutting-edge system with patent-pending technology gives agents fast-track results with little to no effort on their part.
  3. ProspectsPLUS! 6.0. This time-tested software gives agents more than 600 marketing pieces to choose from in a matter of minutes. With a guarantee of at least six new listings in just 12 months, more than 60,000 agents across the United States and Canada utilize this time-saving, production-boosting program to ensure their success in ANY market.
  4. RecruitingPLUS! 6.0. Managers and brokers will find this upgraded program an exciting and viable method for rapidly recruiting both new and experienced agents in any market. With 12 full systems and 65 strategies to choose from, users can implement the ones that best fit their unique recruiting goals. The company is so confident in the program that it guarantees 24 recruiting interviews every 12 weeks. Enjoy a full demonstration, and pick up a free copy of the Master Recruiting Guide™, which details “How to Recruit 10 Agents in 60 Days” and “Sure-Fire Strategies for Becoming a Top Recruiter.”
  5. Master Marketing Schedule™. This FREE, hugely popular 24-month wall calendar is for agents who want a simple, effective marketing plan to stay on track in 2008. It offers approximately two campaigns per week and more than eight categories each month to help agents successfully target their sphere-of-influence client base and geographic farm areas. With ideas on how to identify and excel at the niche markets that most interest them, each month also provides creative customer service campaigns, industry resource tips and more.

Be sure to visit booth #4241 for winning solutions and your FREE Master Marketing Schedule™, Master Recruiting Guide™, invitation for FREE 20 Minute coaching consultation and hands-on demonstrations of the ProspectsPLUS! suite of products. You can find more cost-effective ways to boost production while saving time and money at www.prospectsplus.com. While you’re there, remember to sign up for the FREE Master Marketing Newsletter™. Call Julie Escobar at 866.405.3641 or visit www.prospectsplus.com and invite us in to share some strategies, jump start your production or share today’s best resource for cutting edge technology and marketing solutions!

“It is my pleasure to tell you how great ProspectsPLUS! has been for my business over the last three years. The tools are excellent, seamless and easy to use.

Using this system has become a daily part of my business and saves me time and money each day. Clients always comment on my marketing tools, and when I show them the postcards and flyers I will use to market their homes, you make me look good!

Now that the market has turned and folks are at their wit’s end, I use the ‘Selling your home got you turned upside down?’ flyer that I have modified for my market. It really speaks to people and gets me in the door.

Postcards bring me leads, and I use them for every new listing and sale. They have been an important part of filling my pipeline, generating leads and new listings. Quarterly holiday postcards go out to my sphere of influence, and I consistently hear back from these VIPs!

I love the fact that I do not have to do much to make this all happen. ProspectsPLUS! is so easy to use. I have received 26 new listings and 22 referrals by utilizing this program. Every time I open it, I find more ideas to market myself! Now I can’t wait to start new FSBO campaigns! Thanks again!”

FloydIndustry icon Floyd Wickman shares insight, ideas and inspiration
for staying at the top of your game in a changing market.
 
By Julie Escobar

The going is most definitely tough in many parts of our country. I have talked to hundreds of agents lately who are seeking the inside secrets to maintaining momentum (or simply surviving) in a changing economy. Having been around this industry long enough to have some of the best minds in the business on speed dial, I let my fingers do the walking to answer some of the most difficult questions. Floyd Wickman was the first to come to mind. Having weathered the storms and surges of every possible market condition during the past 40 years—and having trained, motivated, coached and cultivated hundreds of thousands of agents and managers—there was no doubt that this industry icon would have a few thoughts to share. Here is how our conversation went:

Q: It’s no secret that the market is tough. What are some of the biggest challenges today’s agents are up against?

A: Like you and your ProspectsPLUS! account executives, our team has been inundated with questions just like this. I guess if I had to say what I hear agents struggling with the most right now it would be, first of all, getting their deals closed or pending sales that do not go to closing. Second, agents have more inventory than many are used to handling. And third, the length of time between listing and sold is much longer, making it more difficult to manage.

Many agents are simply not used to these challenges and, in a lot of cases, neither are their managers. Many managers have just not been in the business long enough to have experienced market conditions like this, so where do agents turn?

Q: I guess they turn to us! So pretend I am a struggling agent. What advice do you have for me with regard to a higher percentage of deals NOT closing?

A: First, I would have you look at the reasons why deals are not closing. Understand why lenders are pulling back and changing the way they do business. The increased foreclosure rate makes them more likely to turn down loans and less apt to give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to appraisals. Buyers, too, have an attitude that there are unlimited property choices and are more demanding, sometimes even to the point of arrogance.

Second, master the art of straight-line communication. It is more essential than ever that the buyer is met in the office, pre-qualified, pre-approved and PREPARED to expect the worst AND make a decision. Choose your words wisely. For example: “Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, we are going to start today with a meeting of the minds. There is a lot of inventory available, and I am going to ask you to make a decision if you find something you like—and to be reasonable when you make that decision. I am not in the business of helping steal homes. I am in the business of finding the right homes at the right price in the shortest period of time.”

I love to see agents get buyers pre-approved through their own suggested mortgage source, because it gives them more clout when it comes to keeping the process moving. In the case of a buyer who has been pre-approved elsewhere, you might say, “Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, if there is a better deal out there, it doesn’t hurt you to find out. Let’s talk to my lender and see what they have to say as well, and you can choose which works best for you.”

Remember, too, that “pre-qualify” does not just mean what is the best they are looking for, but what is the worst, as well. Find the urgency, and you can communicate the value of making a decision quicker and negotiate the subtleties of helping them accept rather than settle. In other words, accept a property and get settled into what they need, not necessarily all they want.