Sunday, October 22, 2017

Holiday_TableSix Strategies for Maximizing Your Market
By Julie Escobar, Corporate Marketing Director

Setting the table for a successful new year means starting early for savvy real estate professionals.  While much of the competition falls into cruise control, plan holiday parties or simply wait for the economic shift to suit their style, top producers turn up the heat to sweep the market share in their absence. 

1. Prospect, Promote and Prosper.  In changing markets, many agents stop advertising, re-direct their marketing dollars to the year ahead and put their prospecting in park until after the holidays.  Stay forward of the competition by continuing to market yourself with creative, consistent, targeted marketing.
 

2. Spread the Holiday Cheer.  Make the most of this opportunity to reach out to your client base with face-to-face visits.  Choose fifty or so of your top prospects and make plans to visit them.  What may seem like a lot of time, can really be broken down into 10 or so contacts per week.  Would that be worth a sale or two?  Sure it would.  Make the calls.  Shake hands, bring a card and thank these very important people for their contribution to your career.  For those really special clients, bring along a treat for their family table and you’ll find yourself more than their REALTOR® you become a friend.   

3. Clean Out Your Client Base.  Most agents wait until January to truly wade through their client base.  Getting an early start means momentum as you head into the New Year when most are still putting away party hats and streamers.  If you don’t currently have a means of tracking your clients, visit our site, www.prospectsplus.com for a free BusinessBASE™ client management system.  Getting to know your prospects, their families, their needs and their personalities will help you build long term, solid relationships that bring you current listings and sales as well as referrals that will build your book of business throughout your career.
 

4. Live and Learn.  What a tremendous time to be a professional salesperson.  Never before in history has education, skill-building and growth as an agent or as a person been more simple or accessible.  How fortunate we are to have internet, 24/7 that allows us to tap in, download, read, discuss and explore ways to improve our life skills personally and professionally.  Make it a goal this quarter and coming year to consistently fine tune who you are and what you do. 
 

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.