Thursday, September 21, 2017

Start HEATING up your marketing this month with all new marketing pieces ready to fire up your RESULTS this May!

Stay in touch with your sphere and connect with short sale prospects this month!

Your update this month includes:

  • Your  June eNewsletter
  • Father’s Day Holiday Postcard
  • Flag Day Seasonal Postcard
  • First Day of Summer Postcard
  • Recipe Postcard – Orange & Honey Mahi Mahi
  • Short Sale Specialist Postcards (3 versions)

Here’s a sneak peek!

June SupportPLUS! eNews

Father's Day Postcard
Flag Day Postcard
First Day of Summer Postcard
Mahi Mahi Recipe Card
Don't Wait Short Sale Postcard
Questions Answered Short Sale Postcard
Questions Answered Short Sale Postcard

Feeling the Weight Short Sale Postcard
Feeling the Weight Short Sale Postcard

To download the update, click on File then Check for Updates in your ProspectsPLUS! software and follow the on-screen instructions.

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An Interview with Expert Sham Reddy

By Julie Escobar

With short sales the topic of day, I turned to an old friend and short sale expert Sham Reddy.  He was kind enough to share some of the secrets and strategies that have helped him not just survive but truly thrive for the long haul in this sometimes difficult niche market.

Let’s learn…

Q:  Hi Sham!  It’s been a while since we’ve talked, but I can see by your posts online that you’re out there doing what you do best – making life a little better for distressed property owners!  Can you tell our readers a little about yourself and why you chose short sales as your niche?

A:  My name is Sham Reddy and I’ve been a real estate consultant for18 years, currently with Real Living Realty Services in Dayton, OH.  I have always taken pride in thinking outside the box when it came to real estate.  I started working foreclosures and REOs for my personal portfolio in the mid 90’s when I was actively investing in real estate.  During that process, I came across the concept that lenders may be open to accepting short payoff in certain hardship situations for the borrowers.  I shared that information with our Cin-Day mentor group members and later teamed up with a fellow mentor group member, Bob Daniels and wrote a course to offer to the fellow REALTORS® as CE credits.  Together we offered Short sale courses for several franchised and independent real estate brokerages in Ohio, Michigan and Kentucky. I have independently offered short sales courses to Ohio Auctioneer associations and Ohio association of CPA’s.

Q:  So, there’s not much you haven’t seen is there?   What’s different today about short sales than say – two years ago?

A:  For the beginners, there are a lot more opportunities available now because there are more loans in default.  There is also more training available for agents who wish to specialize in this niche like CDPE, and SFR.  You’ll also find that there is more awareness of this problem at the federal level where they created homeownership rescue plans like HAMP and HAFA.  There are quite a few agencies in the local communities that are helping homeowners with financial hardship to either save their homes or sell them short with the approval of their lenders.  Because of the high inventory of REOs, short sale listings are competing with foreclosed properties, driving the net proceeds to lenders way down.  Lenders are now devising methods to cut down on the response times with tracking systems like Equator which is being used by Bank of America and Wells Fargo to facilitate short sales.

Q:   Very interesting.  I’m sure you’ve had every question in the book asked of you by consumers in this situation.   What do you feel are five of the biggest MISCONCEPTIONS about short sales that consumers – whether they’re buyers or sellers and what do they really need to know?

A:  I have, let’s go through some of the most common:

  • First misconception is that the seller thinks that a bankruptcy filing will make everything go away.  What they don’t know is that bankruptcy may take away their financial liability of the deficiency; it may not necessarily keep them out of foreclosure.  This means they will have both a bankruptcy and a foreclosure on their credit resulting in a bigger hit on their personal credit score.
  • Secondly, sellers need to be communicating with the lenders AS SOON as they find themselves falling behind on payments.  It gives lenders various options to either save their home or give advice on deed in lieu or short sale procedures.
  • Thirdly, buyers do not take into consideration that on short sale offers, there are prolonged response times and they cannot get the sale closed like a normal sale.  Also the seller and buyer still have to execute contracts and all the disclosures like a regular sale, and that the lender holding the mortgage is not a party to the transaction.  The only decision lenders make is to agree to the amount of shortage they are willing to accept.
  • Fourth, some buyers try to treat short sales as REOs.  The big difference is that there are no attorneys involved on either side for most transactions.  The condition of the properties in short sales are more livable than REOs because more often than not, someone is still living at the property with most systems being functional or operational.
  • Lastly, buyers and sellers also need to understand that foreclosure process does not stop even if the short sale is underway,  because lenders don’t want to take the chance of short sale not closing and they have to restart the foreclosure process, which in some markets will add another 30-90 days to the process.

Q:  Thanks for sharing those!  What’s the number one thing distressed homeowners should look for when choosing a short sale specialist?

A:  Home owners that are facing a hardship need to look for referral from their friends or call the local real estate board, and ask for a referral to couple of agents in the area that specialize in short sales and have a decent track record in helping homeowners in those circumstances.  An agent with the right EXERIENCE and TRAINING can keep the homeowner get successfully through the process and find peace of mind.   Also look for an agent who can price the property attractive enough to get a few offers while tracking the foreclosure timeline to make sure they have time to avoid the foreclosure.

Q:   How are you finding/reaching distressed homeowners in your marketplace – can you give agents some ideas on how to market themselves?

A:  The best way for agents to find distressed homeowners is to make sure they market themselves as specialists in that niche.  Agents also need to make sure they network with other agents that specialize in short sales, take as many courses as possible and look towards getting a designation or certification like SFR, CDPE or Floyd Wickman’s Short Sale Survival Course.  It’s not unusual to get referrals from other real estate agents in or outside your market for distressed homeowners for short sale.  Another way to is to search court records at for foreclosure complaints, or records of notices of defaults (NOD), and follow up with letters, postcards and personal phone calls.  There are some paid sources (websites) available to get leads for short sales in their market area

Q:  What’s the number one thing agents should know about this niche BEFORE they decide to dive in?

A:  Before agents take on this challenging, time consuming and often frustrating process, it is to have a good understanding of the time lines involved in handling the short sales in relation to the foreclosure process timelines in their County, and also understanding well that despite their best efforts they may only close half of the short sales attempted.  Realtors should add short sales to their toolbox in addition to other tools, and not in place of other niches they practice.  Once again, make sure you are networking with short sale specialists in your market or across the country to keep up with ever-changing and evolving guidelines in this niche.

Thank you so much Sham for sharing your experience and ideas with our readers. As always, you bring great information to the table!  If you’d like to learn more about Sham or find out how he’s making the most of specializing in the short sale market, visit his site online at www.shamreddy.com or follow him on Facebook www.facebook.com/ShamReddy and follow us on Facebook as well to stay up to date on this and other exciting niche markets at www.facebook.com/prospectsplus.

If you’d like to take a sneak peek at the brand new short sale templates we’ve just released for short sale specialists – visit our online gallery today here:  SHORT SALE TEMPLATES.  Be sure to use promo code SHORTSALE15 at checkout to save 15% off your order!  While you’re on the site, be sure to check out our resource section for collateral free reports including Seven Must Know Facts About Short Sales and Foreclosures and another that will be posting soon.

“Do No Harm Strategies” from Short Sale Experts Leonard Giarrano and Sandra Maslen

By Julie Escobar

It’s funny, when I started this series on short sales – the phrase Hippocratic Oath kept popping into my head – and then when I sat down to interview an old friend and extraordinary short sale expert Len Giarrano – it was one of the first things that he said.  Don’t you just love it when things come together?  For real estate professionals, especially those diving into the sometimes murky waters of short sales and foreclosures – taking the “first, do no harm” approach to business and clients is a top priority.

So when the topic came up, I took my questions to a man I’ve known and trusted in this business for more than 20 years.  When it comes to integrity and character – -this guy and his incredible partner, Sandra Maslen have it in spades.  So who better to ask?

Here’s an excerpt from our interview…

Q:  Hey Len!  Always happy to connect with you!  I’m excited to hear about your new partnership with Ms. Maslen here (Hi Sandra!) and what you two have been up to in terms of helping distressed homeowners once again find peace of mind.  First, why don’t you guys tell us a little about yourselves?

Len: Hi Julie, I’m always happy to connect with you as well and this topic really is something we’re passionate about.  For me, the American dream of home ownership sparked my real estate career 25 years ago!  I wanted to take some of the complexities that families were finding out of buying a home.  Then and now, I first seek to understand what each family needs and then find a way to create a solid course to help them reach that goal.  Helping households through the process of short sale is good business & makes customers for life.

Sandra: My background is actually in mortgage banking and real estate – and I think that’s really been wonderful experience to draw from when working with lenders on our client’s behalf.  Lenders and banks have a definite way of doing business – and while many agents get frustrated because banks want their deals done “in their way” – I can see the situation from the other side and do everything necessary to ensure that when our files hit the lender’s desk – they’re exactly what they’re looking for to expedite the process.

Q:  What’s important for distressed homeowners to know SOONER rather than later in today’s economy?

Len & Sandra: Well, one of the first things that people should know is that the banks don’t want your home back.  They want a vibrant economy and household like yours on your feet again – that’s profits everyone.  They would much rather work with you to resolve the situation.  They can recover assets – but it’s tough once it gets to the point of vacant, destroyed homes and neighborhoods.

So in terms of what they should do SOONER, first –don’t try to go it alone.  Find an agent or team with the CDPE designation and get a good, solid, accurate assessment of your situation so you know what your options are.  The CDPE training is so comprehensive and robust that it gives agents all the tools they need to first – as we said early – DO NO HARM – and secondly, provide the tools and the systems needed to help those homeowners once again find peace of mind.

Secondly, don’t wait until you’re down to your last dime and financially devastated to take action. For many of the homeowners we work with – there is such a sense of guilt and shame about their situation – so much so that people are too afraid or embarrassed to seek help.  They’re so overwhelmed and feel like they have to exhaust every penny they have to try to dig themselves out of a bad situation.  Our job is to make sure that each situation is diagnosed on its own merit for its own set of circumstances and to really advocate for those homeowners and provide them with choices that in most cases – they didn’t even know they had.

Q: How are you reaching out to distressed homeowners and letting them know that there are options available to them?

Press Release: ProspectsPLUS.com just launched a new series of six all-new direct mail postcards for short sale specialists to make reaching out to distressed homeowners in their market fast, simple and affordable!

This simple web-to-print platform allows agents to choose their postcard or the entire series, upload their list and within just minutes place their order and take advantage of the ability to send just one postcard or to an entire database and with prices as low as .43₵ per card!  These full-color cards are printed, addressed, finished and mailed first class within 48 hours, making it easy to capture the attention of rental property owners in every market.

“Our short sale postcards have been a high-demand item as agents seek new ways to increase their revenue in today’s swiftly changing market,” shared Corporate Marketing Director Julie Escobar.   “We’ve paired the new series with a powerful Free Report: Seven Must Know Facts About Short Sales and Foreclosures.   This free download gives agents the extra collateral they often need to create that competitive edge.”

To download the free report, visit www.prospectsplus.com/freereports and tap into the brand new property management postcards today by visiting SHORT SALE TEMPLATES.  Be sure to use promo code SHORTSALE15 at checkout to save 15% off your order!

Not a short sale or distressed property expert?  No problem!  You’ll find a wide spectrum of real estate postcard marketing materials at www.prospectsplus.com/postcardgallery.  Look for the popular series of postcards for FSBOs, Expireds, Recruiting, Holidays, Recipes, Open Houses, Price Reductions, Just Listed, Just Sold and more!

Need more marketing ideas?  Sign up for our FREE weekly tips and tools!  We’ll deliver fresh ideas, innovative tools and smart solutions to your “in-box” each and every week!  Visit www.prospectsplus.com today and subscribe right there on the home page!  Need more help?  Email us today at pmc@prospectsplus.com for more ideas and information!

Exploring the Five “Must Haves” for Weathering this Ever-Changing Niche

By Julie Escobar

Our market has been through a lot in the last couple of years.  Ups and downs and twists and turns feeling at times like hurricane force gales and others like the quiet before the storm that seems like it should come complete with a daunting musical score all its own.  Economic backbiting, housing market woes and of course, the extraordinary efforts of the “bad news is top news” media extol all play a part in what has become a “perfect storm” for consumer fear and information.

The good news?  Things are changing, they’re turning around – maybe not as quickly as some would like, but slowly and certainly – they are shifting.  With the help of dedicated professionals who are listening and learning and creating new and better ways to turn bad situations into better situations for distressed homeowners, overburdened mortgage companies and our market as a whole.  Kudos to the short sale specialists who have realized that this situation “is what it is” and that for every negative – there can be solutions that improve the status quo and there are opportunities to turn the tide.

I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible agents along the way and what they’ve taught me is that to be successful in the short sale arena you’ve got to have the following:

  1. Compassion. You’re dealing with people who, for the most part, feel vulnerable, stressed, worried and afraid.  The bottom line in our business – is people.  If you’re only out for #1 – then I suggest that not only is this niche not right for you – but perhaps real estate isn’t for you.  If your goal is to help people with their goals, get them from overwhelmed and filled with fear to “able to breathe again” and on the road to peace of mind – then you’ve got the right mindset and heart to work within this niche.
  2. Education. Oh, I know in the beginning – everyone with a license (and I dare say some without) threw their hats in the short sale ring.  Fortunately, tighter regulations had been put in place and more and more agents are getting the tools, skills, techniques and knowledge they need to do right by their clients.  They know, more now than ever, that the WRONG advice, the WRONG business practice can do exceedingly more damage to a consumer’s already troubled credit and financial well-being.  So they’re turning to programs like America’s Home Rescue to get the kind of information foundation they need to provide the best possible service and assistance for their clients.
  3. Advocacy. Let’s face it – there are a lot of “sharks” out there trolling the waters, eager to prey on people at their most troubled times.  The agents who are mastering short sales and owning that corner of the market in their areas are fierce advocates for their clients.  They’re focused and formidable when it comes to protecting consumer’s rights and helping to stamp out predatory practices and people that invade their turf.
  4. Ability to TEACH. The pros I know with the best success rates and a referral base to prove they’re doing something right have the desire and ability to TEACH the consumers and businesses in their marketplace as well as agents coming into the business or just into short sales.  They’re passionate about the topic, about the hope that can be offered to troubled families and about the consequences of skipping steps, flying solo and not doing your homework.  They’re the first to reach out to their communities, they host workshops, they sit at kitchen tables, they keep learning so they can keep teaching.  (Teachers rock!)
  5. Tools. Like any master of their trade, short sale specialists make sure they have all the tools of trade necessary to make their business run smoothly, more efficiently, effectively and ensure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed.  From the direct response mail they use to connect to distressed homeowners, to the collateral pieces they offer as informational guides, to the scripts, dialogues and objection handlers they need to deliver the right message at the right time, to the forms (oh the forms!) they use to push the proper paperwork through the procedural red tape that is common with this niche – they know every tool and technique like the back of their hand.  They practice, they research and they leave nothing to chance.  It’s what makes them professionals, and what sets them apart.

I applaud all the agents who’ve taken up the helm of this rapidly growing niche market in the midst of the “perfect storm” out there.  It takes courage and integrity to dive into new markets, new techniques and do it without skipping steps and with more than just themselves in mind.

So for all of you who are braving the perfect storm and making the short sale market your own – let us know how we can help you.  We’re right there with you – every step of the way! We’ll be putting up new direct mail templates this month to help you reach out to area consumers as well as a new free report that’s in the works just for you!  Bookmark these pages today and stay tune!

If there’s something you’d like to see us put online – email me – and we’ll see what we can do!