Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Short SaleAn insightful Q&A session with Julie Escobar and Will Weaver

These are challenging times, to be sure. Our economic conditions, market fluctuations and, of course, the extraordinary efforts our media puts forth to fuel the negative all play a part in what has become a “perfect storm” for consumer fear and information. Perhaps none as evident as the market in Detroit, Michigan.

It’s there that I caught up with national speaker and short sale specialist Will Weaver to discuss how that perfect storm affects our ability as a nation to realize the American Dream. Here are a few excerpts from that conversation:

Q: Will, you have an interesting take on what you believe to be the American Dream. Can you share that with our readers?

A: The American Dream means something different for everyone, really. Some would say it’s freedom or the pursuit of happiness, or the ability to work hard and get paid accordingly. Others believe home ownership defines the phrase. I believe it’s all of those things and more. In fact, historian and writer James Truslow Adams coined the phrase “The American Dream” in his 1931 book The Epic of America and shared that it is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

Unfortunately, today’s shifting economy has created shortcomings and loss for many consumers who are working hard to live richer, fuller lives yet find themselves losing jobs, family and homes. What’s more unfortunate is that so many feel like they are all alone, with nowhere and no one to turn to for help.

Q: It’s something that affects so many people these days, Will. I know that you and a team of Floyd Wickman trainers specialize in teaching real estate professionals how to really be there for their customers with the information and resources they need to keep their heads above water. What can you share with them here?

A: First of all, get educated so you can educate. So many customers are in the dark as to their legal rights and the options that are available to them. They’re starving for information and an ally they can trust. I urge all real estate professionals to be both for them. A partner and I recently ran a full-page ad in four local papers inviting consumers to a free workshop called What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Foreclosures and Short Sales. The response was tremendous, and the opportunity to really help some folks in need was priceless.

Q: What should agents teach their customers about those two things?

A: What worked for us was starting with a relatively simple format. Our goal was to give them the basics they needed to make the right decisions for their families. It’s always amazing to me to see the “light bulbs” go on for people who realize that there really is hope.

We covered a handful of important topics, including:

• Definition of a short sale
• The Top 10 short sale situations
• Why a short sale is a win
• Short sales vs. foreclosure
• Steps to a short sale
• Three stages of a short sale

Q: Well, then, I guess that begs the next question: “What is the definition of a short sale?”

A: Good question! The “short” in short sale actually refers to the fact that the payoff amount agreed to in the transaction is “shorter” than the mortgage balance on the property. Simply put, there is more owed on the home than it will sell for.

Q: And how about sharing the “Top 10” list with us?

A: I’m happy to! The Top 10 hardship situations are:
1. health issues
2. rate increase (3-5 year ARM expiration)
3. predatory lending/borrowing
4. divorce/separation
5. overextension of credit/number of mortgages
6. job loss or transfer
7. two house payments
8. distressed sellers
9. declining market
10. pre-foreclosures

Q: Short sale is a scary term for those who don’t understand what they are and how they work. Can you tell us why they can be considered a “win” for many of today’s distressed homeowners?

A: Short sales can be a win because they can provide a way to avoid foreclosure and, in many cases, bankruptcy. It’s important to note the differences in terms of the long-term effects on consumer credit. Let’s take a look at short sales vs. foreclosures:


Short Sale

  • negotiated settlement
  • seller’s credit bruised
  • no attorney fees
  • peace of mind
  • buy again in two years
  • liens negotiated

  • court settlement
  • seller’s credit ruined
  • big attorney fees
  • no peace of mind
  • buy again in 10 years
  • all liens exhausted

Q: That sure makes short sales look like a much better option for many. Do you have time to take us through the steps of a short sale?

A: To start, it’s important for consumers to find an advocate–agent they can really trust who will walk them through this often-emotional process. I would say that’s definitely the first step. Here they all are in a nutshell:

1. Talk to a REALTOR®
2. List the property
3. Gather the needed information
4. Complete a hardship package
5. Get an offer accepted

Q: You mentioned three stages earlier. What are you referring to there?

A: There are three stages of foreclosure: pre-foreclosure, foreclosure and post-foreclosure. It is in this initial phase that we can help so many people lessen their credit damage, get out from under a tough situation and move on to the next stage of their lives. That offers great relief.

Q: There’s no doubt a lot of fine print that real estate professionals need to comprehend to be the best resource possible for their clients. Can we visit those in a future article, and can you tell agents how they can reach you to learn how to become the “short sale specialist” in their area?

A: Absolutely. I’m happy to help. There is a lot of fine print. As the old saying goes, “The devil’s in the details!” In our next article, we’ll explore:

 the components of a hardship package
 the benefits to a lender
 why lenders prefer to work with REALTORS®
 the truth about loss mitigation companies
 when a short sale isn’t a good idea
 how commissions are paid

I welcome agent questions and comments via email at shortsales@floydwickman.com. I think it’s our job and our responsibility to help protect the American Dream whenever and however we can. I am reminded of a great quote by President Lincoln: “I am a firm believer in people. If given the truth, they can be depended on to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” That’s my passion: to bring people the facts.

Will Weaver has more than 12 years of real estate experience and is a three-time graduate of Floyd’s results-getting training systems. He also is a Floyd Wickman Certified Trainer and Speaker. Will brings an enormous amount of expertise to the field of short sales and truly teaches from experience rather than theory. His work with lenders and sellers in this arena brings him great pride, as he has been able to bring hope to many clients facing tough situations. Will can be reached at 800.910.5351 or shortsales@floydwickman.com. You also can discover the step-by-step methods to your own short sale success by visiting www.floydwickmanshortsale.com, then clicking on Seminars and Coaching.

Julie Escobar is Director of Corporate and Convention Marketing for ProspectsPLUS! and has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience in the real estate industry. If you’d like to find new ways to grow your business, generate effective leads and create a long-term referral base, email Julie today at julie.escobar@prospectsplus.com. You’ll also find a library of her articles at www.prospectsplus.com. While you’re there, sign up for a free monthly e-newsletter by clicking on Master Marketing Newsletter™. 


by Julie Escobar

A funny thing happened on the way to writing this article: There was a raffle at my daughter’s school-the kind where you pay a dollar to win a prize, and someone hands you a ticket and says, “Must be present to win!” Well, that phrase stuck with me as I was talking with agents and managers this month, taking the market “pulse” for this newsletter. So many are living outside of the “now”-caught up in past successes, lugging a full set of “baggage” around or so fearful of the future that they are missing the moments.

The right now. Think about your daily conversations with colleagues, friends and neighbors. How many of those talks revolve around the glory days when the market and economy were both booming or the future “what-ifs” that have so many people paralyzed with fear? While we’re ALL guilty of occasionally having a foot in both of those camps, it’s important to note that life and success are often much like a raffle: You must be PRESENT to win!What we lose. When we live in the future or the past, we rob ourselves of the joy and opportunities of what’s happening right now and our friends and family of sharing today’s experience with us. Many get lost in one or the other and find themselves in a “state of quit,” which quickly translates into not being present in the lives of either their customers or their prospecting base. That, of course, translates into missed business opportunities and referrals, which means less sales, which leads to less commissions, which keeps us locked in the fear of failure. Since none of these options sound like a win-win for anyone, why not join me this month in discovering ways we can be more “present?”

  • Get personal. You got it-get one-on-one with yourself. There are a million self-help books out there that focus on living in the now, and if it were so easy, I guess we’d all be gurus-masters of our own fate. Where do you start without feeling like you need to sink knee deep into the metaphysical? Not that a little enlightenment is a bad thing-it’s just a scary leap for most people.  So for those of you wanting to take “baby steps” and begin living in the present, affirmations are a great place to start.   Being grateful for the here and now-and everything and everyone in it-is key. When you find yourself slipping into the past or projecting into the future, it’s always good to be thankful for what you DO have right now. Write and say the daily affirmations that fuel your thoughts, words and actions. Write them in the present tense, and use them as a trigger for staying in the here and now. Examples include, “I’m grateful for my children, their love and their laughter.” “I’m grateful for today’s opportunity to start over, change people’s lives and learn something new.” “I appreciate the loyalty of my customers and the career longevity that they allow me to have.” It’s very difficult to be stressed and grateful at the same time. Focus on your blessings right now, and discover the joys around you that you’ve been too “busy” to see.
  • Practice acceptance. The Serenity Prayer is a powerful tool with life-changing applications. This “foundation” for millions of people worldwide should be a staple for everyone struggling to get through the daily barrage of changes and challenges before them. Accept the things you cannot change, have the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference. Whatever your belief system, there is a reason why this verse has survived generations, has been reprinted in almost every language and is a cornerstone for individuals and groups around the globe. When we truly accept things, we can let them go and move on. Not a bad thing for those of you lugging around steamer trunks full of baggage! Imagine how much more you could accomplish and how much more joy you could experience without all of that weighing you down!Experience it. This is a good one. How many times do you put something off for another hour, another day, another year? Does that make it go away? Of course not; it just adds it to the burgeoning to-do list that sits on your shoulders and keeps you from enjoying the moment. When a problem arises, fix it, deal with it and accept it.
  • Get it over with. Procrastination only puts MORE in the future-and we’re trying to live in the present here, remember? It’s a little like eating the Brussels sprouts first. The rest of the meal is a cake walk!
  • Do unto others. The law of attraction has received a lot of press lately, and with good reason. People are seeking solutions, trying new ideas on for size and hoping to trade in their high-octane stress levels for a better way. Make it a goal today to do something for someone else; we really do get by giving. The more positive you put into the world, the more it returns positive back to you. Why it works, how it works and when it works is a mystery to most. The bottom line, though, is that it DOES work. So give a smile, lend a hand, create an opportunity for someone, teach a lesson, make someone’s day. You might be surprised at how many smiles, hands, opportunities, lessons and great days come back to you in return.
  • Stop, look and listen. What if you took the childhood rule for crossing the street and applied it to your life today? Stop what you’re doing when your children, spouse, friends, colleagues or customers talk to you. Look at them-not just with a glance, but in a way that lets them know that you are truly paying attention. Then really listen to what they have to say. Imagine the impact that small act could have. It could be an opportunity to hear the accomplishment, question or laugh of your child, the affection of your spouse, the advice of a colleague or the referral of a customer. Now picture the impact on any or all of them. Your attention tells them, “I’m important, I’m cared about, and I’m heard.” Those are no small things on the Richter Scale of relationships.
  • Show up. Not just once, but over and over again. Relationships require attention. You can’t bank on what you’ve done in the past or just have faith that they’ll be there in the future. With family and friends, show up daily. Live in the now, and let them know that this day, this hour you are there for them. You might be surprised at how very much is returned to you in terms of joy, passion and energy- all three of which are necessary to accomplish your goals and dreams.
  • Show up for your customers every month, too. They need to see your face, hear your voice, feel your attention at a time when so many of your competitors are focused on “surviving” or finding another job. Yours will be the number they call when they need help or have a referral.

The “send-call-see” system of BusinessBASE can help you consistently show up and build a book of business that takes you through your career, avoiding the up and down roller coaster felt by so many.  It’s already working for thousands! 

Winning the raffle. The great news about living in the now is that you truly do have the ability to create your own “luck.” By applying some of these principals, you increase your odds of success in business, build better relationships and, most important, enjoy a fuller, richer life. So come on, start this month! Be “present” and win!

To download a FREE copy of our time-tested system for staying in touch with the VIPs in your customer base, visit www.prospectsplus.com, and click on BusinessBASETM. While you’re there, be sure to register for a free demonstration of our new 3-7-27 Agent Branding System for buyers. Smart marketing never looked so easy!

Getting in the door…and staying there to create “customers for life”

By Julie Escobar

We all know that you only get the chance to make a first impression once – right?  So, now is as good a time as any – or better even – to ask yourself, “What impression are you leaving with your customers or potential customers?”

While I believe strongly in the first impression – I am far more impressed with the second, third and twenty-seventh!  As Dan Kennedy would say, “Everyone shows up once!”  The business, referrals and loyalty are won by those sales professionals willing to show up time after time after time.

How?  That seems to be the big question.  Times are tougher, no doubt, and everyone seems to want to more hit the send button on their email than create, stamp and send direct mail.  It’s easier – right?  Well – yes and no.  Faster?  Again, yes and no.  More effective?  The subject of grand debates!

Email vs. Direct Mail.  While, I’ll grant you that email marketing is cheaper – in fact, in many cases:  free – and a viable, necessary part of your overall marketing strategy, it should not be the ONLY component.  Direct mail still is, according to the Direct Marketing Association, the best method of driving web traffic and target-specific response rates.  With short-run capabilities you’ll find with www.postcardsplus.com and other web-to-print solutions, you can send as little as 100 targeted marketing pieces for just $50 for full-color, fully laminated postcards that make an extraordinary first impression.  Now – couple that with the ability to schedule mailings and send them out EVERY month – to your sphere of influence or geographic farm area and you start to deploy the magic of the 3-7-27 Rule of Prospecting. 

Statistics tell us it takes at LEAST three impressions for a consumer to recognize your name, seven to associate your name with your business, and twenty seven for them to like you, know you, trust you enough to do business with them.  So email vs. direct mail?  Truthfully, it’s not – or at least it shouldn’t be an either or proposition.  Take your targeted message, stagger your direct mail with your email and here’s an idea – CALL your prospects or stop and see them every 3-6 months as well and you are well on your way to branding yourself as THEIR real estate or mortgage professional.  Use the Send-Call-See method described in our free, downloadable BusinessBASETM found at www.prospectsplus.com.

Scale back or push forward?  With talk of economic woes and market twists and turns running rampant – many sales agents find themselves fighting or giving in to the urge to completely scale back.  While it makes sense to look at your business as a whole and carefully measure your return and the necessity of each line item on your budget, what doesn’t make sense is to slip into anonymity by eliminating your marketing dollars.  In fact, Billionaire Bill Bartmann, the 27th Richest Man in the United States and author of Eight Ways to Recession Proof Your Business recommends quite the opposite.  Slash expenses, indeed.  Take the waste and the “fat” out of your monthly and annual expenditures wherever and however possible.  With one exception:  Marketing.  Bill’s advice is to dramatically expand your marketing plan.  Why?  Simple – the time is now to swiftly capture the market share being left on the table by every other industry salesperson that has gone into conservation mode to the point where they no longer have a viable, VISIBLE presence in your market area.  Keeping expenses lean in every other area of your business will allow you to SURVIVE the storms.  Expanding your budget and actions in the arena of marketing will ensure you THRIVE not just today, but be the front-runner when the market does indeed take the turn for the better.

We all know it’s harder and MUCH more expensive to attract NEW customers than it is to keep and nurture our current book of business.  In fact, according to Gary Keller’s books, Millionaire Real Estate Agent, you can expect to do business with one out of ever twelve customers in your sphere of influence per year if you stay in touch with them consistently!  So, what are you waiting for?  Start making a great impression today, then do it again next week, next month, all year around!  Your business – and your bottom line – will thank you for it.

Want to learn more about how to generate the right leads for your business, thrive in ANY economy and make a wonderful first, second and twenty-seventh impression?  Visit www.prospectsplus.com today and sign up for our FREE Master Marketing NewsletterTM.  It’s filled with new, innovative and outside the box ideas each and every month!  You may also wish to explore our wide range of web-to-print postcard solutions at www.postcardsplus.com.  It’s a fast, simple, cost effective way to make a good impression without having to spend a lot of time – or money!  Call me today at 800-287-5710 if I can help in any way!

With news of a $7,500 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit spreading quickly across the industry, agents are turning to ProspectsPLUS! for a marketing solution. And they’re finding it in the company’s new Tax Credit postcard series.

“The window of opportunity to take advantage of this incentive is relatively small—from April 9, 2008, to July 1, 2009,” shared Julie Escobar, Director of Corporate Marketing. “We’re excited to help agents nationwide reach out to potential first-time homebuyers in their market areas quickly and effectively.”

The new series is available first on the simple web-to-print platform, www.postcardsplus.com/taxcredit. It also is in the September SupportPLUS! update for ProspectsPLUS! customers and in the next scheduled “impression” for 3-7-27 Agent Branding customers. A free report titled Everything You Need to Know About the $7,500 Tax Credit But Were Afraid to Ask!, along with tips and strategies for effectively utilizing the series, also are included for the more than 60,000 customers of ProspectsPLUS!The initial six postcards are: $7,500 Tax Credit, Build Wealth Now, Credit You Deserve, Do You Qualify?, Paying You! and Tax Credit Refund. Each is designed to capture the interest and garner a response from today’s bargain-seeking consumers. Six additional postcards will follow as the July 1 deadline nears.

The PostcardsPLUS! system allows agents to choose a postcard, upload a mailing list and place an order in minutes. At just $80 per hundred for jumbo and $50 per hundred for standard, full-color postcards are printed, addressed, laminated and mailed first class within 48 hours—making being first in the door with this timely information simple, fast and cost effective. As added incentive to put this or any campaign in motion quickly, orders of 250+ postcards will receive the radial mailing list FREE through September 30, with no limit to the number of leads an agent can receive.

“Agents have such a limited time to capitalize on this unique incentive, we wanted to make it as simple and cost-friendly as possible,” said Director of Operations Jim Studebaker. “By offering lead generation with direct mail, we’re helping agents increase their prospecting pipelines while improving their results.”

“Many agents shut down their marketing and promotion when the economy tightens,” Escobar adds. “Industry experts and business icons such as Bill Bartmann, author of Eight Ways to Recession Proof Your Business, share the opposite advice. Now is the time, they say, to step up and expand your presence in the marketplace—capturing the market share abandoned by inactive or retiring associates.”

Agents can find a variety of postcard series at www.postcardsplus.com. Customized postcards are available for every major real estate franchise and larger independent organizations across North America.

Want to learn more about the inside strategies, upcoming automated product lines and how leveraging the power of direct mail can generate more than $100,000 per client throughout your career? Call Julie Escobar at 866.405.3641 to schedule a FREE Webinar for your office.

Need more marketing ideas? Sign up for our FREE Master Marketing Newsletter™ to have fresh ideas, innovative tools and smart solutions delivered to your “in box” every month! Visit www.prospectsplus.com today, and click on Master Marketing Newsletter™.

With the August 24-27 Keller Williams Mega Camp 2008 quickly approaching, ProspectsPLUS! is gearing up to bring its best and most innovative offerings to Austin, including their highly successful integration of the automated MLSmailings.com product with Keller Williams KWLS System.  Company representatives including President Jim Morton will be on hand for this year’s event to provide live demonstrations, resources and the latest in effective marketing technology. Highlights at ProspectsPLUS! booth #726-728 include: 

  1. 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.  Agents can access each time they take a listing or make a sale directly from their KWLS platform!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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 #726-728 for winning solutions and your FREE Master Marketing Schedule™, Master Recruiting Guide™, invitation for FREE demonstration of the all new, AUTOMATED system to manage your 8×8 and 12-Direct campaigns as well as the entire suite of ProspectsPLUS! 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!