Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Although it depends upon whom you ask, estimates vary about the average length of time a real estate agent stays in their career. Trainer Tom Ferry says that 87 percent wash out within five years and others say that the churn rate is around 95 percent.

If you’re a new agent who hopes to be in it for the long haul or an established one who is facing challenges, read on to understand some of the stumbling blocks you may face and how to overcome them.

Let complacency take hold

When that sense of security settles over you, when you decide that being average is good enough – wake up!

NAR’s member survey claims that fewer than one-fourth of REALTORS® earn more than $100,000 annually. The median earnings, at least according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $44,090.

What’s interesting, is how the business behaviors of the lowest and highest earners differ. Rich agents, for instance, aren’t afraid to spend money. And, no, it isn’t because they have more of it to spend. Most claim that they started their careers with the mindset that “it takes money to make money.”

An Active Rain survey of these agents finds that they spend more of their incomes on tech upgrades and 10 times more on marketing than the poorer agents.

 Refuse to spend money

Remember the NAR member survey we mentioned above? Ever wonder what separates the two groups of earners (aside from experience)?

Those who earn more aren’t afraid to spend the money necessary to set them apart from the rest of the agent-pack in their area.

The wealthier agents spend their money on their websites, their CRM, and email marketing. In fact, this group of agents spends 10 times more on marketing than the lower-earning agents.

Keep hanging on to every last nickel and you’ll fail. It’s as simple as that.

Don’t grasp “When you list, you last”

The holy grail in academia is to publish. It’s one of the few ways to promote yourself as an authority and, thus, further a career. In fact, the admonishment is “Publish or Perish.”

We have one of those in real estate: “When you list, you last.” When you consider that your listings will generate far more clients than your buyers will (if you work them properly), you understand the dictum.

Servicing a listing is also a lot less labor-intensive than working with a buyer. Focusing on listings “will allow you to get what you want a lot faster and allow you to have a life,” according to real estate trainer Knolly Williams.

In his book “Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” Gary Keller claims that listings are vital if you hope to build your business to its highest level, “with the lowest costs and highest net.”

Finally, Matt Williams at Realtor.org challenges agents to walk into any real estate broker’s office and ask to meet their most successful agent. The chances are pretty good, he says, that “you’ll soon be shaking the hand of someone whose income comes mostly from listing.”

How much is “mostly?” The experts recommend that 60 percent of your business should be listings.

 Ignore past clients

One of the most amazing real estate statistics to come out of the NAR is that the majority of real estate consumers (85 percent, according to the latest survey) loved their agent so much that they promised to use them again in the future.

Yet, fewer than 25 percent actually do use the same agent

This is a direct result of a failure to follow up on the agent’s part. The most awesome closing gift ever given won’t make these people remember you five years down the line when it’s time to sell their home. Especially if another agent has been farming them or otherwise getting their name in front of them more often than you do yours.

Inconsistent or non-existent follow-up is like throwing money away and a surefire way to sabotage your business.

Consider this: a 5 percent increase in your client retention rate can bump your income as much as 95 percent, according to research by Harvard Business School.

Don’t neglect others in your sphere of influence, either. According to NAR, as much as 65 percent of your business can come from that pool if you consistently reach out to them.

Don’t worry about how to keep in touch. Put these people on a drip campaign and send out postcards, newsletters, market updates, free reports and anything else that will keep you top-of-mind.

Fail to plan for success

It’s difficult to remain focused on your goals if you lack a plan. Guessing or hoping that you meet your objectives isn’t smart. An assumption of where you stand at any given moment is about as accurate as a Zestimate of a property’s value.

Avoid the hit-or-miss chaos and make a business plan. Yes, it’s boring and yes, it’s time-consuming. There are lots of guides online to help you, but we’re rather partial to the ProspectsPLUS! Real Estate Business Plan.

Don’t accept being an average agent, spend the money it takes to market your business, chase listings instead of buyers, send past clients lots of love, and create and follow a business plan.

THAT is how to ensure your success and tenure in real estate.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

Start going after those listings today!
Send the Take Advantage of the Market postcard from the Listing Inventory Series to at least 100 prospects in an area where you want more listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1.  The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

2. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

3. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them, Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero!

Dean Jackson takes your game up another notch by disclosing the steps to becoming a “Market-Maker”.  Learn how to differentiate yourself, become the wise insider, and disrupt your market.  Dean Jackson is the founder of GoGoAgent and Listing Agent Lifestyle

Reverse your thinking

On a fundamental level, the real estate business consists of finding one person who wants to buy a home and finding one person who wants to sell a home and matching those people up.

Most agents begin focusing on finding a buyer after they get a new listing. In fact, often agents are only focused on getting listings because their belief is they need these listings to be able to find buyers.

But what if you reversed this thinking? What if instead of matching buyers and sellers, listing by listing, you become a Market-Maker who’s truly controlling your market?

Bring what the seller REALLY wants

How powerful would it be to show up at a competitive listing appointment with a buyer who already wants to buy the house or a list of people who are interested in a house like their home?

There is nothing more powerful than this position because you’ve got the very thing that the seller wants more than anything.

Even if you brought this buyer to an appointment where the seller was thinking of listing with their mother, if all they had to do was sign with you and their house was sold, mom would be out.

Yeap, they would sell their mother out in a second because self-interest always wins, and their self-interest is to find a buyer.

That’s an extreme example but I guarantee you if you line up the four best listing presentations in your marketplace to compete against and you arrive with a buyer who says, “How much would you like for the house?” and “I’ll take it,” nobody’s getting that listing but you.

When you see listing appointments from this perspective, it makes the most sense to focus on already having buyers whenever possible. It will always give you an advantage on the listings.

A case study

As an internal case study, I spent some time running my “Getting Listings Program” with the intent of find lakefront home sellers in Winter Haven (where I live). At the same time, I marketed home and land ads for buyers looking for lakefront homes.

It wasn’t too long before I received responses from interested parties.

One of those responses was a phone call from someone who’d seen my marketing about the “new lakefront homes that were coming onto the market”. He told me he sold his house in Stuart and was looking for a lakefront home in Winter Haven.

Then literally within an hour of getting that call, I received an email from a home seller on Lake Ruby. She stated, “I’ve been getting your marketing pieces for the last few months and we’re ready to sell our house.” This house actually was a perfect fit for my buyer from Stuart. It was such a perfect coincidence I couldn’t have scripted it better.

Become the insider

The results of my case study really solidified my understanding that the very best thing you can have in a competitive listing arena is a buyer or access to buyers. While everyone else is talking to sellers about, “Once I list your house we’re going to do this and this, and this to find a buyer”, you are going to set your self apart.

Your talk track will be, “I started looking for the buyer for your house 180 days ago by doing this, and this, and this, and right now I have a pool of these buyers who are looking for homes just like yours”.

To be able to match buyers and sellers up in this way, triangulating them, that’s where true “Market-Making” lies. Now, you’ve got insider information and access to people who are thinking about buying a home, and you’ve got insider information on people who are thinking about selling their home.

All that is left is to match these people up. And that’s where you’re adding value and differentiating yourself because no one else will be attacking a market in this innovative and far-reaching way.

To learn more about the other incredible tools and resources Dean has available for agents go to GoGoAgent.com  and ListingAgentLifestyle.com.
Start collecting your pool of buyers now by sending the When Moving Makes Sense postcard from the Move-Up Market Series to at least 100 prospective buyers.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

 Three Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLSmailings.com – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Want to Refer a friend or colleague? Refer them Here. THEY get a Free $25 Gift Card and YOU become their hero!

New agents, tortured by what feels like an enormously long wait between license application and receipt, typically tend to want to hit the ground running the minute that license is in the broker’s hands.

It’s only natural to want to jet down the runway to success, but how will you get from here to there?

That’s what a business plan is: a roadmap of how to reach your income goals from where you are right now. Once you’re familiar with the real estate terrain, and you know the shortcuts, the map may feel like an unnecessary encumbrance, but it’s not.

Business plans aren’t static and require tweaking as you move up in your real estate career. Your sphere of influence grows, requiring the use of good contact management software. Your personal expenses may change and you will no doubt need to adjust your marketing expenses along the way.

The process of creating a “roadmap for success” for the new agent is a bit challenging, though. I mean, you have no past expenses with which to estimate a budget. How do you plan for marketing when you don’t know how much money you’ll have to play with?

You estimate. It’s that simple.

Map out your first-year goals

Make a realistic determination of where you want to be in your new business by the end of your first year.

This should include both a financial goal (how much money you’ll make) and other goals as well. For instance, your goals may include adding 100 people to your sphere of influence or to come up with a killer listing presentation. A financial goal could be planning to put aside a certain dollar amount to buy additional tools.

Create a budget

To come up with an accurate budget requires understanding your personal as well as business expenses, both fixed and variable.

Start with your personal expenses, such as your house payment or rent, what you pay for utilities, groceries, entertainment and the like. This will give you an idea of the total amount of income you’ll need to cover these expenses.

Determining your business expenses will be a bit more challenging since you have no figures from last year on which to base your assumptions. Breaking these expenses into smaller chunks will help you get a handle on them.

Startup expenses: These include your NAR, state and local association fees, MLS dues, lockbox expenses and the cost of any tools you’ll need to buy to get going (laptop, software, website expenses, etc.).

Marketing expenses: You’ll need to market your business as well as any homes you may list this year. We offer a series of Agent Introduction, Listing Inventory and Just Listed postcards that will get you off on the right foot.

Ongoing expenses: Your automobile gas budget is about to explode now that you are part of the real estate industry. Plan on spending a good deal of your budget on your vehicle – maintenance and gas for starters.

Then, there are your phone, internet, web hosting and the other costs that will recur routinely throughout the year.

How much do you need to make?

This is the trickiest part of your business plan, but the most critical as well. You’ll want to estimate how many sides you’ll need this year to get the money you want to make. This means figuring out how many prospects it will take to get a transaction, knowing the average sales price in the area in which you work and crunching some numbers.

We have put together the perfect simple yet effective business plan worksheet to help you do these calculations. You can find it online here.

Once you know how many listings or sales you’ll need each month to reach your financial goals, you’re on your way to success.

It’s time to introduce your new status to the world (or at least your corner of it).

Send out the Neighborhood Specialist postcard from the Agent Introduction Series to at least 100 new prospects in an area you want listings.

Need help targeting the perfect niche of sellers or buyers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!

PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan.

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan  – Click Here

2. The Free Online ROI Calculator. 

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here  – Click Here

Also…check out these cool tools 🙂

 3 Click Postcards – Just snap a home photo & create a postcard all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand

Nick

We recently linked up with one of Miami’s top Real Estate Agents, Nick “Tiger” Quay.

Nick was nice enough to share his expertise on the latest camera trends and how they’ve become essential to his success. Check out his thoughts on two camera types that have gotten some serious buzz over the past few years.

I run a real estate team in Miami within a highly competitive market. Offering 3D Virtual Tours gives me an edge for sure. As a 4 year owner and avid user of 3D cameras for 3D user controlled virtual tours, I feel they are much more immersive than 360 cameras.

I have closed several deals sight unseen with buyers using 3D, my sellers love it because they know the other listings they are fighting against aren’t getting even half of the actual buyer exposure they are receiving.

“Time is money and this has helped my ROI on listings exceed my own expectations many times.”  


Nick

I was an early adopter in 360 technology as well and received my first camera long before they were available in stores. The differences in the technology are that 3D cameras like the ones I use take thousands of different images and string them together in a seamless environment that enables users to literally walk around a space as if they were there.

“Like many things it’s only as good as the camera operator and editing”.

Most 360 cameras that you’ll see used by agents or hobbyists have 1 or 2 lenses that shoot in a fish eye type format then get stitched together automatically by the cameras software or software on a smartphone.

There are some that start around $2,000 that use 4 lenses which can shoot in gorgeous 4k however they require a much higher skill set to be edited and stitched.  360 cameras can also shoot video so it adds a motion and sound component not available with 3D VR applications.

360 cameras are by far easier to use and much cheaper to get into.


Although 360 videos are a blast, remember they do require some time to edit as well as specialized equipment if you plan to do anything other than shoot and share. I use them for my “quick and dirty” marketing on social media.

360 is fun and a great way to share a new space with others.  I use it quickly to share things that I know my sphere of influence engages with.  It’s a lot of fun and everyone loves the novelty of it as well as feeling included in group photos and activities.

Many of my clients are major techies so showing them things they have seen before, but from a different perspective keeps them interested.

To sum it up, for social media 360 wins and for sales and marketing 3D VR is my go to. It’s really about being creative, loving what you do, and sharing cool things and experiences with others.

As an agent it’s really important to find your niche and know “who” you are. From passions, to experiences, to tech; it’s all relevant and equally as important if you’re truly savvy.

Both 3D VR and 360 tech are major parts of my business and two things that have absolutely contributed to my success.

Make sure to follow Nick on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with the latest real estate tech trends.

 

 

There’s probably little worse in your real estate business than a client who insists on buying fixer-uppers when they have little to no experience with them.

Working incredibly hard for a payday that may not happen isn’t exactly what you signed up for, but there it is.

Experienced buyers may know full well what they’re getting themselves into while first-timers— or those who haven’t been in the market for some time—typically have no idea what to expect.

Sure, they may have heard the fixer-upper horror stories but it isn’t until they’re knee-deep in the process that reality sets in. Most likely, though, they’re Chip and Joanna Gaines fans and can’t wait to get into a process that looks all too easy on TV.

It’s up to you, their professional real estate advisor, to ensure that your clients are prepared.

  1. Yes, location is still important

Counsel your fixer-upper client to consider, carefully, the home’s location.

If you aren’t familiar with the neighborhood, check recent sold prices and look for anything else that might recommend the neighborhood. Is there a Whole Foods or Walmart planned? Those are both indications that the area might be a good investment.

What are the schools like? As much as the current political climate in the nation would like to downplay this aspect of a neighborhood’s desirability, it is still quite pertinent with homebuyers.

Explain to your client how difficult it will be to recoup the money spent to rehab the house if the work increases its value beyond that of other neighborhood homes.

  1. It’s important to know the cost before making an offer

Real estate consumers aren’t privy to your depth of knowledge about everything involved in buying a home and it’s important to be constantly reminding yourself of this.

For instance, how many of your buyers think that the home inspection is the definitive diagnosis of what may be wrong with the home?

The answer to that is, probably, “most of them.”

What many don’t understand is that the inspector only inspects visible areas of the home. Who knows what might be lurking behind the walls or under the kitchen vinyl?

As you know, when buying a fixer, the home inspection is even more important as is the client’s willingness to order extra inspections, if needed.

Get as much information as possible from the inspector, especially about the condition of the home’s major systems and the priciest items to fix (foundation, roof and structure issues).

Because you’ll want to be able to counsel your client on how much to offer for the home, both of you will need to consult with a contractor and obtain a written estimate of how much it will cost to get the home up to snuff (including the price of permits).

Then, tack on some extra.

“Plan for at least one budget-buster by adding an extra 12% to your renovation estimate,” cautions the experts at daveramsey.com.

And, again, if the home, after renovation, is valued higher than similar homes on the block, you and I both know it’s a lousy investment.

  1. Paying for the work

There are a number of ways to finance the purchase of a fixer-upper and which to choose typically rests on the amount of work required. Among the more popular options is Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Renovation loan.

Your client will need a credit score of at least 620 and a minimum 5 percent down payment, but, similar to FHA’s 203(k) program, it combines the cost of the renovation with the cost of the home, so there will be only one loan.

While your client may be familiar with these programs, the loans aren’t as easy to work with as they may believe. The FHA loan, for instance, requires hiring a “qualified 203(k) consultant to oversee every step of the work, from plans to the finished product,” according to Robin Saks Frankel at bankrate.com.

To get approved for the HomeStyle loan, your client will have to hire a contractor to put together a detailed cost estimate.

Then, there are a number of other tedious hoops to jump through during the rehab process. Ensure that your client knows all there is to know about his or her preferred financing method.

For buyers on a budget, a fixer can mean being able to buy a larger home, for others, it’s a chance to purchase something that they can customize to their tastes and lifestyle.

Walk them through the process to help ensure they know what they’re getting into so there are no surprises down the line.Move up market real estate postcards

Send the 6 Move-Up Mistakes Postcard from the Move-up Market Series to at least 100 prospects in an area where you would like more buyers.

PLUS: Whenever you have a moment…here are 3 things to check out that will help you CRUSH IT in 2018!

1. The Free 2018 Real Estate Business Plan

Treat your business like a business it is vital to long-term success in this industry. Some agents may put together elaborate business plans, yet there’s something powerful about keeping it simple. Check out our one page Online Real Estate Business Plan – Click Here

2. The Online ROI Calculator

Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here

3. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan

The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here

Also…check these out 🙂

3 Click Postcards – Just snap, tap, send all from your mobile phone

MLS Mailings – Automated Just Listed, Just Sold Postcards

Market Dominator System – Become a neighborhood brand