3 Lucrative Summertime Activities for Realtors

Focus on these Simple Real Estate Activities to Keep your Business Rolling this Summer

Businessman shoesSummer is the time of year where the  real estate business can be good for agents but it also holds the temptation to let the foot off the”gas” and enjoy the summer lifestyle.

My message this summer to my REALTORS® is… “keep real estate simple and focus on these summertime real estate activities that have the highest return and allow yourself the freedom for a little summer time fun while doing what works.”

If you think about it there are only a few things a real estate agent can do today that could possibly turn into a sale.

#1 Profitable Summertime Real Estate Activity:
Take a sale-able Listing

If you price your listings right and they are in their sweet spot they should have a good chance of turning into a sale for you today or in the near future.

Most agents feel they are at their best when they are doing face to face activities to create a listing opportunity for themselves.

My list of effective face to face ideas for getting a listing:

  • CoffeeU-wordt-persoonlijk-te-woord-gestaan
  • Lunch
  • Door knock a new listing or sale
  • Door knock an open house invite
  • Real estate mall kiosk,
  • Work an office floor shift
  • Open house
  • Networking event
  • Pop by gifts for past clients
  • Business to business meeting
  • Calling your database and touching base

#2 Profitable Summertime Real Estate Activity:
Re-position an Existing Seller for a Price Reduction

With a good price reduction the home will be in the sweet spot and will now have a good chance of turning into a sale for you today as well. Meet face to face with the seller and focus on the 2 emotions that move people.

Pain or Pleasure…

Focus on what they are running from or what they are running to.

Move them to reduce their home and get on with their goal they set with you when they first listed their home. Take the time to share with the seller some other ideas they could do to make their home more appealing like a yard makeover, pre-home inspections, third party appraisals, professional photography, painting, de-cluttering or one of my personal favorites a “Dutch Auction”.

A Dutch Auction is when the seller agrees to market their home where it will be reduced a specific amount every week until it is sold. For example, “This home will be reduced $5,000 a week until it is sold.”

You can market this in MLS comments, ads and online. The idea is to create some interest and buzz on the property and have a buyer put in an offer before the price lowers and someone else buys the listing instead.

#3 Profitable Summertime Real Estate Activity:
Create a Buying Opportunity for Someone Today

One question I ask my agents is… “What is the best buy, address and price for a first time buyer, move up buyer, downsize buyer, new home buyer, investment buyer, luxury buyer or fix and flip buyer?”

Most agents have no clue.

The next question I ask them is “who are you telling about the buying opportunities in the market?”

Take the time and find the best buys in the active buyer categories of your market.

Find the best method to get those buying opportunities in front of people.  Is it a flyer, newsletter, email, phone call or a social media posting?

Contact your past clients and say something like this… “I have no reason to believe you are in the market for another home but I came across these great real estate buys and thought you may know a friend or family member who is looking… if so call me with their name and number and I will follow up with them about this excellent opportunity.”

In order to be able to blast these real estate buying opportunities you need to be connected to as many people as you can to begin with. Get names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and connect on social media pages with as many people as possible.

What do you think your chances of creating a buying opportunity would be with a Facebook post like.“Deal of the day. Foreclosure sale of waterfront property in prime residential area for under $750,000 dollars. Call me for details”?

I hope you enjoy your summer and that you are able to keep your real estate business simple and profitable using these 3 incredibly lucrative activities.

 

Real Estate Agents and the Power of 80/20 Thinking

20 percent of effort leading to 80 of results - Pareto principleIn 1897 — Vilfrerin Pareto, Italian economist, discovers that 20% of the world’s population enjoys 80% of the world’s wealth. He later confirms the 80/20 principle is at work in most areas of life — 20% of land produces 80% of the food,
20% of plants produce 80% of the oxygen,
20% of motorists cause 80% of accidents,
20% of beer drinkers drink 80% of all beer,
20% of people who marry are involved in 80% of all divorces,
20% of clothes in a person’s closet are worn 80% of the time,
20% of carpets get 80% of the wear and
we spend 80% of our time in 20% of our house.
The 80/20 Concept later called the Pareto’s Principle, the 80/20 Rule or the Principle of Least Effort.

This same principle can be adapted to our real estate businesses by being able to distinguish the “Vital Few” from the “Trivial Many” that we do real estate with. Ask yourself this very important question. “What are the vital few that will give me the greatest results for my time and energy invested? What are the 20% of my real estate activities that will yield 80% of my desired results?”

Then we need to Focus on them!!  Focus

Finding and doing the “Vital Few” is leverage for our careers and we do more each day of what works; avoid what doesn’t work and eliminate low dollar activity time. Literally you should start a “stop doing list.”

Here are some examples to kick start your “stop doing list” today.

1) Unmotivated Sellers
2) Overpriced listings that don’t sell
3) Over duplication
4) Unnecessary processing
5) Unnecessary movement of people — e.g. showing buyers more homes than necessary
6) Unnecessary movement of goods
7) Waiting/unnecessary meetings/meetings that focus on “the trivial many”
8) Designing goods and services which do not meet user needs.

Agents should be shifting and practicing 80/20 Thinking. So how do we practice 80/20 thinking in real estate?

Let us start by looking at your business and what gives you the biggest bang ROI for your time.

  • Top sources of business?
  • Top types of customers — buyers, sellers, investors?
  • Top types of activities — listing, selling, prospecting?
  • Top skills/systems that work (or don’t work)?
  • What are my highest income/hour activities?

Then the next steps you take is to find your niche – something you enjoy and are good at in real estate.

  •  What activities do you enjoy in this business?
  •  What activities are you good at?
  •  What are you not good at? Are you willing to learn?
  •  If you don’t enjoy doing the “vital few” are you willing to do it anyway? Delegate it? Hire someone to do it?
  •  Ask yourself maybe is it time to change careers?

After determining your highest return on investment sources and where you are at your best in real estate then each day write out and focus on your “Daily and weekly Goals and To Do Lists” with 80/20 Thinking and focus on your “Vital Few”.Post-It-To-Do-List

Always remember that life has no rehearsals, only performances. Time is life. Time (life) is our most valuable asset. 80/20 thinking can save you time. 80/20 thinking can save your life! 80/20 thinking can save your real estate career and from all of us burning out.

I trust everyone takes action and implements this powerful principle into their real estate business and shift you in control of your time and real estate career and not real estate in control of you and your time.

 

Learn the Art of Seller Counselling – 9 Tips.

In the early 90’s when I first started in the real estate business it seemed like every seller counselling session I had for the first five years of my career was about Mr. And Mrs. Seller paying too much, needing too much or wanting too much.  images

N.A.R. reports that around 80% of people don’t use the same real estate agent more than once because they never hear from their agent again after the sale or after giving the agent their listing.

Another common reason we hear is “We felt our real estate agent really didn’t do that much for us.”

When we are getting paid a large sum of money for our services, isn’t it fair for the seller to expect some kind of advisement and service throughout the process before, during and after?

  • Establish a plan – clearly set out for the seller the level of communication they can expect from you throughout the process. Then exceed that expectation. Kill them with communication.
  • Don’t focus on their price, rather focus on determining what their hot button for selling truly is. All of us are motivated by either pain or pleasure. How many of us have asked our sellers a minimum of 7 deep questions to find out their true desire for moving? It is always about something they are running to or running from and they consistently need to be reminded of that pain or pleasure button. That is how we “move them” to want to sell and not choosing to stay.
  • When nothing is happening, this is the time we communicate even more! How many of us have nothing to say and therefore just choose not to communicate with our seller? There is always something to say… you just need to find it.
  • Prepare and educate the seller in advance of the paradigm shift in virtual showing vs. the physical showing in today’s market. With the use of modern technology we are able to qualify even better than before and allow the buyer to virtually tour your home and not have to waste your time with so many physical showings to find the right buyer. Saves you from them getting upset about having fewer than expected showings.
  • Show them your system for pre qualifying the prospect. I truly believe they hire us to market to cooperating agents who have the buyers and qualify them and qualify any other buyer before they enter the seller’s home. I would show the seller a list of questions I would ask to prospective agents and buyers qualifying them prior to viewing their home.
  • Have them come in weekly, bi weekly or worse case scenario 3 weeks and sit down to discuss online activity like website traffic. Share with them all the marketing that has taken place in the past and what is planned moving forward in the future. Discuss sign calls, ad calls and any other leads that have been generated on their home from your marketing efforts.
  • Review a classic sales tool from Floyd Wickman called the Saleability Checklist. Every week share with your seller a creative idea or two that they could possibly implement to help their listing become more saleable other than lowering their price from this fantastic checklist. They hired you to be the creative marketing expert and dropping their price is not what they had in mind. For example, suggest to them a technique from the list called a “Dutch Auction” where you would agree to create a market buzz by pre signing price reductions for every week for an agreed upon amount until the home is sold. Buyers become interested in the listing watching the price drop week after week until finally a buyer pulls the trigger before they feel it sells to someone else first. Although a Dutch Auction involves asking the seller for a price reduction, this technique at least is actual creative marketing that can create a buzz and interest around a property. If explained properly this can offer the seller hope and get them excited again, whereas simply telling them to drop their price is frustrating and discouraging.
  • Take the seller and play the game by David Knox called “The price is right”. You tell them you are picking them up for a ride and that you are buying coffee and dessert. Drive them by the 3 most recent sales similar to theirs and read them the feature sheet and show them interior photos but don’t tell them the sale price and let them guess the final sale price for each. Then take them to preview the top 3 homes for sale that compete directly with theirs and again don’t let them know the asking price until you come back to the car. After the 6 homes and the price is right game then go for coffee and desert and discuss how they feel their home compares to what they just saw.
  • My final tip is to review all this information and really deliver value to the seller in all your seller counselling sessions during the listing period. I always ask them these very important questions…

1) What do you think we should be doing different?
2) What should we be doing next, moving forward?
3) What are we waiting for and why are we not doing anything about it?

  • I then pull out 2 forms and a pen. One paper is a price reduction form and the other a listing cancellation form. I explain to them that I cannot afford to disappoint them and fail them at selling their home and I need them to either reduce their price or release me of my responsibility of selling their home.

I hope you find these tips and the checklist incredibly helpful with your seller counselling  and begin to sell more homes and not just list more homes. We are in the business of selling homes and not just listing them and you want to be known for the selling.