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Weekly Meeting

Last week I went to one of my weekly meetings.  Recently we have had some guest speakers.  The people who have come in to speak with us have been realtors who have been in the business for on average 20 years.  These are the realtors who are top producers and have really seen it all.

I have felt incredibly lucky to have been able to get in front of these people and hear what their experiences have been like.  The wealth of knowledge I have attained from these individuals has been priceless.

This last meeting really stuck out for me.  We had a woman who came in and discussed her views on how she runs her business.  The part of her discussion that really hit home for me was when she talked about her attitude towards her clients.

I had just come off of a week where I had put in some serious time with a renter.  They had finally found a home they loved.  After submitting their application to the owner, they were accepted as the renter for that property.  The client spent a few days dragging their feet while this owner had pulled her listing from the market.  In the end, I received an email stating that they had decided to go with a different home.

I have no idea if there was really a different home.  I don’t know if they had another realtor they were working with on the side or if they had worked with someone renting out their own home.  The hardest part of the experience was not knowing the true circumstances behind the change of heart.  I just had to accept what had happened, wish them luck and move on.

At the meeting, the realtor had spoken of some highlights she had with clients and some of the rough moments.  What had happened with my client was far from unique.  It has happened to every realtor at one point or another.

The realtor who addressed the group was a mild-mannered person.  She reminded me in many ways of the way I look at things and how I choose to handle them.  She is resigned to the fact that things will happen that won’t be of benefit to you.  It is the nature of the business.  It brings up the question of are you happy enough in the business that you are ok helping someone out even if it doesn’t result in a sale?

The realtor made an excellent point that really brought the whole discussion full circle.  Realtors (for the most part) really aren’t sales people.  Realtors are consultants.  People are making huge financial and emotional decisions.  It is not up to us to decide what works for them.  It is are job to show them options and support their decisions.

I look at it like this.  If you go to the department store for a new outfit, you might have a salesperson assisting you.  They are there to show you options.  They give you a selection of wardrobe pieces to try on.  The salesperson can go on and on raving about an outfit and how you must get that particular item.  If the price is too high, you don’t like the color, you can’t imagine where you would wear such an outfit or you feel the garment isn’t a good fit, you most likely will look elsewhere.  It doesn’t matter how hard the salesperson tries to convince you to buy it.  Their job is to consult and give options.  If a sale is made, great!  The salesperson, to be good at their job and be able to enjoy their job long-term needs to be happy as a consultant no matter what the outcome.  If not, they will burn out.  They will no longer enjoy their job.

I got into this business because I like assisting others.  I like getting to know different people and feeling as though I have helped them in a very personal decision in their life.  As far as I am concerned, money is the bonus you receive on occasion when everything falls into place.  It’s the only way to look at this business if you are in it for the long haul.  If money is something you feel desperate to get every time you meet a new client, the deals are just going to fall apart.

People are savvy.  There are a million realtors out there.  When a decision is this big, a customer needs to feel a sense of trust and loyalty.  Your intentions must be pure.  You want to help them find what’s best for them.  The moment your needs come before theirs, you are no longer servicing them as you should.

This in my opinion is the way this business must be looked at.  You are a consultant and are in this business to assist others in what is important to them, period.

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Posted by on November 18, 2012 in advice, career, opinion

 

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The Psychology of the Client

Not too long ago I was working with a family who was looking for a home to rent.  I understand making sure you have the perfect home to buy.  Possibly going round and round comparing different homes to make triple sure that the home will make you happy for years to come.  I never realized that people might get this wrapped up in a rental that they could walk away from in as little as 6 months.

Look, for those of you who are looking to make real estate your career, rentals are time-consuming and will not make you any money.  The way a rental works for your commission is one months rent is divided between you and the other realtor.  On top of that, it is divided again between you and the company you work for.  When all is said and done, you might walk away with $200.  When you figure the amount of time it took to look at homes and the miles on your car and the gas, it really is a losing proposition.

The way I choose to look at rentals is that there are many people in bad situations who need to get back on their feet.  Helping them out makes me feel good.  Another thing to keep in mind is that some day they might want to buy a home.  If you clicked with your client, the possibility that they will call you again is good.  All in all, it’s about looking at yourself and deciding how you want to promote yourself.  Do you want to be seen as someone who puts people before the money?  Or, do you want to be seen as a person who is all about the money and the people don’t matter?

Back to my story.  So this family has looked at 12 properties at least in a three week time span.  The third home they saw they liked enough to put in their paperwork and see if they would get approved.  Not only did they get approved, but the owner of the property was willing to make some major adjustments for their comfort.  Example, they were willing to paint the rooms colors that the family would find to their liking (currently the walls in the entire home are white).

Well, for some reason after getting everything that they had asked for, it was almost like they couldn’t believe their luck and had to test it.  They became determined to see ever property possible before the day we had scheduled for the owner and renter to finalize the paperwork.  It got so out of hand that they wanted to see properties that didn’t even slightly meet the criteria of what they had been looking for.  The home would be much smaller than what they were willing to live in or there wasn’t as many bathrooms and bedrooms as they needed.

Towards the end, a desperateness overcame them.  I began receiving emails before 8:00am.  Within 15 minutes, I would get another email asking why I hadn’t replied to the original email.  The emails went on past 11:00pm in the evening.  I had maintained a good repore with the family.  Even so, I had trouble keeping their emotions in check.

The paperwork for the rental originally chosen hasn’t been finalized yet.  The last conversation I had with the family was in regards to driving the 30 minutes to the home they might rent just to look at it from the outside to make sure they still liked the way it looked from the street.  At this point, I was working with another client and had to mention to the family that the home was vacant and there would be no problem if they chose to look at the front of the property on their own.

I am hoping that the family realizes that this really was the best home they had seen.  That they are lucky to be dealing with a landlord who is so willing to accommodate them.  Only time will tell how the situation will unfold, but it is a new lesson for me in learning how to deal with the psychology of people in all sorts of situations.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in advice, career, opinion, people, personal

 

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Once You Find the Home, Give Yourself a Moment to Relax

This scenario has played out time and time again.  I will show a client several homes. They will find a home that makes them happy.  An offer will be submitted.  If it takes more than a few hours to hear from the sellers, the buyer gets antsy and wants to look at some more homes.

I’m not sure why this occurs, other than to think that the adrenaline is running and they just need to keep moving.  Each time this has occurred, a desperateness seems to take over.  People will ask to see homes that are not at all what they are looking for.  They will view the home and walk out disappointed.  There is just this need to confirm that the home they picked is the right one and all other homes are awful in comparison.

I have not seen this scenario ever work out well for my clients.  It’s not like the additional homes they view thrill them and make them doubt their decision.  I guess that in the mind of a buyer, they need to prove to themselves that what they chose is definitely the best choice.

If I could relay a piece of advice to buyers who get antsy, it would be to relax.  Look, you’ve done a lot of research, and spent many days running around checking out multiple homes.  In the end you will drive yourself crazy with self-doubt.  Take a moment to stop and feel the excitement of the home you fell in lpve with.  Remember what it was about that home that thrilled you.  If by some chance the deal falls through, there are many more homes just waiting to be snatched up.

Buying a home is an expensive proposition.  It’s a life changing event.  Give yourself a break when you decide on a home.  There is a reason why the home you chose was right for you.  If you have second thoughts, it’s better to face it head on and figure out why the home might not be the one.  By knowing what you don’t want and what will work for you makes going out and looking for a different home more successful.  If you just aimlessly continue to run around and view homes while you are waiting for an answer, it won’t serve any  purpose other than to frustrate you.

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2012 in life, opinion, people, thoughts

 

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Taking Charge of My Style

In the last post I wrote of finding your personal style.  Staying true to yourself in my opinion makes the difference between a successful salesperson who will enjoy their career for many years and the robotic salesperson who will dread their job and burn out quickly.

Since firmly deciding that I would concentrate on my own voice and what I know works for me, I have been feeling more comfortable and excited again about my career choice.  I have to admit, I was losing my focus and enthusiasm from a forced effort to accommodate my trainer’s ideal of the “proper” way of cultivating a sales career in real estate.  Their way of going about gaining clients might very well work for them, but it made me feel slimy.

I have spent the week reworking my schedule and tweaking some things to announce that I am a real estate agent smartly without any sales pressure attached to it.  The first thing I did, was to put in a good signature on my emails.  Sounds obvious, but it was something that was never discussed in my program, but carries a definite punch.  I made sure that my signature contained the name and address of my office, my cell number, email address and personal website.  I also made sure to include my picture.

I got to see the power of this unassuming way of advertising when I wrote a few emails this week.  One of the emails I wrote was to a group of parents at the school regarding a volunteer opportunity.  It was wonderful to be able to announce what my career was to my target audience in a way that caused no one any amount of uneasiness.

This week has been my volunteer week.  To get out in front of people is priceless.  On top of that, I get to enjoy what I’m doing.  Volunteering feels great.  I love being able to do something good, enjoy how I’m spending my time and mention what I do for a living in the most unassuming way.  This weekend I will be volunteering at a city event.  My sales pitch is nothing more than some brightly colored football schedules printed on some heavy-duty card stock.  In the top corner of each schedule is my picture and office information.  That’s it!  $14.00 for 250 sheets of card stock, .25 per colored copy, total spent, $26.50.  Truly an easy sales pitch with a very minimal amount of money spent.  I will have a pile of free schedules at the information booth I will be working.  No mention of the schedules will be made.  People can take one if they are interested.  If it creates a conversation, great!  My picture is on the schedules so it is obvious that I am the realtor.

This brings up a point I’d like to touch on briefly.  I am very careful with the amount of money that leaves my pocket.  I know some agents who have spent a fortune on fancy products to make them more efficient and systems to help them increase their sales.  They have done no better gaining leads or making sales than me.  I have spent to date just under $50.00.  Besides the card stock, there was some office supplies I bought (because it is your own business in a sense and office supplies are up to you).

In the end, as I am wrapping up my week, I am feeling good about my decision and my new plan of action.  I have a feeling of excitement which will translate to a happy, confident person when faced with potential customers.  I will let you know how this new plan of action works out.  I hope my experience has helped you consider how you would like to approach your own potential customers. Also, please think carefully about purchases you make and if they are really worth it.

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in advice, job, life, opinion, style, thoughts

 

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Embracing Your Personal Style

I feel like agents at my office are often times on similar wavelengths.  This last week I had some similar conversations with a few different agents.  What made the experience unusual was that the subjects were brought up to me in the course of the conversation by the other person.  You know that feeling where you say, “that’s so funny, I just had that same conversation with so and so.”  Yeah, that was me last week.

As some of the newer realtors are becoming more comfortable, me included, the subject of selling style has come up.  I love the different types of people who work at my office.  The personalities are fabulous.  There are boisterous, outgoing types of agents.  I know some laid back go with the flow never rattled types.  There are the magnetic personalities of the polished professional and so on.

I love that as a new agent there are opportunities to learn about different ways of going after business.  It’s always fortunate to be in a position to learn ways of doing business that have never occurred to you.  Unfortunately, I think that sometimes people can have a very narrow focus on what does and does not fit as a selling tool for each individual person.

Everyone is different.  I personally embrace this concept and I’m grateful to know this to be true.  If not, I would be dreadfully bored by the sameness in each person.  As different as each person is, so to is their style of approaching their career as a real estate agent.  Look there is no one size fits all method.  The wise person is aware of this.  They are the ones that are open-minded to different techniques, try them out, and then settle into the fit that is most comfortable and authentic to them.  You need to be true to yourself by maintaining your personal integrity and the way you are comfortable doing business.  You should want to be proud to announce that you are a real estate agent.  If you can’t find your rhythm and personal style, you will come across as artificial and cold.  People respond to truth, values and care.  When you are able to find a way to do business that maintains those abilities, you will find success.  Authenticity is everything.

So my advice is to find your personal style.  That style that says this is who I am and this is how I lead my life. I do believe that you will be happier for it.  I also believe that you will attract like-minded individuals who appreciate your style.  This is a win-win situation in that you will enjoy what you are doing, how you approach your career and will get enjoyment from the people who are attracted to your style.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2012 in advice, career, lifestyle, opinion, people, style

 

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What a Difference a Generation Makes

Yesterday I went to a class that I was required to take as a new Real Estate Agent.  I had just signed up to be a member of the National Realtors Association a month ago and this was the orientation class.

The class was completely filled up and there were three other people I knew from the office who were also in the orientation class with me.  In the class we discussed ethics and navigation of some different websites.  The class was long and rather dull, until the teacher started discussing the difference buying habits of different generations of people.

What she mentioned was not only interesting, but so relatable, I thought I would share it with you.

Different Generations:

People in their 60’s:  These are the people who grew up learning how to cut coupons, sew clothing and in general pinch pennies.  You can expect to see a drawer of saved bread bags, used cool whip containers for storing food and a freezer packed with meals that are labelled and ready to cook for a meal.  Homes were comfortable with the emphasis on having a dining room, the untouchable living room for company only, and the family room.

People in their 50’s:  These are the people who had to buy and buy big.  They bought the mcmansions, took the vacations, ran up the credit cards and competed to keep up with the neighbors.  17% interest rates didn’t matter.  They wanted all the things they never had growing up.

People in their 40’s:  These are the people who tried to have it all and then the economy tanked.  Going back to school became a popular option as people had to go out and reinvent themselves.  These were the people who had quite a bit and then lost almost all of it when the economy nose-dived.

People in their 30’s:  These are the kids who grew up having everything.  The parents made sure that their children were spoiled and living well.  These kids are the generation that are still ok buying the big homes.  Having a two-story foyer that sucks up a lot of the utility costs trying to heat or cool it doesn’t concern them.  A $400.00 utility bill is par for the course.

People in their 20’s:  These are the cautious kids.  They watched their parents go from everything to nothing.  These kids are very environmentally savvy and want their homes to have tech items like solar panels that can save them money.  These kids are taking their time moving out of their parents homes.  When they do move out, they are cautious with their money and aren’t looking for a big place.  These kids will not be house poor.  A small home with a smaller house payment is what suits them.

Hope this post was relatable and fun to compare to your own experiences. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2012 in life, lifestyle, opinion, people, personal, real estate, thoughts

 

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Another Week at the Office

I need to mention right off, I Love My Job!!! I am so excited about my career choice and feel like it is a great fit for me.  I have been amazed at the attitude of my office.  Everyone has gone out of their way to introduce themselves, answer questions and show support.  I have never had such a welcoming experience and I feel extremely lucky.

I have attended a few meetings this week and the manager of the office has taken me under her wing.  She has scheduled weekly meetings with me to get me familiar with all of the paperwork that I will need to know inside and out.  Things are definitely beginning to fall into place.

I will be signing up for a 3 day class (8hrs each day) that will further prepare me for my life as a realtor.  Some of the subjects covered will be handling social media and how to get more exposure, understanding the contracts that you will fill out and how to set up your business.

My only frustration has been that I want to know it all yesterday and want to jump in and get moving.  I guess you could say I’m slightly impatient.  On the good side, I definitely don’t feel overwhelmed.  The pace has been fantastic.  I am comfortable with what I have learned so far and look forward to what’s to come.  Thanks for stopping by.  More information will be posted as it develops. 🙂

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in career, job, real estate, thoughts

 

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