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Real Estate is a Numbers Game

So it’s January and I am starting to see some movement again.  People are looking towards the future and planning moves for the spring (once it gets a little warmer).  Mixed in with clients who are serious about looking at buying a new home are the dreamers.  These are the people who wish to move, but because of any number of personal issues, now is just not the right time for them.

Being a real estate agent, it is important to know who is serious and who will just spin your wheels.  I have had some back to back situations recently where I began working with some people who were in no way able to seriously consider moving.

How do you know when a person is not a good client to take on?  Below is a quick list of signs that might give you pause in deciding to work with someone.

1.  The customer is unwilling or continuously puts off getting their pre-approval or credit report.

Serious buyers will make sure everything is in place before they begin to look.  They know that if they find their dream home, they will want to put in an offer right away.  The market is moving quickly.  Homes won’t last until you have been pre-approved.

2.  You only get an email or a phone number, but not both.  

I have found that these are people who really just want some quick information, but aren’t serious about looking for a home.

3.  The customer’s list of expectations in a home isn’t reasonable.

I have spoken with people who want a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home in an upscale neighborhood for less than half the price of what any home in that neighborhood would go for.  I have also dealt with the people who think they can pick up a foreclosure at a rock bottom price in perfect move in condition.

4.  There is no time line and they are incredibly vague,

They don’t know what they will do with their current residence, how much they are able/willing to spend and what area they are interested in looking at.

5.  They are working with a realtor, their family is full of realtors or their friend is a realtor.

I have been surprised when during the course of a conversation, I am able to find out they already have a realtor.  I will hear the excuses that the realtor is dragging their feet or they just want to look at this one property.  If you have a realtor, I will not be able to help you.

I also get the customers who let me know how many realtors they know.  They won’t say why they won’t work with them, but they tend to challenge what information you give them and after finding out about a specific question (how much their home is worth, or just wanting to check one property) they end up with the realtor they already know.

I was talking with one of the agents at work about the cycle of real estate.  It seems that I will have a dry spell, then get a bunch of potential clients that fall into the above range and then finally get a group of serious buyers. The agent I spoke with put it this way, real estate is a numbers game.  Expect to go through 12 customers before you hit on the serious buyer.

As someone who is used to traditional sales where each person lost is money lost, I have had to change my perspective.  I can’t look at each interaction that falls through as money lost, but instead I must look at it as each lost person brings me closer to the serious client.

For anyone out there who is just starting out in real estate, I hope this information is not only helpful, but will help to take some of the pressure off of you.  I would also like to mention that for every example above, there are clients that will pan out.  The important thing is to be able to ask valuable questions and really pay attention to not only the words, but also the actions of the potential client.  It doesn’t matter if they are serious or not, people will reveal themselves.  The tips above just might move the process along faster for you.

Here’s another great article you might like:

http://www.trulia.com/email/anews/pro.truliablog.com/sellers/7-psychological-red-flags-to-sellers-that-will-cost-you-money

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Posted by on February 5, 2013 in advice, business, career planning

 

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Reorganize and Set New Goals

This time of year is always busy.  There is Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years all back to back.  Personal obligations increase as family stops in from out-of-town, there are holiday parties to attend and endless amounts of shopping.  Even during the craziness of the season, my mind drifts back to where I am at in my real estate career.

I have been doing a lot of soul-searching about what I have accomplished so far in my career and what I would like to see happen this next year.  I have definitely gotten my feet wet by renting out properties and listing and selling a home.  I feel more comfortable with the mounds of paperwork and the knowledge of what is the correct protocol while working with a client.  With the uneasiness of so many new experiences behind me, I can now concentrate on what I have learned and what areas I need to tweak.

My biggest pitfall was getting so wrapped up in the activity of working with several clients at once, that promoting myself fell into the background.  I felt overloaded and had difficulty juggling the task of continuing to get my name out there.  I did hand out flyers and send out emails, but now that I am wrapping up some deals, I have little on my plate to work with.

I am looking forward to the fact that December is a little bit of a quieter month.  I need to reorganize all of my paperwork and come up with a better filing system.  I need to sit down and tear apart all that I have done to make a solid career out of real estate and plan a new way of going after business.

I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had.  I am thrilled that I work for a company that has weekly training seminars that help you on your path.  Ideas are always fresh this way.  We have had so many different people come and speak with us at these meetings.  Truly, that is my favorite part of these meetings.  I love to hear from so many different personalities.  There are so many ways to go after business, and it’s great to pull a little bit of an idea from one person and a little more from someone else.

By the time January hits, I will be running full force again.  I will have completed my work makeover and will feel organized.  I will have a plan in place and some extra confidence to back me up.

Have you considered where you are at with your own career?  Have you ripped apart your way of going after business and restructured your plans?  I believe in keeping things fresh.  If you spend too many months working one system, you will get bored and a bit lazy.  I believe that every now and then you should shake up your system.  Reevaluate where you are at and what you want to accomplish.  Success is there for the taking.  Being mindful of what your weaknesses are and adjusting your plan of action can be the difference between success and failure.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in advice, career, how to

 

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Where Should you Work?

As I have been working in real estate, I have gotten some offers to join other companies.  I have had 2 companies I have never heard of reach out by email and ask if I might be interested in looking into their companies.  I have had a real estate agent ask me if I was interested in being a buyer’s agent for her.  I have also had an upscale real estate firm dangle an offer for me to work at their office which is smack in the middle of a city I am farming heavily.  This company would have been ideal because of the location, training from an extremely high level producer and the introduction into selling high-end homes.  I have to admit, the last offer had me tempted to jump ship where I was at.

What is interesting is that I have only been in the business since July.  I have seen my career start to gain some speed, but let’s face it, I am brand spanking new.  Really too new to make an educated decision on what is best for me and my career at this time.

Although these offers have been flattering, the practice of grabbing up agents from other companies as I have come to find out is nothing new.  Several agents in my office have been asked to join other companies.  In the end, we all stayed.

I was in the office the other day, mulling over the last offer.  As I walked around the office gathering paperwork for some appointments I had over the weekend, I really paid attention to the environment I was in.  The people I work with are all incredibly friendly.  I feel close to many of the other agents.  Lets face it, no matter where you work, being able to enjoy the company of your fellow employees is a big deal.

I had some questions for the manager about the way some paperwork was written up.  She was more than happy to put everything aside and answer my questions.  She is always incredibly enthusiastic and wonderful to go to when you are unsure of something.

I had an agent who was busy and offered me a listing they didn’t have time to work on.  All in all, it felt like home.  I have carved out a nice place to build my business.  I work with great people, the atmosphere is laid back and positive.  I would be crazy to leave a place that makes me happy when I walk through the door.

There will always be time to look into what might be a bigger and better opportunity later once I am able to go about my business without doubts or questions.  If I work at my business and really put my heart and soul into accomplishing success in this career, I should have the opportunity to go after the business I desire without the jolt of moving to another company.

I’m bringing all of this up because as a new realtor, if you are doing well, the offers will start to come in to jump ship.  Before letting your ego run your decision for you, take a step back and look at what you have created.  Are you happy when you walk into your office?  Are the resources you need to succeed there at your fingertips?  Do you have the support of management when you are unsure of something you are working on?  Do your fellow employees treat each other well and work as a team instead of running each other over?  I was able to answer yes to all of these questions.  I am happy to have had choices, but I know the best choice for me is to stay squarely where I am at.

I hope this article is helpful to you as you continue to navigate your own real estate career. 🙂

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in advice, benefit, career

 

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Housing Market Predictions for 2013

We are nearing the end of the year.  2013 is only two months away.  It got me thinking about what some major publications are predicting for the 2013 year.  Would there be predictions of a steady climb in real estate?  Is it predicted we still haven’t hit bottom?  Below I have gathered a few links with some great articles on what we can expect for the coming year in the real estate market.  Enjoy!

Real Estate Market 2013:
Forbes
http://t.co/5CROSDvP

2013 Housing Market Predictions and Forecasts:
Home Buying Institute
http://www.homebuyinginstitute.com/news/housing-market-predictions

2013 U.S. Real Estate Agents & Brokers Industry- Industry Market Report
http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/2261559/2013_u_s_real_estate_agents_and_brokers

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2012 in economy, housing

 

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Keeping the Momentum Going

Now that I am having several days that are jammed and truly busy, I am staying conscious to the fact that I still need to promote myself.  I also need to make sure I have some down time.  I don’t want to lose this momentum, and I definitely don’t want to burn out.

I went to bed last night with a horrible migraine.  I woke up after having a rough night sleep and the migraine was still there.

What I have begun to do is to pay close attention to my body and give myself a chance to recuperate when needed.  These are the perfect days to work on some self-promotion.

Today I stayed home.  I’m in my pj’s and I’m stretched out on the sofa.  I have a headache, but I still want to feel productive.  I have decided that I will work the social media end of my real estate career today on the laptop.  It’s really quite wonderful to feel under the weather, stay home and still be productive.  It’s really the best of all worlds.

Once I tweak all of my social media sites, I will work on updating my contact list and send out a bunch of emails.  I currently have the October marketing report that I have been passing out to friends and family.  It’s a great information piece regarding what the housing market is like for this month.

My best piece of advice for those working in this field is to find some balance.  If you need a slower day, by all means take it.  You can still be productive and end your day feeling a great sense of accomplishment..

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in advice, career, lifestyle, opinion, real estate

 

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What a Whirlwind Week!

For anyone keeping up on my progress, I’d like to give you a peek at my busy week.  I have been working as a real estate agent for a few months now.  All of the initial prep is starting to pay off.  Seriously, if you are getting into this field, take a good chunk of time to really get your name out there.  I have advertised myself to family and friends, the community I live in as well as a few communities surrounding my city.  I have passed out incredible numbers of flyers and have left stacks of flyers at the local community centers in the area.

I have spent an incredible amount of time spreading my name around through as many social websites as I can find.  My name and information is on Trulia, Zillow, Twitter, Facebook, 2 Blogs, The Oakland Press, Digg, Tumblr, Reddit, Pintrest, Quora and so forth.  if you google me, I have pages of links.

I am starting to get emails from people who have found me online or through advertisement I have handed out.  It does work, but it does take some time.  I would say that having been in the business for such a very short time, it has been great to see results as quickly as I have.

This week, I connected with 5 new potential clients.  I went on several appointments to view homes and it looks like I am about to close on a lease.  I also went on a listing appointment and have a couple that are having me sell their house..

The hours were long this week.  Most days I was on my computer by 6:30am and wasn’t done with work until around 8:00pm each night.  Saturday and Sunday I had a chunk of time working a floor shift, going on appointments and listing a home.

Busy has been a good thing, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.  It’s remarkable how quick you really do pick up on the information you need.  It’s hard to believe how much has changed in such a short time, but it is a very satisfying feeling.  Working in real estate is a lot of fun, rewarding and something I am happy to be doing.  if you are in the beginning stages of a real estate career, just keep plugging along.  Things change quickly and sooner than you know it, you are well on your way.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in advice, career, job, life, opinion

 

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What a Typical Day Looks Like

Enough time has passed since I began my career in real estate that I can say I’m cruising along.  My calendar has begun to fill up for the following week before I’m halfway there.  It’s good to see the progress.  Below is a basic example of a typical day.  For those of you who are thinking of a career in real estate, you might find this information rather interesting.

6:00am  At this point there is a definite routine emerging.  Each day begins with a check of my emails.  Next I am going over and planning my day.  Many mornings I will spend this time writing a post for my blog as well.

7:30 am  Drive the kids to school.  Once back home, I have some breakfast, take a shower and pack a lunch.

8:30am  Go to the office.  Check email and voicemail.

9:00am  Morning meeting.  Meetings are a time to learn about several subjects.  We have had meetings on how to make the most of your week, short-sales and how to fill out some of the more complicated paperwork.

10:30am  Check email and voicemail.  One on one meeting with my supervisor.  We will go over what transpired during the previous week.  This is my opportunity to ask questions and get guidance on how to handle particular situations.

11:30am  Check email and voicemail.   Printing any paperwork I need to gather for appointments or for passing out flyers for the day.

12:00pm  Lunch.

12:30pm   Check email and voicemail.  Appointments, passing out flyers, or prospecting by phone, email or in person.

3:00pm  Pick up kids from school.

3:30pm  Check email and voicemail.

4:00pm  Make dinner.

5:00pm  Have dinner with the family.

6:00pm  Check email and voicemail.  Appointments or prospecting by phone or email.

8:00pm  Last check of email and voicemail.  Schedule appointments for showings.  Plan out next day.

I have to admit my day is possibly more extended because I work around the kids schedule.  Each realtor will have a schedule fairly different from each other.  That is probably the best part of being a realtor though.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2012 in career, job, life, lifestyle, personal, real estate

 

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