Strategies for Servicing Listings

Happy couple real estateIn order to be successful in real estate in the long run, it’s important to learn strategies for servicing listings well. In an active market, and when your listings are priced right for that market, you won’t spend much time servicing listings because they’ll sell quickly. You’ll spend more time monitoring transactions through to completion.

But we aren’t always in an active market. And, in any market, there are properties that appeal to only a small percentage of the available buyers. So you’ll need to know how to service listings over a period of time until the right buyers are found.

The Champion sets the sellers up for a smooth running relationship at the time the listing is taken. He tells them what to expect, what the market is doing, and how prospective buyers and the agents working with those buyers will operate. Then the Champion stays in regular contact with those sellers until the listing sells. [Read more…]

Sell Like JFK & MLK

Occasionally, I like to share great ideas from other trainers. Please enjoy this guest blog post by my associate Greg Hague, who trains real estate agents.

Sell Like JFK & MLK With A Position Against Tradition

When Martin Luther King passionately proclaimed, “I have a dream,” and John F. Kennedy declared, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” they were indeed the ultimate salesmen. They knew that next-level selling is about engaging us emotionally. These great salesmen didn’t first explain features and benefits. They inspired us with their dreams of bucking the boundaries of the way it’s always been.

The elite in the world of selling often accelerate their success by persuading us to embrace their vision and mission. Once I learned this lesson, the money flowed fast and my days became more exciting and fun.

In the 1990s, I introduced a controversial concept into the traditional world of real estate. The firm I founded offered sellers a way to team up with my agents, hold their own homes open, and get a break on commission if they found a buyer.

OMG! I had tampered with two sacrosanct traditions, the typical 6% commission and the notion that only Realtors should hold listed homes open. [Read more…]

Real Estate – Getting Price Reductions

Getting price reductions can be quite the challenge in the field of  real estate. However, with today’s market conditions and lower interest rates, more and more people have an interest in new or step-up homes. That means they must first sell their present homes. The challenges arise when they want the best of both worlds — the highest price possible for their used home and the lowest price possible on their next home. You, the listing Realtor®, have the enjoyable task of bringing a bit of reality into their lives by getting them to list their existing home at a reasonable investment — by reasonable, we mean reduced from what their fantasy amount is.

How do you get a price reduction? You do it by setting it up early in your listing appointment. That’s what the people who list with power do. Set it up going in. Do that every time you take a listing unless they are already prepared to list at market value when the general outlook and seasonal pattern indicates steady or rising prices.

Now, you can’t do this just with words. You have to back your words up with statistics. That’s why I teach my students to extensively research the values of property in the area and present the findings in a professional manner. If you cannot get the sellers to agree to the reduced amount, make certain they understand that you are not endorsing that amount. Get the seller to initial a comment to that effect on the Comparative Market Analysis while taking the listing. The wise agent also gets a commitment from the sellers to consider a price reduction if no genuine buying interest has developed after an agreed period of time.

When should you seek the price reduction? Just as soon as it’s apparent that the seller’s price is too high. Let’s face it. If their property isn’t moving, it isn’t doing either of you any good. “How long should that be?” you ask. You should already have the days-on-market figure on your CMA. Figure out the average length of time a property has been on the market in that area before it sold at market value.

When sellers first consider listing their properties, they don’t often set a deadline for when they want the property sold. It’s more important to them to get their price than it is to move the property quickly. Your job as a professional real estate agent is to help them set a goal for a date of sale, then show them the asking price they’ll need to consider to reach that goal. In determining the date, don’t use 60- or 90-days. Use events. Most people think in terms of holidays or other pertinent events. Ask if they want to move before Thanksgiving, or before the children start school, or in time to spend the summer in their new home.

Once you have the time factor commitment, show them the column on your Comparative Market Analysis that lists Days on Market. You might say something like this, “Mr. & Mrs. Jackson, it’s important that you both consider this column because it tells us a lot about the relationship between market price and speed of selling. I know that speed isn’t as important to you as price, but it’s at least possible that your attitude on this will change — or that the situation will change — making the timing a crucial rather than a minor consideration for you.” Then, start showing the comparison between asking price, days on market, and selling price.

Do you see how this works? Without directly saying so, you tell them that for less money than they’re asking, people can buy a home that offers the same or more in location or amenities. And, at the same time, you’re making vivid points about how overpricing will take them over their chosen time limit.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.

The Tools of a Real Estate Pro

Every profession has certain tools, which, once mastered, will allow you the opportunity to become one of the great ones in that field. In this post, we’ll go over the tools of a real estate pro.

Let me begin with examples from other professions. A professional golfer is paid in direct proportion to his or her ability to take a piece of steel at the end of a stick and bring it down to touch a small, white ball at the right time and place to send it hundreds of yards, eventually dropping into a small hole. Someone like Jordan Speith is very professional because he has mastered the use of his tools (and won one of the green jackets at the Masters Tournament).

A professional fighter is paid for how well he uses his fists; a surgeon, the scalpel; the carpenter must master the use of saws, hammers, and power tools. The people in each of these lines of work develop their skills through years of study, practice, and experience before they can consider themselves professionals in their fields. If they’re smart, they learn not only by their own experiences, but through the experiences of others .

The same thing applies to you in real estate. You can’t become a real estate professional without learning what one does, can you? My goal in training is to help you realize that you’re no different from any other professional person. As a real estate agent, you must primarily learn how to use your eyes, ears, and mouth because one of your most important tools is your ability to create exciting, colorful images, thus leading people to the decision to own real estate.

You see, selling real estate is no different from any other profession. People in every field of endeavor are paid in direct proportion to the amount of service they give. You, as a real estate salesperson, are as professional as the income you earn. So, in other words, if you’re not making enough money, you’re not giving enough service. Read my other blog posts for real estate professionals to learn the strategies and tactics of a true real estate pro. Then, enjoy the fruits of your labors as an empowered agent!

Copyright Tom Hopkins real estate training International, Inc.

How I Built Rapport with Members of Hell’s Angels

I think most salespeople will agree that building rapport is one of the most critical skills a sales pro can develop. Since we work with many different types of clients, we have to think on the run, including the time I built rapport with members of Hell’s Angels.

Don’t you wish we could know about the people we could be serving before we meet them? Wouldn’t it be great if we could just know a couple of things about them in advance so we could prepare our opening lines? Well, that’s rarely the case in sales. Especially in the field of real estate, you never know what you’ll find behind the doors of even the most beautiful homes.

One of the most dramatic examples of needing to make a good first impression happened after about my third year in real estate. At this point, I had finally turned my dismal career around and was doing pretty well. I was wearing the latest style of men’s clothing and driving a brand new Cadillac. The Cadillac was THE real estate car of the 60’s. It was long, sleek and just beautiful. [Read more…]

How to Hold an Open House – Real Estate

House for SaleMany new or unsuccessful people in real estate don’t understand how to hold an open house. Nor do they understand that open houses often are better for listing than for selling.  When done well, holding houses open is a marvelously effective listing technique, but it’s not done well very often.  Doing it well enough to make big money requires work the week before.  Unless you do that work in time, your weekend open house has little chance of being worthwhile.

I would like to share with you some techniques you may not currently be using when holding your open houses.  This simple step-by-step process can provide you with great opportunities for listing and selling houses. [Read more…]

Open House Opportunities

Open House ideasSome of my best clients came from open house opportunities. Many new or unsuccessful people in real estate don’t understand that open houses often are better for listing than for selling.  When done well, holding houses open is a marvelously effective listing technique, but it’s not done well very often.  Doing it well enough to make big money requires work the week before.  Unless you do that work, your weekend open house has little chance of being worthwhile.

In order to have a productive open house, you have to invest time and effort–which is the same thing as money when you’re in business for yourself.  Before you commit yourself to such an investment, make sure that the property you want to hold open has what it takes.  Here are the five things you need: [Read more…]

Get Your Foot in the Door with FSBOs

For Sale By Owner signThere are many strategies to be applied if you want to win with FSBOs.

Start by calling them as soon as you see their ad or online listing. What follows are the exact words I’d say when making my calls to For Sale By Owners.

I opened the conversation like this: “Good morning. My name is Tom Hopkins, representing Champions Unlimited. I noticed your ad in the paper this morning, and was wondering if you’d be offended if I stopped by to see your home.”

Look at the power of that question. You’re being very polite. If your tone matches the words—and you must carefully rehearse to make sure that it does—you’ll sound very cordial and deferential. Not a whiff of pushiness. Yet, in this situation where they want to say no to whatever you ask, you’ve phrased your question so that a “no” answer actually means “yes, come on by.” When you get a “no” here, go into your close for popping by. This question alone won’t get you inside many FSBOs, but it will work with some.

What to Say When They Aren’t Interested

Now let’s work with the other response that a by-owner can make to my opening question. This time a man answers, and he turns out to be tough.

“Good morning, sir. My name is Tom Hopkins, representing Champions Unlimited. I noticed your ad in the paper this morning, and was wondering if you’d be offended if I stopped by to see your home.”

“Yes, I would be.”

“You would? Is the reason that you’re intending to sell the home yourself?”

“That’s right.”

“Is that also because you’d like to avoid paying a brokerage fee?” [Read more…]

Real Estate Concerns: “We wanted another bedroom.”

Real estate agent with coupleWhat do you say when you hear this one? “The home is very nice, but we  really wanted another bedroom.”

When they say this, what does it really tell you? They don’t need that extra room. They were really hoping for it, but the odds are good, since you did a good job of qualifying that both you and they know they can’t afford a home with that extra bedroom.

Your job now is one of asking questions to help them gain a more realistic view of their situation. Try these words, “John and Mary, I know when we first talked you were hoping to find a home in this neighborhood where you could possibly have an extra bedroom. Knowing inventory the way I do, I’m afraid there just isn’t one available in your price range. If you’re open to considering a different neighborhood, or school district for the children, I might be able to find a nice home with the extra bedroom. I would be happy to research that for you, but have to ask, what will you base your final decision on: having that extra bedroom or having your children attend the schools you (and they) prefer?”

In most cases, the quality of the children’s education will far outweigh having that extra room that they were “hoping” for. Of course, if you work in an area with an open enrollment, perhaps the parents would be happy to drive their children to the better schools and live a little farther away in order to have that extra room. [Read more…]

When to Train by Ron Marks

Ron Marks

Most sales managers and their companies have terrible timing when it comes to improving the skills of their sales teams. Unfortunately most companies conduct training only when a sales person is new to the company. After they have a few sales under their belts, training stops.

If you were a military leader and had a critical mission in front of you, you would likely train harder and more intensely than ever before. You would want your team’s training to be current in order to be most effective. Yet sales managers send their sales people out into the field each and every day without the slightest bit of current training and skill development. [Read more…]