Newbie Realtors Beware!!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Recently I have heard several Realtors commenting on the influx of newbie and part time Realtors and why Brokers should not hire them as they are cutting into the seasoned professional‘s business. The general consensus seems to be to concentrate on our own business and let the market sort itself out. I agree with this. However I think we are missing the real issue. In my opinion the real issue is not how these inexperienced Realtors are affecting our business but how they are jeopardizing the Sellers and Buyers that are hiring them. A Seller or Buyer hiring a Realtor to help them, with what may be the single largest financial transaction of their lives, should be able to assume that a licensed Realtor is qualified to handle their transaction. This as we all know is not the case. Being licensed and being a Realtor does not necessarily mean you have a clue to what you are doing. To me this is very scary. I agree that everyone was new to the business at one time and must start somewhere. I do not agree that learning the basics of Real Estate should be a trial and error affair.

Brokers are obligated by law to train and supervise their Realtors. This is not a choice, this is law. At a minimum, new and old Realtors should be able to properly complete a legible and binding purchase contract and listing agreement. They should be able to prepare an accurate Market Analysis and be able to justify market value to their Sellers and Buyers. They should know to who and when to provide the proper Agency Disclosure. They should be able to intelligently discuss financing, appraisals, inspections, repairs and the closing process. These things need to be taught and learned prior to conducting the services of Real Estate. It is the Broker’s responsibility to make sure all Realtors are receiving this very minimum amount of training prior to holding themselves out to the public as being a professional capable of handling their Real Estate transaction. To be any less qualified than this is probably illegal and definitely unethical.

To be an experienced Realtor comes later. This IS learned by trial and error. Learning how to handle closing issues, negotiating techniques, people skills, preparing marketing plans, having a feel for a deal, being able to confidently counsel your customer/clients and many other skills that can only come from being involved in transactions. Hopefully, the more deals you do the more experienced you will become. One thing for sure about this business is you will never know it all.

My advice to new Realtors is to take as many training classes as you can. Learn the basic skills required to conduct your business. Read everything you can related to Real Estate. Find a Mentor. Hook up with a great mortgage Broker. Take the GRI classes. Take a seasoned Realtor with you on your first listing or buyer appointment. Have your Broker review all your contracts prior to presenting them. Read and understand the purchase contact including the standards. Practice preparing a Market Analysis before your first listing. And most important find a Brokerage that offers training. You can always switch to a higher commission split office later once you know what you are doing. Treat this business as a profession and dedicate your time to learning and you will find this a very rewarding business to be in.

Any thoughts on this?

By the way the message title of this post is to get your attention and is in no way an attack on new Realtors. My comments apply to all Realtors who do not conduct their business in a professional manner

Counting the chickens before they hatch!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Had a listing appointment today. Yes, I know it's Sunday and I don't normally work on Sundays, but hey, I'm the Broker, I make the rules and I can break the rules. It was either today after Church or during the week at night. Well figured I would already be dressed in my "Sunday go to meetin cloths", so what the heck, I'd drive on over there. I'd still be home in time to cook lunch for "The Lovely Wife".

Anyway, I had sent these folks a preliminary CMA via E-mail last week and was really looking forward to meeting with them. I knew it was going to be a tuff one, but I felt up to the challenge. The challenge was, they had been listed for 6 months with another Realtor at $360,000, when the house, maximum, is worth only $299,000. They had already told me on the phone they were ready to reduce to $340,000. So I really had my job cut out for me. I won't take an overpriced listing so my goal was to get them to reduce $65,000. Also, since they were with a discount Realtor before, I needed to raise the commission a couple of points as well. So, if you do the math, we are looking at more than a 20% reduction in their anticipated Net.

Big challenge, but I woke up this morning ready to face it. I had prepared an analysis, to take with me, that was over 70 pages long. Now I don't know how you do your CMA's but 70 pages is a little over the top to say the least. It included:

  • Details on similar homes with pools.
  • Details on similar homes without pools.
  • Details on every pool home that had sold near theirs this year.
  • A list of every home on the market in their area.
  • A list of all of my sales YTD.
  • My grocery list from last week.

Anyway, you get the point. I was loaded for battle and well prepared to defend my position. Well I showed up for my appointment and as I had anticipated, the house, pool and yard were beautiful. So I was pleased about that. They had put a lot of time and money into it and it showed. The wife gave me the tour as I listened to her and I asked a few qualifying questions while we walked through the house. This is a very important step, as I am trying to find something that will help me in my presentation. I got lucky, one comment she made was, that when they were shopping for homes to buy, the first one they liked didn't appraise and they weren't able to buy it. Bingo! An excellent piece of info to help me with pricing.

So, hubby came in and we all sat at the table and I pulled out my arsenal of data. And of course the first thing I started explaining is how appraisals work and how they can affect the ability of a buyer being able to close on the house if it is not priced right. That was the right approach. It's true and it touched a cord with them since they had experienced exactly that. It opened the door for my discussion on pricing. Backed up with 70 pages of data, I made a strong case and after 90 minutes of hard fought discussion, we have agreed to Range Price the home from $289,000- $309,000 trying to sell as close to $299,000 as possible. Commission came up briefly but was not a factor.

We haven't done the paperwork yet, but I'm confident I have the listing. The Sellers are great people. It's an excellent property. It's priced right. I will be able to sell it. The Sellers will be able to move on with their lives. And "The Lovely Wife" had my "world famous" chicken and yellow rice with black beans for lunch. All in all, a very good day.

This listing, again, shows why it's so important to listen to your potential customers. They may just give you the information you need to succeed in your presentation. Pricing is everything in my market. Helping potential Sellers to understand this is what I enjoy doing. It gives me a great feeling of satisfaction. I just hope I'm not……….. counting the chickens before they hatch!

Are you just “hanging in there”? I can help.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

http://ttrealtynet.com

Hi folks. Recently, I’ve read quite a few posts on ActiveRain from folks trying to decide whether or not to stay in the business. The posts don’t surprise me as I have been reading those types of posts on AR since I joined back in 2006. What surprises me are the comments from people who mention they are “hanging on waiting for things to get back to normal“. You know I hate to be the bearer of bad news but things will NEVER be “back to normal”.

Staying in the business may be the right decision. But if you are staying in to “hang on until the market changes” then you may be just hanging on for a very long time. People are going to be upside down on their mortgages for many, many years. Short Sales and REOs ARE the real estate market and will be for a long time. This current market IS normal.

So my advice is to NOT hang in there but to adapt. Learn new skills and learn how to make money in this current market. This is now the “normal” market. If you can do that then you will not “hang in there” you will not only survive but you will thrive and you will help a lot of people along the way.

So….the first thing you need to do is some market research. Log onto your MLS and start looking at data. You may actually be surprised at how many properties are closing in your area. Then once you find out how many properties are closing, and in what price range, find out who’s selling them and who’s buying them. Then all you have to do is figure how to get these Buyers and Sellers to use your services. It’s simple. It’s just not easy. It requires actual work. But it sure beats “hanging in there”!!! What say you?

***If you need some help just click on that little link down there and join the TTRealtyNetwork. It’s a work in progress but there is already a lot of free info over there that will help you in your business.

Do you need a new Broker?

Want to find out more? www.TTRealtyNet.com

 

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

Copyright © 2010 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

 

No money? No problem.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Negotiated a deal on one of my listings yesterday. The Buyer is purchasing using 100% financing with Seller paying closing costs. My market is affordable housing with the majority of homes priced from $190s to $250s and it seems like most of the Buyers lately have been purchasing with no money down. Now don’t get me wrong I am in favor of home ownership for everyone but I fear a lot of the Buyers are going to have financial difficulties in the near future. With high insurance costs, property taxes and mortgage payments I am seeing payments of close to $2,000 per month for a starter home. That’s a pretty big nut to crack every month in my area where most families are regular working class people and don’t have any reserve funds if they should encounter a financial setback.

Also, a good number of these purchases are being made with ARMs with the Buyers basing their ability to pay on future raises at work or a part time job that they may or may not be getting. In my opinion Mortgage Brokers and Realtors are being overly aggressive in selling these folks on the advantages of home ownership without really taking the time to counsel the Buyers on the true costs involved. And since they don’t have to come up with any money at closing they are sitting ducks for Mortgage Brokers who are charging them sometimes outrageous fees for doing these types of loans.

So my challenge to Realtors who are dealing with first time Home buyers with a little or no money down is to really take the time to explain the pros and cons of purchasing a home. If the Buyers are fully informed and are wanting to move forward then help them to negotiate fees or guide them to the myriad of programs available that can help them with financial assistance. Placing a Buyer in a home he can’t afford can damage them for years. It can cause bankruptcies, divorces and even illnesses. So let’s “Protect the public” it’s what Realtors are supposed to do.

I’ll never work with them again!!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Have you ever had such a bad experience working with another Realtor that you swore you would never work with them again? I know it’s hard sometimes but we must remember that we are in business to assist Buyers and Sellers achieve their objectives. It’s tempting to not show a Realtor’s listings or suggest to your Seller not to accept a deal from a particular Realtor who we have had a bad experience with in the past. As difficult as it is, always try not to hold the Realtor’s incompetence against his customer/client.

The reality is, the Seller just wants to sale and the Buyer just wants to buy. Work towards helping them achieve these goals to the best of your ability. This may require dealing with unprofessional and rude Realtors on occasion. Bite your tongue, put on a smile and muddle through it. Take charge of the transaction. Be the one person in this stressful and difficult deal to hold it together and get the job done. Not only will your customer/client be impressed but the other Realtor’s customer/client will also become your biggest fan. This is how you build a long term successful business.

Anybody can handle a smooth transaction it is getting through the difficult situations that set you apart and make people remember you. Maybe your professionalism will rub off on the other Realtor. One thing is guaranteed the problems and issues we have with unprofessional Realtors will always be a part of our business. It’s our job to rise above it and keep moving forward with a good attitude. That is something we can control. That’s why they pay us the big bucks!!!!!!!!!

My listing has already been sold!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

My mom, I love her to death, sells timeshare resales. She has been in the timeshare business for almost 30 years and can sell ice to an Eskimo. She has won many National sales awards and is excellent at what she does.

But she has a hard time understanding what I do. Whenever I call her, and mention I sold a house today, she always says the same thing "Did you sell it? Or did another Realtor sell it". "Mom" I say "No, I didn‘t sell it, it was my listing but another Realtor sold it."

But you know, that is so far from the truth. I sold the house. I sold it when I spent 90 minutes convincing a Seller to price it right. I sold it when I talked the Seller into having a professional cleaning crew go through the house, or suggested they rip up the dirty carpet and lay down tile. I sold it when I positioned the house in the MLS, to get the most exposure. I sold it when the Realtor called me on a different listing and I talked him into showing this house as well. I sold it when I educated my Seller on paying closing costs for the Buyer. There are many things we do as listing agents that contribute to the house being sold.

As a matter of fact, if these things aren't done properly, there will be no sale. The house would be another property that sits on the market for 6 months only to expire or be withdrawn.

I heard a statement somewhere, "that a bad appraisal begins at time of listing." That is so true. It is also true "that a house is sold at time of listing".

A good listing agent will make the Buyer's agent job very easy. Priced right, clean, easy access and knowledgeable Sellers makes for an easy sale. So next time I talk to Mom, I think I will explain this to her. In the meantime, bring your Buyers on by…………….My listing has already been sold!

Real Estate is a Business. Treat it like one.

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Broker Bryant www.CentralFloridaShortSales.com Earlier today I read a post byJoshua Pettus titled “I Quit!”, “I Need a Real Job!”, “I’m Broke!”, and Other Things I’ve Said Recently  A very well written post pretty much pouring his heart out. Give it a read.

Anyway, after reading his post I dug back through my archives and dug out this article I wrote in August 2007.  My advise was good back then and I stand by it today. Maybe it’ll help somebody.

First, it’s important to remember that Real Estate is a business NOT a job. When you are a business owner your job is to find a way to make things happen. Chasing money is what we do. If you don’t have any then your job is to find some. Hopefully it will come from closings. If not? Well here are some ways to generate cash flow.

  • Find a partner. This can be another REALTOR® that wants to team up so you can pool your resources. Or maybe a family member who is willing to back you for a small return on their investment. You can’t operate a business without capital. Go find some.
  • Use an equity line or credit cards. Have faith that you are good at what you do and will be able to pay these loans back once you get rolling.
  • * Do some property management.
  • * Do BPOs.
  • *Get a part time job or jobs that leave your days open to practice real estate. I used to wait tables AND drive a taxi. At the same time.

Do whatever you need to do to get capital for your business. With out it. You will fail.

Secondly, get to work. If you are sitting at home or in the office moaning about how bad business is, you will fail. Get off your butt and get to work. Here are some things you can do that don’t cost anything but time.

  • Attend every function you can at your Board of REALTORS® to network and gain knowledge.
  • Join an investment club. What better place to meet investors.
  • Utilize ActiveRain and Localism to their full potential.
  • Solicit for listings. Folks, I have on numerous occasions, given you my expired letter and suggested you use it, everyday, for every expired and withdrawn listing. How many of you have? Or is it still on your list of things to do? While you’re procrastinating, I took several listings last week, that were all from my letter. And turned down several others. And I’ll do the same thing this week, the next week and on and on and on.
  • Hop in your car and go visit some yard sales this weekend. People have yard sales because they are getting ready to place their home on the market. Say “hi” and give them a card. And if you see any FSBOs working in the yard while you are out, stop and strike up a conversation.
  • Visit a few Human Resources departments in your area. See if they will let you hold a Buyer’s seminar. Do the same at the library and the community center.
  • Go view the listings in your market area. Leave your card.

Folks, my point is GET BUSY!! Activity creates opportunity. Get into your community and start striking up conversations, passing out cards, passing out flyers and anything else you can think of. Go stand in front of the grocery store and say “hi” to everyone that walks by. Go to the self service gas station and pump gas for others with a big smile on your face and a card in your hand. I’ve personally done ALL of these things.

So there you have it. A few simple and free things you can do to generate business and cash flow. They aren’t difficult. It’s just requires attitude and motivation. Success is a decision. Failure is a lack of forward movement. It’s your choice. So what’s your decision? Are you going to turn your “to do” list into a “job completed” list?

Do you need a new Broker?

Want to find out more? www.TTRealtyNet.com

 

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

Copyright © 2010 http://www.brokerbryant.com/ | All Rights Reserved

 

Leads can’t be bought………..

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

I am always reading and hearing about leads. How do you get them? And what do you do with them? Have you bought leads from this company? Well this got me thinking about what is a lead? A lead to me is someone that contacts me and tells me they want to sale or buy a house in the next 30 days and they were given my name by so and so whose house I sold last year. Leads are gold. Leads are money in the bank. They are ready to buy or sell and they are ready to work with you. Leads will turn into customers or clients and if satisfied will result in more leads by referring your services. If you could get a couple of leads a week you could easily covert them into six to eight closings per month. Leads can't be bought. Leads come from hard work and a loyal customer base that is built over years from providing honest and professional service. And from keeping in touch with past customers and clients.

Usually when we are talking about leads I think we are really talking about prospects. A prospect is someone that may be interested in selling or buying sometime in the future when Venus aligns with Mars. These are the people who spend days on the internet contacting every Realtor they can. Or call off the yard sign while riding around on a Sunday afternoon. You can buy prospects. There are many large web based "lead mills" that are wanting to sell you what they call "leads." Folks these are not leads they are prospects. To pay for these types of "leads" in my opinion is a waste of money. If these prospects were truly leads they would not be selling them to you for a few bucks.

So save your money and concentrate your efforts on keeping in touch with past customers and networking with people in your community. Always provide honest and professional service and before you know it you will have a steady stream of leads. Remember leads can't be bought they must be earned.

Eddie don’t know squat!!!!!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Received an offer for one of my listings earlier this week. Came complete with a copy of an escrow check, a two week closing, more than full price, request for 6% closing costs contribution and the notorious unsigned “pre-approval” letter from Eddie. Well being the professional Realtor that I am the first thing I do is pick up the phone and give good ole’ Eddie a call. I figured I had best ask him about this 6% seller contribution on a conventional loan. Also, thought it might be nice to find out who Eddie is and who he works for. Well Eddie it turns out IS a Mortgage Broker and is ready and excited about getting a loan closed for these Buyers. Seems they were under contract before but the deal didn’t close. Something about the Seller. Anyway, Eddie being full of knowledge and very helpful told me that doing 6% in closing costs with this Lender is no problem and in fact the Buyers are fully approved from the prior purchase and all they need is a contract and an appraisal and he will close in 7 days! Wow! I am really getting excited now. So I let Eddie know the offer is for $205,000 and I want to make sure they are qualified for this amount. “No problem. This is less than the house they had under contract” Eddie says. “Get me a contract and I will order the appraisal today” This Eddie is on the ball!

Now like the good little Realtor I am, I call the Seller, who happens to be a Realtor and Appraiser, to present this offer since the numbers do work out OK for him. Well first we have a good laugh at Eddie but decide to take Eddie at his word and accept the offer. We change all the time limits to reflect Eddie’s optimism about closing in 7 days. And we decide to add a little addendum stating the closing costs contribution of 6% will be made only if on the closing statement. No last minute “under the table” monies will change hands.

I get my Seller’s signature and fax this contract over to the Buyer’s Realtor. I decide to give her a quick call to let her know when she meets with the Buyers she needs to get as much information from them as possible about where they found Eddie and ask them for a “Good Faith Estimate” just to make sure the numbers are OK.

Well the next day the Realtor calls me fit to be tied. It seems good ole’ Eddie had contacted her to let her know that he Buyers actually only qualify for $185,000! And the Lender will only allow a 3% Seller contribution! I guess the bottom line is “Eddie don’t know squat!”

Moral of the story: A pre-approval letter from anyone besides the Lender is a worthless piece if paper. It is very important to place your Buyers with Mortgage Brokers that you can trust and who have a track record of successful closings. Be diligent when helping your Sellers negotiate. Don’t accept anything with out making calls to follow up and try to get as much information as you can. Listen to your gut instincts.

This story has been embelished and the name has been changed to protect the gulty.

45 days listing agreements. Weak……I don’t think so!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

I've read several post recently talking about taking 6 month listings and nothing less. Well, personally, I take 45 day listings and nothing more. Not only that, but I do not charge cancellation fees. My ads state this, 45 day listing agreements no cancellation fees, ever! For me this works like a charm. When I meet with potential Sellers, mostly referrals, expired or withdrawn listings, this is usually mentioned after I have gone over my analysis.

I say something like this…. "The average days on market right now are about 78 in Poinciana. I am willing to take your listing for 45 days and if you are not happy with my services, pick up the phone and fire me. No questions asked and no charge to you. I get paid when you get paid, at closing. I may not be able to sell your house in 45 days but I certainly don't need 6 months. After a couple of weeks working with me you will want me for your Realtor for life anyway, so, if need be, we can extend the listing at the end of the 45 days. 45 days will give me enough time to earn your trust and your business. So what have you got to lose. So, are you ready to go on the market today?"

Well, in most cases the answer is……. yes.

Now I am sure there are Realtors out there who would say taking a 45 day listing agreement is weak. But you know, you are dead wrong. First, in most cases I will sell their house in 45 days. My average days on market right now are about 20-25. Secondly, I know that I will be able to create a lasting bond with my Seller in way under 45 days. Why? Because I call them constantly and I'm excellent at what I do. Now don't get me wrong, there aren't too many things in life that I'm excellent at, but when it comes to pricing and market positioning, on a listing, I am an expert. It's what I do. And I take it very seriously.

Now, a couple of fine points in my above presentation that you may have missed:

Notice how many times I mention 45 days? This is not random. I do it on purpose. I want 45 days to be imbedded in my Seller's mind. It shows them my urgency in getting their home sold. This is a very good thing. Especially if they have been on the market already for 6 months with another Realtor.

"…not happy with my services, pick up the phone and fire me." What's to think about? They can change their mind if they want to. It's a risk I'm willing to take.

"…I get paid when you get paid, at closing". This is a word picture. Closing and getting paid. I am getting them to focus on the end result. All good.

"…Realtor for life", planting the seed for future referrals.

"…we can extend the listing at the end of the 45 days." I haven't even taken the listing yet and I've already mentioned an extension.

"…time to earn your trust and your business". What more could a Seller ask for from his Realtor?

"…What have you got to lose?" "Are you ready to go on the market today?" Asking for the business. The close. This is where some Realtors fail. You must ask for the business. I don't care how good your presentation is, your last question must be the close.

So next time you have a listing appointment, try the 45 days listing agreement. Weak?……I don't think so!

About us

I am a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Florida. My opinions on real estate have been formed from my experiences and 15 years of working in the business. My opinions are in line with Florida Real Estate laws and the REALTOR(R) Code of Ethics. Your State’s laws may differ. So do your own homework before implementing any of my business practices into your business.