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I have on numerous occasions, given you my expired letter and suggested you use it, everyday, for every expired and withdrawn listing.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!

Increase Your Business And Income By Working Less.

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

Broker Bryant www.CentralFloridaShortSales.comChristine Schneider wrote an article titled “When All is Said and Done”If you haven’t already take a few minutes and pop over and read it. It’s basically about time management and how we can become overwhelmed if we don’t take some down time for ourselves.

I couldn’t agree more with what Christine is saying. I have always been excellent at managing my time and setting boundaries. Here are my thoughts on the topic and an outline of what works for me.

First I want to give you some facts:

  • In our business we will NEVER be caught up.
  • There are NO real estate emergencies.
  • Setting boundaries and working less will increase your business and your income.

Once you get your head around these things you can then set a schedule that works for you and your life. For me:

  • The first 2 hours of everyday belongs to me. I use this time for meditating and taking care of my mind and body.

  • I rarely make appointments after 2pm

  • I only work on Saturdays if I have an appointment. And I’m very selective who I give this time to.

  • I never work on Sunday.

  • I cut my phone OFF at 8pm every day.

As long as potential customer/clients know these things before they decide to hire me we never have any issues. If they can’t or won’t work within MY boundaries then I refer them out because I know our relationship will not work out. They will cost me time…..

…..time that would be better spent on folks that appreciate my boundaries. A better fit means a better working relationship. Which of course translates into getting the job done in less time. It’s simple.

The key of course is to find out what works for you and your business. So spend some time over the next few days and figure out what your boundaries need to be. I promise you it will take your career to the next level. What say you?

Do NOT be foreclosed on! Avoid foreclosure. Short Sales DO close.

Want to find out more? www.CentralFloridaShortSales.com

***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV. Click the button below for my Bio.

The BIO for Bryant Tutas

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

 

Did you know a fiduciary relationship is forever?

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

Did you know a fiduciary relationship is forever? When working for a Seller or Buyer as a "Single Agent" you are creating a fiduciary relationship.

Brief definition from Wikipedia: for full definition click

A fiduciary duty is the highest standard of care imposed at either equity or law. A fiduciary is expected to be extremely loyal to the person they owe the duty (the "principal"): they must not put their personal interests before the duty, and must not profit from their position as a fiduciary, unless the principal consents. The fiduciary relationship is highlighted by good faith, loyalty and trust.

Once this relationship is established it does not go away just because your listing has expired or your Buyer is no longer working with you. You are still bound by this relationship. This means that whatever your client has told you in confidence must remain confidential until your client has given you permission to remove the confidentiality. And you have the duty of full disclosure to your principal. This is where in my opinion the problem comes in with having an Agency relationship in Real Estate.

Example: Suppose you have a listing as a single Agent and the Seller, your principal, has told you that she has been having financial difficulties. She is a few months behind on her mortgage payments and needs to sell quickly to avoid foreclosure. And she has asked you not to disclose this information to anyone. Ok, no problem, so far. A few months go by and your listing agreement expires and the Seller decides to list with another Company. About a month later you are searching for homes on the MLS to show the new Buyer that you are working with. This Buyer has signed a "Buyer's Broker Agreement" agreeing that you will work for him as a single Agent. The Buyer is now your Principal. Lo and behold the best match for your Buyer is the property that you had listed that is now with another Company. You take the Buyer to see it and he falls in love with the property. You rush back to your office and start writing a purchase offer and your Buyer looks at you and says "It looks like this property has been on the market for several months. Do you know why the Seller is selling?"

Here's your dilemma. You can't mention the pre-foreclosure or you are breaking your fiduciary relationship with the Seller and you can't not tell the Buyer because you owe him full disclosure.

This is a very simple and common example. It doesn't even take into account dual Agency or the fact that an Agency relationship starts with your Broker and filters down to all the Agents under that license. So what do you do?

The facts Jack. Nothing but the facts!

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

Got a call from a homeowner a few days ago. Seems he had received one of my solicitation letters that I send out daily to all expired and withdrawn listings in my market area. He was wondering why he got a letter since he had just listed his house on the market a few weeks ago. Well I got his address and phone number and told him I would look it up in the MLS and call him right back. When I checked the MLS he was currently active but had been withdrawn for one day and re-entered by the same office by a different Realtor. I called him back and gave him this information and had a nice chat with him. Very pleasant and knowledgeable young man. Wished him luck with the selling of his house and told him to feel free to call me if he ever had any questions or needed any help.

Well lo and behold he called me two days later and asked if I could come by and see him because he was thinking about changing Realtors. Sounded good to me so I made an appointment and went to see him the next day. He had a great  house! I had a look around and sat down with him and his wife to go over market conditions and give him my opinion of what his house was worth and what it would take to get it sold. He was currently listed at $215,000 with a 4% commission. My suggestion was $195,000 with a 6% commission. While talking with them I discovered a few things 1. They had never seen a Market Analysis 2. They had never sold a house before 3. The wife had been transferred and they wanted a quick sale 4. They had never heard from their Realtor since being placed on the market. I left them with all the information I had prepared for them and told them to keep me in mind if things didn’t work out with their current Realtor.

Called me the next day to let me know they had fired their Realtor and wanted me to place their home on the market with me. They said they slept great the night I left knowing there was hope and that they now had the information they needed to make a good decision. I now have a beautiful new listing with great Sellers. “Range Priced” at “Market Value” ($189,000 to $209,000) and a 6% commission so we can offer a good Co-broke. All these Sellers ever wanted from their Realtor were the facts. I have now connected them with a Realtor found through ActiveRain to help them purchase in Arkansas, for a referral fee of course. The Sellers are confident about their relocation. I am happy with my new listing that’s priced right and had two showings as soon as it hit the market. And their previous Realtor…………….?

The facts Jack. Nothing but the facts.

Real Estate. I love it!

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

Man, I’m tired today. It’s been a long week. I’ve been very busy and I haven’t been sleeping very well. I have one of those bad backs and rarely sleep for more than an hour at a time. This has been going on for years. I even had a Seller tell me I didn’t sound like my normal chipper self today. It was true, but I didn’t like hearing it. Real Estate is all about having an upbeat and positive attitude. On the rare occasions when I’m not 100%, I feel my Sellers suffer for it. So what do you do? I’m a one man office, so it’s not like I can just take a day off. I must answer the phone. If I don’t my Sellers may miss a showing on their property and I can’t let that happen. They are depending on me and I won’t let them down.

Keeping my business small was a decision I made years ago. “The Lovely Wife” and I enjoy our time together and we did not want to get locked into a position of having to run an office and having to get up and go to work everyday. Also, I have a little bit of a control issue and have a problem with delegating. The most important reason for staying small is, I’m a salesperson. It’s what I like to do. It’s what I’m good at. I don’t enjoy managing people and running a business, even though I am a business. Does that make any sense?

I think the point is, that in order to be a success you must find the one thing you enjoy doing and try to do it better than anyone else. Some Realtors like going solo, some like being a part of a team, some want to manage, some want to open up large offices. I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way, but I do think it is extremely important to find the way that works for you and makes you happy. Never try to work a certain way because you think that’s what is expected of you. Be true to yourself. Find your strong points and concentrate on them. Set your own goals and compete with yourself.

Also, have a plan. You must know where you are going in order to get there. Reflect on it. Get you priorities in order. And whatever you do, don’t do it for the money. If you do a good job and stay focused the money will come all by itself.

I hope you didn’t find this post too boring. But hey, it’s my Blog and it’s what I felt like writing today. Tomorrow is a new day and I m going to wake up refreshed and ready to do my best. Man, I’m tired. Man, my back hurts. Man, I am so blessed. Real Estate. I love it!

Wah! wah!…..and then complain about it! Today I want to talk briefly about co-brokes and the “ole’ 50/50 rule”. In my area it is quite common for short sale listings to have verbiage in the MLS remarks stating that what ever commission is received will be split 50/50 with the selling agent. Then of course they offer a ridiculously high co-broke so the uneducated Buyers agent believes he will get that x% co-broke when most of us know the short sale lender will rarely allow more than y%.

I don’t handle my listings that way. I offer z% percent as a co-broke and I guarantee it. No matter how much the lender allows me to get paid I honor the co-broker offer. I do this because I completely disagree with changing co-brokes after the Buyers agent has already shown and negotiated a deal on my listing. In my opinion it’s playing dirty pool.

BUT….I’m also not an idiot. I offer a co-broke that is in line with my market conditions but one that still leaves me a little bit of room for play. This means that if the lender allows y% I end up making more money than the selling agent. If the lender reduces the commission I make less than the selling agent. It all works out in the end and I feel it’s a fair way of doing business. There are no surprises for the selling agent. They get what’s offered in the MLS with no exceptions.

Today I had a selling agent upset at me because they saw I was making more than them on the HUD statement. He wanted to know why? I explained my company policy to him but he just didn’t get it and started going off about the 50/50 rule. Finally I just had to tell him that what I get paid is really none of his business. He hung up on me.

So I sent him this email:

Dear agent,

I want to clarify the co-broke on my short sale listings. It is always z% Even if the bank comes back and reduces the commission to h% or j% I still l pay z% to the selling agent. Your commission is guaranteed.

In fact I am the only broker that I know of in this area that does not reduce the co-broke when the lender reduces the commission on a short sale. It was z% when you showed the property and it’s still z%.

My commission agreement is between me and my seller. I’m sure if I were getting less than you there would be no issue. On this particular short sale the lender allowed me to get y% so I made out better. That is not always the case.

There is no such thing as 50/50 rule. That is a figment of your imagination.

Thank you for your hard work with getting this transaction closed. I hope we can do more in the future. End of email.

Is this really that difficult to understand? What say you?

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

 

Are your customers and clients being neglected?

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

Following up on one of my deals today scheduled to close this coming Friday. Finally reached the Buyer's Realtor after leaving several messages only to hear how hectic her week has been with the kids getting ready for school blah, blah, blah. Anyway she suggested that I follow up with the Mortgage Broker and Title Company to make sure we are still on track for Friday as she doesn't have the time to deal with this this week. OK, correct me if I'm wrong but sometimes I wonder why I am even paying the buyers' Realtors. This happens ALL the time. Fortunately for them I prefer to cut them out of the deal as soon as possible anyway so I can deal directly with the Mortgage Broker. But what about the Realtors that don't want to deal with the other side of the transaction? Are these Buyers having the same difficulty with their Realtor as I am? I do realize that there are part time Realtors in this business that have conflicting obligations, like another job, but please for the Buyer's sake dedicate some time during the day where you are able to follow up and take care of your Real Estate business.

Buying or selling a house is a BIG deal for the consumer. As Realtors we must be in a position to see them through this experience and give them 100% of our attention in getting their deal closed. If you can't do this full time then you need to partner up with another Realtor that can handle your business when you are not able. We owe the consumer no less than this. Are your customers and clients being neglected?

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.