Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Don't Hit The "Snooze Button" in December!

Whether you realize it or not, you are already in 2013…most every transaction you write from Thanksgiving to New Year’s will carry over into next year and become 2013 business.  

I overheard someone say the other day…”I can’t wait for this year to be over and done with”…I thought to myself… “Well for them, it pretty much is already over”... and I bet in December of 2013 they will be saying the saying thing again! Winston Churchill said “Those who fail to learn from histories lessons are doomed to repeat histories failures”… My guess is this person hasn't learned this lesson yet!

December is the perfect time for you to begin thinking about your 2013 business. Below are several tips to help you to get a head start on 2013 and creation of new business and/or personal goals.

·        Use December as a time of reflection:  Make a list of everything you achieved in 2012 no matter how small…what were some special things you did for clients you feel really made a difference? What would you do differently if you could do it over again?

·        Analyze the goals you struggle with: What goals do you set every year only to struggle with them and never quite get there? Try and discover the underlying hidden reason for your struggle…maybe you just aren’t ready to reach that particular goal yet. But if you really want it keep trying. A real goal has to be a stretch…it has to take you to a place you’ve never been before…if it doesn’t…then it just becomes an item on a “to do” list! Don’t be so concerned about failing…The late Zig Ziglar  (www.ziglar.com) once said “Failure is not a person…It’s an event”… If it doesn’t kill you…learn from it…it will only make you stronger!

·        Remember where you came from:  Days are long but the years are short! And when you forget you tend to lose perspective. As our two girls were growing up I first said I would be so glad when they got out of diapers…then it was past those “terrible twos”…then the dreaded awkward early teen years…then will they ever get their license…at the time those days seemed so long…but it only seems like yesterday when I was holding them as tiny bundles of joy in my arms as they slept. Kenny Chesney sings a song…Don’t Blink…Life goes by faster than you think…Don’t Blink! The older you get the faster the clock turns…

·        Reorganize your business for 2013: Clean your desk…sort some files…de-clutter…Someone once said “Clutter is the physical manifestation of fear that cripples your ability to grow”. Ever watch the TV show “Hoarders”…Clutter takes over people’s lives, and their “stuff” starts to overpower emotions...making it impossible to make sound decisions. When you accumulate too much “stuff” it can clog your business mind as well. The fewer distractions you have… the more you are able to focus on the things that matter the most to you. 

·        Things to include in your 2013 goals: How many personal referrals do you want to receive? How many personal notes do you want to send per week? How many daily phone calls to your Book of Business (B.o.B.)? How many lunches per week with past clients? How much do you want to increase your average sale and list price? (which by the way, is the easiest way to make more money in 2013 without increasing your workload) Don’t just focus your goals on numbers of closed transactions, but add in the activities which get you there. Base your goals on what is most important to you and you will be more likely to achieve them. 

·        Set short , midrange, and long-term goals: In coaching we try to use a simple system of 2’s for goal setting - Today… 2 day…2 week…2 month…and 2 year goal setting ...And If things change… goals are meant to be amended… they are YOUR goals! It’s always OK to perform a “do-over” when it comes to goals. It’s also OK to reward yourself along the way as you hit a goal…no matter how small.  

Good goals will help you find a true balance in your life, revise them as necessary, take failures in stride, and once you’ve accomplished your goal celebrate! 

If you want to learn how to double your income in 2013 …personalized one on one coaching can help you reach your goals. Email Coach@ICU-Coaching.com to learn more about how to get started in a program designed just for you and your business. 

Eddie Brown – 04 December 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving is Time for Family

Today’s blog will have nothing to do with Real Estate… but everything to do with Prospecting and Networking... I wanted to talk to you today about Family. Speaking from personal experience I can say...  nothing is more valuable than Family…especially if you have ever been faced with losing it. Unfortunately... sometimes it takes being faced with a crisis for a person to see what the really important things are in their life… an awakening of sorts.

As we approach the Holiday Season, my coaching tip for you is to block abundant time to prospect and network with the ones you love the most. Hold them close, listen to them with intent, be honest, and make sure that every day they know how much you care for them. Don’t be fooled (and a fool) and wake up one day to the harsh realization you have placed your focus and attention in the wrong arena.  

This week is Thanksgiving week... so I give thanks for my family and the ones that I love. I give my prayers for those who are away from their families in our military... and I hope you and your Family have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving.
To my Family... I love you all... and my solemn vow is to make and keep you the center of my every thought...every day...every minute...every second that I live...So help me God!

Please read and share the below poem with your family this week and show them how much you care…remember sometimes it is the little things that matter the most.  –Eddie Brown- Thanksgiving 2012

A Family Is Like
© Nicole M. O'Neil

A Family is like a circle
the connection never ends,
and even if at times it breaks
in time it always mends.

A family is like the stars
somehow there always there,
families are those who help
who support and always care.

A Family is like a book
the endings never clear,
but through the pages of the book
their love is always near.

A family is many things
with endless words that show,
who they are and what they do
and how they teach you so you know.

But don’t be weary if it's broken
or if through time it’s been so worn,
families are like that-
they're split up and sometimes torn.

But even if this happens
your family will always be,
they help define just who you are
and become a part of you eternally.

Source: A Family Is Like a Circle, Poem about Family http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/a-family-is-like-a-circle#ixzz2ClxwSw28

Thursday, November 15, 2012

3 Ways To Makeover Your Business Finances

Getting your finances in order is critical to your business. It can mean the difference between success and failure.


What is the most important thing to you? Foremost it needs to be “Faith & Family”, but in  your business... the thing which is most important to you, captures your energy and attention, and you become influenced by it when making your daily choices. Plus you are more likely to become committed to whatever processes it requires to achieve success.


The first step to building a strong financial foundation is to take control of your finances.



Real Estate Professionals often have to wait several months between commission checks, Many agents must rely on debt to finance their lives during the “dry-spells”…don’t fall into this trap! Instead, increase your activity in order to fill your pipeline and soon you will bridge the gap in the time lag between pay days…

1. Increase the amount of calls you make

2. Write more personal notes

3. Do more face to face visits, schedule one lunch with a referral source per week


Assess your current financial habits to see where you can improve. Make a list…in the left column place your good habits and in the right your bad. Be Honest!

Once you have your naughty and nice list; analyze what these habits are telling you about what you value. What are your attitudes towards money? Do you have an I’ll spend it and then add up the total later mentality? If so, it may be hard for you to ever get ahead…Small steps of improvement each day with your habits will get you closer to your goals.


Always write down what you spend when you spend… You have to keep track or you will become “over-drawn” and lost in a financial black hole.

Write down your fixed monthly expenses… These are the checks you write each month were there is no “wiggle-room” ie: Mortgage, Car Payment etc.

Make savings automatic…Commit to putting something, no matter how small, away each month. The amount is not important…the habit of saving is.

Manage your incidental expenses…These are the expense you choose to take on, entertainment clothing, eating out, etc. If you are not sure how much you typically spend, take 3 months of expenses and add up what you spend on incidentials…divide by three and then you have an average amount to factor into your budget.

Finally, Don’t starve your business of money… If money is tight, make cuts to your personal budget before you cut your business budget…For example, instead of cutting out postage costs for personal notes…consider making cuts to your entertainment budget instead.

Your spending plan is your lifestyle written down economically! Grab hold of your finances and control them before they control you!!!!

Eddie Brown 2012



Friday, October 26, 2012



With just 2 months and 5 days left in 2012 what are you going to do to finish the year strong? As the holiday season approaches there will be lots of opportunities to get face to face with potential clients or gain additional referrals from your book of business.


Don’t be one of the 80% of agents who drift off course during the holidays only to complain about having no business when January and February roll around. Let’s delve into this…why do you think they have no business in January and February? Is it because the market is dead? Some will claim that is the case but facts from TMLS shows that January- March are not significantly lower in number of pending sales than July-September. So what is the real reason…I would bet the farm it comes from lack of focus on lead generation in November and December. Staying laser focused on lead generation year round is critical to long term success in your business. The seeds you plant in November and December will determine the production you have starting the new year.


There are 67 days remaining in 2012…a great way to keep yourself motivated is to pick the last day you want to work for the year…say December 21st. Then calculate what you want to get accomplished by then and break it into weekly segments. This allows you to adopt the mindset of a sprinter and view each week as an individual sprint. You work toward that weeks goal and then you break for the weekend and start refreshed for the next weeks set of goals.
IMPORTANT: Celebrate each weeks accomplishments by doing something special for yourself and/or family over the weekend. Go see a movie or out to dinner, maybe a ballgame or a round of golf, shopping or a spa day...something to say YEAH! I DID IT!

Holiday season is “pop-by season”
Popping by to see your clients is the fastest way to put fresh leads in your pipe-line. It is a great opportunity to deepen the relationship you have with them and a great time to ask who they know who may be buying or selling. Take a small gift when you go like a small basket of fresh apples, a small pumpkin, small bags of  Halloween treats, oven mitts with a stuffing recipe attached, baked goods or a holiday ornament just to show your appreciation of their past loyalty to you and your real estate business. Start with the people you know the best first, call ahead to let them know you coming, stay standing the whole time you are there…(remember this is a 5 minute pop-by not a hour long visit) …don’t get hung up on what you take with you…the real gift is the time spent with them.

Host a Holiday party
Holiday parties are another great way to express gratitude to your past clients for their referrals and it gives you another opportunity to get to know them in an informal atmosphere.

Lastly make this a fun time of the year…Holidays bring on enough stress, don’t let your business drag you down into negative land. Stay positive and revel in the “JOY” of the season!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Are You Getting Your Share of Personal Referrals?

Six Steps to Getting Better Referrals:

Almost every successful agent I know reached their financial goals by building a solid referral-based business. Why is building a referral-based business so powerful? Because you are meeting people the way they want to meet you - through a recommendation from someone they already trust.

 Most people, if they had a choice, want to have their agent referred by someone they know and trust. Clients who come into your business through a referral are 2.5 times more likely to give you referrals. So, as you keep bringing in more clients through referrals, you develop a critical mass of clients willing to give referrals. Eventually, it takes on a life of its own and becomes self-perpetuating (if you continue to serve your clients well). For this article, I've taken some of the best referral ideas and strategies and put them into a Simple 6-step formula that you can implement right away to create a steady and predictable flow of great new clients.

Step #1: Develop a Perfect Client Profile-
One of the quickest ways to expand your business is to get laser clear on who you serve the best and who you don't serve the best. Clear intentions produce clear results. Who are your best clients? What are the quantitative and qualitative attributes of these people? Do they meet or exceed your minimums. Do they value your advice? Do they like you and trust you...Are they in a position to consistently pass along referrals to you year after year?... What we just described are your "A+" clients.

How do you attract more of these people? How do you make sure your existing clients and centers of influence only refer you to these "A+" clients? Simple. You develop a Perfect Client Profile…

Many top agents tell me that quantity of referrals isn't their issue anymore. Rather, they want to improve the quality of their referrals. Using a Perfect Client Profile is the answer. Remember! If you spend all your time working with clients that aren't your "A+" clients, then you won't have the time to find and serve more "A+" clients. Just taking the time to be clear on who your "A+" clients are is a worthwhile exercise. Clear intentions produce clear results. Fuzzy intentions produce fuzzy results. The clearer you are on who you want to serve, the more likely you will be able to attract them into your business.

Step #2 - Make sure you are referable.

Just selling someone's home or helping them buy a new home doesn't make you referable. It's the process you bring to them during the sale and the relationship you build with them after the sale that makes you referable.

What creates word of mouth? What gets your clients willing to tell others about you? Put them through a memorable experience. It is the process of doing business with you that makes your referable.

Is your process and service generating an unlimited flow of great referrals? If not, maybe you need to do some fine tuning in this area. This "process" of which I speak has two components. One component is the actual work you do - teaching clients, questioning their assumptions, getting their expectations and desires in line with reality, and leading them to make good decisions, negotiating well. Bottom line, you have to be good at what you do.

The other component has to do with many of the intangibles of doing business with you. You must do things like - do what you say you'll do, when you say you'll do it - finish what you start - don't run away from the problems - spend more time with them and serve them more than they've ever been served before.

Step #3 - Ask for referrals.
Now you're clear on who fits your business (and who doesn't). And you're making sure you are truly referable. It's time to get proactive and prospect for introductions. There are two basic ways to stimulate your clients into providing you with referrals: #1 Plant referral seeds; and then #2 ask for referrals.

Referral seeds promote the referral process in a very soft, but effective way. When you plant a referral seed, it can often prompt a client to give you referrals right on the spot. While there are many ways to plant referral seeds, Over the years I am sure you’ve heard the phrase "Don't Keep Me a Secret." Don’t be afraid to say this to your prospects and clients. You won't come across pushy and it turns into referrals; sometimes right on the spot, sometimes a few weeks or months down the road.

Of course, you should also ask your clients for referrals directly. Here are some things you may want to consider prior to asking for referrals…

  • Create personal value your clients will immediately recognize….making them want to refer you!
  • Treat every client with CARE and make them feel important…Nice people want to work with nice people.
  • Get their permission to discuss referrals and how your business works…Make sure they're okay with this conversation; don't just plow ahead without their buy in.
Step #4 - Explore referral resistance.
If you are highly referable you won't get much resistance. When resistance does come up, explore it. Ask them to tell you more. Determine the objection behind the objection. When you truly listen to their perspective, they'll be open to your (different) perspective. Of course, if they just don't feel comfortable with the referral process, then back off. You don't want to hurt your relationship with your client by being too pushy. If you back off, the same client will often give you clients at a time of their own choosing.

Step #5 - Get connected with the new prospect.
Not only do you want to obtain quality referrals, you also want to gain solid connections to your new prospects. Once a client has offered you a referral, say, "What's the best way for you to connect us?" Just as you collaborated with your referral source for who you might be able to help, you now collaborate on the best way to make contact with them. Your referral source often knows the best way to get the prospect's attention.

Step #6 - Say "thank you" for referrals.
There are three places where you can say thanksFirst, When the referral is given…Second, When the prospect becomes a client, you can thank the referral source again …And third, When you close the transaction.


Getting referrals is not as hard as some make it out to be. Get a system, get some courage and step on out there!


Eddie Brown © 2012


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Things You May Not Know About a FHA Short Sale

FHA Short Sales

Completing a short sale on a FHA insured loan is quite different than negotiating a conventional short sale transaction.  FHA short sale guidelines are reviewed by the servicer using very specific analytical measures and there is an exact process that needs to be followed. 


  • sellers must first apply for a loan modification before attempting to short sale their home.  This has always been an FHA guideline, however it has rarely been enforced.  Now, a few servicers (Wells, Bank of America) are side-tracking the short sale review to review the seller for a loan modification if the seller has not previously applied for a loan mod.  This can elongate the process
  • sellers must be pre-approved to participate in a short sale by receiving the "Approval to Participate" form from FHA.  However, an offer can be submitted without the pre-approval; the servicer will simply obtain the "Approval to Participate" form from FHA on behalf of the seller before reviewing the short sale for a decision.
  • Most servicers that utilize the Equator technology system will review FHA files via Equator. The exception is Bank of America.  They review FHA files manually.  This creates a longer process for review.  A typical Bank of America FHA short sale takes at least 4 months for review/decision..

Net Proceeds:

  • FHA uses a very specific formula to calculate the acceptable net on the short sale:
  •  if the home is marketed for 30 days or less, the servicer cannot accept a net below 88% of Fair Market Value (FMV)
  • if the home is marketed for 31-60 days, the servicer cannot accept a net below 86% of FMV
  • if the home is marketed for 61 days or more, the servicer cannot accept a net below 84% of FMV

Seller Paid Buyer Concessions:

  • FHA will pay 1% to the buyer (on behalf of the seller) if the buyer is obtaining FHA financing (3% can be granted by a variance from FHA that you must apply for)
  • FHA will pay 0% to the buyer if they are not obtaining FHA financing


  • FHA will not approve a short sale unless the seller is 31 days delinquent, however the homeowner cannot be encouraged to become delinquent in order to qualify for the short sale
  • FHA will pay up to a $1,000 incentive to the seller upon completion of the short sale
  • FHA will pay a maximum of $1,500 to any junior lien holder
As you can see, FHA uses more of an "exact science" approach to short sales than other investors
Info taken from Platinum Group Services ...www.platinumgroupservices.com

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Do You Have a Ticket for The Energy Bus?

 E + P(r) = O
I am sure most of you are scratching your head and thinking…"is this a math 
quiz”? No worries…This is Coaching 101... I was terrible in Algebra.

In this apparently mathematical equation E represents “Event”, or the thing which occurs or happens in your life. An average person encounters approximately 36 “events” each day …or about one every 30 minutes that you are awake. (An active REALTOR encounters almost twice the events as an average person). Every event has a different set of circumstances, or a different set of people involved, and/or a different set of perceptions, which brings us to the “P” in the equation.

P represents “Perception”. As mentioned… every event will experience all parties involved forming opinions and perceptions about what they heard, saw, felt, smelled, tasted, etc… And more often than not, our perceptions will determine our responses… hence the “(r)” in the equation.  Ultimately every response we make will likely lead to a whole new set of perceptions and alternative responses…some may choose to respond positively while some may choose to be negative. No matter which response you choose your respond will determine the outcome of the event… Outcome represents the “O” in the equation.

The Event + Perceptions x a positive or negative Response = Outcome of the Event.

We learned of this complex equation at a CMLS Conference the TMLS Board of Directors attended in Boston last week. It comes from a book written by Jon Gordon titled “The Energy Bus”

A positive response will equal a positive outcome is what Mr. Gordon told the attendees. He stated Optimism is a competitive edge and that we need to slow down and learn to be master communicators… He believes when there is a void in communication negativity will fill it. I have seen this happen far too often when one agent in a transaction fails to communicate effectively and the other agent become suspicious and negative. In fact you may have been in a situation where you experienced your own negative thoughts filling the void left by poor or the lack of communication. http://icu-coaching.blogspot.com/2012/08/become-master-of-communication.html

Communication builds trust…trust builds commitment and commitment forms a team environment. A team environment fosters a winning attitude. How often have you said to a client “we will need to work as a team to meet your goals”? A team that stays positive together wins together.

To learn more about how this formula can change your life we suggest you read Jon Gordon’s book The Energy Bus which can be found at the following link  (http://jongordon.com/theenergybusbook.html)

Care about your clients…Be Positively Contagious… and become a great
Communicator and then watch out for positive outcomes coming your way!

This book will be the subject of our Brier Creek Book Club for October…for info on how to join in email coach@icu-coaching.com

Eddie Brown 2012


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Your Most Important Business Asset....

Real Estate is a hectic life style, running from showing to listing appointment to inspections then to the closing table…and for some of us, before, during, and after those business duties… you are also being your children’s “taxi service”!

Do you ever get so caught up in the daily stress surrounding your life that you skip the gym, grab your lunch and dinner from a drive-thru window and then lie in bed at night unable to sleep? It is common for REALTORS to get caught up in caring for others... In fact, so caught up, their own wellness starts to suffer.

Think about the last time you flew in an airplane… one of the safety instructions advises you to place your oxygen mask on first before helping others with theirs. This is not a selfish act, the simple fact is… if you can’t breathe, you are not in a position to assist others. In your business…Just like in an inflight emergency… you can’t help others if you are exhausted because you haven’t taken care of yourself first!

Your Most Important Business Asset is YOU…Ways to RECHARGE NOW!

 RELAX: This is an unappreciated necessity of life. Take short breaks through-out the day, walk around the block, listen to music, or take a power nap…a little siesta never hurt anyone!

Take at least one full day off every week. When you are busy it is tempting to work 24/7, however…a full day off will refresh your mind, improve your mood and prevent burnout. Remember: you set your schedule! Schedule in a day off and do something for you.

MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE: Don’t become a “Drama Queen”. Separate the “important” from the “urgent” but remember…not everything which seems urgent at the time is important. Learning to isolate molehills from mountains sometimes takes a special set of skills.

Not every issue is a big deal. Being blessed with the talent to calm your clients and make them realize this “urgent molehill” will be a forgotten memory in a few short months will assist you in transforming more past clients into “referral sources”.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THE POSITIVE: One of my favorite books is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. “The Secret” ...is to be positive and surround yourself with positive things and people…things and people which make you happy. Negative things and negative people bring about negative energy, my father told me once “you become who you hang out with”, and I have this to be true throughout my life. I make a conscious effort to be naturally drawn towards the positive, maintain a focused positive energy, and do things that make me happy.

LAUGH OFTEN: Milton Berle once said “Laughter is an instant vacation” always take time out for fun. Enough said!

GET PHYSICAL: Exercise is a great stress reliever…strive to exercise every day for at least 1 hour. Get outside and go for a walk or a run, ride a bike or play golf. Join a gym…which by the way, is a great place to add new people to your B.o.B. You will feel better, maintain a higher level of energy and the positive side effect may be that you will look better as well. You may even start to fit into those “skinny jeans” again!

EAT TO LIVE…DON’T LIVE TO EAT: A healthy diet is essential to help you stay on top of your game. It fuels your body and gives you the energy to last through the day. Stay away from fad diets... which are usually unbalanced and unnatural…limit junk food, and stay hydrated. You should drink a minimum of one ounce of water for every pound you weigh daily. So if you weigh 175 lbs. you should drink 175 ounces of water, (almost 1.5 gallons every day). 
Limit your intake of sweets, sugary sodas and caffeine. Combine a healthy diet with exercise and in no time flat you will “own” those skinny jeans! In fact, you may have to go buy a smaller "new" pair of skinny jeans!

I hope these suggestions will help you to take care of your most important asset and assist you to have more energy throughout your day!

Eddie Brown  2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Finish 2012 Strong!

115 Days Left Until 2013... Are You Ready?

250 days of the calendar year 2012 has passed, and unless you believe the Mayans and Nostradamus are correct about 12/21/12… we need to stay focused on our goals.

The first step is to write down what you want to accomplish by January 1st 2013…

Step 2:  As the Warden said to Cool Hand Luke “You got to get your mind right”…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y28pFJqDkkU&feature=fvwrel

Self-accountability is imperative for reaching short term year end goals…data base management systems and activities have been covered in other blogs http://icu-coaching.blogspot.com, but you must learn to hold yourself accountable to do the things which will help you to reach your goals.

Adopt a referral based mindset and “data mine” your Book of Business to discover who are the individuals most likely to help you reach your new goals…then start a system of contact and care to “train” them to begin to notice those around them who could use your professional services.  Remember, your objective is to become their resource for everything real estate related.

Consider the following flow for your initial contact:
First:  Get personal / build rapport
Second: Discuss their real estate needs (Discover a need … “find a problem…fix a problem”)
Third: Ask for referrals (Who do you know who is currently thinking of buying of selling real estate?); it is critical you ask for business.http://icu-coaching.blogspot.com/2012/06/are-you-asking-for-referrals-or-just.html

Step 3: Get a System… this is a very important step. So many agents we coach never had a system to manage their prospecting activities…not having a system to tell you when to contact, who to contact, the type of contact (written, electronic, voice to voice, or face to face) , and a system to track what your last activity with them consisted of…is an open invitation for your prospects to slip between the cracks…and slip away!

 Step 4: Contact every A and A+ contact in your B.o.B. every month. -Examples include: Items of Value, Postcards, market updates, newsletters, just- listed cards, just-sold cards and charitable notices. Always refer them to your website. Also, offer them free reports on how to increase the value of their home, how to build wealth investing in real estate, how to stage their home, etc. Become their “go-to” person for everything real estate related!  When considering “Items of Value” make sure it holds value to each individual …the same Item of Value sent to everyone in your B.o.B. will not be seen as “valuable” …know the individual so well that you know what they find valuable.

Step 5: Use hand written notes as the foundation to your prospecting system. -In this high technology world of e-mails and form letters, it is important to still maintain a personal touch . A simple way to do this is to send out a handful of handwritten notes each day. Almost every hand written note you send will be read...there is no bigger bang for the buck than a hand written note. Use them and watch your response rate soar!

Step 6: Develop an attitude of gratitude with your Book of Business…when you receive a referral go over-board thanking them… keep them updated on the disposition of the referral and when it closes thank them again!

When contacted regularly and enthusiastically your past clients and center of influence people will be some of your strongest sources of business. You will be able to consistently obtain quality referrals from these people in any type of market. Focus on providing great service to them, and the leads you receive in return will be the foundation of your business.

Eddie Brown ©2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Creating a Successful Listing Presentation

 To improve your capture rate of listings taken to listing presentations given... it is imperative to plan what you are going to say beforehand, so that during the presentation you can focus on getting to know the Sellers, your semantics, body language and tonality.
First Know the Seller … Before you go face to face with sellers, gather as much intelligence as possible prior to the presentation about them... Know why they are moving, and when they need to move. Know about their mortgage balances and if they are current on payments. (Hard to ask I know…but necessary in today’s financial environment)…also try to discover their level of motivation to sell…and if there are 2 Sellers, make sure they are both on the same page.

Second Know the Property… City, County, Well, Septic, Additions, Repairs, and the Neighborhood are all important factors when it comes to pricing and who your buyer pool will be. Obtain copies of recent appraisals, inspections, and surveys if possible prior to meeting with the Seller…you can never have too much data.

Third Know the Market… Current market conditions can greatly affect pricing and how you present the home to a buying audience. Do your research and educate the Sellers … Have options ready for them if your plan A doesn’t work. As in the previous paragraph the more data you have the better. Don’t rely just on data from MLS…pull sold data from tax records to discover non-MLS sales from FSBO’s , and foreclosure and pre-foreclosure data.

Fourth Have a Business Plan… Have a written business plan to showing the Sellers your plans to get their property sold in the shortest amount of time possible while still attaining them the highest net dollar at the closing table. One idea to ad in a sheet show everything you do for the first few days it is listed…from putting it in MLS to marketing to making fliers and setting up Broker Tours and photo tours.

Fifth Be Enthusiastic!... Few sellers will want a boring agent to sell their home… start off with an exciting presentation and keep the level high throughout your listing period with them. Enthusiasm gets referrals!

Even though Sellers want to work with Agents who are enthusiastic about their property... you have to be honest … you must not attempt to hide or “soften” market realities.  Still be enthusiastic and show that you are excited about the opportunity …

Suggested Dialogue: Mr. and Mrs. Seller… We will need to work as a team to get your home sold…I will always tell you what you “need” to hear, which may not always be what you “want” to hear…just always know my job is to test the market and report the truth back to you.

Sixth Be Confident…If you are lacking in confidence, determine what you need to do to gain a belief in your ability to achieve success.  Are there skills you need to master to dramatically affect your confidence?  What one thing, if you did it better, would change your self-confidence? If a Seller perceives a lack of confidence in you at their kitchen table… they will surely perceive they will get the same performance when a low-ball offer comes in and the negotiations get tough.

Seventh Be Prepared to List Now….Have a Listing Agreement ready to sign with you, coming back later may cost you the listing. Seems simple enough but I am amazed at the number of agents who do not have a listing agreement pre-filled in for their appointments…leave the active date and the price blank. You want to be ready when they say “where do we sign”!

Lastly, Be Willing To Say No…. You are not just going to see if the Sellers want to list with you…More importantly You need to be going to see if the Sellers, and the property, qualify for your listing inventory! An uncooperative Seller or a property in poor condition, in a bad location, and overpriced is a REALTOR®s nightmare…and a surefire case of indigestion! A negative, mean, and uncooperative Seller rarely turns positive, nice, and cooperative as you progress into the listing period…They usually just get worse… Until you stab yourself in the neck with the same pen they signed the listing agreement with!

I hope these tips help you to capture more listings in the upcoming months…

Keep Prospecting!

Eddie Brown ©2012