Friday, April 27, 2012

Finding Your Why...

What is it that drives those to work harder, complete daily lead-generation activities and pursue their dreams with vigor? I feel the reason the top 20% get where they are is because they know their “why”… Knowing your “why” will increase your motivation to do the daily activities which will grow your business and your income.
Here are five questions to ask yourself to help you find your “why”:
1.     Why am I in the Real Estate Business?
2.     What do I like best about the Real Estate Industry?
3.     When do I feel the happiest?
4.     When do I feel I am working to my full potential?
5.     What does my life/business look like a year from today? Five years?
By reassessing your priorities you are able to find your purpose…add value to each day by making choices which get you closer to your goals and finding contentment. Since your priorities may change as you achieve your goals, it is important to assess them often. What means the most to you? Is it your family, financial freedom, growing your business? When you are having trouble staying focused or finding motivation always come back to these priorities.
Tips to Find Inspiration:
Create a series of the small action steps necessary to make your goals a reality…”How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!”
TURN OFF! Get away from phones, emails, text, and electronic communication for one hour each day…reconnect with yourself or with a relationship you have been ignoring. And I’m serious dude…turn off the iPhone.
Get inspired by watching what other successful people are doing. Think about those who have faced and overcome adversity. What can you learn from them?
Get your creative juices flowing when you feel a brick wall coming your way by going to the gym, go for a walk or a bike ride…Get outside… the fresh air fosters new ideas.
Once you have found the inspiration you will feel the surge of creative boost to your moral…it will bring positive energy to your life and relationships…you’ll be doing what you love and working at your full potential.
Eddie Brown (selections taken from Buffini & Company material)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

How To Write a "Non-Rejectable" Offer To Purchase

Or at least one which survives the first cut! 

Much to the news media’s dismay (they've had nothing bad to say about our market recently)…our real estate market here in the Triangle has hit the after-burners and the Spring market has exploded with offers… and thank you Real Estate Gods…multiple offers!
Individual REALTORS and Sellers often handle multiple offers in various different ways. If there are numerous offers, rather than making individual counter offers, some Sellers eliminate offers on the first cut and leave only the best offers with which to negotiate.  One of our associates just this week had a client who was one of twenty offers on a REO property!
Below are a few ways in which I think an offer can be best presented to survive the initial cut. 

First and most importantly: Do your own comparative market analysis and be able to substantiate your price.  This may sound like a fundamental step, but it is astounding to see proposed professionals in the real estate business allow Buyers to simply pick numbers and then are unable to defend how they came up with these figures.  If you cannot verbalize how you reached your price, how do you expect the listing agent to relay your message to the Seller in a positive light?   

Second, Ask the Listing Agent for Directions and then Follow them:  When you feel they are going to be multiple offers, a listing agent will sometimes provide instructions on how to write up offers which will be most appealing to the Seller.  It also shows the ability of a buyer’s agent to follow instructions.  Transactions tend to run more smoothly when each agent does what is prescribed for them.  People who do not/cannot follow instructions; bring complications to the transaction. The manner in which a Buyer’s Agent treats the Listing Agent could have a bearing on which offers are considered worthy of a response.

Third, do not speak negatively regarding the listed property.  Certain REALTORS seem to think the way to substantiate a low offer is to criticize the property.  Although it’s not a bad thing to raise your client’s concern about the material facts of the property… how you package that information into an easily digestible message to the listing agent may keep the Buyer on the good side of the Seller. 
Saying things like “the property really needs an entire facelift” or finding other faults and being overly critical on them are not wise ways to describe a property your client wants to purchase in a multiple bidding situation.  The value is in how you finesse the situation to relay your concerns… and to not offend the Seller… who, by-the-way, can sell it to your Buyer… or to someone else’s Buyer just as easily.  An alienated Seller is unlikely to be “negotiable”….     

Fourth, write simple offers:  K.I.S.S.  Do not complicate things with complex offers.  There is something to be said about the beauty of a simple and easy to comprehend offer.  Trying to artificially inflate the initial price only to ask for a large Seller paid closing cost doesn’t fool most Sellers.  Your closing cost credit request may  also raise issues with your Buyers lender and have negative consequences at closing time.  Sellers want simple, easy to understand offers that makes their lives simpler, not more complicated.     

The Fifth and final key: Do not be identified as an offer with a weakness which warrants immediate elimination.  Don’t identify yourself or your Buyer as one who will make the transaction more complicated for the other parties.  Remember, in a multiple bidding situation, the Listing Agent and Seller not only want a solid, superior offer; but they are also seeking to identify a competent and easy to work with Buyer and Buyer’s Agent; not the incompetent one who will raise issues and prevent a smooth closing. 
I hope this information is valuable and the Spring and Summer markets are good to you! Remember to focus on Lead Generation every day.

Eddie Brown ©2012

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Are You Losing Clients Before They Become Clients?

How many of you have met with a prospect, begin to work with them to either sell or make a purchase only to have them disappear somewhere along the line prior to writing an offer or listing agreement? This is going to happen from time to time …even to the best and most seasoned agents. Here is a tip to make this event occur less frequently.

Pre-Planned Education during the initial consultation phase of the relationship.

Very few REALTORS we coach realize the importance of the "pre-planned" initial consultation you have with a prospect. It may very well be the most important …get it wrong and it may very well be your last appointment with the prospect!

Quick Story: While training to be a Police Officer my team was tasked with searching an empty building for B&E suspects. The building was huge with many hiding places for the “bad guys” to lay in wait. Without any knowledge other than a smashed window my partner and I boldly (and pumped full of Testosterone) entered into the dark pitch black building …and within minutes we were sniped …both of us lay “dead” on the cold concrete floor …droplets of red dripping from our bodies.  

After we caught our breaths and recovered from our “wounds” the SWAT team leader came and asked if we were ready to try again, (after being hit with 7 strategically placed  paint ball rounds we wanted to say no), but we quickly rose to the challenge with a new plan to get the bad guys this time.

The difference was this time we had a plan …the team leader gave us copies of the building floor plan, night vision goggles,  the location of the electrical panels for the lights, access to the buildings security cameras and, OH Yeah …12 back-up SWAT officers to include 2 Canine Units (very snarly Dobermans might I add) to help us complete the search. Needless to say the bad guys gave up very quickly with no one getting “killed” this time.

Compare this to a prospect who may be very unfamiliar with the process of real estate. Do you see how having a pre-planned initial consultation to walk through every step of the process might take some of the fear out of buying or selling …just like in the above scenario …we had so much more confidence after we were educated and knew “the plan” …and of course the Doberman’s helped too!

Here are a few tips to help you get and keep the client:
1.     Always have them meet you at the office …this will show you their interest level and commitment, plus it is a place to put technology to work for you to make the process more professional.
2.     Have a pre-planned initial consultation presentation customized for the individual prospect ….you will need a different consultation plan for Sellers, Buyers, Investors, Renters, etc…
3.     Make sure they are comfortable and understand each step of the process they are about to enter …ask plenty of open end questions and encourage their feedback on the process …”turn on the lights” for them, let them know you will be there with them every step of the way providing your expertise.
4.     When an “issue” arises, talk to them face to face or voice to voice to explain the details and make certain they understand. The meaning and important points can get lost in electronic communications.

Don’t lose another prospect/client due to poor up-front communication during your initial consultations. Do the work up front and avoid getting “sniped” by a client left in the dark.  Those paint ball rounds sting …and so does losing a client!

Eddie Brown ©2012