Wednesday, July 25, 2012


We are getting off the coaching topic today and sharing some INTEL on a potential threat which has started to show up in some of our offices.
Here is the scenario…The potential renter sees and ad for a great rental property and the monthly rent is very reasonable. They contact the “owner” and are told they are out of town and for them to go “peek” in the windows to see if they like it. The renter goes by and sees a real estate sign in the yard… looks around likes what they see and contacts the “owner” to rent the property. The “owner” then tells the renter they will hold the property for them if they will send the deposit and first months’ rent to Ima Crook, PO Box 666, Nerdowell Miss 22552. Once the rent is received they will mail the renter the keys and the rental contract…Seems simple doesn’t it?
The renter gets a good house at a good price and the owner trusts them so much he is allowing them to move in right away. Which oh by the way… the “owner” also got the renters SS#, DL#, Birth Date, and will also have the renters checking account number once the check is FED-EX’ed to them… Are any red flags waving yet?
SO… a few days go by, and the renter is getting antsy, so they try and contact the “owner” again but gets no response…so they go by the house and call the name on the real estate sign…only to discover Ima Crook is not the owner of the property and that the property was leased to another renter the day before through the REALTOR…The distraught renter rushes to their bank only to discover the check for $2500 to Ima Crook has been cashed…they then realize they have been scammed. And GOD only knows what Ima Crook is going to do with the personal information she also has possession of!
Sound like a fairy tale? Unfortunately it is a true story that is happening far too often right here in the Triangle.
Here are some things to do to avoid this happening…As a listing agent:

Perform a Google search and a Craig's List search for the property address of all your listings every few weeks, this may help alert you to possible scammers using your property addresses for evil deeds. Should you discover something, contact the false owner acting as a potential renter getting as much Intel as possible. Then contact Local Law Enforcement.
This is a hot scam right now; advise all your Seller/Landlord clients this is happening and the steps you are taking to thwart the bad guys. This scam is usually performed on vacant properties but could be on any property the scammer decides to target.
As a Renter…Here are some things to alert you to possible scammers:
-Rental Ad is on Craig’s List without a phone number… just a blind email response through Craig’s List

-Lower than market rent rate...(If it seems too good to be true…it usually is!)

-“Owner” out of town with no local management company

-“Owner” wants you to send them a certified “deposit” check without meeting renter face to face or doing a credit/ back-ground check

-Can’t give direct access to the property

-Always ask for proper ID from owner, then cross reference tax data base for owners actual name…also ask for phone number and address...then call back to verify…if the owner cannot produce proper ID…RUN AWAY!

-and most importantly….USE A PROFESSIONAL REALTOR to assist in rental searches, this way you are assured you are dealing with the real owner…

I hope this helps… Feel free to use the above data as an Item of Value to send to your clients
Please post comments here for others to see if you have experienced this with your listings

Eddie Brown

Monday, July 2, 2012

Has Opportunity Stopped Knocking?

Milton Berle was once over-heard saying…
”If opportunity isn’t knocking…build a door”!

Milton Berle self admittedly was not the funniest guy in show business, but he was one of the hardest working. Mr. Berle started his show business career competing in Charlie Chaplin look-alike contests in 1913. Berle lived to be 93 and spent 82 of those years as a showman. Surrounding himself with the likes of the “Rat-Pack”, Bob Hope, Jack Benny and George Burns he honed out a career that made him a millionaire many times over.

Over the past few years opportunity stopped knocking on the door of many REALTOR’s…thankfully over the past few months, opportunity has returned for those who hung in and continued to stay in touch with their Book of Business “BoB”.

But what if you haven’t stayed in contact with your BoB as consistently as you should have, and maybe your “door” has become a little weather beaten and worn… (not from the pounding of clients, but from inattention)… Is it time to refurbish your door? Or maybe even build a completely new one? If this sounds familiar please read on……

If you haven’t noticed the market is not the same market it was in 2005, and it certainly won’t be the same in 2019 as it is today. Take a long hard look at your “door”… is it still attractive to your clients? Is it a door appealing enough to compel them to approach, knock, and ask for help with their real estate needs?

If it is time to rebuild your business door start by looking at your business plan. Remember…it’s that thing you were supposed to write down and review every two months?? Make sure your plan has not grown stale, out of date, and out-of-touch with your database. Look at your marketing and prospecting methods, are they fresh or are you still sending the same tired old stuff you have sent for the past 10 years? It may be time for an extreme make-over!

If your business plan needs a make-over, it’s not going to morph into a new and better plan without you first taking action. Here are 4 action steps to get you started:

#1 Realize and admit your old plan is no longer working effectively or efficiently

#2 Seek advice of a coach or mentor… seek their help to help determine whether you can remodel your old door or if you need to build a completely new one

#3 Get a system and stick to it. Your “new door” may require you to step outside of what has become comfortable for you and try new things. Just "because it worked in 2005"... is not a plan for success for 2012 and beyond.

#4 Devise a system which will hold you accountable and keep you on track. Accountability partners or a coach will be your best bet; most people can’t hold themselves accountable for long periods of time. Consistency is the game changer here…When in doubt…Just do something…Anything!

So whether your door just needs a light sanding and a coat of paint… or if a rebuild is the only cure…There is no time like now to start making the assessment to determine what lies ahead for your real estate business.

To learn more about 1-on-1 coaching contact:
Eddie Brown