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

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.

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  (

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

Eddie Brown 2012