Friday, December 13, 2013

HOT TOPIC!'s AgentMatch Program Ends

Big news yesterday! has concluded its hotly debated AgentMatch Pilot program with this quote "We learned a few things in this experiment. We learned that using an algorithm to “match” consumers with REALTORS® is misguided. A computer cannot find the best Realtor for someone, just like a computer cannot place an accurate value on a home." {Tessa Hultz RRAR CEO}
Finally NAR has come to their senses! which is owned by NAR and run by MOVE INC started testing the “Agent Match” product in August of this year. The below article and links to others will educate you on the topic.
{Eddie Brown}® Concludes AgentMatch Pilot

December 12, 2013
Letter from® President Errol Samuelson:® is the consumer website for the National Association of REALTORS®. Its primary purpose is to connect REALTORS® with consumers in the digital world. This is a mandate we take seriously.® is also a self-supporting entity operated by a for-profit company that does not utilize any NAR dues. No NAR funds are contributed toward the operation of

Both of these factors require that we innovate, experiment and look into the future in close coordination with the industry we serve.

This past summer we launched a pilot called AgentMatch in that spirit.

As you are aware, our competitors are moving ahead with their solutions regardless of industry involvement. In an age of reviews, ratings, big expectations and small attention spans, we wanted to create a service that would place facts, and the REALTORS® behind them, front and center.

AgentMatch, which we tested in two markets, aimed to do that. During this testing phase we learned that we must resolve several important issues before moving any further ahead.

We have concluded the AgentMatch pilot and are working with Realtors across the country to evolve the program and find a better way to highlight their unique attributes. NAR has been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for its members in this process.

We learned a few things in this experiment. We learned that using an algorithm to “match” consumers with REALTORS® is misguided. A computer cannot find the best Realtor for someone, just like a computer cannot place an accurate value on a home.

We also learned just how much lies beneath metrics like days on market or list price to sale price ratio. Numbers don't lie, but they don't necessarily tell the whole story, either.

This AgentMatch pilot has concluded, but the larger project remains: We intend to create the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online, and to continue moving the industry forward with innovative solutions.

Innovation is not easy. It means accepting risk, and the occasional stumble. But it is, in all cases, energy aimed forward. I look forward to the next steps.

Errol Samuelson

*****Other Links on this topic*****


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

When It Comes To Opportunity… Abundance is The Key!

As a Real Estate Professional how do we best learn to recognize, and more importantly take advantage, of today’s opportunities? In our opinion there is nothing more vital than an “abundance mentality”.
With abundance mentality there will always be enough business for those willing to work hard and do the right things to seize their fair share.

Most buyers and sellers find the whole real estate experience frightening…everyday there are hundreds of people in our area who are contemplating moving but are afraid of what they’ll have to go through to get there. Our job…if we want to be successful… is to find a way to make it easier for buyers to buy… and sellers to sell… and to do business with us!
Anything we can do to make the entire process less menacing will help to bring clients into the market that may have been held back by fear.

The number one way to minimize or erase fear is through education of your clients. The more they understand the reality of the challenges and benefits of home ownership… the less intimidating it can become. Create “IOV’s” (items of value) for marketing pieces which explain the real estate transaction process creating awareness and realistic expectations.
Another important step is to provide a road map upfront of how ongoing communication during the process will keep them informed…the informed will be less fearful!

Analyze every aspect of your client care systems and identify areas which may need improvement… becoming more efficient will lead to being more effective when it comes to making…and keeping your clients happy. Remember: A Happy Client is a Referring Client!
You must be better than your competition when helping your clients make sound buying and selling decisions…This is the most potent way we know to grow your real estate success. Why waste energy worrying about your lack of business… when instead you can adopt the abundance mentality and focus on how you can start making it easier for people to do business with you.   
Happy Thanksgiving !

Eddie Brown©2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

The Seven Levels of Lead Generation

Have you ever thought about all the diverse areas you generate business from and the effectiveness of each area or level? We have created a chart which we feel shows different levels of lead generation and a way to better understand the “flow” of leads into your business.

Starting with Level One: Broad based internet and email marketing. Many agents pay a service to “drip-email” newsletters or other information to a list of names…or they may pay or sites like Trulia or Zillow for leads….as you can see from the chart this is the widest base…these activities sometimes generate a lot of cold leads for your business. You just have to understand… your time is valuable and chasing cold internet leads takes up a big chunk of your time.

Level Two has a little less broad base and the leads you get from your personal website or social media may tend to be a little “warmer” lead. These are people who have clicked on your site for a reason…either they know you or want and have a reason to do business with you.

Level Three narrows the leads down even further…Phone-Duty, Open House and Sign Calls are prospective clients who have jumped off the internet train and are willing to get a little more personal and in your face. These leads require you to personally answer the phone or get face to face enabling you to start the relationship building process.

Level Four are people who you know either want to sell or wanted to sell at one time…your goal here is to determine if they still want to sell, and to discover the real reason (or reasons) the property hasn’t sold.

Level Five is your Book of Business and should be where you are generating the highest quality leads for your business, these are coming from people who know, like, and trust you, and have a high percentage close rate. Leads from this source should have a 70% close rate.

Level Six is the most important level if you want to grow your business. What system(s) do you use to stay in constant contact with the leads you generate from each proceeding level? Do you even have a system? If not, you are missing out on a huge portion of your business. You cannot effectively manage a database over 10-12 in your head. Don’t let quality buyers and sellers slip through the cracks and off to another agent due to your lack of a database management system.

Level Seven is the transaction level… Don’t forget the reticular activator! ( ). While in a transaction is the best time to ask your clients for referrals. This is the period clients are the most “in-tune” with real estate and others who are also in the process.

I hope you will be able to use this info to effectively and efficiently funnel new quality leads into your business and to generate a higher income for the months ahead!

Have you written a hand written note today?
To receive a full size copy of the chart shown in this article email and put Seven Level Chart in Subject Line...

Monday, November 4, 2013

The 10 Minute Push©

Can 10 Minutes a Day Make a Difference?

What is 10 minutes?
·        16.66% of an hour
·        2% of an 8 hour work day
·        .67% of a 24 hour day

What if you could take 2% of your work day and turn it into $30,000 in yearly income? How important would those 10 minutes become to you?... Important enough to spend the next 5 minutes reading this article?

How The Daily 10 Minute Push© Can Create up to $30k in Additional Income Each Year.

The 10 Minute Push is all about effective and efficient contact of the people most likely to send you business.

The first step is to be organized…OK, I know 50% of those of you who decided to read this gave up at the word “organized”. But if you only have ten minutes… it has to be spent uber efficiently. Organizing activities in advance you will perform during your 10 Minute Push is critical…what do you want to accomplish and who do you want to accomplish it through.

Focusing on the right people to contact is critical step #2 to realize the full affect of The 10 Minute Push’s success ratios…and knowing what information each contact will be receptive to is just as important…

This is where having built long term relationships will be useful. What sports teams do they like, what are their hobbies, favorite restaurants or foods, children’s activities, etc.  Utilize all this info to garner attention for your contact and make them want to hear what you have to say.

The 10 Minute Push System:

Set aside 10 minutes every day to contact as many people as you can within the given time limit… Set the alarm on your cell phone for 10 minutes and begin to make the contacts…

Every day is a different type of contact…example: Monday for Phone calls, Tuesdays would be for Hand Written Notes, Wednesday could be for Items of Value, Thursdays could be a quick 10 minute face-to-face visit…etc.

Start with the people who you have neglected the longest first…until you work through your entire list of past clients, friends, family, associates, prospects, and suspects.

Track your activities so your next contact type will be different to each individual …example: if you called them the first contact, you may want to follow-up with a hand written note next, then an Item of Value for the third time you contact them.

The Results:

Just imagine if you did this every day for a year…and you averaged getting 1 referral per week or 52 total referrals…if you only converted 25% of the referrals (which is a low estimate) you would write 13 offers…allowing for 1 fall through, you would net 12 additional closing in 12 months. If you average $2500 per closing you would get an additional $30,000 in income for 10 minutes per day. So if you knew that spending 10 minutes of your day “pushing” would net you an extra $30k would you do it? The better question is… why wouldn’t you?


Eddie Brown ©2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Get More Referrals By Transforming Clients Into Referral Crazed Fans!

As many real estate professionals have learned over the past 5 years… traditional media advertising has lost much, if not nearly all, of its effectiveness. Recent consumer surveys show when it comes to choosing a real estate professional, most consumers want to be referred by a trusted friend…. The personal referral still carries the greatest weight. The great thing about personal referrals is the level of trust which comes along with them. The old adage of “My friend trusts you… so I do to” helps to build new relationships much faster.
The way you treat your clients from start to finish, (and beyond the closing)… will govern their willingness to consistently refer your services.  

10 suggestions to help you transform normal happy clients into "Referral Crazed Fans":
1. Start by looking in the mirror…. Are you happy with yourself? Do you feel energized and excited with every client? Are you fit and well-groomed? Do you always act professionally? Is your automobile in good repair and clean? Is your goal to be 5 minutes early to every appointment? These and others factors are the foundation of quality client care.
Todays consumer enjoys working with positive, energetic and knowledgeable professionals. If you are always frazzled, grouchy and constantly complaining, your clients will most likely have a less than stellar experience and will not consider referring you to others.
2. Build “trust based” relationships… When you first start working with someone, they should immediately feel as though they are your most important clients ever and also be confident you are devoted to assisting them achieve their real estate goals. To do this, ask plenty of questions to discover what they value, important facts about their lifestyle, and what their goals are. Furthermore, stay laser focused on the client, not on your text messages, Facebook notifications or other distractions.
3. Have a business plan prepared for every client indicating their goals and desires in purchasing a new home or selling their current property. Refer back to this plan if they get off course. Having a clear course of action… (in tandem with the clients’ goals), will make the transaction less frightening for all parties involved.
4. Become the “Go To” person for real estate:  It is no longer enough to just know the inventory and the prices. Today’s consumer wants much more. They want a consultant who is highly educated in all aspects of local and national real estate trends… mortgage markets, governmental regulations, school information, the best service vendors and repair people….among other things. Create a relationship where they seek you out to get solutions to all their real estate related enquiries.
5. Become a great negotiator for them… when it comes contract time this is where you earn your “super-hero” status. Clients will forget a lot of things but if they perceive you got them the best deal…you become a friend… and REALTOR… for life!
6. Use technology to save you and your clients’ time…in todays world, time has great value. When you value your clients’ time, they will value yours… Use electronic signature software, video tours, and other technologies to digitize the transaction and control time delays caused by old conventional transaction methods.
7. Ask “why”….. a lot! Ever known a young child who asks “why” all the time? By asking why the child is seeking truth and knowledge. INTEL is King! The more you know the better you will serve.
8. Give exemplary service to every client…It doesn’t matter if the client is an $80,000 first time buyer or an executive buying their 6th multi-million dollar home…treat every client like a celebrity… because they are. Everyone has special qualities… so treat them as such!
9. Let your clients make their own decisions… rather than telling your sellers the price where they should list their property, give them quality information about current local market conditions, how long it takes to sell the property at different price points, and then let them decide. The same is true when negotiating offers. Outline options and let the clients decide their course of action. Remember, it’s their house… and their decision.
10. Focus on making your client happy, not the amount of your commission. If a transaction falls apart for the right reasons… remember you were there to help them make the best possible decision for their situation. When your clients recognize how you only want the very best for them, you have created the type of experience which transforms them into raving fans who will refer you business for years to come.

Eddie Brown ©2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lead Generation Awareness

If someone were to ask you the question: What is your average sales price? Would you know the answer? 
What if they asked you to break out your average sold listing price verses your average sold buyer-side transaction price?

What if they got all up in your grill and asked…Well then…do you know  how many closed transactions you have to close per year to meet your personal and business financial obligations? 

If you could answer more than one of these questions with less than 2 hours of research you are doing far better than 80% of your peers in real estate…

In the military there is a term called “situational awareness”…The definition of situational awareness (SA) is “being fully aware of one's surroundings by identifying, engaging, and eliminating potential threats and dangerous situations in advance of becoming a target”.
SA is more of a mindset than a hard skill. Because of this, SA is something which can be practiced not only by highly trained government agents… but also by anyone with the will and the discipline to become aware and prepared. SA is not only beneficial for recognizing threats to your person… but can also serve to identify potential threats to your business and your income.

The primary element in establishing this mindset for your business is first to know your business from the inside out…which includes your numbers. Today we want to focus on your Lead Generation Awareness (LGA).
LGA starts with establishing an income goal for a set period of time... (in our examples we will use 12 months but this works for times periods as short as 90 days). We will use a round number of $100,000 gross income goal for the next 12 month period (this is before taxes and business expenses). This breaks down to $8695.65 monthly income…or $400 per day…and $50 per hour. This is assuming you will work 8 hours per day, 5 days per week, and take only 2 weeks’ vacation.
The next step is to determine your average commission per closed transaction, which is done by adding all your commission checks together for a predetermined time frame and dividing by the number of actual closed transactions. If you can determine the number of total hours you spend on a transaction, you can also determine your “hourly rate” for each transaction.
Once you have your income numbers established you will need to research your prospecting activities…which activities are producing quality leads and which ones are not? How many of each individual activity must you perform to produce 1 qualified lead? Example: If you make 50 calls to your Book of Business, what would be the results? How many referrals would it produce? The same with your other prospecting activities…discover your Rate of Return (ROI) for each type of prospecting you do.
Once you have establish a ROI on your prospecting methods you can begin to do the math to determine the number of closed transactions, activities, and hours required to reach your income goal. (If you have troubles… call me… I can assist you).
With this INTEL in hand you now have your business SA and LGA. Knowing your numbers will help you to stay on track to reach your goals!
Eddie Brown ©2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Coming Soon?

First let's define the phrase “coming soon”…

Merriam Webster defines coming as: “an act of arriving”… and soon as: “a time which is not long from now”. So we speculate Coming Soon in real estate could be defined as: “A property which will be arriving on the market not long from now”.
The difficulty rests in the fact that every agent, buyer, and seller could have a different definition of “not long from now”…

For this article we will be referring to rules, regulations, and laws pertinent to the Triangle MLS Region of North Carolina.

The recent rise in the use of Coming Soon signage has raised good debate from both sides of the argument. On the one side, the listing agents say the use of coming soon marketing is good for the seller and creates activity prior to the actual “go live” date in MLS. They feel it is good PR for the property and works buyers into a frenzy… clamoring to be the first to present an offer on the property before it goes to the open market.

On the opposite side many agents feel it’s all a smoke and mirrors scheme of the listing agent to attract buyers for a “double dip” transaction. They feel it confuses the buyer, seller, and agent alike…in which the listing agents allow only those buyers they want in early for a “sneak peek” only to take offers and activate in MLS after they have an accepted offer in hand.

I hope and pray no listing agent would ever abuse the system and bend the rules to benefit their own bank account. Just to clarify….here is a link to the rules agents in the Triangle have to follow concerning coming soon signage.
It is pretty simple and straight forward with 2 choices….#1) A “withheld” listing where the Listing Agent can show the property to prospective buyers without the listing being in MLS or #2) A “Temporarily off the Market” Status where no showings can occur.

In either instance coming soon needs to be defined, (and disclosed), in writing to potential buyers and buyer agents as to when the property will be available to be shown.

Here-in lies another problem….The NCREC has some conflicting regulations:  The NCREC cautions licensee’s in the May 2013 NC Real Estate Bulletin against the use of coming soon marketing and possible misrepresentation… specifically begging the question, is the consumer confused by the term “coming soon”?
The Commission sees coming soon as advertising… (No different than a For Sale yard sign or an internet posting) …where the agent and company hold themselves as being an authorized agent of the Seller. The NCREC Rule A.015 requires a written agreement prior to performing any brokerage services to a seller in any capacity.  (any being the operative word)

If the brokerage agreement authorizes the broker to begin marketing or promoting the property before it is ready to be shown…then the broker must disclose in any marketing materials, (in writing), that the property is unavailable to be shown and must disclose the anticipated date it will be available for showing.
Many also question Coming Soon marketing inability to hold up to the NC Law of Agency…

Is it really in the best interest of the seller? Coming Soon marketing removes the property from the best source to get the listing in front of the most buyers…The MLS… and by default, the internet….
No matter which side of the argument you are on…the best way to get the highest price and best terms for the seller has always been to have it on the open market for all potential buyers to view.  Coming Soon marketing limits exposure for a period of time…Even if an acceptable offer does materialize…is it the best offer the seller could have received had the property been exposed to all buyers looking for comparable properties? You be the judge…and I hope your answer never lies in the hands of a JURY!

Eddie Brown© 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

Have You Lost Your Focus?

Business Planning and Laser Focus on Activities and Results

An old coaching axiom has long been: “If you don’t have a written business plan…You are simply planning to fail”.

There are two ways to formulate a viable business plan for real estate…#1 meet with a trusted mentor/coach/manager and use their assistance in constructing a plan and committing the to writing.  Use their advice of the things which worked for them, and others, in the past. This method keeps you from re-inventing the wheel.

#2 is a bit more time consuming, but will most likely produce a written business plan tailored to your personality and business goals. There are ten simple steps you need to follow… which I have out-lined on our coaching website…here is a link to 10 Steps to a Better Business Plan

After you have a killer business plan laid out… next you will need to narrow your attention to laser like focus on your target…Growing your business!

 Those of you who have taken a class in archery or weapons may have heard the term “aim small - miss small” …this phrase was made infamous by Mel Gibson in The Patriot Movie Quote. This is the type of focus you will need to really learn and follow your business plan and how you can make it best work for you. A lot of failed business owners worked really hard only to lose everything because they failed to focus on working smarter than their competition.

At you can also find a daily spreadsheet for self-accountability for your daily activities and results Daily Time Log

By tracking your activities and your results you will quickly discover what works for you, and what doesn’t. This will require daily accountability on your part, but once you have completed the exercise for a few days… you will quickly see how it can focus you in on the most important aspects of your business…(the activities which create income and the results they produce).

For more information or assistance on building a business plan or self-accountability contact Eddie at 919-785-4201!

Friday, September 20, 2013

NineThings You Can Do By Year End to Increase Your Business

Below are 9 ideas for expanding your Book of Business between now and Dec 31, 2013. Pick a few or pick them all...guaranteed to help fill your 2014 closing calendar.

1. Rent a popular venue in your city for an evening and invite all your clients to a private party. Example: rent a movie theater once a year and invite past and current customers to a free screening of a children's movie.

2. Take Polaroid photos of Halloween 'trick-or-treaters', slip them into photo jackets printed with your name and telephone number, and give them to the kids to take home to their parents. Hand out inexpensive reflective treat bags to help keep them safe as they walk from house to house in the neighborhood.

3. Plan a pop-by visit and deliver cookies by the office of one of your A+ relationships...not only do you get "points" with them but everyone in the office gets a treat as well. Leave a stack of your business cards by the never know who is thinking of buying or selling! 

4. Offer a $500 or $1,000 college scholarship to a high school senior in your community. Hold a ceremony in their neighborhood to present the check. Have the parents invite others to congratulate the recipient.... and hopefully to meet the donor! 

 5. Sponsor uniforms, and if you can... coach, a children's soccer, basketball or baseball team in your community.

 6. Buy a block of tickets to a concert or play and hold a drawing. Call your prospects and ask whether they'd like their names to be included in the drawing.

7. Sponsor a home repair demonstration or lecture at a local hardware store...pick 2-3 quick fix repair items and get the store manager to give discounts for the items or tools needed to perform those repairs to everyone who attends. Print out instructions for the repairs on cards with your info on the back.
8. Rent an ice cream truck, Give away free frozen goodies in local targeted neighborhoods. An in-advance postcard mailing informed residences about the promotion.

 9. Organize a group to Christmas carol in your market area; leave behind a Happy Holidays card.

Community involvement is another powerful promotional way to get to know people in your market area. Making a significant donation of time, talent, or money to a local group is a great starting point... get personally involved.... Try and keep your focus narrow and localized.


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How To Re-List Expired Listings!

This week’s Coaching Topic focuses on Expired Listings. Are you getting your share?
"Re-Listing" expired listings may be easier than you think…Think about it…At least you know for certain they wanted or needed to sell at one time…Below are ways to help Sellers re-discover their enthusiasm for getting their home SOLD!   

Six Steps to Listing Expired Listings -
  1. Check TMLS daily and contact Seller the day a listing expires.
  2. Focus on proving to the sellers how you are different; remember they’ve just been disappointed by another real estate salesperson. (Use this dialogue: “I am sure you had a great agent before but there must be something they missed; maybe a fresh set of eyes can uncover the reason why your home has not sold. Will you allow me to come by and do an assessment of your property?”)
  3. Provide some value immediately; a comprehensive market analysis will convince sellers you are serious. Have charts and stats ready to show current market conditions
  4. Promise and provide a marketing plan within 48 hours.
  5. Provide a list of what you will do in the first four weeks to sell their home.
  6. Promise to communicate with them at a minimum of once a week for feedback and a general discussion of activities.
Vacant, Stigmatized, and Neglected Properties
  • Find owners by checking TAX RECORDS.
  • Devise a good letter of introduction and write the owner to see if they are interested in selling.
  • Determine why the house is stigmatized—environmental problems, lawsuits, or insufficient funds.
  • Verify the causes of problems if you can; check for pending suits, liens, environmental reports, and foreclosures.
  • Determine if and at what cost the problem can be corrected.
Environmental problems can be resolved, although the cost may be more than the house is worth. Ask if the owner has gotten an estimate for remediation. If the house is neglected, suggest selling it as a fixer-upper or even a teardown if the price is adjusted accordingly.


The New Homes market has finally started to revitalize itself in our area. When the New Homes Market stalled, some new homes were staying on the market until they expired and then were rented by the builder. These types of homes could most likely sell in todays improved market. Check the TMLS for New Construction Expired Listings where the Builders still own them. This involves some research but if their REALTOR has not renewed the Listing Agreement it may be an opportunity for you.
  • Learn about home building. Understanding builders’ terminology and processes gives you credibility.
  • Find out who is building in your area. Pull building permits down at city hall, check ads for new construction, or drive around the neighborhoods you cover.
  • Stress how you intend to focus part of your business on new construction.
4 Other Hot Seller Sources:
  • Personnel Directors- Human Resource Directors
  • Investor and Landlord groups—might be interested in buying homes to hold and rent or selling current ones they own.
  • Government agencies—need to dispose of properties acquired in tax sales and drug seizures.
  • Probate, Foreclosure and divorce attorneys—assist in home sales from estates and for the division of assets during a divorce.
  • Home which were listed several years ago but didn’t sell--  check for homes which expired 2-3 years ago which have not been relisted-  Even though they didn’t sell then….the market has changed…they just might now!
2013© Eddie Brown

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You Might Have a Bad Listing If.....

I am sure you have heard Jeff Foxworthy’s “You Might Be A Redneck If” Jokes…. Well this is a REALTORS take on….

You Might Have a Bad Listing If…

1. If you have to walk sideways down the hall to get to the bedroom, or if the color of the bedroom carpet looks remarkably like piles of dirty clothes ….You might have a bad listing

2. If you cannot determine the paint color of the walls for all the “stuff” hanging on them... Or if children are being scared by the sellers extensive collection of porcelain head clown dolls….You might have a bad listing

3. If the grass in the yard and/or the weeds in the plant beds are knee high. ….You might have a bad listing

4. If the yard is cluttered with broken toys, automobile parts and other memorabilia the seller has collected…and/or if the brass on the front door is greener than the knee high grass in the yard. ….You might have a bad listing

5. If the sellers don't make arrangements for their 2 dogs and 3 cats while the home is to be shown…. And/or if your feedback from the one showing only said these four words…”DOG POOP ON FLOOR” ….You might have a bad listing

6.  If the roof has 3 foot pine trees growing from the gutters…. You might have a bad listing

7. If you need to hand out gas masks during showings…. even if the seller says “Well, I can’t smell anything”… You might have a bad listing

8. If the seller stays home during showings, drinking beer and watching WWF with all their friends. (Nothing against drinking beer and WWF…but I’m just saying)… You might have a bad listing

9. If you can't find the kitchen sink for the dirty dishes and pizza boxes…. And/or if the inside of the oven appears as if a lasagna IED detonated inside it…. You might have a bad listing

10. If the drain in the bathroom shower has hair growing out of it… You might have a bad listing

And The #1 You Might Have A Bad Listing If” …

If there is a nude oil painting of either… or both… of the sellers hanging over the master bedroom waterbed…(and they refuse to take it down during showings)… You might have a bad listing

I am sure you can add a few more to this list…feel free to post comments on some of the “bad listing” items you have encountered….

Eddie Brown 2013

Are Your Clients Unhappy With You?

You May Not Even Realize They Are!

In the newly released 2013 California Home Buyer Survey Report, they touched upon a source of discontent today’s buyers have with their agents – communication.

Three out of the top five reasons of dissatisfaction with an agent, all have to do with communication. Speed of communication, ineffective communication, and method of communication top the charts at one, two, and three respectively.
#1: Slow or no response
#2: Ineffective/inefficient communication
#3: Adverse communication methods
#4: Weak negotiation skills
#5: Inability to understand needs

I am sure some of you may be surprised by these findings! In today’s world where everything in our clients’ lives revolves around instant satisfaction, it shouldn’t be too surprising. They acquire instant news through social media and News aPPS on their Smart Phones, instant cash through direct deposits and ATM withdrawals, instant coffee, overnight UPS, on-demand programming, and the list is endless.
As an agent, it is impossible to be available 24/7 to each of your clients, but it is possible to provide pertinent information quickly to them through the use of technology to give automated responses and then notify your smart phone of any incoming messages.

The chart below came from the CAR survey…it shows the preferred methods of communication being email and text at 79% combined... This was taken from the 25-34 year old age range….this group made up 49% of home purchases for 2012. Don't lose 49% of your business!

Always ask your client which method they prefer so you can communicate at their level!

Eddie Brown 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Are Your Buyers Afraid Of?

We all know how first-time home buyers can be a little apprehensive when making their first purchase…but if the truth be known… most experienced homebuyers fail to retain enough knowledge from their last purchase to keep them fear free in their next one.

Home-buying mistakes are easily blamed on the Buyers Agent…for good reason. As an agent, your fiduciary duty is to protect their best interest. Here are a few areas where you need to thoroughly educate your buyers to avoid costly “rookie” mistakes…and a chance to build trust and future “referral clout”!  

Most buyers will not even consider these costs... but they are there for almost every move. Even if you move yourself there will be costs involved to rent a truck… but beyond that there will be window treatments, new furniture, decorations, appliances etc. *(NAHB claims a new homeowner will spend an average of $7400 in the first 2 years of home ownership… including $4900 in the first year on related items.)

1)    According to a NAR survey 92% of homebuyers want to purchase a move in ready home. They do not want to have to go through the aggravation of remodeling a kitchen or bath…but for those who do…. WARNING …Objects in mirror may be more expensive than they appear! Ever watch the HGTV shows where they do remodels? There are always….repeat always…overruns in the budget! So for the buyer client who wants to the updates suggest they add 15-20% to the budget for unforeseen overruns.
2)    Many buyers might throw a perfectly good home to the curb because of perceived major flaws found during an inspection. Remember: It is the home inspectors’ job to raise red flags and point out the obvious and hidden defects in a structure. But what may sound horrible in a report, (because of the way it is written or because of the buyer being “Constructional Challenged”), may actually be an easy fix… Forewarn the buyer and prepare them for these kinds of issues. We once had a client who refused to put an offer in on a property they had fallen in love with because of plaster cracks above some of the doors in the home.  After an inspection by a licensed contractor we determined it was cosmetic and was repaired with a $5 can of plaster and some touch up paint.
3)    Don’t let your client have a “renters mentality” with things like paint and carpet. When they were renting, they didn’t have the ability to change many of these items…but once they own the home, paint and floor coverings are relatively inexpensive….

Many first time buyers are not aware of the ongoing costs of homeownership because their landlords have always paid these costs from their monthly rent checks. Kiplinger Reports states to estimate the following for a $250,000 home (expenses escrowed over a five year period):

ü $2500-$3000 per year for Repairs and Routine Maintenance such as painting, appliances, HVAC, roofing, carpet, plumbing, etc.
ü  $4000 per year for Insurance and Taxes…(most likely escrowed by the lender.)
ü $1200-$2400 per year for Lawn Care…even if you do it yourself you will still need to have a mower and gas, seed and fertilizer etc.
ü $300 a year for pest control.
ü ???? Cost of your time to maintain your home and yard.

 Strongly urge your buyers to get a home warranty to “insure” against repairs for covered items…make sure they understand what the warranty covers and most importantly… what it doesn’t cover. The money paid for the warranty is like an escrow account for when a major break down occurs.

Since there are certain to be unanticipated costs which show up in the first year of homeownership… make sure your clients cushion their budgets so they don’t panic when the dishwasher springs a leak and ruins the hardwood floors.

We hope this information helps you to ease your clients fears of homeownership.

Eddie Brown ©2013