Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ten Business Resolutions for 2015

1. Pick one day each week to work on your business and looking for new clients
Marketing Monday is a great idea…and this may seem like a simple idea, but if you set aside this time, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll be able to accomplish…and the improvements you’ll be able to make.

2. Focus on one target market at a time
Don’t spread yourself thin trying to be in too many places at the same time…try to dominate one market at a time and then move to establish new markets once you have achieved success.

3. Start thinking of your real estate business as a business and not just a job.
It’s this Business-like mindset that will free you up to make real money.

4. Quit cold prospecting marketing methods and focus on getting prospects to call you.
Use a “stacking effect” of marketing to stay front of mind with your Book of Business providing Items of Value to solidify your position as a professional in the community.

5. Stop settling for advertising that only “pays for itself” and only do activities which MULTIPLY themselves. When you focus on implementing low cost lead generation strategies focused on a single target market, it’s not uncommon to get returns of 30 or 50 to 1 on every dollar you spend on them.

6. Resolve to focus on growing relationship’s and building personal wealth… not being famous.
What good is becoming an icon if it doesn’t help you increase your net worth? Billboards and wraps of your smiling face on the sides of trucks are very expensive and seldom have a good ROI.

7. Be Creative with your existing relationships. Think of new things you can do next year with your existing relationships to let them know you care. Show them you care and they will care about you in return!

8. Resolve to become more effective and efficient in everything you do.  Stop doing things which don’t make money…Do more of those which do….

9. Get your current clients to lead you to your NEXT clients…The Reticular Activator….
While your current clients are looking for a home, or selling their home… they’re hyper aware of all the people around them who are going through, or considering the same thing, and if you Know how to skillfully orchestrate ways for your clients to recognize this and you have the language skills to capitalize on it, they’ll refer other people to you.

10. Focus on the lifetime value of your clients
One of the big mistakes most people make is to focus on building a transactional business where they focus on doing the NOW transactions, and don’t pay any attention to the EQUITY they have an opportunity to build…which is repeat and referral business.

 Your Book of Business is your most valuable, virtually competition proof asset that you can nurture for a never ending return. Don’t just focus on building a transactional business…focus on building a long term sustainable business built on loyal relationships.
Eddie Brown ©2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Feed-Back: The Good – The Bad – The Ugly…

Receiving honest, yet constructive, feedback from buyers through their agents is sometimes an impossible task as a listing agent. The following info is for both Listing and Buyer Agents in an attempt to make giving and getting feedback a stress free part of your daily “to do” list.

The Good:

Start off by asking good questions of the buyers… making it easier for you to relay their thoughts to the Listing Agent…
1. What Was Your First Impression Of The Home?
2. How Do You Compare This Home With Others You Saw Today?
3. What Do You Like Most About This Home?
4.  What Do You Like Least About This Home?
5. Could You See Yourself Living In This Home If You Could Get The Right Price And Terms?
6. What Is Your Opinion On The Price?
7. If The Price Is High…What Price Would You Consider “Fair Market Value”
8. Would You Consider Making An Offer On This Home If Priced At “Fair Market Value”?

The Bad:

Buyers Agents: Never ignore feedback requests from Listing Agents… Sellers expect to receive feedback from the agents who have shown their home…and rightfully so. They are eager to get an offer…As a Listing Agent it is your job to test the market…without feedback… there is no way to “grade” the homes true marketability.
Listing Agents: Educate the Sellers up-front how not every agent who shows their home will provide feedback…even after multiple requests…

If you are one of those agents who refuses to provide feedback and also lists homes… when those “jilted” listing agents show your future listings it may be difficult to get feedback for your sellers… (Reciprocation in action) … Sad but true.
The Ugly:

Giving negative feedback in a negative way…ie: “The Buyers said your listing was butt-ugly and stunk like an out-house”...”and if the sellers think they will ever get close to what it is currently listed for they are just plain stupid!”… “And what were you thinking taking the listing at that price… in that condition?”.
Intermix negative feedback in a positive way…ie: “The Buyers felt the home was a bit outdated and could use an odor abatement system to improve the indoor air quality” …”they also felt when compared to other comparable listings they have viewed this home was priced well above fair market value” …”If your seller is willing to substantially reduce the asking price I will ask the buyers if there is any further interest… thanks for allowing us to view the property.”

I hope this will help you to get and give better feedback for sellers…They Deserve It!
Eddie Brown ©2014


Friday, October 3, 2014

Be a Better You!

Investing in yourself is hard for many people... Most are willing to invest in things which make us look, or feel, better about ourselves like haircuts, manicures, makeup, new clothes etc.... but only a select few are willing to take the time to invest in their skill sets and their knowledge.
I have had requests for my preferred reading list...these are books I keep on my book shelf in the office and I reference back to them often.
Read one of these books, (in order), every week for 12 weeks and it will change the way you look at your life, your career, and the people around you.
1.       The Seven Levels of Communication:  Michael Maher
2.       Work By Referral:  Brian Buffini and Joe Niego
3.       The Energy Bus:  Jon Gordon
4.       Get Your Ship Together:  D. Michael Abrashoff
5.       21 Things I Wish My Broker Had Told Me:  Frank Cook
6.       The Power of Focus:  Jack Canfield
7.       Team Secrets of The Navy Seals:  Anonymous
8.       The Power of Full Engagement:  Jim Loehr  and Tony Schwartz
9.       The 8 New Rules of Real Estate:  John Tuccillo
10.   The Way to the Top:  Donald Trump
11.   Mastery:  George Leonard
12.   Shut Up…Stop Whining & Get a Life!:  Larry Winget

Eddie Brown- www.ICU-Coaching.com

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top 20 Ways to Avoid REALTOR JAIL!

The following information is provided to help keep you out  of “Realtor Jail”…


This is a list… not in any particular order of things you should always complete or check prior to signing a listing agreement or an offer to purchase.


1.    Seller Net Sheet- Always request the Seller provide this info and ask if they are current on mortgage(s), credit lines, taxes, etc. 
2.    Have Buyer meet with a Local Lender prior to writing contract – In todays credit score driven market this is a must…plus in a multiple offer situation it can instill seller confidence in your buyer. Also it will help protect the buyer from losing their due diligence fee and valuable time. 
3.    Seller Disclosures- Make certain Seller fully completes the form by checking every box and filling in explanations…and make certain each Buyer fully reads and understands each disclosure given on the form. 
4.    Keep a copy of the active MLS sheet for your files- Listing Agents could change something of importance (Like Gas Hot Water to Electric) and you will need it later for a reference. 
5.    Always keep your sketch and calculation sheet when measuring for square footage. The NCREC may require you provide these if a complaint is filed regarding square footage. 
6.    Check the Sex Offender website for surrounding area when listing a home (most buyers will)…Keep your clients educated! 
7.    Is there vacant land adjacent to the property? Check and see who owns it,  the current zoning, and possible future uses. Here in NC, Progress Energy owns thousands of miles of right of way... that has no power lines on it…Yet! 
8.    Make sure all addenda is added to listing agreements and Offers to Purchase…many localities require certain forms such as air traffic noise addendum, future highway project addendums etc. 
9.    Home Inspections should always be strongly suggested…along with Lead Paint, Radon, Termite, and Well/Septic. If the Buyer selects not to have them done… get them to sign a form stating they are aware of the dangers and you advised them to have these tests performed.
10.  If the home is on a well/septic…pull the permits and assure the system permit coincides with the number of bedrooms the home has. Have the well tested not only for water quality but for the gallons per minute it produces. 
11.  Surveys…some lenders no longer require a new survey…Not a good idea in my opinion…I suggest the buyer always pay for a new survey… an costly encroachment may slip by without a survey… which may rear its ugly head later! 
12.  If a buyer is writing a cash offer, always get a proof of available funds letter from the buyer’s financial institution. If the buyers are legitimate… they will not mind you asking for one. 
13.  Google search the property address and buyer, seller names…you’d be surprised what you can find with a simple Google search. 
14.  If something seems fishy or unethical, talk with your Broker in Charge, better to play it safe and ask questions than to get caught in a mess. If the buyer, seller, or other agent is trying to bend the rules don’t take part in it…walk away! If there is a clear and blatant violation of the law, you hold an obligation to report it to the proper authorities. 
15.  Check for unpermitted square footage…This is becoming more and more common…if there is a red flag, ask and check! 
16.  Check HOA association for pending assessments and if the seller is current on dues…Many agents put under #7(d) of the NC Offer To Purchase… “None- if any Seller to pay”. This is very bad wording for the Seller. If the pending assessment becomes a true assessment anytime post-closing, the Buyer could hold the Seller responsible for the payment… even months or years after the closing. 
17.  Check for flood hazards…(another good reason for a new survey) 
18.  Check restrictive covenants for subdivisions and give the Buyer a copy to review or a link to go to…your Buyer may have an intended use for the property the restrictive covenants will not allow…once they have closed it is too late. The NCREC states licensees are not attorneys and should not be “de-coding” or explaining the intricate details of neighborhood covenants to clients. If they have questions direct them to their closing attorney for answers. 
19.  Always request repairs to be done by a licensed contractor and suggest buyer pay to have all repairs re-inspected… 
20.  Get EVERYTHING in writing! A proper paper trail will keep you out of REALTOR Jail better than any slick New York Attorney! Keep detailed records of phone conversations and follow-up with an email to verify and confirm understanding of all parties. Keep voicemails and compile all emails into one folder. With electronic cloud storage being dirt cheap…I suggest you just keep everything…you never know when you will need it! 
I am sure there may be others but this is a few of the items I see agents running into problems with….your local area may have other specific concerns…if so, add them to your list! 
Eddie Brown  ©2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Below is a 7 minute video from a Lou Holtz interview….thought you might get some value from it.

Lou Holtz took six losing teams to bowl games with his W.I.N. mentality... W.I.N. is based on What’s Important Now?

Imagine asking yourself every 30 minutes of your waking hours …What’s Important Now? It forces you to FOCUS on what is IMPORTANT at that particular moment in TIME.

It ENABLES you to PRIORITIZE and REALIZE when you have gotten off track.

·        Have you been on email too long?

·        Have you been on Face Book too long?

·        Have you been socializing with other REALTORS too long?


Allows you to RE-FOCUS on the ACTIVITIES which are life changing

·        Ones which funnel QUALIFIED LEADS into your pipeline… which in return create INCOME.

·        Ones which help you STRENGTHEN old and BUILD new relationships… both business and personal.

·        Ones which improve your PHYSICAL and MENTAL well-being.

SUCCESS ACTIVITY:  contact 3 people right now and show them you care!
Enjoy your day!

Eddie Brown

Thursday, July 3, 2014










 We are all creatures of habit in one way or another…good or bad. If you make good habits, good habits will make you. The subconscious mind is 1 million times more powerful than the conscious mind. Habits in “auto-pilot” mode govern our behaviors throughout most of our lives.

Have you ever been driving somewhere and when you get there it is as if part of the trip was a blank? Your subconscious mind was driving your car on auto-pilot while you were in a conversation or deep thought about a subject. You didn’t consciously step on the gas or hit the brakes or turn the steering wheel…your subconscious mind did… in habit.
Habits begin and manifest deep in the mind and they can be your friend or your foe.

Whether they are a positive force in our lives or obstacles to the goals we want to achieve…habits become ingrained through repeated actions, (like brushing your teeth every morning).
BREAK THE CYCLE: What is a habit you would like to make or break?

The first step is to identify the habit…admit and confirm a bad habit as a negative force in your life… nothing can be changed until it is faced head on. If it is a good habit you want to make, acknowledge the positive things forming the new habit will bring.
KNOW THE WHY: Why do you need… or want…to make or break the habit?

If you change your belief, you change your thinking…If you change your thinking, you will change your life!
WE ARE WHAT WE REPEATEDLY DO…Therefore excellence is not an act but A HABIT!

Happy Independence Day!
Eddie Brown
©2014 ICU-Coaching

Friday, June 13, 2014

Five Skills of a Successful Agent

Skill sets are very important to your level of success... in your chosen field. Labron James did not make it to where he is in the NBA on good looks alone… He has a particular set of skills which have taken him to the top of his game.

Below are Five Skills a REALTOR must have to be successful:

1.     Promotes Constantly: This one is the most important of the five (The reason for the #1 beside it!) You can get the other 4 wrong, but if you get this one right you will have some level of success. This skill needs to become a priority #1 habit…just like brushing your teeth. Imagine if you didn’t brush your teeth for a day, not much would happen, even after two or three days the only real negative would be short term bad breath. But go for two – three- or four weeks without good oral hygiene and bad things, (with long term effects), will start to happen. This is what happens to your business when you stop promoting yourself and your business…BAD THINGS HAPPEN!

2.     Builds Relationships: Now you are percolating…you are promoting and you are building relationships! You now have the start of a successful long term business in real estate. You don’t promote just to promote…you promote to help you build relationships. If you just make a sale… you just make one commission... When you build relationships you build a referral network and a future income stream. 

3.     Provides Value: In today’s world EVERYTHING is about providing value! The modern consumer wants value and this is one of the best ways to build a relationship… by providing something a person regards as “valuable”. 

4.     Sells “Skillfully”:  A true professional serves their clients by “selling” with skill and integrity… Almost every profession has a bit of “sales” in it. You have to be able to sell… In real estate nothing happens without a “sale” occurring…be skillful in your approach and don’t use cheesy old lines the consumer can spot a mile away… Honestly, with the Highest Integrity, and Skillfully sell your services to your clients. 

5.     Serves Meticulously:  Meet, and exceed, the needs of each and every client. Take care of every detail in a professional manner… all the while providing value. Then when you ask for the referral, you will get them… why??? Because you earned them!
Stay Focused on the Things Which Matter in Your Business and Your Life!
Eddie Brown ©2014


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Are You Fishing in The Right Pond?

Growing up as a young boy in Western Johnston and Eastern Wake Counties of North Carolina my Dad often would take me fishing to one of many ponds surrounding our property. Some of the ponds were a guarantee to bring home dinner but some of them were “iffy” at best.

Some of the ponds had beautiful bass and bream which were fun to catch and tasty for dinner…Some of the ponds were full of greasy mud-cats which were fun to reel in but not much to brag about on the plate. And then some ponds were full of turtles and snakes who loved to steal your bait and then sneak away leaving you empty handed.
When prospecting for new business you have to treat it a lot like fishing…enough hooks in the water with the right kind of bait…but most important the right “spot” in the right pond!
Let’s look at some of the different ponds you might be “fishing” in right now.

The Internet and Social Media Pond:
NAR stated in their 2013 report that only 3% of the average agents closed sales came from the internet…only 4% of Sellers listed with an agent via the internet and only 9% of Buyers who met an agent through a website closed a sale with that agent.

The problem with most web generated leads is the potential clients lack of motivation. Statistics have shown how if an agent does not respond within the first 5 minutes after a consumer places a web request for information… the client is gone…never to be seen again.
Another problem with the internet pond is most of the fish won’t bite or they are not edible. To break it down most agents complain about the quality of internet leads…Agent surveys have shown us that less than 3% of all leads taken from the internet are ready, willing, and able to transact real estate.

Also most consumers (86%) start searching the internet 12-18 months before they are ready to transact…This means the agent must have a system to regularly stay in touch until the lead is ready. Less than 20% of all agents maintain a workable data base management system…. and unfortunately most agents are shortsightedly looking for business “right-now” rather than 12-18 months from now and are ill-equiped to cultivate leads for long periods of time.
The Open House Pond:

Open house “fishing” numbers are comparable with the internet numbers…Surveys show how about 1-2% of an average agents closed business came from open house leads. You can become more proactive by inviting neighbors by using "just-listed" cards followed by a "door-knock pop-by" to invite them to the open house.
The Phone Duty Pond:

Phone duty on average came in at 3% of an agents closed business… this included calls and walk-ins, Phone Duty and or Open Houses can be a source of leads but you cannot build a business on them alone. They are just too passive of an activity.
Print Advertising Pond:
Some agents spent 50% of their budget in this area and I have to say…STOP IT! There is a less than 1% return on investment in farming by direct mail, magazine, newspaper, newsletters and advertising specialties such as refrigerator magnets. Print advertising is dead in real estate…don’t waste your efforts in this pond… it has been “fished-out” !

Passive approaches to advertising in real estate have resulted in the poorest return on your marketing dollar for years…this is not expected to change in the near future.
The Book of Business Pond:

NAR reported in 2013 that over 71% of all buyers and sellers found their REALTOR from a personal referral from a friend or other “trusted source”. Out of this 71% …90% of them closed on the transaction within 180 days of the referral…. and an amazing 98% of them closed with the referred REALTOR within 12 months.
Your #1 priority should be expanding your database and generating referrals from people who like you and the services you provide. It is vital to stay in contact with your past clients…not only are they great referral sources, they are the most likely to use you next time they buy or sale!

Any activity which puts you face to face with buyers and sellers is more likely to produce a closed transaction than those who rely on impersonal contact methods such as snail-mail and email.
Three Steps You Can Take Now:

1)    Find out which activities are generating not just leads… but income for you now. Which pond is generating the most edible fish!

2)    Discover where you can get the best bang for your buck. Sometimes the least expensive things will generate the most income for your business. Use the right “bait” to attract the clients you want to work with.

3)    Proactively and aggressively market to your data base…Stop waiting around passively for fish to jump in your boat! Shift your passive marketing to proactive networking. Don’t waste your efforts on passive techniques which no longer produce income for your real estate business.

To learn more about data base management, proactive networking, and becoming profitable in real estate go to www.ICU-Coaching.com, or call Eddie at 919-785-4201

Eddie Brown ©2014 ICU-Coaching

All statistical data taken from the NAR 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Five Easy Steps to Ignite Your Business

There are two types of motivation, Internal and External. Internal motivation comes from deep within…some say it is a burning desire. Or think of it as a fire or ravenous hunger which a few special people always have burning inside them which drives them to be better than they were yesterday.
External motivation is very different, it could be you have bills to pay, mouths to feed, or the wolves are pounding on the door so loudly you will do anything to make it stop. Unlike Internal motivation…External motivation quickly fades after the immediate need has been met…

Think about the circle of life of a Gazelle and a Lion. The Lion runs because he has an internal desire for a successful hunt while the Gazelle runs because he is being chased by the Lion. When the Lion stops running so do the Gazelle.
Below are 5 simple steps to become the Lion…but like the old tale goes…”Whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle, when the sun comes up…start running!”

Establish Goals with a written business plan…What is written in 70% more likely to be achieved. Discover your why…What moves or drives you?

Narrow your focus…don’t try to do everything at once. Pick 2-3 platforms for driving your business and then “test” them to see which ones work and which ones don’t. Once you have established which types of marketing work for you proceed to step 3.

Develop a plan using the market tested ways you want to use to grow your business. Create a list of “items of value”, you can send to clients both electronically and via snail-mail with hand written notes attached. Become the trusted advisor to your Book of Business (B.o.B.) and demonstrate you care about their needs.

Develop a system to maintain regular contact with your B.o.B. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Top Producer or Realty Juggler are great electronic choices, but even an old 4x5 card file system is better than no system. Know what (and when) you have sent and said to your B.o.B. is important to your long term success. This leads us to the last step…

STEP FIVE:   Track and Measure Your Success…
If you don’t know where you have been... how do you know where you are headed? It is impossible to improve on what you don’t measure. Take some time each week to look over your activities,the results and hold yourself accountable. If you can’t hold yourself accountable… get someone to do it for you… team up with another associate to become accountability partners…or better yet, get a trained coach who can assist you with growing your business and holding you accountable for your daily business activities.

Final thoughts: If your real estate business is not where you want it to be…who is to blame…Is it someone else?... Is it the market?....Or, is it you? The first step to growing is to discover your “truths”. Be honest with yourself and lay it all out on the table… Growth requires change…and change is sometimes hard.
As Rifiki from the Lion King said “Ahhh, Change is Good”…“ The past can hurt...but the way I see it is… you can either run from it…or learn from it!”

Test the market and learn from your mistakes, track your successes and keep systems in place and watch your business soar!
Hakuna Matata !

Eddie Brown

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

7 Ways to "Bullet-Proof" Your Next Listing Presentation

The below information will give you insight to what Sellers want from you as a listing agent...make your next listing presentation Bullet-Proof by giving the Seller the answers they are looking for up front...Before they ask the question.... Good Luck!

If you want to take your business to the next level visit www.ICU-Coaching.com and call Eddie to schedule a confidential and comprehensive assessment of your real estate business and career. 
Eddie Brown
© 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Are You Unknowingly Destroying Your Facebook Effectiveness?

Anyone who knows me knows I have never been a huge fan of Facebook...I have always thought their motto should be "Bringing people together by keeping them apart". And I have never understood the whole "friends" thing. How can I be friends with someone I never met? I guess that is todays technology! But I digress....

This morning I saw an article in Inman News which will be  valuable if you use a business FB page to promote your business.  Ms. Etheridge gives some tips on how to better utilize FB's algorithm's to obtain maximum exposure for your posts.


If you or someone you know needs help growing their real estate business, give us a call and let us show you the many advantages of being a FM Brier Creek Team Member. Learn why more and more experienced agents are leaving their current firms and making the move "up" to the Brier Creek office.

Eddie Brown