Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Is There a Better Way to Deliver Bad News? (Repost)

SO.... You Got Some Bad News.... Now What?

Real estate will always be full of ups and downs. There's the thrill of finding the perfect home for your client, followed by the news the sellers JUST accepted another offer.

Hopefully you and your client's lives have been filled with more good news than bad.

But what do we do when the uncomfortable time to deliver bad news arrives?

The news that the buyers loan was not approved? News the appraisal came in below contract price? The news how during the inspection, it was discovered the entire basement is full of mold and the foundation is bad, and both heat exchange units are cracked? The news the buyer is cancelling the contract the last day of their due diligence period…for NO SPECIFIC REASON?

Or what about this one…It’s 2 days before closing and you have to go to your relocating buyer to advise them the closing attorney just discovered an equity line on the property they are purchasing and the seller is now is a short sale position…lacking the funds to cover the deficiency…Is there any possible way to legislate damage control in the delivery on these types of messages?

The answer is yes:

But first go back to when you first met your client. Pre-education is paramount! Let your clients know beforehand they always need to have a “Plan-B” because “Stuff” happens… and when it hits the fan if they have a good Plan B it will not be as devastating.

As a former Marine we had a saying ...“adapt and improvise” … we always had a Plan B, C, and D for every mission for when Plan A fails…(notice I didn’t say “if” Plan A fails…there is going to be disaster from time to time…that is just life…so be prepared)

Next: The significance of the when and how of delivery:

When: As soon as possible! Delaying the delivery of bad news is never a good choice. Plus it adds the advantage of time…Time to initiate their Plan B, or in a worse case develop one.

How: Make it personal! The delivery of bad news is always better in person when possible. Don’t hide behind an email or text…if you can’t be face to face, then do it voice to voice… (But tell them you wanted to do this face to face).

Never hide the facts…Give them all the information you have and if they have further questions find the answers promptly. Then follow up and follow through with what you say you will do. Get It Done!

Always look for a silver lining…and always…ALWAYS come to the table with options for your client. Bring them solutions to their problems and you will become their hero.

My Grandma used to say “if you have to serve rotten potatoes… pass them the whole bowl of gravy…and it better be good gravy!”. Be upbeat… but be ready for some fall-out, (there will most certainly be emotions)…The most common first reaction is anger so be prepared to explain the options they have available...if you aren’t prepared with multiple solutions, then fear will set in…so do your homework.

NEVER throw the other side under the bus….don’t place blame… it will only fuel your clients’ emotions. Blame usually causes the client to want to step away from the pain… where solutions will help move the transaction forward.

And finally: No matter how disappointed your client is…you want them to leave this meeting feeling you have done everything you can do to improve a bad situation…and that you are on their side 100%!

We hope you found this information valuable…to learn more about one-to-one real estate production coaching visit

Eddie Brown

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

How to Cope With a Sluggish or Slowing Market

Anyone who has been in Real Estate for any length of time knows how cyclical the market can sometimes be. Tax Time, Summer Vacations, Back to School, and Major Holidays can often put the brakes on even the hottest markets. Coupled with the “roller coaster” effect inconsistent prospecting creates, and you have the perfect set-up for a few bad business months… (Where you seem to always be scrambling for prospective buyers and sellers).

Step One: To lessen the side effects of the normal cycles of the real estate market stay consistent with your prospecting and networking with your database. 
  • Only 20% of REALTORS have a system in place to manage their database … Only 5% use it consistently… 
  • This 5% has an average yearly net income over $200,000. Lesson #1 learned… Get a System…Lesson #2 USE IT!
Realtor Rescue© Coaching implements a system appropriately named “THE FIVE”©. This is a simple to learn and utilize system of 5 different types of contact per day…  5 days each week. This equates to approximately 25 contacts per week of voice to voice, face to face, hand written notes, electronic communication, and breaking bread (lunch or coffee meetings).

For most agents this seems like a daunting number… I often get this response… “I have to contact 25 people each week??? Really Eddie…are you on drugs?” … (or some just stare at me as if I had 3 heads)… But I promise you…it really is much simpler than it seems.

THE FIVE Daily Prospecting Scenario: 
You call a past client and invite them to Starbucks for coffee… (That's 1 call, 1 coffee)… after the Starbucks visit you send them a hand written note via snail mail thanking them for meeting with you and again letting them know you value their relationship and referrals… (there goes your 3rd contact)   Are you starting to catch on?

On the way home while at the grocery store picking up your dinner you see a neighbor and have a quick discussion about last Saturdays swim meet at the pool and when parting you ask them if they know anyone who is considering buying or selling ….(this was your face-to face and contact #4.)

So now all that is remaining is your electronic communique… Will any of you send any personal emails, or go onto social media after you have dinner? Yeah, I thought so….(BINGO there’s your “FIVE” for the day… Easy Peezy!)    

Step Two: Recruit an accountability partner to hold you to your promise to yourself so you can reach your goal of 5 contacts, 5 days each week. Also have a set of written goals for your transaction numbers and income for the next 3-6 months. Consistency is the key…it's your “easy button”… Your “partner” can be a spouse or significant other or another agent where you can hold each other accountable to your goals.

Step Three: “Aim Small, Miss Small”  Don’t aim at the whole target…pick a spot on the target and focus on it intensely… so even if you miss the small spot you were focused on, you will still be on target.

Example…. Don’t focus on a goal of $100,000 in income… nor the 30 closed transactions needed to generate $100,000 in income… don’t even consider this equates to 2.5 monthly closed transactions … Do calculate the number of contacts you need per day to generate your income goal and focus on completing them each day. Even if you miss a few contact goals here and there… you most likely will still be on target at year end.

When the market slows down… it gives you more time to “speed-up” your marketing efforts. When everyone else is complaining about the lack of business…you will be shifting into a higher gear and waving to them in the rear view mirror… yelling…. I STAY ALIVE WITH THE FIVE!!!!!

For more information on Realtor Rescue Coaching and “THE FIVE” contact

Eddie Brown © June 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016


You have to take control your own life… Your own destiny…. Your family, your friends and your business needs you.
Every experience you’ve had up to this point has prepared you for this very moment in your life… all that is left for you to do is to step up… Your biological timeclock is ticking… you no longer have time left to push the snooze button… IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!

There is a  world of new experience waiting for you…it is time to rise up to this grand adventure…this challenge you were born to experience… the challenge you need to experience!
YOU MUST BE READY… Because no one is coming … The Government is not coming to save you. Your parents cannot rescue you…Your friends can’t carry you… NO ONE IS COMING… You are already here and you are READY! No one owes you anything…  You are not entitled.
You are exactly where you placed yourself… Trust your gut feelings… No one knows your dreams better than you. Stop pretending and tell the truth… to yourself and to others. Don’t fear being imperfect because perfect is never going to happen.

It’s not the beginning… nor the end… it’s the middle… and the dash between when you are born and when you die is the journey which really matters. Look inside…where is your journey leading you... what has it made you? We are here to learn… to evolve… You must build a positive relationship within your own mind to be able to create your new reality… create new thoughts… and significant changes. Dreams have to be greater than you are now. You don’t always get to choose your dreams… sometimes they choose you… just never give up on them.

But before a break-through can occur… there has to be a break-down. It’s in those moments of darkness… when you feel lost… and not sure where you are… you wonder if you will ever see the light again… ever feel the sun on your face again. These are the very moments when you must believe in YOU…You must have faith. Faith will keep you moving… without it… you stop moving… you stop living. When faith is lost, you give up… and when you give up… a part of you will die.
Listen to your dreams and you will break the chains of disbelief which hold you down.
It takes true courage to be who you really are… don’t be afraid to be different… To show the world who you really are takes courage. Real courage provides life, adrenaline, and motivation … If you have courage …YOU ARE READY!  
You have everything you need right now to fulfill your dreams… You are ready and the time is NOW!  


Eddie Brown  ©2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Are you in survival mode? The Sequence of Success...

4 Phases of Your Real Estate Career
  • Survival
  • Stability
  • Success
  • Significance
Do you sometimes feel like you are hung up in “survival mode”?  Most agents early in their real estate careers are in fact stuck in survival mode.

Here are a few tips for breaking out of survival and moving forward and upward in your career.

Tip #1.
To move into stability you must have a written which provides a road map of where you want to go and how you get there. You need systems to manage a strong data base of relationships... Which is where you eventually want to obtain 80+% of your business.

The typical agent with less than 2 years in the business makes less than $20,000...while on the other hand agents with 8 or more years experience generally make greater than $65,000. This proves how referrals are the "learning curve" of success in real estate...

But early on you will need to go "old school" ... by doing weekly open houses, take every lead call floor duty opportunity you can, search daily for expired and withdrawn listings, work For Sale By Owners, even go as far as to ask the top producers in your office to remember you when they are too busy to assist a lead. As you fill your pipeline, and your Book of Business, the personal referrals will start to roll in and you will do less and less of the old school prospecting... making room for the next generation of new associates in the office.

Tip #2.
The road to success is full of potholes and with the right guidance from your written plan (road map) you can avoid most of them. Seek help from a mentor, accountability partner, or a professional business coach who can assist you with business decisions and hold you accountable.

82% of agents don't stay in touch with their database on a consistent basis... and when they do... the #1 form of contact is a recipe card. You must provide value in the arena  of your profession... do you want to be referred buyers and sellers or catering events? The info you provide will guide your databases of your professionalism....Perception becomes reality... Do you want to be tagged as a REALTOR or a Sous Chef?   

Tip #3.
To obtain significance in any career you have to be willing to work harder and smarter than your competition. Success comes dressed in overalls and looks a whole lot like work! Almost all top producers utilize 4 main productive habits:
  1. Daily Promotion... without it, something terrible happens...NOTHING! 
  2. Consistent contact with database using contact management systems.
  3. Constantly form new relationships.
  4. Always look for opportune times to ask for referrals.
We all tend to drift away from good habits like healthy eating, working out and daily prospecting. Always check your self accountability gauge to make sure you are on track to reach your goals... Set short term 10 day goals to stay on course... Life is hard by the yard, but a cinch by the inch.


Eddie Brown

For more information on Realtor Rescue and how it can help your business call Eddie at 919-785-4201

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Do Buyer Agents have a duty to verify square footage information?

QUESTION: Several years ago, I represented a buyer who purchased a condominium. The unit had been listed in the MLS and the listing agent reported the unit as having 900 square feet of living area. My client purchased the property and lived there for several years. He recently asked me to list the unit for sale. As part of my regular practice whenever I list property, I measured the unit and discovered that it only has 820 square feet of living area. I am concerned that my client will be upset with me over my failure to verify the square footage when he purchased the property. Do buyer agents have a duty to verify reported square footage in every transaction?

ANSWER:  We have written previously about the responsibilities of listing agents to provide accurate information if they choose to report the square footage of their listings in their advertising. But buyer agents have responsibilities as well.

The Real Estate Commission has published Residential Square Footage Guidelines which can be viewed on the Commission's website under the "Publications" tab. On page 6 of that publication, the Commission writes as follows: "Generally speaking, an agent working with a buyer (either as a buyer’s agent or as a seller’s agent) may rely on the listing agent’s square footage representations except in those unusual instances when there is an error in the reported square footage that should be obvious to a reasonably prudent agent. For example, a buyer’s agent would not be expected to notice that a house advertised as containing 2200 square feet of living area in fact contained only 2000 square feet. On the other hand, that same agent, under most circumstances, would be expected to realize that a house described as containing 3200 square feet really contained only 2300 square feet of living area. If there is such a “red flag” regarding the reported square footage, the agent working with the buyer should promptly point out the suspected error to the buyer and the listing agent. The listing agent should then verify the square footage and correct any error in the information reported."

Based on the Commission's own guidance, your failure to notice an 80 square foot discrepancy in a condo listed as having 900 square feet does not mean that you would definitely receive discipline by the Commission. However, that does not mean that your buyer client might not file a lawsuit in an attempt to hold you and your firm responsible for damages. The best suggestion we can give to buyer agents: always think carefully about the square footage being reported. When in doubt, tell your client... and ask for verification.

NC REALTORS® provides articles on legal topics as a member service.  They are general statements of applicable legal and ethical principles for member education only.  They do not constitute legal advice.  The services of a private attorney should be sought for legal advice.
© Copyright  2016. North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, Inc.  This article is intended solely for the benefit of NC REALTORS® members, who may reproduce and distribute it to other NC REALTORS® members and their clients, provided it is reproduced in its entirety without any change to its format or content, including  disclaimer and copyright notice, and provided that any such reproduction is not intended for monetary gain.  Any unauthorized reproduction, use or distribution is prohibited.
Bill Gifford, Martin & Gifford, PLLC