Suggested Questions For Seller To Ask Listing Agent

The selling season is coming on strong and each day more and more new listings are hitting the market as the sun begins to shine and spring starts to get near. Polishing up on your listings presentation is a must. One of the most effective tools you can use with your listing presentation is a list of questions the seller should be asking potential listing agents. Carefully crafted these questions can yield great results for you. Since you’ll be presenting the list of questions to the seller you will already have the best answer already crafted for each question. ON the other hand, if the sellers are interviewing other agents these questions will come as a surprise and most likely create a road block to them successfully obtaining the listing.

Here are 24 Suggested Questions Sellers Should Ask A Listing Agent.

1). Do you work as a full-time Realtor?

2). How Many potential buyers and sellers do you talk with in a week? A month? Of those you speak with, how many actually contact you as opposed to cold calling?

3). How many buyers are you currently working with?

4). In what ways will you encourage other Realtors to show and sell my home?

5).  What can you tell me about the real estate market in this area?

6).  What price do you recommend for my home, and what is it based on?

7).  What are your average days on market?

8).  What is your list to sales price ratio?

9).  What kind of advertising do you do?   May I see some samples?

10). How often will my home be advertised, and where?

11). How do you attract buyers from outside the local area?

12). Will you prepare an informative feature sheet for my property?  May I see a sample?

13). Where and how will the feature sheets be distributed, and to whom?

14). Do you have a system to follow-up with other agents and brokers so that we get valuable feedback after every showing?

15). How often, and in what way will I be kept informed?

16). Are you associated with a national referral network that refers their buyers to you and gives you the opportunity to refer me to the top agent in the town or state I may be moving to?

17). Do you have a Team to help with the details, or are you a one man / woman wonder show & do it all yourself?

18). Do you have a way to market my home through the Internet or Virtual Tours?

19). Do you have a Specific Marketing Plan designed to sell my property quickly and for top dollar? How does it go beyond placing a sign in my yard, an ad in the paper, and notifying the Multiple Listing Service?

20). May I see a copy of your last listing as it appears to other Realtors on the MLS?  (Called a “Realtors Full Report”)

21). Do you have an 800# Hot-Line so that my home is marketed 24-hours a day, 7 days a week?

22). How many homes have you sold in the past 6 months? Year?

23). Do you have references that I may call?

24). What happens if I am not happy with your service? Do you have a 100% satisfaction guarantee policy? Can I cancel my listing if I am not satisfied or am I locked in?

Please feel to copy and paste these into your own presentation and if you want yo can edit and use the ones you feel are most important. I have also uploaded a Word version of this for downloading here.

My 201 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar

Often when I review agent marketing plans I see many items left out. Items we take for granted that we do as agents but often the seller has no clue we do all that we do. That’s a lot of do’s!!! This list is compiled of just about every imaginable task you now do during the transaction and listing process. This is in a word document attached as well so you can download and edit as you please as well as customize it for your specific needs.

 

“{Insert your name here} Amazing

201 Step System to Get Your Home Sold Fast and For Top Dollar”

  1. Research tax records to verify full and complete legal information is available to prospective buyers and buyer’s agents on MLS printout.
  2. Research property’s ownership and deed type
  3. Research property’s public record information for lot size & dimensions
  4. Research and verify legal description
  5. Research property’s land use coding and deed restrictions
  6. Research property’s current use and zoning
  7. Verify legal name(s) of owner(s) in county’s public property records
  8. Research sales activity for past 6-18 months from MLS and public records databases
  9. Research “Average Days on Market” for property of this type, price range, and location
  10. Research competitive properties that are currently on the market.
  11. Research competitive properties that have been withdrawn.
  12. Research competitive properties that are currently under contract.
  13. Research expired properties (properties that did not sell during their time on the market).
  14. Research competitive properties that have sold in the past six months.
  15. Call agents, if needed, to discuss activity on the comparable properties they have listed in the area.
  16. Research the previous sales activity (if any) on your home.
  17. Download and review property tax roll information
  18. Prepare “Comparable Market Analysis” (CMA) to establish fair market value
  19. Obtain and verify accurate methods of contacting you.
  20. Gather information to help assess your needs.
  21. Review current title information.
  22. Measure interior room sizes.
  23. Confirm lot size.
  24. Obtain copy of floor and pool plans, if available
  25. Review current appraisal, if available.
  26. Identify Home Owner Association manager, if applicable
  27. Verify Home Owner Association fees, if applicable
  28. Verify security system, current term of service and whether owned or leased.
  29. Verify if you have a transferable Termite Bond.
  30. Ascertain need for lead-based paint disclosure
  31. Verify if property has rental units involved; if so, make copies of all leases, verify all rent and deposits, inform tenants of listing and discuss how showings will be handled.
  32. Compile list of repairs and maintenance items.
  33. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time window with you.
  34. Assess your timing.
  35. Assess your motivation.
  36. Assess your immediate concerns.
  37. Ask you questions about the property and yourselves to learn how to better serve and provide helpful information if needed.
  38. Discuss your purchase plans and determine how (AGENT NAME), and the (COMPANY) team can assist you in your next purchase (local, new home construction, investment, or relocation) or if we can research and find a qualified agent to assist you in your new location.
  39. Determine how quickly you need to move.
  40. Obtain information that will help (AGENT NAME) to prepare the listing, advertising and marketing materials. Questions will include: What type of improvements have you done to your house in the past five years?  What other features of your home make it attractive to buyers?  (Type of cabinets, flooring, decks, pool, fireplaces, etc.) What do you think the home is worth? How much do you owe on the property?
  41. Prepare you by asking you to gather home information: to have copy of deed, current tax bill, copy of a survey, copy of your title policy available (this could potential save you money if you purchased less than three years ago).
  42. Obtain one set of keys which will be inserted in the lockbox.
  43. Perform Interior Décor Assessment
  44. Review results of Interior Décor Assessment and suggest changes to shorten time on market.
  45. Perform exterior “Curb Appeal Assessment” of subject property.
  46. Review results of Curb Appeal Assessment with seller and provide suggestions to improve salability.
  47. Give you an overview of current market conditions and projections.
  48. Provide Home Audit to discuss constructive changes to your home to make it more appealing, to show exceptionally well and help it to yield the greatest possible price to an interested buyer.
  49. Provide you with home showing guidelines to help have the home prepared for appointments. (i.e. lighting, soft music, etc.)
  50. Review and explain all clauses in Listing Agreement (and addendums, if applicable).
  51. Enter your name, address, phone number, and email address in order to keep you informed of market changes, mortgage rate fluctuations, sales trends or anything that may affect the value and marketability of your property.
  52. Compile and assemble formal file on property
  53. Present Comparable Market Analysis (CMA) Results to you, including comparables, solds, current listings and expired listings.
  54. Offer pricing strategy based on professional judgment and interpretation of current market conditions.
  55. Assist you in strategically pricing home to enable it to show up on more MLS Searches.
  56. Discuss goals with you to market effectively.
  57. Discuss and present strategic master marketing plan.
  58. Explore method of pricing your property below comparable value to bring the most buyers to your property quickly.
  59. Present and discuss the (COMPANY NAME) Program to market your home the most effectively and bring the most buyers to you in the shortest amount of time
  60. Explore the option of marketing your home with an incentive of buying down points on the buyers’ loan; potential results are: you retain a higher agreed upon price (which results in more proceeds to you) and the buyer saves on monthly payments and a tax credit.
  61. Prepare an equity analysis to show you expenses, closing costs and net proceeds.
  62. Explain the use of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement you will complete, and that will be presented to the buyer of your home. This will help you avoid devastating setbacks and preserve your legal rights.
  63. Take full color digital photographs of the inside and outside of your home for marketing flyers, advertisements and the Internet.
  64. Set up home Warranty, if you choose, to protect your home during listing period and for 12 months after the sale to reassure buyer of the quality of your home.
  65. Install hi-tech lockbox to allow buyers and their agents to view your home conveniently but does not compromise your family’s security.
  66. Write remarks within the MLS system specifying how you want the property to be shown.
  67. Prepare showing instructions for buyers’ agents and agree on showing time window with you.
  68. Prepare detailed list of property amenities to have readily available at your home, to include in Marketing Booklet, and assess market impact
  69. Prepare MLS property Profile Sheet
  70. Proofread MLS database listing for accuracy – including proper placement in mapping function
  71. Enter property data from Profile Sheet into MLS Listing Database
  72. Electronically submit your home listing information to The Multiple Listing Service for exposure to all active real estate agents in the area.
  73. Immediately submit digital photos of the interior and exterior of your home to the MLS at the same time listing is input allowing buyers and agents to view pictures when narrowing down homes they will actually tour.
  74. Add property to (COMPANY NAME) Active Listings list; provide information in two locations in office for Realtors® when potential buyers call for details.
  75. Provide you with signed copies of Listing Agreement and MLS Profile Data Sheet
  76. Explain marketing benefits of Home Owner Warranty with you.
  77. Assist you with completion of Home Owner Warranty application.
  78. Submit Home Warranty application for conveyance at time of sale.
  79. Provide you with a Personal Customized Services sheet to explain specific marketing available for your property.
  80. Provide you with a personalized Advertising Questionnaire for your input in verbiage for advertisement
  81. Review (COMPANY NAME) Full Service Marketing System and the benefits provided, resulting in the rapid sale of your property.
  82. Offer Realtor® tour, if applicable, to provide you with professional feedback and additional ways to best promote your home
  83. Offer a Broker’s Open, if applicable, to promote your property to local Realtors® and their customers, to maximize showings
  84. Create advertisements with your input, including information from Personalized Advertising Questionnaire
  85. Prepare mailing and contact lists
  86. Create, order, and mail Just Listed Postcards to promote the value of your home over others on the market.
  87. Create, print, assemble, and mail compelling flyers to hand deliver and/or mail to target customers, to stimulate calls on your home.
  88. Advise Network Referral Program of listing
  89. Provide marketing data to buyers coming from referral network
  90. Create a marketing property brochure of features and lifestyle benefits of your home for use by buyer agents showing your home. This will be prominently displayed in your kitchen or dining room.
  91. Prepare copies of Seller’s Disclosures and Home Owner’s Disclosures to be placed in your home to be available for buyers; these are to be included in a contract.
  92. Create a custom “Home Marketing Book” to be placed in your home for buyers & buyer’s agents to reference home features, area map, plat/lot map, floor plan (if available), tax information, and other possible buyer benefits. Provide 5 for your property, and replace as needed. This makes your home stand apart in the buyers’ minds long after they have left your property.
  93. Deliver “Home Marketing Book” to your property and display in prominent location for buyers’ easy access.
  94. Respond within 15 minutes of immediate page over the internet through our exclusive Lead Router program, which is a highly effective way to communicate with buyers who are interested in your property. Over 84% of all inquiries come from the Internet.
  95. Convey all price changes promptly to Internet real estate sites
  96. Capture feedback from Realtors® after all showings
  97. Place regular weekly update calls or emails to you to discuss all showings, marketing, and pricing.
  98. Research weekly current laws, interest rates, and insurance conditions as it relates to the housing industry, and specifically how it impacts the sale of your property. Notify you of any conditions    promptly.
  99. Notify you immediately of any offers, potential offers, or needs.
  100. Discuss feedback from showing agents with you to determine if changes will accelerate the sale.
  101. Search the MLS System for Realtors most likely working with interested and capable buyers matching your   home, then fax or email copies of your home listing information for them to review immediately.
  102. Maximize showing potential through professional signage. (COMPANY NAME) has the most recognizable logo and trademark in real estate.
  103. Install (COMPANY NAME) sign in front yard when allowed by Home Owners Association.
  104. Market your home on the following internet sites: Realtor.com, xxx, xxx, xxx, xxx (all that apply to your specific property).
  105. (AGENT NAME) is the exclusive Realtor® for WEBSITE.com for all of (CITY NAME). This produces additional potential customers for you.
  106. Submit a crisp, clean digital montage of photos complete with personally written remarks detailing your home and upload on all websites.
  107. If Open House is to be held, arrange for print ad to be placed in (PAPER) the Monday before Open House to maximize number of customers.
  108. Target market to determine who the most likely buyer willing to pay the highest price will be.
  109. Discuss marketing ideas with “Mastermind” group of top Realtors from across country.
  110. Deliver copies of advertisements and marketing material of your home to you for your review.
  111. Make info box or tube available under “For Sale” sign making feature sheets available to those passing by.
  112. Use other marketing techniques; such as offering free reports to multiply chances of buyers calling in, discussing, pre-qualifing for and touring your home.
  113. Help you to prepare the Homeowner’s Information Sheet which includes information on utilities and services the buyer will need to know when transferring after closing.
  114. Prepare a financing sheet with several financing plans to educate buyers on methods to purchase your home.
  115. Advertise home to my VIP Buyers as well as all qualified buyers in my database.
  116. Distribute flyer to all 100 agents in my (COMPANY NAME) office. Promote your home by distributing flyers local lenders and potential buyers who are relocating to our area.
  117. Promote the benefits of your property to all 100 agents in my office, and update them on any changes so they may convey enticing information to their buyers.
  118. Deliver copies of advertisements and marketing material of your home to you for your review.
  119. Promote your home to top Realtors in other areas.
  120. Log in all home showings to keep record of marketing activity and potential purchasers.
  121. Follow up with all the agents who have shown your home via fax or personal phone call to answer questions they may have.
  122. Send a personalized letter or postcard to residents in your immediate neighborhood promoting the features and lifestyle benefits of your home. Often neighbors know of friends or family members who are thinking of moving into the neighborhood.
  123. Personally call your immediate neighborhood and surrounding neighborhood to promote the benefits of your home.
  124. Prepare a weekly market analysis update of any activity in your neighborhood (i.e.: new homes on the market, homes that have sold etc) to keep you informed about key market conditions within your area.
  125. Pre-qualify all buyers whom our agents will bring to your home before showings to avoid wasting your time with unqualified showings and buyers.
  126. Discuss qualifications of prospective buyers to help determine buyer motivation, ability to purchase and probability of closing on the sale.
  127. Provide Open Houses with a licensed Realtor® at your request.
  128. Handle paperwork if price adjustment needed.
  129. Take all calls to screen for qualified buyers and protect you from curiosity seekers.
  130. Receive and review all Offers to Purchase contracts submitted by buyers or buyers’ Agents to determine best negotiation position.
  131. Contact buyers’ agents to review buyer’s qualifications and discuss offer
  132. Evaluate offer(s) and prepare a “net sheet” on each for you for comparison purposes, if requested
  133. Counsel you on offers. Explain merits and weakness of each component of each offer
  134. Fax or deliver Seller’s Disclosure form to buyer’s agent or buyer (upon request and prior to offer being made if possible)
  135. Confirm buyer is pre-qualified by calling Loan Officer
  136. Obtain pre-qualification letter on buyer from Loan Officer
  137. Negotiate highest price and best terms for you and your situation.
  138. Prepare and convey any counteroffers, acceptance or amendments to buyer’s agent
  139. Fax or hand deliver copies of contract and all addendums to closing title company
  140. When an Offer to Purchase Contract is accepted and signed by you, deliver signed offer to buyer’s agent
  141. Record and promptly deposit buyer’s earnest money in escrow account.
  142. Deliver copies of fully signed Offer to Purchase contract to you
  143. Fax/deliver copies of Offer to Purchase contract to Selling Agent
  144. Fax copies of Offer to Purchase contract to lender
  145. Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract for office file
  146. Provide copies of signed Offer to Purchase contract to Title Agency

 

  1. Advise you in handling any additional offers to purchase that may be submitted between contract and closing
  2. Change status in MLS to “Sale Pending”
  3. Review buyer’s credit report results—Advise seller of worst and best case scenarios
  4. Assist buyer with obtaining financing, if applicable and follow-up as necessary
  5. Coordinate with lender on Discount Points being locked in with dates
  6. Deliver unrecorded property information to buyer
  7. Order septic system inspection, if applicable
  8. Receive and review septic system report and assess any possible impact on sale
  9. Deliver copy of septic system inspection report lender & buyer
  10. Coordinate termite inspection ordered
  11. Coordinate mold inspection ordered, if required
  12. Coordinate home inspection ordered and handle contingencies, if any
  13. Confirm Verifications Of Deposit & Buyer’s Employment Have Been Returned
  14. Follow Loan Processing Through To The Underwriter
  15. Contact lender weekly to ensure processing is on track
  16. Relay final approval of buyer’s loan application to you
  17. Coordinate buyer’s professional home inspection with you
  18. Review home inspector’s report
  19. Assist seller with identifying and negotiating with trustworthy contractors to perform any required repairs
  20. Schedule Appraisal
  21. Provide comparable sales used in market pricing to Appraiser
  22. Follow-Up On Appraisal
  23. Assist seller in questioning appraisal report if it seems too low
  24. Coordinate closing process with buyer’s agent and lender
  25. Update closing forms & files
  26. Ensure all parties have all forms and information needed to close the sale
  27. Confirm closing date and time and notify all parties
  28. Assist in solving any title problems (boundary disputes, easements, etc)
  29. Work with buyer’s agent in scheduling and conducting buyer’s Final Walk-Thru prior to closing
  30. Research all tax, HOA, utility and other applicable pro-rations
  31. Request final closing figures from closing agent
  32. Receive & carefully review closing figures on HUD statement to ensure accuracy of preparation
  33. Review final figures on HUD statement with you before closing
  34. Forward verified closing figures to buyer’s agent
  35. Request copy of closing documents from closing agent
  36. Confirm buyer and buyer’s agent have received title insurance commitment
  37. Provide “Home Owners Warranty” for availability at closing
  38. Review all closing documents carefully for errors
  39. Forward closing documents to absentee seller as requested
  40. Review documents with closing agent
  41. Provide earnest money deposit check from escrow account to closing agent
  42. Coordinate financing, final inspections, closing and possession activities on your behalf to help ensure a smooth closing.
  43. Assist in scheduling the closing date for you and all parties.
  44. Set up final walk- through of your home for buyers and their agent.
  45. Coordinate closing with your next purchase and resolve any timing problems
  46. Arrange possession and transfer of home (keys, warranties, garage door openers, community pool keys, mail box keys, educate new owners of garbage days/recycling, mail procedures etc.).
  47. Have a “no surprises” closing and present seller a net proceeds check at closing
  48. Change MLS listing status to Sold. Enter sale date and price, selling broker and agent’s ID numbers, etc.
  49. Answer questions about filing claims with Home Owner Warranty company if requested
  50. Attempt to clarify and resolve any conflicts about repairs if buyer is not satisfied
  51. Respond to any follow-on calls and provide any additional information required from office files.
  52. Help you relocate locally, or out of area with highly experienced (COMPANY NAME) agents across the globe – you are sure to have the highest quality agent to help you on both sides of your move to make it worry and stress free.
  53. Send letter with picture of your new home on it – delivered to 20 friends and family, providing your change of address.
  54. (COMPANY NAME) Residential Real Estate, Inc. at the (LOCATION) office is the #1 real estate office in the State of (STATE). You benefit from the experience and contacts of 100 of the most professional, exceptional Realtors® available to anyone!
  55. (AGENT NAME) is a devoted, full time REALTORÒ – not a part time real estate agent.  Designations include (AWARDS AND DESIGNATIONS). Your benefits include my expertise, and a wide range of market areas to promote your home.

Download Word Doc version here

 

Hosting A Mega Open House

I have recently been asked to share more about Mega Open Houses. Last Spring in our Spring Into Action MEC event I spoke about this hot new marketing strategy Mega Open House. Since then I continue to get questions about the best practices for hosting a Mega Open House. There really is no secret. However, there are a few must do’s to give yourself the best possible chance at a highly successful open house.

According to NAR’s 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers open houses are a great way to find top tier prospects.

  • 44 percent of all buyers used an open house as a source in their home search process.
  • 68% of all buyers and sellers say they used the first agent they met!
  • Buyers with a median income between $175,000 and $199,000 are more likely to find their home through an open house compared to those in other income brackets.
  • Repeat buyers are more likely to find their home from an open house than first-time buyers
  • and repeat buyers use open houses more frequently.

Knowing that Open Houses are the single best practice to pick up a buyer and potentially if you’re really good a seller. You should be hosting open houses every chance you get. Here are my 10 steps to a successful Mega Open House.

1.Knock out a quick video to promote the open

Using video apps like Videolicious are the easiest way to generate a quick video about your open house. You simply download the app, take a few pictures of the home you plan to host open, click start and start talking. This app is so easy you’ll have a video up and on Facebook within minutes.

2.Post video throughout social networks

Social media is the most cost effective medium for advertising listings and open houses. Post your video on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and of course YouTube. YouTube is super important because you then get the SEO value of indexing the property address on Google and YouTube. You will always be found as long as the video stays online.

3.Boost your video on Facebook

Boosting ads on Facebook is a must to promote your Mega Open House. For approximately $60.00 you can run a Facebook boosted ad for three days and reach thousands of impressions, get hundreds of clicks and drive traffic right to the very video you made posted on YouTube or your website.

4.Mail or hand out personal invites to neighbors

Grab a handful of flyers and or invitations to your Mega Open House and hit the streets, Target the neighbors within walking distance of the home you will be holding open. Door knocking is a wonderful way to find your next listing. Walking door to door inviting the neighbors to come early and see the home is a great way to discover a listing as well as set the stage for you Mega Open House.

5.Host a private Neighbor only event 1 hour prior

In conjunction with the above door knocking you’ll want to host a one hour neighbor only pre open house. This is a great way to get to know the neighbors and find those potential sellers before other agents working the area get a shot at the listing. Make sure you have snacks and beverages on hand.

6.Use a minimum 20 directional signs

Signs, signs, everywhere signs… So goes the song. The more the better. Frank Liu a RE/MAX Gold agent in San jose uses 0ver 40 signs all directing traffic to his Mega Open Houses, This not only gets more traffic to your open house but it sends a strong message to the neighbors that you mean business when selling a home.

7.Use flags, banners, balloons, etc to attract attention

Here again the more the merrier. Use the tall flags that plop in the ground. Banners, the RE/MAX 7ft air balloon is an awesome tool for Mega Open Houses. You basically want to create a ton of attention for your open house and demonstrate to the neighbors that you will go above and beyond to sell their home.

8.Roll out red carpet and serve refreshments

You read right. Red carpet is a must! Go to your local fabric store and ask for a giant roll of red material. Roll it our from the front door to the street. This is a great way of welcoming guests to your open house .

9.Post notice “Seller’s require all attnedees sign in on door”

Many agents bring their iPad, tablet or even laptop to the open house and have a snazzy little app that capture buyers information. Nothing works as good as a simple hand written notice taped to the front door that simply says “The sellers have requested that all attendees sign in”. Works everytime and you will walk away with everyone’s email and phone number.

10.Set up a sign in table at the front door.

Don’t forget this essential. If you do the above you’ll need a small table with a sign in book.

That’s it. No magic formula. Like most marketing efforts it only requires you get out of bed and make it happen. If you follow these 10 steps outlined for hosting your next open house you will master the Mega Open House and win more listings.

Choosing A Word Instead Of A Goal

bubblyIn addition to glasses of bubbly champagne and (hopefully) a kiss at midnight, New Year’s Eve also brings with it a desire to start fresh. January tends to be a time for cleaning our slate—disposing of baggage, literal and emotional—in order to usher in clarity, hope, and new ideas for the future.

For many years now I have been working with hundreds of agents and leaders in developing business through planning, strategies and of course GOALS. Now if you attended one of my fall 2016 MEC events where my focus was on teaching you how to be insanely productive in 2017 through focus and working distraction free. Many of you can relate to how I laid out goal setting. See forever most of have been setting GOALS in life and in business and including these goals in our business plan for each coming year has helped us achieve success.

A close friend recently shared with me their “WORD Of The YEAR”. At first I was confused and didn’t quite understand what she meant. Instead of adopting GOALS, she adopted a WORD.

That’s when I stopped setting goals, and started choosing a word.

It’s important to know choosing a word for the year doesn’t negate your specific hopes and dreams. Instead, it supports them by allowing yourself space to grow, change, and make adjustments along the way.

The way Claire Diaz Ortiz puts it, “pick one word that word that imbues the type of year you wish to have, and a word that can serve as a guidepost for what you want in the year to come. One simple word that will help you decide between X and Y, and help you remember what’s important when you find yourself in an endless loop of Facebook/Twitter/Email checking you can’t get out of.”words1

3 STEPS TO CHOOSE A WORD FOR THE YEAR

Step 1: Set an intention

The best words arrive when they’re ready. It might take a week, or a month. (I suggest you begin considering your word in October or November, then make a firm decision at the end of the year.)

When choosing a word for the year, don’t rush the process.

The best way to determine your word is to simply set an intention to find one. Give yourself some time to ponder it. Reflect on the current year, and as far ahead as you can see, what the new year might offer. Ask yourself how you want to feel, not what you want to do or accomplish.

Step 2: Gather some options

As you reflect, gather a handful of words that might be contenders. See how you respond to them, and if you like, talk it over with your significant other or a close friend.

Step 3: Make your choice

When the time is right, commit to the word. Don’t worry about making the wrong choice. The beauty of a single word is it can manifest its meaning in several ways.

For instance, my friends word for 2016 was OPEN. This ended up applying to small moments like being open minded about an idea or recommendation (not caring where a group decided to go to dinner, say), and larger experiences like navigating new career options.

Once you’ve settled on your word, embrace it. You don’t need to do anything specific, just be aware of it, and enjoy seeing how your word begins to apply to various aspects of your life throughout the year.

Have you ever chosen a word for the year? Are you thinking of trying it for the first time? Share in the comments!

3 Myths In Real Estate That Could Be Hurting Your Business

Real estate marketing in the digital world can be confusing at best. Most agents try everything and anything they read and or hear about to find their way through this social craze and online exploration we call the digital consumer. One thing is for sure. Myths seem to find their way into our business practice nearly every day. I am always surprised when agents tell me they heard this or they heard that about the online marketing world. You might be surprised yourself to learn the 3 biggest Myths I learned about this last year. these very Myths are misleading you down the wrong path and one filled with frustration. No worries. I am here to set you straight and get you on the path to success again.

mythreality

Whether you are new to digital marketing and just getting started or perhaps you are a seasoned pro, you may have tried a variety of organizational and marketing tasks hoping to arrive at the perfect system that helps put your digital tasks on autopilot to let you do what you do best: SELL! The Front Porch Report is an awesome “Do It For You” marketing system that takes the challenge of understanding the when, how and why out of your daily tasks, I strongly believe agents should empower assistance and or hire marketing platforms that do it for them. Stop wasting money (Which we all know time is money) on tasks below your “Pay Scale”

Myth #1: CRMs don’t work

We know that NAR states that 40-50% of real estate leads come from referrals from people you know or from repeat clients. I’ve implemented plenty of CRM (contact relationship management) systems in my day. I think it is absolutely mandatory you understand and use a digital CRM platform vs. the old system (email, sticky notes, excel spreadsheets, etc.). This is not to say that a handwritten note once in awhile almost always seals the relationship and takes it to another level.  Having said that, the system that you may have selected may not be the best or easiest system to use. It may not be the best for your industry, your mind type.

Fact #1

CRM systems DO WORK if they are well selected and implemented. Today’s CRMs are not the same as even a few years ago. The evolving nature of automated drip campaigns as really elevated the value of CRMS into a must-have in order to NOT let any your leads or referrals sources get lost in your digital ecosystem and automatically helps keep you top of mind while you’re out selling, selling, selling. There are many options to choose from and it’s imperative to find the right CRM for you, the way you work, what reports you want and what workflow processes match the way you manage your day-to-day business. After you pick the right one, to get the value out of the software you selected, you must COMMIT to using it and it alone for all your contact data and communication needs. This paradigm shift can take a good 30 days so make sure you give it the time it needs to be successful and you feel really comfortable with using your new software. Trust me when I tell you, you will not be disappointed.

Fact #2

In almost all CRM eFarming drip campaign newsletter providers I see the same thing. Real Estate, Real Estate, Real Estate! Yes you read right. Stop sending your client’s all real estate related material. The occasional market update is fine but everything you send them should not be real estate related. Why companies can’t figure this out is beyond me. Let’s take The Front Porch Report Daily Posts and Weekly Email as an example. We focus on three primary subjects, Home, Health and Wealth. These three topics are proven winners for engagement in the social world of marketing. This means more people will like your posts and click through to the stories if they involve their lifestyle. Nutrition, fitness, recipes, inspiration, travel, good eats, decor, design etc are all hot topics that create engagement with your consumer. Real Estate related stories are advertising. This advertising should be sprinkled in between the articles. When done right. Magic happens. Your sphere grows, and referrals happen.

Myth #2: I’ve tried Facebook and it doesn’t work

I love it when I hear this. There are so many questions I ask following hearing this response. like “what did you try?” and “why do you say it didn’t work?” The responses I hear are typically “I have a Facebook and I post on it but I never get leads from it.” Implementing HOW you can make it work for you takes time and knowledge. The sad part is that as SOON as you think you’ve mastered Facebook for business, it changes. Facebook is one of the fastest evolving advertising platforms around. That’s right, I said advertising. After tasting the sweet fruit of organic and free traffic / visibility / connectivity on Facebook, they have flipped the script and are making businesses pay for reach (not new news / not surprising).

Fact #1

Facebook is simply The single most powerful tool in advertising right now. You can find exactly who you want to target (age, income, homeowner/not), where you want to target them (location, The ability to target and reach your intended audience is beyond amazing and is a marketing professional’s dream come true. Most business owners who want to use Facebook use as a blow horn to say “HEY, COME BUY FROM ME!” You have to understand the nature of today’s performing marketing practices is all about creating compelling value and authentic relationships. Then, you have to understand the Facebook platform and why people are there. They are on Facebook to connect and engage. If you are hitting COLD traffic with COME BUY FROM ME type of messaging, then don’t be surprised when you aren’t getting any clicks / leads. Advertising has evolved and you have to evolve with it or be left behind.

Fact #2

Facebook is the single most important platform you should be using. Think of your Facebook feed as a place to Datamine. This means sit in front of your computer or on your phone and look for opportunity to engage. Each and every opportunity is a chance to build on your relationship and get their commitment to use your services when the time comes.  Take it to another level. Don’t just “Like”, “Comment” or “Share” this engagement. Reach out. Grab a note card from your desk and send them a handwritten note congratulating them on their accomplishment and or event that has just taken place. I call this “eBuffini” them. Birthdays, anniversary’s that’s the easy stuff. Look for job changes, accomplishments, send notes about how a post made you feel good. This is the magic formula to building referrals from social media.

Myth #3: The more websites the better

NAR states that on average 9-10% of real estate leads come from organic searches. I don’t think I’ve talked to an agent/broker that has less than 5 website domain addresses. Many have upwards of 10+ with roughly 5 emails addresses they are managing. They’ve left various firms and joined others or opened their own. There was a time when owning “YourTownHomeForsale” made sense. Not anymore. Where is the consumer looking for homes? ZILLOW with 80+ million visitors a month. We only sell 5 million homes a year and yet 80 million visitors monthly are searching. That’s a lot of dead leads…

Fact #1

More is not always better! Google is one really smart search engine. He’s getting smarter every year. Google dominates search with 66% of the search market and when Bing and Yahoo, they collectively make up 32% of the search market. You might be operating off of old SEO (search engine optimization) information when you think that more domains are better. Google releases 2+ algorithm updates a year. He knows which websites are trying to game the SEO system to reach higher organic (free) SERP (search engine results page) rankings and dings them for it. Google local is a whole other animal and there are professionals and software system specifically dedicated to helping users get found in the Google local pack in the top right corner. Submitting your business to Google as a REALTOR with RE/MAX Gold is a sure way to get noticed and indexed fast.

Fact #2

Your name as a domain website is probably the most important website you can own. And really the only one you need to own. Unless you are a SEO wiz and creating website landing pages sound fun to you. Stick with your name. You might be surprised how easy it is to get your name as a domain. Even if you have a very common name. jim Smith. Instead of trying to get jimsmith.com which will not be available. try Jim-Smtih-Real-Estate.com Use hyphens to seperate the words. This really helps when people are searching for you. Consumers no longer call phone numbers. they search fro you on Google. The Google the address. Finding you is your end result. Think of how you type in to find someone online. You don’t type in jimsmith, you type Jim Smith. You use spaces. Hyphens tell Google and other search engines “Space” This creates more accurate searches.  Try it and watch your business grow.

Hopefully these three tips will clear up some misguidance you have received over the last year. I still strongly recommend you work towards having this whole marketing stuff done for you. Front Porch report does it for you for $100/monthly. Try it today.

7 Ways To Win The Listing Every Time

When it comes to getting the listing there is so much more involved than just sitting and conducting the listing presentation. Your mental state for one, arriving early, research beforehand, pre listing packages etc.  The list can go on and on.. Today I want to share with you 7 Ways to Guarantee you the best shot at securing that listing. Going beyond the presentation.

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1). Make sure you are talking to the decision makers.

Often we agree to host a listing presentation only to find out that the significant other, the brother in the Trust and some other party with interest in the listing is not present. This may sound like a no brainer, but your would be surprised at how many times I hear agents telling stories about their new listing they have coming up. When I ask what’s holding it back they tell me the wife needed to discuss everything with her husband. Not having all decision makers in on the presentation puts you at a sever disadvantage. No one can share your enthusiasm and your skill set when it comes to all the things you will do to sell the property than you! What most likely happens is the other decision maker ends up disagreeing with the terms, process and or ideas being shared by the one who was in the presentation. You see the problem here right? ALWAYS MAKE SURE ALL DECISION MAKERS ARE PRESENT.

2). Sell The Power of the Brand.

RE/MAX is a network of over 110,000 agents worldwide. Offices are located all over the world in over 100 countries and a RE/MAx office can be found in virtually every city in America.  Why is this so important? In California alone, nearly 40% of all real estate transacted is done so with buyers and sellers moving in and or away from the community you are trying to sell in. Think of it like this. Mr. Mrs. Smith in order to reach 100% of the buyer you will need global exposure. A company that reaches all ends of the earth. If you are okay with 60% of the buyers and just your local agents knowing the home is for sale then by all means this won’t matter. That’s crazy! Buyers come from all over the world. Foreign investment is at an all time high! Remember Zillow is no available outside the United States. Nobody Sells More Real estate Than RE/MAX creating-a-marketing-plan

3). Having a Specific Marketing Plan.

Sure you have a marketing plan right? But do you have a specific marketing plan for this home? One that represents the specifics it will take to sell this home? In this neighborhood, at this price, for this long using these tools? The more specific you can be the more this will increase the likelihood you’ll get the listing. Shwoing them some three year old marketing plan you outlined in your “Custom” listing presentation will not do anything excepet convince them they should look elsewhere. Think of all that has changed in the market in the last year alone, let alone three years. Always update and make your marketing plan specific to the home you are trying to list! Here is a link to my 19 point marketing plan to get you started.

4). Be On Time

This sounds silly… Right? How many times have you been late to a listing presentation? Did you get the listing? Most likely not! Being on time is 15 minutes early waiting around the corner to arrive 5 minutes early. This is their first impression and being on time says a lot about who they are hiring. No one wants to hire someone who can show up on time. Plan ahead. Plan for obstacle and or things that can make you late. Better to be very early waiting than to be late. The side effect of being late is stress and with stress comes your inability to perform at your best.

5). Be In The Right State Of Mind

Plan out your presentation. How it will flow, the questions you will ask, what questions they will ask. Rehearse your presentation. Do it in front of a mirror, your spouse, friend or mom for that matter. Just get it down in your head. Be specific and make sure you are covering everything. Then allow 1 hour before to just think about the presentation and how it will go, clear your mind and be prepared. Don’t allow other people, drivers, and or calls to distract you thought process. What do you think happens when a car suddenly cuts you off while driving to your listing appointment? You get all upset and yell crazy things, and now your mind is all focused on the the incident and how you feel rather than the presentation you are on your way to do. This hijacks the process and when you arrive you are not ready, you’re trying to shake it off, but your mind has lost touch with the calm collected you. Be calm, don’t allow others to hijack your mind.  The right state of mind can make all the difference in the world. listing_data_shutterstock_147258680

6). Reverse Prospecting

This is the secret formula, the magic sauce. This one marketing tip has won me hundreds if not, thousands of listings. I call this Reverse Prospecting. It’s the single most important piece to your listing presentation and will almost guarantee you the listing if presented right. When talking about how you are going to sell their home. Make sure you cover how important this one thing is. See as REALTORS in California we see through the MLS a few facts. Fact one, at any given time 30% to 40% of the buyers are what we call “Move Up Buyers” (Explain to them what a move up buyer is), Fact two, move up buyers are always looking for home 20% to 30% higher than the home they are currently selling. Now here’s the secret sauce. These buyers can all be found on your MLS. Take the expected listing price of the home you’re trying to list and subtract 20% to 30% from the price and then go in the MLS and print out all the matching listings. here is your target buyer list. She the sellers this list and let them know you will send out a flyer of their property each time one of these homes goes pending. The flyer will feature their home and have this verbiage on it. “Congratulations on getting your current home sold. Perhaps you are interested in moving up? Please take a moment and consider this home for sale as one you might be interested in. It’s available and if you are interested please have your agent contact me. Hand them the flyer and watch. they always say “Wow, that’s pretty cool. This is your unique selling proposition. The one thing you and or your team do that gets homes sold. Let them know you have sold more homes with this process than any other way and that you are surprised that other agents don’t do this. (This always get’s them to hire you)

7). Follow up

If by chance you don’t get the listing and they ask for more time. I am assuming you have worked every objection and as a final result you allow them this extra time to decide. The first thing you do is follow up. Immediately. Once in your car, send them a quick email from your phone thanking them for their time again and confirm your next follow up. Then continue to send them any and all changes in the market. New listings, price reductions, solds, rate increases or drops, and send them tips on preparing their homes for sale. Do this at least every other day.  Staying in touch insures they choose you and not some friend of a friend that will do it all for less.  Speaking os less, that’s a topic for a whole other series of how to get the listing.

I hope this helps you secure your next listing. Please feel free to comment and leave your ideas for ways we can all get better.

 

Advertising Real Estate On Instagram… A Must Do!

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The face of real estate advertising has changed drastically over the past few decades. The marketing mix now tilts digital, and real estate professionals must be ever-vigilant about coming up with relevant, innovative ways to reach potential clients.

Millennials – those individuals born between 1982 and 2004 – make up a large portion of the home buying population and their share is growing each year. These young adults represented 32% of the market as of 2015. At the same time, the median age of real estate agents is 57. The disconnect that is created by this age gap has caused a challenge for real estate professionals who are attempting to strengthen their target marketing to Millennials. Expanding your advertising campaign to Instagram can bridge that gap and significantly increase your business’s exposure to this increasingly important demographic.

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Instagram

This social media community was launched in 2010, and in the short span of its existence has garnered over 400 million users worldwide. The premise is simple – users can follow each other, and by doing so they can see photos and videos posted by those in their feed. If a user posts publicly rather than privately, you can see their content regardless of whether you’re a follower.

How can you, as a real estate professional – whether broker, agent, stager, or loan officer – leverage the power of this popular platform to get exposure for your business? Instagram recently made this infinitely easier. It used to be that advertising had to be purchased through personal interaction with an Instagram representative. This meant that only companies with enormous budgets could afford to market there. Fortunately, with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram advertisers have many more options.

SIMPLE, ACCESSIBLE, TARGETED MARKETING

In November 2015 Instagram launched a public API (application program interface), which allows users to customize their experience – including purchasing ads. Now you can get your company name out there in front of a targeted audience through the use of hashtags and location-specific marketing.

Instagram offers the option of photo ads, video ads, and carousel ads (posts that allow users to flip through multiple photos). You can embed links to your website and enable users to download your mobile app. This option opens up a whole new world of possibilities – you can post your current listings (high quality collages have proven successful for a number of real estate firms), share your company’s story through visual moments (creating a personal connection with potential clients), and encourage users to click through to the valuable content on your website.

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Does it work? Ask Poshmark, the online portal for buying and selling gently used women’s fashions – they’ve seen an 85% increase in their campaign objective. Canadian firm Bench Accounting has experienced 12.5% increased click-through rates through their use of Instagram advertising. Even brands that are already prominent are seeing the benefits of reaching Millennials through Instagram – Philadelphia cream cheese alone has seen a 41% rise in sales. That’s a significant result no matter what business you’re in.

Three Steps to Find More Listings This Fall

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You may be busy preparing your home, family or even wardrobe for fall, but don’t forget that you should be preparing your business, as well. As the market slows down during the fall and winter months, it may be more difficult to generate new listings. Because of this, now is an opportune time to look for FSBO and expired listings to work with.

Statistics show that nearly 92 percent of sellers who try to market a home on their own fail and many expired listings eventually go back on the market, which presents a lot of opportunity for you to find new listings. It’s up to you to show the value you offer in a selling situation. Here are three steps to help you prepare to meet with this kind of seller.

Plan Your Approach
When a listing expires, it’s often because the property wasn’t marketed or priced properly. This is an optimal opportunity to show sellers how you’re different (and better) than their previous agent. Create a marketing plan and present it to the seller, showing them how you would market their home. Include points about establishing a strong web presence, your use of social media, sample advertising ideas, etc. Your marketing plan should show how you can connect with potential buyers and create opportunities to sell.

Similarly, the No. 1 reason someone chooses the FSBO route rather than hiring an agent is because they don’t want to pay commission fees. However, these sellers rarely understand the time and effort agents put into a transaction. Sure, those FSBOs may be saying they don’t want an agent now, but that mindset may change once they start to see how much work it takes to sell their home. Just like sellers with expired listings, approach FSBOs with a marketing plan that shows how much work you’ll put into selling their home.

Develop a Script
Before making contact with the seller of a FSBO or expired listing, prepare exactly what you’re going to say. Remember, rather than focusing on the logical reasons these people want to sell their properties, try to find the emotional reasons, and use that information to turn them into a client.

For example, if you’re working with an expired listing, plan to ask the sellers about their previous experience. If they worked with an agent, ask questions about what that person did to try to sell their home: did they take high quality photos of the interior and exterior, use social media to promote the listing, advertise appropriately and recommend staging options? If it’s a FSBO property, ask the sellers why they didn’t work with an agent the first time: was it a financial issue, did that have a bad experience previously or are there any other factors influencing their decision?

Contact the Sellers
When you’re prepared, it’s time to contact your prospective clients and let them know you’re here to help. Start by sending the sellers an email highlighting your qualifications. For FSBO properties, explain how you can take away the stress of home-selling, sell their home more quickly, and likely get a better price than they could on their own.

When you’re able to speak with these sellers in person or over the phone, put your script into play. Build trust and discover why they’re looking to sell, then go for what Chris Smith, author of The Conversion Code, calls the “trial close” with a “here’s what happens next” question to keep the process moving forward. For example, you could ask “Does Wednesday or Thursday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. work better for my photographer to come by and start taking pictures for marketing materials?” This will help the seller understand what you are going to be doing for them and make them feel more secure in the final steps of the process to list their home.

If sellers aren’t prepared for the trial close or insist that they want to work alone, wish them the best and give them some advice that could help. As time goes on, if they aren’t able to sell, they’re likely to remember you as someone who offered encouragement and call you for help.

Powerful Prospecting Activities

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Don't think of prospecting for leads as just another routine task. Instead, think of prospecting as a gateway to endless income possibilities and an essential part of growing a thriving real estate business.

To truly benefit from prospecting you must be willing to put yourself out there and try new things. If you're ready to make more money and prospect for leads in a whole new way, here are 117 lead generating activities you should try

1 Open houses
2 Floor duty
3 Door knocking
4 Pop by’s (individual & business)
5 Direct mail
6 Newsletters
7 E-Newsletter
8 Phone calls
9 Face-to-face meetings &
appointments
10 Hand written notes
11 FSBO’s
12 Expireds & Withdrawns
13 Client Appreciation Party
14 Volunteer
15 Networking Events
16 Coach your kid’s soccer team, etc.
17 Annual updates (CMA’s)
18 Circle prospecting (5x5’s)
19 Meetings w/Human Resource Directors
20 Relocation opportunities/tours
21 Print advertising (newspaper or magazines) 22
Social media—pulling & pushing info
23 Blogging
24 Hand out business cards
25 Email drip campaigns
26 8x8 campaigns
27 REO/HUD/bank listings
28 Attend the public trustee sale
29 Send notes to homes “for rent” as possible
listings
30 Trade shows/homes shows
31 Host an informational seminar/talk
32 Network with affiliate providers
(CPA’s, attorneys, insurance agent)
33 Put your nametag on or logowear and
go somewhere where there are people to talk to!34
Preview properties (know the
inventory) — leave your business card
for the Seller
35 Work short sales and pre-foreclosure properties
36 Enroll in a class or a new hobby to meet people
37 Join a book club
38 Target renters (non-owner occupied)
39 Mail home anniversary cards
40 Send letters to out of town rental owners to
check up on their property (take photos) & do a
CMA
41 Write an informational article for the newspaper
43 Bus benches, grocery carts, and billboards (can
be expensive)
44 Create and hand out a personal brochure
45 Radio campaigns—see if you can be a guest on a
talk show
46 Attend a “meet-up” (meetup.com)
47 Give your vendors your business cards
to hand out (hair dresser, nail salon)
48 Learn a new part of this business
(commercial, vacant land, new construction) —
look for referral opportunities with other agents in
attendance & share business leads

50 Interview people you want to meet to broaden
your sphere of influence
51 Go to charity events and meet new people
52 Mail sports cards/calendars
53 Do a drawing to capture names
54 Create and maintain your website profile;
create a customized website
55 Capture and follow up with internet leads
(follow-up is the key!)
56 Host a networking group yourself (lunch for
eight concept)
57 Maintain your mailing list — always look for
who you can legitimately add to your list!
58 Farm a neighborhood
59 Work out of state referrals
60 Take care of your current clients—ask them
for referrals
61 MySite (automated search program through
MLS) for everyone!
62 Schedule a public speaking opportunity at a
service club
63 Adopt a school—take them treats and pop
by’s, volunteer
64 Prospect in laundromats—usually tenants are
“hanging out” there!
65 Wedding announcements — are they
interested in buying a home?
66 Baby announcements—do they need more
room?
67 Work with attorneys to prospect for divorce
and estate transactions
68 Send holiday cards (not just the “usual” ones
— do “odd” ones)
69 Get a wrap or magnetic sign for your car
(mobile advertisement)
70 Create videos — use to highlight the area or
yourself (link to internet)
71 Host a “house warming” party for your client
after closing — get their friends’ names for your
sphere list
81 Give your business card to your waitress when
you eat out (tip well)
83 Work with people who are retiring or
downsizing (investment advisor or assisted living
facility)
84 Pay for the person behind you at the drive
through—give them your card
85 Sponsor something and ask if you can attend
or have a table at the event!
86 Visit with marriage counselors— perhaps they
have clients who can’t reconcile and need to sell?
87 Make a float and participate in the 4th of July
or Christmas parade
88 Host an educational/information session (i.e.
redecorating tips,landscaping ideas, etc.)—”show
& tell” for your clients
89 Walk a neighborhood and put up door hangers

90 Send out a time change postcard
91 Send a Just Listed postcard to a move up
neighborhood (if you don’t have a listing, “borrow
one!”)
92 Facebook ads
93 Target a niche — condo buyers, horse
property, veterans, 1st time home buyers, etc.
94 Hand out notepads or other “schwag” at a
large open air event like the Arts
Picnic or Farmer’s Market
95 Ask for referrals!
96 Gather testimonials & send to your clients
97 Ask a “busy” agent if you can put your rider on
one of their signs or advertising some of their
listings
98 Buyer “needs” — send postcard to the area
asking for listings
99 Call out-of-area listing agents and see if they
would like some showing help for a referral fee
100 Send “Just Solds” postcard (multiple homes)
to an area to solicit listings
101 Get names from the Chamber and send an erelocation
guide
102 Work garage sales (they’re cleaning up, do
they want to move?)
103 Purchase tickets to an event & offer to your
clients
104 Host a tour of homes (multiple open houses)
105 Teach a class on buying rental property with
a property management company
106 Target kiddie-condo investors @ UNC/
CSU/CU
107 Call capture programs (800 numbers)
108 Craigslist leads
109 Talk to car dealers—people qualifying to buy
a car may also qualify to buy a home!
110 Contact HOA management companies for
potential leads
111 Visit with new construction representatives—
sometimes they don’t want to take listings
112 Courts could be a place to prospect—
evictions, probate, divorce, tax liens, and code
violations
113 Partner with a local business and send a
coupon to your sphere of influence
114 Put up information on bulletin boards at
coffee shops or grocery stores
115 Talk to your newspaper or postal carriers
about vacant homes
116 Work in a coffee shop and put up a tent card
that you’ll buy customers a cup of coffee!
117 Meet other Realtors at classes or conventions
and ask for their referrals