A Good Chuckle

Beverly Sonnier, a Help-U-Sell Broker in Tucson, AZ, forwarded me this email yesterday:

smartagents

(Note:  this is a screen capture of the message so the links don’t work.)

I think this is the funniest thing I’ve seen in awhile! He’s talking about ‘Discount’ brokers, but he means Help-U-Sell (even though we are NOT a discount broker)*.

But he’s saying the only way to compete with us is to go somewhere where we aren’t! The only way to beat us is to go somewhere else!

That’s funny enough.  But then he says, about his ‘Niche’ sellers, ‘These sellers pay a fair commission – day in and day out.’

There is nothing fair about percentage based commissions.  6% of your home’s value is obscene, sure, but even 2% would be unfair! What does a percentage of your home’s value have to do with what it takes to get it sold?  (Absolutely Nothing!) And, if your real estate broker is charging a percentage, that mean the person with the less expensive home is going to pay LESS than you for the exact same service! There’s NOTHING fair about that!

Listen:  the ordinary real estate world runs on a business model that hasn’t changed in 70 years.  It’s old and stale and consumers are rapidly figuring that out.  One thing this 21st Century has shown us is that consumers will quickly jump to anything they perceive to be faster, better, more modern or more logical.  Consider the rise of Amazon and the decline of Macys, J C Penney and Sears.  Faster, better, more modern, more logical:  that pretty well describes Help-U-Sell Real Estate, except that you can also add in Less Expensive!

*A discounter finds ways to cut the expense associated with providing goods or services.  They might use less expensive material or provide fewer customer service personnel.  In real estate, a discounter would cut something – and it would probably be marketing and service.  That’s not Help-U-Sell.  We charge less because our business model is different:  it is modern and efficient.  Our sellers get all of the marketing and personal service ordinary brokers deliver and actually more . . . they just pay less. 

What a Trump Presidency Might Mean for Real Estate

The inauguration hasn’t happened yet, so all we can do is speculate but, based on what was said during the campaign, I won’t be surprised to see some of the following:

  1.  Reduction of regulation in Banking.  Dodd-Frank created a significant layer of bureaucratic reporting and procedure that banks had to follow.  The goal  was to ensure that nothing like the great melt-down of 2006 could happen again.  It has clearly been in Mr. Trumps sights as well as those of the Republican Congress.  Look for an easing of government regulation in the banking industry that may mean easier access to money.
  2. Reduction of regulation in Construction.  Trump has clearly singled this out for action.  In an address to the NAHB, the said upwards of 25% of the cost of new housing is compliance with government regulation.  His goal is to get that closer to 2%.  In addition to having home builders dancing in the street, this might mean more affordable housing.
  3. Easing of lending requirements on government backed mortgages.  Though not much has been said about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA, it would stand to reason that, given the easing of regulations in other areas, a relaxing of guidelines here will happen as well.  It could put home ownership back into the realm of possibility for many.
  4. What about the mortgage interest deduction?  Some in Congress have had their sights set on this for years.  Mr. Trump said he wasn’t going to take it away – but that was a campaign promise. His plan to reduce corporate taxes and initiate new tax cuts for the wealthy may stimulate the economy, but the money to run the government is going to have to come from somewhere. I’m not suggesting we’re going to lose that deduction, but I am saying it might be vulnerable. That’s a very good reason to contribute to RPAC (The Realtor Political Action Fund). They have been successfully fighting for that deduction and for home ownership for decades.

So what does a Trump Presidency mean for those of us who work in real estate?  Based on what I’ve said above, the outlook could be good.  It could mean easier access to mortgage money and lower prices, which could mean more activity. Could.  It also could mean we have to be very careful not to get back into the kind of mess we had a decade ago.

By the way, let me just state what might not be obvious.  This is not a political post.  I’m not a Trump or Clinton supporter.  I’m not a Democrat or a Republican.  I don’t beat the drum or wave the banner for either side.  I’m a Help-U-Sell Real Estate Professional and I watch the market every day for clues as to what’s on the horizon.  As of today, being the positive person I am, this is what I see.

Must Read If You Are Marketing By Carrier Route

We all got so granular over the past few years!  And that’s a good thing!

Rather than shotgunning our message all over God’s Green Earth (and paying a hefty toll for the privilege), we started looking at our marketplaces through a magnifying glass.  Instead of marketing by Zip Code, we started breaking down the Zips by Carrier Route.

Most Help-U-Sell offices refined their marketing targets down to 5 to 10 Carrier Routes, depending on turnover rate and budget (That usually works out to 3,000 to 8,000 households).   The problem is, since every Carrier Route has its own turnover rate, it became difficult to know what the OVERALL turnover rate was in your complete target.  Most Brokers just kinda guessed.

Does that make any sense?  You just spent all this time and energy carefully tearing your marketplace apart so that you could construct a productive target.  Instead of doing what most Brokers do (which is to guess or make the decision based on hearsay or gut), you based the whole process on FACTS.  Cold hard FACTS.  And now, you’re going to guess at the turnover rate within your target?  I think NOT!

So, here’s what you do:

tor2-1

Add up all of the households in all of your Carrier Routs, then add all of the houses that sold in the past 12 months in all of the Carrier Routes . . . . Then just divide Homes Sold (the small number) by Households (the large number).

Those of you in a Coaching Group can use this AMAZING number in the Market Analysis tab of your 12 Month Goal Setting Worksheet, here:

torate22b

I sincerely hope this keeps you guys from guessing about your business!  And maybe the whole process will intrigue some into investigating the Coaching Group opportunity.  I hope so.  We’ve got openings.

Eight Things You Can Do To Get A Listing TODAY!

Here is a post from 2012.  The market was a little different back then.  We still had a lot of upside down homeowners, lots of Short Sales and quite a few REOs.  Still, there’s good stuff here.  Challenge yourself!  See if you can’t get one by nightfall!

Can you get a listing today?  I’m waiting . . . can you?  Let me rephrase the question:  If you were to be hung by the neck until dead at sunset if you didn’t get a listing today, could you get one?  I thought so.  Getting a Listing is something you can DO in real estate.  You can’t force a sale, you can’t force a closing . . . but you can DO a listing.  You can get one.  It is always within your power.

And today, more than ever, a listing is precious.  Inventories are so low right now and prices are inching (and in some cases, racing) upwards.  Multiple offers abound and the person with listings is in the driver’s seat.  But listings are also hard to come by.  Many potential sellers are sitting back, noticing the upcreep in prices and thinking: ‘If I just wait a few months maybe I won’t be so upside down . . . ‘

So, what can you do TODAY to get a listing?  Here are 8 ideas:

1.  Call all of your past clients.  It’s a simple dialogue:  you need their help.  Inventory is drying up, buyers are frantic to find something.  Have they heard of anybody thinking of selling?  I would be surprised if you didn’t uncover at least 1 listing lead for every 20 calls.

2.  Call all of your fence sitting, luke warm potential sellers and heat them up!   They’re not doing themselves any favors by waiting.  The bargains are disappearing rapidly and while they’re waiting for a few percentage points gain in equity, they’re missing opportunities.  Here – use this set of graphics from Help-U-Sell University:

I love that graphic.  Unfortunately, the improving market of the past four years has made it a bit irrelevant.  Today, if you want to heat up a fence sitting seller, work on where they want to go.  Spend an hour or two showing them houses, get them excited about moving.  And if they’re moving out of state, start that referral relationship early and have the other agent help get them motivated. 

3.  Pull all the expired listings for the LAST 12 MONTHS – that’s right, a full year’s worth – and drop them a note about the improving market, the scarcity of listings and the fact that you can save them money!

4.  Choose one of your buyer clients who is hot to trot but having trouble finding a suitable home.  Working with them, isolate the one or two perfect neighborhoods for them.  Then make a flyer with their photo and some humanizing detail,  saying they’re looking for a home in that neighborhood.  If you’d like to sell, contact Help-U-Sell.  And put your ETM on the back.  Deliver it however you’d like:  snail mail, Excel’s mailbox stuffer program, slide it under the doormat . . . although if you’re trying to beat the hangman at sunset, you’d better stick to doormats.

5.  Follow Kurt Steffien’s lead:  start cultivating probate attorneys.  They are certainly interested in being heroes to their estate clients, and will see your money saving (estate preserving) offer as a way to accomplish that.  In other words:  they get it.  And if you get one and do a good job, it’s not just one listing, it could be many.  For months and years to come.  Really.

6.  Work with Tony (today that’d be Alejandro, Mike or Soren) to build a landing page on your website to capture contact info on people wanting to know what their house is worth.  (By the way:  this home value landing page already exists on your website!  AND, it generates a report instantly so that the people who request it don’t have to wait for a response)  Then create a QR Code for it.  Have flyers made with nothing more than the QR Code and the words:  ‘See How Much Your Home Is Worth Today.’  Put them all over the place.

7.  Call every FSBO in the area and ask:  ‘If I were to find a buyer who made an offer that was acceptable to you, would you pay me a commission?’  (I know, I know . . .you guys usually choke when you have to say that word, but in this case it will serve you better than ‘Low Set Fee.’).  The answer will almost always be yes, because they’ve usually made the same deal with every other Realtor in town.  Quickly calculate what, say, 3% is (let’s assume it’s $4,500), and respond: ‘So if I find a buyer who makes an acceptable offer you’ll pay me 3% which is around $4,500 dollars, right?  Let me show you what I can do for you for just $3,950*.  I mean – I’m Help-U-Sell – you get my complete full service program for less than you’d pay some agent just to find you a buyer.  For $3,950*, I’ll help you refine your pricing (if necessary), do all the marketing, get you on dozens of websites, qualify all interested buyers, help you weigh the pros and cons of every offer and calculate your net proceeds, process all the paperwork and handle the details all the way to closing.  How’s that sound?’

(*Or whatever your Set Fee is.  By the way:  Commissions, whether percentage based of set fee, are always negotiable.)

8.  Call Jack Bailey and ask him what you should do.

This is July 5. (It’s actually August 9, but the principal still holds true)   The longest day of the year was, what?  A week and a half ago?  So you’ve got a few extra hours of daylight to get it done.  Go on now:  get out there and don’t come home until you have a signed listing agreement in your sweaty little hand.

*about that graphic:  For the arithmetically impaired: If you subtract the current value from the peak value of the first home you get $75,000. That’s the amount of the drop in value, what the homeowner ‘lost’. If you do the same for the second home you get $112,500. That drop is $37,500 more than the drop on the first home. Everything else being equal, that’s $37,500 less the buyer is going to have to mortgage. Translation: quit moping about what you ‘lost!’ Get out there and buy your dream home before it becomes unaffordable again.