Friday, January 30, 2009

FSBO Statistics

In researching For Sale By Owners, I found on the National Association of Realtors site some interesting statistics that I'd like to share.

Did you know?. . . the typical FSBO home sold for $187,200 compared to $247,000 for agent-assisted home sales.

FSBO Methods Used to Market Home:
Yard Sign . . . 50%
Friends/neighbors . . . 29%
Newspaper ad . . . 31%
Open House . . . 25%
Listing on the Internet . . . 21%

Most Difficult Tasks for FSBO Sellers:
Getting the right price . . . 15%
Understanding paperwork . . . 18%
Preparing/fixing up home for sale . . . 15%
Attracting potential buyers . . . 9%
Having enough time to devote to all aspects of the sale . . . 7%

Source: 2007 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do you have what it takes?

Do you have what it takes to be successful in real estate, to be an independent contractor working for yourself with nobody to answer to, nobody to call your boss? Take a few minutes to read through the folowing questions and comments written by Dan Miller.
1. Are you a self- starter? Successful people don’t sit around and wait for people to come to them.
2. Do you get along with different kinds of people? Are you conversational, get along with printers, secretaries, mortgage brokers, title people, appraisers etc?
3. Do you have a positive outlook? Focus on the positive. Optimism and sense of humor essential. Small setbacks are just opportunities to stepping stones to eventual success.
4. Are you able to make decisions? Procrastination is the main obstacle to good decision making. “How to Eat a Frog”- concept is to do what you look least forward to and do it early in the morning, of get it over with- out of the way. 80% of decisions made right away.
5. Are you able to accept responsibility? Be willing to listen to your client’s complaints, gripes, and accept responsibility for your mistakes.
6. Do you enjoy competition? Don’t have to be cut–throat, but enjoy competing for listing presentations for example. Even competing against yourself. Dan sets small goals for himself when he was a struggling student he would set small goals for himself like he would 20 cold calls before eating lunch- sometimes he would eat at 12pm, sometimes at 4pm. You could do 40 door hangers and go have a latte after it.
7. Do you have will-power and self-discipline? Without it you won’t succeed.
8. Do you plan ahead? Need a long-term plan to succeed. Know where you want to go and devise plan to get there. For example, I will do 3 find 2 new buyers a month. How to get there- what are the most effective activities to find new buyers- open house, networking, referrals, and postcards.
9. Can you take advice from others? You don’t have to have all of the answers- learn from others. Don’t have to make all of the mistakes yourself- take seminars, read marketing or business books, hire a business coach or mentor.
10. Are you adaptable to changing conditions? Change is constant- market changes, technologies change, relationships change. Do you adapt well and are you able to take it in stride and enjoy that each new day is not like the day before?
11. Can you stick with it? Most new ventures take longer than we would like for them to. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Are you prepared to make a one year commitment to this business no matter how bleak it looks sometimes? Will you continue even if your friends or family tell you to throw in the towel?
12. Do you have a high level of confidence and belief in what you are doing? If you don’t believe in what you are doing, you won’t be able to sell it. Enthusiasm is selling what you believe in.
13. Do you enjoy what you are doing? Don’t think that you will be successful if you are in it just for the monetary rewards. You should get a sense of meaning and satisfaction from what you are doing.

Helping people buy and sell real estate is a rewarding job. Getting to help people live thier dreams can't be listed in the job description of a real estate professional. With all its rewards and glory, selling real estate isn't for everbody. Reflect on your answers to these questions to help decide if the exciting career in real estate is truly for you. Still think you have what it takes? Let's talk!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do your buyer a favor. Close the deal!

When I first started in real estate I took ALL the classes. Every time some sales guru came to town peddling the latest marketing system or the latest greatest technique, I was there shelling out my hard earned money. I was sure that they had the answers and could help me on my way to greatness in real estate.
I reflect now, shaking my head about some of the snake oil salespeople who I gave my hard earned money to see. Ouch! I would hate to add it all up. I also shake my head at how badly I needed to use some of the techniques that these sales gurus preached. I sure could have used a few good closing techniques. I wished I had used my newly learned techniques to close on a buyer or two.
When sitting with a buyer getting to know them, their needs, desires, motivations, I learned not only what my clients wanted in a home but also why they wanted these amenities. This didn’t just include number of bedrooms and types of room. As an exceptional real estate agent looking out for the best interest of my client, I learned about lifestyle needs, dreams, location desired. I dug deep. Taking all these variables I scoured the MLS searching for homes that didn’t just fit but were ideal. Carefully previewing each home, scrutinizing it with this buyer’s tailored made yard stick, I filtered my list of homes from ideal to perfect.
Excitedly I showed each of these gems to my eager buyers each home perfectly meeting all their criteria. Home by home we methodically went through the list with not one contract written. What went wrong? All the homes were exactly what the buyers wanted including the right price. Why didn’t the buyer buy?
Sadly, their agent in looking out for all his clients needs forgot to ask just one simple and short question. It can be said so many ways but went unspoken… “So, what do you think, do you want to buy this beautiful home?”
OR “Can you see yourself raising your children here?”
OR “Shall we put pen to paper on this one?” The list goes on.
Back then I felt that closing on buyer was wrong especially if they were my client. I felt it was a manipulative thing to do. Unfortunately, I was completely mistaken.
So often I personally go into a new situation knowing what I want to accomplish but don’t know how to get to the outcome I desire. If only an expert on the subject, someone I could trust would help me through the process. Usually, however, nobody does and I am left to figure the tough stuff out on my own. If only…
Transfer this to our buyers who are now faced with the largest financial decision they have ever made. Their agent, who just days before talked about best interest, trust, and loyalty is now mysteriously quiet while they inwardly plead for a lifeline. If only the agent would ask, “How are you feeling about this beautiful home? Would you like to make an offer?”
“Yes,” eeks the buyer. “Thanks for asking. What do we do now?”

Monday, January 12, 2009

Closing the sale

One of the most critical aspects of selling is closing the sale. Closing the sale has two distinct components. First is the science of the close itself. This is the technique or systematic process of the close. The second is the art of the close. The art of closing is a bit less tangible and can be thought of as the dance between the customer and the agent or the feeling of when to close. Though both of these can be elusive, the science and the art of closing both can be mastered with practice and experience.
Starts at the beginning
Closing actually begins at the very first encounter with a customer. Building rapport allows the salesperson to continue and deepen the relationship. In its early stages, closing is preparing the customer for the future and describing the steps or road that will be followed to get the customer to not only put pen to paper but also give the mental affirmative to continue to a successful conclusion.
Trial closes
Along the presentation process for whatever product or service the customer will ultimately agree to purchase, the salesperson should regularly monitor the pace of the customer to assure the customer is still moving forward at the same rate as the salesperson. This may be accomplished with trial or minor closes. Just getting a customer to answer in the affirmative during the presentation is one way of priming the agreement pump. Another very common trial close is getting permission to continue the process such by initially writing a purchase agreement. It is as simple as asking for the date or for the correct spelling of the customer’s name before putting pen to paper.
These simple processes sound easy enough, but the question as to when to begin these closes keeps popping up. Explanation of the process happens throughout the initial presentation. This goes almost without saying. The putting pen to paper may be risky however if done out of turn. When making the bold decision to move forward we have to ask ourselves simply, is the buyer ready to buy? The buyer may have explicitly stated a specific date and that day may be near or even at hand. But, are there signs that reveal the buyer’s readiness to move forward?
Yes, is the short answer to this important question. We now move into the art of the close and away from the technique or the science of the close. Recognizing a buyer’s readiness to buy or buying signs takes time to foster. There are many lists of buying signs including mentally moving furniture, asking detailed questions, becoming thoughtful or reflective. A definition of a buying sign may be the demonstration of a behavior that is uncharacteristic for this particular person. A true buying sign from a very quiet non-flamboyant person, for example, may be getting into an empty jetted bathtub pretending to relax in the soothing water. This may not, however, be a buying sign if this particular person did this in every home. This is definitely a ‘get the feeling?’ kind of action.