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Graduation from Wake Forest 2013 What Real Estate Agents Can Learn from Graduations – by Dana Sparks

This is the time of year for all types of graduations… from high school, college, graduate school and vocational schools. Parents, family, loved ones and friends are so very proud of the accomplishments of the graduates. We hear “pomp and circumstance” playing in the background as we recall these graduations or perhaps our own from years past! Graduations occur at the end of a long course of study capped by exams testing our comprehension of what we have learned and retained. Graduation ceremonies, however, are called, “Commencement” as the students embark on new adventures as they face the next phase of their lives and go out to seek a job. As a real estate professional, you face this same challenge every day!

“Understand how to cope with disappointment and failure. The timeless, if uncomfortable truth, is that true strength of character is almost always forged by encountering and overcoming failure.” (Nathan O. Hatch – Commencement Address at Wake Forest University, 2013) President Hatch explained in his address that this statement characterizes a personality trait known as “grit.” In today’s challenging real estate market of low inventory, multiple offers, short sales that don’t get approved, this character trait is not only necessary is the real estate agent but it is also required of the clients as well! It is your challenge to set the proper expectations of your Buyers so that when this fun and exciting process of finding a new home turns into a chore replete with frustration & disappointment. I guarantee that if you persist and master the challenges of today’s market, your clients will be appreciative, send you referrals and you will be a better agent for it!

“Stay hungry; stay foolish!” (Steve Jobs – Commencement Address at Stanford University, 2005) Every day you start at “zero” and your job is to go out and seek new business…. just like a college grad. Once you convert a prospect to a client, you are out of a job and need to go find another. Consider that once your Buyer purchases a new home and once your Seller sells their existing home, you are out of a job until you go find another prospect to convert to a client! “Stay hungry” and go find more work!

“If you want to play a game, go to where it’s played and find a way to get in. Things happen when you get in the game!” (Chris Matthews – Commencement Address at Fordham University, 2006) If your career is focused on working with Buyers, go find them! Buyers come from a myriad of sources: sign calls, the internet, “First Time Homebuyer” seminars, relocation companies, apartment complexes, new marriages, new divorces, past clients, etc. Are you advertising properties online? Maximum One has a complete program outlined on the Extranet how to advertise HUD properties on Craigslist! Adopt this same process and advertise new construction (with the Sellers’ permission of course!) Are you willing to work sign-calls? Connect with a prolific listing agent who focuses on listings & work out a referral business! Sign-up for Agent-on-Duty! Host a seminar for Buyers… “Tips and Tricks on Buying a Short Sale!” “First Time Home Buying Seminar” “Your Mortgage Could be Cheaper than Your Rent” “First Time Real Estate Investor Workshop” “Foreclosure Bus Tour” Take out a booth at a Wedding Trade Show! Call your Past Clients & Sphere of Influence! Connect with a Divorce Attorney! Contact a corporate Relocation Company! Do you have a lead-generating & lead-capture website? Get one through Reflect Resources or eWebEngine! Work with “renters” because you never know if they can actually BUY and just don’t know about it! Find a way to be where the Buyers are!

If you prefer listings… prospect Expired & Withdrawn Listings! Contact your past clients & sphere of influence! Market to Short Sales! Do BPO’s for banks & get into the REO business! Practice & perfect your listing presentation! Conduct a seminar: “How to Sell if you Owe More than Your Home is Worth!” or “5 Steps to Selling Your Home in this Distressed Market” Answer your phone from a sign call… they may have a house to sell as well!” Remember those “rental” leads that you don’t want to work….. perhaps they are losing their house and don’t realize that they could actually sell it as a short sale rather than letting it go into foreclosure! Think like a real estate consumer and be where are they looking… EVERY DAY!

“Abundance is here for the taking. Don’t bemoan your lost frontier. It is even now flashing on our horizon. A gorgeous land lies before you fair and more beautiful than man before has ever known!” (William Allen White – Commencement Address Northwestern University, 1936) There is more than enough real estate business to go around… and there always will be! People will always need a roof over their head and a place to call home and YOU are the one they need to help them find that! There is no other profession besides real estate where you can make as much money and have as much influence helping others as the opportunities provided to you by your chosen career. Graduate each evening and commence your new adventure each morning embracing your education received & experience yet to occur!

Congratulations to all graduates this season … including my son, Austin Sparks (pictured in this week’s motivational quote) who graduated from Dominion Christian High School and my nephew Jonathan Lerner (pictured above) who graduated from Wake Forest University!!!

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