Making Lists for Your Real Estate Business – by Dana Sparks
This is the time of year when everyone makes lists! Santa lists those who are naughty and nice, we make lists for Christmas gift-giving for our loved ones, grocery lists for Holiday meals, etc. The media make all kinds of lists too. We typically read of year end superlatives and collections. For example, “Best Movies of 2014” “Best Albums of 2014” “Most Influential People of 2014” “Top 10 Richest in Forbes” etc. You get the idea! These lists are interesting and quick and easy to read. Making lists of the Best and the Worst tend to briefly summarize those events and steer one’s thinking to evaluate those results.
For your real estate business, go with the seasonal flow and make several superlative lists relative to your business. Then you may evaluate the effectiveness or futility of your business activities in order to continue or change so that financially 2015 will surpass 2014! Using lists are a way to keep you focused on what is important in your business and personal life. Lists can guide your behavior and activities and thoughts to help you garner the success you desire and deserve!
Below are some suggestions of Business Planning Lists to Guide you in real estate business for a prosperous new year!
- What percentage of your business in 2014 came from Buyers/Sellers/Rentals?
- Where did your Buyers come from in 2014?
- Where did your Sellers come from in 2014?
- What part of your business is making you money (i.e. your website? postcard campaign? sphere of influence?)
- Where are you spending money on your business that is not producing any return on investment?
- What are your challenges & solutions for generating business?
- What are your challenges & solutions for after-the-sale servicing?
- What really makes you happy in life?
- What are you most confident about in yourself? Your Business?
- What can you do to accomplish your goals in each area of business? Life?
- How much time/money did you invest in your education?
- How many hours did you work? Did you spend with your family & friends?
- How many prospects before you get a lead?
- How many leads before you get an appointment?
- How many appointments before you get a client?
- How many clients before you get a commission check?
- What type of enhancing thoughts do you focus on prior to going to bed each night?
Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!
Hanukkah and Your Real Estate Business – by Dana Sparks
Tuesday December 16th is the first night of Hanukkah this year. Hanukkah is the 8 day Festival of Lights which celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and the fact that the one-day supply of oil to light the menorah miraculously lasted for 8 days! At the heart of the festival is the nightly ritual of lighting the menorah one candle each night for eight nights until all 8 candles are lit and giving gifts or gelt (Yiddish for money) of celebration. The Center candle, the Shamash = “helper” or “servant” is used to light the other candles and is considered the “extra light.” During this Festival of Hanukkah, consider that as a real estate agent YOU are the Shamash shedding light to your clients and co-ops and giving them the gifts of fulfilling their real estate needs!
1st Night: Be the light for your Buyers
- Search the Expired & Withdrawn Listings to find them what they are looking for
- Search BOTH FMLS & GAMLS
- Do an Estimated Cash-to-Close
- Do a thorough CMA when coming up with an offer
2nd Night: Be the light for your Sellers
- Do a thorough CMA
- Help them understand the importance of pricing the house properly
- Remind them to get all the HOA information upfront
- Keep updated photos in the listing service
- Reverse prospect in FMLS & GAMLS to find Buyers
- Contact the past Buyer’s agents & Listing agents in their neighborhood & let them know about the listing
3rd Night: Be the light for your Co-op Agents
- Send them Thank-You Notes
- Follow-up all your emails with a phone call
- Call 2-3 times each week throughout a transaction
- Give them updates regarding your side of the deal before they have to ask
- Call their Broker and tell them what a great transaction you are having
- Invite them to free CE Classes at Maximum One
- Share contact information about great lenders and closing attorneys
- Share information about various unique loan products you discover
- Share some great Special Stipulations you have learned of that help in unique situations
4th Night: Be the light for your Past Clients
- Send them Holiday cards when others don’t (New Years, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July)
- Send them an Anniversary card on the anniversary of their purchase
- Send the Buyers of Your Listing photos of their new home
- Make new return address labels for your past Buyers & Sellers – send new ones each year
- Send them a copy of their HUD in January for their tax preparation
- Remind them twice each year to change the batteries in their smoke detectors
- Send them an offer of an updated CMA to see if perhaps they want to sell
- Send them a free hour of a Handyman’s services for their maintenance issues
- Send them a free hour of Landscaping
5th Night: Be the light for your Lenders
- Help them get the information they need from Buyers ASAP
- Send them a copy of the Earnest Money check Deposit slip from Paperless Pipeline
- Send them a list of your past clients who may be in a position to re-finance
- Give them email addresses of your Veteran clients to keep them updated about VA loans
- Put your lenders’ contact information on your marketing materials
- Find out what unique products your lenders offer and share that information with other agents
- Send them Thank you notes after every closing
6th Night: Be the light for your Closing Attorneys
- Send them a copy of the contract AND Commission instructions when you go Under Contract
- Send them a copy of the Earnest Money Deposit receipt from Paperless Pipeline
- Send them Buyer & Seller contact information before they request it
- Send the Pre-Closer a thank you note
- Send the Attorney a note about how awesome their staff was in getting the transaction closed
- Bring candy / fruit / veggies to the closing for the Attorney & staff
- Send them current mailing addresses for all your past clients in case they want to help them with Quit Claim deeds or other related legal services
7th Night: Be the light for your Teachers & Mentors
- Thank your teachers for assisting you
- Offer suggestions for other topics of Education
- Send your coaches or mentors a Thank you note
- Let the Brokers know how helpful other agents in the office have been
- Let the staff at your office (who help educate you about Brokerage systems) how much you appreciate them
- Send GREC a note about how awesome a particular class or instructor has been
- Tell other agents about a great class or coach or mentor you have
8th Night: Be the light for Yourself
- Remember what a valuable service you provide to the public
- Give yourself a break – as an entrepreneur it’s often more difficult starting & maintaining a thriving business
- Take some time off
- Get an assistant to help with the administrative side of your business
- Try some new lead sources for additional business
- Only work with clients who add joy and light to your life and business (with more clients, you do not have to work with clients who make your job difficult)
- Learn the systems and procedures at your Brokerage for smooth closings
- Think of how awesome it is to be your own boss
- Remember that your income is unlimited!
- Remember that you ARE the light for so many others & appreciate the blessing you bestow to others!
11 Reasons To List During the Holidays – by Mike Ferry*
This is the time of year that we hear the common objection to listing: “I don’t want to list my home during the Holidays.” Below is a list of 11 compelling reasons to convince a Seller to list with you NOW!
- People who look for a home during the Holidays are more serious buyers!
2. Serious buyers have fewer houses to choose from during the Holidays and less competition means more money for you!
3. Since the supply of listings will dramatically increase in January, there
will be less demand for your particular home! Less demand means less money
4. Houses show better when decorated for the Holidays!
5. Buyers are more emotional during the Holidays, so they are more likely to pay your price!
6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the Holidays than they do during a working week!
7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons!
8. January is traditionally the month for employees to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy, you must be on the market now to capture that market!
9. You can still be on the market, but you have the option to restrict showings during the six or seven days during the Holidays!
10. You can sell now for more money and we will provide for a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year!
11. By selling now, you may have an opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer during the Spring, when many more houses are on the market for less money! This will allow you to sell high and buy low!
*Reprinted from Mike Ferry: http://www.mikeferry.com/main/files/11ReasonstoListDuringtheHolidays.pdf