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Archive for March, 2015

March Madness and Real Estate

Cinderella Team  March Madness and Your Real Estate Business – by Dana Sparks

 Even if you are not a college basketball fan, you cannot avoid hearing about “March Madness!” even though the Final Four and Championship game is the first weekend in April! The NCAA Men’s Division I basketball tournament is comprised of 32 teams and through single elimination, narrows the field down to “The Final Four” eventually naming the National Champion!  This year, the final four culminates in the Championship Game in Indianapolis.

The “madness” part refers to the tradition, the excitement, the opportunity and the upsets! In this year’s tournament, there have been SEVERAL shocking upsets!  For example, the 11th seed Dayton upset the #6 team, Providence; #14 UAB stunned the world by beating #3 Iowa State by one point and hometown #14 Georgia State shocked #3 Baylor also by one point!  Many more “Cinderella teams” have also seized their opportunity to shine in their trek towards a National Championship.  Michigan State who was ranked number #7 this year beat #2 Virginia before being defeated.  

The excitement lies in the fact that regardless of the past, regardless of records, regardless of expectations, regardless of previous experience, any team can win on any given day!

The same is true for you and your real estate business! You can list any property, sell any buyer, close any transaction! Nothing can hold you back, other than the only limitations you place on yourself! Want to start listing short sales? Get RealValuator and find out who the people are who need your help and go help them! They will never know that you have never listed a short sale before as long as you don’t tell them! Want to work with a Buyer looking for a home above $500,000? Find some properties in that price range and above to market and those buyers will come to you! They won’t know that this will be your first deal in this price range … unless you tell them!

Your energy precedes you! Others can sense your confidence and professionalism without your having to “prove” yourself to them! Sometimes you have to “fake it ’til you make it” and the results will be worth it! The only time your potential clients will ask you “Have you worked in this price range before?” or “How many short sales have you listed?” is when you come across as hesitant, unsure or scared! Your job is to help others and our job is to help you help others!  When is the last time you took a CE class or attended a workshop to learn something new?  Have you been to a Team Meeting lately?  Have you checked out the training webinars?  You are really missing out on some incredible information necessary to hone your skills and acquire new ones designed to propel your business! There is a TON of information on the extranet and on our recorded training site (   Who is the last top-producing agent you asked to shadow for a day/week?  How much property have you previewed lately?  How many blogs have you read on Active Rain?

Be the “Cinderella agent” and go for own championship… enjoy your own “March Madness” and know that we are here to cheer you on!!!!

How Your Email Address Could Affect Your Real Estate Business

   How Your Email Address Could Affect Your Business How Your Email Address Could Affect Your Real Estate Business – by Dana Sparks

What is the email address that you use for your real estate business?  Have you ever considered what it implies to the public about your business?  Does the email address you use for business portray anything about real estate?  Are you still using a personal email address for convenience sake?  Is your email address easy to remember or is it easy to read?

Professional Email Address:  Does your email address portray your company or your profession?  Consider using a professional email address for your real estate business rather than your personal email address that you created or that one of the free email services created for you.  A Buyer and Seller will perceive you as more professional and will be willing to hire you more easily if your email address is:

rather than  Either use an email address that includes your real estate company’s name or an email that broadcasts something about real estate.    To get a Free Maximum One email address, simply complete this MX1 Email Request Form & send to our Agent Services Coordinator, Vivian Green,  The company email addresses currently available are:

Create Your Own Business Email Address:  It’s easy to create a clever and informative and professional email address.  Create and purchase a domain name and then use the email address available with most domain providers.  For example, through GoDaddy, you may typically purchase a domain name for $10/year.  You can get really clever with your domain name and not only use the associated email address, but you may create a website using this domain name or point this domain towards any other website you create.  The domain name should have something implying that you are in real estate: or

Is Your Email Address Easy to Read?  If your email address includes underscores (_) when they are included with a hyperlink, many people will miss that underscore & you are most likely missing out on several emails – could you have had more listings or buyers but they weren’t able to email you because they didn’t realize there was an underscore in your address?  Additionally, if your email address includes letters and numbers which are difficult to differentiate, you could be missing out on business.  Have you had a hard time yourself determining between the letter o from the number 0 or the small letter L (l) from the number one (1) in someone’s email address?

Accessibility to Your Email Addresses: If you maintain your personal email address for friends and family, you can easily add your professional email address to your smart phone, tablet and computer – it is easy to add several email addresses to those devices.  You may also access several email addresses through one portal such as Outlook and Gmail.

Final Thoughts:  Contractually, remember that whichever email address you use on the signature page of your contracts is the one that constitutes legal notice to your clients regarding a contract.  You can easily change which email address auto-populates on your contracts through your “preferences” section on FMLS Forms Pro and Transaction Desk in GAMLS.  Remember too that “Realtor” is a copyrighted terms that agents may only use if they

Which Doctor would you consider going to for your health concerns:


Lessons from Daylight Saving Time for Real Estate

Be More Productive at MX1 Lessons from Daylight Saving Time for Real Estate – by Dana Sparks

“Spring Forward & Fall Back!” Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on Sunday, March 8, 2015. The time changes at 2am because that is believed to be the least disruptive time for the majority of people. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time. The proper phrase includes “Saving” NOT savingS. When we move our clocks ahead one hour, we will lose an hour that will not be regained until we “fall back” to standard time on November 1, 2015.

The ONE thing that everyone has in common is time… we all have 24 hours each day. So why is it that some agents seem to be more productive in those 24 hours and some agents seem to “lose an hour” EVERY day… not just this weekend when we change our clocks. There are many lessons we can learn from Daylight Saving Time that we can apply to our real estate sales business to be more productive.

There are some days that you absolutely do not have enough time to complete all the tasks needed for your ongoing transactions and others when finally feel like you have a bit of time to yourself. You ask yourself, how do these more productive agents seem to get it done? Then you find yourself on the famed “real estate roller coaster.” This occurs when you have no closings and spend all of your time prospecting for new business, the you get all of these listing and buyers, then you service all this new business and get many under contract; they all close and all of a sudden, you are out of business again!

There are a few tips to add some consistency to your business and more hours to your day! These tips revolve around:

  • routine
  • priority
  • organization.


Get in the habit of following the same routine every workday and you will instantly be more productive. Especially if you can get a handle on your morning, when you should generate new business, you will definitely experience having more time throughout your business.Your morning routine begins with the night before! Do a little something for yourself (engage in a hobby, spend time with family/friends, knit, write in a journal.) When you first get in to bed, think about what you accomplished today and the things that went right, think about what you want to achieve tomorrow; then get a good night’s sleep! When you wake up in the morning, eat a good breakfast and get to work at the same time every day. Do NOT check your emails or phone messages before you begin your lead generation. You need to be positive and focused when talking to new people who need your real estate services rather than worrying about the fire you have to put out this afternoon or the stress you’re dreading facing when dealing with a difficult co-op agent. After you spend anywhere from 1 – 3 hours generating new business, THEN you begin dealing with your ongoing business transactions. Start every day at “zero” and remember that your job is to generate new business every day… PERIOD!


As a real estate sales professional, there are many things that must be accomplished per client, per transaction, per day; the trick is to prioritize these tasks, the challenge is how to prioritize when it ALL has to be done! As previously mentioned, the most important thing you do every day is generate new business! There would be nothing else to do if you did not have any new customers, would there? To prove this fact to yourself, take your average commission and divide it by the number of hours you average prospecting for new business. This calculation will yield amazing results and you will soon discover that you are one of the highest paid professionals when you look at how much you make per hour! All of the other tasks required to go from lead to closing are of course necessary but could probably be done by someone else (if you would be willing to pay them!) Your highest priorities remain: 1) having conversations with new people to get them as clients = prospecting; 2) presenting your services to those new people = listing & buying presentations; 3) getting the deal done = negotiating offers to get to contract. Everything else can wait or be delegated! I guarantee you that when you continually have more clients who want you as their agent, it’s a lot easier to fire or refer the ones that cause you the most stress and take up the most amount of your valuable time!


The more organized and systematic you can make your business, the more your day will flow with effortless ease! If you use checklists and routines and schedules and calendars for every part of your business, you will enjoy much more free time throughout your day! Every time you prospect expireds, use the same scripts and objection handlers, use specific tried and true email letters to respond to the internet inquiries on your website, check your voicemail at the same times every day, have a checklist for every listing & showing appointment you attend, etc. Spend some time organizing HOW you do your business, stick to those processes and you will find more hours in the day. Even the most experienced professional pilots follow a pre-flight checklist every single time they get in to an airplane.

You got into this business to have “freedom,” so it’s about time that you took a proactive approach to getting it!

By following the three steps above, you will put yourself in a position to stop working all hours of the evening and every weekend and truly enjoy your career for all that you envisioned it to be! You will soon be one of those enviable professionals whom people look at and scratch their heads asking, “How on Earth do they get so much work done in a day and still have time for themselves?!?

Lessons from NASCAR for Real Estate

Lessons from NASCAR for RE Lessons from NASCAR for Real Estate – by Dana Sparks

The NASCAR Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500 is being run today at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.  Real estate agents can learn a lot from this sport to enhance their business.  It appears to those who do not follow car racing, that these drivers are simply going around in circles getting nowhere fast.  However, those who DO follow NASCAR or any motor sport, understand that there is so much more to the process & driving on a racetrack than just making one big left-hand turn.  Just like the public always says, “You have a GREAT personality so you’ll do really well in real estate!”  We all know there is a lot more to success in your real estate career than simply having a good personality.

A race car driver must first pass tech inspection for every race including his fire suit & race gear, know his car and make continual adjustments based on the race and his performance to the point when he comes in for a pit stop.  Sometimes he may need 4 tires, sometimes 2, sometimes he needs to adjust the car, sometimes the set up is just right.  Also, the driver is extremely dependent upon several others – his pit crew, his spotter, must recognize his sponsors AND is even dependent on the other drivers.  Drivers must also acknowledge their fans – perhaps that’s where the good personality comes in!

Do you approach your business the way a professional race car driver approaches a race or are you going around in circles going no where fast?  The following are some ideas to help you win each & every “race” you start.  “Drivers, start your engines!”

Pass Tech Inspection For Every appointment 

  • Complete CMA
  • Signs, Camera, Lockbox
  • Listing Agreement already filled out
  • Buyer Brokerage Agreement already filled out
  • ABCs of Agency with you & ready to explain
  • Showing route all planned
  • Purchase & Sale Agreement ready
  • Consumer Brochures
  • Area School information
  • Follow your Business Plan daily
  • Are you dressed like the commission you charge?

Know Your “Car”

  • Your Contracts are the “vehicle” you use
  • Multiple classes in BOTH GAR forms & RE Forms
  • Know what Special Stips are Available
  • Know the Exhibits & Amendments
  • Know your Objections Handlers
  • Know your scripts to solicit customers
  • Know your scripts to convert customers to clients

Make Continual Adjustments

  • Stick to a schedule or adjust your schedule to match your productivity
  • Generate new business FIRST every day
  • Learn new objection handlers
  • Preview property
  • Adopt a new lead gen technique
  • Learn Matrix in FMLS because Fusion is going away!
  • Learn GAMLS fo access to more properties for Buyers & for CMAs for Sellers
  • Get an assistant to free-up your time
  • Automate your Lead Follow-up
  • Break into a new price range or niche
  • Keep up with the changing market (CFPB changes, Mortgage changes, contract changes)
  • Revise your Business Plan each quarter

Work with Your Crew

  • Stay in touch with the lenders, appraisers, closing attorneys throughout your pending deal
  • Communicate with your Compliance Broker throughout the transaction
  • Stay in touch with the co-op agent & your client on a continual basis
  • Utilize the systems at your disposal
  • Use another agent to work with your sign calls so you can go get more listings

Recognize Your “Sponsors”

  • Stay in touch on a systematic basis with your past client & SOI
  • Send a thank-you note to the co-op agent, lender & closing attorney on EVERY transaction
  • Follow-up with your client and the co-op agent client AFTER the sale to make sure their move went well
  • Ask everyone who they know that needs your real estate services

Work with “Other Drivers”

  • Remember that your Co-op agents are really your clients so treat them that way!
  • The majority of transactions involve 2 agents so market to other agents so they can bring their buyers to your listings or list something desirable that your buyer wants to buy
  • Both agents in a transaction are working towards the same goal
  • Remember that the co-op agent has to answer t their client
  • Go to classes & workshops & share your ideas with each other – no one is going to “steal” your business – there is more than enough to go around

Acknowledge Your Fans

  • Solicit testimonials from past clients & share those freely with potential leads to make them feel comfortable
  • Wear your name tag so people may approach you with real estate questions
  • Stay knowledgeable about market trends & mortgage changes so that you will have the answers & be the source of all things real estate to your SOI
  • Send thank yous to anyone who has ever referred business to you
  • Post pictures of your clients after closing in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & YouTube
  • Recognize others in the transaction who were instrumental in getting you to closing
  • Put together a Visual Tour of all of your past clients with a huge “In Appreciation” and post it on your Facebook page
  • Write an informational newsletter or article for your HOA, community paper, church bulletin, school publications, etc.

Go Junior!!!  or Gordon!!!  or Logano!!!  but really Junior!!!

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