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Sacramento Real Estate Resource Guide - Sacramento County, El Dorado County and Placer County Realtors
Sacramento Real Estate Resource Guide - Sacramento County, El Dorado County and Placer County Realtors

Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 09:00 AM
Get More Business During Busy Spring Season
By Brian Hilliard - Published: May 1, 2007

The birds are chirping, the temperature is rising and spring is in the air. And you know what that means? The start of another busy selling season for Realtors® across the country.

But with so many choices (and so little time) for building your business, what actions can a new agent take to get more business right away?

Create a Formalized Sales Pipeline. Simply put, always be on the look out for people ready to buy or sell their home … and have a trusted place where you can store those names.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen agents make the mistake of only looking for prospects ready to buy or sell their home "right now" -- not this week, or this month, but "right now" -- and completely overlooking everyone else.

And while I recognize the importance of working with "serious" buyers, the problem is that not everyone you meet will be ready to put their house on the market that day, even if they are "serious" about the process.

But when you have a formalized sales pipeline in place, which is simply a trusted area or "bucket" that you can reference for contacting these folks over the next few weeks, then building your business becomes a whole lot easier.

Why? Because prospects are more educated today than they were even 5 years ago, and most need some time to get "up to speed" with how the process is going to work. So while you might be ready to help them right away, they might need some time to get organized. Which is fine, as long as you do two things:

1. Ask some qualifying questions up front to gauge their level of seriousness about the home buying process, and
2. Have a pipeline in place that captures the names of all that potential business.

And it's that pipeline, or lack there of, which in my mind causes most new agents to fail. I think we've been so conditioned to only finding "serious buyers," that we forget we're talking about the sale of an individual's largest personal asset.

Think of it this way: When you went out to buy a personal computer, did you just go to the store, scope out a model and pull the trigger on a $1,200 investment?

If you're like me, probably not. As a matter of fact, you might have even done some research on online. Talked to a few friends who knew the industry, and THEN gone to Best Buy or Dell to pick up a machine.

The point? Even though you were "serious" about buying a new system, that didn't mean you were ready to meet with the Best Buy sales person right away.

The same is true for anyone looking to buy or sell their home.

You want to have a pipeline in place where you can "catch" all of this business, and contact these folks two, three, or even four months down the road -- when they will be ready to buy (or sell) their home.

And that's the beauty of a formalized sales pipeline. You'll literally have a list of qualified prospects who have:

1. Expressed an interest in buying or selling their home, and
2. Have met you before.

That way as the date gets closer, you can shoot them an email, give them a call and see how things are shaping up.

More times than not, it's those contacts which will result in new business.

During my next article I'll share the exact pipeline process that I've used to help grow my business. It works, it's cheap and it's shamefully easy to use.

But if you'd like some more ideas on how new agents can get more business during this busy Spring Selling Season, then email info@agitoconsulting.com (Subject: More Business this Spring) and we'll send out a free report on how you can do just that.

So in the meantime, get out there and start building your pipeline!

See Related Link for other Agent News/Agent Advice ...

Tuesday, April 24, 2007, 08:50 AM
Top 10 Best-Selling Real Estate Books (4/24/07)
By: Melissa Tracey
Realtor Magazine Online - The Weekly Book Scan

Here are today's top selling real estate books on Amazon.com:

1. The Pre-Foreclosure Property Investor’s Kit: How to Make Money Buying Distressed Real Estate — Before the Public Auction, by Thomas Lucier
2. FLIP: How to Find, Fix, and Sell Houses for Profit, by Rick Villani and Clay Davis
3. Rich Dad’s Advisors: The ABC’s of Real Estate Investing: The Secrets of Finding Hidden Profits Most Investors Miss, by Ken McElroy
4. How to Sell Your Home in 5 Days: Third Edition, by Bill G. Effros
5. Find It, Fix It, Flip It!: Make Millions in Real Estate — One House at a Time, by Michael Corbett
6. Home Buying for Dummies, 3rd Edition, by Eric Tyson and Ray Brown
7. Flipping Houses for Dummies, by Ralph R. Roberts and Joe Kraynak
8. Rich Dad’s Real Estate Advantages: Tax and Legal Secrets of Successful Real Estate Investors, by Sharon L. Lechter and Garrett Sutton
9. Real Estate Investing for Dummies, by Eric Tyson and Robert S. Griswold
10. Investing for Dummies, 4th Edition, by Eric Tyson

See Related Link for latest book reviews, book excerpts, comments, and author notes for the savvy REALTORS® ...

Friday, March 30, 2007, 11:48 PM
By Allen Pierleoni - Bee Staff Writer
Last Updated 9:03 am PDT Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Story appeared in TASTE section, Page F4

Dagwood Bumstead notwithstanding, sandwich-making is definitely a culinary art form. If you doubt it, or live with the misconception that all sandwiches are created equal, visit any of the recommended restaurants in this alphabetized sampler. The truth is out there -- you just need to taste it.

See Related Link for the FULL Sacramento Bee article ...

Bread Store 1716 J St.; (916) 557-1600
Bud's 1016 10th St.; (916) 443-6905
Distillery 2107 L St.; (916) 443-8815
Dominick's 8621 Auburn-Folsom Road, Granite Bay; (916) 786-3355
Evan's Kitchen 855 57th St.; (916) 452-3896
Jamie's Broadway Grille 427 Broadway; (916) 442-4044
Lake Forest Cafe 13409 Folsom Blvd., Folsom; (916) 985-6780
Maad Tea Party 4355 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills; (916) 933-2121
Pennisi's 1237 J St.; (916) 448-5610
Plaza Hofbrau 2500 El Camino Ave.; (916) 482-2175

Monday, March 5, 2007, 04:39 PM
Real Estate Marketing Strategies: How to Make Sure You Get the Money You've Earned
By Dr. Maya Bailey
Published: March 5, 2007
— Realty Times

In the past 10 years of coaching real estate agents to market themselves, I've noticed a simple mistake that can cost you a transaction. Do you know which one I'm talking about?

Imagine you're working with a prospective buyer? What is the first thing you make sure to do? This article reveals the secret steps that can save you thousands.

Step 1: Invite the prospective buyer into your office.

Why is this important? You need to establish a working relationship with this buyer. They need to know how you work.

Step 2: Ask them detailed and specific questions about what they are looking for.

Take notes and don't be afraid to delve. You need to know their specifics, their motivations and their time lines. Do active listening with them and repeat back some of their key phrases and words. It will inspire confidence in them when they feel heard.

Step 3: Tell them all the wonderful things you are going to do for them.

For example, tell them that you'll be previewing houses, you'll be taking them out to look at houses, you'll be advertising, you'll be going to MLS meetings, etc.

Step 4: Tell them what you expect from them.

A simple way to phrase this is after you have told them what you'll be doing for them is, "All I need from you is an agreement that we'll work exclusively together." They probably won't know what that means, so get specific."This means that you won't work with another agent, if you see a name and number on a For Sale sign, you'll call me instead of the name on the sign and bottom line it means, I'm the one who is handling the transaction and my name will be on the escrow with you."

Step 5: Clarify what you just said.

They will probably have a questioning look on their face. Say, "It looks like you might have a few questions about what I just said, what can I clarify for you?" Keep pursuing and discussing it with them until you are sure they are in agreement with your policy. Their body language is probably the best way to tell if they really mean "yes."

Step 6: Reassure them that they are not "locked in."

After all that, be sure to tell them they are not "locked in." In other words, if they don't like working with you or you don't like working with them, then there needs to be a discussion. If the issues can't be resolved and you're not a good match, let them know they can be released from the agreement providing there is a discussion and mutual agreement.

If you've followed all the steps above, you'll save yourself a lot of grief later. I can't tell you the number of agents I've coached who have come to the session extremely angry because a client they were helping decided to go with another agent. Let's make sure that doesn't happen to you.

Thursday, March 1, 2007, 06:48 PM
Top 7 Mistakes Rookie Real Estate Agents Make (Part One)
By: Eric Bramlett
December 2006 - NETREAL

See Related Link for the FULL NetReal article ...

Every time I talk to someone about my business and career, it always comes up that "they've thought about getting into real estate" or know someone who has. With so many people thinking about getting into real estate, and getting into real estate - why aren't there more successful real estate agents in the world? Well, there's only so much business to go around, so there can only be so many Real Estate Agents in the world.

I feel, however, that the inherent nature of the business, and how different it is from traditional careers, makes it difficult for the average person to successfully make the transition into the Real Estate Business. As a Broker, I see many new agents make their way into my office - for an interview, and sometimes to begin their careers. New Real Estate Agents bring a lot of great qualities to the table - lots of energy and ambition - but they also make a lot of common mistakes. Here are the first three top mistakes rookie Real Estate Agents Make.

1) No Business Plan or Business Strategy
A) Goals - What do you want? Make them clear, concise, measurable, and achievable.
B) Services You Provide - you don't want to be the "jack of all trades & master of none" - choose residential or commercial, buyers/sellers/renters, and what area(s) you want to specialize in. New residential real estate agents tend to have the most success with buyers/renters and then move on to listing homes after they've completed a few transactions.
C) Market - who are you marketing yourself to?
D) Budget - consider yourself "new real estate agent, inc." and write down EVERY expense that you have - gas, groceries, cell phone, etc... Then write down the new expenses you're taking on - board dues, increased gas, increased cell usage, marketing (very important), etc...
E) Funding - how are you going to pay for your budget w/ no income for the first (at least) 60 days? With the goals you've set for yourself, when will you break even?
F) Marketing Plan - how are you going to get the word out about your services? The MOST effective way to market yourself is to your own sphere of influence (people you know). Make sure you do so effectively and systematically.

2) Not Using the Best Possible Closing Team

3) Not Arming Themselves with the Necessary Tools
A) MLS Access is probably the most expensive necessity you're going to run into. Joining your local (and state & national, by default) Board of Realtors will allow you to pay for MLS access, and in Austin, Texas, will run around $1000. However, don't skimp in this area. Getting MLS access is one of the most important things you can do. It's what differentiates us from your average salesman--we don't sell homes, we present any of the homes that we have available. With MLS Access, you will have 99% of the homes for sale in your area available to present to your clients.
B) Mobile Phone w/ a Beefy Plan - These days, everyone has a cell phone. But not everyone has a plan that will facilitate the level of use that Real Estate Agents need. Plan on getting at least 2000 minutes per month. You want, and need, to be available to your clients 24/7 - not just nights and weekends.
C) Computer (Preferably a Laptop) - There's no way around it, you have to have a computer & be savvy enough to use email. You would be wise to invest in some business management software, as well. If you'd like to save some money (and who wouldn't) then you can get the client & email management software Thunderbird from www.mozilla.com and you can get a free office suite from www.openoffice.org. The only downside to these programs is that they do not sync with your PDA or Smart Phone. A Laptop is a BIG plus because you'll be able to work from home or on the go. New Real Estate Agents are often surprised by just how much time they spend AWAY from the office, and a laptop helps you stay on top of your work while on the go.

D) Real Estate Friendly Car - You don't have to have a Lexus, but your Miata won't do the trick. Make sure that you have a 4 door car or SUV that is comfortable and presentable. Keep it clean, and for God's sake, don't smoke in it! You're going to spend a LOT of time in your car, and put a lot of miles on it, so if it's fuel efficient, it's a BIG plus. If you're driving a sporty convertible, or still have your KILLER Jeep from college, it's time to trade it in.

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