real estate training: If You're Selling Real Estate, You NEED Training! - 08/18/11 08:10 AM
Often times I encounter agents who I know need training, but they usually say they are too busy to attend. Then there are other agents who think that just because they have been selling real estate for "x" number of years, they don't need training.  But here's the bottom line.  It doesn't really matter how long you have been selling real estate, if you're selling real estate, you NEED training. 
I'm not saying you need training because I'm a trainer.  I'm saying you need training because I have to work directly with you to complete the transaction and when you don't know … (6 comments)

real estate training: The Appraiser is Always Right...Right? - 08/16/11 09:27 AM
When the real estate market crashed a few years ago there was plenty of blame to pass around.  Lenders, appraisers, real estate agents, consumers...fingers were pointing in every direction.  Now we have lots of new rules and regulations that we all must follow to protect all of these individuals and corporations.  But have we gone so far in regulating that we have lost sight of the goal?
I want to first look at the appraiser and highlight my recent interaction with one of them.  On one of my recent listings, the appraiser gave a value $30,000 less than the list price.  My … (5 comments)

real estate training: "Home" Work for Real Estate Agents - 08/10/11 09:10 AM
As we enter the dog days of August it would be far too easy for us Realtors to take a break or basically, slack off.    After all, the kids are finished with summer camp, seller's don't think it's a good time to list, buyers are unsure of the economy and lastly, it's so hot!  We figure we can just pick up where we left off after Labor Day.  But it's not that easy.
If you have school age children you know that when school was dismissed, they were given a summer packet to complete.  At the very least, that packet probably included math … (4 comments)

real estate training: I Am the Greatest of All Time! - 08/02/11 09:28 AM
This statement only sounds good whenit's being said by former heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali.  What I find funny is that in the past two days I have had two new clients say they eliminated my competition because the agents were so impressed with themselves.  In each case, I am told, that the agents told the perspective clients about the number of degrees they held, the number of designations and a number of other factoids that have nothing to do with buying or selling real estate.  Frankly, I was stunned.  Have agents really forgotten that the transaction is not about us?
(8 comments)

real estate training: It's a Process AND an Event! - 07/28/11 11:15 AM
How many times have you heard real estate professionals talk about the buying and selling of property as a "process", not an "event".  But I beg to differ.  For us as Realtors, the transaction is a process, but for a buyer or seller the transaction is more than a "process"...it's an "event"...and a very big event!
A huge part of our jobs is to manage expectations.  When we first meet with our clients we talk about the process of buying or selling real estate.  We talk about how we work, what will be expected of them, what the lender will require … (2 comments)

real estate training: What Does Your Resume Say About You? - 06/07/11 09:01 AM
You probably think that just because you are in business for yourself that your days of needing a resume have passed.  Not true.  Whether your business is by referral or through the kindness of strangers, people want to know a little something about the person they are working with.  Remember, people like working with people they like. Of course you must be competent, but on some level they want to like you.
This is where you resume comes into play.  Your real estate resume is almost the same as a regular resume with one exception...no dates.  The "no date" resume is a … (1 comments)

real estate training: Are You Becoming Functionally Obsolete? - 06/02/11 09:26 AM
I was working on a commercial transaction and this phrase came up..."Functionally Obsolete".  It got me to thinking about my normal practice of residential real estate...and more specifically, the agents I deal with on a daily basis.  As I thought about the agents I have worked with in the past 12 months I discovered that many of them either are or are becoming functionally obsolete.
I'm not simply talking about technology here, although that alone would put a great many agents in the functionally obsolete category. I'm talking about the way some agents conduct business and how they keep current with … (11 comments)

real estate training: What's Your Excuse? - 05/31/11 09:26 AM
I often write about real estate agents who get in the way of the transaction.  But today is a little different.  As a trainer I am seeing more and more agents get in the way of their own success.  While at first glance you may be thinking that this statement is ridiculous...everyone wants to be successful. I would argue that while most people "say" they want to be successful, painfully few agents are willing to put in the time, energy and work to achieve that success.
Each week I ask my real estate newbies to tell me about their week.  Although they can … (3 comments)

real estate training: "I Don't Care If You Get Paid"! - 05/24/11 09:14 AM
I know we have all had to work with some difficult clients.  Although I try my best to only work with people I like, there are times when a bad apple slips in.  When we first meet with a client we generally have a pretty good idea of their personality type...if we have asked the right questions and truly listened to their responses.  This particular client showed some signs of being "special" but I ignored my instincts and decided to work with him. 
This client was referred to me by an agent who was moving out of the area.  He had a property to sale that … (4 comments)

real estate training: Lessons Learned - 05/19/11 10:33 AM
With over a decade of working as a Realtor I have learned a great deal throughout the years.  As I reflect on my real estate education I found these to be my top 8 lessons learned...
1.  Most people are good and trustworthy.  Although we often complain about some troublesome clients, I truly believe that they are the exception but unfortunately seem to generate the most comments.
2.  Over 90% of your transactions will eventually settle.  While we have "bumps in the road" with virtually every transaction, they will settle.
3.  Not every statement deserves a response.  I have found that people … (1 comments)

real estate training: Just Ask! - 05/18/11 10:20 AM
Why is it that some real estate agents are seemingly afraid to present offers and counteroffers?  I'm confused by this because this is what we do...we help people buy and sell property.  We know that every offer won't be great, but that's just part of the job.  This past week I had a case where the agent did not want to present my buyers counteroffer and truthfully I was more than a little baffled.  Unless the sellers have specifically stated in writing, "Do not bring me any offers below X", it is our duty and obligation to present all offers and counteroffers, … (5 comments)

real estate training: Let Me Save You From Yourself - 05/12/11 09:14 AM
I absolutely hate when people think that we Realtors are just in it for the money.  Yes we can earn (and I stress the word EARN) a very nice income as a Realtor, but we aren't in it simply for the money. 
How many times have you had to tell your clients that they need to walk away from a property?  For me it's generally about once a year that I have to "save them from themselves".  Let me give you an example.
I was working with a very lovely couple who had just had a baby and therefore needed a larger … (26 comments)

real estate training: A Better You - 05/11/11 08:59 AM
This week the National Association of Realtors is holding their mid-year conference...please don't stop reading here as this is not going to be about the conference...directly.  What I want to do is actually ask you this question; what are you doing to be a better you?
As a Realtor we have an obligation to our clients, let alone ourselves to continue to learn and grow so that we can give the best representation possible.  It doesn't matter to me how long you have been in the business.  Longevity alone does not make you a good Realtor.  Yet time and time again I'll hear … (2 comments)

real estate training: I Thought This Would Be Easier - 04/26/11 09:17 AM
In a recent training session or what we affectionately call our "therapy" session, a new agent was recounting his first transaction.  He was the listing agent on a small condo with sellers who weren't overly motivated.  It was an investment property which didn't have a mortgage...so the sellers were willing to wait for their price.  Words we Realtors don't particularly like to hear.
As the second agent he was able to get the price reduced.  It turns out that the first agent didn't ever show the owners any comps, but that's another blog on its' own.  After receiving numerous low ball … (26 comments)

real estate training: Why Bother? - 04/21/11 08:30 AM
I know you have seen them...the houses that some real estate professionals think they have "staged" to get them sold faster. They only make me laugh and feel a little embarrassed for our profession. Here are just a couple of things I have seen...
An outdoor lounge chair with a bedspread thrown over it posing as a "bed" A 6" vase with plastic flowers on the kitchen counter A card table and two folding chairs posing as a dining room set A chair placed in the corner of the living room posing as...I couldn't tell you! A plastic plant in a … (3 comments)

real estate training: When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough! - 04/06/11 09:28 AM
From the time my children were small I always told them that they could talk to me about anything. Now that they are teenagers I sometimes wonder if I really want to hear everything they tell me.  I'm constantly thinking, "Why can't you talk to Dad about this?"  In any event, one day my teenage son looks as though he has the weight of the world on his shoulders.  When I inquire about what he's thinking about, he hesitates than says, "Mom, what if you are doing your best and it just doesn't seem to be good enough"?
Good question right?  … (51 comments)

real estate training: "That Won't Work for My People" - 04/01/11 08:42 AM
Just as I was wondering what to blog about, one of the agents I train utters the words, "that won't work for my people".  I was dumbstruck!  You see, we had just finished discussing the importance of a buyer presentation and the elements of the presentation:
A piece about yourself and why a buyer should work with you and how you work Agency representation How you get paid What the lender will require Getting pre-approved The home buying process Ratification to settlement These are just some of the main topics I like to go over with a new buyer to make sure that we … (4 comments)

real estate training: #1 Reasons Transaction Can Go Wrong - 03/30/11 09:06 AM
In this market it seems as though we are working much harder just trying to get the property to settlement.  Once we have a ratified contract we then have to negotiate home inspections items and after that, sweat the appraisal.  Every step of the process has been made more painful and stressful.
On top of all of these obstacles I believe we add to the pain and stress, sometimes without even knowing it.  I believe that the number one reason transactions can go bad is because we Realtors do a poor job of setting expectations.  In my experience I have found when I … (5 comments)

real estate training: Back to Basics...Again! - 03/24/11 10:19 AM
I can't believe I'm writing this post and it's only March.  How on earth could I have fallen off the wagon so early in the year?  So here I am confessing that I have to get back on the wagon and get back to basics...yet again!
Fresh from the Brian Buffini Turning Point retreat in Richmond, Virginia I am ready to rock 'n roll.  I am thankful that this event occurred so early in the year; otherwise I could have been so much further behind.  As successful real estate professionals we all know what we should be doing...calling past clients, as well … (5 comments)

real estate training: Please Don't Ignore Me - 03/23/11 08:31 AM
I'm going to ask you a question although I'm pretty sure I already know the answer, but here goes.  Have you ever been in a transaction when an issue comes up then all of a sudden the agent you are working with stops communicating with you?
To say this is a frustrating situation would an understatement.  Your client is looking to you for the answers and you are looking to the other agent for answers...and neither party gets anything accomplished.  Why is it, when the going gets tough, the agent disappears?  Do they really think that the situation will resolve itself?  That the … (10 comments)