Exploring the Five “Must Haves” for Weathering this Ever-Changing Niche
By Julie Escobar
Our market has been through a lot in the last couple of years. Ups and downs and twists and turns feeling at times like hurricane force gales and others like the quiet before the storm that seems like it should come complete with a daunting musical score all its own. Economic backbiting, housing market woes and of course, the extraordinary efforts of the “bad news is top news” media extol all play a part in what has become a “perfect storm” for consumer fear and information.
The good news? Things are changing, they’re turning around – maybe not as quickly as some would like, but slowly and certainly – they are shifting. With the help of dedicated professionals who are listening and learning and creating new and better ways to turn bad situations into better situations for distressed homeowners, overburdened mortgage companies and our market as a whole. Kudos to the short sale specialists who have realized that this situation “is what it is” and that for every negative – there can be solutions that improve the status quo and there are opportunities to turn the tide.
I’ve been fortunate to meet some incredible agents along the way and what they’ve taught me is that to be successful in the short sale arena you’ve got to have the following:
- Compassion. You’re dealing with people who, for the most part, feel vulnerable, stressed, worried and afraid. The bottom line in our business – is people. If you’re only out for #1 – then I suggest that not only is this niche not right for you – but perhaps real estate isn’t for you. If your goal is to help people with their goals, get them from overwhelmed and filled with fear to “able to breathe again” and on the road to peace of mind – then you’ve got the right mindset and heart to work within this niche.
- Education. Oh, I know in the beginning – everyone with a license (and I dare say some without) threw their hats in the short sale ring. Fortunately, tighter regulations had been put in place and more and more agents are getting the tools, skills, techniques and knowledge they need to do right by their clients. They know, more now than ever, that the WRONG advice, the WRONG business practice can do exceedingly more damage to a consumer’s already troubled credit and financial well-being. So they’re turning to programs like America’s Home Rescue to get the kind of information foundation they need to provide the best possible service and assistance for their clients.
- Advocacy. Let’s face it – there are a lot of “sharks” out there trolling the waters, eager to prey on people at their most troubled times. The agents who are mastering short sales and owning that corner of the market in their areas are fierce advocates for their clients. They’re focused and formidable when it comes to protecting consumer’s rights and helping to stamp out predatory practices and people that invade their turf.
- Ability to TEACH. The pros I know with the best success rates and a referral base to prove they’re doing something right have the desire and ability to TEACH the consumers and businesses in their marketplace as well as agents coming into the business or just into short sales. They’re passionate about the topic, about the hope that can be offered to troubled families and about the consequences of skipping steps, flying solo and not doing your homework. They’re the first to reach out to their communities, they host workshops, they sit at kitchen tables, they keep learning so they can keep teaching. (Teachers rock!)
- Tools. Like any master of their trade, short sale specialists make sure they have all the tools of trade necessary to make their business run smoothly, more efficiently, effectively and ensure that all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed. From the direct response mail they use to connect to distressed homeowners, to the collateral pieces they offer as informational guides, to the scripts, dialogues and objection handlers they need to deliver the right message at the right time, to the forms (oh the forms!) they use to push the proper paperwork through the procedural red tape that is common with this niche – they know every tool and technique like the back of their hand. They practice, they research and they leave nothing to chance. It’s what makes them professionals, and what sets them apart.
I applaud all the agents who’ve taken up the helm of this continuously growing niche market in the midst of the “perfect storm” out there. It takes courage and integrity to dive into new markets, new techniques and do it without skipping steps and with more than just themselves in mind.
So for all of you who are braving the perfect storm and making the short sale market your own – let us know how we can help you. We’re right there with you – every step of the way! We’ll be putting up new direct mail templates this month to help you reach out to area consumers as well as a new free report that’s in the works just for you! Bookmark these pages today and stay tune!