This dirty rock addition is very important. As we enter in to my favorite time of year, the holidays, we also enter the highest theft time of the year, plus the shortest days of the year. So, now is a great time to revisit your safety plan and or procedures. If you don’t have either, it’s a great time to put one in place. As a REALTOR we are in very vulnerable situations. Let’s look at our daily activities. We show homes to perfect strangers. (My mom always said not to go in a stranger’s home, but I do that weekly. She also said not to meet strangers at strange places, again I do that weekly). The funny thing is, we jump at the opportunity to meet a stranger at a strange place. We also meet people in the dark. We go in abandoned and vacant homes. We meet potential clients in parts of town we don’t know, at coffee bars and restaurants we don’t know. The list goes on.
Story time: I know that I have had a few close calls. The one I remember the most was back when the economy was in financial crisis. I had a home that had been vacant for months, prior to the seller deciding to list it for sale. This place was one the grossest listings I have ever had, until just recently. (That’s another story) The carpet had so much pet urine, that it was as hard as plywood. The a/c was broken, and the smell was horrible. The seller’s items were all over the house. The place was just gross. So, I listed the home. As part of my listing service, I go by all my listings weekly to make sure everything is still intact and functioning. This one I was just making sure it was locked and secure. On one of my visits, I noticed that the locks had been changed. The locks were a different color than I remembered and the key did not work. So I turn the knob, I might get lucky and it may be unlocked, was my thinking. Yes, it was! YA! No, No, No! The door opened to 6 people passing a pipe of some sort with a horrible rotten egg smell. I closed the door and left. I should say, I closed the door, and went and sat in my car to call my locksmith and the police. About 10 minutes later my locksmith pulls up. I’m still sitting in my car in front of the house. We start for the door and then the police pull up. We let the police proceed in the home. They arrested 4 of the 6 people. I found out that 4 of the 6 people had warrants out for their arrest for violent crimes. One of the policemen asked me what I was doing? I said, “checking on one of my listings” (all proud!) He went on to tell me how lucky I was that they did not assault me, or worse. He said they were very violent people, and he was surprised things did not turn out differently. He told me not to ever do that again. He said to call them first next time. Sound advice!
As I get older and wiser, I realize I need to have a plan for these situations. Here are some ideas to help you get started. Remember, no commission is worth your safety. Let’s think before we act. Plus, I have included a free gift for you to refer to. Please let me know if I can be of any help in putting your plan in to place, or if you need me to be your call buddy. Your safety is very important to me!
1. Have a call buddy. Call someone and let them know where you are, and when you leave.
2. Have a showing buddy. Someone that goes with you on the first few appointments
3. Meet new clients at the office
4. Carry pepper spray where it can be seen. By the way: by Nov 5th you can get your own Urban Settlements pepper spray.
5. Never show home in the dusk or dark.
Remember there are many areas that could use our attention. Cyber, personal, client’s safety, open house safety, etc.
I hope this helps
Have a great and safe week.
I hope you are doing well. I thought this would good information for you to know. As the tech boom continues, we are going to feel continued pressure on our industry. With the spot light on our industry from Zillow, Airbnb, VRBO and now Amazon. Tech companies have started to jump into the Real Estate industry in huge numbers. Companies in San Francisco, Salt Lake, Spokane, Denver, Seattle, Etc. These tech companies are working on all kind of solutions for our industry, even solutions that may take some of the potential sales out of the market and will put those sales in the tech market. Here a few services they are starting to offer and are looking into: Internet housing sales, List your home for a small fee, Find a realtor, Find a Photographer, Find a property manager, Sell your home yourself, Rent your home, Manage investment properties, Signs, AI predictive selling, Drone work, Etc. The list goes on and on.
I believe that a vast majority of these companies are focused on Realtors as a profit center. Don’t take this wrong, there are some that are wanting to take the sale from us, but most want to bring the sales to us for a cost. I believe the true business plan is to become a standard for all Realtor and Real Estate sale people to use. They are doing this by offering programs that attached our clients and that helps them to act. Let’s just think about it. We know with Zillow’s instant offer that the offer from the investor is going to below market value and may not be a realistic offer for many sellers. Who is going to sell their home for under market value? Sellers that are in need of funds today or are behind on their payments and want to avoid foreclosure. The rest of world would most likely want to get top dollar for their home. Considering the current market, they would have to be very desperate. But the marketing is so well done that it attracted people to put in their information and find out what they could get. At this point Zillow takes that information and sells it to the highest bidder, us Realtors. Zillow knows that they will not convert a large number of sellers to accept an offer from the instant offer program. Just an FYI 70% of Zillow’s income comes from us Realtors. So bottom line these companies are after big data, and once acquired they package and sell it off for a profit.
How do we combat the tech companies that have the big data and strong foot hold in our industry? We do what they are doing, get big data. Here what I mean. Be intentional about your business, take a vested interest and work your system, whatever that may be. I see that working a system that allows you to build and deepen relationships is our big data and the best way to combat the tech companies. They key is to build the relationship! How do we build these relationships? By taking a true interest in people and their lives. Get to know them for who they are and not as a client and referral source. I believe the fastest way to build a relationship is to find a way to help them. Take the time to actually listen to them and hear their story. Stop thinking about what you are going to say. Listen for a way help to them, by truly listen to what they are saying. For example: Someone says that they are busy with kids sports and school activities, and never have any time left over. My question is what is the underlining message they are telling us? Is it that they love their kid so much they are willing to sacrifice their time for their kids? Or are they saying they are tired and need a break? I think we need more information. If we are intentional about listening we may ask them to tell us about their kids activities or how it feels to be so busy. Listen for ways you can help! Maybe it’s, going to supporting their kids by watching one of their games? It could be a book you read about helping kids in school who are very active in sports? Or it maybe you invite the family over for dinner? You can draw a lot of conclusion from these statements, it is up to you to be the one that translates the big data you are getting into a way you can help people. This is exactly what the tech companies are doing! I recommend giving, giving and giving more, without the expectation for anything to be returned. I also recommend you take notes about your conversations in your CRM. This allows you to remember your conversations and keeps you grounded to your focus. Do you know your favorite client’s kids names, birthday, sporting activities? If not why not? If you are talking to your clients, I know they are sharing this information with you. The questions is why are you not capturing it? The tech companies are! If you were pursuing a significate other, you would take notice of all this things. Why not with our clients? My guess is you have not made it a point to take a true interest in our clients and their lives. If you have already taken a vested interest in helping others, then the key is to work on getting better. In the past we could become a little lazy and still be successful, in the future I do not see that being the case. There are many systems in our market place to help you work and grow your business by relationships (referral). I highly recommend you look in to Buffini and company, or research others that fit your style and life. Or you can grab on to the big data companies and pay for your leads, leads that have be received due to the new shinny thing that really has no value and loyalty build it to it. I hope this helps.
Investing in U!
Tube Time for U
Did you know the average person watches 5:11 hours of TV a day (statisticbrain.com)? A DAY, that sounds like a lot but when you think about your daily routine, wake up -watch the morning news, get home from school or work pop on the tube for a bit while you relax, eat dinner (67% of Americans watch TV while eating dinner) then watch a movie or your favorite prime time show until bed. The time adds up, what if one of those hours of TV time was used to watch a video you could learn from?
Documentaries and motivational videos have become more readily available with the advent of streaming devices. It used to require going to the library to check out a video or buying one to watch for this purpose, and let’s admit they were usually pretty terrible. If you have not had the pleasure of watching a self-improvement or training video from the 70’s or 80’s I suggest you give it a whirl for the laugh factor… man we wore terrible clothes back then!
TED Talks are short but boy they do an amazing job of creating inspiration or deep thinking in those short few minutes. The variety of topics is fairly broad as well. Most of your favorite authors, mentors or speakers have videos on YouTube too, video is so much easier to create and publish now it isn’t hard to find something that speaks to you if you take the time to look for it!
If you have cable most companies (all I think) allow for DVR or an on demand viewing of the shows you like. In my house we like to watch documentaries on history, animals and science. The kids love to watch and we love that they like to watch something other than Mickey Mouse or Paw Patrol every once in awhile!
The next time you log your average 5:11 hours a day consider watching something that you can benefit from, you might find a little inspiration and encouragement!
Some links for streaming sites – some may require membership/payment
Statistics found 10/13/17 at http://www.statisticbrain.com/television-watching-statistics/
Investing in U!
Read, Read, Read
Reading can be one of the best time investments you can make for yourself. Getting lost in a good fiction novel, bibliography or personal/professional development book can be just what we need to relax, refresh and grow. Most if not all of the most successful leaders promote reading as a critical component to their success. If the biggest, busiest business leaders can find time to make this a priority there is really no reason we shouldn’t as well.
I used to read a lot when I was single and less busy with chores around my home. I would get a book, start it and barely put it down until it was finished. Why is this something we give up when we get busy? When I started reading again I would read before bed, most of the time nodding off and forgetting what I read, why do we save this activity for when our minds are tired and incapable of retaining what we read? Now I look for opportunities to grab my book (I usually have a few to choose from, it is kind of a problem) when everyone else is doing their own thing and allow myself some “me time” to get lost for a few minutes (or hours). When I have a really good book I take it with me to kid practices, the park and work. Making this a priority for myself has been such a great blessing to my life, I wish I could get back all the years I lost.
If reading is not your thing there are great audio books you can listen to while driving, cleaning or just relaxing on your couch. The library offers ebooks and audible options if you do not want to commit to the cost of buying them. Our digital word provides many options to solve all of our reading reservations, no excuses! You are worth the time and commitment, trust me you will appreciate the time you spent getting lost, improving your historical knowledge or adding to your skill toolbox.
To quote Reading Rainbow “Take a look in a book”!
Here are some links to great reading resources to inspire U:
Great Resource for Kid books, with games to test their comprehension… sure wish we had those when I was a kid!
I hope you find a love of reading like I did, enjoy your time, U are worth it!
First impressions are critical in the home sales process. Check out these easy tips to make the most out of your homes first impression!
Bryan Gwynn offers some great tips to help choose the best Realtor for your needs.
With the season’s change coming upon us, it’s a great time to get refocused. To refocus we need to go back to the fundamentals. Today’s Broker Minute is designed to take you back to the fundamentals. Lets start with the highest and best use of our time. Remember time is not something we can earn and or get back so that makes it the most important commodity we have control over. We can always earn more money, get more things but we can never get the time we have used back.
Here are the best uses of your time:
1. Write and present a contract
2. Get a price adjustment on a listing
3. Listing presentation
4. Showing a home
5. Doing a drop in visit with someone you like and that likes you – provide them with an item of value
6. Business to business networking
7. Taking a client to lunch or coffee
8. Making a call to your sphere of influence
9. Writing notes
10. Taking classes on industry and personal growth
11. Prioritizing and planning
If you instill all 11 of the highest and best uses of your itme in your everyday work you will be very successful and will also have a little fun along the way. Remember, we are in a relationship business so the stronger you build your relationships the stronger your business will be.
To help with the calls, here are a few reasons to call your sphere of influence: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Day, birthdays, the first day of school, and other important milestones. There are a number of reasons to call your sphere, all you need to do is pick up the phone and DO IT!