Speak on Purpose, Speak With Purpose: Negotiation Strategies

Nov 14, 2018 by

Your agents bring together buyers and sellers through successful negotiation. Too often, agents are practicing sales prevention; they are getting in their own way, and, unfortunately, the buyer and seller lose out on opportunities.

These strategies for intentionally choosing the words you use or not use will put you in a more effective position to help your clients. Master these on-purpose strategies to manage expectations better and fulfill your client’s real estate goals and objectives.

  1. Use the ‘sandwich theory.’ Start and end every conversation on a positive note. Enthusiasm always wins, and approaching every step of the negotiation process in a positive manner will make you an expert negotiator. Good news, bad news, good news is the best way to communicate—the good news is the bread, and the bad news is the meat. No need to be “Debbie Downer” and end on a flat, low note, followed by a pause. Yikes! We never want that tone; rather, we want to say, “I’m so excited! We are going to sell your home tonight”—even when you have a lower than desired offer. The sandwich theory helps you navigate and negotiate at a much higher level, and helps remind people of their end goal: buying or selling a home.
  1. Say ‘the client’ instead of ‘my client.’ So many times, agents say, “I won’t let my buyer or my seller…”. “My” is a possessive pronoun that does not help facilitate a negotiation; instead, it puts everyone in the boxing ring or courtroom “fighting” for their client’s best interests. You can advocate proactively without acting adversarial. When you say “the client,” you are separating yourself from your client, so that you and the other REALTOR® can have a proactive conversation as professionals both working for their respective clients, but also acting in a positive, results-oriented manner for a win-win outcome.
  1. Don’t text or email negotiations. More deals fall apart or don’t even come together because they were done via text or email. Factual information can be communicated via text or email; emotional information must be done in-person, or, at the very least, on the phone. It is impossible to see and respond to people’s concerns when you are texting or emailing, making it less likely to overcome their objections. You are 90 percent more effective when you are face-to-face.

If you can’t meet in-person, connect via video or FaceTime, as these are great ways to see your client and discuss the risks and benefits of their options. This applies to providing seller feedback via text or email, as well; it is not effective. Often, they get offended, and it’s not two-way conversation. Sometimes they receive it so poorly—like you don’t like their home—that they end up transferring agents.

  1. Read and respond to people. The most effective salespeople read and respond to people in-person. Fifty-five percent of communication is body language, 38 percent is tone of voice, and only 7 percent is made up of the actual words we choose.

So, you have to choose the right words—words that make a positive impact or invoke resolution, like calling the home inspection process a “home inspection resolution process,” rather than the contingency removal. “Resolution” implies a positive outcome.  Start calling it the home inspection resolution process with your clients and other REALTORS®; you will notice how influencing the words are to keeping people focused on the property and everyone’s original goal to buy or sell.

  1. Focus on the property, not the personalities. Too often, deals go sideways because buyers get buyer’s remorse, and then poor negotiations and poor communications (done on text or email) mean both parties get hung up on the personalities. I have had to say, “The sellers don’t come with the house” and diffuse emotions when agents are running around with their hair on fire. If the client is upset with the agent, move off that and redirect them back to the main event: the house.

We have to filter what is being said. Will it be helpful or hurtful to the negotiation process? Is it even relevant, or will it get everyone overly emotional? Telling or repeating to your client “It’s all or nothing,” or “Take it or leave it” are not effective to help close deals, as they appear unfriendly. Remember: At the end of every negotiation, everyone should feel good, not raked over the coals.

  1. Manage expectations better. If you prepare your clients for what to expect before it happens, you are managing their expectations so much better than when you tell them about things as they are happening in real-time. Let them know ahead of time—at the listing appointment—that they could get an offer around 88 percent, and share with them what that number is now, when it’s not live. Explain that we will counter all offers, and we will not be offended when someone writes an offer. Now, when the offer comes in at 93 percent of list price, they are happy, as it is higher than you had prepared them for. They are now in a positive position to negotiate and close that opportunity.

There is always a way to bring two parties together if you have the right mindset—to help them in an effective, strategic manner, and not one that is adversarial. Go be an expert negotiator and grow your business to the next level. I look forward to hearing your success stories at 

For a free copy of Sherri’s exclusive podcast, “Speak On Purpose, Speak With Purpose Strategies for Closing More Negotiations and Leads,” email

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour. For more information, please contact or 844-989-2600 (toll free) or visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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California’s Most Devastating Wildfire Scorches Entire Town

Nov 13, 2018 by

Although late in the year, California continues to battle devastating infernos. The state has been experiencing unrelenting, extremely dry conditions over the past several years due to fuel build-up combined with drought and a warming climate, experts say. Currently, two major blazes pose a colossal threat, already having claimed the lives of at least 44 people and decimating nearly 17,000 residences (at press time).

Camp Fire

Ignited on November 8, according to CAL FIRE, the Camp Fire is spreading throughout Butte County. Already having charred over 117,000 acres, it is only 30 percent contained. Nearly 6,500 residences are destroyed along with 260 commercial buildings, and 15,500 buildings are still at risk of fire damage.

The firestorm is already the most destructive wildfire in California’s history, and the most deadly at 42 current fatalities (surpassing a 1933 Griffith Park fire in Los Angeles that led to 29 deaths), according to the Wall Street Journal. With hundreds still missing, sources expect the number of casualties to rise.

The most significant loss? Nearly the entire town of Paradise in the Sierra Foothills—a community of about 27,000 residents—is gone. As firefighters make the trek back to these neighborhoods, they are reporting back to homeowners that only one house, of the 20 visited thus far, is left standing. As the fire danger in Paradise still holds—firefighters say wind gusts could reignite the blaze in areas that have not yet burned—residents searching for loved ones, pets and what is left of their homes are being turned away from the town.

“We not only lost our home,” resident Sue Brown told the Los Angeles Times. “We lost a whole community. It’s gone. Paradise is gone.”

Woolsey Fire

Spread throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties in Southern California, the Woolsey Fire also ignited on November 8. Residents were still reeling from the nearby deadly Borderline bar shooting, which claimed the lives of 12 people, when evacuation orders came in. The fire has already burned through 93,662 acres and is only 30 percent contained. Over 500 structures are destroyed, while 57,000 buildings are still at risk.

Nearby Hill Fire in Santa Rosa Valley also posed a threat, although it is now 85 percent contained after burning through 4,500-plus acres.

These fire events are set to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of Californians. CoreLogic predicts that 48,390 homes with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of about $ 18 billion are at high or extreme risk of wildfire damage from the Camp and Woolsey Fires. Over 200,000 people in the affected areas have been displaced by the fires—evacuations and orders to stay indoors are currently being enforced, as dense smoke poses a health risk for millions, from San Francisco all the way to San Diego. Firefighters are continuing to monitor weather conditions, expecting moderate to strong Santa Ana winds to peak through the night, which could impact extinguishing efforts.

For homeowners impacted, Freddie Mac has enacted its disaster policies, which include forbearances and foreclosure suspensions, among other options.

“Once safely out of harm’s way, we strongly encourage homeowners whose homes or places of employment have been impacted by these dangerous fires to call their mortgage servicer—the company to which borrowers send their monthly mortgage payments—to learn about available relief options,” says Yvette Gilmore, vice president of Single-Family Servicer Performance Management at Freddie Mac. “We stand ready to ensure that mortgage relief is made available.”

Additionally, Californians and the REALTOR® community are coming together to provide aid and relief. The California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund has been providing aid for those impacted by wildfires for over 15 years. Additionally, Caring Choices, a nonprofit in Chico, Calif., is organizing volunteers for various duties, such as taking care of displaced animals and offering medical care, according to the New York Times. The REALTORS® Care section of the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) helps to publicize volunteer and aid opportunities throughout the state during times of need, showcasing various charities, including the C.A.R. Disaster Relief Fund, which provides grants to members of REALTOR® families who have incurred losses due to wildfires.

Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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What Is a Customer Relationship Management System, and Why Do You Need One?

Nov 12, 2018 by

Whether you’re an independent real estate agent or employed at an agency, a customer relationship management (CRM) system may be the key to attracting, managing and retaining clients.

What is a CRM system?

A CRM system is like your very own virtual personal assistant. It “allows you to track the entire customer journey, including all historical interactions…across all departments, be it sales, marketing, finance or customer service,” says Mason Frank Internationals’ Chief Marketing Officer, Kashif Naqshbandi.

In addition, the right CRM system can help you:

  • Communicate with clients throughout their entire home-buying process.
  • Follow up with potential clients at the right time.
  • Track productivity through leads/revenue.

“In the business of real estate,” a CRM system “is more like the lifeblood of your business. Without it, your business will die,” Ohio real estate agent and REALTOR® Eric Sztanyo stresses.

What are the benefits of using a CRM System?

Many real estate professionals, like the Director of the California Association of REALTORS®, Sebastian Frey, say it’s difficult to make a living in real estate without a CRM system.

“A CRM system helps agents stay in contact with their database, to maintain top-of-mind awareness with their sphere, clients and prospects,” says Frey. “Without a system to reliably communicate with hundreds or thousands of people, many opportunities to help customers will be lost.”

These virtual personal assistants can also give you peace of mind when it comes to managing your day-to-day. “I can add a contact to my CRM, and then basically relax,” says Texas property manager and REALTOR® Cassie Villela. “I know that the programs I’ve set up with remind me to interact with that person appropriately,” she adds.

What are some popular CRM Systems to choose from?

According to Naqshbandi, Salesforce is a CRM based entirely in the cloud. “It can integrate all of your digital channels into one comprehensive system, enabling you to manage your social media, email campaigns and digital advertising on one interface.

Licensed real estate professional James McGrath of New York recommends Contactually for its bucket feature. “You can easily make buckets (one for leads you haven’t spoken to, another for those you’re actively house hunting with, etc.) and add
reminders specific for each,” says McGrath.

If you have any questions or would like more information on how the Quicken Loans® Agent Relations team can help you grow your business, call (866) 718-9842 or email You can also visit

Krystal Miller lives, works, and plays in the Detroit area and loves covering a variety of topics. She started her writing career in broadcast news and made the move to marketing copywriter in 2012. When she’s not writing, you can find her cruising around town on the back of a Harley or enjoying some quality time with her family in Northern Michigan.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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Denim Design: The Jean-Look Is Hitting Home Decor

Nov 12, 2018 by

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

If you thought jeans were just for wearing, you are mistaken. Denim is becoming a hot fabric in home décor. We’re seeing denim sofa coverings, pillows, table runners, ottomans, rugs and bedding.

Denim is being lumped into a bigger trend of using more “utility fabrics” in home décor. Besides denim, those trending utility fabrics also include burlap, grain sacks, and drop cloths. All of these are heavier fabrics but they can add texture in designing your space. Another bonus: These utility fabrics are known for being less expensive and durable. That helps make denim great for rugs, sofas, or even a kid or teens’ bedroom. Denim wears and washes well so it can also be a great choice for high-traffic areas of the home.


Blue is really taking off as the “it” color in home design this year, and obviously blue denim fits right into that. A more mainstream use of the jean trend may come from denim-inspired blue paint finishes on furnishings or on kitchen or bathroom cabinets.


Can denim make a lasting enough impression on home decor to stick around? It’s a heavy fabric and it doesn’t exactly give off a cozy vibe. But in some areas of home design, it may very well find a niche.

Styled, Staged & Sold

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