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Now Business, Future Business and Financial Freedom: Essentials for 2019 Success

Jan 13, 2019 by

After helping real estate professionals create breakthrough career success for more than 27 years, one thing is certain: There’s no one path to success for everyone.

However, there are smart strategies that can help agents get to their Next Level™ faster than others. Recently, we’ve reimagined real estate business planning. We start with an EZ Business Plan that allows them to crunch numbers so they can assess the activities they need to hit their financial goals. Then we share a three-tiered plan that can help agents better navigate three important areas of building wealth: now business, future business and financial freedom.

Agents often fall into one of three categories: 

  1. Survival Level, or those struggling financially, living month-to-month and worried about where their next commission is coming from. These folks need a quick fix and coaching to create a cash infusion by putting “now business” in place within 30-60 days.
  1. Maintenance Level, or folks who steadily get their bills covered throughout the year. They are making enough to get by, but not really able to save or create financial growth.
  1. Next Level™: These are the agents that have built strong business foundations, have systems in place and constant cash flow coming in. They are now in the business of preparing for eventual retirement and financial freedom.

First, know your numbers logically. I had a coaching conversation with a student who felt as if he were doing worse this year over last. I had him write everything down. How many listings? Sales? Dollar volume? Commissions? After analyzing, he realized he had made more in the current year, but spent much more, revealing the disparity. 

Assessment Formula 

  1. Business Bills – What are you spending each year on business survival? What is your break-even? Dues, advertising, stationery, E&O insurance, office fees…these are fixed bills.
  2. Personal Survival Bills – House, utilities, car, insurance, etc.
  3. Add the two.
  4. Add taxes. This becomes your overall break-even.
  5. Add how much you want to put toward retirement and what you’ll need to live debt-free (pay off credit, put in savings, investments). This will take you from survival to Next LevelTM.

Consider the three areas of business planning necessary for long-term success to determine where you need to start:

Now Business
If you need money in next 30-60 days, wake up every morning with one focus: get a listing. How? The quickest way to generate listing appointments now is to call FSBOs and expireds:

  1. Get a good file system that will help you generate and organize these leads.
  2. Schedule certain days for calls and commit to those hours.
  3. Have a strong listing appointment, which gives you the confidence to prospect.
  4. Use a visual chart to help stay motivated and focused
  5. Have external accountability (another agent, manager, integrity partner, etc.).

Future Business
Now that you’ve got inventory and cash flow, it’s time to focus on building your business to your Next LevelTM. That requires planting seeds of self-promotion for niche markets or geographic farms. Here are some things to consider: 

  • It takes 6-9 months before it starts paying for itself.
  • Create a plan for a concentrated neighborhood approach that includes door-knocking, community events, working those Facebook closed groups and mailings.
  • Have funding for at least six months of marketing before you get started.
  • Consistency is key—statistically, it takes at least five touches to get a response.
  • Consider co-branding with a vendor to offset costs such as an attorney, moving company, etc.

Financial Freedom
There is no better feeling than being debt-free. The only debt that is good debt is mortgages (one per house!) and car loans or leases—all single-digit loans. Any cost of money that is in the double-digits is hurting, not helping—meaning over 10 percent interest needs to go.

  • Map out a plan to pay off any debt that has double-digit interest first.
  • Savings has to be habitual. Every month a set amount needs to go towards your future.
  • Here’s the formula I taught my son: After bills, 50 percent of your money goes towards spending, 20 percent to savings, 20 percent to investing and 10 percent to God. If you have credit card debt, that formula would be 25 percent to spending, 25 percent to debt, 20 percent to savings, 20 percent to investing and 10 percent to God.

Watch for more training on this topic as we roll out the first quarter of 2019. We’re here to help. 

Darryl Davis, CSP, an author, coach and speaker, has spoken to, trained and coached more than 100,000 real estate professionals around the globe. He is a best-selling author for McGraw-Hill Publishing, and his book, “How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate,” tops Amazon’s charts for most sold book to real estate agents. He is the founder of the Next Level™ real estate training system The Power Program®, which has proven to help agents double their production over their previous year. Davis has earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. For more information, please visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.

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Lamacchia Realty: Where Real Tactics Lead to Real Results

Jan 12, 2019 by

Anthony Lamacchia has been obsessed with business since childhood. At age 12, he began learning about what a profit and loss statement was, and by 16, he had mastered basic accounting. It’s no surprise that once Lamacchia entered the real estate world, it didn’t take long for him to make his mark. Today, as broker/owner and CEO of Lamacchia Realty, serving Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Lamacchia is on the verge of explosive growth, ready to take his training-focused and agent support-centric model beyond New England’s borders. As he simply says, “We will one day be the largest and best privately-held real estate company in America.” Find out how Lamacchia intends to get there—and how he’s already come so far—in this exclusive interview.

Maria Patterson: Would you start by telling us a little bit about your background?
Anthony Lamacchia: Sure. I’ve been working since I was very young. My grandmother used to get mad at my dad for taking me to jobs at age three. I worked with my father in his landscaping and construction business, where I learned so much that I later applied to real estate. My grandfather was an accountant who did my father’s books. By the age of 12, he taught me what a P&L was and all about payables and receivables. I knew the basics of accounting by the time I was 16. I’ve been obsessed with business for as long as I can remember; and according to my dad, it started at a very young age.

MP: So, when did you get into real estate?
AL: Well, I bought my first property when I had just turned 21 in 2002. Then I got into real estate sales in 2004 after I had bought a few properties to rent or flip, at which time I was getting tired of the family business. At the time, I had a business partner—and our first employee, Sarah Chaisson, who is still with me today as vice president of all the companies.

MP: How many offices and agents does Lamacchia Realty currently have?
AL: Five offices with 180 agents, and growing by the day.

MP: What are your current goals in terms of expansion?
AL: We want to be at 300 agents by 2020, and we’re tracking to make that happen. Our bigger goal is to become the largest and best privately-held real estate brokerage in New England. We’re also currently working hard to increase our relocation business, and it’s really beginning to take shape. Our affiliation with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has really helped with this. We’re now regularly helping people move in and out of our area. We’re also very focused on growing in the corporate relocation space and are now getting more and more involved with hospitals and large corporations.

Anthony Lamacchia, broker/owner and CEO of Lamacchia Realty, is ready to take his training-focused and agent support-centric model beyond New England’s borders.

MP: What were some of your key strategies for growing the firm over the years?
AL: For several years, we did a massive television advertising campaign. When the market wasn’t good, it produced a lot of leads; when the market got hotter, it didn’t generate nearly as many leads, but it worked wonders for us with branding. We’ve always focused hard on producing leads for agents, and that won’t change in the years to come. Training has probably been the biggest single contributor to our success over the last five years.

MP: Training is clearly a cornerstone of your company’s success. How does it work, and what makes it different from any other training an agent can get?
AL: People always ask, “What are you doing differently with your training?” and I always say, “Our training programs are real.” It’s important to train on the real struggles that agents have, the real situations they encounter during a sale, and the real objections they hear. We essentially walk agents down the path of walking a consumer down the path of buying or selling. I’m the main sales trainer, but our management team also handles a lot of it, especially with the newer agents. We’re doing more training in one month than most companies do in a year. We now have much of our training available in a video library, too, and the agents love that.

MP: Obviously, you’re onto something since you’re now offering your REAL Training to other brokerages, correct?
AL: Yes. We began offering our training sessions nationally in late 2016 over a live broadcast feed. Our national customers are being taught the same courses as our agents—at the same time. On any given Wednesday, we have between five to 10 locations tuned in and well over a hundred agents participating. It’s real and it’s live. We have a big TV in the back of the training room where we can see who’s participating from other companies and interact with them. We also recently started offering our weekly training by video since not everyone could adhere to our Wednesday schedule, which is especially tough for those on the West Coast with the time difference.

MP: Can agents also access your training online?
AL: Yes, they can get a taste of it, along with a ton of good tips, by liking our Crush It in Real Estate page on Facebook, or they can get even more by visiting our new training website, CrushItInRE.com.

MP: And training is essential to deal with market changes. How are current conditions in your area?
AL: The market undoubtedly slowed down at the end of August and has been at a slower speed ever since. Falls have been slower for over five years now, but I do think there’s a change in the air, which you can see in the numbers as inventory has increased by a noticeable amount. Sellers have ruled the roost for about three years, and now there’s going to be more balance in the market. I think it’s a good thing, because too many sellers were getting too cocky and too many agents were getting complacent. This market change is good news for buyers and it will produce more sales for all of us come spring.

MP: What’s the opportunity in this scenario for REALTORS®?
AL: When homes don’t sell quite as fast, there’s a big opportunity for being an expert. When the market is too hot, sellers will hire anyone who gives them a discount because most REALTORS® can get the seller’s home sold. When the market’s tough, good agents rise to the top; therefore, when the market was bad, our company grew the most. I have zero fear of a market slowdown because our REALTORS® and staff are better trained than any others.

MP: Besides your training program, how else do you help your agents succeed?
AL: Where do I even start? There’s a lot! We pride ourselves on offering agents an array of products, services and tools to help them grow their businesses.

MP: Can you expand on each in more detail?
AL: Sure. When I say products, I mean all different kinds of leads, from the typical online buyer leads to relocation leads, to leads generated from our TV advertising, and more. Lead products are usually more appealing to newer agents, but not always. For example, relocation clients require, and are usually more appealing to, more experienced agents.

We’ve really focused on growing our menu of services over the last two years. These are mostly for agents who are doing more business and need the help to stay caught up and get ahead. We offer Listing and Buyer Assistance, where an administrative assistant works with an agent throughout the sales process. We also offer Prelist Services, where we handle pictures, floor plans, hanging of the sign and lockbox, sending out Just Listed postcards, creating brochures, and more. Our Showing Partners program, which was custom-built on our CRM, is much like Uber, where agents request coverage on a showing appointment or home inspection and another agent can claim it and get paid to do it. More recently, we began offering Marketing Services, where we handle social media and mailing campaigns on behalf of the agents who opted in for it. None of this is free, but nothing good is ever free.

The tools we offer mostly involve technology, like our custom-built CRM and several other solutions that our agents love.

The firm’s REAL Training has been the single biggest contributor to Lamacchia Realty’s success.

MP: So, you’re really setting agents up for success…
AL: Exactly. An agent who joins our firm will, on average, increase their income by 318 percent in their first 12 months compared to their prior 12 months at a previous firm. Newer agents are more attracted to leads and training; more experienced agents are attracted to services and how we can help better their business so they can have more personal time, which they value most; and we really work hard to help them achieve that.

MP: What role does your leadership team play in your agents’ success?
AL: I have the best leadership team in the business, period. Almost all of them have sold a significant amount of homes. Many were my stars when we were a team model years ago. They’re determined to make sure we’re the best there is, and they’re the true reason we are. They’re also always in touch with our agents to support them at a level that doesn’t exist at other companies. Our top agents recognize this, and many of them have also become leaders in the company, which is very helpful to me—and I appreciate them for it.

MP: How would you describe your leadership philosophy?
AL: My leadership philosophy is to lead by example. I work hard and make things happen, and they follow suit. I do all I can to support them so that they can support our staff and agents. They’re all dedicated to making sure we’re better than our competition, because we have to be. We’re always working hard to make our agents’ lives easier, and we do that by providing unique products, services and tools that others don’t and can’t. It’s a lot of work to provide all that, but it’s necessary because we’re going head-to-head with some very worthy competition.

MP: What are some of your most innovative marketing strategies? How are they helping you connect with consumers?
AL: We’re big believers in social media, both Lamacchia Realty for buyers and sellers, and Crush It in Real Estate for REALTORS®. We put out tons of content, which has been a big part of our success. I do a significant amount of video content and blogging myself. If you educate buyers, sellers and REALTORS®, they’ll be attracted to you.

MP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology?
AL: We built our own custom CRM on the Salesforce platform and it does everything for agents. It creates plans, triggers automated reminders and emails…things you’d never think about needing or wanting until you start using it. It helps make our agents, staff and management team more efficient and productive, and they can all conveniently access it anywhere through a mobile app.

MP: What’s on deck for the future of the firm?
AL: Big things. We’ll build an empire. I guarantee it.

For more information, please visit www.lamacchiarealty.com or www.CrushItInRE.com.

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at maria@rismedia.com.

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About Your ACESocial Profile

Jan 11, 2019 by

When friends visit your social media accounts they might click on one of your interesting posts to read the full story. Unlike posts from traditional news outlets friends reading posts from RISMedia’s ACESocial will land on your ACE branded page where they can read the full story. We’ll brand the page with your picture, company logo, contact information, links to your sites – and protect your clients from competitive advertising so you remain top of mind.

The Profile section of your RISMedia’s ACESocial menu controls the information displayed on your ACE Branded Page.

If this is your first time using RISMedia’s ACESocial likely you were guided through each section of the “Profile” area when you signed up for your account. If you are a returning member, or were enrolled by your company, or simply want to make changes to your profile – like updating your mobile number, you can do this anytime from the “Profile” area of your ACE account. Here’s how:

From the ACE → Profile area simply click the appropriate icon to adjust that section of your profile. Example click “Phone Number” to update your contact phone.

Once you have completed or made any changes click the “Preview Landing Page” icon to check your work. Click the “Profile” menu item again to make further changes.

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How to Get a Mortgage When You’re Self-Employed

Jan 10, 2019 by

While more and more Canadians are turning to self-employment in an ever-changing economy, it can be intimidating to consider homeownership when you’re self-employed. The regulations are tighter for freelancers because income is less consistent and reliable than typical full-time employment, but that shouldn’t discourage you from pursuing homeownership.

Save for a larger than usual down payment. A 20 per cent down payment might be fine for someone applying for a mortgage with regular employment without having to purchase mortgage insurance. For freelancers, that number goes up to 35 per cent. On top of needing that large sum in the bank, you’ll also need to prove you earned it—that it wasn’t gifted to you by a generous family member or friend. You’ll need to show bank statements so they can verify it comes from your earnings.

Get your paperwork in order. You’ll need to have claimed self-employment for at least two tax years before a bank will be willing to consider you for a mortgage once you’re freelance. They’ll use this information to calculate your average income. Lenders will want to go through your taxes, accounts and bank statements in detail before they make any decision. An accountant can make sure you have everything you need.

Consider your taxes. While you’re probably claiming everything you can on your taxes to help come tax time, this can actually hurt you when it comes to purchasing a home because it makes it appear as though you have a smaller income. Lenders want to see a sizable income and not worry that you’re struggling, so it might be worth it to claim less expenses the year before you are looking to buy.

Have a three-year plan. All things considered, it’s no easy feat to get a mortgage when you are self-employed, but it’s entirely possible if you plan for it correctly. The main thing to keep in mind is that it is going to take time and money. It’s unlikely you can approach a lender today and be approved if you’re new to freelancing, but don’t let that discourage you. This year, focus on building strong credit, increasing your savings, getting your paperwork in order and increasing your income each month. Once you’ve checked all the boxes, there’s no reason you won’t be approved for a mortgage.

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