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iBuyer Presentation for MLOs and Agents

Jun 25, 2019 by

iBuyer Presentation for MLOs and Agents

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Leveraging the Agent’s Market™

Apr 17, 2019 by

Now is the time to up your real estate game. We’re on the cusp of what should be an amazing time to be an agent. Real estate, like many industries, is cyclical. In the summer of last year, I started paying close attention to the shift we were seeing across North America from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, so that I could share with my audiences and coaching members the best strategies to effectively communicate how those changes would affect their clients and customers.

Research, experience and history tell us that the centering cycle of the real estate market between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market is one that more equally favors all parties, including real estate professionals. I call it the Agent’s Market™.

Here’s what I mean. A seller’s market obviously favors sellers. Demand is high and inventory is low, so sellers tend to overvalue their property and undervalue an agent’s role in getting their home sold. Many believe they can “sell it themselves” or try the “price-it-high-we-can-always-come-down” approach, which makes listings tougher to get for many agents. There’s also tremendous pressure to cut commissions.

In a buyer’s market, inventory is higher, so buyers are slower to make decisions, want to see everything on the market, and are reluctant to pull the trigger. Sales prices also favor buyers more, so there’s frustration for sellers and sizeable pressure on agents to be tough negotiators.

But in an Agent’s Market™, there’s more inventory, homes are more likely to be priced reasonably at fair market value, and both sellers and buyers see more value in using a real estate professional. That’s a win-win-win.

To truly leverage an Agent’s Market™, agents need to get on board sooner rather than later. That means focusing on building listing inventory. To do that in a changing market, filled to the brim with real estate distractions and disruptors, agents need to effectively communicate value and service. For some, that will mean ditching old sales methods and canned speeches for new communication skills and service mindsets.

Consumers don’t want to be sold anymore. The “find the pain point and offer the answer” presentation skills don’t work, and frankly, for most agents, don’t feel authentic, anyway. It’s uncomfortable to make people uncomfortable. What I teach our Power Agents® is to serve, not sell, and to coach, not close—to have a listing conversation as opposed to a presentation. These are game changers not only in terms of bottom line results (more listings), but also in developing long-term referral relationships (customers for life).

It’s all in the art of communication, which involves asking the right questions, listening on a whole different level, and getting to the heart of a seller’s real commitment, which probably isn’t what you think it is. It’s not just selling a house; it’s about getting to their next level, whatever that goal is. Is it a home closer to the kids or grandkids? Do they need more room for a growing family? Are they downsizing so they can travel? Did they accept a job offer in another area and need to relocate?

That’s where learning to ask the right questions, and, in many cases, learning to really listen, rather than just waiting to jump in with pre-scripted dialogue, matter. When you can create a connection and trust with potential sellers, that can help you get to the root of their commitment and then use smart stories, metaphors and analogies to illustrate your value, tools and solutions to help them realize that next level—that’s where the magic lies.

Stay focused on building that listing inventory and generating now business by prospecting FSBOs and expireds at least three days per week, for at least an hour each day. Commit to the activity, let go of the results and “get in the batting cage and swing” three days per week. I love when agents break through old fears and habits and embrace this strategy. At a recent event, I shared the powerful combination of questions, mindset and skill it takes to list two out of every four of these prospects. During the lunch break, one agent who had been dead-set against calling FSBOs in the past went out to her car and made the calls. She came back in with two appointments. Another agent recently emailed me following a workshop to say that she jumped in and made the calls and got four appointments.

The difference is having the right words—and the right perspective. If you’re calling people because you know, based on industry history, experience, statistics and your gut, that you can honestly help FSBOs get a higher return on their investment, those calls get easier. Scheduling the listing appointment is then just a natural progression of the knowledge and resources you’re able to offer. You’re serving, not selling. You’re coaching, not closing.

We’re just at the front edge of the Agent’s Market™, and it’s too early to tell how long it will last. Agents, do everything in your power to fine-tune your communication and listing skills. Brokers, put the training and coaching in place to help your agents master building inventory.

I’m here to help.

To learn more, visit www.TheAgentsMarket.com.

Darryl Davis 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 earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation, held by less than 2 percent of all speakers worldwide. To learn more, visit www.ThePowerProgram.com.

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Agents: Turn Your Business Plan Into an Action Plan

Mar 30, 2019 by

An actionable business plan is your first step to success. Don’t lose sight of your strategy! In the next RISMedia webinar, “Agents: Turn Your Business Plan Into an Action Plan,” learn how to effectively execute on your goals and plans for this year.

Register now!

What: RISMedia’s Webinar Series – Agents: Turn Your Business Plan Into an Action Plan

Sponsored by

 

When: Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT / 1 p.m. MT / 12 p.m. PT

Who: Featuring Dan Elam, Elam Real Estate; and Mariette Martinez, Intuit; moderated by Cleve Gaddis, Workman Success Systems

For coverage of the webinar, follow @RISMediaUpdates and use #RISWebinar.

About the Webinar

Dan Elam is founder of Elam Real Estate in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Elam has over 20 years of experience in real estate and has degrees in Management and Finance from Middle Tennessee State University.

Mariette Martinez is a financial accountant, IRS Enrolled Agent and Intuit trainer/writer who has worked in the accounting, tax and technology industries for over two decades. This blend of experience allows her to create content and spread awareness for the entrepreneurial community around the importance of financial literacy, year-round tax compliance and embracing technology.

Moderated by

Moderator Cleve Gaddis, leader of one of Georgia’s top 10 real estate teams and coach with Workman Success Systems, has over 25 years of experience in sales. Gaddis is also host of the “Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show” on Talk Radio 640 WGST and Newstalk 1160.

Each month, RISMedia’s webinars draw over 1,000 agents and brokers from across the country eager for exclusive insight from the industry’s most profitable professionals. To view our last webinar, “How to Find Gold in Referrals,” please visit RISMedia’s Housecall.

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Facebook Ad Changes: How Will They Affect Real Estate Agents?

Mar 21, 2019 by

Federal housing laws prohibit the discrimination of people based on race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability and family status, but for years, civil rights advocates have been warning that Facebook’s ad targeting can be used to discriminate against these protected classes. Last year, the Department of Housing and Urban Development filed a complaint that Facebook’s ad targeting options were in fact being misused to discriminate against protected classes of people. After lawsuits from housing groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA), Facebook reached a settlement to make changes that will prevent landlords, employers, lenders, real estate professionals and others from discriminating against these protected classes.

In the past, Facebook has put the onus on their advertisers to use the targeting capabilities fairly and legally by providing anti-discrimination guidelines. When that proved ineffective, Facebook attempted to solve potential misuse of their ad targeting by removing over 5,000 ad targeting options.

Now, Facebook is planning a complete overhaul to their ad targeting options that will remove many of the options entirely to prevent people and companies offering housing, loans and jobs from discriminating against protected classes. Facebook will also be working with representatives from the NFHA to develop an in-house training program on fair housing for Facebook’s staff and leadership team. The NFHA will also monitor Facebook advertisers to ensure compliance with federal housing and lending laws.

The hyper-targeted ads on Facebook were an incredible asset to real estate agents who were not abusing them, and it’s too early to tell if Facebook’s new ads will be as effective with limited targeting options. However, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg expressed that “our job is to make sure these benefits continue while also making sure that our ads tools aren’t misused. There is a long history of discrimination in the areas of housing, employment and credit, and this harmful behavior should not happen through Facebook ads.”

The new ad targeting changes will not allow people in the housing, credit and employment industries to target by age or gender, or by options associated with protected classes. These advertising sectors will also require zip code-targeted ads to include a minimum 15-mile radius around the area to prevent regional discrimination, and will no longer consider age, gender and zip codes when creating “lookalike” audiences for advertisers.

One way the changes could actually be beneficial for real estate agents is through the new tool Facebook is creating that will allow users to search for all housing ads regardless of whether or not the user is actually in the targeted group. This could help make real estate ads more widely available than they currently are, and help agents reach interested people outside their immediate advertising area.

Facebook intends to roll out all these changes to their advertisements by the end of the year, and the changes will likely be reflected by other social media sites and big advertising providers, such as Google and Amazon.

For more social media guidance and help with content creation, posting and engaging with your audience, check out Homes.com Social Fuel.

Patty McNease is vice president of Brand Marketing at Homes.com. For more information, please visit marketing.homes.com.

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Going to Work for Agents

Mar 9, 2019 by

Coldwell Banker Advantage/Sea Coast Advantage/Chicora Advantage Flips the Pyramid and Puts People on Top 

Of course, Gary Rabon, Ralph Huff and Tim Milam are proud of the fact that their firm ranks among the Top 3 Coldwell Banker franchises in the country—but what matters even more are the people in each of their 44 offices throughout the Carolinas.

“We put people before profits,” says Milam. “It’s not so much about the numbers, but about focusing on our agents.”

In this exclusive interview, Rabon, president and CEO, Coldwell Banker Advantage – Triangle Region; Huff, president and CEO, Coldwell Banker Advantage – Sandhills Region; Milam, president and CEO, Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage; and Rick Gregory, COO, Coldwell Banker Advantage, explain how inverting the pyramid and putting agents and consumers on top has shaped the firm’s massive growth over the past five years.

Maria Patterson: Please begin by telling us about the current size and scope of the organization.
Tim Milam: Our company has five regions: Raleigh, Fayetteville, Southern Pines and Wilmington, N.C., and Myrtle Beach, S.C. We have about 1,400 agents and 44 offices. At the time of this interview, our projected sales volume for 2018 is around $ 3.7 billion in volume with a little over 16,000 transactions. We have three different names we market: Coldwell Banker Advantage; Coldwell Banker Chicora Advantage; and Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage.

MP: Those are impressive numbers. How does that compare to where the company was five years ago?
TM: Five years ago, we had about 700 agents, and sales were approximately $ 2.3 billion. Transactions were around 9,000.

Ralph Huff: We’re among the Top 3 Coldwell Banker franchises in the nation, and we’re No. 1 in North Carolina.

MP: So, what would you most attribute your growth to?
TM: Organic growth has been a big part of it. We’ve made some acquisitions, but I would attribute a lot of our growth to our focus on our agents’ success, which has led to other agents seeking to join our company.

Rick Gregory: The majority of our growth has been done with purpose. All of our acquisitions have involved filling in gaps that are part of a larger strategy. We look to where we believe we can serve agents in a way that helps them serve more clients.

Gary Rabon: In addition to our real estate company growth, all regions are now in the mortgage and title business to offer specific services and products that serve the customers of our agents.

RH: Agents embrace who we are as a firm. We go to market with people in mind and build around those people.

(L to R) Tim Milam, Ralph Huff and Gary Rabon

MP: You are in very competitive markets with a lot of new entrants into the area. What do you do to set yourselves apart?
TM: We put people before profits. It’s not so much about the numbers. We work for the agents—they don’t work for us. We’re focused on helping agents and their clients succeed.

GR: We have some unwritten rules: Do the right thing; do whatever is best for the client; treat others like you want to be treated. We really push our agents to get involved in the community and help others.

TM: Our culture includes giving back. We had 34 agents and three employees from the Wilmington office displaced from their homes after Hurricane Florence. All regions came together to send trucks of supplies down and raise cash donations. This big Advantage family helps out no matter what region is affected.

RG: What we’ve seen is that new entrants in our markets tend to focus on price, but being cheaper is not a compelling differentiator. When you’re focused on service, it causes you to think about all service experiences a customer may have, no matter what they’re shopping for. Tim, Ralph and Gary really focus on the service component and make sure our agents absolutely know they’re behind them.

MP: How do you ensure your level of service stands apart from other real estate firms?
RG: When consumers are buying or selling a home, they’re not comparing that experience against another home they bought or sold; they’re comparing it to other purchases or sales in their lives. We’re constantly focused not just on residential real estate, but other industries, as well. Everything we do is centered around making sure agents are positioned to service customers at an extremely high level. We’re ardent in our quest to constantly develop and secure the tools, systems and training to execute on the developing needs of our various markets and consumers.

MP: Can you give me an example of that?
GR: Our new voice search skill is a great example. If you look at the No. 1 product purchased this past holiday season, it was the Amazon Echo. Fifty percent of searches by 2020 will be on voice, and 14 percent of consumers are investigating home value information on voice. We’re investing in where the consumer is going.

Putting agents and consumers on top has fueled Coldwell Banker Advantage/Sea Coast Advantage/Chicora Advantage’s massive growth.

MP: Do you worry about the so-called “disruptors”?
TM: We think that we are a disruptor. We don’t consider ourselves a traditional real estate company. We’re laser-focused on service to consumers and agents. What’s more, we built a strong culture that enables agents to be very successful. There’s a lot of value and stability in what we offer.

GR: People want to do business with people. We provide this level of support to agents so they can have interpersonal relationships with consumers. The so-called “disruptors” are about price or speed—not about relationships.

RG: To Gary’s point about price, a disruptor is somebody who’s identified a gap in a service experience based on consumer sentiment, and goes to exploit that gap with a new service model. In all the qualities that differentiate a company, a focus on price is neither rare nor hard to replicate.

RH: A focus on service also allows the organization to have the retention necessary to push forward from a growth perspective. Growth is not about sign-on bonuses and discounting.

MP: You really emphasize the fact that you, as the company’s leaders, work for your agents. What does that look like?
TM: Communication is a big part of it. We’re constantly reaching out to agents to find out what’s going on in their lives—we’re very much like a family. We also want to know what they don’t like…what problems they’re having. Agents know they’re fully supported and that we’ve got their backs. If a mistake occurs with a customer, we will make it right.

GR: I pride myself on the fact that we’re out in the offices with agents constantly. I know most agents on a first-name basis, as do Tim and Ralph. We have almost 1,400 agents, but the number is irrelevant. We value the relationship with all of them, and we want them to know that.

MP: How does this type of personal connection resonate with the younger generation of agents? Does it matter as much?
GR: Absolutely. We recently had a 23-year-old join the firm and I called him to say, “Welcome,” and gave him my cell number. At a company event, he introduced himself and told me how much he appreciated that phone call.

RH: No matter the generation, everyone craves communication. The way they want to communicate might be slightly different (social and otherwise), but they love engaging with the leadership team.

TM: We basically have an upside down pyramid with the owners at the bottom, and the agents at the top. We’ve been blessed to do some good things for people, and we ask all of our agents to do something nice for someone every week. Having good, quality people is more important than the number of people we have.

At Coldwell Banker Advantage/Sea Coast Advantage/Chicora Advantage, everything revolves around making sure agents are positioned to service customers at an extremely high level.

MP: How do you ensure your agents are getting everything they need to deliver for consumers?
GR: We listen to what their needs are. We ask, “What can we do better, and how can we help?” Agents know they can give us constructive criticism. Also, Rick and the management team are involved in a lot of national groups that keep us innovative and current with the times.

RG: There is thought leadership throughout our organization at every level. If we’re listening to people and asking really good questions, it generates insights that help us serve our agents better. It’s our responsibility to help our agents understand where consumers are going, and to give them what they need to set them up for success.

MP: What keeps you up at night regarding your agents or consumers?
TM: I worry about the media portraying REALTORS® as a dying breed. But a computer can’t talk a homeowner or buyer off the ledge over a home inspection that goes badly. REALTORS® who provide the best service will always have a place in the real estate market.

GR: I worry about complacency. When someone asks me, “Should I think about taking this course?” I say, take it. Never stop learning…every day, every week. If you stop growing, you’re shrinking.

MP: Finally, gentlemen, what’s in store for your future?
GR: I’m excited about 2019. A focus on fundamentals is the foundation of the business. Good brokers providing great services to agents and consumers make money in a good and down market.

TM: The real estate industry is changing at a rapid pace, and we have to stay focused on serving our agents and consumers better than everyone else. If you do the basics well, you can adjust to the market. I’m excited!

Giving Agents the Advantage
Agents at Coldwell Banker Advantage and Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage share how being “part of the family” has been integral to their success.

Tony de la Vega – Coldwell Banker Advantage
Celebrating his two-year anniversary with the firm, Tony de la Vega was attracted to Coldwell Banker Advantage after hearing about the volume of business other agents were generating. Now he understands that it’s all about the culture.

“The culture of professionalism and performance are evident and very appealing to me,” he explains. “The leadership is super competent, super experienced and super trustworthy. And the Coldwell Banker brand is well-known and reputable.”

All of this has helped de la Vega’s business take off. “The leadership has given me all the tools I can possibly need to produce a good volume of business, and empowered me with everything I need,” he says. “The culture and professionalism allowed me to brand myself in a way that complements my style. Coldwell Banker Advantage doesn’t limit you; they empower you.”

Sharon Webb – Webb Realty Group/Coldwell Banker Advantage
Sharon Webb has been with Coldwell Banker Advantage for five years and started a team two years ago. Several factors make the firm a great fit for Webb, such as its commitment to ongoing training and education.

“I consider myself an experienced agent, but I like to stay on the cutting edge with the latest tools, and knowing what’s going on in the industry is very important to me, since it’s always changing,” explains Webb.

She also appreciates the firm’s approach to leadership. “My broker in charge is a huge supporter and mentor, yet he gives me freedom so I don’t feel micromanaged. I have the opportunity to grow and expand. Whatever I need, they listen and provide me with. They fuel my fire.”

Shane Register – Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
Shane Register has been with Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage since May 2007,   and in the real estate business since 2005. Among the things he appreciates most about the company, in addition to its prime office locations, are its leadership and winning culture.

“When I was recruited to Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage, President Tim Milam communicated to me that he and his entire staff and managers work for the agents,” recalls Register. “Although this sounded positive, I really didn’t totally ‘get it’ until I was with the company for the first couple of weeks. This caring mindset permeates throughout the entire organization, resulting in a positive work environment and highly successful agents. The unique difference between Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage and other real estate companies is the willingness of the agents to support each other, openly share ideas and understand that everyone wins when their fellow agents thrive.”

For more information, please visit www.cbadvantage.com, www.seacoastrealty.com,  www.chicora.com and www.homescba.com.  

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

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