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Become a Listings Pro

When I speak around the country or around my town, every time I ask the audience if they want listing leads, everyone vigorously raises their hands. I won’t be able to cover all of my tips for becoming a Listing Pro in this short blog, but I would like to introduce a couple key components.

MARKETING

A challenge for many in the real estate industry is marketing. I cover marketing under “How to Become a Listings Pro” because this is our chance to change and put the consumer first. Good listing marketing is the difference to becoming a listings pro.

Old school marketing is mailing postcards of the listing to the neighborhood and calling that marketing, but that is not how buyers are shopping. It’s possible a neighbor will receive the postcard and want to move within the neighborhood or it’s possible a renter will see the postcard and want to buy, but it is not the best place to be marketing a listing. Advertising in magazines is also an example poor old school real estate marketing. Old school marketing is more about marketing the listing agent, not the property for sale.

New school marketing aims to generates more traffic to the listing. Overall, I generate 3-5x more traffic to a listing than the average agent. I help people present their house like its their wedding day. Then I use direct to consumer advertising – that is advertising to where the people are watching. This includes advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

IDENTIFY PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SELL

Another key component is to be able to identify people who own a house and want to move. People are staying in their homes longer, it used to be an average of 5 years, now it’s 10 years. Many people open up the discuss of moving about 3-4 yrs before they move. It is up to you to identify where they are in the moving process.

I think one of the best strategies to find seller leads is to hold an Open House, because the people who come in are indicating they are thinking about moving – your follow up process is the key, along with your web presence. You need to have a strong Google presence – this is a very underestimated factor.

I’ve been talking about this for the past 5+ years, and over this time, I still see a lack of strong websites. If you’re going to become an elite listing agent then your website needs to exude one thing – that your are a local area expert.

Learn more how to become a listings pro with Agent Truth!

Listing Strategies

CMA Mania

Why do I call this CMA Mania? Because I am looking to the evolution of the CMA (Comparative Market Analysis.) Frankly, there is too many elaborate CMAs being used by realtors today. Elaborate CMAs were necessary up until the early 2000s before Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com existed. Today, the consumer has access to all of these sites to easily learn how many homes in their neighborhood have sold and for how much. So, it’s really no longer necessary for realtors to spend their time providing the consumer with all of the traditional CMA information.

USE DIFFERENT CMAs

CMA Mania is the idea that you are going to send different CMAs at different times, these CMAs are not going to always include house information. For example, after you host an open house, send all visitors a CMA that is a glorified information packet about you as a realtor. Then use different CMA before having an appointment with a potential client, most of this CMA is marketing documents on how you can help them sell their house faster for top dollar.

KEEP YOUR CMAs SIMPLE

Agents frequently get confused about CMAs, because they are often taught by their brokerages that CMAs need to be more elaborate than they need to be. I personally like CMAs to be in a simple form and not just a list to show comparative sales. I prefer to focus more on sharing marketing information that I will use to sell the house, instead of dozen pages of neighborhood comps.

Listing Strategies

House Pricing Strategy

Pricing a house can be difficult because too often agents feel pressured to list the house at a price the sellers want. Yet, the best agent for the seller is an agent who tells the seller what the house will actually sell at. Over the last 500 houses I have sold, my listing price has been within 2% of the sales price 98% of the time.

AGGRESSIVE, PASSIVE AND NON-COMPETITIVE

I like to use three prices when pricing a house; a low, medium and high price that I call Aggressive, Passive and Non-Competitive. I believe if the house is listed with the Aggressive price, the house will get multiple offers and sell the first weekend. The Aggressive number is usually below or right at the current comps. Next is the Passive price. I like to set the Passive price 3-5% above the current comps, this is usually the top end of the range for the neighborhood. The Non-Competitive price is the highest price. When giving sellers this price I always preface it by letting them know that we can list the house at this price, but there will not be as much traffic through the house and even though the house may sell at this price, I don’t think it will.

NEVER USE PRICE-PER-SQUARE-FOOT

My pricing strategy never includes price-per-square-foot, because I think neighborhoods sell in a range. I think price-per-square-foot is a derivative value that is wrong 30% of the time. Agents who only use price-per-square foot to determine the listing price often lack experience and knowledge. Agent Truth training classes are here to give you that knowledge to become a real estate expert.

Listing Strategies

2nd Annual Agent Truth Solution Event

The Solution EventOn Wednesday, May 15th, realtors from around the valley came to the Must See Real Estate Event Of the Year – the 2nd Annual Agent Truth Solution Event! The 2019 event was held at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Paradise Valley – Scottsdale with over 300 attendees.

The Solution Event-PhilGuest speaker Tina Tamboer of the Cromford Report addressed the current real estate market. Then Jeff Sibbach and Phil Sexton took the stage and entertained the crowd with a game of “The Sales Price is Wrong”. Afterwards, Jeff and Phil shared the Top 5 Trends they have taken away from their 94 episodes interviewing top agents from across the country on The Solution podcast.

Were you unable to attend the event and want to learn more? Are you ready to learn about our Ultimate Real Estate Agent Makeover? Call us at 480-531-1285 or text SOLUTION to 99888.

Atomic Open House

It’s time to get excited, because I’m going to talk about the Atomic Open House. The Atomic Open House mean is my best open house strategy ever.

This starts with the preparation of the house. (Please see Photo Seduction class or How to Make Your House Sexy too.) I recommend hiring a home stager, but it’s up to the agent to reinforce these principles. When you’re putting the house online it needs to look its best. I talk about selling houses like online dating, because if you were trying to get a date you would want to look your best.

MARKETING YOUR OPEN HOUSE

I think that open house directional signs are crucial because you need to direct people to the house, but I don’t use as many signs as most realtors because I don’t think it brings in good quality traffic to sell the house. My goal with an Atomic Open House is to SELL THE HOUSE.  The key to the Atomic Open House is making sure your house is marketed on all of the top websites: Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, and Realtor.com. Also, make sure you schedule your marketing in your MLS by Wednesday or Thursday.

Atomic Open House is a mindset that you are trying to sell this house and that you are going to do everything possible to generate as much traffic through this house as possible. This is not just something that you do to placate your seller. Your job is a marketer to create high-quality traffic.

CAPTURING DATA

When buyers come to the open house, you need to capture their data. I believe individual forms to capture information are better than a sign in list. I believe having a flyer ready to hand to the people entering the house shows that you’re attentive. Hopefully before the open house, you’ve already done your research and you’ve identified off-market properties for that neighborhood, but even if you didn’t, some neighbors may come to the open house. When neighbors come in, ask questions about the neighborhood and ask if they are considering selling.  Those neighbors then also become potential clients with potential off-market properties for sale.

Put this all together and you have an Atomic Open House. You’re doing a great job for your seller and you’re maximizing your end killing it at the open house!

Listing Strategies

Open House Marketing

Open house marketing seems to be a foregone event in real estate. I don’t know why agents act like there have not been any recent changes in marketing. I still see the biggest thing in open houses is putting out lots of signs with balloons-we need to take this marketing to the next level. Traditional open house marketing strategies are events that begin the day of. More thought has to be put into planning ahead. Today’s buyers begin their search on their own, and where are they searching? The are searching online! When they see a house online they like, they are immediately looking for an access point to see that house, they aren’t waiting to see an open house sign on the weekend. If you don’t have the open house information online with the listing, you are missing up to 90% of your potential traffic.

I still feel the open house signs with balloons are good. The signs are helpful for the run of the mill traffic and the online shoppers to find you. Fresh flowers, water bottles and cookies at an open house are also great, but they are the icing on the cake, not the meats and potatoes of the open house marketing. Open houses need to be marketed on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday online. You need to see your house on every website, meaning: Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Redfin and on all broker sites.

Listing Strategies

How to Get More Listings and Triple Your Income — Critical Components to List 50+ Homes Per Year

They key to getting more listings is becoming a “Local Market Expert.” The hard thing about real estate is that no one teaches you how to market yourself. As the numbers of agents available continue to increase, it becomes increasingly important to become an expert.

LOCAL MARKET EXPERTISE

When having a conversation with a friend, a neighbor, a family member or an open house visitor, most realtors will usually start a conversation by making relationships finding a common bond. Even though these old school sales tactics can be extremely successful, I see them losing more and more, while I see local market expertise winning more because everyone wants to list with a local market expert.

How do you get your friends, neighbors, family members and open house visitors to know you are a local market expert? This starts with you understanding several things, the first is knowing how many homes have sold in your area. Your area may be a neighborhood of somewhere between 500-1000 homes, but more importantly you should know the numbers for the area your MLS covers. For example, I live in Scottsdale, AZ, but to be a local market expert I draw all my stats from metropolitan Phoenix.

The three cornerstones of becoming a local market expert are knowing supply, demand and prices.  Supply is how many homes are listed for sale in your current MLS. The next is demand, this how many homes actually sold. The third thing is prices. Prices is a result of supply and demand, it’s important to know how much prices have gone up or down in the past quarter or year. The key thing to understand when talking about supply, demand and prices is that an individual statistic is not has strong as it is in comparison to a similar time frame before. For instance, how much did prices rise in a year, or how many homes sold this January compared to last January.

The best way for you to begin to triple your income is to study these statistics. Just knowing the statistics does not make you a complete local expert, but it is one piece of the pie.

WHAT CLIENTS WANT

What do clients want? First, clients want convenience. They want you to show them how you are going to make the process easier and they want to sell their house for most amount of money. Next, clients want their home sold fast, but they don’t want it sold fast for less money, they want it sold fast for Top Dollar. Ideally, they would like their home sold within a couple weeks. Lastly, all clients all want less hassle.(Agent Truth’s Two-Day Listing class discusses this complete strategy in detail.)

SELLING HOUSES FASTER

If you want to sell more houses, you can’t just lower the price of the house to list faster. Instead you need to create more market demand for the house. This is done by knowing who the target buyers are for the listing and finding the appealing features of the house to showcase in the listing photos.

Agent Truth is all about providing the best customer service and the best possible experience for a seller. The better the job you do for a seller in achieving their goals will get you three times the amount of referrals compared to just selling their home.

Listing Strategies

How to Run Comparables to Determine the Proper List Price of a House for a Real Estate Agents

How to run comparables for the listing price and hopefully the selling price of a home is more challenging than it sounds. The real estate industry has brokers and MLS trainers teaching classes how run comps. Yet, my motto on running comps is similar to the comp methods that industry Russell Shaw equated. His motto, as well as mine, is that comps were independently determined. Over the past five years I’ve tracked my sales, during this time my comps have been about 95% accurate.

KEY FACTORS IN WHAT MAKES A COMP COMPARABLE

I follow the same method every time I list a house. The first thing I do is I look through the tax records. I look at who the owner is, when they bought the house and other major qualifications that determine the price of the house. First and foremost, the neighborhood the house is built in is a major qualification. Neighborhoods are like families and families have characteristics. For example you have characteristics of your mother and your father, therefore those characteristics are undeniably a part of who you are and houses are very similar to this. Houses in a neighborhood are typically all built by the same builder within a couple years, so all the ACs are about the same age, all the roofs are about the same age and other features will be the same within the neighborhood.

One of the biggest determination when running comps for a house, is also one that is most commonly misused, that is the appreciation of the house since it last sold. There are too many factors of the house and the neighborhood that may have changed during the time it last sold to use the appreciation.

The next major qualification I look for is how many levels the house has. The selling price varies significantly between one level and two level houses. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to use a two level comp for a one level house and vice versa.

Another determining factor is lot size. Whether the house has a pool or no pool is also important. Lastly, I look at square footage.

THE MOST DIFFICULT PART

The most difficlut part in running comps can be looking at the best house that sold, then looking and the quality of the upgrades and the trendiest of the upgrades. The top spaces to look for upgrades are first the kitchen, then the master bath, then the outdoor space and flooring. How do all of these compare to the house you are running comps for?

Hopefully using these parameters will narrow down your search to somewhere between five and fifteen homes to give you the most accurate comparable.

Listing Strategies

 

Get Better at Selling Your Own Listings

It is easy for real estate agents to get complacent in the marketing of their own listings beyond the hundreds of relationships their brokers and the association have already concreted for them.  The past success of this is still winning new listings and sales. The majority of time in the recent past, another realtor would bring their client after the realtor emailed them the home or they found limited information online and contacted their agent to show them and get more details.  In years past, the buyer did not have the access to information the internet now provides, hungry for house details, more consumers would engage agents earlier in the home buying process relying on them to provide this information, allowing this old school marketing to reach all consumers. This is only one side of the new world of real estate.

Realtors now have more access to consumers in the home buying process but its going to require more effort to draw them out.  

Realtors have traditionally spent more time trying to attract other realtors because they were the one in charge of getting their client to come.  This model is weakening as the buying public is out in front of the search process exposing themselves to listing agents like never before.  This is very cool as next generation marketing methods are changing as we speak away from traditional models. This will cause further innovation in the world of real estate and what has encouraged us to come out with the Real Estate 2020 podcast, to discuss the evolution of the industry and what it takes to be successful.

The advancement of technology, the explosion of photography and the acceptance of realtors letting the consumer control the house finding has decreased the engagement of their traditional buy side agents and empowered the consumers to shop alone until ready to write.  

This approach is not exposing the consumer to portals to get their data.  This has also changed the influence that agents have on reaching the consumer directly through effective and enhanced market brought online.  This enables listing agents to reach their intended target consumer directly, the buyer, making it easier to sell the house versus selling through the agent.  The intent is not to cut out the buyer broker (I double dipped less 5% of my sales as I keep my reputation high) and often buyers have an agent they prefer to write the contract, but to get more traffic through your house in hopes of selling faster and for more money.  Your goal as a listing agent is to drive maximum traffic through your listings, which leads to faster sales for higher return for the seller.  Advertising directly targeting the consumer goes way beyond photos in MLS that are syndicated to agents and consumers, and now leading agents will win deals at massive rates when they understand how to leverage this paradigm shift.

Now that consumer friendly companies that are in control of the data, like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com and Realtor.com, that have eloborated and expanded the offering gaining the trust of consumers.  I am talking about how realtors can leverage this versus selling against it.  These portals are accepting consumer contact information hand over fist.  It is best to get engaged with the portals, understand the offerings and benefits in hopes of luring their viewers to the homes you are trying to sell and this does not mean buying the leads. The best way to do this is clearly the open house.  We have seen spectacular results having 50% of our homes sell from open houses over the past 6 months, which amount to 4-5 sales per month.

Listing Strategies