10 tips to generate more sales

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I have thought about a to-do-list for all of us that are new or those who have a hard time to bring a commission during these tough times. I believe that if you stick to these tips, you’ll be able to survive through this Real Estate downturn.

1. Make that phone call

For some reasons, Real Estate agents have a hard time to make that call. The fear to hear another no is there but that’s the worst case scenario. And that scenario will bring the same consequences than no call at all. You could also get a yes! So, make the call to that lead.

2. Follow up

The lead you just got from your website, that contact yesterday at the gas station, the phone call you received from your postcard campaign, make sure to follow up and assess their needs and explain how you can help. If you don;t follow up with them, they will contact another agent that will eventually.

3. No lead is a waste of time

A lead is somewhat hard to get, or at least, needs a certain amount of work to be generated in a way or another. Once you have it, don’t let it go. We know they are not all good, but it’s a number game, the more you have, the more you’ll close.

4. Do what works

Try a little bit of everything to generate leads. From open house to knocking on door and everything in between, try to see what’s best for you to get leads. Once you have been able to assess what’s generate to most leads, just put your time and/or money there. Don’t forget to keep doing it though. Consistency is key, that’s the next point.

5. Be consistent

Yes, be consistent. What ever you do to build those leads, you will need to be consistent for success. The day you stop, you just ruined all past time effort and/or marketing dollars.

6. Learn the value of time

We all have heard this quote: “Time is money”. It is very true. So know to value your time and put a dollar value on it. You will be able to value it with a business plan, stick to it and see the results. Re-read #4 and know what’s important in your business, what’s more valuable to do for your time.

7. Stop fearing failure

Fear the fear itself. It’s well known and very true. Instead of thinking what’s better, go for it, work it, try it and see where it goes. If you fail, learn from that but chances are you can succeed as well. Edison used to say that each failure brings him closer to success. That’s the way to think of it!

8. Be available

I have read that some agents work from 9:00am to 5:00pm. If it’s working for them, ok. But we know that we have to be available when our clients are available. That can be Saturdays and Sundays as well. Be available and answer your phone at all time.

9. Don’t second guess yourself

If you make a decision, then stick with it and move on. Second guessing yourself gets you no where and it helps no one. It’s the rest of the world’s job to second guess you and why with unemployment so high would you want to put others out of a job. Let them do their Job and you keep doing yours.

10. Get over rejection

Rejection is everywhere in this world even if it’s not funny. But our business is especially made with lots of rejections. Get over it and replace rejections with other tools. With experience, you’ll see you’ll be able to replace a rejection by a way to help clients and let them understand you may help. Let me give you an example: if you are a brand new agent and disclose it because your client asked you how long you have been in business during a listing presentation, you may face a no, but you may also tell them that you will have all the time of the day to sell their home, your unique listing, arguing that a “top producer” cannot take care of his/her 40 listings, including theirs, the same way you could.

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Comments (0) Jan 30 2010

Unqualified to buy a $160,000 home, earning only $285,000/year…

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I had a chat with a mortgage broker today, about one of my buyers. He will have a hard time to get them qualified to buy. They only earn $285,000 yearly gross and have only $60,000 in saving. Fortunately, since the home they have an eye on is listed at $160,000, there is still a small chance they can buy it. Here are the interesting datas:

They are married and filed their tax return jointly.

He earns $25,000/year and has a credit score of about 720, with no red spot, pays his 3 credit cards on time and his car’s loan as well.

She earns $260,000/year as a successful internet entrepreneur and has no credit history, no debt, no credit card and a FICO of 450, no red spot, no nothing in there actually.

She has the $60,000 for a down payment in a bank account for several month on her name only.

They are looking to put a 10% as down payment.

Here are the scenarios now:

If they are going to purchase the property jointly with both of them on the deed and on the note, the average FICO score from the LOWEST number will be used, and most likely they won’t be qualified.

If they are going to purchase the property on his name, with a better score and history, the payment is way above the 40%ish debt to income ratio necessary, and most likely, they won’t be qualified.

Also, she will have to give him the down payment from her account as a gift. She’s paying, but she’s nowhere on the deed or on the note.

I’ll have more info by tomorrow though, and maybe they’ll get a green light, hopefully.

But there is a way to be more than comfortable financially and unable to buy anything…

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Comments (0) Jan 21 2010

Can you kill your business using Twitter?

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There are a lots of talk about to use and not use Twitter. Use it as you wish but make sure you know what’s OK and what’s not.

Twitter is so easy to use that some people just are not using it correctly, making some damage down the road to their business. Let me share with my thought about this problem that can ruin your online reputation and business.

1. Your Name, Location, Avatar and/or Bio shouldn’t be left blank

Those basic fields are playing an important role when it’s time for someone to know more about you and your business. A well presented info gives you truthfulness.

A personal or custom avatar is always better than the standard Twitter avatar. You site’s logo or your recent photo will do well.

2. It’s Twitter…so tweet!

Having a Twitter account and never use it is exactly the opposite of what your clients want to see. If it’s not to tweet, don’t make an account in the first place. Twitter is all about communication, so you have to communicate.

3. Don’t spam!

Again, Twitter is there to communicate with your followers/clients, not to overflow them with your affiliate links and/or listings. This is where you begin to build a negative reputation. They will stop following you. My thought is one listing for at least 10-15 tweets, or whenever you get one, post it once, using keyword for the Twitter search engine.

4. Stop to self-promote you too much

You are in the Real Estate business. It’s all about your clients, not about you. So the day it’s all about you, you will hurt your business tremendously. Instead, share other source information, retweet, interact with people and with your followers.

5. Posting Useless Replies

Avoid all the “lol”, “agree” and other “uh?” at all cost to someone who has tweeted. It is annoying for Tweeterers. Plus, make sure you are in context. There is nothing more annoying to have an answer from someone who did not follow a conversation, if any. Get yourself into context before tweeting.

6. And of course, the obvious: DO NOT attack or talk badly about People

Twitter is not a place to verbally abuse or denigrate someone. Even justified, this attitude only makes you look bad. Right there, you are killing your reputation and your business because Tweets are well indexed on Google and a simple seach can show the real you.

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Comments (0) Jan 18 2010

FSBO letter.

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Years ago, I was using a letter to target FSBOs. This letter had several updates time to time, making it better every time.
Now, I don’t use it anymore since I have been better, in a “on-the-spot” situation, to list FSBOs. I now list 4 on every 5 FSBOs out there without any material. You can learn that here.
But I think it can be very useful for other agent looking to hit FSBOs.

Greetings Mrs. & Mr. Jones, (check owner’s name in tax roll and make it personal)

My name is you name and I am a REALTOR® with your firm and I specialize in the listing and selling of homes in neighborhood name.

While out showing some properties in neighborhood name, I noticed that you are marketing your house on your own. I’m sure you have a good reason for doing this and I respect your decision. If you would like some information to help you with pricing, I would be happy to drop off a “neighborhood name analysis” for you. This analysis will give you a good idea of what’s currently on the market and what has recently sold in your area. If this interest you, then give me a call and I will get one over to you.

Selling real estate can be very confusing and complex. I have good connections with Mortgage Brokers and Title Companies that can help you through this process. If you do find an interested buyer, give me a call, and I’ll connect you with the right people.

I also have an excellent “For Sale by Owner Help Kit” which offers tools and advice on selling your home. I’ll forward some of this kit to you over the next few weeks. I think you will find the information very helpful. In the meantime, go check out my for Sale by Owner page at your site url.

If I can be of any assistance give me a call me on my direct line at your phone number or via email at your email. You can reach me anytime. If you get a voice message leave me a message and I will call you right back. I promise.

Make it a successful day!!!

Your name, REALTOR®,

We want to keep inviting them to call. “Call to action” phrases need to be in everything you do.

1. We let them know we are active in their neighborhood.

2. We offered them free stuff.

3. We let them know we understand the decision they have made, to go it alone, no push.

4. We made ourselves available, to help with info, if they find a buyer.

5. We let them know that we have connections in the business.

6. We told them we would be staying in touch and sending them more info.

7. We invited them to call us, again.

8. We will put pictures and.or virtual tour of their home in our site (with permission).

Notice I’m not trying to sell them. One of the keys, with FSBOS, is to remember that they are going to sell alone because they probably don’t like agents or they may have had a bad experience in the past that has clouded their thinking. Or they just don’t want to pay us. Whatever their reason I have found that just offering to help them is a very non confrontational way to start with building trust.

Your goal with the letter is to get them to call. Once they call, you want to make the appointment.

Then when you are in front of them you can “sell” them. It sounds simple but a lot of Realtor® make this mistake. They are selling when they should just be making an appointment. There is a time and a place for everything.

This is a way to list FSBOs but slower than what I teach in my eBook.

Good luck!

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Comments (1) Jan 17 2010

Lehigh Acres offer has been rejected!!

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Yes, you hear me. My $5,000-more-than-asking-price offer has been rejected.
This is my 10th offer so far and I can’t get one to be accepted. The extremely strong seller’s market of Cape Coral-Lehigh Acres is unbelievable.
Anyway, there are so many properties on the market that I already have made an offer on another property in Lehigh. And I will make offers on a daily basis from now. This one however, is lower than the asking price because after reviewing the comps, it’s not going to appraise. So I had to adjust my offer. At this point, I feel I have to target higher priced property if I want one but I have to double check the appraisal value as well.

When I was an agent in the Pembroke Pines, FL area, back in the 2001-2005 era, when the market was so strong, I had not all these multiple offer on every listing I had. It happened I had 2 or 3 offers on a particular property but it was mainly a single offer very fast. Now, this area is experiencing 5 to 15 offers very fast on every listing. Amazing.

If you are listed with an agent and do not experience a multiple offer situation within a couple of days, you may reconsider your agent’s work.

I will post more details on this property later on, when I know I control the deal or if it’s gone again !

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Comments (0) Jan 15 2010

Another Real Estate offer for a Lehigh Acres Property!

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I came across this new listing located in Lehigh Acres. It has some features that I was looking for, especially in Lehigh Acres, as at least half acre lot, s-tile roof, large square footage and a pool. I’d like to have some water behind, but for the price, it is a nice deal.
I finally ended up offering $5,000 more than the asking price with a hope that this time, I’ll get the deal. I have offered less than asking price and full asking price in the past and lost the deal each time. Cape Coral is becoming a strong seller’s market, whatever people are saying.
I’m waiting an answer from the seller very soon now and see from there.
I can’t wait to get there and keep doing my job in a different area.

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Comments (0) Jan 15 2010

Top mistakes to avoid to get your short sales approved and closed.

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Yes, these are the top mistakes to avoid in order to have your short sales approved and eventually closed as I experience them with my fellow agents who work with me on short sales.

~ Not submitting multiple offers.
My experience tells me that providing multiple offers to the lender has indeed helped to show that the agent is doing all he/she can do to get the home sold. The multiple offers will make the difference. However, the servicing lenders generally do not like them. There is a second benefit to it: if the selected buyer walks, there is another purchase contract that can carry the deal to close.

~ Not submitting a proposal.
Many short sale agents just send a complete short sale package. It is true that you must have complete documentation, but it is important to draft a full proposal, as well. Organizing your request to approve a short sale has often made the difference between success and failure with the agents.
Also, many agents still think that the servicing lender is the one who approves the short sale and that they can actually negotiate with that lender’s “negotiator”. However, most loan notes are actually owned by the SMI and either they, or an MI insurance carrier if they have paid off a claim, approve or reject the short sale.

~ Not communicating adequately with parties.
Buyers are patient to a limit. Same with Communicating cooperating agents. You may think about weekly updates to all parties, more often when things happen. You can put a password protected area in your website where buyers and all parties can review the updates. Buyers must be part of the process and be motivated to hang in there when approval takes a long time.

~ Hardship.
Not meeting the definition of “hardship”. Like a criminal case wherein each element of the criminal statute must be proved, in short sale cases the hardship letter and financial documents must prove each element necessary for a secondary market investor to render a finding of “hardship”, and approve the short sale. The hardship letter must contain certain elements, without which, the case will be rejected. Make sure to get it right in the first place because a second attempt will ruined the authenticity of the transaction.

~ The lender’s net.
That’s what will make a short sale go through or not at the end of the day. The most important reason that a short sale is not approved is not meeting the net to lender, calculating the minimum threshold percentage of the fair market value. In the past, secondary market investors utilized the short sale versus REO comparison analysis to approve or reject a short sale. However, almost all SMIs have changed over to the minimum threshold analysis. That analysis ignores the amount of the debt and focuses on proof of the current fair market value of the property. For different SMIs and even different products, there is a set minimum threshold percentage of the fair market value that must be received in order for the proposal to be approved. Many agents erroneously believe they are still using the old comparison analysis.

So, the bottom line is this:
If a proposal meets the definition of hardship and that hardship is supported by the financial documents, you do nothing to cause the servicing lender to tank the proposal, and the offer meets the net to lender minimum threshold percentage of the fair market value, the short sale will be approved and if a qualified buyer remains, the transaction will close.

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Comments (0) Jan 12 2010

Unbelievable strong SW Florida seller’s market!

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I made a couple of offers this week. Both were full price offers, one on a property in Cape Coral and the other one in Lehigh Acres. Thoses properties were freshly on the market that I put an offer right away. And I said right away, because those offers are number 8 and number 9. I have had no success with the first 7 properties for different reasons: too late or offering a 3% to 10% below asking.

But I learn from my mistake and I was offering a full price, the first day. Well, guess what, My offers are a back up because the banks have accepted what I think are better offers. But again, I will learn from this and will offer more than asking price for the next ones.

The amazing strong SW Florida seller’s market remind me when I was living in Pembroke Pines and had multiple offers the very same day when I put the listing on the MLS. If I was purchasing foreclosures or maybe even short sales, I can easily understand the multiple offer situation. Or maybe I should focus on foreclosed properties and offer twice the price, ending by paying a fair market value. But when it occurs with regular homes, it’s obvious that medias are spreading inaccurate information.

Here in TN, at least East TN, it is still a deep buyer’s market, but without any. I see 20% CAP rate investment properties getting no showing, and therefore, even less offers, or this 3bed/2bath residential with no taker at a mere $25,000, bought from the builder in 2005 for $140,000. Not even investors are showing up to buy those which rent for about $950-$1,100/month!

It seems that few miles will make a huge difference these days…

2207 NE 1st Ave, Cape Coral, FL

2207 NE 1st Ave, Cape Coral, FL

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Comments (0) Jan 08 2010

New OLED see-through screen laptop

Posted: under Realtor® Tools.
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Today, I came across an article about something I never saw before, which is a laptop with a see-through screen. It looks just amazing.
It is a technology made by the company at oled-display.net but it seems that it is Samsung that will develop the laptop. As of today, it is only a prototype but I bet it will be available sooner than I think :-)
It has a 14-inch screen that is see-through OLED. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode.
Samsung will also use the technology for smortphones, mp3 players and Notebooks.

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Comments (0) Jan 08 2010

Lenders and Banks Mitigation department informations

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I have made a list of some Lenders’ Loss Mitigation Department phone numbers. This list can be helpful if you have to contact one of them during your Short Sales transactions.

1st American Home Mortgage: 800-756-5573
1st Federal of Michigan: 800-482-0662
1st Federal Savings Bank: 800-422-3372
1st National Bank: 800-854-7715
Alliance Funding: 800-426-1143
Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp.: 888-898-3326
American Mortgage Company: 888-991-6400
Ameriquest: 888-251-1313
Ameritrust Company: 800-422-2442
APX Mortgage Services: 800-843-1279
Astoria Financial: 800-278-6742
Bank and Trust Company: 800-423-3955
Bank of America: 800-301-3744
Bank of Florida: 239-254-2100
Bank of New York: 212-495-1784
Bank of the West: 925-942-8300
Bank Plus: 800-542-7587
Barnett Banks: 800-468-1810
BB&T Bank: 800-226-5228
Beneficial: 800-340-7866
Bridgeview Bank Group: 800-794-2070
Capital Funding: 800-837-6661
Capital One Bank: 888-497-6278
Carteret Mortgage: 888-980-8806
Central Jersey Bank: 800-369-2500
Champion Mortgage: 800-252-5502
Charter Oak Federal Savings: 800-832-3452
Charter Pacific Bank: 800-272-2265
Chase: 800-935-9935
Chemical Mortgage Company: 800-848-9136
Citi Mortgage: 800-667-8424
Citizens Bank: 800-676-6276
Citytell: 800-762-2489
CMA Mortgage: 800-557-1513
Compass Bank: 800-239-4357
Countrywide Home Loans: 866-670-5274
Crestar Bank: 800-273-7827
Ditech: 800-939-6879
Dollar Bank: 800-242-2265
East Boston Savings Bank: 847-952-3700
eLoans: 888-533-5333
Emerald Funding: 888-963-3436
Fidelity Federal: 800-232-2309
Fifth Third Bank: 800-972-3030
First Fiduciary Inc.: 800-653-2600
First General Mortgage: 800-225-6410
First United Federal: 800-452-0883
Fleet Mortgage Corp.: 800-635-3796
Genoa Bank: 800-592-2828
GMAC Financial Services: 800-766-4622
Harris Bank: 888-340-2265
Heartland Mortgage: 800-552-0344
Home Savings: 888-822-4751
Homefed Bank: 800-824-3533
HSBC North America: 847-564-5000
Huntington National Bank: 800-480-2265
Indiana Federal Bank: 800-342-5760
Indiana Federal Savings Loan: 800-851-4859
Key Bank: 800-539-2968
LaSalle Bank: 866-904-7222
Lending Tree: 800-461-0117
Liberty Federal Bank: 888-323-1776
Louvenia Banks: 800-638-8214
M&T Bank: 800-724-2440
Mellon PSFS: 800-362-5510
Meridian Mortgage: 800-327-2374
Michigan National Bank: 800-622-6864
Mid America Mortgage: 800-462-6288
Midwest Mortgage Finance: 800-925-9725
Midwest National Mortgage Corp.: 800-225-8894
National City: 800-913-1621
National First Mortgage: 800-336-2966
Nationwide Mortgage Buyers: 800-562-5795
NBD Bank: 800-225-5623
Newsome Mortgage: 888-639-7663
North Fork Bank: 877-694-9111
Ocean City Home Savings Loan Association: 800-311-1398
Ohio Bank: 800-843-9991
Ohio Citizens Bank: 800-752-3430
Ohio Savings Bank: 800-852-1938
Park National Bank: 800-762-2616
Pennsylvania Capital Bank: 800-642-3586
People’s Bank: 203-338-7171
People’s First Federal Credit Union: 800-446-5598
Pinnacle Bank: 800-545-7188
Pioneer Bank: 800-622-1889
PNC Bank: 888-PNC-BANK
Progressive Mortgage Corp.: 800-334-8512
Quicken Loans: 800-251-9080
Raffensperger Hughes: 800-338-2195
Regions Bank: 800-REGIONS
Ryland Mortgage: 800-786-8638
Signet Bank: 800-233-7193
Sky Financial Group: 866-759-2265
Society Bank: 800-451-6513
Sovereign Bank: 877-768-2265
Summit Bank: 800-541-1365
Suntrust: 800-786-8787
TFC Bank: 800-823-2265
Third Federal: 888-THIRD-FED
Trust Corp. Bank: 800-348-2243
U.S. Bank: 800-872-2657
Union Bank: 800-547-5375
Union Center National Bank: 800-UN-CENTER
Upland Mortgage: 800-875-2631
US Bancorp: 800-872-2657
Valley Federal Savings Bank: 800-225-5409
Valley National Bank: 800-225-5859
Wachovia: 800-922-4684
Washington Mutual: 800-788-7000
Wells Fargo: 800-869-3557
Whitney National Bank: 800-844-4450

If you have more lenders missing here, or if you come across a phone number that has changed, let me know and I will update this list. Thank you!

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Comments (0) Jan 06 2010

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