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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Marketing Strategies: 7 Ways ‘Perfectionism’ Stops You from Success

Marketing Strategies: 7 Ways ‘Perfectionism’ Stops You from Success

Posted By susanne On November 3, 2011 @ 4:03 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Business Outlook,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training,Today's Top Story

Are you a perfectionist? Do you know someone who is? Have you ever wondered if perfectionism is a help or hindrance on the road to success?

In my 15+ years of coaching real estate agents to be at the top of their game, I have seen that perfectionism does more harm than good. In fact there are at least seven ways that perfectionism stops you from success.

1. Perfectionism causes procrastination. Have you ever had a project that you really wanted to get done, but never could quite complete it? If you look carefully at what was going on in your mindset, you probably see that you wanted the project to be completed perfectly.

We live in an imperfect world. The idea that perfection is possible is just an illusion. Your desire for perfection can stop you from taking action that is needed. In fact it can even lead to mental paralysis and stop you from listening to your intuition.

Imperfect action is better than no action.

2. You get caught up in the details.
Instead, use your business vision. There is nothing so compelling as a vision for which you have passion. But if you’re busy with the details, and trying to get every little thing perfect, you lose sight of the bigger picture.

Delegate out as many details of your business as you can’t so you can focus on moving your business forward.

3. Perfectionism doesn’t allow you to be yourself. Have you noticed how guarded you feel when you’re trying to put up a front of being perfect? You can’t be yourself, because someone might see that you really aren’t as perfect as you’re trying to be.

How did that get started anyway? In the way that most of us were conditioned, we weren’t allowed to be ourselves. The more our parents had perfectionistic standards for us and the more we tried to achieve those standards, the more of ourselves we had to give away.

We usually do to ourselves what was done to us when we were growing up. Therefore, if you suffer from perfectionism, it is a good bet that it was part of your programming in your early years. Quite likely you picked up the belief, “I have to be perfect to be okay.”

Get to work on discovering your self-limiting beliefs with regard to perfectionism. When you bring those beliefs to the surface, you can release them and replace them with empowering beliefs, such as, “I am perfectly imperfect like everyone else.”

4. Perfectionism sets you up to need others’ approval. Let’s face it, when you’re being a perfectionist, you’re thinking about other people approving of you and your work. You’re being “outer directed”, i.e. trying to get you approval from the outside rather than giving it to yourself.

The truth is; we don’t have to be perfect. All we need to do in any particular moment is to do our best. Our best changes from moment to moment and day-to-day. If you’re feeling healthy, your best will be one-way and if you’re feeling sickly your best will be another way. In either case you just need to remember that your job is only to do your best.

Forget about needing other people’s approval, because what others think of you is really not your business.

5. Perfectionism causes you to be in a constant state of stress, because you’re always trying to meet your perfect standards. According to the law of attraction, the states of consciousness that attract prosperity and success are very positive, such as gratitude, appreciation, and love. When you send out those energies, you are becoming more magnetic for your ideal business. However, when you are trying to be perfect, you are sending out signals of stress, anxiety and fear.

Notice the feelings you are sending out and make yourself as magnetic as possible by projecting gratitude and tolerance.

6. Perfectionism stops you from taking a risk. Any seasoned real estate agent knows how important it is to take educated risks to move forward. Staying stuck in the status quo never benefited anyone.

However, when you demand of yourself that you need to be perfect, you’ll be very hesitant to take the risk.

When it comes to taking risks, follow your intuition. Your gut knows better what you need than your “I must be perfect” beliefs. Remember, perfection doesn’t exist, it’s a trap.

7. Perfectionism stops you from picking up the phone. The consequences of this are HUGE for your business. In today’s marketplace the old methods of marketing aren’t nearly as effective as you simply picking up the phone and prospecting. Prospective clients are less likely to notice you through a flyer or e-mail. However when they hear the sound of your voice, you’re making personal contact.

So many people I’ve worked with over the years avoid this method of lead generation and their business suffers tremendously.

When I explore with them why they are so avoidant of picking up the phone, it usually comes down to the same thing: they want to be seen as perfect. This is another way of saying that they are afraid of being seen as “pushy” and afraid of rejection.

When you are marketing yourself to prospective clients, there is no such thing as rejection. It’s simply a match or it’s not a match. Your job is to prospect, present your services and keep on the lookout for someone who needs what you have to offer. If they don’t need it, it simply isn’t a match.

Follow these tips listed above and allow yourself to be “perfectly imperfect.” Your business will thank you for it.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Friday, December 30, 2011

Yearly Planning Pays Off – What’s Your Plan?

Yearly Planning Pays Off – What’s Your Plan?
by Carrie Gable

December 28, 2011

By the time most of you will be reading this, we’ll all be stuffed from the holidays, rested and relaxed. It just happens to be the end of the year and the beginning of a new one.

Are you thinking about 2012?
What is your plan?
What does your business look like in 2012?

As a fellow business owner, I know that while making plans for the New Year should be exciting and energizing, it can also be quite daunting. I put together a few ideas for your 2012 planning and strategizing session. Hopefully these tips and online tools will help you plan and make 2012 an awesome year!

Get Back To Basics – Create a Business Plan

Click her for your Free 5 minute business plan!

Think Proactively Rather Than Reactively – Create your Marketing Plan Now

One of the things I’ve noticed when assisting my real estate clients is that the marketing we do for them today pays off in no less than 3-6 months. This means that those people we hit with a postcard or connect with on Facebook today probably won’t actually become a client and buy a home for at least 3-6 months. What I see happen far too often is that the agent gets busy so the marketing stops. Then, after dealing with the 2-3 immediate closings, the agent is left scratching his or her head wondering where the next closing is going to come from. As a result, we are urgently called upon to get some marketing out the door. It doesn’t have to be this way if you plan ahead and think proactively rather than reactively.

Create your marketing plan now for the entire year.

You can always add or tweak as the year goes by, but having it on paper and planned out will help you stay focused. We’ve helped many agents come up with a yearly marketing plan. We’ve even been able to put some of our clients’ plans on “auto-pilot” by adding them to a marketing drip. If you happen to work with a real estate virtual assistant, ask them to be part of your planning session, too! They can handle the creation and implementation, making this task even easier and more enjoyable for you.

Here’s My Recommendations
•I would start with a plan for your past clients and spending the most money and time here.
•Next, figure out what you will be doing with your online leads. Do you have some type of drip system? If not, get one quick!
•In addition to the obvious plans, think outside of the box with your marketing. How will you draw in the savvy buyer or seller? How about hosting a monthly seller seminar at the local library?
•Send out a postcard for an “online webinar” for homeowners with expired listings, letting them know you’ll teach them why their home didn’t sell all from the comfort of their homes.

In business today, we need to think on our toes and be more innovative than the next guy or gal. This takes careful thought and planning. Make sure you’re allowing yourself – this is an important time to reflect upon what didn’t work in 2011, and what you’ll do differently in 2012.

What are you planning to do in 2012? We should all take a moment to share a thought/idea on how you’ll stay ahead (or get ahead) in 2012. Let us know in the comments below.

Happy New Year!!!

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

18 hot real estate marketing tips from REALTORS® conference

18 hot real estate marketing tips from REALTORS® conference
Part 1: Your goal is to go for the 'Gosh!'
By Bernice Ross
Inman News™

Editor's note: This is the first of a three-part series.

Do you need to kick up your marketing efforts in 2012? If so, the 40 marketing tips that Peter Knight delivered at this year's annual National Association of REALTORS® conference may be exactly what you need to kick off a stellar year in 2012.

What does it take to create an outstanding marketing program for your business? Peter Knight of the Property Academy answered that question with 40 different suggestions drawn from some of the world's most successful marketers.

1. Go for the "Gosh, that's amazing!" reaction
How often have you heard the claim, "You should hire me because I'm No. 1"? Have you ever made the claim that "I'm the top agent in this area," or "I'm an expert in real estate"? When REALTORS® constantly make the same claims and offer essentially the same services, there's no market differentiation.

Knight argues that expertise, professionalism and excellent customer service should be givens. In order to differentiate your services, you must identify your personal "separators of value." In fact, Knight argues that if you really want your marketing to succeed, it must be so different and unique that people say, "Gosh, that's amazing!"

2. Getting to "Gosh!"
To arrive at "Gosh, that's amazing!" Knight suggests that you start with the fundamentals. Agents often become caught up in the technology connected to selling the home. For example, we're focused on the photos, the brochures, how the property appears online, where to advertise the home, the type of postcards to use, etc.

Agents get off track when they lose sight of the fact that a home is really about the memories you create. For example, your child's first steps, the garden you built over the years, or holidays spent with family. Your home is the frame in which you weave the events of your life.

3. People move for life-stage reasons
Knight cited a survey that showed that 61 percent of the moves in 2011 were for life-stage reasons. To capitalize on this trend, target market people who are experiencing a life-stage change.

This can include getting married, having children, relocating, retiring, or a host of other issues. These are times when people need the services of a REALTOR®. As Knight put it, "We are people serving people."

4. Overcome the objection, "We're waiting for the market to improve."
When you focus on the home as the frame in which people create their lives, the way you overcome buyer or seller reluctance shifts dramatically. Many agents attempt to close buyers by describing the logical opportunity -- i.e., that prices are low and interest rates are the best in our lifetimes.

In contrast, Knight suggests that you ask a simple question that touches the heart of the family: "Are you going to deprive your kids of living in a better home for an extra three years?"

5. Show off the property's potential
While the staging of homes -- or virtual staging online -- can make properties more appealing, Knight suggested a completely different approach: going to a warehouse department store and getting bids to update a kitchen or add on an extra bedroom and bath. When you advertise the property, point out the price differential.

For example: "Equity builder! This three-bedroom, one-bath home is priced at $400,000. A four-bedroom, two-bath home in the same area on the same size lot recently sold for $520,000. Two bids to build a bedroom and bathroom addition place the estimated remodeling cost at $58,000-$60,000. Build the addition and create instant equity."

6. Extol the virtues, describe the blemishes
REALTORS® normally do a great job in extolling the virtues of a property. Almost no one, however, describes the blemishes. If your sellers are realistic about their pricing, they can actually use a defect to make their property more attractive.

For example: "This property is located on a busy street but is priced $35,000 less than the same floor plan a block away."

An even better approach is to have some fun. Here's what Knight suggested: "This property is priced $40,000 less. The reason? The small second bedroom is the perfect size for an office. Besides, how often do you have someone stay the night, anyway?"

7. Competition, not comparables
Many agents fail to draw a distinction between comparable sales and competing properties. A comparable sale has closed. A competing property is still on the market. Knight suggests that agents include the competing properties in the agent's ads.

Let buyers and sellers see the differences by comparing the major rooms in each of the houses, especially if the home is competitively priced. This is an excellent way to help both buyers and sellers be more realistic about prices.

Need more marketing tips? Don't miss Part 2.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Monday, December 19, 2011

Be The Intel Inside of Real Estate

Be the Intel Inside of Real Estate

Posted By susanne On November 10, 2011 @ 4:03 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Finance and Economy,Today's Marketplace |

I’m not talking about a computer chip. “Intel” in this case means market intelligence; a higher degree of product knowledge, competence and resourcefulness when servicing the asset class of American housing.

Today’s consumer is thirsting for a better understanding of Main Street. Our industry has made some serious progress in providing the raw tools needed to understand the asset class, but without naming names, the providers of those tools fall into one of two categories:

The first group is creating noise. Housing databases have gotten so complete in the past few years, and integration with other databases has provided the basis for an incredible leap forward in our understanding of housing as an investment. There are now tons of great data, scores of charts and not much guidance on what they mean. The emphasis has been placed on economic indicators, which are rear-facing and cold. A great starting point, but not intelligence.

The second group is drawing conclusions. They’ve developed algorithms that purport to tell you, “This is a great investment property.” Their systems are designed to comb through the vast data sets and bring back recommendations to investors and home buyers. But how do you make a recommendation like that without even knowing the client’s goals and situation? It’s like walking into an investment advisor’s office and hearing, “Hi, I’m Greg, and do I have a great investment for you!” before he asks your name, age, number of kids and dreams.

Our industry needs to understand the investment value of residential real estate, and so does our customer. How powerful would it be to truly grasp how a house creates wealth? What are all the moving parts and how do they work together so harmoniously for so many people?

Yes. I said it. Owning houses works for most people.

I understand why the conversation has been dominated in recent years by cases where real estate ownership was done wrong and led to disastrous results, but that is still the minority of instances in the aggregate. Notwithstanding a proliferation of underwater mortgages and foreclosures, owners of residential real estate have, on the whole, enjoyed more financial success than in any other asset class on the planet. But do they (and we) understand how it happened?

Intuitively, we all get it. Buy a home you like in a place you like. Live in it or rent it out for a long time. Pay the mortgage off and live mortgage free or on rental income later in life. Pass the wealth on to your kids.

Just writing this down makes my head spin. Do you realize what we have here? The greatest wealth-creation device known to mankind! Let’s decide to learn and teach how and why it works.

Go to OwnAmerica.com/Investor and check out the “Case Study Calculator.” This is a device created to enable all of us to plug in our real estate assumptions and see how they play out over 30 years in terms of building equity, cash flow and return on investment (aka wealth). It’s like a video game for real estate junkies. It’s free. Try it out, have fun and let us know what you learned.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

October 2011 Real Estate Market Update

October 2011 Real Estate Market Update

So far this year we have had a classic economic struggle of Good vs. Evil

On the Good side:
Values are stable to rising (even Case-Shiller shows metro Detroit values are up!)
We are creating jobs in Michigan
Consumer Confidence moved up a bit
Strong pent up buyer and seller demand
Record low combination of prices and interest rates

For the Evil team:
Lack of saleable home inventories
Larger percentage of homes with little to no equity
Slow Job Growth
Stock market volatility

To date, good has won out over the evil, but the market did pause a bit in the last 45 days, with the pace of buyer demand sliding (but still ahead of last year at this time). There are a couple of potential causes; the stock market/European "noise" has been distracting (3q 401K statements came out in Oct, which may have scared some), but the main cause may be that we simply do not have enough saleable homes. If you don't have enough logs for the fire, it will eventually die down. We could be in for a strange stair step real estate recovery cycle: sales rise, depleting inventories, then falling from fewer homes to sell which causes values to rise (fewer listing=feeding frenzy), bringing more homes back into the market (more Sellers can now sell), starting the cycle over again. It is a scenario that occurs with every recovery but exaggerated today because lower home equity levels are keeping a lid on inventories.

Price per square foot has continued to rise compared to last year, with available homes for sale up slightly as well (mainly over $250,000). The available home levels feel lower, because it has actually fallen over the past 90 days (as it did last year as well). The seasonal shifts make it difficult to judge the true market momentum without comparing to the same time last year. Pending home sales are at a faster pace than last year as well, causing the Months Supply of Inventory to fall over the past 90 days, which is putting positive pressure on values.

Our best leading market indicators are open house and website visits and the number of showings on our listings. As you can see from the chart, compared to the same time last year, all three have positive trends, with the showing count showing some mixed signals (confirming the October slowing).
A couple of really great bragging points about our organization. We had a successful Chevy Cruze give away, raising over $22,000 on behalf of Special Olympics (the first ticket sold won!) and we have been named one of Michigan's Top Work Places by the Detroit Free Press and Work Place Dynamics! A special thank you to our entire Family for your support of our community and each other.

Dan

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Monday, December 12, 2011

Engage Your Prospect’s Learning Style

Engage Your Prospect’s Learning Style

Posted By susanne On November 21, 2011 @ 5:05 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training,Today's Top Story

The successful outcome of your next sales presentation will be determined largely by your ability to do two things very well; develop rapport with your prospect and adapt your sales message to engage his or her preferred “learning style.” The “learning style” theory was developed back in the early 1970s and has proven to be an extremely powerful communication model that every school teacher, parent, manager, and sales rep should have in his or her toolbox.

Simply stated, the “learning style” theory promotes the concept that people have a natural preference, based upon their dominate sense, in how they choose to learn and process information; visual/seeing, auditory/hearing, or kinesthetic/touching.

Unfortunately, far too many sales reps unknowingly undercut their sales effectiveness by failing to recognize the need to engage their prospects’ learning styles. For example, if a sales rep determines that his or her prospect is a visually-based learner, it’s up to the sales rep to make the adjustment and incorporate more colorful graphs/charts, brochures, and other visual aids throughout the presentation.

It’s easy to quickly and accurately determine your prospect’s preferred learning style by simply paying attention to his or her most commonly used words and phrases.

Visual-based learners might say:

“I can certainly see your point.”

“That looks good to me.”

“Do I make my point clear to you?”

Visual-based learners like pictures and prefer to get their information in writing. Use colorful charts, graphs, and other visual learning tools to help them make a buying decision.

Auditory-based learners might say:

“That sounds good to me.”

“I hear what you’re saying.”

“That rings true to me.”

Auditory-based learners tend to hang on every word that you say. This type of prospect learns best through group discussion and tends to talk things out when making a buying decision.

Kinesthetic-based learners might say:

“I can get my arms around that concept.”

“This point really grabbed my attention.”

“Let me get a grip on what you’re saying.”

Kinesthetic-based learners prefer to learn by physically touching and doing. Keep this type of prospect actively evolved throughout the selling process by using demonstrations and other “hands-on” learning tools whenever possible.

If you want your prospects to get the most benefit from your website information, sales presentations, brochures, and related marketing materials, you need to present the information in the most engaging way possible. Multiple forms of information delivery will give you the best possible chance of appealing to each of these different learning styles.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What if you could reduce the balance of your mortgage to today's market value, but had to share the future gain in equity with your lender?

New approach to helping underwater homeowners
Loan servicer writes down mortgages, gets share of future price appreciation
By Steve Bergsman
Inman News™

The shared-appreciation mortgage, also known as the shared-equity mortgage, or SAM, has been around since the 1970s but has gained little traction here in the United States.

So, when I noticed Ocwen Financial Corp., one of the country's larger independent mortgage servicers, adopting SAMs for use in its loan modification program, it caught my attention.

A SAM is a type of mortgage where the homeowner agrees to pay a stated percentage of property appreciation at the sale to the lender. In return, the lender agrees to charge a rate of interest on the loan that is below prevailing market share.

That's the basic formula, but for a SAM to be effective in dealing with underwater homes, the lender has to first drive down the mortgage to, or below, current value. The Ocwen program, which has been in a pilot run for more than a year, can change the interest rate, for example, but it leans more heavily on principal reduction.

Specifically, the principal of a delinquent loan is written down to 95 percent of the current market value of the home. The written-down portion is forgiven in one-third increments over the next three years, provided borrowers stay current on their mortgage. When the house is later sold or refinanced, the borrower must share 25 percent of the appreciation with the investors who own the loan.

"We had a very high rate of borrower acceptance into the program during our pilot test," said David Koches, Ocwen's executive vice president and general counsel. "We were able to achieve close to 80 percent acceptance by the borrowers, while at the same time (achieving) a very low redefault rate of around 3 percent."

Ocwen has gained regulatory clearance in 34 states for its SAM program and is working on the remainder of the states.

"This is an important weapon to combat the negative equity problem that is causing high rates of delinquency around the country," said Koches. "Something on the order of 10 million mortgages in the United States are underwater."

Homeowners with a loan-to-value ratio above 100 percent are, by definition, underwater and stand a 150 percent to 200 percent greater chance of going into delinquency than homeowners who have some positive equity. The overriding concept of SAM is to create a situation where the homeowner is net-present-value positive.

If a home is valued at $200,000 and the mortgage is $250,000, that's a home that will probably end up in delinquency.

Under the Ocwen program, the company will write-down that particular mortgage to $190,000 and probably make an interest-rate reduction as well. The combined effect would be to create a NPV-positive situation.

To provide an incentive for the homeowner to stay current over the long term, Ocwen forgives in one-third increments the written-down portion over three years as long as the homeowner stays current on the mortgage.

Now, it's five years later and the homeowner decides to sell. The sale price ends up to be $210,000, or a $10,000 gain over value at the time the SAM was implemented. $2,500 of the sales proceeds will be paid to the loan holder. The homeowner keeps $7,500.

"That's a way of returning some of the loss that the loan holder otherwise would sustain if there wasn't a sharing feature," said Koches.

I always liked the concept of the SAM, but as I noted, it has never attracted much interest in the United States. Partly, that was because of the buoyant home market and subsequent bubble that made the concept somewhat irrelevant.

Home prices were appreciating so quickly even a bad investment could be made whole by selling a house just a few years later at a price greater than the buy-in. Once the housing bubble burst and foreclosures soared, it should have been a good time to re-look at SAMs, but few did.

Andrew Caplin, professor of economics at New York University, has been bullish on SAMs, often writing provocative papers on the subject.

Caplin said SAMs offer consumers the option, long available to corporations, of providing some of the funding in exchange for sharing in the financial risk and rewards. Homebuyers would gain access to a new source of mortgage funding with no concomitant increase in monthly mortgage payments, thereby enhancing housing affordability.

But Caplin has been dismayed by the lack of SAM implementation.

"We are not seeing any traction," he said. "The occasional company does something, but SAM generally falls like a tree in the forest. It is a good idea and it works in this crisis. It worked before the crisis and it will work after the crisis. It is just not something people seem to have an incentive to think about."

The roadblocks are endemic.

First, the government doesn't have its eye on SAM, because it doesn't see it as a winner. Secondly, there might be tax issues that could easily be solved with government regulatory implementation.

"What we need is for Congress to clear out the regulatory structures so that the shared-appreciation mortgage has a simple treatment and everyone can use them easily," Caplin said. "Instead what we can expect is for SAMs to be taxed bizarrely, declared illegal in five states, and regulators will sue the implementers."

Koches is more optimistic. "We think our program can make a real impact on curing the negative-equity problems, and we are working hard to obtain approvals for SAMs in all jurisdictions."

At the time of the Ocwen rollout of its SAM program, in a prepared statement, John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said, "We hope this innovation inspires other mortgage services to follow suit."

So do I.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Real Estate One is voted one of the top large companies to work with in 2011!

Real Estate One is voted one of the top large companies to work with by it's own Agents & Employees!

http://freep.topworkplaces.com/company_survey/real-estate-one-fami_detroit/freep_11

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Friday, November 4, 2011

Don't sell yourself short on real estate commission

Don't sell yourself short on real estate commission
Offer premium services as an alternative to discounting
By Bernice Ross
Inman News™

You have a client who will be buying a house from you and will also list his house with you once he closes on the new property. Your client is from another part of the world where price is always negotiated. He asks you to cut your commission on his listing -- what do you do?

When I wrote "Waging War on Real Estate's Discounters," I outlined numerous strategies as well as 83 scripts for overcoming the commission objection on listing appointments. Commissions haven't been as much of an issue as they were five years ago in the strong sellers' market.

Nevertheless, a number of agents are now reporting that an increasing number of sellers are pushing them once again to cut their commissions.

As a rule of thumb, when someone asks you to lower your commission on a listing appointment, it means that you haven't demonstrated your value or that they are part of the 15 percent of all sellers who care only about price.

(Five percent of sellers want premium service and the remaining 80 percent normally can be persuaded to list at a full commission when shown how it benefits them to do so.)

The root of the problem is that most consumers view real estate agents as a commodity. In other words, if all tomatoes are alike, why not buy the cheapest?

An excellent way to distinguish your services from competitors is to create a Premium Marketing Plan that outlines what all agents do, what your firm does, and what you do specifically to help the seller obtain the highest possible price for their property in the shortest amount of time.

The strategy is to take the initiative and to outline the premium services that you will provide prior to discussing the price. When the sellers ask you to lower your commission, you can respond by saying:

"This is my 'Premium Marketing Plan,' which will provide maximum exposure to the marketplace that results in the highest possible price for you in the shortest amount of time. If you would like to lower the commission, I'll be happy to refer you to an agent who provides limited service."

Notice that I didn't use the word "discount" because "discounts" are perceived as a positive. Everyone likes receiving a discount but virtually no one wants "limited service."

But what about the client who is doing more than one transaction with you -- is it reasonable to perhaps give him a break, especially since negotiating the price is a core part of his culture? This was the question that was posed by one of our private coaching clients. Byron Van Arsdale came up with a unique approach to address the problem.

Rather than relying on a script such as, "If I can't even negotiate a full commission for myself, how effective do you think I will be in helping you negotiate the highest possible price for your property?" he took an entirely different approach.

1. Play the client's game

If you're dealing with someone who wants to negotiate your commission and this is part of their culture, then beat them to the punch by negotiating with them about what they will do to make sure their property sells.

As the listing agent you control the marketing of the property. The seller controls the price, the access, the condition, and the accessibility for showings. Each of these is a point to be negotiated. Before you ever consider lowering your commission, the seller must meet your requirements.

Those requirements include:
• the property is listed where it will sell and where it will appraise based upon closed comparable sales;
• the seller must stage the property so it shows to its best advantage;
• all the repairs you ask the seller to make are addressed prior to listing the property; and
• the property is easy to show.

If the seller fails to meet any of these criteria, then there's no point in discussing your commission -- you don't want the listing, especially when you're not going to receive a full commission.

2. What are your standards?

How do you feel when someone doesn't see your value? Usually it's pretty disheartening. In the case described above, the agent wasn't feeling that the seller valued her or the work that she does.

If she feels this way before she lists the property, there is a high probability that this feeling will only grow as she works with this person. Furthermore, he had already made several representations to her that weren't correct.

Her sense of discomfort was actually much more than the issue about the commission -- it was a sense that she couldn't trust this person.

Ultimately, only you can decide the right course of action in any commission situation. Before you cave on your commission, however, make sure that you have offered a unique Premium Marketing Plan; that you have obtained commitments from the sellers about what they will do in terms of price, accessibility, and making necessary repairs; and that the integrity of these sellers is in alignment with your integrity.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Content Marketing: The Link to Being a Good Neighbor

Content Marketing: The Link to Being a Good Neighbor

Posted By susanne On October 30, 2011 @ 1:05 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training,Real Estate Trends

(eM+C)—I saw something online recently that said “content is marketing.” I found that interesting because I’ve never quite seen it put that way. The message is simplistic, but I think it really resonates. Why? Because in today’s business environment, whether B2C or B2B, local or global, it’s all about how you’re perceived as a company.

Put a lot of traditional “look at us, we’re a great company” content in front of consumers and you’ve done a poor job of marketing. Give them things like case studies, reports, free information, best practice videos and so on and you’re doing a good job of marketing. What else would be appropriate? Asking their opinion, getting them to fill out a survey, offering them discounts or something free—that’s all good.

I recently consulted a company that markets insurance products. The company sent its first email message in a new marketing campaign to 15,000 people. It was the first time anyone on the list had ever received anything from the company. The call to action in the email? “Get a Quote.” The marketer asked me why no one responded.

I was blown away. Not so much because of what the insurance marketer was trying to do, but because it had absolutely no idea what it was doing wrong. Sending an email blast with a blurb about your company and its products, then providing a “free quote” button won’t work. Marketers must address prospect and customer needs. That often means going out of their way to build the relationship.

Here’s a simple way to think about it: let’s say someone new moves in next door to you. Over the first couple weeks you may notice what they drive, if they have kids, maybe a couple things about their interests based on what you observe, etc. How would you connect with them? Would you hurry over, knock on their door, go into a big spiel about who you are (not asking questions about them) and then ask them to help you with yard work next weekend?

No, you wouldn’t. Over multiple visits and encounters you’d slowly build rapport, trust and perhaps offer them a gift at some point.

In the six or seven different places I’ve lived over the past 20 years, three neighbors have come to my door and given me a Christmas gift, a welcome-to-the-neighborhood gift or brought freshly baked chocolate chip cookies over for no reason at all. And you know what? I’ll never forget it. I’d do anything for those neighbors. Without any prompting, they came to me and offered me something nice, something of value in hopes that we’d become friends. That’s pretty powerful stuff. And it works!

That’s content marketing in action.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

5 Steps To The 90 Day Short Sale:

5 Steps To The 90 Day Short Sale:

If you could do short sales in 90 days or less, would you? Travel back with me in time to those days we longingly refer to as, “The Good Ole Days”. A traditional transaction looked something like this: Days 30-60 marketing a listed property to achieve a contract for sale and the next 30-45 processing the transaction to a successful closing. This entire process was likely to encompass a total of 90-120 days. Then the Dow fell, the economy imploded, values plummeted, and the majority of the population couldn’t sell because they were under water on their mortgage. Hence, the “Short Sale” was born. Initially, it was chaos. No one knew who, how, or what to do to get one of these transactions to close. But more importantly, the delay in lender approvals came from the fact that lenders had more financial incentives, (i.e. could earn much more money from Freddie, Fannie, and HUD) to process and manage a foreclosure. There were initially no incentives for the lenders/servicers to do short sales. In fact, it cost them money and resources to approve them versus foreclosing. The outcome meant that almost half of all of our transactions were foreclosure inventory.

Flash forward to present day. Now Fannie & Freddie have established guidelines that took effect September 1st requiring all of their servicers to address a request for a short sale within three days and process a short sale within just thirty days of an offer being submitted. If a modification is not an option, these servicers must offer a short sale as an option and have good reason to do so because now the financial reward for processing a short sale outweighs the benefit of foreclosure. In addition, the homeowners are being offered cash incentives anywhere from $1000-3000 to do a short sale instead of abandoning the property. For this reason our inventory has flipped. Of more than half of non-traditional sales, short sales make up 40% and foreclosures are down to 13%. This means if you are not doing short sales, you are cutting out about half of your potential business.

Here’s how to work the whole process in 90 days or less:

1.) List the property competitively at 5% below actual market value. If priced appropriately and marketed for “Demand Effect”, the house will sell in the very first week. When you do this you are truly working for your customer, the homeowner. Our job is to limit the pain caused by the circumstance. The best way for us to accomplish that is to sell the home quickly and stop the damage to their credit or, if they are making payments, eliminate the monetary loss with by limiting the number of payments they need to make going forward; don’t worry about the house not appraising from the short sale lender’s perspective, buyer demand will net a high enough price to get an approval.

2.) Use a company to process the sale for you. There are several attorney firms that will negotiate the deal on the seller’s behalf that will not cost the seller any money. They get paid via the lender at the close of the sale. This frees you up to do what feeds your family, which is to get more listings to sell.

3.) Submit the sale package. Most servicers are held to Fannie/Freddie guidelines that mandate a thirty day turn- around time. So far you have gathered the paperwork, taken the listing, marketed the listing, and have a contract to sell it within the first 10 days.

4.) Let the company/attorney firm you have hired to negotiate to manage the process, which is essentially at this point a mere appraisal. With the 30 day mandate, there should no longer be a need to update bank statements or pay stubs. Receipt of the appraisal and review will initiate an approval or counter offer. (We should be around day 20-45 at this point)

5.) Get buyers mortgage and close – yes it sounds simple, but it really is that simple. We are now left with 30-45 days, to get mortgage approval for the buyer and close still meeting or even exceeding our 90 day short sale goal.

Sounds like the “Good Ole Days” are back again!

If you have any questions about “Demand Effect” marketing or want to learn of companies who will process the short sale for you at no charge to you or your customer, please call or email me.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

The Strangest Secret

The Strangest Secret

Posted By susanne On October 30, 2011 @ 1:07 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training,Today's Top Story


[1]In 1957, Earl Nightingale, speaker, author and co founder of the Nightingale-Conant Corporation, recorded his classic motivational record “The Strangest Secret.” “The Strangest Secret” sold over one million copies and made history in the recording industry by being honored as the first Gold Record for the spoken word. Nightingale, known as the “dean of personal development,” concluded that life’s “strangest secret” is that we become what we think about all day long.

Your belief system, like your computer, doesn’t judge or even question what you input; it merely accepts your thoughts as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Think thoughts of defeat or failure and you’re bound to feel discouraged. Continuous thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear are unhealthy and often manifest in the body as stress, panic attacks and depression.

At the core of Earl’s message, he reveals the incredible power of positive self-talk, belief and expectation. What you vividly imagine and hold in your subconscious mind begins to out picture as your reality. Your belief system not only defines your reality, but it also shapes your character and determines your potential.

The Placebo Effect

The ability of the mind to cure a disease even when the medicine is known to be worthless is known as the “placebo effect.” This occurs in medical trials where doctors give patients sugar pills, but tell them they will cure their illness. Often it does, even though the pills contain nothing of medical benefit. The only thing of value in these medical trials is the patient’s own belief that the sugar pills will cure them. It’s the power of the patient’s belief and expectation alone that produces the improvement in his or her health. I recently read a remarkable story about a group of cancer patients who thought they were being treated with chemotherapy, but were actually given a placebo. Before their treatment began, the patients were informed about the complications associated with undergoing chemotherapy treatment, such as fatigue and loss of hair. Amazingly, based on nothing more than their belief and expectation, nearly one third of the patients who were given the placebo reported feeling fatigued and actually experienced hair loss!

The Power of Affirmation and Positive Self-talk

If you had access to a powerful tool that would enhance your self-esteem and allow you to reach your full potential would you use it?

A good way to create positive self-talk is through affirmations. An affirmation is a positive statement that represents your desired condition or outcome. Interesting enough, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a real experience and a vividly imagined “mental” experience.

When he was a struggling young comedian, late at night Jim Carey would drive into the hills overlooking Hollywood and yell at the top of his lungs “I will earn ten million dollars a year by 1995.” When 1995 finally arrived, Jim was the star of the movie Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, for which he was paid $20 million! World-class athletes understand the value of affirmation and recognize the impact of their mental preparation on their physical performance. They use the power of positive affirmation to reduce anxiety and increase their expectation of achievement. To be of maximum benefit an affirmation must be simple, encouraging and stated in the present tense. By repeating an affirmation over and over again it becomes embedded in the subconscious mind.

To be effective your affirmation must be stated aloud…

1. In a positive manner with the focus on what you want. When you catch yourself saying or thinking something negative about yourself, counteract the negative self-talk with a positive affirmation. Start your affirmation with words like “I am…” or “I already have…” Example: “I close sales with little or no resistance.” “I take good care of my customers and they show their appreciation by referring their friends to me.”

2. In the present tense. Your subconscious mind works in the present tense, so avoid words such as can, will, should or could. Example: “I love doing my work and I am richly rewarded creatively and financially.”

3. With strong emotion and conviction.

4. Repeatedly. I suggest you read your affirmations each morning upon awakening and again each night just before falling asleep. Close your eyes and picture the end result. Feel the emotions associated with the affirmation.

Here are some of my favorite affirmations:

“Every day in every way I’m getting better and better!”

“Everything comes to me easily and effortlessly!”

“I love and appreciate myself just as I am!”

“I love doing my work and I am richly rewarded creatively and financially!”

“I now have enough time, energy, wisdom and money to accomplish all my desires!”

“Infinite riches are now freely flowing into my life!”

“I am relaxed and centered!”

“I feel happy and blissful!”

Do affirmations really work and can they be used to propel a person to achieve greatness? As a young boy growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, 12-year-old Cassius Marcellus Clay dreamed of someday becoming the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. When working out in the gym, Clay would continuously affirm to all within earshot that he was indeed the greatest boxer of all time! While many felt he was brash and boastful, few people actually took this 89-pound youngster seriously. Mohammad Ali used his affirmation to become the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world and arguably one of the most popular and recognized sports figures of all times!

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” – Anonymous

You show me a salesperson with high self-esteem, a positive attitude and a healthy work ethic and I’ll be able to predict his or her success in advance… I guarantee it.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

How to Build Trust and Rapport Quickly

How to Build Trust and Rapport Quickly

Posted By susanne On October 26, 2011 @ 4:04 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Training | No Comments


If you’re working hard, but aren’t consistently generating enough sales, chances are it’s a matter of trust! Suppose you could incorporate a few simple, yet highly effective ideas into your selling process and substantially increase your bottom line? One of the most critically important and yet frequently overlooked aspects of selling is creating a solid foundation of trust and rapport.

I believe that once you have established trust and rapport with your prospect, you actually have the hard part behind you and can anticipate making the sale. It really doesn’t matter how knowledgeable you are about your product line or how many closing techniques you have mastered, unless you earn your prospect’s trust and confidence you are not going to make the sale—period! While there is no approach that will work 100% of the time with every prospect, fortunately there are fundamentals you can use that will help you build trust and rapport quickly.

Gain the Competitive Edge
There is absolutely no substitute for a positive first impression. Research clearly indicates that we decide in the first few minutes whether we like someone or not. Yes, we also judge a book by its cover too. In most cases, your prospect’s first impression of you will be made over the phone or from a voice message you leave. Therefore, it is always a good idea to focus your intention and organize your thoughts by utilizing a phone script instead of shooting from the hip. Here are some suggestions to help you get off on the right foot. Show up on time and be well prepared. Maintain a well-groomed appearance and dress appropriately for your market. And finally, be upbeat and personable without becoming overly familiar.

Promote Your Credibility
Establish your credentials as an expert in your industry during your initial appointment. When you offer your business card and or company brochure, highlight two or three reasons why you elected to work for your company. Keep your marketing materials looking professional and up-to-date. If you conduct appointments in your office, display your awards and certificates of accomplishment.

Use Active Listening Skills
The quickest way to destroy trust and rapport is to dominate the conversation. Successful salespeople take notes, listen attentively, and avoid the temptation to interrupt, criticize, or argue. To develop and encourage conversation, use open-ended questions to probe the meaning behind your prospect’s statements. Occasionally repeat your prospect’s words verbatim. By restating their key words or phrases you not only clarify communication, but also build rapport.

Adjust to Your Prospect’s Temperament Style
Research indicates people are born into one of four primary temperament styles; aggressive, expressive, passive, or analytical. Each of these four primary temperament styles requires a unique approach and selling strategy. For example, if you are selling to the impatient, aggressive style, they prefer a short warm up and expect a quick, bottom line presentation. While at the other extreme, the cautious, analytical style is slow to warm up and is interested in every detail. Once you learn how to identify each of the four primary styles, you will be able to close more sales in less time by adjusting to your prospect’s buying style.

Actions Speak Louder than Words
Our body language reveals our deepest feelings and hidden thoughts to total strangers. Research indicates that in a face-to-face conversation, over 70% of our communication is perceived nonverbally. In addition, nonverbal communication has a much greater impact and higher reliability than the spoken word. Therefore, if your prospect’s words are incongruent with their body language gestures, you would be wise to rely on their body language as a more accurate reflection of their true feelings. Be mindful of your own body language gestures and remember to keep them positive by unfolding your arms, uncrossing your legs, nodding your head in agreement, and smiling frequently.

Create trust and rapport quickly by “matching and mirroring” your prospect’s body language gestures. Matching and mirroring is an unconscious body language mimicry by which one person tells another they are in agreement. The next time you are at a social event, notice how many people are subconsciously matching one another. Likewise, when people disagree, they subconsciously mismatch their body language gestures. The psychological principle behind matching and mirroring is the fact that people want to do business with salespeople that they believe are similar to them. An effective way to begin matching your prospect is to subtly nod your head in agreement whenever your prospect nods their head, or cross your legs when they cross their legs, etc. By understanding the meaning behind your prospect’s body language gestures, you will minimize perceived sales pressure and know when it’s appropriate to close the sale.

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, your prospects have many options and are looking for a salesperson they know they can trust to work in their best interest. Salespeople who fail to put an emphasis on developing trust and rapport actually do a disservice to their customers and in effect, leave the backdoor open to their competition. In addition to generating new sales, developing strong relationships will keep competitors at arm’s length and your business on the books!

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Monday, October 31, 2011

How to Succeed in a Down Market – Words of Wisdom From a 30 Year Veteran

How to Succeed in a Down Market – Words of Wisdom From a 30 Year Veteran

October 27, 2011

My mom, Diana Rugh, has been a real estate agent for more than thirty years. In my early twenties, I sold real estate with her in Arizona and thought I knew everything. I found out pretty quickly, not only was I wrong, this business isn’t nearly as easy as many people think. If you have been in the business for any length of time, you know surviving 30+ years isn’t a small feat. Recently, I sat down and asked my mom how she’s survived the down markets. She shared these words of wisdom:

(1) Be Persistent


Todd Carpenter, Diana Rugh & Ira Serkes, California Association of REALTORS Expo 2011

It’s easy to get discouraged when times are tough, but persistence is key. “I’m too stubborn to quit,” my mom says. “Many agents are discouraged, I’ve been there too. This market is really hard, but I see agents who stop doing the tasks they need to do most. Failure is not an option for me. The only way to survive this kind of market is to keep pushing on. Inactivity won’t make it better.”

(2) Be Consistent About Prospecting

“Consistent prospecting is key in this business. We get so excited to get a deal, we forget that we still need business next week, next month and next year.” Without a doubt, we’ve all been there. When we get an active transaction, we have to make sure our customers are properly cared for and the transaction successfully closes but we can’t lose site of future business. I asked my mom how she takes the time to focus on the business development. “It’s not easy, she said, “Schedule prospecting every day and don’t let it slip out of the schedule.”

(3) Focus on the People

When you are paid on commission and you have a family to feed, it is not always easy to focus on the people instead of the paycheck. “My clients aren’t dollar signs, they are people. If I can help them, the compensation will come, both in terms of money, but also helping my clients reach their goals. There are days when this business is not worth the paycheck. If you focus on the paycheck instead of the people, the business won’t be rewarding, and it certainly won’t pay off long term. Your customers know when you see dollar signs in their eyes, and when you genuinely care.”

(4) Plan

Plan for the down markets. “The market is really difficult, but people still buy and sell real estate,” Diana said. “You need to be banking it away when it’s good and not overextending yourself. You always have to plan for months without a check. You also have to plan for taxes, and for business overhead that doesn’t go away in the down market. When times are flush, plan ahead for the future. Planning and saving will keep you in this business for the long term.

(5) Adapt

The business changes and your customers change over time. “When I started in real estate, we had a computer without a screen and listings came in a book,” Diana said. “Nothing was instantaneous. Many people resist technology but your clients are all using technology. It’s hard to change but you have customers who are in different generations and you have to adapt to their different styles to stay in this business.”

It’s not easy to prosper in this business for 30+ years, but she continues to adapt and learn new ways to grow her business. “Always be learning,” my mom says, “It’s essential to long term success.”

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Keeping Contracts on the Right Track

Keeping Contracts on the Right Track

Posted By susanne On September 21, 2011 @ 3:41 pm In Best Practices,Business Development,Coaching,Marketing,Real Estate Information,Real Estate Trends

Most professionals in the real estate industry accept that recovery will continue to be up and down from month to month—sometimes even day to day. You understand that prices and sales will likely be skipping along the bottom for the next year or two before housing is back on a steady growth track.

But the more important thing to recognize is that savvy prospective buyers are aware of this, too, and the sawtooth activity is adding to the natural jitters that come with deciding to make a significant purchase such as a home.

Their discomfort is among various factors contributing to gaps between pending home sale reports and subsequent totals of closed monthly sales. The National Association of REALTORS® reported that pending transactions increased in both May and June this year, but gains in existing-home sales ran short of forecasts from the earlier pending data.

So why are fewer contracts making it to the closing table? It’s a combination of tighter lending standards, low appraisals, sellers who are hesitant to negotiate too freely and buyers who decide to walk away from the process when it’s too heated.

Although there are some roadblocks and detours that can’t be helped on your clients’ side of the transaction, there are ways to help keep buyers’ confidence on course—all the way to the closing table.

Know the Market
It’s always good to bolster your monthly local market report with a macro view of what’s happening in real estate. By keeping your sights on local and national real estate legislation and policy debates, you can better anticipate potential negative influences on your buyers. They’re reading some of the same news, and you’re the right person to help them make sense of it. It takes 15 minutes each morning to read the latest headlines and pass along key information. Whether the news pertains directly to their situation or not, your attention, initiative and analysis can provide valuable reassurance to nervous buyers that you’re on top of things and sensitive to their concerns and interests.

Buckle Them In
Identifying buyers’ motivation is an important step in helping you manage their expectations throughout the process and keep them on track past any speed bumps. Most buyers start the process already visualizing the finish line, so come right out and ask how they see it all going. That’s the time to address any misperceptions or unrealistic outcomes. No matter how much homework they’ve done before consulting you, they’re coming to you because it’s much easier to wade into uncomfortable territory with a guide who knows the terrain better than they ever could. Anticipate their questions, offer emotional reinforcement and be the confident expert they need.

Be Encouraging
Buying a home can and should be exciting—even in challenging times—and you can preserve the enjoyment right through to closing by using cautious optimism to help your buyers focus on the prize. When you’re steady throughout the process, your clients will more likely go with the flow as well. And it’s okay to point out that you continue to be successful in this business because the dream of homeownership is alive and well.

The fact remains: It’s a great time for qualified, prepared buyers to act. Although the process isn’t always as seamless as it was in the boom times, the results are the same: buyers find a place to call their own.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

20 Stress Management Tips for Peak Performance

20 Stress Management Tips for Peak Performance

Posted By suzanne On October 17, 2011 @ 4:00 pm In Business Development,Consumer News and Advice,Real Estate,Real Estate Trends

Structural engineers get paid big bucks to design buildings strong enough to withstand the damaging impact brought on by Mother Nature’s fury. They use computer simulations to help them identify and mitigate stress-fatigue factors, which might contribute to the collapse of the building. Ironically, people, like buildings, are also susceptible to stress-fatigue factors and physical collapse brought on by the crippling affects derived from excessive fear, anxiety and worry.

Research indicates that a person will react to stressful situations based upon the temperament style that he or she was born into. For example, aggressive people have “anger management,” expressive people have “emotional management,” passive people have “self-esteem management” and analytical people have “stress management.” In other words, people who tend to be extremely detailed, organized, critical and shy attract stress into their lives like metal shavings are drawn to a magnet.

The major behaviors associated with people under stress include; aloofness, increased sadness, panic attacks, overly sarcastic humor and extreme negative self-talk. Stress occurs when an analytical or “melancholy” type of person is overwhelmed by his or her attempts to balance their physical, financial, personal, spiritual and career interests. The long-term affects of prolonged stress are accumulative and can be physically and mentally damaging over time. Stress manifests in the body as TMJ / teeth grinding, tension headaches, neck / shoulder pain and lower back pain. Here are several practical ideas that you can use to help you dramatically reduce your stress level and live a much more productive life.

Stress Management Tips

1. Get plenty of sleep.

2. Eat balanced meals and avoid eating junk food.

3. Drink plenty of water and avoid nicotine, excessive caffeine and other stimulants.

4. Avoid drinking alcohol in excess.

5. Learn to make decisions quickly and let go of the need to over-analyze everything.

6. Express your feelings appropriately and don’t bottle up your emotions.

7. Avoid trying for perfection and don’t sweat the small stuff.

8. Maintain a positive mental attitude by utilizing affirmative “self-talk.”

9. Stop worrying so much and look at situations more optimistically.

10. Smile and laugh frequently throughout the day, don’t take yourself so seriously.

11. Mix leisure with work: take breaks and get away when you can.

12. Make a point to spend quality time with your friends and family.

13. Become more tolerant and don’t be overly critical of yourself or others.

14. Always be kind and gentle with yourself.

15. Listen to upbeat music or watch your favorite movie.

16. Exercise for cardiovascular fitness three to four times a week.

17. Set written goals, plan your time and prioritize your activates.

18. Keep a list of “things to do” and stay focused on short-term accomplishments.

19. Get a massage or take a warm bath.

20. Do something nice for someone else.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Thursday, October 13, 2011

September 2011 Real Estate Market Update

September 2011 Real Estate Market Update

September pending sales fell somewhat from August but still finished ahead of last September. For Southeast
Michigan, we have had four consecutive months of a rising average price per square foot. That can be explained by
a combination fewer lower priced bank sales and good old fashion appreciation. How much of each is tough to tell,
but certainly there is at least some sprinkling of appreciation in the mix. The charts below show the value per
square foot comparison of this year to last as well as a similar median price comparison for bank owned and nonbank
owned homes.

Home Values - Price Per Square Foot - Five County Metro Detroit
Median Prices Non-Bank Owned (Retail) vs. Bank Owned
The median value charts show that bank owned values have bounced around a bit while non-bank values have
moved steadily upward in the past three months. Average Price per Square Foot and Median values tend to follow
the same trends so looking at both can help confirm a market direction.
Another exciting opportunity is the strength of our single-family home rental market. While home values were
declining, rental rates and demand for rental homes remained firm (as an unfortunate result of so many home
owners now forced to be renters). So investors can now get reasonable cash on cash returns when in the past they
were lucky to just cover their costs (our web sites have an investment analysis button on each listing). The other
side of that coin is that Metro Detroit is one of the strongest markets to own in lieu of renting. The chart below
shows an extreme example of the power of owning vs. renting. In the example, because the Buyer saves $350 per
month over renting, they can actually lose money on the home (in this case the home falls in value over 20%)
and still make a great return on their investment (down payment plus loss on sale)!
So as a renter/buyer, if you have any interest in being a homeowner in the next five years, go after it now, there will
be not better time to do it!
For Company news, Trulia has just released a report showing that 69% of the errors in on line listing postings
(price, status, etc.) come from third party syndicators (like Point2, List Hub, etc.). What does that mean to our
Sellers and us? Most all brokers use these services to send their listings to various sites, so they are more prone to
errors. We distribute directly whenever possible to ensure that our listing information on the web is accurate. So
even if another broker says they send their information to some of the same web sites as we do, our information is
the most accurate and up to date.
Here are our numbers for September. Strong and steady, just like our sports teams!

Total Company Summary - Sept. 2011
# of Buyers to Open Houses 2,416
# of Showing Appointments 14,736
# of Homes Sold/Leased 1,500
# of Web Inquires (Unique Visitors) 180,616
# of Mortgage/Title/Insurance Closings 656

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Friday, October 7, 2011

Marketing Strategies: 7 Things You Need to Know to Double Your Income

Marketing Strategies: 7 Things You Need to Know to Double Your Income

Dr. Maya Bailey

Are you feeling confused in today’s marketplace? Do you find yourself in any of these patterns?

• Procrastinating
• Feeling scattered
• Avoiding picking up the phone?
• Doing just “busy work”?

If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are you are feeling “stuck” and your business is suffering.

Here are some tips to get your business back on track and double your income:

1. Let go of the “need to please”

A recent study on marketing revealed that it’s not important that your client likes you, it’s more important that the client perceives that you like them. Then your client will feel secure and confident you will take good care of their needs. That does not mean that you have to bend over backwards for them, but rather build a relationship based on mutual respect.

When working with sellers, be honest with them about the value of their home, instead of just saying what you think will make them happy. When working with buyers, don’t waste time showing them homes without an exclusive agreement. Don’t cancel your plans just because a client wants to see you.

When you respect yourself, others will do the same. As one of my clients put it, the “disease to please” will only drain you with little benefit to your business.

2. Clear up your relationship with money

Do any of these thoughts float around in your head?

• Money is always flowing away from me
• I am not deserving of wealth
• Other people can have nice things but not me

Can you understand how difficult it would be to attract money to yourself with these self limiting beliefs pushing money away on a subconscious level? Remember, your beliefs create your reality. If you tell the universe that you are not deserving of money, then the universe will send you exactly what you believe and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It’s important that you become aware of what these beliefs are, release them, and then install empowered beliefs that magnetize money to you.

• I am a money magnet
• Money flows to me easily and effortlessly
• I attract abundance by working smarter not harder

Please note that these Empowered Beliefs will not feel natural to you at the beginning, but they are like planting seeds in a garden and they will sprout if you nurture them. You can think of them as setting intentions.

3. Reprogram your self-limiting beliefs about “success”

If you believe that success is hard, or that you will have to sacrifice your personal life or that to be successful you have to be selfish and aggressive, then that is what you will create. The results of holding onto these anti-success beliefs is obvious; you just keep pushing it away after day month after month and year after year. Success always seems out of reach. If you do manage to achieve it, you’ll push it away.

But here’s the good news: it doesn’t matter how many years you’ve had a belief, the power to change that belief is always in the present moment. That’s why it’s so important to identify the belief and bring it to the surface. That’s why working with an outside coach can save you years of struggle and sacrifice. With some outside support you can easily see the beliefs that have been blocking you and once you have that awareness, it’s relatively easy to reprogram that belief out of your mind.

Success is based on helping people achieve their goals and working smarter, not harder. Guess what an amazing reality this belief creates?

4. Release self doubt

The only thing standing in the way of you feeling that you can do it all is your self-limiting beliefs. Most of them are hidden under the surface, telling you that you can’t. Even if you don’t currently believe in yourself, you can be taught to retrain your brain so that you have “unwavering faith” in your ability to succeed. Every moment you have a choice to be in “fear” or “faith.”

Fear sounds like: “I can’t do this” or “I’m too old”

Faith sounds like: “I don’t know how, but I know I’m going to make it” or “I have a valuable service to offer, and people are happy to hear from me”

5. Stop criticizing yourself

Self-criticism is a common pattern that stops people from being successful. This pattern is somewhat insidious; it operates below the surface and you may not even know it is happening. If you’re busy beating yourself up, you are destroying your self-esteem and that leaves you feeling very empty. Then you begin to crave validation. Since you’re not giving it to yourself, you crave it from others; friends, family, clients and prospective clients. As a result you give up your power and put in the hands of others. This puts you in a vulnerable position in every interaction.

I recommend using the “stop” technique whenever you suspect that your inner critic has taken over.

Step one: Say “stop”
Step two: Take a deep breath
Step three: Think a positive new thought, such as:

• I love and approve of myself
• I am committed to building myself up instead of tearing myself down
• I always focus on my strengths

Watch your energy and motivation increase as you implement this technique, sometimes several hundred times a day.

6. Start appreciating yourself

The interesting thing about your inner critic is that it probably has good intentions for you. It probably thinks that it can “whip you into shape,” so you’ll be more successful. But that is actually the opposite of the truth. The truth is that when you are putting yourself down, you are weakening yourself and lowering your energy.

The antidote to this is to begin to learn to appreciate and validate yourself. When is the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and appreciated what you saw?

Learning to validate yourself can be as simple as learning “positive self talk.” This would sound like “I’m really proud of you,” or “good job.” Take time to stop and appreciate all the good things you do.

This helps you to be more successful in several ways:

1. You’re sending out a positive vibration to the universe, and attracting that in return
2. It raises your energy
3. It makes you magnetic for your ideal clients

7. Work with high end clients

To double your income and make more money with less effort, you must begin working with high-end clients. Everyone I’ve ever coached has expressed desire to work with high-end clients but along with that desire come many self-limiting beliefs that stop them. Perhaps you could recognize some of these as your own self-limiting beliefs.

• I feel intimidated by higher end clients
• I don’t have an education so I’m not as good as…
• We don’t run around in the same circles
• We can’t connect because…
• Higher end clients are more sophisticated and will ask me questions that I can’t answer

High-end clients become the name for the unknown and most people want to stay with the familiar. They want to stay with the status quo and they want to avoid the unknown. So you end up avoiding the unknown and then wonder why you’re working so many hours.

The truth is that high-end clients are no different than anyone else. The truth also is that they don’t necessarily care about your education or even your sophistication; what they care about is whether you are the answer to their real estate needs.

How are they going to know whether you are? This is determined by the confidence that you project. What determines your confidence level? Your beliefs. If your beliefs are mostly self-limiting beliefs that lower your self-esteem, then you will not feel empowered enough to market to high-end clients.

If on the other hand, you go through a reprogramming process, then you can release those self-limiting beliefs, install empowered beliefs and watch your income double.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: A Short Sale Always Wins

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure: A Short Sale Always Wins
by Christopher Reale on October 4, 2011

We are again honored to have Christopher Reale, Director of Short Sale Operations at Lepizzera and Laprocina Title and Escrow Services, as today’s guest blogger. He is an expert on the short sale process and will share his knowledge with us on a regular basis. – The KCM Crew

Today’s ever changing real estate industry has brought upon some very challenging questions from our clients. We as counselors, want to put forth the best, non-emotional advice that we can, in hopes that we can help our clients and their families navigate the rough waters of the short sale process.

The most prevalent question and one that continues to permeate the industry is:

“Why should a seller go through the short sale process rather than letting their house be foreclosed upon?”

While we cannot speak to every client circumstance, we can say one thing with complete conviction. In almost all instances in which a potential seller is contemplating whether they should short sell their house or let it go through the foreclosure process, a short sale is the better option. The following are examples to consider:

Example A- Short Sale

Mr. Smith owns a home in which he has a mortgage balance of $220,000 and a current market value of $150,000. Mr. Smith has elected to short sell his property. His Realtor successfully obtains a buyer who puts forth an offer price of $120,000 (80% current market value according to Realty Trac Foreclosure Report 5/26/2011). After reviewing the buyers offer and the financial hardship information from Mr. Smith, Mr Smith’s bank agrees to accept the short payoff of $120,000 which would leave a deficiency balance of $100,000.

The transaction closes and is final. Mr. Smith then pulls his credit report 30 days after the transaction takes place. On the report he notices that the mortgage trade line states “Mortgage debt was settled for less than full” and the balance on the mortgage is $0. Mr. Smith is now on the road to financial recovery.

Example B- Foreclosure

For the ease of illustration we will use the same value and mortgage debt amounts as in Example A. However, Mr. Smith has elected to forgo the short sale process and let the bank foreclose on the property. The bank holding his mortgage facilitates the proper legal procedures to foreclose on the property, all of which are costly. Mr. Smith is notified and his property foreclosed upon of which is taken back by the bank to sell as an REO.

Six months later, the bank finally sells Mr. Smith’s home only they sell it for $90,000 (60% of current market value according to Realty Trac Foreclosure report dated 5/26/2011). Remember, as a short sale, the home would have sold for $120,000 keeping the deficiency to $100,000. In addition to the deficiency now being $130,000, the bank has elected to add on legal costs of $15,000 and asset preservation costs of another $5000 for a total deficiency liability of $150,000. Mr. Smith pulls his credit report 30 days after being notified that the bank has sold his property and of his liability.

On the report he notices that the mortgage trade line states “Foreclosure” and the balance is $150,000. Because of Mr Smith’s choice to choose foreclosure vs. short sale his road to financial recovery has taken a major detour. He not only has a foreclosure on his credit report but now has a much larger deficiency balance in which the bank, in most cases, will report on his credit report as a balance owed.

The Best Option is Clear

While the financial and credit advantages are clear when choosing a short sale over a foreclosure, other advantages are sometimes overlooked. The most important of all of them is maintaining the seller’s dignity and peace of mind. We have heard too many stories of families having to leave their homes because of a Sheriff’s order or some other type of legal action. The short sale process alleviates this negative social impact. The process puts the control back in the seller’s hands so that they can get back on the road to financial recovery and start providing for their families. In the battle of the two evils, a short sale always wins!!!


If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

August 2011 Real Estate Market Update

August 2011 Real Estate Market Update

August brought us another month of good numbers in terms of homes sales and home values. They both continue their (seasonally adjusted) upward trend in most all markets and price ranges. The chart below shows the average price per square foot for South East Michigan (bars) and the value change in price per SF compared to the same month a year ago (line), The bars show a steady rise for the last four months and the line (value rise over last year) does as well. The value line is a bit misleading; the downward trend is still in positive territory (save for April) with a strong upward movement in the last four months. Last August was the strongest value month of 2010, but this August still beat it by 6%.

SE Michigan Price Per Square Foot Value Trends
Value Trends by price range also show the same positive movement. Since values do jump month to month, this chart is an average of the past 90 days price per square foot by price category. You can see that all but one price range showed positive numbers. With fewer listings available in the $0-99 category, it is not surprising to see buyers move to the lower end of the next price range ($100-199), thereby keeping the average value increase flat.

June-Aug 2011 vs. June-Aug 2010 Value Trends by Price Range - SE Michigan

Price Range $0-99,000 $100-199,000 $200-299,000
June-Aug 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change
Avg $/SF $34 $35 4% $80 $80 0% $96 $100 4%

Price Range $300-399,000 $400-499,000 $500,000+
June-Aug 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change 2010 2011 % Change
Avg $/SF $110 $114 4% $126 $129 2% $171 $181 6%


The market is still divided between those homes selling quickly and the 60% that have been on the market for months to years (42% of sold listings were on the market less than 30 days and 47% sold for equal or more than asking price). So although we have some great signs of market activity and appreciation, it is appreciation for homes in good condition and priced well with values based on current solds, not asking prices, so Sellers still need an aggressive view on pricing.

One strange result of our housing recession is that the lack of homeowners' equity is actually helping our recovery. With so many homeowners upside down and not able to sell, there are not enough salable homes on the market to satisfy buyer demand. This is actually speeding up our recovery since, with fewer homes on the market, demand is beginning to exceed supply. With each uptick in values, a few more Sellers will be able to sell, releasing a few more listings to the market. It is likely to follow a reasonably steady recovery pattern over the next few years. The wild card is interest rates. We know that rates are artificially low to some degree via Federal Reserve intervention, which is creating some level of excess (or borrowed forward) demand. So a significant rise in rates without a significant economic recovery boost could set us back again. For Southeast Michigan, another factor that could potentially hold up our recovery is that for once, in terms of housing, we are an economic bright spot in the country (and the state), so until the rest of the country starts to catch up, we are vulnerable if they sneeze.

If you just looked at the current market activity, inventory levels and general economic news (locally), all signs lead to a housing recovery that is coming faster that anyone had predicted. The problem with that is we have been down so long, none of us (even me) are quite ready to really believe it. I think if we can sustain these activity levels (seasonally adjusted) through the winter months and into next spring, we will have no choice but to become permanent optimists, until then the word "cautiously" will remain in front of "optimistic".

For Company news, over the last five years we have emerged as the only broker in the state with a fully integrated real estate transaction experience for our clients (combining Brokerage, Mortgage, Title, Home Insurance and Home Services). That integration has been talked about for years as the coming consumer trend, but it looks like it is beginning to become an expectation of the next generation of homeowners. Although it is usually a lot of "little things" done well that makes a company or agent stand above the rest, providing an integrated one stop experience can be a "big thing" that moves us along way with our future clients.

If you don't remotely know how or where to begin with building or re-building your business, come work with us. We already have systems in place that do it all for you!

The best in their field, even professional athletes take advantage of coaching. If you would like the benefit of working with a full time coach, absolutely free to you, please call me directly or email to set up an interview.

Suzanne O'Brien
(313) 516-6644
suzanneo@realestateone.com

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