Realtors Without Lockbox Keys

10% of the Realtors sell 90% of the homesI posted on Face Book last week this entry: When the agent calls and says “Vince, I’m Whoever with XYZ Realty and I don’t have a lockbox key, can you open your listing for us” I IMMEDIATELY HIT THE DELETE KEY.What I got were 58 comments of varying viewpoints. Although I respect the real estate profession, I do not respect Realtors who ask the listing agent to show their buyers your listing either because they don’t have a lockbox key (a basic tool of the Realtor) or because “they are out of town.”

This is a despicable request for them to make and I immediately disqualify a buyer who would work with such an inept agent. I used to always accommodate those requests and I NEVER got an offer…… or a thank you, from the other agent.

Some agents said I was doing my seller a disservice by not showing to every possible buyer. I DISAGREE. I notice that the other agent NEVER says “I’m sending my buyer with a pre-qualification letter or proof of funds” because the other Realtor never checked. They run their business by the seat of their pants and just hope and pray I could close this buyer of theirs that they can’t close on any other deal. It is a disservice to my client not to carefully screen each potential buyer to weed out the ones that will be a problem later.

To those agents that DISAGREE, I will ask you: Have you ever had a seller load up their furniture and clean out the house and on the DAY of closing you find out the buyer can’t close? I know I have NOT because I am taking care of my sellers by screening those deadbeats out.

Agents that don’t have the basic tools or even the office support to help them show office clients available listings will not be in the business long. I can’t imagine asking another agent from another firm to show MY buyer their listing. How unprofessional to the BUYER is that? At least have another agent from your own office cover the showing for you.

Realtors sometimes get a bad rap……. and sometimes it’s our own fault.

For more information, go to: http://www.headofrealestate.com

#1 On Google? A Waste of Time of worth the Time?

OK, here we go again. Three new e-mails today with the promise to get me on the first page of Google. I saw another seminar invite with the subject the same. I know the Internet is now the #1 place most BUYERS start to search for listings……. but do they REALLY search Google looking for an AGENT? I would say 100% NO.

I understand that this Internet Google “guru” is touting numbers like “95% of buyers today start their home search on the Internet” and so fourth. But the fact is, MOST of that 95% starts on the Internet alright, but that traffic and “hit number” is driven by sites like Realtor.com and homes.com for example. The buyer finds the house and calls the agent that has the listing. Investing on the enhanced listings on Realtor.com for example and having a good amount of listings to input is MY #1 source of buyers leads.

Don’t be misled. Most of those touting this Google deal have never sold real estate before. I drive traffic to my own website with my own marketing. In 2010, in Tampa Florida, one of the worst realty markets in the USA where unemployment is around 18% and over 60% of homeowners are upside down, I had 115 sales sides. NONE of that business came from Google.

I’m not saying a good position on Google will not look good on a listing presentation, but I can easily overcome such a minor obstacle in my interview process.

To learn more, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com

Reporter in New York

Wrong

WOW! I can’t believe the attention this case is getting! Here is the bottom line. This girl did not deserve the harsh criticism she has been getting for reporting New York Jets players that made inappropriate comments to her. Some say she dressed too provocatively, that her jeans were too tight, shirts were too low cut. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE? That is like saying a woman deserved to get raped because she was not wearing a bra!

Reporters, men and women, interview NAKED players every game (notice you only get the head shots on the news). What if a woman was interviewing an NFL player in the locker room and grabbed his butt and used the excuse “well, he was NAKED and was standing right in front of me”?

Come on guys! This is 100% wrong. This Reporter may have been a swimsuit model or a nude model. It make no difference. She should be treated with respect. The players need to respect those reporters as well and equally to the men. They are supposed to be role models for our youth and set examples, not acting like teenage boys without parental supervision.

http://www.headofrealestate.com

A Case For Real Estate / The Great Depression

This is not the first real estate bubble we have had “burst” and it will not be the last. It is my opinion that the government got us all into this mess and it is their obligation to get us out….NOW.

The government is constantly meddling in the real estate business. “First time home buyer tax credit” of this year was just one in a long history of our political “leaders” trying to drum up business for the real estate industry.

In 1919 The National Association of Real Estate Boards (Now NAR or National Association of Realtors) was promoting real estate via the “Own Your Own Home” campaign. This was a industry based program run by Realtors. Herbert Hoover (the then secretary of commerce) encourage the United States government to take over this program to increase home ownership. And the cycle of real estate was forever altered. Since then, it seems like the government has had a hand in real estate, trying to make it more and more affordable so “every American” can live the dream and own a home. This of course so the banking industry could stretch loans out over 30 years and rake in insane revenue on those 30 year loans!

After our country went into the “Great Depression” in the 20’s, how did the country get out of that mess? 25% of Americans were out of work and most of those jobs were construction related! Reigniting the real estate market back then was a great way to create jobs and get the economy rolling again! Talk about a “Stimulus Package” on steroids!!!

So what does America do in 2008 and 2009? We repeat what history taught us and get the real estate industry back on track, getting value back up, getting those construction workers, surveyors, roofers, plumbers, electricians, lawn service companies, painters, Realtors, lenders and everyone related to our field! WOW, what a TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT could do for the economy………….. except Obama flushed that toilet when he blew the trillion on HIS ego driven Stimulus package that has clearly and unequivocally FAILED the American people.

The government dug the hole. Now the CAN’T get out of the real estate game…. can they? I say YES they can…… eventually. If they eliminate the capital gains tax on real estate across the board, no matter how short of a time a person has owned the property, we would clear out of this mess sooner rather than later. Further, property taxes like we have in Florida are BULL _ _ _ _!!! Every state that has property taxes could raise the sales tax .02 per dollar and the revenue created would more than offset the income generated by the loss of property taxes. Now (in Florida for example) the tourists can pay some of that money to rebuild our roads, etc. (since they help destroy and use those roads now) This will reduce the overall cost of home ownership (total payment) by 1/3 in many cases. Buyers who can’t afford to buy, now will be able to and as they buy those starter homes, everyone can move back up the food chain!

After the market gets healthy again, we can only hope that the government can stay out of the business of trying to get every American to own a home. (How did that work out for you President Clinton?). The TRUTH IS, some people will NEVER own a home and will be lifetime renters. America, there is nothing wrong with that! Everyone does not need to buy or own a home for America to be great! We just need responsible leadership that understands economics and how the system works. 2012 seems really far off to me, but November 2010 is just a few weeks away! I can FEEL the market recovering now!

http://www.headofrealestate.com

The Death of The Open House

I remember in 1991 when you walked into a real estate office and it was a nice quiet place to work. When you needed to know about a listing, you walked into your office and pulled up an MLS BOOK to see if the listing you took three weeks to make it into this book. THIS is the reason Realtors did “OPEN HOUSES” on listings. If you took a listing on March 3rd, your property would not hit the MLS until the April MLS Book. This is why we took listings for 7 months or 13 months because it took 30 days to get you into MLS (depending on when you listed). We did “BROKER OPEN HOUSE” on Tuesday to let Realtors see the house (because it would not be in the MLS Book for a few weeks) and we did public open houses on weekends for the same reason, no MLS visibility yet.

As we moved to the mid 1990′s, that quiet sound was gone in Realty offices across America replaced by the constant sound of the DOT MATRIX printers and the computer age in real estate. You heard at least 3-4 of those printers going at it from sun up to sun down.

By the late 1990′s to early 2000′s, most MLS information was on a Windows based format and the use of laser printers and to a less efficient degree, those color “ink” machines took over. Virtual tours were born and to me, it seemed like a long time, the market, tech wise really remained steady, without any REAL useful marketing tools made available.

That was before now. That was before I discovered EXIT Realty and my new toolbox of marketing products. E-Listings and Exit Promo Shop. NOW, I can take a listing, take the pictures at the listing and go to my office and within 30-45 minutes I can have a menu of tools available. I can print a FULL COLOR GLOSSY, four page brochure in Promo Shop, I can pump out my “JUST LISTED” postcards for the community, I can e-mail that same flyer to top Realtors in the area and my database and I can do a few more things. My 1-800 number in E-Listings gives my recorded message to potential Buyers of my listings (under my name rider is the 1-800 recorded info line on this listing) and the buyer can hit a button and get my E-Tour right on their Smart Phone in seconds! My listings have a website dedicated to their house (www.whatever the listing address is) with downloadable flyers of the house, mapping to and from the house and other information. I can burn the E-Tour on a CD right from the program, label as well. All of this is sindicated to all major search engines with a click of a button. Social networks like Linkedin, Facebook and Myspace? Upload right to those sites as well. How about on-line tours and e-magazine? I could write for another 2 hours on those products alone!

Open House? Are you kidding? Why waste time waiting for a buyer when you can find 20 of them with the products I just mentioned? Since EXIT REALTY is the only major franchise born AFTER the tech revolution, we are MILES ahead of the competition on the marketing front.

Nobody offers less fees, more than 100% commissions, and all the marketing tools your mind can cover. Nothing compares to Exit! I am going on my 20th year in the business and I am not talking sour grapes here! In 2008 I was #1 WORLDWIDE with ERA and when I saw what EXIT had to offer me, I could not leave fast enough! I skipped the ERA Convention and did not even get my award in 2009 because I was on my way……. DANCING my way over to EXIT! Best decision I have ever made! If you would STOP looking out for your broker, who is also looking out for your broker and look at what is best for YOU and YOUR FAMILY, you will join OUR FAMILY here at Exit. The more you learn, the better decision you can make

http://www.headofrealestate.com

USF & Jim Leavitt

This Sept. 26, 2009, file photo shows University of South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt arguing an officials call during an NCAA college football game against Florida State, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Yesterday I was SHOCKED to see USF (South Florida in Tampa) fire Jim Leavitt over an alledged “choking” of a player.  He is THE guy who put USF on the map as a football program and is the ONLY head coach they have ever had.  Everyone knows he is short-tempered on the football field but for USF to terminate his “as if” he was going to hurt a football player in the locker room at halftime of a football game with the entire team and staff there as witnesses.

Jim Leavitt is a pillar of the Tampa Bay community and has volunteered his time and energy into many causes in Tampa. I saw him last year at a United Way benefit.

What is wrong with football in Tampa Bay?  First The Buc’s let Jon Gruden go and we got………..errrrrrr ………. oh yea, Raheem Morris! We went from play-off contenders every year to 3-13. Morris got another year, Gruden goes 9-7 and gets fired. Go figure.

Now Leavitt. On the verge of the BIG TIME. Ranked in the top 10 six times in recent years before falling late in the season.  How are they going to recruit higher quality players from THE Gators, THE Seminoles and THE Hurricanes in the Florida hotbed of talent? Who would go to USF now?

Unless they have Steve Spurrier or Jon Gruden waiting in the wings (and they don’t because they don’t have that kind of money to spend on a coach), I say letting Leavitt go will turn out to be the biggest mistake USF has ever make in their athletic history.

http://www.headofrealestate.com

Exit Convention in Washington D.C.

Just got back from a week of fun and learning at the Exit Realty Convention in Washington D.C. and I am just blown away by the entire organization. From the regional owners to the trainers to the Brokers and agents to management and staff.  I spent about 18 years with ERA and went to many a convention, but never have I experienced the overwhelming SUPPORT the Exit organization gives to its membership!

I learned more in 6 days than I have in the past 6 YEARS! Exit Realty really cares about US and my move to Exit was the best decision I could have made for my family…… for my retirement!

I am just blown away by the Forbes family, by the support I get from them, all the way to the top of the food chain in Exit.  I feel part of the family, like I belong.  That is how Exit treats their agents

That was before they rolled out the red carpet for ALL of us in Washington D.C.  Steve Morris is a first class of a man and a GREAT leader and a great motivator.  I could not believe the access we all had at the convention.  The breakout sessions were the best I have ever been to and a special call out to Valerie Reyes who just blew the crowd away with her “Summit” session.

If you are burned out with the same old same old, give Exit a look!  My Team was #1 worldwide with ERA in 2008, like #4 or 5 the year before.  I was never treated like anything other than another number, another fool that paid them $30,000 to $40,000 a year in franchise fees and nobody knows your name!

Moving to Exit was the best decision I have EVER made and as I watched Steve Morris hand out a $100,000 check (like they do every year) to the lucky guy whose name was randomly pulled out of a barrel, I thought to myself, “wow, it’s nice to belong to a company that actually gives something back to the agents that made the company what it is.”

To learn more about Exit Realty, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com