I have been with Exit Realty THREE YEARS NOW! Often you hear people in Exit talk about is the, residual income we all get from sponsoring agents into Exit. Everyone wants to bring agents into our company for the single level residual money, but as wonderful as Single Level Residuals are…….I think we lose focus on why our company as a whole is so much BETTER than the other brands.

After 18 years with ERA, I finished my last year with ERA, #1 worldwide for them. I realized then that I had spent 18 years climbing a ladder that was on the wrong building. I wanted to come to Exit so bad that I skipped the ERA Convention and did no get my award because I wanted to leave ASAP and start this new chapter in my career. Looking back, I spent close to $100,000 in franchise fees my last three years with ERA. What did I get for that? Access to a VIP tent at the ERA convention where I could get free coffee that lesser producers did not have access to. Management did not know my name despite consistently being in the top ten for them worldwide, year after year after year? I often wonder what kept me there so long? Why do agents not see the light? Why are we so loyal to people who clearly benefit from having us, but we don’t get anything in return? In Exit………. E V E R Y B O D Y WINS!

I wrote a blog in 2009 that if you go back and read it here on WordPress came 100% true (so far) for Tampa. I stated that ERA could not survive long term because the system they use is outdated, broken and will not work in this NEW realty market we are in. Well, in 2011, there are ZERO ERA franchises left in Tampa. One, ERA The Polo Group, was one of the most successful in ERA and the broker, Mario Polo is one of the finest real estate minds you will ever know. He did not fail ERA, ERA failed him by not changing with the times. Most of the major badges fail to look at the overall picture. THE AGENTS ARE THE COMPANY AND YOU BETTER TAKE CARE OF THEM.

With Exit, and this is the point of this blog, you get STATE OF THE ART MARKETING TOOLS, you get the best trainers in the industry and the level of support is so much better than I could have imagined. EXIT REALTY is the Rolls Royce of realty brands. Steve Morris is THE MIND of real estate and has been the leader of our badge since he gave birth to her over 12 years ago. With ERA, I thought CEO stood for “Career Ending Opportunity” because every time they announce a new CEO, they were gone before I could remember their name. At Exit, we have a solid foundation, solid leadership, solid marketing materials, leaders that DO HAVE A CLUE and are in front of the curve instead of always chasing it. Exit e-Listings, Exit Promo Shop are the best marketing tools in the industry bar none. Jeff Lobb is 100% on time with what is happening in the word of technology and we all know that changes hourly, Valerie Reyes can teach you how to bring in more agents and secure your and your family’s future, Bob McKinnen, Tami Bonell, Joyce, Steve Morris and on and on! Hands on management that truly cares about the brand, the agents and the image of what they are building.

I landed on real estate paradise when I landed on Exit. Yes, we have the residuals…………… but we have much, much more to offer than “just” residual income. I’m proud to be here! EXiT OWNS THE NEXT DECADE and beyond!


Listing Agent Must Accompany?

The dumbest thing I see in MLS today is “Listing Agent Must Accompany Showings” in MLS. If you are a Seller, here is a message from Vincent Arcuri: I will NOT be showing your house to my potential Buyers.

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Seller: You are asking why your Realtor attending the showings is not a good idea? I can give you a truck load of reasons why they SHOULD NOT be there but I will keep it short. #1) Nobody in real estate is ever on time. Either I will be running late because the buyer took longer than expected to look at each house or the agent meeting us there is running late so all the showings get pushed back. #2) Your Realtor wants to tell my buyer about every little detail of the house “here is the master bedroom” and “look at that chair rail” and drags what should be a regular showing into this 45 minute DRAMA of an agent trying to show off their real estate knowledge. #3) NOTE TO THOSE REALTORS: Buyers are emotional. They will not buy a house over another because yours is better built and the trusses are commercial grade. They like the pool, they like the location, they think this is the coolest house for the money? SOLD. You being there is not making one ounce of difference in the sale price or if my buyer is going to purchase the house or not. #4) When my buyer is late and you throw attitude around, it further puts your listing in the doghouse.

Locboxes today are safe, effective can be set for showings during certain hours and have the security needed to protect sellers. I set mine from 9:00AM to 8:00PM and deactivate the box at night. After each Agent that opens the box, I will get all the data on-line from MLS. I leave as much information as possible about the home IN THE HOME for any interested buyers to take with them. My listings are EASY to SHOW. That makes them SHOW MORE and the chances of a higher sales price and a faster time to sell are much better.

EGO should be left out of the process and that is what some agents are trying to do when showing up for every showing. Some top producers not have their assistants show up for them! AS IF! Who do WE as AGENTS make the home selling process so difficult on each other! We talk about the banks and how horrible they handle the short sales and REO’s and we do no better as a group.

Making listing difficult to show is a mistake and is not the best representation for your seller or buyers in the marketplace. We can do better.


Remember 1987

Do you remember the 1987 Iran-Contra hearing when then Senator Al Gore was hammering Oliver North about his $50,000 security system he had in his home.  Mr. Gore wanted to know why he needed such a system. Mr. North told him her had been threatened by a terrorist named Osama Bin Laden. Mr. Gore did not know who that was and asked Mr. North what HE thought should happen to Bin Laden and Mr. North replied that he should be assassinated before he did serious harm to the USA. 

I remember at that time the media was all over Oliver North as some sort of militant radical.  Fast forward to 2010 and look at us now.  How soon America forgets. 


Well, Well, Well (my opinion Blog)

For the record, this Blog is the OPINION of Vince Arcuri and does not necessarily reflect the OPINION of Exit Realty other Agents or Firms affiliated with Exit.


Early this year (2009) I wrote a Blog about Exit Realty and franchise fees.  I was with ERA at the time and boy did it cause a stink in the (ERA) real estate community.  An ERA broker from SC wrote to my old Broker complaining that Exit Brokers were sending this to ERA Agents in the area.  If you read the Blog (http://headofrealestate.com/wordpress/?paged=4 titled The Real Estate World Will Change), I predicted that some major franchise brands that have become household names across the USA would be out of business soon because those business models are antiquated and can’t survive the economic downturn with such high franchise fees being charged to the Brokers and Agents.  I felt like collecting franchise fees WITHOUT A CAP was wrong and those firms were being greedy and they would not survive.

I was crucified by many for posting the Blog.  Now, eight short months later, not one, but TWO of Tampa’s oldest ERA Franchises are no longer affiliated with ERA, including my old firm that I left when I joined Exit Realty.  ERA Russell Adams Realty is now just Russell Adams Realty and ERA Gulfcoast Realty is simply Gulfcoast Realty.  Now if the owners of those firms,  two VERY smart businessmen thought the 6%, 7%, 8% franchise fee was worth what they were getting in return why did they not renew / drop the brand badge?  If you read the original Blog, I said that IF those unnecessary,  franchise fees (my opinion)were worth what you were getting in return, why would you complain?  I know what I got for my franchise fees (all $56,000 or so of them Team Arcuri paid in 2008)…………… a trip to Exitville, Exit Realty.

After 19 years in this business I have seen all kinds of ideas, discount brokerages, independents and the like.  Exit might be 11 years old, but the idea behind the company is as fresh today as it was in 1998.  Everyone took a little hiccup when the market fell, however I think in another ten years, Exit will be the largest real estate brand in the world.  They take care of the agents, they train them right, they don’t kill you on franchise fees and it is a WIN / WIN / WIN for the parent company, the broker and most importantly, the AGENT.

I still believe that there is time for those large brands to change the way they do business and start (my opinion again) taking care of the Agents again, but time is running out.  Like the old USFL spring football league, a good idea sometimes take too long and before the right changes can be made, it is too late. An 8% franchise fee would go a long way in an Agent’s marketing budget and would help them sell more real estate. That would help listings sell, the franchise can offset the loss in revenue and Brokers make more money by the increase in sales.  Is that not what owning a franchise is all about?  Making money!

To learn more about the Exit system or Exit Formula, check out this video http://headofrealestate.com/videos_sponsoring.html.

You Can’t Handle The Truth


Sellers can’t handle the truth (75% of them).  I was searching the MLS today and I was looking through the Expired and Withdrawn listings from 2009.  I saw many listings that I went on the listing appointment on and did not get the listing because I was truthful.  One home, five houses down from me, the same home (M & I Bordeaux) model as mine.  They owe over $500,000.  The market for that home is now about $400,000.  Eighteen months ago, I wanted to list at $475,000 when the market was there.  They were “appalled” at my low price.  They said the reason I sell so many homes in that community is because I am a “lowball” agent. 


Here we are eighteen months later.  They are on their third agent. The first one (who they said chuckled at my CMA) listed at $599,950.  A decent “profit” for the seller…… J U S T what they W A N T E D to hear!  Six months later, after agent #1 look a “real job” and had to get out of real estate, they listed with agent #2 at $540,000.  At L E A S T they could “break even” on the home, J U S T  what they N E E D E D to hear.  Six months later, after they fired that agent because no buyers were looking, they listed with Agent #3 at $475,000….. MY original suggestion.  Too bad the market kept creeping down.  Now I noticed the home failed to sell again.

I can repeat a similar scenario in this community with at least ten other houses in the past two years.  The community gossip? Oh that Vince Arcuri wants to “give” houses away, that is why he sells so many houses in here. 

I would like to say, I don’t “give” anything away.  QUAILITY REALTORS will report the ACTUAL market to sellers.  The SMART SELLERS list at market value and sell their home in ANY, ANY, ANY market. 

Some Sellers just keep interviewing Realtors until they find one who tells them the stupid price they want to hear.  They think it’s some sort of auction, like we are “bidding” to buy the home.  Buyers will comparative shop and easily see that certain houses are overpriced!

I just closed one in Cheval for $700,000.  Neighbors are complaining that I “gave” that one away.  Really? It was listed with another agent for $1,000,000, then $950,000, then I took it over about a year ago at $875,000 then $850,000, then $799,950, then $750,000 and we finally, after 77 showings over a year, we got an offer accepted at $700,000.  The most aggressive marketing you have EVER seen went into marking that home.  The Seller admitted that they wish they would have taken my advice on pricing at the beginning.  The ONLY time they went to the price I suggested was the LAST priced reduction.  They were behind the curve until this last price reduction.

Sellers need to LOOK at those CMA’s!  If an experienced agent gives you a price recommendation, seriously look at it.  Pricing is key.  Don’t crucify the Realtor who is honest with you.  The agent who tells you “any price” will just field Buyer calls off your sign and then go sell one of my listings that ARE priced right.  They make money off your home while you keep the FREE billboard on your front yard generating business for them!

To learn more about how to price your home, visit my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com and look at the Pricing Video at the top of the Home Screen Page.

If you can handle the truth………. Price your home RIGHT and it sells.  It may not be what you want to hear, but if you price it at the CURRENT MARKET, it will sell.

Attitude is EVERYTHING

I have Agents everywhere ask me how we survived the 2007 -2008 market in Tampa Florida (one of the worst markets in the nation in 2007 according to Forbes Magazine). In a word, ATTITUDE. We kept a positive attitude and we refused to let our market share take the hit. I knew that SOME people were going to buy houses in Tampa in 2007 -2008 and that some houses were going to sell in that market. I just continued to tell myself and members of my Team that we were not going to be one of those Agents who let the market take control of US. We worked harder, we worked smarter and we worked longer. I know many real estate trainers (usually the ones who have never sold real estate before) tell us how to do it, but they never have done it. Sometimes in this business, depending on your schedule and the market, we must put in those 18-20 hour days. That is simply the life of a good Realtor. If you survived 2007 -2008 in Florida, you did not do it by working a 5 hour day.

We farmed more because the competition stopped farming, we went after FSBO’s because there were less agents doing it and we attacked all Expired and Withdrawn listings in our area. We asked for price reductions on our current inventory until they were priced well enough to SELL. Remember, it is JUST STUPID TO SPEND ALL OF YOUR TIME TRYING TO GET NEW LISTINGS WHEN YOU HAVE 15-20 LISTINGS NOW THAT NEED PRICE REDUCTIONS! GET YOUR SELLER TO ADJUST THOSE OVERPRICED LISTINGS NOW! We did that in 2007 -2008 as well. Keeping a positive and upbeat mind set (read the book “Born To Be Exceptional” by Steve Morris if you are a Realtor). Tell yourself that you are good and that you will be a success! Convince yourself FIRST that your listings are salable. If YOU don’t think your listing is good and priced right, how is anyone else, let alone a qualified BUYER going to think so? They smell your ATTITUDE when you meet them at the property when you show it to them.             ATTITUDE!

In 2007, my Team ranked #4 in the world with ERA with about $30,000,000 in sales and in 2008, my Team ranked #1 in the world with ERA with $40,000,000 in sales. This with myself, one licenced assistant and two buyers agents to handle the phones. We all talk and reminisce about 2005, but our (Team Arcuri) sales figures were up in 2007 and 2008 and there were only two agents in Tampa Bay that saw increases in sales from that 2005 peak (please excuse me if you were a new agent that sold 2 houses in 2005 and then sold 5 in 2008, I’m talking to the big boys and girls here) in that time period. ATTITUDE is how we did and will continue to do it! The market was in the tank, yet we ranked #1 in the world with our former brand (and trust me, my former “brand” did absolutely ZERO to help us get there).

With Exit, we have continued our pace (if we can get our numbers posted in MEMO this millennium!) and we are even more excited to land with a company that shares our enthusiasm and that shares our “ATTITUDE” with us. We landed on VERY solid ground.

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

Sellers, USE A LOCKBOX if You Want To Sell

I find it 100% crazy that Sellers don’t want to use a lockbox in this day and age.  What REALLY blows my mind are agents who actually propose the idea of not using a lockbox.  Instead, they, or a member of their staff attend the showing. HOW STUPID.  I don’t even show listings that don’t have a lockbox.  Those are the FIRST “X” I put on a property, the one that says “Listing Agent Must Accompany.”  AS IF they have control over my buyer.

How about this, your buyer is behind schedule (sound familiar Realtors?).  Now this other agent is blowing up my phone asking “where are you? You said between 1 and 1:30, I have another showing after this.”  Now the buyer shows up and they have 100% attitude and rush the buyer out. Maybe the buyer liked the house, but now he is mad at the other agent and the innocent Seller, who was miss-advised by the listing agent is the victim.

Ego and control issues. An electronic lockbox is safe and effective.  The ingress and egress is documented and e-mailed to the listing agent so they can call and ask for feedback.  The are made for this scenario, for selling houses.  They can be set to not be functional for a period of time (after 8:00 P.M. and active again at 10:00 A.M. for example.  There is an additional code they can add for even more security…… but those listings with a “CBS” code are the SECOND ones to get an “X” off the showing list.

Lockboxes are to make houses easy to show so they are easy to sell.  If the listing agent is trying to control the buyer, MY BUYER, how difficult are they going to be to work with. A lockbox is a MUST if you want as many qualified buyers in your home as possible. This will result in a faster sale and for more money.  It is a proven FACT.

For more information on Tampa Real Estate, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com