#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

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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.

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

Why Not Buy Now?

Interest rates are at an ALL TIME LOW. Prices are at a 10 year low. Inventory is being bought by investors who are not flipping, but HOLDING. You can buy a home as an investment, put 20% down and rent it for far more than the mortgage payment.

What is always comical to me is when all of those “sheep investors” come out to play “big shot” like in the Stock Market boom 12-14 years ago when all of those lose “Day traders” came out of the woodwork. They were the big shots one day, then begging to dump the houses they bought when the stock market bubble broke. The slithered over to the real estate side……. 2004-2006 boom in real estate and everyone became a big shot again buying new construction to flip. The bubble broke in real estate and 2009 to today, the “Short Sale” guru’s (same guys) are trying to buy those “Short Sales” and not disclose to the lender that there is a higher offer on the table and they think they are NOT going to go to JAIL? (a few of those guys doing it in Tampa, driving a Lamborgini one day, behind bars now).

REALTORS: Out of the woodwork new agents in 2005 became overnight stars! The market crashed and they did not know how to sell real estate for real, so now they are out of the business. Here come the new group……. the ones that know more than all of us!

What the general consumer needs to understand is that a VETERAN BROKER and VETERAN AGENTS, the ones that are here for the long run are the most stable source of information and guidance from the jungle of this real estate mess! Check the resume’ of your agent before you follow them off the cliff. the real estate cliff that so many sheep have fallen off of since the beginning of time. There is money to be made, slow and steady if you follow the lead of an experienced agent!

The Power of Video

The video revolution is upon us.  It is so crazy to me!  My real estate coach, Allen Pendley first introduced me to video in 1994, well over a decade before it’s time! What foresight!   I had a VHS tape that I used to give my sellers as a pre-listing tool so I could sell myself before the actual face to face meeting with the client.  My conversion rate went up by over 50% the first six months I started using video and I was hooked!  From that day forward, I have been on the video bandwagon.  Back then, I used to order those VHS tapes by the truckload. Every FSBO, every expired, every withdrawn listing had my video. I sent the video to all the news stations, sports franchises, sports agents, politicians, past clients, neighbors of houses I listed, open house giveaways to potential clients. Anyone who would take one, got one!  I WORKED THEN and it works even better now.

In 2010, clients EXPECT you to have products like video (now in digital format as well as CD and DVD as opposed to VHS tape) and upscale websites (shout out to Dave Mikes at Bedrock Media who designed my website, as well as many other agents across the USA) to showcase your marketing.  If you can’t outshine the other Realtors your client is interviewing, how can they reasonably expect you to make their house outshine the thousands of other houses for sale in MLS?

Agents, if you are not on board, join the video revolution today. The market is already shifting back to the good side and if the last recession told us one thing it was to aggressively market yourself during the recession.  I saw an ad the other day that noted that companies that aggressively marketing their product in the recession of the early 90’s saw a 400% increase in business when the market returned.  Those who waited until the market recovery before aggressively advertising saw only a 30% increase in business.

Now is not only the time to make your 2010 business plan, it’s time to add video into your business and make your plan for this new decade we are just starting.  The money is just waiting for you.

To see how I use video in my business, go to http://www.headofrealestate.com

Short Sales: Some Realtors Hurting Sellers?

Everyday as I comb the MLS, I see Expired Listings from Realtors that were “Short Sales” or as we called them in the late 80’s and early 90’s, “Short Pays” (after the Savings & Loan Scandal). There is NO WAY that after 365 days OR MORE that those listing should not have been successfully sold. Certainly there are exceptions (I have one with an AMEX lien that will not go away and the lien has to be paid by the Buyer outside of closing) that is taking longer than expected and there are exceptions to this rule, however my issue is THIS:

An inexperienced Realtor will take this Short Sale listing knowing they don’t know how to put a deal of this magnitude together. They fill the homeowner up with the “Yes We Can” speech (and we all know how good that is working for our country) but they really don’t know what to do or where to start. And WHO wants to help them in their office without getting 50% of the deal?

The BEST thing an agent that is not a veteran of Short Sales, to do is to give this listing to another agent for a referral fee so the homeowner can escape the mess they are in. That is the best thing to do for the client. Pretending to be a Short Sale Expert when in fact you are not is against the ethics of our business and gives ALL REALTORS a bad name.

We need to clean this mess up and come down hard on those agents who don’t know what they are doing and either train them like we do at Exit Realty or help them, regardless of if we get a cut or not. And I’m not talking just to new agents. In Tampa, many of the Luxury Home Realtors of yesteryear are giving Short Sales a try. With luxury homes in such poor demand, they think they can learn something new. One Luxury Home Specialist (self-proclaimed the greatest Realtor who ever lived) only closed 10… T E N houses last year! His active listings reads like a who’s who of Tampa and he has a HUGE number of ACTIVE listings, but he averages LESS than one closing a month. But WHO are they helping by giving the perception that they are something they are not to sellers? Some of this falls on the homeowner who picks up a magazine and assumes that agents who have those listings must be good so they list with them, not knowing that the agent they select may have Active Listing Inventory that FAR outweighs the number of homes they sell in a given year.

Homeowners need to investigate how this business is run before they select an agent to sell their home ESPECIALLY if they owe more than the home is worth. The truth is, they may not even qualify for a Short Sale. We need to be honest with the homeowners and tell them the TRUTH, not what they want to hear so we can just land another listing. It is not right and we need to police this internally and keep the market going in the positive direction it is going in now. I’m tired of cleaning up other Agents messes.

What say you?

http://www.headofrealestate.com/http://www.headofrealestate.com

Why Exit will Be The Largest Brokerage

NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that by 2019 Exit will be the largest brokerage firm in North America.

I have now been selling real estate in Florida since 1991.   I feel like I made all the right moves since then except one critical mistake.  I failed to see or comprehend the “Exit formula” when it first came to Florida around 1997.  While I was recruiting agents for my old brokers, I could have been receiving my 10% residuals from those other agents instead of getting a $20 gift card from Starbucks.  I look at Valerie Reyes, Jaret Whitney, Wayne Furlong and countless others in the Exit system who did grasp the system and wonder what could and should have been for me and more importantly, my family

I think of the $56,000 my Team paid in Franchise fees to ERA in 2008, instead of the minimal Exit  fees (that are capped at a fair and reasonable rate).

I think how stupid I was for not taking advantage of the first class, best I have ever (EVER) seen training.  I was working on a brochure on my new listing and thought to myself, what if I had this tool available to me years ago?

I think of the times I thought I was doing good to get a 70%, 80% and 90% split.  When I left ERA I was on a 95% split (minus the 6% franchise fee for a NET of 89%).  How stupid of me not to think OUTSIDE the box.  Now I’m looking at a 70% split with Exit, added to just a few agents I brought in and it is easy, very easy AFTER LESS THAN ONE YEAR IN THE SYSTEM to see a 110%, 120% split. 

I did not understand the Single Level concept.  BETTER BELIEVE I KNOW IT NOW. For those who were like me let me explain it like we were 10 years old.  YOU bring an agent into the Exit system (your office, the office across town or the one in Canada) and YOU get 10% from every sale that agent makes PER YEAR up to $10,000 PER YEAR (Every Year).  You DO NOT SPLIT THAT with anyone else.  It does not go “down the line” with each person getting .25.  It is all about YOU.  You bring in 5 agents who average $75,000 per year and that is $37,500 per year. The next year you bring in two more agents who make $100,000 per year and you make $57,000 per year BEFORE you add what you make from listing and selling real estate. 

I wonder what Valerie Reyes split is? 600%, 650% ?

If you are a Realtor and you have an Exit office in your vicinity, I’m asking you to do something for your family.  Take a look at the Exit formula.  Call the broker of that office and check them out.  You may be 100% happy in your current office, but if you could bring a few agents WITH you to Exit, you can get the 10% residuals, bring the agents you like and help them bring in agents.  After all, WHERE are they going after they have 5-6 agents under them?

The BEST PART is this.  Because other agents make money by bringing you in, top agents are motivated to tell you EVERYTHING they know because they want to help you get to a minimum of $100K so they can get  the most money.  If you don’t make a ton of money, they don’t benefit!  Instead of the top agents hiding, they are helping you grow.

Don’t wait ten more years before you see this.  In ten years you can be in Nassau……. collecting your six figure residuals.  To learn more about this exit system, click this link http://headofrealestate.com/videos_sponsoring.html

Or go to my website at http://www.headofrealestate.com to learn more.  Stop wasting your future and join Exit as soon as you can. 

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Also, if you like the website and want one like mine, email my web designer Dave Mikes at dmikes@bedrockmedia.com. He is THE BEST.