My father was a semi-truck driver. For many years he would work 60+ hours a week and even sleep over the wheel of his truck because back in the day semi-trucks didn’t have sleepers. He would also help unload the truck and get paid an extra $1 for every 1000lbs of freight he unloaded. That was work. The good thing is I grew up learning what work was all about, the bad thing is I grew up learning that as “work.” It wasn’t until I was much older that I learned and fully understood that leverage is the new hustle. It took many years of failing forward to understand you grow and expand by leveraging your weaknesses so you can lean on your strengths. This applies to many aspects of business, and no greater business than real estate. If you want to truly grow in 2020 and hit that production or GCI number, there has to be changes and additions to what you did in 2019.
If you have been in real estate or any sort of business for a length of time, more than likely you have been told to create a business plan. It might have been written on a note pad, or a large intricate plan that had weekly, monthly, and yearly activities with goals. Regardless of how it was completed, you had a “plan” for success on paper to see every single day. In reality, many of us get really busy, and the real estate business plan in 2020 becomes an after-thought to what we are trying to achieve in the new year. This is a mistake, as failing to plan is planning to fail. When it comes to your 2020 business plan, try to incorporate other activities and goals other than trying to hit a transaction number.
This might not be one of my more popular blog posts with Realtors, but there is a harsh reality to face. The days of six percent Realtor commission is in real trouble. As a real estate agent no matter the market, you are likely already fighting for your full 3%. In the DC/Northern Virginia market, 2.5% (or less) is very much normal. There are many factors that go into why Realtors are being asked to lower commissions and I will dig into them shortly. The truth of the matter is technology and other factors start to erode profits and how others make money. We have seen this in other industries. The mortgage industry, for example, was completely revamped after the housing crash. The main changes were in terms of mortgage pricing and how loan officers received compensation. I feel the same type of change is already occurring in the real estate industry.
I want to begin this blog by stating ” I am NOT the greatest Title Sales Rep in the world.” This isn’t going to be about my accomplishments or how I built my business. Instead, this is about something that affects every organically grown Title Company and Title Sales Rep who works their butt off to earn the business of a producing Realtor and to have it potentially taken away on a technicality.
I think we all can admit changes and disruptions have been making their way into the real estate industry. It seems every few months some innovation is trying to change how we do business. The move to the internet and technology–which I’ve talked about for the last 7 years on this site seems to be leading the way. The difference is I talk about how to leverage and use tech to expand your footprint and grow market share. This new form of tech disruption involves getting rid of the Realtor all together. This affects everyone in our industry in many major markets and soon to be nationwide. The iBuyer pandemic is sweeping the country, so much so, that it was the “item of value” mailer for all Brian Buffini coaching clients this month. If Buffini is telling his clients to push this information to their databases, that means something. Here is what Realtors need to know about ibuyers and how they can best educate their clients.
As real estate agents, you are mostly taught to market back to your sphere of influence, friends, family, etc. You should be marketing to these people to get qualified buyer and sellers leads, but there is another segment of potential clients that most Realtors don’t think to market to. People who are vendors, and professional referral sources in similar businesses who help to create business.
In this blog, I’m going to discuss how to create another silo of inbound referrals from people you are more than likely neglecting. It’s not a strategy most agents use, but when I have brought it up to my fellow clients, they raise their eyebrows and a light comes on. Let me share it with you!
There are three major pieces to the Title business that affect the real estate transaction. The first piece is sales and marketing…” business development people”. We are the “gas in the car” and make things GO on the front end of things. The last piece is our closing department. The last people a Realtor and home buyer/seller see in the transaction. This person goes over the closing documents and makes it as fun and uplifting experience as possible. The middle piece is the long lost hero of the Title business. They are the Title Company escrow officer. These people work their butt off doing everything necessary to get your transaction to the finish line. They get little love, yet bare the brunt of all parties in the transaction.
One weird issue in our business that we deal with is how to get an earnest money deposit check to a Title Company. In some states, real estate offices hold the EMD, but due to potential liability issues, the trend has moved to the Title Company holding EMD checks. In the past, we have always had clients drop off checks, mail them in, wire the money, or yours truly would drive to the Realtor’s office and pick them up. In the age of being able to scan or take a picture of checks and have them deposited into bank accounts–something had to be done to make things easier for our Realtor clients.
I was in a large real estate office recently, meeting with two new clients, and it was teaming with people walking up and down halls, doing all kinds of “Realtor” activities. I had a thought as I walked to my meeting room…” most of these people aren’t going to be successful long term.” Many of them need help and guidance to not go the way of the dodo bird. It seems every month something is trying to disrupt the real estate industry and change upon change is coming right at us. Many people forget to dodge and weave when these adaptations and changes find our business. These people are heading towards extinction in the real estate business, but they don’t know it. Here are 5 traits of the soon to be extinct Realtor.
Every month, there are thousands of new Realtors entering the profession. Statistically, most new real estate agents won’t make it a long career–many won’t make it past the first 18 months. Why? There are many reasons, but the main reason is new agents don’t know how to generate their own clients. This is information they don’t teach in real estate school. You pass a test and they say “good luck!” This is also why many new agents join teams so they can gain experience, work with active clients, and learn to generate their own business with guidance from a team leader. If you don’t want to join a team or work at a brokerage where teams don’t exist, then you better be a self-starter and eager to become a marketing king. I want to cover some of the basic ways new real estate agents can have a banner first couple years and get their business off the ground by generating their own clients at zero to little cost.