There are thousands and thousands of licensed Realtors in the US. Many are “solo agents,” meaning they are on their own. They show homes, market their business, lead generate, order signs, and work with buyers and sellers. Though I named several tasks they do, it is minor in comparison to ALL the responsibilities they truly have. Not that long ago, most Realtors went the way of the solo real estate agent. There was no Social Media, the Internet, YouTube and more to take into consideration when marketing your business. The ability to network, send out TONS of direct mail, door-knocking, and even have the largest advertisement in the local paper were some of the main marketing techniques. In today’s real estate climate, “Teams” seem to be taking over as the most efficient way to expand your real estate business to huge proportions. Does the solo real estate agent have a glass ceiling or are there ways to break the glass ceiling?
It’s a new year, which means new goals and the implementation of new ideas. Having been in the Title business since 2005 and interacting with thousands of Realtors, many like to keep their business models and success secrets close to the chest. I admire people who take the time to share their story and how they built their business, whether that be in real estate or anything else. Last year, at a Realtor “Master Mind Event” I met Karen Briscoe from Keller Williams in McLean, VA. She had just finished writing a real estate book entitled“Real Estate Success in 5 Minutes a Day-Secrets of a Top Agent Revealed.” I found this as pretty remarkable, since most high producing Realtors don’t want to share how they became so successful, let alone in a 400 page book!
I want to begin by saying Realtors are not “forced” to use the joint venture Title Company. With full access to the brokerage’s agents, office meetings, events, and a push from the Broker, the business capture rate on the real estate joint ventures is fairly high. Joint ventures between Title Companies and Realtor brokerages have existed for quite some time and are fairly prevalent today in the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area. Perhaps they exist in your market as well and maybe you currently participate in one. BUT…what if real estate joint ventures were told to disband and can no longer exist–effective tomorrow?
I don’t usually go “political,” but this news story caught my eye today. We have heard that Ben Carson was in the mix to become our nation’s next Housing Secretary but nothing was confirmed. That confirmation occurred today. It seems that in the new Trump cabinet, having little to no experience in the field which you are appointed means little. It appears the winning formula to gaining a place in the upcoming administration is “loyalty” to Trump in the past and ongoing. With that said, Trump seems to be also focusing on top-level professionals and plugging them into positions where they can lend their expertise. Does that mean that having little to zero leadership with government matters? And what does that mean for our real estate market and the people in urban areas who need help? Well…it could mean a lot.
I was at a real estate event this past week and I had a conversation with a top producing agent. She told me she recently went on a listing appointment and the sellers had interviewed 4 agents. She was the last one in the door. She went on and explained that the sellers wanted her to lower her commission from 3% to 2.5% or even 2%. The previous 3 agents that presented before her ALL agreed to lower their commission. I asked her if this is happening more and more…sellers asking Realtors to lower their commission? She said that “Yes” she had seen it more and more over the last couple years. Why are sellers asking Realtors to lower their commission? I believe there are many factors in play. Let’s talk about those factors and how a real estate agent can best educate, and add value to sellers to earn that 3%.
In any job, the feeling of “burnout” hits from time to time. Even those over zealous Realtors, Lenders, and Title Company professionals who rave how much they “love their craft” have hit the wall. That feeling where fatigue hits and we need that extra motivation to keep going at a high level. I have been in the Title Industry since 2005 and there have been several times where I needed to step back and take a deep breath, or find an outside positive influence that was rejuvenating. What do you do when the wall hits and the feeling of burnout surrounds? There are many ways Realtors can seek motivation during these frustrating times, or when they are looking for positive solutions, not only their business, but in life. Here is how Realtors can stay motivated and avoid burn out!
Surround Yourself with Positive People
The economy is improving. Jobs have increased and the unemployment rate has fallen to 5%. This is all great news for our country and real estate. It also means that the Federal Reserve is more inclined to raise interest rates. The “Fed” has had interest rates very low for quite some time. This has allowed homeowners to refinance at even lower rates, and buyers to take advantage of lower mortgage payments. That could all be altered a bit with a December rate hike when the Federal Reserve meets on December 15th and 16th of this year. What does this potential rate hike mean for your buyer clients? It means several things, but the important thing is how do you get your buyer clients motivated enough to make a move before this impending December rate hike?
An agreement has been reached so our local MRIS portals listings to Zillow. How did this happen? For a while now there have been rumblings that Zillow was in trouble. Big Trouble. It all began when a man you may have heard of named Rupert Murdoch, who owns News Corp. purchased a company called Move, which owns ListHub. ListHub is a big company that takes real estate listings from local MLS’s around the country and syndicates them out to various aggregate websites such as Zillow, Trulia, and others. ListHub is actually a direct competitor to Zillow, so now that Rupert Murdoch owns Move, its kind of a weird situation. Now ListHub(Rupert Murcoch)is telling Zillow that in April of this year, when their syndication contract ends they are going to be “cut off” from their listing portal. Again, BIG trouble for Zillow. Where will Zillow go for listings and remain alive?
I went down to Austin Texas in September as a “guest” of Keller Williams to check out the Keller Williams Mega Camp. If you don’t know what the “Mega Camp” is…it’s a large gathering of the Keller Williams Leadership that includes, Regional Directors, Owners, Operating Principals, Team Leaders, and of course Gary Keller and the people that make up the company “Keller Williams.” At Mega Camp the leadership learns more about the company and how they are expanding, growing, and continue to innovate the Real Estate space. I was honored to be invited to attend as a Title Sales person when in most cases Title people are asking to attend these events and rarely get to attend. The first two days are reserved for the Leadership of the company, and the last 3 days individual Realtors fly into Austin and take part to learn about how to best grow their business and integrate the latest technologies the company is introducing and selling strategies. The whole experience was very interesting to me. So…here is what I learned at Keller Williams Mega Camp in Austin Texas.
Have you taken or been nominated for the Ice Bucket Challenge? I have seen this challenge done all over the internet via, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Some have been done fantastically, and others were also funny, but mostly because of a funny mishap of dropped water or something crashing on the person’s head. All kidding aside there is something that can be taken from the Ice Bucket Challenge that should cause Real Estate agents to pause and take notice. Here is my take on the Ice Bucket Challenge, the use of Video, Self-Promotion, and Syndication.