Category Archives for "Listing Tips"

My Unofficial Guide to Short Selling

What do you do if you need to sell 1.5 million homes before they foreclose?

Well, if you’re a real estate agent who’s got a bead on homes about to foreclose…you short sell.

Short selling is nothing new. Especially with the collasping home market, and all. That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to gather all the best ideas on short selling I can find.

Think of this as the unofficial guide to short selling. Enjoy–if that’s possible. And have a great Friday.

8 Irresistable Reasons Why Pre-Foreclosures Can’t Live Without You. Use these ideas to prove to sellers that you are truly there to help save their home.

Did you know there were 4 good reasons to work foreclosures? Discover ’em: Quick and Dirty Guide to Foreclosures.

Short Sell Your Home–7 Steps That Helped Avoid Foreclosure. DebtKid shares his personal story on how he avoided foreclosure.

Businessweek proclaimes short sales “The new exit strategy.” A short sale tale.

Group moves homeless people into foreclosed homes. Won’t teach you anything about short selling. But a great idea to solve one problem with another.

Ever gone after a pre-foreclosure and had it fall flat on your face? Maybe you broke this pre-foreclosure maxim.

A beautiful alternative to foreclosure: strategies for short sales. Question and answer article that will cover most of your concerns.

Another worthless article not about short selling that I thought I’d share nonetheless. House prices plummet in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland. And when I say plummet, I mean homes for sale under $3,000. $1,000. Even $500.

How foreclosures changed the election. Intriguing turn-around.

Getting naked in short selling. The skinny on the stock side of short selling by Marketplace Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch. Useful? No. Fun? Yes.

Got any great links on foreclosures, short selling or pre-foreclosures you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

8 Irresistible Reasons Why Pre-Foreclosures Can’t Live Without You

For a while there–middle of last year to be exact–I was on a foreclosure/pre-foreclusure streak. I gave you a quick and dirty guide to working foreclosures. I pointed out the most common cause of pre-foreclosure failure. Followed up by a very similar guide to the 2 lethal mistakes you can make when working foreclosures.

Now, I’m going to add that list.

Why? Foreclosures haven’t gone away. In fact, there’s no end in sight to the foreclosure nightmare. And don’t forget this: working pre-foreclosures is less about padding your pocket and more about helping another human being. I can’t stress that enough.

So, when approaching pre-foreclosures for the first time use these ideas to prove to them that you are truly their to help can save their home:

  • You aren’t out to fleece them. Just the opposite. You want to help them save equity. Credit. Face. And you must mean it. You must have a heart. That means listening liberaly and talking conseratively.
  • You can sell their home. Goes without saying, but some people need to be reminded.
  • You are a legal expert: You know all the contracts, forms, disclosure statements backwards, frontwards, inside and out. If they did it solo–or worse, not at all–chances are high they’d miss something.
  • You are a professional: Like a doctor or lawyer, you’re an expert. You live and breathe this stuff. Ask them how many people would defend themselves in a court of law? Or, how many people feel confident performing surgery on themselves? Tell them this is your bread and butter.
  • You are a master of the market. You know the market and can price the homes competitively. Explain to them the importance of pricing right the first time and the danger of over-pricing. The last thing they want to do is waste time.
  • You are a expert on financing. You know how to pre-qualify, qualify and point prospects in the right direction for financing. But with those who want to buy pre-foreclosures, in my experience, have normally got the cash. Let them know people with ready money can buy their home.
  • You are a specialist: You can handle criticism, objections and demands objectively and professionally…a must when trying to persuade someone to buy a home that is close to foreclosure.
  • You are a negotiator. You know how to balance offers, counteroffers and negotiate contingencies that often will drive a FSBO bananas. Offer your batting average for selling homes at full asking price. If you’re good, they’ll think you’re a genius.
  • Finally, you are a network. Develop a list of the tasks that must be completed before closing, including all the inspections, insurance, permits. Then explain to them you know all the right people and could have everything arranged in an afternoon. They’ll get the point.

Now remember, working pre-foreclosures is a sensitive issue. But if they’re highly motivated, lightly but persistently hold their feet to the fire for the next couple of weeks, emphasizing the above points. As the frustration builds, their tipping point will get lower and lower. Eventually they’ll accept your offer and thank you for helping them.

So tell me…have you been working pre-foreclosures? Any success? Any tips to help improve this list? I’m looking for ways to make the first encounter a lasting impression.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

13-Question Acid Test to Spot Homes That Will Never Sell

It’s hard enough to get a referral after a successful sale. Expired–forget it.

To make matters worse, the economy’s tanked and it’s an election year. (Is the election almost over?) So, selling a home can seem near impossible at times. And wrenching a referral out of it like pulling teeth.

And it doesn’t matter if you are a rookie or seasoned veteran. Some homes just won’t move and never produce a referral. Even if you use critical strategies like these.

But here’s the real kicker: if your signs stays up a long time in somebody’s yard, or someone else’s sign replaces yours, the neighbors will feel you did not do your job, and they won’t quite trust you. Even if it wasn’t your fault the home didn’t move.

And like the seven natural laws of real estate prospecting, this is just a natural law in real estate, too: Homes that are on the market longer than 60 days are earmarked as problem homes.

However, a home that stays on the market too long gets a bad rap, but unfortunately, so do you. It can turn into a referral nightmare.

It gets even worse if your picture is on the sign in the yard. And if you have two such homes at once, it could get really ugly for you.

So, the idea is to spot a potential problem home during the listing presentation. (There’s good reason you don’t want to win every listing presentation.)

What you want to know is if the home is something you want to add to your inventory. Or not. Here are the 13 questions you should ask yourself before taking a listing:

1.  Is this a home you would not object to buying yourself?

2.  Does the home show well?

3.  If not what can be done to improve the salability (and is the seller ready to take those steps)?

4.  Are the sellers’ expectations and timeframe reasonable?

5.  Are the sellers motivated?

6.  Is there a sense of urgency?

7.  Is there a need to sell? (More space? Relocation?)

8.  What are the positives of the home?

9.  What are the negatives of the home?

10. Are there any structural issues that need to be addressed?

11. Will the sellers address the negatives prior to listing the home?

12. Will the sellers agree to price the home in-line with the neighborhood comps?

13. Will the sellers list with you, at your commission rate and terms?

If the answers to the above questions are mostly “No,” then why bother taking the listing? You are just setting yourself up for acquiring a bad reputation.

To do so will ensure an unhappy relationship with unreasonable demands until the term of the listing expires. And a dismal career to boot.

You don’t want a dismal career, do you?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Take Advantage of This Psychological Buyer Quirk to Sell Any Home Now

Once upon a time a seller could price her home with the promise that she would get the full price.

She would review each offer as it came in. She would work with her agent to make a careful and calculated decision about which offer she should take. Then, she would select her buyer–normally above or at full price.

Unfortunately, in most markets today, this doesn’t–or can’t–happen.

The Death of the Typical Bidding War

Hot markets meant buyers made absurd, exuberent offers for just about every home that was priced. That doesn’t happen anymore.

In a slow market, a typical bidding war begins–if it begins at all–with the marketing of a slightly undervalued home. That means selecting a price that is at the low end of the expected selling price range.

This may not please your seller one bit–but it may result in multiple offers. And naturally, multiple offers tend–no promise, though–to drive the selling price up.

However, if you choose a low-pricing strategy, make sure that the property is adequately exposed to the market before you entertain offers. (And make sure you use the seven natural laws of prospecting I wrote about in August.) That’s the key to taking advantage of the psychological buyer quirk I’m going to share with you in a minute.

The New, Slow-Market Approach to Pricing a Home

Typically, sellers using this approach wait 10 days to two weeks before they entertain offers. During this time there is a broker open house and one or two public open houses.

Without this exposure, your home could sell at the low end of the range because only a limited number of buyers will have seen the property.

But if all the pieces come together, you’ll have an environment for a multiple offer situation–which can be very lucrative.

How to Correct Pricing Misconceptions of a Home Seller

In addition to stressing the benefits of setting a lower price to your sellers during the pre-listing stage, this time also affords you the opportunity to correct sellers’ misconceptions on pricing.

Some sellers might be tempted to choose another salesperson who quotes them a higher asking price.

This shoud make you ask: “Does the salesperson want your success or a listing?” A salesperson who gives an unrealistically high price is making an empty promise.

Why Overpricing Doesn’t Work

Other sellers believe that overpricing will work to their advantage because it will give them ‘bargaining room.’

If you run into sellers who want to overprice their home, tell them that althouhg overpricing in a rising market may be appropriate, no one has ever had a successful client overprice in a falling market.

Leaving bargaining room isn’t as valuable a negotiating tool as bringing in a greater number of highly motivated buyers.

The Secret to Creating Irresistable Demand for a Home

How do you lure in the greatest number of motivated buyers? By setting a competitive price. Seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know this.

Explain to your client that an attractively priced home pulls in buyers. This sometimes means a home below market value.

Tough sell. But remind them, more buyers equals more competition. And more competition means that the home will actually sell–which, in reality, is the most important thing to keep in mind.

Tap Into This Psychological Quirk of Buyers

Did you know that a home usually gets the most attention from buyers just after it’s put on the market? That’s right. Immediately after a home is listed, its flooded by buyers.

These are the buyer’s who are highly motivated. They have agents. They have instant notification via email and text when homes go on sale. They scour neighborhoods weekly. They’re primed.

And they flock to new homes on the market–ready to make a bid on the drop of a hat if necessary.

If you could view the number of times a home is seen during the first four weeks, what you’d see is a spike in activity in the first two weeks–then a sudden drop.

That’s why it’s necessary to encourage sellers to take full advantage of this phenomenon by showing their home in the best condition and…setting it at the best price during the first four weeks of the marketing efforts.

You want this home to be something buyer’s won’t forget–even if they’re not ready to buy just yet.

Here’s why.

Let’s say you did this for two weeks…but no takers. After your careful research, you and the sellers decided it’s still priced too high because you got plenty of activity…but zero offers.

If you use a tool like Showing Feedback, all you have to do is log into your Email Center on your account and send an email blast to all of the agents who have viewed the home. This includes every single person who was in the first wave of buyers.

If the home is priced accordingly, then there’s a good chance that you have laid the foundation for multiple offers.

What to Do Next

Now, if you find that you still don’t get the activity that you expected–lower the price even further.

You’ll eventually get to a point where the house is priced at an acceptable rate for the market. Send out another email blast…and kick back…and wait for the calls to come in.

Because they will. It never fails

Remember: There are enough people in this world who are interested in your client’s home. As long as you have chosen your clients carefully.

You just have to make sure the price gets to a point that they crave. Then they’ll come out of the woodwork.

Did you find this article useful? If so, leave a comment. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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How to Win (Almost) Every Listing Presentation

Long ago I believed that winning listing presentations meant having a mental toolbox full of witty comebacks, sly counter objections and a persuasive delivery that would allow me to deflect arguments, shut down concerns and steamroll the prospect into signing with me.

But then I kept coming across successful agents who weren’t particularly well spoken and failing agents who rocked the crowds at the local Toastmasters. Obviously, something else was at work here.

After two decades of analyzing why some agents grow while others die–and why–I realized that surplus or scarcity thinking had more to do with how well agents do in listing presentations or negotiations than any training ever did.

Now, let me ask you a question: Are you a surplus or scarcity thinker? If you don’t know, make sure you know before you’re next listing presentation.

The Psychology Behind Success at Listing Presentations

We have 50,000 thoughts a day. That’s about 2 thoughts a second.

Most of them don’t matter, though. They’re of the this breed: “Message light blinking on phone,” “Air conditioner just started” and “Breeze is cool this morning.”

And because of the randomness of some of our thoughts, some of us don’t focus on any of our thoughts. And that’s a problem.

If we ignore all thoughts, we could miss out on great ideas when we have them. Like taking that much-needed vacation or placing an ad in that new homes magazine.

Worse, however, is when many of us do focus on our thoughts, but only on the negative ones. This can literally cripple us at the negotiating table.

My question for you, when approaching a selling situation is this: where are your thoughts pointing?

Are you thinking scarcity, such as…

  • “I don’t deserve this listing when I’m going up against that agent.”
  • “I bombed my last presentation, I’ll probably bomb this one.”
  • “If I don’t get this seller, I’m sure to foreclose on my own house.”

Or are you thinking surplus…

  • “I deserve this listing.”
  • “I love real estate and the thousands of opportunities to make thousands of dollars!”

As a rule, never believe your negative thinking…especially if it limits what you think is possible.

If you tend to be a scarcity thinker, stop right now and admit that your habit of thinking needs to be changed.

You’ll need to do this because just being aware of limiting beliefs and thoughts is a major step in the right direction. And awareness alone can be curative.

Then begin to work on affirmations like the ones above in the surplus category.

Also simply doing something different that counters limiting thoughts can work wonders. For instance, if you typically avoid or neglect selling situations, hunt them down. And throw yourself at them.

You’ll be amazed at the level of confidence you gain from simply doing something you’ve always dreaded. Even if your initial results are less than you expected. Practice makes perfect.

Only when we weed the limiting beliefs from our subconsciousness is it possible to plant the seeds of new beliefs.

And new beliefs are the pathway to prosperity. Abundance. Surplus.

To help you on your new journey, I recommend you pick up two classics:”Awaken the Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins and “Think and Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill.

Both can be read in a weekend. And both will have you climbing the walls, hungry to make big money.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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The Ultimate Real Estate Listing Presentation

Use the Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula for Killer Sales Presentations

Pain and problems dominate us. Everyday and every hour we are constantly looking for solutions for our pain and problems.

This holds true for home buyers and sellers. That’s why it’s a great idea to use the PAS formula in your sales presentations.

Whether you’re persuading a buyer to bite the bullet and buy a home or convincing a seller to stake YOUR for sale sign in their yard, you can use the PAS formula to get the job done.

What Is the Problem-Agitate-Solve Formula?

The PAS formula is Dan Kennedy’s darling. Or at least he gets credit for it. Nonetheless, it’s pretty basic.

Identify a problem. Agitate the problem. Solve the problem.

Identify a Problem

Imagine you just met a man at the tennis club. Imagine he told you he lives in a two-bedroom, one bath home with his wife and two kids. Imagine the children as one girl, one boy. Next, imagine the girl 7 and the boy 5. And they share a bedroom.

See a potential problem?

If you do, point out the problem.

You: Hey Stan, are you concerned about your daughter wanting her own privacy?

Agitate the Problem

Once you’ve identified the problem, now aggravate it.

You: Man, that’s probably pretty uncomfortable. You guys are probably looking for a house soon, right?

Stan: You bet. But it’s tough. With the market and all.

You: Yeah, but if you don’t get her own space soon–especially as she gets older–could be a nightmare for all of you. Don’t you think?

Stan: Oh man, yeah.

You: Often one thing can really drive a wedge between a brother and sister–even a family.

Stan: Yeah, my wife and I are really concerned about that.

You: Could be a real problem when she realizes she’s the only 8 year old who shares a room with her brother.

Stan: I don’t even want to think about it.

You: But how can you think about moving when the market stinks and you really don’t know how well your house will sell.

Stan: You can say that again.

Solve the Problem

This is when you trot out your solution.

You: Stan, if you got some time this week, any chance we could get together and I could maybe show you how we could solve your problem? I’ve got some great ideas to share with you.

Stan: Even though I’m not in the market, I think I might be able to swing that.

See how easy and casual that was to set an appointment? Works just as well in any situation.


Use the Pain-Agitate-Solve formula to stop people in their tracks, draw them closer, yearn for your answer and beg for your solution.

Use it during casual conversations or planned-out sales presentation. It doesn’t really matter. Just remember, PAS.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Social Media Does Matter: Selling Houses During Hard Times

Everyone knows that in today’s market, it’s not enough just to get the listing—you need to have an aggressive marketing plan.

While printed flyers, signage and the basics will always have their place, we all know that over 80% of home buyers begin their search for a new home online.

In fact, second only to over-priced home, no internet marketing strategy is the biggest reason homes don’t sell.

That’s why you need advanced online marketing strategies–social media strategies–to help you create a compelling online presence.

Yet, marketing real estate has never been a hip business.

The people in it might be cool–but the advertising venues that work best for real estate have long been traditional vehicles like postcards, print newspaper ads and signage. Real estate is nothing if not a local business, after all (note the real estate mantra of “location, location, location”)–you don’t buy a house off of the Internet, right?

Maybe not yet.

Tech-savvy real estate agents and developers quickly turned to online and social media tools like video, blogs, and other new media to sell their properties. However, the adoption is so slow for the early majority [or pragmatists], and, of course, painful for the late majority [or conservatives].

Which brings me to my point.

The first step in successful and aggressive listing promotion is to make sure your property is featured where home buyers are looking.

And because offline marketing tools cost money, and money is hard to come by in tough times, its really no surprise that real estate agents to reduce their newspaper print budgets, if not eliminating them altogether.

My belief is that perhaps financial hard times might drive some normally timid, pragmatic and conservative people to finally get online and get with it, crossing that chasm faster than they normally would.

Otherwise they may have to be happy with failing. After call, necessity is the mother of experimentation.

To get us started, here are some basic suggestions to help you get the most out of your web site’s listings:

  • Promote listings on your home page—make a featured property listing highlighting a particular property, and make sure there’s an easy-to-access slide show at the ready.
  • Keep your hot news hot—announce your newest and most-desirable listings.
  • Update your open house page—drive traffic from the web into your open houses.
  • Use a hotline number with your listings. This allows you to capture contact information when they call to listen to an audio tour of the home or updated price information.
  • Add a summary to your home page—with a dedicated link to your listing page.

Once you’ve secured the listing and published it to your website–the minimum–it’s time to capture other agents and potential buyers. Let’s move on to more advanced online marketing strategies–social media strategies–to help you create a compelling online presence.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Create a single-property blog. Is this the most potent listing tool? Teresa Boardman talked about Keeping Local Real Estate, Well…Local, and how blogging can support and express your local knowledge and expertise within the microcosm of your community; establishing relationships with site-visitors and clients. [With Local, I’m speaking in-terms of relationships–referral business, repeat business, becoming known in your community for the all-inclusive services you provide consumers.]
  • Add YouTube videos along with other content such as business details, photos, and descriptions to their listings. To do so, simply upload your videos to YouTube and ensure that the ‘embed’ option is turned on. Then, associate your video to your business listing through the Local Business Center.
  • Promote Google Map as the new real estate search page. Once you’ve got your videos in Google Maps, then you got to make sure people actually use it.
  • Dominate your local search. Back in November I wrote about local search and why you should care and gave you 7 steps to improve your local rankings. The best part: it’s bootstrapalicious [read: doesn’t cost any money except your sweat].
  • Advertise your business and listings using Facebook. Putting your brand on Facebook is actually a pretty easy process. Just click on the Advertisers link in Facebook’s footer and then Create a Page.
  • Brand your listings with Trulia. Quoting from the Trulia blog: “Agents will have access to a self-service tool to highlight up to 10 listings per month for a monthly subscription fee of $50.” So, for less than the price of a typical newspaper classified ad, you can now highlight your listings and connect directly to more than 2 million unique users per month, including a highly affluent group of home buyers, 81% of who are looking to purchase a home in the next 12 months.

These steps will get you to a place where you can offer your visitors the most information-rich experience, and will help them to remember you, and thus to return to your site again and again.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

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21 Low-Budget Ways to Keep the Revenue Flowing During a Recession

Think 2007 was bad? For some burnt-out and near-broke real estate agents, it’s hard to imagine things getting any worse. But who knows what’s in store for the rest of 2008.

And, even if the economy hasn’t hit rock bottom in your part of the country, it has slowed down significantly in many states.

Worse, it doesn’t take a recession or even a soft economy to create problems for your business.

Every business has ups and downs. Even if things are going great for you right now, you need to develop revenue-generating strategies that succeed when times are tough.

See, recessions are the economy’s little reminder that your marketing needs to be more efficient. You and lots of your friends are being asked to produce more sales with less resources.

(And if you’re reading this post, that might sound familiar to you.)

Many real estate agents fear a flat market. The reason? If the economy is poor, clients will stop spending, and buy only from discount agents.

All of this is true. But only to a degree.

Of course, an economic slowdown can be a problem for your business. Or, it can be an opportunity to gain new clients and boost your sales…if you know and have mastered the marketing and sales methods that work best in times of downturn.

1. Make your ads pay. Starting today, eliminate your old “image” campaign and replace it with one that’s designed to produce bottom-line results. Every ad must communicate benefits and make a strong call to action that produces a measurable response.

2. Track the results of your marketing efforts. Place response codes in all your ads and lead-generation tools.

3. Take advantage of focus groups and surveys.

4. Stay abreast of the latest research and published articles to discover your target market’s current needs, desires and buying preferences. Put customer feedback forms on your Web site and take steps to make your online presence more interactive.

4. Increase your visibility. Associate with a charitable cause or community-based group for a special event. Take a high–profile position-rather than melting into the crowd. But be careful to avoid the appearance of giving for the purpose of self-aggrandizement.

5. Beef up your networking activities. Designate several days a month to get out and attend different groups. Assign goals for follow-up and regularly add contacts to your database.

6. Communicate frequently to your entire prospect database. I recommend about once every six weeks by direct mail, e-mail, fax, phone or in person. Do this and you’ll come out of this downturn with a strong and loyal customer base.

7. Intensify your media relations efforts. Targeting several media outlets with story ideas tailored specifically for your prospects. Identify specific journalists or editors to receive your information and find out if they prefer releases via fax, e-mail or standard mail. After sending your initial information, follow up with phone calls and a polished press kit.

8. Know your scripts. When change hits real estate, consumers look to the experts for guidance. That’s you, so do you homework.

9. Explain in layman’s terms what a buyer’s market is. How it differs from the seller’s market, why the market has shifted to a buyer’s market and what to expect in such a market. And don’t sugar coat this—tell your sellers exactly like it is and that they can expect picky buyers. They’ll thank you later and you’ll keep your reputation intact.

10. Know your numbers. What are the listing prices versus the selling prices in your market area? What’s the average selling price? Is that up or down from the same period last year? What are the days on the market? What is the current supply of homes on the market? This will lead to a price that fits the current market.

11. Categorize your leads. “A” leads are ready to buy or sell now. “B” leads plan to buy or sell in the next month or two. And “C” leads might buy or sell in the next three to six months. It’s easy to salivate over the “A” leads, especially in a slower market. But stay in touch with the “B”s and “C”s—they’re your future business.

12. Share selling tips. Share real estate best practices with buyers. Consider providing a home staging guide or offer to list the home.

13. Offer a higher commission. Give 4 percent commission instead of the standard 3 percent to the buying agent. Lure them in. This really works.

14. Promote your successes. Because the high number of foreclosures has made prospective buyers nervous, let everyone know if any of your communities have zero or very few foreclosures.

15. Offer credit advice. Consider partnering with a credit improvement service that can help customers correct false information and resolve credit problems that are preventing them from getting the best loan.

16. Maximize referral marketing. Your delighted customers are your best sales tool. Sponsor weekly events and activities that bring prospects and loyal customers together so that potential buyers can hear first-hand what a great builder you are.

17. Take a leap into social media. Sell the story of a house through blogs. Create a community with Twitter. The means are endless. These are two great places to start.

18. Stage your listing properly. Recommend home improvement projects carefully to your sellers because returns on these improvements are relative. They’re less likely to recoup top dollar on a new master suite or third full bathroom if they’re the only one on their block doing it. They should improve the home relative to other homes nearby. And also consider using a free product like Showing Feedback to help you get easy price reductions and much needed improvements.

19. Combat the media. There are a lot of good reasons to buy a home today: interest rates are still low, housing prices are falling, home builders are offering sizable cash credits and incentives, and a surplus of new homes means that there are a lot of choices for buyers. Share this information.

20. Revamp your lending. Consider working with brokers who are better equipped to shop around for the best deals. Opt for a variety of partners who are willing to hustle for your home buyers’ best interests.

21. Achieve customer loyalty. The businesses that are holding their own during these tough times have a pipeline of happy customers making referrals. By maximizing referrals, some builders have been able to keep sales steady instead of declining. If you don’t have many sales coming from referrals, you have much lower chances of survival.

Main point: keep your feet moving. Don’t stop.

Yes, change can be tough. But if you stay focused, concentrate on the basics and stay informed on the market, you can weather the shift and continue to make money.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

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When Being a Narrow-minded Fundamentalist Works

Jesus. Evolution. Abortion. Hot, volatile topics. Topics likely to upset even the mildest of situations.

But I’m not talking about creating a riot or a mob. Just want to get you thinking about 3 things:

  1. What you love
  2. What you do best
  3. What makes you money

Master these fundamentals–and never waver from them–and you survive the current housing chokehold.

Narrow-mindedness and Marketing

According to Paul Eastwood, founder of Single Property Sites, Inc., “There is a relationship between a tightly-focused niche and increased sales.”

That’s not surprising.

Competing in a crowded, sluggish market makes it difficult to earn a living, let alone generate good leads. That means not only are there fewer people per agent to go around, but commissions and profits drop, too.

So what do you do?

Conventional business wisdom states that you make yourself unique. You stand out, go against the grain. You narrow your focus to a smaller, denser segment of the market, which might sound bizarre.

One way to narrow your focus is to create marketing personas. Another way is to follow the Parkinson’s law by rapidly disqualifying buyer leads.

But why would anyone in their right mind decide to “narrow” their market and work with fewer people? Good question.

The Paradox of the Narrow Market

The more successful you become with your small segment, the more exposure you gain, the more business you earn and the more money you make.

In essence, you’ve made this small segment so happy that they gush about you like a five-year-old after drinking a can of Coke.

This tight-knit group is your cult.

How to Narrow Your Market

One of the ways you could “narrow” your focus is with technology. Let me explain.

Let’s be simple for a moment and split the world in two: on one side we have those who hate technology. On the other side we have those who love technology. Do you see how I’ve just “narrowed” your playing field?

You can continue to do that.

Let’s split the technology camp into two: those who like to use technology and those who like other people to use technology.

Let’s split those who like other people who use technology: now we have those selling homes in the city versus the country.

Now those selling in the country might love technology. They might have a fit of joy–after a brief introduction, of course–if you walked into their house and said “I’m going to sell your house for more money in less time because of the powerful electronic marketing tools I use.”

That’s because you stand apart and satisfy their soft spot.

You can do the same if you narrow your market to working with the exact opposite group: people who were “relationship-oriented selling in the city and hate technology.”

Do you see what I mean?

And the cool thing is, once you narrow your focus down three or four levels, you can write it out and use it a lot like a mission statement.

As Seth Godin points out in his post needle in a haystack marketing, this works in the world of online search, too.

Do this and you’ll find yourself energetic, excited and potentially more successful–both in money and life.

Stunningly Easy, 25 Minute and 25 second Routine for Finding Buyer Clients

An African bull elephant weighs 12,000 pounds. Stands 11 feet high. Flaunts tusks 6 to 8 feet long. Eats 770 pounds of grass, leaves, roots, bark, branches, fruit and water plants.

A day.

Now, imagine eating that sucker. It would take forever, wouldn’t it? So one bite at a time, right?

Well, that’s the take away for today’s post. If you are in a market with a hefty level of inventory, then finding buyer’s is on top of your list.

But consumer confidence is gloomy . This means people are holding on to their money, saving, perhaps looking for discounts. What you have to do is figure out how to approach them with an enticing offer. Something that will get them off the fence.

It could be a discount or bargain . It could be a one day only sale .

Whatever it is you are offering, once you have that out of the way, use a simple, 25-minute and twenty-five-seconds-a-day tactic to find those hot leads…in a fraction of the time it usually takes.

How do you do that? Easy.

1. Choose the time of day you are at your peak. Whether morning or afternoon.

2. Block out 30 minutes each day at this time.

3. Use a timer: set it at 25 minutes and 25 seconds.

4. Then pick up the phone and return phone calls from leads you received that day.

5. Don’t do anything for that 25 minutes and 25 seconds. Except call.

Once you’re done, pat yourself on your back. And use the remaining 4 minutes to plan how you are going to spend all the money you’re going to make. Make sure you do it again the next day.

I like this method because it’s a great time management principle: time block AND lump tasks. The most important thing to do here is make sure you do nothing else but pick up the phone and dial. It’s unbelievable how much time people waste dilly-dallying simply because they don’t put boundaries on a task .

And get this: once the market is on the upswing, you can switch this tactic around to build a house list. Call friends and families, ask them for permission to call people they know who might have housing needs, focus your time, get to work and don’t look back.