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24 February 2009

The Three Simple Rules of Real Estate

The Three Simple Rules of Real Estate

Over the past several years, real estate has been a business of high return and low days on market.  Full price offers were written at open houses and multiple offers were the norm.  Today, agents speak a new vocabulary to sellers and buyers.  The short sale estimate has replaced the seller’s estimate of net proceeds and there isn’t a seller to be found who wants to test the market.  B and C credit buyers have faded into the woodwork along with 100{0a8e414e4f0423ce9f97e7209435b0fa449e6cffaf599cce0c556757c159a30c} finance seekers.  Squeaky clean credit is a must and high loan to value ratios are nowhere to be found.  These significant changes in the real estate climate have many agents feeling like Charlie Brown on a bad day. What is an agent to do?

We are real estate agents and real estate is a simple business – simple, not easy.  Even in the best of markets successful real estate agents work 40-hours+ helping buyers and sellers reach their goals.  And the more I observe the successful and the not so successful, the more convinced I am that no matter the market area, region or conditions, there are three simple rules of real estate for agents to remember.

  1. Listings are the name of the game. No matter the market conditions, your personal inventory is the foundation of your business. Without listings you are a store without merchandise and shoppers will pass you by.
  2. Practice proactive prospecting activities every day. Real estate is a contact sport. Get in front of as many people you can, work the motivated buyers and sellers, incubate the others and they will be yours in time.
  3. Personal promotion pays. The secret agent doesn’t get anywhere. Contact your sphere of influence regularly. Get involved in social media networking. Start a blog and become a valued resource for information about local market conditions, positive changes, values, the economic stimulus package, etc.

Owning a home has long been the American dream and when we follow these three simple rules, we will continue to play a significant role in helping make that dream a reality.

7 thoughts on “The Three Simple Rules of Real Estate

  1. There is one item that imho needs to be considered for point 3.
    – Show the successes in recent sales you have assisted with

    By doing so, it can support your ‘lower then average’ number of listings. It is not -just- about the number of listings/inventory.
    Having a house for sale is not quite the same as getting it sold. And marketingwise that does matter 🙂

    ps- I love Charlie Brown!

  2. Good grief Paulette 🙂 You make some excellent points. Having listings has always been the key to being a sucessful Realtor. An agent can do very well as long as the listings are priced right. A big problem we have in the Charleston SC area is the large number of over priced listings that are just sitting there effecting the “days on market” stats, comps etc…. The properties that are priced correctly are getting snapped up quickly.

    I think Gary Keller said in his recent book Shift something like – It is easy to take a listing and have a home “on the market” the key is to price the property correctly and have it “in the market”.

  3. Thanks Dan. Your point about overpriced listings is so true. Proper pricing is exceptionally critical in today's market not to mention the expense of marketing a home that will likely not sell at the price.

  4. Han, thanks for jumping in on this one. Agents are working harder than ever on both sides of the transaction and I can’t think of one who wouldn’t rather have one listing priced right than three overpriced that won’t sell.

  5. Good points made all around. It is an easy business to slack off and enjoy another day in the sun if you will. You have to 100% stay on top of the market and in good contact with your database and sphere of influence. I like the analogy of the contact sport.

    Regarding listings, I agree you have to qualify this. You can spin your wheels, time, money etc. and go no where on a home that is not ready to sell based on price, terms, appearance etc.

    take care kevin

  6. When a client’s home sits on the market for a long period of time, I know that many times that client will take the home off the market and postpone their move for a while until things get “better.” This is obviously very painful for the listing agent after having invested all the time, money and energy to try to sell the client’s home. It also doesn’t help the agent’s reputation if they have to keep going back to the client and tell them to drop the asking price. By that point, many times, it’s too late.

    As a Real Estate professional, there is another opportunity to assist these clients (or any of your past clients as well) and earn a commission at the same time. Please check out the Money Merge Account system offered by United First Financial. This system helps qualified people pay off their mortgage and all debt in 1/2 to 1/3 the time with no refinance, no change to mortgage terms and little to no effect on monthly spending/budget.

    This program can save the clients tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in as little as 8-10 years, and the effect that it has in lowering the principal balance and increasing equity can give the necessary room required to sell the property more quickly in future years. In addition, the service that you offer your clients is a value added service as part of your ongoing Real Estate business. It is another easily marketed product to help you generate referrals and leads in this “down” real estate market.

    If you would like to know more about this awesome system, please visit my website: http://www.ForeverFreeFromDebt.com. I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.

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