Recently I watched the movie “Yes Man” starring Jim Carrey. This is the second time I have seen this movie and again, I liked it. The movie is of course, funny and Jim Carrey is of course, “Jim Carrey”, but the movie had some fantastic points about how to live a great life.
In the movie, the main character, Carl Allen (played by Carey), is probably the most boring person on the planet. OK, maybe there are more boring people, but his life is pretty well lame. He has his average paying job and his average apartment. He does nothing after his working hours and pretty much just watches TV all night long; this is until an old acquaintance convinces him to go to a motivational seminar. At this seminar he learns the power of saying “Yes”. To sum this up, he simply was told to say “YES” to every opportunity that comes along or that presents itself to him.
As we watch the film, and remember it is a comedy, we see all kinds of silly and funny situations that Carl gets himself into. Of course, we laugh as he does silly things like saying “yes” to going to a Harry Potter Party that his nerd boss is throwing. The interesting part of movie is the fact that his life really does change for the better when he says “YES” to these various offers that he and we often ignore or say “no” to.
Because he says “YES”, Carl falls in love, Carl gets a promotion, Carl friends now appreciate him more and frankly he has a good time enjoying life! This was all attributed to him simply saying “YES” to everything that came along. OK, OK, and as we learn in the movie, it isn’t smart to say yes to everything but it could be smart to simply start trying new and undiscovered things to do.
So many of us are trapped in the rut of non-existence; it is time to go out and do something new. I have found that more I say “YES” to new things, the more I learn and more value I give to my own existence as well as to the people I meet. I found that, after reading books people recommend, or attending seminars that people recommend or even going to a play or a movie that someone recommends my life takes a slight change.
This year, I have read more books then I have read in the past 10 years together, and I often find myself using that knowledge in various situations. In fact I have even written my own book on my financial experiences and how I am making my comeback. I have also attended several seminars this year on topics I was familiar with and some I was not. I found value in all of them.
I even started saying YES to “Free offers”. There is a lot of value in the introductory seminar or sample CD. I have to admit that I end up on some mailing or call list because I called for the “Free Informational CD”, but I often found the information on the free offer of great value. You don’t have to get the full course they are trying to sell you but at least you can decide if it is for you from the intro course.
This is the advice I would hope you come away with after reading this. Start saying “YES” to new ideas, new thoughts and new adventures. I guarantee your life will be a better place to live and the people you cherish the most will cherish you more because of it. Have a great new adventure say “YES” today to one thing you usually say “NO” to.
“If I Won 25 Million Dollars in the Lottery”
Recently, I was coaching one of my real estate agent clients, and the question of pricing came up. She wanted to know how to price a home. Well clearly the price, as you already know, depends on comps, condition, location and the general market conditions. I am assuming I don’t need to explain this part so let me go to the next part of the discussion and the “AHA” moment of my client.
Most agents realize that the market has changed from a paper advertising market to an internet based advertising market. This means that most of the buyers will come from the internet, in one form or another. Sites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and others are dominating this market. There is also a trend of smaller sites including Yahoo and Google showing listings as well (did I really call Yahoo and Google small?) and the potential buyers going to these sites are the clients you need to target in your pricing.
So how can you do this? Read on…
It used to be that real estate agents priced their listings to stand out. For example, in the old listing books, before the internet, you would make prices that stood out such as $297,812. This was to make the property appear different somehow to the potential buyer, and it worked.
Next was the idea that we should price on the 9’s; for example $299,999 instead of $300,000. This was the Wal-Mart philosophy; it simply made the price look smaller and again, it worked.
Well, times are changing and it is time to get into the internet structure of home pricing and forget all of the old ways.
To search for homes on the internet, people search homes in increments of either $25,000 or $50,000 ranges. Simply put, these are the price ranges that a potential buyer will select when looking for a home. For example, a buyer will look for homes between $250,000 and $300,000. That means all the homes listed in that “exact” price range will show up in a search.
You need to learn how to monopolize this search range and this is how to do just that;
If you price a home at the traditional Wal-mart pricing, you may price a home at $299,999. This would clearly show up in the $250k to $300K price range for those browsing the net. Here is the problem. If someone is looking for homes between $300k and $350K, your listing is left out; all because of one dollar. Isn’t your seller really listing their home at $300k? Yes of course they are, but someone looking for $300K homes, missed it completely.
The right pricing strategy is to list the home at exactly $300,000. This will actually get you twice as many showings. Think about it, now the people looking in the $250K to $300K range will see the home and the people looking in the $300k to $350k range will also see the home! This is how to price for the modern internet age.
I am amazed how often I explain this in my coaching of agents, and it is like a light bulb goes on. The best part is that within weeks, they tell me I was right. They tell me about more showings and more offers on a particular listing they were having trouble with.
Be smart and start thinking like your clients and potential buyers. Remember they will probably come from the internet. As a bonus, when you present this idea to a potential seller, you will quickly make them understand why you are the better agent for the job and get the listing over the competition.
I hope this was useful and I look forward to helping all of you agents sell more houses, make more money and live a better life.
Firing a bully client.
You sit down and prepare for a new listing. You do all of the research, looking up the comps on the MLS board. You look at the “just sold’s” in the area and the competition. You prepare for your listing appointment with your knowledge of the market and the real estate business. You carefully arrange your presentation and print the directions to the client. You leave 15 minutes early, not to be late. You arrive at the clients home all polished and ready to give your presentation. You proud-fully knock on the door and they say come on in.
When you ask to sit down, they take over and say something like “What are you going to sell my house for?” or maybe, “why are you different?” or they just come out and tell you they “hate real estate agents”. They don’t let you show your listing presentation and they tell YOU, “the expert”, what their house will sell for. They do not even want to know about the comps or the market conditions. They simply don’t care about what YOU, “the expert” has to say!
So what do you do?; the same thing everyone else does- you take the listing!
A week goes by and they want to know what you are doing to market their house. They want to review the flyers and the MLS listing. They even want you to doctor up the photos of the stains on the roof or the siding so it won’t look so bad in the listing. Of course, you do it all.
A week later, you have a brokers open and the clients scream, “ what do you mean the agents all thought the price was too high!” You just hide your true feelings through your smile and continue on!
A month goes by, and they complain that the house still isn’t under contract. Of course they insist it can’t be the price because theirs is the best house in the world and worth at least $50,000 more than every other house on the street. You try to convince them to go to reality and lower the price just to be in the ballpark! Their reaction “you are a terrible real estate agent because you can’t sell my house for what I want to sell it for!”
You hang up the phone again and remind yourself of the first meeting you had with them and remember how they wouldn’t let you open your listing presentation and review the plan. You are reminded about how they told YOU, “the expert” what their house is worth. You are reminded about how when you asked them “Why do you want to sell it?” they said ‘that is not your concern!”
You are frustrated and you know full well that their house will never sell at that price; in fact, you realize that it isn’t getting any showings at that price either.
So what do you do? You advertise it in the papers and magazines and waste more money on this listing just to prove to your client that they need to lower the price. What do they do; they complain that the ad was too small or the picture was awful and the cycle continues!
3 months go by and you look at your incoming call, and it of course it your client. You don’t even answer it because you know what is going to happen. You are about to belittled and yelled at for not selling their house. You listen to the voice mail and you were right! Your evening is now ruined by these moronic sellers who just want to take out their frustrations on their realtor!
You think about the benefits of having this listing. Benefits like having a sign in front of their house. (Of course at this point it is getting old and the neighbors may actually think you are a bad realtor, because it is taking so long to sell). You like telling people about this listing, or maybe it is your only listing. You look at your peers in your office and think that you don’t want to look bad by losing a listing. You are afraid to tell your managing broker that you need to let this one go. Or maybe you believe you should never let a listing go. Finally, you think, well maybe some idiot will put in an offer, but then it finally dawns on you…
It is time to let the listing go!
Now, I am of the ethical belief that if I agreed to sell your home for a specific contracted time, I will stick with the contract until the end or until the client asks me to let them out of it. Some companies feel that a client has to stay with the contract for the length of the contract and you can’t and shouldn’t let them out. These companies are truly missing the big picture as for me I just ask the client to fire me. Some of you may feel you can actually tell your client to find another realtor and that is a good thing.
Either way, when you are away from that negativity your business will get better. Whenever I get “fired” which is not very often, I am more relieved than upset. In fact, I think about the poor realtor who will have that client after me. I often think we, as realtors, should have a reference network and tell each other about the nightmare client we had. I know that isn’t reality but it would be nice.
Some of you have related to this post, (and if you haven’t then you haven’t listed enough homes yet) and the purpose is just to remind you that you can’t fix stupid. If the client is more trouble than they are worth, not you or anyone else isn’t going to sell that house until the client stops being the “bully” and lets you be the expert you are.
If you fire a client or get yourself fired, because of the client’s ignorance or unrealistic expectations, believe me you are better off! Don’t let bother you and move on to the next REAL prospect.
Oh yea and say a little prayer for the next guy who takes over your client’s bad attitude. They can use all the help they can get!
don’t forget to attend the seminar entitled “Real Estate Agent Follow Up System” held at the Bucks County Association of Realtors on September 20th. Sign up here for just $9.97! www.larrysteinhouse.com/agents
Real Estate Agent Coach