Category: Real Estate Professionals

3 Emerging Design Trends for Todays Lifestyle

3 Emerging Design Trends for Todays Lifestyle

Events from the past year have all of us reconsidering what we want and need out of our homes. From work and play to wellness, our homes have become the epicenter of, well, everything – leading to an emergence of design trends focused on adapting to a new normal. The design experts at Wilsonart, a world-leading provider of engineered surfaces, have identified three new lifestyle trends that are affecting lasting design changes.

  1. Back to Nature

It’s no secret that nature has the power to inspire, invigorate, restore and refresh. Research has shown that interacting with nature can offer mental health benefits, including decreasing stress and relieving anxiety. Likewise, incorporating elements of nature into the home has been proven to improve happiness and well-being.

Whether as a room’s canvas or a pop of color on an accent wall, paint is an easy and affordable way to bring nature’s beauty into the home with colors that evoke a sense of calm and serenity. “Dark blue hues reminiscent of water and the sky are trending, along with lush greens that infuse spaces with the fresh essence of grass and foliage,” says designer Gwen Petter. “Earthy neutrals, such as tans and beiges, are also in high demand for their ability to ground us and surround us with soothing natural tones.”

Beyond color, 40% of people report that they want a connection to nature, particularly in their kitchens, according to a survey by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). Homeowners are choosing nature-inspired materials for focal areas like countertops, cabinets and islands. Wilsonart® Home offers beautiful, on-trend options for virtually every surface in the home with performance features and price points to suit any lifestyle and budget. The expertly curated collection includes environmentally sustainable materials such as high-pressure laminates and performance veneers that deliver the authentic looks of exotic woods, stone-inspired solid surface options, and non-porous engineered quartz.

  1. “Resi-mercial” and Rustic

Fueled by the drastic decline in domestic and international travel during the pandemic, homeowner interest in replicating the sophisticated style and comforts of an upscale hotel or luxury resort in their home has continued to grow. From plush towels and perfectly plump pillows to spa-worthy bathrooms and chef-quality kitchens, commercially inspired designs are increasingly crossing over into the residential arena.

Carrara marble continues to be one of the most sought-after surfaces to achieve this clean, sophisticated, “resi-mercial” look, but not everyone desires the cost and maintenance that comes with the natural stone. The Wilsonart® Solid Surface Crafted Collection combines nature’s beauty with cutting-edge design innovation to deliver the look of authentic marble in an ultra-durable acrylic solid surface. This series of movement designs capture the beauty and drama of marble typically only seen in natural materials like quartz and stone with virtually limitless design applications for the kitchen, bath, and beyond.

Scandi Noir is another “resi-mercial” design approach that is gaining traction, particularly in kitchens. This style features looser rules and is characterized by the use of dark cabinets combined with dark countertops or contrasting dark and light surfaces. “Kitchen cabinets are still predominantly white, but more homeowners are adding a pop of color with contrasting island cabinets. In fact, searches for black and navy kitchens are up significantly,” notes Petter.

  1. Sustainable Style

As our lives become increasingly home-centric, our homes need to perform on a level they may never have before, and this includes incorporating materials that work as hard as we do. “Today’s homeowners are seeking surfaces that will live up to the rigors of everyday life,” explains Petter. “There also is growing interest in sustainable alternatives to natural products, which can contribute to deforestation and degraded air quality from sourcing and mining operations. Human-made composite materials offer appealing options that often outperform natural materials, delivering greater durability, less ongoing maintenance, and fewer harmful environmental impacts.”

Alternative materials like laminate, solid surface, and quartz mimic the best of Mother Nature without impacting the environment, offering appealing options for eco-conscious consumers. Many of these engineered surfaces are UL GREENGUARD Gold Certified to meet low chemical emissions limits for better air quality. Additionally, many laminate products are made with a combination of fibers from FSC-certified, fast-growing, sustainably managed woods and post-consumer recycled content (PCRC). For more information and inspiration, visit Wilsonart.com. (BPT)

Hot Trends in Renovations

Hot Trends in Renovations

Thank you for taking a minute to read this article about Hot Trends in Renovation. When great information is found, we like sharing it with our wonderful agents. Please enjoy.

Hot Trends in Renovation
By Denise Lones, The Lones Group

This week I am on-site at one of my properties. I’ve just finished a renovation here, and I have to share something very important: the building industry, home design industry, renovation/remodel industry—they’re all changing! And it is dramatic.

That’s why I have scheduled an online workshop covering the hottest trends later this summer to go over some of those changes. I’m going to go over architectural trends, color and paint trends, cabinet trends, and more.

home renovation

Just to give you a preview of this new kitchen, one of the biggest trends in kitchens is adding shelves. You may notice that the cabinets are not white, but linen, which is one of the hottest color trends right now especially when combined with a pop of black in the handle. Another major trend we’re seeing are these clean rectangular glass tiles.

“But Denise, why should I care about trends? They’re just going to change anyway,” I can hear you say.

You should care because your clients are going to ask you questions about this. Whether they are thinking about renovating before a sale, after a sale, or just touching up their home for listing photos, they trust your opinion and they want to know what’s really going on. Personal style aside, it’s always good to keep tabs on what is currently popular, because that can affect your clients’ bottom line.

Another subject I cover in the class is how to save money. Your clients will be eager to hear how to do a renovation on a shoestring budget. Fixer-uppers are also going to be more financially attractive. Your clients want to know what is a good idea and what is a money-sink.

We are also going to be taking a look at all the new products coming on the market. Specifically new counter-top products and flooring products. If I had to take two things to a desert island for a renovation, give me a few gallons of paint and some new flooring. The way flooring is engineered today is mind-boggling. You can save money and make impactful transformations that wouldn’t be possible unless you knew it was available.

We’ve just gone through a very modern-minimalist phase, and now we’re swinging back to a modern-traditional phase. That means warmer colors, richer textures, and more color and textures. My goal is to help you navigate this shift, even if it isn’t your personal style.

Now, I’m a black-and-white kind of gal. I love high-contrast black and white, but on this remodel, I chose linen (not pure white) because that’s what people want. Knowing little things like that can save you money, make you money, and give you the edge.

Thank you for reading this and please remember us if you or someone you know needs a home inspection.

The Laundry Room, How Best To Remodel It.

The Laundry Room, How Best To Remodel It.

Your laundry room is one of the most-used rooms in your house. For many homeowners, however, it isn’t always one of the most pleasant rooms. Since you spend so much time in there, however, there’s no reason that it has to be an unpleasant place to be. You can redesign it so that it’s a fun, airy place that you’ll love to enter when it’s laundry time.

Remodeling The Laundry Room

Decide on a Color Scheme

If your laundry room is dark, creating a color scheme full of bright colors, or going with a neutral white, can lighten it up and make it seem both larger and more cheerful. If there is no window in the room, white or a light cream will often work best to create a more airy space. No matter which colors you choose, there will be beautiful natural materials that you can use to create a more beautiful and upscale room that will add both enjoyment and value to this space.

Choose Materials

Today’s homes are full of stone countertops and a variety of tiles. With your colors in mind, it’s time to choose your countertop’s material, your flooring and your wall colors. Countertops today are often done in natural materials like marble, granite and quartz. Choose the durability and color you need and get a countertop that will be a pleasure to look at and work with each day.

Having a tile laundry room floor is ideal because it handles water well. Both slate and porcelain tile are perfect for creating a floor that is ready for constant use. They also look great and are on-trend in modern laundry rooms. Both come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.

Work With Your Space

No matter what the size of your laundry room, there is a way to use the space to its best advantage. Plan out the optimal use for the space to include everything you need while allowing you plenty of room to move around. You may need to invest in stackable appliances to maximize the space. If the room is large, consider having different areas for different tasks and storage needs. A full-sized ironing board is easy to place in a large room, but a smaller one can benefit from one that is attached to the wall and foldable.

Using the Room

One of the most important things to consider is how you use your laundry room. Don’t think about an ideal way that the room could be used – think about the real way that you will use it each day. Make a list of what you do in there and what you need to store in it. If you store a lot of cleaning supplies, consider creating a small closet or installing a built-in, tall cabinet that will hold things like the brooms and vacuum cleaner. If you like to fold and iron in the room, make sure you leave plenty of space for these activities.

Most people store various items in their laundry rooms, and you can store in style after your remodel. Choose your cabinet sizes based on what you keep in the room, and get more out of the space by having your cabinets and shelving extend up high to the ceiling. If you often hang your clothing dry, consider installing a drying rack. If you do a lot of clothing repairs and sewing, consider adding a desk to the room to allow for sewing space.

With a new laundry room that meets the needs of your household, you will enjoy the time you spend there. You will also be able to store your necessary items and have plenty of space to get laundry done in a beautiful, updated room.

We enjoy sharing great information like this with you. If you enjoyed this article as we did, please be sure to share it with your family and friends so they can enjoy it too. And, if you need a home inspection or know of someone who does, be sure to give us a call. We’re always available for you.

5 Clever Value-boosting Tips for Your Home

5 Clever Value-boosting Tips for Your Home

Have you ever had moments when you look at your home and say to yourself what a beautiful place you have? Whether it is the spacious kitchen, or the sunny yard, the charming deck, or the cozy bedrooms, there was probably something that attracted you to this house; that’s why you bought it. But remember, a new home is just like a new car: It will age and depreciate over time. It is essential to make it a habit to continuously maintain and make your home even better to boost its value as time passes. Here are 5 clever value-boosting tips for your home:

Home inspectors Pinellas, Pasco

1. Create Space
Open floor plans are becoming a trend in many major and minor remodeling projects for older homes. Conventionally, most United States houses have walls that separate the kitchen and the living room. The open floor plan aims to connect two or more rooms to form a communal living area. This open concept gives the impression of a larger space. If a wall separates your kitchen from your living room, consider removing the barrier. Create a flow between the rooms by adding stylish and functional furniture. You will be surprised how much you’ll transform your home’s feel.

2. Make the Most of Your Yard
Are you looking for a sure way of making your home one of the most attractive houses in the neighborhood? Proper landscaping will never fail you! A well-landscaped yard dramatically impacts the entire look and feel of your home, increasing your property’s value by 10 to 12 percent. Landscaping is one of the top home investments with the highest returns. HomeGain, a real estate marketing company, surveyed 2,000 brokers and found out that an investment of between $400 – $500 can generate up to four times in returns. Never overlook the landscaping!

3. Update Your Plumbing
Nothing lasts forever, including the pipes in your home. Appraisers significantly consider plumbing conditions when giving value to your property. In older houses, the piping materials may be galvanized steel or iron, durable but prone to corrosion. Over time, the tubing gradually corrodes and rusts. If your steel pipes look old and degraded, it’s about time to update your plumbing system. Unless you replace your plumbing, you’re eventually going to get plumbing disasters that may lead to expensive damages to your house and belongings. If you still have steel pipes in your home, it is best to have them replaced. There are multiple options professional plumbers can suggest regarding the material you should use as a replacement to serve you best.

4. Freshen Up Your Bathroom
Replacing outdated fixtures can go a long way to giving your bathroom a fresh new classy look. Popular finishes include brushed nickel or satin because they pair well with most tile choices. A chrome finish is also an excellent choice if you want a more classic look. You may also opt to update your contractor-grade lighting into something more stylish and functional and repaint the walls to brighten up your bathroom. Most people consider the bathroom as the most personal space in the home. We all want this intimate space to reflect our style, but it should also simultaneously deliver the comfort we need.

5. Let there be light
You can do many things to brighten up your house, so adding windows and knocking down the walls are not the only solutions. Start by fixing broken panes and light switches that trigger dim lighting and replacing old light bulbs. Make sure to trim any trees or bushes near your windows regularly to welcome the sunlight into your room. Don’t forget the exterior lighting because they contribute significantly to your home’s aesthetic appeal and crucial for your safety and security. Make sure that all the lights are correctly installed and fully functional.

Boost your home’s value with these small-scale upgrades and spruce-ups! These five value-boosting tips are for sure worth your investment.

The Importance of Having a Strong Real Estate Voice

The Importance of Having a Strong Real Estate Voice
By Denise Lones

One of the biggest challenges real estate agents face is confidence. Just about every agent I know suffers from a lack of confidence from time to time. Agents who are new face challenges with confidence because they are concerned about their knowledge and expertise. Agents who are trying to tap into a new market or niche may also feel they are in over their heads. Even agents who have had success, but had a bad transaction or weren’t successful in a listing presentation may suffer from a temporary loss of confidence.

What is the very best way to increase your confidence? Knowledge, experience, and coupling with a strong voice.

Take a moment and think about something you are very comfortable doing or a special skill that you have unrelated to real estate. Are you a good cook, artist, parent, or are great with animals? Think about something that people come to you for advice on because you are exceptional at it. Now imagine you are giving someone advice on that topic or talking through how you do something.

Real Estate Inspection

For example, my dad was a chef and I learned to be very comfortable in the kitchen from him. In fact, making Greek salad, souvlaki and tzatziki, and baklava for 100 people doesn’t phase me a bit. I don’t follow a recipe anymore – I cook with instinct. I could easily teach people how to make probably 50 dishes without having to glance at my recipes. That is because I have that knowledge, experience, and therefore, confidence in my abilities. I can have a strong voice when it comes to cooking, especially Greek cooking.

However, if someone asked me to speak on the internal workings of the Tesla, that would put me out of my comfort zone. I wouldn’t have the confidence to talk about that because I am not a mechanic nor an electrician. My voice would not be strong because it is not a confident voice.

My goal for each and every one of you would be to gain enough confidence in your real estate trade so you could easily rattle off where your local market has been in terms of inventory, supply vs demand, days on market, and sale prices – and why. How does your local economy play into what is happening with housing? Are there new construction projects on the horizon? Are there new companies coming in and new employees needed (which will put more demand on housing)? Is your city annexing land in growth areas? What does that mean for homeowners?

Here is a hint – you probably know more than you think. Can you answer these questions?

– How has COVID affected local businesses in your area?
– How has COVID affected your local real estate market?
– How was inventory in your area this past year?
– Were there specific price points or types of inventory that were super-hot commodities? What sat on the market for longer?
– What is one local issue pertaining to real estate that you are watching in 2021?
– What is one piece of advice you have for buyers?
– What is one piece of advice you have for sellers?

If you can answer these questions easily, then you have what it takes to have a strong real estate voice! You have been paying attention to the market, can guide buyers and sellers, and therefore, should have confidence in your knowledge.

Every agent who has a strong real estate voice should be putting it to good use by communicating your market conditions to your database. Don’t rely on your company messaging or the local news – your clients need to hear from you. That is how you build value, build strong professional relationships, and get referrals.

But what if you need a little help getting your strong real estate voice out there? That is where I come in. Each year, I provide my clients with a written article that includes a quick recap of the past year and some predictions for the upcoming year. As you can imagine, COVID played quite a role and while we won’t see the full ramifications of that for many months, there are clues about how the economy and the real estate market fare.

We hoped you enjoyed this information as much as we did. If so, be sure to share it with your co-workers and other agent friends.

The Art of The Close

The Art of the Close

Denise Lones

There’s no word in real estate that is more misunderstood than the word “closing”. It conjures up images of a toothy salesman in a checkered sport coat hawking used cars. It reminds us of all of those times we were asked, “So, are you ready to buy today?”

Gives you the creeps, doesn’t it?

Well, I have good news for you: That’s not effective closing. Closing is not just asking for the business like so many sales trainers tell you. Closing is not about badgering someone to buy a product. Closing is not about getting “the sale”.

Closing is about asking questions and getting people the information they need so that they are armed with the right knowledge to make the best decisions. In essence, a good closer offers something, rather than asking for something. When your client realizes they are in good hands and have all the information and support they need, they become the closers by saying, “Get out the paperwork. Let’s sign this now.”

An agent asked me recently, “Denise, how do I close at an open house?”

“What are you trying to close for?”, I asked. “Are you trying to sell the house you’re in today? That’s going to be incredibly difficult because most people don’t just buy the property they walk into at an open house.”

Instead, I suggested closing for permission to give the clients the information they need. It’s actually quite simple. It only requires three little words:

“Would you like…”

There you have it. Those are my magic closing words. No pressure. No pushiness. No presumptions. Just a request for permission to give a client what they want.

 

Real Estate Closing

How do you use these three words? In questions like these:

“Would you like me to get you some more information on appreciation rates in the neighborhood you like?”

“Would you like me to do a complete summary of the upgrades that have been completed on this house?”

“Would you like me to search for and find properties that are similar to this one?”

And so on. You could phrase almost anything as a “Would you like…” question.

Now that’s what I call closing. When you ask people if you can get them more information or perform a specific task for them, you’re beginning the process. Closing isn’t just that question at the end that gets them to sign the contract — it’s a process of educating and providing information.

Think of it as a dance. Most sales training “gurus” would have you think that closing is a one-step dance. It is really an intricate series of moves, full of twists and turns along the way. And remember, most dances are effective with a partner! Don’t lose sight of the fact that there’s something involved in this process with you — a buyer or seller who needs your help.

One very important factor to remember when asking “Would you like…” questions is the way you phrase the questions. For example, you could say, “Would you like to be on my mailing list?”

That sounds sales-y. That’s not offering information. That’s asking for something, rather than giving something. Always make sure that you’re giving something to them.

Instead, you might want to say, “Would you like me to get you some more information? I send out a great weekly email that talks about just the things you want to know–with all the numbers you need to make a good decision. Would you like me to send it to you?”

See how much less intimidating and more helpful that is?

Another of my favorite phrases is “Can I take a moment…?” This is another non-threatening way of beginning to give information to your clients.

Here are some examples:

“Can I take a moment to show you what the numbers would look like if you purchased a home like this?”

“Can I take a moment to go over what the next step would be if you were interested in buying?”

“Can I take a moment to show you how others who have invested in this neighborhood have realized significant returns?”

These are soft-closing questions. They move the conversation forward. They offer information and service. They do not ask for the sale.

When you develop a friendly give-and-take of questions and answers with your clients, you soon realize that the old ways of pushing for the sale just don’t work anymore. People want service. They want to know that you’re looking out for their interests, not just the interests of your bank account.

Always remember that you are an educator, first and foremost. You are so much more than a “salesperson”. As an educator, you have an important mission. You exist to educate your clients on exactly what they need to make the best decision for their future. They are your partners. They are your teammates.

The best way to help out your partners and teammates is with five-star service–which doesn’t include cheesy old-fashioned “ask-for-the-sale” closing questions.

If you enjoyed this information, be sure to share it with your fellow agents.

Denise Lones, President — As the founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate.

Disclaimer: All information, views, and experiences presented here are distributed by an actual Real Estate Coach and shared with proper consent as additional noteworthy information. The above-stated material does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our company. If you wish to use and distribute this copyrighted material for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

The Power of Gratitude

The Power of Gratitude
by Denise Lones, The Lones Group
Think about your last transaction. Was it a tough one? Were there moments when you didn’t think it would close? Or was it smooth with barely any bumps along the way?
Whichever path the transaction took, I bet there were some standout people involved that helped it across the finish line. Really think about this – who stepped up and took care of your clients? Was it:
The inspector who, despite being slammed, made time for a last-minute inspection?
The lender who worked with the underwriters to approve the buyers despite their qualifying with self-employment income?
Your managing broker who gave you great advice on handling a low appraisal?
The escrow company who worked with your out-of-area clients and coordinated their signing from afar?
You know the saying, you can’t see the forest for the trees? It means it is easy to get so caught up in the details of something that it is difficult to step back and see it as a whole. A real estate transaction is sometimes comprised of one problem after another that leaves us so tired and drained that we forget to take a look at the good details that went along with it. But I think a little time to reflect and show gratitude can be very good for our industry!
In fact, I would like to see each and every one of us add “Gratitude” to our pending to close checklists. How much better would we feel about even the worst transactions if we added a little time to thank the people involved?
Luckily there are a number of ways to do this! You can:
– Send a handwritten thank-you note
– Give them a great endorsement on LinkedIn or Facebook
– Send them a BombBomb video thanking them
– Taking a quick thank you video and posting it to their Facebook wall
– Giving them a great review on Yelp or wherever they collect reviews (a written review; don’t just rank them with no commentary)
– Giving them a great review through their company channels
– You can even show up at their office with a small gift
Whatever fits best for your style is fine. Develop your system and stick with it. The key is to spread that gratitude around!
And remember, when you thank someone for a job well done, people remember that. It is just human nature. How often do you think lenders or inspectors get a thank you note from an agent?
Don’t you think that might help them remember you when they have a referral?
Don’t underestimate the power of gratitude. Take the time and thank the industry professionals who helped with your last transaction today!
Power of Gratitude
If you enjoyed this information, be sure to share it with your fellow agents.
Denise Lones, President — As the founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, branding, new home project planning, product development, and agent/broker training, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate.

Challenging Appraisals in Todays Real Estate Market

Challenging Appraisals in Today’s Real Estate Market
by Denise Lones, The Lones Group
There isn’t a week that goes by lately that I don’t hear a nightmare appraisal story from one of my clients. There has been a huge surge in appraisal challenges in the last 90-days and it makes me wonder what is going on!
Many transactions today are being delayed because appraisers seem to be struggling to keep up with the demand. There are too few appraisers for the number of appraisals needed. The other challenge is that while the market is super-hot right now, appraisers are coming up empty-handed when searching for appropriate comparable properties.
Unfortunately, when there aren’t enough good comparables, the appraiser then has a hard time justifying a price. When a price can’t be justified, the loan is not going to receive approval from the mortgage loan underwriters.
It is critical that appraisers today look at the big picture when finding comparable properties. I don’t mean to be telling appraisers how to do their job, but we as real estate agents are getting caught in the middle and my advice is to help everyone deal with the challenges we are faced with. The big picture referred to means not only looking at the amenities of individual properties but also the pace of the market in a particular area to extrapolate how hot a market is. When homes are selling at record low days on market and for well above list price, those are both indicators of high current demand and the appraisal price should reflect this regardless of what happened 90-days ago or whenever the comps used sold.
I recently had an appraisal discrepancy on a property where there was a $300,000 difference between two appraisals that were done within 60-days of each other. Lack of good comparables was the culprit. There wasn’t a lack of sales; there were plenty of sales occurring in the area, but the properties used were not a good match for the property appraised. This lack of comparables can lead appraisers to make adjustments, in this case, illogical adjustments for this area and type of home. Sometimes those adjustments do not favor the overall final price.
The other issue is just the lack of appraisal manpower. I am hearing about closings delayed for weeks due to lack of an available appraiser.
This is an industry problem. So, what do we do as real estate agents?
Don’t just stand back and throw up your hands. If the bank is sitting on their hands, indicating an appraiser isn’t available and they will get one out when one is available, that isn’t good enough. Be nice, but be persistent.
Challenging Real Estate Appraisals
When you are faced with an appraisal that clearly does not fit the market, you must challenge and question the appraisal. It is imperative that you get in touch with the lender and have them do a review. Supply your own research if needed. Have your sellers supply an in-depth list of all upgrades to the property along with the dollars invested.
To all the real estate agents out there, I know that you’ve had these issues. I urge you to be diligent about following through and making your voice heard when you have an appraisal that is unfavorable or unfair.
If you enjoyed this information, be sure to share it with your fellow realtors.

How to revive your dead real estate leads….NOW

How To Revive Your Dead Real Estate Leads And Get Appointments NOW

How To Revive Your Dead Real Estate Leads And Get Appointments NOW
by Joe Stumpf, Real Estate Coach

Here’s an interesting statistic: 50% of all real estate leads are never followed up. That means people are asking for things and they never hear back from anyone.
How about you? Are you generating real estate leads from your Web site and/or expensive print ads, but then following up gets pushed down your to-do list because of your crazy schedule, and then further down, and further down, until those leads end up languishing under a stack of paperwork? Then the stack gets moved from your desk…to a chair…and then maybe filed on the floor. By the time you get around to resurrecting the leads they’ve gone way cold. No point in contacting any of them now, right? Wrong!

About six weeks ago I was talking to Diane Cardano, a Realtor in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. She and her team of six buyer specialists are great at generating leads, and consistent about following up with their email drip campaign. Unfortunately, this tried-and-true strategy that had worked well in the past wasn’t working so well anymore. As Diane put it, “Things were really slowing down. We had all these leads, but nobody was committing to come into the office.”
I gave Diane an easy follow-up strategy that we’ve tested and proven to work regardless of whether the lead is cold or fairly recent. I call it the “Nine-Word Email.” Here it is:

Email subject line: Lead’s First Name
Email message: Are you still looking for a home in ?
That’s it — nine words.

Diane and her team got the city or area from the information their leads had put in their search parameters. Then they started sending the emails, and in just two weeks this strategy brought them five new buyers. Plus, they heard from additional people who said they’d be looking a few months down the road, and to please keep in touch.

Now, it’s OK if you’re skeptical — Diane was, too. When she called me to share her results, she confessed that she’d thought, “Of course this can’t work — it’s way too easy.”

Diane also ‘fessed up that putting just the lead’s first name in the subject line was contrary to everything she believed an email should be; that is, putting your whole life story in the subject line and then your whole life story again in the email.

That’s that tried-and-true strategy I mentioned earlier.

So, here it is again: The formula that brought Diane and her team five buyers in just two weeks:
Email subject line: Lead’s First Name
Email message: Are you still looking for a home in ? That’s it — nine words.
Include your contact information, of course.

And of course, don’t send your emails unless you’re committed to following through and ready to meet prospective buyers now, and add future buyers to your pipeline.
And no more floor filing, OK?

[[Firstname]], when I read this article, I realized that this easy follow-up strategy can work for any business owner, home inspector included 🙂 and I wanted to share it with you. I hope that you can use this information and share it with your other realtor friends.Remember, we’re always available for you and your clients when you need a home
inspection.
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Joe Stumpf, the Joe in Joe’s Journal. By Referral Only is a company that he founded back in 1988. It has grown to be the largest company in North America that exclusively coaches Real Estate and Mortgage consultants how to build a By Referral Only business. His mission is to be the best in the business at teaching the principles providing the systems and modeling the behavior of referability.
Disclaimer: All information, views, and experiences presented here are distributed by an actual Real Estate Coach and shared with proper consent as additional noteworthy information. The above-stated material does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our company. If you wish to use and distribute this copyrighted material for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain
permission from the copyright owner.

How to Become a Real Estate Grand Master and Have Your Best Year Ever

How to Become a Real Estate Grand Master and Have Your Best Year Ever

by Joe Stumpf

I read a fascinating article in Scientific American that dealt with the “secrets of expert minds.” It started me thinking about the relationship between an entrepreneur and his client. Basically, clients are in search of someone with expertise. They need your expertise in consulting, they need your expertise in negotiating, and they need your expertise in overseeing all the transactional details. So if people seek expertise, then your primary goal should be to become a true expert in your profession.

Real Estate Professionals

The article discussed the Grand Master’s strategy in the game of chess. To achieve Grand Master status, a chess player must become one of the finest in the world. When chess players begin playing, however, they all start out at the same level, and it takes about five years of constant playing to develop the mental acumen to play the game comfortably on an automatic level of expertise.

At that point, things change. Players begin developing a new skill, one of learning something new every day. They gain a new perspective, a new insight. This lasts for another five to eight years, so after 10 or more years of constant effort, they’ve built a repertoire of over 100,000 possibilities.

At this level of expertise, the Grand Master can simply glance at any chess game in progress and almost automatically identify the best next moves.

Most agents in their early years in the real estate industry are learning the basic moves. You learned how to handle some common objections and you developed a discipline to handle basic problems. You did many things for the first time, and each of these added to the breadth of your experience. After five years, you begin to get the feeling that you’ve seen it all, done it all, and you begin to feel comfortable and secure in your profession; you consider yourself a true expert. That’s a critical point in your business: You either stop learning and go stagnant, or you take the next step toward becoming a Grand Master.

The best in the business don’t stop. They develop a new mindset, and that mindset is “I’m just getting started.” And from there, the expert mind begins developing those 100,000 possibilities for looking at any situation, automatically. Each day begins with the affirmation, “I commit to learning a new move today.” And at the end of each day, a Grand Master reviews that new learning, lodging it firmly in memory so the experience is ready for use the next day.

Imagine sitting down with clients and listening to their unique circumstances. As you listen, their scenario unfolds as if it’s on a game board with pieces you’ve played hundreds of times. As you listen, you see all the moves, the counter moves, and the counter-counter moves instantly, and you can give your clients the best advice immediately. You can do this because you have a wealth of learning that’s contributed to your expertise.

And the secret is, after five years, you are just getting started. So each and every day, commit to learning something new in your expertise area, keeping in mind that even something subtle can be significant. It’s important to recognize that only a handful of people are willing to make the commitment to becoming Grand Masters at consulting, negotiating, and overseeing transactional details. If you’re now at that point in your career, now is the time to start learning the things you don’t know that you don’t know.

Two ways to begin are to start reading and to start studying successful people. What you gain from reading is obvious — textbook knowledge from expert practitioners and leaders in their fields. You don’t need to focus on an author in your field; many people write books about skills that transfer easily from profession to profession. Here are my Top Three suggested books for Grand Masters:

Value-Based Selling by Bill Bachrach

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

And, by studying and internalizing the successful habits of others, you can take yourself and your business to the next level.

The true experts in our industry are continuing to have their best year ever, despite the challenges in the market. And they’re doing this because they’ve committed themselves to learning something new every single day so they have 100,000 possibilities for anything they encounter. Those with less expertise are struggling to weather the storm.

Now is the time to concentrate on becoming a Grand Master in this market. Start reading. Start studying successful individuals in all walks of life. Learn, adjust, and adapt.

A little information about Joe Stumpf, the Joe in Joe’s Journal. By Referral Only is a company that he founded back in 1988. It has grown to be the largest company in North America that exclusively coaches Real Estate and Mortgage consultants on how to build a By Referral Only business. His mission is to be the best in the business at teaching the principles providing the systems and modeling the behavior of referability.

Disclaimer: All information, views, and experiences presented here are distributed by an actual Real Estate Coach and shared with proper consent as additional noteworthy information. The above-stated material does not necessarily reflect the opinions of our company. If you wish to use and distribute this copyrighted material for purposes beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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