Tag: Real Estate

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 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.

Conveying Your Competitive Advantage in Prospect Presentations

Here is good information from Dirk Zeller who is the President of Real Estate Champions. He is recognized as the premier coach for the real estate industry. Dirk has developed a system that takes “regular” Agents and “regular” Managers and transforms them into Champion Agents and Managers.

Conveying Your Competitive Advantage in Prospect Presentations

by Dirk Zeller

Let’s start with the bottom line first: The whole purpose of a prospect presentation is to establish your competitive advantage. In the least time possible you want to communicate what makes you different from the more than 1.2 million other licensed Realtors in the United States. You want your prospects to see exactly why they should hire you, what’s in it for them, and why they should proceed with confidence to sign your listing agreement.

Most agents spend the presentation explaining what they will do for the client rather than focusing on the results the client can expect the agent to deliver. Newspaper ads, website pages, home magazines, dazzling flyers, and a lineup of other marketing items are tactics that, in truth, nearly all agents use in the normal course of business. They are not competitive advantages. In fact, you must assume before a listing presentation that every agent will promise a near-identical marketing plan.

So why will they hire you over the others? They’ll hire you because they see what’s in it for them. And what’s in it for them is the set of benefits they will receive as a result of your proven competitive position.

Home Inspections Pinellas County

Defining your unique competitive position

To differentiate yourself in the field of real estate sales you need to create, define, and consistently convey a competitive position that positively distinguishes you from your competition.

By knowing and exploiting the difference between your products and services and those of your competitors you will attract more prospects, win more clients, grow your market share, increase your revenue, expand your profits, and, eventually, weaken your competitors.

To pinpoint your unique competitive position, answer these questions:

1) Are there key statistics that set you apart from your competitors and provide you with a clear point of difference?

2) Do any of your BIG THREE statistics create a unique competitive position?

– Average list price to sale price

– Days on the market

– Listings sold versus listings taken

3) What benefits or values do consumers receive only when they deal with you?

4) Do you have dominant or strong market share in a geographic region?

5) Do you specialize in a particular property type, such as small plexes or a certain style of home?

6) Is your market share success tied to a particular price point?

7) When representing sellers, do you achieve quantifiably higher sale prices?

8) When representing buyers, do you achieve quantifiable savings in sales price, down payment, monthly payment, or interest rate?

Your answers don’t need to lead to 20 unique competitive positions. You only need half a dozen reasons why the consumer — whether you’re presenting to a buyer or a seller — should choose over everyone else. Focus only on advantages that will matter to your prospect.

Keep in mind the old sales adage: “It’s easier to sell someone what they want to buy than what you have to sell them.”

Proving your excellence: You don’t get paid for second place

A Fortune 500 CEO who doesn’t increase revenue will watch the stock price plummet. A quarterback who throws for lots of yards but doesn’t win games will be benched or traded. A Realtor who doesn’t get listings sold or find and secure the right home for buyers will leave the business.

In the real estate world, results are the name of the game. Anyone can make money in a marketplace where everyone wants to buy and sell, but only the excellent agents will thrive in a competitive marketplace.

We hope you find this information helpful and will be useful in your day to day real estate endeavors.

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