It’s Time To Educate Your Database

Just like our clocks this weekend in the majority of the country, the housing market is preparing to “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale in the market right now is what is holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest, and traditionally they would have been right. Buyer demand has seasonality to it, which usually falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic temperatures and conditions.

That Hasn’t Happened This Year

Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with the recent increase in rates, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Many more buyers are jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes in 2017 all fell in April, May, or June.

Those who act quickly and list now could benefit greatly from additional exposure to buyers prior to a flood of more competition coming to market in the next few months.

Bottom Line

You need to start educating the buyers and sellers in your database and get them off the fence If they are planning on buying/selling in 2018.

The Top 4 Reasons You Need To Educate Your Database to Sell This Spring:

1. BUYER DEMAND:
Buyers are out in force looking for their dream homes! Buyers are often competing with one another for the listings that are available! According to NAR, the median days on the market for a listing was only 42 days last month!

2. LESS COMPETITION:
Housing inventory is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market. This means that, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in the market.

3.NEVER A BETTER TIME:
Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.3% over the next year according to CoreLogic. If your clients are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing them more in both down payment & mortgage payment, if they wait.

4. TIME TO MOVE ON:
Discover the reasons they decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it’s worth them waiting. Perhaps the time has come for them to move on and start living the life they desire. It’s your job as the agent and the expert to find that desire.

Experts At Work

At Appointments Today, our ISA’s are immersed in the market conditions and how they affect buyer and sellers. Our clients benefit greatly from this knowledge as we craft the messaging our Inside Sales Agents deliver to your leads to ensure we add the most value and achieve the greatest results.

If you’d like a demo of what we can do to help you grow your real estate business. Click here to schedule a time that works for you.

Schedule Your Demo

STAGING… Just the FACTS please

We can’t tell you how many different opinions we hear from agents across the country on whether or not you should advise your home seller to invest in staging their home.

We all know the points on each side of the argument and we’ve heard it all.

So we decided to stop guessing and look at the facts. We did some research and here’s what we found…

Top Findings from Seller’s Agents:

25% of sellers paid to have their homes staged before listing
50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers

The Breakdown: That means that of all homes sold between October 1st, 2017 and December 31, 2017, those homeowners who opted to have a professional home staging company deck out their home, half of them saw an increase in the offers that they received.

It’s easy to see just from these two data points that the listing agents who were able to articulate the value of having the homeowner stage their home prior to putting it on the market would unanimously agree that, on average, staging was a wise investment for their clients to make.

Top Findings from Buyer’s Agents:

77% said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own
40% of buyers were more willing to visit a home they saw online if it was staged
38% saw a positive impact on home value if the home is decorated to a buyer’s taste
44% saw an increase of 1-10% in dollar value offers on a staged home

The Breakdown: First off, let’s all sit back and digest those numbers for a second. Over three-quarters of all buyers agents in Q4 of 2017 said that simply having the right amount of furniture in the home and in the right rooms made it easier for prospective buyers to picture themselves living in that home.

Just by that data point alone, it should be clearly evident that home staging should be part of your internal checklist for all listings that you take. So, what if you do want to stage your sellers home but they’re on a budget. Here are the top 4 rooms you can stage that will attract buyers interest.

Top Rooms to Stage that Attract Buyers:

  1. Living Room
  2. Master Bedroom
  3. Kitchen
  4. Dining Room

Let us know your thoughts on staging vs. not staging and if the data above is in line with what you experience in your market.

Just Sold Postcard Template

Congrats on the sale! Now, promote your success and maximize your efforts by connecting with potential sellers in surrounding neighborhoods by sending them this Just Sold Postcard made for teams.

GETTING STARTED: Modern in design, this sleek Just Sold Postcard is the perfect addition to your marketing mix. To create this postcard you will need three property photos and your team’s contact and branding information, and headshots.

PROPERTY PHOTOS: Use your top three listing photos when creating this postcard. We recommend photos that represent both the interior and exterior of the home.

AGENT’S MESSAGE: Use the message space on this postcard to sell your teams services, specifically noting the benefits of working with your team. What is your USP (unique selling proposition), or more specifically, why should they choose you?

CALL TO ACTION: Add a phone number or URL where you want them to take the next step.

FINISHING TOUCHES: Your final proof should be printed on both sides of a heavy, postcard-style stock. It will then be trimmed to 6″x 4″ postcard size.

 

5 Negotiating Tactics That Kill Sales

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.

  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.

  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.

  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously, if an inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.

  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

5 Things You Must do to Convert Seller Leads

 

Seller lead generation can be a powerful strategy to build your listing inventory.

You don’t need to be a genius to convert these leads effectively, but you do need a strategy.

To make that strategy work effectively, you must attract your seller leads, nurture them and then convert them consistently.

Need help converting seller leads while you grow your listing portfolio?

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As with all strategies, you’ll get good results if you do the work.

Much like getting fit, you could have Arnold Schwarzenegger as your trainer, but if you don’t lift weights and eat the right goods, you’re not going to get good results.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to do these things yourself – you can hire an ISA and some administrative staff members to help you. That said, you’ll at least have to hold the people who are doing the work accountable.

Either way, you must take action.

Here’s what you need to do in order to build consistency in your seller lead conversion efforts. If you do these things regularly, you get the results you want and need in your listing business.

 

  1. Attract Enough Seller Leads

    Seems simple, but some people just don’t have enough leads.

    It can take as many as 60 contacts to get a listing appointment and in some cases double that to get a listing sale.

    This is not the norm, but it can be reality.

    Knowing this, if you’re not attracting enough seller leads, you just aren’t going to be able to get enough listing appointments or take enough listings to sell a decent number of homes.

    We recommend that you have a good source for expired, withdrawn and FSBO leads. In addition to that, you should have a good source of data for circle prospect in neighborhoods. Lastly, if you’re not getting home evaluation leads as part of your strategy, you need to do that too.

    The average home evaluation lead can take as many 6 to 8 months to become a “now” lead, so make sure you don’t give up on that prospect too early.

    For that matter, don’t give up on any seller lead too early.

    One last thing, make sure you have a good past client and sphere strategy in place to add any “easier-to-close” seller leads to your approach.

    It’s not enough to just have seller leads, you must contact them, too.

  2. Follow-up every lead inquiry ASAP.

    Send all leads an email and/or text to make a prompt initial contact. In these contacts, be sure to

    • Remind them how you found them/they found you: People go to a lot real estate sites and make a lot of inquiries. It’s easy for you to get lost in the shuffle so to speak. Make sure you stand out by letting them know who you are and how they found you.
    • Let them know what’s going to happen next: Remember, you may sell the same number of homes in a week or month that a person does in a lifetime. You’re the expert and you must demonstrate that in your contact with your seller prospects. Be sure to let sellers know what’s happening as they work their way closer to selling their home.
    • Start building massive rapport: This goes without saying. NO sale happens without first building rapport. Do your best to build trust by laying out your intentions and then following through by doing what you said you would do.

    Immediate follow up is essential, especially with leads you generate online.

    As you probably know, you’re 21 times more likely to do business with a prospect if you get in touch with them within 5 minutes of them contacting you.

    And again, if you can’t do it, automate it or have another person in your organization do it.

    Progression of a sale

  3. Call, call, call.

    At this point, you must pick up the phone – or someone must pick up the phone – and make initial contact.

    An email or a text is like a resume for a job: it can help you in getting you in the door, but it’s not going to get you the job…you must interview to get the job.

    That’s where phone calls come in.

    You must call regularly to build a relationship with seller prospects and stay in touch with them in order to be the last agent standing when they are ready to “pull the trigger”.

    This part of the process is where most agents let the process die.

    They’re either too busy, too disorganized or they have call reluctance.

    No matter what the challenge is…it must be overcome. Initial contacts and consistent follow up must occur if you are going to have success in converting seller leads to listings.

  4. The one..two (and even three) punch.

    First-call closes for an appointment are tough…really tough.

    That’s part of the reason that we, as real estate agents, get paid so handsomely for the job we do.

    The good new is this: even though that first phone call is important: it doesn’t need to be relied upon to secure the listing.

    Here’s why:

    1. Many leads that come in to you online (and even those that you secure through prospecting) are as many as 3 months away from taking action. Some are even further away.
    2. Ups and downs: Life happens. Even prospects with the best intentions have life events that can suddenly change their own strategy for selling their home. Be flexible and continue to build your relationship with them as they hone in on a solid target date for themselves.
    3. Calls, emails and texts must continue until an appointment is set: Use the force multiplier effect and stay in contact with your seller prospects in as many ways as possible so you have every chance possible for them to see you are committed to helping them with their sale.

    Remember, almost 80% of people will work with the first agent with whom they speak.

    Be there first.

    Be there often.

    Be everywhere.

    That way you get the best chance at securing your seller-prospect’s business.

  5. Consistency is the name of the game

    At the end of the day, you’re looking to earn your prospect’s trust so that it’s a no brainer for that person to want you to come to list and sell their home.

    Consistency is key in getting people to trust you enough so you can influence them

    In fact, it’s one of Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of influence from his book: Influence the Principles of Persuasion.

    In it, he talks about the principle of commitment and consistency.

    By showing up regularly with a variety of contact approaches consistently, your seller prospect knows that they can rely on you to do what you say you’re going to do.

    So many agents start calling and/or contacting their list of prospects and fall off.

    It’s hard to trust someone who shows up, but doesn’t continue showing up because it shows a lack of commitment.

    This is a bad thing when you’re trying persuade someone to trust you with selling their biggest asset.

    Say what you’re going to do…do what you say you’ll do.

    When you do, you’ll be the agent of choice for your listing prospects.

Trust

 

None of what we’ve shared here is a requirement to work at NASA.

It’s just good, sound advice backed by proven principles.

Take the time to lay out your contact strategy and then employ it at the highest level with professionalism, commitment and consistency.

By doing this, you’ll demonstrate to seller prospects that you are head and shoulders above your competition and the best agent for the job of getting their home sold.

Click here to find out how we can help you get in contact with more seller leads on a regular basis.