Author: Joe Lins

One of “Those Days” in Real Estate

By Joe Lins
February 6, 2017

Whether or not your team won the Super Bowl yesterday, today is one of “those days” in residential real estate.  It’s a day that historically the real estate market just “picks up” for the new year.  Inquiries become appointments, Sellers are ready, open houses have more traffic and Buyers are just more interested!

Real Estate Agent at an Open House

Other examples of these kind of eventful days are tax day [April 15], the day kids start summer vacation, the 4th of July and Memorial Day to name a few.  Hopefully, you have been diligently working and are already on your way to accomplishing your 2017 goals.  At CENTURY 21 Discovery we are focused on a positive attitude, accountability, listening to our Clients and understanding their goals, and continuing our education through Coaching and Learning Sessions.

As of today there are 32 NFL Teams whose goal is to win the Super Bowl in 2018 and only one will hold the trophy at the end of the game.  They have already begun the preparation. Are you prepared? I invite you to take a closer look at what we are all about at CENTURY 21 Discovery and how we can assist you in achieving your goals in 2017.



About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

How To Stay Relevant in 2017

By Joe Lins
January 4, 2017

The real estate industry continues to evolve and to remain successful REALTORS® we need to stay relevant to our clients. Real estate agents at the top of their game have already developed their strategy for 2017. Here are some additional points agents should pay attention to in the new year:

Consumer Behaviors

Pay attention to the consumers’ behavior by understanding your clients’ needs and how you can satisfy their needs. Listen to them and then give them sound, unbiased information so they can make a decision based on what’s right for them. Doing this will allow you to achieve your goals helping others achieve theirs. Also, remember that the old adage “The consumer is always right” is still applicable today. Buyers and Sellers don’t behave any differently than we do when we buy or sell anything as an individual. Keep that in mind as you work for your clients’ best interests.


New Real Estate Laws and Revised Forms

Pay attention to what’s going on within the industry. There are new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2017. Learn what those laws are and how they affect your business. As a REALTOR®, you should be reading the information provided from your local association. Your broker or management staff should also alert you to these changes. Some of the forms that we use in every transaction in California have been revised. Real estate agents need to have a clear understanding of these new forms. Again, your association or office management should be making you aware of these changes.

Local Real Estate Market

Pay attention to what’s going on in the real estate market. This seems like a no-brainer. REALTORS® need to be aware of the current market in regards to inventory, average days on market, local initiatives that can affect the market as well as interest rates. You need to have market knowledge backed up by true facts rather than just repeat what you hear from people who aren’t selling homes in the business. This knowledge of what’s truly going on in the market place backed up by data makes you invaluable to your clients.

Bottom line is we need to consistently pay attention to what’s going on in our industry. If we don’t we become irrelevant.



About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

Best Practices for Real Estate Brokers and Agents

By Joe Lins
August 24, 2016

I had the opportunity to sit down with Laurie Popp of Century 21® to discuss best practices I use within my real estate business at CENTURY 21 Discovery. We discussed advice for brokers and managers, creating the type of office culture that allows the agents to succeed and advice to agents just starting out in the business.

Brokers and managers need to be available to their agents. We need to communicate with them how they want to be communicated with (email, text, voice mail, in person). Get back to them right away. We need to set a good example as their leader. This is what the consumer wants and the agents need to learn to have a quick response time.

I’ve been accused of being “Old School” and I think that’s a compliment. Our office culture mixes the old with the new. We take advantage of the tools and technology Century 21 has to offer and we teach our agents how to use these tools. It’s not just about who has the latest technology. We also teach them the good old-fashioned skill sets they need to have in this business: negotiating, time management, preparation, etc.

My advice to new agents is to invest in yourself. Hone your leadership skills and have passion for what you do. Most importantly, be ethical and moral. I don’t believe that real estate agents are going to go away. It’s not a common purchase. It’s not buying an airline ticket or a pair of shoes online. It’s a lengthy process and a good agent is needed to help the consumer navigate the process.



About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

Celebrating Success

By Joe Lins
May 11, 2016

I LOVE celebrating the success of our agents. Every year we have an awards breakfast to recognize the achievements of our agents from the prior calendar year. All the awards are important but I have two favorites: the Quality Customer Service award and the Most Determined Producer award. Both awards embody what I consider the most important aspects of our company culture. Below are some highlights from the day.





About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

Interview with C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young

By Joe Lins
February 15, 2016

I had the opportunity to interview California Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young after her presentation at the Pacific West Association of REALTORS® February general membership meeting. I asked her three questions about the real estate industry and specifically Orange County real estate.

Those three questions were:

1) What is the biggest disruption facing the real estate industry?

2) How healthy is the Orange County real estate market?

3) What is the biggest opportunity for the consumer in Orange County?

She’s a smart woman and I value her insight. Watch this short video for her responses.


Joe Lins photo


About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team or would like more information about our services contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

The Disruptor

By Joe Lins
January 13, 2016

A hot topic of discussion in real estate circles is what will be the next big disruptor in the industry. Will it be some new technology we can’t even imagine yet or a new company we’ve never heard of before?

I believe the disruptor needs to come from within the industry. The disruptor should be something that the industry has failed to do. It needs to be the self-regulation of ourselves to create higher standards that will make us relevant to the client.

What I mean by that is the industry needs to step it up. We all know the licensing requirements to become an agent are minimal and don’t provide the additional skills sets needed to do the best job for the client.

This topic came to the forefront of the conversation when the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) released the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report back in May 2015. One of my earlier blog posts discussed this topic and how the #1 threat to real estate professionals comes from within the industry.

As REALTORS®, we have to do a better job of taking care of problems within the industry. That means REALTOR® association grievance committees and pro-standards committees have to do a better job. It also means individual REALTORS® have to do a much better job of reporting violations and not letting the violators get by. If we don’t do this then they will continue to be violators and they won’t be motivated to get any better. Not good for the industry and not good for the client. If we don’t do this, we run the risk of the government stepping in and attempting to regulate us. Check out the interview with PWR Director Al Ricci and real estate blogger and analyst Rob Hahn on this topic.

My goal is that CENTURY 21 Discovery will be the big disruptor in the industry in Orange County by providing the additional training and coaching agents need to succeed in this competitive industry. I’m not talking about the latest technology or tool. Everyone should have that by now. I’m talking about the skill sets needed to work in the client’s best interest.  What does that mean? It means communication and negotiating skills, knowledge of industry requirements and most important, adherence to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.

Only then will professional REALTORS® have the knowledge, skills, morals and ethics needed to give the customer the right information they need to make the decisions that are right for them. The disruption needs to come from within.

Joe Lins photo


About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

Giving Tuesday 2015

By Joe Lins
December 1, 2015

Today is the 4th annual Giving Tuesday, a global day to give back and celebrate generosity. We are so proud to live and work in such a charitable community like North Orange County, California. Two weeks ago we held our annual Celebrate Giving with CENTURY 21 Discovery charity event. It’s our way to kick off this season of giving.


This year, our 21st year, we raised $19,000 to give to local charities in our community. Since its inception we have raised close to $300,000! As a result of the success of this event, we have formed the Discovery Charity Foundation.


Giving back is part of our culture at CENTURY 21 Discovery. In our 2014 blog post about Giving Tuesday we mentioned that many of our agents and staff serve on non-profit boards or volunteer with organizations in the community. They continue that practice and we fully encourage it. We believe it’s our duty as well as an honor to support the communities we serve. It warms our heart.


Joe Lins photo


About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

The #1 Threat to Real Estate Industry

By Joe Lins
June 29, 2015

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released the D.A.N.G.E.R. Report which stands for Definitive Analysis of Negative Game Changers in Real Estate. You can download a copy of the report HERE. NAR commissioned Swanepoel | T3 Group, an outside management consulting firm, to conduct an analysis of the threats, opportunities and trends in the real estate industry.

While there were many threats to the industry and our profession from outside the industry, there was one huge threat mentioned in the 160+ page report that comes from within the industry. According to the DANGER Report, the #1 threat to real estate professionals and the industry as a whole are other agents who are unqualified and/or incompetent. The Report says, “The real estate industry is saddled with a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and/or incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.”


The Report cites the low state requirements to become a licensed real estate agent. The national average to get a license requires a measly 70 hours of training. Having the bar set so low to enter the profession or even remain in this profession is a recipe for trouble. Agents are allowed into the business with a very basic knowledge. That’s okay, you have to start somewhere. The problem is the brokers who hire these agents without providing any additional training or oversight and just letting them loose on the streets.

I see it firsthand every day. In California we have many forms and requirements that are constantly changing. What happens when the broker does not provide the ongoing supervision or training or insist the agent get it from through their local association? I can tell you from experience with agents from other firms, at times it isn’t pretty.

We recently had a new Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) roll out in California. Our Executive Leadership team knew it was coming and prepared our agents over the course of several months by providing training on the new RPA. About a week after it went into effect, I got a phone call from one of our agents who was in a transaction with an agent from another firm. That agent knew nothing about the new RPA and didn’t know how to complete it. Our agent asked if we would be willing to train the other agent on the new RPA. I said “Absolutely!” A well-trained agent is good for everyone involved including the industry.

I’m not looking forward to the roll out of the new TRID requirements later this year. Not because it’s a new requirement. We’ve been talking to our agents about this for weeks and they will be receiving training so they are ready for the change. I’m dreading it because I know that most agents on the other side of the transaction will not have a clue. When that happens the person who will be the most vulnerable and frustrated will be the client. Their dissatisfaction is a negative impact on our profession and industry.

Yes, the training to become a license real estate agent is minimal. That is why it’s up to each broker and real estate association to have higher requirements to be affiliated with them. Every market and state is different but there needs to be a consensus from the leaders in this industry to raise the bar and hold the Brokers who don’t, accountable.

For those of us who believe this is a true profession and one that we consciously chose, this should be a no-brainer.

Joe Lins photo


About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

What’s Your Value?

By Joe Lins

January 5, 2015

Our Leadership Team at CENTURY 21 Discovery recently held our annual strategic planning meeting for 2015. At that meeting we set aside a portion of the day to review and discuss our Value Package. We wanted to make sure every member of our team knew the value of what we provide to the agents at our firm as well as being associated with the Century 21® brand.

A few months before we presented it at our Strategic Planning Meeting, the owners and Chief Operating Officer sat down to review and update everything we provide to our agents when they come to work at CENTURY 21 Discovery.

I include this value package review process as part of my weekly coaching session with our agents. A Value Package should be a part of every REALTORS® arsenal that they bring out when they meet with a potential client or go on a listing presentation. It can be as simple as bullet points of the services provided to the client and how it will benefit them. Whatever format it is, it should be what sets you apart from the other guys.


I do this every time I recruit a new agent or counsel a current agent who is being wooed by another brokerage. I have to show them what we offer versus what they will get at another firm. Just like the agents who are competing for listings with other agents we are competing for good agents with other firms.

Along with all the training, office equipment and supplies we provide to every agent, I have to remind them about the 40 years of branding that Century 21 has. Aligning with the most recognized brand in the industry allows the agent instant recognition of what they do. Alignment with XYZ Company does not promote this sense of stability and longevity with today’s consumer. I also explain that being a part of our firm ensures a high level of support and knowledge they probably won’t get from a competing firm.

Here’s a story to highlight what I mean. In California, they rolled out a new Residential Purchase Agreement (RPA) in November of 2014. Months before it came out members of our leadership team attended seminars and classes to learn about the new RPA so we could train our agents. Over a period of weeks we held classes to ensure our agents were familiar with the new contract once it came out.

By the time the new RPA became a requirement our CENTURY 21 Discovery agents were well versed in it and ready to do business. Our agents encountered many, many agents on the other side of transactions who either had no clue that there WAS a new RPA or if they did, they had not been trained on it. Their brokerage had not prepared them for a major change in the industry. I even had one agent ask me if I would train the agent on the other side of her transaction. I said, “Of course!” I’d rather have our agents in a transaction with other agents who know what they are doing.

The value our firm provides to our agents encompasses the basics like office supplies and equipment along with the bigger things like training, knowledge and a pro-active involvement in industry changes. That’s our value. What’s yours?

Joe Lins photo


About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

4 Key Take-Aways from the C.A.R. Expo

By Joe Lins

October 20, 2014

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) Expo in Anaheim. There were 9,000 to 10,000 attendees at the three day event. In between the learning and networking I also gained insight into what to expect from the 2015 housing market in the Forecast presented by C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. It was great to make new friends and run into some old ones. One of the highlights was listening to a dear friend Terri Sjodin give her tips on crafting persuasive presentations.


Joe Lins, Terri Sjodin, Stephanie Goedl at the 2014 C.A.R. Expo

In an earlier post I said I would be giving an update on my key take-aways, so here they are:

1) What is your Value Package?

This topic was a central theme in most of the presentations I attended. A Value Package basically means: What value do you provide to your clients and in my case, our agents.

All REALTORS® need to have a list on paper and committed to memory the services you will provide to your clients and what sets you apart from your competitors. This should include what you know about the markets you serve that can’t be found online. Your micro-market knowledge will set you apart from the third party aggregator websites like Zillow, Trulia, and establish you as the go to person in your market. Your Value Package should be part of your Listing Presentation and listed on your website.

Our management team recently reviewed and updated our firm’s Value Package which will allow us to articulate the value of being associated with our company to our agents as well as the agents we want to recruit. In a recent coaching session I presented our Value Package to the agents and explained that they need to model their own Value Package after our company Value Package.

2) Education

C.A.R. provides a variety of education to its members which include continuing education, professional development classes and designations/certifications to distinguish you as a specialist in a particular niche of the industry. You have the ability to choose your own learning experience: Live Lecture or Face2Face at your local association, Remote Learning and Online classes as well as Home Study programs. One of my favorites is the online 12 session course for new agents. As professional REALTORS® we need to stay educated to be relevant in an evolving industry.

3) Track your Business

REALTORS® need to know where their business is coming from. Take the time to ask why or where a client found you so you can track which marketing efforts are working. If the bulk of your clients are coming from a specific tool: emails, Just Listed postcards or an online ad then focus you efforts on those areas where you are getting the best results.

4) Real Estate Office Layouts are changing

The physical layout of the real estate office is evolving into a new model. Sitting around a conference table in a board room is no longer as effective as it once was. Progressive firms are changing this style of doing business by providing a more relaxed and informal meeting area that features chairs around a coffee table. Kind of like sitting in a client’s living room.

I learned a lot at the 2014 C.A.R. Expo and at the end of each day I thought my head would explode with all the information coming at me. These key take-aways will allow me to improve my business and provide an even better environment to allow our REALTORS® to be more progressive, passionate and professional.

Joe Lins photo


About the author: Joe Lins is President and Co-owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. If you are interested in becoming part of the CENTURY 21 Discovery team contact Joe at 714.626.2069.