Author: Stephanie Goedl

Don’t Forget The Homeowners Insurance

By Stephanie Goedl
June 26, 2019

Don’t Forget The Insurance

Have you ever had a real estate transaction that was held up until the buyer could obtain homeowners insurance? In this episode of our podcast insurance agent Michael Williams of Williams Insurance discusses the importance of starting the insurance process early and situations of fire-risk, flood insurance and past claims that could hold up the transaction.

Why Order The Policy Early?

Homeowners insurance is such a big piece of owning a home but it’s usually one of those last-minute items buyers think of in the home buying process. It really shouldn’t be. Michael suggests that once you open up escrow the buyer should contact their insurance agent. It’s not that hard to get an initial quote even before escrow or the lender start requesting information. One of the main reasons to start the process early is due to the fire exposures in our state. Unfortunately, the wildfires have been tremendous and Michael explained that they are reshaping how the industry works. He said that people are going to be very shocked to see their premiums change and a lot of non-renewals. Houses that you wouldn’t think are fire-risk are going to have a much more difficult time getting coverage.

Fire-Risk

I was in Sacramento recently for the annual California Association of Realtors conference and this was a hot topic. Fire-risk on properties is impacting the housing affordability. I asked Michael about the how the insurance industry is dealing with this. He explained that there is a system called “Fireline” that assesses the “score” of the house and the likelihood of exposure to a wildfire. That number combined with a special hazard square that they come up with determines whether a carrier wants to write a policy for a house in that area. The mapping for that is changing and also the acceptable scores are changing. Michael said carriers used to be much more lenient than they are now. Houses that you wouldn’t think have a brush exposure are getting denied.

There are a number of things that come into play when a home or area is “scored” through this system. They look at road access, utility quality, the wind and a number of different things that go into deciding whether it’s acceptable. Michael told us about a program the state runs called Fair Plan and how the insurance carriers partner with this government fund for hard-to-place risks. It can be a lot more expensive, on average a 25% increase over what most people expect their premiums to be. They will take higher risk properties but it’s more complicated and there are multiple layers of the policy.

Here’s a scenario that happens more often than you think and it is the exact reason you should encourage your buyers to start the insurance process early:

You’re nearing the close of escrow, the lender is requesting proof of homeowner’s insurance, you’ve removed contingencies and the buyer learns that the property is in what the insurer considers a high-risk area. Two things could derail this transaction – 1) The policy is more expensive than they can afford or 2) The property is uninsurable. What do you do now?

Flood Insurance

Another thing to consider is if the property is going to need flood insurance. Michael explained that they are re-mapping the flood zones which means that flood insurance is another policy that could be required by the lender. Homes that have not been required in the past to get flood insurance are now needing it. He reminded us that this requirement will be an additional cost to the buyer, so it‘s in everyone’s best interest to call the insurance agent as soon as possible to avoid surprises at the close of escrow.

Past Claims

Michael explained that insurance companies also look at “claims history” on the property. The claims history of the property made by the prior owner could affect the eligibility and rate for the buyer. Not all carriers have that stipulation but a number of them do. Another thing to keep in mind is the claims the buyer has had at their current property could actually follow them to the new property they are purchasing. This could also affect the rate and insurability of the property.

We hope this information will help you guide your buyers as they start the homebuying process. You don’t want to hold up an escrow with something that could have been avoided with a little bit of forewarning. Knowing these potential hold ups will allow you to get your buyer on the right track from the start.

Listen to the show to discover more about the insurance process for homebuyers.

 

Stephanie Goedl

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is Chief Operating Officer and Broker/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 or training we provide contact us at 714.626.2069 or Careers@C21Discovery.com.

 

Michael Williams is the president of Williams Insurance in Fullerton, California. They have been around since 1941. They are a Property and Casualty Agency that handles home, auto and umbrella policies as well as commercial, health and life insurance. You can reach Michael at 714-526-5588 or mwilliams@williamsinsurance.com.

Advertisements

Stay out of the Realtor Doghouse

By Stephanie Goedl
June 5, 2019

One of my goals as a Broker/Owner of a real estate company is to have our agents be the most professional and ethical Realtors in the business. I serve on the Board of Directors for the Pacific West Association of Realtors and there are some issues and common themes that are coming across our violations desk. Some of these issues include “Coming Soon” signs without the proper exclusionary forms filed with the MLS and another is improper outdoor signage. It drives me crazy because these violations are completely avoidable if you know the rules.  In this episode of our podcast I discuss how to avoid these and other violations to stay out of the “Realtor Doghouse”.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Watch the video of the podcast here:

 

 

Stephanie Goedl

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is Chief Operating Officer and Broker/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 or training we provide contact us at 714.626.2069 or Careers@C21Discovery.com.

Day In The Life Of A Successful Realtor

By Stephanie Goedl
April 25, 2019

I recently had the opportunity to interview one of our top agents about what a day in her life looks like. This was a great conversation with Shonnie Jones of Jones Team Real Estate and she gave some valuable insight into what it takes to be a successful Realtor.

Listen to our podcast to learn how a successful agent spends their day.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Watch the video of the podcast here:

Stephanie Goedl

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is Chief Operating Officer and Broker/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 or training we provide contact us at 714.626.2069 or Careers@C21Discovery.com.

Are You Trained & In Shape For 2019?

By Stephanie Goedl and Joe Lins
January 15, 2019

To succeed in real estate you need to continually work on your presentation skills, negotiating skills and be up to date on the current industry forms. In this episode of our podcast, Stephanie Goedl and Joe Lins discuss the importance of training in your real estate career.

Listen to the podcast here:

 

Watch the video of the podcast here:

About the authors: Joe Lins is President, CEO and Owner of CENTURY 21 Discovery. Stephanie Goedl is Chief Operating Officer 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 or training we provide contact us at 714.626.2069 or Careers@C21Discovery.com.

Stephanie GoedlJoe Lins

How To Get Your Real Estate License

By Stephanie Goedl
July 10, 2018

If you are considering getting your real estate license we can get you on the right track for success. Watch this video for the steps to get your license then contact us at Careers@C21Discovery.com.

 

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is the Chief Operating Officer of CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

Century 21 President’s Award

By Stephanie Goedl
February 22, 2018

The CENTURY 21® System presents the prestigious President’s Award to offices, producers and teams achieving both CENTURION® level production and the Quality Service Pinnacle Award in the same year. We are honored to have received this award again in 2017. Thank you Century 21 President and CEO Nick Bailey for this recognition.

 

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is the Chief Operating Officer of CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

Follow the 80/20 Rule for Success in your Real Estate Career

By Stephanie Goedl
June 8, 2017

This is video number four in our series “When Preparation Meets Opportunity.” This one covers what really IS our job as REALTORS®. A lot of people get this a little bit confused and find themselves wandering in this crazy game but I have a couple of tips to keep you on track. First remember, mornings are for creating business and afternoons are for doing business.

When you get into what your job actually is there are five items that you should spend 80% of your time focusing on and learn to master.

Prospecting and Lead Follow Up:
The first one is prospecting and lead follow-up. What category does that fall under? Easy, creating business. If you’re not doing this crucial part of your business in the morning, you won’t have any business to do in the afternoon. So make sure this is your number one priority each and every day. You wake up every day at 0…unemployed. What are you going to do every single day to get that job?

Presenting:
The second part of our job is presenting, going on those appointments. Guess what? We can’t do that without prospecting. Practice your presentation skills.

Negotiate Contracts:
The third part of our job is to negotiate contracts. Once you find yourself prospecting, you’re getting more appointments and you’ll start to negotiate more and more so that is something you definitely want to master.

Conversations with Sellers:
Number four is being able to ask for price reductions.  Sometimes that’s a difficult conversation to have with our sellers but that is a part of our job that we do need to master as well.

Qualify your Buyers:
Number five is to work with highly qualified buyers. This is something that is so important to our business. By highly qualified I mean you’ve taken the time to ask the right questions and not just pre-qualify with your lender but pre-qualified them as far as knowing what they want, their time frames, and make sure all the decision-makers are there so you don’t find yourself spinning your wheels for months at a time.

For new agents I have a tip for you, if you spend two weeks on number one, prospecting and lead follow-up, I guarantee you numbers 2-5, the presenting, negotiating, price reductions and working with highly qualified buyers are going to fall into place. You will find yourself busy, productive and successful as well.

Those 5 things that I just mentioned, that’s really where you should spend 80% of your time as agents. The rest of your time, that 20%, should be spent on administrative parts of your job: your paperwork, working with your transaction coordinator, the other agents, etc.  A lot of agents get that switched so they’ll spend 80% of time on their paperwork and let the other parts of our job fall by the wayside and then they start at Ground Zero again. Remember spend 80% of your time on the creating your business part and 20% of your time on the administrative and you will be very successful. So with that, thank you and I hope you picked up some great tips.

 

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is the Chief Operating Officer of CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

The Value Of The Up-Desk

By Stephanie Goedl
April 12, 2016

CENTURY 21 Discovery offers our agents some unique opportunities that are not available at most real estate offices. We have the technology, tools and online lead generating sources that our agents need to remain relevant and to succeed. We also offer a way of doing business that some may consider “old school” but it works! It’s called the Up-Desk.

The Up-Desk is the front desk of a real estate office that agents can sign up to work. They assist with answering the phone and can take any leads that come in from those phone calls. Most offices have done away with the Up-Desk because they think it’s a waste of time for the agent.

Not so! Our office has a distinctive location on a main thorough-fare in North Orange County, California. We are located across from a major medical center and have a large marquee that 30,000 cars a day drive by. That’s a lot of eyeballs. Because of our prominent place in the community we have quite a few calls off our marquee as well as walk-in clients. The agent at the Up-Desk benefits from this. Just as important, the client who chooses to do business in this manner benefits as well.

Instead of me telling you the benefits of the Up-Desk, listen to our agent Jacob McCann of the McCann Family Team tell you how working that desk helped his career.

Some people think “old school” is a bad word. Not in my book. I’m thrilled we can provide our agents with a variety of opportunities to achieve their business goals. I’m also glad we can accommodate our clients in the way they want to be served. Do you have an Up-Desk success story? Please share in the comments section below.

DSC00123

 

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is the Chief Operating Officer of CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

Mobile Apps for Real Estate Agents

By Stephanie Goedl
July 30, 2015

Mobile  Apps….what would we do without ‘em? As REALTORS® we have a multitude of apps to help us in our business. Here are some of my favorites that I recommend to the agents in our office:

MobileApps

Open Home Pro
This app that you download to your tablet device allows you to capture contact info of the visitors that come into your Open House. After you upload photos of the home into the app it provides a slide show of the property for your open house visitors to view. It also has a feature that allows you to automatically send a thank you email to that lead after they leave the Open House. I suggest you place the tablet with slide show running on the counter or dining table near the entrance so visitors can sign in.

Videolicious
This app allows you to create and edit videos on your iPhone or iPad. You can email the video directly from the app or publish to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.  With this user-friendly app you can create agent profile videos, client testimonial videos and property or community videos. They have an amazing customer support team that responds quickly to email questions. It’s a great way to connect with your clients via video.

Dropbox
This service allows you to take your documents, files, photos & videos anywhere and share them easily with other people. This service is available as a desktop and a mobile app so you can access it anywhere.  The nice part about this app is that it lets you share files that would be too large to email. Dropbox offers 2 GB for free. You can purchase more storage space if needed. This is a must for professionals on the go.

Typic
This app allows you to add filters, effects and text to photos.  My favorite feature is the ability to add your logo to the photo for a small upgrade fee. This is great if you are using photos across multiple social media platforms. Your photos will have your logo embedded on them and will look like they were professionally done.

Below is a short video with an overview of 4 additional apps that will help you in your business.

MobileAppVideo

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is the Chief Operating Officer of CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.

Homeowners Insurance Purchasing Tips

By Stephanie Goedl
July 21, 2015

I recently had the opportunity to interview Michael Williams of Williams Insurance Brokers as part of our Community Conversations Series. He offered some great insight and tips on what to consider when purchasing Homeowners Insurance. Watch the full interview below. Remember, when purchasing Homeowners Insurance always consult your professional insurance agent when you begin the home buying process.

About the author: Stephanie Goedl is the Chief Operating Officer of CENTURY 21 Discovery. For more information about CENTURY 21 Discovery you may call (714) 626-2000.