REALTORS

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.

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The Value of a CRM

By Joe Lins
June 1, 2017

Let’s talk about the value of a CRM (Client Relation Management System) and how you can utilize it to help you have a successful real estate career. Check out this short video from our Preparation Meets Opportunity series.

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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 or training we provide contact Joe at 714.626.2069.

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.

JoeLins

 

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.

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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.

Joe

 

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.

JoeLins

 

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.

 

 

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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.

Closing on a home? Don’t Forget the Insurance

By Michael Williams
April 29, 2016

Congratulations! You found your clients perfect dream home. You used your years of experience, professional expertise and pockets full of patience to satisfy every one of their unique requests. So, why it is still stuck in escrow? Your client is saying it’s that pesky insurance agent!

InsuranceBlogimage1… But the real holdup might be that “perfect home”….

Below is a 3 part checklist that will help you identify potential hang-ups with your client’s home insurance.­­

1.      Location, Location, Location.
It’s not just important to REALTORS®. Insurance companies have three main location related exposures that can complicate securing a policy. Distance from Brush, proximity to Coastline or placement in a Flood Zone.

  • In wonderfully sunny Southern California, we don’t have to worry too much about wind or hail, but we can never forget about brush. A good rule of thumb is to use an online map service such as Google or Bing and measure the distance from open land to the home. A standard acceptable measurement for brush exposure is 1500 ft.
  • For our lucky friends on the coast, the average rule is 500 ft from the shore. Again, the best course of action here is to measure with an online map.
  • Finally, the wild card is a Flood Zone. Because you often cannot visually predict where a flood zone will be, a helpful site is FEMA’s mapping tool. Simply type in the address and it will return a flood zone score.

2.      The claim history matters: both buyers and the home.
This section often surprises many people. But the ability to insure the home is based off the loss history of both the buyer and the home itself. Insurance companies split blame for losses between the owner of the home and the structure itself. For example, when a water loss occurs, a point is assigned to the address and the owners. Getting as complete of a disclosure list as possible can help determine whether that home has a history of losses. In the state of California, water losses are the number one cause of loss and it is now almost universal for preferred market insurers to deny a home because of 2 or more water losses. If this is the case you can assume that insurance will double in cost and take a minimum of one week to place.

3. Good Bones vs. New Homes.
Age of the house is big player in acceptability. Some buyers want new construction and that’s great! But, others want classic charm. That beautiful home built in the 1920’s comes with its own host of potential hiccups. Many insurance companies won’t even write a home built prior to 1950. But the ones that do, require proof of complete upgrades to plumbing, heating, wiring and roofing. And it’s not just the cute cottage that could be a problem. Many Carriers are looking for upgrades on any home older than 20 years! So find out if the bones of that house beyond their useful life.

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As every realtor knows, no two purchases are the same. And while the client should always get the house they want, it’s best to build in that little bit of extra time should one of the items above be a potential problem. Simply call the insurance agent a bit early. A little planning can make for a much smoother escrow.

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About the Author: Michael Williams is Chief Operating Officer at Williams Insurance Company in Fullerton, CA. If you would like more information about insuring a home please call him at 714.526.5588 or visit the website at www.williamsinsurancefullerton.com

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.

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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.

Know Your Negotiation: Tips for Real Estate Agents

By Guest Blogger
March 1, 2016
This was originally published on the official blog of Century 21® on February 17, 2016*

NegotiationSkills

One of the many reasons a home buyer or seller turns to you, the real estate agent, is for negotiation help. They might lack experience and feel insecure when it comes time to talk about money and their potential purchase or sale. While you may have already brushed up on some tactics, realize that negotiating in real estate presents a unique situation. Here are some tips that may help.

Check Your Emotions, Not Theirs
Common advice recommends negotiators to remain unbiased and objective — strong emotions can potentially hurt your deal. However, as a real estate agent, it’s important to remember that emotions do play a part in your business. A home may often be the largest investment in a client’s life. Acknowledge and understand that clients might have a lot at stake, while continuing to remain unemotional during negotiation. Your clients may appreciate that you understand their point of view while maintaining a professional demeanor.

Prepare Your Clients
Whether your clients are the ones buying or the ones selling, get them up to speed on how a typical negotiation occurs. Although you may be responsible for leading the process, you can still make your client feel like a participant. Lay out the procedural steps for them, so there are no surprises or unexpected obstacles. Answer as many questions as possible beforehand so they don’t feel out of the loop or overwhelmed when the negotiation occurs.

Manage Expectations
While you may have good intentions to get your client the best deal possible, don’t promise it. After all, you can’t. A negotiation is a live, working discussion that can take many turns. Make sure your clients understand the worst case scenario by talking to them beforehand about all potential outcomes. As mentioned before, buying or selling a home may be an emotional endeavor for them. Mentally preparing them for less than favorable outcomes takes the shock out of the situation and may reduce mental stress.

Discuss Alternatives
The “worst case scenario” conversation shouldn’t end with a simple acknowledgment of potential outcomes. Create a plan of action just in case those outcomes are realized. What would your client like to do if the buyer won’t budge on an asking price? What would the buyer like to do with certain home inspection results? Deciding on an action beforehand can reduce the time and effort of decision making in the moment, which may lead to more objective, unemotional choices.

Report Facts Only
Since it’s your job to remain detached during this process, make sure you remain that way when reporting negotiation outcomes to your client. If a seller is angered by an asking price, but accepts it anyway, you may want to leave out their emotional response when reporting the offer acceptance. Their reaction is unnecessary to the business transaction, and can only add superfluous feelings of attachment to the process.

Negotiating in real estate can be a high stakes game, but these tips may help you to remain calm while you work out the best deal for your client.

*Article reprinted with permission of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.

Escrow and How It Works

By Nancy Mattaliano-Castaneda
February 2, 2016

Buying a home is a huge undertaking and requires a good understanding of the process. In California, once a buyer and seller agree to the terms of the sale the next step is to open escrow. First time buyers or people who have not bought or sold a home in awhile may not know what escrow is.

Couple taking a break from unpacking

Here is a brief overview of what escrow is and how it works.

What is Escrow?

Escrow is a process that protects the interest of all parties in a real estate transaction, ensuring that all the conditions of the sale have been met before property and money change hands.

Why Do I Need One?

You need escrow to ensure that all parties have complied with the escrow instructions before any funds are disbursed or title is transferred. The escrow company has an obligation to safeguard the funds and/or documents while they are in the officer’s possession and to disburse funds and/or convey title only when all parties have met the terms of the escrow instructions.

What is the Escrow process?

Once a purchase contract has been negotiated to the satisfaction of both the seller and buyer, a legible fully-signed copy is forwarded to the escrow company. The escrow officer will then prepare supplemental instructions and place the earnest money deposit into a trust account. The buyer and seller can move forward separately, but simultaneously, in obtaining inspections, reports, loan commitments, funds, deeds and many other items using escrow as the central depositing point.

Who to Contact with Questions:

Your REALTOR® will answer questions about your purchase contract agreement. Your loan officer will answer all questions about your loan status, conditions of your loan and the loan process. Your escrow officer will help or direct you with any other questions. A good escrow officer understands you will have questions and should be willing to answer them or direct you to the person who can.

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About the Author: Nancy Mattaliano-Castaneda is an Escrow Officer at Equity Escrow Group, Ltd. in Fullerton, California. For more information about Equity Escrow Group, Ltd. call 714.626.2095 or visit the website www.equityescrow.net.