Wendy Forsythe, Executive Vice President at Carrington Real Estate Services, recently hosted a webinar for real estate agents with information on how they can stay focused on their goals and give more FUEL to their business. Here's a recap of the insights that were shared.
1. What's Going On in the Market?
Build your business plan according to what's going on in the market, which means constantly updating and revising your approach to getting new lead sources and staying on task. Look at key indicators on a macro level: pending home sales, existing home sales, new home sales, housing starts, housing prices, delinquency and foreclosure rates. Then determine what the trends mean for REfueling your business. Where does your focus need to be in order to find new opportunities? How can you use local data and insights to enrich the market overview? What does your market analysis mean for your clients and how you will advise them?
2. Working REOs
Understand the life cycle of distressed properties in your state; judicial and non-judicial data will be different. Look at where the REO market is headed by studying annual foreclosure activity, average days to foreclose, percentage of loans in foreclosure, and the default pipeline ratio. Where are the market opportunities? What is going on with shadow inventory? Is it time to shift focus to other revenue streams?
3. Working Short Sales
Invest in the knowledge and training to handle short sale business. Both short sale and REO discounts have been falling with limited supply and multiple offers, but depending on the market, short sale discounts can still range from about 12-20%. In some states, short sales outnumber REO sales. Be prepared to prospect for short sale business: be brave, and be patient.
4. Working with Investors
Get connected with and understand the investor market. Investors are expected to comprise 20-25% of existing home sales in 2013. This includes individuals as well as institutional investors. Understand the cap rates that investors are looking for, what renovations are necessary to get properties to rental quality, and what timelines are from close to cash flow.
5. Be a Local Market Expert
While watching national trends, remember that real estate is local. Become an expert on average sales price, days on market, list price to sales price ratio, properties for sale by price and other key data in your local market. Demonstrate your expertise in buyer/seller price bands. Find ways to show your expertise with proof and statistics. Today's buyers and sellers are more sophisticated, do research online, and want real information. Find key data points where your performance sets you apart (e.g. if the average list price to sales price ratio is 98%, and your own stats are at 100%).
6. Get Fabulous Fundamentals
The basics of real estate have changed. Evolve your skills, learn and relearn the new fundamentals. Your online brand is important: how do you promote and position yourself online? When was the last time you Googled yourself? (According to CAR, 60% of buyers and sellers do.) Make sure people can find you - and can find positive things about you.
7. Provide Unparalleled Service
Answer your phone! Success is about showing up. Rapid response is proven to get the lead. CAR found that buyers and sellers pick the most responsive agent. The edge will go to those agents who can meet response time expectations.
8. Exceed Expectations
You've heard "underpromise, overdeliver". Change people's perception of the real estate profession in everything that you do. Forbes recently reported that the #1 happiest job is real estate agent. You're doing what you love to do. Let it show in every interaction -- with clients, prospects, and colleagues.
9. Leverage Opportunities
Never miss a chance to generate new business. Every listing is an opportunity. Even as the pace of the market picks up, you can't skip the activities surrounding the marketing and sale of the property. Meeting with buyers (who are also potential sellers) can FUEL your business. Turn one listing into 3-6 additional transactions.
10. Work with the Right People
Now more than ever, it's important to surround yourself with the right people - your broker, manager, colleagues, support team, mentors and motivators. REfueling your business is about attitude.