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Walk Through the Door

self management Jul 25, 2019

Our family has always had dogs, mostly rescues.  We got our first-ever puppy – Bentley, the Sheepadoodle — four years ago this month!

If you’ve never had a puppy before, it’s like having a brand new baby with needle-sharp teeth, who enjoys biting you.  They should be called Sharkadoodles.

Bentley has turned into a wonderful dog, and we love him.  He’s a good boy, and more-or-less well-behaved, but this wasn’t always the case.

As a puppy, we took him to puppy training school, but he was such a high-energy, fun-loving little guy, all he wanted to do was play with the other puppies!

Puppy-training is really people-training, so we learned as much as we could, and gradually he got better and better.  But training a puppy is a slow, methodical process, requiring patience and consistency.

We did have one experience where Bentley learned something in literally an instant.

Sometime after the puppy-training group class, we hired a...

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The Big Picture on Pricing

When I’m building a CMA, I have a very specific and unique process.  Let’s call it the “Criteria Manipulation - CMA” (CM-CMA).

I do NOT pick and choose the comparables that I “want them to see”.

Instead, I select the search criteria that gives me the results I want.  I start out with a large list, and systematically tweak the criteria until I come up with the right group of comparables that are going to tell the story I want my clients to hear.

When I say, “the story I want them to hear”, let me be clear:  I’ve ALWAYS got my clients’ best interests at heart (I want them to achieve the highest possible price).  However, I design the CMA to get the right message across.  For example, I don’t want any confusing “outliers” in my search results.

I continue tweaking the search criteria towards the end goal of showing the picture I want to show.

I’ve developed the CM-CMA methodology...

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The "Pocket Listing" Myth

The MLS System is BY FAR the most important tool we have in Real Estate.  Can you even imagine imagine how we would function today without it?

The old codgers around the office have some stories, I tell ya!  I guess when you got a new listing, you’d be on the phone all day with all your REALTOR® buddies:

"Hey Vern, I got a beauty coming on in Old Town.  She’s got everything!  Orange wall-to-wall, pink plumbin’ fixtures, electric oven, the works!  Puttin’ ’er on for $24,900!  Hop in the Studebaker and come have a look-see!"

Not to make fun of the old codgers in the office, but holy cow!  What a grind!

Folks, we’ve got it made compared to the old days.  Don’t forget it.

Here’s my question:

With an incredibly powerful tool like the MLS at our disposal, why would anyone ever try to sell a property and NOT use it?

This is like trying to sell your car by standing on a street corner with a...

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Are You Coachable?

self management Jul 04, 2019

I’m spending most of my time right now developing the Knowledge First Real Estate Master’s Program; an online course, designed for high-integrity agents looking for an alternative to the standard, “Learn your scripts and make your calls” stuff that is commonly taught by most Real Estate trainers.

I’m not saying you can’t build a good career around what other Real Estate trainers are teaching.  You definitely can!

Just don’t be fooled into thinking that chasing leads and reciting scripts is the ONLY way to build a successful Real Estate career.  It isn’t.

I NEVER did those things, and my yearly commissions ranged between $590,000-$865,000, from my second year on, all as an individual agent.

I learned mostly by trial and error throughout my career, but here’s something I never expected:

I’ve learned more about what it takes to become a great REALTOR® in the past few months through the process of building this...

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Be Positive. And Negative.

EVERY property has a Balance Sheet.  If you add up the assets and liabilities correctly, chances are you’ve found the sweet spot on the price — not too low and not too high.

But how do you convince the seller?  After all; almost every seller thinks their property is worth more than it is.  That’s because they tend to compare the best features of their property against the worst features of the competing properties.  Also, they have a curious ability to twist a negative into a positive!

“Check out our tiny backyard!  It only takes five minutes to mow the lawn, while the poor neighbour is slaving away for an hour!”

This is totally normal.  After all; they bought the property because they liked it better than anything else that was available at the time, for their own reasons.

If you go in and start slamming all the negatives to get them to “see the light” and “price it right,” you’re going to...

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The Flurry of Activity

pricing Jun 20, 2019

Whenever you list a property, there’s almost always a “flurry of activity” at the very beginning of the listing period.

These are the “current buyers”; the group who were already actively looking BEFORE your new listing hit the market.  Chances are, these buyers have already viewed most or all of your direct competitors.  So, what are they doing now?

They’re waiting for new listings!

The flurry comes on strong at the beginning of your listing and dies out just as quickly.  The current buyers don’t want to miss out on seeing your hot new listing.  These buyers are ready, willing, and able to buy, as soon as they see the right property.

Aside from “current buyers” there are two other main buyer groups – “new buyers” who are just beginning their search, and “bargain hunters,” who typically wait until your property has been on the market for a while before they start lobbing...

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The Spring Squeeze

pricing Jun 13, 2019

In one of my previous lives, I was in the motorcycle parts business, which is very seasonal.  There’s not a lot of activity through the winter months, and then the spring hits hard, and it’s pandemonium for a couple of months. 

I’ve found that it’s not much different in Real Estate.  While it’s true that properties sell all year round, a skilled agent learns to have increased awareness of the seasonality of the business, especially for certain market segments.

For example, young families are most likely to be out looking for their new home in the spring, so they can take possession in July or August before school starts in the fall.

If you take a look at the monthly sales volume for this type of home specifically, there is up to FOUR times as much volume in the busiest months (May and June) as compared to the slowest months (December and January). 

Note: I’m looking at my local (Calgary) market for this data, but it’s not...

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Calling for Calling's Sake

general real estate Jun 06, 2019

The other day, I ran across this post on a REALTOR® Facebook group (paraphrasing):

“I’ve got a large list of leads that another agent gave me, but they’re really old, and most haven’t been contacted in over a year.  Any advice on a script to use when I call them?”

There was a whole bunch of “helpful” suggestions from other agents, on what to say and how to approach the situation.

I was dumbstruck.  But here’s what I should have said:

Throw them in the garbage!

SURELY you have something better to do with your time, than chasing after stone cold “leads” (?).

Another similar situation came up with a coaching client.  This guy is good.  He works hard, and he’s disciplined.  But he’s following a program he learned from someone else, and he takes it a bit too literally.

The program states that you must contact a certain number of people in your COI daily.  Well, he doesn’t...

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You Were Right

If you’re a professional REALTOR®, you probably started your career full of enthusiasm, with high ideals that you were “going to make a difference” by providing outstanding service to your clients.  They were going to you and your business would flourish, as a result.

Then “reality” set in.  Some other REALTOR® broke the news to you, “That’s not how it works!  Here’s what you gotta do:

Call crappy Internet leads and FSBOs and Expireds all day, using scripts that were developed 50 years ago, “If they say THIS, you say THAT.

"Here’s your scripts; learn ‘em.  Here’s your prospect list; call ‘em.”

Doesn’t that sound dumb when you read it out loud?

If that’s not bad enough, now it’s all the rage to PAY for leads.

Hahahahaha!   PAY for leads?

Guess what?  Those leads are garbage, too.  You wanna PAY for garbage?

News Flash!  You...

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Good is the Enemy of Great

Jim Collins opened his book Good to Great with the statement, “Good is the enemy of great.”

He explains that this is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great. We don't have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don't have great government, principally because we have good government. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life.

One of the conclusions of Good to Great is this:

“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”

If you want to be a great REALTOR®, you’ve got to stop settling for “good enough”. 

You’ve all encountered great REALTORS®, and I’m not talking about the “celebrity” agents; the ones who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars marketing themselves.

I’m talking about the quiet ones, who...

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