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The Phone Call

communication pricing Aug 29, 2019

“Hello, this is Sammy Seller.  I’d like to speak with you about listing our home.”

Yay!  This is the best phone call!  Right?

I remember getting this call at times and being so excited, I lost my mind and forgot to ask all kinds of important questions.

To resolve this, I made a simple Seller Information Form (SIF) with space for the following information:

  • Name(s) – The caller and every other decision-maker
  • Address (!)
  • Phone number(s) – Just in case I need to clarify something before the appointment
  • Email address(es) – Stay tuned for a very important ‘Real Agent Memo’ next week about why you should send the Sold Comparables by email before the Listing Presentation
  • Referral source – If it wasn’t a referral, use this space to specify why they called you – It’s important to track the source of your business, for future reference
  • Appointment Date and Time - Make sure every decision-maker is...
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Your Price or Their Price?

communication pricing Aug 22, 2019

“Is this your price or their price?”

Every experienced REALTOR® has heard this question and knows exactly what it means, “Is this the price you recommended to your clients?

Or, the one they insisted on, despite the evidence that clearly shows it makes no sense?”

As a general rule, EVERYONE on the planet believes their home is worth more than it actually is.  There are several reasons for this:

  1. In the owner’s eyes, their home was the best one available within their budget and within their search criteria, at the time when they purchased it.
  2. Buyers subconsciously justify the price they paid, and tend to believe they got a “good deal.”
  3. Owners tend to focus on the best features of their property, either ignoring or justifying negative features, “Oh, the sound of the train is quite soothing once you get used to it!”
  4. For competing properties, they tend to do the opposite; focusing on the worst features, and ignoring the best...
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Good Habits - How to Get Them

In 48 hours, I’m going to get on a bicycle and set out on an epic journey—200 kilometers—as part of the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer. 

If you’re young and fit, 200 kilometers may not seem like a huge challenge.  But it sure is for me!

It was an even bigger challenge when I first joined Team Believe five years ago.  I had several personal reasons to join the Fight to Conquer Cancer but challenging myself to get into shape was one of them.

If I was going to have any hope of completing The Ride, I knew I would have no choice but to make some radical changes to my lifestyle.

Confession time:  As a busy REALTOR®, I had completely let myself go, physically.  I was a big fat blob of mush.  Imagine Fat Bastard (from the Austin Powers movies) riding a bike, and you’re not far off. 

I’ll never forget my first practice ride in the spring of 2015.  After five kilometers, I was not only completely winded, but my...

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Learning How to Learn | Part Two

self management Aug 08, 2019

Procrastinating is robbing your future.

Last week, we talked about the “learning pyramid” and how we don’t retain much information by simply listening or reading about new ideas or concepts. 

The way to thoroughly learn a concept is to take action on what you’ve learned.  You’ve got to start DOING!

Beyond that, if you want to challenge yourself, try teaching the concept to someone else. For example, try explaining the concept of the “learning pyramid” to a friend or your spouse.

Chances are you’ll mess up at first.  But don’t worry!  Making mistakes is part of the process.  Just go back and study the material further.  Try to focus and concentrate on retaining the information.  This isn’t easy in our distraction-filled world, but that’s life, folks.  Learning is a struggle. 

When you can clearly teach a concept to someone else, you now KNOW the information.  Through...

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Learning How to Learn | Part One

self management Aug 01, 2019

Have you ever gone to a lecture, been inspired, vowed to implement some of the strategies, never got around to it, forgot everything you learned, and changed absolutely nothing?

We all have.

Our crazy distraction-filled world doesn’t help.  I think it’s alarming how the ability to concentrate is becoming a rare skill.

We’ve become ridiculously lazy.  Why bother learning anything when we can instantly Google the answer?

But here’s the thing.  Google can give you instant answers to simple questions, but it cannot give you the deep knowledge that is required to build SKILL.

You’ll never differentiate yourself as a talented, deeply knowledgeable, highly skilled REALTOR®, until you start DOING, as opposed to LISTENING or READING.

The “learning pyramid,” developed by the National Training Laboratory, suggests that students only retain about 10% of what they learn from textbooks, but they retain about 90% of what they learn...

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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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