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31 Ways To Build a Profitable Business—Part ONE

Every day I get calls, emails and faxes from agents who want a better, easier way to grow their businesses. The process of building any business is quite basic, and involves creating:

  1. A unique and beneficial product,
  2. A sales generation system(s) to market and sell that product and retain your clients for as long as humanly possible to generate a) more sales and b) referrals, word of mouth and repeat business,
  3. A unique product/service delivery system, and...
  4. Measurement systems (to know if what you're doing is working!).

Below, in no particular order, are ideas and "marketing wisdom" that will generate more clients, and build a long-term viable business. Many of these suggestions are further detailed in the 3-Steps Marketing System at www.3-Steps.com

Help Us Become the Most Valuable Network on Earth For Real Estate Professionals:

Real estate can be a tough business. Even top agents need a continuous flow of guidance, support and new ideas to keep going strong. When you share your tips, strategies and ideas for growing a more successful business, everyone wins! And if you submit an idea, you automatically become eligible to WIN a BRAND NEW iPod Nano. So don’t be shy: Tell us what you do to build and run your business successfully.

How To Create a Business Card That Sells Your Listing

“Here’s how to utilize the blank space on the back of your business card. I print out a sheet of labels with a house photo and short blurb for all of my listings. When I offer a prospect my business card, the information on the back is more impressive to them than my picture. It is a great conversation starter, too.

“I also use it to involve my seller in the process. I make up a batch of about ten cards that I give to the Seller when I bring by flyers. They are more inclined to give my card (with their house on the back) to their circle.”

RealTip

“When people discover something that works, they are often afraid someone will 'steal their idea'. I often point out, especially to new associates, that the chance of someone breaking into their sphere of influence is slim to none. I emphasized sharing with the following story: Two men met for the first time and each had one dollar. They exchanged their dollar and when they parted, they each had one dollar. Two men met for the first time and each had one idea. They exchanged their idea and when they parted, they each had two ideas. Corny, but effective.”

--Jim Bowden, REALTOR®

How To Go The Extra Mile to Close A Deal

"I am not a proponent of arbitrarily cutting one's commission, but this idea can work out positively for you and your client under certain circumstances.

"We often have a lower income client or one with a slightly higher debt ratio. Each of these circumstances limits their ability to qualify for enough purchase price to find a home or at least a home one would want to live in or purchase.

"Agents should check for a service called 'Acorn Housing,' a non-profit, free housing counseling service located in many cities (www.acornhousing.org). One program lowers the interest rates by 1/2 % on zero-down loans and 3/4% on 3% down loans. In addition, mortgage insurance (MI) is waived.

"Depending on down payment, this program permits a buyer to purchase between $13K and $20K more house which will earn the selling agent approximately $390 to $600 more commission (3%) based on these respective increased purchase prices. It also separates you from the 'Other Agents' who appear to work for 'their buddy loan officers' rather than their CLIENT!

"If you still need more purchasing power, use a rate buy-down by reducing your commission by 1/2% and get another 1/2 percent (or more) from the seller. A slight price increase with seller giving this back as a point item for buy-down is also an option. In other words, use at least one point to buy-down the rate and usually get about $5K more purchase price. Your client will be 'delighted'. You have likely put them in a better home and neighborhood for their children. You perhaps gave up a couple of hundred on the commission reduction but you gained and amount above that with the 'special program'. MOST LIKELY, YOU WILL FIND THE HOME THEY WANT MUCH FASTER, and move on to the next transaction, a move to your advantage. Also, your client is more likely to give you a referral. You have something to offer beyond 'isn't this a pretty kitchen'?

"I believe you will concur this is one of the few ways a small commission cut is not a loser for you, the agent! By the way, if Acorn Housing is not in your area check with Bank of America for their 'Communities' loan. They will reduce their FHA rate about 3/8% in the right income range. This gives you two choices if the credit score demands FHA for approval. Other banks offer similar programs."

iPod Giveaway!

Why is Agent Michael Breaux Smiling These Days?

Why…He just won a brand new, shiny iPod Nano by participating in our “Share Your Best Stuff” program. We’re giving away iPod Nanos for your great ideas…and you can get in on the drawing just by sharing your very best marketing, sales or other idea that helps you be more successful in your practice! So get involved…everyone profits!

Horror Story: A $15,000 Mistake

"I lost a commission by being a good guy.

"I sent a buyer to see a property while I was on vacation over the Christmas holiday. I had worked with the client for one month. They were anxious to find a home in our area. They were relos with a sizable business in the community.

"When I got home from vacation there was an email from them. It read, 'Thanks for sending us to see that new home area. We bought directly from the builder. Drop in some time. We love the place.' My error. It was the first time I did not require a buyer to sign a buyer's commission agreement.

"The home they bought was $509,000. Commission lost was 3% of the sales price, $15,270. The lessons learned: (1) Take prospects to see property, (2) Get a buyer's rep agreement signed before showing them property, (3) When a buyer won't sign a rep agreement let them use another agent."

Issue #1117