REMI School of Real Estate Community Blog
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It is that time in the Fall when we think back of the year's events, both the good and the bad. We are licensees in a small community, blessed with those who we represent, those who cooperate with us as other agents and the supporting cast of lenders, appraisers, brokers, escrow officers, our trade associations and staff. We are a select group, educated in the special language of real estate. We are here to succeed.
There is much more to a professional. We can think of this because it is a special time of year combined with the opportunity to reflect and start fresh in the new year.
The foundation of love and connection with those closest to us is one of the most important factors contributing to our success in both our personal life and as a business owner. Regardless of what happens in the industry, nurture your support system so they can do the same for you when you need it.
And, pay back that support. Be the man or woman you know you can be. Your value doesn’t come only from the support, or only from external factors but it comes from YOU; from your expertise, passion, skills and resilience.
Your clients rely on you. Use that training; experience, energy and look forward to the New Year; make the extra phone call, send the extra emails, master social media, make new friends, add new contacts. Ask for the listing, ask to be their agent.
Real Estate agents are optimists, entrepreneurs, deal makers, people-persons. They try and try. They fail and fail. But the drive to succeed, raise the family, keep the lifestyle, or pay the bills, whatever the drive: it keeps us going. No strangers, success and failure are part of our business. Here is an example. Michael Jordan, the professional basketball player (1984-2003). He is a Hall of Fame member. We think of him as a success. But he will be the first to say, he built success on failures. He kept trying. He once said: I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. Don't count the shots you missed. Winners figure out how to win.
In closing, I will add this final thought. It is a thank you. I attended a real estate conference last year. One of the board members closed the two day session with his speech, thanking us for being real estate agents. He welcomed the new members. And, dramatically, he closed going to the table of each person in the room, looked each of us in the eye and said, "you can be all that I believe you can be', perhaps 50 times, over and over. I took that comment with me. it was a strong motivational label. I hope to live up to be all that he expected of me. You can do it too. Start this new year counting your blessings and delivering dreams.
Does your potential client or present client have commitment issues?
- We have heard it all
- Let me check with my spouse
- Let me sleep on it
- I have to think about it
- Call me next month
You are trying to close and run into this road-block or delay. What can you do to help the client overcome their concern or lack of commitment? After 40 years in the business, let me give you a few ideas and thoughts.
What to do when there is an objection. Well, nothing works better than truth and honesty, but let me give you some techniques.
EMPATHY & UNDERSTADING
You might just agree. That is a choice you have to make. You have empathy for your client and want them to feel good about their decision to choose you or your recommendation. No hard sell here.
But it might be time to make a decision. The market might move fast. The rate lock may expire. Other offers may top yours. The buyer or seller is simply confused by an abundance of information from friends, relatives, social media, general news. For many reasons, you may want to prompt a decision.
DEFINE THE PROBLEM
Your questions may identify the obstacle and also provide a cool down period, giving the client control and comfort. Use those questions in what I call an insurance close.
List the concerns
Acknowledge these are real concerns
Provide sympathy and understanding ( “I have been in our shoes, or I understand”)
Then address the concern
This is not time to sell, but rather time to LISTEN CAREFULLY. You are trying remove obstacles. Ask if you have provided some comfort. If there is comfort, then return to sell.
LET THE CLIENT TALK
You will learn more by listening than by talking
Some clients have no fear and will sign on the dotted line. Some clients have no knowledge and will sign on the dotted line. You want to understand your clients’ level of understanding. While it is harder to deal with an informed client, you will earn the clients’ trust by educating the client so they make an informed decision.
Sell your experience. Perhaps you say, “ I know. This is a big decision. I have been in your shoes. I can tell you when I am with a professional that knows the market and product like I do, I always follow that advice.
PREPARATION TO AVOID
Let them get to know you when you meet. Let them see your character, personality, experience, education, care, integrity. People follow those who they trust and respect.
Educate the customer about the neighborhood, amenities, quality of construction, years of no maintenance based on condition and the market. Discuss the value per square foot, per bedroom.
The Insurance Close
Why do you need insurance?
I need to take care of my family, I have a mortgage to pay and my family needs income for a year
How much to you think you need
Well, insurance provides that, and so on. That is the insurance close.
The insurance close is (1) What to you need and then (2) Insurance provides that
AVOID THE HEAD-ON COLLISION
No. I am not ready. Don’t fight. That is a head on collision. Go in a new direction but use a transition. The transition is simple. “Boy, I have been there. That is a very good point you make”. Then…..ask questions. What are the obstacles? What is the concern? Be careful. It is a start but this could allow the client to dig in deeper so go carefully and slowly. Agree, commiserate. Can you tell me why that is so important to you?
ABE LINCOLN CLOSE
In court, Lincoln would list the other person’s arguments before the other person could. This gave Lincoln the time to reduce the nature of that objection or to provide an answer for it.
BEN FRANKLIN CLOSE
This senior stateman would list the pros and cons. When the pros were greater in value than the cons, he would proceed. So Mr. Franklin was the original list-maker Frankly, (no pun intended), this close is not too much different than the Insurance Close. While insurance closes list your goals, then the salesperson says we achieved your goals. The Franklin close lists the pros and cons. Then the salesperson can say if the Pros are greater than the cons.
REMI School of Real Estate now offers a Pre License Test Preparation Course. Over the years, so many of our prospective students as well as students who completed our Pre License Course have asked us for practice tests for both State Specific and Uniform subject areas.
And, now we have prepared three levels of preparation. Each are specific to your study style and sold separately. We currently offer our Test Prep Suite of Courses for 12 states.
Level One: The Text Book featuring both State Specific and Uniform portions $129.95
a. Chapter End Quizzes for State Specific and Uniform
b. Chapters focused on Exam oriented subject matter
Level Two: Practices Exams selected from the aggregate of Chapter End Quizzes $99.95
a. We extracted the exam questions from the textbook and
b. Over ten 50 question practice tests for Uniform
c. Over ten 50 question practice tests for State Specific
Level Three: Practices Exams selected from the State Specific Collection of Textbook Quizzes $69.95
a. We extracted the exam questions from the textbook and
b. Over ten 50 question practice tests for State Specific
REMI School has often been asked for practice exams. We are proud to add this collection for our students. We organized this material for our students to use in preparation for the State Exams. It is not offered as a credit course nor is it offered as a pre-qualification of license requirements. We offer it as a test preparation course, typically, to be completed after completion of the approved pre license course.
The prices for these three courses are subject to change. Each requires acknowledgement of their status as non-credit courses prior to purchase.
View our Test Prep Courses Here
Finding Success in a Difficult Market
Ten steps to Build Business During Tough Times
- Focus on lead generation.
- Your success requires a constant stream of new customers.
- Examples: Renters become buyers; Graduates need homes; Open Houses attract true buyers; Large corporations need relocation; Garage sales are often indicators of a sale; Floor duty creates opportunity; If you are near a military base, then advertise in the Army, Navy, or Air Force Times as a relocation specialist; find what works for you;
- Make known to friends, family, those you socialize with and the public that you are an agent.
- The public needs to know you are an agent.
- Every day you must generate new leads.
- Every day you should email an old customer to keep your name fresh with them.
- Do not rest of yesterday’s results.
- Work on and with leads
- Get a customer, keep a customer.
- Recognize an opportunity and convert that opportunity.
- Business is a process: make calls, send emails, post on social media, meet new people.
- Venture out, meet people, create a blog, utilize social media, join clubs, add to your sphere of influence.
- Focus on lead conversion.
- Do not only be an order taker; be a salesperson and convert opportunities.
- Create opportunities.
- Be the Professional you want to be, that you must be.
- Focus on your job every day.
- Learn from the mistakes of others.
- Watch successful people and copy their energy, methods,
- Be critical and always seek to improve yourself.
- The job does not end at closing.
- Most business comes from referrals.
- Keep in contact with customers.
- Ask for referrals.
- Build on your Success.
- Meet a new person, potential customer every day.
- Closing is not the end of the process; it is only another step in the process.
- Avoid feast or famine, keep finding new customers.
- Build a business you can rely on for yourself, your family and your clients.
- Success requires you to abandon the project approach and accept the process approach.
- Develop lead generation sources.
- Some leads are hidden in your data mining stage.
- Looking for clients
- Some leads will be in the inquiry stage, asking questions of you.
- Some leads will be entertaining the thought of you as their agent.
- Some leads should be in the pre-qualification stage.
- Some leads will be in showing stage.
- Some leads must be in the offering stage.
- Some leads must be in escrow.
- Live within the stages of your business
- Know or set the goals for these stages that you have created.
- Commit to a process of regularly creating and having activity in each stage.
- The typical business is one that finds a pattern of success and repeats it over and over.
Real Estate licensees representing buyers and seller in the current high interest rate environment need understanding and tools to satisfy the needs of their client. Just what do we need to know to succeed.
Understanding: Interest rates are high in order to slow the growth of inflation. As the Federal Reserve raises rates the banks have to “buy” money at a higher rate and this cost is passed to the consumer.
For a $100,000; 30 yr loan:
There is an increase in monthly payments and increase in earnings to qualify for each $100,000 in loan
Rate Monthly Principal & Interest /$100K Increased Earnings/Yr to Qualify/$100K
3.5% $449 Per $100,000 0 Per $100,000
4.5% $507 “ $3,093 “
5.5% $568 “ $6,346 “
6.5% $632 “ $9,760 “
For every $100,000, the Principal and Interest increases roughly $60 per $100,000 for each increase of one percent and the buyer’s income must increase $3,000 for each rise I one percent.
- Adjustable Rate Mortgage: Price the use of an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). From Forbes Magazine https://www.forbes.com/advisor/mortgages/current-arm-rates/ 9/13/23
An ARM is an adjustable rate where the first number (e.g. 5/1) is the years of base rate with the second number being the number of times per year that the base rate increases. In a 5/1 5.5% loan would mean the 5.5% rate is the first year rate, and the loan will increase once a year
10/1 ARM: 6.40% today vs. 6.32% last week
7/1 ARM: 6.20% today vs. 6.19% last week
5/1 ARM: 6.04% today vs. 6.01% last week
- BUY DOWN: Ask a lender how much does it cost to buy down the loan by 1% for each $100,000. The answer might be: a 7% $300,000 loan could be reduced by one half of one per cent to 6.5% for 1.5 points. One point is 1% of the loan. Therefore for $4,500 ($300,000 * 1.5 * 1%), is added to your closing costs. Payments drop from $1966 to $1,896. Over the life of the loan you save $25,200 on the $4,500 you paid in in extra points. The rate of return on the $4,500 is roughly the same as the interest rate on the loan
- GEM: Growing Equity Mortgage: This is a loan suited for the upwardly mobile professional. The VA, FHA and Ginnie Mae will back growing equity mortgages. Ask you lender if their bank or sources provided GEM’s. These are mortgages that start a bit lower and end a bit higher but feature a lower payment in the early years.
- PRICE ADJUSTMENTS: With higher rates there are fewer buyers. Buyer’s can drive the deal in some situations. The buyer’s representative might be in a position to drive the price lower. For each $50,000 in lowered price, the monthly payment likely drops by $300 per month. For the seller’s agent, this is a difficult situation and must be a seller’s decision based on outstanding loan, motivation, timing and lifestyle to name a few. But, for the seller, there are non-price features like, shrewd negotiating, setting expectations, or asking what is buyer’s perfect closing date, perhaps, negotiating the furnishings, or offering a home shield insurance plan.
- Second Mortgage: If pushed to a limit, perhaps a seller can take back the difference as a secured second mortgage with a term of say 5, 7 or ten years and could be minimal monthly payments. It could be at a lower rate but structured in such a way that it is due upon sale or due as a bullet maturity.
- Negotiating Rapport: You have a job to do. The seller’s agent must sell and the buyer’s agent must buy. That is our job. Rapport, getting along, explaining what it will take to satisfy the parties. Communications seller’s agent to seller; buyer’s agent to buyer, and agent to agent. Ask the bank how they can help. Ask if there are special arrangements that can be made. Are there non price items, timing, closing date, furniture, home shield type policies. Sometimes it is as simple as keep the rapport and conversation alive.
- Be sympathetic and compassionate with your client. These are tough times. “I understand”; I have been through this myself; “I know how you must feel”. “I am here to counsel and help” Use a net sheet to explain your best estimate of net proceeds, or net cash required. Perhaps the difference can be put in perspective. It is 6 months wages. It is 4% of the value of the home. The mortgage interest is deductible so might reduce your taxes.
- Refinance: Refinance when rates are lower. Maybe we can consider this a short term problem. We can not forecast interest rates but rates do go up and rates do go down. If they go down, you can refinance.