The Agents in Action podcast provides education, inspiration and strategies for real estate agents to take action.
Each episode is drawn from a collection of lessons, mistakes, and scripts developed by Todd Smith, all shared with no spin. Whether you are just beginning your real estate career or a seasoned veteran, you will learn how to take action. With Agents in Action, Todd Smith and host Jody Maberry will share exactly what it will take to win at a high level in Real Estate.
Should Seller's Price High to Leave Room to Negotiate?
This is a very common misconception sellers have when listing their home for sale. Time on the market is the #1 enemy for a seller. Historically, we know the longer a home sits on the market for sale, the softer the price becomes. In this episode, I want to share one approach that's worked well for me in these situations. Should you decide to incorporate this into your business or not, the main purpose of discussing this is to be sure you have your go to script, plan... whatever you prefer to call it. Our ability to effectively deliver our responses to common objections such as this can be the difference between a listing taken or a listing sold.
Let's list some of the things buyers think when taking into consideration the length of time a home they're interested in buying has been on the market. Of course, it depends on the market conditions, this will be applicable in any market and especially effective in a predominantly seller market or neutral market.
Let's first look at a home that's been listed for just a few days.
I need to act fast.
There may be multiple offers.
The seller is less likely to be flexible on the price.
I wonder if any offers have already been submitted.
All set the buyer up to have urgency, take action and make a strong offer.
Now lets list some of the common thoughts that come to mind when a home has been listed for, say, a few months.
Is there anything wrong with it?
I bet we can get a better deal.
I have time to think about it, let’s see some other homes before making a decision.
All of these don’t encourage urgency and leads the buyer to make a lower offer.
Let's set this up. Here's the keys ideas you’ll want to keep in mind:
Know your outcome - the objective is the seller comes to realize that pricing right from the start is the best choice.
With that in mind, learn how to ask questions that will lead them to this decision. Selling is not telling.
If you don’t believe it, neither will they.
Seller: It looks like we need to price it at about $350K, so let’s start a bit higher and leave room for negotiation, let’s start at $365-370K to so the buyer can feel like they got a better deal.
Agent: I can understand why you would feel/think this way. It’s normal, after all when we go to buy something, it’s only natural to want to get a better deal, right?
Agent: (Name), if asking a higher price would end up actually causing you to lose money, or in the end walk away with less profit...you would want to know that … wouldn’t you?
Seller: Of course, I am not sure what you mean.
Agent: Let me explain. Let’s look at this scenario...a buyer looks at your home and they are excited, they want to make an offer. What do you think is one of the top questions a buyer asks their agent about the listing? They already know the price, the size, beds/baths etc. What would you think it would be??
(The answer we are looking for is “how long has it been on the market”. We are handling this like the TV game show The Family Feud. Allow the seller a few attempts at coming up with the answer themselves, if they’re struggling, praise their effort and let them know the answer we’re looking for.)
Seller: Is there any offers?
Agent: That’s a good guess and yes buyers will ask that, what else?
Seller: How long has the home been listed for sale?
Agent: That’s it! This is the one that is most important...here’s why. Let’s look at 2 scenarios…A The buyer asks their agent “how long hasit been on the market” and their agent says “2 days” what do you think the buyer’s mindset is likely to be?
Seller: Well, I would imagine they’d be thinking they need to make an offer quickly.
Agent: What else?
Seller: Ummm. They better make a strong offer because it just came
Three Lies Robbing Your Productivity
I am noticing a pattern that keeps showing up lately during conversations I am having with many agents. Since this seems to be so prevalent, I thought we could talk about it today as it’s likely something many of our great agents in action are experiencing. Even though a simple, and even a common topic, it’s one that is (in many cases) costing you $10,000’s and even $100’000’s in lost income opportunity. Ultimately, this shows up in our lives many ways. Sometimes, it’s having more month than money left at the end of each month...day to day lifestyle choices, it poses restrictions on us to give to others, not taking much needed (well deserved) vacations and so many others. What is this villain? It’s our ability to know what to do with our time each day and some long-standing myths or lies that are encouraging this to continue. I thought we could really dissect what I believe is the underlying cause behind this.
The Three lies robbing your productivity.
Lie #1 Everything Matters Equally
All things do not matter equally. Not tasks, not possessions and even people matter equally. Not everything matters equally, and success isn’t a game won by whoever does the most. That is exactly how most people play it on a daily basis. THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THE PERSON WHO IS MOST FOCUS WINS EVERY TIME. They are better because of time on task. It’s time on task over time. Achievers always work from a clear sense of priority. Instead of a to-do list, we all need a success list - a list that is purposefully created around extraordinary results. So, go small, go extreme, say no, and don’t get trapped in the check off game. The check-off game never produces a winner. Sometimes it’s the first thing you do; sometimes it’s the only thing you do. Regardless, doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.
Lie # 2 Multi-Tasking
What’s ironic is employers often advertise to find self-proclaimed multi-taskers.
A thought: Multi-Tasking is probably one of the biggest lies out there. If doing the most important thing is the most important thing, why would you try to do anything else at the same time?
4000 - The number of conscious thoughts on an average day. Most people have an interruption of thought. (Every 14 seconds.)
43 - Average number of interruptions in the workplace daily. (Every 11 min)
28% - Loss of efficiency due to those distractions.
End result: In a five-day work week, you are losing more than one full day of production due to distractions. We wonder why we’re stressed out and not getting ahead as fast as we feel we should based on the time we’re putting in. You have only so much time and energy, so when you spread yourself out, you end up spread thin. You want your achievements to add up, but that actually takes subtraction, not addition. You need to be doing fewer things for more effect instead of doing more things with side effects!
Lie #3: A Disciplined Life
When we buy into the lie that everything matters equally, we end up multi-tasking because there is just too much to do, and when multi-tasking doesn’t work, we end up saying things like “ I just need more discipline in my life.” The trick to success is to choose the right habit and bring just enough discipline to establish it. How much discipline is required to build a new habit? We suggest 66 days, you can force yourself to get to 21 days, 66 days takes commitment. Don’t be a disciplined person. Be a person of power habits and use selected discipline to develop them. Build one habit at a time and stick with the discipline long enough for it to become routine. Remember, it’s not just one thing, it’s ONE Thing at a time.
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Four Ways to Boost Confidence When Pricing Properties
Four Ways To Boost Confidence When Pricing Property
Typically, when preparing for a listing appointment, most agents will leave their pricing research to a desk review over their computer. If you want to outperform your competition and at the same time...dramatically boost your confidence, go the extra mile and consider implementing these steps to maximize your confidence and accuracy.
1. Preview property every 10-14 days to give yourself a stronger knowledge of your local market, and it will give you more confidence in pricing during the listing presentation.
The more real estate you see, the more familiar you will become and have a keen sense of what a home’s value actually is. No more guessing or wondering.
Gives you the edge over your competition as you will have the ability to reference properties for sale or that have sold, carry a higher level of conversation with both your sellers and buyers and clearly demonstrate your expertise of the market place. A great disguise for new agents or agent that don’t really know an area as well as others.
3. Over achievers, you can mix in some door knocking while you’re out there.
2. Arrive early to the subject property neighborhood and preview your competition before you go on the listing appointment. This will help you better understand exactly how your listing will compare to the others and allow you to have certainty when discussing price and proper positioning in the market.
Go the extra mile, get inside and take notes on the condition, updates or lack of. Is the home dark, bright what direction does it face? Were there any odors that won’t be detected by just looking at pictures, how was the yard size, privacy or lack thereof. All these things can only be discovered by viewing the home in person. Pictures can only tell us so much; a site inspection shows it all.
Gives you absolute certainty when it comes to comparing the condition of the subject property.
Doing this will eliminate any doubt when the seller should comment about their home having this or that compared to those that are for sale.
3. Drive the comps including similar properties that are pending or closed status. Consider only looking at closed sales going back 90 days whenever possible as this best represents current market conditions. It’s critical to know where the properties are located in proximity to the subject property. Are the others on/back to traffic streets, train tracks or some other type physical objection?
Remember, you are the expert. It’s not only the professional expectation to be fully aware of the details surrounds the sales directly impacting your potential seller, it’s what the seller expects of you … and sets you up for a timely sale.
You can use this knowledge to confidently make references to other properties during the pricing or CMA portion of your presentation. This demonstrates your familiarity with the neighborhood which sellers will pick up on. They’ll know if you aren’t familiar too. The more prepared you are, the more easily you can carry on a fluid conversation with the seller about what is taking place in the neighborhood.
Nothing feels better than being prepared and knowing you are ready. Do what others won’t, go that extra mile and do your homework. You will find yourself more relaxed able to focus on getting the listing contract signed instead of worrying about what may be brought up or said next. Don't forget the 5 P's - prior, planning, prevents, poor performance.
4. Having an overall knowledge of your market statistics to create the highest impact. NO ONE CAN ARGUE WITH FACTS. Not the seller, buyer, agents or lenders. Set a reminder in your weekly calendar, make it a routine and do this.
It’s across the board, the majority of the agents don’t really have a firm grasp on market
Personality Styles 101
Personality Styles 101 - Today we’re going to discuss the D.I.S.C personality styles and how to use this system to have more influence with anyone you are speaking with, resulting in a higher level of communication and ultimately, developing these skills will be an asset to close more business or, increase your overall effectiveness when putting deals together.
It’s was something I learned early in my career...probably 20+ years ago now. What’s interesting is I use what I have learned probably on a daily basis, if not several times a week. Knowing first who we are and then, to identifying the traits in others has been invaluable over my career. Remember the saying, people that are like each other tend to like each other and birds of a feather, flock together...it’s really true they’re not just “sayings” they are a fact of life. As Realtors, having a solid understanding of the various personality styles, and how to approach each of them, will be an asset and contribute to your success.
A good portion of our success stems from our ability to effectively communicate with others. When we stop to think about it, it’s not just our ability to present our listing presentation to a seller or a buyer our value proposition. It’s more than just this. It’s handling negotiations or comes into play when converting leads into appointments. It’s knowing HOW to present our value proposition, HOW to negotiate or HOW to convert leads into appointments based on WHO we’re speaking with that is the key to our success or, lack thereof.
Knowing who we’re speaking to, and what their preferred communications style is will either build up or break down the relationships we are working to form and dealing with on a regular basis. Knowing how to to do this, having a trained eye, what to look for and a trained ear, what to listen for will serve you well over the course of your career.
Let’s take an example from each...starting with what to look for. At our core, all of us are either more task oriented or people oriented. This also shows up in areas we may not really be aware of. For example, how people select the clothes they wear. If you saw someone that was wearing clothing that was bright or had a busy pattern, (if you’re paying attention and have an awareness about this) we could conclude that they are likely to be more “people” oriented. When you see someone dress more conservatively, solid “safe” colors, a more reserved look, you could conclude they are more “task” oriented. Remember, these are just clues and initial indicators.
What we’re looking for here are speech patterns you may pick up on. Is the person you’re in conversation with talk fast or slow? Is their tone louder, or soft spoken? Are they higher energy or more methodical in the way they communicate? Both will be an indicator of the personality style you are dealing with. Again, when you have familiarized yourself with these patterns and with a good amount of practice, you will begin to see how you can use all of this to have a higher level of influence.
So, let’s take a closer look now at what the characteristics of the D.I.S.C styles.
The DISC is a behavior assessment tool based on the DISC theory of psychologist William Moulton Marston, which centers on four different behavioral traits, which today are called: dominance, influence, steadiness, and compliance. This theory was then developed into a behavioral assessment tool by industrial psychologist Walter Vernon Clarke. There are many different versions of the questionnaire and assessment. Some date back to the 1940s while others are more recent. Marston, after conducting research on human emotions, published his findings in his 1928 book called Emotions of Normal People. The DISC approach suggests people’s personalities fall into four categories. We all have s
The Top 5 Ways Money is Leaking Out of Your Business
Most Realtor's suffer from the same money leaks in their business and do not even know it.
This episode of Agents in Action recap of the most common money leaks or “gaps” I noticed among the agents I have been coaching or met at speaking events this year. It was interesting to me to see these same patterns repeating themselves across the board. It was so consistent, that I wanted to go through these with you so you can take a look at what you’re currently doing in your business. If you can, grab a pen and paper so you can write a few things down as we go through a few exercises during this episode.
You have gaps that are allowing money to leak out of your business. Imagine this scenario; The Bank Manager calls and has some news to share with you…Think about who you currently bank with...you get a call from the branch manager, and he/she says...I needed to alert you to something that we noticed when we came in this morning...it must have happened overnight. It appears you have a leak in your account. Money is leaking out of your account, and we are making every attempt to stop it. However, nothing has worked yet.
What would you do? You would probably get to the bank right away to withdraw your money and stop the money leak.
It wouldn’t be anything we’d just “get to” when we had a chance. It would be urgent.
So let’s use that example and look how it relates to our business. When is the last time you took a close look at your business and did an audit for money leaks it may be experiencing? For this purpose, we will define a money leak as lost opportunity income in one or many locations in your business, that when stopped, would significantly increase your income and overall profitability. So, I thought I would bring these up today so you can take a look at your business, where they may be money leaking, how much, and with a new awareness, begin to take steps on some or all of these areas and put an end to the thousands and thousands of dollars being lost every month.
These are the top 5 areas I noticed agents are losing the most money. As we go through them together, remember to have a pen and paper ready so you can determine what might be leaking from your business each month, and over the course of the year.
Lacking clearly defined goals/objectives - I would say of all the agents I’ve come in contact with, only 10-15% (being a bit generous too) of them have clearly defined, time-bound, measurable goals that they are REALLY excited about and that are in writing. That’s very important that they are in writing. We can’t overlook the power that comes from being connected to our life purpose and having clarity here is absolute power! It’s time we get back to this basic success principle of having goals and dreams that fuel our engines each day to go out and make it happen. Without them, we often find ourselves “drifting” through each day that passes and end up living quiet lives of desperation. For this one, I want to suggest you ask yourself, how many sales are you missing out on each year stemming from a lack of powerful, compelling goals that you haven’t yet clearly established...don’t forget in writing. Take that number and multiply it by your average commission check and that will be the “money leak” for this one area. By the way, be brutally honest when coming up with these numbers.
Lead Follow Up - This money leak comes from our inability to organized, we’re unsure what to say and how long to stay the course when tracking and following up with our leads. If we take an honest look at how we’re following up with our leads, the majority of us wouldn’t say we’re losing business because we’re calling them too much...it’s because we don’t call them enough and worse, many times we don’t ever call. This is contributing to a tre
Part 2 of 2 - Mastering FSBO Preview Appointments
At The Preview Appointment -
Objective - Gain access, establish a relationship with & continue to qualify the seller.
The Tour: While walking through the property, take notes on the home’s features and benefits. In a casual, yet deliberate manner, ask questions to determine what the situation is with this particular lead.
Greeting: Introduce yourself, hand them a business card and thank them for having you over to take a look at the house. (Notice, I say house a lot, not home. Why? Home is emotional, a house is not). Also, assure them you won’t be long which should send a message that you aren’t going to overstay your time and push them into listing w/you.
Create a casual conversation as you tour the house: Ask we walk through the house, I have a list of questions to ask you, do you mind if I take some notes? (They always will say ok, sure that’s fine) This allows you to relax, just read your questions and take notes...they gave you permission).
Remind me, how many bedrooms/bathrooms? Square footage? Lot size? Year built? (get the answering/talking easy common questions)
Can you point out what you’ve done to improve the property since you’ve owned it?
So, when you sell the house, where are you moving to? Or You said when you sell the house you’re moving to ___...correct? (How’d you happen to pick that area?)
If a buyer was looking to close in 30 days, would that pose any challenges for you?
Have you been successful selling other houses of yours in the past? I am always curious...what caused you to sell the house yourself vs. hiring a professional, like myself?
So, how’d you determine your sales price? (sourcing, valid or not) Zillow vs. CMA.
Are you prepared to adjust your price down when working with a buyer?
I’m sure it won’t happen, if the house didn’t sell, what would you do? Would that be a problem? (must be sure to say this with the right tone of voice)
You know, this is really a nice property...are you sure you don’t just want to keep it? (giving it back to them tells you about their commitment to sell. Do they go along with it or immediately give it back to you?)
Before You Go - After gathering the general information, make your way back towards the front door. Before leaving, stop and ask…”Mr. Or Mrs. Seller, I have to ask...I know you’re planning to sell your home by owner. However, if you actually felt you could sell for more money, a quicker sale with less hassles/liability and meet your timelines by hiring a powerful agent like myself...would you at least be open to considering it?
(find out where they’re at, this will help flush out where they really stand)
How much time would you take before you would consider hiring someone, like myself for the job of selling your home? (Get a timeline to work towards) Two weeks, 30 days.
So, just to be sure I am understanding correctly...if you’re not able to (and I am sure you will) sell the house in 30 days, you’d then at least be open to having a meeting to discuss solutions and a fresh approach I can bring to the table to help you get to ___?
Follow-Up - Well, thank you for having me over to preview your house. I will keep it in mind and see if any of the buyer leads we have could be a match. In the meantime, I will check in with you ...say...maybe once every 5-7-10 days to see if you were successful in selling the house. (explain the only way you can keep accurate status of the house is to keep in touch with them. Time frame to f/u based on motivation/market conditions.
Now, do your follow up moving closer to that timeline established. Each call ask “I know you mentioned 30 days and its been ___ so far...are you sure you don’t want to just go ahead and meet now? This way I can help you get to ____ by ____. LA/January.
Don’t forget it takes practice -
Customer ReviewsSee All
Todd’s open house guide
I just listened to this. So good. Lots of little nuggets and ideas of what to do before, during and after doing a open house. Great insight. I’ll probably listen to it a few more times to get all the info out. Thanks Todd
Great Resource for Newbies!
I'm grateful to have stumbled onto the Agents in Action podcast! As a new agent there is so much to learn; everything from best practices in real estate, to mindset, and everything in between. Todd has a fantastic ability to deliver insight and information in a way that is accessible no matter where you are on the learning curve. The show makes it simple with clear step by step processes and useful tips on how to build a successful real estate business. If I lived in TX, I would totally sign up for Todd's live events.
Seriously good material. Very well recorded, lot's of educational material to make you a better agent.