Wednesday
August 31, 2016

YPN Lounge

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Updated: 35 min 20 sec ago

Mendenhall to YPN: Time to Get Nerdy

Wed, 08/24/2016 - 16:55

When Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2017 president-elect of the National Association of REALTORS®, visited YPN’s Leadership Retreat today, she didn’t go easy on them. In fact, she told them they needed to step up to leadership positions beyond their young pro networks and become wonks.

Now, Mendenhall didn’t always see the path to leadership in this way. She told a story about her journey to the NAR leadership team, which led through her local and state associations. She remembered being asked to serve on a legislative committee and immediately rejecting the idea: “I was on the professional development side. I was sitting in the strategic planning meetings,” she said. “I don’t like that [legislative] stuff. I could care less who the senator is from the ninth district.”

But the president of the Missouri Association of REALTORS® at the time didn’t let her off the hook. Mendenhall said he told her, “If you ever want to be president of the state association, you need to know this. You need to understand what this means to home ownership and this profession.” So she went for it and never looked back, becoming president of her state’s association in 2010.

Mendenhall, now CEO of RE/MAX Boone Realty in Columbia, Mo., said she saw a lot of similarities between her start and the YPNers in the room: “I would venture that a lot of you in this room are not sitting on the legislative committee,” she said. “You’re not sitting on the conventional finance and lending committee.” Mendenhall said she understands the desire to focus on communications, branding, and other association pursuits, but also asked members of YPN to recognize the importance of the political and legal issues surrounding their chosen profession. “None of this matters if we don’t have an industry where people can buy and sell homes… a single piece of legislation can change this industry overnight.”

The annual YPN Leadership Retreat is tailored to incoming leaders of local associations, and Mendenhall acknowledged that the next 18 months would be an exciting whirlwind of activity for attendees who will serve as local YPN chairs. But after that, she said, “It’s time to move on.” She highlighted YPN involvement as a useful entry point to greater responsibility within the organization, but that room must be made for new leaders to enter. “Somebody else sees you there and says, ‘I can do it too.’”

Still, too few YPN leaders are moving up, in Mendenhall’s estimation. “I was disgusted when I went through the applications for vice chair positions,” she said, noting that the lack of young professionals in the group could be attributed to both reluctant applicants and an association that might not be doing enough to encourage them to apply.

But just getting involved isn’t enough. Mendenhall again revisited the need to have more young people on policy-oriented boards. She told attendees that’s where the opportunity for real advancement lies, as she learned when she was a volunteer leader for her state association. “Yeah, it’s scary. Yeah, it’s daunting,” she acknowledged. “It’s a little bit more challenging but it’s absolutely worth it… You definitely get more than you give.”

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3 Mindset Principles for Success in Real Estate

Mon, 08/22/2016 - 15:37

Brandon Doyle

By Brandon Doyle

The professional philosophies you live by are key to making or breaking your real estate business. That’s why it’s so important to develop a productive, powerful mindset—a collection of principles that can lead you to become a confident, capable, and top producing real estate agent.

Here are three principles to remember when it comes to employing mind over matter in the real estate world.

1. Respect Your Real Estate Business Enough to Run It Like a CEO

Just because you are self-employed, doesn’t mean that the pressure is off when it comes to the technical details of managing a real estate business. No CEO worth his or her salt would neglect meaningful tools like a business and marketing plan, spreadsheets to track cash flow and expenses, quarterly profit-and-loss statements, and a thorough plan of attack each fiscal year. These measures may seem daunting at first—and certainly require a disciplined mental shift to tackle—but harnessing their power sets you on the path towards growth and success as a real estate agent.

@FlashBuddy; 2014. Morguefile.

2. The Horizon Mindset: The Value of Seeing the Big Picture

When I first taught my daughter how to drive, she clung to the steering wheel and never allowed her eyes to look beyond the few feet of road ahead of her. Unprepared as new objects entered her field of vision, she would overreact and overcompensate, yanking the wheel in fear. To counter that, I advised her to keep her vision trained on the horizon, so that she could see any potential changes long before they arrived. The same philosophy applies to your real estate business. If you commit yourself to the long game—planning and envisioning the larger picture of your business—then day-to-day obstacles and anxieties are far less likely to throw you for a loop and derail your progress.

3. Be Specific in Your Goals and Vision

There’s little value in envisioning the big picture of your real estate business if the big picture is only a vague, abstract idea of the success you wish to achieve. In order to plan for and work toward a goal, you need to understand exactly what you’re aiming for. Embrace the principle of goal-setting, and make those goals precise—like a specific gross commission income goal, for instance. Once you have established a clear aim for yourself and your business, you can then surmise exactly what you need to do on a daily basis to inch toward that objective. In other words, the work doesn’t stop once you’ve specifically outlined your ambition; you must then do the detail work required to achieve it.

There’s no easy route to becoming a top producing real estate agent or business owner. However, fostering the mindsets illustrated above can provide the framework and discipline needed to succeed. Remember that professional philosophies are valuable, formidable resources that are ready to be used to your advantage as you lead your real estate business to the next level.

Brandon Doyle, ABR, e-PRO, is a second-generation real estate pro with RE/MAX Results in the Twin Cities. He is also coauthor of the book M3Mindset, Methods & Metrics: Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent available now on Amazon. Learn more about Brandon at www.doylerealestateteam.com.

Apply for the 2016 Network of the Year Awards

Tue, 08/16/2016 - 17:37

YPN Advisory Committee members with past Network of the Year Award winners.

Ready, set, apply!

In two short weeks, the deadline to submit applications for the 2016 Networks of the Year will arrive. We want to hear how your local YPN rocks, whether it’s by providing education opportunities, creating networking events, strengthening association involvement, or contributing to charitable causes. There are four award categories:

  • State Network of the Year
  • Large Local Network of the Year (associations with more than 5,000 members)
  • Medium Local Network of the Year (between 2,500 and 5,000 members)
  • Small Local Network of the Year (associations with fewer than 2,500 members)

Download and submit your network’s application materials by Wednesday, August 31. The awards will be presented live at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo YPN Networking Reception in Orlando. Tickets are currently on sale and will sell out prior to the event, so register today.

In the video below, Bobbi Howe, the immediate past chair of the YPN Advisory Board, reflects on her home state of Missouri winning the 2015 State Network of the Year last fall.

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Who Are Today’s Landlords?

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 18:56

If you’re looking to get into property management, you’ll want to research your potential clients. And property owners who are considering becoming landlords will be looking for a real estate professional who’s familiar with their needs.

According to a recent survey of 2,000 landlords conducted by TransUnion, 44 percent are age 34 and under and 66 percent are college graduates. While 40 percent of survey respondents own a property strictly for investment, the majority have sentimental or family ties to the home. TransUnion, which offers a tenant screening service for landlords and property managers, found that the most common reason for renting out a property is the owner enjoyed living there at one point and wants to make extra income. An average of 31 percent of property owners’ annual income comes from their rental properties, and half of the landlords surveyed say they depend on that income.

Learn more about the TransUnion survey in the infographic below.

Erica Christoffer is a consulting editor for REALTOR® Magazine and manager of the YPN Lounge. Connect with her at echristoffer@realtors.org.

SaveErica Christoffer is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine and manager of the YPN Lounge. Connect with her at echristoffer@realtors.org.

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7 Steps to Crafting a Better Sales Story

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 16:30

Nico Hohman

By Nico Hohman

Is your listing presentation working for you? Are you getting as many listings as you want?

If the answer is “no,” then it may be time to craft a better sales story.

According to Donald Miller, author, speaker, and founder of The StoryBrand Process, you should think of your listing presentation as a story. As humans, we have evolved from our storytelling ancestors. We are hard-wired to listen to and retain stories more so than any other type of medium. The better the story, the higher the probability of someone remembering and liking it.

In your listing presentation, you are trying to convey a message to your potential clients. But you must ensure that your aren’t conveying the wrong message. To get more listings, follow these seven steps to craft a better sales story.

1. Introduce the Hero

In many cases, this is exactly where most listing presentations fall flat. And once you have failed in the first step, you have lost your potential client for the rest of your presentation.

First, you have to understand that you’re not the hero of the story. Your client is the hero of the story. And as the hero of the story, your presentation should be focused significantly more on them and less so on you.

In fact, you as the real estate agent aren’t even introduced into the story until step three.

If you’re telling the story of the hero, you want to know as much about them as possible. Find out information about their family, their jobs, their interests, what they like and dislike. The more you know about the hero of the story, the more you can relate to him or her and tell their story.

2. Introduce the Problem

In every story worth remembering, the hero must overcome some obstacle in order to get to the end of the journey. Otherwise, you would have a story about nothing.

The problem for your client may seem obvious to you—they need to sell their home—but there is significantly more detail that goes into this problem.

Some of the issues the hero needs to figure out include: Why do they need to sell their home? How will they sell their home? What do they need to do to sell their home?

@5demayo, 2016. Morguefile.com.

3. Introduce the Guide

We have our hero/heroes (the sellers) and we have the problem (selling their home.) Now comes the time to interject yourself into the listing presentation.

Every hero, no matter how great, can’t accomplish everything on their own. Every hero needs a coach, a mentor, a sage, or a wise elder. You are the guide that will direct the sellers to the end of their journey. You are the one to help them answer their questions of why, how, and what to do to sell their home. You are the Yoda to their Luke Skywalker. You are the real estate agent that will help them sell their home.

4. The Hero Practices the Strategies of the Guide

While the guide certainly has a very important role in the journey of the hero, the story is not about the guide. The story is about the hero. Continue to keep that in mind. You can think of this step as the training montage in the Rocky movies.

You have heard what the seller has to say, and you understand their needs and wants. You now have to give the seller your expert thoughts and suggestions as to what needs to be done to get their house sold.

5. The Hero Implements the Steps Proposed by the Guide

We are at the critical turning point in our story by this fifth step. Our hero now has the tools, practice, and experience to face their problem head on.

This is the point in the story when we find out if the seller is willing to make those small renovations to their house to make it sale-worthy. This is the point when we find out if they’ve kept their house in tip top condition for pictures and future showings.

If the hero of the story followed the advice of the guide, you can skip to step seven of this process. If not, keep moving on to step six.

6. When the Hero Fails

Sometimes even the best heroes with the best coaches don’t always overcome the obstacles that are in their path.

What happens if your seller’s home has been on the market for two months and they haven’t gotten a single offer? What happens when you are under contract and the home fails the home inspection?

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t have to worry about this step, but you always need to prepare just in case. This is the step where you should have answers for any question or objection that the seller may have.

Sometimes in a story, the hero cannot see the end of his or her journey. However, it is the duty of the guide to always encourage and inspire the hero to see things through to the very end.

7. When the Hero Succeeds

Everyone loves a happy ending: The guy gets the girl. The superhero saves the day. Or the team wins the championship.

In this scenario, you as the guide have helped the hero of the story, the seller, to do everything they need to do in order to sell their home.

Looking back at your marketing materials, how much of your listing presentation is about you, your brokerage, and your listing process? Make the seller the hero of your story, and you’ll be sure to get the listings you want. You’ll also be sure to get a happy ending.

Nico Hohman is a Tampa-based real estate pro with NextHome Discovery who works on renovation and rehab properties. Learn more about Nico at hohmanhomes.com or connect on Twitter: @thenicohohman.

July YPN Event Roundup

Thu, 07/28/2016 - 09:15

YPNs around the country are constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to engage with young real estate professionals while providing networking and educational opportunities. We’re spotlighting five events hosted by state and local networks each month to help you gain inspiration for your next YPN get together.

1. A Night at the Races

On July 20, the North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® YPN hosted a mix and mingle event at a local race track complete with a Hawaiian buffet.

Join the #ypn for one of our most popular events of the year!! #nightattheraces in #delmar is a blast don’t miss it! pic.twitter.com/GPBRNKIWqS

— YPN_NSDCAR (@YPN_nsdcar) June 24, 2016

2. Creating a “Bridge”

The Burbank Association of REALTORS® held a billiards tournament on July 14 at a local pool hall.

#BAOR #YPN Annual Pool Hall Tournament – Don’t miss out! pic.twitter.com/LhMlUoppOy

— BAOR (@burbankrealtors) July 2, 2016

3. Tech Tips for Business

The San Antonio Board of REALTORS® created an opportunity for members to learn about new and useful apps and technology during its Appy Hour event July 18.

#YPN is hosting Appy Hour July 18! Join us & learn the latest apps & technology to help you in your business. #SABOR pic.twitter.com/bAnvcbbOcL

— SABoard of REALTORS® (@SABoardREALTORS) June 28, 2016

4. Multi-Association Event

Eight local association YPNs in the Los Angeles area are planning to come together for a “Mega Mixer” on Wednesday, Aug. 3 to help support the California Association of REALTORS®’ Affordable Housing Fund.

2016 #YPN MEGA MIXER! #OMG pic.twitter.com/lf14br98tG

— BAOR (@burbankrealtors) July 15, 2016

 5. A Fitting Backdrop

The Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS® YPN set up an evening networking event on July 26 at a local luxury residential development.

The 30 under 30 panel today at #RealtorFest was filled with #GCAARYPN members! It’s always important to continue… https://t.co/cxdQl5DCNf

— GCAAR YPN (@GCAARYPN) July 18, 2016

 

Hope everyone can join us for this YPN event tomorrow night! #YoungIsAstateOfMind #YPN pic.twitter.com/a304966YPs

— HAAR (@HAARhsv) July 25, 2016

For more event ideas, or to share your own event, check out YPN’s Idea Bank.

Facebook Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business

Mon, 07/25/2016 - 11:27

Drew Heasley

By Drew Heasley

Everyone is on Facebook, and as a real estate agent, you go where the people are.

So you probably already have some type of Facebook presence, either through your personal page or a business page that you’ve invited all your friends to like. But you need more than just likes to generate business through Facebook. Here are some of my favorite free and low-cost marketing tools that Facebook offers.

Facebook Live:  This live streaming video feature is one of Facebook’s most recent additions and it is free to use. No surprise here; it was only a matter of time before Facebook would dive into live streaming, especially after seeing the success that Periscope and other live streaming apps have had. Agents are using this live video feature to broadcast brokers opens, open houses, or give a quick sneak peek of a new listing to their friends. It’s also great for showing local places or local events. When it comes to Facebook marketing, think local. This leads me to me the next great source of business on Facebook…

Local Pages:  This is something I wish I had discovered sooner, because it does take some time to develop. Like an existing community page that has large membership, and simply come from a place of contribution. If you search your area on Facebook, you may be surprised how many well-established and active pages or groups are already up and running. If someone asks for a good plumber, send them your best guy. If someone lost their dog, help them out and share the message to your followers. Do this long enough and you won’t have to beg the group for business, they will be happy to refer you to friends and family. Eventually, you will simply become known as the local real estate go-to person. It will take minimal time and effort, but don’t expect to get rewarded your first month – it’s about building relationships and staying consistent.

The other approach, which I prefer, would be to create your own new local page. You could name it “your town real estate,” or “your town homeowners/residents.” If you farm a large community or neighborhood, create a group or a page just for that. The easiest and obvious place to start would be the area you live. You might be shocked how many people are curious about their local real estate and want to see periodic listings and market updates. To build this type of group without spending any money would take a long time, but it is possible. Once your page is established, use Facebook’s ad manager to target people in that zip code or area your page is dedicated to. These are also great places to run ads for your new listings. You get eyes on your new property and people start following your page. The best ways to do this are to create a post that requires a comment and or a like. For example on a coming soon listing, ask, “How much will this be listed for?” Or on a pending listing, “How much did it sell for?” This creates tons of free organic views because once a person comments on the post, it will show up in his or her friends’ newsfeed. Hopefully others be inclined to like/comment and create a snowball effect. Other ways to build a page from scratch include: posting really interesting or exotic local homes, celebrity homes nearby, unique homes to the area, and bank owned/foreclosures seem to draw a lot of attention. Get creative.

@GaborfromHungary, 2013. Morguefile.com.

Real Estate Groups:  Like community groups, Facebook many real estate related groups established by agents that can help with everything business related. I would highly recommend you check out the group Lab Coat Agents. I have no affiliation with them, I’m just a member and huge fan. This is a group of 35,000 real estate agents from across the country all sharing ideas on how to use technology to increase business. It will change how you spend your time on Facebook. If you are really into cold calling, FSBOs, expireds, etc., then join groups that focus on lead generation, objection handling, or script practicing. Also seek out and  join referral groups or consider creating your own. Network with other agents who are likely to refer business in your area: city to suburb, beach/lake homes, second homes, etc. Joining groups is free and it will be time well spent.

Facebook Ads: Facebook has managed to become a more user friendly marketing platform then Google Ads. Setting up a Facebook ad campaign could not be any more simple. If you need help, Facebook has endless resources. One of Facebook ads’ best features is the amount of targeting it allows you to do. My target-audience changes for each ad, depending on the property I’m listing. Facebook lets me target, “likely to move” and “first-time homebuyers” among tons of other real estate related topics. It lets me exclude, “recently moved” or “real estate agents,” as well as the obvious targeting like, geographic location, age, and other demographics. If you’re wondering why this is so important, it’s very simple: money. The fewer people I advertise to, the less I pay. And more targeted advertising provides higher returns. Some of my most successful campaigns include: rent vs. buy information, foreclosures, coming soon listings, and anything with video. If you are going to run these ads, think about creating a landing page or a well-designed website to help capture those leads. It can really increase you ROI. You can run these either from your business page or your local page. In my opinion, the latter has a much better return on investment.

The best Facebook marketing tool is the one that you will actually use. Pick one or a few that you think would work for you and your business and your market. If just being yourself on Facebook and engaging through your personal page is getting you tons of business, great, keep doing it. But if you aren’t getting the business you hope for or are looking to expand your business I hope these ideas will give you a boost in the right direction.

Drew Heasley is an agent with Keller Williams Exton/West Chester in Pennsylvania. Connect with him on Facebook: facebook.com/chestercountyrealtor, or through his website: searchchestercountyhomes.com.

Test Your Business By Taking a Vacation

Fri, 07/15/2016 - 19:15

Nico Hohman

By Nico Hohman

You’ve been in business for a few years now and everything is going well. You are hitting your numbers, achieving your goals, and you are making a mark in your local community.

As a real estate agent you are always on. Your phone is always on. You are always on your email, and you are always ready and willing to take on the next client.

But is that really the best way to run your business?

Sure, you may be hitting your numbers, achieving your goals, and making a mark in your local community, but is that all you are doing? These things are great to achieve on a micro level, but what are you missing on a macro level?

The only way to test your business to see if it’s working – to see if it’s really profitable – is to take a break from your business.

And what better way to take a break from your business than to take a vacation?

Taking a vacation offers several benefits to both your personal life and your business.

From a personal perspective, taking a vacation is an excellent way to release stress, open your brain to more creative thinking, and immerse yourself in experiences that are new and that might even make you uncomfortable. Getting yourself out of your comfort zone is an excellent way to get your life back in order or on a new track.

From a business perspective, taking a vacation offers several important benefits.

First, when you are working every day in your business it’s tough to plan two weeks into the future, let alone two years into the future. But when you stop working every single day, you can more clearly see what your future in the business will be like.

@fayedes, 2016. Morguefile.com

Secondly, when you take a vacation it forces you to have systems in place to operate your business when you aren’t there. Realistically, you should plan a vacation a few weeks to a few months in advance so you can prepare for an extended absence. Let your clients and vendors know that you will be unreachable for two (or hopefully more) weeks. Have your email and phone away messages set. Have a lead generation and project management system ready to go whenever a new or existing client has a pressing issue. And most definitely have someone you can rely on to help manage your business while you are out.

Finally, when you take a vacation, it helps you realize who the people are that you really want to be working with. If you get three phone calls a day from a client or vendor whom you already made aware that you will be on vacation, it can be tempting to pick up the phone and answer their calls. But the best thing to do is not answer their calls. If, like in the previous step, you have all of your systems in place before you go, you should not need to answer a single phone call or email while you are away. And perhaps when you get back to working full time, it might be best to have a conversation with your clients and vendors about expectations and limitations that they should have for you and your business.

If you think that taking a vacation seems like an impossible task, you are most likely the best candidate to test your business and take a vacation.

And once you’re on vacation, remember, taking business calls and checking your email while you’re away is not a badge of honor. It is nothing to be respected or bragged about. Honor your vacation time and it will pay you back in the long run.

Nico Hohman is a Tampa-based real estate pro with NextHome Discovery who works on renovation and rehab properties. Learn more about Nico at hohmanhomes.com or connect on Twitter: @thenicohohman.

3 Steps to Run Your Business Like a CEO

Wed, 07/06/2016 - 12:30

Brandon Doyle

By Brandon Doyle

Taking your business to the next level might mean a shift in thinking to focus on the bigger picture. A balance between  day-to-day work and your larger goals can be a difficult one to strike, and it’s easy to fall into the pattern of taking care of the details with little time left to think more strategically. Here are three practices to implement today, and on an ongoing basis, to shift your mindset from simply running your business to being the CEO of your business.

1. Review the past and project into the future.

@LiaLeslie 2016. Morguefile.com

CEOs are not only prepared to speak intelligently about their market and business today, but also to make educated predictions. Your ability to interpret the data you have and extract insights and ideas is a major competitive advantage. Review your numbers at least quarterly to answer questions about where your business is coming from, what strategies are performing well, where your biggest expenses are, and how you performed against your projections. Use that information along with what you know about the market and your peers to make short-term and long-term forecasts and plans for your business. Performing high-level analysis arms you with the proactive mindset to take informed and strategic action.

2. Track what’s important.

As CEO of your business, you need to decide what’s most important and then ensure you have the systems and processes in place to track those metrics on a regular basis. From customer satisfaction to ad spend and lead conversion, make sure you’re getting the data you need to make informed decisions about where and how to allocate your resources. With the vast amount of information available, it’s easy to get bogged down with reports that ultimately mean nothing to your business. Start by asking the most important questions and tailor your reports and analysis to obtain that data before digging into the rest. The best insights come from asking the best questions, so start with what you need to know first.

3. Continuously develop your product.

Leading companies and CEOs look ahead to the next phase or version of their product. In real estate, your database of relationships is essentially your product. How are you investing in growing and improving the performance of your database? Take time to plan the strategies you’ll use to develop and nurture your list of contacts as well as the ways you’ll measure the results of your efforts.

Commit to working on these three objectives on a regular basis and block that time on your calendar. The time you invest working on your business with the mindset of a CEO will lead you to the decisions and opportunities that create long-term success.

Brandon Doyle, ABR, e-PRO, is a second-generation real estate pro with RE/MAX Results in the Twin Cities. He is also coauthor of the book M3Mindset, Methods & Metrics: Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent available now on Amazon. Learn more about Brandon at www.doylerealestateteam.com.

 

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