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Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jim Dalrymple II

Panelists at Inman Connect New York on Tuesday said that brokers err by not having written plans, not being flexible and other shortcomings

Anthony Hitt thinks real estate pros need to get back to basics, and the 2023 theme for his company is “refinement.”

But during a session of Inman Connect New York Tuesday, the president and CEO of Engel & Völkers Americas said that industry leaders sometimes also make critical mistakes that trip them up.

“They don’t have a written plan,” Hitt said of leaders’ most common error.

He went on during the session to argue that creating a specific written plan doesn’t have to be a huge task, nor is it impossible. But it is necessary — particularly doing these more uncertain times — because “you do need to know what the goals are that you need to accomplish in the near year.”

And he added that it’s also useful to have contingency plans for different types of market situations. At Engel & Völkers, Hitt noted, the plans are color-coded green, yellow and red.

“You need to know how to shift down into that yellow plan,” Hitt told the packed ballroom at the New York Hilton Midtown. “Or, depending on how the market gets, that red plan.”

Amory Wooden, chief marketing officer for Anywhere, joined Hitt on stage and agreed that real estate leaders do sometimes get tripped up by mistakes. Among other things, she said some fail to set goals. She also argued that some people do make plans, but then get so tied to them that they can’t adapt as the landscape shifts.

“Don’t let a plan lock you, so you lose sight of what’s going on around you,” Wooden said. “Don’t let a plan block you from listening to your customers.”

Immediately before the session featuring Hitt and Wooden, Leonard Steinberg — chief evangelist for Compass — also spent time on stage talking about errors. And in his view, one common mistake brokers make is to become “transaction obsessed.”

“I think one of the worst behaviors of brokerages is when they’re obsessed with transactions,” he added.

Steinberg instead urged company leaders to focus on relationships, including those that evolve well before any actual transactions.

Aside from common mistakes, the panelists also offered advice to help real estate leaders. Hitt, for example, talked about a branding “refinement” his company is doing — its first in 45 years. The goal, he explained, is not to “run away from our past” but to bring the company’s identity up to date and in line with the digital world.

Wooden discussed a similar experience at her company, saying that in the past Century 21 leaders came to parent company Anywhere with concerns about their ability to recruit agents. Century 21 has a long and storied history, Wooden said, but the brand needed a refresh in order to remain relevant in the modern world.

The takeaway from both anecdotes was that brands have to pull off a delicate balancing act. They need to honor the best qualities of their companies’ pasts, though also it’s essential to competitively position themselves in the modern, digital world.

Earlier, during the session with Steinberg, Melissa Sofia — founder of the San Diego-based The Avenue Home Collective — also said that she has had success as a boutique brand that is “trying to be Louis Vuitton” to the various equivalents of Target in the real estate industry. And she added that she tries to recruit people who are fun to be around, rather than for how many deals they do.

“When I’m hiring I’m not hiring en mass, I’m not hiring for production level,” she explained. “I’m hiring for ethos.”

And Jason Allen, director of real estate operations at Redfin who appeared with Steinberg and Sofia, said this is the time to double down on beefing up agents’ abilities.

“We want to make sure we’re developing the best agents and attracting top talent,” he said. “We have a coaching team and a training team that pretty much uses Redfin like a hive mind.”

All of the panelists ultimately agreed that the market isn’t what it was a year ago, but they also said that 2023 doesn’t have to be a disaster. Hitt, for one, said that he doesn’t “believe all the doom and gloom we’ve been hearing is real,” noting that there are still going to be “5 million transactions this year. And Wooden ultimately concluded that despite a more challenging housing market right now, real estate professionals can still succeed in 2023.

“There are great opportunities for those who are hungry and those who are fearless,” she concluded. “Be patient and be ready.”

Correction: Jason Allen, Redfin’s director of real estate operations, appeared on Tuesday’s panel. This post initially misidentified him as Jason Aleem, a senior vice president at Redfin.  

These Are the Mistakes That Thwart Brokers' Success
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

These companies help you keep a steady flow of leads coming at you without upfront costs

Lead generation is the foundation of building a successful real estate business. You can choose to spend money upfront by buying leads from companies like Zillow or, or could there be a low-cost way to have a steady flow of leads?

There absolutely is, and these leads are available through companies that charge no upfront fees. You only compensate them for the leads via a referral fee at closing time. These companies generate the leads, nurture them until they are ready to purchase or list, and then refer them to agents who have been approved to be a part of their networks.

If you’re looking for a way to keep your upfront expenses down but still have a steady flow of leads coming into your business, the following companies are great resources.

1. OpCity

Owned by, OpCity is expanding its offering of lead generation opportunities for agents. The original leads come from or are purchased from other lead generation sites. A representative of OpCity contacts the lead to identify if they are ready to purchase or sell. If they are not ready yet, the leads are nurtured until they are ready to engage an agent.

Whether it be on first contact or after nurturing the lead, once they are ready to be introduced to an agent, a group of agents are notified of a lead opportunity. The first agent to claim the lead is connected to the lead via an introductory phone call with the OpCity representative.

The referral fee paid on closed transactions to OpCity is 30 percent on homes that sell for $150,000 or less and 35 percent on homes that sell for more than $150,000. The approval from OpCity is done at the brokerage level, so your broker must be a participant for an agent to receive leads from OpCity. Once the brokerage is enrolled, new and experienced agents qualify to receive leads.

2. Redfin Referral Network

Redfin, the brokerage, does have salaried employees who hang their licenses with the company, but you can keep your license at your current brokerage and receive referral leads through the Redfin Referral Network. There are geographical areas where Redfin does not have salaried agent employees or where they generate more leads than their agents can handle. In those cases, referrals are available.

The agent requirements include having, as they phrase it, your fair share of closed client transactions and proven client satisfaction through client surveys. The referral fee paid varies by geography, but at last check, it ranges between 33 percent and 40 percent.

3. Rocket Homes

Rocket Homes is owned by Rocket Mortgage. The leads they provide are mortgage approved, have a verified purchase timeframe, are exclusively provided for only one agent, and Rocket Homes provides dedicated support from referral to close for the client and the agent.

Qualifications to receive leads include a minimum of 24 months of experience working as a full-time agent, a minimum of at least eight transactions in the past 12 months and completion of their Verified Partner Agent training program.

4. Estately

Estately is owned by Anywhere and partners with a few agents in every market. It requires a minimum of three years of experience, with five years preferred. They may ask you to provide recommendations from previous clients as well. The referral fee they require is not currently published, but it has been 30 percent in the past.

5. Veterans United Realty

Veterans United Realty is an affiliate of Veterans Home Mortgage that specializes in providing veteran buyer referrals. The leads that come in have already been approved for a VA loan and are relocating to your area.

Veterans United favors agents with experience helping VA buyers and good reviews. Their general expectations are for the agent to reinforce the relationship with the client’s loan officer, maintain regular contact with the clients, and use the assigned Realty Coordinator to keep all lines of communication open throughout the process.

6. HomeLight

HomeLight is a website where you can customize your profile to highlight your business and expertise in your local market. It has a data-driven algorithm that matches motivated buyers and sellers with top-performing agents who have a proven track record of experience and client satisfaction. It utilizes statistics like the number of transactions you’ve completed, your average list-to-sale price percentages and what people say about you via reviews.

The referral fees on this lead source are 25 percent on anything under $4 million and 30 percent for anything over $4 million.

7. Ojo

Ojo is a company that looks to connect buyers and sellers with highly qualified agents. They prefer agents in their network to have a minimum of three years of experience and a minimum of 25 transactions in the past 12 months.

They look for agents to maintain frequent communication with the clients and the concierge support team that is provided to make sure the transaction is a positive experience for the client and the agent. The referral fee is 30 percent.

8. UpNest

UpNest is a great resource for listing lead referrals. It prefers an agent with a minimum of three years of experience and at least six transactions in the past 12 months. Its process involves competing for the listing with other agents that it refers to the prospective referral as well.

The process begins with UpNest informing you about the listing or buyer opportunity. You compete via a proposal that is submitted to the seller or buyer outlining your services and what you will provide. The proposal includes any reductions in commission you are willing to make to secure the business. On top of any concessions you include, UpNest will receive a referral fee of up to 35 percent. The referral fee percentage varies by market and transaction value.

9. Agent Pronto

Agent Pronto looks for high-performing agents in a local market to match them with the buyers and sellers that sign up for their agent matching service. Once the buyer or seller signs up with them, Agent Pronto identifies the agent it believes is the best fit for the client via its Agent Pronto profile, production levels, service areas, specialties, communication and customer ratings.

There are no minimum requirements to join, but to maximize the referral opportunities, the company encourages participants to fill out the agent profile details as completely as possible. The more they know about your business, the more likely you are to receive referrals. The fee is between 25-30 percent depending upon the price and area for the referral.

10. FastExpert

FastExpert is a website where any agent can have a profile page, but you must be in the top 5 percent for transactions in your local market to qualify to receive referral leads. FastExpert ranks agents within their directory for local areas based on their recent sales, years in the business and customer satisfaction. The referral fee for any referrals from FastExpert is 25 percent.

For any business to grow, the quantity and quality of leads must increase. These 10 companies are a great way to increase your lead flow without increasing your upfront expenses. Take advantage of the opportunities they provide, and your business can’t help but grow.

The referral fee percentages vary for these providers, so make sure they have not changed since the research was done for this article.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.

On a Budget? 10 Lead Sources With No Upfront Costs
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Julia Lashay Israel

Real estate agents should be familiar with these duties and make sure to adhere to them in order to avoid legal liability and to maintain the trust and confidence of their clients

Fiduciary duties are legal obligations that require an individual or entity to act in the best interests of another party. In real estate, agents have a fiduciary duty to their clients, which means that they must act in the best interests of their clients and not their own interests.

State-specific fiduciary duties for real estate agents may vary, but many agents may recall learning the acronym OLDCAR in pre-licensing class and as listed here by the National Association of Realtors. Let’s take a closer look at these fiduciary duties:
• Obedience
• Loyalty
• Disclosure
• Confidentiality
• Accounting 
• Reasonable care and diligence

The duty of obedience

The duty of obedience requires the agent to follow the instructions of the client and to act in accordance with the client’s wishes. However, the duty of obedience does not include an obligation to obey any unlawful instructions; such as a request to discriminate in the sale or rental of housing or to misrepresent the condition of the property.

Compliance with instructions the agent knows to be unlawful could constitute a breach of an agent’s duty of loyalty.

Example: It’s Friday evening and you’ve just sat down for a glass of wine. Your client calls and wants you to submit an offer twenty thousand less than the list price. When you contact the listing agent, they inform you that there are already multiple offers on this property and the deadline is in an hour. Your client insists that you submit the offer anyhow. Do you do it? YES! 

On occasion, a client may request something that the agent disagrees with or does not see as favorable for the client. While agents are charged with giving their best advice in the client’s best interest, they are not authorized to think or decide for the client. Taking an apparently unreasonable position on behalf of a client may be necessary and is required under the duty of obedience.

The duty of loyalty

The duty of loyalty is one of the most fundamental fiduciary duties owed by an agent to his principal. The duty of loyalty requires the agent to act at all times solely in the best interests of his principal to the exclusion of all other interests, including the brokers and to not take any actions that would conflict with the client’s interests.

The most common lawsuits brought against real estate agents are for breach of duty because clients place trust in their agents’ expertise and their agent must act in the best interest of the client.

Example: A real estate broker purchases property listed with his firm and then immediately resells it at a profit. Ordinarily, this is perfectly appropriate and lawful by persons acting “at arm’s length.” But a fiduciary will be deemed to have “stolen” a profit opportunity rightfully belonging to his principal and thus to have breached his duty of loyalty.

The duty of disclosure

The duty of disclosure means that agents have a legal obligation to disclose any known material facts about the property or the transaction to their clients. Material facts are facts that could reasonably be expected to affect the value or desirability of the property.

Example:  An agent knows that there is a problem with the property’s foundation. They have a duty to disclose this information to their clients, even if it may be unfavorable to the sale. Similarly, if the agent knows that the seller is under financial duress and is motivated to sell the property quickly, they must also disclose this information to their clients.

The duty of disclosure is important because it ensures that clients are fully informed about the property and the transaction, and can make informed decisions about whether to proceed with the purchase. It also helps to build trust and establish a positive relationship between agents and their clients.

In some states, agents may be required to provide a written disclosure statement to their clients outlining any known material facts about the property. It’s important for agents to familiarize themselves with the specific disclosure requirements in their state.

The duty of confidentiality

The duty of confidentiality requires the agent to keep confidential any information that might weaken his principal’s bargaining position if it were revealed.  This includes any personal or financial information provided by the client, as well as any information obtained during the course of the transaction.

 A breach of confidentiality can occur unintentionally in the following circumstances:

• Casually sharing prior sale price or fall-through information with colleagues
• Unnecessarily revealing seller or buyer motivation
• Discussing the client’s financial situation or negotiating philosophy
• Revealing things such as “the seller is anxious” or “the buyer just has to have this house” without the client’s express permission
• Divulging unauthorized information, even when this is intended to help the client.
• Telling a buyer the lowest price the seller would be willing to accept
• Disclosing any price other than the list price if not instructed by the seller to do so

CAVEAT: This duty of confidentiality plainly does not include any obligation on a broker representing a seller to withhold from a buyer known material facts concerning the condition of the seller’s property or to misrepresent the condition of the property. To do so would constitute misrepresentation and would impose liability on both the broker and the seller.

Confidentiality as a facilitator: Confidentiality is the only applicable fiduciary duty in a facilitator relationship.

The duty of accounting

The duty of accounting obligates real estate agents to timely account for all money or property belonging to his client that is entrusted to him. This duty compels a real estate broker to safeguard any money, deeds, or other documents entrusted to him that relate to his client’s transactions or affairs. This includes earnest money funds, rents collected or any expenses paid on behalf of a client.

Example: When an agent is holding a deposit for a property on behalf of their client, they have a duty to keep accurate records of the deposit and to account for it properly when it is time to close the transaction.

The duty of reasonable care 

The duty of reasonable care requires the agent to act with the level of care, skill, and diligence that a reasonable and competent agent would use in similar circumstances.

By reason of the license, a real estate agent is deemed to have skill and expertise in real estate matters superior to that of the average person.

As an agent representing others in their real estate dealings, a broker or salesperson is under a duty to use his superior skill and knowledge while pursuing his principal’s affairs.

The agent must know the reasonable limits of his or her expertise and present an honest portrayal of those limits. Fulfilling the duty of reasonable care is also done by making sure to comply with all applicable statutes and regulations, including without limitation fair housing and civil rights statutes.

In general, real estate agents should be familiar with these duties and make sure to adhere to them in order to avoid legal liability and to maintain the trust and confidence of their clients.

It’s important to note that these fiduciary duties are not exhaustive, and may vary from state to state. It’s always a good idea for real estate agents to familiarize themselves with the specific fiduciary duties that apply in their state.

As the head of inclusion and belonging for Keller Williams Realty International, Julia Lashay Israel advises, trains and coaches leaders, team members and agents to recognize and address diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities and challenges across the organization.

Everything Agents Should Know About Fiduciary Duties


Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jimmy Burgess

Act consistently on these tried-and-true strategies and your lead generation efforts will start out strong in 2023

Success in real estate is never guaranteed, but there are certain strategies that always work. If you’re struggling to regain your business’s momentum, these are the nine strategies that can help you get your groove back.

Open houses

The fastest way to regain momentum is to meet as many potential buyers and sellers in person as possible. Open houses are the best way to make this happen. They provide you with the opportunity to be face-to-face with dozens of prospective clients in a short period of time. The key is to understand the three-step process to having a successful open house.

Step 1: Pre-open house
The ability to draw a crowd can be accomplished by a variety of marketing methods. Whether you utilize direct mail, door knocking, social media, or phone calls, the awareness of the open house is critical. Your preparation should involve a marketing plan that lets as many people as possible know about the upcoming open house.

Step 2: Day of the open house
The day of the open house is a time to make sure you maximize the opportunity it presents. This involves as much signage as possible, reaching out with reminders to neighbors, promoting via social media, and making sure you have sign-in sheets for any attendees to check-in.

Step 3: Follow-up after the open house
A successful open house should not simply be measured by the number of people that attend; it should be measured by the number of people you are able to begin a professional relationship with after the event. The key to this is follow-up. Do you have a follow-up plan for your open houses?

My initial follow-up plans included:
Follow-up selfie video text right after the open house thanking them for coming
Follow-up phone call immediately after the open house for hot prospects and within 24 hours to all attendees
Placing all of the attendees in my database and setting them up with automated property detail emails for homes that come on the market like the home from the open house or homes that they indicated they would have an interest in

Open houses are the best way to meet buyers and sellers in person and that fact alone solidifies it is a strategy that always works.

Optimizing Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business pages) for Realtors

Google is the number one search engine in the world. It is utilized by buyers and sellers searching for agents or checking out agents that they may be considering working with. Your Google Business Profile is a free page that will show up on Google with details on your business for people that search for you specifically or for other real estate agents in your area.

The more complete and optimized your page, the more opportunities you will have to generate leads. Complete and accurate pages get seven times more clicks than those with missing information. Make sure you answer every question Google has when setting up your account. If you already have your page set up, go back and complete every question on Google.

Photos are also a critical part of optimizing your page. Statistics show that pages that use photos are 35 percent more likely to get click-throughs to their website. The target number we’ve found is 100 or more photos on your page. These can be homes, parks, amenities in your community, schools, photos of reviews you’ve received on other sites, or any other photos that relate to your community. The key is to understand that the more photos you have, the more you are viewed as being engaged in your business.

Finally, focus on getting as many online reviews as possible. Statistics show that 84 percent of people now trust online reviews just as much as the word of a friend. The more reviews you have on your page, the more you position yourself for calls from prospects viewing your profile.

If you are overwhelmed by the process there are companies like Curaytor or similar that can optimize your page for you, but optimizing your page is a lead generation strategy that always works.

Geographical farming

Geographical farming is a foundational real estate strategy for success if you’re focused on listings. Farming involves choosing a neighborhood or area that you will provide consistent value to in a way that leads to your recognition as the realtor of choice for that area.

It involves direct mail, open houses, just listed/just sold campaigns, community events, and adding value in any way possible to the homeowners in your targeted neighborhood. It works and if you aren’t farming at least one specific neighborhood or area, you’re not fully engaging your business as a professional real estate agent.

Consistent real estate database campaigns

You’ve done the hard work of building a database, but a database alone will not generate business. It is the consistent value that you add to the people in the database that will lead to opportunities. Consistency is the key. Whether that is a weekly or monthly newsletter, updates on properties coming on the market like the one they own or might have an interest in buying in the future, or a general market update

If it has been a while, re-engage your database, and if you currently communicate with your database, increase the frequency. Value added to people that already know, like, and trust you always works.

Buying online leads

Online lead providers like Zillow,, or any of the other real estate lead generation sites provide an opportunity for agents to grow their business. The key is not in the lead flow though, it is in the follow-up systems that lead to conversions.

Make sure you have a follow-up system in place before ever buying leads. This increases the likelihood that the leads you buy will have a positive ROI (return-on-investment).
Once consistency of follow-up is in place, conversion with online leads will follow.

Expired listing campaigns

Expired listing strategies can help you build a pipeline of consistent listing opportunities. This was a strategy that may have been less effective in the low-inventory environment we experienced over the last few years, but that is quickly changing as inventories continue to rise. Now is the time to develop a follow-up strategy for expired listings that adds value to the homeowners and provides you with the opportunity to stand out from other agents.

If you’re not sure what your plan should look like, do a simple Google or YouTube search for expired listing campaigns. Study what others are doing and develop your personalized plans from these models. Add value to expired listing owners, and you will generate listings.

Circle prospecting

Circle prospecting involves calling homeowners around a home that recently had sales activity (new listing or recent sale). Start from a place of providing information about the activity on the home and the conversations will lead to how these sales affect their home’s value.

This is a great strategy for building a database of homeowners and to uncover immediate opportunities. Circle prospecting is the best way I know to generate conversations with potential sellers immediately. The ability to start at any time and the potential for immediate business makes circle prospecting a strategy that never goes out of style.

Just listed and just sold campaigns

The reason so many real estate agents send just listed and just sold postcards is because they work. The presentation should continuously evolve to increase engagement, but this is yet another strategy where consistency is key.
Focus on this fundamental strategy, and your business will grow.

For Sale by Owner campaigns

For sale by owners are basically homeowners raising their hand that they want to sell, they just haven’t realized they need a professional real estate agent yet. The frantic seller’s market of the past few years made it easier for homeowners to go FSBO and achieve their goal of selling their home without the assistance of an agent.

The rise in inventory and decrease in buyer demand has reversed that in the last few months making this a time when FSBO listings need the assistance of real estate agents more than ever.The homes that will eventually be listed will go to the agents that are the most persistent and that assist the homeowners as much as possible. Develop your plan of action that involves phone calls, marketing assistance, and potentially sharing resources like handyman services or staging companies.

Even if you help them sell the home FSBO, you will have a chance to help them buy their next home or refer them to an agent wherever they are moving to.

Effective for sale by owner campaigns are a strategy that always works.

C. S. Lewis said, “Most people don’t need to be taught, they need to be reminded.” Most of these strategies may not be new to you, but how effective are you at executing the strategies you know will help your business grow? Act on one or more of these, and you will get results.

Jimmy Burgess is the CEO for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida in Northwest Florida.
9 Lead Generation Strategies That Work Every Time
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Carl Medford

These are the top closing techniques well-versed agents worth memorizing to handle potential objections from buyers and sellers

As the market continues to morph and transactional opportunities decline, one thing is clear: Agents need to sharpen their skills to be able to close. The problem is that real estate agents have not really had to learn closing techniques for the past 10 years as the real estate market has been on an unprecedented romp.

Couple this with the fact that a high percentage of agents have been licensed for fewer than 10 years, and a startling fact emerges: Many agents lack the fundamental sales skills they will need to make it through the current downturn.

Assuming that a good number of buyers and sellers talk to a few different agents before selecting the one who will represent them, here are the top 10 closing techniques well-versed agents should have memorized, so they are equipped to handle any potential objections.
Because every client and their circumstances are different, agents should not only have the entire range of closings at their disposal; they need to understand which one to use at any given time.

Here are our top 10 closes

1. The assumptive close

This close “assumes” that you will be working with the prospective client. It is a non-pushy, relationally based, future-focused technique that intimates a positive future relationship with a positive outcome. Rather than ask if they want to move forward with you, you “assume” they are going to and begin detailing future steps as if they have already committed to you. The key is to not be pushy to not alienate or scare off the clients.

With buyers: “Since you are already preapproved and have detailed what type of home you are looking for, let’s set up a time to start touring homes together. Will this coming Saturday at 2 p.m. work, or do you prefer Sunday at 1 p.m.?”

With sellers: “Since you want to be on the market in three weeks and we’ve agreed upon the list price, the next step is to have the painter come through and do touch up — which would work better for you — next Monday or Tuesday?”

2. The trial close

In this close, open-ended questions are asked to gauge the potential client’s willingness to proceed. It gives the client an opportunity to raise objections and provides agents with a chance to address potential issues and resolve them on the spot.

With buyers: “Based on our conversation today, how does what we’ve discussed sound to you?”

With sellers: “Based on our conversation, what questions do you have about proceeding?”

3. The empathic close

Most buyers and sellers make their final decisions based on emotions, not logic. Emotions influencing a person to purchase or sell a home are based on feelings of well-being, security, anxiety and even fear.

This close seeks to link the benefits of using you as their real estate agent with their perceived problem. To accomplish this, an agent must demonstrate that they understand their prospective client’s problems and be able to provide meaningful solutions.

The prerequisite is that the agent has spent more time listening than talking and has a good grasp of the client’s emotions accompanying the process of buying or selling. By demonstrating that you understand and validate your prospect’s challenges, you can connect on an emotional level which can help them trust you as their advocate.

With buyers: “I understand the anxiety and fear that comes with a financial decision this large. My wife and I encountered the same feelings buying our first home but have discovered that the long-term benefits of homeownership have brought tremendous security.”

With sellers: “I understand the anxiety and turmoil that comes from selling a home you have lived in for many years — I can imagine the many precious memories created here. I have encountered the same doubts but have also discovered the fulfillment of our dreams as we have relocated to a home that better fits our current needs.”

4. The visual close

For some, especially younger generations who have a significant pushback to classic sales techniques, it is helpful to paint a picture of a better future that aligns with their desires or dreams because of working with you. This approach also leverages emotions instead of just providing them with facts.

With buyers: “Imagine what it will be like doing your income taxes a year from now and writing in the Mortgage Interest Deduction for the first time! What do you think you might do with the refund? Maybe a vacation?”

With sellers: “Imagine next Christmas being able to hop in the car and drive a few minutes to your grandkids’ home instead of spending hours in a crowded airport and on planes!”

5. The hard close

In some cases, the prospective client may seem to have a hard time making up their mind. In this case, asking direct questions that require “yes” or “no” answers may be the way to go. Once they provide the answer, you can then steer them in the right direction. Keep in mind that many object to a hard close, and it may, in fact, alienate them.

With buyers: “Other than your questions about which lender to use, is there anything else you would like to discuss before finalizing our relationship?”

With sellers: “Has anyone else provided you with any benefits of listing with them that you would like to discuss before finalizing our relationship?”

6. The summary close

This closing technique is used near the end of a call and summarizes the benefits of working with you in a clear and simple format. The summary does not include any new facts or details; it simply lists, in a simple and clear way, the things you have discussed to that point

For prospective clients who are talking to several other agents and might be confused by all the data they are receiving, this helps distill everything and connects the dots to you being the most logical choice.

With buyers: “We’ve gone through the critical steps of buying a home, discussed the current market and have your list of preferences. We also seem to be connecting and communicating well. It sounds like partnering together to help you buy your first home is the next logical step.”

With sellers: “We’ve listed the services we provide, have discussed the things you need to do to your home to get it ready for the market, discussed our fees and agreed on a listing price. It sounds like partnering together to help you sell your home is the next logical step.”

7. The scarcity close

This closing technique creates a subtle sense of urgency to encourage the prospective client to actively make a decision. This can also be entitled the “now-or-never” close and leverages a person’s fear of missing out on an opportunity. The key is to be truthful in communicating scarcity; otherwise, you risk being viewed as dishonest.

With buyers: “As you probably know, there is currently a shortage of available homes. Let’s go ahead now and get our agreement docs signed and your loan preapproval completed, so you are ready to act the instant a home you love comes on the market. It would be a shame to find your perfect home and not be ready to act.”

With sellers: “As you know, the market has been quite volatile. Let’s get your home on the market now before prices go any lower. It would be a shame to wait and then discover you’ve lost thousands of dollars because you delayed.”

8. The analytics close

Also known as the Benjamin Franklin close, this approach lists the pros and cons of moving forward. It is best used when working with analytical people. This assumes you are trained in identifying client personalities using tools such as the DISC assessment.

The way you approach any given client differs depending on whether they are predominantly a D, I, S or C. Effective training will help you identify what type of personality you are facing and help you respond accordingly.

With buyers: “I understand you may have some questions about the benefits of working with us to buy your home. Since this represents the most significant financial decision you will be making this year, it’s wise to be diligent in selecting the agent you will be working with.

Let’s make a list of the pros and cons of working with our team.”

With sellers: “I understand you may have some questions about the benefits of working with us to sell your home. Since this represents the most significant financial decision you will be making this year, it’s wise to be diligent in selecting the agent you will be working with.

Let’s make a list of the pros and cons of working with our team.”

9. The objection close

Once you have explained your value proposition to the prospective client and are certain they understand, simply ask them, “Do you have any objections?”

With buyers: “Can you think of any reasons we should not be working together? Should I write up the agreement?”

With sellers: “Can you think of any reasons you should not use our team to list your home for sale? Should I write up the listing agreement?”

10. The sharp angle close

There are times you will encounter prospective clients who want to get certain concessions before they sign. In these cases, the sharp angle close can be used to counter their question with a question of your own that leads to a close.

With buyers: “I understand that you will need a closing credit from a seller to buy down your interest rate. If I can ensure that you get that item written into any offer to purchase that we write, are you willing to sign our agreement today?”

With sellers: “I understand that you are concerned about a one-year listing agreement. If I reduce the listing time period to six months, are you willing to sign our listing agreement today?”

Agents who take the time to sharpen their skills will be the ones who will succeed in 2023. Our recommendation is to take this list of closing scripts, find a partner and start practicing.

The adage “practice makes perfect” definitely applies here — the last thing you want when meeting with a prospective client is to know you have a script to close but cannot remember it because you failed to adequately prepare. Practice, practice, practice — and make 2023 your best year ever.

Carl Medford is CEO of The Medford Team.

10 Tried-And-True Closing Techniques: How to Seal the Deal in 2023

Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Darryl Davis

To work with builders, your skill level has to be at the next level. From communication to presentation to organization to marketing — raise the stakes to develop these relationships

One topic that has come up again and again on our weekly coaching calls is “how to work with builders.” That’s a good sign of the times that, hopefully, the new construction side of our industry, which took a big hit during the pandemic, is on the rise. 

According to a recent Forbes article which shared a Redfin report, “A record 29 percent of single-family homes for sale in the third quarter were newly constructed, climbing from 25 percent in the same period last year and 18 percent in 2020, thanks in part to the highest number of new homes finishing construction and entering the market since 2007.” 

I love when agents want to carve out a new niche for their businesses, so I’ve put together six tips for you to connect and partner with builders. 

Do your research 

Before you start looking for a property builder, it’s essential to understand the builder you are considering working with. You need to know what types of properties they specialize in, their reputation in the industry, and how long they have been in business. 

This will give you an idea of which builder is best suited for a partnership, particularly if you enjoy working with a particular style of home or a certain group of people as a niche. 

Start marketing yourself to the builder you want to work with 

The best place to begin marketing yourself to builders is to make a list of the small to medium-sized builders in your area. The reasoning behind networking and marketing to them rather than the large builders is that most of the smaller companies have the disadvantage of having to work on their sites and manage all their projects and are too busy to start thinking about locating land for the next one. 

One of the best ways to impress a builder is to prospect for land for them. Because of their busy schedule, having an agent that can actively bring them land to develop is a plus and a great way to start your collaboration off as a win-win.  

Ask for an audition 

Offer to market one of their models or one of their homes that have been on the market for a while but aren’t getting any takers. Explain that you’d like to use the property as your “audition” so they can see your skills. 

Understand their processes for construction, sales and negotiation 

Every property builder has their own process when it comes to negotiating and closing deals. Knowing what steps are involved in their process will help you plan ahead and discuss a partnership agreement that will ensure everything goes smoothly. 
It’s also important to know who the key people are that you need to contact or be familiar with during the process so you can make sure you are communicating with the people who need to be in the know. 

Put your marketing hat on 

Open Houses, direct mail, door knocking, social media, the works – all need to be in your marketing arsenal to promote the property effectively. Think both old-school and high-tech when you create your plan to market for a builder. They want to see not just a savvy salesperson but a marketing effort that will help to drive buyers to their business. 

Establish clear communication channels 

Real estate is 80 percent learning how to use language to communicate. We use words and phrases to plant seeds, negotiate offers, present a marketing plan, prospect, and every other piece of the real estate puzzle. 

Effective communication is key when it comes to any successful collaboration project or relationship between two parties, so make sure that clear communication channels are established from day one! Regular updates via email or phone calls can help keep everyone on track and ensure that everyone’s needs are being met throughout the process. 

When partnering with a real estate builder, think about what drives them. How can you take their goals and help them not only achieve them but ultimately help them grow their business and their customer base? 

To work with builders, your skill level has to be at your next level. From communication to presentation to organization to marketing — it’s time to raise the stakes to develop these relationships. Dive in. Have fun.

Darryl Davis is a speaker, coach, and the bestselling author of How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, as well as the CEO of Darryl Davis Seminars

6 Real Estate Agent Tips For Partnering with New-Home Builders

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Mar 02, 2023 - Mar 03, 2023
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