Becki Saltzman has arranged a threesome. It involves you, your clients, and her wacky self, and it takes place in her new book, Arousing the Buy Curious: Real Estate Pillow Talk for Patrons and Professionals (Oomau Media, 2013).
While the book is peppered with what some may term naughty language and innuendo, perhaps the more shocking element is that she wrote a book that is aimed at practitioners as well as buyers and sellers. What? Didn’t someone tell her not to give up the secret codes?!
But after reading this compendium cover to cover, I can assure you that you can relax. In fact—once you read the client-focused chapter and the client tips scattered throughout the book—you’ll probably want to buy this for all your (not-so-uptight) buyers and sellers. Not only does Saltzman guide clients on how to pick good agents, but she teaches them a whole lot about how to be good customers as well.
OK, back to the naughty bits. This book is not for those easily offended by language. Still when Saltzman writes, “You might be appalled by some of what you read in this book, but I promise that the ideas my potty mouth spouts are valid,” she lives up to the promise. Indeed, her advice is novel as it is solid, and it spans everything from getting started in real estate, to transaction management (from both sides), to handling crazy market fluctuations with grace.
Arousing the Buy Curious, coming to bookshelves in September, is definitely useful. But it’s also hilarious. There are quite a few laugh-out-loud commentaries that I can’t print here. But here are a few that can sneak by: Continue reading »
Marianne Cusato—author, designer, and creator of the critically-acclaimed “Katrina Cottages”—is out with a new book aimed at house hunters. On first glance, Just the Right Home: Buying, Renting, Moving—Or Just Dreaming—Find Your Perfect Match!, to be published April 2013, is aimed directly at your clients. However, there are some things real estate professionals might find useful, especially in the getting-to-know-you part of an agent-client relationship.
Throughout, Cusato engages in a frank discussion with her readers about what they really want in a house and why. You may be thinking, “Easy for her to do; she’s not talking to real people looking for real houses in a real market.” On the other hand, you may wish to adapt some of her probing questions and prioritizing checklists into your routine with buyers. And this book may be especially helpful for newer real estate professionals, to help them get inside the mind of the house hunter.
Perhaps the most enlightening part of the book is where Cusato talks about working with a real estate professional. She coaches buyers on how to be savvy in their choice of real estate professionals. She also notes how REALTORS® are different, mentioning the code of ethics and noting that they’re likely to be well connected, have a deep local knowledge, and be up on the latest industry news. But she also prepares readers with a dose of skepticism and a list of questions to ask agents who are looking to secure their business. Can you answer these questions? Continue reading »
In the classic cult comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Sir Arthur and his knights must answer three questions each in order to pass over a bridge. It’s a study in inanity, something those Pythons do wonderfully.
Bridgekeeper: Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Lancelot: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I am not afraid.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your name?
Sir Lancelot: My name is Sir Lancelot of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
Sir Lancelot: To seek the Holy Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your favourite colour?
Sir Lancelot: Blue.
Bridgekeeper: Go on. Off you go.
Sir Lancelot: Oh, thank you. Thank you very much.
Bridgekeeper: Stop. What… is your name?
Galahad: Sir Galahad of Camelot.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your quest?
Galahad: I seek the Grail.
Bridgekeeper: What… is your favourite colour?
Galahad: Blue. No, yel…
[Galahad is thrown over the edge]
Bridgekeeper: Hee hee heh.
Does that sound familiar? How about this:
What… is your name?
What… is your price range?
What… is your favorite reason to pass on a house?
Jeff Shore wants you to move from what to why. In his new book, The 4:2 Formula: Getting Buyers Off the Fence and Into a Home, Shore pleads with readers to stop trying to get to know prospects by asking them how many bedrooms they want. Continue reading »
Breaking News: Jack Cotton, real estate agent and author who was featured on the Book Scan last year, made it to the top of Amazon.com’s bestsellers list this month. On Oct. 6, his book Selling Luxury Homes hit number one in the real estate book category. His other two books, 12 Secrets Luxury Home Sellers Know That You Can Use Today and 12 Secrets Luxury Home Buyers Know That You Can Use Today, climbed to numbers two and three, respectively, in the category of bestsellers in the buying and selling homes book category.
“It was phenomenal to have three books hit the best seller list on the same day,” said Cotton. “In this challenging real estate market, the books are a resource not just for agents, but for buyers and sellers who need a competitive edge.”
Since the release of the three books, Cotton continues to work as an agent at Sotheby’s International Realty in Osterville, as well as speaking and signing books at events throughout the country. For the past two years, he has been a featured speaker at the National Association of REALTORS® Conference and Expo. For more information on the books, visit www.jackcotton.com, follow him on Facebook or Twitter @jackcotton, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
Happy Earth Day!! It’s a great day to catch up on some green reading. Here are three recently published books that can give both you and your clients tips and resources for creating a more eco-friendly home or listing.
New Natural Home: Designs for Sustainable Living: This book is filled with eye candy-delicious images of homes from all over the world that will spark ideas on how to incorporate symbiotic living between a home and its surrounding environment. It also offers tips to reduce energy use and add sustainable elements, such as lighting, architectural elements, and landscaping.
DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle: A great gift for a recent buyer who’d green-minded and isn’t afraid of DIY projects. This book covers the basics for solar, hydro, greenhouse, and gardening projects – building a chicken run and beehive, for instance.
As covered over at our Styled, Staged & Sold blog today, the instillation of solar panels can boost a home’s resale value, according to a new study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For those e-reader users out there, Solar Energy – Sustainable Green Energy For Your Home, Your Car And Your Business [Kindle Edition] covers the basics, from the pros and cons of residential solar energy systems, to making your own solar power source.
By Christopher M. Leporini, REALTOR® Magazine
What do buyers want? It’s a deceptively simple question that real estate professionals must regularly ask themselves, whether they represent sellers, buyers, or both. The answer isn’t always obvious, especially when you encounter an individual who seems incapable of making the simplest decision. Placing yourself in buyers’ shoes can help you identify and devise strategies for overcoming common stumbling blocks and generally provide better service. House Hunting: The Take-Along Workbook for Homebuyers (Chronicle Books, 2002; $19.95), by Dian Hymer, a syndicated real estate columnist and real estate broker, offers practical, hands-on advice about homebuying, based on her 25 years in the business. You can use the book to gain a better perspective on buyers’ concerns, or recommend it to buyers.
The spiral-bound volume simplifies the homebuying process, breaking it down into a series of manageable tasks. It includes charts, checklists, and logs to assist readers in organizing the myriad details involved in shopping for, financing, and buying a home. House Hunting is broken into seven sections: Getting Started, The Search, Negotiating Your Home Purchase, After Your Offer is Accepted, Closing the Sales, Selling Your Home, and an appendix. Helpful chapter title tabs allow readers to quickly flip to their desired section. Each chapter starts with a brief introduction, followed by charts and explanations presenting the information that buyers need to gather at each stage and the decisions they need to make.
You can emulate House Hunting’s back-to-basics approach to fine-tune your interactions with buyers. For instance, “Chapter 1: Getting Ready” can give you a better handle on buyer psychology. You’ve probably dealt with new buyers who don’t seem to know what they want. Take these overwhelmed buyers back to the planning stages. Homebuying can be stressful even for people who have bought a home before–it can be downright paralyzing for first-time buyers. The chapter recommends developing a wish list that turns buyers’ vague wants into a concrete priority list:
- Necessary Features. It might be a yard for children or pets or a well-lighted sunroom for growing flowers, but this category contains the deal breakers–the features that the home must possess.
- Desired Features. These are the features which would be nice, such as a certain style of architecture or a bedroom with a view, but aren’t essential.
- Unwanted Features. This category contains features that would automatically rule out a potential home; for example, busy professionals might not want to deal with a fixer-upper.
If listings are your specialty, you might find special interest in “Chapter 6, Selling Your Home.” The chapter provides an epilogue to the homebuying process—the day when your first-time homebuyers decides to sell their home. The chapter contains a list of the pros and cons of selling the current home first or purchasing the new home. This list addresses various strategies that will enable buyers to purchase a new home before selling their current one, such as placing a contingency clause in the purchase contract, using a swing loan to purchase a new home, and buying the replacement home using a line of credit (secured on the current home) for the downpayment. These explanations present a template for concisely presenting these options to your customers.
Since the book is firmly targeted toward the consumer, you may prefer to suggest it to buyers who want to organize their home search. In addition to providing overviews of complex topics such as mortgage options, the book includes checklists and worksheets to guide buyers through their home purchase. For instance, its “house hunting worksheets” presents a means for buyers to keep track of their impressions of houses, with fields for listing price, property condition, and commute time, among other elements. A later checklist ensures that buyers will remember every step that they need to complete during closing, from obtaining title insurance to signing the closing document. House Hunting is subtitled “the take-along workbook for homebuyers,” and it lives up to its billing—touches such as pouches to store documents and business cards add to this sturdily constructed book’s field-readiness.
You can use the book to get a perspective of the buyers’ view of the real estate transaction process, then keep it on hand as a resource to share with overwhelmed homebuyers. Ultimately, a better informed buyer can translate to money in your pocket. Customers who know what they want aren’t going to require as much handholding as those whose buying parameters remain fuzzy. At the same time, you can better appreciate how to address their concerns after you walk a mile in their shoes.