So I’ve been working on this project called Street Cred with the our pals over at Doorsteps, a platform that works with real estate pros to educate and empower home buyers. It’s basically all about how REALTORS® are truly experts at explaining why their neighborhood/city/town/state is a great place to live, and it talks about all the ways these practitioners are using technology to be what amounts to ambassadors for their communities. I’m pretty excited about it. You should check it out.
Anyway, these awesome practitioners got me thinking about how tough it can be to be a “relo.” You know, those unfortunate folks who have to move across the country because their company is basically forcing them to relocate? Who on earth would be more in need of the services of an expert neighborhood ambassador than these poor saps?
Well, just before the holidays I got a book written by one of those poor saps. Except she is not taking it laying down. In her new book, Home Sweet Homes: How Bundt Cakes, Bubble Wrap, and My Accent Helped Me Survive Nine Moves, Diane Laney Fitzpatrick gets into the nitty gritty of these ugly, cross-country relocations. How do you help your kids adjust to the new surroundings? What do you do when the movers say the truck is too full? How do you keep the home inspector from seeing that spiraling mouse who’s trying to run away with a mousetrap clamped to his head?
Oh, sorry. Did I neglect to mention that this book is also hilarious? Sure, we’ve all got hellish moving stories, but Fitzpatrick has nine moves worth. She breaks the tales up by inserting snarky but surprisingly-helpful advice, such as:
- Joining extra-curricular clubs, gangs, and cults will make your children happier.
- Moving your car can be complicated. Abandoning it in a bad neighborhood before you move should be at least considered.
- Avoid anyone who has inherited your former home. You don’t look all that good.
- Don’t rely on your dog for any sympathy whatsoever.
- Set the tone for your family with cheerful but firm leadership. Think Hitler with packing peanuts. Continue reading »
“REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.”
—Article 12 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics.
Do you remember Mario Jannatpour? Check out this interview we did with him back in 2011. We also did a profile on him last year about his training system and all the rookies he’s helped get started in the industry. It’s a good read.
Now Jannatpour has a pretty good read on his hands as well. I just took a look through the new edition of his second book, The Honest Real Estate Agent: A Training Guide For a Successful First Year and Beyond as a Real Estate Agent, and I really liked it. In its purest form, the book focuses in on the basic questions. You know, “How do I get started? Should I spend marketing dollars on a website or direct mail?” That sort of thing.
But what sets this book apart from all the other getting-started-in-real-estate handbooks is Jannatpour’s focus on honesty. He makes the point that it’s easy to say you’ll be honest. But when you know a huge amount about a property, how do you decide what is a need-to-know fact and what is just info-clutter?
Jannatpour says that the internal conflict over honesty “happens so fast that most times you are not even aware of it.” But there’s one very simple way to head it off at the pass: Continue reading »
Imagine this: You’re wrapping up a listing presentation and your would-be seller says she has a few concerns. You sit down to hear her out, but somehow at the end of the conversation, you still don’t understand what the big problem is. You try to reassure her but she says, “You’re just not listening to me.” And that is the precise moment where the listing presentation comes to a screeching halt.
Driving back to the office, you start thinking back on the conversation, trying to figure out what happened. It’s reassuring to tell yourself that she’s just one of those indecisive sellers with a communication problem. But in the end, you have to admit you really weren’t listening.
Instead, were you:
- …stepping on the ends of her sentences with assurances that you’re so great that you can handle any challenge that her situation might present, without really hearing what the challenge might be?
- …just trying to capture the factual information and data, while avoiding an emotional or subjective topic that the seller wanted to address?
- …listening only for the problems you were confident you could easily solve, while ignoring other important issues and opportunities?
- …too busy agreeing or disagreeing with the seller to listen objectively?
- …so focused on your next listing appointment to that you couldn’t see the opportunity in front of you?
These common listening styles are identified in Robert L. Finder, Jr.’s forthcoming book, The Financial Professional’s Guide to Communication: How to Strengthen Client Relationships and Build New Ones (FT Press, 2013). While such tendencies can lead to some really frustrating conversations, recognizing them can be the first step to better communication. Continue reading »
When I was a kid, I loved comic books. Reading about the exploits of the Uncanny X-Men, the Amazing Spider Man, and the Incredible Hulk filled many of the evenings and weekends of my childhood. (Oh, who am I kidding? It filled a lot of the time I spent in my elementary school classes too.)
The comic-book version of How to Master the Art of Selling (2011) put out by SmarterComics was not, admittedly, as exciting as my pre-adolescent journeys to the Marvel Universe. But what it does offer is a very user-friendly explanation of the basics of sales that can be digested in a single sitting.
In panel after panel, a caricature of author Tom Hopkins walks the reader through animated descriptions of selling concepts like motivation and presentation. If you consider yourself a master or if you’re looking for complex, arcane tips on how to sell, there may not be a lot here for you besides an entertaining, breezy read. But if you’re new to the business, or need a reaffirmation of the fundamentals, it’s worth checking out.
FROM THE BOOK: 5 LESSONS FOR REAL ESTATE PROS
▪ Learn to look at the bright side of rejection: Even the best salespeople will face a great deal of rejection throughout their careers. Bouncing back quickly from rejection requires taking certain views of those situations. Take lessons from these situations, or find the humor in them, in order to move on and up.
▪ Emotion first, logic second: People’s first impressions upon being introduced to a new product or service are grounded in feelings. A more analytical evaluation comes later, sometimes as to justify a purchase after it’s happened. As Hopkins points out, “You prequalify people by finding out whether the emotion that’s necessary to carry the sale to completion exists or can be created.”
▪ Don’t spend too much time face-to-face with clients and customers: Continue reading »
By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
Author and real estate pro Richard Steinhoff held a book signing during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo Sunday in Anaheim, Calif. He and his wife Elaine sold copies of his recently released Turning Myths into Money: An Insider’s Guide to Winning the Real Estate Game. Steinhoff said the addition of his book in the Conference Book Store was so successful that he ended up making a special trip back to his Orange County home to get more copies to sell. Turning Myths into Money unravels 90 real estate myths and misconceptions that trip up buyers and sellers. Read a Q&A with Steinhoff published on The Weekly Book Scan in June.
Whether you’re trying to motivate a team, negotiate a contract, or make a sale, the conversations you have will either help you succeed or undermine your goals. Communication expert and leadership coach Shawn Kent Hayashi has spent more than 20 years studying how the things people say impact their business and professional lives. In her new book, Conversations for Change: 12 Ways to Say It Right When It Matters Most, she not only identifies the 12 most important types of conversations people have, but shows readers how to reach their maximum potential by using conversations effectively.
Foundations for Every Conversation:
In order to communicate well, you must first master three fundamentals, says Hayashi.
1.) Building emotional intelligence. “When you are aware of what you are feeling, you can begin to speak about it in a way that builds rapport,” explains Hayashi. Emotional intelligence is not only for understanding yourself, but for recognizing your emotional wake — the affect your words have on people. For example, at the end of a meeting, are team members angry because they think they haven’t been heard, or do they feel excited about what they’re doing?
2.) Understanding workplace motivators. Figuring out what motivates you, and what motivates others, will help you build connections. Whether you’re trying to land a sale or gain permissions for a flextime arrangement, recognizing what drives those you’re seeking to convince will increase your chance for success. Hayashi discusses the six basic motivators, or values, that show up in the workplace, and how to identify them in yourself and your colleagues. Continue reading »