Consumer Advice, Realtor Advice

Don’t Give Up on Internet Leads

Now, I’m not talking about the leads you get from Zillow or lead-generation websites.

Internet marketers will tell you that when you buy leads, be prepared to call them within 3 minutes (yes, minutes) of getting the lead. And, most of the time, those leads are either poor leads or the information is “sold” multiple times to other real estate agents.

I’m talking about self-generated leads. Leads from your website. An unsolicited email. A Google search by the client. Phone calls.

The beauty of self-generated leads is:

  • They are contacting you because they really don’t have a connection with another real estate agent.
  • If you can convey that you are “the expert” and you can build trust right away, they will be loyal to you.
  • Rarely do you have an argument about commission rates.
  • They have usually researched info about you ahead of time and that’s why they decided to contact you.
  • Consider it a long-term lead and keep in touch on a regular basis
  • They are not always 6 to 12 to 18 months out from buying or selling

When they contact you by email, your contact form from your website, a phone call — interview them!

In addition to the normal questions regarding the type of property, the dollar amount, if they need a mortgage, have they been pre-approved, ask them these questions:

  • Why did you choose to contact me?
  • What type of service do you expect from a real estate agent?
  • What type of information are you “specifically” looking for?

Set up your database. Don’t ask them how often they would like you to keep in touch with them. TELL THEM how often they can expect to hear from you.

And most importantly, call or email them when you say you are going to!

Realtor Advice

Creative Ways to Get an Offer Accepted when there are Plenty of Buyers but No Homes for Sale

It’s called “Thinventory”:  Plenty of home buyers but very few listings to choose from.

Oh, and when a home is listed, there is a mad rush to set up showings and tons of multiple offers.

So, here are some creative ways to help your buyers GET the place that want to call home.

Pre-Approval Letter:  While you may already require your buyers to get a pre-approval letter before you show them homes, there is actually more to it!

Make sure that the pre-approval letter is REAL — meaning that the lender has entered the buyer’s information into the loan approval system that is connected to Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA or USDA.

When showing them homes, make sure the lender is available during that time to answer any questions the buyer may have regarding down payment or monthly payments.

Make sure that the pre-approval letter is from a recognized lender — and not from the Bank of the Internet. If the listing agent/seller does not readily recognize the lender, your buyer’s offer may not be accepted.

Get a pre-approval letter for MORE than they want to qualify for. When making an offer, they may have to pay more than the listing price, and if the pre-approval letter is for a lessor amount, the offer may not be accepted either.

Earnest Money: In times of stiff competition, have the buyer write out an earnest money check (even though it won’t be deposited until the offer is accepted) and present it with the offer.

Increase the dollar amount of the earnest money over and above the standard percentage to show that your buyers are very serious buyers.

Buyers’ Letter: While this may be standard practice, here are some tips to kick it up a notch.

  • Include a photo of the entire family.
  • Ask each member of the family to write something about why they want to buy that home. For children who are not able to write, get their verbal reasons and ask the mother/father to put it in writing for them.
  • Not everyone is a “writer”. Help them write/re-write the letter if you don’t feel that they have emotionally expressed the reasons the home would be a perfect fit for them.

I would love to be your lender and start out by making sure your buyers qualify for a mortgage loan.

Please share other ways that you have used to get your client’s offer accepted when there are multiple offers.

Mortgage Business, Realtor Advice

When Was the Last Time You Checked Your Voice Message Greeting?

A View from the Beach

Have you checked your voice message greeting lately?

Is it outdated?

Is it still relevant?

Is there background noise?

Many people record a voice message — and then forget about it.

I suggest that you update it at least once a year.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when re-recording your voice message

  1. Is it too lengthy?
  2. Does it sound sickly “sweet”?
  3. Does it make you cringe (like nails on a chalkboard)?
  4. Is it upbeat and positive?
  5. Does it sound like you are irritated or bothered?
  6. Is it cheerful?
  7. Does it provide too many details?
  8. Is it too lengthy?
  9. Is it a little bit clever?
  10. Do you use different tones/inflections?
  11. Does your greeting reflect your personality?

Experts recommend that you write out a script.

Keep it at 30 seconds or so.

Practice it over and over again.

Ask someone to critique it for you.

Record it and listen to it yourself. Re-record until you are satisfied.

Ask someone to call you and listen to it again.

Oh, and then remind yourself to re-record by adding a note to your calendar to update your voice message next year.