A Real Estate Story

Spring is here and the housing market seems to be finally blooming or at least budding.

Having come through one of the toughest real estate markets in literally decades, first and foremost take a moment to congratulate and acknowledge your self. You’ve made it and you’re still here!

Now is the time to really take your business to new heights. It’s time to build your inventory. The more homes you have for sale the more business you’ll do. Even those of you who prefer to work with buyers, the more listings you have the more buyers will appear.

In coaching my agents I’ve discovered that many of them really want to take more listings and do more business but when it comes right down to it, they’re afraid. They come up with a million and one reasons as to why they can’t. This is only a choice.

It doesn’t matter where you are or where you’ve been in your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new agent or a highly successful seasoned agent. You can take your business to the next level at anytime you choose.

I want to share my story with you in hopes that it will inspire you, and help you see that you truly can have whatever you want.

From doing it myself and learning along the way what works, what doesn’t, what to do and not to do, I am convinced I can help any agent sell more homes.

Here’s my story.

My first job was at a real estate company in Richmond Virginia. I was the receptionist and worked there full time while attending college classes at night. I went to real estate school as well and became licensed while working. After About a year I left and went to another real estate company as their receptionist.

Shortly after starting with this company, the owner of the company promoted me to his personal assistant where I began to learn the ins and outs of listing and selling homes. Soon after he promoted me to the development and marketing manager for a new construction subdivision he was developing.

A few of the top agents in the company began hiring me as their assistant to handle their business while they were on vacation and out of town. They would pay me a flat fee for the week or weekend to handle their calls and whatever came up in their business.

I worked here for a total of about four years before I was exposed to my first real estate coach and training company. I was amazed at what I learned, the success the agents were having, and this whole new way of thinking. I was like a sponge and began listening, researching, reading, and learning everything I could about sales, mind set, success, and the road map to accomplishing one’s life dreams.

The agent and company I was working for didn’t really buy into this and was just your average agent. I saw him work hard, long hours, and noticed that he didn’t seem extremely happy, light, and joyous. I wondered if this was how all agents lived.

As an assistant I was making $70,000+ per year at this point. The agent / owner that I was working for sold about 50 homes a year. The agents I saw at this seminar were selling 100+ homes a year and I was intrigued and inspired. I wanted to know what they knew and what they were doing to sell so many more homes than the average agent.

One of the top agents that I met there placed an ad a few weeks later looking for an administrative assistant. Intrigued to just get to know the agent a little better, I called and talked with him. His disposition was so refreshing and different. He exuded success, happiness, and an overall feeling of someone people were just drawn to. Sadly, I found that he was only offering $25,000 a year, a far cry from what I was making.

We talked at length I asked him lots and lots of questions to learn about him and everything he did and was looking for in an assistant. As much and I liked him and the opportunity it presented, I was really hesitant to make the move for so much less money. He told me I would learn and be exposed to so much more by working with him and that it would be well worth the loss in money in the end. He said that eventually I’d have the potential to make much more.

After thinking about it for a few weeks, as crazy as it may seem, I accepted his offer of $25,000 and left the job that was paying me $70,000. I saw it as an investment in myself, my future, and a chance to learn and grow.

Choice, it’s such a powerful word and thought. Stop for a moment and look at your life. What choices are you making? Are they choices that will move you, your family, your life, and your business forward? If not, guess what? You can choose something different.

I worked with this agent for several years and was instrumental in helping him and another top agent, open their own company. Later I became their director of operations overseeing the company and all the staff. I managed the Buyers agents, the listing and closing managers, the relocation director, receptionist, and the accounting assistant. I assisted the two agents with listing presentations to potential sellers that came to the office to discuss listing their home, to see the office, and meet the team. I learned what seemed to be all the ins and outs of the real estate business.

My husband and I had been going through infertility for several years and finally in August I found out I was pregnant. We decided to move to a different city to be closer to family. We put our house on the market and my husband began his search for a new job. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to go back to the administrative side of real estate or go out on my own and sell. I continued working and giving this lots of thought while we waited for our house to sell.

That January my husband found a job, but our house hadn’t sold yet so we decided to move and live with family until it did. I made the decision to sell on my own. Yes, in a brand new town. As soon as we were settled in, I hit the ground running.

But, I was 5 months pregnant. But, I was in a brand new town where I didn’t know a soul, barely knew how to get to the grocery store and back. But, I was living with family. But, I didn’t have much money and our house hadn’t sold. But, I was tired all the time from being pregnant. But, it seemed overwhelming and impossible to do. I could go on and on with the “buts”.

I remember my coach once challenged me to remove the words “but” and “how” from my vocabulary for one week. Try taking that on, it’s incredible how many times those words will show up and they’re stopping you in your tracks.

In coaching my agents that’s the first thing we work on is removing their “buts”, their “hows”, and their fear. You can have everything you want in your life and in your business, it’s only a choice. I mentioned it earlier. What a powerful word and thought. It can make or break us. Are your choices serving you?

Take some time to write things down and actually plan your life and your business. Write down where you are now in all the areas of your life, and then write down where you want to be. Look at the choices you’re making and the choices you could be making and then take action on those.

It’s not difficult to succeed in life, in fact, it’s more difficult to not succeed. It’s a matter of choice. Our company name is You’re The Difference because YOU are the one that can make it all happen. Not me, not us, not any book, speaker, or seminar, YOU. Those are tools, YOU are the vehicle.

So, that first year I sold 39 homes. My son was born in May and that June I had 19 closings. From here my business continued to grow and I went from myself to a team. I consistently sold over 100 homes a year for several years. After selling 139 in my best year, I decided to scale back and focus on coaching, training, and writing.

Throughout my career I had always had a coach and still do. I wanted to be a coach and teach others what I had learned along the way. My passion is to share everything I’ve learned and support other agents in having a highly successful career while having a balanced life. This I learned the hard way. For the first few years in selling I grinded it out, I consumed myself with work and allowed the business to create an enormous amount of stress, anxiety, and keep me totally overwhelmed most of the time.

I wasn’t committed to living this way and soon hired an Ontological coach and was on my way to learning How to sell and how to live!

So, how did I sell 39 homes my first year in the business in a brand new town where I didn’t know a soul? I called people. It takes people to buy and sell and I searched for people that I could help.

I called expired’s and fsbo’s primarily. I also did some cold calling and actually took 18 listings from cold calling the following year. Imagine that, by just simply calling people in neighborhoods and asking if they were thinking of buying or selling I took 18 listings. You can too!

It’s so much easier than you think to be on the phone talking to potential clients. It’s all a mind set. But, I don’t like prospecting. But, I don’t want to be pushy. But, I’m afraid they’ll be rude or hang up on me. But, I don’t know what to say. But, I don’t like making calls, that’s not me. Remember, remove that word and the next word that’s
coming right up for you right now, how?

There are more expired listings right now than ever before due to market conditions. If you call them consistently and follow up with them, you’re almost guaranteed to do more business. The more inventory you have the more your phone rings and the more business you’ll do.

Over 70% of my business comes from working expireds and fsbos. I’m still in the business actively selling, I sell 50 to 75 homes a year now and primarily spend my time coaching. I’m with you out here and know what you’re facing and dealing with in this market. I can help you and want to help you.

Please go back and read some of my previous articles to discover all kinds of tips, ideas, structures, disciplines, scripts, and objection handling I’ve shared. I’ve talked about the listing presentation, servicing buyers and sellers, efficiency and organization, working on price reductions, negotiations, the mind set it takes, daily schedule, structure and disciplines, prospecting, lead follow, the system I use, and much more.

If you haven’t already purchased my book, Now What Do I Say?, I invite you to visit our website at www.yourethedifference.com to get a copy. This is a real estate objection handling book offering more than 400 answers to over 70 of the most common questions and objections we face in the business. It’s available in published format, an electronic version, as well as an audio program so you can learn not only what to say but how to say it as well.

I also have a scripts CD where I share the exact scripts I use for calling expireds, fsbos, just listed, just sold, past clients, ad and sign calls and prequalifying buyers and sellers.

Our coaching, products, and services are priced very fairly because our commitment is to really be a support system for agents right now as we all dig our way out of this challenging market we’ve dealt with for the last several years. We want to make a difference but more importantly, show you that You’re The Difference.