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May 2017

June 2017

12 Ways to Reduce Your Risk & Liability in Real Estate

Do you have a risk reduction plan for your real estate business?  In this post, we outline 12 strategies or best practices to consider adopting to reduce your liability and help manage the risk of potential litigation as well as complaints filed with the state real estate licensing entity or your local REALTOR Association.

12RiskReductionTips

  1. Develop and use standard procedures with everyone.  Review fair housing rules and treat all prospects, customers and clients honestly, fairly and equally.

  2. Keep a communication log during your transaction.  Record your notes, conversations, milestones.  If red flags are raised during the transaction or you encounter challenges, it is particularly important to record the pertinent facts and events.  If you are using a paperless transaction management system, scan and upload all of your notes, emails and correspondence for your transactions.

  3. Use email to confirm conversations, verbal agreements, proof of delivering copies of contracts and addenda.  If your clients don't use email, then mail copies of all the contracts and documents they sign via certified or registered mail or us an overnight service like Fedex.
    Note: If you and your client prefer communicating via text, make sure to take a screen capture of important texts regarding the transaction. Or better yet, follow-up the text with an email to document the notification or important communication.

  4. Keep a record of your transaction including all paperwork, emails and correspondence. Create a file on your computer (or use a cloud-based program like Dropbox or Evernote) and a folder in your email program to organize your correspondence and documents.  Archive your closed transactions (including your emails and other correspondence) and store them in your transaction management system, Dropbox, Evernote, and/or a backup drive.

  5. Rule of 3 – always recommend three vendors, contractors, attorneys, lenders, home inspectors, home warranty companies, etc.  Consider creating a disclosure with the companies and service providers you recommend and having your clients sign and acknowledge the choices you presented.

  6. Always recommend and explain the benefits of a home inspection and a home warranty to your clients.  Get a written waiver if they choose not to.

  7. Disclose...Don’t Diagnose.  Be the source of the source.  Stay within the boundaries of your area of expertise (real estate contracts, sales and marketing). Leave the analysis and diagnosis of any potential defect, issue or concern to the appropriate expert or contractor.

  8. Educate & set the proper expectations with your clients and customers. For example:
    • Explain the entire short sale process; pros and cons of purchasing a short sale
    • Review earnest money and what happens with a cancelled sale
    • Conduct a seller and buyer interview/qualification with all clients

  9. When working with buyers, make sure your buyer is ready, willing and able to purchase.  If getting a loan, have they started the approval process with a lender?  If they are a cash buyer, do they have proof of funds?

  10. When working with sellers, ensure they are ready, willing and able to sell.  Conduct a thorough consultation prior to listing to ensure they are motivated to sell and realistic in pricing the property. With short sale sellers, ensure you have the sellers complete the short sale packet and all documentation before you list the property.

  11. Use a transaction checklist or service action plan to stay on top of all the tasks and procedures in a real estate transaction from initial contact to the successful closing of escrow.  Include any due diligence and contingency deadlines.

  12. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate… often and with all parties to the transaction!  Return phone calls and emails promptly.

 

Are you ready for coaching? Take your business to the next level today. Schedule a complimentary 30-minute coaching session today to find out more.

We also provide a wide selection of other real estate and business coaching programs that are designed with the agent in mind to help you build a successful career with real life instruction on how to implement and execute. 

Real Estate Team Builder: http://realestateteambuilder.com/

WBNL Coaching: http://wbnlcoaching.com/

WBNL Business Builder: http://wbnlbusinessbuilder.com/

Wandering But Not Lost: http://wanderingbutnotlost.com/

 

 


Six Guideposts for Life & Business Success

In this post, we share six strategies with actionable tasks and resources to guide you toward life and business success.

SixGuideposts

1. Know Your Why

What is your big WHY – your Purpose? When you discover with complete clarity your WHY, then you have uncovered the absolute secret to success for your life and business. You are at your best when your heart (passion) and mind (attitude) are in alignment and connected with your true path and purpose. This is true in your personal life as well as with your business. When they aren’t aligned, there is always a degree of dissatisfaction and unrest.

12 Signs that Your Are Living Your Passion – Your Life Purpose

  1. You lose track of time.
  1. You smile and laugh more.
  1. What you are doing does not feel like “work”. It brings joy and a true sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  1. You trust your heart and your instincts and act on it.
  1. You really light up and become animated when you talk about what you do.
  1. Your friends and loved ones notice the shift and either support you unconditionally or you may actually find they react in a negative, unsupportive fashion.
  1. Everything just flows better and more effortlessly. Synchronicities happen. You find yourself meeting the right people at the perfect time.
  1. You feel truly alive. You are inspired all the time.
  1. You find the courage to take the risks necessary for growth and to move forward.
  1. You no longer feel like you are selling out for a paycheck. Your income and purpose are in alignment.
  1. You no longer have that nagging feeling that something is missing in your life.
  1. You are enjoying the journey (living in the now) and know it’s not about the destination. It’s about the relationships and shared experiences along your path.

  Questions for self-reflection on your current situation, business, or focus area:

  • Why did I choose this business?
  • Why do I want to stay in business for myself?
  • Why do I want to grow my business, increase my income?
  • Why do I want to systematize my business?
  • Why do I want to improve my health?
  • Why do I want to spend more quality time with my kids, spouse, others?
  • Why do I want to ….. ____________ ?
  • Why is all this so important to me?
  • By the way, it’s never really about the money. It’s about what the money will allow you to do, what it will bring to your life and for your family.

  Questions & Exercises to Help You Discover Your True Passion/Purpose

  • What are your natural strengths, skills, talents?
  • Take a look at past work, career choices – what did you like? Dislike?
  • What do people ask you to help them with?
  • What activities really bring joy and fulfillment in your life?
  • Who inspires you most? Why?
  • What causes do you strongly believe in and connect with?
  • What would you do if… you only had one year to live? unlimited resources and money at your disposal?

  Your Eulogy Exercise Using the questions below, write your eulogy.

  • What do you want your eulogy to consist of?
  • What would your lifetime achievements be?
  • What would matter the most at the end of your life?
  • What will be your legacy?
  • What do you want o be remembered for?
  • What stories will friends and loved ones recount about you and your impact on them?

Is it what you are doing right NOW?  If not, why not?  What is standing in you way or holding you back?

2. Have a Plan

Know Your Desired Outcomes.   

Commit to a written Business and/or Life Plan with clearly defined, vibrant goals.

Are you aligned and connected with your true passion and purpose? A business plan and set of accompanying written goals is meaningless and not effective without clarity and alignment with your true passion.

Make your goals S.M.A.R.T.

  • S    Specific; Simple
  • M   Measurable; Meaningful to You
  • A    As if Now; Achievable; All areas of your life
  • R    Realistic; Responsible
  • T    Timeframe; Toward What You Want 

Attitude

3. Take action

Persistence
Be willing to do what it takes to accomplish your outcomes.  Be consistent in your actions and build the positive habits. Practice leads to mastery.

Small Steps
Any movement or action, no matter how small, toward what you desire is all it takes to build momentum and achieve results.

Intention
Focus on what you want (not on what you don't want). Create a Success Action Plan that outlines the action steps (tasks and habits) to move you toward your desired outcome.

Business Examples Use your business plan to create your daily, weekly, monthly ACTION PLAN.  These action plans will outline the income-producing activities, and other tasks you are committed to, in order to achieve your desired outcomes. Review and stick to your Action Plan DAILY!

  • Write your Action Plan on index cards and keep one with you
  • Put it on your mobile device in an app that you use frequently
  • Take a photo of it and make it your lock screen
  • Put one in front of your day planner
  • Post it in your workspace
  • Tape it to your bathroom mirror and review it daily
  • Review and record your results daily also

Income producing activities include:

  1. Make ______ contacts daily
  2. Send ______ personal notes weekly
  3. Add _______ people to your database weekly or monthly
  4. Contact _____ FSBOs weekly
  5. Contact ______ Expireds weekly
  6. Hold ______ effective open houses weekly/ monthly
  7. Mail or email to your SOI/Past clients valuable market information monthly
  8. Mail or email to your designated farm of ______  properties monthly
  9. Door knock/ door drop _________ houses monthly
  10. Take ____ past client to lunch monthly
  11. Network with ____ business to business referrals monthly
  12. Hand out 5-10 business cards, 5 days/week and actively ask for business or for permission to add them to your database

Life Plan Examples Use the WBNL Intentions Map & Journal template

  • Choose 1-2 areas of your life to focus on now
  • Set your intention for those areas by committing to the one action that when you do it consistently will make the most positive impact on your desired outcome
  • Here are some ideas:
  • 10-15 minutes of walking
  • 10 minutes of meditation
  • 1 conversation or phone call with a prospect, customer
  • Write or journal for 10 minutes
  • Exercise, yoga, stretching for 15 minutes

Business/Career Ideas:

  • Handout one business card and have one conversation about real estate or your business
  • 1 new person added to your database
  • One connection daily with someone in your database

 

4. Measure & Track Your Results

Be accountable!  You can’t improve what you don’t measure.  Identify the method for determining achievement of your goal/outcome and track your progress.  An excellent tracking system will allow you to make necessary course corrections and adjustments as well as gage your overall success.

Business: The WBNL Business Plan integrates tracking and measurement tools

  • Reconcile Your Monthly Budgets
  • Track Your Production & Escrows

Life: Apps for tracking goals, health, fitness, and well-being

 

5. Be Open to Change

Change is constant and requires you to remain flexible and adaptable. Embrace change – don’t fear it. There is always opportunity when circumstances or your environment changes. Find those opportunities and act on them right away instead of being reactive.

Be flexible.  The Law of Requisite Variety states that the person or system with the most flexibility of behavior will control the system and eventual outcomes. Operate from a physiology and psychology of excellence. 

Be in control of your mindset (attitude).  Choose to be in a powerful, positive state. Take Personal Responsibility for your actions. Choose the “cause” side of the equation - be the victor not the victim - take personal responsibility for your actions.

Be aware of your constitution, health and physical well-being.  Ingest healthy, nutritious foods that uplift you and give you energy. Moderation is the key!

 

6. Ask for Help!

Collaborate. The journey is so much more fun and enjoyable when you share it with others.

Hire someone – a coach, consultant, mentor, expert, professional – to assist you in reaching your desired outcome(s).  The right person can offer a third party perspective; provide necessary guidance, accountability and expertise.

Find an accountability partner. Form or join a mastermind group to support each other’s goals and commitments.  

  ChangeAction


Call Your Clients on Important Dates (Birthdays, Home Anniversaries)

Do you have a system in place to contact your clients on important dates like birthdays and home anniversaries?

PowerOF_PersoanlCalls

I want to suggest that making a birthday or home anniversary personal call can be more impactful and meaningful than a text, card or social media post.  Or perhaps consider doing a combination of connections will be a best practice for some of you.  The point is – do something to acknowledge important dates in your client’s lives.

I recently celebrated a birthday and confirmed my observation over the past couple years that as a society, we rely more and more on technology to stay connected.  It is true that feeling the Facebook and LinkedIn birthday love was great.  I had over 200 Happy Birthday wishes, some from folks I don’t even know:)   But here is what’s interesting.  I received exactly 3 texts, 2 birthday calls, and four birthday cards.  While the texts and birthday cards were special, I want to talk about the two calls and the stories behind them to drive home my coaching tip today about the forgotten power of a personal phone call.

One of the calls was from my former employer, Mark Stark, CEO/Owner at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Arizona/California/Nevada Properties.  I’ve known Mark since 1993 when I worked at the then Prudential Americana Group.  In 2009, I departed to pursue other dreams and goals.  One of the most amazing things Mark has been doing as CEO for all these years is to call everybody in his organization on their birthday.  I mean he calls everybody on their actual birthday without fail.  That’s a lot of calls considering Mark’s Arizona, California, and Nevada firms total nearly 2,000 real estate sales executives (that’s not including employees).  Now, here is the best part of this story … Mark has been calling me every June 4th to wish me a Happy Birthday even though I haven’t worked with him since 2009.  Now that’s IMPACTFUL and special.

The second call was from my good friend, collaborator and fellow coach David Squier.   David also used to work with Mark and Prudential Americana Group.  He recently told me he adopted a long time ago Mark’s practice of calling everyone on their birthday and how it has made such an amazing and positive impact on his business.  He gets remarks from his clients frequently about how he is one of the few if not the only person who actually called to wish a happy birthday.

Create Your System to Make it Happen!

  1. You must collect the important dates like birthdays, anniversaries and home purchase anniversary.  Ask your clients for the information during your transaction or provide a form at the closing or just before. Don’t have a form for that?  Here’s one you can download, revise and use for your business:  Client_Infomation_From
  2. Next, you need to enter this data into a trusted system, calendar or CRM that will remind you who to call each day.
  3. Finally, you must commit to making the calls on the actual dates.  That means time-blocking every day that you have a birthday or other calls and making the calls.  Leave a voice mail message if you don’t get an answer.  And when the person does answer the call, you will have an excellent opportunity to wish them a happy day and to possibly catch up.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you don’t send a text or card or even do the social media HBD post.  I am merely recommending that to really stand out these days, the good old-fashioned phone call might be something that makes a bigger impact to your clients.  I, for one, know that it did for me.


Wait, What?  You aren’t using a great CRM?

Having a solid follow-up system is Real Estate Gold!  If you do not have a CRM, you need to do some research to see what platform will be best suited for you.  We are fans of Top Producer.  It has been a staple in the industry for decades and has evolved with the times.  In fact, it is still one of the best on the market.

It makes remembering birthday and other important dates easy. When you add a birthday (anniversary, etc) you can select how many days before to be reminded.  It will show up on the Dashboard under Important Dates – That way you never miss the moment!

 

TP_Contact_Birthday

Top Producer, TopProducer.com (starting at $ 39.95/mth for the CRM)

To learn more about Top Producer 8i Suite of Tools, contact:

Colin Burton | Top Producer
colin.burton@topproducer.com
Direct:  888-547-5331
Mobile:  778-960-5331