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Donna Ferrell's Blog

By Donna Ferrell, Broker | Broker in Los Angeles, CA
  • Please VOTE! for CALCO as our young firm TAKES A GIANT LEAP!

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Los Angeles  |  June 17, 2011 3:39 PM  |  613 views  |  No comments

    Please VOTE! for CALCO as our young firm TAKES A GIANT LEAP!
    QUICK LINK: www.votebestof.com


    Win a weekend on the town! Fill out at least 30 categories of the ballot and your e-mail address will be automatically entered in our drawing.* The grand prize winner will receive a complimentary two-night stay at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel that includes dinner for two at Sai Sai, $200 spending cash, dinner for two at Morton's The Steakhouse, a $150 Ticketmaster gift card, and a Los Angeles Conservancy walking tour. It's a great package, if we do say so ourselves. Additional prizes: iPod Touch, cash prizes, gift certificates and more!

    Step One:
    After reading this page, click on the link below.

    Step Two:
    Click on "Create a New Account." Only your email address and a password are required. Make sure you use an active email address so we can reach you if you WIN!

    Step Three:
    Choose your favorite for each category. At least 30 categories must be filled in to be entered to win.
    Step Four:
    At the bottom of each ballot page is a button to take you to the next page of the ballot. Remember, you are not required to answer all of the questions but you need at least 30 to qualify for the prize.

    Voting is limited to one on-line vote per person. IP addresses are logged and duplicates are filtered out. Voting is open from May 14 through June 3, 2011. The winners in each category will be announced in the July 18, 2011 issue of Downtown News. Any inappropriate submissions will invalidate your entire ballot. Ballot-stuffing will not be tolerated. Believe us, we can tell, (You don't want to see your name or business in an item titled: "Best attempt to steal an election.") Submissions become the property of Downtown News.

    Your privacy is very important to us. We would like to send you the latest news and information about Downtown. Your email address will not be shared, and you are free to opt out at any time.

    *Winners will be announced in the July 18, 2011 issue of Downtown News.

    Time to begin voting!
    Go To: www.votebestof.com


    We will be sending out Winners Packets to the top winner and runner-up of each category. However, if we don't have the correct decision-maker's name and address, they may never receive the Winners Packet. Unfortunately, around 15% of the time the appropriate person does not receive their packets because we don't have the correct information. If your company has been nominated and you want to make sure we have the correct and appropriate contact information, then please send an e-mail to Dawn Eastin. The owner, manager or marketing person is usually the best person in your company to take advantage of the Winners Packet.
    There is never a fee or charge for your involvement.

    L.A. Downtown News | 1264 W. First St. | Los Angeles, CA 90026 | 213-481-1448 Copyright (c)2011

    Thank you from all of us at CALCO and remember, we always appreciate your business!!


    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Los Angeles  |  February 20, 2011 10:58 AM  |  671 views  |  3 comments

    Fellow comrades in arms beware of the money eating dragon called RedX! This is another "to good to be true deal of leads". To be frank it cost me $70.00 bucks a month and the next think I new I got a $260 hit?? 

    They have taught me that the "terms" are not longer just the standard do's and don'ts! It is breeding ground for hidden agendas and fees. I emailed them to explain why I was charged, the told me there was a limit of leads, and you will be charged for each lead after that you search. Now the site does not make that clear I sounded back!

    No it is in our terms and services. This was to me a bit sneaky and underhanded. Note that they will NOT refund your money or make amends if you make this mistake. So those of us that got really burned want to say it can be very costly not to real the long winded Terms:

    Here is theirs:

    Terms of Service and Use Agreement


    REDX is a provider of real estate lead management software, real estate leads, and other real estate related technology solutions. Subscriber is a real estate agent or other professional that desires to utilize REDX products and services.


    NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and benefits expressed herein, the parties agree as follows:

    1. Definitions

    The following definitions as used in this Agreement shall have the following meanings:

    1. “Software” shall mean any and all software products produced by REDX for resale. This shall include, but not be limited to, the RolEDX Lead Manager, VortexTM Lead Manager, and Pulse®.

    1. “REDX Leads” shall mean any and all leads sold by REDX to Subscriber, and may include, but is not limited to: Expired Leads, FSBO Leads, Foreclosure Leads, Website Leads, Just Listed Just Sold Leads, and Farm Leads.

    1. “Subscriptions” shall represent the products and services purchased by the Subscriber upon signing up. Examples may include: a subscription to Expired Leads, a Subscription to FSBO Leads, a Subscription to RedX Agent Sites®, etc.

    1. “Billing Cycle” shall mean the period between billings for products and services either monthly, quarterly (3 months), semi-annual (6months), or annual (12 months).

    1. Limited Software License

    REDX hereby grants a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license to use the Software subject to the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement. This license permits the Subscriber to utilize this software only for its intended use, and Subscriber agrees not to utilize it for anything other than its intended use, and not to reverse assemble, reverse compile, otherwise translate or redistribute the Software. Subscriber agrees not to share, copy, or otherwise re-distribute the Software without the express written consent of REDX. The license granted hereunder provides that a copy of the Software may only be used by the Subscriber. Concurrent or simultaneous use on two or more computers is prohibited. Subscriber further agrees not to disseminate or disclose their accounts username or password, nor to allow anyone else to utilize their account for access to REDX systems.

    1. REDX Leads

    1. License.REDX hereby grants a limited, non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable limited license to REDX Leads for which the Subscriber has purchased as part of his Subscriptions. This limited license permits the Subscriber to utilize REDX Leads for their individual purposes. Subscriber acknowledges that REDX Leads are REDX’s trade secret, proprietary information, and agrees not to share, copy, reproduce, or redistribute REDX Leads without the express written permission of REDX.

    1. Disclaimer. REDX has made reasonable best efforts to ensure accurate information in all REDX Leads and data append services, and to provide it in a timely, accurate manner, including reliable acknowledgement of individuals listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. However, REDX assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of REDX Leads or any errors, misrepresentations, or inaccurate information contained therein. REDX provides this content “as is” and without warranties of any kind, either expressed or implied. Neither does REDX warrant uninterrupted, error free functionality for its Software and services.

    1. Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights

    Subscriber acknowledges and agrees that Software and REDX Leads are REDX trade secrets, and proprietary products and information protected under U.S. copyright and intellectual property laws. Subscriber further acknowledges and agrees that all rights, title and interest in and to the Software and REDX Leads, including any associated intellectual property rights, are and shall remain with REDX. This Agreement does not convey an interest in or to the Subscriber, but only a limited license revocable in accordance with terms of this Agreement.

    1. Terms of Subscriptions

    Subscriber authorizes REDX to invoice Subscriber and process the Subscriber’s credit card for payment according to Subscriber’s Billing Cycle. At the end of each Billing Cycle, the agreement shall automatically renew for an additional term equal to the original service plan until Subscriber cancels the service by providing written notice to REDX in accordance with the cancellation policies of REDX. In the event that REDX is not able to process payment from the Subscriber at the beginning of a renewal term, either because the credit card has expired or for any other reason, REDX reserves the right to change Annual, Semi-Annual and Quarterly Billing Cycle to a Monthly Billing Cycle at the then current subscription rate. REDX will attempt to provide notice to Subscriber and Subscriber may determine to update the payment information, and may also elect to change the service plan to a different Plan type.

    1. Payment Information and Charges

    1. Charges. The REDX will charge subscriber for the following items:

      • Subscription Charge: recurring fee to receive services and limited use licenses for the Software and REDX Leads. This charge is determined by the Subscribers billing choices decided upon signup or as modified at their request. This charge is automatically billed at the beginning of each Billing Cycle.

      • Processing Fee: a one-time, non-refundable $10 processing fee for opening or reactivating an account.

      • Setup Fee: a one-time, non-refundable fee for training.

    2. Free Trials. Billing for free trials, regardless of length, will automatically start at the end of the trial unless the Subscriber cancels the trial prior to that bill date. Failure to cancel a trial prior to its end will not justify a refund.

    1. Overages. The REDX Expired Leads service is a data append service which appends missing owner contact information for Expired MLS listings. REDX purchases data from industry leaders to help provide the most accurate information for their Subscribers. Because of abuse by Subscribers, REDX has limited Subscribers to 2000 successful “lookups” per month. For the purpose of this agreement, a “lookup” shall constitute the data append process REDX has developed for finding missing owner contact information. REDX will charge subscribers an overage fee of $0.12 per additional “lookup” over the 2000 lookup limit. Overage fees will not be refundable under any circumstances as they represent real charges incurred by REDX in providing this service. REDX further reserves the right to cancel or terminate any account for excessive, abusive, or inappropriate use in the number and type of addresses submitted for research.

    1. Termination

    REDX reserves the right to terminate service for any Subscriber at any time at its sole discretion.

    Subscriber may terminate their Subscriptions at any time by emailing a cancellation request to support@theREDX.com, or mailing in a written cancellation request to the REDX Corporate Office. In order to avoid a renewal of the subscription term the email must be received at least five (5) business days prior to the beginning of their next Billing Cycle.

    Subscriber understands and agrees that in the event that REDX is unable to resolve computer related technical issues that Subscriber may terminate service at anytime with no expectation of a refund of fees.

    1. Personal Assistant

    As applicable to subscribers of REDX Expireds, and for markets in which REDX provides the eXpired Listing Assistant (“XLA”) program: Subscriber is a licensed Real Estate Agent and wishes to engage REDX to be Subscriber’s personal assistant to create an export file and/or automation from Subscriber’s MLS account for personal use within Subscirber’s RolEDX or email. Subscriber is responsible for ensuring that any actions taken or any services or software requested from REDX under this Agreement are in compliance with all applicable laws and MLS regulations in all jurisdictions in and to which the services are provided by REDX. Subscriber is also responsible for ensuring that both REDX and Subscriber are authorized under all applicable MLS and state and federal laws and regulations to allow REDX to act as Subscriber’s personal assistant and obtain necessary authentication information for the exportation of MLS data. In consideration of the above REDX agrees to act as the personal assistant for Subscriber, and to assist them in the process of exporting the MLS data for which they are authorized to utilize within their business.

    1. Confidentiality and Non-Compete

    Subscriber acknowledges that confidential information may be obtained during the course of doing business and over the term of this Agreement. This information may include operations and affairs of REDX, including particular methods and procedures used by it to conduct business, and agree that all records, data, materials, and all other information and equipment provided by REDX are the sole property of REDX and remain so after termination of this Agreement. Subscriber agrees to surrender all such information or material to REDX on demand or upon termination of this Agreement by either party. 

    Subscriber agrees that by subscribing to REDX services they will have received confidential information about REDX, and that for a period of 60 months, irrespective of cause of termination of said agreement, Subscriber will not engage either directly or indirectly, personally or by any agent, use, disclose, copy, reproduce, disseminate, or otherwise produce in oral, written or electronic fashion, to any person, firm, or corporation, the name, or by means of any corporate or other device, in an Expired Listing or For-Sale-by-Owner (FSBO) lead service.  Nor will Subscriber use knowledge of the business for the benefit of themselves or other persons, or divulge information or data concerning REDX, including, customer names, prices, terms or particulars of REDX, whether by sale, gift, or any device, subterfuge or evasion.  Subscriber will in good faith protect the goodwill of REDX.

    1. Limitation of Liability

    REDX shall not be liable for any claims relating to the Software and this Agreement, including any cause of action sounding in contract, tort, or strict liability. In any event, the liability of REDX shall not exceed the license fee paid to REDX for use of the Software. In no event shall REDX be liable for any loss of profits; any incidental, special, exemplary, or consequential damages; or any claims or demands brought against me, even if REDX has been advised of the possibility of such claims or demands.

    1. Indemnification

    Subscriber shall indemnify, hold harmless and defend the REDX and its respective employees, officers and directors from and against any and all damages, losses, liabilities, actions, proceedings (whether legal or administrative), demands and expenses (including but not limited to reasonable attorneys fees) threatened, asserted or filed by a third party against the REDX, relating to Subscriber’s account and/or relations with the REDX. By subscribing to REDX, Subscriber agrees not to disclose any assigned codes, including passwords and usernames to others. Subscriber also agrees not distribute the information contained in the product, service to any person or organization, by any means, printed electronic or other.

    1. Force Majeure

    Subscriber acknowledges that in certain circumstances matters outside of REDX’s, reasonable control may happen that will cause a disruption of service; including, without limitation, labor disturbances, Force Majeure, failure of a communications carrier to provide lines or service, governmental regulations or interference, accidents, fires, explosions, terrorism or from any other similar or dissimilar cause. REDX will not be held responsible for interruptions to its Software or services

    1. Survivorship

    All warranties, representations, indemnities, covenants and other agreements of the parties hereto shall survive the execution, delivery and termination of this Agreement. This Agreement shall insure to and bind the successors and assigns of the respective parties hereto.

  • 14. Governing Law

  • This Agreement shall be deemed to have been executed in the State of Utah and shall be interpreted and construed according to the laws of the State of Utah, without giving effect to any conflict of laws provisions. The parties hereby consent to the jurisdiction of the federal and state courts located in the State of Utah.

  • Do Kids Seal The Deal?

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in 90015  |  November 29, 2010 6:32 PM  |  404 views  |  1 comment

    For all of you out there--I am paying it forward. I got this from a great class with Coach Jackie. If you plan to get your CRS, you must go to any class with Coach Jackie, you will have a blast!

    Whether it works or not, this is so darn cute!

       Selling a Home is a Family Affair!

    “Children’s Listing Agreement”


    Our home is for sale and I promise to help my family so that we can move to our new house!


    Every day I will:

    ü Make my  bed

        ü Pick up my toys

    ü Help turn on the lights for showings


    Every week that I help my mommy and daddy, I get to call my REALTOR® Donna, and she gives me an award!


    My name is _____________________



    My REALTOR® is Your LA Properties, Donna Ferrell, CRS, AMS, CRB, CMCA

  • 5 Ways to Handle Stress

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in 90015  |  November 28, 2010 10:57 AM  |  388 views  |  2 comments
    Managing stress doesn't mean simply avoiding or glossing over challenges. Here are five techniques you can use to deal with the pressures that come with a real estate career.
    By John D. Mayfield | February 2010

    Because of the independent nature of the work, the travails of the business, and the irregular cash flow, real estate is perhaps one of the more stressful professions to pursue. After 30-plus years of listing and selling real estate, though, I've learned a few ways to effectively deal with stress.

    Whether it's a pending real estate transaction that seems like it's about to fall apart, the present economy playing havoc on your closed sales volume, or an unfortunate situation where you dropped the ball for a client, remember these simple tips to help you hold your health, family, and career together.

    Remember the odds.

    One of the truisms I always remind myself of is the fact that, normally, events work out in some fashion. Think about how many transactions you've had that looked like they would go sour. In most cases, those deals probably worked out, even if they didn't go as perfectly as you might have hoped.

    Most transactions will hit a snag here and there, but generally deals do get done.

    Constantly stressing out about problems and issues will get you nowhere, and if you ponder the situation too long, it will definitely result in major anxiety. Don't misunderstand—I'm not saying you should avoid problems, but you can remind yourself during rough times that you can still find compromises and solutions in almost any situation.

    Eat your big fish first.

    When faced with a mounting obstacle, don't blow it off until later. Confront it first thing that day. You might be tempted to put off the problem and tackle the easier, smaller stuff first. But this usually winds up prolonging and intensifying the stressful situation.

    Instead, go ahead and "eat the bigger fish" on your plate so you can get it out of your way and stop worrying about it.

    Be honest and take responsibility when it's your fault.

    Stress can be caused by a wide variety of factors. Sometimes it can be created by our own foibles or when we just drop the ball. It's difficult to tell someone you forgot to put their papers in the mail or misplaced a key. But if you want to avoid further stress, be honest about the situation and take responsibility.

    I've found that whenever I've made a mistake and explained to a customer what happened, admitted responsibility, and apologized, it almost always produces a positive outcome. Procrastinating or masking over a problem will not give you any peace of mind, and it certainly won't reassure your clients.

    It can be difficult to admit "I made a mistake" or "I'm sorry." But being honest ultimately goes far in winning trust with all the parties involved.


    When nothing else seems to be going right, try to squeeze in a workout. Going for a walk, run, bike ride, swim, or other exercise is an excellent way to feel better.

    Exercise can improve your mood because it releases endorphins in your brain, a hormone that can even trigger feelings of euphoria. Physical exertion can add a wide variety of benefits to your life and is excellent for relieving stress. Be sure to consult your physician before starting any major new exercise program.


    Remind yourself that this, too, shall pass.

    Often you can be in a stressful situation and feel as though it will never end. For many real estate professionals, the current environment has been incredibly stressful and shows few signs of relief. But our country has always been able to rebound, and the real estate market will once again rise up from record lows.

    Rather than thinking the situation will never get better, remind yourself that it eventually will improve. It may not be in the next few months, or even until the next year or two, but the real estate market will recuperate and make lasting progress. Understanding that better days are ahead allows you to keep going a little farther.

  • Win More Clients by Converting Those Internet Leads

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in 90015  |  November 28, 2010 10:55 AM  |  413 views  |  3 comments
    The Internet can be a great source for leads. But your Web customers expect to get information immediately, and you can't always be on call. Learn how you can do a better job at winning over leads that come through the Web.
    By Kelle Sparta | March 2010

    I often hear real estate professionals complain about how few clients they have. But when I ask them what they're doing about their online follow-up systems, I get a blank stare.

    In fact, most practitioners and offices get dozens of inquiries a week from online venues. Yet many of these go unanswered, and many that do get answered don't get those responses for 24 hours or more.

    That's unacceptable in today's fast-paced world. Buyers expect instant responses. But you can't possibly be available all the time.

    They don't need to know that, though. You can automate some systems so that the buyers who come in through the Web get an instant response that will reset their expectation for when they will hear from you.

    Make Your Information Readily Available


    Personally, I don't like the idea of having to be available 24x7. I never have. I've always given my clients a schedule and told them when to call me and when not to call me. However, you can put Web systems in place that let your prospects get their questions answered immediately, and set them up to want to speak to you further.

    If you're interested in setting up systems to convert your Internet leads, you really don't have to get too fancy either (See: 6 Best Practices for Online Leads). Don't make it complicated; just make it functional.

    How Do You Answer Immediately Without Losing Sleep?


    Easy: Set up a separate e-mail address for each listing with a vacation autoresponder attached to it. This autoresponder shouldn't be the standard "I'm out of the office, but your message is important to me" message.

    Instead, it should read something like this:

    Thanks for asking about my listing at 123 Main Street! I know you're probably in need of some more information about the property, and I want to give that to you right away whether I'm available or not. To do this, I've set up a special Web site about this listing to walk you through all of the details. Click on http://www.123MainSt.com to find out more. There's also some additional information there about buying a home and about the Condon Park development.


    I'm not available at the moment, but as soon as I get your e-mail, I'll be in touch to make sure you've got all of your questions were answered. I try to anticipate my clients' needs—please let me know how I did for you. You can e-mail me directly at: sallysells@sallysells.com. For faster service or to set up an appointment right away, call my cell phone at 555-555-5555. If I don't answer, I'll get back to you within four hours. We'll talk soon!

    In an e-mail like this, consumers get what they expect — an instant answer to their inquiry with more information. They also have the ability to contact you directly and even potentially reach you on the phone right away.

    It also conveys that you won't be available all the time but will get back to them in a specific time frame. This way, consumers are provided with an appropriate expectation of availability from the start.

    What Happens When They Get to the Web Site?

    On the Web site, you have to do a fantastic job of describing the property. Why? Because you owe it to the seller to do so. Plus, you don't want to show the house if it isn't going to be right for the buyer, so let them weed it out if they need to.

    The important thing is that they don't weed you out as well.

    This Web site is your opportunity to talk to them and sell them on your services (or at least sell them on talking to you about your services). It should include:

    • Testimonials from past clients.
    • A video of you talking to the buyers about the pitfalls of buying a home without a buyer's agent and the benefits of working with you. (Make sure you show off your personality in the video. People want to work with people they like — be likeable.)
    • A white paper or a similar resource that gets them to give up their phone number. The white paper should be specifically targeted to the type of buyer who would want that house. For example, if you are selling a home in the Condon Park development, the white paper would be "What Every Buyer Should Know About Living in Condon Park." To get this, they have to provide their name and phone number. Remember, the goal isn't to give out information — it's to get the buyer on the phone so that you can make an appointment.
    • Plant the question in their heads of what else they don't know and that perhaps they should call you — you'll be that person who can anticipate their needs and set up a Web site just for them.

    Basically, look at this Web site as the conversation you would have had with them if they had called the office to ask their question. Then ask for the call.

    Remember, if you don't ask for it, you won't get it.


    Give Them a Reason

    Your Internet leads need to feel like they're going to get something in return as well. Tell them why they need to call you.

    Will you sort through all of the listings for them so that they don't have to? Will you preview properties so that they don't have to spend their precious time looking at things that just won't work? Will you negotiate on their behalf to get the best price? Will you do research on the market and the area to make sure that they don't overpay and that they won't have any unpleasant surprises at closing?

    All of these are benefits that serious buyers would love to have.


    If Only They Would Call!

    It was so much easier to convert buyers when they would simply call us. We could hear their tone of voice, ask questions while we answered theirs, connect with them on a personal level over the phone, and then ask for the appointment. Now, we have to do all of this virtually.

    Video, friendly pictures of ourselves, testimonials from clients, and the quality of our information all have to speak for us now. Sure, it's going to take time to set all this up. We'll have to spend some money too.

    But if we plan well, we can use some of the materials over and over again. And ultimately, one additional sale that comes from these systems can pay for the whole shebang.

    Plus, wouldn't it be great if we could set up an online system that makes buyers call you and say "Would you please sell me a house?"

  • Sales Coach: Keeping Your Deals Together

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in 90015  |  November 28, 2010 10:54 AM  |  387 views  |  No comments
    Nearly every real estate pro has experienced a deal that unwound due to complexity or poor communication. While you can never be sure it won't happen, there are some steps you can take to minimize the chances of an agreement falling apart.
    By Rich Levin | April 2010

    Losing deals hurts. It is frustrating, discouraging, maddening, and more. And as transactions become more complex and involve a growing number of players, it gets harder to complete deals.


    Lenders are figuring out how to modify loans, handle short sales, and change underwriting standards. Some lenders care more, some less. Real estate professionals have little control over this.


    There are things over which you have more control, and other things you control less. The key to keeping your deals together is to know the difference and work very hard to control the things you can.  


    The following is based on feedback from thousands of practitioners across North America who contacted me by e-mail and through social media. In all of their comments, one theme stands out clearly: control.



    Deals stay together when one real estate pro takes control and accepts responsibility for managing, supervising, and directing every aspect of the transaction. Behave as if you are the only one keeping everyone informed. As if it is your job. If you don’t do it, no one will. Work by the motto: “If it is to be, it is up to me.”  

    This approach is not for the real estate professional’s benefit or ego. It is completely for the client’s benefit. Your clients want you in control.



    The key to control is communication. Communicate clearly and consistently with clients as you prepare them for the experience of buying or selling, including potential glitches. Then, communicate regularly throughout the process as you keep them informed on progress and help them navigate any glitches. Communicate clearly and consistently with other agents, the lenders, inspectors, and everyone else involved in the transaction.

    As David Kral of Spokane, Wash., wrote, “The number-one rule for success in keeping transactions together is to form a strong sense of ‘we're in this together’ with the other agent.”

    Take Your Chances

    There are three chances during any transaction in which the practitioner can exercise the kind of control through communication that helps keep a deal together:


    1. At the initial presentation, listing appointment, or buyer presentation: You can review the process in detail, preparing the buyer or seller for every eventuality.

    2. At the offer writing with the buyer or offer presentation with the seller: You can review the process from that point forward, preparing clients for every eventuality. At this stage, you can also begin to establish that strong relationship of cooperation with the other agent.

    3. During the pending process: You should be in constant communication, setting expectations, preparing, handholding, and reinforcing — in other words, controlling the experience of the client. In addition, you can establish a relationship of cooperation with all the support professionals, inspectors, mortgage originator, processor, attorney, title company, and any other parties that affect the transaction.


    Practitioners say preparation through communication is key. Doug Rosner, South Lake Tahoe, Calif., wrote, “A prepared principal is a ready, willing, and able principal. An unprepared principal is a time bomb waiting to explode.” Mike Barbalato, Sarasota, Fla., wrote, “When the buyer or seller doesn’t anticipate the next step … remorse and fear set in. Remorse and fear are what delay closings and kill deals.”


    Your Extended ‘Team’

    Real estate pros will encounter the same appraisers, inspectors, and lenders many times in their career. Creating relationships of cooperation and trust in advance keeps many deals together. When you encounter a first-class professional in another field for the first time, it’s worthwhile to establish a lasting relationship.

    “Having a good, trustworthy team of people you work with, lawyers, mortgage brokers, inspectors, etc., is very important. They can make or break the deal AND your reputation!!!” wrote Pam Haberek of Rochester, N.Y. Cathy McWilliams of Canandaigua, N.Y., added, “Have three attorneys, three inspectors, and three lenders, etc., who are all easy to work with and are not ‘deal killers’ ready to recommend.”

    Time Kills

    Contrary to the old saying, time is not on your side. Roger Lundell, Buckhannon, W.V., wrote, “In my 20 years of real estate, I have found that, everything else being equal, time is your enemy — get it done as fast as possible and do not be afraid to push a little. Time kills the deal. Let’s face it. When the buyer or seller has time, worries, remorse, and fear all grow.”

    The key to success in any endeavor is consistent hard work and attention to detail. There is no magic formula for keeping your deals together. Instead, there is the decision to take responsibility for every aspect of the transaction, organizing to communicate honestly, clearly, and consistently, and establishing healthy working relationships with everyone involved.  


    Good luck with your future transactions!

  • Building a Personal Brand

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in 90015  |  November 26, 2010 8:29 PM  |  397 views  |  1 comment
    Chances are, you already have a brand, whether you've made a conscious effort to create one or not. The question is: Is it the one you want?
    By Kelle Sparta | September 2010

    Many real estate pros market themselves as having “integrity” or being “the best.” But those qualities — while important — don’t necessarily differentiate them. What specific skills and knowledge do you offer, and how should you promote these characteristics?

    What Is a Brand?

    A brand is the sum total of the impressions that clients and prospects have of your business. These impressions are made through the words you say, the images and colors you use, and the ways in which you interact (or fail to interact) with your target market. Corporations spend billions of dollars each year on improving their brand images because they know that those images directly affect whether or not people buy from them.

    Good Brands vs. Bad Brands

    A good brand is something that inspires a positive emotional response. Either your prospects and clients can feel a sense of camaraderie and connection to it or they can feel safe and secure putting themselves in your hands. A bad brand is something that's entirely in your head — an intellectual exercise using words that sound good but don't make an emotional impact.

    Classic Bad Real Estate Brands

    Here are a few of the classic bad real estate brands that you see everywhere across the country:

    • I'll sell you your dream home
    • I've got the key to your new home
    • Honesty, integrity, and trust
    • Because I know the market
    • I'm a professional

    What makes these brands bad? Well, the first two are trite clichés that mean nothing. In fact, the first one is usually a lie. Most buyers don't get to buy their dream home; they end up buying what they can afford, which frequently isn’t their dream home.

    The third one isn't something that you can advertise; it's something you have to demonstrate. Can this be your brand? Yes, but you have to demonstrate it through client testimonials and the ways in which you speak to your prospects and clients. You can never say it out loud or you diminish it. The last two are bad brands because either they are a given — agents should know the market and should be professional — or they come off as you dissing the competition, which is always a bad idea.

    Good Real Estate Brands

    A good brand for your real estate business will show how you differ from the competition. If you don't know how you differ, then you should look closer. Your personality alone is a differentiator. Your knowledge of transactions and how they work; your experience dealing with people; the types of houses and neighborhoods you like to work in; the types of people you like to work with; the number and extent of the testimonials you've received; what ratio of your business is buyers vs. sellers; how much of your business is by referral; what systems you have in place to market, promote, and close deals — all of these things make you unique. From there, it's a matter of turning your unique qualities into a workable brand.

    A Personal Example

    My own strengths were educating my clients, having a deep understanding of them and their needs, and being a true advocate for them. This included having a strong hand at guiding them through the transaction, a high level of integrity, and systems, and being a professional in the marketplace. I was also a top producer, but I chose not to call attention to it because I wanted my brand to be about the client, not about me.

    A part of any presentation I gave was the phrase, "I won't always tell you what you want to hear, but I'll always tell you what you need to know." It said that I would tell the hard truths and also implied that I would put the clients' needs before my own. If I'm willing to tell someone the unvarnished truth, it says I'm also willing to take the risk that I'll upset them and lose them as a client. That's a risk of a loss to me in order to serve my client. That's one way of saying that you have integrity without speaking it out loud.

    Consistency of Message and Experience

    Your brand image isn't just what you market, it's also every experience a client or prospect has with you. Once you settle on a brand image that really reflects who you are, make sure that your client experience always reflects that. If you're going on high integrity, then make sure you follow through on promises. If you're emphasizing that you have systems, make sure you have them for every part of the process. If it's all about the clients, then be certain that you slow down enough to be fully present with your prospects and clients whether they are in front of you or on the phone, and don't take calls from other people when you are with someone. It's all about the consistency of the experience.

    No Matter What, You Will Brand Yourself

    The fact is that everything you're doing right now is creating a brand for you. Whether you are conscious of your choices or not, you'll create an image in the eyes of the public, your clients, and other practitioners. Wouldn't it be better if that image were consciously created rather than the result of a bunch of random choices that may or may not be consistent?

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