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Nick Napoletano's Blog

By Nick Napoletano | Agent in Red Bank, NJ
  • NEW!!! "Reality Real Estate Show"!!! www.sarahbandy.com

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in New Jersey  |  May 28, 2009 7:22 PM  |  1,770 views  |  3 comments

    Sarah Bandy, a successful entrepreneur and president of The Bandy Group, is introducing a new concept in reality TV.

    Bandy will be the star of Project: Reality Real Estate, a weekly “fly on the wall” documentary-style show which chronicles her ambitious new real estate campaign aimed at netting $1 million dollars in one year’s time.

    Each week viewers will be able to tune in at www.SarahBandy.com to learn her methods, celebrate her successes, and follow every step of the way on her daring and exciting new journey.

    The show will also be promoted using “Web 2.0” methods, including Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

    The campaign is inspired by bestselling author Gary Keller’s book “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”.

    Bandy’s goal is to follow the plan outlined in Keller’s book for one year, using his methods to net one million dollars of revenue in a 52-week time span.

    However, Bandy doesn’t intend to keep her success to herself - she is going to show her viewers how it’s done every step of the way.

    Bandy feels that the combination of social media marketing, the Reality TV style documentary, and Keller’s marketing tactics, will be far more effective than traditional old school marketing methods.

    “I don’t feel that cold calling or door knocking are where my strong suits lie,” Bandy explained. “These activities don’t utilize my natural abilities.”

    Instead, to reach her goal of netting one million dollars in one years time, Bandy will send out 16,000 direct mail pieces per month to a carefully selected geographic and demographic list of individuals.

    She picked that specific number based on Gary Keller’s research, indicating that for every 50 people you market yourself to 12 times a year, you can reasonably expect to generate 1 sale.

    “Expanding the formula exponentially, you will therefore need 16,000 contacts in your ‘haven’t met’ database to generate 320 sale per year there by reaching the goal of netting $1 million dollars; based upon a $250,000.00 average home sale price,” Bandy explained.

    In addition to watching Bandy’s show, viewers will also be able to interact and ask questions or make comments via Bandy’s website. “This type of activity cannot be scripted and provides a more homegrown, grass roots marketing approach,” according to Bandy.

    To find out more about Sarah Bandy and to check out Project: Reality Real Estate, please visit www.SarahBandy.com and follow her on twitter @SarahBandy.

  • 10 Questions You Must Ask When Applying for a Mortgage Loan.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Red Bank  |  December 30, 2008 10:43 AM  |  2,384 views  |  No comments

    When you sit down with a lender, please be sure to get answers to these 10 questions before you go any further in the loan process.

    1. What is the interest rate on this mortgage?
    Be sure to ask for the annual percentage rate (APR) of the loan's interest.  The APR is usually higher than the originally quoted rate because of the additional fees involved in procuring a loan. You must beware of APR found in advertisements. Often these are used in bait and switch schemes to get customers in the door. Always ask for an itemized list of rates, points and fees.

    2.  What discount and origination points will I be charged?
    Often lenders may charge prepaid mortgage interest points. Find out the kind of points they will be and their effect on your loan.

    3.  Will you give me a good faith estimate of my closing costs up front?
    There are fees that are a part of every loan.  These fees pay for the services provided by the lender and the other companies involved in the loan process. Have the lender give you a good faith estimate within a week of receiving your loan application. Experts advise to be wary of any lender that refuses to supply a good faith estimate.

    4.  What are the fees, if any, involved in locking in an interest rate?
    Interest rates are constantly fluctuating and it is possible that it could change between the time you apply for a loan and the time you close. Often you can "lock in a rate" that will keep your interest rate the same from the day you apply. Please make sure that you find out if there are any fees involved with this.

    5. What is the minimum down payment of this loan?
    A typical down payment is between 5 and 20 percent of the loan amount.  The more money you can put down, the better your chances are of being able to lower your rate and improve your loan terms. Often, if you are unable to make a down payment of 20% of the loan amount, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).

    6. Is there a prepayment penalty on this loan?
    Prepayment penalties may be added to lower the loan's interest rate. There are many types of prepayment penalties that can be added to a loan. Make sure that if your loan has a prepayment penalty, you are aware of the terms and conditions.

    7. What documents will I need to have?
    This will depend on the type of loan you choose.  A "Full-Doc" loan will require full documentation of income, assets, debt payments, etc...  A "No-Doc" loan, on the other hand, does not require any documentation. "No-Doc" loans are only open to those with excellent credit and often require a larger down payment.  They can also carry higher interest rates.

    8. What qualifying guidelines are included with this loan?
    These requirements relate to your income, employment, assets, liabilities and credit history. First-time home buyer programs, VA loans and other government-sponsored mortgage programs typically offer easier qualifying guidelines than conventional loans.

    9. How long does it take to process a loan?
    It can take as little as two weeks, to as long as 60 days or more. Be sure to have the lender give you the most accurate timetable possible so you can determine how far out you need to lock your interest rate.

    10. What might delay approval of my loan?
    If you provide complete and accurate information to the lender, the process usually runs smoothly. Be sure to tell your lender immediately of any changes to your income or any new debt or marital status while your loan is processing. There could be delays if the underwriter discovers any undisclosed credit problems so be sure to be as accurate as you


    Why do I offer this valuble information?  I am offering this information because I want to be your mortgage advisor.  I offer more than simply a loan:  I'll personally advise you on how to use and apply the principles contained in this blog. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me.  I want to earn your business.

    Take Care

    Nicholas Napoletano

  • Realtor Marketing on a Shoestring Budget!!! Part 2

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Red Bank  |  December 12, 2008 2:35 PM  |  1,837 views  |  No comments
    Sphere of Influence

    Everyone that you know has to know what you do. Anytime they hear the words real estate, you want them to think of you. But don't count on them to remember, you have to drill it in their heads.

     First, make a list of everyone you know. Friends, family, previous co-workers, previous customers, neighbors, church members, club or committee members, people who you buy things from, etc.

     Second, send them each a letter saying that you are now a real estate agent and 10 cards for them to pass out.

     Third, call each of them 3-5 days after sending the letter to make sure they read the letter and ask them if they know anyone who needs your help.

     If we figure conservatively, every person knows at least 100 people. If each of your 100 people know 100 more people that's 10,000 people that you can reach.

     Your 100 contacts need to hear from you at least once a month. Either by phone, fax, email, or letter. Your name needs to keep hitting them again and again. If you call once a month, that is the most effective and cheapest. And as you meet new people and have more clients, they need to go into your database as well.

     Out of 100 people, at least 10 will move every year. That is 10 potential clients a year. These 100 people will each know 10 people that move in a year. That's 1000 potential clients for you every year. But only if you keep in touch with your 100 and continue to ask for referrals.

     The top performing realtors and real estate agents get that way by mining their databases. They get to the point where people come asking for them and wanting to work with them because so and so said they should. That's the best kind of marketing you get.

     Advanced stuff: Who do you know that already has a database of people and will recommend you to them? Is any one of your 100 a salesman, small business owner, attorney, accountant, doctor, dentist, etc? These people already have a client list established. Get them to recommend you to their list and watch the referrals grow exponentially.

     More advance stuff: If you work at a large company, see if you can go through the old files and call cold clients. This works especially well if the broker who did the transaction is no longer with the company.

     Bird dogs

     A birddog is basically a person who brings you a lead in exchange for something. Now let me stress that you must know your state's laws regarding giving gifts and payments. (Refer to my blog about RESPA) But if you get creative, you should be able to come up with some way to reward people for referring people to you. Joe Girard author of How to Sell Anything to Anybody was a Chevrolet salesman for many years. He would give each customer a birddog kit with 25 business cards and the promise that he would pay them $25 for every person they sent him who bought a car. It worked wonders for him, and he is now listed as the Greatest Car Salesman by the Guinness Book of World Records.

     Your sphere of influence and all your contacts should know what you will give them if they send you a referral. You can even put it on your business cards. But don't do anything illegal. There is a way to do it legally in every state, you just have to find it.

     You probably cannot pay money, but many Realtors give out movie passes or gift certificates for restaurants. If you do the same people need to know that you do this in order for them to go out of their way to recommend you.

     Cold Calling

     If you have no money at all and plenty of time, pickup the phone and start calling people. Use the cross-reference directory in your office or library to choose a neighborhood and call every house. Yes, it's tedious and a lot of people will hang up on you. But this is the quickest way to drum up business.

     In the real estate training systems, they tell you to cold call for 3 hours every day. You keep calling until your 3 hours are up or until you get an appointment with a potential customer. These 3 hours will be the most productive of your day.

    Good Selling

    NN

  • Realtor Marketing on a Shoestring Budget - Part 1

    Posted Under: Agent2Agent in Red Bank  |  December 4, 2008 6:59 AM  |  2,358 views  |  5 comments

    HOW DO YOU STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD!!!

    It doesn't matter if you are a new agent or a twenty-year pro. If you don't market yourself you will go broke. And if you market yourself in the wrong way you won't get any results and you'll still go broke. A company goes bankrupt when it stops advertising, and so will you.

    My point is, that in order to be successful as a real estate agent you need to get your name out. People need to know who you are, what you do, and what they will get out of doing business with you.

    In this report I assume you have very little money for marketing. Some of the techniques I will tell you about cost no money. Some cost a little, but all are cheap. And all of them have worked in the past, are working for people across the country, and will continue to work for years to come.

    When we talk about marketing, we are talking about finding people who are interested in buying or selling a house. We call these people leads. Every lead is a potential client. But as you probably know, the majority of leads do not turn into clients. That is why it is important to have as many leads coming in as possible.  It's a numbers game. Even if you are the most incompetent agent in history, you will still do business if enough people come and ask you for your help. And since you are not the most incompetent agent, the more leads the more money you will make.

     Once a lead comes in, you have to qualify it to determine the quality of it and whether to pursue it or drop it. In this report we will focus on getting as many leads as possible.

     The USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

    What makes you different? Why should people do business with you? What is in it for them? The answer is your Unique Selling Proposition. Subway Subs advertises itself as a healthy alternative to fast food with fresh bread. Quizno's Subs advertises as having toasted bread. These two companies are trying to stand out from the crowd of all the other fast food and sandwich shops around.

    How do you differentiate yourself?

    It can't be price - everyone says they have the lowest rates.

    It can't be service - everyone says they have the best and fastest service

    Are you an expert in a niche, maybe first time home buyers, or investment properties?

    Do you provide a moving service for your buyers?

    Do you let the clients lower the commission if you can't sell their house in 3 months?

    Do you provide credit counseling?

    You need to develop your USP and have it on all your marketing pieces. People should know why they should do business with you. If they see something in you that will benefit them they will come to you automatically.

     The Business Card

    The business card is the cornerstone of cheap marketing. If done well, your business card might be all the marketing you need. First, lets examine a typical business card. The card will be white with black ink, generally have the name of the company, the name of the person, address, phone, fax, and email. Maybe a logo or a picture.

    This is not an effective use of a business card. When someone sees your card, we want him or her to instantly know what you do and who you are. You also want them to have a reason for keeping your card, and we want your card to stand out.

    Depending on the company you work for, you might have to get permission to design your own cards. If your company prints the cards for you, they will be sure to put their name in the most memorable spot. We want people to remember you, not the company.

     The elements of a great, no-way anyone will ever forget you card are:

    Printing on both sides

    Your USP as the main element on the front

    Two or three color inks

    Background that is a bright attractive color - not white

    Reason for people to keep your card. Example- "show this card at your listing appointment and get a free gift at closing"

    A picture or caricature of you

    Your name in large letters, it should stand out more than the company name or logo

    A friend of mine is a property investor and his card is unforgettable. The front is glossy, bright yellow. Across the top in big, bright, red letters is says "We Buy Houses". It has his name and contact info along with what types of property he buys. When you look on the back, the first thing you read is "This card is worth $1000." The $1000 is in big, bright green. Then it goes on to say that if you refer him to someone whom he buys a house from, he will pay you $1000.

    Distribution

    Now that you have your cards, (even if you weren't brave enough to get bright yellow ones), let's start using them. They might look pretty, but they will not do any good sitting in the box. You have to get them out and give them away.

     Another friend of mine has a great technique to give out cards. He and everyone that works for him, get 20 cards per day. It is their job to give away all 20 cards by the next day. 4 people in his office giving away 20 cards, times 5 days a week, equals 400 cards a week. Out of those 400 contacts, how many people do you think will ask about real estate? Maybe 10. Out of those 10, if he can convert 1 that's $4000 a week. Or $10 per card. If I paid you $10 for every card you gave away how many would you?

    20 cards a day is not as bad as it sounds, if you're doing the things you need to be. If your office is in a shopping center, stand outside and give a card to everyone who walks by. When you go to the supermarket, give a card to everyone shopping. Give cards to everyone you come in contact with. Put them in all your outgoing mail. Just get them out.

    When you give someone a card, you are making a personal contact. Use this opportunity to make a good impression. You could be doing this by making a short statement. "Hi my name is _____, our company has the perfect home for your family, and if you are ever in the need of a new home, please call me."

    If they respond positively, you could continue by asking an open ended question like "When do you think you might consider moving to a better school zone?" or "Who do you know that could use my services right now?" Use a question that does not lead to a yes or no response.

    We've gone over some ways to jump-start your business very cheaply and quickly. The purpose of this report was to get your mind flowing with ideas on how you can generate leads in a hurry. Take these techniques, use them, improve them, and succeed with them. They have worked, are working, and will continue to work.

    Good Luck and Good Selling!

    NN

  • Fed Has More Ammunition After Firing Rate-Cut Bullets.

    Posted Under: General Area  |  November 24, 2008 9:44 AM  |  1,660 views  |  1 comment

    While there are limits to how low short-term interest rates can go, the Fed has shown recently that there are few constraints on how large its own balance sheet can become. Since late August, the value of assets held by the Fed has grown to more than $2 trillion from a little less than $900 billion. The Fed has essentially created cash and used it to fund a multitude of new lending facilities, including a program to buy private commercial paper, one to rescue loans for American International Group and one that pumps dollars into financial institutions overseas through other central banks. This activity is sometimes called quantitative easing. Rather than focus on the cost of money in the financial system -- which is the interest rate -- policy makers focus on the quantity of money in the system. Now, the Fed and Treasury are considering a program in which they would team Fed loans with funds from the Treasury's $700 billion financial-rescue program to acquire securities from troubled financial institutions. In addition to targeting already-low short-term interest rates, the Fed could try to lower long-term ones, which could bring down costs on everything from 30-year mortgages to car loans to medium-term corporate bonds. "It is longer maturity rates that matter for economic activity," said Vincent Reinhart, another former Fed staffer who co-authored work on the subject with Mr. Bernanke. The Fed could achieve this by purchasing long-maturity debt, including Treasury bonds or debt issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Fed could seek to influence longer-term interest rates by committing to keep short-term rates low for a long time. That could force investors to price in lower rates for longer-term securities, too. The Fed took such a step in 2003 when it committed to keep the federal-funds rate low for a "considerable period."
  • How to Mop Up Foreclosure Flood

    Posted Under: Foreclosure  |  November 17, 2008 5:44 PM  |  1,689 views  |  2 comments
    I thought this was a very interesting article on Bloomburg.com about foreclosures and how Washington plans to make it easier to modify delinquent mortgages. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aiKFOhBcR_Z8&refer=home

     

 
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