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Real Estate: As Seen By Sylvia

By Sylvia Wesolowski | Agent in Los Angeles, CA
  • "Rule No.1: Never lose money. Rule No.2: Never forget rule No.1."~ Warren Buffett

    Who is Warren Buffett?

         According to Wikipedia Mr. Buffett  "is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century. Often introduced as "legendary investor, Warren Buffett",he is the primary shareholder, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.  He is consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world's wealthiest person in 2008 and is the third wealthiest person in the world as of 2011. In 2012, American magazine Time named Buffett one of the most influential people in the world."

    So now I am sure you are asking yourselves, why Warren Buffett? And what does this have to do with market conditions?

    Yesterday I attended a Career Compass Seminar teaching how to become an agent in the top 10%.  We touched on many different topics and I am sure a lot of you are familiar with Career Compass.  We got to this section where we discussed "How to overcome a Reluctant Buyer"  In this current market I think we can all relate to the "reluctant buyer", the "scared buyer" and unfortunelty "the unfaithful buyer" (which really when you think about it, is just a scared buyer with commitment issues).  But really as an agent you should be firm in your ideal that there is NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF!.....take it in.......breathe......repeat it to yourself a few times.......got it? GREAT!  Now, how do we convince our buyers that this is the best time to
    buy, buy, BUY!

    So you've gone through the motions.  You've searched the MLS to find them homes.  Granted not the highest amount of available inventory right now but let's say you've looked and you have found them THE ONE.  That's you're leverage.  And even though the house is perfect and there's absolutely not one thing about it they do not like, THEY STILL WON'T COMMIT!  Frustrating, because here you are using your valuable time and left feeling it was wasted, but it's not, because here's your chance to present them with the facts!
        When asked once, how to get rich, Warren Buffett replied, "

    We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful."

    Exhibit A: 

    When looking at the chart above, You'll notice that 90% of the market drop happened within a one to two year period! That is an intense decline in a short period of time.  Now interestingly enough, the peak where home prices were the highest lasted less than a year, it's somewhere around 6-8 months.  Now if you look at the graph for "to present" true, it's not the best prices we've seen but its evident they arn't going down any, and its also evident they've been stable for two years.  So at the front of the graph, you have this really steep incline leading to the peak, the pop, the drop to today.  Now ask yourself, if you were Warren Buffett when would you say the mass of the population was greedy? If you were Warren Buffett would you have bought a home between Jan 2007- Jul 2007, or today, when everyone else is fearful and pinching their pennys?

    It's not to say you would've denied your clients a home then, it'd be ridiculous to tell people not to buy a house then because you had a strange feeling in your stomach. Warren Buffett did also say once "

    In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield." So yes, yes learn your lesson, b

    ut right now the only people willing to buy and commit are investors, why? Because they see that buying now when the market if stable, prices arn't going anywhere any time soon and reductions arn't in the very near future is GOOD.  

    So, you want your buyers to start buying, explain to them just that.  The Facts:  The market isn't going anywhere, and if it is it's definitely going up, not down! Stop futzing around waiting for a price reduction that may or may not happen.  Approx 90% of price drops are over (for homes priced correctly) and most additional price adjustments are within 7%.  Realize that one thing that is happening, FOR SURE, is interest rates ARE on the rise.  
    If you have to use Warren Buffett!

    Client fear is the number one reason for non purchase right now, So I hope somewhere in this you found ammunition to help put your client's minds at ease.  Best of luck on your next appointment! 

    Some text and % recieved and wuoted from Career Compass Training class
    Housing prices original Graph found on:

    Warren Buffett Quotes found on:
  • Verbal Tip

    Posted Under: General Area in Los Angeles, Agent2Agent in Los Angeles  |  June 9, 2011 12:30 PM  |  441 views  |  No comments

    "The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen" ~ Lee Iacocca

    This was a quote that my boss gave to me once.  I think they are great words to live by and I just needed the refresher, so I thought I'd share.  Being new to the industry all of this seems extremely overwhelming and lately I've just been trying to do everything and just make it happen.  What I havn't been doing is setting realistic goals for myself to make advances.  I've just been blogging blogging, passing out bussiness cards, setting up my website, looking into different marketing techniques, branding myself ALL AT ONCE!  All of my efforts are headed in the right direction, and have the right motivation behind them, but I don't exactly know where all of my efforts are driving me too.  If you have no set end point theres a good chance you'll still make it to your invisioned goals, just not as effectively as you would if you had a distinct end point to shoot for. 

    I like writing short term (weekley or monthly) goals, as well as long term goals.  And lately I havn't been doing either.  I have a kind of "vision" of what I want, or hope my business to be but it's a little foggy

    I havn't made clear, concise goals that I can aim for so the decisions I have been making along way have been all over the place. It's not that they arn't productive, it's a matter of, what are they producing for? The way I see it it's never to soon to make a change!


    My first goal is: Start writing down my goals, both short term and long term, in regards to both myself and my business.


    Posted Under: Tech Tips in Los Angeles, Agent2Agent in Los Angeles, How To... in Los Angeles  |  June 8, 2011 5:20 PM  |  632 views  |  No comments
    Everybody has a website (or should).  And a lot of the time we hire outside companies to build those website's for us.  Which is great, I mean let's get real I'm a realtor, not a web designer.  And some are lucky enough to have a brokerage that will provide a free website.  That's all well and good.  But people, let's talk about these domain names.

    Now, typically if you're hiring a company to do a website for you, and I'm not talking about a "super custom website 5000" but like an Agent Image/Top producer site, or Keller Williams (Remax, CB, etc) profile/company provided site, then they will most likely be providing you with the hosting.  So your website ends up being something along the lines of "yourfirstandlastname.companyname.com".  For instance, my website used to be sylviawesolowski.wwmediaagent.com.  (That's a whole lot of domain name) For some who have simple names like a Jane Doe, having ".wwmediaagent" or ".yourwkagent" or ".remax" wouldn't seem to be too big of a deal.  But the average consumer isn't always going remember the "extras", they could mispell it, or not even type it in at all and end up somewhere else. In short if it's too complicated, usually people will give up and/or move on.

    Buying your own domain name is really inexpensive and super easy.  But I am going to go through a step by step tutorial while I get my own!

    Full Step by Step Tutorial  <click here

    If you don't want a full tutorial then there are a few pertinent things you should know! 
      1. Make sure when your shopping around for domain name companies to read everything, you don't want to get locked into any kind of long commitment where you end up paying way more over time
      2. Have mutiple options for possible domain names
      3. If its available, GET THE ".COM"
      4. Try using dashes to sperate words so you can get the ".COM"

      After you get you're new domain name check back in a few days and I'll have a step by step tutorial on how to link you new domain name to your website!

    • *Ring Ring* "Hello?"

      Posted Under: General Area in Los Angeles, Tech Tips in Los Angeles, Agent2Agent in Los Angeles  |  June 3, 2011 4:17 PM  |  683 views  |  5 comments

      We live in a world now where people want instant answers. With all the advances made in technology people have gotten used to get answers right away.  If you want to know "why
      a hamburger is call a 'ham'burger" you just have to get out your smart phone, open up your google search app and look it up.  So who in the world would 

      Check This out
      A study conducted by Sprint found that
      91 percent of people under the age of 30 respond to text messages within an hour and are four times more likely to respond to texts than to voice messages within minutes. Adults 30 and older are twice as likely to respond within minutes to a text message than to a voice message.

      Now as realtors we are constantly checking our voicemails, but think about it: If that many people don't even check their voicemail's why would they in turn leave them.  And how many times...  [read more]

    • "Murphy's Laws for Real Estate"

      Posted Under: Moving in Los Angeles, Rentals in Los Angeles  |  June 2, 2011 3:16 PM  |  611 views  |  2 comments
      I personally don't have any rentals, but growing up my father always did.  He would always be complaining about his tenants and how the "plumbing was broken again on the inglewood house" and how he couldn't understand why people thought it was a good idea to flush insert misc. item here down the toilet. One time we even had a tenant that would drive their motorcycle through our house in Redondo.  

      Now none of the following things are quiet as dramatic,but now as a renter myself, I have to admit I've been guilty of a few of the following.  Found this online, thought it was rather silly so thought I'd share.  Feel free to pass it along!

         "Murphy's Laws for Real Estate"
      Your best tenant will get a job transfer during the worst rental market of the decade.

      2. When a tenant attempts to fix the leaky faucet himself, expect to not only replace the faucet but the entire plumbing system too.
       3. When a tenant's furnace breaks down in winter, or the air conditioning in summer, it's always the most expensive part that will need to be replaced.

      When the tenant from across town needs something to be repaired quickly, the hardware store will close five minutes before you get there.
       5. A tenant's uncanny ability to see dirt and damage will be much greater when they move in than when they move out.
      6. The working components of a rental home (heating,cooling,electrical, plumbing, dishwasher, garbage disposal, doorbell and refrigerator) will break down 90% faster on the rental than the working components of your own home.
      7.When a tenant calls and says "Hi, how's it going?" you know that something is drastically wrong.

      8. When a tenant claims to "love gardening" it means that they are fond of gardens found in books, movies and maybe the Sahara desert but not your particular rental property.

      9. Proper disposal of two quarts of bacon grease for a tenant is always down the kitchen sink.

      Found this on 
    • Google Ad's vs. Organic placement

      Posted Under: General Area in Los Angeles, Tech Tips in Los Angeles, Agent2Agent in Los Angeles  |  June 1, 2011 5:36 PM  |  638 views  |  2 comments

      Some people think that once you get your website, your done!  You spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars getting your site built and then you don't do anything with it.  But having a fancy shmancy website isn't all their is to it when it comes to online advertising.  So what do you do to get that brand new site on the road?

      There is always much debate on whether it is more efficient to run an ad campaign through google or work on your organic placement.  I am sure we've all heard and some of us have even said things along the lines of:  
            "Who clicks on the sponsered links anyways?" 

          "I always ignore the ones that I know people are paying for". 

      So I am here to offer up some pros and cons on the subject.  But before we even get into the debate over organic vs ads,   I believe the more pertinent question to be asked is: Why Google?

      Everyone knows google,  it's a household name and over the years it's become a verb (i.e. just "google" me).  Sure, there are other search engines out there. Everything from big names, that seem to be on the rise (*cough cough* Bing), to very small engines such as dogpile.com. Even big names that have been around for a while like yahoo and msn play in the background of google as secondary, third and fourth player. 

      Food for Thought:
      (Credit: ComScore)

      (Credit: ComScore) 

      The biggest controversy in google advertising being whether or not you post yourself on the first page organically; via metatags, blogging and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or you run an ad campaign. A lot of times people may think that running an ad campaign is less effective. The arguement being that not many people click on the sponsered links. While this may seem logical and true let's look at a few things...

      Did you know that 83% of all people doing a search never leave the first page?

      This means that obviously the first page of google is where you want to be. Now google is constantly changing and updating their algorythms and the means in which they determine relevance. So let's talk about SEO, or organic placement. Because of the ever changing nature of google you have to be in the know and practically a web specialist to figure out how to get yourself on that first page. Not to mention the amount of time it takes for your site to actually appear and move up through the google ranks. It could take up to six months after having your site worked on and optimized for it to actually appear on the first page. Countless hours and dollars willl go by before you even start to see yourself on the second page or fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, tenth....you get the point. 

      Let us not forget all of our competition that is also fighting, spending dollars and countless hours blogging and downloading wordpress plugins onto their own sites to get themselves up there as well. And in the real estate game, you're not only competeing with other agents to get onto google, but huge companies, like trulia, realtor.com, homes.com, zillow, etc. These companies have the resources it takes to get and keep themselves up there. And the computer geniuses it takes to keep their site updated.  But you or I don't exactly have the means to make that happen on our own.  You could hire an outside company to do it for you. You could spend thousands of dollars, on top of what you already spent building your site, having your website worked on to get the right metatags and updates made to have your site appear organically. And even then, there is no gauruntee that you will stay on that first page. All it would take is for google to make a change in their algorythms and then your site would become obsolete and irrelevent to that search.

      So what else is there? Running your own ad campaign is a good alternative. Some may argue, though, that being in the sponsered links is not the best place to be. But as far as exposure goes...isn't it? When you do a search on google, the sponsered results are usually the most relevant to your search, and often they are the most credible.   

      Try this:

      Go onto to google and do a search for "business cards for realtors".  Take a look at the options, which of the companies offer the best deals? Seem the most legitimate?  More often than not, it's the companies found within the sponsered links.

      Of course this is a matter of opinion but these ads also provide a positive phsycological effect. As a consumer, you trust those companies to be legitimate, and popular. Typically when you do a real estate related search on google what you find in the sponsered results are major corps. For example: Coldwell Banker Corprate, Remax, Agent Machine. Not only are they right in front of your face (and let's face it, the average consumer today is kind of lazy) but it says something.  It says that, these companies not only can afford to but have the wherewithal to put themselves there in the paid ad's section. Now, imagine you as an individual, running along side these big companies.

      Now putting yoursef in the "pay per click" section can get costly. Some times, depending on how competetive a certain "search phrase" is you could pay up to $12 dollars per click! And even then there is no gauruntee that you will remain on the first page 24/7. And it doesn't really do you any good to pop on and off the page because there is no telling when "peak" search hours are. That and you never know when that one buyer or seller, who is ready to talk to an agent, is looking at that page. And you don't want to not be on there. But who really wants spend hundreds of dollars on clicks when realistically not every click will result in even an email.  Sometimes people just click your link and don't even really look over your site. But there is no way to control that. There are however, ways to help with cost while still getting the right exposure.

      For one, try running a campaign on a phrase that's not so popular.  The less competition you have in the bidding war, the better chance you have at paying less per click. Even though you may want to get up on the number one search phrase available it's not going to be very conducive to your business when you consider the cost you'll end up paying per click to stay up on the first page.  But like organic placement, if you are doing it yourself, first page palcement is kind of like a babysitting job and if you want the best results it's going to take time and of course money.

      Consider This

      Hire a company that specializes in running "adwords campaigns".  Most of the time they can get you better rates because they they funnel so much business through google that they pay less per click which means they can charge you less, which means, YOU SAVE MONEY! And definitely do make sure they are an accredited company, even if they are out of state.  Sometimes it feels good to work with an individual, someone who's local, but you are not going to get the same benefits you would working with a larger company.  It's kind of like buying in bulk.  Restaurants will always get a better deal on buying food in bulk than you or I would, even if we shopped at costco.  Same concept.

      Check Them Out   

      Look around online for some companies that specialize in google ad placement.  A few accredited companies I know of are Worldwide Media Group and Netbiz.  I would recommend the first because they specialize soley in the real estate industry.  They are specialists in not only google advertising, but in real estate agent advertising.  Check out their website www.wwmediaonline.com and get an idea for yourself on their process.  If you are just getting started they also offer free real estate websites to their clients.  So it's a good place to get a two for one kind of a deal. Just be sure that if you are going to go through a company, they have the above shown "certified partner" stamp from google.  That's a good indication of a company who really knows what they're doing.

      Happy placement hunting!  

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