I just may have a ray of hope. Do you sell properties where the seller carries back some or all the financing? or do you have any cients who would have preferred to have gotten their cash up front as oppose to over time. if you said yes to either one of these questions, I can help in these situations. What I and my husband do is help people get cash now for future payments. If you have any clients that fit this description, please forward my name and email. I look forward to hearing your response.
Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson
Note Brokers/Chicago IL
My other idea would be to sign up with BPO companies, if you are qualifed. This keeps you very in touch with your market values. When you are constantly preparing opinions of value for lenders you keep your pulse on the market. This has also given me the opportunity to see many of the foreclosed homes before they make it to the market and allows me an edge! When it becomes available I can tell my clients all about it because I have been inside already and can offer opinions on the condition, value, location, etc. If you would like some ideas of what BPO companies to sign up with email me and I'm happy to help.
I also agree with the social networking sites and blogging...these are not trends and you need to be doing them now! To me real estate is about consistenly doing the right things. I actually blogged about this topic and you can go to http://sonyaann.featuredblog.com/?p=30 to read it if you'd like.
It's obvious you like what you do and want to succeed or you wouldn't be asking us for advice. I wish you the best of success!
Most agents are still directing a ton of resources towards the old standards of real estate advertising like newspapers and buyers guides. Save those dollars and put them towards a website that offers more information that is helpful to the buying process.
The other huge key we've found is to use communicate with buyers through the internet just as you would in a face to face conversation. So often agents will simply answer a request for information by sending along just the information requested with a note to call them if they have other questions. Phrase the e-mail as if you were talking to them direclty. Ask questions as if you're having a conversation or suggest an alternative property that may be in similar whether it is your listing or not. They key is to use the internet to build a client relationship, not just to answer a question. If you're the firs agent out of the 10 or 15 they've contacted to offer some actual sage advice they cannont get online, they may choose to be loyal to you as a buyer's agent.
By reducing your advertising costs in print and focusing on the most used venue for buyers, the internet, you should be able to be more profitable even at the sames sales totals.
Continue blogging and answer the questions the buyers and the sellers ask. As an expert in your community they will find you and request your assistance to find a home or to sale one.
Also, I suggest giving your card out to everyone and ask for the business. If you talk to enough people sooner or later somebody will know of someone. I always wear my name tag, you should too.
Don't forget to call your sphere of influence. You already have a rapport with them. More than anything know your market.
I hope this helps you.
Novi / Northville Market Center
Keller Williams Realty
also I would get a list of non owner occupied homes from your title rep....specifically for your Specialty Area
and knock on their door if appropiate. and this is the biggest one every two weeks hold home buyers seminars....Either for first time homebuyers or investors. Because these are the people buying homes right now...We are holding Seminars on How To Buy Bank Owned Properties with great success.
most of the attendees are investors. use any an all methods of advertising within your budget..Craigslist...
you are already on Trulia and I hope you are on Linkedin.com, Facebook.com, Meetup.com and Yelp.com
these are free....For me I keep it simple: I do it on the phone, face to face, belly to belly and rocking on the porch on rocking chair....Try any of this for 18 months and if after 18 months doesn't work...come back to me and I will tell you what you are doing wrong............Winners never quit...quitters never Win.
Check into Homegain - I have been very successful using this service. Do some scatter ads on foreclosures to get the phone ringing. Hand out your business card where ever you go. (you may have to get a little obnoxious about it.) Everybody is talking about real estate right now and do want to talk to Realtors to get the "real" story on the market - become the expert. The big question is what are you doing now to try and find business? Write down what you are doing and make an appointment with your broker to go over your marketing plan. I'll bet there's more than one agent in your office that may be willing to help you get things back on track. Find non-profit agencies (Community Housing Development Organizations) that teach homebuyer classes and try and get invited to teach a contract or finance segment. Classes are usually on Saturdays and are a really good source for buyers. Or even better hold your own classes. We used to go and put flyers on windshields so they could see them when they got out of class. Get some listings - there are plenty of FSBO's that are ready to list with a Realtor. BTY some of these sellers are also local buyers or out of state referrals. Check out http://www.owners.com and look for the profiles that agree to work with a Realtor and send them some marketing material. I personally go and preview their home in case my buyers see the FSBO sign and want to know about it. Get out and do real estate stuff. I see a lot of agents that get stuck in the office because they don't know where to start.
The old adage, "If you have the listings, the buyers will come" is still true in this market. What is your MLS showing as the most popular price range in sales? Every agent should have 10-15 listings in inventory which they are advertising (and they don't have to be your listings). Ask some agents in your office if you can advertise their listings in the price range you have researched as most popular. Then, advertise the heck out of them online. The buyers will come!