This past week, my Re/Max broker gave me an award congratulating me for having the 9th most sales in the region. In order to achieve this, I had to sell over a million dollars in real estate in each of the last two months. And I can tell you… you have to sell a lot of condos at $30,000 to sell over a million dollars in real estate. This got me thinking a little bit about what am I doing right. I asked myself, “What am I doing that has afforded me the ability to sell so much real estate in what some call the worst housing market in our nation’s history? What do I perhaps do differently than the average Realtor, that enables me to do a lot more business?
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Thinking Like An Investor
The first thing I do, is that I think like an investor, not like a Realtor. I understand what the investor wants and I find it for him. Savvy investors in today’s market want good, new houses or condos at the lowest price possible, with the highest cash flow, and the greatest appreciation potential. More than ever, investors know what they want and they are able to make a good, fast decision about buying it provided you get them the necessary information in an expeditious manor. In today’s market you have to be ready to pull the trigger immediately if you see a good investment property. The key is to train both your investor clients and your owner occupants to be as aggressive as you need them to be in order to get the deal under contract and closed.
To insure that this is possible, I qualify all of my prospects on the first contact. If they do not have the money or the credit readily available to close a deal, I refer them to someone else. I only deal with qualified investors ready to buy property now.
I also work seven days a week. Not by choice, but because of demand. The market is hot now. Most of my investors come in to Las Vegas from out of town for weekend visits. So, I spend my weekends viewing properties with my buyers and I spend the weekdays emailing, on the phone, and marketing. During the weekend hours that I am not with clients, I am writing articles, blogs, and marketing pieces so that I can market effectively during the week.
I use Google alerts to have relevant information sent directly to my desktop, and then I read everything I can on the Las Vegas real estate market. I search for all the information I can find regarding foreclosures, the President’s stimulus package, loan modifications, Home Owners Association (HOA) information, auctions, and on and on. Basically, anything relating to Real Estate is something I tune into. Last night I watched Susie Orman as I worked at my home office and tonight it might be Flip This House. You never know where you will find a nugget of information that you can use to help improve your business.
I follow up with my education by processing all of this data and turning it into outlines. I then present these outlines to my Virtual Assistant and she uses them to generate marketing materials that I use for my follow up. By continually providing her with new information, she is able to generate catchy, colorful, timely marketing materials that catch the eyes and the interests of my investors.
Communication with Clear Goals
I make and receive lots of phone calls and generally talk with all my leads directly if they have provided me with a phone number. By speaking to them directly they can see that I am not only knowledgeable about the local market but enthusiastic, efficient, and interested in achieving positive results for them in their investing. I am able to speak with my potential clients as a fellow investor. They appreciate this and appreciate that I provide them with pro-formas and information regarding the investment that a typical Realtor would not provide. In essence I am speaking the same language as the investor.
When I talk to folks my goal is to get them to personally visit me here in Las Vegas. I have found that very few investors are willing to buy without a visit, so my goal of getting them here enhances the chances that I will get a sale. It gives them a chance to see the great values that are available right now in the Las Vegas valley and enables me to build more rapport and credibility with them regarding my understanding of their needs and the local market conditions.
Even when investors are ready and willing to buy, not all visits result in a sale initially. This is due to the fact that there is currently a very limited inventory on hand in our market. June and July of 2009 saw record sales of near 4,700 homes and condos. Simultaneously, only 3,300 new foreclosures were taken back by the banks. Inventory of bank owned/foreclosure/REOs today are at only about a two week supply. This has resulted in bidding situations on the best properties because demand is exceeding supply.
So to enhance the chances that I will be successful in getting my offers accepted, I have to be extremely efficient at getting offers turned in as soon as homes hit the MLS. In some cases, within an hour of listing I am able to come in with an offer to purchase. Much of my work only begins when the investor leaves town. Now that we have met, I know them, they know me, I know what they like, and they have confidence in my abilities as I begin to continually search out the kind of investment they are looking for until we get an offer accepted.
As the market changes so do I. I need to continue to be chameleon-like as conditions in today’s real estate world change very quickly. As inventory continues to decrease, I find that I need to be more creative in looking for homes and condos that fit my investors’ criteria. No system that you use will work forever. You need to adapt and change as needed to continue to be at the forefront of your game.
Till next time;
My name is Glenn Plantone
Photo Credit: tequilamike