Blog

Sales

Why I Never Haggle on Commission Structure

Agents work incredibly hard to make it in the ever-changing world of real estate.  We keep up to date on the latest market trends.  We buy ourselves expensive courses and seminars to learn from top industry experts, and we even sacrifice our children’s weekend sporting events and barbecues with the family to show houses.

It seems like there is always something left on our growing to-do lists.  And maybe this is just the way that real estate is supposed to be.  However, I really believe that most people have no idea how many hours we work, or what kind of stress goes into working on deals that are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more!

The industry is currently undergoing some changes, and I think some of the new systems in place may make agents even more valuable.  However, I think everyone has put up with clients who don’t really get what an agent does.  I mean, I’m sure we’ve all felt like our work wasn’t appreciated from time to time.  And on the other hand, sometimes clients are beaming with appreciation for our help and expertise.

The bottom line is that we are constantly on the clock, trying to make deals go through, guiding clients through key decisions, and helping our clients to get exactly what they are looking for in their real estate sale or purchase.

That’s why I absolutely never haggle on commission–it just isn’t worth it!

Clients are value focused, but also budget-minded.

Some clients will want or even demand that in order to get their listing you must reduce your commission.

My answer is always Continue reading “Why I Never Haggle on Commission Structure”

Online Marketing

How to Outsmart Zillow, Redfin, and Other Online Real Estate Marketplaces

“Real estate agents are next.”

So read the headline of a 2006 blog post by Jeff Jarvis, a University of New York professor who examines the effects of the Internet on society.

Jarvis was referring to his prediction that Realtors were the next in line for a significant change, essentially phasing out most human involvement in the real estate process, in the same way that travel agents have been affected by the advent of the Expedias of the internet world.

In the early to mid-2000’s, real estate tech startups such as Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com sprung forth and changed the world of real estate forever.

Today, these online marketplaces have altered the role of Realtors from what they once were. No longer are Realtors the gatekeepers. Now, anyone can jump on their smartphone and view dozens, if not hundreds, of listings in their local area within a matter of seconds.

There’s no doubt that online marketplaces like Zillow and Redfin have had a significant effect on real estate, and as these portals unveil new technology and features, Realtors will have to adapt, but they’re not going anywhere and they’re certainly no less important now as compared to before.

In fact, if you play your cards right and adapt to these changes, you can use them to your advantage. You just need to get creative and take a different approach. Continue reading “How to Outsmart Zillow, Redfin, and Other Online Real Estate Marketplaces”

Career Advice

Are Online Real Estate Estimates Correct?

As technology becomes more advanced, the rules of real estate continue to change.  I remember back in the day when Google Earth first became a thing.  Agents were freaking out because they could look up properties and see them from the sky. It was the coolest thing and made us all feel like we were undercover spies, like James Bond.

Today, we have other innovations that have propelled us into new territories.  With the advent of new technology comes new ways that agents have to adapt, or improve.

One of these key pieces of technology is the online estimate.

Made popular by sites such as Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia, online estimates seek to provide the real estate client on what their home is worth.  The convenience is undeniable, but the same can’t be said about the accuracy.

These sites became popular for homeowners who are just beginning their real estate search.  Someone gets an idea to sell their house, and they just want to “check the market.”  After the 2008 market collapse, it’s not uncommon for people to want to know how the market is doing.  However, it’s not uncommon for these estimates to be wildly off.  Sometimes, even bordering on six-figures under asking price!

Everyone is looking for convenience in the smartphone age, but does that come at the expense of qualified real estate professionals?

The answer is Continue reading “Are Online Real Estate Estimates Correct?”

Career Advice

The One Skill That Can Earn You $50,000+ Commissions

Every agent wants to learn how to be more productive.  You may go to a seminar on how to grow your geographic farm, or how to get more quality leads and referrals in half the time.  Maybe you’ve even spent several thousand dollars on a weekend event that promised to help you 10x your business this year.

All of these activities are great, and I am a huge advocate for taking your real estate skills and education up to the next level.

However, I’m not a fan of doing more work for more small commissions.

I’m a much bigger fan of doing the same amount of work for more large commissions–think $50,000+ per sale.

According to the US Census website the average price of a new home in 2017 has shot up to just above $400,000.  That means that each time that you sell a new home you are going to earn between $10,000 and $20,000 in commission (but only if you represent both sides of the deal).

According to Indeed’s marketplace research the average real estate agent makes between $40,000 and 70,000 per year.

The market is ready for you to become the best in your local area.  If you aren’t sure what I mean, just check your Facebook feed.  Every realtor who is qualified to represent buyers and sellers has the same ability as you to showcase their brand and services on social media.

But you can’t win clients by being average.  You have to Continue reading “The One Skill That Can Earn You $50,000+ Commissions”

Online Marketing

How to Write a Luxury NewsLetter to Get More Clients

Realtors who watch the show, who see me on TV, are always asking me how they can break into the luxury market.

There are a lot of ways that this can happen.

First, you need to be able to provide something of value and be well-educated about the luxury market in your area.

I go into a lot more depth in my online course, which is a ten-week Masterclass on how to get your first Million Dollar Listing.

One of the greatest ways that you can leverage your knowledge and persuade luxury clients to work with you is by providing them industry leading information.

Anytime you can help someone and give them something of value, it makes it easier to do what you want to do, by being able to leverage your skills and existing knowledge base.

Creating a Luxury Newsletter is one of my favorite recommendations for people who don’t have a lot of experience, connections, or prior history working in luxury.  By putting out great information, you can essentially turn yourself into an authority who is able to answer questions and give fantastic advice.

This is a great way to accomplish two essential goals.

First, it will Continue reading “How to Write a Luxury NewsLetter to Get More Clients”

Branding, Online Marketing

How to Start Your Own Real Estate Reality Show in 4 Easy Steps

Today I’m probably more well known for being that guy on TV than for any single sale that I’ve had.  However, what I really want to be remembered for is helping other Realtors navigate their way through the complex world of real estate.

There are so many twists and turns during a real estate career that you never really know what to expect, or who to believe.

We all work really hard to try to find the next step to take our careers to the next level.

Mine came for me when I got on the Million Dollar Listing show.  The exposure that Bravo was able to give me catapulted my career, and has inevitably helped me to become a much better agent.

Most people hate being job-shadowed for a day, let alone having millions of people critiquing them.

After almost a decade on air, I know that my career has been largely supported by the buzz I’ve been able to generate from the show.

The leads and sales that we make on MDL are Continue reading “How to Start Your Own Real Estate Reality Show in 4 Easy Steps”

Career Advice

How to Co-List Your First Luxury Property

Breaking into the luxury market is one of those catch-22’s in life.

It’s not as hard as it looks, but in some ways, it is one of the most invigorating challenges you will ever encounter.

One of the toughest things about getting started is that you need connections in the industry in order to sell luxury.  Without connections, you are going to have a hard time drumming up referrals.  However, what separates the realtors who are successful, from those who are not, is that the best and brightest don’t give up.  When most people quit or assume it will be too hard, others get inspired and work hard to grow their networks.

But if you don’t have a luxury sale under your belt, those connections may not be willing to work with you or help you out as much as possible.

This presents the catch-22.  You want to sell a luxury house, but in order to sell one,  you need experience, and getting your first sale is the real challenge.

Enter in the deux ex machina: co-listing.

Co-listing provides a surprisingly effective way to get the experience you need and provide extra value to the client you are working with.  It’s actually a common practice.  However, many times you don’t hear about it in the luxury market.

Finding a co-lister has a variety of benefits, many of which, actually work out in favor for both agents and Continue reading “How to Co-List Your First Luxury Property”

Career Advice, Sales

10 Reasons Why Bankers Make a Great Source for Luxury Leads

I have a lot of unread emails sitting in my inbox.  Many of them are from people who have watched Million Dollar Listing and are looking for ways to get a steady stream of new real estate referrals every month.

I understand how difficult this can be.  Referrals are everything in luxury real estate.

As you climb up the pricing ladder, it can get a lot tougher to find quality referrals, or get introduced to people with true buying power.

Networking becomes more important as you sell higher priced houses, that’s just the name of the game.

Additionally, finding new connections means networking, and the pool of people is smaller for potential leads.  But the good news is, you only need a small piece of the pie in order to earn a full-time income.

One of the biggest things that you can do is to find small pockets of loyal, but consistent referral sources.

You really don’t need more than a handful of referrals per month to have a successful luxury real estate business.

In fact, you probably already have the leads hidden within your contacts–somewhere.  All you have to do is use a strategic plan to get them.

I think one of the easiest ways to do this is to find strategic partners to work with.

As a matter of fact, there is one steady and consistent type of referral source that will never dry up: bankers.

Banks are always working hard to get clients, especially the types of clients who can Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Bankers Make a Great Source for Luxury Leads”

Career Advice

Are you A Real Estate Expert?…Or Just An Agent?

In the digital age, one of the hottest trends is to call yourself an “expert.”  It seems like everyone is an expert at something.  From first time authors who write short e-books, to companies claiming to be wizards at running Facebook ads, everyone wants to have a more prestigious title.  Unfortunately, many agents have been doing this as well, but not all of them can live up to the claim.

My hope is that this won’t be you!

Being able to make claims about your expertise is important for the health of your business, but being able to support those claims is even more important.  When you want to standout and differentiate yourself from the rest of the agents in your market, you need to be able to show that you have specific expertise.

If you can’t provide something that is different or unique, then are you really an expert?

Agents are always trying to get a leg up on their competition, this is to be expected.  When they ask for my advice I tell them to Continue reading “Are you A Real Estate Expert?…Or Just An Agent?”

Career Advice

What Luxury Buyers Really Want (It’s Not What You Think)

It can be really tough to break into the luxury market. Aside from the obvious price tags, the extra nerves associated with the larger commissions, and the constant networking–understanding luxury buyers poses as the biggest obstacle to making it in the upper markets.

I remember feeling a little out of place with some of my customers who were famous when I first started out.  I was starstruck and a little thrown off my game. I thought that they wanted to be complimented and told how amazing their work was.

They don’t.

Instead, they want to be treated like average people, with above average tastes.

Luxury buyers don’t need you as much as you need them. Well, maybe that’s not entirely true, but it’s part of the mindset behind some luxury buyers.

A luxury buyer may not even be shopping for themselves, electing instead to send someone else to do it secretly.

Every detail is important when working with luxury clients.  Because most of these people either work at a very high level or they run their own businesses, you can be sure that nothing will get overlooked.

Most people think luxury buyers just want lavish pools, and haughty golden countertops.  Instead, they are actually incredibly strategic about their purchases.  Most luxury clients have a gameplan and are building towards something.  They may choose to have a lavish bathroom, but that’s because they value it as the first thing that they see when they wake up in the morning.

Everything has its strategy, and in this article I am going to share some of the little known motivations behind luxury client’s buying interests.

Luxury buyers want Continue reading “What Luxury Buyers Really Want (It’s Not What You Think)”