Picture the most successful real estate agent in your area… What are they wearing? How do they act? When you picture the most successful agent in your area, is it you? If not, then what does that person have or what do they do that has made them more successful than you? Can it be taught? Some experts say YES because the key to being successful lies in this – how in tune you are with your own emotions and behaviors, how you perceive those around you, and how skilled you are at adapting your behaviors in response. In psychology, it’s referred to as emotional intelligence and, in business, many are saying it (your EQ) matters more than IQ when identifying one’s potential for success.
“Emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job.” – Dr. Daniel Goleman, Ph.
D., Psychologist and Leading Researcher on Emotional Intelligence
Emotional Intelligence (or EQ) in the business world is considered by many to be more important than IQ. So what is emotional intelligence exactly and how can you unlock the traits you already possess to maximize your success in real estate?
EQ is defined by top researchers Peter Dalovey and John C. Mayer as “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one’s own and others’ feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them, and to use this information to guide one’s thinking and your actions.” More simply, your EQ is how you perceive the world around you, how you respond to it and how you handle it when it responds to you.
Why is this important as a real estate salesperson? First and foremost, this is a relationship business – you aren’t just selling homes, you are also selling yourself and your services. Your social skills, self-awareness, ability to handle others’ emotions, and an in-depth understanding of how you manage relationships with others matters more than you think. Another reason is there is a very high failure rate among real estate salespeople and as you advance in your career, much of what you learn about the business comes from online continuing education courses that don’t tap into what truly makes someone a success.
Many people believe a good combination of IQ and EQ make for the most successful people. Travis Bradberry wrote an article entitled Why You Need Emotional Intelligence to Succeed in Business featured in Forbes online that claims, “people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time.” So, if you thought you weren’t smart enough to succeed in real estate, think again. Bradberry reminds us that “intelligence is your ability to learn, and it’s the same at age 15 as it is at age 50. Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice.”
Let’s look at the characteristics of successful salespeople: charismatic, verbal acuity, high energy, good listening skills, excellent follow-up, manages their time well, empathetic, ego-driven, passionate, confident, strong core values, a hunter mentality, alert to opportunities, positive, personable, organized and disciplined. Did I miss any?
Now see if you already have what it takes to be successful by taking this free online test that gives insight into your personality and many of the aspects that make up your emotional intelligence. (Paid tests that are more thorough include the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Kiersey test .) Your end result will be four letters. Review your personality type for clues about what inner traits you should tap into and which you may need to change. 16 Personalities also has a great review of the different personality types here including how your personality affects you at work.
Understanding your score:
by Vicki Duong
The latest trend in social media reminds us that “life’s more fun when you live in the moment!” It’s even more fun when you can share that moment with potential clients on Snapchat! If you are not already familiar, Snapchat is one of the more popular apps that your millennial clients are now using alongside other social media favorites – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and even Vine.
Some basic features and terms that will send you snapping right away are:
You might be thinking your social media plate is full, but adding Snapchat to your arsenal is a smart move for real estate marketing for many reasons. For one, Snapchat is one of the preferred platforms for communication for millennials who prefer to communicate with their peers, order take-out, and contact ride sharing services from their smart phones and tablets. While they may not be ready to purchase a home at this very second, they prefer to have all the proper resources readily available in the palm of their hand and in quick spurts, which brings us to our next point.
A lot of folks (and not just millennials) have short attention spans. Whenever you share a snap or story you will most likely have your audience’s undivided attention. This gives you the opportunity to deliver fresh content on the fly while engaging with your audience. Rumor even has it that Snapchat’s developers are creating a brand new, easy to use chat interface which you can read more about here.
What kind of content should you snap and share? One idea is to snap any unique and interesting elements of your listings that may have been glossed over in the MLS description. Don’t just stop there; show your audience what’s great about your community and local market. Is there a hidden gem that not too many folks know about, such as best spot for star gazing or a new coffee shop?
Another important thing to consider sharing: yourself! Show your audience who you really are without the pomp and circumstance. Everyone understands that nothing beats working with an experienced professional, but it’s also important to make your potential clients feel at ease with who they are considering to work with for their next future investment. After all, Realtors are people too! Additionally, as a Realtor using a trendy app like Snapchat, you are indicating that you are not intimidated by the latest technological tools and social media trends, and that you are willing to take the time to showcase your expertise as a Realtor through a different platform.
If you haven’t already jumped on the Snapchat market, now’s the perfect opportunity to do so. With a New Year comes new strategies for marketing and Snapchat is a great platform to look into for your business. Look up some online tutorials like this one from Mashable on how to use Snapchat for your real estate business and take the time to learn its functions. Remember that you are in it for the long haul but it will pay off in the end with new clients and an innovative way to make your business flourish.
Snapchat is available for free download in the iTunes app store and in the Google Play Market. Learn more about Snapchat here.
Remember Annette Bening’s portrayal of a real estate agent in American Beauty (1999)? Bening’s over-the-top, Type A character Carolyn Burnham is mesmerized by the Real Estate King – Buddy Kane (Peter Gallagher) and goes near berserk cleaning a home she is determined to sell. Seemingly unbreakable in her quest to achieve Kane-level success, Burnham repeatedly chants “I-Will-Sell-This-House-Today.” Later, we see a broken Burnham who is both unable to sell the home, and ashamed of her own loss of composure. As entertaining as she was in this role, it was frighteningly true.
What is it that causes real estate salespeople to get locked in a frenzy of determination and fear? Is it not knowing from where your next commission check will come? When opportunity knocks do you open the door with a smile or are you searching frantically for your keys, juggling paperwork and on your cell when that moment arrives? If you are spending more time balancing your daily activities, putting out fires or worrying about paying your bills than you are focused on accommodating your clients, you may be guilty of these…
YOU’RE NOT FEEDING YOUR PIPELINE. Jim Droz, the former #1 Agent in the World with Century 21 once said, “Many real estate agents are like a bull in a china shop – chasing down business and not ever knowing from where their next commission check will come. Real estate is simple. In order to get more business, you need more customers.” In other words it’s somewhat of a numbers game, but with a plan.. If every 100 customers you have in your database results in one closing then how many contacts would you need to close 10 transactions? Every year a real estate agent sets out to double their production over the last year and yet they don’t realize how that translates into feeding their pipeline with a specific number of prospects. Are you daily tasks focused on that number?
YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES ARE NOT INCOME PRODUCING. Every day you wake up and schedule activities to help you achieve a profitable business. When you plan it out the night before, is it to bring you a specific volume of new business? Often if you aren’t feeding your pipeline, you are only feeding your ego. Direct mail, magazine ads and shopping cart ads, for example, produce little to no return for the majority of agents. So ask yourself what is your goal with this postcard? Do you have a listing to promote? A success to announce? Are you hoping to reach absentee owners? Benchmark your goals with everything you do and go back every quarter and adjust what isn’t working.
YOUR BUSINESS IS NOT RUN EFFICIENTLY. Having an efficient business starts with a solid business plan. An efficient business considers several factors from time management to converting your online leads. HouseHunt’s Diamond Business Plan starts with an efficiency test you can take to see how your business scores. You can review your answers to see what areas you are missing to find out whether or not your business is a well oiled machine or it needs a tune up.
YOU AREN’T PROVIDING EXCELLENT CUSTOMER SERVICE. Let me tell you a quick story….I once gave a referral (if you can call it that) to a good friend and real estate agent to someone who was certain she would be listing her mobile home. The person I referred already had in mind who she would be listing it with although she had never spoken with this agent. She had only seen his other listings in the mobile home park and was happy to follow her neighbors lead.
My friend showed up at her door that same day – but no answer. The very next day, she caught her at home; but, when she asked if it was a good time, the owner said she had prescriptions to pick up and was watching her grandchildren so maybe another time. My friend politely asked, “If I drove you to pick up your prescriptions, could we chat on the way? She agreed! The third time I checked in to see if she had gotten the listing yet, she was delivering pizza to the woman’s second home in a nearby city where workers were fixing it up to sell.
What was the result of that agent offering superior service to a prospective client? One mobile home sold; one three-bedroom home sold; and, one new home purchase. Her commission checks totaled over $25,000 in the same year. Would you give someone a ride or deliver a pizza if it resulted in $25,000? You never know what going above and beyond will achieve but it is seldom a bad thing.
YOU ARE NOT EFFECTIVELY SOURCING REFERRALS. According to NAR’s 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88% of home buyers say they would definitely work with the same real estate agent again or recommend them. Only 23% actually do. Why is that? A lot can happen in nine years, the average time someone will own a home before selling again, but sourcing referrals are a part of your business you could be neglecting. How do you maximize your efforts in this area?
Provide Excellent Customer Service. It’s easier to focus your energy on servicing when you have an efficiently run business void of activities that don’t either don’t add value to your audience or do not help you in reaching your goals.
Stay in front of the contacts in your database with an automated marketing system. This way you stay top of the mind not just for your own contacts, but for their contacts as well.
Ask your past clients if they know of anyone who plans to buy or sell their home.
Develop strong relationships with industry colleagues and vendor partnerships. Mike Bearden, CEO of HouseHunt, Inc., formerly a top real estate agent in Orange County, found opportunity in places agents don’t often consider. “I sought out partnerships with everyone – not just real estate agents. You’d be surprised how many referrals I got from plumbers, flooring specialists, landscape artists,…anyone who I met while preparing a home to sell. It occurred to me one day while meeting with a plumbing specialist at a client’s home, and I thought – he probably interacts with more homeowners than most real estate agents. So, I asked if he knew of anybody thinking about selling their home. A few months later I got a call from someone looking to sell their home saying they were recommended by their plumber. I thanked him by referring him business and we continued the partnership for many years.”
Need to feed your pipeline with quality leads? Don’t pay to compete, HouseHunt territories are 100% exclusive – Check to see if your territory is available here or call directly at 888-832-2244.
2015 4th Quarter Market Report:
A Healthy and Growing Housing Market
by Lauren Agajanian, MBA
The 2015 US Housing Market in the 4th quarter is the best overall we’ve seen in almost a decade. This quarter our survey’s continue to show a shift from 10% plus home price increases to a slower pace of 5-10% home price appreciation, as well as a trend toward a more balanced, healthy and steadily growing housing market.
This data comes from a survey of HouseHunt agents with exclusive territories across America. This grassroots approach to studying the housing market gives us a thorough look at where the real estate market will continue to go in 2016 and beyond.
Buyer & Seller Activity
Last quarter, we presented a seller’s market with slowing prices and that trend continues. There were considerably more buyers than sellers in the market, and conditions responded accordingly. This quarter, while still a seller’s market overall, a large increase of markets surveyed are reporting a more balanced market between buyers and sellers. 48% of the markets reported more buyers than sellers compared to 56% in the 3rd quarter and 64% in the 2nd quarter representing an 8% decline in buyer activity in each of the last two quarters. However there was only an increase of 4% in seller activity in the last two quarter with 28% of the markets showing buyer and sellers about even. This is compared to only 16% in the 2nd quarter and 20% in the 3rd quarter. There is clear evidence that there is a shift from a strong sellers market to a more balanced market between buyers and sellers which indicates why home price appreciation is slowing.
This quarter our survey shows that 64% of our markets are showing an increase in buyer activity versus 70% of HouseHunt agents surveyed report an increase in buyer activity in the previous quarter. This is a further decline from 83% in the 2nd quarter.
Seller activity has also slowed in the 4th quarter with 35% of Agents reporting an increase in seller activity versus 50% in the previous quarter. It is not uncommon for seller and buyer activity to slow in the Holiday season.
Overall real estate home sales outpace 2014 with NAR reporting existing home sales of 5.46 million homes in 2015 compared to 4.76 million sales in 2014, an increase of 7.7%.
A seller’s market equates to a strong economy. 90% of HouseHunt agents saw their listings sell for more this quarter than this time last year. This is about average: last quarter saw 90% report an increase, and this time last year saw 89% report an increase. What really makes the 4th quarter of 2015 stand out is the shift to a slower pace of home price increases. Only 24% of the agents reported increase home prices of 10% or more compared to 36% in the 4th quarter of 2014. This slowing of price point increase is in line with NAR reports showing that the 4th quarter 2015 median home price dropped slightly to $224,100 compared to 3rd quarter’s $229,000.
Only 4% of agents across the nation say their listings are selling for less. That’s the lowest depreciation rate since before the burst of the housing bubble! Last year this time we reported 8% of the markets having negative appreciation.
Besides sale price, we also need to take a look at how long active listings sit on the market. In the 4th quarter of 2015 our agents reported that 65% of the homes sold within 60 days while 35% stayed on the market over 60 days. Indicating that even though the market is more balanced there is still a slight edge to the seller as there are still more buyers competing for fewer homes.
So listings are selling for more and they’re selling quickly. Does this mean more contentment with people selling their homes? Not necessarily. It’s important for sellers to keep their expectations realistic. They are clearly being inundated with all this good news about the market, and they immediately think they can overprice their homes. 23% of our agent’s clients saw their listings close with less than 95% of their original asking price. However this is lower than last year at this time when 28% of our agents reported homes staying on the market for over 60 days.
This quarter, 87% of our agents said foreclosures made up less than 15% of their local market compared to 84% in the previous quarter. The impact of foreclosures on the national market is at normal levels. This is consistent with Realty Trac’s report that foreclosure activity at the end of 2015 is at a nine-year low saying that the US has returned to a healthy foreclosure market with any activity fueled only by local economic factors.
Source: HouseHunt, Inc.
2015 US Housing Market Condition Survey
December 31, 2015
Home price appreciation is solid with the majority of homes between 5-10% appreciation. Buyer activity continues to outweigh seller activity but is trending towards a more balanced market. Inventories are still tight somewhat because of seasonal factors. Seller activity could very well increase in the first and second quarters of 2016 as home sellers are recovering equities and have options to sell their homes and move to a new home. Current low mortgage rates and high costs of rentals may very well fuel an increase in first time buyer activity which remains at all time low levels and are a true catalyst to a healthy real estate market.
HouseHunt’s Quarterly Comparison Chart For the U.S. | 4th Quarter 2015 Results in Red
|Average Days On Market|
|Sold in 60 Days Plus||35%||43%||40%||37%||37%||44%||45%||30%||31%||35%|
|Annual Price Appreciation|
|Up 10% Plus||54%||31%||42%||37%||25%||36%||27%||32%||20%||24%|
|Repeat / Move UP / Investors||85%||78%||79%||77%||84%||76%||82%||75%||79%||84%|
|Ask vs. Sale Price|
|Less Than 95%||23%||30%||23%||9%||22%||28%||29%||26%||25%||23%|
|More Than 95%||77%||70%||77%||91%||78%||72%||71%||74%||75%||77%|
|Short Sales / Foreclosures|
|Less than 15% of the market||77%||80%||83%||79%||87%||85%||86%||84%||86%||87%|
|More than 15% of the market||23%||20%||17%||21%||13%||15%||14%||16%||14%||13%|