North Carolina agent finds instant success with HouseHunt

By Jim Droz

Donna Varnum hit the ground running when she signed up with HouseHunt by turning the first lead she received into a sale.

“It was good timing, to say the least,” said Varnum, who works out of a RE/MAX office in Morristown, N.C., while concentrating on the college town of Chapel Hill. “He stated his interests and I told him I could help him out since he didn’t know his way around. I pointed out a house I thought he’d like, and he loved it. The rest is history.”

Varnum’s history in the real estate business spans a little more than three years, with only the past month being in the HouseHunt system. She has used other lead-generating services, but when she felt it was time for a change she did her research and talked to other Realtors and “HouseHunt kept coming up as a good company.”

She said HouseHunt’s marketing and e-mail system is good for her strategy of immediately calling leads to discuss their needs. She then narrows the search to better show homebuyers what they might like and makes an appointment to visit. Even though she had instant success with HouseHunt, she knows that’s not always the case.

“I don’t give up easily,” Varnum said. “These things can take time, but I make sure my name stays in front of prospective buyers.”

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End of year is a great time to build prospects for upcoming year

By Jim Droz

Realtors are in the fourth quarter of what’s been another roller-coaster year for housing in many parts of the country. But this isn’t the time to sit back and assess the damages or reap the rewards of the year to date, depending on your circumstances.

The following item, written by Jim Droz, a successful Realtor who writes tips for various HouseHunt newsletters, points out the importance of the final few months of each year for real estate agents:

I was sitting in the conference room with head in hands, head pounding and a heart rate of at least 180. I had been on a binge for the past three months by overindulging in holiday merriment, relaxation and spending. My thought had been, “What the heck. Nobody buys or sells a home during the holidays. I’ll just enjoy the festive times and crank it up again after the first of the year.”

From Oct. 1 to early January, I had almost completely ignored my real estate business. Now I was paying the price for my errant behavior. It was Jan. 22 and my credit card bills had just arrived – $23,987.34. I owed Visa and MasterCard that total but didn’t have the money to pay either!

I had “cranked it up” shortly after New Years Day but the results were dismal. I made cold calls, contacted expired listings and hit For Sale by Owners. When I introduced myself to potential home sellers, there was no level of recognition. I was just another agent among thousands. This was my third year in the business but it appeared I was starting over from scratch. Where had I gone wrong? Why was every January such a train wreck?

As I sat at the table, I could see Joyce again adding to the “Sold/Listing” board. Her total was now eight listings and five pending transactions, all since Jan. 3. Out of the 52 agents in the office, Joyce was the only one who always had a great first month of the year. It was time to investigate.

“You’ve put 13 contracts on the board in the last 19 days. It’s January, for gosh sakes!” I said to Joyce. “The rest of us are just getting our engines started. What the heck are you doing?”

Joyce responded: “It’s not what I’m doing. It’s what I’ve done.”

She then asked me when the real estate market really heated up each year.

“I guess people start thinking about buying and selling homes as soon as the holidays have ended,” I replied. Continue reading End of year is a great time to build prospects for upcoming year

Key Points for Successful Negotiation in Real Estate Sales

By Jim Droz

Any job involving sales will undoubtedly involve wheeling and dealing somewhere along the line. But the negotiation process for real estate agents the past few years has been elevated dramatically because of the up-and-down state of the market, interest rates and economy in general.

Negotiating can be artful and strategic, in addition to nerve wracking and frustrating. Follow these tips to make the process go smoother:

Keep your cool and professionalism

Be calm because it doesn’t benefit either participant to upset the dialogue with escalated emotions. Equally important is to be assertive and passionate about staying on track toward getting a fair deal done for both the buyer and seller. Remember, it’s not personal, so check emotions at the door and be professional at all times.

Get the facts

There is no excuse for not being well prepared. Explain your side of the bargaining table and then ask the opposing party to present all their facts and figures to support their position. Once you have all the facts, you then attempt to create a favorable situation based upon what you know.

Pay attention

Listen, listen, listen. It all starts there. Then remove the personal feelings and concentrate on getting a deal done with what you’ve learned.

Trading places

Look at things from the other person’s perspective. By doing that, each side will likely ease off on their demands to a point where the terms are mutually agreeable.

Keep it positive

No matter the tone in private, give your client and the opposing side the information in a positive way. As an agent, never say anything bad about the buyer or seller. Keep the negotiation informational.

Look ahead

Create a compelling and positive vision by having the client — the buyer or seller — imagine moving on, and what his or her life will be like when that happens.

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HouseHunt makes a good first impression on Florida agent

By Jaime Westman

It didn’t take long for Lou Ulery to form a positive opinion about HouseHunt. The Realtor at Core 99, LLC Realty in Wellington, Fla., acquired the territories of West Palm Beach and Delray Beach in late July and by early October had two closings.

“It’s proven to be very, very good,” said Ulery, who has been an agent for about 15 years. “We’re quite active. Your system is keeping us busy.”

Ulery, who said his office has about 50 leads from HouseHunt they’re communicating with on a regular basis, added that he’s “very satisfied with the quality of leads” that HouseHunt generates.

“I’m very happy with how it’s gone so far,” he said.

Ulery said he immediately sends e-mails to prospective buyers when he gets a lead informing them that an introductory and more-informative phone call will be coming the next day. So far, the strategy seems to be working.

“If it continues like this,” he said, “this will give us all the business we can handle and I think we’re going to be very successful with it.”

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