Is the Refrigerator Included?

All real estate is local. Its standard or customary for sellers to include washer/dryers in one market, but the buyers need to purchase a refrigerator in other markets. In Georgia, our Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement, should identify which items are or are not included with the sale of the property.

Instructions on how to properly complete Section 13 of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement is listed below:

The Seller’s marked the Refrigerator and identified “2 Small”, out to the side.

My clients and I assumed the main refrigerator, along with the 2 small wine refrigerators, were all to be included with the sale of the property. During our walk-through, my clients and I failed to notice the main refrigerator was missing from the property. We proceeded to closing. I provided my client with a house warming present, which included a bottle of champagne. You can only imagine the look on her face when she walked in her new home, reached for the refrigerator door, only to find an empty space in the kitchen.

Of course, she immediately called me and I was and still am completely embarrassed about the situation. How could I have missed this item on the Disclosure Statement? Did I miss this item on the Disclosure Statement? The Seller’s intended to convey the 2 small wine refrigerators, but not the main frig. They should have properly disclosed this on their statement.

Who is responsible for replacing the Refrigerator? Well, legally, the Sellers disclosed “all refrigerators” are to be included with the sale. If we had noticed the main refrigerator was missing during our walkthrough, then this issue may have been averted. But it wasn’t, and we now know the Sellers made an honest mistake, and I did too. So I’ll ask again, “Who is responsible for the refrigerator?”

Do You Have Time For Property Management?

Opportunity is knocking for many agents to manage property and they are jumping in head first. 8 out of 10 Sellers I meet with, hope to break even on the sale of their home, but most of them cannot afford to wait 6 months for their property to sell. So, we discuss the option of renting their property, refer them to the property management department and move on to the next appointment.

My business has always focused on Sales and I realize many agents are now managing 10-20 properties to supplement their income derived from Sales. However, in my market, Columbus, GA, the management fee received from managing 10-20 is equivalent to selling a $110,000 home each month. If your total sales volume is less then $1,320,000 per year, you should explore the benefits of managing a small number of rental units, but only after you have discussed this with your broker.

Do you have time for property management? Surveys of small business rank time as their most valuable asset. 1 in 5 small business owners will pay $500 for 1 extra work hour a day. How valuable is your time? Property Management is very attractive and lucrative, until it becomes a 24/7 business because the commode in the apartment 2 B overflows every Saturday night.

Generational Marketing “How to Catch the Boomerang Generation”

To understand diversity, let’s review some interesting facts about the 5 generations of Real Estate.

The Greatest Generation (born before 1924) has seen 17-18 U.S. Presidents, 10+ Wars/Conflicts, The Great Depression, Multiple Recessions, and haven’t moved in 50 years.

The Silent Generation (born between 1925-1945), known as the artistic/adaptive generation, born during crisis, leaders of technological innovation, well educated and advocates of fairness. Members are Mick Jagger, Martin Luther King Jr., The Beatles.

The Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964) Parents of Gen X & Y, grew up during a time of dramatic social change, are responsible for the “suburbs”, and may never retire.

Generation X (born between 1965-1982) MTV, video games, earn less then their parents, desire independence, first generation of divorced parents.

Generation Y (born between 1983-2000) Generation ME, Millennials, Trophy Kids, first generation to grow up online and known as the Boomerang Generation.

Everyone wants to attract the “First Time Home Buyer” but let’s look at Generation Y’s needs.

  • Positive Feedback and Support. They need constant reassurance that they are doing a good job
  • Part of a team. They grew up playing competitive sports and enjoy the playing field.
  • Communicate Rapidly. Wether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Text Msgs, Gen Y is quick on the draw and rarely use email.
  • A longer attention span. Who doesn’t need one. Gen Y has grown up multi tasking.

How does Gen Y evaluate their purchases? Four distinct ways.

  1.  They don’t want to pay very much. They want to find the vendor that can provide them with the cheapest cost.
  2. While searching for the best price, Gen Y’s have learned to appreciate quality.
  3. Of course they want fast service
  4. Gen Y’s want this process to be an experience

If my customer is Gen Y, how do I give them the “lowest price”, on a “quality product”, provide “fast service”, and create an “experience”? Pick up and read, “Socialnomics”, by Eric Qualman. Simply put, this book is about how to social media transforms the way we live and do business. (don’t know how to quote this)”Consumers are looking to peers for recommendations on products, services, health issues, and more via social media. Only companies that produces great products and services will be part of these conversations; mediocrity will be eliminated. Today, 76% rely on what others say, while 15% rely on advertising.”

Here are 3 keys to remember, if you want to earn Gen Y’s business:

  1. Be authentic
  2. Listen to them
  3. Demonstrate your ability to communicate

If you will commit to earning their business, then ask yourself these 3 questions, before you start marketing to Gen Y:

  1. How do I want to be perceived?
  2. Do I provide a unique experience for my clients?
  3. If I googled Me……..would I want to conduct business with myself?

 

I Googled My Real Estate Agent

Are clients interviewing you, at your listing appointments? Being a member of the Circle of Excellence or Million Dollar Club will help you get the appointment, but what information will help you become the obvious choice? Make it easy for your clients to differentiate you from the competition by creating a bio that tells your back story and is engaging.

Lets look at Olympic Athlete LaShawn Merritt, who will compete this year for his second Gold Metal.

“I always think of my brother before every race. He never got a chance to see me run track. So here I am going for my second gold metal, being the best in the world and showing my talents and my hard work on a stage where millions will be watching, the pinnacle of track and field. So he’ll definitely be on my mind, definitely running with me in spirit and he’ll definitely be one of my top motivators when it comes to getting there and being confident and going out and getting it done and leaving it all on the track and having no excuses.”

It’s not the skill possessed by these athletes that makes them unique, they have same state of the art equipment or hi-tech aerodynamic jumpsuit. The “stories” differentiate them from one another, and the stories make the event more dramatic and moving.

So what’s your story? Is your bio a time line of your real estate career, in which you promote 25 years of service/experience? Or is it a list of all your 3 letter designations: ABR, GRI, CRS, SRS, PYT? You’ve got to create a back story that tells consumers what inspires you, what fires you up, what you are passionate about, or an adversity you overcame when the odds were stacked against you.

Before a client calls you to schedule an appointment, they have Googled you at least once. Heck, that’s how they probably found your phone number or email address. Have you Googled yourself lately? Would you pick yourself, based on your online persona & bio? These questions should be taken seriously. From Brand Harmony Steve Yastrow says, “consumers are taking ownership of brands and their referral is priceless.”

If you are stuck on describing yourself, hire a freelance writer to help you get started. However, if you really want to wow clients, hire Hobbs Herder. They have been helping real estate agents attract clients, with a personal brochure, for over 25 years.

Generate Traffic With Your Open Houses

This weekend is the 2nd Annual Uptown Loft Tour and is “National Open House Weekend”. We’ve been promoting the Loft Tour through billboards, posters, Facebook, Twitter, the local paper, email, and of course word of mouth. Several local restaurants are participating by offering samples of their specialties, along with other local businesses donating gift certificates and free bike rentals. If there wasn’t enough to do already, Uptown Columbus you can also attend Bash on the Banks and Market Days.

Open Houses can serve several purposes, but I like to use them as a means to build a community and promote the lifestyle benefits a homeowner will receive by living in a particular area. National Open House Weekend does mobilize real estate agents to hold properties open one weekend out of the year. However, it is not marketed well and the benefit to the public is not very clear. Buyers/Consumers admit they want to know WIIFM (Whats In It For Me), when making a purchasing decision.

By promoting the community and lifestyle, through a well executed open house, buyers are able to easily see WIIFM. When you plan your next open house, make it a community event, and your traffic will certainly increase.