Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times

How Top Real Estate Agents Tackle Tough Times is the sub-title of Shift, the latest book in the Millionaire Real Estate agent series by Gary Keller, the CEO of Keller Williams Realty. Published in 2010, the focus is on the current market environment. Real Estate is cyclical. I highly recommend this easy to read book. (It's light on commas, but you’ll quickly adapt to its conversational style.) It clearly breaks out into 12 tactics exactly what is necessary to succeed in the current market environment. Here are two essential key nuggets (bolds are mine):
…after the sub-prime, free-lending ways of the early to mid 2000’s, mortgage lenders created another “ability” crisis for buyers. In response to previous loose lending practices suddenly lenders tightened their lending standards. They quit offering many popular programs, asked for stricter appraisals, required higher credit scores, and demanded more money down. In both shifts many buyers were less able to buy and some could no longer even qualify.
To counter such challenges you must find workable financing solutions and counterattack or put to rest any false ideas buyers may have about their ability to buy a home. Knowledge and a great loan officer are the keys. By teaming up with a loan officer immediately you’ll not only serve the best interest of the buyer, but also increase the number of people you can help. As soon as you meet someone help them understand whether they qualify. And if they do qualify then help them find out if they can buy what they want and need.

Shift, Gary Keller, p. 175

So how does a real estate agent add “master creative financing” to their ever growing list of important tasks to do? They don’t. You only need to have a clear understanding of the market, the players, and their options. With this knowledge you can effectively expand the choices for your buyers and sellers and leave the details to your financing specialist.
Meet separately with your top two loan officers every week. These meetings should be on your calendar for the entire year.
The goal of each of these brief meetings is to brainstorm the issues you and the market are facing. Ask them to put all the financing options on the table that might work in the market for each of your buyers and sellers. With that list in hand, you can set the expectation that these same lenders will take ownership of the forms, the timelines and the processes needed to put these ideas into action on each loan they get.

Shift, Gary Keller, p.219-220

If you take away nothing else from the book, be sure to implement these two key steps. Your bottom line will improve significantly!

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