Swansea, IL Real Estate News

By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
According to a recent National Association of Realtors survey, your Realtor® is statistically likely to be a 54 year old college educated woman who owns her own home, has no other job, is likely be the only wage earner in the house, has no benefits through her firm, and is coping with decreased wages and the need to cut expenses.  Her income is likely to be around $37,000 though might be about $54,000 if she has had 16 or more years experience.  About 27% said it was uncertain if they would remain in the field at least two more years. This portrait that emerges from the myriad statistics gathered by the NAR is that of a hard working professional very much in tune with issues faces by clients in difficult financial times.  The stats challenge the myth that Realtors® are rolling in money ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
The most recent NAR member survey revealed some interesting things about how members use technology:  Over 1/3 of Realtors use social networking sites. 17% of Realtors regularly use blogs, RSS feeds and podcasts, up 5% from last year. Years in practice had no bearing on use of social media. The study affirms what we know is a growing trend to employ social media.  With all technology, there are always "early adopters" and some who are resistance.  The rest of the folks learn it when they see how it can help them.  What's really interesting is the Report's assertion that 60% of Realtors® have a website aged an average of 5 years, with their own listing beings the key information on the site.  There is no indication whether the site remained the same aside from their updated listings.  Fi...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
A friend of mine lived near a Popeye's Restaurant where the food was great, but the drive through clerks were surly and the food was never ready.  They never caught unto the fact that people wanted buckets of fried chicken on Sunday after church.  This was so predictable that if you got in line with four cars ahead of you on Sunday afternoon, you could be assured that there'd be no chicken ready by the time you got to the head of the line.  (It would be 30 minutes till the next batch was ready.)  Many times they would be out of advertised food items for days.  Maybe running out was a sign that the food was good. Maybe the long waits you experienced for the order to come up was a sign that the food was cooked to order.  Both things would have been bearable would have been if the clerks h...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Do you have the right people to get it done? The thing that keeps CEO's awake at night most often is figuring out how to cover the group's responsibilities with the resources available. Some people are broadly skilled; some are more specialized. Some work really hard; some produce less. You have to figure how to fit all the pieces together to cover the total job. To determine whether you have the right people on your team to get the job done, you have to determine the aptitudes, attitudes and skills of each individual and then evaluate the combined total. Everyone is skilled at doing something. What skills do each of your people have that are related to the job? Who can manage the listings and buyers? Who knows how to write advertising copy that produces results? Who is great at using y...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
If you want to see the concept of cutting corners in action, watch how people make left turns.  Few people make 90 degree turns. Truck & buses make wide turns, maybe 120 degrees.  Especially if driver in the opposite lane are fully not pulled up to the light, turning drivers tend cross over the lane.  In fast, the farther back from the light the cars are, the narrower the angle of the turn.  I used to say, "If I'd been at the light, they would have knocked of my fender."  In reality, turning drivers adjust to where the opposing cars are, though they still turn too close for comfort sometimes. Cutting corners in business has bad implications and often means that something substandard was used to replace specified materials or expected service levels.  This is usually done to save time or...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
There's no "I" in team, but there is in communication.  That means if you're leading a team, you're the one in charge of communicating.  I've been asked many times what it takes to keep a team happy, motivated and working together.  The answer is simply communication. It's odd, isn't it?  Aside from in-person contact, we have cell phones with internet access, email,intranets, websites, U.S. mail, and the good old phone, yet poor communication is often an issue. Using one of these simple tool to keep our team informed is easy but can have a big impact. For additional information and guidance on this topic we have posted an article on our website entitled "An "I" in Communication " for you to review. Commitment for the Week: Show us your commitment by commenting with your thoughts, plan a...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
When you go out to eat, you can order each menu item separately or order a meal that includes your main dish and maybe a side or two, plus bread and butter.  Depending on when you go, you might ever able to get a great full mean by ordering the early bird special that includes an appetizer, a beverage, and dessert.  You may get smaller portions and no substitutions with the special, but the price is favorable.  You can even get the striped down version of the special at fast food restaurants when you order a value meal. Real estate agents have traditionally charged a commission that might be negotiated to vary after a certain dollar limit, but agents provide "full service."  The commission covers the consultations, the listing, the marketing, the advertising, the open houses, the showin...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
There is a lot of talk that the first time $8,000 homebuyer's credit may be extended and even expanded to reach more covers.  At this point, talk is cheap.  With the credit expiring on November 30, buyers who are not in the process of home buying may be left out.   It takes an average of 45 days to close a house.  That means that buying decisions must be made by October 15 to assure that the deadline is met. As Realtors®, we can't force people into making major buying decisions like buying a home.  We can, however, counsel our clients to strongly consider the benefits of home ownership while this credit is available.  Some clients might have good reasons for hesitating, but others are just scared.  By carefully listening to our clients, we will know when to press the issue and when to l...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Believe me, I know that "teaching" and "showing" clients works much better than "telling" them. I've seen my own clients - Real Estate Agents who became "teachers" in their business. Amanda Howard, one of my clients in Huntsville, Alabama, has shifted her approach with prospective sellers and buyers. Amanda and her team now focus on learning what their clients need to know to be successful in buying and selling, and then teaching the clients to empower them to have a successful sale or purchase of their properties. By becoming educators and teachers to their clients, Amanda and her team are turning the tables on today's market. They are completely customer focused and as a result Amanda is realizing a better profit in her business. Here are a few steps to add education-based marketing t...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." William Arthur Ward Bob, why are you explaining what makes a good teacher? We're real estate agents here. Hello! Good question. And here's my answer: In these times, if you're not teaching prospective clients, you're losing the game of real estate - and the score isn't even close. My goal with this article is simple: To get you to be a great teacher so you will inspire people to use your services. Wouldn't it be great if a client came up to you and said you actually inspired her to sell her house? Or if a buyer said you convinced him to buy? When you approach your job as a teacher - a great teacher - that's exactly what can happen. And today more than ever, the public n...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
The last couple days, we have thrown it out there that time management issues may really be personal management issues.  What are the benefits of personal management?  You'll have more time when you streamline! Breaking it down even further, you'll have more benefits too, such as: More self-confidence because you have done it. A better work-life balance because you can do what you want, when you want, how you want. Stress relief because you act not react. Emotional security because you take control. Quality of life because you choose. Higher mental and physical fitness because you have time to exercise, read, and think. Better personal and business relationships because you communicate. Better perspectives because you plan. Fit more into the day because you create the framework. Enjoy e...
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By Yolanda Hoversten, Referrals for O’Fallon, IL & the Metro East
(Self Employed)
First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Deadline Everybody should know by now about the $8,000 tax credit available to first time home buyers.  It's hard to believe that half of the year is over, and before you know it December 1st will be here and it will be too late to purchase your first home to claim the tax credit. If you have good credit, haven't owned a home in three years, and earn less than $75,000 annually, talk to a real estate agent and lender to see if you qualify to purchase a home.  They'll also let you know how much you need for a down payment and for closing costs.  There are many loan programs available to new home buyers, historically low mortgage rates, a high inventory of homes for sale, and lots of motivated sellers.  You'll probably find that there's a home for you at th...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Yesterday we talked about how time management is often a matter of personal management.  The implication was that if you don't manage your time right and let circumstances constantly get you off track, you may feel disappointed  in yourself and frustrated that you were not in control. Sometimes that feeling might not even be justified, but you may feel that way anyway. After talking to yourself firmly and evaluating why time always runs out, you can take a look at the many sources of help today that range from buying a self help book, to investing in a system, to taking a class, to professional coaching.  Any of these solutions can offer you the direction you need to get yourself on the right track. It basically comes down to being honest with yourself.  Are you the type of person who c...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
The most obvious downside of not managing your time well is you don't make it to anywhere the bottom of your long to-do list.  But that's not the only result, especially if the poor management is the norm, rather than an occasional yielding to something more intriguing at the moment.   If you do not effectively use your time, you tend to feel out of control and out of balance. That's why addressing the problem will only work and help you in the short term if you do not look at the source of it!  It is not about time management, but personal management. Are you avoiding something you don't want to deal with by wasting time?  If you really don't like to make prospecting calls, it may make you feel guilty that you are not pursuing what could be the entrance to a gold mine if a prospect tur...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
In 1849, prospectors hoped to become rich by striking gold.  "Thar's gold in them there hills"  was their mission statement.  Who knows whether anyone outside of a Saturday afternoon B movie ever said those exact words but they mined the hills in hopes. Lead generation is crucial to real estate.  New business seldom falls from the sky; instead, it has to be mined in the hopes that sales will come from a few leads  When leads come in, there is a certain amount of processing and pre-qualifying to do that may result in the person saying, "I want to buy a house in a year. " You won't know the details, at least the ones that aren't outlined the prospect's web response, without follow up.  There are numerous prospecting tools or lead generating avenues available to agents and the numbers are ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
I hope you all had a great holiday weekend.  Blogging and work was put aside a bit for family.  As it happens, this a perfect tie in to my blog topic today. As important as work is on so many levels, it has to be in balance with the rest of your life.  Do you live to work or work to live? Does your job or business demand that you be accessible 24/7?  In an era of ubiquitous cell phones, pagers, Blackberrys and WiFi internet access, it is easy to keep in touch with the office from anywhere.  No doubt, many of you find that this is a mixed blessing at best. While technology gives increased mobility and connectivity, it can also erode the boundary between your professional and personal life. That's why it is increasingly more important to set reasonable boundaries and stick to them. For mo...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Consider for a minute what you think - what you really think - when you hear about an agent that's outselling you in your market. Be honest. Probably a little bit of jealousy, sprinkled with a little resentment. Well, the way I see it, you have a couple of choices. You can feel that jealousy (and there's nothing wrong with that - you're only human). But if you leave it at that, you don't improve. You sit there with your sour grapes. The other choice is to stop and take a little time to learn from those successful competitors. When you do that, you're heading up the on-ramp to a speedy interstate of faster sales. And if you do examine top producers, you'll soon realize they all have something in common: yes, that strong professional identity. They're easy to spot, they have a consistent ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
"I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee." Bella AbzugWith all due respect to Abraham Lincoln, all real estate agents are not created equal. Now before you get mad at me, hear me out. I'm not saying it's a bad thing that agents are unequal. It's just the way I see it. For example, if you judge agents by how many houses they sell, they are clearly not equal. Not every agent sells 100 houses a year. So what I am saying is that each agent brings his or her own unique gifts to the office. And the key is to understand your own special gifts, and then put them to work in a way that not only makes you more successful, but also makes you stand out from all the ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
"Reading Is Fundamental" and always will be, but many younger people (including young homebuyers), want the short story, not the long one. They want information more MTV than Encyclopedia Britannica. When working with the Sound Bite Generation, print ads don't work.  That's even true with real estate ads.  The Los Angeles Times recently discontinued its real estate section because it was expendable.  Looking at print ads is not the main way people prepare to buy real estate.  Surveys by the National Association of Realtors indicate nearly 90% of potential buyers use the Internet! Old habits are hard to break and I bet many of you have a habit of renewing your ad budget from year to year. Well, things have changed and eyeballs aren't where they used to be - namely print. Many agents and ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
And you thought that setting up a website and getting your license and perhaps some alphabet certifications was enough to make you stand out in the real estate world!  That was "then" - this is now! These days, it's all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Your website can be the best, interactive site in the world with all the right tools, but if no one sees it, it might as well not even exist. How does it get seen? Search engines. Google, Yahoo, MSN Bing and Ask.com are a few of the top ones. Take time now to submit your website's url to them: Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/ ; Yahoo!: http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request/ ; and MSN Live: http://search.msn.com/docs/submit.aspx. This is only a start, so learn as much as you can about SEO. Many people have company names t...
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