Swansea, IL Real Estate News

By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Perhaps you saw the most recent edition of Realtor Magazine, that presented the 30 Under 30 winners.  All of them, and the many who were nominated and not chosen to be among the top group, share the same vision of how real estate works today.  Times may be tough but all are innovatively making a niche for themselves and using the latest technology.  As one recipient, Rachel Valentino, said: "As a young Realtor, I have found my niche working with 20- and 30- buyers who are web-savvy and who contact me on Facebook almost as much as by phone.  I have built up my website so that visitors can get a thorough understanding of the vibrant D.C. area.  Every client is treated like a VIP client & a friend." That's why the second tip for dealing with younger buyers is: Stock up on interactive softw...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
If you're thinking you just read something here about first time buyers, you are not losing your mind.  With the $8,000 tax credit ticking away, this is a hot topic.  We tend to think that anyone who can read knows about the credit, but for some people, the information was filed away in a mental circular file - until they needed it!   Now they need it, and here we are - THE SOURCE on how to proceed. Let's be real.  Who are these new buyers?  Unless they had a home more than three years ago & took a break from homeowning, or unless they rented until they retired, the new buyers are young.  I'm talking primarily about Generations X and Y, the newest wave of first-time home buyers now reaching the age where they are looking seriously at real estate. Gen X was born between 1965 and 1977 and...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Just in case the first five ways to use a virtual assistant didn't send you running to your phone to order up some service, here are a few more ways to incorporate this service into your work flow.  6. Website maintenance a. Listing enhancements online b. Upload virtual tours  7. Marketing mail outs a. Flyers b. Brochures c. Just listed/sold postcards d. Comparative Market Analysis 8. Create online multimedia a. Web commercials b. Virtual tours c. Listing presentations d. CD tours and presentations 9. Listing coordinator a. Perform clerical support duties from listing to contract b. Coordinate all support activities during listing period c. Mail out or e-mail listing plan of action to the seller 10. Transaction coordinator a. Perform clerical support duties from contract to closing b. C...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
David Letterman has made the Top Ten list a nightly feature on his TV talk show.  He didn't invent the concept, but he's made it popular. Some real estate agents who need some help are often puzzled about what to outsource.  In an office, some tasks require a body in the next room, but many things can be conveniently passed off to a competent assistant who may be based in Timbuktu. Professional Real Estate Virtual Assistants (REVAs) electronically support Real Estate Professionals (REPs) from a distance. REVAS use the latest technology available to support their clients without geographical boundaries.  If you can't think of how to use a virtual assistant, here's the first half of a Top Ten list you can use. 1. General Agent support a. Mail, e-mail, bills and reminders b. Birthday and a...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
We've talked a bit this week about my client Clar MacCallum. I remember Char MacCallum telling me that she often found herself reacting to the day instead of planning for the day.  "I'd get stuck in reactive mode, dealing with paper jams and phone calls instead of working a plan that would increase my profitability," she said. We developed a plan that spelled out systems and tools that helped her gain control of not only her time, but also her team's time. The systems were detailed checklists that covered everything that happened in her business - from how the phone would be answered to how leads that came in via the Internet should be handled. Now her business is on auto-pilot and she's in control and believe me, she's flying high! Agents work an average of 2,300 a year. Can you imagin...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
There was a time, maybe back in the ‘60s, when being spontaneous seemed to be a good contrast to the more uptight life of our parents.  In our personal lives, taking-a-spur-of-the moment trip or occasionally changing our schedule at the last minute is still liberating.  If you are too spontaneous in business, however, you will have problem.  To run a business, you need to put aside your "Take time to smell the flowers" tee shirt and develop a plan. If you don't have a plan, you're begging to be swept away in the frenzied current of minutia and chaos. A plan helps you take charge as a proactive agent, not a reactive one.  The number one time waster comes in the form of this reactive-laden question, which I hear often from agents: "When would you like to meet?" Agents need to learn how to...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
As you can gather from what Char MacCallum (see Assign Yourself Top Dollar-Producing Activities) did, a team is fundamental. If nothing else, just hiring one assistant -  an in-house or virtual assistant - is one of the best moves an agent can make. Unfortunately, and much to their detriment, many agents want to do it all by themselves. One of the top producers in the country admitted to me that he used to do it all.  Zac Pasmanick, CRS, of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, told me he was "the CEO, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), GM, Vice President (VP), chief brand creator, global marketing director, dynamic web developer, internal quality inspector, logistics coordinator, rainmaker, accountant, chief cook and dish washer." We worked together to designate areas of responsibility, establish a chai...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." - Shakespeare Two thousand three-hundred hours. If you're a typical agent, that's how many hours you'll work this year, according to NAR. That's a lot of time to get sidetracked and end up down an unproductive, frustrating, and rocky road. Has it happened to you? It happens to us all. Knowing - and embracing - dollar-productive activities can keep you on the smooth, freshly-paved freeway to more profits, more efficiency, and more fulfillment in your real estate career. How do you assess how you spend you time?    First, you have to know where the problem is before you can fix it. Inventory your time. Write out everything you're doing now to find the less productive task sounds. When I first started working with one of my clients, Char MacCall...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Things change fast in real estate. A couple weeks ago, we were talking about "historically low interest rates." Now, the rates are already moving up. Work closely with mortgage brokers. Credit remains tight, so those seeking mortgages will need a good job history and credit score to qualify. And consider focusing on small to medium-size homes. Why? Some high-earning first timers will find it tough to get jumbo loans, typically more than $400,000, because those loans are seen as high risk because of the amount. Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist, says sales in the upper price ranges "remain stalled because of higher interest rates on jumbo loans." So there you have it -- a market ready, waiting and willing. Splash on your SPF and make the summer of '09 a day at the beach! Bob Corcoran T...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
With lots of first time buyers at large in the market, you want to make sure that their first time experience is a good one.  As everyone's mother used to say, "First impressions are lasting." Stay focused on lead generation and lead management. If you're doing a good job of hitting first timers with your marketing, then your next -- and most vital -- step is to not let them slip through your grasp. If you're not responding to leads within 15 minutes, you will lose business, guaranteed. That comes back to a point I made recently - find a good lead management system and use it. You can make anything work - if you work it. When you get a prospect, find out how they like to communicate.  If you use social networking tools, you might find first timers, in particular, might contact you via T...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
As we said yesterday, summer will be a hot time for buyers and the real estate agents who serve them.  Many buyers will come to you with great interest in buying a home - but at the same time lulled in into the belief they have an unlimited amount of time to capitalize on the current market.  It's our job to create a sense of urgency. If there's one thing consumers hate, it's to lose out on a deal. And 2009 is about the best deal buyers have seen in a long time - maybe ever. Let me share a little secret: most consumers don't know there's a time limit on the tax credit. They may not see that mortgage rates, historically low for a minute are already moving up.  In some markets, there is a even bidding war on homes.  So remember this phrase: Time is running out. I love that phrase because ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Things are changing in real estate as more buyers automatically check the internet when they are house hunting.  Agents may laments that buyers who aren't ready to buy take up too much time, but buyers themselves are busy and don't want to be bothered before they're ready.  But when they're ready, WATCH OUT! The NAR has found some rather revealing habits of homebuyers. 77% of homebuyers used an agent to buy their home, Buyers searched for a median of two weeks on their own before contacting a real estate professional. Over three quarters of homebuyers used only one agent in their home search. Buyers ranked reputation as the most important factor when choosing a real estate professional to assist with a home purchase. The first rule in marketing is to know who you are targeting.  Keep le...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Has the metamorphosis from agent to broker taken hold? If not, it could be costing you and your real estate business some big bucks. Brokers, it is time to knight yourself as CEO. It is just the way things are: you make money, you pay taxes. Do not go when the light turns green and someone will honk at you. And if you are a top-producing agent, you may very well become the managing broker of an office. But as many former top producers have learned-sometimes the hard way-the roles of agent and broker are very different. And often, those savvy selling standouts become a dartboard with former colleagues hurling daggers at them because they lack the right tools to be a good broker. I shudder at the thought of all the lost productivity the real estate industry suffers at the hands of those p...
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By David Holden, Broker/Owner RE/MAX Preferred
(RE/MAX Preferred ABR, CDPE,GREEN,GRI,SFR)
Swansea IL (Wolf Branch) Real Estate Market update  April & May 2009 Swansea continues to be consistent in closed home sales.  May had 7 homes close which is the same number as January.  All things considered things look good for the Wolf Branch school district. May 2009 Closed homes: 7 Re-sale:  6 with an average sales price of $164,750 and market time of 86 days New Construction: 1 with a sales price of $423,577 and 47 days on market. ________________________________________________________________ April 2009 Closed homes: 5 Re-Sale: 4 with an average sales price of $173,725 and market time of 132 New Construction: 1 with a sales price of $487,295 and 77 days on market. ________________________________________________________________         Year to date totals for Swansea IL Wolf Bra...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
A violet is a lovely flower but it's very delicate.  Don't overwater it. Don't underwater it. Don't give it too much light or too much darkness. If you don't treat it right, it withers. Because it's pretty and purple, we pamper it.  If it were a person, we be tempted to give it a pep talk about being more flexible, about overcomng adversity, about having an attitude that wasn't so self defeating.  A positive attitude. If I had to pick a single ingredient of success, attitude would be it. Can you imagine a top producer with a bad attitude about themsleves? Well, if you can, I promise you they won't be one for long. The fire inside successful agents is at the very center of their belief that they can succeed - that they will succeed - no matter what. Period. Stop for a minute and ask your...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
If you read advertising copy, it sounds like every company would climb the highest mountain and swim the deepest sea for their customers.  In reality, many companies subject their customers to a maze-like phone system, keep them waiting, subject them to hard to understand reps who don't half listen to the problem, don't follow up... The list goes on. Thye might as well tell the customer to jump off that mountain or drown in the sea. A stellar and consistent display of customer service is the mark of a good agent. As a coach, I see plenty of agents who can talk all day about giving good customer service. But that's where it all ends -- at the talking. They postpone returning e-mails and phone calls from leads. They never look for ways to go above and beyond what the clients might expect ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Successful agents are made not born!  That may sound trite since we've all heard it, but think about it.  Even if you were born with a "sales personality" and you can sell salt to Morton, your natural talent won't carry you through in this market.  The agent that gets ahead is the one who keeps reinventing himself and keeps learning. That ‘s why one sign of a successful agent is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Sure, you expect agents to know their business and many will have the CRS, GRE and of other certifications. But you'd also never find them thinking they know it all. In fact, they'd be the first to tell you they learn something new every day. That's because they're curious and they're always seeking - and usually finding - opportunities in their market where others only see ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
With all the great foreclosure and REO bargains these days, buyers appear to have a lot of choices.  Many of these properties require some work to make them livable, either because the former owner was unable to maintain it, because the home was trashed by the angry owners or thieves, or because it sat too long. A Realtor who works to match buyers with this type of home has several roles.  As an agent working on commission, of course making the sale is important.  As an advocate for the buyers, he needs to make them aware of what in entailed in buying a home like this.  Some buyers might be turned off by a needy home; others see the potential but can't handle the repairs. To this last group, the agent has a chance to jump out of the nearest phone booth with his Superman cape blowing in ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
The other day I wrote a post about team building.  Much to my surprise, the people who commented on it noted that they either didn't need a team because their business was small or they liked the exhilarating feeling of doing it all.  I certainly advocate the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it approach."  If doing it all is working for you now, great. Obviously, a big overhead in terms of salaries drags down many companies, large and small.  For someone starting out or trying to make it through a tough economy, a lean staff - that perhaps consists of you - is a smart business decision.  For most people, however, there comes a point where they need help in some areas.  Maybe it's basic clerical help.  Maybe it's prospecting or lead follow up.  Maybe it's marketing or website design. These ...
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By Bob Corcoran
(Corcoran Consulting & Coaching)
Here's a picture for you - a baseball game where one team has the typical nine players, the other team - just one and he's pitching. The batter wallops one to the wall. The pitcher becomes the right fielder and scurries out to grab the ball and then sprints to home plate in hopes of tagging out the runner - who crossed the plate about a minute earlier. Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Many agents do the exact same thing every day. They want to win the game of real estate by doing it all. It can't be done. A team is essential, especially when you consider that agents only perform four tasks that are dollar-producing: list, prospect, sell, and negotiate. The rest of the activities are non-dollar producing - in other words, chasing baseballs around a huge outfield. Every time you choose to do...
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