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Q: What if a seller asks me if I’ll cut my commission?
 

A: Realize that sellers ask for commission cuts because they don’t see value in using you. The higher the quality of your service, however, the more value you present.
It’s all in the strength of your presentation. You must show energy and enthusiasm in a highly professional manner. How do you do that? Much of this comes from your desire and drive — the desire to do a great job. Have a well-scripted presentation that you know covers the specific needs of your seller. You should discover those needs when you prequalify the seller at the time you set up the appointment.

Offer sellers a chance to see the value of the MLS and get involved. Any associate can put a listing into the MLS and, by extension, the Internet. Go further and ask the seller if he or she understands “how the MLS works in our town,” and then go on to say, “We have X agents in town. When I submit your listing to the MLS, every agent has the opportunity to sell your home. Is there anything we can put on the MLS listing that will draw attention to your property?”

Meet the Expert:
Mike Ferry is the president and founder of the Mike Ferry Organization, a real estate coaching and training organization (mikeferry.com).

 
Q: What should I include on my Web site? 

A: You need to include complete information about listings (photos of each home and its surroundings, virtual tours, etc.) and their areas (schools, recreation, transportation, shopping, etc.). Also, highlight your marketing skills by including information from your listing presentations such as the way you work with buyers and examples of the promotions, such as postcards, you use to sell homes.

Finally, include complete information on how to buy and sell a home — from the forms that will have to be filled out, to termite inspection information, to the settlement sheet. Mark everything “Sample” and make the information downloadable from your site. It helps buyers understand the value of your help in managing the process.

Meet the Expert:
Allen F. Hainge is president of Allen F. Hainge Seminars Inc. (afhseminars.com and cyberstars.com) and author of Secrets of the CyberStars; Making Money with Today’s Technology.
Q: I want to build a brand for my business.  How should that desire impact my print advertising?
 

A: A.  Focus the ads on telling the story of your company, your personality, and your unique qualities.  Focus the ads on telling why you’re different rather than just featuring your listings and credentials.

Meet the Expert
Greg Herder, CEO of Hobbs/Herder Advertising, has personally designed the marketing/advertising campaigns of many of the nation’s top associates. He’s published numerous books, manuals and articles. The company has 50 real estate coaches, trainers and professionals in its offices in Newport Beach, CA. www.hobbsherder.com.


Q: I need some instruction regarding closing gifts; got any ideas?
 

A: Closing gifts are kind of expected, and the “standard” gifts like cookie jars, and so on, don’t have much impact on most customers. Instead, try and customize your gift to the customer. Consider giving each customer a gift card to a favorite local restaurant after closing. To make it more memorable, try giving that card the week before closing, when customers’ lives are most hectic and they really need a break.

Meet the Expert:
Greg Herder, CEO of Hobbs/Herder Advertising, has personally designed the marketing/advertising campaigns of many of the nation’s top associates. He’s published numerous books, manuals and articles. The company has 50 real estate coaches, trainers and professionals in its offices in Newport Beach, CA. www.hobbsherder.com.

Q: Beyond the MLS, how else can I let other Realtors® know about my new listings?
 

A: Call associates who’ve written offers on your other listings, but didn’t have the winning bid. They may still have customers ready to buy. These associates will appreciate your attention to their buyers, and your sellers will appreciate your calling associates who have ready, willing and able buyers. Even better, keep a list in your office of associates whose buyers were not successful with recent offers (include price ranges) so everyone can take advantage of these waiting buyers.

Meet the Expert:
Patti Brotherton is president and founder of PAB Performance Partners (eproven.com), a company that helps real estate associates do more and better business.

Q: How do I reach non-tech-savvy customers?
 

A: A place to start is a client technology audit. Find out what your client knows about technology and what he or she would be comfortable using in the buying and selling process. The best time to do this is after you’ve established rapport with the prospect, maybe even on your first appointment.

It’s best to have questions ready such as “Do you have Internet access? Are you familiar with real estate search sites? Do you have e-mail? How often do you check your e-mail? Would you like to receive listing information by e-mail?” Just asking these basic questions will set you apart from your competition.

Meet the Expert:
Saul Klein is the president of InternetCrusade.com, an Internet education and development company, and partner with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for the e-PRO® online technology certification program.
Q: My company has two symbols - an oversized custom truck painted with its logo and a hibiscus flower . Which one should dominate its marketing?
 

A: Long term, the hibiscus flower is the brand identity because they won’t always have the truck, and it’s not unique.

Meet the Expert:
Jason Shinpaugh is broker-owner of Shinpaugh Realty LLC in Merritt Island. He can be reached via e-mail at: info@placesforsale.com.