Your September Membership Access
UP! Magazine - September 2019, Vol 2, Issue 9
Climbing Out of a Credit Mess
by Bernice Ross, Editor-in-Chief
PODCAST OF THE MONTH:
How to Avoid One of the Costliest Business Mistakes that You Will Ever Make,
with Sherry McCormack
OFFICE MEETING TOPICS
How to Create Facebook Posts that People Will Read and Enjoy
Put Your Networking on Steroids
Are You Suffering from “Neogotiaphobia?
Seven Ways to Target Market to the Sweet Spot in Your Marketing
Take a Bite Out of Commission Nibblers
QUICK HINTS: Weekly Tips to Build Agent Profitability
Podcast of the Month
Sherry McCormack: How to Avoid One of the Costliest Business Mistakes that You Will Ever Make
This month we are happy to welcome Sherry McCormack of Long and Foster with a must hear session that can make a huge difference in your lead conversion—the title is “How to Avoid One of the Costliest Business Mistakes that You Will Ever Make.” In this session, Sherry does a deep dive into the challenges agents face in posting their profiles in the places that are critical to their lead conversion. Here’s what she will be covering.
- Client leads Google you—what you need to include on your profile to convert them
- Which site (Realtor.com, Facebook, Zillow, or Trulia) is the top site for lead
- conversion from your profile
- Strategies for creating an effective bio
- Five fantastic ways to capitalize on LinkedIn
How to Negotiate More Effectively with Clients from Other Countries
Favorable immigration policies, relatively low prices, the American system of title insurance, and an attractive lifestyle make the United States a desirable location for real estate investment. How can you best serve this fast growing market segment?
Your international buyer or seller is ready to transact—now what? What is the best way to handle the negotiation? What pitfalls lie ahead? Being able to answer these questions will not only help you close the deal, it will help you generate more referrals as well.
Cultural Mindsets and How They Influence Negotiations
An important step in understanding how to best work with global clients in an offer situation is to understand their cultural mindset when it comes to negotiation. Here are three important sets of factors to consider based upon your client’s native country.
1 - Directness vs. Imply the Message
If you’re dealing with someone from the United States, Canada, Australia, Southern Europe, or the Middle East, get to the point. They prefer directness.
In contrast, clients from China, Japan, and India, usually respond poorly to a direct approach. For example, someone from Japan will not tell you “No.” Instead they will say, “It is difficult.”
Or perhaps you’re working with a buyer from India. You ask if he can have his money into the title company no later than the 15th of the month. Your buyer says, “Yes.” The challenge is that this “yes,” doesn’t mean that he is agreeing to your request. Instead, it means, “I will do my best to have it there.”
2 - Follow Orders or Engage in Debate
While there are major differences in this dimension depending upon the client’s home culture, there is a simple solution that works with virtually everyone. Outline the various options available to the client and then ask, “Which option works best for you?” That puts the client in charge and avoids confrontation.
3 - Individualism or Consensus
Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom are often individualistic and independent. Nevertheless, with members of Gen Y in these countries, they are often as likely to seek consensus from their friends and family as are people from Africa, China, Japan, Native Americans, and Russia. Paying attention to these factors can help you to avoid the frustrations that arise from being unaware of these major influences on your clients’ negotiation style.
4 - Differences in Lending Requirements
Many international clients as well as the agents who represent them are unaware of how the requirements for domestic clients differ significantly from those for global clients. Lending requirements top the list.
To illustrate this point, only a limited number of banks will do business with foreign nationals. If you are working with this niche, it’s important to identify who those lenders are in your area.
Other differences include having a 30-40 percent down payment, having an additional $100,000 on deposit at the bank over and above the down payment, plus a full year of payment, taxes, and insurance on deposit as well. They will also probably pay a higher interest rate as well.
Beware of Tax Traps
If you are working with an international buyer, it is absolutely critical that you advise them to see a tax attorney who specializes in international purchases prior to your clients making an offer.
The reason for doing this is that your clients can be liable for huge amounts of taxes if they don’t address these issues up front. On the other hand, if they set up the right structure for their purchase, they can deduct interest payments, take capital gains deductions, and avoid paying may federal, state, and local taxes.
For example, if a buyer in California takes title as an individual, up to 46 percent of ALL his global income may be subject to California state income taxes. On the other hand, if he takes title using a LLC owned by a foreign corporation, normally he will have no tax.
Again, the buyer must take these steps prior to closing in order to avoid these taxes. They cannot do this after the property closes. A key point to note is that there is no exemption for the death tax on any property over $60,000 in value. Also, keep in mind that is illegal for you to give your clients tax advice. They must seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in this area.
operates an international site where you can post your listings as well as searching for property in other places in the world. Most countries require that you are licensed there in order to conduct business. Consequently, it’s important to network with local agents who can help you find good legal resources to help your clients who are purchasing outside the U.S.
We Want New
Many international clients want new, low maintenance properties that they can lock and leave. This is especially true for Chinese investors. In contrast, people from India want new, large family homes in the best school district.
Working with international clients can be a highly profitable niche if you take the time to study cultural differences, are willing to adapt your style to fit your clients’ needs, and to guide them to avoid the numerous pitfalls that they will face.
The Power of Single Focus
Buckminster Fuller once said, “Environment is stronger than will.” If you have ever set a goal and then experienced having the people around you undermining your progress towards that goal, you know how difficult it can be to overcome an unsupportive environment.
Have you ever noticed that when you start to raise your standards, the people around you will often may resist or even sabotage the progress you are making? At that point, you have an important decision to make. Do you allow them to pull you back into your old way of doing things or do you leave them behind to seek those who will support the new person you are becoming?
Mirror, Mirror—Go Away!
The late Thomas Leonard, one of the founders of business coaching, was adamant about this point. When you start losing weight, regularly prospecting, or making any other change in which the people in your peer group are not engaging, they will actively try to pull you back to their level. The reason? You are holding up the mirror that shows them what they are not doing and they don’t like what they see.
Leonard also argued that relationships are sustainable only when you are a step ahead, exactly even, or a step behind each other. If the gap is too great, the relationship will deteriorate. When someone upgrades what they’re doing and the other party does not, the result is often divorce, a career change, or some other major alteration in the relationship.
Detractors Promote Their Agenda, Not Yours
Here’s a great example that happened to one of our coaching clients. He received a Fit Bit (which monitors the number of steps you take each day) as a gift. He set a simple goal to take 10,000 steps per day. Given that he had slacked off on regular exercise for a fair amount of time, this was a major shift for him.
He has started walking more and has started dropping weight. When he went to play golf with his friends, they immediately began telling him, “You need to do more. You need to focus on tracking calories.”
When he saw his internist for a prescription renewal, she didn’t even acknowledge him for how much he was walking. Her remark was, “You need to get the weight off.” Weight is her issue. She has been trying to drop 50 pounds and not having a lot of success with it.
The biggest thing I learned was that when you focus down you get results. People don’t like it when you focus. If I exercise, watch what I eat, and how I sleep, I feel much better. I didn’t gain the weight overnight and I don’t anticipate taking it off overnight. My focus in on walking—weight loss is the byproduct.
Three Steps You Can Take to Set Your Business on Fire
According to NAR, the average consumer knows 12 real estate agents and consumers hire the person they have seen most recently face-to-face.
Consequently, the first step for agents who want to grow their businesses is to focus on being in face-to-face contact with their sphere and/or past clients at least five hours per week. For example, they could set an appointment to treat them to a cup of coffee, invite them to a client appreciation event, or join them in an activity where they are volunteering.
The second step is to generate leads from people they haven’t met. Whether it’s holding open house, door knocking, or networking, make being face-to-face where you can meet new leads your top priority. Set a goal of scheduling at least one buyer or listing appointment every day.
The third step is to strengthen your “No” muscle. This is important because many of the people you care about will try to pull you off focus. To do this, tell your friends and family that if they ask you to do something, your answer will be “No.” Moreover, if your clients ask you to give up time with your family, to be available at all hours of the day and night, if they want to list their property at an unrealistic price, or if they want to look at property without first being pre-approved, tell them “No.”
Creating a supportive environment is at the heart of real estate sales success. Rid yourself of anyone who doesn’t support you to achieve your goals or at least minimize your exposure to these people. While this process can be challenging, when you see the results you will agree that it is well worth it!