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How to deal with armchair experts in the field of real estate

Armchair experts are common when it comes to real estate, but what is the best way to combat this age-old challenge?

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In the wonderful world of real estate (among most industries), you may meet from time-to-time a homebuyer or home seller who believes that he is an expert in the field of real estate despite the fact that he has little to no experience. You’ve probably already dealt with one or two of these characters; they’re the ones who tell you that their uncle’s sister-in-law (who is not in the field of real estate) advised that they could qualify for a specific loan program or that their home is worth about $100,000 more than it actually is.

According to the National Association of Realtors®, 92% of home buyers use the Internet during the home search; this means that almost everyone you meet when working with buyers and sellers has already done some research before contacting you. Despite the fact that the information gleaned in that research may not be accurate, the Internet and an individual’s social network create a climate for more armchair experts than ever before.

Because there are more armchair experts than ever, a real estate professional needs to be on top of his or her game. According to Traci Bass of Coldwell Banker in Rancho Santa Fe, “you need to come to the appointment with more information then you did five or ten years ago. You need to be prepared to navigate the client’s objections in listing appointments with hard data and concrete evidence.” Long gone are the days when home sellers would dial a Realtor® because they needed to know the value of their home. Now, when you get the call, most home sellers are already local experts. But, is the seller’s information accurate?

Ways to Deal with Armchair Experts

Here are 7 ways to deal with so-called experts in the field of real estate:

  1. Always be prepared. Since you already know that a home seller or home buyer has likely searched the Internet or has a friend or relative in the business, you must be prepared—as Bass stated—with your local closings, your market data, and other pertinent information. That way you’ll be able to handle any objections that come your way.
  2. Listen and learn. Even if the home buyer or seller is a “so-called” expert and not a real one, your job is to assist the client with what they want—selling the home sold for top dollar, buying a home in a specific community, etc. The only way that you can do that is if you listen to the client’s wants and needs and then adjust your sales techniques accordingly.
  3. Set expectations at the first meeting. The smoothest way to get a client into a home or to get a home sold is when everyone is on the same page. Set expectations for how you will work together up front (when and how you will share information, for example); this will lay the groundwork for a good relationship.
  4. Provide them with enough rope to hang themselves. I was once contacted by an individual who told me that why he would qualify for specific short sale programs, and that his lender would not ever foreclose on his home, despite the fact that he had missed several payments. I let him tell his entire story, and I asked questions. When he began to refer to specific state laws and policies, I showed him the original source documentation for those laws and policies, and he was able to see that the laws didn’t actually apply to his situation. Once I demonstrated my expertise, I never had a problem with him again.
  5. Seek proof. When the prospective client tells you that his long lost relative told him “x”, ask for supporting data. Lots of times information gets muddled as it passes from one person to the next, and the data is not quite so accurate as the voice that shares it.
  6. Concede minor points. If you are dealing with home buyers or sellers with a strong set of opinions, it may help to concede some minor points in order to ease the pain when they don’t get their way. Find small ways in which you can modify what you do to meet the clients’ needs and make them happy. Then, maybe you won’t have to give in on the big stuff.
  7. Put the kibosh on the relationship. If you absolutely cannot get beyond the prospective client’s expertise in order to demonstrate your own, then move on. Put the kibosh on the relationship. Just imagine how your business will grow when you focus on obtaining clients that value your expertise and will provide you with lifelong referrals.

Melissa is an in-demand business success speaker and author, as well as a real estate broker with thousands of short sale transactions under her belt. She leverages her experience as a short sale insider to motivate thousands of business professionals to plan their careers better, execute more effectively on their plan, and earn more because of it.

Professionalism

Recognize and use free time at work like the gift it is

(PRODUCTIVITY) Free time during your workday can lead to furthering your mind and productivity.

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Clocked in but clocked out

We’ve all had those slow days at work where we’re looking for ways to kill the time until the clock strikes five.

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While it can be tempting to use this time to text or mess around on the Internet, there are much better ways to use that free time that will make your future so much easier.

Cleanliness is next to godliness

First off, tidy up your workspace. Papers and items have a way of accumulating and may be distracting you even if you don’t realize it. By organizing your stuff and throwing away what you don’t need, you’re able to breathe and focus within your workspace.

It also does wonders for your work brain to clear up your email inbox.

Once that’s all done, plan out the rest of your work week. Make a list of the major goals you’d like to accomplish and then a sub-list of how you’ll knock those goals out. Update your calendar and make sure everything is on track.

Social media, networking, and research

It’s also beneficial to use this downtime to further yourself and your organization. Three ways you can do this is through: social media, networking, and research.

If you have access, take some time to look through your company’s social media and see what can be done to enhance it. Either throw up some posts yourself or pitch ideas to the social media manager.

Networking can be done in this small amount of time by sending out “catch up” emails to old colleagues, “welcome emails” to new clients or introduction emails to LinkedIn contacts.

Send them a “how’s it going?,” tell them what’s new with you, and see what they have going on. You never know where networking can lead so it’s always good to stay in touch.

With research, see what the latest trends are in your field and study up on them. This may give you new ways to look at projects and tasks at hand. And, it’s always beneficial to have continued learning.

Get Smart(er)

While on the subject of continued learning, take this time to mess around with something you may not feel completely knowledgeable of. Maybe dig around RPR data, perhaps practice using different computer programs it is never a bad a idea to nourish your brain.

Having free time during the workday is something of a gift. If you can help it, try not to waste it.

#FreeTimeNotWasteTime

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Professionalism

Bill Gates’ big regret of a simple command haunts him, what haunts you?

(EDITORIAL) If BIll Gates is still living with a big regret, it’s time to ponder your own, your own humanity, and consider moving past it in a healthy way.

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It has come to light that Microsoft founder Bill Gates regrets some of the original design decisions of the PC. Namely, the CTRL+ALT+DEL command that allows you to log in to the computer, due to its lack of simplicity when trying to access a key part of a computer’s operating system.

I know Mr. Gates probably has other regrets when looking at the span of his more than thirty years involvement with being associated with one of the most profitable companies in the world. I am assuming that you also have some regrets you have also in regard to your own business and/or career.

We all do.

According to psychologists, regret occurs when an something perceived as an error is made that has some personal accountability tied to it. If you’ve ever been a part of a business team, supervising employees, or been the boss, you’ve had a wealth of personal accountability. And, since you’re human, you’ve definitely made some mistakes.

One of my former bosses told me after a long day, in which I made some mistakes: You did the best you could have with the information you had. More than likely, if you’re agonizing about that mistaken car reservation or wrong decimal point, you made a normal human error. Even if it isn’t a small day to day thing, but perhaps a big issue with some big consequences, you can move on from that. It will be okay.

A great way to move on from a failure or mistake in business is to use the situation as a lesson for the future. Chances are, if you’re a team leader who messed up a relationship with an agent, you will have more agents in the future to avoid that error with.

Learning from your mistakes, and using your errors as fuel to increase your motivation for the next project, is a great way to deal with regrets healthily. If you don’t process your regrets, you can deal with a wealth of mental and physical health problems like chronic stress, depression, and damage to the systems that regulate your hormones.

You will have mistakes, but those mistakes have gotten you to this point in your life. It’s impossible to guess how your life would change if you were able to go back and fix that one thing that feels like a turning point in your business life. Living in spite of regrets is one of the hardest challenges in life to face, but just like Gates, you will accept the past and move on.

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Professionalism

Working Woman’s Wife: on-demand assistants for busy female brokers and agents

Austin startup, Working Woman’s Wife, offers on-demand help for ambitious female executives juggling work and home life.

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Over the past half century, women have made enormous strides into the workplace, including previously male-dominated professions. More than ever, women are serving as executives for major organizations, starting their own businesses, and finding success in the world of real estate.

Unfortunately, women’s success in the working world has not been counterbalanced by a reduction in their responsibilities at home. Statistics released by the U.S. Department of Labor last year reveal that women are still doing the vast majority of housework, including childcare, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and shopping for household amenities.

On an average day, half of all women are completing chores and errands, while only 19 percent of men are contributing to running the household.

Even when men do pitch in, they tend to spend less hours on housework, while women often cut into their work time or overbook and overstress themselves to manage both their careers and their households.

Helping ambitious women every day

An Austin-based startup wants to help ambitious women who “have long been without the advantages wives have provided to men.” The Working Woman’s Wife is an all-around personal assistance and concierge service fulfilling many of the housewifely functions that have long given men a leg-up in the business world.

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According to the Working Woman’s Wife, women complete an average of 18 hours per week of unpleasant and unpaid work, which means they have less time to advance their careers or spend quality time with their families.

When you hire a “wife,” she will complete many of these tasks for you, including office task such as emails and data entry, organization of your personal spaces or office, pet care, party planning and cleanup, cooking, laundry, running errands, personal shopping, and chauffeuring. They can even hang out at your place until the repairman shows up, so you don’t have to waste half a day of work taking care of a household problem.

How pricing for a “wife” works

Wives are available by purchasing packages of hours in increments of 30, 60, 80, or 100 hours per month, starting at $900 per month. Currently the Working Woman’s Wife serves the Austin, Texas area, but they are hoping to open chapters in Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Boulder, and the Silicon Valley.

Busy women brokers, real estate agents, and executives could obviously benefit from having someone take care of all of the “little things” that so often burden women who could be making more money, advancing their careers, and relaxing, if they had the time.

However, I can’t help but wonder who will be helping your “wife” run her own household while she is busily tending to yours. It’s great to see women wanting to help out other women, but maybe it would be better if men would step up to the plate. In lieu of $900 per month, perhaps you can convince your hubbie to pick up some of the slack instead.

#WorkingWomansWife

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