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Ninja Genius & the Enemy Line

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Really Part 2

Okay, this is really, Enemy Line, part 2.  Part 1 was here.  The reason for the delay: I was in Orlando for Starpower and this is the first chance I’ve had since I got back to town.  This post was prompted by the various questions I received in the comments section of that first post.  Please forgive me for this: most of those questions (I received some in person as well) were prompted by people reading the first post and then NOT actually doing what that post said to do.  This would be sort of like reading about an exercise program and then wondering why you had not experienced any improvement – even though you fully understood what you had just read.

First, I will start with these three:

I want to know what to do with the list?

I’d love to hear how you overcome this enemy line?

I too am curious about your suggested methods to get beyond the enemy line: taping a note to your morning mirror that says “I shall overcome”?

What’s Holding You Back?

What to do with the list?  Keep it.  The whole point is to get the ideas that you are carting around with you – that all seem so perfectly “logical” – that ARE the very ideas that are holding you back.  You must write them out, one by one.  If you have not done so already, please read again – right now – the original post.  It is vital to get those ideas correctly labeled and to create some distance between you and the suppressive idea.  Suppressive = not in agreement with you achieving your goal.  Period.  Any idea in conflict with your goals is “bad”.  It makes no difference where it came from.  You keep it so if any of those ideas ever come back, you can instantly recognize them for what they are: poison.

Questions 2 & 3.  How do you overcome the enemy line?  The answer is simple but at first will not seem very real.  The answer won’t seem real to you because you are still the effect of the enemy lines that are functioning as your mooring lines.  In most cases, these thoughts sit below your current level of awareness.  I am not talking about your “subconscious mind” – these effective mooring lines are just now simply below the water line.  Un-inspected.  The ones holding you back are usually NOT the ones you became aware of when I first put your attention on this area (when you read the first post).  Those enemy line ideas (all bad) you are already aware of.  You didn’t have to dig – even a little bit – to find them.  There are others sitting below those.  Write the first ones out, then some more will follow.  Then some more.  These ideas now being unearthed and written on your list you had never been even thinking of as “enemy line”.  But there they are and you have now spotted them as such.  They were available to you all along, but only after getting the first ones out are they likely to be correctly evaluated for what they are.

The Only Way To Succeed

I got this idea from a policy letter written by L. Ron Hubbard.  Talking to organization staff members, he said,

“The only way you can be successful on a post or win at it is to be at cause over it.

A way to sort of audit a post (clear up any confusion or barriers) is to write down any and all points where one feels he is NOT at cause over his post.

Then to look at points one after another where one can be at cause.

One’s vision of this gets bigger and bigger.

And one comes to cause over his post.

Try it.”

So the answer to:

Could the enemy line be overcome by writing the how to overcome as part of the list?

is sure.  But write out your enemy line list first.  Get it all out.  Any area where you feel at effect.  As you go through this you will naturally start to see how you can be at cause over this and over that. That is the whole idea.  But get that list written in full first.

Here’s What You Do

To activate YOUR enemy line ideas just put your attention on some lofty goal (anything you have wanted to BE, DO or HAVE that you have not yet achieved.  Those “wonderful” ideas that start to pop up as to why you can not really achieve those goals are your enemy line.  Write them down.  Not kept in your head.  In writing, please.

Also from Hubbard:

STOPS ALL OCCUR BECAUSE OF FAILED PURPOSES.

BEHIND EVERY STOP THERE IS A FAILED PURPOSE.


Brick Wall Stop


From Point A to Point B

Let’s say you are currently at point A and your goal is arriving at B.  Achieving your goal would be going from A to B.  As you started to move in that direction “something” became a barrier.  Ever since, anytime something or someone in the environment put your attention onto B (the goal) your attention would automatically go to (and fixate upon) the barrier.  In other words, when you have tried to focus on the goal what you would see and create was the stop – the barrier.  This is exactly what occurred with questions 2 & 3, above.  The barrier seems so formidable that the question becomes, “how to overcome it”.

How DO You Overcome???

By taking your attention off of it.

Stop creating it.  Put your attention back on what it is you wanted – your goals.  Keep putting your attention back on your goals.  As you do, the various old counter intentions will continue to pop up.  Add them to the list and keep putting your attention on your goals. 

From Mr. Hubbard and one of the most useful things I have ever learned:

THERE IS A LAW ABOUT THIS – ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO RESTORE LIFE AND ACTION IS TO REKINDLE THE FAILED PURPOSE.  THE STOPS WILL AT ONCE BLOW.

Russell has been an Associate Broker with John Hall & Associates since 1978 and ranks in the top 1% of all agents in the U.S. Most recently The Wall Street Journal recognized the Top 200 Agents in America, awarding Russell # 25 for number of units sold. Russell has been featured in many books such as, "The Billion Dollar Agent" by Steve Kantor and "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" by Gary Keller and has often been a featured speaker for national conventions and routinely speaks at various state and local association conventions. Visit him also at nohasslelisting.com and number1homeagent.com.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Erion Shehaj

    July 29, 2008 at 5:48 am

    Russell

    When you’re struggling as an agent (or as anything else for that matter) advice over how to change your method of thinking seems like such crap.

    “What do you mean, I can just write down my goals and achieve them?”

    But once you’re on the other side of that barrier (even on a non-major goal), you get it. It is all about focused energy and commitment. It’s what makes one lose weight when one never loses site of the goal and is determined to get there. It’s what makes an agent close whatever they want to close, by setting goals, figuring out what actions are required to achieve them (dollar producing activities) and then focusing on those actions with everything you have.

    Recently, one of my agents, whom I recommended to read “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”, came back to me after two weeks and told me this:

    “I don’t think that book is all that great. I don’t know. The guy just sounds like a cheerleader most of the time”.

    I smiled and remembered a Russell Shaw post that told me to “read the Millionaire Real Estate agent to the point of understanding

  2. Mark Eibner

    July 29, 2008 at 9:11 am

    we’re at it again Ninja Genius & the Enemy Line: We\’re in ICRM (Inman Connect Recovery.. https://tinyurl.com/57s6a2

  3. Matt Thomson

    July 29, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I just got back from a KW sponsored class on the MREA…interesting that the first 170 pages are all about the way one THINKS. I don’t think authors like Gary Keller and contributors such as Russell would put so much emphasis on THINKING if it weren’t so crucial.
    And yet, like you assert, most of us still let those barriers get in the way and wonder what we need to DO first.
    Great thoughts, thanks.

  4. Vicki Moore

    July 29, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Upon your advice I’m reading Keller’s book. I get my positive thinking wherever I can. As far as what to do with the list – who cares. Burn it. That’s not the point of the exercise.

  5. John Morley

    July 30, 2008 at 7:51 am

    So, I went through the exercise of writing out enemy lines pretty thoroughly before I even left the hotel on Saturday, and the things that were going through my head are now a COMPLETE non-issue. Thank you for that wisdom.

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Coaching

Disputing a property’s value in a short sale: turn a no into a go

During a short sale, there may be various obstacles, with misaligned property values ranking near the top, but it doesn’t have to be a dealbreaker!

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magic eight ball

It’s about getting your way

Were you on the debate team in high school? Were you really effective at convincing your parent or guardian to let you do things that you shouldn’t have been doing? How are your objection-handling skills? Can you flip a no into a go?

When working on short sales, there is one aspect of the process that may require those excellent negotiation or debate skills: disputing the property value. In a short sale, the short sale lender sends an appraiser or broker to the property and this individual conducts a Broker Price Opinion or an appraisal, using special forms provided by the short sale lender.

After this individual completes the Broker Price Opinion or the appraisal, he or she will return it to the short sale lender. Shortly thereafter, the short sale lender will be ready to talk about the purchase price. Will the lender accept the offer on the table or is the lender looking for more? If the lender is seeking an offer for a lot more than the one on the table, mentally prepare for the fact that you will need to conduct a value dispute.

Value Dispute Process

While each of the different short sale lenders (including Fannie Mae) has their own policies and procedures for value dispute, all these procedures have some things in common. Follow the steps below in order to conduct an effective value dispute.

  1. Inquire about forms. Ask your short sale lender if there are specific forms that you need to complete in order to conduct a value dispute. Obtain those forms if necessary.
  2. Gather information. Your goal is to convince the lender to accept the buyer’s offer, so you need to demonstrate that your offer is in line with the value of the property. Collect data that proves this point, such as reports from the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or your local title company.
  3. Take photos. If there are parts of the property that are substandard and possibly were not revealed to the lender by the individual conducting the BPO, take photos of those items. Perhaps the kitchen has no flooring, or there is a 40-year old roof. Take photos to demonstrate these defects.
  4. Obtain bids. For any defects on the property, obtain a minimum of two bids from licensed contractors. For example, obtain two bids from roofers or structural engineers if necessary
  5. Write a report. Think back to high school English class if necessary. Write a short essay that references your information, photos, and bids, and explains how these items support your buyer’s value. This is not something that you whip up in five minutes. Spend time preparing a compelling appeal.

It is entirely possible that some lenders will not be particularly open-minded when it comes to valuation dispute. However, more times than not, an effective value dispute leads to short sale approval.

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Coaching

Short sale standoffs: how to avoid getting hit

The short sale process can feel a lot like a wild west standoff, but there are ways to come out victorious, so let’s talk about those methods:

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short sales standoff

What is a short sale standoff?

If you are a short sale listing agent, a short sale processor, or a short sale negotiator then you probably already know about the short sale standoff. That’s when you are processing a short sale with more than one lien holder and neither will agree to the terms offered by the other. Or… better yet, each one will not move any further in the short sale process until they see the short sale approval letter from the other lien holder.

Scenario #1 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they will proceed with the short sale, and they will offer Bank 2 a certain amount to release their lien. You call Bank 2 and tell them the good news. Unfortunately, the folks at Bank 2 want more money. If Bank 1 and Bank 2 do not agree, then you are in a standoff.

Scenario #2 – You are processing a short sale with two different mortgage-servicing companies. Bank 1 employees tell you that they cannot generate your approval letter until you present them with the approval letter from Bank 2. Bank 2 employees tell you the exact same thing. Clearly, in this situation, you are in a standoff.

How to Avoid the Standoff

If you are in the middle of a standoff, then you are likely very frustrated. You’ve gotten pretty far in the short sale process and you are likely receiving lots of pressure from all of the parties to the transaction. And, the lenders are not helping much by creating the standoff.

Here are some ideas for how to get out of the situation:

  • Go back to the first lien holder and ask them if they are willing to give the second lien holder more money.
  • Go to the second lien holder and tell them that the first lien holder has insisted on a maximum amount and see if they will budge.
  • If no one will budge, find out why. Is this a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan? If so, they have a maximum that they allow the second. And, if you alert the second of that information, they may become more compliant.
  • Worst case: someone will have to pay the difference. Depending on the laws in your state, it could be the buyer, the seller, or the agents (yuck). No matter what, make sure that this contribution is disclosed to all parties and appears on the short sale settlement statement at closing.
  • In Scenario #2, someone’s got to give in. Try explaining to both sides where you are and see if one will agree to generate their approval letter. If not, follow the tips provided in this Agent Genius article and take your complaint to the streets.

One thing about short sales is that the problems that arise can be difficult to resolve merely because of the number of parties involved—and all from remote locations. Imagine how much easier this would be if all parties sat at the same table and broke bread? If we all sat at the same table, then we wouldn’t need armor in order to avoid the flying bullets from the short sale standoff.

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Coaching

Short sale approval letters don’t arrive in the blink of an eye

Short sale approval letters may look like they’ve been obtained simply by experts, but it takes time and doesn’t just happen with luck.

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Short sale approval: getting prepared, making it happen

People always ask me how it is that I obtain short sale approval letters with such ease. The truth is, that while I have more short sale processing and negotiating experience than most agents and brokers, I don’t just blink my eyes like Jeannie and make those short sale approval letters appear. I often sweat it, just like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I do not have magical powers, I do have something else on my side—education. One of the most important things than can lead to short sale success for any and all agents is education.

Experience dictates that agents that learn about the short sale process
have increased short sale closings.

Short sale education opportunities abound

There are many ways to become educated about the short sale process and make getting short sale approval letters look easy to obtain. These include:

  • Classes at your local board of Realtors®
  • Free short sale webinars and workshops
  • The short sale or foreclosure specialist designations

As the distressed property arena grows and changes, it is important to always stay abreast of policy changes that may impact how you do your job and how you process any short sale that lands on your plate.

The most important thing to do is to read, read, read. Follow short sale specialists and those who blog about short sales on AGBeat, Google+, facebook, and twitter. Set up a Google Alert for the term ‘short sale’ and you will receive Google’s top short sale picks daily in your email inbox. Visit mortgagor websites to read up on their specific policies and procedures.

Don’t take on too much

And, when you get a call from a prospective short sale seller, make sure that you don’t bit off more than you can chew. Agents in most of America right now are clamoring for listings since we are in the midst of a listing shortage. But, if you are going to take on a short sale, be sure that it is a deal that you can close. And, if you have your doubts, why not partner up with a local agent that can mentor your and assist you in getting the job done? After all, half a commission check is better than none!

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