Monday, August 13, 2007

Power of GOOD Secretaries

Power of good Secretaries
I would just like to take a minute and thank my right and left hands, my secretaries Betty , Naisha, & Jenean. You never know the power your front line administrative people can have on the overall office. A good admin can change the entire attitude of your company. They can pick up the mood with conversations, and sniff out problems before they occur. They can be a go between to agents that we may not have contact with on a regular basis because of scheduling conflicts. A good secretary is worth their weight in GOLD.
Well, I feel fortunate to have Three!!! These three lady's keep our offices going everyday of the week. When things need to get done now, they are there to respond. When clients call with concerns they are there to make sure the clients are taken care of first, and that the clients know how important they really are. Our front women always have a smile on no matter how fast or slow things are going. From post cards to making appointments and from the web to solving problems, these 3 lady's do it all. Every office is only as good as the people answering the phone. I feel very lucky to have my company in good hand. SO to Betty, Jenean & Naisha I say THANK YOU!!! Keep up the GREAT work.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Just a Hug, that"s all.
You can't imagine the power that a huge can have on someone until you actually use it daily. This is a great motivator, and just a simple way to show your people you care. We take for granted a hug to a loved one when we see them at family outings or for the holidays. What about when one of your agents lost a sale or is just having a bad day. A simple 2 second hug might go along way.
On the surface you may think a hug is just putting your arms around someone. But, to that person what could it mean? Hey...I care. You are not alone. If you need someone to talk to I am here for you. I am not to busy to care about you and what you are going through. I may be able to help, let me try. I am not to wrapped up in my own world that I can't take 2 seconds to let you know I am here for you. And the power goes on and on.
With agents that you lead and manage it says that and a lot more. Don't be afraid to show the people you lead that you actually care about them as people not employees. If your people know you care they will follow you to the depths of hell, without question. Leaders need to have open doors and free lines of communications with the people they expect to lead.
Showing you care will allow your people to feel they can share with you, and they will want to be with you forever.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Proud to be Published

Gaining an edge during this busy season The kids are on Summer break, moderately priced homes are abundant and the weather is just right for cruising through those weekend open houses. If you're in the market for a new home, the Summer months are traditionally the best time to dive into real estate. But this perfect storm of home buying brings more buyers and competition to the table. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to gain an advantage. "No matter what time of year it is, if you're shopping f or a new home, you have to follow a few very basic steps," noted J.R. Sangiuliano, a real estate agent with Century 21 JRS Realty, which has locations in Clark and Rahway. "You need to get pre-approved for a mortgage immediately, you need to work hand-in-hand with a full-time Realtor, and you need to go and actually see houses, not just drive by." According to Sangiuliano, viewing homes in person is one of the most important moves that a buyer can make-e specially during the Summer season. "It's a very busy time and many agents and buyers are on vacation during the months of July and August," the agent noted. Many prospective buyers are merely picking up faxes detailing a property or taking virtual tours instead of physically visiting houses of interest. And, while that research may be beneficial to some extent, agents say that's not always the right way to find your dream home. "It's often a waste of time," Sangiuliano said. "A lot of clients don't have the time right now or they want that anonymity, so they just request a price and an address and do the drive-by. You need to go in and see 100 percent of the house." And despite July and August vacation trends, Sangiuliano and his crew of Realtors take full advantage of the season, offering Summer-themed company open houses. A barbecue-style bash encouraging pre-approval is slated at the agency's Clark office tomorrow. "We'll be serving hot dogs and hamburgers in the parking lot from noon to 2 p.m.," Sangiuliano said. "We're inviting people to eat and drink and take a look at the homes we have to offer. We'll have a mortgage company on the phone waiting to do pre-approvals and we'll be available to show properties to prospective buyers from 2 to 4 p.m."
Jacqueline Roudez, a sales associate with The Real Estate Group, LLC, in Maplewood, agrees. "The school season has a lot to do with the Summer rush," she noted. The children are out of school and a lot of parents have a small window of only a few months to find a new home." And when children are involved in a move, Roudez says buyers need to ask all of the right questions. "Take the time now to do the research about schools and recreational activities," she said.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Do you have a plan?

Day one with new agents I like to make sure they have a plan for everything they do. One of the first plans I give them is how to properly show a home to buyers. Having a plan is good for a new agents or an experienced agent. People want to know they will be cared for. Letting people know you have a plan and how you work does just that, takes control.

Step one-Meet customer at the house-Give them the house listings in the order they will see them-Tell them the following-"We are going to enter the home and go directly to the basement, we will work our way up, we must stay together, and we will save all questions for the end". "But before we go in..." Now the agent reads the listing and the remarks to the customer so they know what to expect. Giving them a preview of what's to come.

Step two-TELL them about the home, don't try to SELL them the home. Now the agent LEADS the customer through the home from bottom to top pointing out the factual information about what the home has. "Here is the........the listing says this was replaced in 2001". "This is the family room the listing says it measures 18x14". Simply point out the factually important parts of the home. If you use HGTV type words and sound like you are trying to SELL them the house they may feel you care only about making a sale and not about what they told you they wanted. You must be listening if you are to hear your customers.

Step Three-Upon exiting the home find out what they liked, disliked, want more of, and want less of in the home they will own, and write it down on the listing. Agents must get information from the buyer about the home they just left so the agent can compare it to others in the market to find the right next home to show.

The time to SELL a home is not in the home. The sale is made when the agent is introduced to the customer and gets the right information from the buyers about likes and dislikes, gets them pre-approved for loan they can afford, and builds a relationship with that customer based on trust, honest, and hard work. The only question that remain is when will you bring them in the right house, the house that talks to them. Agents will not and should not talk people into buying a home.
Customers will not care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Desperate Times For Some

Desperate Times Should Not Call For Desperate Measures.
OK, this will be more of a rant then an informative educational post, although all sales people can learn from it. Over the past years a certain CENTURY 21 company has done many many things to ruin our professional reputation and nothing has ever been done. This company is near the top for sales volume each year, and near the bottom for well trained ethical agents EVERY DAY. This company has had numerous ethics complaints filed against them, to the point that I know of attorneys that will not deal with them at all. Over and over again this company puts out poor untrained Realtors that do things wrong and do not follow through on their responsibilities. They lie in the beginning and then their clients back out or get denied mortgages in the end. That fact that they do so many sales is a travesty. Most of their agents just plain STINK!!!
So what brought this on? In the last two days 2 agents from this company did the following things. One of the agents called my listing agent on a particular property 34 times in 3 hours about his contract. Then this agent showed up with out an appointment at our sellers home and tried to present his offer without the sellers agent present, and pressure them to accept his offer. To top things off when this agents offer was not accepted he showed up at the sellers home again, this time yelling through the front door begging the sellers to take his clients offer"I know it's lower but please....".
A second agent from this same company today called one of our sellers directly, asking the seller if they are happy with us and "why don't you switch offices and list with us". Mind you, we have a commission agreement with these clients for another 5 months. Not to mention that we are both CENTURY 21 Companies.
This company located in Roselle Park needs to be reprimanded by CENTURY 21 and the Real Estate commission. These types of actions have been done over 40 times that I know of on my deals and to my clients. Not to mention the agents I have talk to that tell me they have had the same experiences.
If a company is built with the right foundation, based on trust, honesty, hard work, and integrity these things would not happen. Also, if these qualities were present in a sales office a change in the market would not send everyone running desperately to do business the WRONG way. If the broker is telling people to do these things he should be ashamed of himself. Further more, the broker should not have to try to motivate with pressure and fear, that makes agents leave. I have news for you, I have interview 3 of you agents that are going to be leaving. The fear and lack of confidence you are showing and projecting on your people is not working, learn how to lead. Obviously this broker has not built on a sturdy foundation. You could train a monkey to sell a house in the market we saw from 1998 to 2004, and you did. Now we will see the real character of your agents, and we already are. SHAME ON YOU!!!!


Make the most of your life

Evens like to “Get ready…get set…” endlessly. It is the ODDS who “go.” Evens busy themselves with the means while ODDS focus on attaining the ends.Evens love to wallow in busy work because it gives them the delusion they are getting things done. They are plodders, often losing sight altogether of their goals. Evens “put in” their time.ODDS are achievers. They get things done.Committees, at least the bad ones, can be great for focusing on what doesn’t matter. They spend a ton of time on the means while forgetting about the end.I sat on a non-profit committee for three months, which met once a week. Their stated purpose was to raise money for youth programs. Compared to them molasses moves at the speed of lightning. They loved asking each other, “Define your terms.” If a fire had broken out in a corner of that room, by the time we defined “smoke,” we would have all been ashes.The problem with that committee was that merely “being” at the meeting became more important than the problem solving that was supposed to be occurring at the meeting. No one got any credit and no one got any blame so no one got anything done.When it comes to minor matters, plodders often seek perfection. That way, you can put in more time. When I was a college student, I worked a summer at a freight car company. Like most lousy employees, I was a plodder. I was an Even.What the company did was rebuild freight cars that came in off the road.One morning, my job was to paint over the rust spots on a series of freight cars. I was standing there carefully dabbing out the various spots of rust. The foreman came by and observed me for a moment. Then he walked up, grabbed my paint bucket, shoved me out of the way, took a few steps back and splashed the entire gallon of paint onto the side of the freight car. Handing me the empty bucket, he said, “Spread it around and get your ass moving to another job. This ain’t the Mona Lisa, kid.”Now, when I’m doing something and I realize that it doesn’t deserve the time I’m giving it, I remind myself, “It ain’t the Mona Lisa. Just get it done.”Mark was a salesman whose job required a certain amount of schmoozing with his clients; taking them to dinner, golf outings, that sort of thing. He became a great schmoozer. But in the process, he forgot that the purpose of schmoozing was to sell more product. He almost lost his job before he realized that he had to focus on the passion that had brought him to the job to begin with – selling. He was getting ready, getting set, but not going. He wasn’t selling. Every college has a number of “Get ready, get set but never go” students. They often change majors, schools and manage to accumulate hundreds of college credits without ever earning a degree. These students hang around a college for the same reason some people hang around bars. It is a comfortable environment. Such students have focused completely on the process and have forgotten their goal of getting a degree.Why have so many of us allowed ourselves to “Get ready, get set…” but not “go?” Fear.When you decide to live a life that relishes your ODD, change is going to occur. You’re gambling that the change is going to make your life better, not worse, and that’s scary. The unknown always is. If you are thinking Even, maybe you’re scared because you perceive that the stakes are so high. At such times, it’s good to remember that although many things in life are important, none of them is serious. No matter what you do, no matter how great, silly or stupid, it is virtually certain that, in a very short amount of time, no one is going to know, care or remember.That would be just as true if you were the ruler of the world. In just a hundred years, in terms of the universe hardly the blink of an eye, you and I and everyone else alive today, at least physically, will be the dust on someone’s furniture.BECOMING YOUR WIZARD OF ODD: Be the dust that had fun. Focus on the goal, not the process.BECOMING A WIZARD TO OTHERS: Remind those around you about the old saying in basketball: “You miss all the shots you never take.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Secrets to Homeowner Savings

Secrets To Homeowner Tax Savings
1/9/2007By Robert J. Bruss, Inman News
New book explains unique benefits for property owners
Tuesday, January 09, 2007By Robert J. BrussInman News
Sandy Botkin's new book "Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich" explains tax benefits for homeowners and investors in an easy-to-read, authoritative format. The blessedly short chapters include simple explanations of sometimes-complicated tax rules with lots of examples and "Sandy's elaborations," which provide practical implementation advice.
Just in time for the 2007 income tax filing season, Botkin's new book provides strategies to resolve key tax issues so property owners can legally minimize their tax bills. What is especially valuable about this new book is the author doesn't just explain real estate taxation, but at the end of each chapter there are citations to the Internal Revenue Code, tax court decisions, recent IRS rulings and other authoritative sources.
Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.
The book includes basic tax explanations on virtually every topic homeowners and investors need to understand. In addition, the author provides advanced tax strategies, such as how to avoid tax if your principal-residence sale results in capital gains exceeding the $250,000 or $500,000 tax exemptions of famous Internal Revenue Code 121.
But this is more than a simple real estate tax book. It provides coverage of important tax topics most people don't think about but should know about
For example, Botkin explains how to deduct costs of looking for investment property to purchase, including travel expenses. Of course, there are lots of examples showing how the tax law applies differently depending on whether the investor is just starting out or already owns realty investments.
Advanced-level real estate owners will especially profit from tax techniques that are a bit "over the top" but are perfectly legal. To illustrate, for home sellers who rented their homes more than three years during the last five years and lost their $250,000 or $500,000 principal-residence exemptions, the author explains how selling to your "S corporation" can be beneficial taxwise.
The superb graphics, even with cartoons, make the potentially dull topic of taxes especially interesting and easy to comprehend. Occasionally, Botkin even adds a bit of humor, such as his explanation of how increasing your withholding allowance for $33,000 of additional homeowner deductions is "like giving birth to 10 children (a $3,300 exemption each) … but a lot less painful." I didn't know CPAs were allowed to have a sense of humor.
Botkin's explanations of how divorce and death affect homeowner tax benefits are the best and easiest to understand. He even reveals a little-known tax loophole for a surviving-spouse head of household who can file a joint tax return for up to two years after a spouse's death. The author also simplifies the market value stepped-up-basis rule when inheriting property from a deceased co-owner.
If you thought it was impossible to understand the tax benefits of owning your home and/or investment property, think again after reading this excellent new book. Botkin explains the Internal Revenue Code to make it as understandable as possible.
Chapter topics include "Why You Should Own Your Home"; "Buy a Home or Die in Poverty"; "Tax Basis: The Starting Place for All Deductions"; "IRS Record Keeping Requirements to Bulletproof Your Basis"; "Why Making Improvements to Your Home is Much More Valuable than Making Repairs"; "Maximizing the New Mortgage Interest Rules"; "Excluding Gain When You Sell Your Home"; "Exceptions to the Two-Year Rule"; "Using an S Corporation to Avoid the Two-Year Rule"; "Understanding Depreciation"; "Making Land Deductible"; "Splitting Income by Hiring Family Members"; and "How to Avoid All Gain on the Sale of Investment Property Using Like-Kind Exchanges."
Not only is this an ultra-complete tax book explaining virtually every topic applicable to homeowners and investors, but it is an easy, enjoyable read. Too bad Botkin didn't write the tax code because then ordinary people could understand it. On my scale of one to 10, this outstanding new book rates an off-the-chart 12.
"Real Estate Tax Secrets of the Rich," by Sandy Botkin, CPA, Esq. (McGraw-Hill, New York), 2007, $24.95, 207 pages; available in stock or by special order at local bookstores, public libraries and

What you know Does Not Matter!!!

They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care! by JR Sangiuliano

To many Realtors lack vision and purpose beyond just making money. As Realtors we provide a valuable service. If a Realtor does not value his service the service will not be presented as valuable. As Realtors we help people realize what is still the American Dream, home ownership. Immigrants still come to this country and live in relative poverty saving money to someday be able to own a home. Realtors need to have a vision, and that vision starts with what you have a passion for. If your passion is supplying people with the American dream you will have a great career. That passion will guild your every move and all your activities and interactions with the public. But, if your passion is for the dollar you will not have a long career in this field. If you are not tuned into peoples wants, likes, and desires you will be a poor service provider. If your soul purpose in this career is YOU, then good luck because you will need it.