Friday, April 22, 2011

7 Mortgage Interest Deduction Myths

Think losing the mortgage interest deduction would be no big deal?

We bust seven myths to show why the cost is bigger than you think.

Proposals floating on Capitol Hill to curb the mortgage interest deduction gloss over all the ways home owners, and even renters, would be hurt by the change. Let’s set the record straight.

Myth #1: The mortgage deduction is just for rich people.
The mortgage interest deduction helps mostly middle- and lower-income families.
65% of families who use it earn less than $100,000 per year.
91% earn less than $200,000 per year (that’s where most economists draw the line between rich and middle-class).
Only 9% earn more than $200,000 per year.
This myth may have arisen because of a related fact: If you buy a house, you’re much more likely to accumulate wealth by the end of your life. Home owners have an average net worth of $200,000, while the average renter’s net worth is $5,000, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

Myth #2: I'm not affected by the mortgage deduction because I don't own a home.

If the mortgage interest deduction goes away, home values would fall by 15%, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® estimates. When home values fall, tax revenues follow suit, giving your local government two choices:

Raise property taxes. Not only will home owners pay more in taxes, renters won’t escape unscathed either as landlords raise rents to cover their costs.
Cut services that everyone—renters and owners—enjoys.

Myth #3: Switching to a 12% mortgage interest credit would be a wash for most.

One proposal floating around Congress is to replace the mortgage interest deduction with a 12% nonrefundable mortgage interest tax credit. (Deductions reduce your taxable income; credits reduce your tax liability.) This plan would increase taxes for many home owners.

Example: If you paid $10,000 in mortgage interest, and you’re in the 25% bracket, you’d pay $1,300 in extra taxes.

The $10,000 deduction you have now saves you $2,500 on your taxes (25% x 10,000).
The 12% credit would save you only $1,200 (12% x 10,000) on your taxes.
In this scenario, if the mortgage interest deduction is changed to a 12% credit, you’d lose $1,300 (the current $2,500 savings minus the $1,200 you’ll save under the 12% plan).

Myth #4: Not that many people take the mortgage interest deduction.

There are 75 million American home owners, and 38.5 million of them take the mortgage interest deduction. The average mortgage interest tax deduction is $12,200, and a typical benefit for home owners is $3,050 a year.

The mortgage deduction is a key benefit to first-time home owners and trade-up buyers because you pay the most mortgage interest when you first take out a mortgage. (You won’t pay equal amounts of principal and interest until year 13 or later, depending on your interest rate.)

People with large families also get a lot of bang from mortgage interest deductibility—they buy relatively big houses for their big families.

Myth #5: Getting rid of the deduction won't affect me or my housing market.

It will mean lower property values for all American home owners, including the one-third who own their homes outright and the 12 million who take the standard deduction.

Even if you don’t have a mortgage, getting rid of the MID will affect how much home you can afford to buy—and how much a buyer will pay for your home.

Myth #6: People will still buy my house without the mortgage interest deduction.

Yes, people will still value home ownership, but it will be harder for them to buy your house. The mortgage interest deduction makes it cheaper to buy a home because it saves real money at tax time.

If you bought a home last year with a $200,000, 30-year, 5% fixed-rate mortgage and you’re in a 25% tax bracket, you’d save about $2,500 from the mortgage interest deduction alone in the first year you own your home. That’s money you can use to pay down other debts, save for your children’s college education, or put away to buy a move-up house.

Myth #7: Solving the U.S. budget problems requires everyone to sacrifice.

Home owners already pay 80% to 90% of the federal income tax collected. If mortgage interest deductibility disappears, you and your fellow home owners could foot 95% of federal income tax.

If you’re at the beginning of your mortgage, losing the mortgage deduction will cost you a bundle:

$26,685—a 15% drop in value for the median home valued at $177,900.
A proportionally smaller gain in overall home equity over your lifetime, because your home now starts from a lower value.
Dona DeZube has been writing about real estate for more than two decades. She lives a suburban Baltimore 1970s rancher on a 3-acre lot shared with possums, raccoons, foxes, a herd of deer, and her blue-tick hound.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

When to Get a New Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents come in all different stripes, but it takes a personal experience to hammer that home. As my bio says, I'm a management consultant for institutions in the real estate industry, and have been working in the real estate space for several years. But recently, my wife accepted a tremendous opportunity for her career in Houston, so I've been busy doing consumer things in the consumer world: trying to find a place for us to live, at least for a year, while we get to know the area to decide where to purchase.

The experience of looking at the real estate industry through a normal consumer's eyes is... interesting. I'd like to relate a few of the experiences I've gone through and am still going through here, starting with...

The Subscriber's Voicemail Is Full

So I travel down to Houston, taking a couple of days, to locate a house that my brood and I might transform into our lair while we settle in. I find a pleasant, professional real estate agent to help me with my search (wave to everybody, Sara Nguyen of Prudential Gary Greene), and use the various online tools on to conduct the search. I'll have a word or two about that experience later.

Together, Sara and I narrow our options down to a couple of neighborhoods, and a dozen houses or so. We start going through them rapid-fire style on Monday, so I can narrow the choices down. We get to one house that looks
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Browse through photos of millions of home listings on AOL Real Estate
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Search Foreclosures for Salepromising, and Sara turns to me in the car and makes a confession. (Much of the dialogue below consists of me putting words in people's mouths, but hey, I didn't have a tape recorder on me or anything while, y'know, just being a consumer. But the facts are absolutely true.)

"I'm so sorry, Rob, but this house... I need a few more minutes," she says.

"Why is that?"

"Well, I've been trying for the last four hours to get a hold of the agent here to make an appointment, and she's not answering her phone."

I had noticed that Sara was awfully busy while we were touring the four previous houses. Now I knew what she had been trying to do.

"I tried to leave her a message to call me back as soon as possible, but her voicemail is full."

Say what now? I pull my Blackberry out of the holster and check: yep, it says right there that this is year 2010. For a moment, I thought I was back in the days when Motorola RAZR was the hot phone, and voicemail was this new thing that people didn't know how to use.

By sending her a couple of emails, leaving messages with her office, and perhaps by divine intervention, Sara gets a call back, and we're able to go in and see the place. I like the house, seems like it'll do for a temporary hideout, and talk it over with my wife that evening. We decide that we'll take it.

The next day finds me in Sara's office filling out applications and lease agreements. We're not in the least bit worried about approval; my wife and I are homeowners, have been for some nine years, have good credit, and the rent is cheap to our New Jersey eyes. We send the forms over, and I hope to have cashier's checks ready to go by the afternoon.

In the age of instant communication, of Twitter, Facebook, email, email on mobile phone, text messages, and so on, I figure it'll be a couple of hours before we hear back and can start negotiating the fine points of the lease.

Four hours pass without a word. Sara, in a near-panic, tells me that she's tried the other agent's phone a dozen times. "Her voicemail is still full, so I can't leave her messages, and she's just not getting back to me at all."

I'm about two minutes away from deciding to say screw it, and move on to our second choice house, when the other agent finally calls Sara back.

If Your Agent's Voicemail Is Full... Fire Her

I'm not going to bore you with the details of the negotiation, which still has not concluded, because, guess what, the other agent rarely answers the phone, and her voicemail is still full. But as a trespasser in Consumer World, let me suggest something: If your Realtor's voicemail is full, you've let her know this, and it's still full after an hour... fire her.

This agent, whose name I never learned, came within two minutes of losing her client the deal. In my case, he almost lost out on a great, stable tenant who would take care of his property, pay the rent on time, and won't make a fuss (without a very, very good reason). If I had been a buyer, her client might have lost the deal completely, simply because she can't be bothered to delete old voicemail messages (or answer the phone for that matter).

Let me be charitable and assume that perhaps the other agent is Hillary Clinton, moonlighting to supplement her income, while she tries to negotiate some treaty with Azerbaijan. That might be great for Azerbaijan and American foreign policy, but if you are Realtor Clinton's client, you're gettin' screwed.

Within the industry, we've heard that consumers are getting more demanding. Consumers want answers immediately, we hear. You'd better get on Twitter, and get that iPad, and have four mobile phones to deal with the impatient consumer - that's what we hear. Well, from Consumer World, let me suggest that the reason why consumers might be impatient is that we live in 2010, and we have jobs, and we have clients, and we know that we have to respond when our boss or our client calls us. We have mobile phones and voicemail too, and we know how they work. We're pretty reasonable folks, I think, but not when your damn voicemail has been full for two days and you can't be bothered to take five minutes to delete your three-month old messages!

There are complexities to being a real estate agent these days, I get that better than most people. But the essence of being an agent is to represent the client. Tell you what, it's awfully hard to represent your client when you don't pick up your phone, and people calling you with offers can't leave messages because your voicemail is full.

As a buyer/seller, or a landlord/tenant, your financial future might hang in the balance in a real estate transaction. Even if you are renting for a short-term, like I am now, you have to make decisions, and usually with very little time. Using a real estate agent who can't even be bothered to check (and delete!) voicemails might be your choice as a consumer, but don't be surprised if you're having trouble selling that house of yours.

Oh, and if you happen to think that technology is the solution -- well, someone who can't even be bothered to pick up phone calls and deal with a full voicemail inbox is not exactly a prime candidate for using avatars in SecondLife to do real estate transactions. Yes, the industry itself needs to do better at pruning out bad agents. Brokers need to do more to train, educate, and discipline agents who (in theory) work for them. But you, as the consumer, can do more too: stop hiring morons.

One clear sign? Her voicemail is full. Move on, friend, move on. Find someone else. Because I, and millions of consumers like me, will find another house instead.

Why Home Buyers Can't Evaluate Real Estate Agents

What do home buyers expect from a real estate agent? The answers might surprise you, and go a long way to explain the reasons why buyers are ultimately disappointed with the one they pick.

An interesting result from the good people at the National Association of Realtors from their survey of home buyers on what it is that consumers value in a Realtor: Honesty and integrity. Knowledge of purchase process. Responsiveness. And so on.

These all sound like wonderful things to want in the professional you're hiring to help you spend the most you've ever spent on anything, if you're in the 99.999 percent of the population who doesn't own a private jet.
But there are some odd things about this survey and its results.
Of the nine skills/qualities listed, over 79 percent rated eight of them as "Very Important," while only 40 percent rated tech skills as "Very Important." I find that bizarre. What's more bizarre, though, is that only 85 percent of respondents rated communication skills as Very Important.

Judging by these results, it seems to me that the survey question probably asked, "Rate the following skills and qualities of a real estate agent from Not Important to Very Important." Clearly, people weren't asked to rank these qualities in order of importance, as that would not result in four of the qualities scoring above 90 percent. So... who the hell are the 15 percent of See photos of homes for sale in your area and across the country on AOL Real Estatepeople who thought communication skills were not very important? Are there that many people walking around saying, "Hey, it's okay if my agent mumbles on the phone and writes nonsensical emails"? According to the results above, one out of four single male buyers couldn't care less if their real estate agent has no people skills and has the manners of a Taliban enforcer attending a Women's Rights Rally. Really?

But there is a more fundamental problem, and one that actually impacts the consumer experience.

Assuming you do think things like honesty and integrity are Very Important to you... how exactly would you know if your agent has them?

It isn't as if people -- even if they're Realtors -- walk around with signs around their necks saying, "I'm not really honest all the time, and my integrity is somewhat shaky." Until you work with someone for a while, go through some ups and downs, and have reason to verify that the person is in fact honest and has integrity, how could you tell?

Professional services are full of these problems, which I call the "Great Lover" problem after an illustration by Marty Neumeier. Someone comes up to you and claims, "I'm a great lover." Is there some way of knowing whether he or she is right or wrong, short of going to bed and experiencing it for yourself? Lawyers say they're competent -- but short of having them handle a case for you, how could you tell? Doctors might tell you they have great judgment under pressure of a crisis in the operating room, but how would you know? References from past clients (or lovers) help, as does diplomas, degrees, credentials ("Black Belt Lover, Third Degree"), but all of those are substitutes for personal knowledge, which only comes from working with that professional.

For real estate transactions, the problem is compounded by lack of experience of the consumer. Most people buy or sell a house once every seven years on average. If you buy your first home at 30 (which is sort of on the early side), you're ready for retirement by the time you've had your fifth transaction. During that same period, you may have dealt with a doctor hundreds of times.

Consider some of these "Very Important" skills and qualities. "Knowledge of the purchase process" is one. If you've never bought a house before (as I strongly think would be the case for single men and women), how in the world are you going to be able to evaluate how much your real estate agent knows or doesn't know about the purchase process? Exactly what part of the process will you able to step in and say, "Hey, wait a minute - you're not doing that right"?

What about knowledge of the real estate market? If you, a random consumer, know more about the real estate market than your real estate agent who does this day in and day out, why on earth would you (a) hire her, and (b) not work as a real estate agent yourself? It's like my saying that a heart surgeon's "Knowledge of the cardiopulmonary system" is Very Important to me, except for the fact that I don't know jack about the cardiopulmonary system and would have to take whatever Doctor House has to tell me at face value.

This is the reason why I don't believe various consumer ratings of real estate agents have much value at all, even when it comes from past clients. They simply lack any basis to form judgments about the quality of service they received. Sure, they can tell me things about basic customer service issues, like Responsiveness or Communication Skills. But unless they've been actually ripped off, defrauded, or caught their agents in a baldfaced lie, they're going to assume that the agent was honest and had integrity. And unless they are real estate professionals themselves, there's no basis on which they can evaluate an agent's knowledge, negotiation skills, or transaction management skills.

In fact, something that experienced real estate agents talk about all the time is the fact that the opposite is more likely to be true: that consumers think the agent who put forth heroic efforts on their behalf is awesome, even though that heroic effort was necessary because the agent screwed something up badly, while smooth, trouble-free transactions make them think the agent was lazy or didn't negotiate hard enough, even though the reason why everything went so smoothly was due to the agent being a master at her craft.

So consumer reviews of real estate agents is not particularly meaningful. You know what would be meaningful though? Real estate agent reviews of other real estate agents. I, for one, would like to see what qualities and skills Realtors think are important, ranked in order of importance, and then see them rate each other on it after each transaction.

Of course, I would also like to have Steve Jobs leave his fortune to my favorite charity: The Rob Hahn Foundation for Education (Of Rob Hahn's Children)....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Closing Techniques To Master Closing in Sales

Your investment in yourself is the best investment you can make. I recommend you spend the bulk of your energy and efforts learning about things that make money so that you can be financially free to do the things you want and to help those that you care about. Every little bit you learn makes you more valuable in assisting those around you and yourself. That’s true even if you stay at a company you’ve been with for a long time.

Okay so I realize that real estate isn’t really “selling”. The truth is that there is probably more negotiating involved. A lot of people don’t want to learn real selling because they think it isn’t relevant to their field of work, it is beneath them or most of the time because we have a learned image of a high pressure salesman that we just don’t really like. That person is so uncomfortable to be around that we don’t understand why anyone would want to be like them. The good news is this, those high pressure sales people are generally very poor at their job. They also generally sell people a bunch of shit (excuse my language) that people don’t want. Usually behind the scenes you will find that their customers are rarely satisfied and life is a continuous struggle for them to meet quotas they can’t reach. I’m not going to teach you to be like them because the truth is that type of selling doesn’t work.
The Misconceptions About Selling

Remember that people buy products all the time. People also buy services all the time. A lot of times people don’t need sold on the value of those services as they’ve already made up their mind to purchase them. I don’t know about you but when I went to buy my last computer, I knew what I basically wanted. All I needed the salesperson to show me was the best laptop for my price range. The salesperson advised me, I bought my computer and that was the end of it. I didn’t require high pressure sales to close, I needed advice. In fact, if he had tried to sell me via high pressure selling, I probably would have left to another store to find someone who was able to listen to my request and advise me accordingly. I knew what I basically wanted and needed the salesperson for their knowledge on the specifics. If you can learn to effectively lead people’s conversations to where they had already decided to close the deal with you and you simply had to advise them on the specifics, wouldn’t that be a lot easier? The good news is that this is just what you’re going to learn today.

I suppose a small minority of people would disagree with me but McDonald’s does not make the best hamburgers. However, McDonald’s is the best selling hamburger joint in the world. What McDonald’s does have though is the world’s best system of marketing and selling to deliver their product to their customer. Do you think McDonald’s has ever tried to force you to buy a hamburger against your will via some high pressure sales pitch? Or could it be that their success in selling hamburgers is due to something more subtle and powerful?

Becoming a successful real estate investor isn’t about being the most intelligent, motivated or attractive, it is all about who can consistently close the deal. If you want to consistently close deals a big part of it will be your learning resources like this. Every little bit you invest in yourself will only serve to make you a more powerful and confident individual.
The Great Myth

“I’m not in sales, so why should I learn selling?”

Yes you are!

Suppose you never take any of this information on this site and you never use it to become a successful real estate investor. Suppose you are content with your current job and you don’t see a need to change what you’re doing. When you went in for your job interview, a huge part of whether or not you obtained the desirable job was due to your ability to sell yourself at your job interview. Next time you go for a promotion, your success or failure will be determined by how well you’ve sold yourself and your value to your company all along. Next time you hope to attract a mate of the opposite sex, it will all be in how you present and sell yourself. Trust me when I say that I have many friends who fail miserably with women simple due to their inability to sell themselves. They often have poor communication skills and poor self belief. This leads me to…

The Great Truth

Everyone is involved in selling – all the time, no exceptions
The problem with this is that we as a society have a learned perception that a great sales master is one who talks a lot and is boastful. The reality is that a great salesperson closes deals. The even lesser understood reality is that great selling involves great listening. I want to remind you that McDonald’s has never (via high pressure sales) sold you a hamburger but the average person will go there over 1800 times over the course of their life. I should elaborate to say that McDonald’s has never “sold” you a hamburger in terms of our preconceived view of selling. However, McDonald’s has marketed and communicated effectively enough that you have decided you would like one of their products and simply went in to the store to complete your order. That is what selling really is. You need people to have already decided in their mind to buy your hamburger so to speak so that you can simply advise them about the specifics.

In real estate, you only get paid if you close deals so understanding the psychology of people helps you drastically. Let’s simply change the term “selling” to a better more fuller term – “effectively communicating”. Communicating is a great deal different than talking even though some people use them interchangably. It encompasses your body language, the emotion behind what you say, your tone of voice and most importantly, your listening skills. If you only learn one skill the rest of your life, master communication and every aspect of your life will improve accordingly.

When I originally wrote this information a while ago, I had written it for sales people. I urge you to read it with an open mind even if you are not currently selling anything (except yourself because you will never be done selling that). All of the information is still relevant to you if you ever plan to move towards any sort of a desired outcome in your life. In real estate, you need to close deals for your desired outcome of wealth to manifest but in real life, there are 100s of daily examples where persuasion can lead you to a better result.

So What Stops People From Closing?

The vast majority of salespeople fear potential objections so much that they don’t even ask for the close. Over 90% of most sales presentations actually end without the salesperson asking for the close even just one time. Think of all the ineffective salespeople you’ve dealt with in your life. How is their demeanor? What kind of closing questions do they ask?

Closing should be a natural outcome to a well done presentation. Before we look at techniques, let’s understand the difference between poor performing and well performing salespeople. Which one are you now? Which one are you going to choose to be from now on? If you’re not already a great salesperson, make a goal to become one in the next 30 days. All the techniques in the world mean nothing without being applied.

Closing With Ineffective Salespeople

When most people picture a person who should be in sales, they picture someone who is a smooth talker. They are very cunning with their words. In reality, rarely does this type of person ever actually excel at selling. People buy products from people they feel comfortable around and even friendly with. Have you ever went to buy an electronic part and the salesperson wouldn’t stop droning on about every single technical detail and specification of it?

The three most common closing techniques of ineffective salespeople:
- They hint that you could buy the product if you want
- The fantastic and well thought out “So… what do you think?”
- They just keep talking about the product waiting for the potential client to make the first move.

None of those work for a few reasons:

- Most notably, their lack of belief is translated to you
- You can get the feeling that they’re just trying to get you to buy for their benefit, not yours
- Chances are they haven’t actually listened to you through the duration of the presentation
- They give you a sense of mistrust in them
- They are rarely passionate about the product they are selling
- They are rarely passionate about seeing you make the best choice for you
- It seems as if they’re hiding something
- If they just listened to you just a little bit, they might actually understand what you’ve said
- Seriously would you buy something from someone who just won’t shut up if you didn’t previously want the product?
- More often than not, they don’t have money themselves so they are afraid to ask assuming everyone else is as limited as they are
- They project their beliefs onto the other person instead of listening to the other person’s unique problems and circumstances

If you are one of these people, then fear is the primary motivation that holds you back from elite selling. Generally you either have money issues yourself and project that unto others, you are a poor listener, you overwhelmingly fear rejection or probably a combination of all of them.

Fear of rejection can be overcome. The key is to realize that by being scared of rejection, you get rejected all the time. Can you say irony? How do you handle this now? If you realize that this is the most rejection that you can possibly experience can we move on?

What if you could change the world for only a day so that you knew ahead of time that 99% of the people you saw would purchase a large order or in our case, do the deal with us.. The catch was you had only 24 hours to see them. How many people would you see then in 24 hours? If the answer is a hell of a lot, then clearly it is fear holding you back. Learn to master your fears. Mastering fear altogether is a whole different topic but if you’re looking for help on it, having the knowledge to be prepared for any outcome should will make your fears subside. You’ll realize that it doesn’t matter what the other person does, only what you do in response to them. If you know you can handle all the possible outcomes, then you won’t be afraid ever.

Effective Salespeople

First off, if you are looking to be effective in selling. Step 1 is to ensure that you are passionate about your product. Because everybody needs to live somewhere, I think there is always something within real estate to be passionate about. It is your space after all. When you legitimately believe that your client will be better off for having purchase your service/product, your persuasive power goes up immediately. It is true that sales techniques will allow you to be more effective in selling any product and in communicating in everyday life. However, it’s much better to do it with integrity, right? Not to mention much more fulfilling when you see other’s lives improved. The bottom line is to sell something you are passionate about.
In my own personal life, I am very pro health. I eat a lot of organic fruits and vegetables and never have any health complications. I persuade people to do more for their health all the time. In the future I will open up a business related to health and I’m already positive it will be successful because I’ve been persuading people all this time to better their lives. I’m already selling them, I’m just not getting paid for it yet. You’ll find a much easier path to success when you find out what that is for you instead of selling what you must do for a living. There is always a niche or two within real estate that you find passion with.

Here are some of the characteristics of proven winners in sales and the associated techniques. Although any 50 techniques may work, you only need a few of them that work for you and suit your individual personality:

1. They Continually Use Assumptive Language

If your presentation went as it should, it is only natural to assume they would want to make a purchasing decision. Again, being passionate about your product, you’d like to help them. They also use assumptive language throughout the presentation. Choose one that you yourself would feel comfortable and natural saying.
- Mr. Prospect, how would you like to take delivery?
- Mr. Prospect, should I write up this order for the red or the blue?
- Mr. Prospect, how do I spell your middle name on this order form?
- Mr. Prospect, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask, why don’t you get it?
- Mr. Prospect, what’s the easiest way to write this part up? What type of credit card are we going to use?
- Mr. Prospect, are we going to get one or two of them?
- Mr. Prospect, ok I’m filling up the order for 400 of them. No I’m just kidding. One or two will be fine. Standard delivery is ok?
- Ms. Prospect, how many am I going to fill out the order for?
- Mr. Prospect, I’m going to ahead and fill out a contract for the house for ____, is that correct?
- Mr. Prospect, I’m still a little new at this. How many of them is the order going to be for?
- Mr. Prospect, who should I invoice this to?

Take your assumptive language further. Every time your customer agrees to a benefit of a product, write it down on your order form. The first time they will stop you and they will ask what you’re doing. You just calmly respond “Oh don’t mind me Mr. Prospect, I just like to keep my thoughts organized on paper. I write stuff down as I hear it to help keep it organized”. Or you can use some humour “Oh I’m not supposed to tell you this” and then pause, lean forward and whisper, “but the IRS thinks you’re cheating on your taxes again and I’m taking notes on you.” Pause again and in normal tone again “No I’m just kidding. I just keep all my thoughts organized by writing them down on paper. Don’t mind me doing it throughout because it’s just what I do. I do it all the time.” By the time you get to the close, you’ll have all of the information ready to go. Now that’s assumptive power.

2. They Rarely Ask Yes or No Questions

There’s a serious problem with yes or no questions. Most notably, the person can say “No”. Aside from the obvious, when a person asks you “How are you doing?” you automatically say “good” without even giving it a real thought. This is true, right? A lot of yes or no questions will be responded to with “no” without the other person giving it a real honest thought. People are taught to have natural sales resistance even when the product is in their best interest. A lot of times, they are especially like this when it is in their best interest. it’s crazy, wouldn’t you say? Your job is to get them thinking again. They are always infinite choices to choose from so your job is to lead your prospect to the right product choice just like McDonald’s would. Choose questions that either have specified options as answers or make a statement that you believe in followed by “right?” or “isn’t it?” as a token of their agreement.

Mr. Prospect, would you prefer your order in the white or the black?
Mr. Prospect, would you prefer one or two of them on this order?
Ms. Prospect, would you prefer to take delivery on Tuesday or Thursday?
Ms. Prospect, are we going to be paying for this with Visa or Mastercard?
Mr. Prospect, you’re going to go with this order in the black, right?
Ms. Prospect, I just want to get this order information accurate. The correct spelling of your last name is €˜P€¦ R€¦.’ (etc.), isn’t it?
Ms. Prospect, would you prefer if I we ship the order to your home address or work address?

3. They Act As Your Advisor Instead of Selling You

This is the secret of secrets in selling. Don’t sell anything, advise. Great salespersons know that sales will come. They are greatly attached to long term outcomes but not bound by individual sales one way or another. They are very keenly aware that their long term success is assured. Knowing that enables them to play more of the role an advisor.

What if whether the person bought the largest order, the smallest order or nothing at all you got paid the same money either way? What if it made absolutely no difference to you at all what the customer purchased or if they purchased at all? How would your demeanor change?

Most people have a natural barrier to sales because so many people in various markets are trying to sell them junk. Most often after making a large purchase, buyers go through what it is called buyer’s remorse. Typically, they doubt their purchase and they often even regret their purchase.

Have you ever bought from a really professional salesperson? You’ll know it because you actually felt good about it. Let me explain this with a story. I was with a friend and had the benefit of watching a real pro of a car salesman work his magic. She had said that she wanted to spend no more than $5000 on a used car. She wanted it to be good on gas and she didn’t want an ugly car. Most car salesman walk up to you and awkwardly initiate conversation. Then they try to lead towards some car while they smile and nod “isn’t this the car for you?” They might ask a few questions first if you’re lucky. Not this pro. This is how the scenario played out.

Firstly, he came up to us and asked us if he could help us with anything to which her response was a typical “oh no thanks, we’re just browsing”. He very calmly said “if you guys don’t mind, I’d like to tag along with you. It looks bad on us if we don’t show some good hospitality to people who pay us a visit. I won’t bug you guys at all.” He was so calm and nonchalant about it that her reply at this point was “yeah sure ok”. He went on further “It’s such a nice day outside anyways and I’ve been cooped up in the office all morning.” At this point, she sort of began walking again and partly ignored the comment, giving it no response.

We casually walked around for a while making small talk until she finally came to a car that she actually liked. “Wow this one’s pretty cute” she said. She leaned towards the salesman and asked him “how much is it?” It wasn’t posted anywhere on the window. His reply was a very calm “to be honest, this one’s new here and I’m not really sure. I can find out for you in just a minute. Can I ask you something if you don’t mind? It’s the front up here that makes it look cute, isn’t it?” he said referring to a custom decal on the front of the car. He smartly suggested something so that she would offer her own evaluation of the situation.

A little aside, if your prospect won’t tell you what’s going through their mind, suggest something and they’ll correct you with what’s really going on in their mind.

It was a very cunning move for a man who had patiently waited almost 10 minutes without being part of the conversation. “Actually” she replied, “that’s the only part I’m not really fond of”. “Oh, so what do you think is cute about it?” he inquired. She replied, “definitely the colour and the look of it over here. I’m not going to buy a car today though,” she said which is another very typical response or objection which wasn’t at all true for starters. He calmly replied, “my job is to make people happy with their time here even if they don’t purchase. If you don’t come back for ten years I’ll still be looking to make your day worthwhile here” he said very matter-of-factly. He then paused, “I’ll tell you what. I know you’re not looking to purchase but these are fun cars to drive. Let’s take it for a spin for 10 minutes before you guys are on your way. You guys have 10 minutes, right?” The enthusiasm about how fun it was hit you when he said it.

He then came back with the keys and we went for a ride. She obviously loved the car but was still struggling with the usual natural sales barrier. Though this particular gentleman could not have been more dead on which how he had handled her, ultimately the decision still weighed with her. He then went on to ask her a few clever questions to uncover what particular aspects mattered most to her decision, including how it was on gas. There were other factors but I’m trying to keep the story brief.

When he got to price, he very calmly asked her “is price a factor in your decision or can you spend whatever you want within reason?” to which she replied “Yeah, well I can’t spend any more than $5000 on a car before taxes.”

We got back to the lot and he commented to her on a series of points she agreed to. “You like the car? It’s cute enough for your taste right? It’s good on gas as you said you wanted. I haven’t checked the price yet but I’m sure it’s within your budget. Why don’t you get it?” he asked. “Oh I don’t know” she replied. “I wasn’t looking to make a decision today and we’ve still got a few other places to go.” He replied, “I see. You’ve been to a few other places. Where does this car rank so far?” Well to be honest she said, “It’s at the top right now but I still want to shop around.” His response was “I agree with you. It’s important to make a sound decision instead of an impulse emotional buy. Is that why you’re looking some more to be sure that this is your best available option?” She replied, “Yes that’s why. I just want to be sure.”

He came back “well I see that and for this model and shape, I’m confident this is the best you’ll find.” He paused again, “I don’t know the exact sticker price on this car but I’m sure I could let it go for $4500. Although, I don’t want to rush you guys to a decision. It’s your money and it’s smart to be wise with it. I see that you guys just need time to think about it, right?” She responded, “Yes just a little bit”.

He cleverly replied, “I’ll tell you what, why don’t you take it for another drive without me just to sure it in your memory before you guys leave today. You just loved the way it felt behind the wheel so one more trip will help you remember it. Take your time” She couldn’t resist, we grabbed the keys and on we went.

Upon our return she had her check book ready. She bought the car. Before we drove off, he said “I’ll get those decals taken off for you at no charge since you said you preferred it without them.” At this point she felt like royalty and called everyone she knew to brag about her new car. Even mentioning how awesome the guy was there in helping her. No buyer’s remorse there.

The Moral of the Story

When you buy from a pro you leave fulfilled and happy. They have you in mind. The lesson to be learned here: Top sales pros act as advisors.

He didn’t talk about mileage because she wasn’t concerned with it. We didn’t waste time talking about payment methods because he already knew how she was going to pay for it. He only advised on her the criteria she said was most important to her choosing. He let her name the terms and price and simply fulfilled it. We never haggled over price at any point. In fact, the car might have only been worth $3000 but what does it matter if she loved it?

I am a little more observant than her. I happened to notice his picture on the wall as the top salesman in their rather large branch. No coincidence there I might add.

As a technique to take the advisor role a little further, if you’re seated, slide your chair over to be on the same side as your customer. Advisors don’t sit awkwardly across from people, they work together. When they ask why you’re doing it just say “it’s just easier for us to figure stuff out if as it comes up”. I usually throw in a bit of humor and say “don’t worry, I won’t bite you” or “don’t worry, I don’t eat people”.
4. They Listen Well and Their Presentations Continually Invoke Customer Involvement

The simplest way to handle objections is to deal with them before they even come up. Did you know the average person has only a 3 sentence attention span? That means as soon as you say 4 things in a row without their involvement, they’re probably not listening to you anymore. How can you stop this? Very simply by getting them included. If you have an obvious point to make say it but add a simple “right?”, “isn’t it” or “isn’t that right?” at the end of your point. Use their name if you can.

“Mr. Prospect, this is the best quality product on the market today. Top quality is important, isn’t it?”

Another more effective way to do this to ask a question before you make the point.

“Mr Prospect, what would you rather have, top quality or average quality?”
He’ll reply to the obvious point and you show him why your product is the top quality.

Momentarily pause your presentation after a key benefit and say “Mr. Prospect, I just want to make sure I’m explaining this the right way to you, does that make sense how I just explained that?”

Assuming you do this correctly, you’ll deal with numerous objections before they even come up. You can deal with it here and now.

Lastly, this one is this most powerful. Illustrate the benefit. Don’t say your car has the most power, floor it and show them. Don’t say your knives cut the best, take them out and have the customer slice. The more out of the ordinary it is, the better.

There was once a man who was number one in selling hurricane-proof windows. People asked him how he became number one in the entire country in such a fast time beating out every top salesperson the company had in less than one year. He showed them that everyone claimed the windows were hurricane-proof. At his presentation, he paused, pulled out a hammer and hit the window as hard as he could which left no mark on it. How would that impact you if it happened right before your eyes? That’s how you get customer involvement and make your point.

The reason this works is that knowledge and wisdom are two different things. Wisdom is knowledge applied through experience. You may realize how great your product is but the customer does not. Further still, they may not realize how great it is the first time through. By asking them, you get them to stop and think and pull their mind back to thinking about your product where it tends to wander. As that happens, they’ll be forced to agree with your conclusion or not but one way or another they’ll have their own wisdom right then and there.

5. They See Top Prospects

A prospect is someone who has the means to afford the product or service and can definitely benefit from its use. This may seem like an obvious point but you may have a great product, a great presentation and a great close and still not generate the sales you need. If you’re a top salesperson and you’re seeing run of the mill prospects, how are you going to succeed in sales?

6. They Paint Visual Pictures Throughout the Presentation

As stated above, one way to make your benefit clear is to have it used right then and there during the presentation. However, there’s more to great selling than just that. Besides that, some products, like say investments, are too abstract to visually demonstrate. What reasons do you think people buy from you? In a poll I read, over 90% of customers said they purchased because of the salesperson’s enthusiasm and only 7% said it was because of the salesperson’s technical knowledge. You should be technically sound on your product, right? But understand that it is the picture you paint that makes the difference and not the technical detail. You give the technical detail life but illustrating its benefit. If you can’t be passionate about your product, again, find one that you can be passionate about.

Paint visual pictures in the other persons mind. When a person agrees to a benefit get them to picture using it. I start all my sentences with “Ms. Prospect, you’re going to love…”
- the way this car handles in the mountains
- being so relaxed at night in bed when you know the bank isn’t beating your down door anymore
- going to the bank to find out your investments made you this much
- the way this house feels to show off when the family comes to visit
- the way this looks right over there in that room

You break down their natural sales barrier by picturing them already owning it. If you were excited about driving a card in the mountains and you were a prospect, wouldn’t you buy it too? As you they tell you they can use a benefit, throw in a visualisation about how they can use it.

7. They Are Calm and Relaxed During Closing

This may seem like another obvious point but top salespeople are very calm and relaxed during the closing. If you drastically fear the rejection of closing to the point where you can’t even ask, you’re causing yourself a whole lot of rejection.

Success is preparation meets opportunity. The more you’re prepared with handling objections, the less you’ll worry. When you realize that you can handle every possible outcome, it’s much easier to be relaxed. It’s only how it’s going to play out that is the interesting part.

Ask to follow a top salesperson in your company (or in our case a top investor at the investor club) or through someone you know so you can watch them work. The more you see them do it, the more you’ll realize €˜hey, I can do that too’. It is a quick way to turn your knowledge into wisdom. This is a must even if you are at the top. Spend a day with someone else just to learn.

Take responsibility for your results. Everything is in your control. Even the sales that got away, it was you who didn’t find the right prospect or it was you who didn’t build enough excitement in the other to warrant a buying decision. You either didn’t find the right buyer or didn’t handle the circumstances properly. All of it is within your control so when you see that, you see the big picture instead of the individual sales. They are just a reflection of your larger goals playing out. No great salesperson ever needed one individual person to say yes.

There are only about 10 really mean people in the world. They just get around a lot. You can deal with the same 10 idiots. Really, can’t you? Learn to be calm.

When people ask for the close, you’re almost always faced with an inevitable pause. Rarely does a person say yes the very first time without any hesitation.

Poor salespeople take this pause after asking for the close as a no and begin talking again. I bet you’ve all done this at some point. In all selling and negotiating, be patient. I’ve looked potential clients as long as 60 seconds in the face without any conversation to let them decide. How’s that for patience anyways? Can you imagine how long that felt in my head? If anything goes that long and you feel the need to say something, ask for the close again. A huge number of people actually talk themselves out of sales by not just keeping quiet. Your only move should be to lean back and relax. This is good practice for a good poker face too, right? Learn to keep your big mouth shut when it’s required.

Learn 5 closes you can use and how to handle every objection, when you’re prepared, being calm is a natural conclusion. One thing’s for sure, as long as you fear rejection, you’ll get rejected. As long as you know you can handle it, you’ll rarely get rejected.

8. They Are Empathetic But Not Sympathetic

People are going to give you objections during closing and throughout the whole presentation. This is just how things are. When customers give you objections, it does not mean no but rather that they are unclear on a benefit. They have the knowledge but not the wisdom. That is they understand what you have said but their experience does not lead them to see how it will save them money, make them more energetic or whatever benefit you have said it will cause. It is simply a different point of view that is neither right nor wrong. If you are selling a $5000 product that saves them $10,000 then they are simply not clear on how that’s going to happen if they give you an objection. They are not clear on the benefits as you stated them.

A lot of sales people get frustrated when people don’t immediately see a benefit. Life is wonderful because they are so many different points of view. Learn to be empathetic. That means learn to understand their point of view from their unique perspective. That doesn’t mean to be sympathetic. If they say they can’t afford it doesn’t help either of you to say “oh I know times sure are tough”. That is sympathy and allows both of you to stop thinking.

Empathy allows you to strive to see their point of view so that together you can arrive at a new conclusion. If you strive to see their point, it is natural to agree instead of argue. Never ever ever argue in a sales presentation. “I see where you’re coming from Mr. Prospect. No one ever said our product was cheap”. That’s very different than saying “It’s not that expensive” which is disagreeing and arguing. At that point your goal is to show them how the use of its benefits far outweighs the cost and how they can afford it. Poor salespersons will actually get frustrated and say, “No it’s really not that expensive at all”. If you aren’t empathetic, you’re already losing.

The way to be empathetic properly is to always agree with their point as they make it. In fact, you can even compliment them on it sometimes. “Mr. Prospect that’s really clever of you to notice. Most people don’t ask that question”. Agree with it as their truth and clarify with a question to see that you see it as they do. From there you can invite them to a new point of view on it.

9. There’s Lots of Humour In Their Presentation

Smart salespeople know that the close begins long before the close. It begins the moment first contact is initiated, generally on the phone. Most salespersons are forgettable. It’s the unfortunate but honest truth. Adding humour breaks tension, increases trust and makes you more memorable. How funny are you? My presentations are always funny. People don’t realize though that the things I say that seem very spontaneously funny are the same jokes I make again and again given the right opportunity to use them. They work for me, they’ll work for you. Feel free to steal them without crediting the source (ME! Matthew David). When I call people on the phone, regardless of what I’m doing I have a few funny ones that I use repeatedly.

“How Long Will It Take?”

It takes about 24 hours. Don’t worry though, I bring my sleeping bag over. I make eggs in the morning. How do you take your eggs? (pause) No I’m just kidding. It takes only about …

“What are you selling?”

We sell farm animals. I only need to bring over about 5-10 live animals to show you our top notch livestock. They hardly make a mess at all. (pause) Mr. Prospect, I’m just kidding. It’s actually €¦..

In the presentation, you can use things like:

Ok so it does happen to cost $10,000 dollars (or some very large figure for your product) to which they’ll object. (pause) No I’m only kidding. It really only costs…

Yeah and you can use the money you saved to play the lottery. Just when you win, don’t forget us little people. I don’t ask for much though. You just owe me lunch.

It’s going to take a little creativity here but have 5 funny things you can say in every presentation you use but that seem as if they’re spontaneous. It has to be unique to your product and your presentation.

10. They Actually Ask For the Sale

90% of sales end without the salesperson asking for the sale even one time. Also, the average person purchases after the fifth time of the salesperson asking. All you’ve go to do is ask, handle objection, ask, handle objection, etc 5 times and you’ll be a pro. This is exactly I told you that you need at least 5 closes to use. If you know 4 or less closes, that’s why you’re not at the top yet. Are you choosing to get there now? What are your long term and short term goals?

11. They Sell Benefits, Not Products

Customers don’t buy products, they buy benefits. Pros sell the emotion behind the technical detail. This ties in with visualization. If a customer finds that the product makes their life easier, illustrate this with “you know what’s going to be great? Just picture the way the kids will still be whining about dinner and the husband will still need a good kick in the pants but you’ll comfortably know your investments are well taken care of. You won’t need to call me to add to the stress”. That goes a heck of a lot further than saying that it’s an easy to use investment plan, doesn’t it?

12. Continuous Improvement

Top people in anything always strive to better themselves through reading books, taking courses, attending seminars and listening to audio. Your car should be a mobile university on wheels. As little as twenty minutes per day can make all the difference in the world if you’re committed and low on time. Being a pro isn’t a sometimes thing, it takes lots of practice of the fundamentals whether you see or not. Being the best is not a sometimes things, you have to choose it every moment of every day. What’s in your personal development library? Hopefully at least you’re using the material on this website and access to my courses.

13. The Lucky 13 All Else Fails Technique

Ok so you’ve used your 5 closes and you still haven’t finished with this person. They’ve agreed to all the benefits, its use, its price and the whole shebang but at the end of the day haven’t agreed to purchase. Your stalemate at this point should just be a result of their indecision. You’ve added humour, visuals and everything but they’re just indecisive. It happens from time to time. They’re so paralyzed with fear that they can’t decide one way or another.

Repeat after me and memorize this word for word.

“You know, we have long considered Benjamin Franklin one of our wisest men. When Ben felt stuck with a problem as you do right about now, right? (pause for agreement) Do you know what old Ben did? He would grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle and put the reasons for the decision on this side and the reasons against the decision on this side (draw the lines). At the end he would simply tally them up and found the decision was made for him. Why don’t we try it and see what happens?”

Some people in sales may even recognize the close but it’s perfectly ok because it is sound logic. They can’t disagree with logic, can they? You grab a sheet and draw a line down the middle. On the left you go through all the benefits they’ve agreed to. You said it would be relieve their stress, be easier, save money, be fun to use, pay off quicker, be higher quality, etc. You know your product better than anyone else. You should easily be able to spout off 7 or more. Have them name the reasons against it and for God’s sake don’t help them. Agree with them on the points they make. Usually they will get stuck at 3 maximum if they even get that far which they rarely do. There’s only a few reasons against like cost, already own a product of the same type, etc. Tally them up and it generally shows something like 9-2. Close again. Mr. Prospect it seems obvious from this, why don’t you get it? Be quiet and let them speak next.

All that’s left from this article is to use it. Turn this knowledge into wisdom through experience.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Congrats to CENTURY 21 JRS Realty

Congrats to CENTURY 21 JRS Realty agents for signing up 21 listings in the month of January 2011. Amidst all of the wonderful snow we are having in the North East CENTURY 21 JRS Realty agents have been working. Agents from the Clark and Rahway offices have put up 21 new listings this month, which is a great accomplishment in this weather and economy. These same agents have also worked with 7 buyers that have signed contracts to purchase homes in the near future. CENTURY 21 JRS Realty is always looking for more agents to add to the roster of well trained sales professionals.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Increase your Productivity EASY as 1 2 3

Increase your Productivity (Members Only) (edit/delete)
A real estate agent's day is filled with showing houses, gathering marketing materials, posting advertising, following up with prospects, as well as spending many more hours on the phone. The average real estate agent makes thousands of calls a year following some leads that never even pan out. This can cost time and money. Yet, being available to speak live with your clients can mean the difference between gaining a buyer or losing them to the next agent in the yellow pages. With all of these jobs and responsibilities falling on the shoulders of the real estate agent, any tool that can help them alleviate some of the time and money they spend is an investment worth making.

Call capture systems are becoming the preferable choice of leading real estate and mortgage professionals in the country because they allow them to be out and about showing properties and not tied up on the phone. Yet at the same time, it allows agents to capture the necessary information to make a sale later. A typical call capture session would go as follows: a potential client sees an advertisement with the call capture number on a business card, billboard, flier or sign rider and if interested, they will call it.

They are then greeted with a pre-recorded message from a real estate agent with options to listen to several other pre-recorded details about available properties or other real estate information. At the end of the personalized recording, there could be an option to either speak to an agent directly by transferring the call, or to leave a message for the real estate agent. If they decide to transfer to an agent, then they have already shown interest in what the agent has to offer. This type of call is better than a "cold call" in which the client's interests have yet to be determined.

An agent can use call capture features in this way to be sure there is interest in a property or service provided by the agency and can proceed from there. The conversation will become streamlined, quickly covering the details of the property or service required, and really getting to know what the client is looking for. If they decide to leave a message instead, or even if they simply hang up, the client's number and what extension or property they were calling on is saved through the call capture system. An agent can then call them back for a follow-up.

When the return call is placed, a real estate agent can be ready not only to answer the questions which were left on the call capture message, but can also be prepared with answers for further questions the client may have. This makes customers feel like they are being listened to, and this has always been a basis for making sales. Clients who feel that their agent values them by answering their questions directly and being quick to respond to their calls are far more likely to use the agent for purchasing or selling a home, and are more likely to return again in the future.

There are several different call capture features that help enhance the systems and in turn help agents make more sales. With instant notification when someone calls the call capture line, the agent can be informed of every lead in real time. Studies show that the majority of people end up working with the first real estate agent they speak with so being able to act quickly can mean the difference between getting a new client or losing them to the next agent in line. Secondly, mirrored ad tracking extensions allow agents to advertise the same property in multiple places quickly and easily. This way they can streamline their advertising by weeding out ads that don't bring in the leads.

No matter the home or service being sold, and no matter the price involved, it is imperative that call capture be pared with top-notch client-focused interaction to help boost up sales. Call capture hot lines are being used every day by thousands of top real estate, mortgage, and financial agents and professionals all over the country to give them more influence in the market, more clientele, and to improve their earnings for themselves, their business, and their families. Click to learn more about using a call capture system in your real estate business. Or for a 15 Day Free Trial visit, a leading provider of real estate call capture systems today.

The Top 5 Ways to Become a Millionaire – How to Become a Millionaire

Anyone Can Become a Millionaire by Following a Few Simple StepsBecoming a millionaire isn’t all that difficult and there are countless ways to achieve that milestone. Some people do it through real estate, others start their own business, while some simply get lucky by winning the lottery or winning big on a game show. What is even more interesting is that you don’t have to be wealthy to begin with nor do you have to earn six figures to reach this goal.

I know some people who earn well over $100,000 and all they have to show for it is a large mortgage payment and a fancy car that depreciates faster than a glass of milk left outside in the summer sun. Anyone can become a millionaire and there are five things you need to do to have the best shot of making that a reality.

1. Earn Income.
Clearly, the more money you make, the faster you can reach that milestone, but that doesn’t mean your average Joe with a average income can’t obtain millionaire status. The current median income in this country ranges between $35,000-$60,000, depending on where you live. Better yet, get married so you have dual incomes. The wonderful thing about having dual incomes is that even with two people in the household, your income may double, but your expenses typically don’t.

If you don’t earn even an average income, all is not lost. It is up to you to do something about it. A negative attitude about your job or your earning potential won’t change anything. Be proactive and make the decision to improve your situation. It is your life, so take control and realize that things don’t change overnight. It may take a few years of slow growth before you reach the point where you want to be, but you can do it if you try. Remember, short of inheriting money from a relative or winning the lottery, you will need income to become a millionaire.

2. Live Within Your Means.
Ok, so you have income but now what? It doesn’t matter how much money you make if you spend it all or spend even more than you make. It might be nice to eat out at nice restaurants every night, or to always be on the cutting edge of designer fashion but, this will only make you feel like a millionaire. This doesn’t mean you have to live a miserable and miserly lifestyle, but you simply need to live reasonably.

Start by purchasing a home that you can comfortably afford and drive vehicles that suit your lifestyle without straining your budget. You don’t have to be pulling down $75,000 a year and drive a 1992 Civic Hatchback or live in a dump, but throwing your money at a 4,000 square foot home in a gated community with luxury cars or SUVs that cost as much as one year of your salary won’t help you become a millionaire. Some may argue that an expensive home and real estate in general is a good way to become a millionaire, but I will touch on that later.

3. Save Money.
This isn’t rocket science but if you earn a reasonable income and you live within your means, guess what, you will probably have money left over to save. The problem most people have is they put savings last, as an afterthought. People pay bills, buy things and then whatever is leftover they try to save. That is the wrong way to save. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but pay yourself first. Whether it is $100 a month or $1,000 a month, think of the savings as a bill that needs to be paid and do it regularly. If you are unable to save money you will find that your only wealth is in the form of material things. Start saving today with a high-yield online savings account.

4. Invest Wisely.
Now that you are saving money, you need to invest it wisely. Sticking it under the mattress isn’t going to help you reach your goals any faster. You don’t have to read the Wall Street Journal or watch CNBC everyday while actively managing your portfolio in order to be a good investor. Some of the best investment advice is to simply buy and hold and to buy low and sell high.

It is also important to remember that real estate is part of your investment picture, but it shouldn’t be all of it. Too many people stake almost everything they have into a primary residence and expect it to appreciate in value. Just like any investment, generally speaking, over time you will make money. There isn’t much debate about that, but relying heavily on real estate is no different than if you rely on one stock to fund your retirement. Start investing for free – trade stocks for free at Zecco. The Free Trading Community.

You can become a millionaire by simply buying a single stock and holding onto it for 20 years if it goes up significantly just like you can buy a home $500,000 home and have it double in value in 20 years. Take a lot of the risk out of the picture by making sure all of your eggs aren’t in the same basket and develop an investment strategy that will provide steady growth.

5. Stick With Your Plan.
If you have done the previous four items the only thing left to do is to continue doing it and stick to the plan. As far as income is concerned, always be on the lookout for ways to increase your income, whether it is through climbing the ladder at your current job, finding work elsewhere, or maybe even starting a business on the side. Increased income will mean you can save even more, provided you aren’t foolishly spending the additional money. As that additional money gets tucked away into savings or investments it will continue to grow even more quickly.

It Isn’t Hard to Do if You Work at It
Unfortunately, most people are looking for a way to get rich quick or to capitalize on the next big thing. It is true that some people have made their wealth through playing the real estate market, while others have done so by investing in a few stocks that exploded, but this is the exception and not the norm. If the above list seems overly simplistic, that’s good. There are no secrets to becoming a millionaire and almost anyone has the chance to make it happen. The process is simple:

1. Make money
2. Don’t spend all of your money
3. Save some money
4. Invest that money
5. Repeat

Certainly, there are many factors in play that can make this easier or more difficult for different people. This is simply the process that you can use in order to reach that goal, whether it is in 5 years or 50, if you follow a few basic steps you can do it.

8 Simple Steps to Setting Your Priorities in Life

Setting priorities is very important to having an efficient life, but it doesn’t always have to be difficult. When you take the time to set your priorities, you’re more likely to reach your goals and reach them faster. Who wouldn’t want that?

You can learn how to set priorities by following the steps below. While you might not want to follow all of them exactly as they’re stated here, you should come away with a better idea on how you should personally start to set your priorities.

Try these simple steps:

1. Determine Your Goals. The first thing to consider when you’re learning how to set priorities is to determine what your goals and priorities are. You might have big ones and small ones, and you may have one goal or many goals. You just need to figure out what they are and write them down if that helps you. It’s the first step just because you can’t set your priorities without knowing what you want to achieve in the first place.

2. Get Clear. Once you’ve decided on your goals and priorities, work on their clarity. State them as simply as you can. While you don’t want to leave out details, you also don’t want to be too wordy and confuse yourself in the future.

3. Learn How to Balance. Chances are that you’ve got many different goals and priorities. Learning how to balance them all is just a part of life. If you pay too much attention to one priority, your others may begin to suffer. Strive to be aware of your priorities at all times. At the end of the day or week it’ll help to evaluate how things are going for you. If something is lacking, you can tweak your schedule to make a change.

4. Get Organized. Organization is also key when you’re learning how to set priorities. There are different organizational styles that you can adopt. It doesn’t really matter what you choose as long as you’re not just leaving things up to chance. With organizational skills comes efficiency. You can eventually learn how to do more with less time, which will allow you to get to more of your priorities.

5. Realize that You Can’t Do Everything. After you get organized with your priority lists, you might be tempted to have your attention on too many things at once. You need to realize that there are only 24 hours in a day. There are things you wanted to accomplish that you won’t be able to just yet. Schedule it for another day and don’t sweat it.

6. Keep Your Focus. Strive to remain focused on your priorities. Everyone’s mind begins to stray every now and then, which is okay sometimes. But you don’t want to allow procrastination to creep up on you. Keep your eyes on your priorities.

7. Keep Your Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is very important to setting priorities. If you’re not jazzed up about your goals, you may end up losing interest. Achieving priorities and goals is very difficult without a decent dose of enthusiasm. You can keep it up by remembering what’s really important to you. If you’re working towards a specific goal, keep in mind how great you’ll feel once you achieve success.

8. Reward Yourself. It’s important to reward yourself for setting priorities and following through. If you’ve made an achievement towards a priority or goal, don’t just cross it off your list and move on to the next thing. Take some time out to reward yourself for a job well done. You deserve it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Congrats to Joe Piizzi

Congrats to JOE PIIZZI, Joe is the #92 agent in all of NJ and Delaware for 2010. Way to Go Joe!!!! Now if you would just get back to work maybe you could get higher on the list for 2011..LOL