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I just hired a new listing agent

I just hired a new listing agent. The process is always an interesting one. It is times like these when I get very frustrated with the sense of entitlement within the real estate agent community. It is the only industry in which someone will show up for what essentially boils down to a VERY high paying job interview looking like they just rocketed out of bed with minimal to no preparation at all. 

To give you an idea of the potential opportunity I was interviewing for, I will let you in on the volume of business which was at hand. I have averaged over 75 retail sales every year for the past three years. These are not my wholesale flips which are sold through my marketing platform and my site. These are just the full retail remodels that were sold through an agent on MLS. I have set a goal to exceed that this year. The sales prices of this body of work range in price from a $35,000 condo to a $2.1 mm home in Paradise Valley and everything in between. To put it lightly we are talking about a potential for a considerable income stream solely on my business. 

I was utterly shocked at the lack of preparation, presentation and unprofessional approach taken by a majority of the candidates interviewed. This was not only evident within the interview but also the aftermath when they were informed that they didn’t get the job. I had one agent show up in workout clothes and a baseball cap. Another agent actually told me that I am a pain in the ass to work with yet still put on the full court press to close the deal. Another agent simply responded “Yeah I will take it” when told the address of the potential listing. My response was “You will take what”. I also received a couple of insults when I told a few of them that they didn’t get the listing.

This initial listing will be priced at over $700,000, so even if it were just this listing I feel it would be worth putting some effort into getting the business. 

The agent who was awarded the listing and the potential for all my business moving forward has quietly worked his ass off for the past few years and has worked his way into the top five in total volume last year out of over 25,000 listing agents in the state. He has a substantial reach in the market, a great team behind him, and a top notch marketing approach. We have done deals together for over 4 years. Over that time he has sent me deals that I have made huge returns on and I have sent him deals that he made great money on as well. He also flips houses himself and therefore understands the risk taken when flipping homes. He also understands the urgency to not only get a property sold but the importance to make sure my partners and I make the maximum profit on each flip with the quickest turnover. He doesn’t blast all over Facebook about the money he is making, the trips he is taking or the shit that he is buying. Everyone around him knows he is doing well….VERY well. He showed up to my office 15 minutes early for our appointment first thing on a monday morning. He was dressed professionally, gave a top notch presentation and laid out his marketing plan. He knocked it out of the park, and therefore was rewarded with the job. 

Keep in mind in addition to numerous other deals this agent handed me 7 properties I bought from a hedge fund he worked with at the end of 2012. My partners and I wholesaled all 7 homes within 3 weeks and made over $200,000 on the package without even touching one of them. If there is anyone in this industry who would have a justified sense of entitlement from me it would be him, however he showed up and represented himself as if we had never done one deal together. 

I tell you all this for multiple reasons. 

First, I want to provide some advise to any new or up and coming realtors. This is a business. It is a professionals’ business, and the ones who truly succeed are the ones who approach it with that mindset. Don’t dress like a bum. Act professional and be professional. AND be willing to actually work. You can be vastly successful and there is relative no ceiling on the income you can make, but you will have to work for it. It may be easy to tell that client that their house is only worth $200,000 when you know if you actually worked at it you could sell it for $250,000. It may be a quick and easy check for you, however the difference in your commission is only a couple hundred dollars, but to mom and pop smith or John Q Investor your complacency is taking huge amounts of $ from their bottom line on the HUD. I am a unique client as I have been a certified appraiser for over a decade. Unfortunately I can’t be misled on the real value of my homes. There is nothing more infuriating to me than an agent lowballing an client or investor on their list price so they can make their commission with little work or effort. 

Second, if you are just getting started in investing in real estate. Don’t use your partner to list your house. You need to have the ability to fire them if they are not performing and if they own the house with you it will be very difficult to do so. Don’t use your buddy who happens to have his license and he will discount his commission for you. Don’t use a family member either. Same concern….In addition, interview as many candidates as possible. Trust me I know it may be difficult to find a realtor who treats the interview like an actual interview. However you have to find that bulldog of a negotiator, marketing guru and hustler. It will make all the difference in the world to your success. They are out there but it is only about 10% of the industry. The rest like to sit around in the pajamas and throw a sign out in front of your home and wait for the calls or emails to come in. (I actually had a agent tell me that one time….I don’t like to get dressed up. I like to work at home in my pajamas). LOL

I hope you enjoyed the input. I am sure I will piss off a few with this one today. Have a great Friday and a great weekend and get out there and take some ACTION. 

John May

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