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Real Estate Fight Club

28
Feb 2020

Episode 22: EXTRA ROUNDS - Do You Get the Bang for Your Buck With a Virtual Assistant?

In Episode 22 EXTRA ROUNDS, join us as real estate heavyweights have a chance to go into the extra rounds to discuss if you get the bang for your buck when hiring a virtual assistant.

If you are interested in becoming a featured heavyweight, please reach out to us through the Toe-2-Toe Podcast Facebook page.

Resources Mentioned:

26
Feb 2020

Episode 22: Do You Get the Bang for Your Buck With a Virtual Assistant?

In Episode 22 of the Toe-2-Toe Podcast, hosts Jenn Murtland and Monica Weakley duke it out over whether you get the bang for your buck when hiring a virtual assistant. Hear why hiring a virtual assistant overseas hasn’t worked for Jenn. Then hear why Monica thinks a virtual assistant can be absolutely worth it in the right circumstances. If you’re considering leveraging the services of a virtual assistant, this episode is for you. 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Do you get the bang for your buck with a virtual assistant?
  • Jenn says no.
  • Jenn has tried having a virtual assistant several times and it doesn't work for her.
  • Jenn is a high driver. She is very good at the big picture and not as good at details.
  • Jenn doesn’t like having to give a VA very specific instructions. She has struggled with virtual assistants who don’t have the right mindset.
  • She describes the different thought process she encountered when working with virtual assistants.
  • Monica feels that being specific someone can work.
  • Monica feels it can work as long as it’s the right person, with the right skillset, and the right personality match.
  • Jenn has a virtual transaction manager based in the US and that's working.
  • Monica is using a VA right now.
  • Monica feels that a VA can be extremely useful to a business from an ROI perspective.
  • Jenn thinks people overlook the oversight piece when considering ROI.
  • Monica suggests that oversight can be a short-term part of the process.
  • Leverage is powerful and it’s also painful.
  • If you're spending two hours a day doing a mindless thing that could be systemically entered in by someone anywhere, a VA may be a good idea.
  • Monica thinks it’s a big mistake to turn over your social media to a VA.
  • Send-out cards may or may not work out as a task for a VA.
  • Know yourself. What are you spending too much time on that doesn't need that much time?
  • Many people they surveyed were thinking about using a virtual assistant.
  • Monica thinks you should hire a VA if it's the right task, the right person, and you're willing to train and put the system together.
  • Jenn feels that in general, she's found more success hiring local administrative help because of mindset and ownership.

3 Key Points:

  1. Hiring a VA may not be worth it for you if your personalities don’t mesh or you don’t want to be involved in a lot of oversight.
  2. Hiring a VA may be worth it to you if you know there’s a task that’s taking too much of your time that can be done effectively and repeatedly by someone else.
  3. Consider that leverage can be painful. Creating systems that a VA can follow may be annoying, but could be rewarding.

Resources Mentioned:

21
Feb 2020

Episode 21: EXTRA ROUNDS - Can Agents Effectively Represent Both Sides of the Deal?

In Episode 21 EXTRA ROUNDS, join us as real estate heavyweights have a chance to go into the extra rounds to discuss if agents can effectively represent both sides of the deal.

If you are interested in becoming a featured heavyweight, please reach out to us through the Toe-2-Toe Podcast Facebook page.

Resources Mentioned:

19
Feb 2020

Episode 21: Can Agents Effectively Represent Both Sides of the Deal?

In Episode 21 of the Toe-2-Toe Podcast, hosts Jenn Murtland and Monica Weakley duke it out over whether agents can effectively represent both sides of the deal. Hear why Jenn feels that agents can do this effectively because they can get both parties what they want. Then hear why Monica thinks it’s very difficult to fulfill your fiduciary duty in this scenario. Listen to the end of the episode for a major epiphany Monica has about credentials.

Episode Highlights: 

  • Can agents effectively represent both sides of the deal?
  • Jenn says yes.
  • Her concern in this situation is getting both the buyer and the seller what they want.
  • There have been times when buyers have come that Jenn doesn't feel comfortable with and she has sent them to other agents.
  • When Jenn has represented both sides, the transactions have been very smooth.
  • Monica makes a distinction between representing both sides legally vs. representing them effectively.
  • Monica is concerned about fiduciary responsibility. If you have certain knowledge about one side, that may get in the way of your ability to represent the other side.
  • Jenn disagrees.
  • Jenn feels that the more knowledge she has, the better she can represent their interests.
  • Jenn tells the story of two people sitting with two oranges. They both want both oranges. Neither of them get as much as they could have had due to a failure to communicate.
  • Many times buyers and sellers can't communicate what could work.
  • Jenn imagines that representing both sides might create opportunities for agents to get creative about how to serve everyone’s needs.
  • Monica asks us to consider a hypothetical transaction. Let's say the listing price a home is $250k. A buyer comes along unrepresented. The buyer asks if they should go in over asking but you already know that there isn't anyone else interested in the house.
  • Monica feels that she would have knowledge that would help them not pay top dollar for this house. In her mind, this creates a problem when she considers fiduciary responsibility.
  • Jenn asks what the definition of fiduciary responsibility is.
  • Jenn says that she doesn't know if the language you’d use to talk about making an offer in this hypothetical transaction necessarily changes.
  • Jenn asserts that people are coming from the assumption that buyers always want to pay less and sellers always want to pay more and that is not always the case.
  • There are situations where Monica feels she can't actively represent the buyer because of something she knows.
  • When you're all-in on a listing and an opportunity for dual agency comes up, you have to downshift into another role.
  • At that point, Monica feels that you need to explain to your clients how your role is shifting.
  • Jenn argues that the average agent usually is not a pitbull, which nullifies Monica’s concern about downshifting.
  • This was a heated discussion among their realtor friends.
  • There were many comments about how in some states dual agency becomes transactional agency. 
  • Many agents leaned towards no.
  • Monica states that she does not think agents can effectively represent both sides of a transaction.
  • Jenn reminds us that the average agent sells 5-10 houses a year and they are not necessarily doing their full fiduciary responsibility.
  • Not every agent should do dual agency.
  • Monica has the epiphany this is the one designation she would see to be effective.

3 Key Points:

  1. Representing both sides of a deal can go smoothly because as an agent, you are simply focusing on helping both parties get what they want.
  2. Representing both sides of a deal effectively could be difficult based on the knowledge you may have about both side’s interests.
  3. Not every agent should do dual agency and perhaps agents would be served by obtaining a certification in dual agency if they want to offer that service.

Resources Mentioned:

14
Feb 2020

Episode 20: EXTRA ROUNDS - Should You Take an Overpriced Listing?

In Episode 20 EXTRA ROUNDS, join us as real estate heavyweights have a chance to go into the extra rounds to discuss if agents should take an overpriced listing.

If you are interested in becoming a featured heavyweight, please reach out to us through the Toe-2-Toe Podcast Facebook page.

Resources Mentioned:

12
Feb 2020

Episode 20: Should You Take an Overpriced Listing?

In Episode 20 of the Toe-2-Toe Podcast, hosts Jenn Murtland and Monica Weakley duke it out over whether you should take an overpriced listing. Hear why Monica feels that you should not take overpriced listings and that doing so creates a huge problem in the real estate industry. Then hear why Jenn thinks you can take overpriced listings in certain scenarios. 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Should you take an overpriced listing?
  • Monica passionately argues that agents taking overpriced listings has created a huge problem in the real estate industry.
  • Agents will take overpriced listings for all the wrong reasons because they don't know how to stand up for their value. They also don't know how to educate the seller.
  • Overpricing hurts the seller's chance of selling, hurts the amount the seller will make, and hurts the industry.
  • Monica feels there is no reason you should take an overpriced listing.
  • Monica is talking about major overpricing. If you know a home's market value is $200k and you put it on the market for $225-$250 she sees that as a level of malpractice.
  • There are too many agents "buying" listings.
  • Jenn agrees that if you're doing it as a business tool for getting listings it's a bad idea.
  • Jenn says that there are times when this just happens and the seller understands what may happen if they overprice the listing but they still want to do it.
  • Jenn has done it before.
  • Monica asks about Jenn's tolerance for the amount.
  • Jenn says it depends on the price point. If you're in the 200s, then 10% seems high.
  • Monica advises that when you can understand supply and demand, then you can make educated assumptions.
  • Jenn reminds listeners that right now if you list your house correctly in their market, you'll get 98% of the list price. If you have to take a price reduction, you're getting approximately 88%.
  • As long as you've explained to them the pros and cons, Jenn thinks overpricing the home can be OK within a certain range and with a plan of action to reduce quickly.
  • Jenn pre-signs price reductions before two weeks go by.
  • She thinks you should be revisiting the price every 5-7 days.
  • There were two distinct sides to this question when they polled other realtors.
  • Many respondents said that they would absolutely not take an overpriced listing.
  • Other people said they would do it with the price reduction plan in place.
  • Monica reiterates that agents should not take overpriced listings.
  • Jenn emphasizes that taking an overpriced listing can be ok if you look at the facts and obtain pre-signed price reductions.

3 Key Points:

  1. Taking an overpriced listing may hurt the seller’s chance of selling, the amount that seller will make, and the real estate industry at large.
  2. Taking an overpriced listing may be fine if the sellers have been educated and they pre-sign price reductions.
  3. If you’re taking overpriced listings as a business tool, that’s probably not a good idea.

Resources Mentioned:

7
Feb 2020

Episode 19: EXTRA ROUNDS - Should Agents Cap Their Commission on Higher Priced Homes?

In Episode 19 BONUS EPISODE, join us as real estate heavyweights have a chance to go into the extra rounds to discuss if agents should cap their commission on higher priced homes.

If you are interested in becoming a featured heavyweight, please reach out to us through the Toe-2-Toe Podcast Facebook page.

Resources Mentioned:

5
Feb 2020

Episode 19: Should Agents Cap Their Commission on Higher Priced Homes?

In Episode 19 of the Toe-2-Toe Podcast, hosts Jenn Murtland and Monica Weakley duke it out over whether agents should cap their commissions on higher priced homes. Hear why Jenn feels the majority of agents are overpaid and why she sees reasons to cap your commission in some instances. Then hear why Monica feels capping commissions is detrimental to the industry at large. This episode will help you think about how you run your business and the value of your personal brand. 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Should agents cap their commission on higher priced homes?
  • Jenn says yes. She feels that the majority of agents are overpaid.
  • Jenn feels that the barrier to entry to their business is very low. There are many great agents out there, but Jenn thinks they're in the minority.
  • The majority of agents don’t have a real marketing plan and don’t know how much  it costs to advertise a listing.
  • It is ok to adjust your commission based on your marketing plan and also based on the home.
  • Jenn’s marketing plan doesn’t change drastically from home to home.
  • Your judgment should be based on actual numbers of what you spend with a profit margin that makes sense.
  • Monica thinks that when we start capping out commissions, we are in essence saying to the public that agents are not worth the 3%.
  • Jenn argues that agents charge whatever they want anyway.
  • Monica sees capping commission or reducing commission as a problem because it encourages the seller to go find the lowest bid.
  • If your main goal is to elevate the level of service, Monica feels this strategy doesn't align with that goal.
  • She believes that capping commission harms the industry as a whole.
  • Monica feels we need to teach agents how to bring value and how not to sell themselves short.
  • Jenn agrees when you're talking about an average priced home. When you get into high luxury, she's not doing something different for an $800,000 home than she is for a one million dollar home.
  • Jenn wonders if it makes sense for the seller to pay more if they're not really getting more.
  • Jenn feels there should also be a minimum. There is a cost to list the home that agents incur.
  • Monica also does a minimum and calls it the best standard she ever put in her business. She will not sell a house for less than $3k.
  • There's a cost to doing business as a business owner and there's also something that makes sense for the customer.
  • If you're an agent that brings a brand, then that might be something a seller wants to pay for.
  • Your brand isn't something that's itemized out in a P&L. It's an intangible good.
  • Monica wonders about a cafeteria-style approach to listing a house.
  • Jenn is also not going to take a listing where she's doing it for free.
  • Monica feels that if we all had confidence then we wouldn't have these hesitations on price.
  • Agents polled on this subject felt heated.
  • One agent said he never caps his commission but offers tiered options.
  • Monica has never capped commission based on price.
  • They're paying for her expertise and her strategy. You can't put a line item on that.
  • Jenn thinks you should look at your business and profit margins and look at what it costs you to be in business. Then decide what is the minimum you would charge and what is the maximum.

3 Key Points:

  1. Some agents cap their commission on higher priced homes because they feel they are not actually providing more service past a certain price point.
  2. Some agents feel that you should never cap commission because it motivates sellers to find whomever is offering the lowest price.
  3. Your brand and your expertise are intangible goods that should bring you confidence that you are worth the commission price. 

Resources Mentioned:

 

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