Good morning everybody. It is Mike Ferry. It is Mike Ferry TV … the week of June 1st. Boy … 30 days from now … one half of this year is over … of which we have spent the last couple months in some pretty interesting and trying times.
The good news is, we saw the last 2 weeks of March being very challenging … April, probably the worst month we’ve seen in Real Estate in several years … probably going back to 2008 … ’09 … ’10 … ’11 … ’12 … and, of course, then May became much better and June looks like it’s going to be even brighter yet.
I had a phone call a couple days ago from a young man that’s been involved with our company for a long time … and he was very upset, as you could tell by the tone of voice, that he was dealing not well with this whole pandemic and the Real Estate industry. I listened for about 10 minutes, which I did, and that’s hard for me to listen when somebody is complaining as much as this young man was complaining, but he has a right to complain so I thought I’d better take the time to listen.
So, I listened to his whole story about how “I can’t do this” and “nobody will do that” and “this isn’t working” and “that doesn’t happen” and “it’s all because of this pandemic” and I finally said, “You know … can I ask you a couple questions?”
He said, “Fine. What are they?”
I said, “Number one … would you do me a favor and take the month of May and take your Board of Realtors, your area that you work in, and find out how many listings were taken.”
He said, “Alright.”
I said, “Write it down … how many listings were taken in May.” I said, “I’m going to hang up and then I’m going to ask you to call me back and tell me that number.” So, I hung up.
He calls back 5 minutes later. He said, “Well, there were like 942 listings taken.”
I said, “Okay … and how many of those did you take?”
“Well, I didn’t take any.”
I said, “942 … how do you think the agents that got the listings got the listings?”
“Well, they were probably all referrals.”
I said, “Let’s say that 50% were referrals … that means 50%, somebody found them.”
I said, “Well, let me ask you this question … the 50% that were referrals, if you would have been talking to 20 people a day, do you think you might have come across some of those people that were referrals to another agent?”
I said, “Well, you didn’t talk to anybody, did you, in the month of May?”
“Well, no because I’m so discouraged.”
I said, “Okay. The half that didn’t get referrals … how do you think they got them?”
“Well, they probably took your Mike Ferry stuff and used it.”
I said, “Did you take the Mike Ferry stuff and use it?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Okay. Second question … I want you to tell me, in 5 minutes, how many homes went under contract? Listings sold? Buyer-controlled sales?” I said, “You can find out on your computer very quick. Call me back in 5 minutes.”
He calls me back. “890.”
“Oh … and how many of those were yours?”
“Well, I didn’t have any.”
I said, “Have you noticed a trend here? There was 900 listings and 800-and-some sales … and in both cases, your number was 0 … could that have anything to do with you and your lack of interest … lack of attitude … lack of being positive about what’s going on?”
“Well, I knew if I’d call you, you’d blame me.”
I said, “I’m not blaming you.” I said, “Do you think it could be because of …”
Well, needless to say, that conversation didn’t end on a very positive note for either one of us. I was trying to help by just asking the basic questions and seeing if he was willing to participate. So, here’s the question of the day … it’s June 1st … are you going to participate in Real Estate in the month of June? Are you going to spend 3 to 4 hours a day involved in productive activities in the month of June? Are you really going to give it the shot that you deserve … and your family deserves … and the client deserves … in the month of June? Or are you going to keep saying, “You don’t understand”?
See, the one thing I do understand … is that I understand … I’m just not sure that most people in Real Estate understand that the negativity they carry in their minds is the reason they can’t produce. So, I had a question sent to me … I’ve addressed it now 156 times. Starting around the 17th of March, I started doing webinars … virtual webinars … for our clients, for our Brokers and their salespeople. You may have been in on some of those … and what I did was I identified the nine questions that most agents would like to have answered and I tried to give them the answers to those questions.
We have on these webinars any place from 50 to 70 people. We’ve had some … probably 10 … with 1,500 to 2,000 people on these webinars … and one of the questions that comes up is, “Mike, if this pandemic continues” … and it is NOT going to continue forever, there is going to be an end to this … and I think the hardest part for most Real Estate people is keeping their mindset strong enough to understand this will end. Every bad situation does come to an end. Is it going to be in 2 weeks? 30 days? 90 days? We don’t know the answer, but as you can see how much better the month of May was than the month of April … things are getting better every day … or as you’ve heard me say … when the light at the end of the tunnel really gets bright … because it’s brighter today than it was April 15th … when that light at the end of the tunnel gets really bright, boy, I hope there’s enough room on the side of the tracks to get out of the way because you’ll get hit by the train and we don’t want that to happen.
But I want you to be out of the tunnel ready to do deals when that takes place … and you can’t get ready to do deals if you’re concerned about the conditions of the market. Your market is fine. Your market is okay … because there’s transactions being done.
So, in these webinars I’m doing … there’s two questions that come up all the time … “Are the prices going to fall when this ends or if this continues?” And the answer is, “No. Prices are not going to fall.”
Now … if you take an overpriced listing, it’s going to have to come down. We know that. That’s just called human nature. You can’t list a property for $995,000 that’s worth $650,000 … and if you do, it’s going to be an Expired Listing … it’s just a matter of time. So, what I want you to think about is the fact that the greatest advantage we have in Real Estate today is the fact that we have an inventory shortage throughout North America. I don’t care where I talk in Canada … where I talk in the U.S. … there’s an inventory shortage. There’s not enough listings to meet the demand.
That’s why, even in these trying times we’ve experienced, when a good listing is on the market, there’s still multiple offers. Now think about that … there’s still multiple offers. In fact, I worked with a company last week that is doing training sessions virtually for their agents now and how to deal with multiple offers in this marketplace. Isn’t that great? Because the shortage of inventory is what solidifies the prices. So, when you’re working with a Buyer and we have a shortage of inventory, it’s to your advantage.
“Mr. and Mrs. Buyer, the challenge we have today is we have a limited number of homes for you to select from, so if we find anything that’s even reasonably close to your expectations and there’s very few for sale … and you need to buy a home … we’re going to have to select one probably, aren’t we?”
“Well, it depends on what it is.”
“Well, if there’s a limited inventory and it’s not exactly what you want, aren’t you better off buying something and getting a home for your family than waiting and maybe missing out?”
“Well, maybe you’re right.”
“Well, let’s go take a look.”
Now, turn it around … you’re with a Seller. “Mr. and Mrs. Seller, this is the perfect time to sell your home.”
“Well, I don’t want people in my home because I don’t understand the virus.”
“We set up the protocols to protect you so you don’t have to worry about people in your home while you’re there and we’re certainly going to take care of your home, but I want you to think about this … with very few homes for sale and the demand building with all the Buyers in the market, you’re going to have a better chance getting your price today than you may in 60, 90, 120 days. Do you understand that the fact that we have limited inventory is going to help you?”
So, the limited inventory is the biggest thing we have in our advantage for solidifying prices. Let’s not worry about prices, but the second question that’s been coming up all the time is, “Mike, are we really going to become a virtual-based Real Estate business?” The answer is, “No.”
Now, are we going to do a lot more business this way than we have in the past? The answer is, “Yes.” 100%. No question about it. Why? Because of the time savings to the Buyer, the time savings to the Seller, the efficiency and speed of the transaction, time savings to you and the other agents if there are two agents in the transaction. The time saving is enormous here.
Watch this example. Saturday morning, 10:00, you’ve got a Buyer coming in, pre-approved to buy a $500,000 home. You’ve selected five or six properties to show. You say to the Buyer, “Mr. and Mrs. Smith, I’m committed to spending the day with you to help you find the home of your dreams and I think we’ll find that. I’m going to spend that time and do whatever it takes to make that happen. However, I can speed up the process. May I tell you how?”
“Well, how is that?”
“We can look virtually at all six homes right now. It’ll take about a half hour … and then we can select the two out of the six that make the most sense. Should we go look at all six or do you want to eliminate four and not waste that much of your time?”
“Well, can we just look at all six and pick out the two we want to see?”
“Of course we can.”
See, there’s so many things with the virtual side of this business that is advantageous to Buyers and Sellers … and so many things are advantageous to Listing and Showing Agents. It works for everybody because of the word “efficiency.” So, what we have to think about is … can we learn how to do this work we’re doing in a virtual model versus face-to-face? Because more and more transactions will be done virtually. I’m talking to agents every day that are taking listings every day virtually without even going to the house. I’m talking to agents every day that are selling homes virtually without ever actually going to see the property.
Brian Schmitt, my friend down in the Keys, they’re doing almost all their transactions in the Keys virtually because Buyers are not allowed to enter the keys unless they already own a home in the Florida Keys. So, therefore, there’s a gate at the end of the Keys keeping people out to keep the spread of the coronavirus, of course. And, as Brian told me probably 6 weeks ago, it’s interesting that today we’re selling homes that Buyers have never been in yet. We’re listing homes where the agent hasn’t even seen the Seller yet because it’s being done virtually. So, I guess the message is … this is our future.
We hear words like the “disruptors” of Real Estate. “The disruption’s taking place” and it’s always technology that they’re talking about. Well, the truth is it’s not a disruption, it’s progress … it’s change … it’s opportunities to get better … and that’s what this technology we’re working with today called “virtual technology” is doing for us.
We have to adapt or we have to perish … and we’re not going to perish because we’re going to adapt to the fact that we have to learn to do things virtually. So, my suggestion is … instead of role-playing by your phone with one of your friends … your listing scripts, etc. … instead of doing it face-to-face in the office, start doing it virtually. Start thinking about the fact that you’re going to be a movie star … you’re going to be on camera … that you can make this happen. But, you also have to prepare to be a movie star and to be on camera and to make it happen.
The virtual world is here to stay and it’s going to become a bigger part of our business as this pandemic starts to disappear. Prepare for it … understand the prices are going to be fine … do some market statistics … how many listings … how many pendings are in play right now … and are you getting your fair share? If you’re not, it is time to adapt and go to work. Talk to you next week.
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Mike Ferry is the global leader in real estate coaching and training. Watch Mike each week as he discusses a variety of topics to help real estate agents and brokers. Grow your real estate business by improving your mindset, developing your skills and creating a plan of action to increase your production!