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    Bill Gassett: 7 Blogging Tips for Real Estate Agents

    June 30th, 2015

    Blogging Tips For Real Estate Agents Bill Gassett Point2 Agent

    Today’s “ask an expert” guest post comes from Bill Gassett, a popular real estate blogger who shares his tips and tricks with buyers, sellers and other agents. This article is an excellent resource for both agents looking to start a real estate blog and those who already have blogs that they’d like to amp up a little!

    Blogging can be a fantastic way for real estate agents to increase business and establish a positive image with both potential clients and other professionals. But for blogging to work well, you have to do it right. Just writing random blogs whenever you feel the urge will not get you the results you want. You need to be smart and strategic about how you blog, what you blog about and the way you get your blog out to the world. The most successful bloggers write extremely well and know how to market their content.

    These same content providers also understand the kind of information consumers are looking for. A great real estate blog will generally answer questions that people are searching for online.

    7 Ways To Make Blogging Work For Your Real Estate Business

    1. Pick a great platform

    You have a lot of options when it comes to blogging platforms. One of the most popular platforms for business blogging is WordPress. You can use WordPress to write and publish your blogs – all for free.

    WordPress is so popular because it gives you all the tools you need to write your blog, add pictures or video, tailor the blog for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes and publish it. WordPress is also customizable. You can add headers, graphics and other customizable features that make your site stand out from a sea of competition. If you are at all interested in starting a real estate blog, you should give WordPress a spin.

    If you’re a Point2 Agent Professional or Elite user, you already have access to create your own WordPress blog! The tips in this post will help you add a blog to your real estate agent website.

    2. Write about topics that encourage both local and national interest

    Blogging is all about attracting an audience. When choosing your topics to write about, you should think on both the local and national level if you want to draw the most readers. You don’t have to hit both in every post, but you should try to work in both local and national topics over time.

    When writing about housing prices, you could talk about how your local prices compare to the national numbers. Sometimes you can write about local neighborhoods, while other times you can write about general real estate topics that apply anywhere, like how to prepare for a buyers home inspection. How many times do you think a homeowner may have asked this question either prior to putting their home on the market or right after accepting an offer? The answer is lots! This leads to the next blogging tip for real estate agents which is to answer popular questions you know people are typing into Google or another search engine.

    3. Answer questions that people are asking Google

    Buyers and sellers all head to the Internet now when they have a question about real estate. Most of them ask Google before they even think about asking a real estate agent. You want your blog to pop up in the results when these people do a search, so it makes sense to try and answer their questions with your blog. Google offers tools to find out about the most searched terms, tools that you should become familiar with if you want to target as many people as possible with your blog.

    4. Become a local expert

    You want to stand out among all the other agents writing blogs. One of the easiest ways to do this is to become an expert on your local communities and neighborhoods. You probably already know a lot about your area. That’s information that people are probably looking for online. Write blogs that cover your local knowledge. If people think you are an expert on the area where they want to buy or sell, they are more likely to hire you as their agent. One of the best ways to create business is to have real estate community pages for all the cities or towns that you cover locally. This is an exceptional way to show that you are the “go to” real estate agent in the area.

    You may be wondering what a great community page looks like? Here is an example of my real estate agent’s guide to Framingham Massachusetts. If you were not from the area and were thinking about buying a home, wouldn’t you find this information helpful? You might even consider picking up the phone if you were selling a home in Framingham as well.

    5. Get familiar with social media marketing

    Social media is one subject that every real estate blogger needs to be familiar with. There are a lot of different channels that people are using now, including Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn. You will want to establish a presence in online communities like these, because they are a perfect platform for advertising your blog.

    One thing to keep in mind as you start to work with social media – people are not participating in social media communities because they want to be sold to. They are there to connect with other people and to get information from companies and personalities they like. Avoid hard selling yourself, unless you want to be ignored or avoided. Instead, become a useful member of the community, offering knowledgeable advice and helpful information. Over time your efforts can yield big dividends.

    Here are some tips for real estate bloggers using each of the top social media networks:

    Pinterest: Here is a guide on how to use Pinterest for Real Estate. Pinterest is one of my favorite social platforms because of the continuous nature of how something can get shared for an extended length of time. This is unlike any of the other social sites where the bulk of articles being shared lasts a couple of days.

    Google+: Without a doubt Google+ is one of my favorite platforms for building relationships with other agents. It is much like Facebook but with a much more professional flair. You can really excel at driving tons of traffic to your blog by connecting with other fellow professionals. Here is a guide on how to use Google+ for real estate.

    LinkedIn: LinkedIn is another great place for a real estate agent to get traction for their blog, yet most agents don’t know how to use it properly. Here is a great field guide on how to use LinkedIn for real estate. See some handy tips on what to do and what to avoid on this professional platform.

    Twitter: Without question many real estate agents don’t know how to use Twitter all that well. Twitter can be a fantastic tool for drawing people to your blog when used properly. Here are some tips for real estate agents on how to use twitter the right way!

    Facebook: Facebook is still the most popular of all the social networks, so as a real estate blogger it makes sense to use this site as a way of making your blog more visible. Here are some excellent tips for using Facebook as a real estate agent. Finding some of the most popular real estate groups on Facebook is another great way to skyrocket your blog’s visits.

    Never underestimate the power of social media for your blog. This form of communication is getting stronger every year. More and more people are spending significant time using social channels!

    6. Build relationships with other real estate bloggers

    As you start building your blog, you should try to establish positive and mutually beneficial relationships with other real estate bloggers. Links are an important part of SEO, and a friendly mention from another blogger can drive a lot of traffic to your blog. Again, the online community – including your peers – can be a great help in building your online presence. Building solid relationships with others should be a big part of your real estate social media planning.

    Alternatively, you can easily develop a bad image that will hurt you unnecessarily if you are known to be unpleasant to deal with. You want to be loved, especially by your peers – at least if you want to maximize your business. In fact, the only reason I am writing this article here at the Point2 blog is because of the relationship that has been built between us.

    (From the Point2 editor: And we are so thankful for that, Bill!)

    7. Learn The Basics of SEO and Content Marketing

    Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website for search engines. You want Google to bring up your blog on the first page of search results, if you can manage it. This takes time and some effort, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. But if you learn how SEO works and put it to use in your blog, you have a much better chance of getting your blog in at least the first few pages of search results. SEO is something that never should be discounted. Understanding and using solid SEO tactics is where you can take your blog from being average to exceptional. You can have the greatest blog content around but if nobody finds it, you will be missing opportunities. Learning both onsite and offsite SEO strategy is important.

    Remember: Blogging Is Content Marketing

    Content marketing is the act of creating content – blogs, articles, videos, etc. – that people want to read and watch. You are trying to meet a need that people have, and ultimately become a trusted source of information on real estate. It is marketing by giving away great material for free. You build your image or brand, and eventually people come to you for your services. Who wouldn’t want to use their favorite real estate blogger as an agent?

    Content marketing can also be used to further the reach of your blog content. There are some great standalone platforms that are fantastic for driving additional people to visit your blog. Two of my favorite content marketing platforms are and Storify. Each of these platforms can be used to magnify not only your content but other favorite blog posts or people who have linked to your blog. Doing the same in one of these places is an ideal way of saying thank you and strengthening a bond.

    Want to see what I mean? Check out my Real Estate page and my Storify Real Estate Pages. Notice how on each of these platforms you can share content you have already created and add additional thoughts on the subject. Those that are interested can follow the topic back to your blog!

    There are so many other places where your blog can gain additional exposure besides what I mentioned here. These blogging tips will be a great start, but you should always be on the lookout for additional opportunities.

    Above all else understand that gaining actual business from your real estate blog takes time. Don’t expect that you will write a few articles and buyers and sellers will be beating on your door within weeks. Like anything else blogging is hard work – it takes time to get noticed and gain recognition from others.

    Share a link to you real estate blog below, and we’ll take a peek!



    4 Google Analytics Tips You Don’t Want to Miss

    March 24th, 2015

    Today’s guest post comes to us from Paul Koks, a passionate Analytics & Optimization Consultant and founder of Online-Metrics.com4 Google Analytics Tips for Real Estate Agents by Paul Koks

    As a real estate agent, you know that your online presence is of crucial importance to grow both your lead database and your bottom line. You need to establish your brand, have a stunning platform and turn your visitors into customers.

    That’s when the measurement part comes in play. You can’t optimize what you don’t measure. It’s great you already have access to Google Analytics, but does it really help you to get more out of your business?

    In this article I share four tips to help you work with Google Analytics in a better and more effective way.

    1. Filter Out Your Own IP Addresses

    I imagine that you work on your online platform on a weekly or even daily basis.

    You need to add new content, change existing pages or simply like to see whether everything works the way it should.

    By default, Google Analytics tracks sessions (their term for visits) from all people that visit your website. This includes sessions that reflect visits by you and your colleagues.

    In my experience, especially when traffic numbers are not incredibly high, this can skew your data a lot.

    Let’s assume you measure 100 sessions on your site, and four sent in lead generation forms. Within these numbers there are 20 sessions from yourself (or colleagues) and two lead generation forms sent as a test.

    Here are the resulting numbers:

    Example - leadgen formsWithout any additional configuration you measure your conversion rate as 4.0%, but in reality it is 2.5%. Small numbers, big differences!

    That’s why I recommend that you filter out any “known” IP addresses from your company or partners. Your office behavior doesn’t have anything to do with the performance of your site. Please keep that in mind.

    How to Set This Up

    I do my best to keep things as simple as possible.

    You need to have “Edit rights” to set up filters in Google Analytics. This gives you access to the Google Analytics admin interface.

    Step 1: Click on All Filters in the admin interface.

    Filters - step 1Step 2: Click on red new filter button.

    Step 3: Select the fields as shown below and choose your expression.

    Filters - step 2If you have a single IP address, you can select that are equal to.

    If  you want to filter out a range of IP addresses, choose that contain.

    Talk to your developer if you need some help here.

    Step 4: Add your new filter to your reporting view.

    Filters - last stepRepeat this procedure for any other IP addresses that you have. On average it takes one hour before the filters become active.

    2. Set Up Goals and Goal Values

    It is very important to set up goals for the desired actions on your website. What do you like your visitors to do?

    I am sure you like to receive more lead generation forms. In most cases after someone sends in a lead gen form, they end up at a unique thank you page on your site.

    I will show you how to set this up in Google Analytics.

    1. Click Admin in the header
    2. Click Goals
    3. Click New Goal
    4. Type in the Name of your goal
    5. Select Destination as the type of goal
    6. Click Next step
    7. Set the destination equal to your goal page URL
    8. Select Value > On and assign a monetary value to your goal
    9. Select Funnel > On (fill in the required steps/pages leading up to your conversion)
    10. Click on Create Goal and you’re ready!

    There is one more thing I like to share about goal values and how to make a good estimation.


    • In period x you have received 20 lead generation forms.
    • You have earned $20,000 via these leads.
    • Per lead you have earned $1,000.

    In this case you could work with a goal value per lead of $1,000. And so you would fill in 1,000 in the goal value field.

    Apply the same calculation to your situation, and you have great numbers to work with!

    3. Always Segment Your Data

    This is one of the greatest things I have learned in the past: averages lie.

    I often hear people say things like:

    “My average bounce rate is 40%? What do you think about that?”

    “My average conversion rate is 2%? Not bad, what’s your opinion?”

    Every time, I suggest looking at these numbers in perspective.

    What if you have an email campaign with no leads, but a banner that directs great, converting visitors?

    You feel successful, but underneath is an email campaign that you have the opportunity to optimize.

    In other words, make sure to always segment your data.

    A few tips for segmenting your conversion rate (CR):

    • Segment your CR by device category (mobile, tablet, desktop)
    • Segment your CR by traffic source
    • Segment your CR by landing page
    • Segment your CR by region
    • Segment your CR by day of week

    This will help you interpret the numbers in a better, more accurate way.

    Note: You need to set up your goals first to segment on conversion or conversion rate.

    4. Track Your Campaigns

    Whether you are just starting out or count yourself among the advanced Google Analytics users, campaign tracking is a very important topic to know about.

    In short, campaign tracking lies at the foundation of how your sessions are recorded in Google Analytics.

    By default, Google Analytics measures three different traffic channels:

    • Direct traffic: people that come to your site via a bookmark or directly typing in the URL
    • Referral: all incoming traffic from external domains
    • Organic: organic (unpaid) traffic from the search engines

    What about email marketing or advertising banners on other domains? If you don’t do anything, these visitors will be recorded under direct or referral traffic.

    Unfortunately it means that your data gets skewed, and the visitors land in the wrong bucket.

    How to Track Campaigns

    Let’s take email marketing as an example. You might send out a real estate newsletter every week or month.

    Of course you would like to know how the people who click on it subsequently behave on your website.

    Every single link that leads to your website needs to be tracked separately.

    Google URL builder is a great feature that helps you to track your links and traffic in the right way. It enables you to analyze your email campaigns as a separate medium.

    Two years ago I published a comprehensive guide on campaign tracking that you might want to check out!

    I hope that these tips help you to understand Google Analytics in a better way. It’s easy to get things running, but it’s more important to be sure you can trust and act on your data.

    Do you use Google Analytics on your Point2 Agent website? Click here to learn how to set it up!

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    3 Tips for Social Media Success for Real Estate Agents

    January 19th, 2015

    SocialMediaSuccess_01-19_blogIt’s hard to figure out why there are still real estate agents who don’t include social media objectives in their business plans. There are so many benefits for real estate agents who use social media (which is an article all in itself).

    Some real estate agents make using social media look like solving a Rubik’s cube. It doesn’t have to be like that! There are hundreds and thousands of tips on how to use social media, like these easy Twitter tips for agents.

    Nobody wants to read thousands of tips though, so here are the 3 tips that, if followed, will lead to your success in social media as a real estate agent.

    Create Epic Real Estate Content

    The first tip to social media success for real estate agents is to create epic real estate content. You’re asking: what is epic real estate content? Epic real estate content is something written by a professional that even a 30 year real estate veteran would learn something from or find value in.

    Creating epic real estate content is not something that can be pieced together in 15 minutes. The effort it takes to create epic real estate content can be seen from a mile away. Writing epic real estate content isn’t only about the content either. Creating high quality graphics to compliment the content is extremely important. This is especially true if you plan on being successful on Pinterest as a real estate agent.

    Taking the time to write epic real estate content pays off big time. Creating sub-par content will lead to frustration and the belief that social media doesn’t work for real estate agents, which is false.

    Realize It’s Not All About You

    Probably the biggest “pet peeve” of other top influencers who know how to use social media is when a real estate agent constantly blasts social media with posts about themselves and their products (or listings). Social media is about building relationships, sharing and creating epic content, and showing the general consumer that you have strong knowledge of the real estate industry.

    Hate to say it, but your local buyers and sellers are not going to their Twitter feed to look for a real estate agent. Same can most likely be said about them looking for local real estate listings. It’s possible though that they could be scrolling through their Facebook and click through to a great article you may have recently written debunking common real estate myths. The chances of them seeing value in a high-quality real estate article you wrote and calling you is much greater than them stumbling across that 3 bedroom ranch you just listed in xyz neighborhood and picking up their phone to call you.

    Bottom line, don’t consistently be blasting your social media channels with your newest listing or that you are currently looking for new listings. Everyone already knows that you want to sell your listings and get more. Avoid this and other social media no-no’s for real estate agents at all costs.

    Share & Recognize Other Epic Real Estate Content

    This third and final tip is where many agents fall short in social media. Sharing only your epic real estate content does not work. It’s great that you’ve created a quality real estate article, but it does no good if it’s only able to be read by your limited group of followers. If it’s shared though by other top real estate professionals, the potential reach is much greater.

    For example, if you have 500 Twitter followers that you share your article with and it gets no retweets, the potential reach is about 500 followers. Now let’s say you’ve built some nice relationships with some other top notch real estate professionals on Twitter, and you get a retweet from a professional who has over 20,000 followers. The potential reach has now just grown from 500 to 20,500. That’s a huge difference!

    A good rule of thumb is to share other epic real estate content 5-6 times for every piece of your own content.

    Another excellent way to recognize other epic real estate content is by including links to other real estate bloggers’ articles within your own content. This can lead to tremendous success for several reasons. First of all, the probability that your article gets shared by the professional whose article you linked increases exponentially. This can lead to more exposure for your piece of content. I recently published an article of the Top Real Estate Blog Articles from 2014 and included links to several top real estate bloggers. The article has been a huge success, is being shared all over social media, and is ranking very well in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page).

    Secondly, the possibility that a link to one of your pieces of epic content gets included into one of their future articles also increases. This will lead to more traffic to your blog which should lead to more success in the SERPS.

    If you’re not utilizing social media in your business plan, you need to be. Follow the above tips, and you will see some nice results from social media.

    Kyle Hiscock is a top producing Irondequoit, NY real estate agent with Nothnagle Realtors, based out of Rochester, NY. Kyle has helped hundreds of buyers and sellers move in and out of the Greater Rochester, NY area. In addition to his vast real estate knowledge, Kyle runs a very active real estate blog and is active on many different social media websites.


    Marketing to Military Families

    November 11th, 2014

    While many military families opt to rent, others enjoy homeownership and all of its perks. In addition to clients’ specific request, there are many features that are convenient to the military lifestyle in general; knowing in advance what these families want in a property can help you save time and enjoy quick sales. post

    Airport Access No service member wants to step off of the plane after a long tour just to sit in a vehicle for hours trying to make it from the airport to the house. Neighborhoods with easy access to airports and their surrounding thoroughfares minimize commute times for service members and their families.

    Nearby Public Transportation Many military families forgo owning a private vehicle, especially if they’re often stationed internationally. (Shipping a vehicle—or trying to sell at the last minute—isn’t worth it.) For those reasons, easy access to public transportation or ride share programs are vital to military families.

    Proximity to Night Life and Family Entertainment Service members range from singles to established families–and all of them want something fun to do with their downtime! Identifying parts of town that provide ample and interactive opportunities for socializing will win points with your buyers.

    Ample Storage While some families embrace minimalism to avoid lugging belongings around the country, others like the idea of loading up on quality items in order to avoid frequent shopping trips. Learn which approach appeals to your buyers. The latter will need ample onsite storage while the former will accept limited space in exchange for other amenities.

    Privacy While on duty, service members have very little privacy. They want the return home to feel like a personal oasis. Private lots are also beneficial for families with children and pets, who desire the security of an enclosed play space. Fenced-in backyards and houses with wooded lots may add the privacy that such families seek.

    Strong Wireless and Internet Reception Today’s military families cannot thrive in a communications dead space. If they can’t communicate with family and friends abroad, the family will quickly feel dissatisfied with the property and frustrated with the location. When sorting through potential homes, have buyers bring along their wireless devices for a test run. It may also help to research available internet providers and explore the services available in the area.

    Today’s guest post comes to us from Erica Rascón, an online content developer and contributing editor for The Balance Sheet — the Yardi corporate blog.


    Highlights from the 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

    November 10th, 2014


    Every fall agents and brokers across North America eagerly await the publication of the National Association of REALTORS® ‘Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers’. This 100+ page report serves as a bellwether to consumers wants and needs and is widely referenced by everyone in the industry until the day the next report is released.

    Since the 2014 report was released on November 3rd, many real estate professionals have been pouring over the data to see what to expect in 2015 and beyond. In order to help you we have combed through the report and picked out the more important stats and statements:

    – Thirty-three percent of recent home buyers were first time home buyers, which is still down from the historical norm of 40 percent among primary residence buyers.

    – The typical first-time buyer was 31-years-old, while the typical repeat buyer was 53. Sixty-five percent of  home buyers were also married couples, which is down just 1 percent from the previous year.

    – The typical home purchased was 1,870 square feet in size, was built in 1993, and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This is a change of -30 square feet overall.

    – Buyers expect to live in their home for 12 years after buying which is up from 10 years in 2013 and dramatically up from 6 years in 2007.

    – 92 percent of consumers used the internet in their home search. This is unchanged from last year.

    – For 43 percent of consumers, going online to look at properties was the first step in their home search. This is a change of 1% from 42 percent in 2013.

    – The percentage of consumers who found the information a real estate professional provided useful changed significantly from 87 percent in 2013 to 98 in 2014. Bottom line, agents provide better value!

    – The typical home buyer searched for 10 weeks and viewed 10 homes—this is two weeks shorter than the 2013 report.

    – Thirty-eight percent of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 22 percent used the agent they worked with previously to buy or sell a home.

    – Seventy percent of home sellers only contacted one agent before selecting the one to assist with their home sale.

    For more highlights from the 2014 Profile report, check out the report below as well as the presentation NAR’s Jessica Lautz:

    2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers Highlights

    Presentation: 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

    What did you find most interesting about this year’s report?

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    .REALTOR Domain Names Are Here

    November 5th, 2014

    The wait is over. After years of teasing and speculation .REALTOR top-level domain (TLD) extensions are here. As of October 23rd, 2014 members of NAR and CREA can visit to claim their very own .REALTOR domain. Even better, the first 500,000 NAR and 10,000 CREA members can claim their domain FREE for one year. .REALTOR domain name

    This is big news for real estate professionals as this new domain extension allows you to clearly showcase yourself online as a trusted source of real estate information – something almost all potential clients are looking for. Plus, this domain extension is exclusive only to members of NAR and CREA.

    Ready to get started with this new domain extension? Here is what you have to know first:

    1) Who is eligible for a .REALTOR domain?

    You are eligible for a .REALTOR domain if you are a member of one of the following groups:

    – REALTOR® members (agents and brokers) including International REALTOR® Members
    and members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)
    – REALTOR® firms/offices
    – State, provincial and local REALTOR® Boards and Associations
    – REALTOR® owned Multiple Listing Services (MLSs)
    – NAR affiliated institutes, societies and councils

    2) Where can I claim my domain?

    You can claim your domain at any time by visiting and following the instructions to search and then receive your domain.

    3) How much do .REALTOR domains cost?

    .REALTOR domains will start at $39.95 USD annually, however the first 500,000 NAR members and 10,000 CREA members will receive their first .REALTOR domain free for one year.

    4) Are there any restrictions on what you can register as a domain name?

    Yes. At the bare minimum .REALTOR domains should contain your name (either first, last or both) or a key business phrase, but cannot include a street address or the word ‘REALTOR’. A full guide on domain naming rules by NAR can be right here.

    5) What will happen to my .REALTOR domain if I exit the real estate business?

    If you are no longer a licensed REALTOR® your .REALTOR domains will continue to be active until your next renewal period, at which time it will be automatically cancelled.

    5) Can I use my new .REALTOR domain with my Point2 Agent account?

    Absolutely! As .REALTOR domains operate  like any other domain extensions (.com, .net, etc.) you can point them to your Point2 Agent website to use in your online marketing initiatives. You can find a guide on how to point domains you own to your Point2 Agent account on our support page.

    You can learn more about the .REALTOR domain from NAR in the video below:


    Are you going to get a .REALTOR domain?

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    Do You Recognize the 4 Negotiation Strategies?

    October 27th, 2014

    If you don’t think negotiation stress impacts our daily lives, both personally and professionally, just look at the national sales purchase reports for Tums and Rolaids! It’s not like you can avoid negotiating. Even if you elude every opportunity to negotiate, you still have to live with the consequences of possibly getting less than you could have if you had stepped up to the plate.

    Experts Don Hutson and George Lucas outlined the four legitimate negotiation strategies in their best selling book, The One Minute Negotiator. According to the experts, the four strategies can be categorized on two dimensions:  Activation and Cooperation.

    The first, activation, requires someone to initiate the negotiation. The second dimension, cooperation, is the level of your focus for this negotiation. Are you focused on your own needs, or do you care about the needs of the other side? Understanding the premise for negotiation is key to identifying your competitors’ negotiation default strategy and can give you the competitive edge.Deal

    To help us identify, respond and address these four negotiation strategies, here are several tips to help you secure your preferred outcome.

    • Avoidance is where many of us prefer to be. This quadrant is is a reactive and low cooperation strategy with the intent of protecting the status quo or changing the outcome without conversation. Know that avoidance doesn’t get you what you want, and the consequences can be limiting and frustrating.
    • Accommodation is a reactive/high cooperation strategy where the person using it loses, and the person they are negotiating with wins. The book states that you don’t build relationships with accommodation, but you do test them. Strive for an appropriate resolution when dealing with accommodators.
    • Competition is a proactive/low cooperation strategy. Much like accommodation, it is a win/lose focus, but in the competitive quadrant you are looking to win, while the other side suffers losses. In a competitive negotiation, there is no real relationship present, and it is usually a one-time business transaction. This strategy has the highest potential of ending in a stalemate or no deal. A much more successful strategy is….
    • Collaboration, which is a proactive/high cooperation strategy. Instead of getting a fixed amount of a “pie,” your focus is to simply “grow the pie.” Looking for multiple options, and giving small concessions that have little consequence to your side, helps support a successful outcome. The chance of getting to collaborative negotiations in every instance is not high, but this strategy is by far the most productive. It requires the most preparation and in-depth discovery skills, but the outcome is often more money over time due to a collaboration that sustains and can grow relationships into future business.

    It is foolish to think you can win all the time, but the best negotiators can utilize all four strategies instead of trying to make only one work. It pays to learn how to implement each of these strategies for optimum outcomes. Due to negotiaphobia, most people usually default to only one strategy. With the proper preparation, you can help guide negotiations to a win for your clients and customers.

    For more information on negotiation strategies, visit: or pick up a copy of “The One Minute Negotiator” by Don Hutson & Dr. G. Lucas.

    Do you have a go-to negotiation style?

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    Hot Tip: 3 Tips to Negotiate NO into NOT YET

    October 22nd, 2014

    When your customer or client says NO, what do they really mean? If you don’t have the skills to figure out how this response may really be a yes, you might miss a great opportunity to make a sale.

    From an unskilled perspective, hearing the word “no” is percieved as being a final boundary in the negotiation process, when in fact, it can open the door to better outcomes for both parties.

    According to negotiation experts Don Hutson and George Lucas, authors of the best selling book, The One Minute Negotiator, the word “no” is often the gateway to a completely positive outcome if the sales person handles the next steps with skill.No Not Yes

    We must keep in mind that when there is a negotiation in process, there must be a common interest to trade, but most likely there will be some conflicting interests before getting to the cooperation stage. In the case of real estate,  a property price sets up the conflict between what the seller wants (perceived value) and what the buyer is willing to pay. The real outcome is that both parties are in a bargaining situation and each with an objective to reach an agreement of  “how” to cooperate, price being only one of many possible outcomes. However, both prefer an outcome in their favor. How intensely each party is willing to work through the bargaining process will determine who is effective in getting their needs met.

    When negotiating, here are some pivotal issues that can help you go from NO to YES:

    • Consider that time and urgency are key factors. If a seller can close in any timeframe, but the buyer must close by a certain date, there is more of an urgency on the part of the buyer. Since the buyer has more pressure than the seller, the buyer may be willing to pay more for the convenience of timing, rather than be fixated on the price for the property. Getting the property closed in a time frame that meets the buyer’s deadline is more critical to that buyer than for the  seller and becomes a mutually beneficial outcome for both parties.
    • When a seller is fixated on price, reducing the numeric disparity to a daily amount can help the seller understand the consequences of holding out for a larger sum. If a seller states that they won’t sell for less than X dollars, they are in fact saying NO to any bargaining situation. Smart agents will break the differential down over a period of time, and then show how that disparity can be recovered on the future purchase of a larger, more suitable property, or how a delayed closing will cost them more money. Another factor to present is the value of selling a bit lower, but how the seller would recover by buying their “forever home” from another seller in the same type of situation. Timing, impatience, surplus or lack of inventory will affect your seller’s outcome, so be sure to educate the seller on multiple options even though they seem stuck on “NO”!
    • Many times a party will say the word “no” just because they are responding under pressure or panic during the negotiation process. As an example, a seller is asking $275,000 for their property, and the buyer comes back with an offer at $200,000. The seller says “NO WAY” but in reality, all that has really been done is that the parties have set the negotiating the range of $75,000. Smart negotiators will recognize that this is a sign that the game is on and just the beginning of the bargaining process!

    Don’t shrink just because one party says no. Remember that they may really be simply saying YES, but not quite yet!

    What is your initial response when your sellers say “NO WAY” to a low offer?

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    Top Negotiating Tips You Need to Win!

    October 20th, 2014

    What do you say to control negotiations for a listing commission or counteroffer? How do you manage haggling between buyers and sellers for personal property? If you are like most of us, you have a true distaste for confrontational negotation. But what if there were some top tips and strategies to help you negotiate your way to more sales, more easily?

    Our Success Series expert, Don Hutson, shared with us the 5 biggest mistakes most agents make when negotiating. As the New York Times and Wall Street Journal #1 author of the best selling book, The One Minute Negotiator, Don tackled the most common faux pas agents make when negotiating.

    If you have heard statements like “your commission is too high,” or “we don’t want a yard sign,” you need to know what to say and why. It’s not about repeating some canned scripts, but more about activating a mindset that steers all negotiations from competitive to collaborative outcomes. When you have a collaborative rather than a competitive scenario, you are almost guaranteed to have happy, repeat clients.Negotiate

    Our Power Coaching series on October 23rd is loaded with negotiation hot tips. Host Terri Murphy negotiated her way to over 100 listings and sales annually. She’ll help you address common objections and issues by incorporating a few tips to ensure the sales process will go from good to closed!

    For example, you may hear that your commission is too high. This is a common objection that all agents should learn to overcome. Terri will show us how to build in “value stacking,” so the subject becomes irrelevant and you don’t cut price, work for less or lose your profit margin.

    When the seller says “we won’t sell unless we get our price,” you may feel stuck. But this is easily voided at the listing table. Terri quotes super star Sam Miller’s strategy of using the power of the pricing range to head off this often heard issue so you can get more properties priced right to sell fast.

    Another frequent negotiation point centers around the advertising dollars allocated to marketing the property. Terri shares how to nip this sticky issue before the marketing process begins!

    To learn all of her top negotiation tips, join Terri and Point2 for our interactive webinar on October 23th. Get the scoop on the top strategies to negotiate your way to more sales!

    Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Time: 10 Pacific, 11 Mountain, 12 Central, 1 Eastern

    The webinar is now over. View the recording!


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    Upcoming Webinar: 5 Top Negotiation Tips to Get the Sale CLOSED!

    October 16th, 2014

    Agents can go from confident to crazy when negotiations start flying back and forth in a transaction, and trading offers back and forth does not yield top results for your buyer or seller.

    Too often, sales people view negotiating as distasteful. We try to accommodate when we should really be focusing on how to best collaborate to create the best outcomes for both sides of the deal.

    So why aren’t agents really good at the process after all this practice? Expert and New York Times best selling author of the One Minute Negotiator, Don Hutson, understands the top mistakes most sales people make that cost big money. He has some simple steps to get more properties sold and closed. that's a deal

    Terri Murphy will help us implement those highly effective negotiation strategies long before an offer gets caught up in the heat of the bargaining table. She’s got scripts and scenarios that will help us avoid those frequent mistakes agents make.

    Here’s what we will learn:

    1. The biggest mistakes most agents make when negotiating.
    2. Why successful negotiation really starts with preparation.
    3. Learn the simple process for better negotiation outcomes. Negotiation is really a process, not an event.
    4. Did you know that men and women have tendencies to negotiate differently? It is important to know which questions to ask who and when to make sure all parties have a full understanding of the outcome.
    5. What you can do when the negotiations go from collaborative to competitive. How to reverse a block and deploy strategies that get all parties back in the game.

    To get the rest of these top negotiation tips and strategies, join us when Terri helps you to be even more prepared and confident for your next negotiation opportunity!

    Date: Thursday, October 23, 2014
    Time: 10 Pacific, 11 Mountain, 12 Central, 1 Eastern

    The webinar is now over. View the recording!


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