As far as real estate landmarks go, this Bethesda, Maryland home is a winner.
This unique 4-bedroom home with high beamed ceilings and an in-law apartment has more nicknames than the roster of a professional sports team. Locals alternately call it the “Mushroom House,” “Flintstones House,” “Hobbit House,” “Blob House” and “Smurf House.” Based on a quick glimpse at the cavernous interior, my vote goes with the Flintstones’ moniker:
This architectural curiosity was still on the market when we published this blog (see full listing here). The 1923 home was designed by futuristic architect Roy Mason, one of the founding members of the World Future Society. In the future apparently, we’ll all be living inside mushrooms.
Owners Edward and Frances Garfinkle told Bethesda Magazine that living inside a roadside attraction has its benefits. So many people slow down to stare at their home that for pedestrian safety, “it’s better than a speed bump.” (You can save some gas by taking a virtual tour here.)
But making the public smile isn’t necessarily a fast pass to closing a deal. Fame won’t pay the nearly $4,400 monthly mortgage.
Often, a home’s intriguing history isn’t enough to sell itself.
The Massachusetts estate pictured above is the childhood home of Nobel Prize laureate T.S. Eliot (1888-1965). Attending a recent Open House, a Boston Globe reporter noted that the Realtor displayed the writer’s bio alongside information about the home’s water and sewage systems. One potential buyer identified himself as a T.S. Eliot fan, revealing that his wife had just read the poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” aloud to get them in the spirit for the tour.
However, the Globe noted that several area real estate listings with prominent literary history have lingered on the market for a while. The late novelist Norman Mailer’s $3.1 million Provincetown, Mass. home took a year to find a buyer. Legendary humor columnist Art Buchwald’s $1.4 million Martha Vineyard home took nearly three years to sell. And nearby, fellow Vineyard resident and kids author Judy Blume’s $4.75 million waterfront property took two years to change hands.
If you’re an aspiring writer and hoping that prose will just emanate from the drywall into your veins, the good news is that “Catcher in the Rye” author (and notorious recluse) J.D. Salinger’s house in Cornish, New Hampshire is still on the market. On 12 acres of land with its own stream and dramatic views of Mt. Ascutney, the house’s asking price is $679,000.
The family’s real estate broker Jane Darrach joked to the Globe that there are three words that are far more influential in her business than anything that Salinger wrote: Location, location, location.
(You don’t have to represent famous clients to benefit from Mojo’s Real Estate Dialer and Real Estate Lead Service. Find out how Mojo can help you be more productive, better organized and dramatically improve your real estate prospecting results!)
It sounds like something out of a fairy tale: A magic machine can take a drawing of anything and create a real version of it at the press of a button.
3D printers, of course, are no fantasy. They’re being used today create prototypes of toys, machine parts, artificial limbs, and even hamburgers on demand. The “ink” can be made from food, biological materials, plastic, metal or concrete that dries and hardens in layers.
Now we can add real estate to the impressive list of achievements.
In Minnesota, engineer and building contractor Andrey Rudenko recently constructed a 12-foot-tall concrete castle in back of his house by using a giant 3D printer.
Inspired by smaller plastic printers, Rudenko built his own concrete one from rails, beams and a control box that instructs the device to print out CAD design and architectural drawings. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the engineer slowly began experimenting with rudimentary box designs and then moved up to the castle.
Though 3D printer manufacturing is still in the experimental stages, imagine how its widespread adoption could radically change the real estate equation. One of the biggest causes of a sluggish market is when there is low inventory. Low supply “greatly hinders the buyers’ enthusiasm,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, recently told the Wall Street Journal. “They’re making a major expenditure. They don’t want to see two homes — they want to see 10 homes before buying.”
Everyone likes to have more choice. If a Minnesota homeowner can now print a small-scale concrete castle in his yard, why couldn’t prospective home buyers eventually choose from a menu on a computer screen and watch a vacant lot become the home of their dreams?
In China, construction company Yingchuang New Materials Inc. has been working on even more ambitious real estate projects.
Using 3D printers, the company built 10-one room buildings in less than a day that will become part of a Shanghai industrial office park. According to Computerworld, the printers meticulously apply each layer like squeezing out frosting from a pastry bag.
“As outrageous as it sounds,” reports Computerworld, “such machines can already extrude concrete walls with internal reinforcement fast enough to complete the shell of a 2,000-sq.-ft. house in under 20 hours.”
What do you think? How do you think radically changing the way homes are constructed will impact your real estate business?
One thing’s for sure: No matter how they get built, homes will continue to be bought and sold. And you’ll still need to prospect and figure out the most efficient methods to find buyers and sellers and play matchmaker, and the most efficient way for you to prospecting for listings is Mojo’s Real Estate Dialer.
That will never change, whether you’re selling a concrete castle, a plastic skyscraper or a traditional brick townhouse.
(Mojo’s technology is focused solely on making you a better, more productive real estate agent. Find out how the Mojo system can triple your calls and automatically manage all of your leads and prospects at the press of a button. Try Mojo today!)
If you’re a successful real estate agent — or on your way — you probably treat all your prospects and clients like celebrities. But admit it: Wouldn’t it be fun to occasionally help a famous client sell their home?
For starters, check out baseball star Randy Johnson’s palatial three-story Mediterranean-style home in Arizona, where he helped lead the Diamondbacks to their first World Series victory in 2001. Johnson, nicknamed the “Big Unit” because of his 6’10” height and menacing pitching style, also likes big living spaces to stretch out his arms.
Here’s how the Wall Street Journal describes a few customized features of his dream home, which is about to go on the market for $25 million:
“The room that currently serves as Mr. Johnson’s office has wood-paneled walls, an adjoining poker room and a window that overlooks a three-car display garage for collectible cars. (There is also a separate eight-car motor court.) Other amenities include a sports-memorabilia display room, a pet suite with a washing station and a play area and a game room with a Western-themed billiards parlor and bar.
On the lower level of the home there is a 20-seat movie theater with stadium-style seating, a working ticket booth and a marquee. The home also has a recording studio, a separate stage with lighting and sound equipment and a collector’s musical instrument showroom, which currently displays guitars.
The property includes a 1,746-square-foot separate fitness facility with a locker room and showers as well as a tennis court. There is also a swimming pool with a two-story water slide.”
Realtor Robert Joffe of the Joffe Group (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) told the Journal that the Johnson family was looking to downsize now that two of their four children have grown and moved away from home.
If you’re looking for more modest baseball-themed quarters, All-Time Hit King Pete Rose just sold his six-bedroom digs in Sherman Oaks, California:
Rose, a star for the Reds, Phillies, and Expos, who is best known for his gambling problems, made a handsome profit on the property. He bought it with his second wife, Carol, in 1999 for $913,500, and sold it last month for $1.96 million with his new fiancee Kiana Kim.
Land, of course, is more scarce in California than Arizona. Rose’s 4,700 square foot home sits on only a quarter acre (compared to Randy Johnson’s five acre yard). The Big Unit probably has less tolerance for nosy neighbors, as he did not star in his own reality show.
Lastly, if you’re a real estate agent who always wanted to be a professional athlete, the good news is that this also happens the other way around. There are baseball stars who want to be you!
According to Forbes, former Red Sox, Angel and Mets slugger Mo Vaughn has found a second chapter of success as a real estate mogul.
Vaughn, the 1995 American League Most Valuable Player, started his real estate investment and management firm, Omni New York, with three employees and has turned it into a team of 400 employees overseeing 8,000 properties.
The secret to success, he told Forbes, is surrounding yourself with smart people. “You are who you are around,” he says.
Sage advice. We’re in the technology business and know that no matter how powerful our real estate productivity tools are, they can only be as good as the people using them.
(You’ve heard of the Triple Crown in baseball? Check out the Triple Line Autodialer, the Mojo calling productivity tool that will make you the MVP of Real Estate Prospecting!)
Drones. Drones. Drones. They are at the center of debate in U.S. foreign policy and military conflicts around the world. They’re shaking up the commercial sector with buzz about Amazon.com wanting to deliver packages with them. And now, they’re even causing a stir in the real estate universe.
If South Florida real estate agent Lee Rosa sounds overly dramatic about his Real Estate Dialer, you’ll have to forgive him. He still vividly recalls the clumsy days of dialing prospects by hand.
“You know that scene in ‘Pulp Fiction’ where they open the suitcase and there’s a shining bright light? Well, Mojo spoke to me. Everything came together at that moment,” recalls Rosa, of RGT Real Estate Services, a Keller Williams affiliate serving Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties. “When I first started, I used to have two phone lines with two headsets and I’d cross names off my list with different color highlighters in each hand.”
What better time than now to announce the Mojo Refer-A-Friend is back! The approaching industry events make it prime time to refer your friends and colleagues to the Mojo Dialer system and earn rewards to be used towards your subscription or one-time pay products like FSBO, Reverse Lookup and Neighborhood Search.
Of course, with anything great, there is some fine print:
Don’t delay! Head over to your account section and start referring your friends and colleagues today!
It’s a pretty easy question to answer, after all, using our Real Estate dialer is all you need to really maximize your prospecting time, but there are some things you can do to get the most out of it.
If you’re going to put the effort in to making hundreds of calls per hour, it makes sense you display a real caller ID number so interested parties can call you back. Sure, there is an argument among prospectors that spoofing (displaying bogey CID) your caller ID is the better method because ultimately, the goal is to land live contacts while dialing, so worrying about the call back shouldn’t be important and at a minimum, you won’t get all the angry people calling you back. Well, in some cases this is probably a valid argument but homeowners needing help listing their home WILL call you back and you WILL set appointments from it. Are you willing to risk the appointment going to someone else? There is an easy way to reduce the amount of folks calling you back that are angry, change up your caller ID. With the Mojo Dialer, this is simple to do, you simply enter one of your caller ID’s, we validate it in mere seconds and then it is in your account to be used while dialing. We STRONGLY suggest this method when calling on Expired listings right now, inventory is short and these lead types are being called on heavily. Rotating your office number, home number and cell number gives you a level of anonymity that will allow you to cycle the lead multiple times before showing up on their ‘irritation’ meter. Oh, and if you call a lead who is already irritated with you because of all the other agents calling them, simply let them know the calls will stop after you list their home!
There are folks who just don’t want their caller ID’s shown while calling leads and this is why we came up with Mojo Voice. Imagine the callbacks your cell phone would receive after a 500 call dialing session! Let us help you with the Math: Approximately 10% of your calls will call you back from the caller ID showing on their phones alone (plenty of curious spouses out there:). This means if you dial 500 calls, you’ll likely receive 50 call backs to your cell phone and these calls could be at 3pm or 1am, not very convenient. With Mojo Voice, you can get a virtual number in the area code you service and use it as your caller ID while you prospect. When a lead calls it back, it gets routed to any number you desire, giving you full control over where your leads are calling you back. Lastly, for total anonymity, subscribe to multiple Mojo Voice numbers so you have the ability to change up what your customers see when you call them.
Here is where it gets REALLY cool! So we’ve discovered its a good idea to display a valid caller ID and control where the callbacks are routed with Mojo Voice. Well, with Mojo ID, if you route the call back to your iPhone, Mojo ID will show you who is calling you back before you take the call. Yes, you heard it right, with Mojo ID, you KNOW which lead is calling you back and why. Mojo ID will display to you the contacts information as an image on your iPhone while your phone rings. You will see their name, listing status, any lists or groups they are in, your notes and when you last called them… completely preparing you for the incoming call.
Imagine you’ve prospected all morning calling expired, cancelled and FSBO properties. An hour after your session a call comes in from an unknown caller, you answer and say ‘hello’ and they say “yes you called me, why did you call?”. You can either start asking them questions to identify what type of lead they are,so you can pitch them correctly (very nerve racking and unprofessional) or you can be equipped with Mojo ID and start the conversation off with “thanks for calling me back Jim, I called you today to see if you know why your home didn’t sell?”
Real Estate agents are achieving great success using our Real Estate dialer, and these 3 tips take their prospecting to the next level. They contact more leads, they do it smart by leveraging callbacks and they out wit the most savvy homeowners by arming themselves with information before answering their call, making it known they are the most professional, resourceful agent for the job!
If your a prospective client wanting to know more about the Mojo Dialer or any other service we offer, continue checking out our blog or find more information at www.mojosells.com. We know you’ll like what you see!
I was almost convinced by the real estate community that the neighbors of your listings have no value to you and they are not interested in your listing and the price. Agents for the most part literally ignore the neighbors and the community of their listed homes. They just list a property and move on! YIKES!!! Early in my career as a prospecting trainer I was convinced by real estate agents there was no value in prospecting neighbors of your listings and it would take 100s of contacts to find a new listing. Thankfully after thoroughly investigating it, I discovered the truth. The simple script my Father Mike Ferry created, “when one home sells usually two more sell right away” and the strategy of talking to the neighbors and looking for the next one, works! The truth is, neighbors do want to know what’s going on, and you should be able to get another listing in that community if you do a good job after you sell the house.
Besides the misunderstood opportunity the neighbors present, the other reason why agents justify not talking to neighbors or doing anything for the community is most agents grossly underestimate the importance of what the home listed and sold for. It’s very strange. Now I’m not blaming you, I’m really blaming our industry for passing down this mindset. And this mindset has come at a very big cost. Think about it, guess who has provided the service real estate agents have mostly neglected to provide, have you heard of this website called Zillow? Last month if I remember the number correctly it $54 million people visited Zillow.com LAST MONTH! Why? Because homeowners want to know what’s going on with values in their community. To add a little bit more oomph behind that slap in the face, guess who is now selling real estate agents the leads of the people that are interested in the values and what’s happening in your communities? OUCH! The reality is the online game is over, Zillow.com has won and they did it first and have won over “the top mind” position for values in the country, as the resource for finding out what’s going on with values and prices. It’s comical that agents scream, “but their values are way off!” I simply reply, but at least they provide something! But more importantly, why don’t you step it up and let the neighbors know they can count on you? Zillow may have won the game online, but agents need to be the face-to-face local expert that provides the most up to date and accurate information about what’s going on with values and prices in the neighborhood.
The most powerful and effective way to communicate with the neighbors is either, door knock, phone calls (MOJO’s Neighborhood Search ROCKS), an open house, and marketing pieces. As a coach/trainer I would recommend all, the goal is to max out your opportunity to first provide great service to the neighborhood, second to build your reputation with the neighbors, and third to get the next listing in the community! I can just hear the excuses flying right out of a lot of agent’s mouth right now! This advice isn’t for the agent who is looking for excuses, this advice is for the agent who wants the next listing and gets excited about providing great service to the families in the communities they serve.
The goal is to create conversations with the neighbors about values and prices, don’t just look for the next homeowner who wants to sell! The #1 reason, time and time again, agents couldn’t generate business from this type of prospecting, was because they had “commission breathe.” Commission breath is when you are just looking for business and you are not trying to provide any service or actually give the neighborhood an update. This goes back to the original point, agents lost sight of the value of the service we should be providing. Give neighbors updates about values and prices in the neighborhood! When and agent is just looking for more business they actually become very repelling (a lot of agents were repelled by themselves too), and this lead sources got a reputation as being very weak and not worth it. Once I was able to get the agents’ mindset focused on service first, it leads to amazing results including: great conversations, grateful people, interested neighbors and in the end, another listing!
‘Patrick Ferry has been in the coaching and training industry for over 10 years. He has trained over 5000 agents from all over North America how to generate new business with their prospecting and marketing strategies and is now our guest Real Estate Prospecting Ideas blogger.’ Mojo Selling Solutions is the company behind the Mojo Dialer and Mojo Lead Store and Data Service. For more information on the Mojo Dialer and what Mojo has to offer, please contact us at 877-859-6656 or visit out website at www.mojosells.com for demonstration videos and other informative blog posts.
After 10 years of training prospecting skills and strategies, I find the success rates to be very bad. Meaning the ratio of how many people decide to “try” prospecting and in the end quit, or the most common decision is the statement, “that’s just not my style”. As my ratio of training created more and more successful prospectors I notice 4 fundamentals to someone making the transition from “trying” to “success”, becoming a powerful prospector.
First is the recognition of the long term pay off of becoming a powerful prospector, second is the significant difference between the two words “try” and “commit”, third learning the three aspects (lead sources, what to say, and how to engage conversations), and finally simply having the mindset of being grateful for the opportunity everyday. Some of you may notice that 3 out of the 4 have everything to do with your mindset or attitude.
Let’s look closer at each one to discover where you are in this amazing and rewarding journey of becoming a powerful prospector.
First the recognition of the long term payoff. So many times salespeople try prospecting because they are looking to solve a short term financial problem or lack of leads/appointments in their business. And from that perspective it’s either ineffective or doesn’t serve you long term. The ratio is probably 90% of salespeople who just try out prospecting to solve their short term lead or income problem fail miserably. It’s simple, prospecting isn’t a short term fix for anything. It’s a long term solution for your business. The bottom line, a powerful prospector is someone that can set an appointment within 1-2 hours of prospecting or between 10-20 contacts. Imagine, what the rewards will be when you can get with those results over a year and then over your career. Multiple great leads or appointments every week, lead to multiple sales on a weekly basis … for almost all industries results in at least 6 figure income. Powerful prospectors recognize that this is a long term solution not a short term fix.
Second, simple yet critical fundamental is the difference between “trying” out prospecting vs “committing to” become a powerful prospector! I’ve had thousands of salespeople tell me they “tried” prospecting and it doesn’t work for them or their market. I always giggle inside because they are right! It doesn’t work if you TRY! It only works if you commit to “make it work.” It’s the same thing for some of the prospecting strategies out there. I “tried” that script. I “tried” that lead source. I “tried” MOJO. It’s the commitment to make it work for you and your market is how to win.
Third is the hard work, developing your understanding of the different lead sources in your market, your knowledge of what to say, and the skills to engage conversations with strangers who are not expecting it. This is what takes even the best salespeople so long to own and perform. Because you might have one aspect down but without all three your success is so sporadic which leads to the frustration of the ups and downs. When you combine contacting the best lead source in your market, with an ability to engage great conversations with strangers, with finally knowing what to say to guide that conversation to a result, you will win! But unfortunately depending on how much time you can dedicate to these skills it could take 18 months to 5 years to really get to the point where you are getting the results of a powerful prospector. I always challenge salespeople to first think about the long term benefit to them financially and for their family once they commit to becoming a powerful prospector, because that’s the motivation to drive you past all the hurdles along the way!
Fourth and final one is to start with gratitude! Most salespeople start in a state of “I need income” therefore i “must” prospect. Or start from “I hate this, but i have to do it.” Versus coming from a place being inspired by how incredibly wonderful it is to have the opportunity to help someone in your community and get paid for it. And that you have the opportunity at the touch of your finger tips. For example, a real estate agents has the opportunity everyday to dial 7 numbers, have a life changing conversation with someone in their community and they can earn anywhere from $2000 to $100,000 from that one conversation. WOW!!! With that in perspective it’s silly to start anywhere else other than grateful!
Finally are you in this for the long haul? Have you determined what the long term payoffs are going to be for you and your family once you master everything required to become a powerful prospector?
When you launch the MOJO Dialer next, start from a place of gratitude for not only what this prospecting session can do for you and your family, but also what you can do to help a family in your community today!
‘Patrick Ferry has been in the coaching and training industry for over 10 years. He has trained over 5000 agents from all over North America how to generate new business with their prospecting and marketing strategies.’ Mojo Selling Solutions is the company behind the Mojo Dialer and Mojo Lead Store and Data Service. For more information on the Mojo Dialer and what Mojo has to offer, please contact us at 877-859-6656 or visit out website at www.mojosells.com for demonstration videos and other informative blog posts.
Finding the name and contact information associated with a property can be a lot like trying to find a ‘needle in a haystack’. This information is critical to anyone looking to call on off-market properties such as Expired, Cancelled and Withdrawn listings. This past year, we made the commitment to offer a service that would assist our customers with acquiring this hard-to-find data and created the new Mojo Reverse Look Up phone number Service.
Our new reverse look up phone number service is ideal for those customers seeking an affordable, easy-to-use solution for acquiring contact information for their Expired, Withdrawn, Cancelled or any other property data or those customers who are happy with their current lead provider but would like the ability to append records they have deemed as bad number using the Mojo Dialer.
Here at Mojo we know that price matters and we wanted to launch our new reverse look up service at a price that made it a no-brainer for customers that want to use it as a stand-alone service and for those that want to use it as a supplement to their current lead provider. The cost of the new reverse look up phone number service is only $25 per month and includes unlimited data look-ups. Also, it’s no secret that at Mojo we don’t like contracts so you won’t find any long-term contracts needed to lock in at this low rate!
Accessing the power of our new reverse look up phone number service is as simple as logging in to the new web-based Mojo selecting a list of data and pressing a button. Want proof? Watch the video below. Never before has so much information been at our customers fingertips.
There are several ways to complete the reverse search:
1. One at a time:
Simply add a new contact and press the reverse look up button on the contact form.
2. Batch List:
Select a list from the data area of the new Mojo and select the reverse look up button. It will immediately begin to process your records and check your addresses against our huge database of residential data and real-time data sources.
3. Data Append:
For those customers that use another company for their data, our reverse look up phone number service can easily append the data that is marked bad while dialing. With the Mojo Dialer, users who identify a bad number simply choose the last result ‘bad number’. Then, in the lists they are dialing on, they create a sublist for ‘bad number’ last result. As they dial and choose this last result, the bad number sub-list grows. At any time, users can simply highlight the bad number sub-lists and select ‘reverse look-up’ which will then process all the records in the sub-list and update the contact information accordingly.
If it is high-quality, low-cost data that you are looking for, Mojo’s new reverse look up phone number service might just be what you have been looking for. With no contracts and a low monthly cost, there is no-risk, sign up today!
T Short Code is: FY78JZVUZ8QQ
Whether you’re prospecting for new insurance clients, real estate customers or other business opportunities, those of us in sales tend to have ultra-competitive Type A personalities. We want to win. And when the stakes are our careers, salaries, homes and families, there’s no shortage of motivation.
Mojo’s prospecting and client nurturing software is built on the philosophy of “Work Smarter, Not Harder,” so like our Jim The Realtor mascot, you’ll have time to spend with your friends and family. There is no need to have an Olympic athlete’s training regimen.
Did you see any of the London track events with Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt? He wound up finishing so far ahead of his competition that for a moment, you might have assumed he was racing a few recreational jogger and not the world’s best runners. Mojo’s Triple Line Power Dialer is a lot like that, making up to 300 calls an hour and leaving other autodialers in the dust.
Bolt, 25, now owns the Olympic record for the 100-meter sprint, crossing the finish line in an astounding 9.63 seconds
Now how fast is that in prospecting terms? Well, if you’re using the Triple Line Power Dialer, you can make up to five calls a minute or one call every 12 seconds. Almost as fast as Bolt, but we’re proud to be in his class.
Jokes aside, if you were an Olympic athlete, would you rather come in second place or third place if the top spot was out of reach? Seems like a ridiculous question? Not so fast: NPR reports that bronze medal winners tend to be much happier than silver medal winners.
Studying the competitors of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, researchers Victoria Medvec, Scott Madey and Thomas Gilovich determined that bronze medalists are simply content that they made the cut and got recognition, while the silver ones were more likely to focus on what they lost.
Happiness, of course, is subjective. But after waiting their whole lives for one moment, athletes usually wear their hearts on their sleeves. Facial expressions combined with post-event interviews gave the researchers plenty of sentiment to work with.
The “I’m just glad to have tried my best” attitude is a healthy approach for many of life’s situations, but real estate prospecting is not one of them.
When a prospect returns one of your calls or asks for more information on your Website landing page, the clock is ticking. They likely have put in similar messages with other Realtors. The chances of you doing business with them often depends on whether or not you are first to respond.
That’s why we’ve introduced Mojo ID, an indispensable app for your iPhone that syncs your past call logs and contact lists to your screen so you know who is calling you and why the moment you hear your ringtone (Anyone have the Olympics theme as their tone?).
The free Mojo ID download makes you appear as if you are in the office at anytime and will help you build the instant rapport you need to start your customer relationships off right.
If you do come in second or third in the race to call them back, no worries. Unlike the Olympians, you’ll get to compete many times each day and be in tip-top shape to win. Wouldn’t it be horrific if you had to wait another four years?
Another great thing about Mojo Selling Solutions: You don’t need to have killer abs or huge biceps to use our software. Just for kicks, check out the BBC’s Olympic Athlete Body Match by clicking the picture below. You have an Olympic twin, regardless of whether there is wheat germ or donuts next to your keyboard.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported that an idyllic “Leave It To Beaver” neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley is suffering from real estate woes it thought it might be immune to under any economic conditions.
The desirable section of Van Nuys, California is called Cameron Woods. It is better known by Hollywood film producers as the “Leave It To Beaver neighborhood” because of its largely unmodified 1950s charm. It’s seen as a quick solution to staging “Anywhere USA” in movies, TV and commercials, as there are no palm trees like much of Greater Los Angeles.
A production company once covered a home in artificial snow for a car battery commercial.
“It’s like being the prettiest girl in the class,” resident Susan Amedeo told the Times.
According to the Cameron Woods Homeowners Association, “For Sale” signs have been exceedingly rare over the years as residents have given first dibs on available homes to friends and relatives. It is not uncommon for children who grew up here to come back and restake their claim on the territory.
But one vacant house on coveted Orion Avenue has been on the market for more than a year with no takers. Neighbors are nervous that the old home might be torn down and replaced with a McMansion, ruining the vintage feel of the place.
The available home has not been upgraded since 1949. It’s on the market for $479,000, which Realtor Julie Bate described as a bargain to KABC-7 News.
This mini-panic in Leave It To Beaverville when one home lingers unwanted might seem comical to real estate agents in other parts of the state and country – where it is not unusual for multiple “For Sale” signs on a street to be gathering cobwebs.
There’s no question that the depressed real estate market is making it tougher to close deals no matter where you live. But the reality is that people still need to put a roof over their heads and that houses still change hands all the time.
The Mojo Sales Engine makes your life easier by virtually putting your sales pipeline on autopilot. Our Daily Planner lead management software and Triple Line Auto Dialer (makes up to 300 calls an hour) will streamline your workflow, tracking and scheduling your lead generation calls, follow-up with prospects and conducting ongoing drip email campaigns to keep you on your customers’ radar.
Thinking about dipping your toes in the Mojo waters? C’mon in, it’s warm … contact us!
Back to the Golden State… Although interest in real estate might be leveling off in Cameron Woods, it still is the darling of Hollywood. The Times says that the neighborhood issued 36 production permits last year. To preserve their quality of life, they also have enacted strict filmmaking guidelines limiting any one residence to no more than 14 production days per year, restricting street parking and banning shoots on weekends and holidays.
Not sure about you, but my 1980s-style neighborhood doesn’t have such problems!
Don’t be surprised when you are watching the Oscars or Golden Globes next year if Mojo winds up scoring one of those gleaming statues. We’ve already bought our tuxes and designer gowns.
OK, so maybe we’re not expecting to beat out Disney Pixar, but we ARE now in the animated movie business.
To celebrate the launch of Next Generation Mojo, we’re introducing Jim The Realtor, a mild-mannered guy who loves his customers, his family and his country (not necessarily in that order).
But there is a problem, and perhaps you recognize it already.
Jim, who could just as easily be a health/life/auto/home insurance agent or other sales professional, feels imprisoned by the office bureaucracy of managing and growing his business. There are messages to return, hot leads to follow up, cold calls to make, marketing materials to write, lukewarm leads to keep engaged, and hopefully, deals to seal.
It never ends. The organization and busy work are 24/7 shackles.
Using the old file-hidden-in-the-cake trick, Jim’s wife gives him the tools necessary for escape from the daily drudgery. Mojo’s prospecting and lead management tools include:
The Triple-Line Power Dialer – Make up to 300 calls per hour and spend your time talking to more humans and fewer answering machines and endless rings.
Automated Email Campaigns – Using our Action Plans, send out a series of scheduled drip emails reminding your prospects why your services best meet their needs.
Nurture Calling – It can be a nightmare tracking when you last followed up with a potential client and when you should do so next. Our Daily Planner handles all that for you, eliminating the organizational stress from your ongoing tasks.
Not sure which one of those tools he used to dig a tunnel underneath the prison, though.
My favorite part of the new Mojo movie is when Action-Adventure Realtor Jim converts the Mojo logo into scuba diving equipment. Absolutely ingenious how the “J” doubles as a snorkel!
Who knows what other adventures our Realtor will find himself in next? Perhaps he will be selling luxury condos in the jungles of Africa or trying to corner the market on FSBO and Expired Listings in the Mt. Everest area.
The creative masterminds at Mojo are keeping the plot of the sequel very hush-hush, but I can assure you, there will be a sequel.
If you haven’t seen our first “Jim The Realtor” movie, visit our home page (and please share the Youtube link with your colleagues). But more importantly, don’t live in his prison any longer.
We last celebrated America’s funniest Realtor, Phil Dunphy, last fall when alter-ego Ty Burrell won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.
And that comedy would obviously be ABC’s “Modern Family.”
We’ve got absolutely no stake in ABC or parent company Disney, but we’re huge fans of the ongoing real estate agent storyline and thought you would enjoy the most recent episode, “Send Out the Clowns.”
In the episode, real estate agent Phil is about to score the biggest real estate listing of his career, when rival agent Mitzi Roth (guest star Ellen Barkin) swoops in on his territory — intent on stealing the client for herself. It’s a brazen but sleazy move — the kind that Mitzi is known for.
To punctuate her unrepentant sleaziness, Mitzi sneers at Phil on their way into the house: “Go back to condos, Dunphy!”
When the clients are looking the other way, Mitzi deliberately falls backwards into the hedges and blames Phil for pushing her. “Oh my God, he shoved me! I thought you had your anger problem under control!”
The tactic works and Phil loses the listing.
Discouraged, he goes home and tells his kids that the true path to success in life is lying and cheating.
His youngest son, Luke, encourages his dad to “play dirty” and “take her down.” He lends Phil his spy pen, which Phil tries to use to capture a confession at Mitzi’s office.
Mitzi senses she is being set up, gives Phil a patronizing hug and steals the spy pen as well!
But Luke hasn’t given up defending his dad’s honor. He bumps into Mitzi at the supermarket and asks her point blank why she is so mean and explains how his father is worried about paying for his older sister’s college.
Playing the sympathy card seemingly penetrates the real estate agent’s steely exterior and when she sees Phil a few moments later, she compliments him: “You have a very nice kid there.”
“He’s mine!” Phil defensively replies.
Want to find out if Phil is able to get his real estate listing back? And if anything happens to Mitzi for her dirty business tactics?
ABC has posted the full episode on-line for free with fewer commercials than the broadcast version.
But we’d also love to hear from you.
We know that the Mojo system is especially tailored for the needs of real estate agents, helping you prospect at 300 calls per hour with the Triple Line Power Dialer and giving you the first response opportunity on hot leads with Mojo Live Lead Alert.
But what’s life like out there away from the phones for you? Surely, rival real estate agents aren’t swiping each other’s kids as Phil darkly joked about in the supermarket, but are there unscrupulous characters amongst your competition?
Tell us your stories! What’s the most bizarre thing that’s happened in your sales territory?
Like every successful real estate agent, Seth Jenson faces a cloning problem.
He can’t be everywhere at once. And he can’t do everything at once.
And every precious minute spent on essential administrative tasks is another minute he’s not doing what he does best: Selling.
Instead of hiring a full-time assistant, Seth took a novel approach and hired five of them. Each part-time assistant works between 5-10 hours a week out of their homes and fulfills a unique niche. Most are mothers balancing hectic family schedules and appreciate the flexible work schedule.
After those leads are uploaded into Mojo, she looks on Craigslist and Zillow.com for additional FSBO leads and enters those into Mojo as well.
By 8 a.m., Seth is ready to rip, making hundreds of calls on his Mojo Triple Line Power Dialer (up to 250 calls an hour) and culling about 30-35 contacts from the pool.
“My goal is to get one great qualified appointment each day, a seller who is motivated and realistic,” he says.
“Before I hired my assistants, I’d average about 20 sold homes or less a year,” Seth says. “I’ve been able to double my business by using Mojo and leveraging myself by focusing on what I do best. For 2012, the sky’s the limit. I can see myself selling 70 homes. I already closed on four homes in January and have another 10 houses under contract, so I’m off to a good start!”
Here’s how Seth roughly delegates his administrative and support tasks amongst his assistants:
Jeanette: Downloads daily leads from the RedX and loads them into Mojo. Puts up signs and installs lockboxes.
Meredith: Processes leads, creates contacts, pays bills and handles other administrative duties.
Robin: Does competitive market analyses for properties and sets up buyers’ searches.
Karla: Enters listings into the MLS, writes ad copy for brochures and all the major real estate websites.
Emily: Handles monthly mailings to sphere-of-influence contacts and does graphic design.
“It’s not working more time that will make me money,” he says. “I personally need to spend as much time meeting with clients as possible.”
Seth, who has been in business since 2004 in the metro Denver area, is both a seller’s and a buyer’s agent. He’s a strong believer in using a real estate coach so he doesn’t “reinvent the wheel” and credits his mentor for helping him track his time according to three productivity categories:
1. P-Time: Productive face-to-face time with clients.
2. I-Time: Indirectly productive time prospecting and making appointments.
3. E-Time: Everything else that is required, including administrative, management and maintenance tasks.
“My P-Time is worth a whole lot more than my I-Time and my I-Time is worth a whole lot more than my E-Time,” he says, noting that he’s been able to dramatically reduce the latter category with his part-time help.
According to Seth, many real estate agents are Type-A personalities who feel more comfortable trying to do everything themselves rather than deal with the headaches of worrying about whether someone else is productive.
“It’s a scary proposition. You have to find and screen candidates, interview them, hire them, train them, manage them, motivate them and keep them focused. But you just have to jump in and do it. Managing people is all about trial and error,” he says. “The challenge, of course, is how do you find good help that doesn’t get bored or distracted with Facebook all the time?”
Seth’s personal experience is that part-time employees who work from home are more reliable than some full-timers, who eventually want to move on to the next job once they have been trained.
“A lot of people in this business are like leeches,” he says bluntly. “They just want to learn everything about your business and learn everything you know. Those people are a waste of my time. I’m not paying them to start their own businesses. I’m just looking for someone who wants a little extra income.”
Seth has found his dependable help by posting informal notices on Facebook, emailing fellow agents and putting free ads on Craigslist. One of his most recent job postings attracted more than 150 applicants.
“I think that people who work from home actually work harder than people working in an office. My staff tends to work in little bursts, for a few hours at a time but they are really focused in those few hours,” he adds. “I don’t ever have to worry if they’re working or not because I know when the job is done. It’s nice to not have to worry about trust.”
(Have any suggestions on how to make working from home more efficient? We’d love to share your story with fellow Mojo users. Drop us a line here!)
Sure, the golden time for giving gag gifts is now over — anyone get stuck with anything insane from your family’s holiday Yankee Swap?
However, there’s really no bad time to amuse your Realtor friends or employees with some MLS listings for extraterrestrial house plots.
In the same spirit of buying and naming a star after someone, the Lunar Embassy will sell you a one-acre moon lot for the bargain price of $22.49 (plus a $1.51 “Lunar Tax” and $12.50 for shipping and handling of the deed).
Hey, if you look at NASA’s fact sheet on the moon, there’s now approximately 14,647,439.75 square miles of open space ready for developers! And thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, you weigh a lot less up there, too.
There are many reasons to be skeptical that your Lunar property deed might not ever be graced with that dream vacation home (with a great room and sauna) you have been planning in your imagination. The “real estate” company itself starts off its FAQ in defensive mode, giving you its assurance that you are not taking part in a fraudulent transaction.
But here’s why I don’t trust the validity of their property claims: They don’t even bother to use spell check!
A quick example from their FAQs:
“Whilst we are on the subject, we would like to take this opportunity to give you some useful tips to avoid fraud on the Internet: Beware of pyramid shemes, sites that say you have won a prize but they want money up front before you can collect it, some business opportunity shemes, “get rich quick” shemes, work at home shemes and sometimes, even sales of computer equipment (you pay, and the computer equipment never arrives). These are the most common types of fraud to be found on the Internet according to recent statistics. Don’t give your bank account number or social security number to just anyone, unless you know the company that you are dealing with.”
C’mon, Lunar Embassy, are you not familiar with the word “scheme?” How can I buy into a scheme even for fun, if you call it a “sheme” four times?
Credibility is vital for all real estate prospecting, of course, especially the Earth-based homes you likely specialize in. When you are calling your Expired, FSBO, SOI and just listed/just sold leads, having the Mojo Triple Line Power Dialer will ensure that when an autodialed call is answered, you will hear the first “hello” and not the third, fourth or fifth.
Nothing is worse than representing yourself with the impression of a robo-call, an instant turnoff for most potential customers.
You may as well be doing cold calls for lunar real estate.
Which reminds me to leave you off with an invaluable piece of Realtor advice: Definitely avoid the Lunar Embassy’s Venus property, no matter how tempting the price. Surface temperatures on Venus can reach up to 860 degrees Fahrenheit. And in that climate, there won’t be cold calls of any kind!
We here at Mojo Selling Solutions don’t wear our politics on our sleeves. It’s not just because our office is a harmonious blend of folks across the ideological spectrum. It’s all about the fact that the telephone sales gods don’t care if the prospect is Democrat, Republican, or Independent.
Nevertheless, we can’t ignore what happens at the White House or Capitol Hill. With the housing market so critical to our economy, every minor burp from Washington matters.
President Barack Obama just announced new changes in the mortgage refinance laws aimed at helping struggling homeowners get more affordable interest rates even if they are underwater borrowers.
The President revealed his plans in a speech in Nevada, one of the most badly bruised states in the recession. An estimated one out of every 118 homes there filed for foreclosure in September. On a pure humanity level, foreclosures ruin lives and dreams. On a Machiavellian level, they ruin neighbors’ property levels.
And on a macroeconomic level, foreclosures hurt America because people without homes or jobs not only can’t buy things, they are also more likely to turn to desperate measures.
Federal changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) will now allow homeowners to borrow up to 125 percent of their property’s value at a lower interest rate — instantly saving them thousands each year. HARP was supposed to expire in mid-2012, but it will be extended until the last day of 2013.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the current momentum of foreclosures will be tough to slow down.
“In the three months that ended Sept. 30, notices of default, the first formal step in the foreclosure process, jumped nearly 26% from the previous quarter, according to DataQuick, a San Diego real estate information service.
Additionally, a likely national settlement over complaints about banks filing faulty paperwork to take back homes should clear the way for an additional 400,000 foreclosures in coming months, according to Moody’s Analytics, an economics research firm.
Moody’s predicts that foreclosures will rise next year to a record 1.5 million, or a hefty 30% of all sales of previously owned homes.”
Meanwhile, President Obama’s critics charge that his sudden interest in Nevada stems from his election strategy for 2012. Glenn Cook, a conservative Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist, dismissed the new plan as “more taxpayer-backed swag.”
Nonsense, says the Philadelphia Inquirer, it’s better to do something than nothing and rescued homeowners would potentially save $2,500 a year — affecting up to 2 million American families. Those numbers translate to an increase of between $2.5 billion to $7.5 billion in consumer spending each year, the newspaper claims.
So who’s right?
You tell us. We’re not interested in hearing political rants of any persuasion.
Candidly tell us what really matters. How does the foreclosure rate impact the short-term and long-term real estate market in your community?
(Real estate, insurance and mortgage professionals depend on Mojo for productivity-boosting solutions. Mojo’s Triple Line Power Dialer allows you to contact up to 300 Expired, FSBO and Just Listed/Just Sold leads per hour.)
A hearty Mojo congratulations to actor Ty Burrell, who beat out some steep competition from his “Modern Family” colleagues to win a comedy Emmy the other night.
Why do we care about this on a real estate prospecting and lead management software blog?
Because Burrell’s alter-ego is Phil Dunphy, the funniest real estate agent on television!
Several memorable episodes of the hit ABC sitcom have focused on the sales and marketing challenges of the industry, including:
The Emmy-winning scriptwriters of Modern Family definitely have their thumb on the pulse of the real estate world and what it is like to be a sales agent. We’ve seen the politics of an Open House, the personality-centric marketing campaigns and the pressures of making a living off commissions.
Now we wish the producers would go one step further and base an episode on the ups and downs of prospecting. Show us Phil when he’s tapping into his Sphere of Influence for potential new leads. Show us Phil when he’s mining FSBO and Expired listings. Give us a plot line surrounding the Triple Line Power Dialer! How about some dialogue about Phil making cold calls from his car with Mobile Mojo!
Realistically, we recognize that the behind-the-scenes hard work of real estate sales isn’t that funny. But the results can make you very very happy. Check out all of Mojo’s real estate prospecting tools to find out how to become the Phil Dunphy of your local market — without embarrassing your family.
How often in your private conversations with fellow Realtors do you say “That house is a real dump!” or “The previous owners really trashed the place?”
Well, you can now throw that real estate metaphor out the window with this property, an actual garbage Dumpster transformed into a small home for what the architect calls “luxury living.”
California performance artist Gregory Kloehn put hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances, electricity, plumbing, a six-gallon water storage tank, granite countertops, a stove and fuel storage for an outdoor barbeque into this sterile (we hope) trash bin. If his open house last weekend at the San Francisco Fringe Festival was a hit, could this become a new trend in economy living?
Whether you are selling a McMansion or a cozy lakeside cottage, every prospective buyer seems to covet natural light. With Kloehn’s home, you can crank the ceiling up and down like the roof of a pop-up camper. The design feature has two advantages: 1. It camouflages the home from curious onlookers at night; and 2. Sealing the unit lets you sleep even if the area is flooded with street lights or flashing neon signs.
Kloehn, who also makes office space and sound studios out of discarded shipping containers, calls this his “Elite Waste” model.
This “Dumpster of your Dreams,” snidely dubbed by critics as the ideal vacation home for Oscar the Grouch, challenges you to think about how much space people really need to live. What is most important to your prospective buyers when they are looking at a new property? Do they care more about location, the back yard, the neighborhood, the school district, sewer vs. septic, town services, the crime rate or access to shops and restaurants?
What impact do you think this trash-themed home would have on neighborhood property values?
When you are making prospecting calls for sales leads, regardless if it is from Expired, FSBO, Just Listed or Just Sold lists or a Sphere of Influence (SOI) call, do you REALLY know what the property really looks like?
OK, granted it would be tough to masquerade this Dumpster as anything else in the MLS listing, but we’ve all seen our share of creative descriptions. Here’s how this house is listed in the Fringe Festival Guide:
Welcome to Elite Waste’s new line of Urban Homes. You are about to witness the newest trend in 21st Century living. Would you like to live in a home and never pay mortgage again? Simplicity and luxury optimized in our High End Dumpster home, The future of urban living has arrived!
All things considered, living in a Dumpster might not be so bad the Kloehn way. Heck, you could decorate the inside and outside with refrigerator magnets. And there probably are Manhattan studio apartments much smaller than this.
The only thing that makes me a reluctant buyer is the bathroom situation. No matter how well hidden the toilet is or how sweet the air fresheners, this home definitely is at high risk of smelling like a Porta Potty.
Or as one insightful YouTuber put it: “How long before teenagers set fire to it?”
You can watch Greg Kloehn show off his home in this video tour.
(Do you have a Realtor prospecting horror story, or better yet, a dream-come-true property to share? Tell us about your sales victories and challenges at email@example.com)
Brockton, Massachusetts calls itself the “City of Champions” because it was the home of boxing greats Rocky Marciano and Marvin Hagler.
It’s also the turf of Keller Williams real estate agent Deric Lipski, a Mojo user and salesman who describes his prospecting calls with the hyperbolic language of a ring announcer. Consider the title of his most recent YouTube video, a sample of his phone rapping skills for other agents to observe and learn:
Deric Lipski vs. a Really Tough Expired Cold Call LIVE!!!
Yes, you can almost hear the announcer echoing throughout a packed arena.
In the video, in which we think Deric kind of resembles Adam Sandler if he were to star in a real estate prospecting comedy, the agent records a real call where he has reached a frustrated homeowner who has taken his unsold house off the market.
The prospect, a married Massachusetts man named Jim, is reached on his cell phone in his car. Jim tells Deric right away that he is sick of taking calls from annoying real estate agents hovering over his expired listing like vultures.
Deric is unfazed. In a confident, conversational tone, the Realtor keeps talking. He asks Jim about his previous agent and why he thought that person failed to close the deal. “Most good homes don’t sell the first or second time around,” he says. “You said that your wife picked the first agent? Is it fair to say it’s now your turn to pick the agent?”
Jim says he wants to get off the phone. He repeatedly says he doesn’t like to talk on his cell while he’s driving. He says he needs to talk to his wife before even considering putting his $475,000 house back on the market. During three or four times in the conversation, it seems certain that Jim will hang up.
But he doesn’t. The conversation lasts an astounding 10 minutes 53 seconds and it looks likely that Deric will land an appointment to go to the home and discuss strategies for making the property more appealing to prospective buyers.
Deric hones in on Jim’s motivation to sell in the first place and learns he and his wife dream of moving to North Carolina for a more relaxed retirement. The pace is less stressful than maniacal New England, there’s no snow and the cost of living is much lower.
Hoping to set the stage for a price reduction, Deric suggests that the lifetime goals of relocating to North Carolina are much more important than a few thousand dollars sacrificed during bad market conditions. Will the sales pitch succeed? Will Deric sign up Jim and live up to his nickname “Mr. Sold?”
We don’t know. But what we do know is that this phone call is a beautiful example of how to deal with call reluctance.
Yes, prospects get tired of “people like you” calling them all time. So don’t be like them. Focus on what they care about and your commission will follow.
Every agent has their own personality and style, but it’s very likely you’ll pick up a few tips by watching Deric’s demo: