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If I Didn’t Know … Would I Know?

If I wasn’t constantly being told be the TV, radio, newspaper, and magazines that we are in a financial downturn, would I know that from my every day life experiences over the last year?

My answer is no.reporters-news-propoganda

My life has gone on pretty much unchanged from what it was prior to this “down turn.”  No, that’s not right.  Truthfully, it is much better. My business has remained very good. As a matter of fact, the last couple of years were the best in my career.  There have been a lot of eager buyers — eager to buy a home, and eager to take advantage of the $8000 tax credit.

In some ways, business is much easier now.

Sellers are much more willing to deal and try harder to put a sale together and keep it together.  Also, builders are paying nice bonuses for selling their homes — homes that I probably would have sold anyways to the buyers that I have.  Everyone seems much more appreciative of my efforts — co-op agents, builders, mortgage lenders, title companies, etc.

As far as listings go, sellers have been less likely to try to cut commissions. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Barry Karch on January 29th, 2010 under Market Trends


How Not To Be Successful in Real Estate

Nowadays there are lots of coaches teaching people how to be successful in real estate, but I haven’t seen anyone instructing people on how not to be successful.

If you simply don’t want a lot of business or can’t handlehow-not-to-succeed-real-estate too much, here is your game plan:

1.  Do not use the internet. The majority of buyers start shopping for a home on-line so it’s going to bring you too many contacts.  Do not create your own website – instead, stick with the newspaper.  You’ll get less prospects for more money here.

2.  Do not follow up with any prospects. If they want your help, they will call you.  Absolutely do not call them – you may wind up with more business than you can handle.

3.  Do not return phone calls promptly. If the people really need you, they’ll call back.

4.  Hold lots of open houses. It’s better to have prospects come to you instead of you going after people.

5.  Take up-desk time at your office. Again, you can sit back and wait for people to call.  You don’t have to make any effort to get business.  And an additional benefit, you can eat all of the food in the office fridge and swap war stories with other like-minded sales associates.

6.  Do not attend any conventions or trade shows. Too many new fangled, untested ideas there.  Stick with the tried and true.

Well, that should get you on your well to a nice, slow start.  Don’t want to overwhelm you with too many ideas at once.

Barry Karch is a REALTOR® with Prudential BKB, REALTORS in El Paso, TX


Posted by: Barry Karch on July 28th, 2009 under Best Practices


2009 To Be A Good Year?

As 2009 begins, I am cautiously optimistic that it is going to be a good year for real estate sales.  I am encountering a great deal of buyer activity in El Paso, Texas and I get the sense that most people think that it is a good time to buy, with interest rates and home prices at attractive levels.  I am not finding people scared to buy — on the contrary, they seem anxious to buy in this market thinking that they can get a good deal.

Another good thing is that the declining real estate market does not seem to be the main news story every day.  We are now on to new problems — bank and automaker bailouts.  At least it isn’t real estate!

So, what should you do to take advantage of these conditions?

  1. Let everyone know how low interest rates are and that they won’t stay this low for long.  Send out email blast to your mailing list — call your top buyer prospects.
  2. Send out a list of best buys to your buyer prospects. Again by email and also call your top prospects.
  3. Follow up, follow up, and follow up.  This is what really makes the difference between the top Realtors and the rest.  You don’t have to be good at what you do — but you have to be there — when they are ready to buy or sell.  Continually check back with your prospects by both email and phone.  Don’t fall in love with email — a lot of people only follow up by email.  You still need to make a good old fashioned phone call once in a while.
  4. Stay upbeat about the opportunities in this market.  I find that when I have a good positive attitude, it is infectious and good things happen.
  5. Do more with less.  Reevaluate all of your expenses.  If you can do without the item, cut it.  I’m also making more of an effort to reach people by phone.  I would generally try to reach a prospect one time, and if I couldn’t get them, I’d move on to the next — because Continue reading this post

Posted by: Barry Karch on January 24th, 2009 under Best Practices


Gloom and Doom … or Great Opportunity?

Certainly there is a lot of grim news out there – but things are not that bad.  Actually, I have not noticed any difference in my daily life or that of most people that I have come in contact with since this “financial crisis” has begun.  Sometimes I think that the news people like to jump on the bandwagon and are going out of their way to find and report bad news.  After you report on it enough, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Strangely enough, year to date, this has been my best year of my 23 years in real estate.  There are still  a lot of people out there who want to buy homes.  I am finding numerous new home buyers every week.  
Let’s look at the home buying situation a bit closer. 

Interest rates are excellent right now, in the low 6% range, and even in the upper 5% range.  These rates are much lower than they have been during most of my career. 

Combining that with the great prices of homes and the excellent selection of properties makes now an excellent time for buyers — not a couple of years ago when everyone thought it was so great to buy a home.  Continue reading this post

Posted by: Barry Karch on October 20th, 2008 under Buying or Selling a Home


It’s The Little Things That Matter

It’s Fall now.  That means football season.  My local team, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Miners have got off to an 0-3 start and, of course, the coach is starting to feel pressure.  He has been telling all of the fans that the team is not made up of losers – they are doing all of the little things right — and if you keep doing all of the little things right, it is impossible not to end up with the results that you want.

After I heard that comment I thought he is right — and it applies to real estate as well as football.  Sure the market is tougher now than it was a year or two ago, but people always need a place to live.  People are being transferred into town, getting married, having babies, etc.

So, how do we find these people?  By doing the little things.

Real estate is a contact business.  We have to keep putting ourselves in front of potential buyers and sellers.  If we do this enough, then we will find plenty of clients to work with.  Keep contacting those for sale by owners and expired listings.  Keep calling and emailing your buyer prospects.

What I’ve found, though, is that it’s not enough just to make the contact.  It’s the follow through that separates the top Realtors from the rest of the pack.

Continue reading this post


Posted by: Barry Karch on October 2nd, 2008 under Best Practices

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The Power Of YOU

Nowadays, with the internet and email being such a large part of our business and life, written communication is more important than ever. Whenever I am writing an email or letter, or any other type of document I always think back to my Business Communications class that I took in college. I hated the class at the time, but looking back many years later, I now think that it was the best and most useful class that I took.

The professor always stressed the importance of writing from the “you” point of view—meaning the reader’s point of view, not your own. Whenever I would write something along these lines: “I can do this…” or ” I am …” or anything that started with “I”, my professor would always give me back my paper with a big “So What!” written all over it. In other words the other person doesn’t care about you—they want to know how they will benefit.

To put this in a real estate perspective, so often we see ads from Realtors that say “I’m number 1” or “I sold 300 homes last year.”

So What! What are you going to do to get my house sold? Continue reading this post


Posted by: Barry Karch on July 12th, 2008 under Best Practices, Realtor


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