Joe Piazza talks Low Inventory Period
On our recent “How to be Successful in a Low Inventory Market” webinar, guest speaker Joe Piazza, talked about the mindset and techniques you need in order to capture business during this challenging period. As most agents know, inventories across the United States are at record lows. (please view the stats on the Low Inventory Infographic and Article). We are here today to give Realtors the tools and strategies to face the low inventory market. We know it is a challenge. You need insight to take your business to the next level and stay effective in this tough market.
It was a pleasure to have Joe Piazza as a part of the discussion. Joe has been in the business for over 13 years. He is a top 1% agent in the United States, who has sold over $500,000,000 in real estate. He finds true joy in helping agents everywhere reach their personal goals. He understands the value of these webinars- that they are are a great way to get hands-on feedback and a prime opportunity to collaborate with fellow agents. Below is a summary of the things that were discussed during the webinar.
It’s important for agents to adjust to this type of market and realize that you have to consistently adapt to different market conditions. Joe likes to stress that in this type of environment your attitude is crucial. When low inventory exists, clients are leaning on Realtors for advice. The agent should not express any negative feelings about the market. Always look for positives and adjust. Negative attitudes can be infectious, and the public tends to listen to Realtors… so be careful what you put out there.
Many want to know what reasons are behind the low inventory. There are hundreds of reasons out there, and they have all contributed to it. View our accompanying Low Inventory Infographic and Article which we presented before the webinar.
The question you should be asking is “What do I do as as agent to bring up the level of productivity”? “What can I do to grow your sales?” Joe goes through his PropertyMinder website to look back at all his past transactions, and he works through his database.
From his PropertyMinder website, www.piazzaadvantage.com, he can start calling all of his old clients he used to work with from 13 years back. What he likes to do is simply check-in and let his clients know that he still cares about them and that they’re still on his radar. He suggests to always to thank everyone for the referral business. In having these conversations, it’s very rare to not walk away with 1 or 2 touch base referrals. They can be immediate, or he can contact them 2 weeks down the road. In working with buyers and sellers, it is always important to maintain those relationships. Joe says that he maintains a 60/40 ration of listing vs buyers.
In this type of market, you need to be a strong listing agent because listings generate opportunities. When you get a listing in such a low inventory environment, chances are that you are to work with a high amount of buyers.
You should be adding these buyers to your CRM so that you can maintain contact and build relationships.
When you have a listing in place, try to have open houses whenever feasible. Be energetic and enthusiastic with people, regardless if they have an agent or not and try to help them as best you can. Take them into the kitchen, bring out an iPad or laptop, figure out their criteria, and most importantly- establish a long term relationship.
Be sure to always take down as many notes as you can, to better help with setting them up with a specific search. Use your PropertyMinder tools so that by the time they get home, a custom search is already set up for them. In taking notes, you can identify what their key priorities are: location, schools, price, etc. Alway be setting up new lines of communication. Joe says, “That’s the name of the game. That’s how I prospect!” Using these techniques has resulted in 80% of Joe’s business coming from referrals. He can’t stress enough how important it is to have PropertyMinder’s database, and how critical it’s been for his success.
Remember that it’s all about balance. It’s important to enjoy your career, family, down time, and personal time.
Joe feels that farming and print collateral can be very expensive. Last year he sold around $60 million in Real Estate, but only spent $10k on print advertising, which is low compared to other agents. “It’s amazing how much advertising I can do using PropertyMinder” says Joe. Recently in order to adjust to this type of market, he has used Facebook to help bring his sphere of influence (3,000 people) back to his PropertyMinder website, so that he can communicate with everyone on a regular basis. Joe mentioned he is impressed with how quickly he can get the word out about a new listing, simply by placing it on his PropertyMinder website and virtual tours. He can also highlight and showcase specific listings when need be. Joe and the PropertyMinder team want you to know how important it is for agents to know what you can be just as effective spending $10k than $100k, if you do it smartly using technology.
With buyers in mind, 50% of Joe’s business has come from referrals, and 50% has come from open houses. As agents, it is crucial to truly filter out all of the people who are not interested in buying or selling.
In terms of driving website traffic, Joe’s PropertyMinder has been just as effective, if not more so than using 3rd party sites like Zillow or Trulia. Joe likes to caution agents that these types of websites can be overly expensive and a waste of money. On Joe’s PropertyMinder website, he’s been averaging 5,000-10,000 hits on his website per month. When meeting people, he likes to say less about himself, and instead, send them to his PropertyMinder site to learn about his business. Joe’s resume, sold listing inventory, and testimonials show his experience. The MLS search tools allow these visitors to find active listings while simultaneously being a great lead capture tool.
It’s always important for agents to never be too pushy, but to give gentle touches. Always consider timing! During most appointments, Joe always goes back to his PropertyMinder website and sets people up on searches that is tailored to their needs and preferences.
When engaging prospective clients, Joe likes to ask, “Once we sell your house, where are we going?” Here is a 2 step process that he likes to follow:
- When meeting people, he creates a needs assessment
- Constantly follow up after a search has been set up
For sellers, he will want to help them acquire their next home. If his clients are moving outside the area, he does his best to refer clients to a reputable agent in the new area and generate a 25% commission for the referral.
Using his PropertyMinder site, Joe can gauge the motivation of his clients. He can track who’s clicking on which homes, and how often they’re doing it. He uses his PropertyMinder website to educate his clients on prospective neighborhoods by giving them approximate comparative values. Just remember, in a low inventory market, the comparable homes should be based off the past 3 months, and not necessarily from 1 or 2 years ago. Numbers don’t lie, and good agents need to use analysis from a website like PropertyMinder to help educate their clients.
Even in a low inventory market, it’s important not to overpromise. Joe hesitates from telling clients about generating multiple offers. Instead, he focuses on delivering the best service possible. He says to keep these questions in mind: “Am I preparing the home properly? Am I doing all the right advertising?” etc. Instead of relying on multiple offers, Joe says he relies on strategy, which is what will ultimately sell the house.
When working with buyers in a low inventory market, you have to prepare your clients for battle. Strong offers need to be written, perhaps right now being ~5-10% over asking price. Make sure buyers are pre-approved, that the down payments are liquid, that they have 3% deposits, and little to no contingencies.
Joe utilizes technology and a positive attitude to help grow his real estate business 10-20% every year for the past 10 years. He utilizes internet marketing with his PropertyMinder website, Facebook, and virtual tours to market his listings. He keeps himself top of mind with his clients by following up on his database, which is built into his PropertyMinder CRM. He makes sure all of his clients are set up on daily listing alerts. These things, along with constant follow up, and showing his clients how much he cares for them, is what results in big commissions.
Please view the slides from the How to be Successful in a Low Inventory webinar
We would like to thank Joe for contributing to the Low Inventory webinar and addressing the challenges associated with it. Please comment and ask questions below.