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Read news, rants and reviews from the viewpoint of an Indianapolis-area real estate professional.

Sept. 10, 2019

Summerlake Fall Fest Vendor Registration


 



Jan. 20, 2019

12 Best Books for Real Estate Agents

Top 12 Books for Real Estate Agents

As many of my followers know, I am an avid (or possibly even rabid) book reader, devouring at least 50 books a year, but more often than not that number is much, much higher.

Not every book I read is great, or even good for that matter. Often times it's the same information retold from a different perspective. I still read nearly every non-fiction business and self-improvement book I can get my hands on.

One of the questions I get asked most often is "what are the best books for real estate agents to read?" There are lots of good ones, but to me there are 12 that stand above the rest. Some are real estate related, while others are about business or self-improvement in general. 

This list of the 12 best books for real estate agents to read is what I would recommend any new agent read in their first year in business. They are not ranked in this list, I don't know that I could fairly do so since the content is so diverse. So, without further ado, here is the list.

1. Ninja Selling
This is, hands down, one of the best real estate books I've read. Unfortunately for me, I read it a few years after I had been in the business and didn't get a chance to "shortcut" my way through all of the valuable lessons I could have learned by just reading this book.

A lot of the values that I obtained as a newer agent prospecting my way through the business are featured here. The principals of solving problems rather than selling products were a large part of what made my career so successful. 

Also, it is worth noting that Ninja Selling also has a website where you can sign up for free and paid training, webinars, and to download the resources that are mentioned in the book, which make it a big plus for me.

2. The Compound Effect
One of the things I've learned, sometimes through great failure, is that it isn't the big things that drive your success. On the contrary, it's small, consistent successes that lead you towards your goals.

If you look at a person whose life is largely lined with failure, it would be hard to find one or two things that caused this result. It is more often than not the result of consistent bad decisions that leads a person to that life.

The same is true of most people you see who have very successful lives. It's not often the big plays that led them to experiencing this success, but instead daily positive actions towards their goals. Think about it like baseball. Winning the game doesn't require home runs... you just need to consistently hit a single, and once the bases are loaded EVERY time at base is a score.

This book outlines how you can focus on small, measurable actions on a daily basis to lead you towards the amazing life you have always dreamed of.

3. The 10 X Rule
This is another one of the books that I would put on the shortlist of first books to read, and luckily for me it WAS one of the first books I read. This books was a game changer for me, not only in its simplistic message but also in it's one, undeniable truth: Results will take more effort than you think. Setting a massive goal and backing it with massive action with bring far better results than the "SMART" goals we're all taught to to set.

For all intents and purposes, this is mostly a mindset book, but it goes a long way to introduce tangible concepts to help you understand not only how, but why you're going to have to shoot for way higher targets to see the success you're after.

4. The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents
This is a book that I don't recommend brand new agents read, because they probably haven't felt the pain yet that this books addresses. This is more of a "month 8" type of book, but it's teachings can be used before the burn starts if you want to be proactive.

This book teaches it's lessons through a story of real people, which is one of my favorite ways to learn. The story is really geared towards someone who is burning out after several years in the business, but I find that this feeling hits a lot of newer agents as well. 

It covers the exact steps a real estate agent should take to get their days, and their lives, under control. It's certainly another mindset book, like the "10 X Rule", but it provides a lot of practical information and exercises that can really help you set yourself up for success.

While you don't need to wait for things to get tough to read this book, if ever you're feeling let down and not sure that your efforts are amounting to much, pick it up and sit down for a weekend and finish it. You'll walk away a more spiritually sound individual with a strong mindset ready to dominate your market.

5. Mindset, Models, & Marketing
This is another one of my recommendations for early reads. There are a lot of books out there about making it in real estate, but Tom Ferry's approach in this book is more complete and wholistic than almost any other book on the market.

A lot of the books from self-proclaimed real estate gurus is total garbage. Either too soft, or too hardcore, or worse from time to time... incomplete. This books is neither of those things. Tom's teachings are something that almost anyone should be comfortable following, and they are extremely practical as well.

Another thing that I like about this book is that you can take and leave what you want and still walk away as a better agent. While I'd recommend that you follow <em>all</em> of his advice, even pieces of it will make you a far better agent than you were before.

6. Listing Boss
Like Tom Ferry's Book "Mindset, Models, & Marketing", this is another book with a wholistic approach to being an agent. It's a bit more aggressive, and I feel like you really need to have an open-mind to really benefit from this book.

Hoss Pratt says things that may be hard to digest in this book, but they're things I struggle teaching my agents every day. If you want to achieve success, you're going to have to make some decisions and take some actions that may put you out of your comfort zone.

If you're not <em>really</em> serious about diving deep and pushing yourself, you may want to hold off on this book. If you're ready to take some common sense advice on how to be a bolder, more successful real estate agent, this book is for you.

7. The One Thing
I started off at Keller Williams, and I'm glad that I did because I wouldn't have been introduced to this book otherwise. Love him or hate him, Gary Keller has strong opinions on what an agent should do to be successful, and his company track record suggests that he might know what he's talking about.

There's a lot to digest in this book, but I'll give you a brief synapses... there's probably really one thing that you need to focus on to actually grow your business. Sure, there are lots of things you need to do to run you business, but probably only a single item you need to be focused on to grow it.

This book talks about identifying your "one thing", which I have found can change from time to time. It also goes into details on how to time block to ensure maximum returns focusing on your one thing.

8. Never Split the Difference
There aren't a lot of books out there on negotiations, and fewer books that are any good. Of the ones that I've read, this was by far the best.

This book was written by a former FBI hostage negotiator turned corporate trainer, and it's full of both "war stories" and lessons that help you apply what he learned in the field towards your own sales negotiations.

I have used his teachings in everything in my life, both in business and in my personal life. I've closed 7 figure transactions with his teachings. I've also used them to negotiate significant discounts on cars, furniture, and jewelry. It's a tougher read than some books, but mandatory is you want to maximize your ability to negotiate in a transaction.

9. Fanatical Prospecting
What sets this book apart from others I've listed is that it is almost entirely centered around the principals of prospecting. It's more than just "where" you should be prospecting, but "how".

This book covers every detail of how to become a living, breathing, prospecting machine with being a walking brochure for real estate sales. Everything from networking, cold calling, and even the science behind leaving voicemails is covered here.

While there's less real estate information in here than some of the other books I've listed, the skills taught in the book are universal to sales and can turn you into a high-powered, high-profit salesperson.

10. The 5 Second Rule
Not everyone needs to read this book, but almost everyone should. If you've ever found yourself in a place of procrastination or avoidance, this book can propel you out of that hole and towards dominance.

Whether it be having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning or paralysis in the face of big decisions, this book will help you to make decisions faster, take action more quickly, and overcome the one thing that prevents more people from achieving success than anything else: a failure to move towards your goals.

11. Think and Grow Rich
Ok, so we're taking it back to the old school here, but this book is the OG of self-improvement books after nearly a century in publication.

If you can get past the bold talk of "secrets" and to the meat of the book, you'll find that the information in this book is more powerful than almost anything else you can ever read. Understanding that you can change your destiny by believing in your potential, and then creating a plan to achieve that potential, is one of the most powerful ways on the planet to manifest the future you want.

12. The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent
This isn't one of the best books for real estate agents based on its quality alone. I found that the book was somewhat lacking in certain areas, the most of which was well-roundedness. But for the areas the book was unimpressive, there is a much greater quality I think agents should learn about.

The story of this agent is remarkable, and it tells us a lot about doing whatever it takes to get clients to sign up to work with you and getting getting deals to go through. Cutting commissions, knocking doors, and leaving fliers are just a small part of it. 

This book is a tale of an agent who started with very little and turned it into a very successful career by being creative, flexible, and willing to sacrifice when the big picture required it.

Oct. 12, 2018

Things to do This Weekend in Hamilton County

Things to do This Weekend in Hamilton County

Ahh, the crisp, cool fall weather is upon us. While summertime may still be fresh in our minds, there are still plenty of memories to make this fall.

If you live in or around Hamilton County, Indiana, here are three of the top trending events happening this weekend.

6th Annual B00 N Brew

Astronauts, witches, pirates, and princesses celebrate fall and an early Halloween with their parents in tow at Clay Terrace’s annual Boo ‘N Brew. The inaugural event drew over 3,500 people in 2015, who enjoyed entertainment, treats and a beer garden with local craft beers and has grown to 12,000 attendees in 2016.

The same can be expected in 2018 with more food and family fun! One half of the Clay Terrace Blvd. shuts down for families to stroll up and down collecting goodies from the retailers and sampling treats from restaurants. Parents and craft brew lovers can enjoy the large beer garden from local brewers and enjoy live music.

After children dressed in costumes get their bags full of treats from Clay Terrace tenants and Boo ‘N Brew Vendors they can enjoy performances themselves as well as face painting, balloon artists and more.

RUSSELL FARMS PUMPKIN PATCH COUNTRY FALL FESTIVAL

Every Sat. and Sun. Hayrides, pumpkins, country stores, mini golf, scavenger hunt, corn mazes, petting zoo, pedal karts and more. $7.50 adm. chg. Kids 2-under free.

HEADLESS HORSEMAN

The Headless Horseman at Conner Prairie just keeps getting bigger, better, and SPOOKIER! This season explore our all new 11-acre corn maze. Back by popular demand is the barrel-train ride for the little ones, 100-foot potato sack slides, challenging Halloween midway games, hilarious shows, and our haunted hayride where you’ll come face-to-face with the Headless Horseman himself. Enjoy returning favorites like the Headless Horseman marionette show, the amazing magic show, spooky storytelling, the fortune-telling powers of the Mystic, and a live performance of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. And, of course, Conner Scairie’s fun-loving ghouls will be back to delight and entertain you with their silly antics.

It’s an evening of October fun for the whole family that you can only find at Conner Prairie!

Gates open 6–9 p.m.

Activities and hayrides may run past 10 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at connerprairie.org or at the gate.

Posted in Indianapolis News
Jan. 20, 2018

What Do You Do If Your Offers Aren't Being Submitted?

July 30, 2017

With this house you can live in Canada and the U.S. at the same time

So, maybe you (or someone you know) has talked about expatriating and moving abroad. While the appeal of traveling to other countries to live for an extended period of time (or permanently) is exciting, many worry about the difficulty of getting back to the states to visit with loved ones or for emergencies.

Well, if you've been on the fence about living in another country, now is your chance to do so with no risk!

 With this house you can live in Canada and the U.S. at the same time

3155 Beebe Rd, in the town of Derby Vermont, is an old building stone building that once housed a store and the US/Canada post office along the border of the two countries. While it has since been turned into a multi-family unit, it has the potential to be converted back to a single-family dwelling.

From the description on Zillow:

A chance to own property on the Canadian Border. It straddles the border, and a small portion of the building in in Canada. Historic building called the "Old Stone Store" was formerly a store and US/Canadian Post Office. Currently 5 living units in need of some fixing up to rent. Good systems in place, with mostly cosmetics needed. Good potential income. Owning a piece of history with good equity once rented out. Canadian or Americans can buy! This building also could be used as a one family home, a B&B, for room rentals, etc. Sold "as is." Come take a look!

While the 9 bedroom, 3000+sq. ft. home is for sale for only $109k, it's suggested that there's more than half a million dollars in cosmetic repair work needed to the property in order to restore it to its former glory.

You can view the full listing here.

July 12, 2017

Jason Whitaker Earns Accredited Buyer Representative Designation

Jason Whitaker earns Accredited Buyers Representative designation.WESTFIELD, INDIANA – Jason M. Whitaker with The Whitaker Group has been awarded the Accredited Buyer’s Representation (ABR?) designation by the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council. (REBAC) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS? (NAR).

Jason M. Whitaker joins more than 30,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the ABR? designation. All were required to successfully complete a comprehensive course in buyer representation and an elective course focusing on a buyer representation specialty, both in addition to submitting documentation verifying professional experience.

REBAC, founded in 1988, is the world's largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. There are more than 40,000 active members of the organization world-wide.  THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS?, "The Voice for Real Estate," is the world's largest professional association, representing over 1,000,000 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry.

You may contact the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council by telephone, (800) 648-6224, by e-mail, [rebac@realtors.org], or by visiting the REBAC website, [www.REBAC.net].

 

June 10, 2017

Can You Take Possession of a Home Before You Close?

Can You Take Possession of a Home Before You Close?

What a lot of people outside of the real estate industry (and many in it) don't realize is that possession doesn't necessarily have to happen at or some time after closing. In fact, under some circumstances, it's possible to get possession of a home prior to closing.

When Can You Take Pre-Possession of a Home?

While there are no hard and fast rules about when it's appropriate to take pre-possession of a home, the most common scenarios include:

  • Seller has vacated the property
  • Buyer is in a particular situation that requires them to move into the house prior to closing (e.g. an upcoming lease deadline)
  • The loan has been cleared to close, or has a high probability of being cleared to close

Does Pre-Possession Cost Any Money

Generally speaking, there is usually some "rent" amount associated with taking pre-possession of a property, though it's not mandatory. It's not uncommon for short periods of a time (a week or less) not incurring any costs at all. However, for more extended periods of pre-possession, is not uncommon to have a nominal fee charged for taking possession of the property prior to closing.

Who Is Responsible for the Property During Pre-Possession?

If the buyer is taking pre-possession of the property, he or she becomes entirely responsible for the condition of the home, including pre-existing conditions not addressed during the inspection phase. This does not preclude the necessity for an inspection, but damage or maintenance items that come up during pre-possession are generally the responsibility of the buyer taking pre-possession.

What Happens if the Deal Falls Through?

This is usually addressed in the pre-possession agreement between the buyer and seller. Generally speaking, the buyer will have a pre-determined amount of time to close on the property, and if they fail to do so they have set guidelines in the agreement that dictate how long they have to vacate the property if the transaction doesn't close, as well as any fees associated with  staying past the agreed upon vacate time.

Interested In Learning More About the Pre-Possession Process?

There are few real estate teams with the level of experience we have in dealing with pre-possession agreements. If you'd like to talk to one of our team members about the process, contact us today »

June 9, 2017

2017 Summerlake July 4th Celebration

2017 Summerlake FireworksFor anyone who has ever seen them first hand, it's hard to argue that it's difficult to find a better fireworks show than the one Bob Broyles puts on each and every year for the residents of Summerlake in Pendleton, Indiana.

He's been paying for, orchestrating and implementing the show himself for years, mostly at his own expense. This year, the community has come together to try to ease the financial side of things by raising $5,000 (still not his entire costs for the show) via a GoFundMe project.

If you are a Summerlake resident and are interested in seeing the fireworks show continue each year, consider donating to help Bob continue his awesome fireworks show!

https://www.gofundme.com/summerlake-fireworks-2017

May 26, 2017

Top 5 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Indy: April 2017 Edition

Top 5 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Indy

Want to take a look at the most expensive homes that sold in April in the Indianapolis Metro area? We've collected each of them here with photos and complete details!

Feb. 16, 2017

Jason M. Whitaker Earns NAR’s Military Relocation Professional Certification

Military Personnel and Veterans Benefit from

Realtor® Expertise in Military Benefits, the Relocation Process, and Support 

Fishers, Indiana, Febuary 16th, 2017 — Jason M. Whitaker with Keller Williams Realty has been awarded the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional Certification.  The National Association of Realtors® awards the MRP certification to Realtors® who help military personnel, veterans and their families find housing that lets them make the best use of their benefits and serves the unique needs of military life.

When military staff and their families relocate, the services of a real estate professional who understands their needs and timetables can make the transfer easier, faster and less stressful.  Realtors® who earn this certification know to work with active duty military buyers and sellers, as well as veterans. 

Service members may only have a couple of days to view properties and make an offer, and others might be deployed at the time and need someone who can represent them while they’re away. Working with a Realtor® who understands the singular complications that arise with military service can help make the home buying process simpler, faster and less stressful,” said National Association of Realtors® President Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida. “The MRP certification lets home buyers and sellers know that a Realtor® knows the ins and outs of military housing benefits, such as zero-down payment loans, and the specific needs service members and veterans have when searching for their new home.”

The certification provides NAR’s members with resources to accommodate current and former military service members at any stage of their military career and is an approved elective for NAR’s Accredited Buyers Representative designation. To earn the MRP certification, Realtors must be in good standing with NAR; complete the MRP Certification Core Course; complete a reading providing background information on the military, included acronyms and understanding military culture; and complete two webinars.

 

For more information about the MRP certification, visit www.militaryrelocationpro.org

Posted in Fishers News