Posts Tagged ‘st. augustine team realty’

Picking the Best Agent: One with LOTS of Listings, or FEWER Listings

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

by Sean Hess (, Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (   Join us on Facebook.

Picking an agent is like picking the lotto: it's not about the numbers, it's about the right numbers.

Picking an agent is like picking the lotto: it's not about the numbers, it's about the right numbers.

So you’re looking for an agent but you’re not sure about which one to chose, the mega-lister or the agent with fewer listings.

What I would be looking for is not the amount of listings listed, but the listings sold.

“The factor that I would be looking at is the conversion ratios of the brokers you are interviewing” said Tom Matthews, a Realtor from Weston, Massachusetts, in a recent online post. “There are some agents that are amazing listing agents, but not selling agents. That means they get the property listed, but can’t get it sold.”

In other words, if an agent with 50 listings at any one time is expiring out 25 and selling 25, that agent isn’t good enough for your home.  C’mon…they succeed half the time? 

Those type of numbers are basically “luck.”  You, the reader, could do that well.  Seriously, if I give you 50 random residential listings you’ll sell half.   

But if you have an agent that lists 12 and sells 10, that’s an agent who is paying attention to their inventory.

And the reason this type of agent is so good is because they have to be.  If they don’t sell 80%-90% they won’t eat.  They don’t have the luxury of a full stable of homes to fall back on.

But getting back to that agent who lists 50 and sells 25…from a real estate standpoint it’s not a bad strategy.  After all that is 25 sales. 

The agent who does 10 sales out of 12 is the better agent but has half the income.  So who would you be if you were a Realtor?

And as a Broker I honestly would love to have both types.  They both keep me in business.

But which one is the to sell your home? 

I will tell you this, the one that sells 10 out of 12 will know their conversion rate exactly, to the percentage point.  The one that sells 25 out of 50 won’t have a clue what their conversion rate is, I guarantee it.  So there’s your starting point.

January Listings: Portion of the Gross Proceeds will go to Big Brothers/Big Sisters!

Friday, January 14th, 2011

by Sean Hess (, Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (   Join us on Facebook.

Extended from December: This January, St. Augustine Team Realty will donate 5% of its gross commission from the sales of listings taken this month to Big Brothers/Big Sisters, which provides mentoring, friendship, and positive roll models for local children. Call us today at (904) 825-0099 to get started!

Help us Support Big Brothers/Big Sisters!

Help us Support Big Brothers/Big Sisters!

Should I Go to Real Estate School Now?

Monday, January 10th, 2011

by Sean Hess (, Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (   Join us on Facebook.

Should I go to real estate school now?

Go to real estate school? Do you feel lucky?

Go to real estate school? Do you feel lucky?

Gosh, tough question.  One best answered by Dirty Harry I think, “Do you feel lucky…well do you, punk?” 

In my market, as in a lot of markets I suppose, there are too many Realtors for the amount of listings and sales available…at least insofar as that means everyone makes a decent living.  This means the competition for new business is fierce everyday, all week long.  New agents push out the agents that lose the will to fight for the business, or never had the will to begin with.

“Fighting” in a Realtor’s world means prospecting.  That means most of our day revolves around the sole purpose of finding new business from customers both new and old.

In the meantime there’s the actual work of real estate that requires you be proficient at contracts, deadlines and all the sorts of diplomatic work that it takes to put a deal together and hold it together until the end.  And in the end, if you are successful, you go right back to the ranks of the “unemployed,” looking for a new deal to build.

If real estate were easy you could just go online and buy a house.  And you could, too…if it weren’t for the people that buy and sell the houses complicating things. 

A home sale is often the biggest money transaction in a person’s life and some buyers and sellers (and agents occasionally) think this is their one shot in life to act like Donald Trump.  They are illogical, they do things out of spite, they do not honor promises, they yell and scream…you name it.  But thank God they do, because this is why we need Realtors.  To calm inflated egos, to get the customers to do what’s best for the sale, to take care of the issues when promises are not kept…this is why we have jobs.

By now one last thing should be apparent…you need to have an incredible amount of energy to do this.

So if you feel like you’ve got the people skills to work a deal through, and the energy level to work through egos day after day, and the tenacity to prospect morning noon and night I invite you to join the business.

Tales from NAR: National Realtors Convention in New Orleans

Monday, November 8th, 2010

by Sean Hess (, Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (   Join us on Facebook.

David Knox, Famous real estate trainer and St. Augustine Team's Sean Hess

David Knox, famous real estate trainer and St. Augustine Team Realty's broker Sean Hess

I just spent the last weekend at the National Realtors Convention in New Orleans, and in between stuffing my face with shrimp po’boys and ogling homes in the Garden District, I actually learned a few things.

The first is: real estate hasn’t changed.  It doesn’t matter if you’re selling luxury homes or if your selling to first-time buyers, price is still the most important factor.  What matters is how you convey that message.

I spent a lot of time learning how to price luxury listings (we have a sizeable group of $1M+ listings in St. Augustine), as well as learning to sell the lifestyle that goes with a luxury listing, and how to determine if  the price on a luxury listing isn’t working and how to move it correctly.

What has changed are the tools that are used to sell real estate.  QR codes, ‘droid aps, URLs…do you know what these things are?  Well, they’re coming to real estate and we’re going to start using them to help St. Augustine Team Realty’s customers buy and sell properties.  The good thing is we are already using so many of the tech advances that people were talking about at the conference.

New Orleans itself is a great town.  I had some inside help finding great places to eat from my Aunt Connie (who lived here pre-Katrina), but even in the cases where I had to go off-piste the food I found was amazing.  She told me, “don’t worry about where you eat because it’s all good.”  You can see some of the place I ate at my profile on Yelp.

And if you’re in real estate the homes in New Orleans are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.  Everyone knows about the French Quarter, but the Garden District(s), Uptown and Riverbend are so chock full of beautiful homes and style it would take a month to see everything.  I’m serious.  You simply can’t comprehend it.  And then there are the dozens of beutiful churches…

I went down to the Upper and Lower 9th Wards, the areas hit hardest by Katrina, to see the real estate there.  The Lower 9th, while filled with a lot of overgrown vacant lots and still plenty of boarded up homes, was a neighborhood like any other.  It’s vibrant, plenty of people are living and working there, and the houses they are living in are just as well cared for and unique as anything else in NOLA.  In the Upper 9th on the west side of the canal there is a lot of new construction as part of two Development Districts and the Musicians Neighborhood, all in the New Orleans style.  Strangely, there is also a new construction project that looks abandoned.  You can see photos of the neighborhoods on our Facebook page.      

David Hassellhoff at NAR New Orleans

David Hassellhoff at NAR New Orleans

Finally, there were some strange things I saw in New Orleans: a toothless cowboy trying to shill people into a strip club on Bourbon Street, “fast food” style daquiri shops where you could stop by for a quick gallon or more, and the 20-year old dandy in a pinstriped suit complete with fedora and handlebar moustache in a Magazine Street burrito shop.  But the strangest thing was at the NAR convention itself: a meet-and-greet with David Hassellhoff.  Sure, you could meet David Hassellhoff, but would you meet David Hassellhoff?