Answering Those Tough Client Questions!

Read the blog below:

Anthony: Hey, everybody. Happy April 15th. This would normally be tax day. What a crazy world it is. Normally, people don’t like tax day. Today I think people do wish it was a normal tax day, but it’s obviously not. Happy to be here with you all. Going to be talking about a whole bunch of things for the next hour with you. First and foremost, and I’m going to do something different, for a few weeks when I said I was going to go over something, I put it at the end of the agenda. Today, right off the top, we’re going to get into the questions that realtors are getting. Those difficult questions they were receiving from their buyers, from their sellers. We had a ton of realtors who sent questions in.

Our realtors were a huge help. We also had other realtors help out and this is officially going to be a Lamacchia training that we’re doing from 11:00 to 12:00. We’re once again inviting all our friends from across the country to come into the training and get a taste of it. It’s obviously a little bit different now. A little bit of a different view of me. Over here I’ve got a couple of different kids’ toys and things like that. It’s been a bit crazy but we’re going to talk about, “The buyers are the same or should I just wait. We’re going to have a recession. Are we going to have a great depression? Should I just wait?” Sellers saying, “I heard inventory is even lower now. Maybe we should price even higher.”

I’m going to go over all those questions. Also going to another review of the six things every single realtor should be doing right now to prepare their business for this changed market because, guys, there are going to be some changes. This is not going to be back to the way it was for some time. Also going to talk about some of the mortgage changes that we’re hearing. Spoke to some mortgage friends and there are some things that are going on, not necessarily around the big rules, but little changes that are affecting buyers and affecting transactions. I’m going to update you on that. Also going to talk about how and when I recommend that you list properties.

We’re going to see a massive wave of properties coming on, massive wave of inventory in May, and I think that people should do things in a certain way. I’m going to talk you about that. Also going to talk about a little trick you can do with your buyers. You should be looking at a certain set of homes right now. I’m going to tease you to make sure that you are able to find them what they want. Then we’re going to do a market update and then we’re going to do a Q&A. Last week our Q&A went until like an hour and 10 or 15 minutes. I think we’re up to 18,000 views on that. I’m here for you guys. This is an unprecedented set of circumstances, unusual set of circumstances.

I obviously am there for our realtors at Lamacchia Realty and our staff and our management team. I also want to be there for every realtor out there across Massachusetts, across the United States because this is an unusual time. Guys, don’t think just because I come on in here with you there aren’t times when I’m not scratching my head saying, “How are we going to deal with this one?” We’re going to talk about that. We’re going to talk about 10 steps to showing a home the safest way. A blog that we came up with two weeks ago, people have been eating that up. We have an infographic. I’m going to talk to you about that.

Also going to go through answering the tough questions that you are getting from buyers and sellers. We know that there are a lot of tough questions right now that are coming from buyers, coming from sellers and how do you deal with those? Also the things that realtors should be doing right now to prepare your business for a changed market. Mortgage changes, we’re going to talk about that as well. We have a jam-packed agenda here that I’m going to go over with you guys. I’m here for you for at least the next hour, probably an hour and 10 minutes. I want to make this a really good training and update for everybody out there.

I can see we have a great crowd, a bunch of our Lamacchia realtors, and I already see realtors from other companies and we’re happy to have you here watching. Certainly, we want to answer your questions and be a resource for you. I see a great realtor friend down there, a good guy, Tom Dicarlo, talked to him over the weekend about what’s going on in the market, what he’s seeing and things like that. We’ve got a good agenda today and I want to get the party started. It’s 11:01 now. The first thing I’m going to do is talk to you about not knowing what to say.

The biggest thing we’re hearing from realtors is, “What do I say when a buyer says, “Is the market going to crash? Are home prices going to be 50% less in 3, 4 years– I’m sorry, 3 or 4 months some people are saying which is insane. There’s no chance of that happening. If you are a buyer, that’s a valid thought. You hear all this economic news. The last week there was more news about real estate, more negative news. They got tired of writing about the stock market for three weeks, so they jumped to writing negatively about real estate. That’s a valid question. When you get that, what should I offer? How much is the home really worth kind of thing?

You need to be aware of a bunch of facts, and it’s critically, critically important to make your knowledge level is up here. You cannot, absolutely positively, cannot be someone who’s not in the know now. If you are a realtor who has been in what I call, the Lalaland real estate market, over the last few weeks– I think one of my boys just ran by. If you’ve been in the Lalaland real estate market over the last few years, you’ve been spoiled. You haven’t really had to be very updated on what’s going on in the market and very updated on how many homes are selling and at what rate are they selling and what’s the inventory. Well, I got news for you. You’ve been spoiled.

It’s time now. Your knowledge has to be very strong so that you can answer these questions like this. In the last market when it went bad, I didn’t just survive, I thrived. A bunch of people thrived along with me and some of them are the executives in my company now. If you want to thrive, your level of knowledge has to be significant. If you look at that blog that we put out on Monday, you look at that presentation I did over on Lamacchia Realty, I talked a lot about why this isn’t 2008. We’re going into it at a much higher inventory of homes for sale. We’re going into it with mortgage delinquencies at a minimum. They’re going to go up, but they’re already at a minimum.

Equity of homes for sale being substantially higher. You need to be able to rattle those things off, like that. Mortgage company intervention, government intervention, they’re already on top of it. I’ve never seen the government move so fast. Of course, there’s been stories, “My check’s caught up.” Guys, 129,000 companies across the country, already received payroll protection, a paycheck protection program money. We’re one of them. That’s in two weeks. People are already getting stimulus money, unemployment’s already getting approved. It’s amazing how fast things are happening.

You need to be saying that to your clients so that they’d understand that, yes, this is scary, yes, it’s an unprecedented situation, but the government and the major banks are rising to the occasion to make sure that we can deal with it. When you get that question, “Is this home going to be worth half in four months?” “What? No, it’s not going to happen.” Inventory is far too low. There’s only 10,800 homes on the market is Massachusetts right now. Normally, this time of the year, there’d be 14,000, 15,000 by now. Values can’t go down when inventory is down. It’s the opposite. Inventory has to be higher. Explain that to the buyer. Also, we had– Actually this is a realtor question.

A number of realtors said, “Hey, do you think that I should be recommending that my seller make a price adjustment?” This could be question number two. Does the seller make a price adjustment right now or do they wait until things turn on again? I would say this if you were on before this all started and your listing was slow and there wasn’t a lot of activity, then make your price adjustment now. There’s no sense in waiting. If you were slow before COVID, you’re going to be slow when it gets busy again. If you just put it on in the last week or so, I would say have a little bit of patience because there’s really no reason to– I love when my eyes do this.

There’s really no reason to quickly drop your price right now when you know that there are a certain amount of buyers that are holding off on buying homes. Right now there’s way more sellers that are holding off but there’s also some buyers that are holding off. You don’t want to run into having your seller prematurely drop their price. That isn’t necessary. I would say if you just put it on in the last week or two, have some patience. Give it another week or two. Buyers saying, “I want to wait three months to see what prices do.”

Remember, you’re not going to be able to combat every question they have, every problem they have, every plan. If they want to wait three months, in some cases you have to say, “Okay.” Remember I said this. In two or three weeks or even if they extend it a little bit, when people start to get back to get back to a sense of normalcy, these buyers are going to get itchy. They’re going to say, “All right, I want to look at homes.” I see people looking at homes. I drive around on Sunday, I see people looking at homes. In another month or two, you’ll see open houses again. Those buyers are going to come back before three months if they wanted to buy.

Really, if someone has saved money, they’re buying their dream home, they’re buying their first home. They are a first-time buyer, why would they not buy now? That doesn’t make sense to me. Even if prices were to go down 5% in the next year, even if they were to go down maybe 10% in the next year, why would you not buy? You’re missing out on all the value of homeownership, tax write-offs, being able to build equity. It’s almost like a controlled bank account. You put money in every single month, you’re paying your mortgage down. It sure beats renting. It is no write off with renting. I always get a laugh when friends, the year after they buy a home, they say, “Hey, I got tax money back last year and it’s more than I ever gotten the years before.” Well, of course, you own a home now. Percentage of that interest is you can write it off depending upon your tax bracket. Those are things you need to quickly be able to say to your buyers. If you hesitate and you’re like, “Wow, yes, but I think you should still buy.” No. Now you sound like a salesperson. You need to go right to facts, right to facts, right to data. That’s why we put out all the data that we do.

To our realtor friends, go on, go to the blog section, and you will see this is not 2008. When I said page, I meant to say, you can also get this off of the resource page. You go in there and you read this blog. I talked to a realtor last night in our company, Anthony Castellanos, great guy. He says, “I read that thing five different ways, and I sent it out and I told people, look at this section, look at that. I sent them the video, I said, go to the 20-minute mark, the 25-minute mark. That guy’s working, that guy’s working.” The people that work now are the people that are going to thrive. Not just lazily, I don’t even know if that’s a word, but lazy, just sending out different things. No. Put some work into it. Put some effort, send a heartfelt text and email, update your clients, send them the data. This blog has federal data, mortgage data, inventory data. This has every answer you can think of on why it’s not going to be 2008.

I also said in there, if I start to think that’s going to change, if we’re still locked in our houses six months from now, then yes, there’s a real chance this is ’08, but I don’t think that’s happening. It certainly not to this extent. That’s why I say, I don’t believe it’s ’08. I hope that helps. I hope that helps answer some of the questions. I can take some questions. I want to see if any other realtor’s put any other questions before I go to the rest of my stuff here, my talking points. Look at that. John Rogers. He showed a buyer the interest savings over the long run of the mortgage and they went into escrow. John’s in a titled state, he said escrow. Good for you, John. Thanks for tuning in my friend. I don’t know where you’re from. Hey, Bert Jones. Good guy in Tucson. Glad to have you on.

All right, we’ll get to questions after. I don’t see many other questions on this. By far and away, the biggest one that we were getting was, what do I do when my buyer says, “Oh, I just want to wait?” Well, in some cases, you have to say, “Okay, wait,” and get yourself some new buyers, but in some cases, you can educate them, send them this ’08 blog. The other thing we did, Lamacchia realtors that are watching and any realtors that are watching, we cut Monday’s update. I did a whole bunch of updates and I cut out the part where I talked on video about this is not ’08, take that part, send it to your buyer, let them see it. It’ll actually work better for you if you’re not at Lamacchia because then it’s third party information. Send it out.

Six things every realtor should do right now to get their businesses to thrive. One of the things that we do in our trainings every week is we always do a little bit of repetition. I talked about this last week. I’m going to spend five minutes on it now. I’m not going to spend 20. Last week, I talked about the six things that every realtor should do to get their business ready right now for the changed market because, guys, here’s the deal. We’re not going back to the way it was for at least a year. If we’re back to the way it was by next February, we should have a party. It’s going to be a changed market, it’s going to be a little bit slower. You’re not going to have 10 offers on every property. You might have two offers, you might have three offers, but it’s going to be different and you’ve got to adapt.

Couple of reminders for realtor friends. Number one. Don’t sell people right now. Don’t push your buyer into buying. Don’t push a seller into selling. Be compassionate. Be there for them.

Number two. Get in touch with every single past client. No excuses unless you hate them or they hate you, then forget them. Get in touch with every single past client. Talk to them. How are you doing? Text them, “Hey, you holding up okay in this. What’s going on?” Make sure to get in touch. It works like a charm. Be the resource. You guys go in here and you look at our blog here on the six things you can do on the website and we’re showing you the realtor page that we came out with for all of you realtors. We’re showing you the consumer resource page that we came out with, the different signs that we made. You need to be the resource. This is a time to be the resource because people remember it. They remember who was there for them. They remember who answered their questions. They remember who educated them, and the loyalty will come back to you. It’s the law of reciprocity.

Number four. Something I’ve been doing for years. Watch the inventory in your market. Now, last week I want to see some brave people. Here’s a challenge. Last week, I challenged everybody to create an Excel sheet, go in, and write in the last 52 weeks or maybe on Monday or Tuesday and go running out on market snapshot in their market in their town and maybe the two or three towns around them that they sell homes and fill it out. What I said was put in all that inventory numbers every week. If you’re in chumps for it, and I’m totally making numbers up, but 22 single families for sale this week, last week, 20, the last week 18, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, all the way back, 52 weeks. Let’s comment. Who did that? Who actually took action? I’m asking the Lamacchia realtors too. Yes, I’m putting you on the spot. This is training. This is what we do at our company. We talk openly and we have accountability.

We say, did you do it because we’re trying to help you. John Cheplak, the hands-down, number one, recruiting coach I’ve ever met in my life. I’m actually talking to him tomorrow with our VP of Business Development, Jackie. He always says, “Accountability is the highest form of love.” I want to know. Let’s see some comments. How many people went back at least monthly for the last 12 months, but better yet, once a week and filled out how much inventory is in their market? If you haven’t done it yet, you’re slacking. Number six on here is no slacking. I want to see how many people actually did that. What towns around them? Fill it out because knowing the inventory is going to empower you with your clients.

Number five, master pricing, and price adjustments. I mentioned we have a price adjustment course. Our realtors, hopefully, you’re in there watching that course in the online training center, but you also need to master the art of pricing. Our IT guy or in-house IT, IT Adam has been working with our realtors to teach them how to quickly jump on Microsoft Teams and connect with one another. Our realtors connecting and practicing, going overpricing, the pricing part of the listing appointment. Remember where that is? That’s further, that’s after presentation. You don’t go over that too early. Are you guys practicing? You need to master pricing.

See, when we get back to some sense of normalcy in the next few weeks, I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. Unfortunately, I’m going to be able to say, “I told you so in six months.” It’s going to get really busy for two or three months and a lot of people and a lot of people watching will go, “Wow, it’s great. Everything’s great.” Then fall’s going to come. I do think the busy-ness is going to get pushed later into the summer because we’re getting pushed out. Just like the year, it snowed like crazy in 15, but when fall comes, we’re going to notice a change in the air and the market’s going to be a bit different. Inventory is going to go higher. That’s when the art of pricing has got to be perfected. Having those conversations with sellers, you have to have it down and you need to practice.

Number six. Do not sit around feeling bad for yourself or anyone else because no one will. No one’s going to feel bad for you. You need to take action, stay busy, make sure you’re training, watch these videos. If you go through our Crush It page on Facebook and you just scroll, guys, there’s like six months of training in the last month on there. If you just watch the videos and listen. For the Lamacchia agents watching, you guys know we have the online training center, you can go on there. I know this afternoon, we’re going to be going over a part of the training Dave’s going to do is the buyer presentation, the digital buyer presentation, going over with someone, and go to meeting or Zoom. They’re going to be doing a training on that. Eat up the training so that your skills are top-notch because Lalaland, my friends, is behind us, and it’s gone for at least a year. Might be longer. There’ll be phases of it, but it’s not going to be like it was for a while because there’s going to be less demand. Hopefully, that helps remind you guys on the six things that you need to be doing and doing now to get your business to not only survive but thrive through this. That’s what’s critically important.

Another item to talk about mortgage changes. I want to make all realtors aware that contrary to some of the rumors that are floating around, FHA did not change their guidelines, VA did not change their guidelines. However, Hey, Nikki Browner. I like that honesty. She said, “I did six months.” You know what, Nicki, I give you credit. Nikki’s out in Syracuse, New York, past training customer of ours, great person. You know what, Nikki, you did more than most but isn’t it amazing, Nikki, when you look at six months, you see the trends, you see how inventory flows. It’s amazing. All right, I got to stay away from the comments or I’ll get distracted. Now, back to mortgage changes. GSEs have not explicitly changed anything. However, the mortgage companies that are writing the loans, they’re all tightening up certain things. They’re not all necessarily tightening up credit. I know JPMorgan Chase over the weekend said you got to have 20% down, you have to have 700 credit score. They’re pretty strict, anyway. It wasn’t that big of a change, but, boy, did it hit the news. They’re usually wanting at least 15 down or 10 down on their own portfolio loans. They’re wanting good credit anyway but other changes that we’re seeing throughout the transaction, we are hearing from more buyers running into situations that they’re closing at 3 o’clock on a Tuesday. That morning, the mortgage company is literally calling their employer and saying, “Hi, is Betsy Q still working? I just want to confirm her employment.”

They’re also asking for pay stubs up until closing. Normally, when people get approved for their mortgage or their mortgage contingency, once the contingency is over and the bank grants mortgage commitment, they stop asking for bank statements, sometimes even earlier and pay stubs. Now they want them almost to closing, so realtors make sure to warn your buyers that all their pay stubs they need to keep them in a neat stack and be ready to use them. Bank statements, keep them be ready to use them. Be aware that your mortgage company is likely going to call your employer right up until the time of closing and they need to know that.

That’s also why, guys, we need to stop pushing mortgage commitment dates, contingency dates closer to closing which is the opposite of what we were training 60 days ago when we teach everyone how to get their offers accepted in multiple offer situations. Obviously, in a multiple offers situation, the sooner you can have the mortgage contingency, the better and we have that in our ready to strike document and in our ready to strike blog. On our website, one of the key factors is to tighten your dates but right now there’s a different set of circumstances. Make sure to give the mortgage broker more time to get that done or make sure you are really, really on top of it.

Realtor friends, whatever you do, do not forget your buyer’s mortgage contingency date and make darn sure that they have their commitment, and if they don’t, ask for an extension. Believe me, most of the time you’re going to get it. Very few realtors, very few listing agents are going to want to go back on the market. Okay. Very few are going to want to go back on the market right now. If you ask for a week extension, they’re going to give it but don’t forget, my friends, you forget it, your buyer is going to torch you and frankly, you will deserve the criticism because it’s your job as a buyer’s agent to watch out for your buyer.

Now let’s talk about when to list homes. We sent out that survey. We had I think 200 people do the survey, all six questions. The amount of realtors that are saying, I have two to four listings that are waiting until after May 4 is unbelievable. Just here in Massachusetts was like 100 realtors, 120, 130 realtors that said that. Just imagine the amount, that’s a small sample size. Imagine the amount of listings that are going to come on in early May.

Right now, there should be about 2,500 to 3,200 ish homes per week getting listed, excluding last week, the week before Easter is always slower, but it’s much slower. We’re down to about 1000 homes a week. Last week 1044 homes were listed in Massachusetts. When I say I’m sorry, wait, wait, yes, about 1000 homes were listed for sale, which means there’s about 2000 missing. Okay, we’ll do that math 2000 three weeks ago, 2000 two weeks ago, 2000 a week ago, or maybe last week was less, 2000 this week, next week, guys add it up.

It is very possible. It is more than possible, very likely that we are going to see 10,000 homes get listed in a week after May 4. First, second, third week, it might be 10,000, it might be 15,000 in a 10-day period. My recommendation is to get your listings out ahead of it. Get your listings out ahead of it. Encourage your sellers to get on the week of April 27th, 28th, and remember something in Massachusetts, I know we have national friends watching but remember something MLS PIN did a great job, they stepped up. They very, very quickly, very quickly came out and said, “Okay during the state of emergency, you can leave a home on the market and not show it. That’s okay.”

Guys, take advantage of that. Get your listing on ahead of time, a week in advance of May 4th, 10 days in advance, and maybe don’t show it or show it. That’s up to you. That’s up to your seller. You handle that how you see fit, but if you get a seller that says, “No, I don’t want anybody in here on May 4th.” What if we get delayed a week or two? I don’t want anybody in here on May 15. Remember the home can be on the market. I wouldn’t do it much more than 10 days because that’s a lot of time but nothing wrong with putting it on. The day you put it on, say blocked showings, May 5th, 3:00 to 6:00 PM done in 15-minute increments, please schedule your showing today.

Do it. Stack up the buyers so that they come in every 15 minutes, then you use our 10 steps to a safe showing. We’ve got that on our Crush it in RE page on Facebook, I don’t mean on Facebook, on the website that I can’t find right now. We have that on there and use it. Guys, we’re no experts. Something in here might be mistaken or might be, we’ve had a couple of people, “That isn’t totally safe.” Okay, we’ll mail you your metal. There’s something you don’t like but I got news for you. This blog and these 10 steps and that infographic went national in about three hours. Okay. Michigan, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, California, multiple people, multiple broker-owners were sending this out to their offices, so I’d like to think we did something right.

If you read it, it talks about all kinds of things, doing your showings in blocks, realtors taking control, I can’t emphasize that enough. All parties wearing some face covering. Buyers when you’re walking through the homes, you’re telling the buyers don’t touch the doorknob, don’t touch the cabinet handles. You’re walking through, looking around, leaving. We recommended posting signage outside, please do not come in until you’re invited by the listing agent. This does involve listing agents doing your company showings. I am not normally a fan of that. I don’t normally recommend that but under the current set of circumstances, it can be done. It probably should be done for a lot of homes.

I also want to say and I want to say this out loud because I want everybody to hear me publicly say this. Listing agents, right now let’s forget about procuring cause for a while. Right now is a time to work with buyer’s agents. If you get a call from a buyer’s agents that says, “Hey, I have a buyer that’s very interested in your listing. I, unfortunately, I can’t get over there to see it. I’m taking care of an elderly parent. I have a newborn. Would you mind if I sent my buyer over? Do you know what you say to that? Sure. Send your buyer, email me their information. You don’t have to send me their phone number, but tell me their name.

The buyer shows up, “Hi, nice to meet you. Let me show you around.” The buyer starts asking you questions. Do you know what you say when you’re a listing agent? “You know what, I don’t want to be rude but you need to speak to your agent about that because they are contractually your agent, and I represent the seller. I don’t want to be answering any questions or talking about anything with you, but I thank you for seeing the property. Please check with the buyer’s agent.”

You leave, you give the buyer’s agent a heads up, “Hey, they came they had some questions, I immediately stopped them. I told them to get in touch with you for the questions. You let me know what the questions are.” Guys, I have news for you. If you started in the business in the last five, six, seven years, you might hear that and go, “What? I’m not doing that.” If I have to go out there, the buyer’s agent’s going to come too. I have news for you. ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, I would have ran across town barefoot in the snow to show an interested buyer my listing — across town, barefoot in the snow to show a buyer my listing.

I know that sounds a lot like I went up the hill to school both ways, but it’s true. You will be dying for buyers. You would be dying from buyers if this was an ’08 scenario. There is likely going to be pockets in times, like in the fall, that you will be dying for a buyer to buy your listing. Take my recommendation. This is not a time to argue about procuring cause. This is a time for realtors to come together, work together. For our Lamacchia agents watching, I ask you to take this recommendation. We want to be the leaders in the industry. We want to be leaders in the marketplace. Work with people, let them send their buyer over, show them the home recommend, not recommend — tell them to ask their buyer’s agent the questions about the property because you can’t be answering their questions.

Use the signs that we have. Another reminder, Lamacchia realtors. We have a nice sign that our marketing guru manager made, design manager, please be respectful and mindful of COVID-19. Please do not touch surfaces, open drawers, or cabinets, and refrain from using the bathrooms. Thank you for your cooperation. That is a something that Cole put together, and other realtor friends out there watching, other broker-owners, guys you can make that yourself. It doesn’t have to be as pretty. Everything Cole makes is pretty. That’s what she does. She just makes stuff pretty. You don’t have to do that. Just get a sign, put it up so that people see it when they come into the listing, and then it’s not just you telling them. My recommendation is what the story started with is beat the wave. There’s going to be a tremendous amount of properties that are going to be listed in May, and you want to make sure to beat that. Try to get a week ahead of it, five days ahead of it. Very, very important. Nikki, you used it. Awesome, I’m glad to hear that. So it’s being used in Syracuse, New York, as well.

All right. Big, big reminder, big tip, a big piece of advice here, a big one. If your buyers are feeling like there’s nothing out there, you the realtor need to be looking through existing inventory, critically important. Us realtors have become very spoiled in the last 19 or 20 years. We’ve gotten addicted to automatic emails, sending our buyers properties. The problem is, those emails only go out upon status changes, new listing, price change, under agreement, sold, back on market. If a listing went on two or three weeks ago, four weeks ago, six weeks ago, eight weeks ago, and it didn’t have some sort of status change. It’s not going to be re-emailed to your buyer. Remember, the email systems throughout the country, all those IDXs only send it upon status change, it is your job as the realtor to go through existing inventory, and here’s a recommendation I have for you. If you have a buyer that can’t buy for over 500. Look at the existing inventory 500 to 550. That doesn’t make sense.

If you have a buyer, they can’t spend more than 500. Look at existing inventory up to 550. Some of you are thinking, “What’s he talking about? Has he lost it?” Yes, I lost it a long time ago, but you’re going to be shocked how many sellers are willing to take less. You need to be serving that inventory to your buyers. Take a screenshot, take a PDF from the listing, send it to a buyer, “Hey, I want to make sure you didn’t miss this one. I’ve had my eye on it for a while for you, but I haven’t said anything because it’s over your price range. However, it’s been on the market six weeks. I think I’m going to reach out to them and see if they’d be willing to negotiate.”

Guys, the amount of warm and fuzzies that that gives your buyer is huge. A buyer is, “Oh, they’re looking.” Remember, part of our training on the buyer sign up to close course that we have, buyer-client roadmap it’s called, in that course we talked about how buyers always want to know that you are looking, that you are searching. I like to call it digging, you’re digging for properties for them. I’m going to get a shovel up here next time and start digging. You should be digging for properties.

Now, I’m getting all excited and all hot, but you should be digging for properties for your buyers. Finding them things that they’re not finding because all they’re receiving is automatic emails and sending it to them. If they send you a listing that’s been on six weeks from Redfin or Zillow, shame on you. I mean it. Shame on you because you should be sending it first. You should be beating them to the punch. Okay? No time for laziness.

If you have been in this business three years, and you kicked ass for three years, I got news for you, now we’re going to find out how good you are. Now we’re going to find out are you someone who is going to thrive in a changed market, and that’s when you’re going to know how good you are. It is easy to be good when it’s Lalaland and everything that gets listed sells. Now we’re going to find out how much game you have, how good you are, and it comes down to working. Every single day, you should always be searching for your buyers that want to buy within 30 to 45 days, every day.

Darlene Newman, one of our top realtors, she always says, “I love digging.” We had her on stage. We had a bunch of realtors on stage that are Crushing It in Real Estate event in January, and we went down the line, what do you do? What do you do? First words out of Darlene’s mouth, “I dig for my buyers every day.” Now she is a listing machine. We’re going to buy more signs because she lists so many properties but every single day she makes time to dig for her buyers, dig for her buyers. She looks at all the existing inventory slightly above their price range slightly below. Another great realtor of ours Shawna Fanning, been in the business three years now. I’ll tell you, right now, Shawna made our president’s club second full year in the business. Guess what, had a baby in September and still made it. I will tell you right now, I will bet $10,000 right now. She continues to sell a ton of properties even in a bad market and you want to know why. Because Shawna is a hustler. Last week, she felt that the end of her week was slow. She called over 50 past buyer leads to check in with them, “Hey what’s going on? I want to see if you’re still looking at X, Y, Z neighborhood because I got some other properties coming up.” Notice that script, pay attention to that script. What else did she do? For her buyers that want to buy in 30 to 45 days, she went and scoured the internet, looked all over MLS and found properties that were slightly above their price range, called all the listing agents. Ask the listing agents, “Hey how are you? Just checking in. I notice you have this listing on 123 Main Street. I got a buyer they can’t go over 300. Your listing is at 319. Do I bother showing it? I know you don’t want to tell me exactly but do I bother showing it?”

Well, guess what folks, 30% of them said, “Yes show it.” She got a property for her buyer, I want to say it was over 50,000 less than asking price right now in the spring. That buyer should be thanking her and baking her cakes every week, the first three months owning the home. How did all that happen? Because she hustles. So a couple of market updates then I’m going to get into questions, so please start posting your questions.

One of the market updates, I just want to talk about the market last week. Again, a thousand homes listed for sale in Massachusetts, compared to what would normally be. Like I said, this time of year, each week is about 2,500 to 3,200. Last week would have been like 2,000. Instead, there was 1,000 listed. Well, guys, that’s 50% less. Pending properties, 1,044, way down. That’s like 60%, 70% down. A percentage of properties under agreement 9.6. That’s obviously down as well but here’s the thing guys.

Anybody who tries to tell you buyers aren’t buying or– There was somebody who commented and if you’re watching, I’m talking to you. Someone commented last week, “This is not true. No one is buying.” I said, “What planet are you on?” I replied nicely. I said, “Oh, okay where are you seeing this?” “Everywhere.” I said, “Okay, are you a realtor?” “No, I got out of the business.” I replied, “Okay, well that explains why you don’t know what you’re talking about.” 1,044 homes went under agreement last week. Okay, that’s a lot. Slower? Yes, but 1,044 went under contracts so properties are selling.

New Hampshire, we’re seeing similar, so yes it’s slower. I’ll repeat what I said a couple of weeks ago, and then I’m going to get into questions. What I expect, I read a comment, sorry. What I expect is it to be kind of like it is for about another week. Another week so call it next week it’s April 20th. By April 27th you’re going to start seeing people get itchy, people just get sick of being stuck in and just say, “Get me out of here. I want to do something. I want to be active. I want to get my home on the market.” You’re going to start to see that. Once that happens, the buyers will start kicking it up and getting out there.

Then things will start to turn back on, then by the mid-May, late-May, it’s going to be screaming busy. Multiple offers, maybe not as many offers on properties as before. I would say probably not. There’ll be multiple offer situations. There’ll be a lot of demand. There’ll be people hustling. Remember, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once there starts to be multiple offers, then there’s more multiple offers because people start talking about it.

You’re going to see it get very, very busy by late May into June. I think July is going to be very busy. I think we might stay busy into August, and then fall is going to set it, and fall is when we’re really going to find out who the good realtors are. That’s why, guys, I can’t emphasize enough, you need to be studying. You need to be watching trainings inside out guys. I’m the owner of the company. This week just to give you an idea. Yesterday, I was invited into a training customer’s office in Albany, New York. Today, down in I forget, well they’re going to kill me some of them are watching. Where is it in New York? I don’t know, somewhere south, not Manhattan, but further down.

I did a podcast with a company in California yesterday. Later this week I’m going to be on with that training customer in California. Friday I was on with a company in Florida. Guys, I’m getting paid to tune in all over the country, and guess what I do every single day, study data, read, listen to videos, listen to podcasts, pay attention. I listen. This is the first time, I’ll tell you guys an insider thing. The first time that I’ve listened to my company updates and my updates that I do with you guys. I never used to do that. I should just do them and never listen, or maybe like once in a blue moon.

Now I listened to every update. Why? Because I want my skills to be so sharp. I’m the opposite of the average person. The average person, “Oh, things are bad. I’m just going to just hang around because everything just sucks right now.” No, no. Me, I’m like, “All right problems.” I take my work from here to here. I don’t just work 13, 14 hours a day now. I’m working 17, 18. I normally get up at 4:30 in the morning. Last three days, I’m up at 4:05, 4:10 because I want to make sure that I have every single thing on lockdown. Because guess what, at our company, we’re going to thrive. If I’m doing that, there’s no reason that every single realtor can’t be doing that too. Eating up training, paying attention, studying things, evaluating your conversations that you have with your clients. “Why did they say that? I got to think about that. How can I better answer that next time? They stumped me on inventory. They stumped me on pending. They knew about a comp in the neighborhood that I didn’t know about. I was embarrassed.” Well, guess what? Then get off your butt and work. All right, let’s take questions.

Marjorie McCue, awesome realtor out of our Woburn office. Love Marjorie. She said, “I’ve seen FHA. You need more reserves. Is that a recent change?” FHA did not change that, but the mortgage company that– remember, I want to make sure everybody understands. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA and NVA are essentially the backstop. They are the insurance company behind these mortgages. You guys can see my talking points. They basically say, “Okay. FHA says a minimum of 620 credits, so we want a 640 credit. They say buyers need to have two months in mortgage reserves. We want three months.” Those are called overlays.

When a mortgage company takes a criteria of mortgages and when they take it and they write their own mortgages, they overlay on top of it. They put criteria on top of it to make sure that they’re covered. That’s what that’s coming from Marjorie. The mortgage companies, not necessarily FHA, but I’ll tell you many haven’t changed. Our friends at Guaranteed Rate. They didn’t change nothing. They’re rolling.

Frank, with respect to the 52 week XL comp sheet, are you referring to overall market snapshot per week, per time? Yes. Frank, you serve a large area, but don’t kill yourself.

I would look in all the offices, all the, I’m sorry, all the towns around the office that you’re out of. You’re out of Waltham office. I would do Watertown, Waltham, Newton, Belmont maybe Allston, Brighton, Somerville, Cambridge. It doesn’t even have to be that many, but the main towns that you’re working, do on market snapshots that says, pick a specific date, pick a date, get a calendar up, get on market snapshot up, pick a date, go back 52 weeks, fill the number in. You should know your inventory inside out, upside down. You should be able to answer it.

You guys right now, if you hit me with, do it right now, I don’t care, how many homes were for sale in October in Massachusetts? I can tell you right now. Last October. I can give you a rough number. 17,000, 18,000. The fall before the fall of ’18, it was more like 20,000. It went higher. I know it all year long. Stephanie. Thank you for tuning in. Mike Gibbs, buddy. I love you. Mike has a brain like me. He gets obsessed. He says he’s learned more in the last two weeks than ever and he’s thanking me. No. Thank you. Jerry, bourgeoisie, “Know your market.” You got it, buddy.

I don’t want to age you, Jerry, but you’ve been through what, three of these, three changed markets, and you sailed through every time. Roll up your sleeves. You’re right John Rogers. Liz, you needed motivation today. That’s what I’m here for. Got to make shit happen. That’s the one thing I’m good at. I was with Jackie out at a conference, John Jeff Black’s Conference a year and a half ago. We went around the room and everybody had to say their superpower. Everybody’s explaining, “I’m really good at being compassionate with people and you know what I’m really good at designing things and I’m really good at new ideas.”

They give me the microphone, I go, “I’m really good at making shit happen.” Pass the microphone away. Crowd literally dying laughing. Jackie is sitting next to me. Jackie’s been working with me 10 years now and she’s like, “It’s true.” That’s my superpower. I make shit happen. You guys can do the same exact thing. Everybody on here can. Let’s see here.

Nikki out in Syracuse, you used this protocol and presented to my sellers and buyers the last couple of days. Very helpful and they appreciated knowing that we had a safe good action plan. Boom. See Nikki is a doer. I remember she got our training and some people get it continuously month over month. Nikki got it for 90 days and when she was done she was like, “Yes. I got it.” Cause she’s a doer. She took the stuff out of it and she ran with it and now she’s still doing it.

Here’s a question from Nikki too. Question, “In New York, we’re not able to show homes more than virtually right now.” You’re going to have some patients with that and it doesn’t look like this will change in May. We may be doing this for a while. In New York, I would bet you probably will change by May. That’s just my somewhat educated opinion. Because you guys are on the downslide. In Boston, we’re not yet, unfortunately.

Let me make sure I read this question. “This is difficult for some clients. How do we tackle this with them when a seller says, well, people still look, maybe I shouldn’t list now. Showings only allowed if a seller or a buyer direct connect and make arrangements. We are told not to facilitate the showing in any way.” I didn’t hear that rule and I was on with people in New York yesterday. This then puts buyer and seller in direct contact and it’s never a good idea.” I agree with you. I don’t like that, Nikki. If I were you, I would hold off showings or hold off people listing, say, “Hey, let’s give it a couple of weeks.” Because that’s pretty darn restrictive.

Larissa, your teenage son said I’m motivating him. Good. I like that guy. If he’s getting motivated from me from another room, I want him in the business. Let’s get him hired. Summer job for that guy. Whatever his name is, he’s automatically hired. Angela is listening right now. Sarah is listening. He’s got a job. Angela Stevenson. I don’t know, Angela, something that’s happening “We are hopping on weekly calls with a few agents to pull up listings and talk about inventory. Virtual broker tours since we can’t see them right now. Got to figure out how to know the inventory right now.” I love that. Angela, I don’t know what market you’re in. Could you comment what market you’re in? I would love to know that. I bet that’s a New York thing. Angela, tell us what market you’re in. I can’t click her. I’m going to kill the live. I like that.

Here’s the thing. In Massachusetts, we’re allowed to have showings. I’m not a proponent of virtual because those deals are really, really prone to falling apart unless you get a buyer that’s like really, really hot to trot and you feel good about them and maybe your seller. One thing I mentioned is everybody’s always trying to be so damn fancy. Guys, tell your seller, “Hey, do me a favor. Walk around your home with a video. Text it to me. Don’t make it longer than a minute and a half so I can easily text it.” Take the video, text it to the buyer’s agent, let them text it to the buyer. Let them send you five videos. Angela, you’re on the South Shore. You’re close to us. Nice. Be careful with virtual.

If you get a buyer that’s super interested from seeing it virtually, do some of those videos, do some pictures, do extra things so they can really feel like they’ve seen the home because, I’m telling you, those deals are prone to falling apart. That’s why we have not jumped on the virtual bandwagon in our house. Let’s see here. Angela, you’re in Hingham. Nice market. Nice place. Good for you.

Other questions, Lamacchia Realty, this is the training my friends. I want to hear the questions. Let’s go. No being shy. I remember this is a normal weekly training time at 11:00 AM and you guys would be asking questions. Now, we’ve opened it publicly so there’s other realtors on. Let’s go. My friends hit me, hit me with something I’m not expecting. Tell me something else. You’re struggling. Don Kelly. Angela said she’s on the South Shore.

What do I want to review? Let me talk a little bit about the paycheck protection program for a minute because there’s some confusion on that. There’s definitely some confusion on that and if you read it, it sounds like it’s easy for a 1099 realtor to obtain the 10, the paycheck protection program. When you start reading about forgiveness, that’s when it’s like, is it going to be forgiven because it says you have to match your payroll records? My recommendation to realtors watching, I know we have people watching all over the country, make sure to really check with your bank and make sure you’re in the know.

Some banks are doing it, some banks aren’t. Some banks are saying, “You need to have a business checking account.” Some banks are saying you need to have a payroll. Some aren’t. Some are taking applications, so just make sure you’re totally aware, aware of that. Honestly, I would apply if I was you. I don’t want to get crazy on business advice, but a 1% loan for two years, that’s a hell of a lot better than people using credit cards. Angela asking about direct mail. You know what, Angela? Great question. We just went over this in our

company meeting an hour ago. I did in our group. I said, “Guys, this is the last time of the year that you want to be missing in action.” I would tone down the sales aspect a little bit. What I told them and whatever. I’m an open book I’ll share with everybody. I would do direct mail. If you stopped over the last few weeks, get it going again. Particularly with your sphere of influence. Just maybe you tone down the sales talk a little. A little Facebook post. One of the things I told our agents is like instead of, “Sold.  Yes. Maybe it’s super happy for my buyers today as they achieve their goal of homeownership even during this typical time. Please join me in congratulating them.” That’s a little softer. It achieves the same thing. It’s success based marketing. Success based marketing is very, very important. All right. Let’s see. Lindsay’s back to sending me questions.

All right. Mike Gibbs on those spreadsheets. Is it important to separate single families Maltese and condos? All right. If you’re an analytical person, yes. If you have the time. Yes. If not do it all. I will tell you me I’ve been watching the estate every Monday for 10 years, and we budget all together. Right now separating is not a bad idea. In addition to that, remember I talked about turning up the volume. I told you I’m working more now not less. Okay. I’ll tell you something we’re doing. Every single day, we were doing it twice a week. My lead assistant, one of our managers Lauren. She’s awesome. She twice a day, morning and night, tracked inventory in Massachusetts for three weeks. Finally, last Friday I said, “You know what? Let’s switch to every day at noon. We’re good. We’ve got a handle on what’s going on.” For three weeks we tracked it morning and night. Because guys, I want to make sure that I know what’s going on better than everybody else. People say, “Oh, why do you get up so early in the morning?” You know why? Because I want to make sure that I have a head start on the world every single day. Every single day.

Back when I was in high school I’ll tell you guys a story. My wrestling coach in high school, Kevin Russo, just got into the national wrestling coach Hall of Fame. In the first year I wrestled [sound cut] I was good for a beginner. I’m very aggressive in case you guys wonder. I was good at that. I was strong from playing football. Lifting weights for a long time but it was hard to beat guys that were really, really good so I had some losses. At the beginning of the season Kevin came to me, Coach Russo is his name, and he said, “Anthony, let me give you a tip.”. You wrestle someone at 18 that’s been doing it since they were six. Very difficult. He said, “Cardio.” He said, “If you can get in better cardio shape than anyone else, that’s a massive advantage.”lies in real estate. You know your market better than anyone. You’re giving yourself an advantage that no one can take away from you. That’s one thing that I always know. When I get up every morning, and I know I’m working [sound cut]. I maintain the level that I’m at. I don’t want to just maintain it. I want to increase it. All right. Rant is over.  Put them on Facebook.  I would get moving again.

Yes. Marjorie. Good point. Marjorie said, “Interest rates are the biggest motivator for buyers right now.” Yes, it should be. These interest rates are nuts, my friends. Nuts. I was at real estate on stage. She’d been in the business 40 years. She said, “Guys, this is free money right now.” She said, “I was in this business when rates were 18%, 19%, 20%. 30% is basically free money. Take advantage of it. Talk to your buyers about it.” Now Marjorie asked, “Do I believe they’ll increase after COVID?” It’s a great question. I will tell you this. rates do go up as the economy gets better. . Third I think. Every presidential election, it makes for a weird economy. By the time we get to Q4, the economy gets better, rates will probably start to go up a little. I would let your buyers know that.

Samantha Martinez, awesome new realtor that just joined us. Not sure if you went over this or not. For some reason my connection is bad.  I’m sorry to hear that Samantha. How do you handle sellers who think they can list at unreasonably high prices? Yes. If I had a seller right now who is saying, “Hey, should we– Oh, I did mention it. Should we raise the price?  Has there ever been a product in a store that wasn’t selling that when they raised the price it sold? Come on. There’s less buyers out there. People are getting laid off left and right. People are getting furloughed left and right. People for one case have gone down 25% in the last three weeks. What makes you think that it would be better to raise the price? That’s insanity. You need to go over those things.

See how fast I went over those? You need to do that too. Realtors need to be able to dish out information at lightning speed better than ever before because LalaLand is behind us. Lalaland isn’t coming back. If it comes back in a year I’ll be happy. Loriel, back up we’re in [sound cut] a long time.

See you all next week. I’ll be right back here Wednesday at 11:00 AM. Remember Monday, I always do the public segments over on Lamacchia Realty. This week I think we had more realtors than consumers at least during the live.  That’s it my friends.