Recently in "Success Stories"

I have for several years now used a consulting approach with my clients, who are mostly referrals.  For sellers, I utilize Merv’s SmartSeller Plan in listing appointments.  First, we review which services will fit the needs of the seller and the property.  If it is a traditional sale, usually the sellers choose the shared risk plan or traditional commission for payment.  If it is a short sale, they pick the traditional commission plan.  I haven’t had any sellers choose to pay for services by the hour yet.  With buyers, I have gone through the SmartBuyer plan and use it in showing the value that I will bring to clients when working with them; however, I had not offered a choice in payment for buyers until recently.  I want to share my experience with two different buyers and the choice of being paid by the hour.

I wanted to write to say that after several years in the business and now being a Broker Owner of my own company, I am proud and very happy to be able to provide true real estate consulting to consumers and add quality services that I can provide. Now, I am able to increase my bottom line and provide necessary choices to consumers, plus provide a viable-honest service to the community. I support this endeavor and I will keep everyone up to date on my progreession of implementing real estate consulting into my business and business model. On a lighter note, I have three scheduled consulting appointments in the next week. I am very excited. Thanks for reading! Happy New year everyone!

Jeffrey A. Mangus



A buyer contacted me earlier this week and we agreed to meet for an interview on Thursday.  This morning  his wife wanted me to bring them the average sales to list price ratio for 8 areas that they were interested in, along with a list of every property I helped someone buy in the last 12 months, including address, property type, list price, sales price, date, and name and current phone number of the buyers.    

It wasn't easy to say no because I am accustomed to providing free info in hopes of getting the client.  I told them that they hadn't yet hired me as their agent and that I hadn't agreed to represent them yet.  I told them I have an hourly consultative fee and would be happy to give them more information about that program.  And, btw, I'm not giving out my client's personal information.

I have to admit that, regardless of the outcome, I feel pretty good about this.  I'm behaving like the trained professional that I am instead of a panhandler.  Hopefully my refusal will humble them a bit and we'll be able to work together.  If not, it's okay.  I'm pretty tired of being a beck and call girl.  Hoping to start to like my job again.

I completed the ACRE study program and earned my certification.  I added a consulting services page to my website and prepared myself for this shift in the way I approach real estate.  Today I got my first consulting gig!  Here is how it went:

I received and email through my website requesting a meeting regarding my real estate services to list a couple's home.  I showed up both prepared to list the home in the traditional manner and also to present my consulting services menu for the first time.

We sat down at the dining room table and the husband says to me, "I am curious, we read on your website about your consulting services and we really want to hear about how that works."  I was so delighted!!!  The consumer asked me about consulting and it made me think..."This is really where our business is going, people are curious about having options and choices!!!"  AWESOME!!!

I launched into how I came into the whole consulting concept, about ACRE and about how the wants and needs of consumers are changing and moving in a direction that affords them to have the service that they want without being held hostage by only one way of doing real estate.  They both agreed that what I was telling them was true and then they proceeded to tell me which services they wanted from me!  It was amazing and somewhat surreal!

I am putting together a proposal for them for helping them sell their home and just had to get online and share my first consulting experience!  The take-away...this is really cool and I love it!  Thanks ACRE for lighting the path to a new way of doing real estate!!!

I got a call from my sister over the weekend. Unfortunately, she'd getting divorced and needs to start looking for a new house in the Spring. But she was at the gym and ran into a friend who's neighbor would like to sell her house. Turns out that the neighbor had her house on the market a year or so ago, it didn't sell and she took it off.

To make a long story short...

Here’s an actual email received from my website  on April 18 ( name changed and identifying info obscured).


Hi there, I am a first time home buyer and close to entering into a private sale agreement with a friend. He is selling a town house on ********* Court, near ******* Ravine Park. Since all of the homes on his street are identical, I am interested in meeting with a realtor to discuss what similar homes are selling for so I can determine if the price he is asking is reasonable. I think that it likely is, but I would like to speak to a professional before entering into an agreement. I was just wondering how much it would cost to meet with you for a consultation? This sale is quite time sensitive since he plans on listing with a realtor very soon if I don't buy. I can be reached any time at 902-880-****. Thanks! Peter.


How do you think most agents would respond to this?

  1. Ignore it as not worthwhile?
  2. Engage him and try to turn it into a sale by convincing him he should consider other properties as well (which offer a co-broke, of course)?
  3. Slow dance him until the seller listed the property, thus ensuring a co-broke?
  4. Try to convince him he needs a buyer’s agent’s services and should pay a percentage of the purchase price for that privilege?
  5. Swallow your resentment at working for nothing and just freely give him the information he wants in exchange for goodwill and, hopefully, future business.

Communication: First experience!


First experience & first entry:

We live in a University Community where, at this time of year, phone calls from students (and parents) looking for places to rent occur. I received such a call from a parent who lives 6 hours away asking for help with his son in locating a rental . We normally don't do this type of business and attempted to convert this situation to a purchase. In the hopes of doing so, I agreed to make enquiries for possible rentals. After a long distance 20 minute phone call and several emails providing invaluable knowledge on properties, market rents, location etc, I was informed that, in addition to his son, he had 3 friends to room with as well (important info to know). Their expectations were unrealistic and It finaly came to light the boys were looking by themselves and I was only communicating with a concerned parent about the possible living conditions his son would be faced with.

I received a lengthy email last night from a curious customer wanting me to give him values for refi-ing two homes. I explained that i can give him a simple flavor of the market, but to give a full out market evaluation would require me to come to the house and view condition, location and market conditions.

He then emailed back and said Saturday would be great to do my next email will be back to him explaining that since my fees for this type of service would most likely cost him more than to just have an appraiser do a formal appraisal, I will send him some market information and then he can assess which direction he wants to go.

I love that i have this tool in my toolbox, being able to tell people that I don't work for peanuts.

I did have my conversation with my CB manager about this, and she's completely open to the idea of telling people I charge for a consultation...collecting the funds in an escrow and then distributing it when it reaches a level conducive to a brokerage split; she said she liked taht because it will also assist my GCI for measurement purposes.

Buyer Update

  1 Comment

Story for fellow ACREs to appreciate.

Around a year ago, I started an on-line dialog with a buyer from another state who was looking to relocate in my area. We had numerous phone conversations and discovered he even lived in my old neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. One day I get a phone call from him saying he was in the area and wanted to view some properties. I thought," Somewhere between Oregon and Texas it didn't occur to you to phone ahead and make an appointment." Allowed, I only informed him that I was on my way to a funeral and wouldn't be available to show him anything, but I could refer him to another agent. He asked if I could show him properties later that day. I said I honestly didn't anticipate being in any shape to work afterward as the deceased was a very close friend of the family. Would he be ok with looking tomorrow? The buyer told me that would be fine.

Later that afternoon, I was reading my email and found one from him saying that he was driving around and found some properties he wanted to look at, so he started working with another Realtor, adding "I'm sure you understand." So last week I get another email from him saying it didn't work out with the other agent, but they were going to buy something in the next couple of months and he wanted to work with me. I told him, I was an Accredited Consultant in Real Estate and I would help him for x bucks an hour credited back at close.

After he's already shown his true colors, I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of working with him, but I have to admit, getting paid whether he buys or not sure makes me feel better. Thanks ACRE!

Much like Paula, I tend to run myself into the ground running a business and trying to please everybody. As a result, I lose sleep, work 75 hours a week (minimum), and my family and health suffers. I realized I either need to clone myself, or reduce my work load in order to have a more balanced life and enjoy time with my family. I have clients that I love, and a couple of clients that make my stomach hurt when I talk to them. You ever have one of those? After a very stressful transaction with a seller where I was ultimately required to go to federal bankruptcy court in order to get her to comply with a contract and vacate her house, I decided there are some commissions that cost more than the pay check I receive. Personal satisfaction needs to be factored into the equation and I am eliminating any uncooperative clients that I have on the books.

Since I made that decision, I have refused to take a listing and terminated a listing with a seller who falls somewhere between motivated and desperate. This particular seller has refused to adjust his price to meet the current market, refused to show the home on 3 occasions in the past month, and has taken in 14 cats and a vicious rottweiller since I first listed his property. These are the actions of a man that continually tells me he HAS to sell him home in a neighborhood where 30% of the houses are for sale and his is now the highest priced. After being disrespectful to me during our last conversation, I sent him a Termination of Listing and removed his home from all internet and print marketing. I know sellers faced with possibly losing their homes look for someone to blame, and I have excused poor behavior in the past knowing the stress they are under. NOT ANY MORE.

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