top agent in sacramento
OK, first the graphic artist mistyped the logo but I finally received the Outstanding Life Member status bestowed upon this Sacramento Realtor by the Sacramento Association of Realtors as a Master’s Club member. It means I have consistently maintained a high level of sales, year-in and year-out, for the past decade.
It’s about the highest level you can achieve at the Realtor Board for its Master’s Club program. The qualifications for Master’s Club change pretty much annually, depending on the market. When the market was down, agents needed a lower sales volume to qualify, like $3 million and 8 sales. When the market is on an upswing, like the Sacramento real estate market is today, agents need a much higher sales volume to qualify, but still the same 8 sales.
Based on last year’s sales minimum sales volume requirement of $4 million in sales, I reached Master’s Club status this February. Over the past 5 years, I average about 100 sales a year. Most agents don’t care how long it takes them to achieve that status as long as they bring in the sales volume before the end of the year. If they do it over and over with no gaps, after 10 years, they are awarded Outstanding Life Member status.
I don’t believe we get anything special with this recognition, apart from a new plaque to hang on my home office wall, which only my housekeeper admires. We get a logo to put on our website, a logo that doesn’t really mean anything to anybody else. A logo that was first mistyped and needed to be corrected, LOL.
Nobody is rolling out the red carpet or taking my photo. I’m not on any lists except those lists the Board of Realtors sells to vendors who want to sell me even more memorabilia of my accomplishments. It’s mostly an internal recognition. I get my picture pushed further ahead in Sacramento Magazine of the other agents who have elected to pay a fee for publication.
Not every agent will pay to advertise her Master’s Club status. I reluctantly do it for the simpler reason that I don’t want clients wondering why I’m not in the Sacramento Bee or wherever they are looking. They get you by the cojones. Which should not be mistaken for conejos, as that would be rabbits.
The purpose behind the Real Trends 1000 List of Best Real Estate Agents in America is to sell crap to the agents on the list. Being named to this list means I will endure yet another year of harassment and haranguing from manufacturers who want to make me a plaque to celebrate my accomplishments and charge me an enormous sum for the privilege of hanging the ugly thing on my wall so our 3 cats can shoot spitballs at it. Real Trends will also sell my name to thousands of spammers. It’s the price of success, and it sorta sucks. Still, it also means the Elizabeth Weintraub Team ranks #7 in the Sacramento region, which is impressive, I suppose.
A couple of new clients called yesterday to request help with Sacramento real estate, people who probably did not know this list exists yet called me anyway. One was a buyer who said he had previously worked with a team in Nevada and was thrilled with the results. Because it’s difficult for one person to be in 10 places at the same time unless that person has a team for support. He gets it. He understands why working a team is the way to go. Happy-as-clam clients, that’s what we strive for. Clients for whom we strive to meet every need. Instantly.
This buyer wants to move his family to either Curtis Park or East Sacramento, probably with a more dedicated focus on homes in Land Park. Those neighborhoods happen to be my specialty. I live in Land Park. He hit the jackpot with us. I personally match buyers to team members who possess intimate knowledge, and we work together to make magic happen.
He knows the benefits of working with a team in Sacramento, so one less thing to explain. It doesn’t cost extra to get a team to work for you, either.
Another client, a seller with a home in Natomas, called to talk about sales strategy and market conditions. She wants me to list her home in Natomas as soon as the tenant moves out next month. She found me online and read my reviews. She gets it. As a natural course of progression in these types of conversations, she asked how much I charge, and I explained my standard fee that has remained unchanged over the past 40 years. Then, I went one step further to justify and to explain that she can find some cheap-ass agent, and she cut me off right there.
Said she’s been down that road with an agent who would cut the commission, and she does NOT want to work with a discount agent. I don’t blame her. She understands the value full-service agents bring, and knows the entire transaction will be smoother and she’ll make more money with an agent who is full service. And she’s absolutely right. I love working with smart people.
While my team and I are honored to be on the list of the best real estate agents in America, we much prefer focusing on clients and making them happy. I work with my sellers one-on-one by providing personalized and customized service. My sellers enjoy the privilege of sole access to me. I handle the listings and my team shows homes. That’s what sustains a successful Sacramento real estate business year after year. Not the top 1000 list of best agents.
A good way to start my blog today could be with a comparison reminiscent of that old TV show The Naked City, to talk about there being 10,000 stories about real estate sales in Land Park, Sacramento, but we don’t have enough inventory anywhere in town to make a statement like that. In fact, probably the last time the entire Sacramento County region saw 10,000 homes for sale on the market was 10 years ago. Are you ready for the astonishing news today?
Today, this very moment, in the entire county of Sacramento, we have only 2,280 single family homes for sale in our multiple listing service. But wait, there is more. Guess how many single family homes are in some sort of pending status? You know I have the answer. It’s 2,791 homes. We have more homes in pending status than we have homes for sale, which means we can’t repeat this scenario next month because there is not enough inventory at the moment to satisfy demand! The pending sale line has risen above the number of homes for sale. We have a real estate drought in Sacramento real estate. It’s not just the water shortage we’re worried about, although granted we could die without water. Real estate, not so much.
To put it into technical terms, we probably have about 3 weeks of inventory for sale. We could sell everything in the next 3 weeks. And this fact is driving the market completely insane. If your home is not in the best condition, or if it is located in a less than desirable location, it could take longer to sell, but a well located home in move-in condition should attract several offers. This is not a time to sit idly, tapping your fingers on the desk, wondering if it’s a good time to put your home on the market. You don’t have weeks or months to think about it because summer is coming. Summer sales slip and slide. It’s kinda like Jon Snow’s real estate slogan: Winter is coming, except there is no snow, blood or gore. Just heat and not much action.
Which brings me to the point in this week’s Game of Thrones season opener when Varys charged Tyrion Lannister with the character of compassion. Tyrion responded quixically: “Compassion? I strangled my lover with my bare hands; I shot my own father with a crossbow.” I vote this best scene in Season 5, Episode 1, Game of Thrones. Made me laugh out loud and scared the cat off my husband’s lap. I enjoy this type of entertainment sometimes to keep my mind off the wild world of Sacramento real estate or I’d be consumed by it all night.
I closed another home sale in Land Park last week that sold so fast and for more than list price which, a year ago, might have taken up to six months to sell. Of course, it helped that the sellers listened to my advice and made improvements to make the home ready for market. We priced it on the high end, yet sold with a 3% price bump and no hassles. In fact, we negotiated a few days rent-back for the sellers who were relocating out of state. I’d like to believe my marketing techniques, vast internet exposure and excellent photography helped make buyers fight like wild animals over it . . . but it might also be that I work as one of the top 3 Lyon Realtors, at the largest independently owned real estate brokerage in Sacramento that sells many listings in-house through our huge network.
There is another home in Land Park I drive by daily that sits forlorn with a small sign in the yard and no traffic, no buyers. It’s been on the market for months. The sellers changed agents twice. The photography is decent, but it’s not being marketed the way I would do it. I’d like to get my hands on that listing and put it into escrow, but I can’t solicit another agent’s listing, nor would I want to be that kind of agent. If you’re thinking about selling your home, give Elizabeth Weintraub a jingle at 916.233.6759. I answer my phone.
When potential sellers and / or first-time home buyers in Sacramento set out to find a good match in a Sacramento real estate agent, they often turn to the internet and try to find a top ranked agent online. But then there are all those google ads and distractions, and property sites vying for eyeballs, it can be confusing. In the midst of all this are websites that offer to match sellers and buyers with top ranking real estate agents, and this is why I get a lot of emails and phone calls from these websites.
They call me because they pull insider MLS reports, which are not available to the public, and see that I sell hundreds of homes. I am a top ranked agent in Sacramento because I rank in the top 1%, which probably doesn’t mean much to most people and, if you want to know the truth, kinda freaks me out when I think about it. But it’s a reason those websites hunt me down because they know for a fact that no grass grows under my feet. I’m out there doing business, and I’m plenty busy. You know the adage, if you want something done right, ask a busy person, er agent.
Other agents get upset when these websites contact them, I hear. The critics say what the hey? Why should I pay a referral fee to some stupid website for referring business to me that they just scraped off the internet, like gum off the bottom of a shoe. I guess because you didn’t scrape that business off the internet yourself, would be my reply. I don’t turn down business that lands in my lap.
However, yesterday a really weird thing happened. A certain Top Ranked Agent website sent me a buyer lead for a buyer I’m already in escrow with! Whoa. It seems the buyer found me faster than that website did. I mean, she’s been in escrow with us for a week. Of course, now we have to ask her why she signed up on a website to find a buyer’s agent when she’s already in escrow.
But at least the buyer knows she came to the right place.
Does the public care whether their Sacramento real estate agent is a top producer? Does the public even know what a top producer is, and why should it matter? It doesn’t. And I say that as a top producer, not as some aspiring real estate agent who hopes to make it big someday. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a seller announce that she needed to hire a top producer. That’s because the public tends to think every Sacramento real estate agent is a top producer. The truth is you’ve got closer to your 1% in this business, and then there’s the other 99%. But who really cares?
Some agent was mentioned in a REALTOR magazine about having sold more than 200 homes in 2 years. I thought, wow, that’s a lot! It made me wonder how many I have sold. See, I’m so busy selling real estate in Sacramento that I don’t always have time to count my big ‘ol stacks of money. I pulled up MLS and entered my ID, and asked it to show me sold transactions for the past 2 years. My number for October 11th was 199 transactions. My jaw dropped. I kid you not. That’s pretty spectacular, especially when compared to my early days in Sacramento, after I moved back to California from Minnesota.
I recall sitting at the manager’s desk at the Lyon office in midtown Sacramento. I was looking at my performance for the year. I think back then I sold around 20 homes a year. Respectable. Decent. More than enough to qualify for Master’s Club at the Sacramento Association of REALTORs. I was complaining and asking why I wasn’t doing better, that I had so much extra time on my hands which I could be utilizing in my business, and kibitzing in general. I felt that I was capable of doing more, selling more homes, but I wasn’t doing it.
It’s not like I had some grand plan that I implemented. No big epiphany. I just put my nose to the grindstone and didn’t look up for several years. Grabbed every business opportunity I spotted. Held open houses every week. Handed out my business card to strangers. Took Floor Calls and talked with walk-in traffic at the office. I did not discriminate except to try to weed out the crazy people. Somewhat nutty people are OK. The downright screwballs and looney-tunes, not so much. But by not discriminate, I mean I did not turn down a listing for a $30,000 condo anymore than I would reject a $1,000,000 listing in Granite Bay. And I agreed to work on short sales.
An agent in San Diego said the other day that listing short sales was so much easier than listing a regular home with equity. She said there was no need to address commission nor sales price. I believe that those two things generally are not really a big issue in a regular transaction. But maybe that’s just the way I do business. I look at the bigger picture. The bigger picture is a satisfied and happy client. A happy client means referrals. Referrals means I don’t have look for business. I make a client happy when I give them what they want.
If I am selling a client’s home quickly, with minimum fuss and at the highest price we can possibly get in the market place, that’s what a client wants. They want to trust their agent. They don’t want to sell real estate themselves, or that’s what they would be doing. They’re not really hung up on whether they are paying me X amount or Y amount, because I am giving them what they want. I tend to exceed expectations.
Today, I am meeting with a seller of a duplex in Foothill Farms. It’s a regular transaction. He also wants to buy a home in midtown Sacramento. I am taking a probate listing in River Park, over in East Sacramento. That home needs a bit of work. I might list a home in Fair Oaks, but that seller hasn’t yet decided whether she wants to finish remodeling the home or sell As Is. I met with her yesterday, and she needs to make some decisions fairly soon.
I’ve got two short sales to put into escrow today, an Active Short Contingent and a Pending Short Lender Approval. Just finished filing the purchase offers. I’m writing this in the dark. The sun hasn’t come up yet. So, if you’re an agent reading this and wondering why your life doesn’t mirror that of a top producer, you might try getting up earlier in the morning and squeezing more into your day. None of this sleeping-in-until-noon business. And don’t focus on becoming a top producer. Focus on the business at hand. The rest will follow.