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You Can Be Successful in Real Estate Without Eating Shit

You don't have to eat shit to be successful in real estate.

You don’t have to eat shit to be successful in real estate.

There are some sellers in Sacramento who show signs that they intensely dislike real estate agents, all of them, me included, and they don’t even know me. They think we are all the same and it’s just a matter of picking one out of the police lineup who charges the least. A flipper dude with a high end property who has been unable to sell with some other agent sent me a text the other day claiming I was an “expensive girlfriend.” He wanted me to list his home. The more I thought about that completely creepy, disrespectful and discriminatory comment, the less I wanted to work for him. Ick. In fact, I made sure I did not.

Now I realize that most people have no idea what a successful Sacramento REALTOR does all day. They think we lie around the back yard in a hammock munching on grapes fed to us by slaves waving large fans, and no, that only happens at night, not during the day. My day generally starts around 6 AM. A few hours later, I hope to have completed writing several blogs and answering emails, and be dressed, ready to hit the streets.

I work continually all day. Answer emails. Write emails. Answer text messages. Write text messages. Answer phone calls. Make phone calls. Update property listings. Prepare paperwork for new listings. Write marketing comments. Rewrite marketing comments. Create addendums. Satisfy contingencies. Instill contingencies. Negotiate contingencies. Shoot photographs. Lots of photographs. Download photographs. Photoshop correct photographs and upload. Distribute listings to networks. Set appointments to meet with sellers. Conduct initial inspections of properties. Explain processes. Rearrange the order of my photographs. Negotiate existing pending sales. Negotiate new offers. Order inspections by third-party vendors. Double-check estimated closing statements. Handle special requests from clients. Set up open houses. Provide feedback on showings. Tweak existing listings. Take listings off the market and put them back on the market. Review present strategies for each listing. Prepare for closings. Change keys in lockboxes. Remove lockboxes. Install lockboxes. Advise sellers. Advise agents. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, and persuade others to view things a different way.

It’s not easy to be successful in real estate or everybody would.

You will notice that nowhere in that huge paragraph above is anything about looking for new business. Most agents spend about 1/3 of their time hunting for business. My business typically comes to me. They have read my reviews online and /or talked with other clients who have worked with me, and decided that I have a unique ability they desire. It is no accident that my clients are ecstatic and sing my praises. This Sacramento REALTOR produces results.

I’ve spent decades in this business and came up through the ranks the hard way — working with every person, asshole or not, who decided he or she wanted to hire a real estate agent. Those days are long gone. It took me a while to figure out that I didn’t have to eat shit. My track record speaks for itself; I can choose with whom I desire to work. There’s got to be a reason beyond financial to work with a person, but not with individuals who don’t respect nor value your abilities.

Financial reasons don’t drive me. Yet, I still sell $30 million or so. This is where I’ve always wanted to be, a successful person who maintains her integrity and doesn’t eat any shit. The way to do that is to work with people you respect who reciprocate. These people you can make happy. Happy clients provide personal satisfaction to the agent, and a reason to excel in the real estate business.

So, you have your choice among agents who are successful in the real estate business. You can be a shit-eating agent who is successful (and there’s nothing wrong with that), or you can decide not to be and still be successful. I hope to be an inspiration for others.

Elizabeth Weintraub Ranks as the Best of Trulia Agent

Trulia_Award_2014_Weintraub2014Trulia — the homes for sale website — sent me an email this morning to congratulate this Sacramento Realtor on earning recognition as a Best of Trulia Agent, ranking in the top 1% of all agents on Trulia. This distinction is awarded based on number of reviews and sales. ?It wants me to claim my “badge” for the Best of Trulia list and put that special?code on my business website to generate more traffic to the Trulia website and less traffic to my own website, based on Google authority. I imagine lots of agents in Sacramento and elsewhere will do this very thing because they don’t know any better. Trulia is smart that way and in a few other ways, too.

For example, it put my name on a list of other agents around the country who rank in the top 1%. Let’s say you were a Sacramento home buyer who noticed that Trulia was promoting its Top 1% Trulia agents and you decided, yeah, I’d like to work with the Top 1% of all agents at Trulia. Working with a seasoned pro is likely to reduce stress and anxiety and just makes common sense. You don’t have to sort through agents if Trulia has already done that job for you.

2014_best_of_trulia_badge_weintraubYet, the best you can sort by is the state. So you can find agents in California but trying to find an agent in Sacramento requires many, many clicks to figure it out. Trulia makes it very difficult to find that special agent in Sacramento. On top of this, the agents in Sacramento, for example, seem to be sorted alphabetically by first name. It doesn’t rank by reviews and sales or this Sacramento REALTOR would head the?list. So, there obviously is a system but it’s a poorly designed system if it’s meant to promote agents to Sacramento home buyers.

I suppose it is entirely possible that this special recognition is meant to look like a benefit but not actually BE a benefit.

I mean, look at the Best of Trulia Agent certificate above that Trulia awarded to me, along?with the email. It doesn’t even have a name on it. It’s blank. It’s signed by Pete Flint, good guy that he is, but no agent name. Perhaps they think nobody will notice and nobody will care and everybody will still maintain a strong, favorable impression of Trulia. Or, maybe it’s a result of committee planning, where the important parts of the meeting tend to vanish during discussions, just to keep the peace.

You can see I am not a big fan of committee planning. But I’ve got my Top 1% of all Trulia Agents, my Best of Trulia award, that nobody will ever see or care about. Not to mention, green is a good color except for when the Enlightened blow up an Ingress portal I’ve held for 38 days. And I can look on the bright side, at least Trulia isn’t trying to sell me a commemorative plaque with my name engraved for $29.99 ?. . . but wait, there is more.

The #2 Top Agent at Lyon Real Estate

Yowza, this Sacramento real estate agent received the #2 Top Producing Agent Award at Lyon Real Estate for 2012 yesterday — which, in case you’re wondering, does not mean I try harder — yet gazing upon it makes me wonder: where do old awards go to die? My awards fill up two shelves in my bookcase. Many of them are made from crystal or glass formed in pinnacle or other appropriately awardy-looking shapes. Then, there are the plaques. Some of my plaques go back to 1979, when the California Association of REALTORS named me one of 30 people in the state of California who qualified to earn the educational RECI designation, an acronym for Real Estate Certificate Institute, which, when C.A.R. discovered so few agents qualified for the designation or even cared to qualify for the designation, it discontinued the recognition, probably because there wasn’t enough money in the process for C.A.R.

The award for being the #2 Lyon agent out of 900-some is a gigantic engraved crystal vase. It has my name and the fact I earned the top 1% status of all agents at the company. It looks exactly the same as the Top 1% award I won in 2011 when I placed #5 in the company, except that vase is noticeably smaller. So, that must mean it’s a much bigger deal to be ranked in the top 3 agents than to be ranked in the top 5 agents, or maybe the company just had more money this year to spend on crystal vases. Not knocking being a top agent at Lyon, just wondering. It’s not like I can put flowers in the vases because that would be kinda tacky. You can’t really use them for a purpose. They have to sorta sit there and look pretty all by themselves.

I also picked up for the second year the #1 Top Agent Award for the Lyon Downtown office, although our office is actually located in Midtown Sacramento. This office was once located downtown a long time ago in the 1940s, but why change the name now, I guess. We’re just the Lyon Downtown Office, even though we serve Midtown, Land Park, Curtis Park and East Sacramento, as well as the rest of Sacramento and into Placer, Yolo and El Dorado counties. The size of the award is identical to the #1 Top Producer Award I received in 2011. But it’s bigger than the #2 Top Producer award from 2010 and the #3 Top Producer award from 2009. I guess it’s good to see the awards get progressively bigger as the years go on.

But after all is said and done, and I’m kicking up my feet on the deck looking out over the ocean as the sun sets, where will these awards be kept? Will I leave them behind in the states? Ship them to my niece? Box them up in the attic I don’t have? What do people do with old real estate awards?

The Value of an Experienced Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Do you ever wonder about the experience levels of some of the professionals you pay? Not to knock medical assistants or dental hygienists, but don’t those TV ads trying to lure deadbeats educate aspiring students bother you somewhat? They make me want to ask my doctor’s assistant where she went to school and what she did before she became a medical assistant. Most of us probably want to believe our doctor’s assistant went to college, earned a degree, on top of fulfilling a calling to the medical profession, a passion to help people, and is dedicated to medicine. I don’t know if you get that with a 6-month course and education financing through HSBC.

Yet many people would never in a million years ask a Sacramento real estate agent how long she has been in the business. They are about to spend or receive the most money they will probably ever see in one lump sum in their lives. Do they check out the real estate agent they are about to hire?

Not that length in the business is a sole determining factor because a person can be a real estate agent for many years and do no business at all. Holding a real estate license doesn’t make a person a real estate agent. Renewing said real estate license doesn’t make a person a real estate agent. I’m not a big fan of the alphabet letters either. The certified-whatever designations. That’s probably because many years ago I was involved in the seminar business, and I know that seminar companies are in the business of selling seminars. In other words, an agent can pay for a real estate designation. It doesn’t mean the agent learned anything. It also doesn’t mean the company that awarded the designation taught an agent anything.

Real estate agents learn on the job. End of story. They learn by selling homes in Sacramento, for example. The more homes a person sells, the better that real estate agent becomes — or you would hope. An experienced real estate agent is a different kind of real estate agent.

Every real estate transaction is different. That’s what makes being a Sacramento real estate agent exciting. It’s what motivates me to turn on my computer and go to work every single day. It’s always something new. A new challenge, new people, new events. And when you throw a short sale into the mix: an opportunity to practice patience, improve tolerance and to solve difficult problems.

Everybody is welcome to hire a novice, but why? Novices will cry and moan and say everybody has to learn somewhere. But do you want them practicing on you? You have a choice when you hire a real estate agent. We’re not all the same. I will close over $30 million in sales this year. I sell more than 100 homes a year — so I must be doing many things right. I believe experience is important. If it matters to you, let’s get together. You can read client reviews of Elizabeth Weintraub and decide for yourself. I have pages of recommendations. What you see is what you get.

Elizabeth Weintraub Earns Top Agent at Lyon Real Estate

top agent at lyon real estateThe managing broker of Lyon’s downtown office called me yesterday to report the Elizabeth Weintraub Team is #1 in the company for August. That makes me the top agent at Lyon Real Estate, number one. I can’t believe it. She says my production is over $5.3 million for last month. That’s a lot for 30 days of work. That’s especially a lot when my average sales price is less than $300,000. Sometimes, I sell condos for $50,000. I can’t verify that number because, to be honest, I’m too busy and it’s not a top priority. Who has time to count pennies?

I figure August must be a good month for everybody in Sacramento real estate. I know August is the month that all the agents at Lyon Real Estate have to pay for Errors and Omissions insurance, plus legal representation, and those fees are pretty hefty. So, if I was the head of Lyon Real Estate — which I need to point out I am not — I would probably charge agent’s statements in the month that agents are likely to have the most closings. That would ensure a more likely payment.

Squeezing money out of agents is probably harder than it sounds, knowing agents like I know real estate agents. So, that would mean the month of August is probably the biggest month of production for most agents in Sacramento.

If that’s the case, then it’s pretty cool to earn status as the top agent at Lyon Real Estate for August. I don’t know how many agents work at Lyon. I’d guess it’s around 1,000. I have to give the credit to my Elizabeth Weintraub Team members, though, and I’m not just saying that because that’s what you’re supposed to say. The truth is I could not do what I do without Barbara Dow, Linda Swanson and Shaundra Bradley. Not to mention, my escrow officer, Dawn Herlache and her assistant Jennifer Baranoff, at Placer Title. And of course the guy who closes mortgages for our buyers, Dan Tharp, at Comstock Mortgage, is incredible, and I often receive glowing reviews of him. There are also behind-the-scenes players, the office assistants and managers who cover my butt every single day. I suspect they also take care of crap that I never even hear about.

Funny thing yesterday an agent whose offer was accepted on one of my Sacramento short sales called me the No Drama Agent. That’s his nickname for me. We closed a transaction a few years ago, and I guess my demeanor struck a chord with him. I don’t have any respect for drama, and drama is unproductive and a stupid waste of time. Maybe that will be my new motto: the No Drama Agent.?

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