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Category Archive: ‘Realtor Training’

New Sandicor Mobile App


Let’s catch them doing something right!

Sandicor has rolled out their new mobile app for realtors, and it’s a big improvement over the old one. I know it is September, 2016, but this is the first time in history that the MLS has provided us with school information (I’ve been using Zillow for years). The new app also shows nearby comps, and it makes it easy to find out an agent’s sales history too.

It even looks like Zillow – which is good:

Homesnap Pro Overview from Homesnap on Vimeo.

If you are interested, Homesnap has a mobile app for the public too.  You can take a photo of a house, and get its full history.

Speaking of Sandicor, I have been in conversation with the President of our local association of realtors since I ran the video on Friday (I sent it to her).  She is confident that informing the membership is creating positive results, and that the majority of us want a statewide MLS.

She wasn’t keen on my idea of agents joining CRMLS today. She thinks we should work through the proper channels and have Sandicor create agreement with CRMLS and/or the statewide MLS when available.  The lawsuit by SDAR is holding that up currently.

I asked about short-sale fraud, and how Sandicor allows the DOM ticker to keep running on short sales which helps to enable agents to commit fraud. She was unaware of the situation, but thought it sounded like a bad thing. I also asked her about the ‘sold before processing’ listings when every agent has signed an agreement to share their listings with the rest of us. She agreed that it was a bad thing too.

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training | 1 comment

Realtor Video Tour


I know it is 2016, but it’s rare that we see an agent do a real video tour of a new listing.  I’d like to acknowledge this guy who did a simple 1:29-minute video here to advertise his open house today:

There are at least 30 people in line!  He also has 3,200 views on Facebook.

Videos work!

Posted by on Aug 28, 2016 in Bubbleinfo TV, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training | 0 comments

How to Become a Real Estate Agent


Last month there were 3,419 houses and condos sold in San Diego County. There are more than 10,000 agents!

Every month, over 14,000 people Google “how to become a real estate agent,” and consider joining the 2 million real estate licensees in the U.S. And for good reason: Helping people buy the perfect home or make tons of money selling their house is exciting! Not to mention the rather enticing fact that real estate can be a lucrative field.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, real estate agents make an average of $45,610 per year—and the top 10% tier of agents earned a whopping $166,940 in 2015.

“We can make as much money as doctors and lawyers, and they spend tens of thousands of dollars on their degrees,” says Rae Wayne, a Realtor® with the Bizzy Blondes team in Los Angeles.

Still, buying and selling real estate isn’t as easy as it might look. And it’s a notoriously tough industry for newbies; some real estate experts like industry vet Tom Ferry estimate that 87% of all new agents fail within the first five years.

All of which means you should carefully weigh the risks and rewards of joining this profession. Just so you know what you’ll need to invest in terms of time and money upfront, here’s how to become a real estate agent.

Read full article here:



Posted by on Jun 22, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training | 2 comments

Realtor vs. Robot


Who do you think will implement robots first – NAR or Zillow?

What will be more helpful to a home buyer when trying to select a house? A seasoned real estate broker or a computerized residential real estate robotic algorithm?

According to a recent test in Denver, the robot beat the humans in providing more homes preferred by the buyer.

The test was conducted by QValue, a Denver automated valuation model for the real estate industry created by Creed Smith and publicized in Inman News.

During the test last month, the recommendations of three Denver real estate professional brokers were compared with the homes recommended by the computerized algorithm. The recommendations were then ranked by the “buyer,” (who in this case was played by John Rebchook, formerly the real estate editor of the Rocky Mountain News who now runs the site).

The robot beat the humans in the test, according to Smith.

“The algorithm’s recommendations consistently placed two homes within the top three buyer choices each day, and placed as the buyer’s number one favorite home every time all three days. This tells me the algorithm can indeed suggest homes based on emotionally triggering qualities buyers desire (qualitative criteria),” Smith said in a statement.

The test didn’t factor in other myriad other responsibilities offered by real estate brokers, such as drawing up real estate contracts and other duties.

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training | 1 comment

Agent Population is Growing

more agents

Are you thinking of becoming a realtor? California has added 20,000+ new agents in each of the last two years. Here are the stats, and some tips:

An excerpt:

Glass said he became an agent because he wanted to work for himself.

“I had been doing valet for eight years, getting beat up, running to get cars,” said Glass. “I wanted to do something more with my life than get people’s cars.”

Tom Render, 74, a retired business owner, is another recent recruit.

“When you get to be my age, you have to be careful not to sit too long in front of the TV,” said Render, one year into his latest career. “I just needed a challenge.”

Young and old, Californians long have been attracted to home selling, a business with few barriers and the promise of lucrative returns.

Read full article here:

Posted by on Apr 24, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Realtor, Realtor Training | 3 comments

Selling Real Estate – Then & Now

2016-04-22 06.00.25

I stopped by to see Doug Harwood’s new listing on Neptune on Wednesday.  Doug had his Fuji Instax camera, which is like the old Polaroid cameras that produce the photo right there so you can hand it off.

It made us ponder how the real estate selling game has changed over the years.

Much of the selling process is the same, and realtors like it like that.

Things that haven’t changed much:

  1. Open houses.
  2. The back-and-forth negotiations.
  3.  Listing agents trying to hustle up their own buyers for their new listings.

The Differences:

  1. We both sang the praises of Docusign, the electronic-signature process.  This used to be a real night job, where I’d be spending hours at people’s homes writing up listings and offers in person.  But now virtually all signing is done electronically.
  2. No more fax machines. In the beginning, we wrote and signed contracts in person, and then hand-delivered them to the other agent – and sometimes got to present them to their clients. too.  Then the fax machine came out – and much like Docusign – everyone wondered if it was a legitimate contract if it was ‘faxed’.
  3.  It used to take a few days to get photos ‘developed’, and then distributed for flyers and MLS use. Now the digital photos are instantly sent.
  4.  We used to have trouble with photo quality. Now with Photoshop, they are overly-enhanced!
  5.  Newspaper advertising used to be a big deal – and agents used to complain about their company’s ads not being big enough.
  6.  I used to carry a briefcase of real estate forms in my trunk – and when I ran out, I was out of business. I’ve written two contracts in person in the last eight years.
  7.  Remember the Montblanc pens?  I don’t even carry pens any more.
  8.  Up until recently, we collected a personal check from buyers for their good-faith deposit, and had to keep a hand-written record of trust funds. Now we don’t touch money.
  9.  On closing day, the escrow companies hand-delivered the commission checks to the brokerages (some still do). Then I would feel a sense of accomplishment by walking my check into the bank.  But now all money is wired – I haven’t been inside a bank in years.
  10.  We used to have a problem with storing all the files and documentation.  Now the old filing cabinets are just used to collect magnets. 2016-04-22 06.59.53
  11.  The camaraderie between agents played an important role in getting deals done.  But now there are so many agents and companies spread out that we are forced to create instant relationships.
  12.  There is complete dependence on the mobile devices – email and text are more common than actually calling the other agent.  In fact, we have closed sales without ever actually speaking to the other agent.

It’s not as personal as it used to be, but much more efficient!

Posted by on Apr 22, 2016 in Doug Harwood, Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training, Realtors Talking Shop | 3 comments

MLS Jeopardy

Agents have been receiving dire warnings about our MLS, with taglines that make it sound like the end is near, and no real solutions in sight:

There are people at SDAR who are playing a perverse game of chicken with our livelihoods.  The worst part is that they are choosing to battle it out in court, which will take months or years.

What will happen in the meantime?

Agents will stop using the MLS.

The existing MLS is already a dinosaur, and now that it’s running like an old Ford full of sludge, its usefulness will be compromised.

We are probably seeing the results already – today in the MLS, there are only 37 NSDCC active listings under $800,000?  With the slower MLS, won’t listing agents be even more tempted to skip the input and just stick a sign in the yard?

The lower-end market is so hot, does it even need the MLS?  The pocket-listing shenanigans will have a new rallying cry – “we found a buyer faster than we could input the listing!”

It appears that SDAR wants to create their own MLS, and that’s fine – they are creating a perfect disruption, and the opportunity for anyone to build a new mouse-trap.  But the existing system is going to grind to a halt, mostly because there is no leadership in finding a prompt solution.

The only short-term alternative?

Brokers can join the CRMLS – it is a much better platform, they have a quality public-facing website, and it’s run by adults.  Sandicor and the CRMLS have a data-share agreement, but that is only for us to read their data, not to input listings.  Brokers and agents will have to spend the usual few hundred dollars per year to join the Orange County or Temecula associations.

The merger negotiations between CRMLS and Sandicor won’t go too far with SDAR objecting to everything these days, so the only choice is for brokers and agents to break away on their own.  Will they do that?  Probably not until it is too late.

Do you think it is tough today putting a value on a property with the limited comps we have today?  How about with no comps!!

The big problem with jumping to CRMLS is that we won’t have the data history, which means no comps until all agents are at CRMLS and building a new database.  In the meantime, we will have to use Zillow and other outsiders for data…..gggrreat….

What else can we do?  There is no call to action or any solution mentioned by the powers that be.  Agents – prepare to fend for yourself!

More background here:

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Realtor, Realtor Training | 0 comments

Avoiding the Inspector Blues

I mentioned here that it would be a prudent business practice to provide buyers with a home inspection prior to making an offer:

Sellers and listing agents don’t want to mess around with repair requests, and it says right in the contract that the house is sold ‘as-is’.  Yet the common practice today is for the buyers to conduct their own home inspection AFTER they have an accepted offer, which means the unknown facts about the house are rarely priced into the deal – and, as a result, buyers want some giveback.  They might endure some inequity in a frenzy, but as the market balances out, the tendency will be to cancel the deal if they aren’t happy.

But here’s another reason for providing a home inspection – to avoid having the buyers hiring an inspector who could put your deal in jeopardy.  You can’t stop them from doing their own second inspection, but at least you’ll have another opinion available if they hire one of these.

The three inspectors everyone wants to avoid:

  1. The bumbling, incompetent inspector who raises more concern.
  2. The CYA inspector, who creates more alarm by insisting that a licensed contractor needs to be consulted for an adequate opinion of the stupid stuff.
  3. The inspector who tells you in person that it’s a great house, and then sends a report loaded with surprises.

The seller-provided inspection is a counter-balance for all three categories!




Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Market Conditions, Realtor Training, Why You Should List With Jim | 0 comments