Crushing Your Sales Plateau

To be honest, like many others in this business I was never good at goal setting, but I am changing that. While I help clients and customers reach desired outcomes, I’ve experienced a plateau before and have been at the same amount of sales for many years. With encouragement from those around me, it was time to leverage goal setting and begin the process of having more conversations, selling myself to more people, with greater frequency, in order to get my sales to a higher level.

  1. Create a system to track and measure your efforts. The first thing I did was create a spreadsheet to manage and hold myself accountable for the number of conversations and touchpoints necessary to overcome the plateau. It’s keeping track of phone calls, community events, talking to people at local stores, and geotargeting a new neighborhood to become the local market expert for that area.
  2. Use your results to determine what technique works best for you. There are many sales techniques and many ways to generate business but, what I have found that works for me, is to first build a personal relationship, and then sell myself and my unique value proposition. I want clients to hire me because they want to, whether it takes one conversation, two conversations, five conversations, or meeting in person a few times. I think it makes the relationship smoother and stronger, and it makes the goal of getting them the outcomes they desire a lot more effective.
  3. Apply your technique and engage your sphere. Ultimately, it’s important for agents to find their own rhythm. Every person has something they’re good at, and they’re going to attract certain people and certain personalities. For me, most of my conversations are in real estate settings, like open houses or industry-related events. When I analyze and look at where my business is coming from, most of it is coming from the sphere that I built and manage. Not only that, I’m reaching them with weekly personalized emails, many times with video, about their local market. Obviously, we want to engage them, but the information must be relevant. Don’t bore them with the same old stuff. It’s difficult to find topics that people are or should be, interested in.
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Selling yourself as the local market expert to your sphere can be key. This can help you build the relationships your business needs to grow. In real estate, there will always be change, so staying ahead of it by knowing your market can be the value proposition you’re looking for. For me, it’s what helped me to get over my sales plateau to grow my business and take it to the next level.

Note: This material may contain suggestions and best practices that you may use at your discretion.  The views, information, or opinions expressed in any user-generated content are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Century 21 Real Estate LLC.


Confessions of a #1

Securing the #1 spot as a top performer may not be easy, but it’s possible. Success isn’t necessarily something that just happens to you. It’s actually, quite the contrary. When you get the opportunity to learn the ropes from others who have implemented key methods that have helped them become #1 in their field, you can’t help but notice a theme. #WhatIf there are methods you could execute, day to day, and mindsets you could put into practice, right now, that could elevate your game 121%? #WhatIf you had the chance to sit down with a seasoned entrepreneur who has weathered the uncertainties of life and business and has come out on top?

Here’s your chance. Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with someone who’s taken success, by the horns, and hasn’t looked back. Joe Villaescusa is not only the Owner of CENTURY 21 Allstars in Pico Rivera, California, but he’s a top performer; and not just any top performer but, a #relentless one.

Don’t believe us? Read on.

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Last year, Joe’s office closed over $18 million in sales with over 1800 closings. If that’s not enough, CENTURY 21 AllStars is on track to knock it out of the park again this year. To top that off (we know, right?) Joe has recovered from COVID19 and has worked each day to regain his momentum and build his strength. As you can see, it’s not just Joe’s tenacity but it’s the grit and grind mindset he’s taken on, day in and day out.

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So here’s what you’ve been waiting for. Here are our top three confessions from Joe that he says has helped him to become a #1:

  1. Show yourself accountable every day.- “We didn’t get into this business to be average.” Joe believes you don’t become complacent overnight. Over time, when you aren’t accountable to mentors and leaders, complacency can have a way of sneaking up on you. Allowing this to go on without the right accountability can lead to an overall lack of motivation before you realize it. Surround yourself with others who have reached milestones and goals, you’d like to achieve, to help you to push yourself and remain motivated.
  2. Remove your choices so you have to do it “this way.”- When you have too many options, it can become second nature to choose the easiest route. The housing market crash of 2006, Joe says, helped him to develop a discipline in making decisions to help with his personal development and the growth of his business. “When your options are eliminated, you are forced to make decisions with what you have,” Joe says. During the crash, the options available to expand Joe’s business was greatly diminished. This put him in a position to have to choose the more difficult routes, in making day to day decisions. He’s been able to carry this mindset with him, even after the market made a turn for the better. When making decisions, it’s not uncommon to have a mix of easier and difficult choices among your options. Try removing the easier choices that don’t carry character developing challenges.
  3. Get enough sleep.- This goes without saying. According to the CDC, one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep. Joe recommends getting a good night’s rest to get your day started bright and early. “If you can get out of the bed, you are 50% of the way there,” he says.  Being intentional about getting adequate rest can help avoid playing the “catch up game” and set your things in motion to start your days off strong.
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It’s a slow and steady pace that can lead one to a #1 spot but it’s not impossible. Be patient with your journey and surround yourself with others that are crushing goals you hope to accomplish. Being intentional about your growth and success is key and can help you #AlwaysElevate your game!


Real Estate Trends to Watch in 2021

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, what’s in store for the real estate market in 2021?

Strong demand and more homes hitting the market in 2021 will mean a healthy rate of growth for 2021. Expect seasonal trends to normalize with a strong spring/summer and slower fall/winter season. While the heated home price growth of 2020 might simmer down in 2021, home prices are still expected to rise. Mortgage rates are at historic lows, which has helped builders and developers finance their projects. As a result, experts are predicting that more new homes will be built in 2021 than in any year since 2006. And last but not least: major migrations are still on the move in 2021. Remote work, which set off a domino effect of increased homeownership in 2020, will continue to drive buyers from high-cost cities to suburban and rural areas with lower-cost housing.  


Working Together as a Team: Negotiating with Commercial Tenants During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread mandatory closures of all types of commercial properties. These closures, along with reduced consumer spending, have hampered business operations and created challenges for many businesses that lease office and industrial properties – some of which have asked their landlords for assistance in the form of rent abatements or deferrals.

Landlords facing this issue should refer to a research brief issued by the NAIOP Research Foundation that identifies best practices for triaging office and industrial tenant requests, offering reasonable accommodations to those tenants who need short-term assistance and responding to affected tenants.

Based on input from brokers and building owners as well as NAIOP data, the brief identified these common practices:

  • Rent relief. Building owners are generally willing to offer tenants reasonable rent relief to help them weather short-term disruptions due to COVID-19. The most common practice is to offer tenants a few months of deferred – not forgiven – rent that can be repaid over the remainder of the lease. Some landlords also agree to rent abatements, but only in exchange for a longer lease term.
  • Due diligence. Owners commonly request tenant financials to confirm that the request for relief is due to COVID-19 and to determine if the tenant is able to fulfill the lease terms.
  • Lender assistance. Many owners seek assistance from their own lenders to help them pay for property maintenance, taxes and insurance during periods when tenants are deferring rent payments. Lenders have been amenable to borrowers deferring principal payments as long as they can demonstrate need and maintain the property.


5 Tips for First-Time Commercial Real Estate Investors

Are you thinking about taking the plunge and investing in your first commercial real-estate deal?

Even if you’re a veteran investor in residential properties – someone who buys single-family homes to rent, for example, or a house flipper – you’ll need to learn the ropes when it comes to commercial investments.

Here are five tips for first-time commercial real estate investors:

  1. Knowledge is power. Don’t rush into a deal. Do your due diligence ahead of time. Make sure you’re knowledgeable about not only the property you’re considering but about the market in general.
  2. It’s all about the numbers. Sure, location matters, just as is does for residential real estate, but the success of any commercial deal is dependent on whether the numbers work. And, to understand the numbers, you need to know the lingo – intimately. Make sure you understand the formulas for NOI, cap rates and other applicable finance terms. There’s no excuse for not understanding these crucial principles.
  3. Consider all sectors. Many new investors plan to start with small apartment buildings, but multifamily may not present the best upside potential in your particular market. So, consider alternatives, such as retail, net leased properties or even self-storage.
  4. Think about financing upfront. Commercial loans require a lot of paperwork. It’s helpful to establish a relationship with a lender in advance and to familiarize yourself with the application requirements.
  5. Surround yourself with professionals you can trust – a commercial broker, real-estate attorney, accountant, insurance agent and general contractor.


The Top Secondary MSAs for CRE Investment

Which metro areas have performed best during the coronavirus pandemic?

COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on commercial real estate in top-tier metropolitan areas — particularly the gateway markets, many of which were forced to completely shut down businesses in an effort to control the pandemic. Most secondary markets suffered the same fate, but according to a recent report by data firm Trepp LLC, some fared better than others.

Trepp analyzed the performance of 21 secondary MSAs and created a list of the top 10 areas based on their commercial real estate investment potential. Here are the top five:

1.  Austin-Round Rock, Texas. Austin ranked first due to a high rate of population growth, a low unemployment rate, a strong influx of high-tech and warehousing jobs and an increase in new CMBS issuance.

2.  San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California. San Jose has strong employment and population growth, low CMBS delinquency rates and a high average occupancy rate.

3.  Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado. Denver saw the largest growth in the total outstanding CMBS balance as well as a low delinquency rate and limited exposure for retail and lodging loans.

4.  San Antonio-New Braunfels Texas. The MSA has had strong population growth and a minimal increase in its unemployment rate. The CMBS delinquency rate is low even though retail accounts for the largest balance.

5.  Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California. The MSA ranks relatively high due to its average occupancy rate and low CMBS delinquency rate.

Wondering which MSAs didn’t perform as well? The lowest-ranking secondary metros were Cleveland-Elyria, Ohio and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wisc. Both MSAs had high delinquency and unemployment rates.

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3 Tips for Doing Your Due Diligence Right

If you’ve purchased commercial real estate, then you understand the importance of due diligence, a critical stage in the acquisition process. Due diligence is a comprehensive review of the property, from physical condition to title, zoning, permits and environmental status. It also includes a thorough review of the property’s income and expenses.

It’s important not to rush due diligence or cut corners during the process. That’s because due diligence is designed to uncover issues with the property, from title defects to zoning problems. By skimping on due diligence, you  may end up with a property that’s not in the condition you expected – or that doesn’t have sufficient net operating income to make the deal make sense. 

Here are three tips to do your due diligence successfully:

1.  Keep emotion out of the deal. Be prepared to walk away if the results of your due diligence are not what you expected. 

2.  Hire the best team you can find. Your attorney, accountant, broker, surveyor, environmental expert, property inspector, insurance agent and title company should be experienced and familiar with the type of property you are buying.

3.  Understand that no property is perfect. It’s likely an issue or two will arise during due diligence. Determine in advance what it will take for you to walk away from the deal or to renegotiate it. 


8 Covid-Friendly Ways to Honor Our Military this Veterans Day

Veterans Day is right around the corner, and our military deserves all the praise and recognition for serving our country. 

Regardless of the circumstances, COVID-19 has brought upon us, on November 11th, join us in honoring their service in creative, safe, and socially distanced ways.

From Your Home

There are plenty of ways to get creative and show your thanks to our veterans from the comfort of your home.

  1. Create a short video saying a special thanks.

Let the military personnel in your life hear how much you value them. Whip out your phone and create a quick video expressing your gratitude and appreciation. Sending this to them will undoubtedly put a smile on their face. 

  1. Create care packages for the soldiers overseas.

Care packages are a great way to celebrate and honor our military overseas. Grabbing some supplies from the store and shipping boxes of special items to Support Our Troops would be much appreciated by those currently deployed. Some things to include are:

  • Reading material
  • Baby wipes
  • Sunscreen
  • Non-aerosol deodorant
  • Lipbalm
  • Non-perishable food (beef jerky, protein bars, etc.)
  • Handwritten notes

Donating to organizations that specialize in sending care packages is another excellent option.

For Your Coworkers

While many companies are working remotely, you can still say thank you to your coworkers who have served our country. 

  1. Send out a special newsletter to your office highlighting those who’ve served.

This is an easy but thoughtful way to honor your coworkers and let them know they’re appreciated. Create a list of names and collect photos from when they were serving our country.

Send out the email first thing in the morning to make the whole day special for them, even if they’re working from home. 

  1. Incorporate red poppies.

The American Legion Auxiliary typically distributes red crepe paper poppies on Veterans Day nationwide. However, with limitations due to COVID-19, this may not be possible. Baking remembrance poppy cookies is a thoughtful and delicious option to say thank you to your coworkers.

Not much of a chef? Contact your local florist to see if they have any red poppies they could deliver to your coworkers’ house. 

  1. Prepare a special delivery of handwritten notes.

This might take some preparation, but collecting handwritten notes from coworkers and having them delivered to the veterans’ homes is sure to make their day. 

In Your Community

Don’t know anyone personally in the military? That doesn’t mean you can’t still get involved in the celebrations. 

  1. Support veteran-owned businesses.

One of the easiest ways to honor a service member is to support their business. You can order from veteran-owned restaurants, share veteran-owned businesses on social media, shop in their store, and more. Can’t think of any businesses off the top of your head? Check out this directory of veteran-owned businesses.

  1. Encourage others in your community to write thank you letters to those overseas.

A friendly note can go a long way. Spreading the word about programs like Operation Gratitude is a simple but impactful way to let our military know that we appreciate them, especially during a pandemic. 

This would be a great thing to share on social media to get the word out about this program and encourage others to participate in Veterans Day celebrations. 

  1. Organize a drop off of supplies and thank you notes for those in veteran hospitals.

COVID-19 is undoubtedly a lonely time for everyone, especially those in care facilities and hospitals. Teaming up with friends and family, writing thank you notes, and putting together mini care packages for veterans needing extra care will let them know that their service is much appreciated no matter the circumstances. 

COVID-19 has changed many things in all of our lives, but there’s one thing for certain that we shouldn’t have to change: our love and respect for our veterans. 

Content proudly provided in partnership with Veterans United Home Loans. NMLS 1907


When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car? – SmartAsset

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Timing is everything and when it comes to buying a car, that saying couldn’t be more true. Negotiating and haggling with car salesmen can reduce the price of what you have to pay for a new whip. But if you want to get the best deal on a car, you’ll need to know when to show up to the dealership. Whether you’re buying a used vehicle or a brand new ride, we’ll tell you the best time of year to buy a car. Being that the purchase of a car is rather pricey, consider meeting with a financial advisor in your area to discuss your finances beforehand.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a New Car?

If you’re on a budget, one of the best times to buy a new car is the end of a model season. New car models are often introduced each year between late summer and early fall. While you might miss out on some new features, buying a new car in August or early September may save you some money.

Waiting until the end of the year to buy a new car can work in your favor as well. Many car dealers offer year-end sales in an effort to get rid of older vehicles and make room for new inventory. Buying a new car on a holiday like Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve is another way to get a deep discount.

If you can’t wait until December to get a new car, you might want to buy a car at the end of the month or the end of a quarter. If a salesperson hasn’t sold very many vehicles in weeks, he or she might be willing to compromise and lower the price of the car you want to buy. Even if a salesman has managed to sell multiple cars throughout the month, he might want to close one last deal in order to meet a sales goal or score a bonus.

Shopping for a car at the end of the day may or may not be effective. If you stop by a dealership an hour before it’s set to close, a salesperson may be open to negotiating so that he or she can end the day on a high note. But if he or she is used to working long hours, your sales associate may not be that flexible.

The Best Time to Buy a Used Car

A recent study from ranked the best times to buy a used car. At the top of their list are holidays including Black Friday, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Columbus Day. The months of November and December are also considered good times to purchase a used car.

According to the study, the months of April, May and June are some of the worst times to buy a used car. Specifically, Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are bad days for used-car buyers. But the No. 1 worst day to purchase a used car is the Fourth of July.

When Not to Buy a New Car

Generally, one of the worst times to buy a new car is in the spring. During this time of year, you’ll see more people on car lots looking to soak up some sun and cash in their tax refunds. Other bad times to shop for new cars are whenever a particular vehicle is popular among consumers and whenever a new car model has been released.

Some people seem to think that buying a car on a rainy day is a good idea. But that approach usually doesn’t work. In fact, you can expect car dealerships to be filled with people when there’s bad weather simply because people tend to believe that they’ll find great deals on rainy days.

Bottom Line 

The best time of year to buy a car ultimately depends on your personal preferences and how much you’re willing to spend on a vehicle. If you’re rolling in dough and you want your car to have top-of-the-line features and amenities, you might want to buy a car as soon as a new model comes out. But if you’re trying to shave hundreds of dollars off your purchase price, experts say that it’s best to head to the dealership at the end of a period in the fall or winter, like the end of the month, quarter or year.

Our advice? When it comes to buying cars and getting your way at the dealership, it helps to know what you’re looking for. Doing plenty of research and knowing the make and model that you want your car to have can make it easier to figure out when to purchase your new vehicle.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Finances

  • If you find yourself having some financial struggles, perhaps it’s time to have an outside resource step in to help you out. Financial advisors typically have extensive experience in a number of important areas of finance, like tax planning, retirement planning, budget planning and more. SmartAsset’s advisor matching tool can set you up with as many as three suitable advisors in just 5 minutes. Get started now.
  • The best way to manage your money on both a short- and long-term scale is to create a firm budget. SmartAsset’s budget calculator can help you figure out exactly where you’re overspending.

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Amanda Dixon Amanda Dixon is a personal finance writer and editor with an expertise in taxes and banking. She studied journalism and sociology at the University of Georgia. Her work has been featured in Business Insider, AOL, Bankrate, The Huffington Post, Fox Business News, Mashable and CBS News. Born and raised in metro Atlanta, Amanda currently lives in Brooklyn.
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