Article: Q+A with Jim Krautkremer

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Jim Krautkremer is an entreprenuer and a real estate coach. His weekly podcast launched in late August and can be found at www.motivatedsellerblueprint.com and on iTunes. We mentioned it in an earlier article about the best real estate podcast and knew immediately that we should try to land an interview with Jim.

So we did. We appreciate his willingness to speak with us.

Speak with Jim for even a few minutes, and his passion for the real estate industry — and in particularly changing the real estate industry — becomes clear. He calls himself a “messenger of abundance,” concerned not only for an agent’s success, but his or her happiness as well. Two words permeate his strategy: motivated sellers. This is probably why Jim and Zbuyer get along so well. But we’ll get to that in a bit. The real takeaway after 20 minutes of talking to Jim (or 10 minutes with his new podcast) is that he wants to change the lives of those in the real estate industry for the better — agents AND clients.

You can learn more about Jim’s career and success in the real estate industry at www.motivatedsellerblueprint.com

So what it is you try to do?

There is an evolution happening among real estate agents, or that should be happening among real estate agents, because the seller wants something different. You can go to the grocery store and throw a rock and hit four real estate agents. How many shows on TV feature an agent saying “Well, here’s the kitchen!”?

There’s a perception that we’re overpaid and underworked, but we are one of the last industries that hasn’t changed. When was the last time you talked to an insurance agent? You don’t need one, but 10 years ago you did;  State Farm used to come to your house. Travel agents, same thing. If an agent wants to survive in today’s market, they need to evolve.

And what does that evolution involve?

That involves providing the seller with solutions they ultimately want, not just a “Hey, I’m going to list your house.” They’ve seen on TV and know that isn’t enough.

For instance, hedge funds are buying up properties. They’ll pay retail price, all cash, and close in two weeks with no repairs. It’s a beautiful solution for a motivated seller. People who home school children or don’t want to go through the hassle of a lockbox and showing a home, they’ll ask “how come a hedge fund can’t just buy my house?

What other changes will this evolution entail?

I don’t want to get into a commission conversation, but if you’re going to make $100,000 selling a house for half an hour, are you worth it? On the other hand, if you’re paid $500 for a home you worked three months to sell… is that legit?

There simply has to be a value-added for the customer today that involves different solutions. If we’re not equipped to handle those things, we haven’t evolved.

What caused the need for this evolution?

In the early 2000s, the MLS was a sacred cow. The only way to look at it was to call a Realtor and say “are there any three bedrooms in Stony Brook available”? Then came the birth of the internet data exchange (IDX). The MLS was still relevant but now the consumer could go somewhere and search themselves.

The market got boiling hot in 2004-2006 and buyers wanted more and more information. That was the birth of Zillow, Trulia, etc.

Then the market crashed, and the sellers never had a chance to respond. When a sign could sell your house in 24 hours, sellers didn’t need a solution, so we didn’t go through that evolution process.

And today?

The market got healthy, and that same person who was buying 10 years ago has had two kids in seven years, and the house is too small. They need to sell. They’re saying “I’ll bet there are people who will help me sell, who helped me buy back then.”

But what an agent doesn’t know is how to deal with a seller that says “I want a different solution.” They’re using the same tactics as in ’07, ’08 and ’09. They’re protecting the MLS and commissions. We’re not serving the way we need to serve. One of my podcasts is all about “The Strategy of Preeminence,” which is basically all about how I serve you first and worry about results later.

The agents’ concern about commissions seems valid. Aren’t they just protecting their livelihood?

If you serve your clients right, you’re going to be the one doing all the business.

Good point. Where does Zbuyer come in?

Zbuyer IS meeting the seller at their point of need differently. I’ve seen an outstanding retention rate with the agents I refer to Zbuyer. Of maybe a couple hundred a month, 85 percent never leave. They wouldn’t pay for that for two or three years if it didn’t work.

It’s clear that Zbuyer has spent many years dialing their process in, and has really defined what they’re magical at and continues to get better at what they’re magical at. And I think that’s a special thing. They’re not all things to all people, just damn good at getting motivated sellers.

What is one thing that agents should keep an eye out for in the next year?

Sellers are going to continue to ask for solutions that are not the traditional way to transfer real estate. We’ve seen that in the last couple of years. It’s gaining more momentum. I don’t know what’s going to happen with prices or inventory, but that information boom will continue. When we’re 80 years old and look back on this period of time, we’re going to say “oh my god, the information that was thrown upon us was staggering.” We need to be cheaper, better, more efficient and present more solutions to get more money for a house.

And I’m not advocating higher prices or commissions. What a seller wants is profit when they sell their house. If we can be smart and intercede that seller want, that’s where things should go.