Rookie Diary: Lori Moreno Experiences a String of Listing Strikeouts

In the sixth month of the series, the rookies experience the challenges of having both sides of a transaction, listing, and selling in an age-restricted community. In addition, their brokers share their thoughts about the rookies’ progress.

July 1, 2004

Lori Moreno, 30

ERA Sunrise Realty
Cumming, Ga.

July 2004

There are times when the ups and downs in this business can really make you crazy. I went from scoring five new listings in May—the most of anyone in my office—to none in June. And I didn’t have any closings, either.

All in all, a rough month—the worst since I entered the business. Not really sure what was behind it. Part, I think, was school letting out.

Nobody goes out looking during those weeks. They’re too busy going to graduations and assemblies and making sure everything is set for the summer. But mainly, I think, it was just a run of bad luck.

I went on probably eight listing appointments and didn’t get any of them. At least so far. There’s a couple that might still happen. The whole experience was a shock because I don’t usually blow listing appointments.

If I make it that far, I usually get the listing. The challenge for me is getting the appointment in the first place.

Well, hopefully, the coming month will be better. And there were some very positive developments. For one, my sister-in-law, Taralyn Harris, finally got her license and joined the business. I think we’re going to make a very good team.

The first day, she came with me on all my appointments and helped with the paperwork. Since then, she’s done a couple of showings on her own and also scored a listing appointment from a friend of hers.

A real plus is that she lives on the other side of town and can handle showings over there a lot easier than I can.

I’m also hoping that she’ll be able to take over the buying side of the business. I’ve tried, but I just don’t like working with buyers. I don’t seem to have the patience for it. Hopefully, she’ll feel different.

We also instituted a plan that will give us a much clearer picture of how much money we’re actually spending on marketing different listings and how that affects profitability. It’s all pretty basic stuff, I guess, but new to me.

I also made some big changes with my billboards. I was up to three but was still unhappy with the location of one of them because it was outside of my selling area. So I went ahead and traded it for three junior boards, which are smaller than full-size boards.

Then I contracted with a different company for two additional boards. So now, I have a total of seven! We’re on just about every main road coming and going into town. It’s going to be hard to miss us.

The five new billboards have both my and Taralyn’s pictures on them. She and I are splitting the cost.

Finally, even though new listings were scarce this month, I still have 11 listings total. They range in price from $100,000 to $1.2 million. So things could definitely be worse.

Lori Moreno’s Broker: Greg Martin

ERA Sunrise Realty
Cummings, Ga.

Lori had one of the fastest starts as a producer that I’ve ever seen. She’s energetic and exudes a tremendous amount of confidence. She’s done a very good job of combining her individual style with the programs and services we offer as a company into a presentation that clients respond to almost immediately.

The other quality I’ve noticed is that she’s a quick learner. When she encounters a problem, she works through it—sometimes on her own and sometimes with assistance from me or another salesperson—and that’s the end of it.

Often with beginning salespeople, you have to go over the same material four or five times before they really understand it. That’s definitely not the case here.

The one area I think she could work on is something that is often a problem for beginning salespeople and that’s developing some detachment and perspective on the process of selling houses. There is such a thing as being too tenacious. You can’t want the house to sell more than the client does.

Ultimately, it’s about maturity and learning that you can’t control everything. You don’t have to win every deal; not every house has to sell in record time. But again, this isn’t an unusual problem for beginning salespeople.

My overall view is she’s very good at what she does and has only scratched the surface of her long-term potential.

Robert Sharoff is an architectural writer for The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Magazine. With photographer William Zbaren, he has produced books highlighting the architecture of Detroit and St. Louis. He is a former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.

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