Stephen G. Duncan  
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Real Estate Philosophy  

AGENT QUALIFICATIONS,

PRICE CONSIDERATIONS

AND MARKETING APPROACH

As a licensed Real Estate Broker, I have been active in some form of real estate since 1989 and full-time in marketing and sales since January 1995.  My entire full-time career in real estate has been at Beverly-Hanks & Associates.  I work from the primary office of the company located on Charlotte Street in downtown Asheville.  I am supported by three assistants who work from private offices. 

Yet, I will always handle your business personally from the moment we begin working together.  I will never shuffle you off to staff; I work directly with you and will be involved in every aspect of your marketing plan and its implementation, any and all negotiations, inspections and follow-up and coordinating the closing details.  Simply stated, I will be present with you throughout the entire process.

I have a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree.  My education and former work prepared me well for real estate.  Degrees and work in management, civics, public administration and policy, business and marketing lend well to real estate and aid me in my work with clients.  My work, as a Downtown Development Director, Town Manager and related activities in management of water/sewer systems, zoning, public and private infrastructure development and administration, all pertain directly to real estate.  In addition, I have renovated, remodeled and built homes and buildings and offer substantial experience in construction and real estate investment portfolio matters.

I have been a multimillion dollar producer from the start.  Each year, I sell $8 to $11 Million in real estate, having done so for well over a decade.  My focus is not to just list every property; my goal is to strive and sell all that I list.

I work with both sellers and buyers, which I believe brings me a greater perspective and understanding of the strategies, thoughts, needs and directions of competing parties in a real estate transaction.  Many times, some agents specialize in working with just sellers, or just buyers, but this limits their ability to understand all sides of a negotiation and current market conditions.  Approximately 70% of my business is working with sellers, listing and marketing their property but the balance of my time is with buyers and this allows me to better represent each, being fully up-to-date on all that any client, buyer or seller, may need or experience in the market at any given time.

In 2008 I began working with commercial properties as well as residential sales.  My background in public service, working with utilities, zoning, construction and many other technical areas provide me a unique ability to assist and advise those that have commercial real estate needs, whether buying or selling.  I have started working towards my CCIM designation, (Certified Commercial Investment Member), completing the most difficult portion, the Financial Classes and passing a comprehensive exam.   My commercial efforts are through NAI Beverly-Hanks Commercial, the commercial division of Beverly-Hanks & Associates.

So, what is a real estate designation? 

I strive to learn and apply as much as I can in my work with clients.  The CRS is my completing the Certified Residential Specialist and is achieved by less than 5% of active real estate agents.  The GRI designation indicates that I am a graduate of the Graduate Realtor Institute and the CNHS indicates that I have completed courses and attained the designation of Certified New Home Specialist, which works with new construction.  I also have the ALHS designation (Accredited Luxury Home Specialist), where I received specific training in marketing and working to sell luxury homes; and due to the difficult times in our real estate industry, I pursued and have attained the recognition as a SFR (Short-Sale Foreclosure Resource).  I strongly believe in continuing to improve and learn about my profession.

I feel very strongly that my entire success is based upon me finding out what you truly want or need and then working with you to attain it.  I encourage your suggestions and your feedback.  I will be honest with you on all I learn about your house, its condition, location, the competition and the market, whether it is good or bad, as we work together as partners in this journey.

In the end, I hope I have met and exceeded your expectations.  I hope that you will become one of so many that refer me time and time again.  More than 95% of my business is referral and I want to do my best to add you to my referral network. 

 

SUMMARY

I am an independent contractor working through Beverly-Hanks & Associates.  I employ all their tools and marketing approaches to best present and offer your property to the buying real estate community.  I too have some specific things I do to supplement these tools and with one of my particular programs, I feel that I offer above and beyond what any other agent or firm in the Asheville regional market will provide.

I, as your agent, through Beverly-Hanks & Associates will employ a number of standard marketing tools used by most real estate companies.  These include but are not limited to:

 

·         Placing your home in the Multiple Listing Service

·         Professional Photography to present your property

·         A slide show featuring your home and highlights

·         Preparation of high quality flyers and brochures

·         Complete Data Packets for review and distribution

·         Various Open Houses or Tours as needed or required

·         Ads in the REAL ESTATE WEEKLY (rotation)

·         Ads in the Asheville Citizen-Times newspaper (rotation)

·         Advertisements in various other publications around the country

 

Note:  I work extra to use these tools creatively, selecting phrases

and words carefully and thoughtfully to make sure your property

gets attention.

There are many other items used to market a property.  Some of these are part of the Beverly-Hanks advertising program and others are my expansion of these programs or of my own design.

TARGET MARKETING PROGRAM 

“This is the most effective marketing system I have developed and it is without a doubt the most powerful and effective avenue to promote your home to the entire real estate market.” 

I know that more than 92% of all homes sold in our market are sold with the help of a real estate agent acting as a buyer agent.  I also know that over 50% of buyers find out about the home they finally purchase from their real estate agent.  So I have developed a program that markets my listings directly to the agents who are the most interested link to ready, willing and able buyers.

I prepare email marketing and E-Blast on a weekly basis. Schedule subject to marketing conditions and needs. I use postcards, flyers or eye catching promotional pieces, having them personally delivered to from 200 to nearly 500+ real estate agents in the market.  I have access to a data base of agents that includes the approximate 250+/- agents at Beverly-Hanks & Associates and distribute these marketing pieces directly to all of them.  If showings get slow, I step up distribution and work to constantly inform the most active agents in the market what is on the market.  Of course, I am promoting my listing inventory.  “Promoting your listed property direct.”

"I believe in pushing properties, not people.”  So this program works behind the scenes to keep your home, while listed with me, in the conscience of agents throughout the entire regional Asheville market.  Most Buyers and their Agents today find their property by using Web Sites and other on-line search tools… so my entire method of marketing has transformed in the last 2 years towards this effective avenue where buyers and agents are looking.

I have found this to be the “most effective” tool to promote and encourage showings and to keep those agents most active in Asheville thinking about your house while on the market.  It is not a program that is open and easily seen but it is targeted directly to those that need to know your house is on the market. This promotional tool reaches beyond other agent’s efforts and is not conventional, but I believe my clients and their listings are worthy of my additional work.

SLIDE SHOW AND PHOTOS

I have a virtual tour or slide show prepared for every home I list for sale.  I feel that with more and more people making their preliminary choices of what to see by looking online, this is an effective tool for successfully presenting your house to interested buyers.  I always have from 14 to 24 photos made by a professional photographer for slide shows, flyers and postcards, multiple listing presentations and for preparation of special marketing pieces.

I nearly always employ a technology called “window enhancements.”  This is an upgrade of the average photos usually done by real estate agents, taking advantage of views or outdoor settings.  The photos appear just as your eye would see them.  There is no “white out” of the windows from the light. Someone looking at your home on the internet or even in some cases, on flyers and brochures, can actually see right through the windows to the outside world just as if you are standing in the room.  I feel that employing these upgrades, beyond what most agents utilize, presents the best appearance and presentation to those that are now getting their first impressions from looking online.

 

THE BEVERLY-HANKS WEB ADDRESS

Our company has the most often hit web address in the entire Western North Carolina real estate market.  (Nearly ½ of all MLS web hits in entire market.) Our web page continues to improve and works to be both informative and easy to use.  This site offers access to the entire Multiple Listing Service so those that browse will choose our web page first.  Our listings are presented with their photos, virtual tours or slide shows and information.  Also, anyone that is looking can contact the listing agent direct through the system to express their interest or ask for additional information.

Also, through this system, appointments can be made to see your property or they can contact our agents’ services center and get information.  Whether they call me direct or contact our service center, they have readily available access to information they want or need about a property of interest.

This address alone is one of the greatest tools available in the market.

The site is located at www.beverly-hanks.com  


PERSONAL WEB PROMOTIONS @ www.stephengduncan.com

I also maintain and promote properties I represent through my own web site … please go to www.stephengduncan.com and see my regular presentation of listings.  I strive to drive traffic to this site by using area real estate links, enhanced by links to many of our local community features, attractions and interest.  As people seek a home to buy, they search for a lifestyle to enjoy so I try to merge these two to gain their attention for your home as it is on the market.  My web page tries to creatively touch the entire spectrum of our regional market to gain as much positive interest as possible for my listings for sale.

 

TRACKING HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT PROPERTY ONLINE

“And, ARE THEY LOOKING AT YOUR HOUSE?”  That is a great question and I as your listing agent, access specific data to see how many times someone looked at your specific listing yesterday, this week, this month and this year…  This service offers me, as your agent, an opportunity to see if our ads, my promotional and other market or if the presentation of your property on the web site is being accessed by prospective buyers.  This is the next best thing to actually walking through your door… for most prospects this is their first look to see what is available in the market.

I will be submitting reports to you with my assessment of activity at least twice per month. This type of information helps me determine if advertising or promotions got any attention… see the spikes, these are indicators that either an ad or promotion was launched and I can see the effectiveness.

Example of Chart:

Property Views, Month of October 2010

Hits

This Month

Total


75

454

 

Property Views/Hits: Number of times the listing is viewed on www.beverly-hanks.com


“BHINFO” – TEXT INFORMATION SYSTEM (BEVERLY HANKS INFO)

This is exciting technology and used by Beverly-Hanks & Associates.  We have a system now in place so whenever a prospective buyer rolls up in front of a home, they can simply text BHINFO to a pre-set number that is now listed on a rider attached to the properties for sale sign … instantly, the basic information about that listing is displayed right on their phone for their knowledge.

Remarkably, it also notifies the listing agent (or their buyer agent if they have registered their buyer into the system) that they have looked at the home and may have an interest.  This opens the door for us to text them back to offer additional information, set up an appointment for them to see the property or just answer questions. 

SHOWINGTIME SHOWING SERVICES

Most companies, and especially Beverly-Hanks, utilize Showingtime Showing Services.  This is a wonderful way to make appointments.  It immediately requests feedback from showing agents and logs in and monitors showing of your property.

We as agents have a single phone number to call to make appointments.  The appointment is logged in a computer system, an email requesting feedback is sent to the showing agent and their reply is sent directly to the listing agent. The listing agent can access and see all showings, the results or feedback and can even adjust showing instructions to better provide availability of your home for appointments.  This is truly a great asset in today’s marketplace and our need to make appointments efficiently and get feedback quickly.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS – SETTING THE PRICE 

PRICING A HOME

There are three ways to price a home.  They are the “Seller’s Price,” the “Market Price,” and the “I am trying to buy your listing price.” I will work with only the first two of these types of pricing strategies.


SELLER’S PRICE

I can work with the seller’s price to some degree.  But if their price is significantly different from mine, I may agree to work and market at their price for a time.  But if that is not successful, and I do all I can to get people in to see the house and we have acceptable viewing traffic, then we may want to discuss the price and allowing me marketing time at my price.

I regularly cooperate with sellers if they and I feel there is a chance to find a buyer at a price the seller would like to receive.  But it is only fair that if we have sufficient buyer traffic and it does not sell and we get enough feedback about the price being too high that we discuss the market conditions and reconsider the price and hopefully, allowing me to market at a price we agree might be more effective in getting an offer.

I will evaluate this with you every 12 to 15 showings if we do not have a contract.  Anytime we have more than 12 showings and no contract, unless there is some unique situation, the price needs to be reviewed. 


MARKET PRICE

This is the most effective price to get buyer traffic and a reasonable offer in a timely manner.  There is flexibility in this price but I will assure you I will be as honest about my assessment as I can.  This is not a precise science or we would all be able to tell you the exact dollar and the exact day the house will go under contract.  And if anyone tells you they can do that, please introduce me to them.

But my promise is to give you my best review and suggestion.  This price is most valuable in getting your property shown regularly, an offer that is reasonable and a contact on your property in a reasonable time.  Nearly every listing that does not sell within 180 days, (that has at least 15 showings and is located in an area that attracts buyer traffic on a regular basis), is “overpriced.”


"I AM TRYING TO BUY YOUR LISTING" PRICE

This is a technique I reluctantly mention but is frequently used.  I will never employ this because I feel it is both unethical and is dishonest.

This is a strategy where you as the seller are carefully questioned by the real estate agent to find out what your price is and then they either enthusiastically support or even embellish this desired price to get you to list your house with them.  Soon thereafter, once your time and efforts are invested in the listing of your house, you may find that you are being encouraged to adjust the price. Amazingly, the price you are being encouraged to consider is very similar to the market price that a previous real estate agent (maybe even me) suggested 30, 60, 90 or 180 days ago.

Please keep this in mind and be careful not to get intentionally inflated information.  It is better to be on target than to waste your time cleaning, having to leave the property and the anxiety of each showing just to find out many days or months later that you could have started at the correct price, the “Market Price.”

You would not want your property to be overpriced for too long in some types of market conditions.  Times when capable buyers are fewer or there is a surplus of inventory and when buyers are more aware of market conditions are things that will cause buyers to pass on seeing or even considering an overpriced home. When this happens, you may learn months later that a more realistic price would have attracted a ready, willing and able buyer.

Missing out does cost you!  For time is money, whether it is having these funds for another home or for the investment earnings that could have been paid to you or for continued interest payments being made on a mortgage.  There is a cost directly associated with the time the home was being marketed far above the realistic selling price.

I want your investment to be as positive and strong as the current market conditions will allow.  That is why I will never “Buy your Listing” by offering you unrealistic pricing or promises.

 

THE CURRENT MARKET AND PROPER POSITION WHEN PRICING

The next graph is a clear picture of what is happening in today’s real estate market.  When pricing a home, it is very important to realize that at present we continue to experience strong competition and to some degree, a gradual decrease in price.





Aggressive and realistic pricing helps to avoid creating “The Gap”.  The “Gap” is the widening between the list price and the actual market value as prices soften.  Inventories will remain high and sellers are growing more accepting of what values really are in today’s new real estate market.

The point is … let’s not create a growing Gap if at all possible. Being realistic when pricing a property gets the seller the most, and in the most reasonable time.

And after all this … there is...

THE COMMISSION QUESTION!

Our company policy is to charge 6% of the gross sales price on residential property and 10% (of gross) on undeveloped property (land) and most commercial properties, paid at closing.  We have found this to be fair compensation for presenting your property to the market in as many professional avenues as possible.  I offer qualified and experienced representation, guidance, marketing and more in my overall effort to give you comprehensive professional real estate services.

I understand there may be other companies’ fees that are more or less.   We at Beverly-Hanks & Associates know what service, marketing programs plus our quality representation and experience we provide for our fee and feel that it is fair and competitive for the comprehensive professional real estate services provided.

One final thought on fees, we treat everyone fairly and employ our best for all our clients equally.  I would find it difficult to look one client in the eye and charge them one fee and then charge their neighbor down the street a different fee.  Our company policy is based upon fairness and the completeness of our professional real estate services.