Experience Real Estate RI - Our Blog https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog Whether you’re an agent, seller, buyer, or partner - we are proud to be your home for a better real estate experience in Rhode Island, RI. en-us Fri, 23 Aug 2019 02:38:13 +0000 Fri, 23 Aug 2019 02:38:13 +0000 How Do You Define Success? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/how-do-you-define-success Mon, 15 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/how-do-you-define-success Often times, I run into people that comment on my “success” as an owner of a real estate company.  In the business community, I am considered a successful business woman.  Quite honestly, each and every time I hear that, I wonder to myself how the person I am talking with defines success. 

That question leads me to ask myself, how do I define “success”.  

As a society, we all work toward this thing called success.  However,  is it even possible to achieve something that you don’t know what “it” really is. 

Have you ever asked yourself that question? How you, personally define success?  I encourage you to do so.  Define what it means to you and strive to achieve it. When you do achieve your definition of success, you will surely know it.

We All Have Different Reasons For Loving Rhode Island https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/we-all-have-different-reasons-for-loving-rhode-island Fri, 11 Sep 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/we-all-have-different-reasons-for-loving-rhode-island • RI was the only state NOT to approve Prohibition.

• RI is the longest state name.  Officially, the name of the state is Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 

• If your neighbor has more than 11 permanent vehicles in front of their home it is illegal.

• Mr. Potato Head was the first toy to be advertised on TV.

• There is still a law that an employer can be fined for making an employee work on a Sunday.  The fine is $10.

• Cap guns are illegal in our state.

• All RI shores are publically owned.

• The first golf open was held in 1895 in RI.

• There are more doughnut shops per capita in Providence Metro area than anywhere.

• America’s first Jazz fest was held in 1954 in Newport

• Cumberland is the only place on EARTH that cumberlandite has been found.  It’s high in iron and titanium and very magnetic.

• Rhode Island was named after a Greek island called Rhodes.

• RI founder, Gilbert Stuart, was the artist behind the George Washington portrait featured on the dollar bill.

• RI has more shipwrecks per square mile than any other state.

• RI was the very FIRST state to declare its independence on May 4, 1776.

• RI was the FIRST state to make its anti-slavery stance official passing the law as early as 1652.

Click the tab on our home page EXPERIENCE Rhode Island to get details on many different areas of RI.

Why are you telling me this? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-are-you-telling-me-this Thu, 30 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-are-you-telling-me-this We deal with the public.  Most businesses do.   Over the 29 years in business, I have found it amazing that people share such intimate details about their lives when it is not relevant to the sale or transaction. 

Sure, when you deal with the niche market that real estate business do, there are many personal facts, experiences and goals that are shared.  In fact, that must be shared as a client for a great result.  However, very often people share way too much information that has nothing to do with the purchase or sale.  I find it peculiar.  Why is this?  Why do people share as much as they do with strangers? 

I find that when people don’t share information that is not pertinent to the transactions, things get done much quicker and without hiccups.   It can be a huge distraction from the normal course of business.  Even more concerning is that with added personal information, people jump to conclusions and surmise their own ideas about that person and how the transaction will go.  This is troubling, because the tone of the transaction can change based on information that has nothing to do with the business dealing. 

My advice is to keep to the pertinent facts when conducting business.  There is no professional reason to add personal information that does not affect anything. 

Having said all this, I was directing this blog to the salespeople not clients!  It is they who share too much of their personal issues.  There is no place in business for that. The client doesn’t deserve it. 

The best thing you can do for your clients is to respond. https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/the-best-thing-you-can-do-for-your-clients-is-to-respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/the-best-thing-you-can-do-for-your-clients-is-to-respond It is incredible to me that "professionals" do not respond timely or even at all.  It isn't just one profession in particular...it is MOST professions.  Something is missing in the way we do business.  The something is the fact that with so many forms of communication such as texting, email, messaging and the old fashion telephone, people still can't communicate timely.  Why?  Is it that we just don't want to do our jobs; that we don't like the person we need to talk with; or are we just lazy?

I have always taken pride in that I have a natural ability to WANT to return a call.  If a person needs information or a service, I simply cannot avoid that.  I often times get a "Thank you so much for returning my call".  This is another way of saying "I didn't expect you to return the call".  I continue to be amazed everyday.

So when you are looking to do business with someone, ask the question "If I call you, when can I expect a return call?".   The answer surely will give you some information as to how committed the person is to servicing your needs.  

For those professionals out there reading this short but to the point blog, please return your customer's call promptly.  It will do wonders for your business! 

There are many life changing situations that you don’t think you have control over, but you do. https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/there-are-many-life-changing-situations-that-you-dont-think-you-have-control-over-but-you-do Thu, 26 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/there-are-many-life-changing-situations-that-you-dont-think-you-have-control-over-but-you-do However, the main problem for many buyers is that there are no homes on the market that meet their criteria….or so they think.

Let’s look at the largest buying pool, which is the first time buyer.  They are told what they qualify for and are sent off to find that home only to find they just can’t buy what they want because it is just a little over their price range and out of their control… or is it?

First time buyers have so much buying power that they are unaware of.  Often times their lender or bank do not look at all options.  For example:

• The first time buyer tax credit of up to $2,000 per year for the life of the loan is considered income and may help them qualify for more money. • With rates at an all-time low, look at every $5,000 more in price as approximately $27 in payment per month. • Refinance options on cars with low rates help qualify for more buying power. • Ask for closing costs credits but also ask for Pre-paids – items that are typically paid during application that could be paid at the closing.  Many sellers are willing to give these credits.

Bottom line is that buyers limit themselves to looking at homes they really don’t like based on price and find it’s not for them.  They wait until a home that is better comes along, which is not happening, rather than evaluate their buying power now.  Important to note is that most towns and cities in our state show that prices are rising. Waiting makes no sense. 

Too often I see buyers miss out on their perfect home thinking they cannot qualify when they actually do qualify. 

Explore your options and understand your true buying power.

To Provide Exemplary Service Like No Other, You First Need Clients. https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/to-provide-exemplary-service-like-no-other-you-first-need-clients Tue, 17 Feb 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/to-provide-exemplary-service-like-no-other-you-first-need-clients We are busy, we don’t just think or say we are busy, we are.  We do things that make the phone ring and find a buyer.  We don’t wait for one to call us.  When they do call us, we have a focused agenda while building rapport, asking targeting questions, and secure the close. 

How do we make the clients come to us?  I have spent much time researching the answer by speaking with top sales people and successful business owners as well as highly regarding marketing firms. 

Here is my conclusion for finding prospects and filling your pipeline in 2015:

1. Send potential clients valuable content relevant to the industry that provides insight or entertainment.

2. Diversify social media – Use many not just one or two.

3. Be sure your content is mobile friendly. 

Most importantly, GET OUT THERE.  Highly successful people are highly visible people.  They are at the right venues at the right time for the right reasons. Determine where your clients will be and get to that place. 

Even better, find a person that is surrounded by the type of clients you are looking for and go where they go. 

Take advantage of Tax Credits in 2015 https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/take-advantage-of-tax-credits-in-2015 Fri, 02 Jan 2015 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/take-advantage-of-tax-credits-in-2015 It's amazing how many people in Rhode Island have the oportunity to take advantage of a tax credit when they purchase a home, but don't know it.    

The credit is for buyers that have not owned or had an ownership interest in a PRINCIPLE residence at anytime in the last THREE (3) years.  (Or you buy in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls or Woonsocket whether you owned in last three years or not).  

You receive a MAXIMUM $2,000 tax credit per year FOR THE DURATION OF THE LOAN.  WHAT?  That means if you have a 15 year mortgage is would be a maximum of $30,000 or 30 year loan would be $60,000.  This credit also helps you qualify for more money, because the credit is guaranteed.  

Annual gross household incomes do apply:

1-2 People $86,280

3+ People $100,660.  

The Government has placed $93,000,000 aside for this program.  Once the funds are depleted, the program will end.  

NOT ALL LENDERS are approved for the program.  Check your lender to be absolutely certain they are approved so you can get this credit.  

IT'S A GREAT TIME TO BUY....Low rates, tax credits, oversupply of inventory.  Make 2015 the year you become a homeowner.

A Simple Message https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/a-simple-message Tue, 23 Dec 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/a-simple-message Make simple resolutions....perhaps one is to give more Blessings. 

Why are people so quick to judge other people or situations? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-are-people-so-quick-to-judge-other-people-or-situations Fri, 14 Nov 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-are-people-so-quick-to-judge-other-people-or-situations We naturally tend to categorize things we process whether they are situations or people. The problem with this often times is we stereotype situations or people without enough information and by filling in the gaps of this lack of information with or own experiences and NOT facts.

When we meet someone, we often detect certain traits of the person or situation that is similar to another experience we have already had.  We conclude that this person/situation will be the same as our previous experience and categorize it as such.  This is a problem because we do not understand the depth and complexity of the true person or situation. 

Additionally, when the person or situation shows the true details, we try to make up excuses as to why that person is acting that way because we had already predetermined who or what they are.  Now it is even more complicated.

Rather than being so quick to judge or categorize, but take a moment to realize that humans and situations are multi-layered and most often are not one dimensional, what a better experience we could have with people and or situations when we don’t judge. 

Open your mind to the possibility that your initial impression could be wrong.  Allow yourself (and them) the privilege of understanding the true person or situation.

Sales people that are hugely successful are so because they truly understand the process and people they are involved with.  They, ultimately, are very well liked.  The process is a smoother, more enjoyable experience. 

Work with an agent that stays in curiosity and out of judgment. 

Other than technology, what other industry changes as frequently as the real estate? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/other-than-technology-what-other-industry-changes-as-frequently-as-the-real-estate Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/other-than-technology-what-other-industry-changes-as-frequently-as-the-real-estate While many consumers are not aware of these new changes, the real concern is that there a lot of agents out there that also do not know either!  It is frightening that the Department of Business Regulation, Multiple Listing Service, National Association of Realtors and many more legislative bodies are not, or are unable to, police these changes. 

Buying or selling a home is usually one of the biggest transactions a family will make in its lifetime. You trust that person handling the sale or purchase of your asset to know all of the rules and regulations. As a consumer, you usually won’t know if things are being done incorrectly until there is a problem.  Usually a big problem.  A problem that can cost a lot of time and money with attorneys.  I am seeing more “problems” than ever. 

Here are just a few of the issues the public should be aware of when selling or buying real estate:

• Who represents you and what is their job?  State Law R.I.G.L. 5-20.6 defines exactly how your realtor represents you or how they do NOT represent you. 

• What is the difference from a Sales Agent and a Broker?  Who is responsible for what?

• What documents are required by state law that must be provided to buyers prior to making an offer on real estate?

• What are the state requirements for Lead in ALL transfers of property including land?

• What are state laws specific to selling a home with a cesspool and septic systems pursuant to R.I.G.L.Chapter 23-19.15?

• Do you have to disclose if there is a convicted felon in your neighborhood if you know about it?

• Do you have to disclose any and all homeowners insurance claims?

• The closing documentation (HUDor Settlement Statement) is changing August of 2015.  Do you know why?

This is just a few topics that your realtor needs to know in representing you.  Choose a realtor that respects the law and is working FOR you. 

What is the greatest Human Strength? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/what-is-the-greatest-human-strength Tue, 05 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/what-is-the-greatest-human-strength If I asked you to name your greatest personal strength, what would you say?  Anyone I have ever asked, no one – I mean no one- has EVER answered “Willpower”. 

Researchers who have surveyed more than 1 million people around the world, said this comes in dead last among virtues.  Conversely, when people were asked about their failings or reasons for major problems personal and professional, will power and self-control was at the top of the list. 

They have come to realize that most major problems, personal and professional center on failure of self-control.  I wish to focus on just one example of this finding, which is failure of self-control in procrastination at work.  Procrastination can destroy your career.  In our industry, it contributed greatly to the epidemic of risky loans and investments that devastated the financial system.  It also contributed to the millions of sales that never closed in real estate……and most likely many other industries. We have more temptations than ever.  Your body by show up to work on time, but your mind can escape at any instant through the click of a mouse or a ring of a cell phone.  We put off our job by checking Facebook, surfing gossip sites, playing video games or just talking with fellow workers. 

There is great reason to be bullish on self-control.  Lots of us have succumbed lately to new temptations and there are plenty of unexpected challenges ahead.  Our willpower has made us the most adaptable creature on the planet.  It is what makes each of us strong. 

Get Sleep, eat right, stick to a plan, exercise – these will help you strengthen your willpower.  The more willpower you possess, the better your life will be. Scientists report that our willpower lessens throughout the day.  Think of it has a muscle.

The more you use it, the stronger it becomes. 

One nice gesture can make a huge difference for someone, including yourself. https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/one-nice-gesture-can-make-a-huge-difference-for-someone-including-yourself Mon, 21 Jul 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/one-nice-gesture-can-make-a-huge-difference-for-someone-including-yourself I tried to think about the last time I made someone’s day by a compliment or holding a door open for someone or any little gesture that resulted in a smile.  I’m sad to say, it’s been a while. 

I’m more disappointed to say that since that day in Dave’s Market, I’ve been paying more attention to people by noticing how they act and are shocked by what happens every day in this world.  People can be not only rude, but mean.  I was standing in line at the bank observing a little old lady at the counter doing her banking.  She was very slow to put her money in her wallet and then her wallet in her purse.  Understandably; I’m guessing, but think she was about 80 years old.  The person in front of me, who was next to be waited on kept taking a very loud impatient deep breath waiting for the old woman to be finished.  To my shock, the teller noticed the impatient man, and she too, took a loud deep breath and asked the woman to move aside.  The man went to the counter shaking his head while the clerk rolled her eyes said in a low whisper, and I quote “she shouldn’t even be here, she should be in a home”.  

Well, I wish at 80 I will be of sound mind to do my own banking.  I asked myself, why do people have to be so mean?  Is it possibly because not enough people are nice to each other!!  Maybe it has become the norm to complain and be rude.  I often experience this in my business when agents aren’t polite and just rude to other agents and even to other agent’s clients.  How can those agents be successful in an industry that depends so much on referrals and great customer service?  Does the public just accept this behavior? 

It is much easier to be nice than to be mean.  A simple smile at the old woman would have put her to ease and been able to place her wallet in her purse quicker.  The man was upset, the clerk was upset – both breathing heaving and stressed.  What if the man had simply smiled with an assurance to the woman to take her time.  (Probably an extra three seconds.)

I am very fortunate that the associates I work with are very nice, genuine and kind people.  I know they make people smile.

It is much easier to be nice and make a person smile then to be rude.  If you make one person smile every day, that is 365 people a year.

Attitude: Good for Business https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/attitude-good-for-business Mon, 23 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/attitude-good-for-business Attitude determines either your success or failure tomorrow. Your attitude is a powerful tool. It is your most priceless possession. You don’t have to buy it, but you do have to develop it. It is what people will remember you by, and will associate you with. Your clients, customers, co-brokers, lenders, and attorney will remember how you reacted to situations during the sale. The attitude you show is what becomes your personality. 

Consider this: Be prepared for anything. There is a lot in our real estate world that we can predetermine how we want to handle, but some things are just unpredictable. Handling the unexpected with professionalism and positivity is incredibly important. For example, what if we receive poor results from a home inspection or an unreasonable counter offer from the seller or what if the buyers forgot to mention they purchased a car last week after being pre-approved?  It is how we handle these obstacles and our attitude toward these findings that either makes us successful or not.

Identify the things that may be holding you back and find the attitude needed to propel you forward. It could be bad a relationship with a co-broke, a misunderstanding with a client, or something that happened that morning at home. It may even be a larger issue like moral code or self-esteem. Everyone has their own obstacles but overcoming them is the key to success. Additionally, our personal lives should not negatively affect the business setting.

Finding your purpose and passion help to change your attitude so you can look ahead and analyze where you want to go. Visualizing your goals can motivate you to achieve them. Prepare yourself for those times when challenging circumstances threaten to provoke negative attitudes and hinder success.

It is easy to give up when the circumstances are hard, but the right attitude can push you through. Not everything will go your way all the time, but having the right attitude will ensure your success, even through the tough times.

Reverse Marketing? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/reverse-marketing Mon, 02 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/reverse-marketing How can you utilize this to sell a home? Here is an example: 

Status quo for realtors is to put out a sign, input the home in MLS and wait for the phone to ring. Without actively promoting the listing, it could take a significant amount of time for the right buyer to find the house and make an offer.

However, what if a realtor called buyers, called other realtors, told them about the property and got the buyer to go to the seller?  This not only expedites the process for a quicker sale, but will bring forth buyers who may not have seen the listing on their own. What a totally different outcome for everyone involved in the transaction from the seller to buyer to realtor. 

With EXPERIENCE Real Estate, we take a listing, like everyone else, put out a FOR SALE sign and put the listing information on Multiple Listing Service.  However, unlike most realtors, we search out buyers in a proactive marketing approach. We look for:

  • Possible buyers not currently searching. We research who purchased a home with similar   features 5 to 7 years ago and may want to downsize or move up.
  • Lenders that are pre-approving buyers,
  • Accountants that may have clients looking to purchase
  • Attorneys that may have clients looking to purchase,
  • Listing agents (IN RI AND SURROUNDING STATES) with homes in the same price range,
  • Selling agents (IN RI AND SURROUNDING STATES) that sold homes in the same price   range.

Selling a home quickly and to the right buyer requires effort, and going above and beyond the “status quo”.

Trust and Transparency https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/trust-and-transparency Fri, 18 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/trust-and-transparency I have been a realtor since 1986, and boy has it changed significantly.  When I say “it” changed, what I specifically mean is EVERYTHING about selling a home has changed.  Federal and state laws, disclosure requirements, lender requirements, and much more.

Great realtors aren’t selling homes; they are selling trust and transparency.  The role of today’s realtors is one of honesty.  We are not just bound by the laws and the code of ethics, but what consumers want and deserve. In any transaction that involves larger amounts of money, or such a personal part of someones life, it’s easy to hear horror stories of realtors who have taken advantage of a buyer or seller. 

I find throughout my years in real estate that the industry is contaminated with dishonest and/or uneducated agents.  Either they are not transparent as to the pertinent facts and just want to make a sale or they pretend to know and will mislead their client and anyone else they are working with.

How do we eliminate this “acceptable” unprofessional misconduct in our industry?  Well, the repercussions for many of the violations I come across every day are usually as little as a mandatory “class” or a $2,000 fine.  Obviously, our professional organizations do not impose stringency enough sentencing to distract one. 

As a business owner, I say, put those agents out of business for good.  The customers deserve better representation. 

How do I differentiate my associates from others?  We sell trust and transparency through education and professionalism. It’s about doing what is right for the client, not just the agent that is representing them.

Who can you turn to when you need help with a client? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/who-can-you-turn-to-when-you-need-help-with-a-client Fri, 21 Mar 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/who-can-you-turn-to-when-you-need-help-with-a-client As agents, you become sounding boards to clients most difficult and private emotions surrounding buying or selling their home. Maybe they have issues with saving money and are worried about qualifying for a loan. Maybe their financial situation isn’t very favorable and are worried about making the mortgage payments so need to unload fast. Or maybe internal family issues are making home life difficult. These are very personal, and private events that can be difficult to communicate. As clients, they turn to you to unload, knowing that you will keep these confidential and keep their best interests in mind as they move through the process. As agents, however, if you need help, who can you turn to without exposing your clients personal information?

I recently ran into this issue with a listing agent who was representing a divorced couple who needed to sell the house in a designated time frame. However, delaying the process was internal strife which kept them from agreeing on a good price for the home. A buyer came to the market looking to purchase the house. One of the sellers agreed on the price, while the other didn’t. The agent was struggling to get the sellers on the same page about the price and was having trouble communicating that information to them. Because I didn’t represent either the buyer or the seller,  the agent could turn to me and share some of the issues they were facing. I was able to come in as a confidential, 3rd party to the situation and talk through the issues with the sellers and get them to come to an agreement. The agent was able to share that information with me, knowing that I was not representing anyone in this transaction and would not go to the buyer exposing the internal fighting among the couple.

Not only is important for you, as an agent, to be a part of a company that can provide you with a confidant to turn to you when you need help, but this is important to the client as well.  Your client wants to know that their information is safe, and that they are getting the best representation possible. They want to know that when you need help, you have someone to work things through with that will not share endanger their transaction. This not only helps the client get the best deal, but helps you be the best agent possible.

Interested in finding out more information on what it’s like to work for a broker that works with you and doesn’t compete for business? Call Kathy at 401.286.8011 or check out our Agents Page for more information.

Stay in Curiosity and Not in Judgement https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/stay-in-curiosity-and-not-in-judgement Mon, 18 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/stay-in-curiosity-and-not-in-judgement Last weekend I went to Montreal to visit my son who attends McGill University.  Montreal is home to many different cultures.  It is truly incredible how mixed the population is.  I am not referring to just the different nationalities, but ages and religions too. I suppose it is easier to notice this than most any other place, because around McGill University it is very densely populated, and you walk everywhere.  (Although the traffic is crazy there, most people do not own cars.  They walk).  Thus, one can pass several hundred people by simply going to breakfast.  While my son and I walked, I noticed peoples' expressions, the tone of their voices, and reactions to their surroundings.  

Often times I found myself thinking some of the passersby were angry, frustrated, rushed and how sad to be in a beautiful place with all this hostility.  I mentioned something to my son about this, and his answer made me smile.  He said that most people are not angry, they are thinking about the class they just left and learned something very impactful; they are not frustrated, but they are thinking hard about the best route to take to their destination at this time of the day; they are not rushing, but that Canadians generally walk very fast because it is so COLD out.  I laughed and thought what a great way to look at the world....with possiblities and not negative judgement.  

I saw a woman sittng on a park bench, and she was crying.  I thought how sad for her.  I hope she is ok.  When we were returning home, we passed the woman again, and she was still weeping.  I stopped and asked her if she was ok, and I told her I was sorry she was so sad.  The woman told me that  her son had been in a terrible car accident a year ago and that she was told he would never walk again.  Earlier this morning her son and his wife gave birth to a baby boy (6 pounds 13 ounces). When she got to the hospital, she witnessed her son holding the crying baby while walking up and down the hallway in the hospital.  She was so proud of how hard he had worked to be able to walk again, and now he can run and play with his child.

I jumped to a conclusion that was very far from the truth.  

Stay in curiosity and stay out of judgement.  I never thought of curiosity as a medicine.  It is very healthy for you in so many ways.  

Selling A Solution https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/selling-a-solution Tue, 05 Nov 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/selling-a-solution Because consumers look for solutions, salespeople must shift away from selling features and benefits, and focus on problem solving.  Customers are interested in salespeople who can solve their problems.  Salespeople who have not yet identified the customers' problems and just sell features, will never make as much money as those who can identify problems and come up with solutions USING the benefits and features.  

Salespeople need to let the propspects do most of the talking.  Salespeple know that listening is an important part of the selling process.  The more the prospects talk about their problems, the better a salesperson will be able to come up withthe right solutions.  Great salespeople create interest with energy and enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  When prospects sense your optimism about solving their problems, they are much more receptive to buy.  

How do you become a great problem-solver and make much more money?  

  • Asking questions is the key.  Dig deeper when the customer answers a question.  "Tell me more about that....."  "Why is that so important to you.?......"    For example.  
  • Let the prospect do most of the talking.
  • Make sure you have energy and enthusiasm to help solve their problem.

BOTTOM LINE IS :  Great sales people think of themselves as selling a solution not a product 

Why aren't people transparent? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-arent-people-transparent Mon, 08 Jul 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-arent-people-transparent Why is it so difficult to be honest and upfront?  Not being so is very anti-productive in the work place.  It can be more hurtful and frustrating in all kinds of relationships-  be it with a friend or a family member.  I manage a fairly large staff and am a member of a large family (7 children).  One of the most difficult things to deal with in both are people that can be deceitful.  Many times the person doesn't necessarily mean to be, but are.  What I mean is, more and more, it is becoming habitual for people to just not tell the truth, or not to tell all the relevant facts, thus leaving the other person without full knowledge to make an important decision, let's say.  Perhaps the person is not able to react the best way, because they just aren't aware of all the facts.  

Although I own a real estate business, I do not list or sell property.  I assist my associates with ensuring each and every client has the best experience possible when buying or selling homes.  Therefore, I am very involved in many of the sales in the office.  Whenever necessary, I happy to get involved in speaking to the parties in a transaction because there is a potential break down in communication.  It never ceases to amaze me that most times, the breakdown is a direct result of someone withholding information that can be valuable.  More often times, once all are aware of the withheld information, it  isn't something that can't be easily worked out.  

The lesson learned is often that the stress of not being transparent was a greater burden for all then dealing with the information that was withheld.  

A great mentor of mine once said many years ago:  BAD NEWS DOES NOT GET BETTER IN TIME.  

If you have information that may not be the easiest to share, share it immediately.  Get it over with.  If you are a professional.  Think like one.  For example, does a doctor that found the results of a blood test are bad, wait to tell a patient?  No.  They get the news out and consult to the news.

All GREAT salespeople know the importance of SETTING EXPECTATIONS https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/all-great-salespeople-know-the-importance-of-setting-expectations Thu, 18 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/all-great-salespeople-know-the-importance-of-setting-expectations I am in the real estate industry, which seems to be changing daily.  In fact, most industries are constantly adjusting to changes.  These changes could be a new boss, different pricing, new laws, new standards, new goals.  Generally speaking, people do not like change.  They tend to resist it, argue about it or simply ignore it.  What inevitably happens is the person resisting the change, sees a decrease in sales production, and loss of clientele.  The person ALWAYS blames "the change".  

How do you overcome change and embrace it? First, understand the reason for the change.  Usually this is a necessity due to legal issues, loss of income, or consumer protection.  Quite often it simply is necessary and there is a good reason behind the change.  Once you understand the "why's", it is easier to embrace.  Second, manage the expectations of those affected by the change.  Namely, your clients.

I have been in sales management for many years in which I have heard countless times associates say things like:

  • "My buyers are really upset.  They just don't get it.  I don't think they will move forward on the sale".  
  • "I just lost a deal because of this new change.  It is so stupid.  No one understands it anyway."
  • "My clients are so unreasonable.  It has to be their way or the highway."
  • "I can't believe my clients called and said they changed their minds -  out of the blue."
  • "These people get so frazzled so easily. They are so difficult to deal with."

Every time I asked the associate to tell me about the details of the relationship, I always find the agent did not properly set the expectations for the process.  The buyers did not understand what was going to happen. The agent did not explain the process, what to expect and how to react.  The fault for the deal not closing  was the sales associate's.

Bottom Line:  Managing expectations as a result of change, is a lot easier than dealing with than to deal with transactions that fall through and unhappy customers.  Make it a point to talk about what will happen and what to expect through the sales process.  Have them ask questions and answer those questions directly.  You will find it will directly impact your revenue.  

Why can't people just respond? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-cant-people-just-respond Wed, 03 Apr 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-cant-people-just-respond This blog is not about a particular job or about promoting anything.  It is simply about trying to obtain the answer to a simple and frustrating question.  Why don't people respond?  I must ask myself this question several times a day.  I hear others ask the same question in utter frustration.  Whenever I am at a networking event of any kind, the conversation ultimately arives at the fact that people don't respond.  It seems as though everyone is waiting for everyone to get back to them about something.  

It doesn't matter if one is seeking information for their profession, personal reasons, medical reasons, or for any reason, no one is getting back to people timely or at all.  It is as if we all have some terrible sickness.  Are we really that heartless that we can't answer a question or at the very least, tell the person we are working on answering the question.  Are we all so busy that we can't respond?  OR Are we so busy waiting for answers ourselves that we can't respond?  It is a vicious cycle.  

If everyone in the world is wondering why people don't get back to others, maybe they need to look in the mirror and ask that person.   

What would the world be like if people got back to each other timely.  I think much more productive. 

Is there really a shortage of homes for sale? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/is-there-really-a-shortage-of-homes-for-sale Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/is-there-really-a-shortage-of-homes-for-sale Understanding the difference between a buyers' market and a sellers' market is important to buyers as well as many professions that rely on the housing market to flourish.  Nationally existing home sales have increased .4 percent and increased 9.1 percent above the 4.51 million units sold in January 2012.  A sellers' market is when there are more buyers than homes for sale.  It's about supply and demand.  Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady.  In fact, buyer traffic is up 40 percent above a year ago creating a high demand according to the National Association of Realtors in their March 2013 leadership meeting.  As quoted at the meeting "The problem is insufficient inventory is holding sales back from improving at even a faster rate".

So what about the state of Rhode Island?  Well, take a moment and grasp these numbers:

Active Single Family Units

2/28/2011: 4929

2/29/2012: 5072

Current: 4111 - WOW less than previous two years.  

But this is even more powerful and be sure to pay close attention to 2012 to 2006.  

2006: 8724

2007: 7588

208: 6592

2009: 7722

2010: 6839

2011: 6658

2012: 8014 - WOW  this incredible growth.  We are back to 2006 numbers and climbing.

Conclusion of this blog is that now is the time to buy.  Simply put, rates are climbing, pricing are climbing and homes for sale are scarce.  NOW is the time to buy.

If you are thninkg of buying your first home, second home or investment home, call us today to get started.  Don't miss out.  

Every successful business owner has mastered the art of having FIERCE CONVERSATIONS https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/every-successful-business-owner-has-mastered-the-art-of-having-fierce-conversations Wed, 20 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/every-successful-business-owner-has-mastered-the-art-of-having-fierce-conversations Highly successful and wealthy business owners understand that throughout their business realtionships, there will be the need for FIERCE CONVERSATIONS.  These conversations can, and often are not handled properly.  It is why you look like the bad guy or didn't do a good job.  It is also why you won't get a referral from this client.  When in reality, the outcome of a situation has nothing to do with you, only the way you delivered the news.   No one likes to give "bad news" to their clients.  Most times these conversations present themselves when a situation arises that you are not expecting comes up.  

Remember:  Your clients deserve to hear what they need to hear............not what they want to hear.  

It is in how you handle these conversations that can make them more difficult or not.  Fierce Conversations require a particular state of mind.  The key is PREPERATION.  Don't rush into an appointment or a phone call that you are about to deliver "bad news".  Take the time to sort out the information, and examine how best to present the facts prior to waking into a meeting or picking up that phone.

Some techniques I have used over the years that make these difficult conversations easier and more professional are:

No drama - There is no room for drama.  Keep the information to the facts. "Here is where we are at"..................

Start your sentences with phrases such as "May I have your permission to be frank?"......................... Human nature is to say yes and expect the worse.  

Ask them a preperation questions.........."Do you want me to tell you what you want to hear or what you need to hear?"............. Be careful with this one, some "A" type personalities will say "What I want to hear".

Remind them of their desired outcome such as "Based on what you need"......................................

If you are not liking the way the conversation is going and feel the client is not really listening to you, try.................."That is not in your best interest.  This is why.............."

DO NOT USE "DISLCAIMERS" when having a difficult conversation.  Disclaimers are sentences that start with phrases such as "You may not agree, but", and  "I could be wrong, but"....... If you do use these type phrases, human nature is that whatever you follow the phrase with, they are thinking "then you probably are wrong...".  There is no need for disclaimers.  The facts are the facts.  

You are the professional being paid for your service.  Think of the medical profession.  Does a doctor start a difficult conversation such as telling a patient they are very sick with "I could be wrong but" or "You may or may not agree, but"?  They do not!

Kathy Schmitt 

Why are some people very good at sales while others are very bad? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-are-some-people-very-good-at-sales-while-others-are-very-bad Tue, 05 Feb 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/why-are-some-people-very-good-at-sales-while-others-are-very-bad Our self-concept is how we dress, what we weigh, look, drive, what kind of wife, husband, mother or friend we are and mostly, HOW MUCH WE EARN.

Our job is to move this self-concept level up to another level.  As it moves up, we begin taking the action and making the sales that is consistent with our new self-concept.  We have self-concept in "how we sell".  

The selling process is made up of eight steps or categories:


We have a self-concept in everything we do in the steps of the sale.  


  • Take people out of the confusion and indecision and into clearity with great questions and by seeking information.  
  • Always start a question with a BENEFIT to them.  
  • Become trusted by being interested. 
  • Get emotionally involved, get excited.  
  • Your goal should always improve the lives of others. 
Something that will impact your bottom line... https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/something-that-will-impact-your-bottom-line Fri, 11 Jan 2013 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/something-that-will-impact-your-bottom-line What resources Do business have to increase their bottom line revenue? 

One opportunity that many businesses (small and large) overlook is their local Chamber of Commerce.  Years past, businesses joined to take advantage of lower Health Insurance rates, without realizing what other valuable resources the chambers provide that can directly impact their everyday operations. 

Important Note:  You are no longer able to have a cost savings for your Health Insurance by joining a chamber.

Elizabeth Berman is the Director of Mission Development for the Southern Rhode Island Chamber.  She agreed to be interviewed by Jill Lawler, co-owner of EXPERIENCE Real Estate, located in South Kingstown, RI, to obtain an understanding as to exactly how the chamber can make a difference for the businesses in the area. 

JILL:  How long have you been with the Southern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce? ELIZABETH:  Since May of 2010 as Director of Mission Development.

JILL:  What is the passion that drives you and the Chamber to be wildly successful? ELIZABETH:  There is no greater feeling than helping someone or a business succeed. I get to do that every day at the Chamber.

JILL:  What are the three biggest challenges currently facing the Chamber? ELIZABETH:  1. Misconception that all we do is networking events;                        2. Members not utilizing services;                        3. not having enough time in the day

JILL:  What is one thing people don't know about the Chamber? ELIZABETH:  We are a great referral source. If you need a service, we will find you the best local business for the job.

JILL:  What is the most underutilized resource the Chamber offers? ELIZABETH:  Our Tourist Information Center. So many members don't bring us their promotional materials so that we can handout to tourists, people relocating or local residents or businesses.

JILL:  How have you seen members most effectively work with the Chamber? ELIZABETH:  Members that are engaged get the most out of the Chamber. Attending Networking events, bringing material to us and just remembering to tell us what is going on.  We can help promote events, sales and programs. A lot of people forget to take advantage of these things.

As business owners, we are all looking for easy ways to PROMOTE, ADVERTISE, and increase our income.  It is simple….join a Chamber of Commerce.  Before you choose which to join stop in to your local one.  Ask questions like Jill asked Elizabeth.  Be sure the answers are what you want to hear. 

Elizabeth can be reached at the South Kingstown Chamber of Commerce, located on Tower Hill Road (across from Dunkin Donuts).

What is your passion that drives you to be wildly successful? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/what-is-your-passion-that-drives-you-to-be-wildly-successful Mon, 05 Nov 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/what-is-your-passion-that-drives-you-to-be-wildly-successful The uncertainties of these times bring a passion to control our future.  Do you have what it takes to control your destiny?  What causes one to have the drive to do so?

An inspirational conversation with Peter DiStefano, Owner of DiStefano Brothers’ Construction. 

I know a lot of entrapenours.  Having just opened my own company and being asked as to why, in these economic times would I do so, I am confident with my answer.  To make a change for the sellers and buyers in our community.  To represent them with trained, educated and ethical associates in my firm.

I asked many other owners and found one in particular to be inspirational and true for many.  Here was our interview…

Kathy:  When did you start your own company? 

Pete:  In 2006

Kathy:  What made you want to leave a great job with steady hours and pretty good pay to open your own company?

Pete:  My dad worked for a manufacturing company for 35 years.  He thought and lived by the premise that the company would take care of him and his family forever.  He had a false sense of security.  Without question, he confidently felt that his company would take care of all expenses and retirement for the rest of his life.  Then, all the jobs starting moving to overseas.  Eventually, the day they let him go, he was surprised because never thought it would happen. My dad never imagines that he would be out of work and unable to provide for his family.  Never.  After working hard for 35 years to just be let go. That’s when I knew and was determined to never let someone have that much power over my life. I was only 26 I knew I was going to own company and be in control of my future. 

Kathy:  What did you do to prepare for opening DiStefano Brothers’ Construction?

Pete:   I paid close attention to how my old boss ran his own business and learned valuable things that worked as well as the things that don’t work. 

Kathy:  What was the most important thing you learned that you MUST do as an owner?

Pete:  As an owner of my company,   I know that you must have amazing customer service.   Not ok, not good, but amazing customer service.

Kathy:  What was the most important thing you learned that you must NEVER do as an owner? 

Pete:  We never allow poor customer service. Never.

Kathy:  How would honestly rate your current customer service on a scale of 1-to 10?

Pete:  Currently are at a solid 8 working toward the 10.  I am a hard critic on myself. So probably, the customers would say 10.

Kathy:  I know you study your competition quite closely as all great business owners do.  How would you rate your competition?

Pete:   I have a lot of competition, but only considering the best of the best, it would be a 6. 

Kathy:  What do you do daily to improve your 8 to 10? 

Pete:  Through the use of technology, we are staying in touch more closely with our clients.  Most importantly, we stay in touch throughout the day while we are on a job.  The client sees this as very proactive and appreciates it greatly.  It has made a huge difference in our bottom line as a result of referrals.

Kathy:  What is the one area of expertise? 

Pete:  Making our client happy no matter what the job entails. 

Kathy:  What are the areas you avoid in your industry?

Pete:   I think it would be to avoid growing too fast without proven systems and models in place first.

Kathy:  What is your five year goal?

Pete:  Being able to do one charity project per month every month.

Kathy:  Oh interesting, which charity of choice would be your first? 

Pete:  Not a large charity per say, but helping people on a smaller level.  Perhaps re-modeling a wounded vet’s home, or a family in need that has a bathroom floor that needs to be fixed, for example.  Also, in five years, my business will grow with additional employees and have someone at the forefront running the business so I can pursue other entrepreneurial adventures. 

Kathy:  What is the best you advice you could give our readers? 

Pete:  Follow your dream and don’t sweat the small stuff.

What drives you to control your future?  Share your vision and passion here.

Purchase of Middlebridge property https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/purchase-of-middlebridge-property Tue, 18 Sep 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/purchase-of-middlebridge-property The recent acquisition by the Town of Narragansett of the 9.51 acres surrounding the Narrow River on Middlebridge is a monumental accomplishment.  An acquisition of this nature is the result of major investment of time, energy, hard work and perseverance.  Tremendous dedication on the part of all the members of the Land Trust including its exceptional chair Dr. Robert O'Neill, member Jill Lawler and Councilman Chris Wilkens, has resulted in this legacy acquisition.  Through their work in the Land Conservancy, these citizens make possible the preservation of the Narrow River and the eco-systems within and surrounding it.  Acquiring this beautiful landscape consisting of 800 feet of waterfront ensures that this area will be able to offer future generations recreation, respire and enjoyment.

Every taxpayer and citizen in our Town should take special note of the generosity of Jill Lawler, member of the Land Conservancy, and her partner at Expereince Real Estate, Kathy Schmitt, who unselfishly waived the $42,000 real estate commission due them from the sale of this parcel.  It is one thing to say one is invested in the community where you live and work; it is quite another to actually prove it by surrendering a commission of this size, particularly in these difficult economic times.  These business women at Experience Real Estate have donated back to our town $42,000:  a gift of extraordinary meaning and significance to the people of Narragansett as this money can now be utilized for other land acquisitions.

All involved in this effort deserve our respect.  The timing could not bebetter; after a rather difficult few months, you all make us proud.  Thank you to everyone involved in securing this spectacular piece or real estate.  It shows us that behind the scenes in this town, there are many good and decent people working hard for the betterment of Narragansett and Rhode Island.  Take a bow!

Meg Rogers, Chair

Narragansett Republican Town Committee 

What Happened To Great Customer Service? https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/what-happened-to-great-customer-service Mon, 18 Jun 2012 00:00:00 +0000 Masuga Admin https://www.experiencerealestateri.com/our-blog/post/what-happened-to-great-customer-service When was the last time you thought something was really awesome?  If I asked you to name the last time you said to yourself or to another person that you were completely happy with something, could you easily remember?

I don’t think we get the chance to have enough truly wonderful experiences in life.   Why is that?  Why don’t we hear more people talk about a great experience….especially when it involves a business transaction.  Whether grocery shopping, selling a home, buying a home, getting health insurance, buying a car, or any business dealings, we typically hear about the rude clerk or the misrepresented price or the ridiculous time something took.  How sad.

I have to ask, “What happened to old fashion customer service?  What happened to the client is always right?”    What a better world it would be if businesses valued the customer as they should.  Without the clients, there is no business.  Without good things to stay, there is no repeat business.  Is this why we are in the economy we are in today?  In fact, 88% of all small businesses fail within 2 years of opening.  I bet it is all about the bad customer service. 

So, I want to say thank you to all the business that understand customer service.  A special extra thank you to all the employees, workers, sales people that go the extra mile and make the experience not better – but a great one.  Often times we automatically say thank you when we leave a business out of habit not sincerity.  I will be sure to really mean it when I say it to someone that deserves it.  I will be certain to refer and mention that I had a great experience to my friend and family.  It is an essential part of what I have built my business upon.

Is a great experience important to you?