Sissy Lappin knows what she’s talking about when it comes to selling homes. One of her area’s most noted real estate brokers, she has marketed over $1/2 billion in real estate. She started her real estate career in the 1980’s during a deep economic recession and one of the worst real estate markets in recent times.
The founder of Lappin Properties, her company has been acknowledged as one of the most successful real estate firms in Houston, and was recognized as #1 in most expensive homes sold by the Houston Business Journal and has been featured in the WSJ and USA TODAY. One of the largest independent brokers in the country, Sissy delivers exceptional, one –to-one personal service. And she does it all from one desk, with one laptop.
Though highly respected, Sissy is a renegade in her industry because she is a one man shows not a large firm. Now she has taken the proven system she has used to build her home sales success and created the innovative Simple and Sold that makes it easy for homeowners to price, list, market and sell their own homes.
Sissy has a wonderful gift of gab that translates into her writing. She lives with her husband, Mark, in Houston Texas, where she is a legend in the real estate business.
What inspires you to write?
I wrote Simple and Sold because nobody is advocating for the homeowner. Yes, the real estate market has improved from the darkest days, but home values are still down, and homeowners are getting a raw deal. Somebody from the inside needs to be in their corner.
Americans are in hard times, and we are stretching every dollar. We’ve all seen news reports interviewing homeowners who feel misled by banks, Wall Street, or big business. They thought they could trust the information they were fed by the real estate industry. Keep in mind; these industry professionals are the same group that failed to see the housing bubble collapse on the horizon. No wonder we are all starved for the truth!
For most homeowners, their equity is their nest egg. However, they overlook the reality that the cost of a real estate commission is usually more than their equity in the home. Under the current sales plan with the common real estate agent, the homeowner not only absorbs loses in the value of their home, but also pays the commission rate. In the past five years, I have seen a concerning trend in real estate: The agent is the only one walking away from the closing with a check. It begs the question, “Do homeowners truly want to give away a large percentage of their equities in commissions?” I can assure you the answer is “Heck no!” So, why should they? Traditional methods work in great economies, but when times get tough, methods need to evolve. The traditional system is broken, and it is time to fix it; the homeowner needs a viable alternative.
I’ll be the first to admit that 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago, it was a bad idea for
homeowners to sell their own homes. Back then, homes could only be posted on one website, the local Multiple Listing Service. Purchase contracts were only available at the state association for realtors, and only realtors had access to them. There were few templates that could help you make your own flyers, and custom sign companies were rare. Then there was the problem of distribution. How would you let people know that your home was for sale?
Fast forward to today. We now have websites like Zillow, which are ranked as the #most-searched real estate website. Purchase contracts are available instantly online. There’s a Kinko’s on every corner, and a custom sign is only a few clicks away. As a real estate broker, my email is flooded on a daily basis with advertisements for programs on using social media to promote my listings. There’s not a single week that goes by without me getting an email from a so-called soccer mom, who’s advertising her home with a flyer that leaves most real estate advertisements in the dust. This year, I’ve seen an astonishing number of individuals over the age of 65 who have decided to sell their homes themselves, because the commission will just take too big of a chunk out of their retirement money.
Tell us about your writing process.
It was very easy once I dictated. Speak Write was my savior!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I sent it off to two publishers and one wanted to buy it. When I saw the numbers, I though why would anyone sell their book to a publisher!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I compare it to Turbo Tax and CPA’s. You have a choice and as an author you chose what is best for your situation and circumstances.
What do you use?
Dictated and got transcribed, Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
rel estate, home selling, home staging
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print