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Delta Media Announces Delta Pitch, a One-click CMA
Delta Media Group will launch "Delta Pitch," a new Comparative Market Analysis tool that allows agents to create a complete CMA in as little as one click. "Building a custom CMA has never been easier," said Michael Minard, CEO and owner of Delta Media. "And because Delta Pitch fully integrates with our DeltaNET all-in-one platform, it will be easy to access for DeltaNET customers," he added. "Delta Pitch is more than a CMA builder; it's an entire presentation builder," Minard noted. Delta Media will host a sneak preview webinar to showcase its new one-click CMA technology with a Delta Pitch webinar next Wednesday, May 25, at 2:00 pm ET. Delta Media Vice President Franklin Stoffer will review all the Delta Pitch features. Registration is here. Delta Pitch will launch on May 30. Then, in September, Delta Media will roll out its new DeltaNET 7 platform that leverages automation and artificial intelligence to create "the most customizable, most automated all-in-one platform in the marketplace." Minard notes that Delta Pitch "goes hand-in-hand with Delta's next generation of customizable, automated real estate technology coming this fall." How Delta Pitch Works To create a CMA with Delta Pitch, an agent enters the property address and clicks a link to build a professionally designed CMA. The CMA features white label brokerage branding with comps, recent pending sales, and more. Built on top of Delta's new AI platform, it will provide all relevant properties and other important information presented in an interactive flipbook. Delta Pitch also is integrated into Delta Media's AVM platform, creating a new lead generation opportunity. When consumers visit a Delta-powered website and enter a property address, they automatically get an estimate based on current listings in their area. In addition, the system automatically creates a digital CMA, comparable to a flipbook, that agents can then send to the consumer. Other Delta Pitch features include: Customization of comps and templates Ability to add custom pages Automatically created flipbooks with annotations that agents can share with customers Automatically launch Zoom/video calls directly from within Delta Pitch Delta Media has reinvested over $40 million into its technology platform. Delta Media has been family-owned and profitable for over 25 years and is known for its reliability among major real estate technology providers. DeltaNET 7 is integrated with Delta Websites featuring Patent-Pending SEO, the Delta Academy training system, and a full stack of digital marketing tools that, along with Delta Pitch, include Ad Wizard, Local Showings, Properties in Motion, and Open House Connector. Delta Media Group, Inc., located in Canton, Ohio, is a leading and trusted technology partner for many of the best-known real estate brands, including 75 LeadingRE Affiliates and more than 50 top-ranked brokerages nationwide. Discover more at deltamediagroup.com.
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Booming Marketing Trends in Real Estate
Real estate marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, and in such a competitive environment, real estate agents need to be at the forefront of cutting-edge trends to appeal to the needs of their evolving clientele. Hot markets, fluctuating demand, evolving technology, and new generations of homeowners all play a role in shaping the real estate market – and how agents approach it. Competition forces creativity The housing market has made global headlines with its scorching hot listings – but it has also shown how aggressive the space can be for Realtors to compete in, and is forcing them to get really creative with listings. Using this market as an example, some agents have started to offer a night out as a thank you to clients, a membership for a year at a local gym or fitness club, the free use of a drone for showing the property, complimentary staging – even going as far as slashing their commissions. While this isn't always displayed as a best practice, it just goes to show some of the extreme examples real estate sales professionals have to deal with in order to get new business in a very competitive arena. While some of these can serve as good value propositions, especially to the Millennial buyers who enjoy the perks, they can sometimes appear more as a cosmetic perk rather than reflecting the true value you offer as an agent. These four marketing trends are defining the real estate space – and agents should take note: The discovery process is digital Have you ever heard the mantra, "Content is King?" Content is at the heart of all marketing strategies as one of the most effective methods of getting more eyes to your website. It generates low-cost leads, organic traffic and helps qualify your prospects. If there isn't enough compelling content online that signifies why you stand out from the competition and what you offer – you'll be passed by in a few clicks. Facebook advertising is growing Real estate professionals are realizing the benefits of devoting a portion of their budget to Facebook Ads to run individualized ad campaigns targeting their specific segments. This approach is proving to be a powerful return on quality leads and conversions. Real estate professionals must master content marketing Generic content won't cut it nowadays – it has to be hyper-focused to tailor to the clients' specific needs. And with Google sharpening their algorithm every year, it places a very high emphasis on quality and useful content, and how to target it properly to address the needs of your audience. Ebooks, infographics, video series, webinars and blogs have become the Holy Grail in terms of effectively communicating your value and using them as pieces to help nurture prospects along. That goes back to the reason why a "one-size-fits-all" content solution won't work, because a twentysomething first-time homeowner isn't looking for content that relates more to an empty nester edging towards retirement – it has to be hyper-focused. More agents will turn to marketing automation Wise Realtors learned long ago that they can't manually contact every single lead consistently – but they knew they could rely on technology to do that for them. The fact of the matter is you can spend zero time transferring a new lead to your CRM and email marketing software and have them added to an ongoing lead drip system. Another misconception that many agents have is they believe that premium real estate marketing software will break the bank – which is not true at all. It's time to debunk this myth once and for all. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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How Much Data Is Hidden in Your Listing Photos?
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5 Tips for Higher Productivity and More Real Estate Success
Every time you gain a new transaction, you're growing your real estate business. To help you convert your leads and boost your production, BoomTown partnered with RealTrends to conduct a study on how marketing practices, database size, and automation impact the performance of top-ranking real estate teams. Let's check out the most interesting findings of the report, along with five proven best practices to generate new business — effectively and at scale. 1. Target Both Former Clients and Potential New Leads Are you viewing your past clients as valuable streams of business? According to BoomTown's customer survey, 81% of top-producing real estate teams have a systematic strategy in place for engaging both new leads and former clients. Marketing campaigns should focus on generating new leads, but also on accessing repeat business and referral opportunities from past clients. Since you've worked closely with your past clients, you've already built trust and reputability with them. This shortens the conversion timeline while making it easier for you to land the deal. Since it takes less time — and fewer touches — to convert a past client, it's less expensive to nurture a past client compared to a new customer. BoomTown's survey found that: Real estate agents who include past clients in their marketing campaigns see an average of 9% more transactions than agents who only target new leads. Pro Tip: Leveraging bulk actions can help you organize your CRM outreach. BoomTown makes it easy to categorize your leads and send out automated bulk emails to each group. This can help you save time when reaching out to new leads and past clients with personalized content. 2. Every Lead Needs a Systematic Follow-Up Strategy There's no such thing as "trash" leads. Every contact in your sphere is an opportunity for business — some just take longer to convert than others. Every lead is valuable, and that means that every lead needs to be warmed with a systematic, strategic follow-up plan. There's a science to warming up cold leads until they're ready to convert. BoomTown's survey revealed that dynamic outreach plans applied to every lead are the most successful at boosting conversions. Instead of cherry-picking which leads to reach out to, the best approach is to hit your entire database with multiple touchpoints. 5 Ways to Engage Leads in Your Database: Email Marketing Campaigns Social Media Web Advertising Direct Mail Phone and Text 3. Combine Programmatic and Social Media Advertising Did you know that agents who do not use programmatic and social media advertising tend to have 29% fewer transactions? Make sure that you're leveraging strategies inside and outside of your sales funnel. It's critical that you're in both your sphere's email inbox and on their social media feeds for maximum exposure. Pro Tip: Go through your database and find every lead on social media. Engage them, and add their social media profile information to their contact to keep you organized. 4. Aim for 10 or More Touchpoints Per Month For Each Lead BoomTown's survey discovered that agents who make 10+ touchpoints per month have 39% more conversions. Working with an automated lead concierge service — particularly a market-beating, human-driven, seamless software that does it all — can help you meet your outreach quota to stay relevant with your sphere. Pro Tip: Get creative when reaching out to your database. Think outside of the box to create meaningful conversations and become a source of value, insight, and expertise for your leads. 5 Touchpoint Ideas to Warm Your Leads: The "Haven't Heard From You" Email A State of the Market Update Tips for Preparing for a Mortgage Moving Tips and Service Provider Information Local Events Calendars 5. Work on Growing Your CRM Beyond 500 Contacts Five-hundred database contacts is known as the "tipping point" that helps agents level up their production. On average, agents with more than 500 contacts convert 25% more leads than those who don't. But the work doesn't stop once you reach 500. Once you grow your database, you'll need to maintain your sphere. To effectively manage your expanding database, you'll need to have the capacity to follow up, reach out, and warm every lead in your sales funnel. In today's fast-paced market, that means leveraging technology and automated workflows to maximize the ROI of your CRM. RealTrend's survey found that: Teams with less than 15 agents that use Boomtown have 12-14 more transaction sides per agent than peers. Teams sized between 16-30 agents that use BoomTown have 10-11 more transaction sides per agent than peers. Teams with over 30 agents that use BoomTown have 5-6 more transaction sides per agent than peers. Do the math, and that equates to: Up to 210 more transaction sides for teams with less than 15 agents. Between 160 and 330 more transaction sides for teams of 16-30 agents. At least 150 more transaction sides for teams of over 30 agents. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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The Online App that Can Take Your Real Estate Marketing to the Next Level
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Realtor.com Seller's Marketplace Adds Four New Selling Options
Realtor.com announced the expansion of its Seller's Marketplace, adding four new selling options and expanding its reach throughout the U.S. Seller's Marketplace presents homeowners with information about more selling options than any other real estate search site, allowing them to compare information and choose the option that works best for them. Seller's Marketplace has grown traffic by more than 300% year-over-year for Q3 while providing highly qualified leads to our industry partners and agents. In addition to the five seller offerings already available from companies such as EasyKnock, HomeGo (New Western Company), Knock and WeBuyHouses.com, as well as listing with an agent, homeowners can now view selling options from Flyhomes, Orchard, Reali and Swift Homes. With just a few clicks, homeowners can see which of these are available in their area and compare estimates for sale price, timeline, and more with no upfront cost or commitment. "Since launching in 2020, Seller's Marketplace has had tremendous momentum and we're proud to add more great selling options to help homeowners understand all the different ways to sell a home," said Marissa Mierow, vice president of product, Realtor.com. "We want to empower homeowners to take control of their home sale and be able to compare more options than ever before – all in one place." Seller's Marketplace now includes: List on the open market with an agent Buy Now, Sell Later Sell with Ease Sell Now, Move Later Sell in Any Condition In today's competitive housing market, alternative selling and financing solutions have gained popularity as ways to sell a home quickly, compete and win in bidding wars, unlock home equity, and even provide flexibility for tricky circumstances. Realtor.com® is the only national home search site that lets people compare different selling options and empowers them to find the right fit with just a few clicks. Real estate agents also continue to benefit from Seller's Marketplace through many of the solutions offered by Seller's Marketplace providers as well as from referrals from the Realtor.com® network. "Everyone's situation is different and Realtor.com® wants to provide important information and connect homeowners with providers in the financing and selling spaces, so that they can weigh their options and make the best decision for themselves and their families," added Mierow. To learn more, visit realtor.com/sell.
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10 Ways to Stand Out in a High-Competition Market
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Estimated Taxes: Why, When, How, and How Much
Wednesday, May 25, 2022 at 11:00 AM PDT Self-employment is great, especially when you're making money. But without an employer to withhold taxes from your paycheck, how do you make sure you're paying your taxes correctly? We'll talk about when estimated taxes are due, how to pay them, how to calculate what you owe, and what to do if you miss a payment. We'll also talk about state taxes, safe harbors, and some tips for managing your tax payments in a two-earner household. Register now!
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Notarize Real Estate Documents Digitally
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RPR for New Members: The Complete Beginner Series
Five dates, from May 23 - June 16 If you're a new member of NAR, this webinar series is designed for you! Learn techniques to start building your business. As a REALTOR, you have access to Realtors Property Resource, included in your membership with the National Association of REALTORS. RPR provides data, tools and property reports that can help you "wow" your clients and close more deals. With RPR you have access to: Local public record data and MLS data in one database. Neighborhood information, school data, walkability and livability scores. Residential and commercial real estate tools to identify, locate and price properties as well as prospect for new clients. And remember, RPR is already included in your dues to NAR. So there are no extra costs or fees. All it takes is just a little bit of time to help you learn how to navigate and integrate RPR into your business practices. Register now!
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Lead Conversion for Real Estate Leads Not Answering Their Phones
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What Does a Cooling Housing Market Feel Like?
It's the start of the traditionally zany busy season, but some agents are asking: Is the housing market cooling? Real estate agents, housing economy experts, and consumers are still facing higher-than-normal demand, but there are indications that the housing market – red-hot since 2020 – may finally be tapering. What does a cooling housing market feel like? What should you and your clients be on the lookout for when judging whether the price and demand of homes is leveling off? Every local market is unique, but wherever you are, there are four indicators about whether your housing market is cooling or remaining ultra-competitive: 1. Reduced Prices for Local Home Listings The first indication that your local housing market could be cooling is if you and your clients notice lower prices for local homes listings. Low borrowing costs meant to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic rose housing prices by 35% in the past two years. Now, with the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to fight decades-high inflation, consumers in your market may be willing to pay less for homes, driving down the price. Beyond simply lower home prices, look closely at whether a trend of reductions in price develops. If sellers are routinely marking down the price of homes already on the market, it's an indication that your market is cooling and becoming more buyer-friendly. 2. Fewer Mortgage Applications Before buyers purchase a home, they have to apply for a mortgage. So, one indicator about the housing market's competitiveness comes from the number of mortgage applications. Overall, mortgage applications dropped 8.3% in the last week of April. This decline in mortgage applications may reflect a general softening in buyer demand homes. But a lower number of mortgage applications may also derive from a limited number of homes on the market. Either way, keep an eye on the number of mortgage applications in your market. If mortgage applications are tumbling, the housing market may be tapering. If mortgage applications in your market maintain or even increase, your local market is likely still red-hot. 3. More Homes on the Market If there's one situation homebuyers and their agents are likely to have experienced in recent attempts to purchase a property, it's a paucity of homes on the market. Indeed, home listings are at a record-low, and even with rising mortgage rates and sky-high home prices, a limited inventory of available properties has kept the real estate market competitive. If you notice a wider available inventory of properties, the housing market may finally be cooling. More available homes would tamp down bidding wars and perhaps compel sellers to list their homes at lower prices. Of course, there is typically an influx of listed properties in the spring and summer – so keep a close watch on how long those listings stay on the market, and whether the price they sell for is higher or lower than the initial ask. 4. Lighter Attendance at Home Tours and Showings It's important to crunch numbers and monitor trends. But as an agent, one of the biggest advantages you possess is the ability to use your own eyes and ears to gauge the state of your local market. In particular, you should keep a close eye on attendance at local home tours and showings. Maybe you are hosting these showings yourself, or maybe you're attending with a prospective buyer – either way, pay attention to how many people are there and the questions they ask. Is turnout down significantly from where it was in February, or even last summer? Are people making aggressive, cash-heavy offers to purchase the home, or do they seem to be weighing multiple options? Use your own common sense to determine whether your market is cooling and what advice to give buyers and sellers this busy season. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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The Skills Needed to Be a Top Producing Real Estate Agent
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How Agents Can Protect Their Business with an Effective Cybersecurity Strategy
Even though the influence of a growing number of remote employees on real estate markets has been widely discussed, there is little information available about the impact that remote workers have on real estate firms themselves, although this impact has been significant. Like with other sectors, most of the influence has been good. However, there have also been some negative consequences. It is known as cybercrime, and if you are not vigilant, it will find its way into your real estate business. Cybercrime may be highly damaging to real estate agents and their clients. In recent years, real estate investment trusts (REIT), brokerages, and other real estate businesses have experienced increased cyber attacks, ranging from phishing to email-compromised cyberattacks to data breaches. While cyberattacks are becoming more advanced, you can still apply measures to safeguard your real estate business, and the process begins with developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Taking the threats that cybersecurity poses to the real estate sector, it is clear that a solid investment in cybersecurity is the only way to ensure data protection and consumer safety. Read on to get information about a basic cybersecurity strategy you can use for your real estate business. Why Do Real Estate Practitioners Need Cybersecurity? Real Estate Transactions Routinely Involve Large Sums of Money Since the real estate sector frequently deals with and transfers enormous amounts of money, real estate companies are on the radar of every cybercriminal. Thus, it is not just real estate experts and investors that profit from the real estate market. Cybercriminals can also profit from the real estate market. It has been estimated that one-third of small businesses, including real estate companies, have been a cyberattack target in the past two years, according to CNBC. Personally Identifiable and Financially Sensitive Data Real estate companies also make attractive targets for hackers due to the large volumes of financially sensitive and personally identifiable data they manage, such as social security numbers and bank credentials. Cybercriminals and Hackers Use Advanced Tools and Techniques To launch their attacks, cybercriminals and hackers have access to all of the tools, skills, and tactics they have. Business email compromises (BECs), for example, are one of the most common attack methods used today. A business email compromise occurs when an attacker impersonates a firm to persuade another business to move cash to a fake account. It is common for the hacker to send the email using a fictitious account that appears to be associated with a legit company. Compromised landing pages, ransomware, malicious attachments, trojans, and attacks on cloud-based services are all significant threats to real estate firms. Cybersecurity Tips: 5 Ways for Real Estate Agents to Avoid Getting Hacked Mobile Data Encryption More people are using smartphones and laptops today than ever before. Cybersecurity solutions can prevent hackers from gaining access to your communication networks. Data encryption software is an effective solution when it comes to protecting your data from hackers. It makes your data secure and protects sensitive data. Effective Email and Password Hygiene Resisting assaults and keeping organizations secure are very easy yet have strong effects. Here are a few tips from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) to prevent being hacked. Use two-factor authentication. Avoid using public or unsecured WIFI. Use a different password for multiple accounts. It is recommended that you use a password manager. Long passwords with combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols should be used. Never open files received from unknown sources. These may contain malware. Secure access to email and confidential information used in transactions. To communicate sensitive information, use a transaction management platform, encrypted email, or file-sharing software. Clean your email account regularly and save copies of essential correspondence in a safe place for future reference. Make Use of Reliable Antivirus Protection A built-in antivirus protection system is included in most PCs. Because it takes a short time for updates to be applied, some consumers may ignore the process of upgrading their antivirus system. However, when it comes to cybersecurity, the most common solutions are antivirus software and protection. A paid antivirus system guards your system against cybercriminals and hackers more effectively. The paid versions involve the updating of antivirus software on a regular or basis. Every operating system is vulnerable to attack from hackers. So do not ignore the antivirus updating your software. Always Check URLs Usually, real estate professionals will submit all of their legal paperwork over the internet rather than in person. The submission of information over the internet is only a small portion of the rapid processing method. However, before uploading the papers, double-check that the URL is authentic. If you come across a website that begins with simply HTTP, avoid visiting that website. If the final "S" is not there, then the website is highly unsafe. Antivirus software prevents these websites from opening or displaying high-risk websites. Insurance Considerations, Law, and Policy Working with your attorney, establish a written disclosure alerting clients of the risk of cybercrime. The NAR has prepared a wire fraud email notice template that your counsel may use and customize. Keep track of the state legislation linked to personal information, creating and maintaining data security policies, and other security-related company practices. Final Words In recent years, cybersecurity has become a major headache, and real estate pros are increasingly confronted with cybersecurity-related challenges in their businesses. Like you would encourage clients not to relocate to unsafe districts, you must follow the same advice regarding your own business and ensure that your business operates in a secure digital area. A smart strategy that complies with the cybersecurity procedures outlined above is one of the most beneficial real estate investments you can make today. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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RPR Works Everywhere, Just Like You
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Lone Wolf Provides Agent Business Bundle for $199 Per Year
One of the outstanding opportunities created by the large scale of a company is the ability to bundle services that deliver outstanding value to customers. Lone Wolf is the largest software provider in the real estate industry with a wide variety of software services to suit MLSs, associations, brokers, teams, agents and transaction coordinators. At the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings in Washington, D.C., Lone Wolf announced that associations representing over 665,000 agents in the U.S. have renewed Transactions (zipForm Edition) as a member benefit. As a sweetener, some of those associations also opted to receive full transaction capabilities, along with eSignature from zipLogix Digital Ink (powered by Authentisign), LionDesk CRM, and the zipForm Mobile app. If you will recall, before NAR sold zipLogix to Lone Wolf, Transactions (zipForm Edition) was a member benefit of NAR known as zipForm Plus. Now agents/associations need to pay for the service again. The Bundle For those agents who are not in a market where their state association, local association or MLS has renewed with Lone Wolf, two bundles are being made available for agents—the base member benefit for $179 per year, and the premium bundle for $199 per year. This bundle contains the LionDesk CRM—another company acquired by Lone Wolf—as well as the built-in eSignature solution, zipLogix Digital Ink (powered by Authentisign). It is a lot of software for a pretty low price: Transaction Management Forms Management Unlimited Document Storage eSignatures CRM In addition to the low price, agents and their clients will have access to the Lone Wolf Marketplace, making it easy to order title service, home warranty, insurance quotes, and integrated applications like Earnnest (safe earnest money solution), Updater (moving concierge), RentSpree (rental marketplace), and Seller Shield (disclosures). To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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How to Fire a Real Estate Client Gracefully
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6 Ways Agents Use Elevate CRM for Business Success
Words like "technology" and "CRM" can evoke fear in even the most seasoned real estate professional. But with the launch of Elm Street's Elevate CRM a few years ago, agents can enjoy an easy, intuitive experience designed to streamline daily activities and help prioritize what's most important for business success. Read on to meet some agents using Elevate, and to hear their tips for making the most of all of the tools available. Elevate CRM | Intuitive Dashboard [featuring Jennifer M. from Tulsa, OK] "I was a typical agent using a bunch of different technology products for my business. I was stressed and frustrated because I felt like I had to spend hours every week moving leads around and trying to focus on my follow-up. Elevate CRM has this really slick dashboard that provides me an at-a-glance snapshot of all of my daily activities…who I need to contact, what outreach is being automated, and all of my marketing activities. I was able to cancel four other products, which helped me save money, but it's the intelligent insight and time saved that has turned me into a loyal fan!" Jennifer's Tip: Invest the time to learn about ALL of the features of your Elevate CRM and how you can consolidate and automate a lot of your daily activities. The Elevate coaches are great at helping new users get the most of their experience, as well as helping educate you on what matters most. Struggling with prioritizing daily tasks? Schedule your Elevate tour today and take back control of your time. Elevate CRM | Lead Nurturing Concierge [featuring Jason T. from Los Angeles, CA] "Elevate's Concierge service has literally changed my life! I spend about $1,600 a month on Elevate leads in my market and the Concierge service is converting an average of 12% of them to conversations for me. That's the highest return I've experienced from my lead gen investments. What's even better is that I'm provided an entire transcript of the conversation, which gives me valuable information about my prospect. And…the fact that my prospects think that I have a personal assistant in the L.A. market is priceless!" Jason's Tip: Invest in the follow-up and let someone else do the work. Agents spend a lot on lead gen but then fall short once they've captured the lead—but that's when the work REALLY begins. Using a service like Elevate's Concierge provides prompt, professional follow-up and feeds you the lead at the point of engagement. Not getting the results you want from your lead gen? Connect with an Elevate Success Coach and turn those leads into cha-ching! Elevate CRM | Easy, Professional CMA [featuring Sonja P. from Fort Lauderdale, FL] "Developing a comprehensive CMA can be really time-consuming. One thing that attracted me to Elevate CRM was that they have one of the easiest CMA wizards I've ever used. I can create a gorgeous, professional CMA in minutes, share it with a client, and move on with my day! My clients are always impressed with how quickly I can respond to their need for information." Sonja's Tip: Take advantage of the templates and workflows inside of Elevate CRM. You can automate a bunch of your daily busywork, which allows you to be more responsive to your clients. Wasting too much time creating the perfect CMA? Let Elevate CRM do the heavy lifting for you. Elevate CRM | Social Media Marketing [featuring Lisa L. from Syracuse, NY] "I knew I needed to be on social media, but finding the time to commit to Facebook and other channels was overwhelming to me, plus I had no idea what kind of content to create for my business. Elevate CRM automatically posts all of my listings to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn AND YouTube, plus other great content that my audience likes. I look like a social media rockstar and only have to lift a finger when I want to post something about my personal life. I love how Elevate CRM automatically creates YouTube videos for me of each listing. I would never be able to do that myself!" Lisa's Tip: Let Elevate's social media marketing tools do the work for you, especially if social media isn't one of your strengths, or if you don't want to dedicate the time to creating weekly content. Unsure what content to post on social? Schedule a demo to see how Elevate can automate meaningful content. Elevate CRM | Daily Market Reports [featuring Danielle T. from Colorado Springs, CO] "My favorite feature in Elevate is the daily market reports for my buyers. Any time a listing hits the market that matches their interests, my clients receive an automatically generated email with all of the details, and I am also alerted. In today's low inventory market, we need to move quickly if we want to pursue opportunities, and this tool ensures that my clients are the first to know about exciting new listings or updates on listings of interest." Danielle's Tip: It's hard to always be responsive in a competitive market. Being able to automate important outreach as soon as it hits the MLS gives your clients the advantage they need. Want to be more responsive to your client's needs? Elevate CRM has you covered. Explore today. Elevate CRM | Training and Education [featuring Jeff W. from Dallas, TX] "Sometimes I feel like, after the sale, I'm on my own with my software, but that's not my Elevate experience. It's easy for me to connect with the Elevate Coaching Team, and I really enjoy the level of service I receive. I feel like there are real people who want to help me build my business, and they provide lots of great ongoing training to help me make the most of everything Elevate has to offer." Jeff's Tip: Sign up for Elevate's training webinars and get to know your support team. It helps you make the most out of your experience. Tired of feeling like you're on your own with your technology? Let us show you a better way. Elevate CRM | The Bottom Line A good CRM should save an agent time, money and frustration by providing intelligent, thoughtful tools. Too often, agents are left on their own without the knowledge and expertise to succeed with their marketing and technology. The team behind Elevate CRM are hyper-focused on solving for this issue by providing ongoing training, support and insight into the best practices to drive marketing and business success. Schedule your tour of Elevate CRM today and take back control of your precious time.
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Is Housing Inventory Finally About to Rise?
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[Podcast] Decoding Real Estate: Improving Dollar-Producing Productivity Without Stressing Out with Terri Murphy
"Available day or night," "Multi-tasking" and "Call me during dinner" are shock collar terms that sound like they belong to hard working real estate agents. However, they're actually impossible to achieve and do way more harm than good. Communication specialist Terri Murphy discusses the importance of self care and how to properly balance work and life in our latest episode. Terri also explains the importance of setting goals, setting boundaries, how to stay focused, and why delegating smaller tasks can make you a more dollar productive agent at the end of the day. There's also tips on how to say "no," decreasing the stress in your life and how to stop procrastinating. Tune in today to learn some systems and methodologies that will keep you on track and in sync. Decoding Real Estate is hosted by Reggie Nicolay and Genie Willett. Subscribe/Follow And be sure to check out these helpful and relevant links: TerriMurphy.com Realtors Property Resource Listen on: Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Friday Freebie: 67 Text Message Templates that Get Replies
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Realtors Discuss Top Emerging Tech Trends Impacting Real Estate Industry
The metaverse and blockchain technology could have a significant impact on the future of real estate, according to experts at the 2022 REALTORS Legislative Meetings. Several hundred Realtors attended Wednesday's Emerging Business Issues and Technology Forum, which provided insight into the top emerging tech trends that are expected to have the biggest impact on the real estate industry in the coming years. Jane Dzielski, Google's principal analytical lead, kicked off the session with a presentation on data trends in the real estate sector. She said that prior to the pandemic, only one in 10 households moved each year. "We are now seeing a ton of moving activity," Dzielski said. "Twenty-five percent of consumers have moved in the past two years and 24% plan to move in the next year." Dzielski also said that while internet searches for buying a second home dropped in the first half of 2020 (-9%), they have surged since then (+23%). According to Google's data, the top reasons that homeowners cited for purchasing a second home were to diversify their investments, earn money renting, and use as a vacation home. Ashley Stinton, Second Century Ventures' head of marketing, discussed the recent rise in investment in real estate technology companies, explaining that over $31 billion was invested in 2021. "These are unprecedented numbers," Stinton said. "We've seen 12 new prop tech unicorns as well as over 150 merger and acquisition transactions." Stinton noted that SCV's REACH scale-up program plays an active role in shaping the future of real estate technology investment. "We find, support, accelerate, and scale the innovative companies that are going to have the highest impact on Realtors®' businesses," she said. "We then bring these technologies to NAR members so that these companies can work hand-in-hand with the Realtor® community as they build out their products and services." "Meta has committed to investing $10 billion per year, for each of the next 10 years, just on the metaverse," Weisman said. "The metaverse is going to change how we interact as a society, how we use the internet in general, and ultimately how people buy and sell homes." Dave Conroy, NAR's director of emerging technology, discussed how cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain technology will influence real estate businesses and transactions. He cited a Redfin report that said nearly one in nine first-time buyers – 11.6% – sold cryptocurrency to help finance a down payment in 2021, up from 8.8% in 2020 and 4.6% in 2019. "Blockchains are a new way of thinking about information management," he said. "They provide a verifiable and trustworthy record of events or transactions. This is a critical component of any transaction." Conroy concluded the session underscoring the importance of decentralized finance and the role it could play in real estate in the future. "Decentralized Finance, or DeFi for short, refers to financial services that exist on blockchains," he said. "With financing being a key component of the transaction, Realtors® should become familiar with the new tools that are becoming available in the DeFi landscape."
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Real Estate Hashtags for 2022
Social media has evolved from a place where people socialize to where businesses conduct their daily operations. The realty world isn't left out either -- real estate businesses are now using social media to drive up property sales. The National Association of Realtors reports that 77% of real estate agents actively use social media. In comparison, 47% of Realtors say that social media brings the highest quality leads than other sources. The study also suggests that more than 90% of millennials start their home searches online. This means that social media is a gold mine for any real estate business. To ace the social media concept, you need to have a solid strategy to navigate the social media waters. A great way to get started is by using hashtags. What Are Hashtags? A hashtag is an extra phrase that you can add to your social media posts. A hashtag is usually written with a hash (#) symbol followed by any additional keyword that you want to add. This helps people track exciting and relevant topics. Hashtags give your posts more context and depth. They also make your posts visible to a broader audience. For example, if you post a photo of the sun setting, you can caption it as Sundown. #skybrilliance #sunsetlover, etc. Users who want to find images or posts about sunsets can type the hashtag into the search bar and find the post quickly. When using real estate hashtags, you need to make sure that you tag your posts appropriately so that whenever a potential client types the hashtag, they can find your posts easily. For instance, if you're sharing a photo of an apartment in Washington D.C., the hashtag can read #DCApartments. Any tenant searching online for an apartment in D.C. only needs to type in the hashtag #DCApartments, and they will find your listing. If you aren't sure of which keywords to use for your real estate post, you can refer to the following hashtags to help you out: #home #homesforsale #househunting #apartmenthunting #homesweethome #realestateagentforlife #sold #dreamhome #fixandflip #NYCApartments General Real Estate Hashtag Usage Rules Hashtags are not only applicable to Twitter and Instagram. Hashtagging your post on LinkedIn allows you to connect with other agents. In the same light, hashtagging your posts on Facebook makes you visible to prospective clients on Facebook Marketplace. However, there are limits to the number of hashtags you can use for every social media site. Overusing hashtags makes your post appear spammy to the platform's algorithm. For LinkedIn, you should stick to, at most, five relevant hashtags for every post. Twitter might have started the hashtags feature, but it also has a limit to the number of hashtags you can use. The platform allows users to post a maximum of 280 characters, up from its initial 140, including hashtags. Due to this limitation, you need to ensure your hashtags are relevant to your real estate business and properties. Ideally, you should stick to two hashtags per post. Facebook users don't actively use the hashtag feature. However, at least one hashtag can drive up maximum engagement for business posts on a site. If you want to go all out with as many real estate hashtags as you want, then Instagram is the place for you. This social media platform allows you to post up to 30 hashtags for every post. However, this doesn't mean you should go on a hashtag spree. If you're going to use all 30 hashtags for your post, make them relevant to the real estate business and the home you're selling. Interestingly, Instagram allows you to reverse search some of the hashtags to find prospective clients who are looking for properties. Things to Note 1. Don't Overuse Hashtags Overusing hashtags makes your post look spammy, and may result in low or no engagements. It also makes you look like an amateur who is new to social media. 2. Keep Up with Your Competitors Social media is an ever-evolving business and socializing tool. Every day, new and fruitful hashtags appear, which may be useful in driving engagement your way. Always monitor how your competitors use their hashtags. Keep a close eye on which hashtags they use and which ones receive a lot of user engagement, and implement the ideas you obtain to your advantage. 3. Be Specific General real estate hashtags are useful for driving user engagement. However, to appeal to and find more prospective clients, your hashtags should be specific and targeted. For instance, you can use location-centered hashtags, the home's pet policy and other features to help you appeal to a broader client base. In conclusion Hashtags are a powerful engagement tool when used appropriately. They help bring in more views to your real estate posts and ultimately close deals with prospective clients. Always try to use relevant hashtags to avoid getting spammed. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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[WATCH] Blockchain and Its Impact on Real Estate 2.0: Knowledge Is Power
Elm Street Academy recently gathered a few incredibly bright minds to share their diverse set of perspectives on the current impact that blockchain technology is making on the real estate industry, as well as how to be prepared for what's to come next. Become part of the conversation by tuning into this 1-hour, FREE on-demand webinar where Matt Fagiolio, moderator (Operating Partner, BKG™), spoke with Teresa Grobecker (CEO, Real Estate Consortia ), Chris Tamm (CEO, Ownership Financial and Managing Partner, Cast Services), Sam DeBord (CEO, Real Estate Standards Organization), and Mark Thomas (Co-Founder and CEO, Zen Sports). These digital transaction experts addressed questions such as: What is Web3 and how will it impact the world? Do NFTs play a role in the future of real estate? How does blockchain technology impact security and data storage? What are the potential hurdles of incorporating blockchain technology? And much, much more! [VIEW THE ON-DEMAND WEBINAR]
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Pet Peeves from a Real Estate Lead's Perspective
There are plenty of things that buyers and sellers do that can easily be annoying for real estate agents. But did you ever stop and think about what buyers and sellers might find annoying about YOU? There are a few things that real estate agents do that leave a foul taste in their clients' mouths -- and that you may want to avoid. Here are three common real estate lead pet peeves: 1. Bad or No Pictures on the Listings For most homebuyers, when they are starting their home search, they do so on the internet. A listing on a real estate website is often the first impression a buyer will have of the property. If the very first photo they see is a screenshot of Google Street View or a poorly lit cell phone photo, that will be the ONLY impression. Instead, make sure to hire a professional when it comes to taking photos of your seller's home. 2. Slow Response Time It really irks real estate leads if you take too long to respond to their messages. Be sure to always check your messages—this includes email, text messages, and social media notifications. While it is true that checking your messages every 10 minutes is bad for time management, you can overcome this obstacle by setting clear guidelines with clients and leads when you will be responding to their inquiry. 3. Not Just Picking Up the Phone Not every lead will answer the phone, but there is a population of leads that will. And for those leads, you don't want to get into a heavy conversation over text or email. There are certain subtelties that written words can't convey that the human voice can. So during those times of back-and-forth, just pick up the phone. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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RPR Announces Data Refresh for Its AARP Livability Scores Integration
Last year, RPR (Realtors Property Resource) announced an important data integration with AARP. This year, we're pleased to announce that the AARP Livability Index scores have been updated and refreshed with brand new data. If you're not familiar with the AARP Livability Index scores, here's how they're described on the AARP website: "The most comprehensive, web-based tool of its kind that scores every neighborhood and community in the United States—in all 50 states and the District of Columbia—for the services and amenities that affect people's lives the most as they age." This data integration with RPR and The National Association of REALTORS® arms REALTORS® with another data set to help their clients make better informed decisions. It really comes in handy when assisting seniors gauge how "livable" an area is if they're making a move. Besides the home itself, seniors are particularly focused on community and neighborhood amenities, including medical services, public transportation, entertainment, etc. A Q&A With Laura Kovacs To gain some insight on how agents can use this valuable data, we spoke with Laura Kovacs, the owner of REVIVE-Learning Real Estate School in Phoenix, Arizona. Along with 46 years of experience in the real estate business as a REALTOR® and broker, Laura is also a full-time real estate instructor and a fully accredited and approved real estate education instructor for NAR. As part of her SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation class, Laura helps promote the AARP Livability scores to her students so they can better understand and advise their clients. Laura speaks volumes to the value that this data-based tool can offer, and how easy it is for agents to access it through RPR. Hi Laura, thanks for joining us. How did you find out about the AARP Livability scores and why did you decide to incorporate them into your classes? Well, I've been a long-time proponent of using local information when teaching a national class. Nationwide class content is well done, but because it's a national scope, it might not always be relevant to local situations. When teaching at a local level, you need to make an effort to be inclusive about local information. All real estate is local! So I always seek out information and resources that local REALTORS® can use for my classes. When the AARP Livability Index first appeared, I really liked it. I had used AARP information for my "Senior Living" class way before it was put into the "Scores" format. And now that it's packaged together and easily available to REALTORS® via RPR, it's just this "a-ha" type of moment. This is cool! I can get a score for any community, ZIP code or specific property. And I can either market this home differently thanks to this info, or I can sell this home to this buyer based on this data. It's a real enhancement to the process. What do you suggest agents do with all this great information? I use my personal address as an example. I pop in my address and walk my students through the index. We discuss how to use this valuable info, such as the fact that you can pinpoint the approximate age of a community. Which is important because someone in their late 50s doesn't necessarily want to live with folks in their 80s or 90s. There are generations of difference amongst seniors and not everybody thinks about those things! Then we get to the real, tangible benefits for the customers: how far is the library, can they take a bus to a theater, how close is medical care and services, what options are there for community transportation, where is the nearest grocery store? Everyday necessities in life that directly affect how a senior lives. That information is powerful when you are talking to someone about where they want to live and stay. This is a very practical and useful way to address the concept of "aging in place." For seniors, it's often much more than just the home or the space. It's about what surrounds them: the neighborhood, the community, the support. Interesting, and makes a lot of sense. Any closing thoughts? Having the AARP Livability Index available through RPR is a tremendous opportunity for REALTORS®. Having all this information and data aggregated in one place makes it so much easier. I tell my students: "Be the source of the source." You have this tool, this risk management tool, it's yours for the taking. Be resourceful and share this with your clients. They don't care where you get it, they just know they're getting it from YOU. Also, it's truly a good tool no matter what niche you specialize in. Handling a job relocation? Buying and selling? First-time buyer? It really touches every phase of real estate sales. Use RPR, use AARP and enhance the information you're offering your buyers and sellers. Great points, Laura! The AARP Livability™ Index is now displayed on the RPR website and mobile app through its Property Details pages as well as within the Neighborhood page. It's also featured in four RPR reports, including the Property Report, Mini Property Report, Neighborhood Report and Seller's Report. Make sure to access it in RPR and apply these valuable data points and statistics when working with clients of all ages and backgrounds. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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3 Types of Online Search to Dominate for More Real Estate Leads
Did you know that there are three different types of online search that real estate leads use to find a Realtor? In this video, learn exactly what those three types of search are, why they're important, and how consumers use them to find agents. You'll also discover which steps to take to dominate those searches. Once you get a handle on the those types of searches, the leads will begin to roll in. Watch the video above to learn more!
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Realtors See Sharp Increase in Homes with Green Features
The number of Realtors involved with buying or selling a property with green features has significantly increased in the past year, according to a recent study from the National Association of Realtors. The 2022 REALTORS and Sustainability Report surveyed NAR members nationwide regarding sustainability issues currently facing the real estate industry. Half of agents and brokers surveyed said they helped a client buy or sell a property with green features during the past 12 months, a notable jump compared to 32% in 2021. Nearly two out of three respondents – 63% – said that energy efficiency promotion in listings was very or somewhat valuable. Over half of agents and brokers – 51% – found that their clients were somewhat or very interested in sustainability. And 35% reported that their multiple listing service features green data fields. Among those with green data fields in their MLS, the top ways they were used were to promote green features (35%), energy information (24%) and green certifications (13%). "Sustainability continues to play a growing role in consumers' purchasing decisions, and this is becoming even more prevalent in the real estate market," said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor® from Plano, Texas, and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. "With the residential property market, in particular, home buyers have expressed increased interest in eco-friendly factors like solar panels and energy efficiency." Roughly three out of four Realtors® – 77% – said that properties with rooftop solar panels were available in their market. These numbers were highest in the West (89%) and Northeast (86%). Thirty-six percent said that homes with solar panels increased the perceived property value, compared to 30% that said they had no effect. Source:  The report also noted rising anxiety among Realtors® about the effect of climate change and extreme weather events on their businesses. More than one out of three respondents – 34% – said they were very or somewhat concerned about the impact of extreme weather events on the housing market. Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights, said that the increased focus on sustainability in recent years is a win-win for all homeowners. "More sustainable homes bring benefits to homeowners like cost savings from energy efficiency, health benefits from improved indoor air quality, and increased comfort and durability from material use and construction, and may also increase resale value," Lautz said.
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7 Real Estate Agent Myths Debunked
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7 Real Estate Agent Myths Debunked
Donald Payne, a Realtor and broker for Columbus, Ohio firm Vision Realty Inc., shares seven very common myths about real estate agents. Don't forget these common consumer beliefs when working with clients. Here's Donald: I'm sure you are guilty of thinking at least one or more of these myths from time to time. I think we all have some type of predisposition or stereotype that we think about real estate agents, just as we do with lawyers or used car salesmen. But you might be suprised at some of the top myths that people believe about real estate agents—then again, you may not. 1. Real Estate Agents Make Too Much Money Want to know a secret? The average agent's annual salary is typically less than $40,000 a year. Many teachers actually make more than real estate agents. Until a real estate agent has built up a good book of business, which can take several years, they often have a side job or make very little money. Most agents with very large brokerages close less than four deals a year (which almost no one can live on). Real estate agents have to pay a lot in fees to the office, the MLS, advertising and overhead expenses, which leaves very little to live on. Side Note: This is why you want an agent that is extremely experienced, so ask questions before signing on with a real estate agent. They may not have the experience you need to buy or sell a property. 2. The Higher the List Price, the More the Agent Makes This is not necessarily true. It's usually a percentage of the sales price, not the list price. And you'd be surprised at how little that extra percentage really is when it comes to a commission. While it might be a $10,000 difference to the buyer or the seller, it's probably less than $200 on the commission to the real estate agent. 3. Agents Have to Show the House Any Time the Buyer Wants Agents don't necessarily have to show homes on demand. Just because this is their job, doesn't mean they have to be at your beck and call. Before you call up any old agent just to see the house, it's best to get your own agent. Write up a contract and have something in writing stating that you are working only with them. I can't tell you how many times I've shown numerous houses to people and they end up buying with another agent! 4. Agents Get Kickbacks from Inspectors, Escrow Companies or Lenders This is absolutely false. Since 1974, agents have been prevented from receiving any type of kickback or favor from vendors. Agents could seriously jeopardize their license if they participate in any bribing. 5. Home Inspectors Live in Real Estate Agents' Pockets I know this is a funny way to say this, but if the agent is to be trusted, they can't have an inspector that's only going to favor that agent. Inspectors and real estate agents have to be completely unbiased and disclose material facts. Agents usually prefer a home inspector that is not an alarmist, meaning they freak the homeowner out at every little scratch or tear, but they report on the issues calmly and matter-of-factly. 6. Agents Have to Tell Buyers Everything They Know About a Property or the Neighborhood This is a really fine line between due diligence and honesty, and what Fair Housing laws prevent a real estate agent from saying. Real estate agents cannot talk about crime in the area, whether the schools are good or bad, or the ethnic makeup of a neighborhood. Agents can tell you where to find that information, but cannot discriminate against any protected class. 7. Agents Will Say and Do Anything to Close the Deal Sure, as with any industry, there are representatives that can be unfair, biased and unethical. But good real estate agents should be honest and perform their fiduciary duty to provide the best information in the most unbiased information to a buyer or seller. A solid reputation in the real estate industry can help an agent or broker go far, and to jeopardize that would only harm them in the long run. For the original post and more from Donald, visit his ActiveRain blog and website. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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An Old Type of Mortgage Is Back in Style. Is It Right for Your Clients?
It's not an easy time to buy a home. Interest and mortgage rates are rising, the number of listed houses is at an all-time low, and continued demand for homes means that prices continue to go up. Cue the reemergence of the adjustable-rate mortgage. The proportion of mortgages that are adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) more than doubled to 10% in January 2022, up from only 4% in January 2021. Increased interest in ARMs is no surprise, as they offer an initial rate that's significantly lower than a standard 30-year mortgage. But what's the catch for buyers? After all, ARMs were last this popular in the lead-up to the collapse of the housing market in the late 2000s. As an agent, when should you recommend an ARM, and when should you advise clients to stick to a traditional mortgage, even if it has a higher rate? How Does an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Work? As ARMs occupy a larger share of approved mortgages, buyers are more likely to be familiar with them as a strategy to lower their initial rate. What buyers may not understand is that after the initial period – sometimes called a "teaser rate," which typically lasts between three and 10 years – their interest rate and monthly payments fluctuate. ARM rates are tied to a major index, such as the maturity yield on a one-year Treasury bill or the Secured Overnight Financing Rate. After the initial rate expires, mortgage lenders take the index rate and add a pre-agreed number of percentage points, called the margin. The margin stays the same, but the index rate fluctuates, and is out of your and your client's control – though ARMs do come with a cap that insulates buyers from steep increases in monthly payments. The most popular adjustable-rate mortgage is the 5/1 ARM – which means that the introductory rate lasts for five years, and the interest rate changes once every year thereafter. Let's see how one looks in practice. Your buyer needs to take out a $400,000 loan to purchase a home, having put an $80,000 down payment on a $480,000 property. A standard 30-year mortgage, which is known as a "fixed rate," currently comes with about a 5% interest rate. Under this circumstance, your buyer would pay $2,147.29 every month for 30 years – adding up to $773,024.40 total over the course of the mortgage. Under a 5/1 ARM, your buyer may be able to secure an initial, five year rate of about 3.5%. Over the first five years of the loan, they would pay $1,796.18 per month, which adds up to $107,770.80 – $21,067 less than the $128,837 they would pay with a fixed-rate mortgage. After this, things get more complicated. While it's possible that interest rates could be lower in five years, most experts consider it unlikely, as the Federal Reserve has announced and begun to implement an aggressive rate hiking schedule to combat inflation. Even with a relatively low first-time adjustment of 1% and a favorable interest rate cap of 8.5%, monthly payments on this 5/1 ARM rise to a maximum of $2,817.96 per month. Overall, total 30-year payments on the 5/1 ARM would be estimated at $928,320, a full $155,296 more than a traditional, fixed 30-year loan. When Does an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Make Sense? Clearly, adjustable-rate mortgages combine short-term gain with long-term risk. Your buyers can save money in the early stages of a home loan, but could be stuck with unfavorable, or at least unpredictable, mortgage rates for the brunt of their mortgage. Whether an ARM is a sensible, responsible option depends entirely on the buyer's circumstance. The first type of buyer most advantaged by an ARM is somebody who doesn't plan on living in their home for long. If your buyer indicates that they plan to purchase and then sell their home in five years or less, an ARM will allow them to bank savings without worrying about the fluctuations of mortgage indexes. In this vein, ARMs are a more normal option for people purchasing a "starter" home, because it allows them to build equity and pocket cash in advance of a more expensive home purchase. For buyers who feel squeezed out of the red-hot housing market, ARMs can be an avenue to qualifying for a larger home mortgage. Some of these buyers may anticipate having a higher income in the future, or believe they will be able to refinance their mortgage later on when interest rates drop. These buyers have a higher tolerance for risk, and as long as you explain the potential downsides, opting for an ARM can be a reasonable option. An ARM does not make sense for buyers looking to secure their "forever" home. For example, consider a married couple in their 30s who tell you they are searching for the home in which they will raise their family. They inform you they do not plan to leave this home for decades, and have settled, stable lives and careers in your local area. For such buyers, an ARM would be a resoundingly poor choice. Instead, encourage these clients to pursue a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage, because it will afford them security and clarity. ARMs are a similarly poor fit for buyers who have a low down payment, because a market correction and decreasing home values could leave them with inflated debt on a less valuable investment. Also, buyers who are purchasing a modestly priced home, especially those under $200,000, will only yield $100 or less per month during their initial ARM rate. Those savings likely won't be worth the risk of rising mortgage payments in the future, making an ARM a questionable decision. As with all aspects of being an agent, answering questions about adjustable-rate mortgages depends foremost on your ability to understand and respond to your clients' goals and objectives. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: Virtual Listing Presentation Template
Does your listing presentation need a refresh? Whether you want to polish up your current presentation or create a brand new one, this week's Friday Freebie can help you do either in a snap. Keep reading to find out how you can get a listing presentation template that's free to use and easy to edit on Canva. Free Virtual Listing Presentation Template, courtesy of Zurple Here's the truth: you'll win more listings with a more attractive presentation. To make that as simple as possible, Zurple is offering RE Technology readers a free digital listing presentation template. The template is available on Canva, a free online graphics editor, which makes it a breeze to add, delete or rearrange pages, as well as customize the presentation with your own text and images. Here's what Zurple's virtual listing presentation template includes: Your mission/values/services Recent market activity Marketing plan Home selling process Pricing strategies Preparing your home Listing your home Open house info Closing costs explained Agent info: contact info, sales volume, etc. Ready to give your listing presentation a new look? Download your free copy of the 2022 Virtual Listing Presentation Template today!
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Complete Guide to Building a Real Estate Team
Has your business finally reached the point where you are ready to assemble a real estate team and reach new levels of success? Building a real estate team is an exciting milestone to reach, but it doesn't happen overnight. There are many hurdles to overcome to put a successful team together. You'll need to decide the right real estate team structure after evaluating your needs, find the right person for every role, and then refine communication and business practices for long-term success. The good news? Once you have a winning team in place, you'll be positioned to reach goals together and run your business more efficiently. Here's how to build a real estate team that works for your business model and goals. Step #1. Preparation for Building a Real Estate Team Building a successful real estate team begins with a lot of planning and preparation. You will need to not only evaluate your strengths and needs but also set goals. Start by making sure it's actually the right time to start a real estate team. Do you have sufficient volume? Most agents can handle up to 60 transactions on their own. Once you reach 40 transactions per year or one per week, it's probably time to consider the benefits of realty teams for handling extra leads. Is your business stable and growing? It isn't just current volume that matters – will you be able to generate new leads and business to support bringing on team members? Are you ready to transition from a solo agent to a team leader? A realty team means individual agents take a backseat and support the strength and growth of the team as a whole. You'll need organization and leadership skills to succeed in this role. Once you're sure it's time to build a team, you will need to evaluate your needs and set goals. You may have specific revenue goals in mind, need help with lead generation, want to team with successful real estate agents to handle an overload of leads, or you may be looking for experience with niche markets to expand your scope. Consider how real estate teams work to pool resources, collaborate, mentor, and share the load. Think about your personal strengths and weaknesses to make sure you choose the right structure, systems, and team members that will be the best match. Step #2. Make Sure all Crucial Real Estate Systems Are in Place Don't make the mistake of building a real estate team without the support and core systems in place first. While working within a brokerage, you may be equipped with tech and systems that do not necessarily adapt well to real estate teams. As a team leader, you should consider supplemental tools and support systems that will work best for a team. You will need to be ready to manage leads from a variety of sources with systems that can handle increased volume while supporting communication and transaction management. You will also need a means of tracking goals, finances, productivity, and other metrics. Top real estate teams invest in systems like: Business plan Team purpose and goals Marketing and advertising Lead generation and follow-up Client database and referrals Transaction management Listing inventory and farming Profitability, financial, productivity, and forecast reporting With effective systems in place, it will be easier to onboard new team members and keep the business running smoothly. Step #3. Determine the Right Real Estate Team Structure Whether you're learning how to start a real estate business from the ground up, building a real estate investment team, or starting a realty team, the right structure is one of the most critical factors to get right from the beginning. There isn't a real estate team structure template that will work for every team as the structure can depend on the brokerage, team size, volume, and market. Let's look at how to structure a real estate team that works for your goals and business model. Mentor and Mentee Real Estate Team Structure This type of real estate team structure is generally made up of a real estate broker and an agent. It has a very low split, with the mentor or broker receiving just 10-20% of the team member's commission. Two-Agent Partnerships These real estate teams are usually formed when successful real estate agents decide to pool their resources and work together. Team Leader Structure This type of real estate team is comprised of a leading broker and a team of agents in the sales department. The team leader usually receives 40-50% of the team member's commission. Lead Team Structure This team may be composed of a real estate broker at the top and several agents with oversight from operations. The leader usually receives 60-80% of the team member's commission. With effective systems in place, it will be easier to onboard new team members and keep the business running smoothly. Real Estate Team Roles Part of building a successful real estate team is identifying the roles you need. Here are some of the most common roles and what each team member does. Other Team Roles Your team may include many other roles, especially as it grows. Other common roles in a real estate team include: Inside Sales Agent (ISA). This team member generates customer leads and listings by making phone calls. Showing Assistant. They are responsible for showings, inspections, and appraisals. Marketing Coordinator. This role involves managing and coordinating marketing efforts for the team. They can market new listings, strategize ad campaigns, track performance, run social media accounts, and manage content creation for blogs, newsletters, and other campaigns. They can even be part of the lead generation team by following up with fresh leads generated through online marketing campaigns. Once you know the right realty team structure and roles for your business, you will need to consider the details. You will want a written real estate team agreement in place with clear guidelines, policies, compensation, relationships, and duties. The brokerage should have a copy of the agreement. Make sure you give special consideration to compensation and how team commission will be structured. The commission split between the brokerage and agents usually remains the same which means agents must pay additional compensation to the team leader. The typical team leader receives 20% to 50% of the total commission. The benefits of working on a real estate team can be well worth the cost for agents. It's usually best to avoid complicated commission splits like paying buyer's agents a different commission when they find deals on their own. This can change their motivations and make them less interested in leads you give them and allow them to make more money on their own instead of benefiting the team. Compensation may also depend on the goals of the real estate team. For instance, a team structured toward referrals may pay a higher commission on referrals that team members generate personally. Step #4. Hire the Right Person for the Right Role A golden rule on how to start a real estate team is to do it thoughtfully and avoid hiring too quickly. Hire one team member at a time and make sure they are a good fit and well trained before moving on to the next team role. Learning how to recruit the best real estate agents and other team members takes time; don't feel rushed to make something work with someone who is not adding the right skills, experience, and results. It's almost always best to begin with admin team members, including a transaction coordinator and/or assistant first. Remember that bringing someone into the team represents a huge commitment of time and resources. If they end up a poor fit, it's a major loss of time. With the right systems and admin support in place, onboarding is easier and takes less time. Your business will also be set up to handle the increase in volume. The most basic real estate team consists of a team leader with a transaction coordinator, assistant or office manager, a listing agent, a buyer specialist, and an insight sales agent. Especially at first, you may want to invest in scalable admin solutions. A virtual real estate assistant can handle tasks as needed with hours that increase as the business grows. The typical transaction coordinator fee is per file which adapts easily to your team volume. With systems and admin in place, you may want to start with a buyer's agent. Additional buyer's specialists can be added later as volume increases. The inside sales agent usually comes after the buyer's agent. Over time, your team may benefit from other roles like a showing assistant or a marketing coordinator, used by most successful real estate agents who generate substantial leads online. Step #5. Refine Your Real Estate Team and Business Practices Expect your profits to drop initially when building a real estate team as you are investing in new systems and training. Going forward, focus on tracking metrics that can be used to improve business practices, refine the team, and grow your business. Keep track of conversion ratios, financials, profitability, and team metrics to identify ways to improve your business and strengthen the real estate team. Track your financials to make sure the team is profitable, all team members are contributing, and goals are being reached. Don't be tempted to keep people on the team if they aren't a good fit. Always have a good understanding of the numbers to make sure you aren't carrying the team. If you are responsible for most of the transactions, don't mistake it for profitability because the cost of the team is likely cutting into your bottom line, not adding to it. Real estate teams are powerful and help agents increase revenue and learn valuable skills. Of course, building a real estate team requires a lot of work, preparation, and time. Now that you know how to build a real estate team, are you ready to get started? To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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A Guide to Making a Great First Impression with Your Real Estate Prospects
Buyers are on the hunt, which makes it a great time to sell quickly and for a good price. So at this crucial time, making the best first impression is most important. Here are a few ways that you can "strike while the iron is hot" and make a great first impression. 1. Show Up Looking Polished No, this does not mean wearing designer clothing, showing up in a luxury car, or even wearing the flashiest jewelry. Showing up and looking well put together, wearing attire that isn't wrinkled or stained, a fresh face, and having an overall presentable image are crucial. Many potential clients will judge your competence and professionalism (subconsciously or otherwise) based on your physical appearance. 2. Be Genuine, Authentic and Real According to a Forbes article, "approaching people with a genuine interest in who they are is often contagious and you will have better conversations and lasting connections when you are interested because they are interested." Genuine interest in getting to know everything about your prospects is vital. Remembering a birthday, general interests or even something very specific about your prospect makes a huge difference. A prospect is bound to become a long-term customer of yours if they see that your "pitch" as a real estate agent doesn't only revolve around making the sale. Keeping in touch with your leads is one of the best ways you can make a good first impression that will turn into a lasting impression. 3. Timeliness Is the Best Policy Being on time for meetings and appointments is, of course, mandatory, but there's more to that. Being a reliable real estate agent and completing your tasks in a timely fashion is also crucial. This will impact the impression you make with your prospects and future customers. Task management and organization will affect timeliness, but are difficult when you're on the go. A reliable mobile app will help you with just that. A mobile app will enable you to stay on task, plan, and complete your daily tasks within the designated time you had promised your contacts. Your prospects will see that you are able to keep your promises and will lean on you as their real estate agent of choice. 4. Your Attitude Speaks Volumes Forbes reports that "if you are in a depressed or anxious mood, others will pick up on this from your facial expressions, comments, and body language." Approaching your prospects in a certain way will create an impression either positive or negative. This will impact their decision to keep you as their real estate agent. Attitude can translate not only through physical contact, but also through a phone call, email or any sort of interaction. Ensuring your body language communicates positive messages is crucial. A firm handshake, a bright smile and even maintaining eye contact could sometimes make or break the "sale." The same goes for any email or phone interaction you have with a prospect or client. Consider this: smiles can often be heard through the phone or even via email! 5. Put Yourself in Their Place and Over-Prepare You may have leads who are first-time home buyers—like, for instance, a young Millennial or Gen Z couple looking for their first home. Considering a scenario like this, you want to make sure you make a good first impression by putting yourself in their place. This could mean preparing for any objections or concerns they may have that could tarnish their first-time home buying process. Guess what? Over-preparing could impact their decision in the future to refer you to their friends/family who wish to purchase a home. Preparing ahead of time even includes reviewing any of your prospects' details such as their mortgage information, buying preferences, communication history and any family information they might have shared with you. This also ties into our second point about being genuine and real with your customers and prospects. Knowing your contacts' important details is one of the best ways to prepare and put yourself in their shoes, leading to a great last first impression. Summary Your first impression with your prospects is crucial. Whether it is your demeanor, attire, punctuality or ability to complete tasks in a timely manner or preparedness for a meeting with your prospects, everything will be evaluated. What may be insignificant could play an important factor in your ability to acquire prospects as your long-term customers. Make sure you follow our guide and you will not regret it! To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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5 Ways You Can Spring Clean Your Tech
Spring is a time of renewal. With warmer weather and sunny days arriving for many of us, spring is not just a time for cleaning the house, but also a time to tidy up your technology. As real estate becomes synonymous with remote work, a disorganized and messy online space can negatively impact your productivity. Worse, digital clutter also slows down your technology. Best practices tell us to keep our technology in good working order and our software programs and favorite web browser up to date. But when you're busy, it is sometimes tough to find the time to keep things current or our tech tools clean. Springtime can be a great time to make sure your tech is in tip-top shape. Here are five tips and tricks for a tech spring cleaning: Declutter your desktop Can you see your desktop's background image? Or are there too many items you saved to your desktop blocking your view? Many people save items to their computer's desktop to remember where to find them. But when you do this too many times, you create a digital mess. It also can be even more challenging to locate the files you need. A quick digital decluttering can get you organized—for example, removing files that you no longer need can free up space. In the end, you'll feel better by organizing your desktop. Pro tip: If you view your desktop files in list view (Finder in macOS and File Explorer in Windows), you can create folders for like files (i.e., "screenshots") or quickly trash the ones you can delete. Remove unused apps How many apps do you have on your smartphone? A better question: How many of them have you opened in the last 30 days? Having too many apps slows you down. It can take you more time to find the app you need. It also can slow down your phone. If the apps you aren't using still are set to run in the background, that can take up Radom Access Memory (RAM). Using too much RAM can make your phone response slower. It even can cause issues such as connecting to Wi-Fi, even if it used to connect perfectly. Pro tip: Conduct an audit of your apps and use the 30-day rule. Determine which ones you haven't used within the last 30 days and are unlikely to use in the next 30 days. For iPhone users, there's a setting to "Offload Unused Apps." It auto deletes the apps, but saves their documents and data and leaves the icon on your phone. When you tap the icon, everything reinstalls, but until then, you free up all that space. Delete old files Have you ever run a date sort on your computer's files? You should, as you might be surprised to find many files from several years ago that you don't need. Also, go through and look for original software files you downloaded to store a program. Not sure which ones those are? Reach out to a Tech Helpline analyst to help you sort for and find files you no longer need. After all, that treasure trove of funny gifs that made you laugh once probably isn't worth saving. Pro tip: If you don't have the time to go through all of your files now, why not at least get them off your computer? By transferring all of your older files to a low-cost data storage service such as Google Drive, you can clear your computer of clutter. That way, you can go back through your files when you find the time. Also, if you move your files online, don't dump everything into one folder. Instead, take just a little time to sort them, even if it's only in folders by years. Synch your phone's photos One of the most common mistakes people make is keeping every picture on their phones. That practice can slow your phone down because images, especially videos, take up a lot of space. You have a couple of options. You can transfer them to your computer or, better yet, move them online to still have access to them at (almost) anytime. The good news is that it has never been easier to have your photos transferred online automatically. Google Photos, Amazon Photos, or iCloud from Apple not only help you store your photos, but their smart software can also automatically help you organize them by like images or location. Pro tip: If you upload your favorite photos to Facebook, did you know you can download all of them at once? After logging in, go to facebook.com/settings. Then, click on "Your Facebook Information," then "view" next to "Download Your Information." This will take you to the Downloads page. Select the "Date range" as "All time" in the pull-down. Just below, at the right of the top of "Select information to download," be sure to "Deselect all" to be sure you only check "Posts." Facebook will send you an email with a link to download your posts with all the high-quality photos you have posted since you opened your Facebook account. It's a great way to make sure you have copies of those photos you are deleting from your phone! Physically clean your tech Your smart devices get grimy over time. You may not even realize it unless you take a good look. Start with your computer's keyboard. If you take a white lint-free cloth and some rubbing alcohol (damp, not wet), you may be surprised how dirty it is and why most keyboards are black. Now clean the sides of your mouse, and if you have a trackpad, clean that too. But don't use that cloth on your computer screens – it's best to clean them with a chemical-free cleaning cloth as you can ruin some screens (i.e., Mac laptops) by using any solution but water. Experts suggest microfiber cloths and distilled water as the safest way to clean. The same goes for your smartphone. And if you are spraying anything to clean a device, make sure you spray on the cleaning cloth and not the device. Pro tip: Compressed air or a mini vacuum can work magic to dislodge or pick up particles from a keyboard or crevices in your device. Amazon and other retailers sell compressed air in a can for as little as a couple of dollars per can, and mini vacuums are available for as low as $20. Members, if you need help with these tech cleaning tips, reach out to us at [email protected] Tech Helpline is your included member benefit. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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What Do People Have Against Real Estate Agents?
As an agent, you may have encountered people who don't have a positive view of your profession. Unfortunately, such attitudes are prevalent: as of the last Gallup poll, only 25% of people have a high or very high opinion of real estate agents -- far lower than the percentage of people who trust funeral directors, and barely higher than the percentage who have a high opinion of lawyers. Whether it's the myth that home buyers and sellers won't suffer if they don't use a real estate agent or the incorrect idea that the average agent is ripping off naive consumers, you may sometimes be fighting against negative or unfair stereotypes. Factors you can't control, such as historically high home prices and rising mortgage rates, can engender consumer frustration about real estate in general. But the reality is that certain behaviors are bound to sour consumers' attitudes about real estate agents. What should you avoid doing so that you don't further sully your profession's reputation? Here are five agent behaviors that turn consumers away from using real estate agents: 1. Being Unresponsive The first behavior that causes consumers to dislike or distrust real estate agents is being unresponsive. Some agents don't respond to inquiries and messages from leads and clients in a timely fashion – or at all. Being a high performing agent means responding as fast as possible as often as you can. If somebody contacts you when you're busy, don't be afraid to send a quick text message explaining that you can't pick up. You can also consider using an auto-responder, or keeping separate work and personal phones to better identify high-priority calls and contact. 2. Technological Incompetence Fair or not, being technologically challenged is a quick way for real estate agents to lose the respect and confidence of consumers. After all, purchasing any kind of professional service – including partnering with a real estate agent – is more likely than ever to occur online. That means that agents owe it themselves and their industry to be as technologically savvy as possible. Having a smartphone in your pocket is a good start, but is only truly useful if you can use it to prospect for leads, schedule home tours, communicate with clients about your progress, and even collect digital signatures. 3. Lack of Knowledge About the Housing Market By now, just about everybody is aware that the housing market has gone gangbusters. Home prices have been unusually high for nearly two years – but consumers don't need an agent to tell them that. If there's a sure way to give yourself and other agents a bad name, it's to demonstrate a shallow understanding of the housing market. Being a master of your craft means knowing the broader market pressures and opportunities – not just how home prices are rising but why, and whether that will stop soon, or will be affected by interest rate hikes. Nobody can answer these questions definitively, but remember that as an agent you are there to do more than buy or sell homes: You are the person your clients turn to for leading insights about the market. 4. Neglecting to See Clients and Leads as Individuals Being an expert about real estate broadly isn't enough to avoid alienating clients. You also must demonstrate an understanding of each individual lead or client's goals, aspirations, and expectations. Just as no two homes are exactly the same, no two clients share the exact same goals. What could be a dealbreaker for one client won't matter to another at all – but you'll only know that if you take the time to learn it. Remember that while you will sell and buy hundreds of homes over the course of your career, your clients will typically only go through a real estate transaction a few times. Don't let leads think you are cavalier or inattentive about the gravity of their real estate transaction by showing that you understand their individual goals. 5. Failing to Solicit and Display Testimonials from Satisfied Clients Some agents are doing everything right, but an average consumer wouldn't know it. Don't make that mistake: Solicit and display testimonials from satisfied clients to let consumers know that you're a professional they can trust. If you were hiring for a job, you probably wouldn't take seriously somebody who told you all about how great they were but couldn't provide a single positive reference from a past colleague. Real estate works similarly: People aren't going to trust you, or agents in general, if you don't have documented, positive reviews from satisfied clients and impressed colleagues. You should keep past clients' contact information and share specific instances where you helped people buy or sell a home. Also, remember to request positive, plentiful reviews on Google, so that it is clear to searchers that you are a competent, honest agent with integrity. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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RPR Commercial: Parcel Overlays
In our last few RPR Commercial articles, we've honed in on specific map tools that can help commercial practitioners in property research and advising clients. We've covered map POIs, data layers, and drawing tools to show you just how deep RPR's data goes, and how easy it is to access this important information within our platform. We're continuing the trend by putting a spotlight on one of our Commercial mobile app tools: the parcel overlay. And here's why: during a recent member feedback session, one of the participants offered up some advice on a digital application that she's been using to great success. It was a parcel overlay app for the state of Florida. She then said (and we're paraphrasing), "If only we had a national tool like this that covered the whole country. It would be so valuable." Turns out, you do. In fact, every REALTOR® does! It's the Parcel Overlay map filter found in the RPR Commercial app, and it's a nifty little feature that doesn't get a lot of attention. Here's how it works and how you can leverage its value… Parcels that deliver the goods Before we dive into the "how-to's" of using the map parcel overlay, here's a summary of what it can do for you as a practicing commercial real estate agent. By turning on parcels on the map from your phone, you can click on a property and have instant access to the: Property Owner Acreage Boundaries and property lines Square Footage Property Address Transfer Date School District Sale Price Building Description Directions Trade Area and population info "Call agent" button Imagine standing in front of a property or prospecting in an area, and clicking a button to reveal all this information. The investment and development possibilities are endless with this type of digital data tool and it could potentially give you a huge competitive edge. It accelerates the job of contacting owners and "digging" for intel or gauging interest in offers for their property. The days of going from website to website and making endless calls for basic information are no more. With RPR Commercial map parcel overlays, you simply find the property and then access the data with ease. A visual representation of parcel data can really help you make informed decisions about the potential value of properties. Here's how to do it. The "How-to" on commercial parcel overlays Step 1: If you don't have it already, download the RPR app for your smartphone or tablet. Step 2: Make sure you switch the mode in your RPR app to "Commercial" Step 3: From the home screen, hit the magnifying glass icon to conduct a search. Enter an address, ZIP code, city name, MLS ID/APN or Tax ID, then click "search" right below the bar. You'll be taken to a map that looks like this: Step 4: See the little round navigation button in the bottom right, the one with the three smaller dots in a row? Press this button to reveal the map options: Step 5: Press "Parcels" to "on" to activate the parcel boundaries overlay feature. Now search the map pins, and select a property, and a page that looks this will appear: Step 6: Click on the photo of the listing and scroll down to see the Listing Details and the property description. Step 7: Scroll down even further to reveal the Location Details, Property Facts, the Price Change History and more. It's so easy to make RPR's commercial data work for you! The parcel data available to you in the RPR Commercial app could be a game changer. With just a few finger taps, you now have the ability to research and gather key information on millions of properties. Give parcel overlays a test spin while you're in the field or on the go. Download the RPR app today to streamline and optimize your commercial research tomorrow. Good luck! To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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4 Social Media Fails and How to Avoid Them
Social media has become a key asset in business growth and development, which isn't surprising with 3.5 billion daily users. Over half of these users not only use social media for entertainment, but they are also using it to research products and services. It's clear that social media needs to be part of your marketing strategy, but are you utilizing it to the best of your ability? Did you know that there are some things you may be doing on your social media to turn away potential customers? Have no fear! We are here to help you identify those no-no's and make sure you avoid them in the future. Tone There is a certain tone businesses should and typically use when communicating with its customers and clients. Many real estate agents, however, don't share this same tone. Too many real estate agents come off as impersonal or pompous. You can be proud of your accomplishments, but you need to remember you wouldn't be where you are without your loyal clients. Next time you are about to hit send on that post boasting about what a great Realtor you are, maybe reword it to thank your clients for helping you obtain that success. Timing Throwing up a post at any time isn't enough anymore. Social media is inundated with hundreds, if not thousands, of posts that are extremely similar to your own. You need to make sure you are posting with purpose, and that requires some extra work to see what days and times your post will be more successful. Play around with your posts and see which ones are most successful! Attention Social media is centered around... being social! A mistake a lot of real estate agents make is that they focus too much on what they're promoting rather than who they are promoting to. Focus on using social media to strengthen and establish relationships. Instead of talking about a new listing, try offering solutions to a problem some clients may be facing. This presents you as someone who cares about their customers. Responses When someone responds to your story, comments on a post, or direct messages you, make sure you respond! Keeping the conversation going is really important to relationship building. The faster you can get to those messages, the better—you want to still be on their mind! To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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4 Ways a Digital Transaction Management Solution Can Help Agents Close Faster
It's 5:00 pm on a Thursday. There's an accident on the road outside your office, and traffic is a mess. As you are going through client documentation sent to you earlier, you discovered a missing signature and two initials. You realize your sellers told you they were leaving town today for a three-day weekend. You need the form tonight. Do you panic? Not if you are one of the tens of thousands of real estate agents who have embraced a digital transaction management solution. If you aren't, you probably are panicking! Technology today gives you the ability to fix a problem like this quickly. Digital transaction management software, while not yet ubiquitous, is an essential tool in an agent's tech toolbox. Here are four ways a digital transaction management solution can help agents close faster. 1. No more driving to a client to get a missed signature or initial. We have all been there. A last-minute rush to track down a client, hop in your car, and get a missing signature on a vital document. It always seems to happen when there is a tight deadline. It can wreck a schedule and cause stress. But digital transaction management software has electronic signature capabilities for remote e-signing. That means no more wasted gas to get a signature. According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly one-in-three Realtors (31%) use electronic signatures. The best digital transaction management solutions also feature smart, dynamic forms. This built-in intelligence makes sure that your clients sign every page that needs a signature – and provides an initial in every place it is required. 2. No more paper shuffle. Have you ever started searching for a file on your desk and said to yourself, "It must be somewhere here?" Think about how much time you may have spent over the course of a year hunting for a misplaced document or file. According to NAR research, that's another reason digital transaction management solutions are the go-to tech tool for one-in-four agents. But that also may mean that three-in-four agents are still doing the paper shuffle! Fortunately, as more agents work remotely, digital transaction management grows in popularity. One primary reason is that when you use a digital transaction management solution, all documentation related to a particular transaction is digitally stored in the same electronic folder. Every email and document related to each transaction is in one place. Because you can find anything related to any one of your transactions with a quick digital search, you eliminate the paper shuffle. 3. No more entering the same info again and again. When you sit down to prepare documents for a buyer or seller, you know how frustrating it can be to enter the address of the property over and over again. If only you could enter the address just once, it would magically populate every field in every form that requires that address. That's what the right digital transaction management solution that uses smart, dynamic forms can offer. You enter the information just once. Then, the built-in intelligence does the rest. Can you imagine the cumulative time you can save if you don't have to re-enter the same information multiple times? How much time – and angst – can you save if you never make a mistake in an address or a name on a form? Smart forms make sure the correct address – or client's name – is repopulated throughout every form in the transaction that needs this information. 4. Searching for an email related to the transaction. Gmail and other email programs are great – until they are not. When you receive dozens of unsolicited emails every day, it can be challenging to keep them organized. If you don't sort every email you receive into folders to stay organized or make sure you are at a "zero inbox" every day, you are in the majority. Active agents often don't have time to maintain and manage their emails. Unfortunately, emails can be like socks in a dryer. Somehow, they seem to disappear. If you have found yourself spending an unreasonable amount of time searching for a crucial client email related to a transaction, you know it can be frustrating and time-consuming. A digital transaction management solution eliminates time wasted searching for a transaction-related email. Automatically, every email goes to the same digital folder. Everything is in one place and stays in one place. At Form Simplicity, we know the frustration agents and brokers experience when they don't have a digital transaction management solution. We also know that agents and brokers who move from pushing papers to going digital close deals faster. It can be life-changing when they discover all the timesaving benefits a digital transaction management solution like Form Simplicity can provide. Learn how to go paperless and make a digital transaction management solution the cornerstone of your technology at formsimplicity.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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How to Be a Successful Commercial Real Estate Agent
Commercial real estate is concerned with the buying or renting of properties used for business purposes. This includes office buildings, retail spaces, warehouses, and more. Obviously, marketing these types of properties is very different than marketing residential homes to your average American. So how exactly do you become a successful commercial real estate agent? Commercial real estate is a whole different ball game than residential real estate. When immersed in the world of commercial real estate, you work with wealthy companies, corporations, or individuals willing to invest a substantial amount of money into their business properties. This leads to higher commission checks, but fewer clients than those in residential real estate. This difference makes the path to being successful in commercial real estate a little different than the path to being successful in residential real estate. Work with a Reputable Company Working with a well respected commercial real estate company should be a top priority of yours. The firm you are associated with gives you credibility. Many potential clients will not even return an email or call if you do not have the backing of a well known and respected commercial real estate firm. The name of the company you are associated with may be the number one most influential factor in whether you are successful or not. Working for a reputable company allows you to get your foot in the door and chase some opportunities. Reliable firms provide security and comfort to potential clients. Therefore, being associated with a reliable firm allows clients to trust you to handle their multi-million dollar investments. Research the commercial real estate firms in the area you have chosen to work. Ensure you get a job with one that has a positive and strong reputation in the area. Working with a reputable firm significantly increases your chances of being successful in this field. Choose a Thriving Market A big determinant of your potential profits is the specific market you are working in. If you are not working in a growing and competitive market, it may be time to consider a move. You need to be in a place that has a high potential for client recruitment and increasing profits. Metropolitan or urban areas are the place to be. They often contain thriving commercial real estate markets, with lots of opportunities for success. This is because cities are known for more business activity, higher demand, and higher fees than rural areas. Specialize Just like in many other professions, commercial real estate gives you the opportunity to specialize in a division of the field. Specialties are divided by specific markets, such as urban offices or retail spaces. Specializing is an opportunity you should not miss. Committing to a specialty, and developing an extensive understanding about the specifics of that specialty, will only benefit you. Focusing on a specific market within commercial real estate allows you to become an expert in that market. This allows you to close deals faster and more often. Focus on Networking Networking will make or break your business. Having a substantial professional network is how you will achieve success in this industry. You want industry professionals and potential clients of your market to know you and think highly of you. That way, when a deal presents itself, they think of you as the person to call. Having a strong network provides you with the opportunities you need to get ahead in commercial real estate. Be sure to develop real relationships with the people you intend to network with. Thanks to social media, connecting and fostering relationships with others is easier than ever. Social media can be used in hundreds of different ways to network and connect. Join Facebook groups for commercial real estate agents, learn about local events for industry professionals on LinkedIn, and message people through Instagram. Simply put, the larger your network, the more opportunities you will have to be successful. Constantly work to expand your network in order to eventually become a top producing agent. Expand Your Skill and Knowledge Set Most of your clients will be highly educated and successful individuals. They will expect a lot out of their real estate agent so that they can make the best and most informed business decision possible. This means that an understanding of economics, finance, and tax law is extremely beneficial to you in order to best serve your clients. Investing in education courses on these subjects allows you to impress your clients and earn all of their referrals. Constantly expand your knowledge set. Stay dedicated to continuing your education to be as successful as you can be. Stay diligent on expanding your skill set as well. To do this, you must utilize educational opportunities, such as coaching or courses that allow you to improve your negotiation skills or learn the latest technology in the commercial real estate industry. An extensive skill set only makes you more valuable to both clients and employers. Succeeding as a Commercial Real Estate Agent Hopefully, you have picked up a few tips that have enlightened you on how to be successful as a commercial real estate agent. This industry can be very difficult to get started in, but that should not discourage you. Stay committed, and never lose focus of your goals. Take all the educational courses you can, constantly be networking, and improvie upon your specialty. When you put the effort in and learn the craft well, you will discover just how prosperous commercial real estate can be. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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5 Weaknesses that Make Real Estate Agents STRONG
Do you ever feel that the skills you are lacking are also causing you to lose potential real estate business? Just remember, these characteristics are neither good nor bad. This means your perspective can help mold what kind of real estate agent you want to be. Here are a list of strengths that can also be weaknesses: 1. Brutal Honesty Sometimes being candid can rub people the wrong way. However, with you being the real estate expert, many will come to appreciate the honesty that you deliver whether they want to hear it or not. You'll find yourself in the situation of being the bearer of bad news from time to time, but it's better to maintain open communication with your clients than hide something from them. 2. Being Too Nice Some people will mistake kindness for weakness. However this empathy will allow you to build meaningful relationships easier because of the rapport you are able to build with them. The client experience one offers is a reason that many agents will earn repeat business and more real estate referrals. 3. Being Too Analytical Your quest for perfection can be a hinderance to your productivity. However, this attention to detail can help you stand out among other agents. Maintaining the branding colors on your real estate website can help establish your place in the local real estate market. Or, if you are big into numbers, knowing your performance stats can help you improve month after month. 4. Needing to Always Be the Best Having a competitive nature is a double-edged sword. You might sometimes walk over people on your path to the top. Don't forget, though, your fellow agents are your peers. The community of real estate agents works with each other on a daily basis. Learning from each other helps improve the other person, whether it is through active teaching or careful observation. The better other agents are, the better you can become. 5. You Might Sometimes Seem Aggressive What others may perceive as "aggressiveness," you might call "enthusiasm." This might cause you to clash with others that are just as enthusiastic. What's great about this, however, is this passion to help buyers and sellers is what makes you an amazing real estate agent. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Are We in a Real Estate Bubble?
Mortgage rates are rising fast, the Federal Reserve is hiking interest rates, and people are starting to ask: Are we in a real estate bubble? You can't blame buyers, sellers, agents, and everyday consumers for wondering whether the housing market has become overhyped. After all, economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas published a blog post last month detailing "growing concern that U.S. house prices are again becoming unhinged from fundamentals." "Unhinged from fundamentals" sounds scary. Is there a housing bubble that's about to burst? For now, real estate experts and economists generally aren't concerned that the hot housing market is going to implode the way it did when the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis sparked the Great Recession. But they are sharply divided about whether there's a real estate bubble, what could be fueling it, and the events that might signal a cooling or collapsing housing market. Yes, There's a Real Estate Bubble Even for people who aren't prone to doom and gloom, recent indications point to the possibility of a real estate bubble. The most-often cited indication of a housing bubble is mortgage and interest rates. Specifically, mortgage and interest rates plunged to record-lows as the federal government sought to limit the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of those low rates, people flooded into the housing market, driving up demand and the price of homes. Now, the federal government is raising interest rates, which has caused the 30-year fixed mortgage to climb above 5% for the first time in a decade. Traditionally, higher mortgage rates result in lower or cooling housing prices. But, as we suggested last month, some consumers may figure if mortgage rates continue to rise, this is the time to lock in a decent rate, which could keep demand for homes strong. Another factor that could be fueling a frothy housing market is the influence of real estate investors. Investors now buy about one-third of homes in the U.S., and are often able to make cash offers on homes that normal buyers cannot match, which drives up home prices. Rising inflation may spur even more aggressive buying behavior by real estate investors, as real estate is traditionally a safe harbor against less valuable currency. If investors continue to buy, everyday consumers may find themselves forced to agree to mortgage rates and home prices that are divorced from traditional market fundamentals. No, We're Not in a Real Estate Bubble For all the concern, many experts and agents don't believe that there's a real estate bubble. First and foremost, low housing inventory has resulted in a supply and demand mismatch that many believe is the single biggest source of rising housing prices. In the wake of the late 2000s housing crisis, home building plunged. Over time, there weren't enough homes available for interested and qualified buyers. Low inventory isn't an issue that experts expect to be resolved soon. The cost of housing materials has skyrocketed due to supply-chain issues, inflation, and the war in Ukraine. Plus, millennials, the U.S.'s largest generation, are in or entering prime home buying age, which some experts think will ensure housing demand remains higher than supply. The other primary reason to be skeptical of a housing bubble is the average personal financial health of home buyers. On average, Americans are in their strongest-ever financial situation, with record-high savings and record-low debt. In the run-up to the last housing crash, excessive borrowing was rampant and many people were granted mortgages they couldn't actually pay. Now, economists and real estate agents report that buyers are purchasing homes with significant cash down payments. Coupled with stronger lending guidelines, robust personal financial health means that people who are buying homes today are more likely to make their home payments, reducing the odds there's a real estate bubble. As an agent, be prepared to answer client questions about whether there's a real estate bubble. Keep a finger on the pulse of your local market, encourage buyers to come with strong, cash down offers, and remind sellers that whether there's a bubble or not, this is a great time to sell a home. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Choose the Right Domain Name For Your Real Estate Business
The domain name you choose for your real estate business's website is a crucial yet challenging decision for any agent to make. Your domain name goes on all of your marketing materials, business cards, email signatures, and more. The name you choose will give an impression of your brand's professionalism and personality, so it is crucial to get it right. However, beyond how it looks and sounds, the real challenge can come from choosing between domains that aren't in use. With thousands of single-agent and brokerage websites out there, it can be discouraging to stand out and settle on a name that feels just right. Before rushing into a decision that will heavily affect your real estate business, consider the following best practices when it comes to choosing your domain name: Keep It Short A short URL will always perform better for your real estate brand than a longer one. For starters, short URLs are easy to remember, meaning that even when not physically written out, your customers will be able to recall them. Having a domain that is easy to repeat in conversation can be especially useful when giving information over the phone or in person. Real estate is the business of relationships, after all! Second, a short URL will always look better on your real estate brand's marketing. Long URLs can hamper design elements on business cards, email signatures, social media, and more. Additionally, having a long URL can put you in the unfortunate position of leaving off important information due to character limits on these mediums. Consider that you may also be hosting your email address under this domain name, meaning your email address will get longer and more challenging to remember as well. To get a shorter URL that is still descriptive, try using abbreviations or acronyms that people searching for your business may use. For example, instead of www.SouthCaliforniaHomes.com you can try www.SoCalHomes.com. Go for Clarity While it's best to keep your domain name short, it's also important not to shorten it to the point where it doesn't make sense. For example, swapping out a number for a word like SoCalHomes4sale.com may be more confusing to clients trying to type in your URL, and they may end up on a competitor's website or at a 404 error page, which can be a detriment to their experience and ultimately result in a lack of trust. The same can happen if you choose a domain name with words that have common misspellings or include many hyphens between words. It's best to keep your domain name as simple, short, and straightforward as possible. An easy way to keep your real estate domain name simple and memorable is to opt for a .com extension rather than a .net or .realestate. People tend to remember .com much more than the other extensions and will try that first when remembering your URL, so don't work against them. Another element to consider is how descriptive your domain name is to those looking for your real estate service. By choosing your first and last name as your real estate domain name, you're not making it clear what services you offer. However, by choosing a more descriptive name, you can be more precise on your brand's objective and capture the market on a specific audience you cater to. Including these descriptive keywords will help with clarity and your website's SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Think about it; people don't search for specific Realtor names when starting their home search. Instead, they search keywords like "homes for sale in (city name)" or "best realtor in (city name)." The domain name you choose can help you rank for these common searches to get the most traffic. Think of the Long Term Thinking ahead to the future of your business and your brand can save you hassle and time later down the road and inform your decision today. Since your domain name is a part of your brand identity and online identity, it is crucial to pick a name that can age with your brand. For example, you may not always stay with the same brokerage or even take on a partner or expand your business. It's essential to ensure that the domain name will withstand the test of time and changes that will inevitably come. Plus, if you decide to pass your business along to another person, this will be difficult if your name ties into every aspect. Do Your Research Similar to how you may warn your clients not to fall in love with a property before inspection, don't fall in love with a domain name before you've gone through your assessment. One important thing to look out for is a domain name that has had previous use by someone before you. If the domain previously hosted spammy content or something completely unrelated to your business, it could negatively affect your SEO. Another thing to look out for is the use of trademarks in your domain. The most famous example is the use of the word "realtor." "Realtor" is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors. There are rules for how real estate professionals can use it in a domain name, and when not followed, it could result in legal action against you. Make sure that you aren't using any possible trademarks in your domain before committing to it. The last factor to look into that may sway your real estate domain name decision is social media. If the social media handles for one domain are not available, it may be easier to consider others for the sake of consistency in your brand. Social media handles may not be much of a factor to some, but still worth looking into in today's dominant social media age. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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Are Targeted Ads Your Business Blind Spot?
Are you missing out on a powerful way to generate leads from social media? Targeted advertising isn't a replacement for all of your other social media activities. It's in its own category, and when done right, it can be a convenient, low-cost tool for generating fresh leads to stock your pipeline. If targeted advertising has been your business blind spot, now is the perfect time to change that. Even if you've never run a targeted ad campaign yourself, you've definitely experienced these ads during your own time online. You search for something that you're interested in purchasing, check out some content, and suddenly you're seeing ads for that product or something similar during all of your travels online. Targeted ads are designed to reach a specific audience — ideally people who are already interested in what you have to offer. Before You Advertise, Make Sure Your Branding and Website Are Ready We'll get into more specific targeted advertising strategies shortly, but there are a few things that you'll want to have prepared before you get started. First, make sure that your branding is consistent. Things like color schemes, logos, missions, values, and even fonts can help your brand stand out from the competition when you advertise. Next, you'll want to make sure that your real estate website looks appealing, functions well on any device, has great content, and offers all of the features that your audience needs. In many cases, your targeted ads will be leading prospects directly to your website, and you want to give them every reason to stick around once they arrive. Know Your Audience Like the name suggests, targeted ads are all about reaching a specific audience. So who are you trying to reach? Running a targeted ad campaign for an audience of luxury real estate buyers will naturally be different than running one for first-time homebuyers who are new to real estate. The same goes for whether you're trying to generate buyer or seller leads. Due to fair housing laws, it's important to note that ads can't be targeted based on certain factors like race, gender, or class. Think about your target audience, what they like to do, what their interests are, and what might motivate them to buy or sell a home. Planning Your Targeted Ad Campaign Once you've got your branding, website, social pages, and audience analysis in order, you'll be ready to start planning your first campaign. Here are some of the key steps you'll take while planning your campaign: Campaign Objective, Ad Settings, and Contact Method First, you'll set up your campaign objective, which will usually be lead generation. You'll also choose your ad settings, where you'll click on "special ad categories" and "housing" in order to adhere to fair housing laws. You will also choose your contact method, either through a lead capture form, automated chat, or phone call. Setting Your Budget Facebook ads are priced through a bidding process, which allows you to set the maximum price you're willing to pay to reach a specific audience. You can set your max daily bid based on a variety of factors for each ad, and sometimes it will take some experimenting to find the right price per lead. Audience and Ad Placements Next, you'll be choosing how you'll target your audience and how your ads will be placed. You can choose to display your ad on Facebook, Instagram, or both platforms. You can choose to place your ads manually or use automated placing to put them in the best places to achieve your campaign goals. Creating Your Ad All of the branding factors that we mentioned so far will usually play a part in creating your ads. Some of the most popular ad types include just listed, branded ads, home valuations, and open houses. There are many effective types of ad campaigns, so experiment to see what works best for reaching your audience. Analyzing Results One of the great things about placing targeted ads through Facebook or Instagram is that you get plenty of analytics to help you discover what works best. Make sure that you're tracking the success of your campaigns in order to maximize your ROI. Take Advantage of Targeted Advertising Tools to Make Life Easier You could take the time to handle every last detail of targeted advertising yourself... or you could use a seamless, easy-to-use platform that allows you to set up campaigns in a few clicks. With Ad Wizard™, you can take the guesswork out of targeted advertising and manage ads with a dependable, consistent process. Ad Wizard™ is one of many tools available in DeltaNET®6 to help you market your business, manage leads, and maintain great relationships with your clients. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET®6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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10 Things You Need to Know about FEMA Risk Rating 2.0
As of April 1, 2022, FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 will apply to all FEMA Flood Policy Renewals. Here are the 10 things you need to know: 1. Risk Rating 2.0 is the biggest change to FEMA flood insurance pricing in the 54-year history of the government program 2. What's news? FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 prices properties by individually, based on elevation, distance to water, replacement cost, what flood zone a property is on, and several other important data points 3. Per FEMA, 77% of all FEMA policies will see a renewal price increase * 4. While pricing is likely to go up for most of the renewals, FEMA has capped the increase in any one year at 18% * 5. If a property is on a flood zone – denoted by AE, AH, VE Flood Zone determinations – a homeowner is still required to purchase flood insurance to secure a mortgage 6. A seller with an existing FEMA policy can assign a policy in good standing to a new owner prior to or at close of the sale 7. Elevation certificates are now optional — because elevation data is part of the Risk Rating 2.0 model — yet may be used to bring down cost of flood insurance 8. FEMA will continue to offer flood insurance at its standard policy limits: $250,000 coverage for the property $100,000 coverage for property contents $2,500 deductible 9. FEMA has created a website to view projected price changes, due to Risk Rating 2.0. Check your own property address for an insight on the changes. 10. Homeowners can seek private flood insurance markets to shop their FEMA flood renewals. This educational top ten is "Powered by CartoFront." * https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance/risk-rating
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What Should You Expect from the 2022 Real Estate Busy Season?
It's almost showtime. April, May, June, July and August are the busiest months in real estate. What should you expect from 2022's busy season? Here are four likely trends for the 2022 real estate busy season: 1. Homes Will Go Off the Market Quickly If there's one undebatable truth about the present housing market, it's that there are fewer homes than would-be buyers. So, in 2022's busy season, you should expect at least one constant: Homes will be going off the market quickly. Home listings are presently at a record low. When buyers see a home they're interested in, they are likely to act fast to secure the property. What are the consequences of homes going off the market so quickly? For one, it means that busy season 2022 is likely to remain a seller's market. Most sellers should be able to get their homes off the market fast, at or above their listing price. Also, a tight, fast-moving housing market means that buyers in 2022 are going to be looking for a high-performing, well-regarded local agent. If the competition to buy a house is going to be fierce, then you should expect buyers to have strong expectations for the agent they hire to help them secure a home. 2. Buyers and Sellers Will Ask About Mortgage Rates Mortgage rates were a major accelerant of the red-hot housing market of 2020 and 2021. Low mortgage rates incentivized people to borrow in order to buy homes, and ultimately contributed to high home prices and low home inventory. But rates are rising, and you should expect your clients and leads to have questions about how mortgage rates stand to affect their home buying or selling journey. In January 2021, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate was at 2.65%; in March 2022, the fixed rate topped 4% multiple times. In short, it's becoming more expensive to borrow, and by extension, to buy a home. That doesn't necessarily mean that the housing market is going to cool or that people won't be interested in buying homes. Some indications are that rising rates could, in the short term, actually push even more buyers into the market. If the Federal Reserve raises interest rates to curb inflation, then busy season 2022 may be the last time in the next few years that consumers can lock in relatively low borrowing rates. Overall, you should expect buyers and sellers to ask about interest rates, and you should be able to give them intelligent, informed insight about how mortgage rates are and will affect their local market and buying or selling experience. 3. Tours Will Happen In-Person and Virtually Not long ago, agents only conducted in-person property tours for prospective buyers. About two years ago, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic put home tours on pause, and agents had to learn how to conduct virtual home showings exclusively. This busy season, agents should expect to execute both in-person and virtual home tours. Loosening CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19 are spurring business to bring employees back to the office, schools to drop mask requirements, and, possibly, home buyers and sellers to return en masse to in-person tours. But not everyone will prefer to tour in-person. For one, some home buyers may have lingering concerns about COVID-19. Also, the price of gas continues to rise, and budget-conscious buyers may be wary of guzzling fuel by driving to different viewings. Most importantly, buyers are at this point likely to expect some sort of virtual touring option when they inquire about your property. For example, out of state buyers have for two years been able to tour properties remotely – they aren't going to want to lose that capability, and you want to give your clients the most competitive offer possible, whether the buyer comes to see the home in-person or not. Being the best agent possible means having an option for virtual tours, so in 2022, expect to conduct home showings in-person and virtually. 4. Home Prices Will Continue to Rise It's the question that buyers, sellers, and agents have all been asking themselves: Are housing prices going to keep rising? In general, experts don't think that housing prices are going to increase at the unprecedented rates of 2020 and 2021. But that doesn't mean that housing prices won't continue to rise throughout 2022's busy season. In January, we encouraged agents to track three indicators when gauging whether housing prices would continue to rise: Mortgage rates Inflation New home construction As we've discussed, mortgage rates are rising but have not yet cooled the market. Higher inflation has persisted, raising the price of everything, including homes. And new home construction is up year-over-year, but is being constrained by the high cost of construction materials, which has resulted in an enduringly low supply of homes. Taken together, the best bet is that demand will continue to outstrip supply, and that home prices will continue to rise throughout 2022's real estate busy season. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Use Digital Flyers to Market Your Real Estate Business
Despite being a traditional marketing strategy, real estate flyers are still a very effective and practical way to help you locate localized leads, market your products and services, and bring awareness to your business or newly listed property. There are several ways to use flyers for marketing your real estate business effectively. And in this article, we will discuss how marketing through real estate flyers has evolved in the digital age and how you can effectively use this strategy to generate more leads and create new business opportunities for your real estate brand. So if you're looking to explore all available marketing tactics to grow your business, this is the article for you! How Can You Effectively Use Real Estate Digital Flyers for Your Business Flyers are now more accessible than ever before, thanks to low-cost printing and innovative CRM templates. However, there are several tips to consider when designing digital real estate flyers: Have a clear goal in mind Focus on your message and your target market Be creative with your flyer design Have a direct call-to-action Now that you have a clear goal of what you want to achieve with your flyers, let's look at ways to use them to effectively market your real estate listings. Agent Profile Flyer Doing some outreach is necessary to build relationships with residents. Having a hyperlocal presence is a powerful force in the real estate industry, mainly because information about properties, agents, and communities is widely available. Becoming a neighborhood expert is the most valuable method for agents to differentiate themselves. One effective method of accomplishing this is by sending real estate flyers that detail some of your most noteworthy professional accomplishments to capture the interest of buyers and sellers. Open Houses Ensure that you hand out listing flyers to everyone who attends your open house events. Your flyer can be an excellent conversation starter and make a lasting impression, which can help you seal the business. Flyer Boxes A flyer box is a great way to market yourself to people who might not come right up to your open house or listing event. Ensure that you include your flyer box with your for sale sign for people to pick up on a walk or drive. Your contact information will then be readily available to them if they're interested in your listing. Create Custom Real Estate Digital Flyers For Your Listings Besides physically printing your flyers, technology has made it much easier to generate digital flyers, which you can send to clients and prospects in email newsletters, text messages, and so on. Using digital flyers is more accessible and very effective. While you can make them printable, you can also send them to your leads right before an open house event while having print copies at your event. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Let's Get 'real' about NFTs and Real Estate (Images)
The big buzz building in real estate is all things related to the metaverse: Web3, cryptocurrency, smart contracts, crypto wallet, blockchain, and NFTs or non-fungible tokens. We just launched the first NFT marketplace for real estate images called "real." We are bringing something highly practical to NFTs and real estate. Our goal is to disrupt the $4 billion stock photo industry by paying professional photographers what they are worth. We are flipping the model upside down. Stock photo agencies pay photographers pennies on the dollar for every image they sell. As a result, photographers earn as little as 2 cents to 25 cents per month per photo through stock photo agencies, according to Phototutorial. The new real NFT Marketplace – created by HomeJab – pays photographers 96% of the sales proceeds from every image they sell. For the first time, agents and brokers – or their marketing agencies – can immediately own NFTs that are one-of-a-kind images. Most importantly, they can use these unique images however they want: on their websites, in their marketing materials, framed photos hung in their offices – or all of the above. NFTs offer bigger benefits What's the huge advantage of a real NFT purchase over a stock image purchase? Stock photo agencies allow the use of the same image by anyone who pays a fee. That means every one of your competitors can buy the exact same image and use it for their websites or marketing campaigns. Why would you want to buy a repetitive stock image that any of your competitors can use? Market experts and seasoned real estate agents know that using unique images creates stronger brand recognition. It also helps avoid brand confusion. Real estate agents, brokers, and marketing agencies avoid having the same photos on every website by purchasing one-of-a-kind images on the real NFT marketplace. Another big advantage? Real estate agents and marketing agencies can feel good that professional real estate photographers can get paid appropriately for their creativity, no longer being short-changed by the stock agency compensation model that's been around for decades. Moreover, if an NFT is resold, a small royalty, disclosed in the smart contract before the NFT is purchased, flows back to the original photographer. Understanding the value of NFTs for real estate images For most agents and brokers, this new tech terminology is foreign. To help, we've developed a brief "Glossary" of these new tech terms on our website specifically for real estate pros. I also wrote about "Real Estate Photography and the Need for NFTs." It's an emerging trend that agents and brokers can benefit from understanding. More and more, clients will expect them to at least know these terms. Up until now, many people have marginalized the practical value of NFTs. That's understandable. There has been a flood of NFT scams. Pump and dumps – where unscrupulous actors push out misleading information to raise the price of a cryptocurrency so they can sell and bail – also have become commonplace. The metaverse, out of the gate, faces a credibility problem. We are attempting to be among those who will change the perception that NFTs are just a fad. At HomeJab, our business is real estate photography. We've worked hard to become the most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video services for real estate pros. We work with professional real estate photographers every day. We also work with real estate agents and brokers each day. Our job is to deliver to agents a fast, high-end package of photos, video, 3D interactive tours, floorplans, aerial shots, and virtual staging for their listings; a one-stop-shop, on-demand, and online. By creating a practical way to leverage the power of the NFT, we are offering what we believe is a win-win. The new real NFT Marketplace is for real estate agents and digital marketers to purchase one-of-a-kind iconic real estate images. The real platform also enables clients to order custom NFTs to be shot and produced by professional real estate photographers for their exclusive commercial use, as they will own the image. The real NFTs now available include historical landmarks, streetscapes, downtown areas, commercial hot spots, aerial views of developments, parks, bridges, buildings, and beaches. Think of the one single image that best describes where you live. What image would that be? That's the type of NFTs we expect to be the most popular in the beginning. Already, there are more than 500 images available on the real NFT Marketplace. But we are just getting started. The real NFT Marketplace disrupts the old, legacy stock image model because real is a decentralized Web3 solution powered by NFTs with the financial benefits going back to the photographers. Artists deserved to be paid appropriately. Check out the real NFT Marketplace at nft.homejab.com. Joe Jesuele is the founder and CEO of HomeJab, America's most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video marketplace for real estate pros, and architect of the real NFT Marketplace. HomeJab delivers over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.
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Where Most Leads Come From -- and How You Can Cover Your Bases
Are you covering all of your bases with real estate lead generation? With so many different ways to generate leads, it can be easy to overlook some of the valuable, reliable tools that can help keep your pipeline stocked to the brim. Diversifying your strategy can help you reach a wider pool of potential clients and give you the confidence that you're leaving no stone unturned when it comes to generating leads. That's why it's so important to understand where most leads come from and how you can ensure that you're maximizing your lead generation opportunities. Start with Your Real Estate Website Your real estate website should be one of your best sources for leads online, but simply setting up a website isn't enough to guarantee success. For your website to become a lead-generation machine, it needs to provide a seamless experience with the right features and design elements. This is important both for attracting prospects to your website in the first place and turning them into qualified leads once they arrive. IDX Listing Integration - Many of the prospects who visit your website will be coming to look at listings first and foremost, so it's important to make that process as easy as possible for them. IDX listing integration makes it simple for prospects to search for homes in your markets, and those listings will be a key source of leads. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - While SEO doesn't generate leads directly like some of the other items on our list, it's a critical factor in attracting traffic to your real estate website. Over time, SEO helps you achieve a higher search engine ranking, which leads directly to more traffic. And more traffic to your website ultimately means more leads. Real Estate Content - The content on your real estate website helps you build trust, establish your real estate expertise, and show prospects how you can help them achieve their goals. Whether it's in the form of video content, blog posts, or both, your content helps convince prospects to take the next step. Social Proof - Social proof in the form of reviews and testimonials is one of the key factors in the decision-making process of modern real estate prospects. Integrating social proof throughout key areas of your website is a must for maximizing your lead generation. Lead Capture Forms - Once a prospect has spent some time on your website and seen what you have to offer, the goal is to have them fill out a lead capture form. This is where they'll provide contact information, outline their real estate needs, and take the first key step toward becoming a client. Social Media Marketing and Relationship Building The biggest social media platforms continue to rank among the best sources of leads online, so it likely comes as no surprise that social media marketing is so popular in real estate. Whether you're showcasing listings on Instagram, building relationships on Facebook, or sharing your best video content on TikTok, building your social presence is a must for generating leads in 2022. Referrals and Your Personal/Professional Networks The most highly qualified leads often come from referrals, and referrals are still one of the most dependable sources of leads for your real estate business. For individual agents, those referrals can often come from your personal and professional networks, in addition to your current clients. Building and maintaining great relationships still goes a long way toward generating leads, no matter who you're trying to reach. Virtual Tours and Open Houses More than ever, buyers are choosing to tour homes from the comfort of their current location with the help of virtual open houses and showings. Just like their in-person counterparts, these tools are key sources of leads — and not just for buyers! When sellers see that you're promoting listings with the best modern tech, they'll be more likely to choose you as well. Social Media and Search Engine Advertising Building your social media presence and boosting the SEO on your real estate website are both well worth the effort. However, it also takes time to see results. Paid advertising on social media and search engines provides more immediate results as a source of leads. Paid advertising is great for boosting visibility while building up your online presence and for supplementing your other lead-generation efforts. Covering Your Bases for Lead Generation in 2022 Whether you're interested in opening new avenues of lead generation or optimizing your existing strategy, achieving your goals is so much easier when you have the right tools for the job. With the DeltaNET®6 all-in-one real estate solution, all of the tools, tech, and resources you need to generate leads are always at your fingertips. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET®6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Staging Tips for a Virtual Open House
Virtual home tours exploded in popularity during the pandemic, even being recommended by the National Association of Realtors to remain safe. Most places have lifted pandemic restrictions, but virtual tours remain popular, especially for far away buyers looking to relocate. As always, planning and preparation is critical for making the best impression. Staging for Your Virtual Open House or Video Walk-Through In many locations, it won't be possible to stage homes in the traditional sense while social distancing is in place. For a virtual open house or video walk-through that you record yourself, you will need to work with homeowners to help stage the interior of the home before your scheduled arrival. Focus on decluttering and making the interior spaces feel as large as possible for the video. Ideally, see if you can ask the owner to send you photos of each room and meet with them on the phone or through online video conferencing to provide suggestions for improvements. If there is storage space available in an attic, basement, or garage, ask the homeowner to consider putting items that are causing clutter in these spaces temporarily. Curbside Appeal Make sure you capture the exterior from the street with the approach to the entrance and front door in your virtual open house or video walk-through. Your goal should be to simulate the experience of attending an actual open house in-person for your viewers. If attention to the yard and landscaping is needed, you might be able to find landscaping contractors who are operating and practicing social distancing guidelines. Virtual Staging for Photos Thanks to technology, you can apply very effective virtual staging to your interior property photos. Similar to traditional on-site staging in a home, this can make a dramatic difference when it's done well. This option can be quite inexpensive and well worth the cost. Visualstager is a DIY service that lets you upload your photos and make the staging choices yourself using their virtual staging tools. The following articles provide a number of reviews that will help you start exploring virtual staging software options: The 13 Best Virtual Staging Apps and Software for Real Estate How to Stage Your Home with the Click of a Mouse To view the original article, visit the iHomeFinder blog.
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Interest Rates Just Went Up. What Does That Mean for the Housing Market?
After months of anticipation, the Federal Reserve this month raised interest rates. The move was not a surprise -- persistently high inflation and a strong labor market have monetary policymakers anticipating six rate increases over the course of 2022. Amid a strange, hard-to-predict economy, rising interest rates add yet another unique variable. And compared to other industries, real estate stands to be strongly affected by rising interest rates. Put simply, rising interest rates make it more expensive to buy a home. Rising interest rates mean rising mortgage rates, and rising mortgage rates mean that buyers have to shell out more to pay off their mortgage every month. How will rising interest rates affect the housing market? What outcomes should agents anticipate when advising leads and clients about rising rates in 2022? 1. Home Prices Could Fall – Or Not It's been the biggest point of discussion in the housing market for nearly two years, and rising interest rates will only fan the conversational flames: Are home prices going to stop rising? Traditionally, rising interest and mortgage rates tamped down home prices, as competition for homes decreased because of higher borrowing costs. Some experts think that will be the case in 2022, but others aren't sold. Just consider: Inflation is still at its highest point in decades Home inventory is still at an unprecedented low If general consumer prices continue to rise, home prices are unlikely to fall. And without many homes on the market, people may be willing to buy a home at its listing price, even as mortgage rates increase. 2. Millennial Home Buyers Are the X Factor Research indicates that a median first-time home buyer is in his or her early thirties. Millennials, who make up a plurality of the American population, are the generation that currently occupies this cohort. As interest rates rise, the home buying behavior of millennials will indicate the broader health of the housing market. On one hand, many millennials may not be able to enter the housing market as interest rates rise. Millennials already hold less wealth relative to other generations, since they came of age during the Great Recession and are disproportionately burdened by student debt. On the other hand, one result of the 2008 housing crash was the underbuilding of new homes. So, the number of millennials who make a good salary and are at the age to buy a home may not meet the supply of available properties. Despite higher interest rates, these millennials may power a housing market that remains robust, at least until the supply of homes meets or exceeds their demand. 3. Rising Interest Rates Could Cause Some Buyers to Enter the Market Rising interest rates mean rising mortgage rates. Is it possible that rising mortgage rates are, for now, actually heating up the real estate market? The answer is maybe. Remember that last week's interest rate hike was the first of six scheduled for this year. Mortgage rates are currently rising but still may be at their lowest point for the foreseeable future. Home buyers are not unreasonable to think that buying conditions are better now than they will be in a year. If some home buyers determine that rising interest rates will make the market even more challenging in the future, they may act to buy now. Buyers deciding to enter the market while they still can may maintain or even raise the price of homes and the negotiating leverage of home sellers. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Convert an Internet Lead via Phone
The strategies you use to successfully convert leads are a big factor in your level of productivity. As we are able to find leads through an increasing number of channels, it can be challenging to identify the best ways to move toward conversion. Taking advantage of the opportunities that come via the internet can require some new ways of thinking and creative combinations of tools that you might not have tried before. One traditional, yet effective way to move an online inquiry into the pipeline is to make contact by phone. Following up is critical, and it's amazing how frequently initial contacts are ignored. For example, the WAV Group measured lead responsiveness from a sample of 384 different brokers across 11 states. Researchers inquired about online listings and recorded the data on responses by agents. In their experience: 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5 The average number of email contact attempts was 2.07 Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours) So, strategy number one: RESPOND. Beyond that, many industry coaches recommend using the phone to convert these online leads. Here's a roundup of wisdom on the subject. #1. Tom Ferry Ferry's blog is loaded with information, videos, and interviews. He has an energetic style and provides specific tips for being more effective in using your phone for lead conversion. Tom Ferry's 6 Communications Tips Know your customers' pain and know their problems. Examples: market conditions, past purchasing experiences Know your dialogues. If you want to be good on the phone, you have to practice! When you know what to say and how to say it, you can be more in tune to your customers' needs. Get to the point! Example: "I'm calling today to schedule an appointment…" Give two options for setting a time. Stand up when you are making calls! Your body controls your tonality and your emotional state. On the phone = 20% effective sensory communication. Remember that when you talk, you are only engaging in one sense out of five. Speaking clearly is important. Get the fear out of the way with these three questions: What's the worst case scenario? What's the most likely scenario? What's the best case scenario? #2. Jared James A professional speaker, author, coach, marketer and entrepreneur, Jared James has a YouTube channel filled with tips and tricks for lead conversion. He makes no bones about the critical nature of timing. Five minutes can be the difference between a deal and no deal —and industry experts like Jared, Chris Smith and others agree. When you contact a lead within the first five minutes of their initial inquiry, the chances of converting that lead go up 100x. That's because there's context around that moment—they're still on your website, they're still thinking about you, and they haven't been taken over by the wave of all the other things on their plate. Jared talks about how to do this yourself—or with an inside sales assistant—and reminds you to perform an immediate call back rather than leaving a voice message. #3. Ken Goodfellow On Ken's blog, the topic of lead conversion is often discussed, and Ken recognizes the importance of the personal touch that a phone call creates. Initially follow up with the lead through email or text—but follow up with a personable phone call shortly after. Simply restate your position in a unique and refreshing manner. #4. Lee Davenport A quality CRM is part of any follow-up and lead conversion strategy, and Lee Davenport offers great insights into what features your CRM should have to help you respond quickly to incoming inquiries. She mentions a situation that most agents can relate to: You're sitting in a three-hour CRE course and receive an inquiry. Will your CRM automatically respond to the inquiry with a personalized message? Here are some more functions Lee recommends. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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How Your Website Can Be a Resource
How much value does your real estate website add to your practice? Everyone knows "you have to have a website." And for real estate agents and brokerages, that's even more true. Some of the most successful real estate professionals, in the United States and throughout the world, generate a substantial portion of their leads through their own site — as much as 50%. These days, future customers are far more likely to hear of you online than through an in-person event or non-digital advertising. That's because Millennials and the fast-emerging Gen Z homebuyers almost universally start their search for a new home online. Understandably, most real estate experts aren't masters of real estate website design. They tend to launch a basic website and then hope for the best. There are lots of DIY website builders out there and cut-rate services that promise something "good enough." Unfortunately, this can undermine your efforts to develop a branded, high-impact website that makes a difference. How Your Website Can Serve as a Resource for Current and Future Customers Your website acts as your digital "first impression." When someone is thinking about entering the housing market, they will usually spend a lot of time looking at properties before they ever consider reaching out to a real estate agent. They might start seeking inspiration on sites like Pinterest or Instagram before they begin looking at live listings. Once their interest is piqued, only then do they look for a local real estate professional to help them. But in the process, they usually check out a half-dozen local agents and brokerages — or even more. So, your website needs to achieve two things right off the bat: It must be visually compelling, inviting, and easy to navigate It must provide meaningful value before they schedule a call That value comes in the form of custom content. "Content" is anything helpful and informative you post on your site to help visitors make an informed decision. In other words, it answers a question or solves a problem they have. Blogs are the backbone of most content, but video is increasingly popular. Content is especially helpful because it can inspire your guests to join your email marketing list and get future updates they may find useful. It raises your visibility in online search and improves results you get from search engine optimization. However, it's not the only way to make your website work harder. When you focus on turning your website into a resource, you are putting what you have to offer on the table from the very beginning. People will see the difference between you and other real estate agents, and begin to regard you as a trusted expert — so you're far more likely to be chosen in the end. Let's look at some of the other ways you can build your website into a resource for customers: Integrate Your Listings within Your WebsiteThe MLS does an incredible job keeping listings organized and searchable. However, you can also use this marvel of modern technology right within your own website, helping visitors zero in on the best local properties that might meet their needs while maintaining your own branding throughout. Provide Neighborhood-Level Local InsightYour local savvy is one of the most important things setting you apart from your peers. Make it count by showing people not only the homes they might buy, but the community they'll be joining. Highlight the best amenities and small businesses – other business owners may even send you referrals. Answer Common Questions ClearlyMany first-time buyers and sellers will have very little existing knowledge about the process. Look for the best ways to answer their common questions simply. That may mean a library of blogs or videos, a centralized Frequently Asked Questions page or a chatbot that they can pose questions to. Make It Easy to Contact YouAfter you start working with a client, it's crucial to set appropriate boundaries — no answering the phone at two in the morning. On a first call, however, seconds count. Be sure your website is set up to send you a text alert if someone sends you an email or message so you can respond right away. Introduce YourselfOne of the most vital things you can do on your website is start building a relationship. The best way to begin is with a video introduction to yourself. What do you do and for whom? What attracted you to real estate and what makes you different? Video is the next best thing to being there. The best real estate websites operate as a "one-stop-shop" for everything potential customers might need — before they even reach out for the first time. Try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days to learn more or get started with your own website. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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What Kind of Real Estate Agent Do You Want to Be?
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Success in Any Market: Why Smart Agents Are 'Future-Proofing' Their Business
The real estate market has been on fire for the past few years, and for many agents, production has never been higher. But, thinking strategically, this market activity cannot continue forever. As an agent, it's important for you to anticipate a changing market so you can set your business up for success no matter what. Here are a few tips to help agents "future-proof" their businesses. Play the "Long Game" With Leads If a lead doesn't convert immediately, it's not weak — it just takes time. Real estate is all about timing. Just because a buyer or seller isn't ready at the first point of contact doesn't mean they can't become a valuable transaction opportunity in the future. The savviest agents know that they need to work their leads if they want to see conversion at the end of the lead funnel. Switching your mindset from an instant win to a long-term game is essential to future-proofing your real estate business. When a lead enters your sales funnel, be prepared to put in the work to warm them up through consistent engagement. Improving your lead nurture and follow-up plans can provide you with a continual stream of business. Remember, a "maybe" today is a "yes" tomorrow. Even the leads that look the weakest will convert into a deal at some point. The cold leads that you engage with today are the hot leads of tomorrow. If you're not staying in touch with your leads and providing value, you risk losing their business to another agent. #ProTip: Manage your time wisely by working with a lead qualification plan. Gather information to determine where a lead is along the sales funnel and use that to shape a custom engagement strategy. Not only will this allow you to prioritize your time and effort, but it also helps you assist the lead based on their specific needs and circumstances. Diversify Your Lead Sources How many avenues do you leverage to source leads? One of the most important steps in "future-proofing" your real estate business is to diversify your lead sources. The best in the business work with multiple different resources to get in touch with new leads. This creates a business model that is resilient, resistant to changes, and ready to adapt to new conditions at a moment's notice. This will prevent you from suddenly seeing a gap in your production due to a lagging sales funnel. If one lead source dries up, you need to have a variety of other resources to rely on. For example, open houses have long been a favorite source of business for agents. But during the pandemic, open houses couldn't happen the way they used to. The agents that were overly reliant on open houses as their main source of leads ultimately took a hit to their lead generation. However, agents that were working with other lead sources — such as online lead gen tools — were able to balance out the blow and keep up their momentum. Lead generation strategies are the pillar of your real estate business. Make sure that you have a strong foundation to rely on that can accommodate market shifts and unexpected situations. #ProTip: More leads mean more responsibilities for following up and engaging. As you pursue new opportunities for lead generation, make sure that you have a strong plan in place to service and stay in contact with those leads. Long-term lead follow-up and engagement are necessary to activate your leads and see the conversions you're looking for. Audit Your Technologies Agents need to make sure that they're using their tech stack to the best of its potential. The technologies and tools that you're using need to be streamlined in order to maximize your ROI. If you're not, figure out what's wrong with how you're currently using your technologies. Ask yourself these questions to determine the best way to move forward that will allow you to streamline your real estate technologies. Do you need more training? Do you need a coach to walk you through the programs? Or, do you need to stop using the tool altogether and find an alternative that really works for you? If something truly isn't working, it may be best to find a more suitable option for you rather than continuing to invest in something that's not optimizing your business. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Quick Quiz: Are you a digital agent?
One big takeaway since the pandemic is the real estate market becoming rapidly more digital. As brokerages rely more on agents working remotely, almost everyone has adopted more digital solutions to meet client needs. Tech-savvy agents were best positioned to adapt, but many more agents joined the digital ranks. Some agents have resisted the move to digital and remain happily "analog agents." Others have joined the ranks of becoming a "digital agent." Where do you stand as a real estate agent? Are you a digital agent? Take this quiz to find out. Please pick that answer that is closest to being accurate: Question #1: Do you use a digital transaction management program, and if so, how often? For every transaction For most transactions For some transactions Occasionally I don't use a digital transaction management program Question #2: How advanced is your agent website? Pick the description that best describes your website: Modern design is 3 years old or newer, mobile-responsive, fast loading pages, with rich and current content, uses ongoing SEO and features built-in IDX search. Design is not more than 5 years old, has at least three of these features: mobile-responsive, fast loading pages, rich and/or current content, ongoing SEO, and built-in IDX search. Has at least three of these features: mobile-responsive, fast loading pages, rich and/or current content, ongoing SEO, and built-in IDX search. Don't have a website or don't maintain it regularly. Question #3: How often do you use email marketing? At least once a week At least once a month At least once a quarter Rarely Never Question #4: What is your social media presence? I post and/or comment at least three times a week I post and comment at least once a week I use social media now and then I rarely sign in I don't use social media Question #5: Is your smartphone less than 3 years old? Yes No I don't know I don't have a smartphone Question #6: Do you offer a real estate blog, and if so, how often do you post? At least twice a week Weekly Every other week Monthly I don't have a blog Question #7: How often do you utilize virtual and 3D tours? For almost every listing For most listings For only certain listings Rarely Never Question #8: How frequently do you use video for your real estate marketing? I use video all the time I use video frequently I use video occasionally I rarely use video I don't use video Question #9: How often do you use your CRM (customer relationship management software)? I use my CRM every day (or my assistant/team does) I use my CRM at least once a week or as needed I don't use my CRM enough I want to use my CRM, but have not had time to set it up I don't have/use/need a CRM Question #10: Do you invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or online advertising (such as Google ads or Adwerx)? Yes, it is part of my monthly marketing spend Yes, frequently but not monthly Yes, but only a few times a year or less Rarely, but I have in the past No, and what's SEO, Google Ads, and Adwerx? Scoring System 5 points for every (a) answer 4 points for every (b) answer 3 points for every (c) answer 2 points for every (d) answer 1 point for every (e) answer Results 45-50 points: Congratulations! You are a digital agent. 31-44 points: Almost a digital agent, a few analog tendencies. 25-30 points: Mostly an analog agent, but moving in a digital direction! 13-24 points: Much more analog agent than digital. 12 points or fewer: Proudly an analog agent! The day in the life of an agent is increasingly reliant upon technology. Tech Helpline's goal is to provide friendly technology support for all your devices. Our talented, US-based analysts share a passion for technology and are here to help you with your technology questions. Collectively, Tech Helpline technical advisors have over 300 years of technical knowledge and specialize in supporting real estate brokers and agents. Today, Tech Helpline is the real estate industry's #1 tech support service. You can learn more at TechHelpline.com. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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9 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents
Looking to use the best apps for real estate agents? We've identified nine apps that help agents generate leads, organize tasks, and run an effective business. Use these nine real estate apps to increase your number of clients, close more deals, and run the strongest real estate business possible. 9 Best Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2022 As a real estate agent, you work on the move. From office meetings to client training to listing presentations to open houses – you operate as a one-person mobile office nearly every day. You're already using your smartphone to field calls, texts, and emails. So, make sure that you get the most out of your iPhone or Android by identifying and using the best apps for real estate agents. Apps real estate agents use are sometimes designed specifically with you in mind, while others are meant for anyone who is running a small business or trying to be more efficient with their workday. Either way, using these apps will make you a better, more responsive agent who can meet your clients' needs, close deals, and earn new business. Best Apps for Real Estate Agents: Lead Generation Homesnap Pro As an agent, you won't find a more informational, lead-generating tool for selling homes than Homesnap Pro. Homesnap Pro features direct integration with hundreds of MLSs across the country so that you have access to comprehensive MLS data such as price history, showings instructions, commission splits, property summary, recent sales, comps, school districts and property lines. Homesnap Pro also incorporates third-party data to surface listing details that agents otherwise wouldn't have access to, such as historical deed, mortgage, and tax records. Homesnap Pro is built for agents and has a variety of productivity and engagement tools, all available from the app or on a desktop browser. You can also share a branded version of the app with clients to collaborate on their home search and ensure that clients aren't poached by third-party advertisers. Plus, you can message directly with their leads and clients on the app – making Homesnap Pro a one-stop location to coordinate your clients' home buying and selling activities. Homesnap Pro also doubles as a home showing app: Homesnap Showings is a new, free, and modern showings management tool for agents in participating MLSs. Showings is a one-stop solution for buyer and listing agents, and will help you run the smoothest home showings possible for your clients. Homesnap Pro also has paid features, such as the ability to launch multi-channel ad campaigns that are fully managed by the Homesnap team. With Homesnap Pro+, you receive the best online reputation and lead generating marketing tool on the market. Pro+ helps you own Google local search results, build a strong Google business profile, provides you a custom, personalized website, and features advanced lead prospecting tools that helps you find homeowners who are ready to sell. Cost: Homesnap Pro is FREE. Talk with a Pro+ consultant to learn about upgrades. Get Homesnap Pro for Android or iOS. Homes.com You're already aware of how essential it is that you reach prospective home buyers and sellers on Google, social media platforms, and other digital channels. If you want to connect with high-intent buyers and sellers searching for their next home, you should also be working to reach prospective clients on Homes.com. Homes.com is the premier online home buying site, and endeavors to connect agents, buyers, and sellers. With over 1 million listings, you should feel confident that if you're on Homes.com, you'll reach the highest-intent, highest-value consumers on the market. Just how valuable are Homes.com users? 85% of Homes.com visitors who are planning to sell have not yet selected a listing agent. 73% of buyers on Homes.com have not yet selected a real estate professional. 56% of buyers on Homes.com plan to move in the next six months. In other words, Homes.com users are ready to buy or sell a home and have also generally not yet selected an agent to help them do it. You owe it to yourself to develop a presence on Homes.com so that you can reach these future leads. Better yet, Homes.com and Homesnap are now part of the same family at CoStar Group, and agents who upgrade to Homesnap Pro+ will now receive the added benefit of a boosted profile on Homes.com. Now, when prospects look for a real estate agent, Pro+ members get priority placement in the Homes.com agent search directory. Being at the top of the list means more eyeballs, leads, and local awareness. If you're a Pro+ member, you'll also have an enriched Homes.com profile that shows your five-star Google reviews, review rating, Google posts, agent stories, photos, and business hours and information. Use Homes.com to reach high-intent customers with a profile that showcases your real estate expertise. Then, enjoy more and better leads. Cost: Listing properties and creating a profile on Homes.com is FREE. Unlocking the full range of Homes.com lead generation possibilities is made easier with Homesnap Pro+ membership. Get Homes.com for Android or iOS. Apartments.com If you're an agent who is looking to reach renters, there is no better place to find leads than Apartments.com. Apartments.com is the leading online apartment listing website, offering renters access to information on more than 1 million houses, townhomes, condos, and apartments that are for rent. When you list your rentals on Apartments.com, you receive free and exclusive leads, as Apartments.com works directly with hundreds of MLSs across the country to provide brokers and agents like you maximum visibility for each of their listings. Your listings get seven times more exposure across the web thanks to the Apartments.com network of sites. Unlike other websites, Apartments.com never sells or shares your leads with your competitors. All leads for your listings are sent directly to you free and are yours exclusively. Plus, once you have leads, Apartments.com helps you expeditiously close deals with advanced tools and technology such as online applications and digital leases. Cost: FREE, so long as your MLS is a participating member. Check if your MLS is a data feed partner. Get Apartments.com for Android or iOS. Waze You likely already know about Waze as a useful app that gives you driving instructions and live updates to avoid traffic on the road and get places without delays or stress. What you may not realize is that Waze does more than get you from Point A to Point B. Waze Ads are an effective way to reach potential buyers as they drive by your home listings and neighborhoods where you do business. The COVID-19 pandemic upended many forms of digital marketing, and we've registered an incredible increase in the number of agents using Waze Ads since the start of the pandemic – upwards of 150%. Agents have found that Waze is particularly effective at advertising specific events, such as open houses. As you advertise on other channels such as Google and Facebook, consider taking out a Waze Ad close to and during the hours of the open house. You may find that drivers saw the the ad while stopped at a red light and decided to come by. Homesnap Pro agents have an advantage when it comes to advertising on Waze: Homesnap automates the Waze ad buying process, so you don't have to create ads from scratch or have an extensive knowledge of digital marketing targeting and optimization techniques. Plus, Homesnap leverages consumer behavior to target in-market consumers with precision, making it easier than ever for agents to drive interested, likely-to-buy prospects to your open house. Cost: For users, Waze is FREE to download and use. Waze Ads are affordable, especially if you buy them through Homesnap Pro Ads. Get Waze for Android or iOS. Best Apps for Real Estate Agents: Task Management and Organization Todoist Todoist is a task management app with a host of capabilities. With Todoist, you can: Organize tasks and projects Apply labels and filters Set reminders, priority levels, and due dates You can also add other people to projects you create so they can see the details, comment, share files and more. One of Todoist's best features is its integration capabilities with other apps. You can sync your Todoist account with the tools you use every day, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Chrome, Zapier, Alexa, and Slack. Productivity apps are most useful when fully synced with all of your devices, and Todoist does that well. Besides the smartphone apps, you can download Todoist to your desktop, add it as a browser extension, enable it as an email plug-in, and add it to your smartwatch. Cost: FREE. Subscription upgrade options available. Get Todoist for Android or iOS. 1Password If you have the same password for every one of your online logins, your data simply isn't secure. But practically every site and digital tool requires a password, and it can be difficult to remember them all. That's why you need a password manager. 1Password provides you a place to store various passwords, software licenses, and other sensitive information in a virtual vault that is locked with a guarded master password. Once you program the app, you simply open it, tap the account you want to access and 1Password will launch the app or website automatically (and autofill your login details). 1Password is able to store logins, lockbox combinations, credit cards, addresses, notes, bank accounts, driver's licenses, and passports – so you can use it for your professional and personal needs. Cost: Starting at $2.99/mo with a free 14-day trial Get 1Password for Android or iOS. Photoshop Express Photo Editor If you want leads, it's essential that you have compelling, professional listing or ad photos. Adobe Photoshop Express has all the crucial tools you need to have the best listing photos possible. Photoshop Express provides all the typical quick fixes, such as cropping, straightening, rotating and auto-adjusting for contrast and exposure enhancements. You can also dig deeper with filters and color effects that help make your photos look sharp and eye-catching. Best of all, Photoshop Express has tools to create collages and add text, logos, watermarks, and borders to any image. Cost: FREE. Subscription upgrade options available Get Photoshop Express for Android or iOS. Best Apps for Real Estate Agents: Accounting and Contracts QuickBooks As an agent, you often operate more like an entrepreneur or individual contractor than a traditional, salaried employee. That means you need to manage your own professional finances, and may mean that QuickBooks from Intuit is an important app to have at your fingertips. QuickBooks is one of the best apps for real estate agents because it helps you track and itemize your many expenses. Need supplies for an open house or even to get a quick coffee with a prospective home seller? QuickBooks helps you track these expenses and compare them to your income. Plus, QuickBooks accepts credit cards and electronic payments and money transfers. Know how much money you have coming in, how much is going out, and whether or not your real estate business is meeting your financial benchmarks with QuickBooks. Cost: Plans start at $25 per month. Get QuickBooks for Android or iOS. DocuSign The reality of real estate is that verbal agreements only mean so much: Contracts have to be put down on paper. But given the on-the-go nature of your job and the increasingly digital business atmosphere you and your clients live in, it's essential that you are able to seamlessly and quickly prepare, send, sign, and document your contracts from your phone. That's where DocuSign can help. DocuSign is a suite of applications and integrations for automating and connecting the entire agreement process. You can sign documents electronically, automate when and how you send different contracts, generate new documents and contracts, and even analyze contracts with artificial intelligence to make sure they meet legal standards. DocuSign saves you time and money printing and mailing contracts, and is accessible wherever you are or plan to be. Cost: Plans range from $10 per month to $40 per month, with a $25 plan designed specifically for real estate agents. Get DocuSign for Android or iOS. Use the Best Apps for Real Estate Agents to Grow Your Business In a competitive market, it is essential that you have the technology to attract new leads, effectively service your existing clients, and do it all from your phone. The nine top apps for real estate agents featured above will help you earn leads, stay organized, and manage your finances and contracts. Download these apps to become the go-to agent in your neighborhood and town for home buyers and sellers. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists
Buying or selling a home can be a complicated and stressful process. That's doubly true in today's fast-paced market of low inventory and cash offers. And while you're a professional who knows how to stay cool, calm and collected no matter what, sometimes your client's stress impacts you, too. This week's Friday Freebie to the rescue! To help you and your clients stay on top of everything during the home sales process, we're highlighting a collection of eight buyer and seller checklists that will keep everyone organized all the way through moving day. Read on to learn how to claim these free checklists! 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists, courtesy of Zurple We have a confession: we love checklists. Not only do they make planning and execution so much easier, but they're also a great way to draw in new leads. These eight checklists from Zurple are highly detailed and let your client do everything from narrowing down their wants in a home, to helping them prepare their home for listing, to knowing what to do on moving day. You can share these checklists with your current clients, or offer them on your website for download in exchange for a lead's contact information. That's two handy purposes in one: lead generation and good customer service! Here's what's included in this free packet of eight checklists: Home Buying Checklist Home Selling Checklist House Hunting Checklist Mortgage Pre-approval Checklist Moving Out Checklist Open House Questions Checklist Prepare Listing for Market Checklist Showing and Open House Prep Checklist Ready to help your clients and leads stay on top of today's challenging market? Download 8 Homebuyer and Seller Checklists now!
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Landing Pages: Your Secret Lead Conversion Weapon
In today's hyper-digital world, agents need a winning online presence to sustain a successful real estate business. The best IDX websites are user-friendly, attractive, and filled with fresh listings. But agents that want to take their websites to the next level to supercharge lead generation need to be leveraging custom landing pages. A landing page is a standalone page on your website. Think about your "About Us" page or each one of your online listings. Landing Pages Are Super Powerful Lead Generation Tools Besides giving your website more pages — which boosts your SEO performance since you're generating more searchable content — custom landing pages roll out the red carpet for leads. Landing pages allow for a more personalized experience when people visit your website. Landing pages offer something valuable to your website visitors in exchange for contact information. Creating landing pages gives agents the opportunity to include more contact forms and CTAs. While you're introducing a neighborhood that you service or highlight listings that are coming soon, you can prompt leads to submit their contact information to convert more online traffic into leads. 15 Examples of Landing Pages to Add to Your Site Home Valuation Page Neighborhood Guides Local Market Report First-Time Homebuyer Course (or eBook!) "Coming Soon" Listings Home Improvement Guides for Sellers Contact Information for Municipal Service Providers Credit Repair Program Seller Lead-Specific Page Encyclopedia of Real Estate Terms Blog Contact Client Reviews Buyer/Seller FAQ Agent Career Highlights Mortgage Information Guide Get creative with your selection of landing pages. This is your opportunity to directly speak with potential leads and show them why you should be their agent. Think about creative landing pages and content ideas that out-do what competing websites have to offer. More Landing Pages Means More Conversion Companies that create 30 or more landing pages get seven times more leads than those that use fewer than 10. #ProTip: Using videos on landing pages can improve conversion by 86%. When building your landing pages, include high-quality video content to accompany your text. These can be a visuals-only neighborhood tour or an agent-guided tour of the area. When sharing basic real estate advice and tips, agents can use video to introduce themselves to their clients. Recording short videos where you introduce yourself and discuss the topic of the landing page further can be a great way to create and share new content. You can also use these videos for your social media, blog, and email marketing campaigns. Landing Pages Are the Bridge Between Site Visitors and Leads A landing page is the final stop before a site visitor becomes a lead. With your robust marketing campaign, you're casting your net across a variety of channels — such as digital advertising, social media content, webinars, and billboards. You need those marketing efforts to drive lead traffic to a "landing spot," where you can get their contact information and make a superb first impression. [Source: Unbounce] How to Get Leads to Take the Leap: A Simple and Customized Experience When you finally drive leads to your landing page, how do you get them to engage with your page and ultimately submit their contact information? Here's a Marketing 101 Crash Course: The consumer holds the power. They can leave your site, or they can provide their name and email. Being able to accommodate consumer demands is critical for activating the power of your landing pages. In today's market where instant gratification wins, your site visitors want your website to exceed their expectations. Internet users are used to targeted ads, gorgeous landing pages, and interactive apps. It's your job as an agent to meet those demands and build a seamless, enjoyable experience. This is what will allow you to stay competitive with the "Zillows" in the industry. Providing a simple and customized experience is the key to getting leads to follow your calls-to-action and submit their contact information, consenting to open communications with you. When you're building your landing pages and expanding your digital presence, ask yourself the following questions: Am I delivering a simple and customized experience? Is my site providing value beyond my competitors? Does my site invite visitors to browse more landing pages? Happy Website Building! To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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8 Safety Tips to Share With Your Seller
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5 Ways You Can Help a Non-digital Client Go Digital
When you have a client that struggles with technology, you might be inclined to print out all the transaction-related paperwork, providing them with only physical copies. But you might want to consider a different strategy to help make their life -- and yours -- a lot less taxing. And in the process, you will save a lot of trees. It's likely that even if you work primarily with younger home buyers and sellers, you will find that not all your clients are digital natives or tech-savvy. For these clients, technology can feel intimidating or make someone feel like they are failing if they can't get it to work. How can you help a non-digital client go digital? First, a caveat: this strategy may work for many of your non-digital clients, but not all. Some clients will be best served by providing paper copies of everything. However, you should find that most of your clients who resist using technology will be won over when they discover their WIFM: what's in it for them! 1. Like Facebook, show the value Vital to helping a client welcome a digital approach is to focus on the value of one technology tool. A great place to start is with a transaction management program such as Form Simplicity. Because Form Simplicity is both agent-centric and has client-facing components, it’s easy to show the value of a digital transaction right away versus a paper-intensive one. Facebook is an excellent example of technology that non-technology-centric people once resisted. Two things changed that. First, like Form Simplicity, Facebook became easier and easier to use over time. Second, people who were resisting discovered the value of using Facebook. They watch their friends use Facebook to see what is happening with family and friends all over the country. The value that Facebook delivers helps those who are intimidated by technology overcome their hesitations and try it out. Once a non-tech-savvy person figured Facebook out, they were often hooked. Facebook’s success with non-digital natives is striking, with more than one in five US users at least 55 years old. For agents, using a digital transaction management program like Form Simplicity for your transaction overcomes the ease-of-use obstacle and delivers value: everything is online, available all the time. In addition, digital documentation provides real value as paperwork is never lost or misplaced because when you go digital, every document your client needs can be found in one place.Clients can access and efficiently fill out forms online, saving them time. They don’t have to wait for a form to be dropped off – and with eSign, they can sign from anywhere. When the forms are emailed back to the agent, they are automatically tied to their transaction – stored in one place for their agent to access. Clients can also review forms and files that they are given access to and share comments, which their agent sees in real-time. Form Simplicity allows the agent to share eSigned files multiple ways. Anyone who was a part of transaction can receive a copy of the file when it is completed. Files also can be directly emailed from a transaction to other parties. 2. Start with easy When you are working with a client who is apprehensive about technology, slow and steady is the best approach to take in helping them become more comfortable with the idea that technology can offer some great benefits. Start with something easy, like showing them samples of what they will get because you are using Form Simplicity to keep track of everything for them. Show them what an email update looks like and see if they know how to open – and review – a PDF document. Or assign a task for them, such as sending back a Pre-Approval Form. In Form Simplicity, agents can assign any task to an external contact. The contact will get an email notification about a pending task assigned to them and a reminder when the task is due. When you demonstrate something that will provide an immediate benefit or value, you can start to win them over on the usefulness of a digitally supported process for their transaction. 3. Be their tech concierge If you are like the majority of active agents in the US, you have Tech Helpline available to support you when you have a tech glitch or need to figure out what's going wrong; you gain comfort in knowing that Tech Helpline has your back. You can provide the same comfort to your non-digital clients: provide tech support by offering to be their tech concierge. By becoming their tech concierge, you can walk them through everything. Give them a hands-on demo from your client’s point of view. Show them how Form Simplicity works to keep them updated and give them access to everything they need. Help them see the value and compare and contrast the digital solution you are showing with the alternative: a stack of papers and a loss of more trees. 4. Personalize everything One of the pain points that non-digital clients often have is how cold technology can feel. So do the opposite by making sure all of your communications – every email, text, and notification – is highly personalized. Keep the human touch aspect embedded in your digital communications. You want to make these clients recognize that technology doesn't need to feel impersonal – and can be made to be very personal and engaging. 5. Incentivize use and recognize success Treat your customer to one of their favorite beverages from your local coffee house at your brokerage conference room or bring it to their kitchen table. A small incentive can go a long way to turning apprehension into interest, as well as set the tone of a safe, helpful place. Be encouraging too. Cheer on your client every time they show progress. Small wins are meaningful when you don't see yourself as having any technical skills. Echo that sentiment. Most successful agents already spend a lot of time and effort to make clients feel appreciated. Helping them embrace technology like Form Simplicity by showing them how it will benefit them will make your clients appreciate you – and what you do for them – even more. Enjoyed this content? Check out these other articles: The 1 Thing You Must Do After Every Transaction 5 Problems That Form Simplicity Helps Brokers Resolve Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Are Rising Mortgage Rates Actually Making the Real Estate Market Even Hotter?
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How to Maintain a Positive Email Reputation
Email marketing is a necessary tool for your business to thrive in today's digital world. With so many companies utilizing email as their go-to communication, it is essential to hold a positive email reputation. What is an email reputation, and how do you make sure you have a positive reputation? Your reputation is a score that service providers assign to you. A higher score means a greater chance for your email to make it to the inbox. How to get that high score is a little more complicated, though. DO Include Email Opt-Ins Offer your leads and clients a double opt-in. A double opt-in is when someone subscribes to your email list, they immediately receive an email from you asking them to confirm their email address. A double opt-in ensures that your email list is comprised of real people and not bots. An opt-in also helps you to narrow down who actually wants to receive your emails and hopefully results in fewer unsubscribes. Personalize Your Emails Include your recipient's name not only in the email body but in the subject line as well. Personalized emails increase the chance of your email being opened and help develop a personal relationship with your recipients, leading to a positive email reputation. Segment Your List Break your list into smaller groups and send different variations of the same email and subject lines. This can help you with your A/B testing to find what content works best for you and your audience. It also increases the chances of your email making it to the inbox rather than getting nabbed by the spam wall. Send Quality Content This one may feel obvious, but when you email your database, make sure you send content they are interested in! Think about your personal inbox. What kind of content do you want to see? Something that applies to you and your interests or arbitrary articles and emails that mean nothing to you? Sending aimless emails to your list will result in lowering your email reputation. Clean Up Your List Be sure to keep your email list updated. If a client unsubscribes, make sure you don't keep sending them emails; otherwise, you risk service providers marking you as spam. Even if you have valid email addresses, you need to be making sure they are all still active users. Continuing to send emails to expired email addresses or just people who don't interact with you results in service providers viewing your emails as spam and marking them as such for all the emails you send out. Make sure your email lists are active and clean, so you don't have to worry about getting stuck in the junk box! DON'T Use Spammy Language Service providers have noted what kind of language spammers typically include in their subject lines and emails. Ensure you aren't using this language in your communication with leads and clients; otherwise, you risk a lower score! It is easy enough to search for lists that explain what words constitute as "spammy," but here are a few to keep in mind for your next email: Opportunity Cheap Investment Lowest Price Loans Incredible Deal Mortgage Home No Obligation Use Excessive Exclamation Points or All Caps in Your Subject Line You may think that multiple exclamation points and ALL CAPS will get your reader's attention, right? Well, THINK AGAIN!!!! Spam walls have picked up on this tactic and rarely allow emails that look like this through and into inboxes. Grab your reader's attention in different ways! Check out some good subject line examples here! Purchase Email Lists Renting or buying email lists is one of the worst things you can do for your email reputation. It doesn't give you a foot in the door; instead, it does quite the opposite. People on these lists don't want to receive anything from you. Chances are, your email will be marked as spam, which will mess up your emails to reliable sources. It is easy enough to grow your email list organically, plus don't you want to be marketing to people interested in working with you? Use social media, landing pages, and other marketing tactics to grow your email list naturally. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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RPR: Your Open House Secret Weapon
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Don't Forget These Real Estate Tax Deductions
We are about month away before our taxes are due. We hope that you've already submitted your taxes, but if not, we have a few real estate tax deductions to consider. These are expenses that you have that you might not realize are deductible. As always, be sure to consult a professional to maximize your tax return. Here are real estate tax deductions you should not forget: 1. Conferences If you are going to attend a real estate conference, you can add "deductible tax expense" to the list of benefits you get from attending one, such as networking, out of state referrals, and the education. 2. Your Camera If you have made video marketing part of your real estate business, that fancy camera you purchased is also a business expense! 3. Dry Cleaning Meeting people in person means you need to look your best! At the bare minimum, you should wear clean clothes. 4. Car Washes Clean clothes should be complemented by a clean car. Whether you are driving your client, or letting them follow you, you should always have a clean vehicle. 5. Your Tablet Tablets are worth considering as a replacement for a laptop, especially when you are always on the go. If you purchased one last year, we hope you kept the receipt! 6. Office Supplies Most small items that you use to ensure your office is fully stocked are considered a business expense. This includes paper, folders, pens, stationery, printer ink, and even snacks you keep around to offer to your clients! 7. Parking Fees If you've ever had to pay for parking while on the clock, this is a business expense. 8. Coaching Any sort of coaching you do—whether it be online, over the phone, or in person—is an investment into improving your business and is also deductible. 9. Online Ad Spend This refers to any money you spend on ads specifically. You should be keeping track of your online marketing spend anyway. You can use this business plan to help you keep track for next year. 10. Software Subscriptions If you subscribe to software, you should definitely claim that on your tax return! There are plenty more possible tax deductions that you may not be aware of. Zurple has created a checklist for you to print out when you review last year's expenses. Download it here for free. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Tips for Growing the Listing Side of Your Real Estate Business
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Technology: Real Estate's 'Easy' Button for Maintaining the Human Connection
Some say that the earliest recorded history of the real estate industry was found in cave drawings from thousands of years ago that depicted the commercial exchange of property (nobody's really sure who paid the buyer's commission, though!). Fast-forward to the 1800s when real estate transactions and mortgage lending started taking shape around the world — and finally made its way to the U.S. and Canada when real estate agents would meet and share with each other info about the properties they were trying to sell — and the very beginnings of the MLS took shape. Through this rich history, one common theme always remained: the human connection. The relationship between broker and agent, or agent and client developed over time. Agents were a key piece in sharing community intel and helping clients understand the mounds of paperwork and real estate regulations. Today, so much of that info is available with a few clicks online and transactions happen faster than before—creating challenges to the traditional agent and client bond. The good news is that in today's world of cool tech gadgets, AI (artificial intelligence), virtual reality, and 5G—the human connection is still just as important. Here are just a few reasons we think that technology and human connection need each other to work in real estate today. Easier client nurture Whether a home buyer needs advice or extra help during a stressful transaction, the personal touch of an agent is still needed, and strategically incorporated tech tools enhance this relationship experience. With on-the-go solutions at your agents' fingertips, they can log notes and preferences on every lead so they can provide a more personalized experience and better showcase their expertise. Intelligent CRM software gives brokerages the tools to automatically engage and nurture relationships by consolidating communication channels and AI-enabled lead follow-up into one smart system. Other smart tech tools like Spacio help agents focus on open house guests and their questions and less time trying to chase down visitor contact information. Plus, contact details gathered with Spacio are automatically added into agents' CRMs for easy follow-up phone calls and personal emails. There is a litany of great client communication tools on the market, including modern MLS mobile apps with features tailored for easy and real-time text messaging between clients and their agents to keep the lines of communication open from listing to closing. Boosted efficiency with automation Technology has also helped agents and brokerages keep up with the pace of transactions, especially when there are several happening at once. Paperwork and file folders are still here, but overall, there's a lot less of them. The hassle of tracking down someone for a pen-and-paper signature is now nearly non-existent with tools like eSignature. Almost every part of a transaction can be completed very quickly, on the go, and in real time. With automated back office or transactions tools, agents can say goodbye to tedious tasks. These automated tools mean that brokerages and agents can focus on what they do best—nurture relationships, work more personally with clients and each other, and close more deals faster. You don't have to do the nitty-gritty drudge work in between—technology does it for you! Automated tools also guarantee agents will stay top of mind with their clients, while brokerages achieve 100% adoption. Smart, targeted digital marketing Remember the good old days of direct mail postcards to find new leads (and that actually worked)? While that hasn't completely disappeared, there are efficient digital marketing tools that still offer you the same type of human connection experience. Digital ads, like those from Boost, give you the opportunity to capture contact info of leads as they surf the web. Plus, Boost optimizes your ad to reach the people who are most likely to interact with it based on their previous online clicks and behaviors. Their ad clicks go to a personalized-by-you landing page designed for qualified lead capture. Then that info can be automatically integrated into your CRM for easy follow-up with emails, phone calls, and more. You can't do that with a postcard! At its core, real estate is about relationships—people helping other people buy and sell homes. Technology is not taking over; it's a complement to human connection. From CRM, eSignature, and transactions to back office and accounting, real estate technology makes it easier for agents and brokers to generate even more leads, close deals, forecast sales, and more—faster, simpler, and actually more connected than ever before. To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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