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Blog About Your New Listing: Timing Is Everything
In real estate, timing is everything. Blogging about your new listing is essential when it comes to capturing organic search traffic and attracting new readers. On average, 65% of people begin their online search for a home by Googling the street address of a property they like. Because the MLS listing is syndicated with the major players in the real estate market, those pages will appear before your site about 95% of the time. However, if your MLS does not have stipulations around publishing property details, you can publish a blog post with featured photos, full property description, and the street address in both the title and body of the post. Stipulations usually include posting in a 24-hour period before the listing is active and/or allows creation of "coming soon" pages. Depending on the timing of how Google indexes your site content, chances are high that your site's blog post will appear as a Top 10 search result listing for that property address and compete with bigger competition. Another way to beat the bots, so to speak, is by optimizing your real estate videos for YouTube. In this tutorial, IDX Broker Developer Partner CJ Hays and Marketing Director at Agent Reputation explains how to create, load, describe, tag, and optimize your listing on YouTube. Because Google owns YouTube, when videos are added to the platform, they are indexed on Google within two to five minutes after they are published. For more information on optimizing your real estate website using community pages, saved searches, duplicate content, micro blogging, and other essential digital marketing practices, watch Elm Street Technology's "Content is King" recorded webinar through the on-demand educational academy. To view the original article, visit the IDX Broker blog.
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What's Coming for Open Houses? Predictions for 2023
Open houses have long been a point of contention for real estate agents. Are they in? Are they out? Are they back in again? Even just in the last couple of years, this will-they-won't-they dynamic has switched multiple times—understandably, given world events. Those switches have happened fast, too. As an example, an article on Inman from July 2021 definitively stated that open houses were out. At the time, that was more than fair: Between government and health agency mandates and consumers' concern about being in closed environments with strangers, it was going to be next to impossible for agents to bring in visitors. Less than eight months later, another piece definitively stated that open houses were back in vogue. Again, fair: People were ready to be out and about, they were ready to start home searches, and they were ready to see spaces through more than the occasionally fish-eyed lens of a virtual tour. Now, with 2023 around the corner, here we all are wondering again whether open houses will be the thing agents turn to with confidence. No matter what happens, though, one thing is for certain: Open houses will be different. Here's what we expect agents will see with open houses in the new year. They will become more popular with sellers. The hot-or-not dichotomy for open houses has historically been incredibly dependent on their popularity with consumers, especially sellers. We've based this prediction for popularity on a combination of larger expectations for the year: Foot traffic for individual home showings as reported by Sentrilock through NAR has consistently fallen in every report issued throughout 2022, and hasn't shown signs of changing. Experts have predicted that days on market will most likely spike this coming year, potentially reaching over 30 days. Together, these trends mean that fewer people are touring homes than ever, and home sales will drag on much longer than most sellers would like. This will likely leave sellers in a position where they feel an open house is their best bet for getting an interested buyer. Open houses will be in agents' best interests, too. The state of the real estate market has been fickle in the last few years, changing almost as quickly as the popularity of open houses. Next year, though, has been almost universally predicted to be a balanced market, thanks to a combination of external factors. Issues like inflation, increasing—or at least, not decreasing—mortgage rates, and affordability issues will likely impact the number of buyers who decide to brave the market. Sellers, who often end up becoming buyers as well, will have the same concerns, and will understand that their own audience is reluctant. This may hinder the number of sellers coming onto the market, as well. This means that agents will need to work harder to find buyers and sellers—and to help them as best as they can. Generally, open houses present an opportunity for agents to showcase their value to both sides of a real estate transaction, and can give them visibility and access through neighborhoods of potential sellers and larger audiences of buyers all at once. Agents will need a hybrid approach. The pandemic has had a much longer effect than many of us would like to admit. When was the last time you were happy to touch something that a stranger may have—especially an implement like a pen, which inadvertently reaches people's mouths far more often than anyone wants to think about? Traditional sign-in sheets (and their requisite pens) will fall by the wayside in 2023, and will largely be replaced by digital methods that allow visitors to check in using their own smartphones. After all, they know where those have been. As a bonus for real estate agents, digital sign-in methods can also make it easier to follow up with interested parties quickly—which could help secure an otherwise uncertain buyer. To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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Brian Buffini's Bold Predictions: 2023 Real Estate Market Outlook
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How to Use Real Estate Market Statistics to Attract Sellers and Win Listings
We spend a lot of time talking about how to market to home buyers. But it's important to market to sellers too. And it's easy to do. Before making a decision, sellers should be familiar with the real estate market in their area. Here's how to use real estate market statistics to attract sellers and win listings. Valuation Before deciding to list, a seller needs to know how homes are being valued in the community. Specifically, are values going up? To provide this information, you should look for statistics showing the average percent change in valuation over time. The information should be categorized by ZIP or neighborhood. This will allow the seller to know how values are changing in his/her immediate community. And it will help the seller have the right expectations when pricing the home. Total Home Sales The seller also will want to know the competition for buyers. Specifically, how many others are listing in the area? A graph showing monthly sales volume by ZIP code is essential. This will help the seller understand what potential buyers are seeing and better predict their behavior. Median Price Per Square Foot Median price per square foot is the median sold price in the area divided by the square footage sold. This helps the seller understand the prevailing prices for homes in the area. If the seller's home is smaller than average, he/she should expect to price the home lower than others. Sales by Age Square footage is not the only factor affecting home prices. The age of a home also plays a role. To help a seller understand the bigger picture, you should provide statistics on total sales by home age. This will show the age of the homes selling most, and it can help the seller know what most buyers are looking for. Others These statistics are just a start. There are many others that can provide useful information to sellers. You should consider: Months of Supply – How many months it would take to clear the current supply of homes for sale Home Sales by Square footage – What size homes are the most popular Total Foreclosures – How many houses have been foreclosed in the last month Days on Market – The average listing time for a property Where to Promote Your Market Stats Okay, you have some key statistics selected for your marketing efforts. What do you do with them? Here are four places to promote market statistics to maximize impact. Market Statistics Page If your community is small enough, you could create a single market statistics page on your website. This is where you would show data about sales and prices for your entire town. But if your coverage area is larger, this might not work. Sellers want the narrowest data possible. So if you cover multiple ZIP codes, you should breakdown your data by ZIP and create a market statistics page for each. Consider creating neighborhood pages that show available homes and neighborhood statistics together. The Property Listing Page You also should consider placing statistics directly on the property listing page. This page would provide the property listing as well as data about the area surrounding the listing. You might ask, "Why we would put statistics on a property listing if we are looking to attract sellers?" Don't forget sellers are doing research too. They want to know the prices of other homes in their community and the amenities they have. So it's very likely a seller will check out a few active listings before deciding to list him/herself. Open House Statistics are great handout material at open houses. Why? Because neighbors often attend open houses. While they may not be immediately looking to sell, they could be in the future. Providing statistics is a good way to help these potential clients remember you, and it will help demonstrate your expertise. Blog Feature Market statistics also are great web content. Consider adding them to your blog as a regular feature. This will help you boost your SEO and increase your web traffic. Real estate market statistics empower sellers. They can help them understand home prices, competition for buyers, available inventory, and more. Don't leave your potential sellers out in the cold. Win their trust and their listings by adding real estate market statistics to your site today. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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What Are 2023's Top Housing Markets?
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Dotloop Mobile App Training
Multiple dates Learn how to navigate dotloop's mobile app and take advantage of the app-only features. Available for iOS and Android. How to edit, share and sign docs Shared docs with clients via text Export text conversations Add docs from other apps Host in-person signing Submit for compliance and more Register now for: iOS webinar or Android webinar
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2 Steps to a 2023 Social Media Plan You'll Actually Use
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Business Planning: Plan Your Way to a Successful 2023
Tuesday, December 13, 2022 at 11:00 AM PST "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." You've likely heard the wise words of Benjamin Franklin before, and now is the time to lean into those words and put a plan into place for your business next year. Most real estate professionals have a high output and spend valuable resources (both time and money) to make sure they are successful. But many could be more proactive by putting a plan in place to ensure they are utilizing those resources in the correct areas of their business. This is where business planning comes into play! "Plan your work and work your plan." Join Elm Street Academy on for a one-hour business planning session. You will be given actionable takeaways on how to create and implement your own business plan and will be provided with downloadable resources to help you every step of the way. If you are looking to outperform and grow your business in 2023, this is a session you don't want to miss! You'll learn: How to create meaningful and tangible business goals Metrics that provide a plan for your busines Strategies to meet and exceed your goals And more! Register now!
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5 Ways Your Sellers Can Help Buyers Handle Higher Rates
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10 Real Estate Networking Tips to Live By
The life of a Realtor is a never-ending networking event. Each person you meet is a potential lead, or may even have a referral (including other agents and real estate industry professionals). It's important to stay connected and network with your local community members if your business is to survive. The internet may have leveled the lead generation game to an extent, but other networking and lead generation tactics have stood the test of time. We've put together this list networking tips that all agents should live by no matter the latest social media trend or hottest CRM platform. Here are 10 real estate networking tips all agents should live by: 1. Attend Real Estate Events This is probably the oldest rule in the book. The only way grow your real estate business is by finding out what other others are doing. Just because other agents don't seem likely to turn into a lead doesn't mean they can't provide advice or a referral one day. 2. Establish Connections with Complementary Businesses During a the buying/selling process, you are constantly in contact with other businesses, such as contractors, loan originators, landscapers, and other professionals. Having personal connections with may one day lead to a discount or referral. 3. Challenge Yourself If you have been attending the same conference for the past 20 years, maybe it's time to branch out. Meeting new people is the only way you'll grow your real estate business. 4. Attend Local (Non-Real Estate) Events Real estate agents should be fully immersed in their local communities. Buyers and sellers want agents that know all the right people. Endorsing a local sports team or non-profit group is an easy way to prove your local reputation. 5. Act as Though Your Business Is Paperless In this technology age, it's reasonable to assume most leads will lose or throw away your print marketing materials, such as business cards. When you receive a business card, follow up with that person via email and save their contact information digitally. Also be sure leads can find you with just a Google search. 6. Be a Loyal Customer of Others Purchasing from their business will make people more inclined to purchase from yours. If your lead is a hair stylist, attorney, plumber, or financial advisor, consider using their services first to initiate a relationship. 7. Have a Strong Team One of the easiest ways to expand your personal real estate brand is through other members of your brokerage. If you're carrying the weight of your brokerage's new lead generation, consider finding new team members. 8. Connect with Leads on Topics Other than Real Estate It's okay to talk with clients about non-work related topics. In fact, agents should try to connect with leads on a personal level more often. Leads will be more likely to remember you if you expressed a common interest of theirs. 9. Everyone Is Your Friend Everyone loves gifts! Try sending a pop-by gift related to your ability to ability to sell homes. Include a funny pun related to being quick, helpful, or influential amongst your community. 10. Take Real Estate Internet Leads Seriously Much of networking takes place online, so be sure to treat internet leads with care. If you don't spend time with leads online, why should they have faith you'll spend time with them in person? To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How to Follow RPR Maps to Success
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How Team Leaders Can Dominate Their Markets
Over the past three years, the real estate market has been an anomaly. With immense buyer demand hitting the entire U.S. home market, agents didn't have to put in a heavy lift to generate success. Real estate teams didn't have to work as hard to prospect or close the deal because leads were coming in left and right — and everyone wanted to buy a home. As the market begins to regain its balance as we move into 2023, agents are going to have to pick up the slack. Now, real estate teams are going to have to work a lot harder to maintain the same pace of business. To attract the same number of new buyers and land as many closings as before, agents need to bring their best to the table. How Can Team Leaders Help Guide Their Teams and GROW? If you're a real estate team leader, it's likely that your goal isn't just to stay at the same level. You want to grow, beat your competition, and increase your market share. This means that team leaders and brokers have to spend more time with their teams — teaching, training, and supporting accountability best practices. Here are the steps that team leaders can take today to get the upper hand in the changing real estate market. 1. Go Back to Basics Refining your team's most basic success practices is the right place to start as you prepare your agents for the adjustments happening in the housing market. Remember, teamwork is all about communication. It may be helpful for leaders to schedule a meeting with their teams to speak about the market's upcoming changes, what they should be aware of, and what to do to overcome obstacles. Transparently discussing the situation can help ensure that everyone is on the same page as you ramp up your strategy to combat the changing market. Pro Tip: Invest time to review the "click to close" recipe with your team, discussing what the next steps should be to move the deal forward. It doesn't hurt to go over everything and refine your team's group strategy — considering your technologies, business offerings, and best practices. 2. Spend More Time Teaching and Training Leaders have a big role to play in securing the future of their real estate teams. If you want to take your business to the next level and up your presence in the local market, you need to invest time in teaching and training your agents. Now is the time to be a mentor for your agents. Share your experiences, especially any lessons you've learned in similar market environments as what's unfolding today. These insights can be incredibly valuable for agents that are just starting out in their careers and have not seen a market quite like this before. By spending more of your time teaching your agents what you know and training them to innovate and thrive in different market shifts, you're building a longevous success structure for your business. This is like teaching your agents "how to fish," empowering them to do great things on their own for a lifetime. As an experienced leader, always strive to be a north star for your team members. Pro Tip: Accountability plays a huge role here. As the leader, it's your job to hold your team accountable and make sure that everyone is doing what they said they would. Make accountability part of your team culture so that your team can set goals and achieve them — putting all of the insights your sharing as a mentor into practice. 3. Give Your Team the Tools They Need to Succeed As the team leader, you're holding the keys to your team's most important asset — its tech stack. Your team is going to have to refine its strategy, and the right technology access can make sure that everyone is working together smarter, not harder. Perform a technology audit to check for any holes in your current system. Are there any inefficiencies in the way your team uses technology right now? Is your team using each tool enough to justify its cost, or are you paying for software that your team doesn't even use? What technology tools are you happy with? Does your team have to do extra work, like logging in the same information multiple times to connect disparate systems? Does your team need more tech training? Are there new capabilities and updates to your tools that you aren't aware of? Is there a tech tool that you wish you had? Ask yourself these kinds of questions to determine where your team is doing well, and where your tech stack needs to grow to streamline operations. Pro Tip: When looking for any new technology, always look for automation, software compatibility, and a great service team that provides you with the assistance and personalized problem-solving that your business deserves. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Realtor Lingo: Do You Know What You Are Saying?
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Friday Freebie: 42 Customizable Posts for Social Media
Ever wish social media had an easy button? So do we. Social media has long been an effective place to generate leads, advertise listings and open houses, and to connect with consumers in your area. But it's not always easy to come up with effective post ideas. Enter this week's Friday Freebie. Today, we're highlighting a collection of 42 easy-to-edit social media graphics that will engage your community all year round. 42 Free Customizable Real Estate Posts for Social Media, courtesy of Zurple Like we said, social media post ideas are not always easy to come up with. Sure, it's easy to think of posts to advertise your listings and open houses, but the last thing you want to do is share too many promotional items. Instead, it's best to follow the 80/20 rule: 20% promotional and 80% educational, entertaining or useful to your audience. Paired with that rule is another: it's better to post visual items rather than simple text-based posts. Fortunately, this Freebie is very visual. It offers 42 graphics that you can edit on Canva and post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and beyond. Here's a sampling of the types of graphics available, with specific examples in parentheses: Flowcharts for Decision Making (Are You Ready to Sell Your Home?) Graphs and charts (What's the Best Season to List Your Home?) Infographics (5 Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector) How-tos (How to Buy a Home) Lists (Top 10 Reasons for Purchasing a Home) And more! All of these posts are designed to offer engaging—not salesy—information to real estate consumers in your sphere. Use them to build trust and your reputation as a real estate expert. Spice up your social media! Download 42 Free Customizable Real Estate Posts for Social Media now!
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Our Top 10 Most-Read Articles of November
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5 Ways Email Marketing Can Boost Your Business
Email is so ubiquitous to our daily lives, we sometimes take it for granted—most of us check our smart phones, smart watches, tablets, or inboxes for new messages several times a day (if not immediately after a notification pops up on the screen). Whether you are using email for basic communication or as an inexpensive way to reach everyone in your digital Rolodex at one time, here are five best practices for Realtors looking to successfully incorporate email marketing into their overall digital marketing game. 1. Follow Up After a Networking Event Leads won't just start coming in after a networking event. Like any lead, it is a process of nurturing and follow-up. Gather business cards of those at the networking event. Then send a follow-up email about how it was nice to meet them and include your contact information. 2. Send a 'Just Sold' Email Blast to Your Client Database Share your sold listings with your client list. It can be a way to start a conversation about getting their home on the market, but it can also help keep you top of mind when the time is right for them to sell. Offer your services or some sort of incentive so they will reach out to you for their real estate needs. 3. Automate Emails When You Can You can automate many of your emails, like your welcome email, certain follow-up emails and even monthly newsletters. Make sure you have your leads and clients grouped in a way that makes sense. This way, clients get the email messages that work best for them, wherever they are in their home buying or selling journey. 4. Send a Newsletter Featuring Client Stories You can send email newsletters on a weekly or monthly basis to give an overview of your company. These newsletters can include pictures or invites of an open house event or a success story shared by your client. Showing satisfied clients in your newsletter is an excellent way to attract new customers. This increases their faith in you as potential customers and makes them initiate a conversation or offer if they haven't yet. 5. Segment Your Email List If you want to give very personal experiences to your leads, segment your email list based on client personas and needs. Then, target communications with details pertinent to each client. Segmentation increases the chances of nurturing bonds with the audience by sending only valuable and relatable content. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Revive Debuts New 'Edge' Network for Top Real Estate Agents
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The 7 Types of Realtors This Market Will Crush
Rising mortgage rates have caused many buyers to put the brakes on their home purchasing plans. That means there's less business to go around these days—and not every agent is going to make it. We believe, however, that there's not only room to survive this market shift, but to thrive. That belief comes with a caveat, though: if you're one of the seven types of agents in this video, your chances of making through are... not great. Do you fall into one of these seven categories? Watch the video above to find out. (Spoiler alert: if you're disciplined and organized, you'll probably weather this shift just fine.)
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What Is a Real Estate Offer Management System?
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[Podcast] Decoding Real Estate: Minimizing Buyer's Remorse with Bernice Ross
This installment of Decoding Real Estate is all about how to set home buyer expectations and curb buyer remorse in the current, shifting market. Real estate coach and nationally syndicated columnist Bernice Ross joins the DRE crew to discuss different strategies on how to approach buyers and how to pre-communicate to them in this new, high interest rate market. Bernice gives tips on in-depth buyer interviews and how to assess new home wants versus new home needs. She also offers other great ideas on communication preferences, how to prep first-timers on paperwork, disclosures and key transaction dates. And, of course, reasons to provide buyers with RPR property reports. Decoding Real Estate is hosted by Reggie Nicolay and Genie Willett. Subscribe/Follow And be sure to check out these helpful and relevant links: RealEstateCoach.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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10 Best Practices for Promoting Your Recorded Real Estate Webinars on YouTube
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Don't Fall for It: 4 New Online and Offline Scams and How to Protect Yourself
Scammers are becoming increasingly crafty in robbing people of their money or personal information. In the past year alone, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center has received over 800,000 reports of online mischief, causing over $6.9 billion in estimated losses. As we near the holiday season, the number of scams often increase. Even when you are extra cautious to remain safe online, you may not be able to spot when you are being scammed. And while we've written about this topic before here, here and here, with the internet and mobile apps constantly evolving and changing, online scammers are developing new methods to con people. So perhaps the most important thing we can advocate is learning to sense when something seems suspicious. Here are four new online – and offline – scams becoming common today and what you can do to protect yourself: Zelle + Venmo Scams Peer-to-peer payment apps such as Zelle and Venmo have become increasingly popular as it gives you the ability and convenience to transfer money electronically to someone instantly. In 2021 alone, Zelle users sent almost a half-billion dollars in payments, totaling nearly 1.8 billion transactions. But recently, scammers are taking advantage of how these apps work – and the rules surrounding them – to rob people. Through social engineering, they utilize fraudulent info and scare tactics to trick you into authorizing money transfers to them. A common ploy: You get a text to your phone marked "Fraud Alert," indicating it is coming from your bank, asking, "Did you attempt a Zelle payment of $5,000? Reply YES or NO." If you respond in any way, you will immediately receive a phone call from the scammer pretending to be from your bank's fraud department. Scammers can even make it look like it is coming from a legitimate number at your bank. The scammer then asks you to verify your identity with "just your username" – insisting they never would ask for your password over the phone to appear legitimate. The scammer then asks you to read back a passcode they sent via text or email. What you may not realize is that once the fraudster gets your username, they initiate a "forgot password" request on your banking site: that generates the authentication passcode you receive. Once the scammer has the passcode you gave them, they hijack your Zelle account and transfer funds. If this happens to you, what do you do? First, ignore the text, look up your bank's fraud department phone number online (or on the back of your ATM card), and call your bank directly to verify that the request is authentic. The biggest rule of thumb: Never text back on a request related to Zelle. Why? Most people don't realize that these direct payment apps do not protect an "authorized fund transfer," so it's nearly impossible to get your money back once it is sent. The scams currently being used are considered authorized transfers because the victim gives the scammer information they seek or takes the action they ask to be performed. Despite Zelle being owned by seven major banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, Capital One, and Truist ­– if you knowingly send cash to someone, Zelle maintains the transfer is an authorized transfer under the law. Even when the payment is made under false pretenses or misrepresentation, it is not covered by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act of 1978, so you are out of luck, and there are no protections in place to help you get your money back. Finally, whenever using Zelle or Venmo, the most important rule is to triple-check your accuracy. Make sure to carefully proofread – at least three times – the recipient's mobile phone number or email address before hitting send. Because if you make an error, Zelle and the bank that offers it say it's your mistake, not theirs. Google Voice Scam Google Voice is a virtual phone app that provides a free phone number that you link to your Google account. Once set up, it allows you to automatically send text messages or make mobile calls from your PC or mobile phone. Google Voice phone numbers work like any other mobile phone, allowing you to take and receive calls. Unfortunately, scammers are using Google Voice in nefarious ways. Because Google Voice numbers are both free and untraceable, scammers love them. One common con today is when a scammer links their Google Voice number to your phone number. Scammers will search online selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace. They will pretend to be buyers and text the seller's mobile phone number on the listing, expressing interest. However, the scammer will text the seller, "Please send the Google Voice verification code I just sent to verify that you're a real person." Once the scammer tricks the seller and gets the code, they can use the Google Voice number tied to the seller's Google account to scam others. How can you protect yourself? Never share a Google Voice verification code — if you are asked, it is likely a scam. Amazon Scams According to research by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), Amazon is reported to be the most impersonated business, with one in three scammers claiming to work for the company. As Amazon is a widely used service, it makes it easy for phishers to send messages or emails under their branding. Frequently, a scammer will call, text, or email you about suspicious activity on your Amazon account. After they confirm they "stopped the fraudulent purchase," they will offer a "credit" to your account for your inconvenience. They will then ask you for your password to finalize the credit. But instead, the Amazon impersonators will use it to cheat you out of cash and purchases. To avoid being conned, realize that it is unlikely Amazon will call you. If they do, an Amazon employee never will ask for your password. Or, if you get an email that appears to be from Amazon, look carefully at the full sender address (it should be an Amazon email address) and the actual URL in the email by right-clicking on the link. As Amazon warns its customers, "Legitimate Amazon websites have a dot before 'amazon.com' such as http://something.amazon.com. For example, Amazon Pay website is https://pay.amazon.com/. We'll never send emails with links to an IP address (a string of numbers), such as http://123.456.789.123/amazon.com/. If the link takes you to a site that is not a legitimate Amazon domain, then it is likely phishing." Bogus Tech Support Even today, tech support scams are still alive and kicking. Some scammers will impersonate a technical support worker and manipulate you into paying for services you don't need. Others will offer to install a malware protection program or "clean" your computer from viruses, only to install fraudulent software that gives a scammer access to your computer. Anyone who calls you unprompted to offer tech support should raise a major red flag. If someone offers you free tech support and then asks you for permission to access your computer remotely, hang up. How to protect yourself from Tech Support scammers: Tell them you have all the technical support you need, disconnect the call, and block their number. While the holidays can bring out the scammers, they are also a time when you may need help setting up new tech you've acquired or received as a gift. If you have questions about how to connect a new printer, set up email on a new phone, or troubleshoot something else, remember that Tech Helpline – your legitimate member benefit — is ready to help and only a click, call, or text away. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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Real Estate Motivation: 11 Success Mantras for Agents and Brokers
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How to Take Advantage of This Real Estate Market
Agents, how are you viewing this market shift? Rather than seeing it as a slow-down period, you should be thinking about it as your chance to gain the upper hand and boost your business for years to come. Now that you can come up for air, it's time to focus on your business, budgeting, and best practices. With the new year right around the corner, now is the perfect time to be planning out your action plans for 2023 and beyond. Here's how you can take advantage of the market conditions to get ahead in your business. 1. Talk to Your Team With the market slowing down, this gives you a fantastic opportunity to resync with your team. As a first step to making the market work for you, you want to check in with all of the people who power the business and get their feedback on: What's working What's not working What they need help with What ideas they've come up with for improvements What their goals are for the next year This can help you get a real-time status update on your team's collaboration, productivity, and process. Opening the line of communication can also boost team morale and empower every individual to step up and share their unique insights. Pro Tip: To make this process as efficient as possible, we recommend that you give your team time to think about what they'd like to say. Set a formal meeting time and explain to them what you'd like to speak about so they can gather their thoughts in advance, rather than bringing it up unannounced — which may catch your introverted team members off-guard, preventing them from sharing their point of view. 2. Think About Connecting Your Front and Back Office Is your front and back office humming together in perfect harmony? If not, you should be thinking about how you can create seamless collaboration between your client-facing and team-facing tasks. The deeper integration between these two types of software gives your business the bandwidth it needs to create pristine client experiences and more efficient team workflows. Think seamless syncing of systems, instant data access, and a user-friendly transaction management portal that keeps everyone in the loop — helping you work better together. 3. Revisit Your Budget As we're arriving at the end of the year, it's the perfect time to revisit your budget. Take a long, hard look at your finances for the 2022 year. Pay attention to where you were overspending, where you underspent, and where you can cut back on waste. An important thing to think about when looking at your budget is that you want to be investing in tools that will generate solid returns for your business. You don't necessarily want to cut back on the tools and infrastructure that keep your business running strong. Otherwise, you could be cutting back your spending — at the expense of reducing your profitability. A strategic budget puts your dollars to the best use in order to generate more financial gains in the future. 4. Refine Your Tech Toolkit How did your tech toolkit perform for you this year? With the market slowing, it's a fantastic time for you to audit your technology. We're moving into a digital-first world, and the best agents are relying on their technology to empower their business models in the new year. Even if you don't make any changes to your tech, you might want to reach out to support teams to find out if there are any updates that you weren't aware of. You may also want to inquire about any additional training you can get to help lock in your team's expertise with their toolkit. 5. Clean Up Your Database Finally, you should take the time to clean up your database — getting it ready to do its best work in the new year. 5 To-Do's to Improve Your Database Make sure all information is current and accurate Fix any typos or mistakes in your contacts Incorporate any new information you may have gathered into your contacts Segment your contacts into categories Tag your contacts based on where they are in the transaction timeline To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Real Estate Branding: 6 Steps for Agent Success
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Why and How to Boost Your Online Presence to Get More Leads
Real estate marketing, social media, repeat and referral, top-of-mind marketing. You've probably heard of all of them, but may not know how they apply to your real estate business. And even if you do, the nuances may be so eclectic they continuously escape you, leaving you with a social media marketing strategy that no longer works or an outdated well of tactics that Google and company no longer smile favorably on. Take a deep breath, massage your temples and embrace social media — even as a real estate professional. Why social media marketing is so crucial in real estate Social media platforms have a wide range of new lead generation potential, while allowing you to stay up-to-date with your past clients. The relationship aspect of social media accounts is a well-known facet of the platforms and their target markets. But other than just having access to more leads and past happy clients, what are successful real estate agents using their platforms for? Marketing and influence. Most social media platforms allow you to utilize their built-in metrics to gauge what marketing strategies are working with your brand and which to leave by the wayside. Social media posts pushed from marketing and business managers often come with insights that tell you who engaged with the post, what the engagement was like, and whether to update your locale to reach more of your target market. But to get the most out of this, you'll have to ensure you have a deep well of influence across your channels. How do I strengthen my social media presence? Post often and post about more than just houses, neighborhoods and market updates. While these things are great to post about, venture out and give your target audience more to take in than just housing. To start, try posting general real estate advice. Use your social media channels to make yourself the expert real estate agent in your particular location and desired market. From there, use your Facebook page, Twitter posts, Instagram page or other platform to engage with your social media followers. These engagements are key to understanding what it is your clients and leads are hunting for in the current real estate market, and what pain points you can solve for over other real estate professionals. Be sure to genuinely follow some of your followers back, engage with their posts and paint yourself as the available expert ready and willing to help, at normal and non-invasive intervals. After all, you want to post often and frequently, but you don't want to post about the same exact things so often that you lose the social following you've worked so hard to gain. Use the resources available to you Probably one of the most overlooked success strategies out there is utilizing the resources available to you through your social media platform. Each is designed with extensive help desks and knowledge bases to help you navigate through their resource pool. Likewise, support channels also exist where you can get live feedback. If you still need a little extra help with your online presence and digital marketing strategies, education and coaching opportunities are available to give you an extra edge when working toward your influential marketing goals. So whether you're in the market for a new marketing strategy or just want to understand the landscape a little bit more, starting with social media is a great, low-cost way to give your marketing prowess the extra boost it needs. Download this FREE GUIDE for actionable ideas for your social media marketing Your free Social Media 101 Marketing Guide will give you fresh ideas for how to create awesome social media marketing content. Download this guide and get the tips and trips from pros to elevate your social media marketing content today! DOWNLOAD GUIDE
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Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Real Estate Direct Mail Marketing Strategy
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Running Out of Space? A Dropbox Primer: What Every Agent Needs to Know
Is your hard drive running out of storage space? Are you tired of dealing with file size limits when sending emails or losing them in long email threads? Fear not, because the internet has a solution designed specifically to make full drives a thing of the past while maximizing your ability to share your files. Today, hosting most of your files online (using an online service to store your files on remote servers) has become ubiquitous with the digitalization of the real estate sales process. As a result, file hosting as a business has become massive. For example, Google Drive boasts more than 1 billion users and 2 trillion files, while the early champ in the space, Dropbox, reports 700 million registered users and 550 billion pieces of content. The top three file-sharing services, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive, dominate the offerings available with 77% total market share, according to Enlyft research. Because Dropbox was established four years before Google Drive, many real estate agents are avid Dropbox users. In addition, Dropbox is a dynamic choice, especially for agents to keep their files and team in sync with one another. What makes Dropbox so helpful is that it gives you easy access to your files, no matter your digital device. The service also stores your files on multiple servers and uses encryption technology to keep your files incredibly safe from viruses and scammers. But there's much more to Dropbox than using it as your digital hard drive. Here is a brief primer on what every agent needs to know about Dropbox. Intro to Dropbox Access to Dropbox requires an account, and it's easy as creating a new email. Simply enter your name and email address, create a strong password, and agree to the terms of service: your account is all set to go! It's also simple to add new files to your Dropbox. You can drag and drop files from your device into the Dropbox folder. On your PC, your Desktop will show your saved folders and file, the same as if it is on a local drive. If you want to save files manually instead of dragging and dropping files, that's simple too. First, go to your Dropbox account and click on the "All files" tab in the left sidebar. Then, navigate your mouse to the folder where you want to save your selected files or folders. From there, click on the "Upload" button. Select the "Upload files" or "Upload folder" tab, depending on your needs. Your file and/or folder should show up. Click on "Open" to confirm everything is there. The power of sharing Dropbox offers a mobile app that allows you to manually upload files, photos, and videos on the go. And since you are storing your files in the cloud, you'll have an easier time sharing your files and folders – no matter where you are. With Dropbox, agents can quickly share files and folders they want to show to their coworkers, administrative assistants, team members, or clients. To start, scroll to the item you would like to share and select the "share" icon that appears. From there, type in the email or name of the person, people, or group you'd like to share the selected file or folder with, then select the "Can Edit" or "Can View" option from the dropdown menu. Under settings, you can customize who will access your downloads and even require a password or set an expiration date for safeguarding. From there, just click on the "Share file" or "Share folder" option, and your recipients will receive an email invitation to instantly access what you have shared. That email invitation gives them a hyperlink to access on Dropbox the files you shared. (The recipients don't need a Dropbox account.) And since you are not sending copies of the physical files, your email never exceeds its sending limits. Advantages to Dropbox One of the key advantages of using Dropbox is its versatility. With features such as shared folders, multi-file organization, the ability to convert documents to other file formats, and more, Dropbox has become an agent's "hard drive in the sky." When you first sign up for Dropbox, several storage plans are offered, ranging from a basic free plan that contains up to 2 GB of storage space to an enterprise-level business plan that holds at least 2 TB of available space for files and folders. These options will help you decide what level will meet your needs. For individual use, pricing ranges from Dropbox Plus at $9.99 per month to Dropbox Professional + digital signatures for $24.99 per month, which also comes with 3GB of encrypted cloud storage. Dropbox also allows you to neatly organize all your content, including client information, contracts, and related promotional material, into different folders to share securely with your others. Dropbox is an excellent safeguard for your documents against hackers and malware. Even if your digital device goes kaput, Dropbox will still store your files that you can easily synch with your new device. Also, if you accidentally delete or save over an important file that you need, Dropbox has the option to let you view previous and deleted versions of your files. Dropbox is a time and space saver Moreover, Dropbox can be a vital space saver for storing home video tours, especially if you want to share them directly with future clients and buyers, versus sending them a link to YouTube, avoiding all the ads. Dropbox storing all your items on the cloud automatically and backing up your files is a huge time saver. You also won't be taking up important space on your computer or other digital devices better suited for other things. Remember, if you have free access to Tech Helpline as a member benefit of your MLS or association, you can get all your Dropbox questions answered. Or if you have questions about another online data storage service, Tech Helpline analysts are ready to assist and are only a click, call, or text away. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Remember Single Tasking? Probably Not!
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Friday Freebie: 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan
You've got your overall 2023 business plan down—now it's time to hone in on the nitty-gritty details of your lead generation strategy for the year ahead. To help you do just that, we're highlighting a lead generation planning guide in this week's Friday Freebie. It's completely editable and helps you focus in on your strengths, weaknesses, lead gen goals, budget, strategies and more! Read on to learn how to download your FREE copy. Free download of the 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan, courtesy of Zurple There are 44 days until the new year. Are you ready to meet the challenges of the 2023 real estate market head on? Put your best foot forward with a solid strategy for generating and converting leads. The 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan helps you define your goals and strategies in order to give you solid, actionable steps to take in 2023. The Plan is editable and acts as a worksheet to help you think about and map out your lead gen strategy. Here's what's included: SWOT and competition analyses Lead generation goal setting worksheet Lead generation initiatives worksheet Worksheet for identifying your ideal customers Lead generation plan with space to detail strategies, lead gen channels, performance, budget, etc. And more Get ready to drum up all the business you can handle. Download the 2023 Real Estate Lead Generation Plan now!
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Realtor Market Expert Q&A: Scarlett Green and Josh Taylor
In the spring of 2022, RPR's Broker Services Team put together a special training series for Howard Hanna agents. To receive their "RPR-Howard Hanna Market Expert" certificates, the agents were required to complete four classes on four different topics (available in an on-demand video webinar format available to them via the RPR blog). After each session, they were also asked to complete a "homework" assignment to get full credit. After four lessons and completed "homework," the agents received their certificate. They were also asked to fill out a survey, where they were asked to "Share Their Story" about their RPR training experience. In this Q&A, we speak to two RPR Howard Hanna Market Experts about their experiences taking the training, what they learned, and how they plan to apply their new RPR skills to their business. Scarlet Green Here's what Scarlet Green from Allen Tate Realtors, North Carolina had to say about the training sessions: I have been using RPR for months now and I love it!! Reasons why: 1) the more you use it, the easier and faster it becomes as the best and latest tool in real estate 2) the simplicity of RPR, user friendly 3) RPR offers so much info that you are able to choose exactly what you want/need so you may customize the reports/info for your client(s) 4) RPR offers material and info that are appropriate for both buyers and sellers! 5) Love having a mobile app that actually works! This app was well planned out and created to be user friendly. I also love that you are able to send the info the way your clients like to receive it; example, by text, email, airdrop, etc. I plan on continuing using RPR and appreciate all those who were involved in creating this. Thank you! Q. Hi Scarlett, thanks for joining us. How long have you been in real estate and what area do you specialize in? Ten years, I'm a residential agent, and I mostly work with sellers. A few buyers here and there… Q. How did you get introduced to RPR? Another agent in my office uses it. I heard that doorbell "ding," the sound effect from the reports being generated, and I wanted that! (LAUGHS) I love that doorbell chime of the notification. It's brilliant. It's the small things, you know? Then I started using it for doing comps. I love (and hate) doing comps, but RPR makes it easy. You can't go rogue, the program keeps you right on target. For clients, buying or selling a home is a milestone in life. And they trust us to watch their wallet through the process. I appreciate RPR for helping me create CMAs. Q. In the testimonial you sent us, you mentioned that RPR is simple. Can you give me an example? Sure, I was messing around in RPR last night… and I started looking into Opportunity Zones. As I started, these little prompts came up and I was able to follow along with the pink boxes. So helpful! It's a wizard/teacher to help and guide you. It helps me not waste time! Every time you get on RPR you learn something new, and the more you use it, the more knowledge you get for your clients. Q. You also mentioned the RPR app; how do you like using it? I love it. Whoever came up with it should teach other programmers how to create user friendly tech. I use it in the field all the time, because I can easily pull stuff up. I can instantly send reports and answers to my customers. I have the tech in my hands and it works every time. Tech that works makes me a huge RPR advocate! Q. We love hearing that! What else did you get from the training? Basically, I felt refreshed about navigating the comps and it gave me more confidence. I now tell other agents that I can't believe they're not using RPR. It's a whole different level of experience in real estate. Josh Taylor Josh Taylor from Howard Hanna Pennsylvania had this to say about his Market Expert training series: I'm a newer agent and still learning and growing everyday. I have really enjoyed this series as an introduction to getting more in-depth with RPR. I have used the research pieces and some of the reports already, but I have many new ideas now. I have learned how to drill down in a much better and more efficient way. I love the micro-neighborhood reports to really have that access to learning about even the smaller neighborhoods in my area. RPR helps me to present my expertise and show clients the knowledge base that I have access to in order to show my value add for them. Thank you for this learning opportunity and I look forward to learning more! Q. How long have you been practicing real estate Josh, and what area do you work in? Just over a year and a half, and I work in residential. Q. How did you get introduced to RPR? I had used it on my own a bit, and I was getting monthly emails about the training and webinars from my brokerage, NAR, etc. But I must admit, this Market Expert series was more of an incentive, the certificate was appealing. As a new agent I need help learning CMAs and RPR helps with that in a lot of ways. Q. You mentioned new ideas for using RPR, how are you doing that? So many! I didn't know about mailing labels, or how to search neighborhoods and subdivisions for specific owners. It's great for direct mailings and new listings. Drilling down into neighborhoods and uncovering the demographics, that stuff is really helpful. I like using the neighborhood search and the neighborhood reports. And the maps are great for prospecting. I've used that a few times since the training took place. Q. How does RPR help you in your business? I like that the CMA has different ways to achieve the goal to get the right pricing. Some info is outdated and you can add updates to the home using the Refine Value tool. That gives me a framework to the price, and then I can pull up really specific values and features, like a pool. The flexibility is controlled, and I get more accurate results using RPR than just my MLS. The other thing I really like is when you print something from RPR, the branding and the cleanliness of the report is important. And that it looks like it comes from me! Having my picture and my information in the reports makes it well branded. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Real Estate Farming: Sowing, Growing and Expanding Your Business
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Forget Black Friday: Thursdays are the day for home price cuts
Home buyers looking for a Black Friday deal may want to shop on Thursdays. That's the day of the week when sellers are most likely to slash their list price, according to new research from Zillow. This fall, a record 28% of sellers had cut their list price, meaning bargain hunters who can afford today's mortgage rates are more likely to snag a discount. When sellers cut prices, 18.5% of them do so on a Thursday. However, the timing can be slightly different depending on the metro area. For instance, in Philadelphia and Baltimore, price cuts most often happen on Tuesday, while Monday is the best day for deals in Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. Buyers nationwide can be sure to see fewer price cuts on Fridays and the weekends when sellers are busy with showings and open houses. The best time of year for bargains typically runs from the beginning of July to the middle of September. These are often discounts on homes that didn't find a buyer during the busy spring and summer home shopping seasons. As homes linger on the market past October, it becomes increasingly less likely that their prices will come down. "Fall and early-winter sellers likely understand the market is slower during the colder months and may have built that into their pricing strategy, resulting in fewer price cuts," said Zillow senior economist Orphe Divounguy. "This year may be the exception. This fall, a record number of sellers have already adjusted their list price to keep up with the rapidly shifting market. The price they set just weeks ago may no longer be attainable in light of rising mortgage rates and falling demand." Buyers shouldn't hold their breath for doorbuster discounts. Price drops are typically modest — between 2.6% and 3.8% off the home's listing price. That adds up to about $11,000 on a typical U.S. home but can be as much as $61,700 in more expensive metro areas like San Jose, California. Shoppers in Buffalo can get the biggest bargains right now, where the typical price cut is 4.6%. Shoppers in Phoenix, meanwhile, are seeing the smallest reductions, with a typical price cut of 2.5%. If a seller is going to cut their home's price, it usually happens three weeks after listing. The exception is in the winter, when homes are typically listed for roughly seven weeks before sellers cut prices. Price reductions are now happening sooner than they used to prior to the pandemic, when listings would typically linger for four weeks before a price reduction. Bargain hunters have more opportunity to snag a discount in today's housing market than they have had in years. The share of listings with a price cut has been steadily rising as homes remain on the market 45% longer than a year ago. In most markets, cooling demand means buyers also have less competition and more bargaining power to negotiate with sellers. Most agents say buyers are making offers below list price more often than they were just six months ago. "Buyers who are pre-approved for a mortgage at today's rates will not only find more discounts, but they'll have a much better buying experience," said Divounguy. "They will have more time to make a decision and will be able to include contingencies in their offer, which could help them avoid a costly mistake. A home should be a long-term investment, and buyers today have a better opportunity to land the right home than they have had in several years."
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5 Reasons Why the Sky Is Not Falling: By the Numbers
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How to Plan for Success in the New Year
Cheers to 2022, it was quite the year! As we're preparing to embrace 2023 and all it has in store for the real estate industry, now is the perfect time to begin planning out your success in the new year. Let's cover everything agents need to know about business planning, goal-setting, and getting organized for next year. 1. Start with Goal Setting If you're ready to make 2023 the best year for your business, it all starts with goal setting. Start broad, and get specific once you've mapped out your overarching goals. Ask yourself these questions: What do you want to achieve in the new year? In one year's time, what do you want to have accomplished? Where do you want to be, both in your business and personal life? Perhaps you want to up your transaction volume by 15%, or you want to close 20 deals in 2023. Maybe you want to grow your team to hire five new agents. Or, you want to take a two-week vacation with your family without disrupting your business flow. These goals will be personalized to you and your team, so think about what really matters to you. After you have a vision set for your big-picture goals, it's time to get granular. The next step of strategic goal setting is to get specific about each step you'll need to take to achieve your larger goals. 2. Get Organized For each of your goals, map out a course of action. This is where you'll leverage the power of organization to help make your aspirations a reality. Don't leave anything out here, think it all through — but keep your plans within reason. A successful goal-setting strategy is something that you can actually achieve within the allotted time. Let's say you want to close 20 deals next year. To do that, you'd likely need to close five deals per quarter. So, you'd want to figure out: How many leads do you need to be generating per month to drive this conversion rate? How many transactions does each agent on your team need to close per quarter? Do you have the tools and software in place to support this scaling of your team's operations? Each concern will likely unfold more action steps you need to be taking to achieve your goal. For example, if you know you need to be generating a specific number of leads per month, what's your outreach strategy like? How many phone calls do you have to make? By taking initiative and planning your weekly actions, you can set smaller milestones that help you achieve your bigger annual goals. Pro Tip: This is where the power of accountability kicks in. If you lapse on your weekly and monthly tasks, it may be more difficult for you to maintain a course that supports the achievement of your larger goals. Stay motivated, maintain your momentum, and take every day as an opportunity to achieve your goals! 3. Build Out Your Business Plan Once you've locked down your larger goals and mapped out the measured steps you'll need to take to achieve them, you can build out a business plan that's in tune with your aspirations. In the business plan development phase, you want to convert your to-do tasks into reliable, actionable strategies. This is where you'll make sure that your team has all of the tools that they need to succeed, and that your workflows utilize them to unlock the fullest potential. Your business plan should clearly and articulately state your 2023 plans for marketing, finances, and operations. All goals should be firmly defined — and don't forget to include a budget. Use this as an opportunity to restate your overarching goals, define your business, and differentiate your unique service offerings from your competitors. This may be a good time to define your niche, revisit your brand's mission and vision, and hone your company values. Remember: It Takes a Team If you're working together as a real estate team, it's important that everyone is involved in this process. If you don't make everyone aware of your goals, they won't be able to work their hardest to achieve them by the end of 2023. Having transparent communication with your entire team can help you create realistic expectations — and troubleshoot before issues arise. Make sure to loop your team members into your goal-setting process for 2023 to boost your success in the new year. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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RPR for New Members: The Complete Beginner Series
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Showing Gratitude to Your Community as a Real Estate Agent
The community you farm and work in has afforded you a bountiful harvest of success. Why not show a little gratitude by planting a few seeds in the soil that you've nurtured to get to where you are? Here are a few ideas real estate agents can use to give back to their community. Remember! You don't have to wait 'til Thanksgiving to be thankful, this can be done year round. 1. Support Your Clients with Time The gift of time is something that can't be transferred or refunded. Continue maintaining relationships with your past and future clients by giving them a little bit of time. Many people within your network will be pursuing charitable efforts during this time of the year, and it would be greatly appreciated if you were to participate. Your actions can say a lot about you as a person. 2. Have a Team Charity Event Coordinate an event with you, your team, agents in your office, or anybody with in your network. Do some volunteering — maybe do a 5K. Just get out there and let people know you don't just sell to your community, but you are also a member of it. 3. Help Jump Start an Agent's Career Do you remember when you first started real estate? Mentoring a budding new agent is a great way to pay it forward to whoever mentored you when you were a rookie. An additional benefit is that by assuming a teacher role, you can strengthen the knowledge base you currently have. You will also be reminded of some important bits of info that you may have forgotten over time. 4. Use Social Media to Highlight a Cause You Care About It's one thing to "like and share" posts on Facebook, but it's another to highlight a cause you care about and rally other people to care about it too. If there is something that you are passionate about fixing in your community, talk about it on social media! Others that share that passion will help drive your message and help connect you with like-minded individuals. 5. Give Blood There will always be a need for this, and who knows, you might even save a life! This can also be highlighted on social media. Just remember, charity should not be done for the "likes." So instead of bragging about how philanthropic you are, encourage others to follow suit and donate blood, too (or to another charity of your choosing). To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Augmented Reality and Generative AI Could Transform Future of Real Estate Marketing
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4 Ways Agents Can Help Military Veterans Become Homeowners
When it comes to housing, our service men and women face several unique challenges, from finding a home from abroad to navigating the confusing world of VA mortgage loans. This Veterans Day, we want to help you serve those who serve us to achieve the pinnacle of the American Dream — homeownership. Here are a few tips to help you better serve this niche: 1. Use technology to work with relocating service members from afar Active members of the military often have to find housing before they physically relocate to an area. Tech tools like Zoom, FaceTime, virtual tours, and digital transaction management are key parts of your arsenal here. Thanks to the pandemic, nearly everyone has become familiar with long distance communication tools. To learn more and get tech recommendations, see What You Need to Know About Virtual Meetings. 2. Look for houses with good resale value One challenge military members face is something called a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). This means that service men and women are often uprooted on short notice and reassigned to a new base. Because of this, it's helpful that any home they own has strong resale value so it can be sold quickly in case of PCS. This is especially important if the current home needs to be sold before a new one can be purchased. 3. Get certified as a Military Relocation Professional As we mentioned, both veterans and active members of the military have unique housing needs. To help Realtors better understand these needs, NAR offers a Military Relocation Professional certification. Agents will learn how to help agents take full advantage of their military benefits when buying a home, become familiar with military culture and lingo, learn the basics of Veterans Affairs loans, and more. 4. Give back by volunteering or donating And, finally, even if you don't work in an area with many veterans or active military personnel, you can still make a difference! These organizations assist veterans — including the disabled, wounded, and homeless — in finding a home. Check out the links below for volunteer and donation opportunities: Final Salute Homes for Heroes Got Your 6 One last takeaway Veterans and active military members are often excellent clients. According to NAR's recent Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile, they typically buy houses at a younger age than civilians and buy houses that are larger and higher priced than the general population, too. And while our current real estate market may discourage civilian buyers from moving, the nature of military work means veterans are frequently relocating and needing a new home—regardless of what the market is doing. That's encouraging news for those who serve this niche. And last but certainly not least — don't forget to thank a veteran today! Happy selling!
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10 Video Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents
While it appears that every Realtor is creating real estate videos these days, some don't seem to get more leads from video. There could be a few reasons why: Focus: Real estate professionals should ensure that the focus is on generating leads while making videos. Video Quality: For marketing videos to be successful enough to generate leads, the quality should be good. Most viewers won't continue watching if the video quality is bad. Video content has become more widely available and accessible thanks to the internet and cellphones. Now more users can easily relate to and engage with the video content than any other content. Therefore, it is essential to create video content that engages your customers. In today's article, we'll discuss effective video marketing ideas for real estate agents. Top Video Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents There are countless ways to make real estate marketing videos. Here are 10 video ideas to connect with your audience: About Me/Us Videos An "About me/us" video introduces the authentic side of your real estate brand to your clients and prospects. It gives them an insight into the person behind the brand and why you do what you do.  An "About us" video is ideal for capturing you and your team's spirit and qualities authentically and honestly. Most importantly, it allows leads to relate to and like you easily. FAQ Videos FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) videos are a common marketing strategy for conveying information in the form of questions and answers by an expert who has specialized knowledge in the subject matter. Make videos answering frequently asked real estate questions. By providing helpful answers to common real estate questions, you get an engaged audience and potential clients. Community Event Videos Another excellent video marketing idea is community events videos. Make videos of community events such as street fairs, charity events, etc., to promote the local community. Inform people of a neighborhood's existence. This helps establish a solid local presence for your business, helping attract a local customer base. Property Tour Videos The advantage of using videos for property tours is that you have complete control over what your consumers see and how they view the property. You can take advantage of this by focusing on the most outstanding qualities of the property. However, make sure not to mislead prospective purchasers, as this will come to light during an inspection of the property. Draw attention to the most impressive attributes in a subtle manner. Videos of Virtual Tours There's no denying that the world has adopted a more virtual lifestyle since the pandemic. Many real estate professionals now routinely use virtual tours for marketing their listings. This gives viewers an idea of your services while marketing the property. Testimonials Customer satisfaction is one of the most effective marketing tools at your disposal. Who better to market your product or service than a happy customer, right? By capturing their experiences, Realtors can design a highly effective and effortless marketing asset. While you can write down client testimonials for use on your website or in marketing materials, a video testimonial is an even better option. Video of Market Update Sharing videos of the latest updates in the industry gives your audience the impression that you are a reliable source of information. This encourages them to always check your content to see what's new. Post videos of the latest real estate technologies, market changes, and news about the real estate industry. Tips and Tricks Videos While knowledge is undoubtedly powerful, it is exponentially more so when shared! Create videos sharing tips and tricks that can benefit your audience. For example, you can share videos on how to spot property repairs, educational content, and other valuable information for your audience. Go Live on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter One of the most compelling aspects of social media livestreaming is the ability to include more guests and respond to audience comments directly. Naturally, this increases the video's overall impact. In your livestream, you can answer frequently asked questions and even ask your viewers some questions, share real estate news updates, share information about your product or service, etc., creating a high level of trust with your viewers. Day in the Life Share those your day-to-day experiences and genuinely communicate what it's like to be a real estate agent. This allows you to showcase your professionalism, connect with followers, and keep your audience engaged so they know who to reach out to with for anything real estate related. Conclusion With each new advancement in technology, our reliance on it grows both professionally and emotionally. However, video has remained a reliable source of information and entertainment for most people. And, given recent requirements for virtual connectivity, video marketing is likely to remain effective for an extended period of time. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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The Real Estate Agent's Guide to Liability Protection
When a home sale closes, it can feel like the end of a journey. Finally, after open houses, showings, contracts, revisions, and all the myriad steps involved, the client gets to move into their new home and your job is done. Unfortunately, things aren't always so cut and dry, especially with mortgage rates, prices, and chances of buyer's remorse on the rise. Even when real estate agents do everything perfectly throughout a sale, they can get pulled into a legal claim months or years later. Let's explore how you can protect your real estate business and your sellers from home sale disputes. Keep yourself covered through disclosures For most home sales, agents and sellers need to complete disclosure forms. These forms list out important information about the property, like condition, assets, fixtures, updates, and more. As useful as they are, these forms can also be the starting point for potential home sale lawsuits for three reasons: They're legal documents, so they're binding and can be enforced They're full of legalese, so sellers have to ask and agents become the source of information Agents can't make any material representations This means there is a wide gap between what sellers need while completing disclosures and what agents can safely provide. The best bet for agents to reduce liability issues is to look into methods to provide this information without directly involving the agent. Protect yourself after the sale closes Of course, even with proper protections in place, there's always the chance of a post-sale lawsuit. Here's a true story of a claim brought against an agent, shared by our friends at Sellers Shield: Note: Names and details have been changed to protect anonymity. A year after selling her home, Abby, a real estate agent, received a text message from the buyer saying that the property had flooded in a recent storm. The buyer, an attorney, was threatening to sue her if she didn't pay for the water damage, and to report her to the state's real estate committee—putting her at risk of losing her license and her career. In the sale process, Abby had been very clear in her seller's disclosure. She had disclosed in detail that the home had flooded during her time living there, and that she had hired someone to install French drains to help resolve the flooding issue. This meant that Abby could protect herself against the buyer's claim. Because this was a client story through Sellers Shield, they kept her covered with a local real estate attorney to represent her, resolved the claim with minimal involvement on her part, and protected her from the stress of a lawsuit. As a real estate agent, you have a lot of things on your plate. Worrying about potential lawsuits after a sale shouldn't be one of them. To view the original article, visit the Lone Wolf blog.
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5 Reasons Agent Teams Get More Leads Than Solo Agents
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Study Identifies Challenges of New Agents and What It Takes to Succeed in Real Estate
A record number of Americans became real estate agents in recent years. It can be a challenging career for newcomers, and the early struggles to find success means only 4 in 10 new real estate professionals are confident about having a long-term career in real estate, according to Realtor.com®'s new #ThrivePastFive study. Realtor.com® recently surveyed more than 2,000 agents to gain insights into their top challenges, what separates new and experienced agents, and what it takes to find success in those critical early years, and is translating it into insights specifically to help new agents succeed. Having a great mentor and cash reserves, as well as spending money on marketing, and making a full-time commitment during those first few years in real estate are vital for an agent's long-term success, according to the study results. There are many different reasons why so many decided on a real estate career, from it being a flexible career option for those seeking balance and autonomy, to the clients, the lifestyle it provides, and the income potential. Despite it being a hot career choice for many, real estate is not easy, and every agent faces different challenges, from a lack of knowledge and training at the start of a career to growing a client base and understanding how to effectively convert leads, and too many agents don't make it past year five. "In a shifting and ultra-competitive marketplace, with twice as many real estate agents than listings, having insights from experienced agents – 80% of whom are confident about making it long term as an agent – about what works best to power business growth has never been more valuable," said Donna August, vice president of B2B Marketing at Realtor.com®. Lead generation a top pain point With home inventories rising but still near four-decade lows, it's no surprise that generating new client leads is hands down the top challenge today for agents of all experience levels. In fact, 60% of all agents cited finding new leads as a challenge, and the figure rose to 70% among new agents, those with less than two years experience. One of the most effective real estate lead generation strategies is to build a strong client network, which can take years for a new agent to grow. Only one-quarter of new agents reported having a network of buyers and sellers that they feel confident about, and nearly half (45%) said they struggle with developing a new client each week; comparatively, 70% of the most experienced agents surveyed – or those with 11+ years in real estate – are creating between one to four new client relationships each week. Other top lead generation challenges for agents of all experience levels are converting leads to clients, poor lead quality, competition from other local agents, high costs per lead, getting a lead too late, low connection rates and the time/effort in managing clients is too high. Beyond lead generation, new agents also struggle with non-serious buyers, whereas experienced agents' struggle with big listings sites that compete with them as brokers. Knowledge gaps that threaten success Newer agents wish they had more knowledge of lead gen, transaction processes and marketing, whereas experienced agents wish they knew more about social media marketing, online ad campaigns that convert and search engine optimization. When it comes to why many agents likely don't succeed, new agents perceive their struggles are because of a lack of training and startup cash, while the most experienced agents responded it was likely because new agents underestimate the time commitment and the learning curve. Contributing factors to a new agent's success With so many challenges facing new agents, finding success can seem daunting, but a portion of survey respondents are finding it's absolutely possible. When looking at the characteristics of successful new agents – those who average more than seven transactions a year – the majority, 9 in 10, work full-time. While most agents surveyed work full time (83%), as new agents work to establish themselves, they are three times more likely to work part time compared to their more experienced counterparts, 24% versus 8% for the most experienced agents. Nearly half (47%) spend more than $3,000 a year on marketing, and nearly 7 in 10 spend money on online leads every month. Two-thirds of successful new agents also had someone to mentor them, as well as had back up funds when they first started out in real estate. How much to spend on marketing The old adage "you've got to spend money to make money" rings true for agent success; 64% of experienced agents spent $3,000 or more annually, whereas 70% of new agents spend less than $3,000 annually. Nearly 9 in 10 agents pay for marketing costs themselves. New agents are most likely to receive marketing support from their brokerage, 15% versus 9% for experienced agents. Only about one third of new agents spend $50 or more a month on internet leads, whereas experienced agents are most likely to spend between $50-499 a month on internet leads. Top channels to find the most success With a greater network of past clients, more experienced agents find online marketing success with calling on past clients via email marketing. Newer agents tend to have more social media experience, which is likely why 82% of new agents rely on social media and lean into creating their own content. Among the different social platforms, Facebook is the platform of choice among survey participants, with 63% of all agents using it to generate leads, and Instagram comes in at a distant second at 28%. Despite the popularity of social media, new agents struggle to convert it into leads, and social media ranked No. 5 for lead gen after networking/referrals, email marketing, digital advertising, and internet leads. Among all agents, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat ranked among the social media sites for lowest lead gen (with less than 5% getting any leads from these sources). While 6 in 10 agents of all experience levels ranked the tried and true method of networking and word of mouth the highest for offline marketing channels, newer agents also ranked open houses (44%) as a top channel. For the most experienced agents, more than half (55%) call on past contacts/leads as a secondary offline marketing tactic, followed by direct mail and open houses. To find out more about the study and results, visit www.realtor.com/thrivepastfive/.
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5 Strategic Tips to Make You a Social Media Pro
Social media is known to be a great way to build your brand and engage through multiple platforms. Your social media presence tells your brand story to new clients and displays your business' personality to potential clients. Your social profiles act as the voice that your brand needs. You want to keep your social media posts professional but also have some casual, funny posts to show who you are and build trust with your followers. You have the control to set the tone of your interactions. Here are a handful of tips to help you manage your social media success. Shine Your Personality Through Your Social Media Social media is a great platform to share your day-to-day life, but also maintain your business professionalism. You can post things that your viewers can connect with like family/pets, events in your community, or that beautiful sunset shot you captured over the weekend. Try to keep those personal posts to one a week. You can also show off your properties — but instead of always sharing the listing itself, share the selling point of the home. Maybe the house has a killer entertaining area that is a must-see. You can also share design tips or maybe how-to's on a budget that brings a different view to your followers. Keep Promotional Posts Going, but Limited If you've ever heard the 80-20 rule being thrown around, social media is one of the best places to use this strategy. You want to be productive, but also mindful so you continue to engage with your followers and potential clients, and prove yourself as the best in business. Going overboard can cause people to lose interest. While creating your posts, you want to keep 80% of your posts that are relevant to your target audience with no benefit to you or your business. The remaining 20% of your posts can be used to promote your listings, what you offer, or even yourself. Be Creative with What You Post Instead of just posting the same old property listing or a list of your services, post content with a creative side to it. Have your previous clients create a video testimonial for you, showcase a local event you're attending or hosting, and promote a business referral partner you rely on and trust. They can do the same for you! The more creative you get, the more likely you're able to grab the attention of your target audience and viewers. Go LIVE! I know, it may sound scary at first, but it is a big way to get in front of your audience in real-time. They can see your video instantly and even ask questions while you're shooting your video. While you're at a listing or event, make it happen through either Facebook or Instagram. Don't Forget to Engage This may be one of the more important items because it shows you care and that you have a real interest in your followers. It also helps build those relationships by proving you're a real person instead of someone who just automates their social media. Doing this for 10-15 minutes a day can boost engagement with your brand and help boost your posts. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Friday Freebie: 64 Graphic Templates for Promoting Your Listings on Social Media
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NAR Finds Share of First-Time Home Buyers Smaller, Older Than Ever Before
When compared to a year ago, the share of first-time home buyers dropped to a record low, while the age of a typical first-time buyer increased to an all-time high. The median distance buyers moved from their previous homes more than tripled from the distance registered the previous four years as the shares of homes purchased in small towns and rural areas reached record highs. Housing affordability and inventory challenges significantly impacted when, where and how consumers purchased homes, according to the National Association of Realtors®' 2022 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, an annual report released today and published since 1981, which analyzes the demographics, preferences and experiences of buyers and sellers across America. "It's not surprising that the share of first-time buyers shrank to the lowest level ever recorded given the housing market's combination of historically low inventory, persistently high home prices and rapidly escalating interest rates," said Jessica Lautz, NAR vice president of demographics and behavioral insights. "Those who have housing equity hold the cards and they've fared very well in the current real estate market. First-time buyers are older as a result of saving for down payments for longer periods of time or relying on a generational transfer of wealth to propel them into homeownership." First-time buyers made up only 26% of all buyers, down from 34% last year and a peak of 50% in 2010 during the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. The age of the typical first-time buyer was 36 years – up from 33 years one year ago – and the typical repeat buyer's age climbed to 59 years from 56 years in 2021. Both ages are the highest in the history of the data set. The median expected home tenure for first-time buyers was 18 years, the highest ever recorded and up from 10 years in 2021. The median distance between the home that recent buyers purchased and the home from which they moved was 50 miles, the highest ever recorded. From 2018 through 2021, the median distance moved was just 15 miles. Lautz noted that several reasons were behind the decisions among last year's buyers to seek homes farther distances away from their previous residences. "Family support systems still prevailed as a motivating factor when moving and in neighborhood choice," Lautz said. "For others, housing affordability was a driving factor to seek homes in areas farther away. For many, remote work decisions were formalized in the last year, providing clarity for employees to permanently move to more distant areas." The shares of buyers who purchased homes in small towns (29%) and rural areas (19%) were the highest ever recorded, while the shares of homes purchased in suburban (39%) and urban (10%) locations declined from one year ago. In terms of the share of home buyers by race, White Americans accounted for 88% of all buyers, followed by Hispanic Americans at 8%, Black Americans at 3%, and Asian Americans at 2%. The shares for White and Hispanic Americans increased from a year ago – 82% and 7%, respectively – while the shares of Black and Asian American buyers declined – both down from 6%. "Housing affordability and limited inventory impacted the buying power of all buyers, however, the greatest impact was felt by Black and Asian Americans, as both groups saw a shrinking share of home buyers," Lautz said. "Conversely, White and Hispanic Americans experienced gains in buyer shares. Population growth among Hispanic Americans likely drove the increase, while many White Americans are repeat buyers with housing equity that allows them to make easier trades in today's market." The median number of weeks that buyers searched for a home was 10, an increase from eight weeks in 2020 and 2021. Home buyers typically purchased their homes for 100% of the asking price, with 28% purchasing for more than asking price. Seventy-eight percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase, down from 87% last year and driven by the increased share of repeat buyers who paid all cash. The typical down payments for first-time and repeat buyers were 6% and 17%, respectively. The median age of home sellers was 60 years, up from 56 years one year ago. Sellers typically lived in their home for 10 years before selling. While that was an increase from eight years the previous year, it's the same tenure reported in 2019 and 2020. Continuing a long-standing trend, the overwhelming majority of buyers (86%) and sellers (87%) hired a real estate agent or broker to purchase or sell their homes. Nine in 10 buyers said that they were very satisfied with their agent's knowledge of the purchase process (90%), and their agent's honesty, integrity and knowledge of the real estate market (89%). Eighty-nine percent of buyers and 85% of sellers said that they would recommend their agent to others. "During challenging and changing market conditions, one thing that's calming and constant is the assurance that comes from a Realtor® being in your corner through every step of the home transaction," said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor® from Plano, Texas, and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. "Consumers can rely on Realtors®' unmatched work ethic, trusted guidance and objectivity to help manage the complexities associated with the home buying and selling process."
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The Real Reasons You Should Be Using a Professional Real Estate Photographer (It's Not What You Think)
So you've been referred by an acquaintance to give a listing presentation for someone who is considering putting their home on the market. You gather up the sales comparisons for the subject property and head out to meet the seller. Simple. But when you reach the home, the owner starts to quiz you about how you will market their property to get it sold quickly. Sales comparisons are not enough to convince them to give you the listing. You stumble to explain that homes are selling fast, so the sooner they get their property on the market, the sooner they can get it sold. Rolling through your head is, "Why hire a real estate photographer?" and suddenly the answer comes to you. You explain that part of your professional services includes the use of high-quality images, virtual tours, immersive floor plans, and social media advertising. Pulling out your laptop, you show examples of your current listings and highlight the analytics so they can see how you track each property. The seller is impressed and you win the listing presentation. That's a whole lot to unpack in a short period. If you are missing a few of these must-have services, here are some reasons you should be using a professional real estate photographer for all your listings. Scarcity of listings means you need to present well Although the housing inventory is rebounding somewhat in the wake of rising interest rates, inventory levels are still below the pre-pandemic era. What does that mean for you as a real estate agent? It means competition will be fierce not only to win listings, but inventory for your homebuyers will be tight. The question of Why hire a real estate photographer? keeps popping back up. Remember, real estate photographers have all the services you need to win your listing presentations. Showcase your talents as an agent by proving you are worth your commission. The seller wants to know you are working for them. When you use accurate floor plans, 3D tours, and professional photography for every listing, the seller can see how you will market their property. Good presentation attracts buyers willing to pay top dollar, especially in a high-demand market. Getting the edge over the competition Multiple offers ensue when you start with an outstanding presentation. Have you ever seen a listing with photos that look like they came directly from a 10-year-old phone? You know the ones — a little dark, a little narrow, and a lot blurry. Is this how you want to present a property? If you want to get an edge over your fellow agents, you need to employ the services of a professional real estate photographer. Good photos attract the right kind of attention. They also pair well with other services your photographer offers. While photos grab the eye of a web-browsing consumer, the way to keep their attention is by using proptech tools like 3D tours and immersive floor plans. When the consumer engages with a property longer, they start to imagine it as their own. Brand yourself as an expert Use your skills as a Realtor and leverage the skills of other professionals to do what they do best. Think Ferrari – have you ever run across a major brand whose marketing photos were shot from a salesperson's point and shoot? Professional photographs exemplify everything good about a product. When the product is real estate, you know why you hire a real estate photographer. Your professional real estate photographer captures the essence of a home. They use high-tech cameras to produce enticing images, virtual tours and offer excellent ways to promote your brand. Share your expertise on your social media channels, website, and social ads all with the help of a professional photographer. Showing off your professionalism brands you as an expert and leads to more listings. Time and money Real estate transactions take time, from winning the listing presentation to marketing to closing a sale. What if you could save time with the listing preparation and save time by shortening up the condition period? A professional real estate photographer can help you gather accurate measurements, floor plans, and virtual tours using technology from leading companies like iGUIDE. Turnaround time is usually less than 24 hours. You'll be able to upload high-quality photos to your MLS listing and start analyzing the number of views right away. When an offer is signed up, mortgage appraisers, family members, and insurance companies will appreciate being able to view the entire property without the need for an in-person visit. A quick "drive-by" assessment may be all that is needed to obtain financing and get conditions removed. When the buyers' parents are co-signers and need to approve the purchase, they can virtually walk through the home even if they are thousands of miles away. You can eliminate long, drawn-out condition periods by using virtual tours, floor plans and professional photos. The benefit is a deal closed more quickly and money in your pocket faster! So why hire a real estate photographer if you can just grab some photos and measurements from your newly acquired smartphone app? New technology like 3D tours and accurate floor plans with precise measurements are in demand. Professional real estate photographers have these services and know how to use them. Stay up to date with the ever-changing landscape of real estate if you want to thrive in the industry. Would you trust your Ferrari to a YouTube mechanic? Yeah, kind of like that. Keep real estate professional. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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New 2022 Realtor Tech Survey Reveals Advances, Shortcomings
Today, the National Association of Realtors released its annual Technology Survey of members, one of my favorite yearly research studies. With over 2,400 responses, it provides excellent insight into how tech innovations are impacting the real estate business now and in the future. Not many surprises, but this new research confirms the acceleration of tech adoption as one positive factor fueled by the pandemic. Here are some quick highlights: eSigning rules Looking back at the last 12 months, respondents ranked eSignatures as the most impactful tech tool (79%), with lockboxes (67%) and local MLS apps/technology (67%) tied for second place. A three-way tie is next, with transaction management, CRMs, and video conferencing all at 47%. Safety, speed, and drones dominate future tech tools When asked to predict what business tech tools will have the most impact in the next 24 months, Cybersecurity at 31% eked out the first place as 5G followed with 30%. Drone tech landed solidly in third place with 27%. New tech is starting to gain traction AI, including computer vision and machine learning, virtual reality, IoT (internet of things), and augmented reality are all seen as being "very impactful" over the next 24 months by about one in five respondents. Not yet prime time tech Less than one in 10 Realtors predict blockchain/crypto/smart contracts and the metaverse will be very impactful over the next two years. The same is true when it comes to self-driving vehicles. Hey, big spenders More than one in three Realtors spend at least $250 monthly on their tech tools. That's surprising when one considers brokerages and MLSs are investing millions in providing agents with their tech stack offerings. They must be the group that comprises the one-in-four Realtors who spend less than $50 a month on tech. Yes, they are More than one in three Realtors – 35% – agree that their brokers provide them with all the tech tools they need. But unfortunately, nearly two-thirds say they are not getting the tech tools from their brokers or are ambivalent, which is just as troubling. The price is right 47% of Realtors said that the price their broker charges for technology fees is reasonable. Another 38 percent said their broker does not charge them a technology fee. However, over one in 10 (12%) said that the price they pay for broker-provided tech is not worth it. MLSs get high marks for tech Nearly three out of four Realtors expressed satisfaction with their MLS's technology offerings, with 33% of respondents saying they were extremely satisfied with their MLS's technology offerings. Top 5 MLS tech tools Property data ranked No. 1 with 85%. Sales stats was second with 81%. Public records search was third with 75%. Listing syndication is now fourth with 72%. A pleasant surprise to round out the top five is automated emails to clients and prospects. Top lead generators – move over portals Social media was No. 1 with 46%. Local MLSs are second with 30%. CRMs were third with 26%, and that's a bit of a surprise. You'd think CRMs would be higher as it includes one's sphere of influence. Other research says that repeat business and their spheres are typically the highest-ranked, top-quality lead generators, but social also overlaps sphere. Most surprisingly: Listing aggregators are dead last on the list at 16%. They did not bite on Bitcoin 87% of all Realtors do not own any cryptocurrency. One common theme is the lack of general knowledge Realtors overall have when it comes to new tech. Realtors, mostly, are not early adopters. The great tech lag continues, despite the inroads made during the pandemic with the adoption of core tech tools. But when it comes to newer tech, most Realtors remain largely skeptical, at best. For example, even though there are 14.4 billion IoT or internet of things devices connected in our world today, 41% of Realtors are not familiar at all with IoT. Less than one-in-ten said they were "very familiar" with IoT. With emerging tech, like the metaverse, more than half are not very familiar or not familiar at all. And yet 36% of Realtors said they believe that the metaverse will probably have an impact on real estate. Finally, 41% of Realtors said they were unfamiliar with Big Data and AI. Leading organizations in this space – like RESO – need to do some more broker/agent outreach, folks! You can find the latest report here. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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So What Do You Do About That Nightmare Client You Fired?
There will be some occasions where a potential client is giving off red flags, but you ignore them because the commission check is substantial. The client has been through three other agents before you, and certainly you have something different that will keep that client satisfied, right? And after that client holds you to impossibly high standards due to their unrealistic expectations, you decide to fire them. How do you deal with firing a client? Here are things to remember when firing a client: Keep It Professional Thank for them for the opportunity, and tell them you want them to be happy with the result, but you aren't the right person for that. They might be quick to use colorful language, but you don't have to (and shouldn't) lower yourself to that level. Instead, always be cordial and wanting to keep their best interests in mind. If you are being trashed in a public online forum, don't let future prospects think you are a petty agent. Be likable. It Benefits You to Be Picky Remind yourself that since this is your business, you get to choose who you will work with. You can choose based on matching personalities. You can also choose to accept clients to further build your reputation in your given niche. You are your own boss and have the right to refuse service — meaning you get to choose who you work with. This can be a positive thing. Sometimes you should choose clients that you know you can properly service. Respond to All Reviews If the breakup wasn't a smooth one, they may want to paint a negative picture of you online. This part can be tricky. You should always respond to every review, negative or positive. You can always reply with a message such as, "I'm sorry your particular needs are something I was not able to cater to. I hope you are able to find what you are looking for!" This will help improve your online reputation, and portray you in a more flattering light. Move On Focus on whatever is next for you in your real estate business. There are plenty of past, current, and future clients who will be incredibly grateful for the service that you have provided them. Keep nurturing those relationships, and that time invested will result in more income from the referrals they provide you. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Leverage Your Inbox to Cultivate Leads and Repeat Business
We've all heard that staying engaged with past clients is a phenomenal way for real estate agents to nurture their real estate business. But what does that mean when it comes to your inbox? Email templates and a catchy subject line? Should you be sending your past customers constant emails about their dream home being listed, or just sending them a friendly celebratory email for their birthday? Maybe they have a friend or family member they've mentioned on Facebook or Instagram who's looking for a home — should you reach out just to see if you can help them in their search? Could you even send them a follow-up email about a school in their district that's holding a meet-and-greet event for new parents in the area? The answer is: Do it all. Reach out, even if nothing's going on As a real estate agent, you understand how imperative it is to build connections and keep them going. Staying in touch with your client base, even if they're settled in their homes and not searching for a change, is a great way to maintain a relationship and build credibility as a trusted source for all things real estate. By casually reaching out, you stimulate memory of the interactions they've had with you, reminding them that you helped them during an extremely stressful and pivotal time. Anyone within their immediate sphere of influence then becomes a prospective buyer or seller capable of perpetuating further lead growth for your business. Utilize real estate email templates Email templates are everywhere. Whether for real estate, general marketing ideas, proposals, newsletters for community events, etc., there's an email template ready and waiting. Use them. Not only do they save time, but they can have a fairly positive effect on your stress levels. In fact, using an email template set to a steady drip campaign can free anywhere from two to eight hours of your time per week, leaving you available for that last minute open house or to explore a new local market for a client. Specific email templates geared toward agents also give ideas on how to set up an open house invitation, present housing market data and generate buzz around your personal brand by using proven design and content strategies with your personal branding. It's okay to be human It doesn't matter if you use a template or craft an email from scratch, it's essential to connect with your clients on a human level. For example, if you had a past client who needed more nurturing reach out, try engaging with them on a gentler level by asking how they are, changing your punctuation usage and possibly adding a few emojis here and there. Showing empathy, even in an email, is a great way to build a positive connection with you and real estate, negating some of the more stressful facets of the transactions. If you decide to use a template, try adding general interest information about home design, the buying process, things to do at home or anything else that displays you as a thoughtful expert in your area. Your inbox is a simple yet powerful relationship online meeting tool. It's excellent for engaging established clients, prospecting new buyers/sellers and just staying generally connected with the homeowner community. There are also great learning opportunities that allow you to leverage your emails more effectively, displaying proven strategies and techniques to increase open rates, save money and thoughtfully engage with your contacts. Interested in more tips and tricks to master your email marketing? Dig in deeper with this FREE DOWNLOAD Your free AWESOME EMAIL MARKETING GUIDE will give you more ideas on how to use your inbox and email marketing strategies to stay in touch with past clients so you can create repeat business, as well as generating new and referral leads. Need help with leveraging email marketing to cultivate more business? Elm Street Technology does the work for you and offers solutions that help you stay in touch with past clients so you can generate referral leads and repeat business. Connect with an Elm Street Technology Success Coach today to learn more.
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What Is the Most Valuable Service Buyer Agents Provide?
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How to Reduce Stress from Tech: 4 Time-Tested Tactics
Brokers and their agents are stressed out: long hours, a seismic shift in the market, a record jump in mortgage interest rates, not to mention a pandemic that turned so many lives upside down. And because of the pandemic, the entire real estate industry jumped on the tech bandwagon, catapulting the adoption of new technology by industry pros — we Zoom, Dropbox, eSign, Facebook, and Google more than ever. Screen time is soaring with the onslaught of new technology dominating a broker's workday. What can you do to reduce stress, especially from tech? Here are four time-tested tactics experts suggest can help brokers – or agents – reduce technology-induced or aided stress. Digital Detox: You need to take a complete break from technology, starting with your smartphone. Build this into at least a weekend vacation. A few days of near-zero screen time can do wonders to help you learn to relax. That means no social media scrolling or checking texts or emails. No video games playing or even watching the news. It's time to break away. Get help from a coworker or your significant other who can monitor urgent messages that may need your response because we all know real estate happens. Pro tip: Go to your happy place – your favorite vacation spot or getaway to chill out (unless, of course, your happy place is an internet café, but that's doubtful.) Divorcing yourself from all things tech will reduce stress, increase social interaction and give you more time control. In addition, you are likely to discover how much negativity digital devices may be contributing to your daily life. Change your tech tendencies: Most people are creatures of habit. The same is true when it comes to the technology we use. Is your phone by your bedside at night? Do you ever check your email in the middle of the night or pick up your phone immediately after waking up? Do you use your phone in the bathroom? How much total time do you spend looking at a screen each day? Your smartphone tracks that and can tell you. How do you feel after spending time on Instagram or Facebook? Happy or sad; frustrated or angry? Taking a full assessment of your tech habits and how you react when you use technology for different things can help you change your tendencies. Be proactive: create one if you don't already have family rules in place, such as no phones out at the dinner table. Understanding how you cumulatively spend your time and energy now with tech will help you correct or reduce bad habits and discover better, more positive ways to use your time. Increase face-to-face interaction: Are you Zoomed out? A lot of brokers find being in Zoom meetings all day can be exhausting. It's a great tool, but like everything, it requires use in moderation. Have you noticed increased pleasure when spending time face-to-face with other people? Humans hunger for interpersonal interaction, which seems particularly true for real estate professionals. There is no substitute for face-to-face communication as a stress reliever. Spend more time meeting with your agents and other professionals in person. You will likely find it less stressful but a lot more enjoyable, productive and fun! Set a curfew for your tech: Did you know that blue light emanating from your phone that you are looking at in bed can wreck a good night's sleep? According to health professionals, your mobile phone screen reduces the production of melatonin, a hormone controlling your sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm. As a result, using a mobile phone at night can make it difficult to fall asleep and wake up the following day. In addition, researchers note that the circadian rhythm appears extra sensitive to blue light, making your brain think it's daytime. The best advice: unplug at night. Turn your electronic devices off an hour before you go to sleep. Let's also acknowledge that while technology may contribute to your stress load, it can also relieve stress. You can enjoy silly videos or funny memes and listen to your favorite music on your phone. Meditation apps like Calm or Headspace can help you relax – and fast. Your Fitbit or Apple watch can help monitor your physical activity, which also reduces stress. You can even schedule a video session with a therapist to discover more ways and methods you can use to reduce stress. Even broker tech tools such as transaction management software like Form Simplicity can help reduce work-related stress. They help keep you compliant, streamlines your workflow, and help you stay connected to your agents. You can learn more about how Form Simplicity can help brokers at formsimplicity.com/brokers. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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The Future of Agent Safety: A Conversation with Carl Carter, Jr.
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What Should Be in a Realtor's Email Signature?
Have you ever looked at another professional's email signature and cringed? It seems like there are two extremes out there: those who include their entire resume/portfolio in their signature or those with the bare minimum. Strong real estate signatures should be attention grabbing, while remaining professional. Also, leads should be able to easily access your website and contact information. Know which elements to include and how to format them with this short list of do's and don'ts. Here's what should (and shouldn't) be in a Realtor's email signature: Don'ts JavaScript - Most email programs block emails with JavaScript through anti-virus measures. Clear your HTML code of JavaScript. Animated GIFs - GIFs are image files compressed to display movement. Some images and GIFs are not compatible with certain email programs. Your lead may receive a bunch of code instead of your intended image, decreasing your credibility. Cheesy Quotes - This one is more geared towards personal preference, but my own is that inspirational quotes are cheesy. Unnecessary Disclaimers - Try to avoid unnecessary disclaimers. However, local, state and brokerage rules and regulations may require you to insert your license number, address, or other physical address. Physical Office Address - This depends on the operational aspects of your brokerage. If you receive many walk-ins or your broker's address is difficult to find from the Google search results page, consider including your office address. Do's Name Job Title Phone Number Designation and DRE/License Number (i.e., Realtor, broker / CABRE XSSSS) Email - It may seem counterintuitive to include an email address, since you can simply hit reply. However not all email providers show the email address on forwards. There maybe times that a lead or client forwards your email to another lead, but that lead does not have your address in the forwarded section. Brokerage Name - Always include your brokerage's name, as it may carry more weight than you think. Call-to-Action - Do you need more reviews on Realtor.com or Zillow? More blog views or likes on Facebook and Instagram? Your email signature is your opportunity to direct leads' attention to your preferred links. Your Profile Picture (in appropriate sizes) - Humans are visual creatures, making pictures more powerful than words. Your personal picture will leave an impression much faster on leads than any words will. Include a profile picture if your email provider allows you to. Gmail and Outlook have this feature. Your Logo and Brand Slogan - Have you ever received an email from another professional with an entertaining slogan? Make your lead smile with a witty slogan, but make sure it aligns with the slogan on your website. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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You Might Know Less About Real Estate SEO Than You Think
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7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do with Gmail
Gmail is great for sending, receiving and efficiently organizing email. But did you know that there's a ton of baked-in functionality that you may not know about? For example, real estate agents can set up pre-written responses to quickly reply to clients and leads. And, a new Gmail feature lets you use layouts pre-designed by Google to make whatever you send out look as professional and polished as possible. Watch the video above to learn more about these hidden Gmail features and see simple tutorials for setting up the following: Pre-schedule sending emails Multiple email signatures Sync contacts to your CRM Create an email alias Create canned responses Use pre-designed layouts Send a newsletter Leverage these tips, and you'll soon be using Google's excellent email tool to its fullest!
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RPR Integrates with CompStak to Deliver a Deal-Making Commercial Tool
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Friday Freebie: 2023 Real Estate Business Plan + Workbook
Thanks to market factors like high mortgage rates and buyer hesitancy, 2023 could be a tough year for real estate agents. But with the right planning, it doesn't have to be a tough year for YOU. Get a jump on your goal setting with this week's Friday Freebie — a real estate business plan for 2023 and a workbook that'll do all the necessary math for you (thank goodness, right?!). Read on to learn how to download your free copy. Free download of the 2023 Real Estate Business Plan, courtesy of Zurple Any good business planning session starts with figuring out how you've performed in the past year so you can better understand how to plan for the next year. The downside? There's a lot of numbers and calculating involved. Fortunately, this business plan has you covered. In addition to helpful information, this plan includes a workbook that automatically calculates everything for you. Just plug in your numbers from 2022 and your goals for 2023, and the workbook does the math for you, making the future clearer than ever! Here's what else is included in Zurple's 2023 Real Estate Business Plan: Review of your 2022 performance and expenses Guide to setting your 2023 goals, KPIs and stats Best practices and ideas for marketing and lead generation Guide to executing your 2023 plans A spreadsheet with 7 worksheets to review, forecast, and plan Prepare to take on 2023 and download the 2023 Real Estate Business Plan now!
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4 Productivity Tips for Real Estate Agents
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Matterport Releases Survey Results of U.S. Residential Real Estate Buying Trends
In June of 2022, Matterport issued a global survey to check the pulse on consumer preferences in seven key global markets in the face of a shifting post-pandemic residential real estate market. With interest rates in the United States hovering around 7%, combined with economic uncertainty, buyers have become a bit more hesitant with many taking a wait-and-see approach on purchasing a home. Some homeowners have also expressed a hesitation to sell as prices are decreasing and the prospect of obtaining a new mortgage loan for themselves would likely entail a higher interest rate. As a byproduct, the residential real estate market has slowed with listing prices dropping in some markets and buyer activity returning to pre-pandemic levels. Despite a slowing in the market, the Matterport survey did find that many of the market shifts and consumer preferences that took place as a result of the pandemic have retained their importance in the buying process. To navigate this changing market landscape, residential real estate professionals are seeking strategies and adopting tools that increase visibility for their properties to buyers, accelerate sales cycles, and provide a competitive advantage for the entire sales cycle including winning listings, marketing those homes, then closing those sales. Here are our findings for the residential real estate market in the United States: Remote Work Isn't Going Away In a post-pandemic market, buying trends are still strongly influenced by making accommodations for remote work 41% of home purchases were driven by the need for more space 35% of home purchases were inspired by the need to support remote work 34% of buyers who purchased a home in the last two years relocated more than 50 miles from their previous home Digital Twins Engage Buyers For real estate professionals, these trends present an opportunity to close sales with the adoption of technology that casts a wider net to attract and accommodate a larger amount of buyers from a wider geographical radius: 31% of buyers spent more time viewing listings with virtual tours 30% of respondents made an offer on the property sight unseen 62% of buyers surveyed stated that virtual tools would be an essential resource for future purchases Digital Twins Close Sales 89% of respondents stated that virtual property tours were an important part of their purchase decision 52% of respondents indicated that there was a virtual tour of the listing they ended up purchasing 33% of buyers made their purchase sight-unseen Maintain a Competitive Advantage As the real estate market tightens and becomes more competitive it is essential to leverage tools and processes available to ensure your business remains competitive. Matterport digital twins are proven to shorten sales cycles by reaching a broader range of buyers and providing buyers with the data they need to make a confident and informed buying decision. To view the original article, visit the Matterport blog.
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3 Ways to Protect Your Tech from Natural Disasters
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Social Media and Kids: 5 Ways Realtor Parents Can Monitor What's Going On
As a parent, what can you do to protect your child from the potential dangers of social media? After all, while nearly all social networking sites allow users 13 years and older, it is not uncommon to discover children younger than 13 are active on social media. In fact, 95% of all teens use YouTube, and two out of three teens use TikTok, according to Pew Research. What's the best way to monitor what's happening when your child is online? Here are five ways you can keep dibs on your kids: Use an app Children are getting tablets and smartphones at a younger age more than ever. In addition, the pandemic accelerated the need for all school-age children to use the internet for schooling and schoolwork. This has made it particularly challenging for parents to monitor online behavior continuously. Thankfully, there are several different monitoring apps available that parents can use to protect their children from the unsafe elements of the internet and social media and monitor their screen time. One example is the top-ranked parental control app Bark. It's a paid application that monitors texts, emails, YouTube streaming, and social media platforms for signs of unsafe online behavior such as cyberbullying, internet predators, depressive behavior, threats of violence, and so forth. Its content monitoring tech will send you email and text alerts when it detects harmful issues, allowing you to talk to your child to ensure they are okay and staying safe. Bark offers two different packages: Bark Jr. ($5/month or $49/year), designed for families with young children, and Bark Premium ($14/month or $99/year), geared towards families with students of all ages. Each payment plan also comes with a 7-day free trial. Other monitoring apps include mSpy, Qustodio, and Net Nanny Family Protect Pass. Link your accounts Nearly half of all agents use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and know from experience that managing multiple social media accounts can be time-consuming. But did you know you can link your accounts to your kids? For example, Google Family Link is a free tool that links your Google Account to your child's account. This application allows parents to limit what apps their kid downloads and restrict their screen time. It also allows you to look through your child's browsing activity on Google Chrome and track where your kid is if they are using their device outside the house. It can be used on up to six devices and only requires you and your child have a Google Account. Facebook also allows parents to add family and friends with an existing Facebook account as friends for their child, using a Parent Dashboard. Parents can also create a Messenger Kid's account for their child and connect to their child's Messenger Kid's account. TikTok will automatically disable Direct Messages, disallow private accounts, restrict comments to friends or no one, and won't allow videos to be remixed or downloaded for children 13-15 years of age. If you allow your child of age to use TikTok, be sure the correct birth year and date are entered because once an account is created with that date, the birth date cannot be changed. Require password access to keep an account If you are not monitoring your kid's online behavior, you must be able to access their account information, especially with the abundance of cyberbullying. A recommended quid pro quo: if your child has online accounts, you will always need their current password. Child safety experts recommend setting ground rules for your child, which includes always having the ability to access their online accounts, including email, text, chat, and social media. A best practice is to sit down with your child and work with them to create their social media profile so you can set up their privacy and safety features to protect them from harmful behavior or content. Review their history Once you have access, you must keep track of your child's online activity regularly. It would be best if you went through your child's search and browsing history to ensure they are not being exposed to harmful web content or messages from others. Unmonitored internet behavior can lead to bad decisions. All major web browsers offer a "History" option on the top menu, so it's easy to do. Even smartphone browsers provide built-in history tracking. In addition, parental control apps can automate much of this process. One history app – Famisafe – allows parents to track browser history in both regular and private mode. It also filters out suspicious websites, alerts you on websites your child visits, and comes with screen time controls to limit internet time or lock them out of using a browser. In addition, Famisafe provides Home plans for under $50 a year. Restrict social use to a laptop or desktop: no apps on phones If your child has a smartphone, they can easily access content you don't want them to see. Instilling a house rule that only allows social media access on a laptop or desktop will give you control over what social media accounts your child can access. This means having a family rule that restricts the download of any social media app on their phone. If all of this seems a little harsh, consider that Facebook removed over 36 million posts that encouraged suicide or self-injury last year alone. As a parent, the safest rule for your child's online behavior and use of social media is to trust but verify. If you need assistance monitoring your kid's social media or downloading or setting up a parental control app, contact Tech Helpline, and one of our analysts will guide you through the process. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline blog.
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7 Email Marketing Campaigns for Your Real Estate Business
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Using Webinars to Promote Your Real Estate Business
Is educating your clients on the home buying and selling process at the core of your real estate business? Do you consider yourself an expert on the local market or have a knack for working with first-time home buyers? Could you easily make a Top 10 list with tips and tricks for staging your home for professional photos, open houses, and showings? Do you regularly connect with your team to keep them engaged, involved and progressing as real estate professionals? Webinars to Educate and Inform If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, have you considered creating a webinar series that educates, informs, and showcases your value as a real estate professional? A mainstream marketing tool in today's digital and virtual world, webinars are a low-cost, low-commitment medium for staying connected and establishing credibility with your current and potential client base. Typically 30 minutes to one hour in length, webinars can be recorded, shared, and published with attendees after the live event. Do you have a branded YouTube channel for your business? (Note: YouTube handles were just announced this month; look for more information on effective YouTube branding and marketing in an upcoming post.) Structuring Your Webinar Content A great way to practice presenting information within a designated time frame, webinars can help you refine your message and organize information in a way that helps you in the real world — one-on-one client education and brown bag "lunch and learns," for example. Be sure to leave time for Q&A at the end of the session; this helps you understand what additional information you can address and clarify for your next presentation or in your "thank you for attending" follow-up communication. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog. Further Reading Tips and Tricks for Hosting the Perfect Real Estate Webinar 7 Real Estate Workshop (or Webinar) Topics that Generate Leads Advanced Lead Generation: Hosting a Seminar Top 10 Tips for Successful, Lead Generating Webinars
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How to Pivot (Not Panic) in a Market Shift
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5 'Golden Rules' of Excellent Real Estate Customer Service
"I'm never too busy for your referrals!" This popular tagline is front and center in countless real estate agent email signatures. Though I agree it doesn't hurt to remind clients to recommend you to their friends and family, referrals should be a natural outcome of providing excellent service and a job well done. When you provide a great customer experience, people can't help but boast about you! As a customer service manager, I analyze how I am treated during interactions with vendors (both in personal and professional settings) and use my experiences to motivate my own behavior and guidance on how customers should be treated. I draw from THE Golden Rule we are all taught as children: Treat others as you would like to be treated. The easiest way to learn how to provide great service is to act like a customer, an especially critical thing to remember when you're working in an industry where emotions and stakes are always running high. I recommend everyone in a customer-oriented position follow this practice. Become aware of what a great customer experience feels like and use that insight to identify what it takes to create that experience. I used my experiences to develop five "Golden Rules" that you can use to build a pipeline of lifelong customers. 1. Let empathy be your guide Having empathy means having the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes and understand what that person is feeling. No matter the circumstances (first time buyer, investor, downsizer, re-locator), a real estate transaction is a big deal and it's always personal. Whether you have to deliver bad news or you feel like a client is being a pest, take a step back and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy not only helps you to relate to your clients, but feeling empathetic will also help guide your ability to communicate, problem solve, react and, at the very least, make the customer feel understood. 2. Be engaged and responsive Clients expect immediate follow-up. In real estate, you aren't treated like an organization with business hours — you will get calls and emails after hours and on weekends. The key isn't necessarily being available to answer emails at 1am (work/life balance is a great topic for another day). Instead, the key is reacting in a timely manner — and if you don't have all the answers, don't leave your customer hanging. Keep them updated and try to give accurate timeframes whenever possible. Make it a priority to follow through when you say you will. 3. Remember ABC: Always be communicative Good, clear communication is highly underrated in a high-speed world of "lol" and "omg." How you communicate and how well you communicate will leave a strong impression on a client. Taking time to construct a thoughtful, well-written email or calling instead of texting for more important discussions will give your client great comfort that they are in good hands. 4. Go the extra mile Give your clients a "wow" moment whenever possible – and keep in mind that wow moments don't have to be complicated. They can be as simple as providing additional information that was not requested. Think beyond the stated question and seek the implied follow up question — so when your client asks, "What are the HOAs at this condo?" don't just provide the HOAs for that one unit. Follow up with more information – maybe some comparable condos where HOAs are lower and ask questions about what amenities are important to them so you can guide their search. 5. Show your appreciation You are nothing without your customers, so be sure to show them how much you care. Make sure your clients feel appreciated for choosing to work with you. Many agents do this with a closing gift (already a great concept), but rather than going the generic route, choose something meaningful. A handwritten "thank you" note makes a great impression, too. To show true appreciation, let them know why you enjoyed working with them (i.e., were they patient, funny, knowledgeable, easy-going?). Also try sending them a note or give them a call to wish them a "Happy Anniversary" to celebrate the date they closed or moved in. There are countless ways to make people feel special, but these small acts of kindness can go a long way in building personal connections with your clients. Empathy may sound easy, but if you are having a bad day, it can be difficult to see someone else's perspective. It's easy to have a great idea for a closing gift, but it takes effort to make the purchase. It's easy to find out the HOA fees on that condo, but it takes enterprise to dig deeper. Real estate is all about relationships and the strongest relationships take effort. Providing great real estate customer service is an incredible way to build trust and loyalty. Apply these "Golden Rules" diligently to wow your clients and increase referral business. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Consumers Think Home Prices Will Decline. Are They Correct?
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RPR's Latest Release: A Refreshed Version of the Property Details Page
On the afternoon of March 8th, 2021, from 2:26 to 2:28, someone put their feet up and exhaled. Those two minutes were the last time an RPR product developer sat back and stopped thinking, "What's next?" At RPR (Realtors Property Resource), we simply aren't satisfied with "good enough." We constantly ponder, push and pursue to improve and enhance the RPR platform to help REALTORS® be better at everything they do. Our goal is to make you more efficient, more skilled and more productive so you can "wow" your clients and close more deals. Our latest site upgrade is a textbook example: a refreshed and redesigned version of our Property Details pages. Based on feedback from surveys, user groups and one-on-one testing, we heard what you wanted, we listened and we're delivering it proudly. With less clicks and scrolling, consolidated sections, faster load times, and more info where you want it, the reworked Property Details pages are sure to optimize your workflows. Here are the highlights of this latest release. PRO TIP: Take a guided tour and see the new Property Details page for yourself See the big picture (and everything to the right of it, too) Here's the big reveal! Right off the bat, you'll notice that the new layout offers better "at a glance" visibility to key property information. That's because we've taken the Property Summary and Basic Facts information and moved it right next to the property photo. By moving these details right alongside the media viewer, you'll no longer have to scroll down to view this important information. (This was a big "ask" from many of our users!) Putting the Basic Facts and quick links to valuation info right next to the property photo(s) is a strategic workflow improvement that helps you see more with less effort. Check it out: Search 'til your heart's content Another frequent request we kept hearing from users was that they wanted the ability to search for a property from any page they were on. Drum roll… the full search bar is back! Now agents can "property hop" and conduct searches from the page they're on versus having to go back to the homepage. This includes the ability to pull off a full search by applying all the parameters and filters they desire. The full search feature is now available on the Property Information, Market Trends, Refined Value, My Updates and Trade Area pages. The reworked Property Details pages are sure to optimize your workflows Clean. Concise. Consolidated. That's the best way to describe the new Listing and Public record history sections. The history of a home and all the relevant data associated with it have never been easier to locate and digest now that we've consolidated multiple areas (Historical Records for This Property, Mortgage, Deed, Tax, Prior Sales Transaction and Price Change History) into two. This valuable information is located on the Property Information page. The Listing History card shows more details on status changes for the current listing, including a tab to view previous listing details (this Listing History is also now available in RPR Commercial). The Public Record History section includes tabs for Deed, Mortgage and Tax Information. Simply click the forward arrow button to browse through the three areas. (RPR will show as much historical data as available for that jurisdiction.) And once again, the amount of scrolling and clicking required to analyze the entire history of a property has been reduced and reworked. Easy to navigate, hard to duplicate To help make your most used tools and features easier to find and access, we've also added some new Navigation Bar elements. You'll notice the new Market Trends tab as your first choice, just to the right of Property Information. (Check out Future Proof Your Business by Knowing Your Market and Your Numbers to see what you can do with these insightful stats!) This is followed by Refined Value, CMA and Neighborhoods. A new addition, the My Updates tab now resides in the Property Details navigation bar. This section is now easier than ever to get to, and its capabilities have been beefed up. In addition to refreshing the Sellers Proceeds area, some nice improvements have been made to the Photos section, including the ability to select/deselect all photos, and a quick button to select a photo as your report cover photo. We're working harder–so you can work smarter The changes in this redesign are sure to make agents more productive and more precise in RPR. We revel in taking your feedback and turning it into real, tangible improvements that make your RPR experience easier and your business more successful. Watch this video to see it in action, and also be sure to check out these convenient Printable Guides that offer step-by-step explanations on all the new features. And these are just the highlights! For even more details on the Property Details, dig deep with these product release notes. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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#GrowthHack: The Types of Accounts You MUST Follow for Success on Instagram
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What Are Today's Millennial Homebuyers Looking for?
What percentage of home buyers are millennials? Millennials constitute 43% to 47% of home buyers, currently the highest percentage of all age groups. Millennials are considered anyone born from 1981 to 1996; the majority of the oldest millennials are currently between the ages of 34 to 41. According to the Arizona Pathways to Life Success study, 29 is the median age for millennials. And 80% of millennials are first-time homebuyers. I'm a real estate agent. What should I know about working with millennial homebuyers? Housing prices have risen substantially over the past decade, and wages have not jumped at an incidental rate. As a result, millennial consumers have waited longer to purchase a home. After graduating college, many millennials moved back home with their parents to pay off some (or all) of their student loan debt. To compound this challenge, millennials have struggled to find high paying jobs. Today's millennials will typically look for homes that will cost between $100K- $200K. Among millennial buyers, 27% pay around $200,000 and 29% pay around $399,999, while 10% spend between $300,000 and $399,999 on first-time home purchases. What kind of houses do millennials want? Millennials are especially attracted to spacious, inexpensive houses in the suburbs. While they want the possibility of public transportation, they'll value locations that benefit their young families, such as parks and well-rated public schools. Millenials who grew up with smart technologies in their parents' homes are likely to want their own homes equipped with gadgets like smart locks, security systems, and Nest thermostats that can be linked and monitored through a website or app. Read this article for more insight into the millennial demographic and how to connect with them on a personal level. How can millennials benefit your business in the short-term and the long run? Millennials who are first-time buyers are a lucrative group for real estate agents to pursue because they can lead to many years of repeat business and valuable real estate referrals. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Real Estate and Floor Plan Frustrations: Why Consistency Matters
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New Study Reveals Increased Transparency on Commissions Leads to Increased Value in Consumers' Eyes
WAV Group's new Buyer Agent Commission Study reveals many insights from buyers about their awareness, understanding and appreciation of how commissions work when buying a home. Chief among these insights is the undeniable connection between transparency and perceived value on the part of home buyers. Those who indicated they were "totally clear" about the commission paid were 59% more likely to think their agent "completely earned the commission" than those who were unclear. In general, the large majority of buyers were satisfied with the services they received from their agent (88%). Buying a home in any market can be complicated. No two transactions are exactly the same, and something always comes up right when you think all is clear. With this many moving parts, buyers appreciate clear communication and prompt responses. As one buyer indicated in the open-end questions, "My agent showed me many many houses and answered every phone call and email and text quickly and with answers I was able to understand. She walked me through every step of the process." Buyers recognize how hard it is to successfully purchase a home, especially in the recent housing market. They are appreciative and grateful for the creativity and hard work their agents deliver to help them successfully purchase a home. Agents earn their commission, and home buyers recognize that. Get the full report now. To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.
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Social Media Tools Every Real Estate Agent Should Leverage
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Does a Typed Name Count as a Legally Binding Signature?
A lot of people wonder whether typing their name on a screen counts as a legally binding signature. So, is it? We have the answer you're looking for. In the past, the only way to sign a document was to whip out a pen and trace a line of ink across a sheet of paper. Today, things are a lot different, and knowing when a document is properly (and legally) signed can be confusing, despite being defined by federal law more than two decades ago. One question we see a lot is, Are typed signatures considered "legal"? The short answer is yes, but there's a little bit more to it than that. Read on to find out what. Will a court of law recognize typed signatures? Most e-signature solutions allow users to draw or create a stylized signature that looks like it was written by hand. Users can then add it to the documents they want to sign. Signing this way often makes all parties feel secure, combining the old (handwritten signatures) with the new (electronic documents and forms). But signatures don't necessarily have to look like handwriting to hold up in a court of law. According to the definition provided in the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (E-Sign Act), the U.S. federal law that regulates electronic signatures in nearly all 50 states, an e-signature is an electronic sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the intent to sign the record. To cut through the legalese, an e-signature can take a variety of forms (even an audio file), provided it meets certain criteria. All of the following are considered valid types of e-signatures: A name typed at the end of an email A name or initials typed into a field on a webpage or electronic form A checkbox or radio button corresponding to a phrase such as "I Agree" or "I Accept" for terms and conditions on an e-commerce site A signature drawn on a screen using a finger or stylus A signature created using an electronic signature solution Typed signatures are therefore legally binding, as long as the other E-Sign Act requirements, which we covered in a previous blog post, are followed. As a reminder these are: Authentication: Signers must be authenticated so their identities can be proven. Consent: Signers must consent to doing business and signing documents electronically. Intent: Signers must demonstrate intent to sign to prove they did not sign unknowingly and weren't tricked. Paper trail: There must be a detailed audit log of all signing session activity, users, clicks, actions, etc. Some solutions might also certify documents using a digital Certificate Authority on the Adobe Approved Trust List to "seal" the document, so you know if anything has been altered. Retention: All signed documents are sent to all parties and stored securely for reference. Want to learn more about electronic signatures? Click here to download Constellation1's free security and legal overview for electronic signatures: Do you have specific questions about whether eSign will stand up to the electronic signature requirements in your industry? Get in touch and our dedicated e-signature team will be happy to tell you about our industry-leading features in greater detail. You can read our previous post on the legality of eSignatures here. To view the original article, visit the Constellation1 blog.
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5 Underrated Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas
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4 Access Methods You Can Use with a SentriGuard Lockbox
Lockboxes are used to keep people out of homes, but they also need to be accessible by multiple people when selling a home. This is a time of stress for some homeowners. REALTORS® need a secure way to give access to buyers, contractors, inspectors, all while keeping the homeowner's property secure. The SentriGuard® Lockbox is the perfect answer to secure property access. Let's review the multiple ways to access a lockbox key compartment: 1. Bluetooth® Bluetooth® technology is used from everything from your AirPods to controlling your vacuum. But did you know it is also the easiest way to provide access for your lockbox? To use this feature, launch your SentriKey Real Estate App and simply press the enter button on your lockbox. Now enter your ID or authorize your facial recognition, and the key compartment will open. You can also enable your Apple Watch to open lockboxes as well! 2. Touch-N-Show™ This exciting new option uses NFC or Near-Field Communication, just like using Apply Pay at the convenience store or gas pump. To use Touch-N-Show™, launch your app and tap the Touch-N-Show™ button on the screen. Note: The first time you use this feature, you will receive a notification that Touch-N-Show™ is only available for the SentriGuard® Lockbox. Press Continue and tap your phone to the lower half of the lockbox, and you will see a flashing green light and the key compartment will then open. If it does not, simply pull the tab on the bottom of the lockbox. 3. FlexCodes™ Another exciting new feature for the new SentriGuard® Lockbox is using the new FlexCode™ as a temporary means of access. This is an easy way to provide temporary access to agents, contractors, home inspectors, or non-SentriLock members. This code can be assigned from 30 minutes to 31 days by using the SentriKey Real Estate App®. Simply go to My Lockboxes and navigate to my My Access Code and select a lockbox from the list. Assign the name of the person receiving the code and a start/end date and time for property access. Tap Get Flex Code and enter your pin or your facial ID; your app will generate a unique code. To share the code, click the share icon in the upper right corner and you can send the code with instructions via email or text. 4. SentriConnect® Lastly, listing agents can grant temporary access to out of area agents or consumers through the SentriConnect® app. The agent can schedule access up to 14 days in advance, and for 14 consecutive days. This is a great product for use on rental properties and other property management needs as well! You are busy enough working with buyers and sellers. Let the secure access technology products you use be one less thing on your mind. Each of these property management methods are secure, and trackable so your client can trust their home is in good hands. Click on any of the links above to learn more about each of these access methods or the SentriGuard® Lockbox. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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Hear Wedding Bells? How the Marriage Boom Could Affect Your Real Estate Business
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Experienced REALTOR Makes RPR His 'Go-to' for All Things Real Estate
The inbox at RPR (Realtors Property Resource) continues to fill up with praise and success stories from our users. Last month, we received this email from Eric Nitzschke, a seasoned, industry vet who had this to say about NAR's property data platform: RPR is an industry "must"... what a tremendous resource with relevant analytics, and detailed information that caters to both agent and customer. My number one "go-to" for real-time, accurate and informative data. — Eric Nitzschke, eXp Realty, Bend, Oregon Well, we could've ended it right there, but we decided to dig a little deeper in Eric's RPR experience and find out how he uses RPR to nurture and accelerate his business. Here's this month's Success Story Q&A, with Eric Nitzschke: Q. Hi Eric, how long have you been a REALTOR®? Just over 30 years, and I'm licensed in California, Oregon and Washington state. West Coast guy! Q. Thirty years, that's impressive! What area do you specialize in? Residential mostly, and I work with both buyers and sellers. I will do a commercial deal here and there. Q. How did you hear about or first get started in RPR? I first learned about RPR when I worked in Florida. This particular real estate group used RPR all day long, every day. The office would use RPR to assess current values of homes. Once I was exposed to it, I realized it was way more than just a valuation tool. There's just so many capabilities and it's especially helpful in doing listing and sales presentations. The property reports are good and the comps are so valuable, and both are really easy for customers to digest and comprehend. I think RPR is super helpful and it's my go-to for every day tasks. Q. What are some of your favorite features in RPR? The reporting aspects are super valuable, especially with the market as frothy as it was. Using RPR really lends credibility to your work. For example, the market here in Bend, Oregon is small. And people are getting all this info about the market, but it's disparate and it's off the mark. RPR is a good resource to bring people to the baseline of understanding what is accurate and realistic. It really helps me explain to folks what our local market is doing and to take out the emotional aspect. I do this by providing RPR Seller's reports, Market Activity reports and Neighborhood reports. They're super valuable. Everything is always very current and up to date and accurate. I see it as a good third-party resource at arm's distance, so you're not skewing the info. It backs up my recommendations and gives my advice some data-backed credibility. Plus, it's readily accessible, and it doesn't cost anything. That's huge! Real estate people get chiseled at every turn, so this should be a real go-to resource for real estate agents. 100%. I also like that it's user friendly, it's not over technical. For someone new or not so tech savvy, it's easy to interpret, which can't be said for a lot of tech. That aspect is a big benefit. Q. Well said! Does RPR relieve any pain points for you in your day-to-day tasks? It's just super user friendly, in my opinion. I tried using some other tech tools and it's frustrating, and you give up. But RPR is so much more straightforward. Every application I've used is different, and you have to learn, and there's a steep learning curve. With RPR, it's the same every time. It's consistent and easy to navigate, and that's a huge relief for me. Q. Any good RPR "wow"' moment stories? I just had a client who closed on their home a little while ago. They were new to selling (in their 60s!) in that they had never sold a home before. I helped them through the process and put an RPR report together for them. It really simplified things for them and gave them a comfort level that they weren't in over their head. They could relate to it, you know? The supporting data I provided helped in figuring out and agreeing on the listing price. They were "wowed" and very appreciative! Thank you Eric, we really appreciate your story and for using RPR as your "go-to" tech tool. Whether you're a brand new agent or 30-year vet, RPR can help you, too! Check out our line-up of free webinars to help you get started in the platform and on your way to "wowing" clients and closing more deals. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Friday Freebie: Referral Lead Strategy Guide + Scripts
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Meet the Winners of NAR's 2022 Good Neighbor Awards
The National Association of Realtors has announced its 2022 Good Neighbor Awards winners. For 23 years, the Good Neighbor Awards has recognized Realtors who make an extraordinary impact on their communities through volunteer work. The five individuals named as this year's winners exemplify how Realtors make their communities a better place to live, work and raise a family. The 2022 Good Neighbor Award winners are as follows: Jennifer Barnes, Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, Georgia, founder of Solidarity Sandy Springs Dennis Curtin, Legacy Investments, Kansas City, Missouri, founder of Mimi's Pantry Jim Edmonds, Emerald Isle Properties, Kilauea, Hawaii, founder of Permanently Affordable Living (PAL) Kaua'i Heather Griesser LaPierre, RE/MAX Preferred Newtown Square, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, founder of Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia MaliVai Washington, Diamond Life Real Estate, Jacksonville Beach, Florida, founder of MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation "I am so proud to honor our Good Neighbor Award winners for how they've effected change to improve the lives of others in their communities," said NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith, a Realtor® from Plano, Texas, and a broker associate at Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate in Dallas. "Each of these Realtors® has devoted hundreds of hours a year and raised huge sums of money for their respective causes. I salute them for their vision, dedication, passion and selfless generosity." Each of the five winners – selected by a multi-stage, criteria-based judging process – will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and be featured in the fall 2022 issue of REALTOR® Magazine. They will also be presented with crystal trophies on November 12 during NAR NXT, NAR's annual conference that will take place in Orlando, Florida this year. More About Each Winner: Jennifer Barnes, Keller Williams Realty Peachtree Road, Brookhaven, Georgia In 2020, Jennifer Barnes thought she would feed people for just a few weeks until the COVID-19-induced shutdowns ended. That experience opened her eyes to an underlying vulnerability in her affluent, Atlanta-area neighborhood that extended well beyond food. She founded the nonprofit, Solidarity Sandy Springs, which inspires more than 2,600 volunteers to provide wide-ranging community services for thousands of families, including free eye exams and glasses, flu vaccines, job fairs, back-to-school backpacks and more. Barnes has also distributed nearly one million pounds of food to approximately 46,000 shoppers. Watch video Read more Dennis Curtin, Legacy Investments, Kansas City, Missouri Dennis Curtin founded Mimi's Pantry to offer a more positive food pantry experience to people in need. The state-of-the-art, 6,000-square-foot facility welcomes shoppers to browse the aisles and choose their food, just as they would in a grocery store. The nonprofit invested in commercial refrigeration equipment and offers fresh meat, produce and milk. It also has a play area and library for kids and is currently building a greenhouse and an orchard of fruit trees and berry bushes. In three years, it has served 50,000 individuals. Watch video Read more Jim Edmonds, Emerald Isle Properties, Kilauea, Hawaii Since the Hawaiian island of Kaua'i may only have a handful of homes for sale under $1 million at any time, Jim Edmonds, founder of nonprofit Permanently Affordable Living (PAL) Kaua'i, partners with other nonprofits to build and convert affordable housing for workers. Edmonds navigates the complex challenges of poor infrastructure and resource scarcity through innovative, cost-saving solutions like solar energy, edible landscaping, shared electric vehicles and shared bicycles. Watch video Read more Heather Griesser LaPierre, RE/MAX Preferred Newtown Square, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania To address food insecurity in her neighborhood and worldwide, Heather Griesser LaPierre founded Kids Against Hunger Philadelphia. She rallies hundreds of volunteers each month to pack nutritious, ready-to-make pasta- and rice-based meals. When schools were shut down in 2021, she doubled production to 350,000 meals per month to ensure children who depended on school lunches were fed. Since 2015, she has packed and distributed more than 9 million meals. Watch video Read more MaliVai Washington, Diamond Life Real Estate, Jacksonville Beach, Florida For 26 years, MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation (MWYF) founder Mal Washington has been breaking the cycle of poverty through a vibrant after-school mentoring program. Originally rooted in his beloved sport of tennis, MWYF now serves 500 kids annually through a comprehensive youth development program of academic tutoring, leadership skills, financial training and fitness. He is proud of the 100% high school graduation rate of the program as the surrounding neighborhood's dropout rate is 20%. Watch video Read more Honorable Mentions In addition to the winners, the following five Realtors® have been recognized as Good Neighbor Award honorable mentions and will each receive $2,500 grants for their charity: Tamara "Tami" Hicks, Century 21 Signature Real Estate, Ames, Iowa, for Overflow Thrift Store, which has raised more than a half million dollars for charities and has saved millions of items from landfills. Lisa Hoeve, Coldwell Banker Woodland Schmidt, Holland, Michigan, for Hope Pkgs, which has provided overnight comfort bags to more than 4,200 foster children. Debbie McCabe, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®, and the Trident Group, Devon, Pennsylvania, for Covenant House Pennsylvania, which houses and empowers young people facing homelessness. Debbie Miller, Webpro Realty, Lakeland, Florida, for kidsPACK, which feeds 3,000 children on weekends when they don't get school lunch. Kathy Opperman, Long & Foster Collegeville, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, for Pillars of Light and Love, which has offered 800 free workshops and support groups to build self-esteem and resilience in adults and kids. NAR's Good Neighbor Awards is supported by primary sponsor Realtor.com® as well as the Center for REALTOR® Development. Web Choice Favorites In September, Realtor.com® invited the public to vote for their favorite of the 10 finalists. The top three vote-getters all received additional donations for their charities. The following Realtors® have been crowned as this year's Web Choice Favorites: Kathy Opperman, who will receive an additional $2,500 bonus donation for Pillars of Light and Love Debbie Miller, who will receive an additional $1,250 bonus donation for kidsPACK Lisa Hoeve, who will receive an additional $1,250 bonus donation for Hope Pkgs "We were thrilled to see more than 129,000 people voted for their favorite award finalist," said Realtor.com® CMO Mickey Neuberger. "At Realtor.com®, community has always been at our core, which is why we are happy to sponsor the Good Neighbor Awards and help further amplify the amazing work of these honorees. These Realtor® heroes saw a need and took positive action to make their communities a better place."
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What Are the Best Ways to Increase the Value of Your Listing?
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5 Signs You Need to Hire a Transaction Coordinator
When contemplating if you want to spend the extra money to hire a transaction coordinator, consider a few signs that you may desperately need one. Transaction coordinator services can make all the difference in your business, allowing you to be less stressed, have more free time, increase your revenue, and thoroughly enjoy going to work everyday. When you hire a transaction coordinator, they are devoted to handling all the mundane contract to close paperwork that only gives you headaches anyway. So continue reading, and if any of these clear signs sound like you, it may be time to invest in a transaction coordinator today. 1. You Need a Trusted Ally on Your Side In the real estate industry, it is always best to have a partner, or ally, you can rely on—someone you can count on during the times you really need it. Having a person like this as a part of your team will completely change the way you do business for the better. Hiring a transaction coordinator guarantees you have a trusted partner on your side who will always deliver. You will be less stressed, happier doing more of the face-to-face client work you love, and quickly be able to increase the amount of clients you are able to care for at once. 2. You Can't Remember the Last Time You Took a Vacation You work very hard as a real estate agent. Constantly finding new leads, building your marketing plan, staying active on social media, and filling out endless paperwork easily becomes exhausting. That's not even mentioning that you still need time to actually have substantial face-to-face interactions with your clients. All of these responsibilities can quickly become overwhelming and tiring. You deserve a break at least once a year. Doesn't taking a vacation to a nice, sunny, relaxing beach sound pretty close to perfect? A transaction coordinator manages all your paperwork, allowing you to focus on revenue generating tasks. Therefore, you will be able to concentrate on increasing your revenue while also saving time on paperwork tasks. When you use a transaction coordinator, a yearly vacation that may have once sounded like a pipe dream can become a reality. 3. If You Have Ever Forgot the Time of an Inspection Forgetting an appointment, or inspection, is embarrassing and can make you look unprofessional. While it is true that people are forgetful and things are bound to slip your mind here and there, it is best to have as few of those instances as possible when you're working. Securing the trusted help of a transaction coordinator ensures a forgotten inspection will never happen again. They will have your inspection and appointment paperwork, dates, deadlines, and start times perfectly organized. This allows you to be on top of everything, and always present your best foot forward with clients. 4. If Your Commission Check Has Ever Been Delayed After Closing As you already know, it takes about 30 days to close a real estate deal. After 30 days of putting in hard work, the last thing you want is your commission check to be delayed due to compliance issues. Getting signatures from clients and other agents after a deal has closed can easily and quickly become a nightmare. Thankfully, having a transaction coordinator on your team ensures that your file is always compliant before closing. You will never have to wait around, or chase down anyone, for a signature ever again with the virtual assistance of a transaction coordinator. 5. If You Don't Have an Outstanding Closing System As a new real estate agent, or even an experienced one, it can be difficult to create a bulletproof closing system that is easy and efficient for every case. This is where a transaction coordinator can step in and be exponentially helpful. Transaction coordinators are vastly experienced in organizing efficient closing systems. This lets you and your clients have a seamless real estate experience. You'll ensure your closing system is always perfect and completely handled when you enlist the help of a transaction coordinator. Finding the Reliable Help You Need Hiring a transaction coordinator can undoubtedly become the best business decision you ever make. Evaluate if the services of one could positively impact your day-to-day business operation, as well as the long-term goals you've set for yourself. You will find that there is far more than one benefit in using a transaction coordinator. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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4 Ways to Dominate Your Market
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12 Ways to Get More Comments on Your Real Estate Blog and Build a Community
Blogs are a vital feature of your real estate website. They help improve traffic and SEO. They help establish authority in your marketing niche. But real estate blogs also serve another purpose—they foster community. In this post, we will explain 12 strategies to get more comments on your real estate blog, so you can build a community and generate leads. Why Are Blog Comments Important? Comments are important on a real estate blog because they provide an avenue for your readers and leads to interact with you. They can take in your content, provide feedback on it, and tell you what they need to be more informed buyers and sellers. Comments also allow readers to interact with one another. This can help create a community around your real estate blog. Community is important because it brings more permanent readers. Readers that feel they are part of something are more likely to keep coming back, and this can have a positive effect on your lead generation. How Can You Get More Comments on Your Real Estate Blog? 1. Write for Comments The first strategy to get more comments is to produce content for comments. Above all, your content should provide value. No one is going to take the time to leave a comment if your blog post is not even worth reading. This means providing information to help people understand the market and the real estate process. You should also sprinkle some open-ended questions into your blog. This invites participation from your readers and encourages two-way communication. How many questions did you include in your last blog? It is also useful to have an opinion. Positively or negatively, people react to opinions. This makes them more likely to respond. Here's an example: Dear agents, stop reposting listings in your blog. It's completely useless. Your leads don't come to your blog for listings. They go to Zillow. Finally, be personal. Community comes from personal connection. You can help foster this environment by being open about what is going on in your business or life. 2. Ask for Comments You've probably learned about the CTA, or call-to-action, in your marketing trainings. A CTA is where you tell your leads what you want them to do along the path to a sale. Without a CTA, your leads may not be motivated to take the next step. Or worse, they may not even know what the next step is. The same principles apply to blogging. To get comments, you should ask for comments. 3. Minimize Barriers Many commenters are leads, so learning about them and gathering some basic contact information can be helpful. However, any registration requirements should be evaluated against the potential for user loss. Will it take too long to sign up? Will these questions cause users to hesitate? To maximize returns from your blog, you will need to find the right balance. If you are not receiving any comments, consider minimizing barriers or removing them all together. 4. Reply Obviously, if someone comments on your blog, you should reply. Even a simple thank you acknowledges their contribution and creates a welcoming environment. 5. Allow Comment Likes and Shares Some users may want to support a comment without replying. Others may want to quote a comment and use it on another platform. Both of these forms of engagement are valid and useful. You can encourage them by allowing comment likes and shares. If you do not currently have this function, check with your website builder. It may be a feature in your blog software or perhaps an add-on that you can purchase separately. 6. Notify Users Depending on your website builder, you also may have the option to notify users when someone likes, shares or replies to their comment. Notifications keep readers aware of what is happening even when they are not on your blog. This can increase engagement on your blog and help grow your community. 7. Recent/Trending Comments Widget Readers like active blogs. They like the idea that their comment will draw a reply and spark a conversation. It is a smart idea to promote this idea on some of the major landing pages on your site. You can do it with a recent or trending comments widget. These tools display new comments or those generating likes on the side of your page. They can help draw people to your blog from other parts of your website and encourage them to participate. 8. Comment on Other Blogs It is a good practice to follow some other blogs out there. This will help you stay connected with the general real estate conversation and help you develop ideas for your own blog. While you are visiting, leave some comments. Real estate blogging is not zero-sum. By commenting on other posts, you are helping to grow the real estate community. The larger the community is, the more people will find and follow your blog. 9. Mention People Directly One way to get people to comment is to mention them directly in your blog. If you draw inspiration from another blogger or a real estate influencer, give a shout out. If you know how one popular commenter might respond, acknowledge them in your post. Once you mention someone, send them the blog, let them know about it, and ask them to comment what they think. 10. Send to Your Email List No online strategy in real estate is complete without an email list. Email gives you the ability to provide information to your clients and leads in a direct and convenient way. While most agents use an email list to promote listings and other services, you can also use it to suggest blog posts. The click rates for links provided via email are much higher than those found through Google search. 11. Hold a Contest A little incentive never hurt anyone. If your blog is lacking and comments are sluggish, consider holding a contest with a small prize. Local trivia and photo contests provide simple, fun ways to drive readers to comment on your blog. 12. Develop Content from Comments Finally, you can boost participation on your real estate blog by developing content from existing comments. Ask for suggestions to get a feel for the type of information your readers want. Then, do the research to produce new blog posts based on these suggestions. A reader who suggests an idea that ultimately becomes a blog post is likely to comment on it. And once people see that you will take their ideas, they will keep commenting suggestions. Now you know how to get more comments on your real estate blog and build a community. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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5 Simple Ways to Increase the Screen Value of Your Online Real Estate Listings
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Google Just Announced an Update About 'Helpful Content.' What Should Real Estate Agents Know?
When Google updates its algorithm, the effects ripple through the internet. In September, another Google update went live. Agents who want to succeed online need to know how to adjust to what's being called the "helpful content" update. In short, the helpful content algorithm update is a commitment to serve "people-first" content, and another indication that Google doesn't want its search pages clogged with spam. How can you ensure your online presence is considered helpful? What guidelines are important to follow while building out a real estate agent website, Google Business Profile, and other online content? 1. Stay Focused and On-Topic The first step to creating online content Google considers "helpful" is to stay focused and on-topic. As a real estate agent, being focused means targeting an audience of buyers and sellers with content that is related to real estate. Having an online presence is great, but will be less effective if it's cluttered with information about unrelated pursuits. After all, would a buyer or seller looking for real estate information find much use in an agent's website that was actually filled with cat photos? Of course not. That's why Google ranks content that is focused, on-topic, and relevant to searchers. 2. Show Expertise and Experience Once you've established your topic – in this case, being a real estate agent – Google wants to see that your online content demonstrates expertise and experience. Your expertise is in real estate, and specifically as being an agent in your local market. Make sure your agent website and Google Business Profile reflect your status as a go-to agent in your region. And take pains to explain how you specifically help people in your local region. If you've sold homes in certain neighborhoods or specialize in the west side of town, say so. Let Google know you have a relevant niche. Google also wants to see that you have experience. For an agent, this could mean maintaining a slideshow of current and past listings on your website. And for every agent, having helpful content that demonstrates experience requires a verified Google Business Profile with positive, plentiful reviews from past clients and respected colleagues. 3. Answer Searchers' Queries When Google talks about helpful content, what they're really talking about is: Does this answer the questions people are typing into the search bar? As an agent, you should endeavor for online content that answers searchers' queries. Those questions start simply. Who are real estate agents in my town? What is this agent's business hours? Do they have contact information? Examples of current listings? But some searchers are looking for more than just basic biographical details. They're asking questions about an agent's specific experiences. Who are this agent's past clients? Do they represent both buyers and sellers? What's their experience in my neighborhood? Do they have a marketing plan? Social media? References? A good reputation? Google wants you to preemptively answer those questions. After all, when consumers search for "real estate agents near me," what they're really asking is for Google to show them the best agents possible. The best agents can answer consumer questions on and offline, so have online content that helps address what buyers and sellers are searching for and wondering. 4. Stay Up-to-Date on Other Google Core Updates The "helpful content" update is a big one. But it's not the first Google update, it won't be the last, and it isn't the only update agents should consider. Just this year, Google has released: The "Vicinity Update," in which Google more heavily weights proximity when serving up local search results. This update hyper-focuses search results on local businesses and services consumers are likely to use or hire. The "May 2022 Core Update," in which Google dinged AI-generated content and reshuffled search results pages so that human-written content is more likely to appear at the top. Overall , Google updates in 2022 have advantaged real, live, local agents – particularly those who demonstrate the expertise, experience, and focus to help buyers and sellers accomplish their real estate goals. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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5 Successful Morning Routines for Real Estate Pros
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4 Basic Tips for Upping Your Real Estate Game
Excelling as a real estate agent is a lot of work. Absolutely no one is denying that. You essentially become a one-man (or woman) business even when you are associated with a brokerage. You are often responsible for your own prospecting, marketing, network building and, of course, the entire process of helping your clients buy or sell a house. So how do you accomplish all the tasks you are responsible for, and still find the time to get new clients and be the absolute best agent for them? Have a Strong Online Presence Having a strong online presence is the gold standard for real estate agents in this day and age. The first thing any potential client will do when considering hiring you is find your social media accounts. (If, of course, that is not how they came across you in the first place.) Based on the impression they get from your profiles, they will make a decision to contact you or not. So, it is your job to make sure that first digital impression is one they will not soon forget. To accomplish that, follow these tips: Diversify your content. Your content could include blog posts, shared articles, quotes you find motivating, houses you are representing, promotional material, client reviews, etc. Make at least a couple of posts every week to ensure your profile is updated Have your contact information easily accessible. Every post should look professional and carefully thought out. Use a few hashtags and emojis to catch people's attention. Keeping up a strong online presence is a free way to continuously be focusing on self-promotion and client procurement. So, it is well worth your while to find the time necessary to get your profiles in tip-top shape. Put Your Relationships First To be the best agent you can be, you need to maintain and build relationships with your previous clients, and all the business professionals you connect with. Reach out with a meaningful card during the holidays or birthdays just to remind everyone that you are still working in the industry. Staying in touch opens the door to forming partnerships that can greatly benefit your business. Other industry professionals, like bankers or contractors, can recommend you to their clients who they know are planning on moving. Your previous clients can also recommend your services, and are much more likely to if they feel they still have a connection to you. Essentially, your network is the lifeline of your business. Without a focus and commitment to it, you will never be able to keep your pipeline full. Take Care of Yourself At the end of the day, you need to be making your mental and physical health a priority. Without getting enough sleep, breaks from work, or balanced meals, you will not be at your best. Take the necessary steps to make sure you are maintaining your health, and the positive effects will quickly become evident in your work. Here are some strategies you can implement today: Turn off your phone at a certain time every night. Practice mindfulness Go on a short walk when you need a 10-minute break. You will feel more energized, focused, and resilient if you are taking care of yourself everyday. Learn to Delegate You can not do everything on your own—especially if you want take care of yourself and dedicate time to actually growing your business instead of just maintaining it. It's a hard fact to come to for many real estate agents, but all the best agents know it is true. So don't wait until you feel so burnt out and overworked you begin to hate your job to finally invest in some help. Be proactive and do it now, so you can start focusing on tasks that will help propel your business' growth instead of just keeping it afloat. For example, hiring a transaction coordinator can give you back up to 16 hours of your time per transaction. Imagine all the progressive work you could accomplish with that time! Hiring help is not as expensive as you may think, and it is a cost you could potentially pass along to your clients. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Follow-Up Is Still the #1 Reason Agents Lose Business
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5 Things Real Estate Photographers Wish Sellers Did -- and Did Not -- Do
Working with hundreds of photographers nationwide who have delivered more than 4,000,000 images to help real estate agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings, we've come to feel their pain when something doesn't go as planned. That's why we polled more than 100 professional real estate photographers who work with HomeJab to get their "rants and raves" for listing shoots. We already know from a large body of research that professional real estate photography helps sell homes faster and for more money. The good news from the survey results is that most of the time – 67% – of professional real estate photographers have a great experience with highly cooperative sellers. But that still means that sellers are not as cooperative as they should be during one in three listing photo assignments, and, sometimes, surprisingly, they are uncooperative. Fortunately, our "rants and raves" survey uncovered a series of "best practices" for home sellers – comments, ideas, and suggestions shared almost universally by our photo pros. Photographer rants Here are the top five things professional real estate photographers wish all sellers did — that still is missing from too many shoots: Declutter – 95% Remove objects in the way of a photo (toys, bikes, hoses, etc.) – 86% Clean the house – 75% Fix light bulbs – 73% Clean pathways and driveways (remove cars) – 54% Again, remember that most shoots go well, and most of the things on this list are taken care of before the photographer arrives. Overall, real estate agents are doing an exceptional job of educating sellers and ensuring they take the steps necessary to prep their homes before the appointment. However, one item shared by photographers was a bit surprising – and this might be an opportunity for all agents to clarify the concept of when to declutter. The survey found that the "one thing that sellers forget" that bothers professional real estate photographers most is decluttering during the shoot. It turns out that many sellers attempt to declutter while the photographer is shooting, going room by room, clearing clutter one room at a time just before the photographer shoots! A photographer from Lakeland, Florida described the impact of doing this best, saying, "Moving clutter room-to-room like musical chairs disrupts the flow and slows down the process." In addition, he points out that this approach can add significant additional time to a shoot. Another photographer from Chicago shared the frustration, explaining, "Many sellers begin prepping after I arrive. They should know the home should be ready upon arrival." That's excellent advice for sellers, but it also should nudge real estate agents to ask their sellers to finish all decluttering before the photographers shows up at their door. Seller raves The survey also asked professional real estate photographers about the one thing sellers do that they appreciate most. The consensus is no surprise: having the house ready when they arrive. An Austin-based photographer says puts it succinctly: "decluttered – neat and tidy" is a huge help. A veteran photographer from Greenwood Village, Colorado, adds, "A place that's ready to go when I arrive – that's awesome." Photographers also were asked, "What is the one thing a seller can do to make your job easier?" Again, the answers were mixed, sometimes even contradictory. One point of contention: should the seller hang around during the shoot – or get out of the house? What was clear was the need for sellers to stay out of the way during a shoot. Some suggested that sellers should leave during the shoot. But other photographers want them to stay "within earshot" if they need permission to move an object that's in the way, for example. Another point of disagreement: some photographers don't want the seller to interrupt with questions, while others enjoy a good banter back-and-forth with a seller. The best approach: sellers should ask what they can do to make the professional's job easier upfront. The professional tells us they will get better photos if they do. For sellers, photographers had a few other suggestions to make their shoot easier, including controlling pets, parking cars away from the property, and ensuring the photographer has access to the home when they arrive. Advice to real estate agents Photographers often rely on the seller's real estate agent to make sure everything is ready before they show up. But, again, three out of four times, that happens. Yet, for all those other times, photographers shared some advice for agents. "Good agents will arrive at a property ahead of time and turn on all the lights and clean up anything that shouldn't be there," said a Cherry Hill, New Jersey-based photographer, adding, "Bad agents show up late and demand that everything be cleaned to perfection." The survey points to three things photographers wished every agent told their seller, including: Photographers cannot retouch photos or remove something (the seller's agent provides editing instructions, and HomeJab handles the editing) How much time the photographer will need. Photographers can't send the photos directly to the seller. Instead, the seller will get them from their agent. The survey also found three things that professional real estate photographers appreciate most when they arrive at a shoot: All the lights are on, fans and TVs are off, and blinds or shades are open Pets are secured, the house is clear of other people, and the seller stays out of the way Access is available for photographers when they arrive. One professional offered this parting comment: "Do not underestimate the photographer. We are part of the success of the property's sale." 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 at real.art. HomeJab delivers over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.
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Is That Your Headshot?
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Does Your Listing Presentation Nail the One Thing Sellers Need Most?
Top-producing real estate agents use a solid, informative listing presentation to win deals. Research by RPR tells us that five of the most frequently used elements in a listing presentation include a CMA (86%), a home value estimate (80%), local market analysis (77%), agent marketing plans (73%), and tips for sellers to prep the home (69%). But the real estate market has shifted away from a seller's market toward a more balanced market, even a buyer's market in some regions. Once again, buyers are influencing which homes sell quickly and which linger unsold in the market. Listing presentations are adapting to share these changes with sellers and what it means to their home sales. But they are missing some of the most critical factors influencing today's real estate market. The biggest change is a decision that sellers must make before listing their homes. So what's missing from your listing presentation? The one thing sellers need today more than ever: making sure their home is market-ready before listing it for sale. As the largest generation, with tons of buying power, millennials are driving home purchases. And they want move-in-ready homes. According to a study by TD Bank, millennials shun the fixer-upper, as fewer than one in five would buy a home that needed a lot of love. By comparison, 71% of millennials indicated they want a move-in-ready house. Enter the hottest new ways to sell a home: the presale renovation. About presale renovations Presale renovations are not new. And flippers have been renovating as-is homes for decades. Individual agents and brokerages have routinely assisted some sellers with significant home improvements to increase the marketability of a home. As a result, more minor home improvements — deep cleaning, fresh paint, and other cosmetic enhancements — have become commonplace. What's changed is the scale and new accessibility of presale renovation. A new category has emerged called Concierge Services. It's driven by savvy startups, including Revive Real Estate. Companies like Revive have taken this old dog and taught it some new tricks. The result is a better way for sellers to hire and pay for renovations. Today, most homeowners miss out on 15% to 20% of the value of their homes when they sell. Presale renovations prevent that from happening. Here are the most common advantages a presale renovation gives sellers, using Revive as an example: Presale renovated homes sell faster, while as-is homes sit on the market and must reduce their price. Presale renovated homes sell for more — the average ROI is over 250%. Presale renovated homes give sellers an average of $186,000 more in sales profits. Less stress for the sellers as the presale renovation is turnkey — the process is managed for them. The funding for the entire renovation is free — the improvements are paid for at closing. Faster turnaround times — tap into a ready-to-start network of vetted, top-quality contractors. Smarter renovation through expert advice and proven design experience for maximum results. The new "must have" for your listing presentation Today, spotlighting a presale renovation is a must for any agent's listing presentation. Right now, according to RPR research, listing presentations often have a low success rate. About 45% of agents lose anywhere between 25% and 75% of their potential listings after their presentation. You know that in today's market, as-is homes struggle to sell; explaining to your sellers the value of a presale renovation can tip the scale and help you win more listings. After all, our homes in the U.S. are aging — now averaging 39 years old — and almost every listing you take can use some love, if not a lot, to sell fast today. Working with a Concierge Services firm like Revive can help you deliver precisely what your clients need. From smaller prep-for-sale projects to full-blown renovations, Revive can help agents help their clients without breaking a sweat. For the agent, when a home sells for $100,000 or $200,000, or $600,0000 or more (as many Revive homes have), that means higher net commission income. The brokerage wins with more revenue. But more importantly, when you include presale renovation in your listing presentation, you are helping your seller maximize their profits — which can be life-changing. Want to see dozens of real-world examples — including "Before and After" photos — of presale renovations? Go to www.revive.realestate/solutions/customer-stories. To learn how to help your clients work with Revive, go to www.revive.realestate. Dalip Jaggi is at once an active entrepreneur, a highly skilled technologist, and a profoundly passionate business leader. Today, Dalip is co-founder of Revive Real Estate, a PropTech with a goal to democratize house flipping.
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