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5 Real Estate Follow-Up Rules You Need to Be Following
Ready to level up your real estate career and begin generating more income? Read on! We're sharing five must-follow rules to expand, grow, and scale your real estate business. Agents that successfully follow these guidelines typically see more transaction sides, more closings, and more revenue. It's not magic — it's a data-backed approach based on findings from a study conducted by RealTrends in 2021. Let's explore the tips derived from the survey analyzing how marking practices and contact database size may impact performance. 1. Marketing Should Target Both Potential New Leads AND Former Clients Did you know that including your entire sphere in your marketing plans can boost your success by an average of 9% more transaction sides? Agents that only focus on attracting net-new clients are missing out on the opportunities for business introduced by their past clients. Your past buyer and seller clients are sources of referrals. Staying in touch with them through regular outreach boosts your chances of being recommended to one of their deal-ready friends or relatives. Furthermore, past clients also offer opportunities for repeat business. Your past clients will likely eventually become sellers and buyers in the future. If you're able to maintain a strong connection, they will be more likely to choose you as their agent again. 2. Implement a Systematic Follow-Up Process for Every Contact Agents who do not employ any kind of systematic follow-up generate 12% fewer transaction sides than those who have a formal strategy for working new leads. For agents who have a formal strategy in place for both new leads and past clients, the difference in transaction activity is 22%. Lead outreach and follow-up should be approached on a lead-by-lead basis. Individually curated follow-up is more effective than dry, generic advertising. Not only does this approach build a connection between your sphere and your business, but it also delivers real, substantial value to your leads. Your leads don't gain anything when you send out a conventional "let's do business" email. They already understand that you are there to do business, and you're not really offering them any new, innovative value. On the other hand, your leads do benefit from customized, specific messaging that speaks to their needs and circumstances. For example, if you know that your lead is a first-time homebuyer concerned about securing financing, you will be able to grab their attention with personalized messaging. You might share a guide for preparing for a first mortgage and an overview of the escrow process as attachments to that "let's do business" email. Your follow-up becomes value-driven rather than value-lacking. 3. Workflows Should Use a Mix of Contact Types Real estate teams that do not use both programmatic and social media advertising typically see 29% fewer transactions on average. When reaching out to your previous clients and new leads, you should combine a diverse mix of contact types — including programmatic and social media advertising. Social media should be a key component of your lead generation and outreach strategy as consumers spend an average of nearly seven hours a day online, with 145 minutes dedicated to social media. If you want more eyes on your business, make sure that your ads are coming up when your prospects are scrolling through their social media feeds. 4. Aim for 10+ Touchpoints Per Person, Per Month Want 39% more transaction sides? That comes from making 10 or more touchpoints per person, per month to all of the contacts in your database. Reaching out less than ten times per month is not going to introduce the success you're hoping for. But, when you achieve ten or more outreach touchpoints per lead each month, you will boost your chances of securing business by moving leads through your sales funnel. Increasing the number of touchpoints sent to each lead can help you retain the opportunities for business that are sitting in your CRM. Since you're top of mind, your leads will be less likely to seek another agent. 5. Grow Your Database Beyond the Tipping Point of 500 Contacts Agents whose database contains more than 500 contacts have an average of 25% more transaction sides than agents with databases smaller than 500 contacts. Investing time on marketing and networking action plans can help you grow your database beyond the "tipping point" of 500 contacts. If your database currently has less than 500 contacts, getting the contact information of your web traffic should be a top priority for growth. To do so, include captivating calls to action that prompt site visitors to submit their contact information when interacting with your website. Then, add them into your CRM so they begin to receive your communications — putting more leads into your seamless, "rinse and repeat" sales funnel that's been achieved by following these five tips. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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RPR for New Members: The Complete Beginner Series
Five dates, from Aug. 24 - Sept. 26 If you're a new member of NAR, this webinar series is designed for you! Learn techniques to start building your business. As a REALTOR, you have access to Realtors Property Resource, included in your membership with the National Association of REALTORS. RPR provides data, tools and property reports that can help you "wow" your clients and close more deals. With RPR you have access to: Local public record data and MLS data in one database. Neighborhood information, school data, walkability and livability scores. Residential and commercial real estate tools to identify, locate and price properties as well as prospect for new clients. And remember, RPR is already included in your dues to NAR. So there are no extra costs or fees. All it takes is just a little bit of time to help you learn how to navigate and integrate RPR into your business practices. Register now!
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Down Payment Programs 101: What Every Agent Needs to Know
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Textiquette for Real Estate Agents 101
More and more reports are showing that Americans prefer text messages to phone calls. In fact, The Chicago Tribune reported Americans spend a reported 26 minutes a day texting, compared to six minutes on phone calls. With mobile devices, the lines between professional and personal worlds get a bit blurred. And as a real estate agent, you may be wondering how your texts should look, sound, and when to send them. In this post, we'll get down to the do's and don'ts of texting as a real estate professional. The Do's and Don'ts of Texting for Real Estate Agents 1. Don't Get Sloppy Just because you are sending a lead or client a text, instead of a formal email, does not mean all proper grammar and punctuation go out the window. Pro Tip: If you are constantly fighting auto-correct in your text messages, turn it off from your phone's settings. You'll save yourself time and lessen mistakes if your spelling and grammar is already up to par. 2. Don't Text Late at Night Just because people bring their smartphones with them everywhere does not mean they want to be contacted whenever. Leave conversations via phone calls and texting for normal business hours (unless, of course, the contact states otherwise). 3. Don't Use Weird Emojis You don't need to use all 3000+ emojis just because you own a smartphone. Play it safe and use emojis that can be easily interpreted, such as a smiley face, thumbs up, or a house emoji. It can be difficult to read meaning through the internet, so play it safe. 4. Do Ask for Permission Before you begin texting your contact, ask if they prefer text, phone calls or emails. They'll appreciate you asking, and you will benefit from communicating according to their preferences. 5. Do Keep It Short Save lengthy messages for email. No one appreciates a long-winded text message related to business on their personal phone. It can be difficult to store that information for later and it involves stopping your day to read the message. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Real Estate and the Importance of Square Footage
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[Podcast] Lead Gen and Leveraging Data with Ed Carey of Audience Town
In this episode of It's Closing Time, RentSpree CEO Michael Lucarelli sits down with Ed Carey, Founder and CEO of Audience Town, a digital advertising platform designed for real estate. In addition to talking about Audience Town's advertising products, they also dive into how lead-gen technology shifted during the pandemic and how real estate agents should be leveraging data.  
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Mortgage Rates Just Dropped Below 5%. What's Going On?
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Generate and Convert More Leads in a Challenging Market
Thursday, August 18, 2022 at 11:00 AM PDT Everywhere you look, you'll see experts describing the real market as "cooling off, normalizing, shifting, dropping, balancing, slowing down" and so on. However you perceive the current market, we know the market is changing and with change, comes new challenges! In this month's session of the popular "Getting Social With Dylan" series, Dylan Handy, series host and marketing expert will be discussing the current state of the market and how you can overcome the challenges it brings forward and continue to grow your business. Dylan will be sharing ideas on how you can implement sustainable systems that will help you to not only generate more leads, but to convert more leads and close more business, no matter the state of the market. Register now!
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Friday Freebie: Scripts for Handling Objections
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Use RPR for A+ School Reports and Data
It's August, and that means "Back to School" time. A time for your clients to work on clothes, supplies, carpools and schedules for the coming year. And time for you to take a refresher course on RPR School reports and data! RPR school reports and data Schools play an important role in the home buying process. However, it's not just parents of school-aged children that benefit from good schools. Home values benefit, too. Deciding to buy a home in a good school district can certainly help increase your clients' home value over time. And if the market shifts or "corrects" in the future, an outstanding school district could make all the difference during a changing market. Let's take a look at RPR school data, how you can search for homes in specific school districts with RPR, and how you can create reports that will guide your buyers to better informed decisions. RPR school data–you could say it's a Niche market RPR's school data is robust and extensive. It's provided by a collaboration with Niche, the industry's fastest-growing school data provider. Niche specializes in connecting schools with students and families. It has in-depth profiles on every school and college in America, including over 140 million reviews and ratings. With RPR, you can access this data which includes teacher, academic, and overall school grades; as well as school district side-by-side comparisons. Specific metrics include: Total enrollment Students per teacher Average GPA Math and reading proficiency Percentage of gifted students Number of students enrolled in AP Graduation rate Average ACT and SAT scores Average teacher salary Percentage of teachers in the first or second year Written school reviews RPR school searches When a buyer client wants to be in a specific school district, you can use RPR maps to search for properties near schools or within district boundaries. REALTORS® can search for schools within 5 miles of a location; by city/state, school, or district name; and even by type of school (elementary, middle or high school). Here's how: Log in to narrpr.com Click Research and then select School Search. The school search will appear. From the left drop down menu, choose whether to search by Geography or within a particular School District. Enter the city and state or zip, and click the magnifying glass to execute your search To further narrow down your search, enter a School Name to the right of the School Search or choose a School Type: Elementary, Middle, High Search results extra credit From the Search Results, view the basic information and rating of each school, create a School Report, or View Nearby Listings. If you're looking to dive deeper on a school, select the School name. You'll see the school's address, grades served, enrollment, information about standardized test scores and the school's grade rating, including the average rating for schools in the area. The Reviews tab displays community reviews for the school. These reviews are also provided by Niche. You can also link to nearby listings, neighborhood information, and other local schools RPR School Report cards The final step to helping your buyer clients in their school search is creating and delivering RPR School Reports. Much like our Property Reports, they contain tons of data in a sharp-looking layout that you can easily send to clients electronically or you can print them out and bind them for in person delivery. An RPR School Report summarizes the data from your search, and provides options to compare schools within a district or a specified radius, and/or select up to 20 nearby listings to include in the report. From the school results page, click Create Report (or choose Schools from the Reports menu). Select to choose the elements you want displayed on the report Personalize your report with a recipient name and message Choose your delivery method Click Run Report School zone ahead Schools play an important role in home searches, whether the buyers have children or not. As a REALTOR®, you can tap into RPR data to search, compare and find the right schools in the right neighborhoods. Use these tools to find homes in or near coveted school districts, which helps kids get a solid education, and certainly doesn't hurt home values. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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Results Driven Marketing: How to Get More Leads and Referrals Year-after-Year
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7 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do in Google Sheets
There's a powerful tool available to real estate agents that's free to use. That's right, we're talking about Google Sheets. Sheets can do everything from making managing your database easier to creating eye-catching charts. This Microsoft Excel alternative is extra powerful when synced to your CRM. Not sure how to do that? Check out the video above from API Nation, a service that connects technology solutions together in order to share data and automate tasks. This video shares seven tips that will make Google Sheets easy to use, including: Sync your CRM to a Google Sheet Quickly fix capitalizations and split full names to first and last names Make every Sheet easier to read, and simpler to navigate Create charts just by typing a question Import data between different Sheets Want to learn more about using Google Sheets? Check out these articles: 7 Google Sheet Templates for Real Estate Businesses How to Automate a Google Sheets Lead Capture Form
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Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity May Be Coming to a Conference Near You
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Listing Photos Your Smartphone Can't Take
Mobile phones today have fantastic built-in cameras. The advancement of camera technology in mobile phones overall has been astounding. They can automatically adjust for contrast, saturation, skin tone, and even background blur to add extra dimension. Moreover, when it comes to dynamic range, the advancement of digital camera technology now can see things we can't see with human eyes. Smartphone cameras and auto-editing software are so impressive that it can seem like their photos look as good, if not sometimes better, than those taken with a DSLR (digital single-lens reflect) camera. Because smartphone cameras are so powerful and deliver such beautiful pictures, some agents are forgoing hiring a professional photographer to shoot their listing photos. However, there are many listing photos your smartphone can't take. Still, despite all the significant advancements – including the use of Artificial Intelligence to enhance smartphone photography – mobile phones can't capture everything that cameras used by professional photographers can. As a result, DSLR – digital single-lens reflex – remains the image champion for real estate listing photos. Here are a few examples where professional cameras exceed the capabilities of even the most intelligent smartphone with the most advanced camera: Full-Frame sensors Smartphones have tiny sensors. With this technology, size matters. The leading standard for DSLR cameras is full frame (or 35mm). Additionally, the sensor is one of the most expensive technologies in a camera. The larger the sensor, the greater its cost. For example, one of the most popular DSLR cameras for real estate, the Canon 5D Mark IV, has a sensor measuring approximately 36mm x 24mm. The sensor on a smartphone is around 9mm x 6mm. The result: smaller sensors have a narrower field of view than larger sensors when using lenses of the same focal length. The disparity of crop sensors physically limits the ability to get the right listing photo shot both inside and outside. Auto HDR vs. Bracketing One of the techniques a professional photographer uses is called bracketing. Bracketing means shooting the same image with different camera settings. The result is multiple variations of the same photo to choose from – or even combine – get that perfect shot. One of the most common type of bracketing is exposure bracketing, taking the same shot with at least three different exposure settings. A DSLR camera offers manual bracketing, giving far more control over what the final results of what the image will look like. Cell phones are limited to auto HDR in camera, often exporting a JPG image. With bracketing, the photographer can set each exposure exactly for each specific situation, often crucial for real estate listing photos. Clarity Smartphones, because of their smaller sensors, can't achieve the exact definition and clarity that a DSLR camera can achieve. A great comparison is old school. Think of the difference between an 8 x 10 photo created from a smaller negative versus a larger one. The image would be blurry when enlarged from the smaller negative yet crystal clear when made with the larger negative. For the sharpest images, smartphones can't compete. That is the last thing you want when someone is surfing the web looking for homes on their high-resolution screens and seeing anything but crystal-clear images. Photos on a cloudy day You can't control the weather. So, when it comes to shooting photos on a cloudy day, smartphones struggle. However, because you can manually adjust DSLR cameras to the correct settings, the photographer can dial in the correct levels for sensitivity, exposure, and aperture. When you take that same shot with your smartphone, you trust its computer to do the work in terms of setting the shutter speed, white balance, and the right parts of the image to expose. That's why cloudy day photos, for example, that you take with your smartphone, are no match for those taken by a professional photographer with their DSLR camera. Distance Have you been on a walk, seen a deer in the distance or a fascinating bird, and whipped out your smartphone to take a shot? It looks crystal clear on your screen, right? So you take the picture, but it is significantly blurred when you look at it closely after the shot. Think of shooting a house in the same way, from the same distance. Again, when it comes to professionally shot photos, clarity is vital. While a picture may look good on your smartphone, how does it fair on a 32" 4K computer monitor that a prospective home buyer is using to view it? Even the best phones with long-range cameras use digital zoom versus "real" optical zoom. That's why DSLR cameras excel when it comes to distance shots. Lens selection Another massive advantage that DSLR cameras have over a smartphone is lens selection. Smartphones have a lens equivalent to 28mm on a DSLR camera. Some can even mimic a 50mm field of vision used for portrait photography. And some lenses can be attached to your smartphone to enhance its shooting capabilities. But lens selection for mobile phones is limited and pales compared to the hundreds of lenses available for DSLR cameras. Moreover, lenses give DSLR cameras advantages for almost every kind of photo: long distance shots, wide angle, perspective shots, and more are possible simply by switching out a lens. Post-production Smartphone editing software is super slick these days, built in for easy use and making pretty good photos look even better. But what a photographer can do with RAW files from a DSLR camera plus advanced photo editing software like Lightroom and Photoshop makes their excellent work exceptional. When it comes to post-production advantages, the images that a DSLR camera takes begin with an edge over those taken by a smartphone. Then, add the skills that a professional photographer brings to the post-production process. Once again, DSLR photos are far superior to listing photos taken with a mobile phone. The eye of a photographer Beyond the image capabilities and comparisons between what a DSLR camera and a camera on a smartphone can take, the X-factor is the photographer. Professional real estate photographers use DSLR cameras for a reason: it is what they need to get the best listing photos. How a professional real estate photographer "sees" how to line up a shot and find the right angle or perspective is often learned from years of taking hundreds of real estate photos. There's no contest when you add the value of having a professional with the right equipment shoot your listing photos. The right tool DSLR or mirrorless cameras are not software dependent for exceptional imagery. They use big sensors, big lenses, and big grips and tripods that hold these cameras steady to capture the best photos. The images shot with a DSLR camera still can't be matched by any smartphone. The bottom line: DIY with your smartphone is like using the wrong tool from your toolbox when it comes to listing photos. You hire a professional photographer for their exceptional skills and because they use the proper tool. 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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Finding Your Niche in Real Estate
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The 3 Best Times to Ask for Real Estate Referrals
One of the best types of real estate leads to generate are referrals. That's because they're easy to convert compared to other lead sources such as Facebook or Google. Despite that, some agents are hesitant to ask for a referral in fear of inconveniencing their past clients, family, or friends. There's no need to fear! Here, we break down the top three best times to ask for a referral. 1. When You First Start Working with a Client You should ask early in the relationship when emotions are at their most positive. When a person decides they are ready to buy or sell a home, their friends and family know much earlier than a real estate agent does. They talk about it with their network, and even go on social media to ask for recommendations for agents. The early stages of your relationship with your clients are a great time to ask if they know anybody else who may be looking to buy or sell real estate. 2. When You Place a Property Under Contract Here is another highlight in your personal relationship with your clients. Once the property is under contract, you are almost there! Your real estate clients are (hopefully) happy with your level of service. Not asking for referrals is a missed opportunity. Don't miss out on business by always asking for a referral. 3. When You Close the Transaction Job well done! This should be the most obvious time to ask for a referral. Don't make this the only time, though. This is also a great time to ask for a testimonial, which can lead to a better online reputation. Getting into the habit of asking for referrals at EACH of these three opportunities can impact your business much more than asking just once. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How ActiveRain Helps Real Estate Professionals
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How Do Real Estate Agents Get Listings?
As a real estate agent, the lifeblood of your business is winning new listings. Whether you're a new agent or have years of experience, the number and quality of your listings determines your revenue and your local reputation. Top real estate agents get listings and new clients through a variety of lead generation strategies. If you want to get listings, grow your business, and become your local market's go-to real estate expert, consider these 16 real estate home listing generation tips. Build Your Reputation Offline As a real estate agent who wants more home listings, you need to be sure people in your network and community are aware of your real estate services. 1. Tell Friends and Family You're in Real Estate Don't overthink it: Step 1 to getting more real estate listings is to make sure people you already know are aware of your real estate practice. Agents tell us all the time that they started in the business by helping friends and family members sell their homes. Some even make a point of telling new acquaintances that they're in real estate. You don't have to force it: Just by telling people you're in the real estate business, you open yourself up to people's questions about selling homes – and possibly even their business. 2. Learn Your Local Market If you're going to identify yourself as a real estate agent, you'll likely receive questions about the local market. Real estate agents who get listings are those who have learned their local market and can answer these questions intelligently. Consumers want to list their homes with agents who understand the quirks and realities of their local market. Selling a home in December can look much different than selling a home in June. And selling a home when the market is red-hot is different than selling when inventory is high. Above all, selling a home in one city or town or neighborhood may be much different than selling in another – every location has unique considerations, including schools and taxes. Make sure you are up-to-date on the local market and the differences in home selling between different neighborhoods. If you're an expert real estate agent, it will show, and you'll get more home listings. 3. Meet Other Agents Being educated and informed about real estate and your local market is important. It's made easier and is more likely to lead to getting home listings when you have relationships with other agents. Meeting other agents often involves joining local real estate chambers and organizations and attending networking events. Other methods include joining neighborhood groups or real estate charities. By meeting and developing relationships with other agents, you'll learn more about your market and how successful real estate professionals operate. You'll also develop relationships with the people who represent buyers. This allows you to hear about what buyers are going through and what they're looking for – making your listing presentations more compelling and informed. 4. Develop a Community Presence As you learn your market and meet other agents, you should also develop a strong, noticeable, consumer-facing community presence. Having a community presence helps you get listings. The agent name on the back of Little League jerseys, the yard signs, the billboards, the ads in church bulletins, the overall involvement in your community – when it's time to sell and people need to think of a local real estate agent, you want to be who comes to mind. Grow Your Reputation Online At one time, the aforementioned offline methods may have been enough to establish and maintain a sustainable real estate practice. But not anymore. To get listings, you need a strong online presence. 5. Complete and Verify Your Google Business Profile The first and most essential component of a strong online reputation is a verified Google Business Profile. Your Google Business Profile appears at the right hand side of the screen when people search for you online. It includes complete business information, including your contact information, recent listing photos, hours of operation, and reviews. Having a complete, verified Google Business Profile is essential. It tells consumers that you're a credible real estate professional who is ready to do business. 6. Get Google Reviews The next step to building a strong online presence and getting more home listings is to populate your Google Business Profile with reviews. Just as when they're offline, people who are searching for an agent online don't usually have someone specific in mind. Instead, they search for terms like "real estate agents near me." You want to be at the top of these results, and you can, with positive, plentiful Google reviews. Notice that the top agents in this generic search all have dozens of reviews and a high review rating? That's because Google wants to serve searchers agents who are trustworthy. Reviews serve as a proxy, and are essential to any agent who wants to get home listings. With positive Google reviews, you'll appear at the top of Google search results, attract more attention from sellers, and get more home listings than other real estate agents. 7. Appear on Homes.com Getting listings means reaching consumers. And reaching consumers means appearing on the Homes.com agent search directory. Homes.com and Homesnap are both now part of CoStar Group, and tens of millions of dollars are being invested to surge traffic on Homes.com. Already, Homes.com is a leading portal for people looking for an agent to help them sell a home. And the sellers who arrive are valuable: 85% of Homes.com visitors who are planning to sell have not yet selected a listing agent. Clearly, the Homes.com agent search directory is a place you need to be if you want listings. And you can ensure a place at the top with Homesnap Pro+. Pro+ members are automatically boosted to the top of the agent search directory, ahead of thousands of competitors. Your profile, synced with Homesnap agent information, will be ahead of thousands of your competitors – winning you real estate listings. 8. Prospect for Off-Market Sellers Being findable online is important. But particularly during market downturns, being able to effectively and efficiently prospect online for off-market sellers is crucial to getting new home listings. Traditionally off-market prospecting involves knocking on doors or dropping leaflets that ask whether people want to sell their home. The world's become more complex: If you want listings, you should be using Homesnap Pro+ to identify properties that are likely to sell before they hit the market. Homesnap Pro+ members have access to a range of premium filters, including home loan balances, that help you market your services to people who want to sell their home but haven't yet selected an agent. Top agents are proactive, and real estate agents who get listings use Homesnap Pro+ to prospect for new clients. 9. Use Social Media Organically Social media is important for real estate agents, and a component of winning new listings. The benefits of social media are manifold, and include brand and name recognition. But perhaps the biggest benefit of organic – or non-paid – social media is that it allows you to publicly establish yourself as a real estate expert. Post about the market, offer advice, or ask your followers what they're looking for in a home. Either way, you're demonstrating to potential sellers that you think critically and seek feedback about the market – boosting your chances of getting more listings. 10. Run Ads on Social Media After laying the groundwork with strong organic social media, you can use paid social media to draw large numbers of leads into your sales funnel and get more home listings. Our data scientists crunched the numbers and found that consistent investment in paid advertisements pays off for agents. In fact, agents who buy Facebook Ads through Homesnap earn 2.5 times more leads from Facebook than agents who use social media but do not buy paid ads. Targeted, data-backed Homesnap Pro Ads help you zero in on sellers, pitch your services, and get more home listings. Showcase Your Professionalism and Competency As your presence online and offline expands and you get yourself in front of more sellers, don't forget that showcasing professionalism and competency helps you win more home listings – now and in the future. 11. Deliver Compelling Listing Presentations Being recognizable and well-known is great, but for some sellers, deciding on a real estate agent takes more persuasion. Enter the real estate listing presentation. Listing presentations are your opportunity to convince a potential client that you're thorough, professional, and attuned to their needs. Listing presentations are designed to preemptively answer consumer questions such as: What's the background of the agent or brokerage? What's the state of the local market? What homes like mine has the agent sold before? What kind of marketing plan does the agent use? How does the agent plan to price my house? What plans does the agent have for my open house? Does the agent have access to photography and photo editing expertise? Overall, being prepared with a strong listing presentation will win you real estate listings. 12. Always Treat Your Buyer Clients Like Prospective Sellers Winning attention and affection from sellers is always important, but a long-term, sustainable listing generation strategy requires treating buyer clients like prospective sellers. Think about it: Needing to sell a home usually means needing to buy a home. Buyer clients sometimes get a bad rap because of the amount of work necessary to help them find their dream home. But if you do a good job for buyers, you'll be their preferred agent when it's time to sell, and you'll win more listings. 13. Ask for Referrals Hopefully, prospective clients will get a taste of your professionalism, ability, and work ethic through your Google reviews. But winning more real estate listings means being prepared for anything, and that requires referrals. Ask for past clients to refer you to friends, family, and other people they know. Also be sure to ask your clients for feedback. If you're doing a good job, these remarks will be largely positive, and you can share these comments with new prospective clients to get more listings. 14. Stay in Touch With Past Clients Remember that referrals and Google reviews and representing clients multiple times all become less likely if you fail to stay in touch with past clients. The same goes for winning listings. Real estate agents who consistently get listings are usually those who maintain contact with past clients. This doesn't have to suck up too much time: Just periodically check in with your former buyers and sellers to see how they're doing. Simply staying front-of-mind helps boost the odds you'll be hired for their next real estate go-around, and will increase the number of listings in your portfolio. 15. Have a Professional Headshot and Polished Listing Photos Too often, agents appear unprofessional, untrustworthy, and ineffective because they lack a professional headshot and have listing presentations and an online presence that features poor lighting and staging. Those agents cost themselves listings. Don't be one of them. Instead, have high-quality, well-lit, professionally-shot and staged headshots and listing photos. If your brokerage or agency doesn't provide that service, it's still worth it: To be a real estate agent who gets listings, you need people to know you're a legitimate professional with a sharp presentation who is ready to do the job. 16. Host Great Open Houses The last piece of advice to get more real estate listings might seem counterintuitive: Host great open houses. It seems weird. Once you have listings, isn't the focus entirely on getting the best deal by impressing buyers and people touring the home? The answer is yes, but that's exactly why hosting the best possible open houses is a must. Those buyers are very likely to be sellers once they've signed a contract on a home. Some people at the open house are simply getting a feel for the real estate market. When it's time for them to list their home, they'll remember the well-staged open house, and be more likely to give their listing to the agent that hosted it. Get More Home Listings and Grow Your Real Estate Business Getting real estate listings isn't easy. But getting enough listings to thrive as a real estate agent isn't complicated: Develop your offline and online reputation, and consistently demonstrate that you're a professional, thorough agent who is worth consumers' business. Over time, and with the help of this guide, you should find that you have enough listings to maintain a thriving practice and develop a real estate business that gives you pride. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: Qualify and Educate with the Home Seller Packet
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New Realtor.com Buying Power Tool Shows What Homes Are Affordable Based on the Buyer's Finances
With interest rates constantly changing and home prices at all-time highs, understanding what you can afford has never been more important. To give buyers a more objective view of their budget, Realtor.com has introduced a new buying power tool to help home shoppers see whether a specific home is "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." It uses a home a shopper's specific financial details, current mortgage rates, taxes, insurance and HOA fees to determine if the monthly payments will be comfortable. Buying power labels now appear directly on home listings on Realtor.com, making Realtor.com the first national home search site where shoppers can filter their search by selecting their desired affordability range. Recent Realtor.com surveys found that more than two-thirds (68%) of shoppers were surprised by what they could actually afford for their first home. Additionally, 32% of recent buyers found it difficult to understand how changing mortgage rates affected their monthly payments and 62% were surprised by closing costs. Realtor.com's affordability calculator and buying power tool can help prevent these unhappy surprises during the home buying process. "There is nothing more disappointing than falling in love with a home only to realize that you can't afford it, and nothing more exciting than realizing you can afford that dream home. However, there are many factors that go into affordability," said Colleen Coyle, vice president, product management, Realtor.com. "We introduced this tool to help shoppers better understand how much home they can afford and if specific homes fit their budget given their personal financial situation. This tool is especially important right now with rising interest rates – which can add hundreds of dollars to monthly payments and impact buying power." A home's affordability is more than just the asking price. Many first-time home buyers don't realize the added costs of things such as HOA fees, taxes and insurance, not to mention closing costs, which can really add up. Realtor.com's new buying power features give home shoppers the opportunity to input their monthly income, debt payments and savings to determine their budget. Users can save this information to their buyer profile and then search only for homes that fit that budget. To calculate buying power, buyers can visit the Realtor.com affordability calculator and enter their income, monthly debt payments and available funds. By saving this information to their profile, listings on Realtor.com will include an affordability label – "affordable," "a stretch," "difficult" or "out of reach." Users can also filter their search by homes that are within their desired affordability range. Learn more here.
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Tips and Tricks for Selling Your Listing for Top Dollar
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3 Tips for Getting the Highest Quality Leads
1. Nurture your prospects and past clients Lead nurturing is the process of keeping in touch regularly with your leads and prospects over time, offering them relevant and timely information. It means building a relationship with them until they're ready to use your services. But the more leads you have in your database, the more difficult it is to remember specific details about each of them. By keeping good notes in your CRM, you'll be able to review the information you have about your lead, and your conversations will flow with ease. Similarly, when you communicate regularly with your past clients, you ensure that they remember your name and know exactly how to get in touch with you when the time comes to list or buy a home or pass a referral your way. 2. Build your website When it comes to buying and selling homes, being the best real estate agent in your market isn't enough. Having years of experience and being personable is a solid foundation, but another agent who is more visible on the internet might trump you in reaching more potential clients. Your website is an extension of your brand and it should be both engaging and easy to use, capturing leads within a CRM system for managing and passing leads to your team. 3. Grow your social media presence Social media has become an important part of the real estate business. If you don't have active, relevant, and engaging social media accounts, you are losing on opportunities that could put you in front of new business. Read this story for additional ways to set yourself up for success with integrating social media into your real estate brand marketing strategy. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Reduce Buyer Frustration with Effective Financing Education and Preparation
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5 Things Every Agent Needs to Know About 5G
Do you remember when you got your first mobile phone? If you were an early adopter, it probably was the size of a brick! Or was it a flip phone? On the other hand, if you wanted to text, then you had a Blackberry and were way ahead of the curve in terms of tech adoption. Today, more and more technology has become integrated into the daily workflow of real estate agents. Even the pandemic had a positive impact, if there is one, as it accelerated the adoption of more digital tools by brokers and their agents to empower remote work and remain connected to clients. Now, the next generation of technology is upon us. It's coming from the advent of a new service for your smartphone called 5G. 1. What is 5G? 5G stands for 5th Generation Network. 5G follows all the prior network services in its evolutionary chain: 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE. The biggest difference? Speed. 5G is fast. Not just marginally quicker than 4G – blazingly faster. It's like comparing the speed difference between a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle and a Model S Plaid Tesla: there is no comparison. Mobile tech giant Qualcomm offers this historical comparison: First generation - 1GThe 1980s: 1G delivered analog voice. Second generation - 2GThe early 1990s: 2G introduced digital voice. Third generation - 3GThe early 2000s: 3G brought mobile data. Fourth generation - 4G LTEThe 2010s: 4G LTE ushered in the era of mobile broadband. 2. How fast is it? With 5G, speeds are possible up to 20 Gigabits-per-second (Gbps) with average data rates running 100+ Megabits-per-second (Mbps). How fast is that? A gigabyte is 1,000 Megabytes per second. That's ten times faster than high-speed home internet systems that offer 100 Megabyte+ speed. For comparison, with 100 Megabytes per second, you can download an entire 4K movie in a few minutes. With Gigabyte speed, the same download takes seconds. The one potential downside is that speeds can slow when more people access the 5G network simultaneously. This is because 5G shares a bandwidth; top speeds suffer when a 5G network is overtaxed. However, 5G can handle significantly more capacity than 4G. As a result, 5G is designed to support a 100x increase in traffic and also offers improved network efficiency over 4G. 3. More 5G benefits In addition to being significantly faster than 4G and having more capacity, 5G features substantially lower latency than 4G. Why is that important? 5G can deliver more instantaneous, real-time access, almost eliminating any lag time when accessing data. When 4G LTE was introduced, its breakthrough provided much faster mobile broadband services than 3G. 5G is different. It does more than boost mobile device speeds. Its infrastructure supports new services such as mission-critical communications – more reliable and stable connections for public safety agencies, railway communications, the power grid, and government agencies. 5G also is designed to work better with all of the IoT – Internet of Things – devices, which is already a massive network and growing. Moreover, 5G can run on different bandwidths, which could allow the connection of device-to-device, enabling mobile devices to communicate with each other without a network. For the real estate agent on the go, 5G has one more benefit: it makes it easier to find hotspots for your mobile device. 4. Where is it available? While 5G service is technically available across most of the US, it isn't everywhere – yet. Access depends on the cell carrier. Even today, 5G hasn't been rolled out everywhere – yet. While it is technically available in thousands of cities, many only offer the 5G's low-band network, which delivers much slower speeds, at least for now. 5. What equipment do I need? To run 5G on your mobile device requires the proper equipment. Unfortunately, none of the older iPhone models—including the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the iPhone SE— support 5G, and they never will. For 5G Apple phone fans, you will need an iPhone 12 or higher. For Samsung users, the first 5G-capable smartphone was the Galaxy S10 5G, and now includes 5G versions for the Galaxy Note10, Note10+, Fold, S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra. Perhaps the most significant long-term impact for agents will come from new home devices for 5G. If you live in a market where 5G top speeds are available, new mobile internet equipment is available that can replace your current home internet network. In addition, with more agents working from home, 5G is expected over time to provide a massive boost to productivity at home from the ability for more agents to gain access to high-speed internet – at potentially a lower cost. Remember, if you have questions about 5G and have access through your MLS or association to Tech Helpline, our tech experts are only a click, call or text away. And if you haven't already, check out the Tech Helpline app for your smartphone, available for iPhones at the Apple App Store and Android phones at Google Play. You also may be interested in: 4 Questions to Always Ask to Pick the Best Technology for Work On the go? Take us with you 10 New Tech Terms Agents Need to Know Smartphone Running Slower? Here Are 4 Helpful Tips Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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[Podcast] My Real Estate Journey with Kirsten Jordan of Million Dollar Listing New York
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24 Hyperlocal Blog Topics to Attract Seller Leads to Your Website
Any marketer will tell you organic traffic is the best traffic. However, only some real estate agents are aware of this. Real estate agents with a strong online presence will continuously generate leads through organic traffic. Blogging is an easy way to generate organic traffic to your real estate website and ultimately capture more real estate leads. Luckily, driving local traffic to your real estate website is relatively easy. Hyperlocal marketing focuses on specialized topics that interest people in a limited area. We've created a list of 24 blog topics for agents to help you start your next blog and capture seller leads in your market. 24 Real Estate Blog Topics that Capture Seller Leads The Best Time to Sell a Home in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Is 2022 a Good Time to Sell a Home in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.)? __ Reasons Now is the Time to Sell in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) What Recent Divorcees Should Know About Selling a Home in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) How to Sell a Home Quickly in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Even with Negative Equity How Quickly Homes Sell in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Average Sale Price of homes in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) How to Sell Your Home While Living Outside of (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Why (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Home Owners Need a Listing Agent How to Evaluate Purchase Offers when Selling a Home in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) What (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Homes Should Include in a Listing Description __ Ways to Prepare Your Home Sale in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) The Truth Behind FSBO Sales in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) What First Time Home Sellers Should Know About the (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Market What (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Home Buyers Look for in a Home Best Day of the Week to Hold a Open House in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) How Many Homes Are For Sale in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.)? _ Reasons a Home Might Not Sell in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Is it a Good Idea to Sell Your Home During the Winter in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) __ Things that Make the (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Real Estate Market Different __ Best Real Estate Agents in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) __ Best Real Estate Brokerage in (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Average Commission Fee of a (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.) Real Estate Agent Preparing Your Home for (insert city/neighborhood/ZIP code/state/etc.)'s Spring Market To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Shifting Real Estate Market: How to Create a Video That Clears up Confusion
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How Can You Prove You're a Local Real Estate Expert?
It's a question you may ask yourself often: How can I demonstrate to consumers in my market that I'm the best real estate agent in the area? As with most components of real estate, the answer has become more involved and multi-dimensional in recent years. Once, planting yard signs in front lawns and having a witty slogan on a shopping cart may have been enough. Now, with consumers able to access more information than ever, proving yourself as the go-to local agent requires a consistent, digitally savvy reputation management strategy. Fortunately, you can take two clear actions to establish yourself as the most trustworthy real estate agent in your market. 1. Dominate local SEO When it comes to reputation management, real estate agents face a hard reality: If you don't rank at the top of Google search results about local real estate, you will lose credibility and fail to prove your position as the best agent in your market. Imagine it from a consumers point of view: They're in the market to buy or sell a home, see one of your signs or social media posts, and search for you on Google. What they get back is a barren online presence, without any client reviews, a dedicated website, or information about your address, business hours, and current listings. Maybe they can't even find you at all. Who could blame them when they decide to look for another agent? If you were looking for a lawyer or plumber or other service provider, would you hire somebody who didn't come with any recommendations? You might even think they are out of business, if you couldn't find them online. This is why it is crucial for you to have a strong presence on local Google search results. More than ever before, real estate searches start online, and more than ever before, Google is serving real estate searchers locally-focused content. When consumers look for you online, establish the SEO presence necessary to ensure that they are served a strong, informative, persuasive content. To start, create a Google business profile and populate it with your address, phone number, websites, and up-to-date photos. Then, solicit and manage reviews from clients, fellow agents, and your family and friends. This way, when people search for you on Google, they see that you have satisfied customers, impressed colleagues, and a history of superior real estate service. 2. Leverage social media People's media consumption habits have changed dramatically since the advent of social media. As an agent, this gives you an opportunity. Use social media effectively and you can make sure that local consumers know about your listings and your knowledge. Traditionally, social media has been divided into organic and paid efforts. Both have their benefits and can help showcase your local real estate footprint and expertise. Organic posts tend to be good for general observations about the state of the local real estate market. By posting about what's happening in the market, you show people in your community that you have a strong handle on what's going on – which homes are selling, at what price, and how long after being listed. Paid social media posts are also valuable if you want to establish yourself as the leading local real estate expert. Most of your paid social media posts are likely to feature home listings, and we know that agents who buy Facebook ads through Homesnap earn 2.5 times more leads from Facebook than agents without paid social media ads. Those leads come through increased digital reach – people see an ad and know about your foothold in the local real estate market. Whether they become a lead now or later, paid social media helps showcase to consumers that many local buyers are already trusting you with their real estate needs. Proving that you're a local real estate expert is essential to earning new clients, and requires both having the knowledge required to be an expert and the online presence necessary to convince consumers of your abilities. By upgrading to Homesnap Pro+, you can accomplish both of these objectives, and become the local agent who buyers and sellers contact first. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: Real Estate Call Scripts (That Actually Work)
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Nearly 3 Out of 5 Realtors Say Limited Inventory Prevented Clients from Buying Homes in 2021
Amid a persistent housing supply crunch, 57% of Realtors cited a lack of inventory as the leading reason limiting potential clients from completing a transaction, according to the National Association of REALTORS' 2022 Member Profile, an annual report analyzing members' business activity and demographics from the prior year. However, as housing demand surged last year resulting in 6.12 million existing homes sold – the most since 2006 – NAR's membership increased to 1.56 million at the end of 2021, up from 1.48 million at the end of 2020. "In the last year, REALTORS® continued to navigate a challenging housing market and cited the biggest factor holding back the housing market was tight inventory," said Jessica Lautz, NAR Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights. "As buyers relocated throughout the pandemic, housing affordability and lack of supply became a hurdle that agents and brokers found ways to overcome." Business Characteristics of REALTORS® Two out of every three REALTORS® – 67% – hold sales agent licenses, while 21% hold broker licenses and 14% hold broker associate licenses. Seventy-one percent of members specialize in residential brokerage. Relocation, residential property management and commercial brokerage are members' most common secondary specialty areas. Members typically have eight years of real estate experience, which is unchanged from a year ago. Eighteen percent of those surveyed have one year or less experience – identical to last year – while 18% of REALTORS® have more than 25 years of experience, up from 15% in 2020. Appraisers, broker-owners and managers had the most experience, while sales agents were typically the newest in the field with six years of experience. Consistent with recent surveys, nearly four out of five members – 79% – were certain they will remain in the real estate industry for at least two more years. Business Activity of REALTORS® The typical NAR member had a higher sales volume ($2.6 million vs. $2.1 million) and more transactions (12 vs. 10) in 2021 compared to 2020. The typical REALTOR® earned 16% of their business from previous clients and customers, a slight increase from 15% last year. The most experienced members – those with 16 or more years of experience – reported a greater share of repeat business from clients or referrals (a median of 44% in 2021 vs. a median of 37% in 2020). Members with two years of experience or less reported no repeat business. Overall, REALTORS® earned a median of 20% of their business from referrals, a slight increase from 19% in 2020. Referrals were also more common among members with more experience, with a median of 31% for those with 16 or more years of experience compared to no referrals for those with two years of experience or less. Demographic Characteristics of REALTORS® Seventy-seven percent of REALTORS® were White, down slightly from 78% last year. Hispanics/Latinos accounted for 11% of REALTORS®, followed by Black/African Americans at 8% and Asian/Pacific Islanders at 5%. When compared to more experienced members, new members tended to be more diverse. Among those who had two years or less of experience, 37% were racial minorities, an increase from 34% one year ago. "The real estate industry attracted new entrants who were increasingly more racially diverse and more likely to be women," Lautz added. "The dynamic nature of real estate encourages varying business models, firm relationships, and business activity." Sixty-six percent of REALTORS® were women, a minor increase from 65% last year. The median age of REALTORS® was 56, up from 54 from the previous year. Approximately two out of five members – 41% – were over 60 years old and 4% were under the age of 30. More than nine in 10 members – 93% – had some post-secondary education, with 31% completing a bachelor's degree, 6% having some graduate school education, and 14% completing a graduate degree. Two out of every three members – 67% – reported volunteering in their community. Volunteering was most common among members aged 40 to 49 years. "All across our nation, REALTORS® are dedicated to building, improving and serving 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. "In competitive and ever-changing market conditions, REALTORS® demonstrate professionalism, a strong work ethic, and trusted knowledge as they guide consumers through the complex process of achieving property ownership." Income and Expenses of REALTORS® The median gross income for REALTORS® was $54,300 in 2021, up from $43,330 in 2020. REALTORS® with 16 years or more experience had a median gross income of $85,000, an increase from $75,000 the previous year, as income was typically commensurate with experience. Total median business expenses for members were $6,250 in 2021, an increase from $5,330 in 2020. Technology and REALTORS® On a daily basis, the strong majority of REALTORS® use a smartphone with wireless email and internet capability (96%) and a laptop or desktop computer (91%). The smartphone features that members use most frequently on a daily basis are email (94%) and social media and GPS apps – both at 53%. Text messaging (94%) is the top method of communication for members with their clients, followed by phone calls (92%) and email (90%). Nearly seven in 10 members – 68% – have their own website. Six percent of REALTORS® use drones themselves as part of their business, while 37% have hired a professional drone operator. Four percent and 2% of members, respectively, use 3D/virtual tour and virtual staging technology on a daily basis. Office and Firm Affiliation of REALTORS® A slight majority of REALTORS® – 54% – worked with an independent company and 87% were independent contractors at their firms, both figures are nearly identical to one year ago. Forty-three percent of members worked at a firm with one office and 26% worked at a firm with two to four offices. The typical REALTOR® had a median tenure of five years with their current firm, the same as in 2020. Eight percent of members reported working for a firm that was bought or merged in the past two years. Errors and omissions insurance is the most common benefit provided by members' firms. Survey Methodology In March 2022, NAR emailed a 97-question survey to a random sample of 176,494 REALTORS®. Using this method, a total of 9,220 responses were received. The survey had an adjusted response rate of 5.2%. The confidence interval at a 95% level of confidence is +/- 1.02% based on a population of 1.5 million members. Survey responses were weighted to be representative of state-level NAR membership. Information about compensation, earnings, sales volume and number of transactions are characteristics of calendar year 2021, while all other data are representative of member characteristics in early 2022. Find more information from NAR's 2022 Member Profile here.
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LinkedIn SEO for Real Estate Agents
LinkedIn is a platform that many real estate agents are using nowadays. But are you using it correctly? More importantly, are you harnessing the features and possibilities of LinkedIn? From the day LinkedIn was launched, it served its followers as a platform where they could establish valuable connections. Often, it was used as a glorified resume and nothing more. But many of us forget that LinkedIn is as much of a social platform as Instagram and Facebook. While the LinkedIn algorithm might play by a set of different rules, that doesn't mean we should ignore such a huge platform. We all know that buyers and sellers search agents online before making an important decision on who should represent them. We already know that Google ranks your real estate website based on how optimized it is, how well designed the on-page and off-page SEO is. But what many of us don't know is that social media channels are also search engine platforms that can rank our social media as well. In order to be first in the search results, it's important to have an optimized social media account. In this article, we will take you through the process of optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Let's get started. Optimizing Your URL Just like other content, your LinkedIn profile needs to have an optimized URL. What does that mean? It means if you have an option to claim a URL with your name in it, you should do it. Adding relevant keywords like real estate agent or broker will help you to differentiate yourself from other accounts with your name and help you rise above your competitors. So let's say your name is John Smith and you're a real estate agent. Your Linkedin profile URL will look like this: www.linkedin.com/in/john-smith-real-estate-agent. Using Keywords We already mentioned the importance of using relevant keywords. LinkedIn SEO is not that different from our usual perception of real estate SEO. Using keywords signals to LinkedIn what your account is all about. Your LinkedIn profile is somewhat similar to website landing pages. Therefore, it's important to not only add keywords in your profile link, but also to use them in your profile copy. Profile copy consists of many parts. We will mention the most important ones: Headline – The headline is a section where you indicate who you are and what your working experience is. The headline is more about precision rather than creativity. So be clear about who you are and use relevant keywords. For example: John Smith - Real Estate Agent/REALTOR, Real Estate Marketing Expert. You can even indicate the link to your website. Although we mentioned that the headline is mostly about precision, a little bit of creativity won't hurt. LinkedIn gives you about 120 characters for the headline section, so if you have some space left, let's not waste it. You can add a small promotional sentence about your services, indicating how you help real estate sellers and buyers find the best property for them. Summary – To understand what the summary is all about, just remember the About Us section that we've all seen in other websites. You probably have one too. It's one of the largest sections on LinkedIn where you can add even more information about yourself. Remember to first think about what your clients might be looking for in a real estate agent and try to write a summary considering these factors. Optimize your summary by adding how your clients can contact you. You can add a contact form or link to your website's contact information. Experience – This is a section that most of us use as a simple resume. We simply list our work experience, forgetting that that's not what our clients want to read. How might your clients benefit from your experience? What are the highlights of your working experience? These are the questions you should be asking yourself. Skills – Profiles that have skills indicated are most likely to be found. Education, Licences and Certifications, Accomplishments – All these sections indicate how qualified you are as a real estate professional. Profile Photo – There are a lot of opinions about profile images. Some say that a profile image should consist of a professional headshot. Some say that it should be casual. Whatever the case—casual or professional photo—it's important for it to be good quality. Endorsements – Endorsements are a way of showcasing that your skills are valued by others, and that they vouch for you. It's important to get many endorsements and endorse others as well. Endorse and be endorsed. LinkedIn Keywords So, how can you find the right keywords for your LinkedIn profile? As many of us already know, there are many ways to find relevant keywords with the help of Google. One of these ways is exploring the search bar. Since LinkedIn is not only a social media platform but a search engine as well, the same approach applies to it. We suggest checking out the search bar function on LinkedIn. You can use filters to broaden your search. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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How to Convince FSBOs to Use an Agent
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It's Mid 2022. Have You Started Working on Your Real Estate Business Yet?
It's hard to believe, but we're already in the third quarter of the year. To prepare for the second half of 2022, we recommend taking time to do a mid-year review. Mid-year reviews are a vital, proactive step in helping you understand where you stand in terms of your annual goals. The purpose of a mid-year review: Evaluate performance in comparison with your annual business plan Provide a proactive approach to course correct if need be Help you identify what is going well and set motivation for the second half of the year To start, if you have an annual business plan, make sure to have it available to use as a reference. Many offices use income planning worksheets to help their agents put their earning goals in writing. One way to find motivation and focus is to look at income goals. Identify what you need to pay your bills and provide for your family, and then write down what you would do with additional, supplemental income. Print and hang the paper in your office where you can see it every day. Next, review your production goals. Record your planned and actual listings sold, as well as buyers, listings and referrals. Tally the total monthly closed data and look for year-over-year trends in the numbers. If you are low in one category, identify where you need to change or modify your marketing efforts for the remainder of the year. Now is the time to make sure you are caught up on tracking your business expenses, including appraisal fees, gas, insurance, contract labor, closing gifts, health insurance, etc. Not only will this exercise give you an idea of the remainder of your annual budget, it will set you up for success when tax season comes around the next year. Last, if you haven't invested in a CRM to stay organized with your goal setting and relationship buildings, now is the time to sign up for an account and complete the onboarding and training sessions. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Is Your Real Estate Lead Follow-Up Persistent... or Annoying?
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This One Trend Indicates the Housing Market is Finally Returning to Normal
For more than two years, agents, buyers and sellers have been waiting for the housing market to return to normal. There's one major indication it's finally happening: More homes on the market are getting a price cut. In June 2022, 1 in 7 homes on the market had their prices lowered. That's nearly twice the frequency of June 2021, when only 1 in 13 homes lowered their initial listing price. What's causing sellers to slash the price of on-market homes? And what other signs should you be looking for when evaluating the state of your local real estate market? Why Are Sellers Cutting On-Market Home Prices? In short, price cuts are returning to the housing market because fewer buyers are competing for homes. The biggest reason? Rising interest and mortgage rates. In 2020, the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to blunt the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those lowered interest rates resulted in rock-bottom mortgage rates, and prompted a flood of buyers to enter the market. This increased competition turbocharged the housing market. The price of homes skyrocketed; bidding wars on properties and offers over listing price became common. In 2022, the Federal Reserve has hiked interest rates. Mortgage rates have followed, rising faster than any time in the past 40 years. As the cost of borrowing increases, fewer buyers are entering the market, and many of those who do simply aren't willing to engage in all-out bidding wars. Many experts believe price cuts signal a housing market correction, not a crash. Keep in mind that from 2017 to 2019, before the disruption of the COVID pandemic, about 1 in every 4 to 5 homes had its price cut while on the market. Price cuts are normal, and likely to become more common so long as mortgage rates increase. What Are Other Signs of a Cooling Housing Market? Price cuts indicate that the housing market is returning to normal. But you should consider other vital signs when monitoring your local market, including: Mortgage applications: Before consumers can buy a house, they have to apply for a mortgage. Nationwide, the number of mortgage applications has fallen throughout 2022. Keep tabs on your region's mortgage application trends to gauge buyer demand whether the local market is cooling Number of home listings: Demand is driven by supply. In a cooling housing market, more homes are likely to be on the market. Some metro areas have more housing supply than others, but all remain affected by the limited number of new homes being built. Attendance at tours and open houses: As you host and attend home tours, ask yourself: Does turnout seem to be down? Are buyers making aggressive, cash-heavy offers? If turnout is low and buyers seem to be weighing their options, consider your local market cooling. Overall, price cuts indicate a housing market that is moving back to normal. But every metro area is different, and every buyer and seller has different expectations. Be sure you have the tools and information to help clients navigate the market, no matter what. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Minimize Buyer Frustration with Adequate Education Upfront
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Hosting Open Houses That Get Better Offers
A bidding war: that's the ideal scenario for listing agents. But high interest rates, runaway inflation, and competition from institutional investors may be cooling the housing market in many areas. The good news? It's still a seller's market. The better news? You can still coax multiple, competitive offers from everyday buyers—and it all starts with the open house. In this week's Friday Freebie, we'll show you how with a guide to hosting open houses that get better offers. Free download of 2022 Open House Guide, courtesy of Zurple Aside from inspiring interest in a listing, an open house also is a strategy for the hosting agent to build in-person rapport with the community—and build their contact database. That's why open houses are often a starting point for new agents looking to build their book of business. Whatever your level of experience, this guide from Zurple breaks down the preparation, marketing, and hosting of open houses step-by-step: Step 1: Get a listing Step 2: Choose a date Step 3: Prepare the home for market Step 4: Marketing your event online Step 5: Marketing your event offline Step 6: Prepare your client Step 7: Prepare the home for the open house Step 8: Engage guests Ready to level up your open houses this summer? Download your FREE copy of the 2022 Open House Guide now!
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Basic Real Estate Photography Tips: Identifying and Correcting Vertical Lines
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To Bot or Not? The Modern Way to Engage Real Estate Leads
Lead concierge services are gaining popularity in the real estate industry -- and it isn't hard to see why. Automated lead concierge programs help agents focus on high-dollar value leads. Instead of being glued to your computer screen digging through your CRM, you can be out in the field going to meetings and closing deals. While you're out there doing more of what you love, all of the leads in your database are followed up with on time. The lead concierge acts as an extension of your team. While the appeal of lead concierge services is clear, deciding whether or not to adopt this strategy for your business can be a tough decision for many agents. Pros and Cons of Lead Concierge Services Pros of Lead Concierge: You can spend more time serving your active clients The lead concierge service is keeping all of your leads warm You get your time back On one hand, agents want to free up the time they're spending engaging and following up with their leads — while ensuring that they're actually warming their entire CRM at every level of the sales funnel. Any agent knows that it's not easy to keep in touch with hundreds or thousands of clients manually 24/7 — let alone develop strong, trustful relationships by sharing personalized content. Agents also know how difficult it is to quickly respond to each new lead that submits their contact information. Since home buyers buying properties online are most likely to work with the first agent they speak to, it's critical that real estate teams are responding quickly and effectively. Cons of Bot-Powered Lead Concierge: Your leads may need to speak to a real person Your client experiences may lack a human touch Your leads may not feel like they're building trust with you However, many agents might not feel comfortable passing off one of the most crucial elements of their business to technology. Sometimes, your clients will need to speak to a real person. A study found that nearly 90% of people prefer to speak to a live customer service agent on the phone, despite the efficiency of phone menus for businesses. Your CRM is your goldmine, and your lead engagement plan is your baseline for generating deals and pushing your sales funnel toward conversion. If you've built your business with strong, human-centric communication, can you really pass that off to bots and maintain the same quality? Even if that will allow you to grow your business, is it worth risking the quality of your client experiences? To bot or not to bot can be a tough question to answer — until you've heard of the BoomTown Effect. The Best Solution for Lead Concierge The solution? Less DIY and more ROI with BoomTown's Success Assurance! What agents really need is a seamless lead concierge service that keeps a human quality, but boosts the quantity of your outreach. In other words, helping you do more. The greatest value of BoomTown's Success Assurance is that it is powered by a team of real humans. It's not a concierge team of bots. Trained sales professionals serve your clients — no bots involved. Real people qualify and nurture every lead for up to 365 days from registration. You won't have to worry about responding to new leads or stressing about sending out follow-up emails. Instead, you and your team can focus on active buyers and sellers while accelerating the team's lead conversion timeline. It's a win-win for you and your clients. You get more time, and they get superb quality experiences and real, human-to-human assistance. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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NFTs in Real Estate: Temporary phase or an enduring fixture?
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How the Real Estate Transaction's Weak Link Became Its Strength
Good news: the weak link in the digital transaction chain is finally being mended. For years, real estate professionals have been able to manage transactions digitally, from start to close, with one exception: the transfer of earnest money. This creates a peculiarly analog moment in a sequence of events that otherwise occurs entirely online. That's not just inconvenient—it's less secure, too, and exposes your clients to the risk of fraud and identity theft. Fortunately, that old school method of collecting earnest money is now being digitized to match the rest of the transaction. In fact, you may have seen the headlines: major brokerages like Howard Hanna are adopting digital earnest money solutions like Earnnest. Even better, digital transaction companies like dotloop are integrating digital earnest money solutions right into their platform, so users can manage the entire transaction from one place. So how do digital earnest money solutions work, and how do they improve the transaction experience for agents, brokerages, and their clients? Let's explore. The Problem with Earnest Money Before solutions like Earnnest debuted, the process of collecting and depositing earnest money was time consuming: the buyer delivers a paper check to their agent, who gives it to the listing agent, who gives it to the Designated Trust Account Holder, who—finally—deposits it into a trust account. That's a lot of hands for a single check to pass through, and each exchange puts the check at risk of being lost or stolen. What's worse, many brokerages have been targets of earnest money scams where hackers spoof an email from the brokerage to the buyer with fraudulent wire transfer instructions. Not only does this mean missed deadlines and derailed transactions, but this can put brokerages at regulatory risk and subject them to legal liability. Fortifying the Transaction Digital earnest money solutions make the transaction more secure (and efficient) by moving the entire process online, from requesting the deposit all the way to deposit and completion. The process is simple, and can be completed in just a few steps. As an example, let's take a look at this process in Earnnest's integration with dotloop: 1. Send a payment request From within a transaction in dotloop, click Send Earnnest Request in the top right of your screen. You'll be prompted to log in to Earnnest, and once you do, information will be automatically populated into the request form. Next, add your escrow holder. If their name doesn't appear, you can invite them to join the transaction. Once they enroll, send the request. 2. Buyer receives alert and completes the process Next, the buyer receives an email and/or text prompting them to complete the earnest money request. All they need to do is confirm their identity, add a funding bank, and send the payment. Earnest then completes the process via a digital transfer with bank-level security. Once the buyer is done, the requesting agent receives an email notification. On average, according to dotloop, it takes agents less than two minutes to send the earnest money request, and 80% of buyers complete this process in under three minutes. That's potential hours saved over the traditional method of passing a paper check between multiple parties! The process is further streamlined when the earnest money solution is integrated directly into the agent's transaction management program. It promotes, as Earnnest President and Chief Operating Officer Russell Smith notes, simplicity of use. "If I'm a real estate agent or brokerage, and I'm evaluating a digital earnest money partner, a few of the things that I'd be looking for: simplicity of use," Smith says. "Is it a tool that, if I'm an agent, fits in my workflow? If I'm a brokerage, is something that I think my agents are going to be able to adopt? And really when you look at adoption … one of the ways we've seen to really increase that is making sure it's within their workflow." Learn more about dotloop's integration with Earnnest here, or watch this short webinar for a more in-depth look.
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Why IDX Sites Are Better than Non-IDX Sites for Real Estate Websites
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It's a Sellers Market. So Why Aren't More People Selling Their Home?
If you're an agent, you've recently heard (and maybe said) this line: It's a seller's market. With housing inventory at a record low and home prices still rising, that conventional wisdom begs the question: If it's a seller's market, why aren't more people selling their homes? 1. The Most Eager Sellers Have Already Sold Why aren't more owners listing their homes? In part, because people who were most eager to sell already have. For nearly two years, ultra low mortgage rates resulted in a supercharged housing market. Sellers were listing homes and often receiving dozens of offers, some of which came above already sky-high listing prices. Homeowners who wanted to sell had ample time to get their home on the market and sell it at a high price. And they did. Just consider the below chart displaying existing home sales from 2017 to 2022. Existing home sales are the clearest proxy for tracking the rate at which owners are selling their homes. It's evident that home sales bottomed out in the early spring of 2020, when COVID-19 was first declared a pandemic. But sales rebounded at a record rate after the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates and mortgage rates plunged to a record low. Throughout 2020 and 2021, sales of existing homes were at their highest level in years, and have only this year begun to taper towards a pre-pandemic normal. Basically, fewer homes are hitting the market now because more homes than anticipated were sold 6, 12, 18, or 24 months ago. Many of the most interested sellers have already hit the market – it's been a seller's market for some time. 2. Mortgage Applications and Buyer Interest Is Down People are motivated to sell their homes when they know there is strong buyer demand. Right now, a sustained drop in mortgage applications indicates less buyer demand for homes in 2022 than preceding years. Mortgage applications are for consumers the first step of obtaining a home loan, and as such, are often used as a gauge of industry-wide housing demand. Mortgage applications are down a full 15% year-over-year, which most experts attribute to surging mortgage rates. As mortgage rates rise, fewer buyers are qualified to seek one, tampering overall buyer demand. With less buyer demand, would-be sellers may figure that it's better to wait out the market and not list a home until mortgage rates fall. Fewer mortgage applications suggests a housing market that's in the process of cooling. People who don't need to sell a home now may think that today's market – still low on housing inventory and hospitable for sellers – will be more promising in a few years, after interest and mortgage rates have stopped rising so rapidly. 3. Sellers Usually Also Have to Buy – and That's Not Currently Easy The final and arguably most significant factor keeping home sellers out of the market is epitomized by a question: "If we sell, where are we going to go?" You can't blame sellers for wondering. Usually, selling a home means buying a new home in its stead, and right now, that's hard because: Buyers are facing high mortgage rates: Mortgage rates have risen at their fastest rate in decades. Sellers who also need to buy a home risk trading into a higher mortgage rate, blunting the financial windfall of selling a home. Home prices are still high: Housing prices aren't rising at the breakneck clip of 2020 and 2021, but are still formidable. Low inventory means that for sellers, finding the right new home at a reasonable price is not guaranteed, or even likely. The newly built home market is difficult: Potential home sellers can't easily upgrade to a newly built home. For one, new homes simply aren't being built at the rate of demand, with inflation and supply-chain snarls jumping the cost of supplies and materials. Plus, buyers of newly built homes pay a hefty price when mortgage rates rise. The time between agreeing to a contract on a newly built home and moving in can last up to a year – putting buyers at risk of being on the hook for much higher borrowing costs than first anticipated. Clearly, there are compelling factors keeping home sellers out of the market. But for agents, market tumult and uncertainty may signal an opportunity. Those who want to sell a home still can, even as rates rise, because inventory is so scant. And people looking for homes are starting to find a market with more reasonable home prices and fewer bidding wars – which may encourage them to hire an agent and buy before mortgage rates rise even more. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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72% of Recent Homebuyers Report Feeling Some Level of Frustration with Their Home Purchase
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You're Losing Lead Conversions Because of These Mistakes
Agents often complain about lead quality, but in reality, they're the ones missing out on conversion opportunities because of simple mistakes. To help you overcome the myth of "trash" leads, gaining a better understanding of online leads -- and how to best work them -- can help you boost your conversion rates and supercharge your business. Let's review three of the biggest, and most common, mistakes that agents are making that cause them to lose lead conversions. #1. Not Reaching Out at the Right Time To lock in the chance to do business with a prospect, it's all about making the right moves at the right time. One of the most common mistakes that agents make when working their leads is missing the right timing. Specifically, by not reaching out at the opportune moment — when the lead is actually browsing transaction resources and is interested in speaking with an agent. While reaching out too soon is considered warming colder leads, reaching out too late can be considered losing business. Optimizing your lead response time can help agents convert more online leads into transaction opportunities. Doing so will allow you to meet customer expectations even before they've agreed to hire you as an agent. According to NAR's 2021 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report: 90% of all buyers said that responsiveness was the most important agent skill and quality. 89% of all buyers said communication was the most important agent skill and quality. When choosing an agent to work with, today's clients want someone who can prove to them that they're going to maintain strong communications throughout the transaction. From first contact to closing, following up on time is critical for rolling out the red carpet for your leads. Pro Tip: According to Zillow and MIT, responding instantly to inquiries from online leads can increase conversion rates by up to 391%. #2. Not Leveraging Personalized, Prescriptive Outreach Another common mistake that agents make is sending out general messaging to keep in touch with their leads. While this does technically count as reaching out and getting in your leads' inboxes, it's far less effective than if you were sending out personalized content. Remember, you always want to provide your leads with real value that's relevant to their sales position, needs, and questions. When you send out dry copywriting and general resources, you're missing out on the chance to build trust and show the lead that you're a service-driven, solution-oriented agent. Pro Tip: Make it easy to personalize your outreach by organizing your CRM contacts into separate groups. For example, you can separate your CRM into categories, such as buyer leads, seller leads, past seller clients, and past buyer clients. Doing so will allow you to leverage bulk actions that save time and improve the quality — and conversion potential — of your outreach. Another way to help your CRM facilitate customized outreach is to tag your clients with important personal facts that you've learned about them. For example, you can tag quick conversation points like "loves to golf" or "is planning on getting married" to help you stay current with your sphere. When sending out an email, you can quickly reference their CRM contact and include a custom message based on your notes. Incorporating a one-line opener like, "How's it been out on the green?" or "How are the wedding plans going?" can transform low-quality content into an engaging, personalized outreach. #3. Not Following Up at All The biggest mistake that agents make when dealing with online leads is not following up at all. According to NAR, 90% of real estate agents will give up on a lead after the first four touches — despite the fact that 70% of the time, that lead will go on to buy a home within a year, just with a different agent. Another study reported that 80% of prospects are labeled bad leads, yet they still go on to purchase a home within 24 months. Following up is critical for staying top of mind with prospects and warming cold leads until they're ready to convert. Remember, only 25% of your CRM leads are ready to buy at any given time and the leads that are nurtured go on to make 47% larger purchases than those that buy immediately. In other words, not following up is like defaulting on transaction opportunities. Instead of trying to manage lead follow-up on your own, outsourcing the task to a best-in-class software that covers lead generation and outreach can help you access the opportunities hidden in your CRM. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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How to Answer the Top 3 Questions Clients Have About eSigning
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How Real Estate Agents Can Decrease Interruptions in the Home Selling Process
There is a buyer for every house, sometimes even more than one buyer depending on the market, the age and style of the home and, of course, the price. The point is that homes sell over and over. What can agents do to facilitate this recycling of homes to limit the lulls and time consuming steps in the sales process? Preparation is the key to decreasing interruptions in the journey. Time management, pre-qualification for financing, a few helpful checklists, and sharing your knowledge and experience will guide home buyers and sellers through every step along the way. Start with a Clean Sweep! Selling a home is a huge undertaking. There are several steps to take to ensure the process has limited interruptions. The first step is to prepare your clients for the big tidy up. Before they think about selling their house, they'll need to ensure that it is presentable and appealing to prospective buyers. High quality photos, floor plans and measurements will need to be taken and 3D tour data will need to be shot, all in preparation for showing the property. Provide your clients with a checklist to help them sift through each room, including the bathrooms and storage spaces. The goal is to remove as many items as possible from the potential buyers' line of vision. Ensuring that each space looks uncluttered and roomy is essential when presenting the home. Making the home appealing to a possible new owner means they need to be able to visualize their personal items in the space. By clearing away your home sellers' collectibles, personal photos, and large furniture pieces, the space is visually more welcoming to the camera and ultimately the buyer. Keeping the space clean will be a lot easier with fewer obstacles to maneuver around when preparing for the 3D tour shoot. Don't forget to tidy up the front and back yards because first impressions are often the driving factor that leads interested home buyers to have a look inside. Cleaning up ahead of the photo shoot and scan to determine dimensions for measurements will ensure that photographer isn't delayed in their photo shoot and that the visuals are clutter-free, engaging, and show the property off in its best light. Those dynamic visuals will go one step further in preventing unnecessary delays in the selling process by allowing online home shoppers to visually inspect the property and use the room dimensions and square footage calculations to determine if they are a good match. They are pre-qualifying themselves for the sale and not wasting the homeowners' time with unfruitful, in-person visits to satisfy their curiosity or to discover that there is hardwood when they prefer carpet! Securing Financing and Home Inspections Once the home has been prepared placed on the market, your home sellers' job is complete. It's now up to you, the Realtor, to effectively market the home to the public. Drawing on your experience, you need to explain to your clients how you will pre-qualify potential buyers for their home. The buyer must meet the required criteria from their lender in order to obtain funding for a purchase. Once this is confirmed, then the transition from viewing a home to a written purchase contract will run smoothly. Though a financing condition is almost always placed in a contract, with mortgage pre-qualification, the process is less likely to run into interruptions. With the financial needs being met, buyer's agent can then facilitate a home inspection for the property to help the buyer better understand any potential issues regarding structure, electrical, plumbing, environmental, and mechanical areas. It is essential to have a property inspection for the buyer's peace of mind, but it is just as important for insurance purposes for their new home. Insurance companies need to know that the property has been maintained which limits liability issues. A major concern in recent years is the use of asbestos, which can be hazardous to your health, and poly-B plumbing fittings that have caused sudden leaks resulting in water damage to the property. Having a clean bill of health for the property will speed up the next steps in preparing for the change of ownership. Make a List and Check It Twice For a smooth transition from the purchase contract, to a home inspection, to possession day, it is a good idea to create a final checklist of "Things to Do." Before you complete the sale, you will need to share the property report that indicates the home is compliant with municipal bylaws. You should know about any possible penalties with regard to moving, discharging, or changing the home sellers' current financing. Financial institutions often charge large interest penalties when changing the parameters of existing mortgages. It is better to know ahead of time rather than be shocked when they have to come up with thousands of extra dollars to discharge their mortgage. Whether your clients are the seller or the buyer, as a Realtor, you'll need to make sure to clean up the loose ends to make it a seamless and stress-free transaction. Items that need attention by the home sellers are: notifying all the utility services of a new owner, redirecting their mail, cancelling or requesting home insurance, setting up security systems, scheduling a mover, checking schools, transportation routes, and residential parking permits. You'll also need to remind them to engage with a lawyer or paralegal to help with the preparation of legal documents and registration of the property at the Land Titles Registry. Preparation is key to decreasing interruptions in the sales process. Buying or selling a property doesn't have to be scary or confusing. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open, provide timely advice and helpful checklists, and the transition to or from a home will be as easy for your clients as turning the key. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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The Introverted Real Estate Agent's Guide to Networking
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Setting You Up For Social Media Success
Did you know that 65% of home buyers say they are influenced by a friend's homebuying posts on Facebook or Instagram? Social media has a huge impact on our day-to-day lives both personally and professionally. As a marketing tool, social media gives you a simple outlet for promoting your brand and your business. 80/20 Rule The use of the 80/20 rule can be a way to leverage your social media: 80% of your social media posts should inform, educate and entertain, while only 20% should directly promote your business. There are so many engaging things you can post on your channels. For instance, promoting listings or open houses, industry news, local involvement, or highlighting local businesses and partners. You can offer home improvement tips and even silly (but appropriate) memes! When creating posts, something you can ask yourself is, "What do people want to know about me and my business?" Try to provide strong content that your followers can relate to. Remember, you want to always drive traffic to your lead capturing websites or provide a call-to-action. Scheduling Posts We recommend creating a social media calendar for each month with an action plan of your posts. Using a social media posting tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social is a way to keep your posts organized and automated. Reference page six of this Social Media 101 guide to see some of the best and worst times to schedule your posts across different social media platforms. Use a CRM to Build and Nurture Your Network Using a CRM can help you stay connected with all your contacts. Following up with your new lead base, your prospects who have become your top clients and even your past clients. With a CRM, you can easily manage your buyers, listings, and closings, set up targeted drip emails and nurture campaigns, and build brand awareness and engagement through relevant social media postings. Up your CRM game today! To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Marketing 101 for Real Estate Agents
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6 Tech Tools for Agents
The myriad of available technology in the real estate market continues to grow at a rapid pace. Finding the right tools that fit your needs can be overwhelming. Whether you are looking for productivity tools to save you time or options for video and photos, there is a solution. From document management to 3D tours, here are six tools to try to keep your business on track and enhance your client experiences. HelloSign The lesser-known player in the electronic signature management space, HelloSign offers a user-friendly platform for e-signature management for legally binding documents. It is a great option for smaller businesses and integrates easily with Google Drive and Dropbox. HelloSign offers a free 30-day trial, then has packages staring at $15 per month, depending on needs and usage. SpeakingPhoto Engage your clients with quick voice messages accompanied by photos and share visual voice memos with SpeakingPhoto. The downloadable app is available for desktop and mobile, giving you easy access to share a new property or update a client with photos and helpful information. SpeakingPhoto is free to download and use. Matterport The path to homeownership begins online and being able to visually showcase a home through video has become the go-to selling tool for agents that buyers love. And creating videos has become much easier with Matterport. The available mobile app is making it simple to capture a space, tag key attributes, and create a floorplan in 3D so clients can get an enhanced virtual tour of homes on their list. Several plans are available including a free version which is a great way to try out the app and see how it can make your listings come to life. BombBomb Increase your email marketing effectiveness with BombBomb video email messaging. Built as a sales tool, BombBomb gives users a quick way to record, send and manage video messages. BombBomb allows you to record a video through your phone and send via text or email. Back-end tracking can show who saw your video and when it was played giving you the opportunity to reach out and connect with the viewer. BombBomb offers a variety of packages from basic to enterprise for larger teams. Canva Canva, the graphic design resource, can assist you in creating everything from flyers and collages to post cards and social posts, and any other collateral or digital assets needed for your business. Their easy to navigate platforms offers a wealth of templates and graphics to design your next project. SentriKey Showing Service Of course, don't forget your last tool, SentriKey Showing Service, your combined solution for scheduling showings, property access, client management, and so much more! Stay organized, share listings with clients, and easily manage your day. Check out the tools on our list and find the ones you need to take your business to the next level. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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[Podcast] Growing Your with Technology with Matthew Kuchar
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Friday Freebie: Get Sellers into the Game with this Cheat Sheet
2022 is shaping up to be the year of the rising mortgage rate, and that's sidelining a lot of would-be sellers. While they stand to make a handsome profit on their current home, buying a new home is more expensive than ever. Staying put seems to make more financial sense. So how can you get homeowners back into the game? Lean on this week's Friday Freebie—a cheat sheet designed to help you move sellers off the bench. Free Download of the 2022 Home Seller Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple There are plenty of reasons homeowners are reluctant to sell—they're afraid they won't find a new home to buy, they want to avoid a higher mortgage, etc. Once you know what their fears are, you can allay them with facts and helpful information. That's where Zurple's 2022 Home Seller Cheat Sheet comes in. This free guide offers resources to help you hone your powers of persuasion, including: Common seller objections and how to overcome them Statistics, information, and articles to motivate sellers off the fence Tactics for convincing owners to sell (like recommending contract contingencies) Processes and strategies for selling during COVID-19 And more! You can use this cheat while on the phone with a seller, on a Zoom call, or just keep it on your phone to reference anytime you need it. You'll always have the perfect comeback to any objection ready when you download the 2022 Home Seller Cheat Sheet!
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Future Proof Your Business by Knowing Your Market and Your Numbers
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Real Estate Agents: Cash in on the Money in Your 'Trash'
One of the biggest mistakes that real estate agents make is thinking that cold leads are dead, trash, or not valuable. In reality, your leads are playing the long game with their real estate transactions. They're thoughtfully approaching one of the biggest transactions made in an entire lifetime. For them, buying or selling a home is a marathon — and leads aren't moving from the starting line to the finish line in one step. In order to win their business and cash out on the value sitting in your CRM, you need to start playing the long game, too. Busting the "Lead Quality Myth" World-renowned real estate success coach, Verl Workman, said, "The goldmine in your database is those 3 and 4 year-old leads that are sitting in BoomTown that no one is working. I like to go in and look in one of my agent's trash leads and work through them and say, 'Hey, look, I just did four contracts with your trash.'" In other words, there are leads in the "Trash" or "Archive" category on your CRM that actually might convert. When you call them "dead" and stop engaging, you're leaving money on the table. According to a study from Sirius Decisions, 80% of prospects are deemed "bad leads" by sales teams, yet still go on to purchase within 24 months. Agents need to rethink the way they've thought about the sales funnel journey in the past. Let's review the truths about lead flow and how online leads — which are lower in the funnel — actually work. Research has found that: Only 25% of your leads are ready to buy at any given time. 50% of leads are qualified, but not yet ready to buy. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than those who buy immediately. Your leads take time to covert. It's a process. Instead of seeing colder leads that are farther out from conversion as "weak" or "dead," start thinking about them as your future business opportunities. If only about a quarter of the leads in your CRM are conversion-ready at any given time, you need to be constantly working that remaining 75% so you can build up a continual stream of conversions to fuel your business. Not only will you prevent hitting a "drought" after closing on your current deals, but you'll also be making sure that you're retaining the business in your CRM. Long-Term Nurture Plans Are Essential for Accessing the Goldmine in Your CRM When strategizing your lead follow-up and nurture plans, work smarter — not harder. You need a seamless, technology-enabled system to automate your long-term lead nurture plans. 7 Ways to Stay Connected with Leads via Email: Introduce yourself and your services with a welcome email Ask for more information about their position as a buyer or seller Send out gift cards to local businesses on holidays, birthdays, and special occasions Share testimonials of past clients Provide tips for preparing for a mortgage (for buyers), or how to prepare your home for listing (for sellers) Promote deals that close successfully Discuss the common pain points of a transaction and provide helpful solutions to overcome obstacles Pro Tip: Make your website more engaging so your leads can gain value by visiting your site again and again. While your website needs to serve as the main landing spot for your online traffic, your site should also delight: Leads that are already in your sales funnel Past clients Community members Become a true hyper-local market leader by generating content that appeals to your leads beyond their sales funnel journey. After they've signed up for your email list and have been added to your CRM, the leads in your sales funnel should be able to go to your website for helpful information regarding their transaction — through home buying and selling guides, and financial information to help them prepare. Your website should also be a resource to continue supporting your past clients after closing — with helpful new homeowner tips, or a list of service providers in your area. Build trust, reputability, and a presence within your neighborhood by publishing locally-driven content — like shoutouts of all the small businesses in your area, or a list of the best things to do in your community. Once it's posted on your website, you can recycle all of this content through email drip strategies and social media to boost your audience even further. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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Guide to Delivering a Winning Listing Presentation
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Grow Your Business with Monday Morning Mentor
Have you heard the exciting news? Due to popular demand, the ever-popular Monday Morning Mentor series hosted by Elm Street Academy is back! This refreshed series will offer jam-packed, yet bite-sized sessions filled with impactful education to help you improve your business. This series has provided action-oriented information to thousands of real estate professionals, and we can't wait to dive back in with YOU! The Monday Morning Mentor series will provide insights on topics such as: Social Media Strategies Brand Building Marketing Expertise Lead Generation Best Practices Lead Engagement Mastering Tools and Technology And much, much more! Whether you have joined Elm Street Academy in the past for Monday Morning Mentor or you are just hearing about it, we are looking forward to spending our Mondays with YOU! Join us LIVE every Monday on the Elm Street Facebook page or catch us on-demand. To receive updates about the exciting content that will be covered each week, sign up HERE. [SIGN-UP FOR MONDAY MORNING MENTOR ALERTS]
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28 Topics to Theme Your Real Estate Newsletters
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What Makes a Successful Real Estate Agent?
The allure of flexible working hours and the potential to make a great income are some of real estate's biggest draws. But like any sales position, becoming a successful real estate agent takes persistence, drive, and a strategy to grow your business. If you're passionate about the role, the first two are almost inherent. But not everyone in real estate has taken the time to create a sound strategy for growth. This is essential, whether you're new to the industry or looking to advance your career, because success is harder to achieve without clear direction. If you're looking for guidance on where to begin, we have you covered. First, you'll need to lay out a plan of action that addresses the most important aspects of a successful real estate business: Be an expert in all things real estate Build relationships and a network Strengthen your online presence Invest in marketing, and be consistent Work the long game There's no one-size-fits-all path toward achieving each step, but there are rules of thumb to follow. Let's break down each of these five areas so you can create a thorough strategy that will lead you to success in your field. 1. Be an expert in all things real estate Expertise is the reason buyers and sellers hire an agent. This includes having extensive knowledge of your farm area and the real estate transaction process so you can answer your client's questions, guide them through the experience and ensure they attain a successful outcome. To hone your real estate and market expertise, you need to learn about: The neighborhood. Know everything about your farm area from schools and local businesses to street names and public transportation options. Who lives there and what they experience. Be up-to-date on local demographics, politics, environmental issues and other information that impacts the area. Recent transactions and valuations. Learn the features and valuations of the homes in your farm, what the average days on market is, and which properties required price cuts and why. Overall market and industry trends. Where do supply, demand and pricing currently stand? Check out these real estate media to stay current on industry news and statistics. 2. Build relationships and a network Warning: if you don't love interacting with people, this job may not be for you. At its core, being a real estate agent is all about building relationships. You want to get to know people who live in your farm area so you can be top of mind when they are ready to sell; maintain open communication with leads and prospects to build trust; and develop strong relationships with fellow agents so you can refer each other when one of you gets a lead outside of your farm area or specialty. Professional relationships also serve a more strategic purpose. Think about it as building a network of trusted colleagues that you can call on when needed (and vice versa). Imagine this: You have a client who puts an offer on a house that has multiple competing bids. But, you happen to have a great relationship with the listing agent. They'd be more willing to negotiate a deal with you than agents they don't know. A win for your client will net you a five-star review and referrals down the road. 3. Invest in marketing, and be consistent Most real estate agents can't rely on their brokerage to fund their marketing activities, making it an out-of-pocket expense. As such, many agents are reluctant to spend their hard-earned money on marketing. The problem is that you can't look at it as an expense. Marketing is an investment. It's the way you will build brand awareness and acquire new leads to keep your funnel full and your business growing. Most marketing tactics won't generate an immediate, quantifiable ROI. That is understood among all marketing professionals. But the results build over time and eventually snowball if you remain consistent in your efforts. When you run ads, keep them up week after week. If someone sees your ad just once, you're making it really easy for them to forget you. But the more impressions you get per person (i.e., the number of times the same person sees your ads), the more likely they are to think of you when they're ready to buy or sell. 4. Strengthen your online presence We live in a virtually connected society, so it should come as no surprise that 95% of people use the internet during their home-buying journey. Whether they are searching for the right neighborhood or an agent to work with, most are using Google over other search engines. Those two stats alone indicate where you should focus a majority of your efforts—and marketing budget—if you want to be a successful real estate agent (online and on Google). When thinking of where to advertise online, Facebook is king. Nearly three quarters of its 223 million U.S. users are on the site daily, while 98% of its users go on monthly. Those are incredible engagement numbers! Although people don't turn to Facebook for real estate searches specifically, homebuyers are certainly on the site. It's the perfect channel to build brand awareness and promote listings with ads. Plus, nearly a quarter of users click on Facebook ads, meaning your ROI is more than just views—you're acquiring new leads. Specific to Google, you'll want to build a real estate website that is optimized for search so that it appears on the first page of results when someone searches for an agent in your farm area. Perhaps even more important is claiming and managing your Google business profile. This is akin to a digital business card and shows up to the right of search results when someone Googles your name or a related search term. It contains your agent bio, headshot, contact information, latest real estate successes and reviews with star ratings. 5. Work the long game In #3, we mentioned how important consistency is. Likewise, taking a long-term approach to all aspects of your strategy is what will help you become a successful real estate agent. You can automate many of the inner workings of your strategy (and even outsource aspects like ad creation or Google business profile management), but as a whole, you cannot "set it and forget it." Keep a long-term outlook when it comes to your client relationships. These are people who can refer you or become repeat business when they are ready to move again, so it's important to stay connected and maintain a good rapport. Put together a marketing plan that helps you stay in touch, whether that's an annual anniversary email, a birthday text, a rewards program for referrals or something similar. Build time into your weekly schedule to brush up on your market knowledge; touch base with prospects, colleagues and past clients; expand your online presence; and manage live digital ads or launch new ones. You will see results when you work the long game, and that is how you will ultimately become a successful real estate agent. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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What Are the Most Popular Listing Photos? How Computer Vision Helped Answer This Question
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[Free Download] Data Security and Privacy Toolkit for Your Business
We all know how important it is to protect our personal data, but do you have a plan in place to protect your client's confidential, personal information? As a fiduciary, you have a responsibility to protect your client's information, such as social security number, bank account information, credit card information, driver's license, and even tax return information. Think of the damage that can occur if your client's information falls into the wrong hands. Therefore, it is important that you and your brokerage have a data security and privacy plan in place. Each state has its own definition of "personal information," so be sure to do your due diligence and check with your state's laws. The National Association of REALTORS® has created a Data Security and Privacy Toolkit that provides you with tips and tools to help you and your business safeguard personal data, information on state laws, and even sample policies. Be proactive instead of reactive—create your own data security and privacy plan for your business! Download the Data Security and Privacy Toolkit To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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RPR Unveils New Charts and Graphs in Its Neighborhood Pages
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Rush or Renovate: What's the best advice to give your sellers?
In the past, when a hot seller's market began to cool, listing agents often advised their sellers to get their homes on the market ASAP. They didn't want their clients to miss out on market momentum. But today, sellers have many new options, including the ability to choose a presale renovation. The real estate market is shifting. But successful real estate agents know that staying on top of the local market trends ensures they provide their sellers with the best — and most current — intelligence and sales strategies. The questions for real estate agents today are, "What's the best advice to give your sellers? Is there a way to avoid trying to 'time' the market? Would your seller benefit from a new way to maximize their home sale profits — with a presale renovation that increases their listing price – and not spend a dime out-of-pocket?" Real estate agents can best help their sellers by thinking like a home flipper in today's market. A changing real estate market The one universal truism for real estate is that it is local. So what's happening in the real estate market in a nearby suburb may be completely different than where you live. Nationally, trends are signaling a shift. For example, real estate brokerage firm Redfin reports a drop in recent home touring activity in their markets, declining 6% since January. In addition, mortgage purchase applications nationwide are off 10%. The rapid rise in mortgage rates has significantly impacted first-time buyers, who find it much tougher to afford a home. The monthly payment for a median-priced home has jumped almost 50% because of rising mortgage rates. The National Association of Realtors recently reported national home sales fell 3.4% in May — the fourth straight month of a sales decline. In addition, month-over-month sales dropped in three of four major U.S. regions, while year-over-year sales were lower in all four regions. Yet prices are still trending upward, and an existing home's new national median price was $407,000, eclipsing the $400,000 mark for the first time. Moreover, well-qualified buyers are still buying higher-priced homes because they can afford them despite higher mortgage rates. Keep in mind that buyers using cash purchased one in four homes. In some markets, all-cash sales are more than 50% of the market. Considering that iBuyers only make up a little over 1 percent of all sales, you quickly realize that there still is a tremendous amount of purchasing power in today's marketplace. Take the money and run? In a market where inventory is still historically low and prices are still rising, agents may be tempted to tell their clients to listen to the Steve Miller Band and "take the money and run!" But when we look at the numbers for sellers who opt for a presale renovation, agents might change their tune, giving sellers advice from Pet Shop Boys: "Opportunities (Let's make lots of money)." Research tells us that most homeowners who put their home on the market "as-is" are missing out on between 15% and 20% of the value. A presale renovation unlocks that capital. Instead of rushing to list, by taking a little more time to make intelligent renovations that have a proven ROI, sellers can earn an average of $186,000 more when they sell. We also know that renovated homes sell 72% faster and provide an average return on investment greater than 250%. Presale renovation is the hottest tool in today's real estate market because it provides massive property gains. In addition, presale renovations deliver a triple win: with a bigger sales price comes greater profits for sellers, higher GCI (gross commission income) for agents, and more brokerage revenue. The impact of presale renovation is potentially massive. Total U.S. annual existing home sales typically average between 5 million and 6 million. If just 5% of these homes took the presale renovation path, that would generate $56 billion in additional wealth for home sellers. That would generate an additional $1.4 billion in agent real estate commissions and $280 million in additional brokerage revenue. Thinking like a home flipper When you flip over 1,000 homes in Southern California, you learn a lot about how to maximize the value of a house. You figure out the best renovations to make and the ones to avoid. You understand the importance of establishing a network of reliable, high-quality contractors and how to keep them busy and working exclusively for you. As a real estate agent giving the best advice to a seller today, you don't need to be a house flipper; you need to think like one. The No. 1 goal of a flipper is to figure out how to get the most money out of a home sale. That's the new tool for sellers that a presale renovation offers a listing agent. By recommending a presale renovation firm, sellers and their agents won't do any of the heavy lifting: all the work is being done for them. Sellers also don't spend a dime upfront yet can tap into tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in improvements to boost their home sale price. Like a flipper, a presale renovation firm is taking a risk, too, but delivering the benefits of a successful flip back to the seller. Agents also benefit by understanding the impact of recommending a presale renovation from a holistic point of view. When an agent recommends that a seller renovate versus rush to list their home, they do more than increase the money a homeowner receives from selling their home. Agents also are helping people create wealth. If an agent helps a seller increase their wealth by $100,000 or more, that home sale can be life-changing for the seller and their family. A successful presale renovation also can create a powerful lifelong bond between the seller and the agent who recommended this new path. You can learn more about the benefits of presale renovations and the massive wealth it created for customers at revive.realestate. Michael Alladawi, CEO and Founder of Revive, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive to share his spectrum of knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes.
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Want to Start a Podcast? 4 Things Every Agent Should Know
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Generating Leads and Boosting Business
Who doesn't love leads? Leads are a crucial part of your business and help you grow as an agent. You can get leads from all sorts of places and ways, but the important part is taking them from a lead to a lifelong client. According to a National Harris Survey, more than 80% of people ask for recommendations from friends when making big purchasing decisions. Once you have established a strong past client resume, you will have a great opportunity to build some lead generation around referrals. To make that goal a reality, all of your marketing pieces should contain some sort of lead generation from lead capture forms to texting a number for lead capture. Lead generation can be found on your digital and tangible marketing materials, like direct mailing with postcards. The more you shift your marketing to generate leads, the better. Some options to help you get started are: Add a lead capture form to your website Create a direct mailing campaign in a local neighborhood for potential buyers/sellers Reach out to old leads that you may have lost touch with Hold an open house for another agent Host local events in your area Remind your satisfied clients that you welcome and appreciate referrals. This may come at a later time as you build up your client database Reach out to your partners like your loan officer or title rep and find ways to pass leads to each other. In your first year, you will likely try these many other different ways to generate leads. Tracking your success will help you save time and money on your marketing efforts and allow you to focus on the leads that are producing the best return on your investment. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Mortgage Rates Are Soaring. So Are Home Prices. How?
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4th of July Real Estate Marketing Ideas
It's that time of year again: Independence Day! Want to give your real estate marketing a little 4th of July flair? Here are, count 'em, four marketing ideas for the 4th: 1. Pop-by Gifts Pop by gifts are always appreciated, especially if it helps your farming area celebrate America's birthday. (Fun fact: America turns 246 this year!) Some thoughtful ideas can be mini-flags, fireworks (if they are legal in your state), and various other patriotic memorablila. Be sure to leave your business card and contact information along with the gifts. 2. Drive/Walk-by Celebrations This idea requires a bit of coordination with the agents in your offices and/or local businesses. Set up decorations outside of local businesses that can be seen from a passing car or on foot. This will also help you build relationships with other business owners, which can lead to referrals. In addition to that, it can help establish you as the local expert by promoting other local businesses. 3. Email Blasts Holidays are the perfect excuse to send out an email to your book of business. In order to convert any of your prospects into real estate clients, you need to maintain regular communication with them. If you are looking for an excuse to send out an email, then use the holidays as the reason to send out a quick marketing blast. This is a great way to remind people you haven't spoken to in a while that you are still in the business. 4. Social Media Maintaining your social media channels is crucial, especially in today's landscape where the majority of social interactions take place online instead of in person. Sharing celebrations going on in your city can identify you as the go-to agent for knowledge about the area you serve. What are local organizations doing to celebrate? Are there any special sales going on locally? Share this information with your audience to build trust with them this 4th of July. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Will Your Listing Benefit from Drone Footage? Look at These 4 Factors
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Client Story: The Right Move for Every Part of Our Real Estate Transaction
We recently sold our home, bought a new one and used the benefits of a technology offered by the listing agents of both homes. iGUIDE made our real estate journey memorable and easy while making the moving process smooth for everyone involved. Here are just a few reasons I will always insist on my real estate agent using an iGUIDE when selling or buying a home. Using 3D tours for virtual showings when marketing a home helps to attract higher offers and reduce days on the market. However, using accurate property information like interactive floor plans extends far beyond the marketing stage. The iGUIDE can be used as a tool to help the home buyer understand the fit and flow of the property and also facilitate accurate estimates from multiple service providers, including movers, painters, and renovation contractors. The easily navigated floor plans are also convenient when sharing property information with appraisers or insurance companies. Our mortgage lender sent out an appraiser who needed all kinds of information about the interior of our new home, like accurate square footage, finishing details, and the layout of each level. However, due to Covid restrictions, only the exterior of the property could be viewed in person. Thankfully, all the information the appraiser required was available on the iGUIDE and we were able to send a link to share every detail of our new home. Next, our insurance company wanted not only the same information as the appraiser, but also needed details about all the fireplaces, mechanical room, and the pool size. iGUIDE to the rescue again. One distinctive feature of the iGUIDE is that it can be downloaded and stored on your computer's hard drive or USB drive for future reference. This offered a handy way to get our insurance in place before the closing date. We wanted to freshen up the paint in our new home before moving in and reached out to several local painting companies for quotes. iGUIDE was immensely helpful here too, as we could not arrange for all the contractors to visit the new property before the closing day. Using iGUIDE, we could indicate which rooms we wanted to be painted and used the tagging feature to describe which paint colour we wanted for each wall within the same room. This allowed us to get all the painters to provide an estimate of the work based on the same well-documented project description. When the painters needed the dimensions for walls, ceiling height, and window size on each level, we showed them how to use the 3D measurements feature in the iGUIDE to get that information. This was a huge help for them when estimating how much paint was required. The first thing we did after signing the final paperwork for both homes was hiring a moving company. Our move was scheduled for the end of a month when moving companies are extremely busy. We heavily leveraged Google Maps and iGUIDE for this task. We looked at moving companies that had pins on Google Maps in our area and created a shortlist of candidates based on good reviews. Each moving company has their own way of estimating the cost of the move. Some movers wanted to come out to see our old home, which would have been pretty disruptive for us. Instead, we sent them links to the iGUIDEs of our old and new homes along with the desired moving dates. This allowed us to obtain quotes from a few companies further out from our town and one was able to provide a very competitive quote, so we ultimately chose them. The highlight of this story is how we used iGUIDE to facilitate the move itself. We first used the iGUIDE integration with Floorplanner.com. We easily exported iGUIDE floor plans of our new home into the Floorplanner web application with one click of a button. Using Floorplanner, we were excited to plan where all of our furniture would go in our new home. After a few rounds of discussions and trials, we settled on where we wanted to place couches, tables, chairs, and accessories. It is so much easier to move a couch a dozen times on a computer screen than to do the same in real life! Floorplanner has hundreds of models for all kinds of furniture pieces, and you can easily find close enough matches to your furniture's style and size. You also can adjust the dimensions of those models to exactly match your existing pieces or any new furniture you want to add to your home. That capability, plus the accuracy of iGUIDE floor plans, allows for really good space planning to avoid any nasty surprises later, like, "I told you this couch was not going to fit in that corner!" After the planning was done, the time to pack and prepare for the move came quickly. We purchased sets of moving labels from Amazon and labelled all the rooms in the Floorplanner to match using the same font and background colours. We also got labels in the form of coloured dots to designate each floor of our new home. We affixed labels to every box and piece of furniture indicating its destination room and floor within the house. What we found during the move, however, was that we should have waited for the movers to wrap the furniture first and then let them place the labels on the outside of the wrapping. Lesson learned for any future moves! When moving day came and the movers showed up, we quickly explained our labelling system and how to use it together with the floor plans. We gave them half a dozen floor plans printed out in color. Of course, they managed to forget their stack of floor plans at the old home, which they discovered only after arriving at the new place. I had a hunch that might happen, so it was a good thing I kept a set of spare floor plans at the new home as well. We taped them at every entrance and on each floor so the movers did not have to ask where we wanted each piece to go. All in all, the move went extremely smoothly. The boxes and furniture were placed by the movers in the correct locations which made unpacking and finding things so much easier over the next few days. We were able to avoid any heavy lifting or moving stuff placed in the wrong rooms. My back thanked me, the movers, and the iGUIDE for lightening the load! The movers were very impressed with the efficiency of the new unloading process, which also saved us time and money. We spent more time doing our thing instead of directing movers where to place every box and piece of furniture. To sum it up, we used iGUIDE in several different ways – for selling and buying, for getting home insurance, getting a mortgage lender appraisal, and for painting and moving contractors. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Investing in a Real Estate CRM? Consult These Tips First
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8 Books That Every Real Estate Agent Should Read
There's no doubt that the real estate industry is a challenging one to break into. However, having a better perspective of what to focus on is a significant step towards achieving success in real estate. Whether you're a seasoned broker or a novice real estate agent, the eight books listed below are among the must-read for real estate professionals to understand what strategies work when investing and obtain valuable insight into business operations. 1. Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller In real estate, much of it is about telling stories. Whether it's the journey of a new house or the story of your firm, there's always a story to tell. Unfortunately, business owners these days find it almost impossible to break through the noise to connect with their consumers successfully. Donald Miller, New York Times bestselling author and marketing expert, discusses his proven methodology for real estate agents in this book. One of the most common methods to set the tone for communication and express your brand's image to clients and prospects is the StoryBrand style. If your clients can't tell what you can do for them, you will miss out on possible sales, the ability to engage consumers, and so much more. In Building a StoryBrand, Donald Miller trains marketers and company owners to leverage the basic characteristics of compelling stories to develop their businesses. His proven strategy has served several firms, helping them gain a substantial competitive advantage. 2. Leaders Eat Last, by Simon Sinek Picture a world in which practically everyone wakes up excited to go to work, feels valued and trusted all day, and returns home satisfied. Today, many successful firms are led by excellent leaders who cultivate environments wherein people organically collaborate to be the best they can be at their job. To establish and maintain a successful, unified, and committed brokerage team, leadership should inspire trust and instill a sense of worth in each team member. Using ideas from military, business, and government leaders, in Leaders Eat Last, Sinek suggests that companies can effectively thrive only when they develop an environment of safety and teamwork. 3. Dare to Lead, by Brené Brown Dare to Lead, named one of the best books of the year by Bloomberg, analyzes how bravery and courage can improve a corporate brand and motivate employees to push themselves beyond their comfort zones to reach their goals. This easy read will help readers, especially real estate professionals, establish their brand and maintain a dynamic team. 4. The Ten-Day MBA, by Steven A. Silbiger Do you wish you had more time to go back to school and study the ins and outs of running a business? The Ten-Day MBA is an easy-to-read review that covers the most recent subjects taught at America's best business schools, from corporate ethics and compliance to financial planning and real estate to leadership and negotiation. This international bestseller compiles the popular lessons taught at Stanford, Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the University of Virginia. In addition, this book has helped many real estate practitioners gain confidence and basic knowledge and resources that they use repeatedly. 5. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie Read Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People. The phrase, "Real estate is a relationship business," is true in this case. The ability to put oneself out there daily in a business built on connections is essential for a new practitioner in this industry. Real estate agents can have all of the technical knowledge in the world, but if they cannot effectively express their ideas, they will have minimal success in real estate. 6. Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill If you are a real estate practitioner aspiring to build a real estate empire, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill is the book for you! If you rely just on building your real estate expertise and don't invest in your intellect, you'll have plenty of money and most likely lose a lot too. Think and Grow Rich has been termed the "all-time great motivational text." This is because the book was the first to ask the question, "What makes a winner?" Today, Napoleon Hill, the guy who asked the question and listened for an answer, is among the world's most outstanding winners. When our net worth increases through real estate, investing in stocks or business, our mindset is what determines what we can maintain and expand in the foreseeable future. Thus, real estate agents must invest in their minds. 7. The Mindset, by Carol Dweck This book explains the distinction between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, you have to believe that you will learn, grow, and improve with the proper motivation and effort. On the other hand, with a fixed mindset, individuals believe that success has a predefined limit or a fixed set point. In real estate, agents either have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. For example, when agents avoid uncomfortable situations or difficult tasks, they are displaying a fixed mindset. When they go out of their comfort zones, the reverse is true. With a growth mindset, agents take on complex tasks and challenge themselves in unfavorable situations. The Mindset is a must-read even for those who have been in the real estate industry for several years. 8. Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, by James Clear According to several experts, keeping good habits and changing bad ones are the keys to achieving success in real estate. Even while it appears to be so straightforward, the difficulty is that it is all too easy to lose sight of the goal and slip into poor habits. Real estate agents can succeed in this challenging industry if they learn and prospect daily. The most challenging part about habits is that they appear insignificant until they become impossible to break. Good habits also take effort. Good habits need patience, particularly in real estate. To succeed in real estate, you need to develop good habits quickly. Atomic Habits will help show you how. Final Words As a real estate professional and a businessperson, reading is vital for your personal growth and business growth. There are many ways to get your daily dose of reading. So choose a method that works for you. Whether it be audiobooks in the car or setting time aside to read, decide on some books you intend to read and make sure you follow through on your commitment. Read and learn, not just for your knowledge, but your hunger for more! To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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Grab Previous Clients' Attention with the RPR Equity Update
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First Impressions Matter: A Strategic Approach to Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is a powerful tool in your marketing tool belt. First impressions matter to your brand, so you'll want to keep your brand consistent across all your marketing pieces. From your website to your mailing pieces, keep your eye-catching brand all the same. A good way to do this is to start small and think big. Print Marketing All of your digital and print marketing should have the same look so that no matter what people see of yours, they will know whose marketing it is. Did you know using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80% and consistent presentation of a brand has been seen to increase revenue by 33%? Most importantly, keep your brand and branding to be consistent and something that people remember. Maybe you already have your first listing and need a new sign? Starting your farming campaign? Postcards and door hangers should have all of the same consistency throughout. At a minimum, you will want to order business cards to have on hand when holding open houses, networking, or chatting with someone at the grocery store. You never know who you are going to run into and want to pass along your information. Digital Marketing In today's digital world, 93% of buyers looking for a home use online searches for listings and information during their home-buying journey. Your real estate website is one of your most powerful digital marketing tools–your website tells the story of who you are, what you do, and how you can help potential and existing clients find a dream home. Your website is your brand, one of your lead sources, a content hub and a way to communicate online. As a new agent, building a website from scratch can feel overwhelming, but creating a unique website experience for your clients can help you stand out from the competition. We suggest including your biography/your "why" (why you love and do what you do), content geared towards real estate, like real estate terms for buyers/sellers, or a blog with content about events or must-see attractions in your area, testimonials (though you may not have any just yet, this can be added later), and a property search tool. The better content you have, the longer your viewers will interact with your website. According to many studies, upwards of 85% of prospects will check out your website but not contact you. If you have a good lead-capture form, you'll be able to follow-up with many of those real estate leads that would otherwise be lost. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Slow Searches? 4 Simple Steps to Optimize Your Web Browser
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Why Real Estate Agents Still Need a Facebook Business Page
Real estate is all about building personal connections, and the relationships you create today are the commissions you earn tomorrow. So, then, why should you NOT use your personal Facebook profile for real estate? Here are four reasons why you SHOULD NOT use your personal page: 1. Your Personal Profile is Personal To keep your sanity, you must be able to balance your work and personal life. This applies to social media, too. Using your personal profile for business will hinder you from keeping that balance. It will prevent you from sharing family photos, personal thoughts, or memes that might not be work-appropriate. If you build a friendship with your real estate clients, then by all means add them to your personal page! For new business, let your carefully curated real estate business page and IDX website be their first impression of you as a professional. 2. You Don't Have Analytics Despite some complaints about the algorithm, there are some real perks of using a Facebook Business Page. One of them is being able to see important statistics of your post and your page. You can measure your success based on the reach of your posts. Maybe people aren't commenting or liking your post, but maybe they are sharing it with others that you can't see due to privacy settings. By knowing which posts your audience is responding to positively, you can create similar content to help boost your engagement over time. 3. You Don't Have Access to Facebook Ads Facebook Ads can be confusing, but by adding a little bit of marketing spend, you can generate real estate leads easily. They have made a few changes on how you can target these ads to stay compliant with equal housing opportunity laws that might affect how you used to run ads. If that seems too complicated, Zurple can run ads for you to attract seller leads in your target market. 4. It Looks Less Professional There's a reason one is is called a "Business" page and the other is called a "Personal" page. Sending a friend request to a potential real estate client to be your personal Facebook friend is the equivalent of inviting them over for dinner with your family, instead of for a quick chat over coffee. For the people who value their privacy, they might not be quick to accept friend requests from everybody. With following business accounts, there is less pressure. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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5 Top Tips for Better Real Estate Photo Composition
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The BEST Way to Generate Free Real Estate Leads
There are plenty of listicles on the internet telling agents how to get free real estate leads. But the ideas suggested are often stale and require a lot of your time (start a blog, call FSBO listings) for what will ultimately be very little payoff in the long run. Lead generation activities don't need to take up hours of your day. There's a better way to generate free real estate leads: The Google business profile. Understanding the benefits of a Google business profile The Google business profile is a large box that appears on the right side of Google's search engine results page. You'll notice it when you search for a local business, like a restaurant or salon. Real estate agents are considered local businesses, too, and you're able to create this profile on the country's most-used search engine. This profile has a few key benefits, which we'll describe in detail. 1. Brand Building Your Google business profile will appear prominently on the results page when a prospect searches for your name. It makes a solid first impression and adds legitimacy to your brand because it looks more professional and official than a standard search result. Consider it to be your "homepage" since it will be the first stop for consumers who search for you. You want to have a fully completed profile that provides consumers with as much information as they need to understand your brand and services. Put care into your business description and content posts, and be sure to get as many five-star reviews from current and past clients as possible. Without those five-star reviews, you risk losing 12% of potential clients. 2. Added Visibility At Homesnap, we have years of experience managing Google business profiles for real estate agents. What we've found is that fully completed profiles that are regularly updated are much more likely to appear high in search rankings for what's called earned searches. These are the vague but localized queries people use when they don't search for a specific business name. Earned searches include phrases like "real estate agents near me" and "real estate agent in Bethesda." The frequency in which these types of search terms are used continues to grow every year and are more often used than searching for a business directly. A well-maintained profile also greatly increases your chances of being featured in the coveted local three-pack. The local three-pack appears at the top of the search results page when a search query has local intent. Google will display a large map with pins and a trio of local businesses underneath the map. When the local three-pack appears, its placement is in the No. 1 position on the page, even before organic results. These placements are Google's rewards for those who have a well-maintained profile. The company's decision to do this is based on research. Google found that completed, accurate profiles get seven times more clicks on average than empty ones, so it's in Google's best interest to elevate the profiles that consumers will find relevant and helpful. So what does it mean to have a well-maintained, regularly updated profile? Real estate agents should focus on these three actions: generating new reviews, responding to new reviews, and publishing new content, like thoughtful posts and photos of recent listings and deals. These tasks generate big rewards. 3. Passive, Free Real Estate Leads Once you set up a Google business profile, the world's most powerful search engine will do the rest of the work for you. The results we've seen from the profiles we maintain prove that a Google business profile is the best way to generate free real estate leads. According to Homesnap data, agents who maintain an active Google business profile see more than 7.5 times the actions than those that don't. Actions include calls, texts, website clicks, and direction requests originating from your profile. In other words: free real estate leads! To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Friday Freebie: Scripts and Tips for Voicemails that Get Results
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Evaluate Your Business from Time to Time
As a new real estate agent, it is never too early to review your real estate business. In fact, you should create a schedule that includes a consistent and comprehensive review of your marketing and communication activities. If you don't do this, it is surprising how quickly things can go off track and, as a result, your communications become unfocused or messy. Here are five important questions to ask yourself each and every month, when you review your marcomm activities: Branding – Is my personal branding and voice prominent and consistent? Client focus – Are my newsletters, emails and other materials addressed to my past and current clients? Appeal – Are my marketing materials eye catching and designed to stand out? Value – Am I providing information that my clients need and want instead of focusing on my needs? Database – Did I add to my database this month, and did I reach out to past clients and prospects in an effort to stay top-of-mind? If you can't answer yes to these four questions, you need to revise your strategy and your output. Stay Organized If you truly want to set your new real estate business up for success, it is imperative that you build and maintain a well, organized, easily maintainable system. If you neglect to do this right from the get-go, you will be setting yourself up for a downward spiral of chasing leads and losing focus. Here is a quick list of five effective ways to set yourself up with an organized, successful business that will scale with you: Create and maintain a task list/calendar. Set up keep-in-touch reminders. Automate and customize your communications. Use Google Maps to create map routes, show prospects aerial views, and more. Get help and seek out expert opinions. Our bonus piece advice is to review and analyze your real estate marketing activities this week and every week. Ask yourself questions like, What did I do that was a time waster? What did I do that worked? Did I complete everything on my task list and why or why not? Once you've answered your questions, carry your learnings over to your next week's task list. Use a CRM As your database of connections grows, giving individualized attention and personal advice to every prospect you know can seem impossible. This is where a good real estate CRM comes in. They offer seamless database and email management, and will even send you important date reminders and help you stay on top of your task lists. And that's just a few of their features! To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Why Real Estate Agents Should Prioritize Meaningful Outreach
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5 Questions to Figure Out If It's Time to Hire Help
The truth of the matter is, eventually you will need to invest in help if you wish to sustain the growth and expansion of your real estate business. Your business will reach a point where you can no longer do it all alone, and if you try to, you will definitely end up struggling. Knowing exactly where that tipping point is can be difficult. Oftentimes agents realize they needed help long after they should have hired some assistance. If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, it is undoubtedly time for you to hire a real estate assistant. Are There Not Enough Hours in the Day? Feeling overwhelmed with your workload is something many real estate agents experience. You are responsible for marketing, lead generation, client interaction, administrative tasks, and more. Eventually it can seem like accomplishing all the necessary tasks for each of your clients is completely impossible. Like there are simply not enough hours in the day to complete your workload. If this feeling is beginning to be your new normal, it is definitely time to hire help. When hiring help, it is okay to start small. Hire a part-time virtual real estate assistant that can handle your schedule, email, and some social media scheduling. Just taking a few things off your plate will feel like a huge relief. Is the Quality of Your Work Slipping? You may feel that as a real estate agent you must be a Jack, or Jill, of all trades. In reality, though, that is not going to be the most beneficial strategy for your business. It is a better approach to focus on the aspects of your job you love and truly shine at, such as customer service, and hire someone to complete the tasks you don't like to put attention on, such as your paperwork. Of course you still want to be a well-rounded agent, but specializing in order to improve your service is never a bad idea. The quality of your work is the backbone of your business's reputation. Therefore you should ensure the quality of your work is always the best you can offer, even if you're hiring someone to help you attain that. Is Your Time Being Wasted? Your time is valuable and you need to treat it as such. Your time should be spent completing revenue generating tasks, and focusing on the growth of your business. If you feel like too much of your time is taken up doing mundane paperwork and administrative tasks then a change needs to be made. You are easily able to hire out these tasks to real estate assistants, and it will be more cost effective than you completing them yourself. For example, a transaction coordinator (TC) completes all of the paperwork tasks associated with your transaction, ultimately giving you back up to 16 hours of your time with every transaction they assist on. The TC's fees can even be easily passed on to your client, thus ensuring the necessity is taken care of right off the bat. This fee doesn't have to be too hefty either if you go through the right contractor company. So, invest in the services of a TC today, and take control of your time. Are You Losing Your Passion? Do you remember the fire, drive, and excitement you felt when you first got your license and began your journey in the real estate industry? Regaining that passion is vital to your success. It is important to understand that you have grown and changed over the years, resulting in the source of your passion having changed too. In the beginning, the late nights, tedious paperwork, and endless phone calls may not have bothered you because you were experiencing your business growing for the first time, and simply just enjoying it. Now, those tasks probably don't spark a fire in you anymore. So hire a real estate assistant to complete the tasks that don't bring joy to you, and spend your time doing the work with clients that you love. The importance of loving what you do everyday should never be overlooked. Is Your Business Staying Stagnant? If you feel like you are spending all your time just trying to keep everything afloat, it's time to call in reinforcements. If you ever want to reach the goals you have for your business, you need to make its continuous growth a priority. Therefore, investing in the help you need to make that growth happen is essential to the success of business. A transaction coordinator can quickly become your perfect real estate partner. They are solely a support system for you, and take care of many tasks that you probably don't have a lot of interest in. You can't lose when you hire a TC. Especially when you go through a contractor company, like Transactly, because you are held to no long-term commitment when hiring one. Don't hesitate to try out the cost-effective services of a TC. You won't soon regret it. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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[Podcast] iBuyers and 'Zillow-geddon' with Kala Laos of Zoodealio
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9 Web Content Ideas for Real Estate Agents
If you are searching for content ideas for your real estate website or thinking of ways to spice up your blog, we've got you covered. In this article, we will list all the things you should include on your real estate website. Listings A professional real estate website includes IDX listings and a detailed description of your properties for sale. For example, include the number of bedrooms, the houses' interior and exterior appearance, and much more. Don't forget to add your contact information so that you can make it easy for your potential client to contact you. News Updates A good website should have a page dedicated to the latest trends and news in the real estate marketplace. If you want to attract more clients, post blogs about the latest news updates in the real estate market. Keep your audience engaged and up to date on all things real estate so that you can keep them coming back for more. Blog Posts Speaking of blogs, a significant aspect of having an informative website is dedicating time to your blog posts. You'll be surprised at how impactful blogging can be for your real estate business. Blogging helps you connect with your existing and prospective clients through written content. It also helps you build more trust with your clients and better your company's overall image. With a high-quality blog, you are on your way to increasing your website traffic and lead generation, as well as showcasing your expertise and knowledge. Home Tours and Guides Home tours have been immensely popular for years, but showcasing your home tour in an artificial 3D virtual environment will surely drive more traffic to your website. By using 3D virtual tours, your clients can have a unique experience while touring your property directly on your website. With the help of VR, a.k.a. virtual reality, your clients can easily take tours of your property in the comfort of their own homes, view everything at their speed and make adjustments based on their preferences. Clients can also take advantage of VR benefits by sampling ideas before committing to decisions. Client Reviews and Testimonials By posting your clients' reviews and testimonials, you provide your customers with information about your company. For example, what did your past customers like most about your services, or what you could have improved on? Testimonials give your clients a sense of comfort knowing that they are in trusted hands. So make sure that you include them to give your clients a better understanding of your work. Events It's always a good idea to include a page of upcoming events in your city. For instance, upcoming open houses, community events like festivals, or even city council meetings. You can also include videos and photos of these events for your audience to get a glimpse of what these events are like. Partnerships Another great addition to your real estate website is to dedicate a page to partners in your business. Share stories with your partners and dedicate a page to your shared work achievements. This shows that your company is willing to expand its horizons and form partnerships with those that share the same values. About Page The about page is an important addition to your real estate website. Why? Because it adds a hint of personality to your online presence. It gives your audience a peek into your personal life. Whether the website is personal or for your brokerage, it's always good to include an about page where your clients can get to know more about you and your real estate practice. A good website should include information about your business—the work you do and your expertise, how many years of experience you have in real estate, your core values and mission. Contact Page Last but not least, have a contact information page. We recommend that you have your phone number at the top of your home page so that your clients can easily reach you. Still, a separate page dedicated to your contact information is also very useful. Ensure that your contact page includes all the necessary information such as your email, phone number, location, etc. The more accessible it is for your clients to connect with you, the better the chances that they weill consider you as their primary choice. To view the original article, visit the Realtyna blog.
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3 SEO Real Estate Website Strategies
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5 Habits That Will Lose Real Estate Agents Money
Real estate is a marathon, not a sprint. Instead of losing all your steam from grinding in the beginning of the busy season, ensure you are producing results year-round. To do this, we have identified five habits that real estate agents should get rid of. 1. Only Focusing on New Leads All your old acquaintances shouldn't be forgotten. Some real estate agents are so motivated to generate new leads that they forget the gold mine that is sitting in their CRM: past clients. You need to find excuses to stay in touch with your book of business, because those relationships you build today can convert into your transactions tomorrow. 2. "Do It Yourself" Solutions A real estate agent building their own website is equivalent to a homeowner trying to sell their own home. It makes sense if the homeowner is also an agent, or if you have studied web development—but, in most cases, it's better to get your real estate website from a company that specializes in the industry. Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix, and other similar hosting sites are pretty and easy to customize, BUT they are not optimized for real estate. IDX solutions won't be built-in. And you'll have to stay on top of any lead inquiries you get, because they don't automatically email new leads like websites that are coupled with CRMs. 3. Dismissing Leads Not Ready to Transact in 28 Days There is a common myth among real estate agents that leads not ready to buy or sell their home in 28 days are not worth the time. This is absolutely not true, and is a surefire way to have those leads work with a different agent when they finally raise their hand. Successful agents understand the homebuyer journey can sometimes take up to a year of just researching before they are ready to look at homes. These agents will nurture those leads until that point. If you are dismissing an internet lead because they aren't ready, other agents that have effective nurturing campaigns are the ones cashing the check. 4. Not Logging into Your CRM Regularly Many real estate CRMs give you consumer insight and give you the tools to convert those real estate leads into clients. Zurple, for example, tracks behavior through lead intelligence and lets you know which leads you should take action on—and which leads you can continue to monitor. One of the reasons a real estate agent fails is because they don't properly follow up with their real estate leads. Part of that reason is not logging into their CRM on at least a weekly basis. 5. Not Having Habits in General Consistency is the key to success. To develop consistency, you need to have good habits. The best practices as a real estate agent must be practiced on a regular schedule. You can't join the gym, run 40 miles in the first week, and then never go again. It'll make a bigger impact if you run one mile a day for 365 days. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Why Are Floor Plans Gaining New Importance?
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Mortgage Applications Are Plummeting. Is the Housing Market Collapsing?
Agents, buyers, sellers, and investors have had ample reason to question the sustainability of the real estate market. After all, the scorching-hot housing market was fueled in part by COVID-related lockdowns and life disruptions that are becoming more rare. Rising interest rates, intractably high home prices, and continued rumblings about a recession add to skepticism about the housing market's health. Enter another housing market warning sign: A sustained drop in mortgage applications. When people need a home loan, they submit to lenders a mortgage application, which contains information on the borrower's income, employment history, and the property being purchased. Since mortgage applications are the first step of obtaining a home loan, they're often used as a gauge of industry-wide housing demand. With mortgage applications down a full 15% year-over-year, should agents fear a housing market implosion? The data says no. Homesnap's team of data scientists investigated and found that when comparing the first week of June 2022 with the first week of May 2022, active home listings increased by 26.6%, while the number of active open houses skyrocketed by 71.2%. What's going on? If fewer people are applying for mortgages, how can more people be listing and touring properties? In short, the drop in mortgage applications indicates a housing market that's due for cooling, but not yet. For the duration of busy season, at least, fewer mortgage applications will likely coexist with a competitive housing market. How Can the Housing Market Remain Robust, Even as Mortgage Applications Decrease? Mortgage applications are falling because mortgage rates are rising. Basically, as the cost of borrowing for a home loan increases, fewer buyers are qualified to seek one. But even with interest rates set to rise throughout 2022, the housing market isn't collapsing. As our data scientists found, home listings and open houses are actually increasing. There are three reasons: 1. The Market Takes Time to Change A reduction in mortgage applications isn't tanking the housing market because reduced demand takes time to ripple through the market. In fact, months can elapse between submitting a mortgage application and closing on a property. For new home buyers, it could be six months or a full year between submitting a mortgage application and moving into a home. Fewer mortgage applications in the spring and summer may not materially affect the housing market until the fall and winter. Mortgage applications are a measure of housing demand, but not necessarily of today's demand. The housing market is big and complicated, and doesn't adjust to consumer behavior overnight. 2. Housing Inventory Remains Low Other than high prices, the trend agents most frequently identify about today's housing market is record-low housing inventory. That inventory isn't expected to soon replenish, so the housing market is unlikely to topple. Low housing inventory means the number of people who want a home continues to far eclipse the number of available properties. With low listings, having fewer people seeking a mortgage isn't a death knell for the real estate market – even if it results in tapering home prices. 3. It's Busy Season For all the broader market forces at play, an increase in home listings and open houses just after Memorial Day isn't unusual. It's just busy season. If the normal real estate cycle seemed blurred or even erased in 2020 and 2021, it was because the market was turbocharged – hugely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the social and financial changes wrought by it. Now, the market may simply be approaching something close to normal. Summer's starting, kids are out of school, people are allowed to slip out of the office early on Fridays, agents have more daylight during which to host home tours – the market is found to pick up. The return of a conventional busy season points to a related reality: Reduced mortgage demand may put the market back to where it was in 2018 or 2019. Agents still had ample buyer demand during that time, even if the market wasn't going gangbusters. Home buying seasonality shifting back to normal doesn't mean the sky is falling, and a reduction in mortgage applications doesn't make for a housing market meltdown. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Show Off Your Listings Remotely
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Termination of Real Estate Contract by Buyer: A Guide for Agents and Buyers
As a buyer, realizing you want to back out of a contract can be frightening and overwhelming. You probably have many questions. Can you back out of buying a house after signing a contract? Do you get your earnest money back? For real estate agents, learning that a client wants to back out also raises many questions and concerns. Termination of real estate contract by a buyer is possible, but it can only be done in certain circumstances to avoid significant consequences. It must also be done properly. Here is what buyers and agents need to know. Agents: Know When to Request a Termination or Release! Make sure you know your state's laws on real estate contract termination versus release and how it affects your client's rights. Only a release of contract releases both parties from liability. If your buyer client has a termination right, the earnest money cannot be released to them without a signed release of contract from the seller or a court order in many states. Automatically asking for a release of contract isn't always the right move. If the buyer has a legitimate right to terminate and the seller does not agree to sign a release, the termination deadline may be missed and the buyer's right to terminate can be forfeited. Can a Buyer Back Out of a Purchase Agreement? When it comes to canceling a real estate contract, you may hear two terms used: release and terminate. These terms are very different. Terminating a real estate contract is something one party does unilaterally when they have the legal right to do so. Real estate contract termination by a buyer may be done when the inspection turns up a problem the seller refuses to fix (with an inspection contingency), for example. A release from a real estate contact is an action the seller and buyer must take together. This move releases the buyer and/or seller from their obligations under the contract. If the buyer does not have cause to terminate the contract, the seller can agree to release them in exchange for forfeiting the earnest money, as an example. In most states, buyers have many opportunities to legally back out of a real estate purchase agreement. The typical real estate contract has several contingencies that give the buyer a legal way to terminate the contract and have their earnest money refunded. Even if these contingencies are waived, many states have a period during which buyers can change their mind. When Is It Too Late to Back Out of Buying a House? It's important to carefully check the purchase agreement and deadlines attached. There may be one dozen or more deadlines to cancel a real estate contract depending on state law and contingencies. For example, an option period may be 7 to 10 days once the contract takes effect. During this time, the buyer may be able to back out for almost any reason. Once this period ends, terminating the contract may only be allowed pursuant to specific clauses in the contract. After reviewing the seller's disclosures, there may be another deadline that allows the buyer to terminate. This may be up to five days. Can a buyer cancel an offer to purchase? The purchase agreement is not a legal contract until it is signed by both parties. A buyer can retract an offer if the seller has not yet responded. If the seller counteroffers, the buyer can still back out. Options for terminating a real estate contract are more limited once an offer is accepted and the contract is signed. Can You Cancel a House Sale Before Closing? Options for Buyers Depending on the contract, a buyer may be able to terminate a real estate contract based on a number of contingencies. Here are the most common options for how to get out of a house contract once it's signed by both parties. Inspection or option period: This is usually a fixed period of time (usually 7 to 10 days) during which the buyer can back out of the contract. There is usually a non-refundable fee for an option period. Financing contingency: This contingency clause allows the buyer to back out if they fail to secure financing. Property approval or appraisal contingency: The buyer can back out if the home does not appraise for at least the purchase price or the property is otherwise not accepted by the lender if the seller will not drop the price and the buyer does not want to pay the difference. Inspection contingency: This clause may allow the buyer to back out before the applicable deadline if they are unsatisfied with the home inspection, the seller refuses to make repairs or reduce the purchase price, or if repairs are estimated to cost more than a certain amount. The seller won't make agreed-upon repairs or treatments: In this case, the seller may be in default of the contract and the buyer can back out. Title issues: Buyers generally have the right to back out of a contract if issues are found with the title and the seller does not fix them before the deadline. These are only common options; there may be other options available to a buyer who wants to back out of a contract. For instance, the seller may have failed to give required disclosures by the deadline. How to Terminate a Real Estate Contract Terminating a real estate contract requires following a specific procedure based on the state. In general, the buyer and their agent must give proper notice of buyer's termination of contract. In some states, there is a specific form to use that informs the seller the contract is terminated and lists the clauses the allows the buyer to terminate. Termination of Contract and Release of Earnest Money In most states, what happens to the earnest money depends on the contract provisions. Earnest money is generally returned to the buyer in one of two scenarios: Buyer cancellation of purchase agreement under a termination right, or Termination of real estate contract by seller The seller generally keeps the earnest money if the buyer backs out of the contract without legal cause. In most states, the buyer's agent must request a release of contract. This must be signed by the seller to release both parties of liability and return the earnest money to the buyer. If the seller refuses to do so, a court may need to decide on the case. Consequences of Breaking a Real Estate Contract There may be financial consequences of terminating a real estate contract, depending on the reason. The farther into the process, the more likely (and more expensive) these consequences tend to be. When a buyer backs out of a contract that's been signed, their earnest money is at risk. The average earnest money amount is 1% to 3% of the purchase price, which is anywhere from $3,700 to more than $11,000 based on the average U.S. home price. For the buyer, getting the earnest money back usually requires the seller signing a release of contract. If they do not, the earnest money can be tied up in a time-consuming process with the case heard in court. If a buyer backs out of a sale without cause for terminating the contract, they forfeit their earnest money and may even be sued for additional damages. Can Seller Sue Buyer for Backing Out? While the law varies by state, a seller can sue a buyer for backing out of a sale – but it's complicated and uncommon. In general, buyers can be sued if they do not properly terminate a contract based on a contingency. In this case, the seller can sue them for specific performance (following through with the purchase) or money damages for breach of contract. If this happens, the earnest money does not necessarily limit the damages. That means a buyer can be sued for damages even beyond the deposit they put down. It's crucial for buyers and agents to understand not only when a buyer can back out of a real estate contract but how it should be done to avoid potentially serious consequences. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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Realtor Creates RPR Reports to Help Sellers and Relocating Buyers
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Why Pre-Sale Renovation Is the Hottest Tool in Real Estate
Americans spent $420 million in 2020 remodeling their homes, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. While you may think the pandemic was the catalyst, according to the National Association of Realtors, most consumers who remodeled – 83% – said they would have remodeled regardless of the pandemic. Consumers are accustomed to upgrading their current homes. Research tells us that the most common motivation for nearly one in three consumers (30%) is to replace worn-out finishes, surfaces, and materials. About one in five renovation projects add features and improve livability. A majority are pleased with the result. Renovating a home increases one's desire for a home significantly, a recent NAR study reports. Renovating a home before you list it for sale is arguably the hottest and one of the fastest-growing trends in real estate today. Why? Because a pre-sale renovation increases wealth. With a marketplace of 5-7 million homes sold every year, the pre-sale renovation sector has the potential to generate billions – yes, billions with a "B" – of increased wealth for home sellers by maximizing the return on their most significant asset: their home. What does pre-sale renovation offer real estate brokers and agents? Potentially billions of dollars increase revenue, both company dollar and gross commission income. Understanding the individual impact Before they go on the market, most homes need a little love. Sellers often rush to list their homes in a hot market, but that's often not the best choice. Revive found that most homeowners who put their home on the market as-is are missing out on between 15% and 20% of the value. When sellers take a little more time and make smart renovations, they maximize their profit. Digging into Revive data, we found that sellers who choose a smart renovation path typically earn $186,000 more when they sell. Remarkably, the average return on a seller's renovation investment (or ROI) is an incredible 257%. Most importantly, using Revive, sellers renovate now and pay later. Remember that the ROI they achieve doesn't come from their funds, as Revive fronts the dollars needed for the pre-sale renovation. Moreover, Revive also found that renovated homes sell 72% faster. When you think about how the financial benefits of a pre-sale renovation could impact the overall marketplace, you can better understand its burgeoning growth and vast potential. Measuring market potential According to a recent report by Redfin, the number of US homes now worth $1 million or more is at a record high of 6 million properties as of February. That's just under 10% of all homes in the US, nearly doubling from 4.8% or 3.5 million homes in 2019. With about one in ten home sales nationwide, California also has the most million-dollar-plus property markets: 7 of the Top 10 Metro markets with the highest percentage of homes worth $1 million or more are in the Golden State. Last month, the average price of a new home in Orange County eclipsed the $1 million threshold. In San Francisco, 89% of all homes are worth $1 million or more. In San Jose, it's 86%, and more than half the homes – 55% – in Oakland. If just one in 10 sellers of all homes worth $1 million or more opted for a pre-sale renovation, sellers could potentially gain tens of billions of dollars in additional net proceeds from their sale, when you consider the average ROI at Revive is 257%. Pre-sale renovation is a massive wealth-builder. Consider the overall US real estate market annually. Between 5 million and 6 million total existing-home sales occur in a typical year. Revive data reveals that if just 5% of these homes chose to perform a pre-sale renovation, sellers would net an additional $56 billion from their home sales. Real estate agents collectively would earn more than $1.4 billion in additional real estate commissions. If the brokerage nets .5% of the sale, that's an additional $280 million in revenue. Impact on personal lives While the market potential of listing concierge companies that can scale like Revive will be attractive to investors, pre-sale renovations are creating something profound. People's lives are changing for the better. As a former highly successful home-flipper in Southern California, I turned over 1,000 homes. It was gratifying to see a renovated home's impact on an entire neighborhood. Yes, it was financially rewarding because I created a process and system that could scale. But the greatest pleasure came from watching surrounding homeowners improve their homes. It often seemed to have a chain effect. Pre-sale renovations make a more direct impact on people’s lives because it increases their wealth. I remember helping my parents complete a pre-sale renovation and the difference it made. For my father, the windfall created was the difference between retiring with dignity or not retiring at all. Revenue generated from a pre-sale renovation does more than creates a business that lifts all boats – agents, brokers, and sellers – it gives lives a lift. Learn more about pre-sale renovation and Revive at revive.realestate. Michael Alladawi, CEO and Founder of Revive, is a Southern California real estate veteran with a proven track record as a builder, investor, and respected home flipper. Michael created Revive to share his spectrum of knowledge and help homeowners maximize their profits when selling their homes.
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30 Real Estate Email Subject Lines that Entice Leads
Email marketing isn't dead, you may need to just revamp your current campaign. When buyer and seller leads are navigating through their inbox or spam folders, they're deciding in seconds whether an email is worth their time. In fact, one study found 69% of email recipients report email as spam, based on the subject line alone. Email subject lines are a huge component of successful email campaigns. Subject lines, if done correctly, will entice readers to open your emails, not mark them as spam. Use this list of real estate email subject lines to increase your email open rates: Personalization This list of email subject lines will help you get started with a successful campaign. Personalized subject lines are designed to make your audience think they have met you previously. When a reader thinks an email might be from someone they know, as opposed to spam, they'll be much more likely to open it. Quick Question "Insert Name" Referred Me to You Let's Meet Up for [Insert Activity] on [Insert Date] One More Thing Let's get together [insert date] I have to ask I called, you didn't answer I missed you last week You weren't home, so I left a message How about next [MTWTFSS]? I need your opinion [insert name] how have you been? Similar Interest These subject headers will entice leads due to the fact that they are currently looking for or selling a home. Including a lead's target market within the subject line will increase their interest, as they can work with a limited number of agents serving that neighborhood. I Heard You're Looking for a Home What You Should Know About the [insert target market] Housing Market Why other agents can't help you Prices are [increasing/decreasing] in [insert target market] Up and coming neighborhoods in [insert target market] Here's where you should buy/sell in [insert target market] I can help you [buy/sell your home] Mystery It's true that when you're unsure of who or where an email came from, you'll be more likely to open it. That email could be from a former colleague, a new job opportunity or a distant friend. Ambiguous emails entice the reader to find out who the sender is. [A Blank Subject Line] Where do we go from here? We don't know what's next We've got you covered It's better if you didn't know Here's Your Private Invite Urgency Urgency is used in many different marketing tactics—think of 24-hour sales or limited edition items. The email header should make leads feel like they might miss out on a opportunity if they do not open your email. Almost There's still time It begins today It ends today Things are heating up in [insert target market] Why you should buy/sell now in [insert target market] Another huge aspect of lead conversion from email campaigns is response rate. Studies show that leads are four times more likely to convert into a client, when you respond within the first five minutes. After the first 30 minutes, leads are 21 times less likely to convert. Happy emailing! To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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[Podcast] Decoding Real Estate: Managing Climate Risk in Real Estate with Cal Inman
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5 Do's of Superior Customer Service as an Agent
Being a real estate agent basically means you are an expert in both the real estate industry and customer service. If you want to take your customer service from good to outstanding though, focus on doing these five things. DO Be Prompt No one likes to be kept waiting, but when it comes to one of the biggest transactions of a person's life they like it even less. That's why it is so important as a real estate agent that you respond to any client or lead inquiries promptly, and always show up for appointments on time. That probably seems like a no-brainer when working with a client, but it can be tough to keep up with new leads in the same way. A real estate CRM can help you here. When you set up automated lead capture, your CRM can send you an immediate email and/or text alert every time a new lead comes into your database. This will help you to respond to them promptly, and that helps your odds of turning them into a client. DO Communicate Throughout the Process As we've said, buying or selling a home is a huge moment in most people's lives. They want to know that the agent they have trusted with it is on top of everything. The only real way to do that is to communicate with them at every stage of the process. It might be a bit time consuming to do, but it will be worth it when you have a happy client who wants to refer their friends and family to you in the future. DO Listen to Your Clients Letting your clients know what you are doing for them is very important, but so is actually listening to what they have to say. This can be for things as essential as what their neighborhood preference for buying or things as subtle as a sport their child plays. Both pieces of information can be vital to you having a successful working relationship with a client. A good way to ensure that you pay attention whenever you are on the phone with a client or prospect is to take notes. It helps you focus and also gives you information to draw from in the future. Then, you can enter these notes directly into your CRM's contact profile so you always have all the information you need right when you need it. DO Use Listing and Closing Activity Plans You have a lot of things to remember for a lot of different leads and clients at any given time. It is understandable that a few of those things could slip through the cracks or get muddled. A good real estate CRM can help prevent that from happening by providing you with Listing and Closing Activity Plans. These will provide you with a list of tasks that should be completed for any given transaction – and they are set for appropriate time intervals in the process. You'll never miss a step or confuse a listing again. DO Respect Technical Communication Preferences Every person you work with, or hope to work with, will have slightly different wants and needs when it comes to buying or selling their home. You know that and you work hard to accommodate those differences and make each transaction a personal one. The same should go with the means of communication you choose for every contact. Email may not be the preference of some people who are much older and perhaps looking to downsize. Phone calls might make first-time Millennial buyers uncomfortable. How do you solve this? Easy – you ask. Once you have asked how a contact prefers to communicate with you, make a note of it in your CRM. So when in doubt, all you have to do is check. Your contacts will be happier and your overall communication will be better. You've got the knowledge and talent, now take your customer service to another level and see your real estate business become even more successful. Give the five do's above a little more focus, and you'll see the payoff. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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How Could Your Photos Enter Listing Data for You?
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A Newly Built Home Sounds Great. But Ballooning Borrowing Costs Could Crush New Home Buyers
Over time, more than half of homebuyers would prefer to buy a newly-built home over an existing home. More than 10% of U.S. home purchases are from buyers of new homes. In many ways, that's no surprise, as new homes can be specified for buyer preferences, are extra clean, energy efficient, require less maintenance, and are move-in ready at the time of purchase. But right now, the market for newly built homes has never been trickier. It's not just difficult to build or buy a new home – agreeing to an offer on a new home could be a financial risk your clients can't afford. Learn why borrowing costs are skyrocketing and what your buyers should consider when deciding whether to agree to a contract on a new home. Why Are Borrowing Costs Rising? The costs of borrowing for a home loan are surging because interest and mortgage rates are rising at their fastest clip in decades. In fact, the current average mortgage rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 5.7%. For much of 2020 and 2021, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage sat below 3%. Because of persistent inflation and the Federal Reserve's commitment to hiking interest rates throughout 2022, mortgage rates are primed to increase more this year. For borrowers, this is tough news. The rise in mortgage rates means hundreds of dollars more in monthly home loan payments, which can add up to tens or even hundreds of thousands more dollars spent over the course of the loan. Why Are Buyers of Newly Built Homes Vulnerable to Mortgage Rate Increases? Mortgage rate increases are difficult for all homebuyers. But buyers of newly built homes pay the heftiest financial price when mortgage rates rise. Traditionally, new home buyers sign a contract and pay a deposit several months before their home is ready. The time between signing a contract and moving into a new home has recently expanded even further – sometimes by up to a full year – due to lingering supply chain issues and building delays. Buyers of existing homes, on the other hand, typically sign a contract and pay a deposit shortly before their deal closes. This means that the risk of being burned by rising interest rates is especially acute for new home buyers. Just consider a buyer who paid a deposit on a new home last summer, with the expectation of moving in by June 2022. A year ago, that buyer's loan estimate had an interest rate under 3%. Now, mortgage rates are well above 5%, meaning that monthly mortgage payments will be hundreds of dollars higher than initially anticipated. And walking away from the deal is an unappetizing option – usually, buyers who do so sacrifice their initial deposit. How Can Buyers of New Homes Approach Rising Interest Rates? Clearly, agreeing to a contract on a newly built home involves an element of risk. But buyers – including your clients – can explore strategies that insulate them from further mortgage rate hikes and increased borrowing costs. The most common tactic to blunt the effects of rising interest rates is agreeing to a mortgage rate lock. With a mortgage rate lock, buyers lock in a specific mortgage rate, in exchange for what is usually a few hundred dollar fee. Mortgage rate locks usually come in 30, 45, or 90 day increments, but buyers can also agree to nine-month or 12-month rate locks if they agree to a price above the current 30-year fixed interest rate. For buyers of newly-built homes, a longer rate lock may make sense. Since mortgage rates are expected to be much higher in six months or a year, agreeing to a longer-term rate lock can save borrowers tens of thousands dollars over the course of a home loan. In addition, new home buyers can navigate interest rate hikes by considering an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), or purchasing discount points on their mortgage. An ARM offers buyers an initial five, seven, or 10-year rate that's significantly lower than a standard 30-year mortgage. In return, buyers agree to pay a much higher interest rate once this "teaser" rate expires. ARMs generally make the most sense for buyers who plan to sell their home within the span of their "teaser" period. If your clients are purchasing a newly-built starter home, or are convinced they will be able to refinance their rate in the future, an ARM may be a worthy choice. Discount points are fees a buyer pays to reduce their mortgage interest rate and monthly payment. For buyers who plan to stay in their new home for the long-term, discount points can pay off, as the price to "buy down" the interest rate is eclipsed by monthly savings on the mortgage. Overall, buyers of newly-built homes must be aware that rising interest rates and borrowing costs have the potential to blow their budget and cost them their dream home – so having a plan to deal with rising rates is a must. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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Share and Show Your Expertise as a Real Estate Agent to Achieve Success
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Friday Freebie: Homebuyer's Cheat Sheet for Winning in a Hot Market
Ever notice how real estate tends to use a lot of battle-related metaphors? You win listings and beat the competition and even shield yourself from liability by following established guidelines. Today's low-inventory market has become something of a battlefield as well, especially for the average buyer (and their agents). Let's face it—potential homebuyers can use all the help they can get these days! That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're arming you and your buyers with a cheat sheet that will help you push forward, defeat the enemy (other buyers), and capture the home of your clients' dreams. Free copy of the 2022 Homebuyer Cheat Sheet, courtesy of Zurple The current market means buyers have to do more than simply find a home they want—they also have to know how to act quickly and decisively. Get your battle strategy ready by helping your buyers understand the current market's landscape—including why prices are high and inventory is low—how to prepare, and what tools you have in your real estate arsenal. Here's what Zurple's 2022 Homebuyer Cheat Sheet offers to help you do just that: Explanations for what's causing the current seller's market Advice for preparing your buyer for a competitive market How to develop a competitive-advantage offer strategy What NOT to do with your buyer Buyer's agent scripts Market stats worksheet for showing YOY price increases Bonus tips for helping your buyer and finding more inventory And more! Ready to lead your buyers to victory? Download your FREE copy of the 2022 Homebuyer Cheat Sheet: How to Win in a Hot Market now!
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