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Top Real Estate Negotiation Strategies for Agents
Strong negotiating skills have always been a prerequisite to a successful real estate career, but this year they're truly make or break. Sellers, more discerning than ever, are prioritizing agents that can fight for and close on above-market deals. Buyers, worried about record-low housing inventory, are seeking representation from those who can help them avoid a protracted bidding war, waiving an inspection, or other drastic concessions. As such, any agent without the tenacity to negotiate on behalf of their clients will find themselves at a significant disadvantage in securing new business. However, those who go above and beyond and earn a reputation for upholding their fiduciary duty are likely to see a boost in positive reviews, organic search rankings, referrals, and advertising efficacy. Here's how to make sure you're the hard-nosed go-getter today's clients want. When Representing Buyers Negotiate from market value, not asking price With demand as it is, any sellers' agent worth his or her salt will jack up a property's asking price in an attempt to squeeze every last dollar they can out of a listing. Why wouldn't they? It's a sellers' market; they have a degree of control they haven't had in decades. But while they're certainly entitled to ask for whatever they want, that doesn't mean it should be the default starting point for negotiations. When bringing an offer to the table, start with what you believe to be fair market value. Don't lowball; you'll likely be wasting your time and undermining your client's credibility as a buyer. Instead, frame your negotiation as an earnest attempt to strike a fair deal for both parties. With any luck, you'll push the seller to accept an offer (rather than gamble for a better one on the open market) or make a fair counteroffer so as to not turn your client, a serious buyer, away. Your client might end up paying more than market value, but chances are it will be considerably less than if you began your negotiations at an inflated asking price. Include an escalation clause If a bidding war is inevitable, give your buyer an opportunity to win out by including an escalation clause in your offer. Tell the sellers' agent your client is willing to beat any written offer by X amount up to Y amount. So, for example, the clause could read: Client is willing to pay $10,000 higher than any written offer, not to exceed $700,000. Try to have your buyers meet the sellers Admittedly, the pandemic has made this strategy a bit more difficult than in previous years. However, we advise you to make every attempt to arrange a digital or socially distant meeting between your buyers and the sellers. Why? It's human nature. If a seller doesn't meet any potential buyers, then all they have to go on is the offers themselves, which means inevitably they'll select the highest bid. But when a seller does meet buyers and can put a face to an offer, they're likely to make a decision that is not entirely based on dollars and cents. After all, who wouldn't want to help out the nice young couple looking to buy a home before starting a family? Use Homesnap to know who you're up against Other third-party real estate marketplaces obscure listing agents. Homesnap, on the other hand, allows agents to look at the professional profile of any listing agent. Simply navigate to a listing within Homesnap, click on the agent's photograph, and you'll see a rundown of the agent's contact information (phone number, email address, business address) and listing history. Use this information to your advantage in preparing for negotiations. Has the agent closed on many above-market deals? Well, now you know you might be in for a bit of a fight and should prep your buyers about escalation clauses. Have the agent's listings lingered on market longer than expected? Maybe, then, an aggressive and fair offer can help you scoop up the property faster. Any little piece of information helps. When Representing Sellers Always say no at least once The current market means you're in control. While your client may receive an initial offer that is more than satisfactory to them, advise them to reject it. Buyers in this market expect to enter into prolonged negotiations and to increase their initial offer. It's a consequence of such limited inventory. Any first bid is likely an attempt to get the conversation started. Hold firm and counter aggressively. Start a bidding war Following a few days of advertising your available listing (and hopefully after promoting it as a Coming Soon), schedule an open house and refuse to listen to offers until after the in-person showing takes place. With such drummed-up excitement, buyers will expect to face some competition. You'll likely receive more aggressive offers, which you can then play off one another. Put an expiration date on any counteroffers The market is moving fast and the potential for any number of offers is great. When a counteroffer is outstanding, a sellers' home is effectively off the market, preventing them from receiving additional offers. That can be a big disadvantage in this market. So let a buyer know your seller is looking to close quickly. Place a deadline on any counteroffer. The deadline shouldn't be overly aggressive and risk turning off the buyer, but it should also convey that you have other options available. A ticking clock can go a long way in securing a deal. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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6 Lessons Real Estate Professionals Learned from the Pandemic
The past year seems to have passed by us in the blink of an eye. While business may have come to a standstill for many industries, it has been non-stop for countless real estate agents. Agents have been working tirelessly to help their clients, neighbors, family and friends alleviate fear and help them to buy and sell houses. As we laughed, cried, celebrated and mourned, many lessons were learned over the past year. What remains consistently true is that the way we do business may be forever changed.
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Spring Cleaning to Grow Your Success
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Building Your Real Estate Brand for the Long Run
The real estate market is hot right now with year-over-year sales setting records, but what do you do when there is a downward shift in sales? How do you stay at the forefront of the consumer's mind? Real estate sales across the nation have jumped to highs not seen in years. Low-interest rates paired are pushing the demand for single-family houses. With supplies dwindling, home buyers are grabbing up new residences quickly. But there will be an adjustment coming to normalize the markets and you need to be prepared in advance before the bubble pops. More Than a Business Card Now is the time for you to start building your brand and provide the best consumer experience regardless of the sales statistics. Your brand is not just the logo of your brokerage affixed to your business card and credentials. It's you, your services, your knowledge, and the value you bring. It is your connection to the consumer in the market you work in. Don't Be One-and-Done Homes sell in all economic situations. In a bull market when buyers are competing for properties, it's easy to jump on board that train and grab a listing or two that will sell within a matter of days (or hours). But you don't want to be in the category of "one and done" or "two and through." What happens when your list of friends and family customers runs out? You need more clients and you need them often. How do you get the leads and referrals to continue growing your business? You need real estate marketing. Show Value Show the consumer value by offering a consistent method of real estate marketing for all your listed properties to help buyers make quick informed decisions. One of the best marketing tools you can use is an all-in-one package of photos, 3D virtual tours, and advanced floor plans with accurate measurements. Show the seller a proven way to attract more interest in their properties backed by proven results. Tangible numbers both from statistics and positive reviews will help your brand stand out even in a bear market. Think Like the Consumer Think past the current real estate hype and consider the long term when it comes to buyers and sellers. If you want to stay in business, you have to find a way to offer the most value to the consumer. Think like a home buyer or seller: what is it that you want out of a real estate agent? You want accurate information, and an easy process both selling and buying. As a seller, you want to get the best dollar for your home, and as a buyer, you want the best value for the purchase price. Trust and Understanding Marketing concepts range from old-school advertising to bombarding social media with memes (think Bernie Sanders in a recent Realtor.com article), 3D videos and eye-catching real estate photography. But there is more to it than that. Create a marketing plan that offers value to the consumer. Show the seller you are presenting every square foot of their home with the ability to share it all via the MLS platform, directly through email or text messaging, or your social media channels. The buyer's journey does not begin and end with writing an offer and taking possession of a home. It begins with understanding the process before the aesthetics and the purchase price. It begins with trusting you. When consumers understand the living space, you have given them one of the most valuable tools possible: the knowledge they can trust delivered in a format they can use to map out the living space of a possible new home. Elevate your brand and foster trust by introducing easily navigated floor plans to help the buyer understand the fit and flow of a property. Focus on your brand to capture new leads and keep the proverbial ball rolling long after the market has softened. Staying in the game for the long run requires building your brand like building a home—start with a good foundation, measure the results and reap the rewards.
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Tips from 4 Top-Performing Women Real Estate Agents
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What's This I Hear About the Government Raising the Rates of Flood Insurance?
You may have seen two news stories in the last month regarding flood insurance: The first turned many heads -- it was a study of Floridians in flood zones underpaying for flood insurance by as much as 379%. The second centered on objections to FEMA's modernization program, Risk Rating 2.0, by Senator Chuck Schumer -- prompting speculation about possible delays to the program's implementation. Let's take a few minutes to explain what is happening … in plain English. From our previous articles, flood insurance is very $#@!&^% confusing, sold separately from homeowners insurance, and has two pricing systems: Public (The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP) and an emerging Private Market (offered by for-profit insurance carriers). Since the beginning, NFIP has based their entire flood insurance program on flood zones. Pricing has been by what "ZONE" a property is designated in, and there is a standard price for that zone. It is a blanket approach, and is considered very "black and white" in its price and administration. And for the highest risk zones, the government has knowingly subsidized the pricing to make the insurance affordable to all Americans. As of December 2019, NFIP owes $20.25 billion to the US. For private insurance carriers, they price each property based on proprietary data, weather mapping, historical claims data, and their own price-risk ratio. Private insurers have shown that there is wide discrepancy between stated "flood zones" and their proprietary pricing -- which is what they are willing to underwrite for actual property risk. Risk Rating 2.0, which has been in development for several years, is FEMA's effort to modernize the National Flood Insurance Program, so that they apply data and technology to appropriately price every property in America -- essentially matching the private insurance carrier approach to price-risk pricing. So, when an independent research study comes out comparing the historical zone-based pricing versus current pricing with technology and data, you get headlines of possible 379% increases. Some of this is very accurate, and some of this is sensationalized for newspaper consumption. Objections to Risk Rating 2.0 by Chuck Schumer, New York senator and Democratic Majority Leader, have prompted speculation about further delays to the rollout of FEMA's modernization program -- the implementation of which has already been pushed back a year to October 1, 2021 from its original date of October 1, 2020. It is not yet clear if there will be further delays beyond this date. In any case, the next step will be a full review of FEMA's plans through the checks and balances that is our U.S. Government, where committees will review the accuracy, fairness and rollout of the FEMA/NFIP plan. And it is an urgently needed step. "Risk Rating 2.0 is long overdue," Carolyn Kousky, Director of the Wharton Risk Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has said. Kousky is correct, yet NFIP, FEMA and the US Congress learned a difficult lesson the last time they tried to enact significant pricing change. In 2012, Congress enacted the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform act to change NFIP insurance rates to match actual pricing for actual risk -- only to then pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act two years later in 2014 to grandfather in much of the increased insurance rates. (source) So that history does not repeat itself, FEMA and Congress must re-imagine the National Flood Insurance Program so that it is sustainable for the future. In the last decade, climate change has advanced and is impacting livability across the U.S., as well as causing economic distress on our public and private sectors. Now is the time to make a long range plan that integrates climate and socioeconomic factors to account for our future flood needs. If you are interested in learning more, access our free eBook: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Flood Insurance* (*But Were Afraid To Ask) CartoFront is a technology services company that is simplifying flood insurance for REALTORS®, their clients, and insurance agents.     **Image credit: Insurance Journal, March 15
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The Big Lie: 'The House Is Not in a Flood Zone'
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Tech Fatigue Is Real: What You Can Do to Combat Zoom Gloom
As real estate agents and brokers spend more time on their computers and mobile devices than ever before, many have experience tech fatigue. The concept has been around long before the pandemic outbreak, but it has become mainstream. One of the most common culprits has been an overabundance of video calls and conferences. Health experts say that Zoom gloom is real. The same is true for all other video-calling interfaces, including Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Webex, FaceTime, and Skype. It turns out that virtual interactions can be hard on the brain. According to Andrew Franklin, an assistant professor of cyberpsychology at Norfolk State University in Virginia, video calls impair our natural need to assess the nuisances of one's body language and other non-verbal cues. "It can be a big brain drain not to have them," Franklin told National Geographic magazine, noting that multi-person screens magnify the problem. Here are some tips to combat tech fatigue: 1. Take Zoom breaks. Don't schedule Zoom meetings back-to-back. It's too exhausting for your brain. When you are face-to-face with someone in person, you don't stare them in the eyes for 30 minutes straight. But on Zoom, we feel like we need to pay 100% attention all the time. Taking regular breaks between your Zoom meetings – even switching to a traditional phone call versus a video call – can help. 2. Set stand-up alarms and take a breath. Use the alarm settings on your smartphone to alert yourself to stand up at regular intervals – at least once an hour. Make sure you walk away from all screens. If you have a smartwatch, pay attention to the app that reminds you when to stand up – and the one that prompts you for a breathing exercise. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths not only can reduce stress but can help relieve tech fatigue. 3. Go outside. In addition to disconnecting from technology at regular intervals throughout the day, you need to take a walk – literally. Just walking around the block or through your neighborhood can help reduce tech fatigue. Just keep your smartphone in your pocket. Make it a screenless journey. 4. Turn off your notifications. The best strategy is to turn off all of your app notifications, including texts. For some agents, that may be impossible, especially in your deadline-driven world. But even if you must check your text, news feed, or other communication apps at set intervals – say every 15-30 minutes – you still can reduce a lot of tech fatigue that comes from always being connected. It's also an excellent way to not immediately "react" to social media posts. 5. Deploy the 20/20/20 rule. Eye doctors recommend that every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen requires you to look at something about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break they need. Research has discovered that if you don't take breaks away from staring at a computer screen all day, you can increase your odds of getting myopia or nearsightedness. It takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to completely relax. 6. Ask the question: Does it need to be a video meeting? Remember, you can avoid Zoom gloom by limiting the number and frequency of your calls. Ask yourself, or the call organizer, if you can accomplish the same thing on a regular phone call. If you do not have to share a screen, opt for a regular call as every call does not need to be a video call. 7. Track your small screen time. Tech fatigue is exacerbated when you also are staring at your phone. Today's smartphone can track your daily and weekly screen time. By monitoring your small screen time – often spent on social apps – and setting a goal to reduce your screen time, you can also reduce tech fatigue. 8. Invest in a better desk setup. Ditch the dining room chair and splurge on a real office chair that's ergonomically beneficial. Also, the price of large screens has plummeted, and a better screen that's crisp and clear can reduce eye exhaustion that increases tech fatigue. Great lighting is an important addition as well. Real estate agents are tied to technology and the digital world today as never before. That's why it is just as important to be pro-active when it comes to not letting technology get the better of you. You can significantly reduce tech fatigue and Zoom gloom by taking these steps, but you need to recognize the negative impacts this can have on you because of what you do. Finally, keep in mind that if your state or local association, brokerage, or MLS offers Tech Helpline as a member service benefit, you can reach out to a Tech Helpline analyst to reduce your stress created by a problem you are having with technology. Ensure you take advantage of this service as there is no charge as it is included in your membership fee. Tech Helpline analysts are ready to help you fix your tech problems -- and that can also reduce tech stress. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Prepare Your Business for a Post-Covid Market with These Tips
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Lessons from Million-dollar Real Estate Agents
There's a funny thing about oft-repeated truisms: many of them aren't actually true. Take this one for instance: "10% of all real estate agents perform 90% of all transactions." No-one is ever given credit for this statistic; no study has been published proving it to be true. Yet, it's repeated over and over. Sure, it's true that some agents make tons more money than others. RealTrends' annual rankings of agents and teams, "The Thousand," prove that. Sort of. Take a look at the top 10% of these agents and you'll notice that they all sling luxury property. Naturally, the more expensive an agent's inventory is, the more money she'll earn. This status may have nothing at all to do with talent, expertise or any other quality than to have made a wise decision early on in a career. The first lesson is simple: if you truly want a sales volume of $761,653,743 a year, sell luxury property. In reality, to make the big bucks requires patience, tenacity, self-discipline and the understanding that it takes money to make money. Stop taking the cheapest route. Demand quality for you and for your clients. Related: Learn from the Master of real estate success, Floyd Wickman. Watch his latest guest appearance on our podcast (below). There are few overnight successes Tony Robbins, über-successful personal development coach, often tells the story of how, at age 19, he lived in a studio apartment, cooked on a hotplate, and washed dishes in his bathtub. He considers this period his "rock-bottom" and tells audiences how it compelled him to begin to create goals. "The timeline I gave myself for achieving these goals was any time from tomorrow to the next twenty years," Robbins says in "Awaken the Giant Within." Robbins claims that he hit his first goal, to make one million dollars, five years later. We've all read or heard similar stories, those rags-to-riches tales that inspire us to do likewise. The one thing that so many of us miss, however, is that there is no magic formula. No cute little fairy will land on our shoulders and "poof" us into success. These people struggled, often for years, to reach their goals. They worked long and hard, they enlisted help and they never stopped learning and trying new things. Just as you know that nurturing leads and prospects takes time and persistence, so does nurturing your business. Check your attitude "A positive attitude makes success easy; a negative one makes success pointless," according to Geoffrey James, author and contributing editor for Inc.com. Sure, it's challenging to feel positive during a worldwide pandemic, when the way you do business has been turned upside-down. James suggests that you can change your attitude in a number of ways. One of these is to surround yourself with positive people and "… and shun those who are excessively negative." Find the rest of his tips on how to improve your attitude at Inc.com. Mimic the successful agent If you're new to the real estate industry or ready to take your game to the next level, it's well worth your time to find a mentor. At the very least, approach one of the most successful agents in your office and request a shadowing opportunity. A week or two following this agent around, observing his or her attitude, habits and approach is time you will never regret spending. To view the original article, visit the ProspectsPLUS! blog.
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8 Ways for Real Estate Agents to Deal With Stress
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Don't Make These 5 Mistakes in 2021
It's time to shed what we had to go through in 2020 and achieve something better. There are some common moves that real estate agents make that might not benefit them in the long run. Here are five mistakes to avoid in the year ahead.
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10 Veteran Agent Tips for Real Estate Rookies
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How Do Real Estate Teams Work?
When considering working on a real estate team, you probably consider the question, "How do real estate teams work?" Real estate teams work by being both efficient and effective. They are a development in the industry that is allowing agents to reach new heights in their careers, while giving clients the best possible service they can find.
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[Best of 2020] Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
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How to Ride the Wave of a Seasonal Sales Cycle
The real estate market is highly seasonal and sales are adversely affected by the drop in temperatures during the winter months. According to the National Association of Realtors' statistics, 40% of homes are sold in May, June, July, and August. This seasonality leaves many real estate professionals working at a cheetah's pace in summer and scrounging for business in the off-season. Adjusting for the season can help your profitability, cash flow, and long-term success. Here's how to ride the wave of our seasonal sales cycle.
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5 Gift Ideas for Real Estate Agents
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3 Ways to Be More Productive in Real Estate
3 things you can do in your database right now Time is of the essence in the current real estate market. How are you staying on top of your productivity goals? Here are three quick (but impactful) ways you can be more productive right within your database.
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How Every Agent Can Help Solve Our Inventory Shortage
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23 Productivity Hacks to Help Real Estate Agents Boost Their Business
Working in real estate can feel like an impossible task. With new agents entering the market all the time, how can you stay ahead? The key to success in real estate is being more productive than your peers. This does not necessarily mean working more. Instead, you should seek to be more efficient with your time. Here are 23 productivity hacks to help you boost your real estate business.
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Learn How Top Producers Spend More Time Selling
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How Realtors Can Thrive in These Challenging Times
A positive mind and out-of-the-box thinking goes a long way This isn't what we expected.It's not what we planned for.We didn't sign up for this! Everyone is in the same boat, floating aimlessly down a river of uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rear its evil head. You have two choices: 1) Put your real estate business on the backburner, catch up on sleep, relax more than you have in years, watch TV and ride out the downtime. OR 2) Keep working, be resourceful, figure out ways to do your job amazingly without making physical contact with people, and explore new tools to help you set up your business for big success when the market resurges. Don't just survive…thrive The life of a typical REALTOR® is beyond busy. Extra time is scarce, but something you always wish you had more of. Now is your chance to take advantage. Read. Research. Learn. Plan. Strategize. Adapt. If you think of this situation as a business opportunity rather than a business tragedy, then you can begin to reframe your perspective towards the positive operation and future growth of your business. Everything video As people continue to limit and eliminate their in-person meetings, it's time to update the traditional nature of your service as a REALTOR®. Now is not the time to be shy and hide behind your phone or email inbox. Use video as much as you can, from virtual showings and 3D virtual home tours, to video emails and conferencing calls. Show your clients that you are adapting to the times and accommodating their needs. Implement new technologies, start using different tools and take your business to a more advanced digital level. While there's no doubt that the real estate market will return to "normal" at some point, it is highly likely that "normal" will look entirely different from what it was before. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, in our digital age, real estate was already considered to be somewhat of an antiquated industry. So, as the sector is forced to move more towards virtual operation and digitization, it's hard to believe that those newly implemented technologies will simply be dropped when COVID-19 passes. Adapt now, and be a frontrunner when the market booms again. Light up on social media The vast majority of people have more time on their hands at the moment. For many, that means more time to surf social media. The real estate industry is known to flock both buyers and sellers to a wide variety of social media outlets. If you don't already have a solid presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, now is the perfect time to get more involved. Consider an automated system that makes posting consistent and seamless so that when the floodgates reopen and you go back to feeling as though you don't have time for anything but your clients, your social media activity will be running automatically in the backend. Polish your online presence Website out of date? Lacking quality branding? Content not as strong as it could be? Think of this quieter real estate market as a period of time in which you can improve upon your existing marketing foundation. Redesign your site, revisit your brand and revamp your messaging to ensure that your complete online presence is representative of who you are and what sets you apart in your field. Enhance your business From streamlining your processes, to discovering new and innovative ways to serve your clients better, to learning how to optimize the marketing systems you already have in place, be proactive. While the rest of the world is pausing and hitting the brakes, you could be focusing your time and energy on the advancement and evolution of your business. Get your contacts in order – and stay top of mind One of the most intelligent and effective ways to keep your business's momentum during this slower period, lies within your existing database of contacts. Considering the impressive numbers and stats surrounding the lucrativeness of CRM in real estate, why not finally optimize your contact list? CRMs are designed to help you get in touch and stay in touch with all those people who you've either already met or spent time with, or who have shown an interest in your business. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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4 Online Shopping Hacks You Can Master Before the Holidays
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Homebuyer Personality Types (and How to Get Them to the Closing Table)
Ever have a buyer client that you struggled to connect with? Maybe you had different styles of communication, or maybe there was just something you didn't "get" that you couldn't quite put your finger on. Personality clashes happen, especially in a career as public-facing as real estate. However, the more you know about personality types, the better you'll know about what each type needs in a real estate agent. That's why in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a free guide to understanding and managing the different types of buyer personalities. Free Guide: The Four Personality Types of Homebuyers, courtesy of BoomTown BoomTown tapped into the knowledge of real estate coach Debbie Holloway for insight into different buyer personality types and the best ways to engage with each one. This free guide identifies four major personality types: Driver, Expressive, Analytica, and Amiable. From there, you'll learn: The traits of each type How to identify which personality your buyer has Tips for working with each type, including do's and don'ts Once you know which type of personality your buyer has, you'll be able to serve them better—and move them close to a closed transaction. Ready to learn more about your buyers? Download your FREE copy of The Four Personality Types of Homebuyers now!
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5 Ways to Help Clients Adopt and Adapt to Your Technology
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Tips for Selling Real Estate to Gen Z
Millennials are no longer the youngest people in the workforce. There's a whole new generation to think about--Gen Z. About half of them are old enough to legally drive and many are looking into buying their first home. Generation Z refers to people who were born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2010s. The stats show that this demographic numbers around 74 million people in the US alone, and makes up about 25% of the population. That's a lot of potential homeowners entering the marketplace.
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Master the Habits, Mindsets, and Tactics of Real Estate's Super Producers
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Cleaning Checklist for Open Houses During Covid
When showing a home, it has always been an absolute must to make sure it is perfectly clean. Now in the time of an active pandemic, it is even more important. A dirty or cluttered home can cost your client thousands off the sale price, and even turn buyers away completely. Today, a home that doesn't meet strict cleaning standards may not even be able to be shown at all. Preparing a cleaning checklist for open houses is a great tool to give to your clients to ensure they are meeting these standards.
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4 Ways New Real Estate Agents Can Break Through the Noise
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The Benefits of Working on a Real Estate Team
The freedom to work independently and on your own schedule may have been what drew you to a career in real estate. While this a very attractive element of being a real estate agent, you might want to consider giving a little bit of that freedom up to join a real estate team. There are numerous benefits to working on a real estate team that many consider well worth the cost. Making the decision to work on a team can give you the experience necessary to become more successful, and make it a little easier to meet the goals you have for your career.
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Dos and Don'ts of Seasonal and Personal Decorating When Selling a Home
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Navigating Today's Political Climate on Social Media as a Real Estate Agent
Woooo... to say the world has changed would be an understatement. Things that should not be a polarizing issue have had a clear line drawn between them. You want to join in on the conversation because you have strong feelings, but how do you go about doing it without getting "cancelled"? Here are some good practices to follow when it comes to posting on social media as a real estate agent.
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Become a More Profitable Agent
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Stand Out from Competitor Real Estate Agents: A Few Key Tips (Part 2)
Welcome to part two of our series on how to stand out from your competitors in real estate! In today's post, we dive deeper and show you how to become dominant in a competitive real estate market. Part one of this series mentioned three key points: being active on social media, creating your own agent website, and staying connected to your clients and leads through e-newsletters. Part two will focus on how to elevate your real estate brand, enabling you to stand out from your competitors.
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Stand Out from Competitor Real Estate Agents: A Few Key Tips (Part 1)
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Your Ultimate Guide to Being a Top Real Estate Agent
Becoming a top real estate agent isn't always about having the best looking photo on your lawn sign or getting a secret resource to send you hundreds of leads every month. It isn't even about being born with the skill to negotiate great deals. Becoming a top real estate agent is, in fact, about acknowledging the requirements of the job and then equipping yourself with the right tools to excel at what you do. It's not easy to become a top real estate agent. But it's not impossible either.
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Video for Real Estate Agents: What to Do If You're Camera Shy
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How to Showcase Your Professionalism in a Virtual World
Working remotely is the new normal. Casual Friday had become a daily event for many. But real estate agents working from home need to keep up their professional appearance, as it's no longer uncommon for an initial client meeting to take place on Zoom. And that's one thing that hasn't changed: you still only have one chance to make a first impression. How do you make a great first impression – virtually? Here are some tips to looking – and acting – your best for your virtual meetings, whether you are going online to meet a client, host, or participate in a meeting. Avoid creating distractions: One of the reasons Zoom works well, particularly for those working from home, is its virtual background. Many people don't have a home office and are working out of a bedroom, dining room, or basement. If you do have a home office, great. But remember that any complex background can be distracting. Also, any movement behind you – pets, kids, or spouses – makes it hard for people to pay attention to what you say during a virtual meeting. A simple virtual background that mimics an office, home office, or meeting room works best. It helps make you look more professional in this setting. Think face-to-face: While it's impossible for a virtual meeting to connect with someone in the same way as in-person meetings, act as if you are meeting face-to-face. That means you need to look directly at the camera. It's not easy, but it appears to the other person that you are looking right at them. And listen carefully to the other person, and don't be distracted by your image. For virtual client meetings, make sure you have your meeting software set to show their face full screen, not yours. Don't dress - or look - differently: Agents have different dress codes, depending on what is customary in their market. For a virtual meeting, don't dress down. Dress as you would if you were attending a meeting in person. The same rule applies to your appearance. If you want to put your best foot forward, you may not have to wear shoes, but you better be dressed for the part. Remember, your visual image can have a more significant impact on forming a first impression than meeting someone face-to-face. During a Zoom call, you are telegraphing: you are what you wear. Don't be afraid to mute yourself: One of the advantages of a virtual meeting versus one in-person is you can hit the mute button. If you have to yawn or cough when your client is talking, hit the mute. As long as you are comfortable with the technology, please mute yourself when someone else is talking. If you are taking notes on your keyboard during the meeting, this will avoid the sound of clicking keys drowning out the person trying to talk. Be early to your meeting: If you are the host of the meeting, arrive 5 to 10 minutes early. Being early telegraphs that you care and are making the meeting a priority. It also suggests you are well organized and undoubtedly punctual. It's just another simple way to showcase your professionalism. Focus: One of the biggest challenges of any virtual meeting is for everyone to stay focused and pay attention. If you are looking at another screen and checking email during a conversation, it's akin to checking your phone when talking with someone face-to-face. It is considered rude and unprofessional. Be kind, be considerate, and always listen more than you speak. What's the easiest way to do that? Ask questions! Importance of electronic etiquette: Making a great first impression means you must have the technology that puts you in the best light – literally. Invest in a separate video camera, a unidirectional microphone, and a proper ring LED light. Avoid windows or bright lights directly behind you. A meeting can't be effective when a client can't hear or see you clearly. High-speed internet access is a must, and if you share a connection with others, ask them not to stream anything during your calls. Also, make sure you are not interrupted during your meeting and try to avoid distracting background noise. Restart and test: For any crucial meeting, restarting your computer 20 minutes before your appointment can help you avoid connection and other technical issues. Then test your mic, your camera, and your lighting to ensure everything is in working order. Have a Plan B: Stuff happens: your computer could die, you could lose power, or the internet goes down. Don't panic. Every major video call service offers a mobile app. Be sure you have the app installed on your phone, sign in, and test it. Have a stand ready to place your phone in should your computer call fall. That's what professional do – plan for the unexpected! Evaluate and refine: If you can record your meeting, do. Use the recording to do a self-assessment of how you did and what you can do next time to improve. Remember, when you attend a large virtual meeting today and look at the many faces on a Zoom call, you can instantly spot the ones who are professional and those who are not. So can your clients and prospects. If your MLS or association provides you free access to Tech Helpline, and you have any questions about setting up a virtual meeting or need to troubleshoot any video call tech issue, reach out for assistance! When you make a great first impression virtually, you can win over a new or existing client every time. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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How Can Agents Compete in a Hot Market? Tried and Tested Tips to Get Noticed in a Crowded Marketplace
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Real Estate Essentials for New Agents
You are a new real estate agent. You are just starting out in the field and have no sense of direction. Yes, you learned a lot while getting your real estate license. However, common sense things such as what to bring, what to have with you at all times, or what to do before you get out there wasn't really explained to you. You've just come from a 9-5 office job and do not know what this entails. We've put together a quick list of a few things that could help you out when you are getting out there. These real estate essentials will surely get you off on the right foot.
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8 Tips for an Agent Safety Month Unlike Any Other
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3 Things Today's Consumers Expect from Real Estate Agents
Consumers still find plenty of value in working with real estate agents. In fact, 89 percent of buyers in 2019 purchased their home through an agent or broker. That's because the type of qualities good agents bring to the table—experience, deep market knowledge, and the ability to be ahead of the curve—are just as valuable to clients today as they were 10 or 20 years ago. The only difference is how they prove these things to prospects. So, with that in mind, here's a look at what consumers expect from real estate agents today—and how to ensure you're the one they chose to work with: Past successes and happy clients Who wouldn't want to work with a real estate agent who has a proven track record of success? The challenge, though, is conveying that information to prospects. After all, even if someone sees your ad on Facebook or hears about you from a friend, they'll still Google you to decide for themselves. Therefore, the number one action agents can take is to maintain a strong Google business profile. Think of it as Google's quick-load version of your resume and references. It contains your contact information, a bio, posts that highlight your listings and deals, and reviews from past clients, colleagues, friends, and family. Market knowledge You know you have expertise in the neighborhoods you specialize in, but how do you communicate that deep market knowledge to prospects who find you online? There are three main places to do this: your digital advertising, your Google business profile, and your website. Each of these spaces will show your audience a different side of your professional expertise. First, your digital ads can illustrate your expertise in two ways: Run a listing advertisement for your recent deal or newly listed property. This is a "show, don't tell" way to communicate your expertise. Promoting your current work, whether a listing or a deal, shows that locals trust you as the local expert to represent them. It also indirectly signals that you're an active, successful agent. Because those who aren't wouldn't have a budget to spend on advertising. Turn the camera around and actually tell your audience what you know. Use a video ad to talk directly to buyers and sellers. Tell them what you know about the neighborhood, recent housing trends, or give them a tip that proves you know the market well. Second, after potential buyers and sellers see one of your ads, they'll often turn to Google to learn about you. Make sure all the fields in your profile are filled out. Provide as much content in your bio as possible. Tell consumers who you are, define the areas in which you do business, and talk about the niche you specialize in. Post new content regularly, too. You should always include your latest listings and deals, but it's also recommended to mix in posts that illustrate your market knowledge, whether you answer a frequently asked question or explain an interesting market stat. And, finally, third: Prospects who are still curious will click into your website to dig a little deeper. Tell them who you are on the main page and on the About page. Offer a CMA tool for sellers and a market newsletter to buyers. Include a lead capture form with a compelling call to action (CTA) so they can contact you directly if they're ready to talk further. Digital savviness In today's digital-first world, all aspects of the home-buying journey can be conducted online, from the home search to the closing appointment. Consumers want to work with an agent who maintains that pace. This is true for both buyers and sellers. The best way to demonstrate your digital savviness to buyers is to have a robust online presence. Catch their eye with a scroll-stopping ad on social media. Wow them with your "resume and references" on your Google business profile. And present a professional, mobile-responsive website with built-in real estate functions. When it comes to tactics, sellers expect digital advertising to play an outsized role in your marketing efforts. Given how much time consumers spend on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Waze, it's simply become status quo to publish listing ads on these platforms. Beyond saying you'll advertise on these sites, you need to show proof that your past ads have generated positive results for your clients. The best way to do this is by showing performance reports from past successful ad campaigns. You can generate these for free when you run Homesnap Pro Ads and even schedule them to send to your seller on a regular basis to keep them updated on your marketing efforts. They include key metrics like views, clicks, leads, and more. You can even automate your digital advertising with Homesnap Concierge, a fully managed advertising platform, and lead qualification service. That way, you'll never have to worry about the minutiae of promoting a listing; Homesnap will automatically publish ads across Facebook, Google, and Instagram for you. You can even run Coming Soon ads to gather leads for your new listing before it actually hits the market. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Achieve Work-Life Balance Working from Home
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Free Time? Grow Your Real Estate Business with These Best Practices
It's easy to get caught up in the workday and just have no time to yourself. You often find yourself thinking about what you would do if you had an hour or even 30 minutes to yourself. Here are a few best practices you can follow to help your business, even during your FREE time.
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What I Wish I Knew Then: Top Agents Share Their Advice on Making It in Real Estate
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Get Your Calendar Under Control: Time Management Strategies to Reclaim Your Day
If you feel like you're constantly running but never getting anything done, you may have a problem with time management. Take some time now to figure out where your time is being wasted and where it's being well-spent. If you find a lot of time being ill-spent, try out some of the time management strategies outlined below.
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Are You Ready to Deal with Gen Y First-time Home Buyers?
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COVID-19 Listing Cancellations: Don't Panic, Just Do This
Barbara Betts sold real estate through the great recession, but this is truly an unprecedented time. We have to remember that everything was different in 2008; housing led that recession – it was on very unstable ground. Homeowners were being irresponsible; we were overbuilding. Therefore the 2008 recession was a housing recession. We already had a housing shortage going into 2020, and we will have another little shortage through this, but Betts is confident that in Q3 things will start to look up again. In the meantime, during this uncertainty, agents may be asking themselves, "How am I going to get through this? Am I ever going to sell real estate again?" The answer to that is Yes, you will! If you are in real estate, you have to be active; now is not the time to give up. You control your attitude and your activities.
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[Free Download] What NOT to Do Before Closing
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Selling Secrets from Top Sales Associates
Top sales associates know that when you're selling a home it means going the extra mile when prepping and marketing it. The end results are so worth the effort with a signed purchase offer. Here's how these real estate professionals are making it happen for their clients.
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Rebuilding Your Real Estate Business After COVID-19
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Be the Agent Consumers Are Looking For
As consumers ramp up home buying activities, a variety of publications are pushing forth how-to articles and guides about choosing the right agent. Many of them advise would-be buyers and sellers to be more discerning than ever, as worries about COVID-19 make the type of vetting that usually comes from in-person interaction and rapport building difficult. More specifically, these articles are advising consumers to find agents who are well-versed in technology and online marketing, as these types of forward-thinking agents are more likely to adapt to a mercurial real estate market and provide better services to their clients.
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5 Reasons Agents Don't Make It Past Their First Year in Real Estate
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4 Ways to Pass Time and Be Productive as a Self-Starter Real Estate Agent
The weather is only getting better outside and things are starting to look up. But it is still too early to go about your usual activities. Your favorite retail spots are still closed, a lunch with potential clients is out of the question and you can't really go watch the latest movie you were keen on seeing. Why not make use of this time and be more productive? This does not mean you have to wake up at 7am, get your coffee, and start working everyday. You can have your own routine and this could just work for you. Here are a few ideas to pass time and be productive as a self-starter real estate agent.
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The Work-at-Home Real Estate Agent: How to Survive and Thrive
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The Importance of Letting Go: Betrayals and Deals Gone Sour
"Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence." - Unknown Whether you are new to the real estate business or a seasoned professional, being betrayed by a client, friend or family member can feel like a stab in the back--or even worse! It can also affect how you continue to do business. It's not just an unfortunate circumstance that affects your immediate income. Not being prepared to handle adverse outcomes can affect your self esteem and future success in the business.
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3 Most Important Ways to Use Your Quarantine Time Wisely
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WATCH NOW: Top 5 Secrets from Top Producing Agents to Navigate These Times
Our Coffee Chat series is a big hit because we've had such great guests giving us practical and affordable advice about how to ride out the COVID-19 storm while preparing ourselves to be ready to go when the floodgates open after our shelter-in-place orders have been lifted. With all of the new skills we're learning, we believe that our NEXT normal way of doing business is going to be easier and more profitable than ever! Mike Minard, CEO/Owner of Delta Media Group, joined us Friday and shared some great tips. Below are the five key takeaways from his session, Top 5 Secrets from Top Producing Agents to Navigate These Times. Watch the session recording here: Five tips for you: 1. Embrace Change Learn how to do virtual open houses and virtual showings. 2. Upgrade Your Marketing Get active on social media with helpful tips for your clients and prospects Reach out to each of your clients and reassure your clients that real estate will rebound Deliver market reports, RPR reports, etc. to show them that the real estate market and the value of their home is still strong Educate them about the low, low mortgage rates available right now. 3. Organize Your Client Relationship Management Software Make sure all of your contacts from all sources — MLS, phone, sticky notes, etc. — are ALL entered into your Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool Organize your CRM contacts into groups so you can customize your communications by area, interests, family make-up, length of time since they purchased a home, the place you met them, etc. Tag each contact in your CRM so you can send notes to many that sound personalized. For example, if you know they are interested in high school sports, you can send them updates from the local school. 4. Provide Real-time Communications and Upgrade the Reasons to Engage with Your Website Sign up for updates from your local town and county so you can provide real-time COVID-19 updates Sign up for updates from your local banks and unemployment office so you can provide updates on how to apply for relief benefits Take the time to update your website with bio, awards and designations Add testimonials to your website Add market reports to your websites – saved searches, market performance/analytics, etc. Watch your website closely for inbound leads. Respond immediately – leads coming in are more qualified than ever. 5. Customize Your Marketing Plans Using the tags/groups you have built, provide customized content that is sensitive to COVID-19 attitudes Reach out to specific groups with content specific to their interests. Tune in for more daily Coffee Chats at 12pm ET/9am PT with our president and host Marilyn Wilson. Here are RE Technology's guests for our upcoming Coffee Chats: Wednesday, April 15: Alicia Berruti, National Speaker, Bomb Bomb Thursday, April 16: Jim Lawson, VP of Sales, Marketing & Client Servies, Terradatum Friday, April 17: Kim Hansen, COO and Dionna Hall, CEO with Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors®
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How to Thrive in Challenging Times
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Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its list of essential services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and expressly included residential real estate. The order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services. However, if a state, city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. Here's the official notification in you want to read it in full.
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First Time Sellers: What They Might Not Expect
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2 Must-Have Resources for Every New Real Estate Agent
One of the hardest things to get accustomed to, for many new agents, is the fact that they no longer have a boss. That's a good thing in many ways. But it also means that you are responsible for everything that happens in your business. You are your own boss; you now own a small business and every penny that you make will be the result of your efforts. So lose the employee mentality and get to work gathering the critical resources you'll need to get your new business off to a roaring start. Money Right out of the gate, if your broker is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you will need to join as well. But this involves obtaining membership in your local association first. Then you'll be a member of both the state and national associations, all with their own set of dues and fees. One Nevada agent we spoke with calculated that his association dues as a beginning agent (including MLS fees) would run him close to $1,500. Your mileage may vary, but be prepared for this huge expense as soon as you land at a broker's office. Then, there are desk fees (if your broker charges them), money to market your new business, and a plethora of other money sucks. Business cards Many brokerages will give you a box of business cards when you first start with them. Naturally, these business cards are brokerage-branded. So if you work for Keller Williams, Redfin or another broker, that name will be prominent on your business card. Free advertising for someone else's brand – it's genius, but don't fall for it just because it's free. Politely decline the offer and go about creating your own business cards. In 2020 and beyond, minimalism reigns. Keep the card uncluttered and free of useless information (such as your address and a fax number). Here is what your card should include: Your name Title Best phone number to reach you Email address Website URL (list only the domain name, such as AnitaDeal.com) Logo, if you have one License number, if required by your state Should you include your photo on your business card? Those for and against the practice offer good arguments so it's hard to pick sides. We would be remiss, however, if we didn't let you know about the results of an informal study of the practice. Adjunct professor and attorney Eric Bryn's group of researchers mailed 2,000 nearly identical postcards. The message on each was identical, but 1,000 real estate postcards included a photo of an agent and the other 1,000 did not. The mailing resulted in a 10 percent response rate and all 200 responses were to the postcards without a photo. Professor Bryn used the same technique on other types of real estate agent marketing, including business cards. Each time, the pieces without the photo outperformed the pieces with a photo. Sure, there are many additional tools and resources every new agent should consider including in their new business. These two, however, are the most critical.
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How to Sell a Home in a Shifting Market
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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for the Real Estate Busy Season
Real estate's busy season always seem to creep up on you faster than expected. Believe it or not, it is almost that time of year again. As a real estate agent, springtime means much more than beautiful weather and blooming flowers. Springtime can make or break the year for a real estate agent. It is time to buckle down and be dedicated to doing everything you can in order to have a successful season. Home buyers and sellers are geared up and ready to go by springtime, which means you need to be too.
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4 Tech Tips Every Agent Should Give Their Clients
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How to Kick Start Your Real Estate Career on the Right Foot
Don't you just love new beginnings? You're filled with ambition and hope, ready to embark on a fresh new chapter of your life, it's so exciting! Maybe you're getting ready to begin a new career in real estate, or perhaps you're a seasoned agent who can recall the thrill of the early days. Either way, there are a few key things to keep in mind as you start your real estate career (or keep it going) on the right foot!
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Should I Join a Real Estate Team?
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6 Creative Ways to Freshen Up a Stale Listing
Even a great property with professional marketing can fly under the radar in the real estate world. According to Zillow, the average home was on the market for 68 days last year. But anyone who has bought or sold a house before knows things can happen much faster or slower. If you are struggling to find the right buyer for your for-sale property, you are not alone. Below, you will find six tips to bring new life to your listing.
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The Importance of Self-Care for Real Estate Agents
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A Guide: How to Become a Real Estate Agent
So, you've heard you can make a good living as a real estate agent, and you think you have a decent sense of the real estate agent job description. But how do you get in on the agent life? Taking clients around to find their dream house may be a highlight of the job, there's a lot more to the role! As an agent, you'll need to know how to review property values and sale prices. You'll need to make recommendations for listing prices and bids. You'll need to learn to estimate your own real estate salary according to expected commissions and plan your finances accordingly. You'll need to be ready to work through negotiations, which can get thorny and drawn out. You'll need to know neighborhoods and cities — not just the perks of living there, but also any laws and regulations related to residential real estate, too. No wonder the job requires a real estate license! There's a lot to learn, but the job is ultimately a rewarding one. Here are eight important steps for how to become a real estate agent:
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Real (Estate) Talk: How a Single Mom and New Agent Achieved Success in 6 Months
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6 Success Tips for the New and Pro Real Estate Agent
"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill How you think and what you do as a real estate agent on a day-to-day basis is what defines you. Yes, there are good days and bad days; after all, we are human. Yet, as we enter the fourth quarter and end of 2019, now is a great time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Did you reach your goals or exceed them? If not, let's evaluate how creating a new mindset can propel you positively, beginning today! Whether you are a new real estate agent or an established pro, mindset applies to everyone. Are you open to pursuing a new, strategic and energizing belief system? Following these steps can catapult you to a new level of success in business for 2020.
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How Rookie Real Estate Agents Can Survive in Any Market
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3 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Use Time Management to Improve Their Business
We all know that an effective time management plan is essential for a productive business, but how well do we really manage our time? You might be shocked to learn that, according to a recent survey, the largest chunk of a typical real estate agent's day – 37 percent – is spent running errands. This is followed by administrative tasks at 19%, email at 18%, the internet at 12% and social media 11%. Only 3% of a typical agent's daily time is actually spent talking to clients! If you really want to be productive, achieve your goals and reach next-level success, you have to take stock of how you spend your day, stop wasting time on activities that aren't making you money, and put a plan in place to help you get more focused and productive. Here are some steps you can take today to start building an effective time management plan for your real estate business.
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How to Stay in Love with the Agent Life
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Want to Make More Money? Consider One of These Real Estate Niches
If you follow the annual "The 1000" list from RealTrends, you may wonder how those agents make it so big in real estate. In our opinion, the list tends to be a bit misleading, with team agents often listed as solo and vice versa. Then, there's Ben Caballero, always ranking number one in the "Individuals by Transaction Volume" category. He is most likely an excellent agent. But he is not your traditional "solo" agent, as the category implies. He "oversees a team of 22 people" who helped him sell "$2.2 billion worth of homes in 2018," according to BusinessInsider.com. For the purposes of this blog post, however, he makes all that money by specializing in a real estate niche. He sells only one type of home, which happens to be first on our list of profitable real estate niches.
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How to Go from New Real Estate Agent to Neighborhood Expert
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Starting Your Business as a New Real Estate Agent
The requirements to become a real estate agent are pretty minimal. Just about anyone can become an agent. Succeeding in real estate is another matter. A large percentage of new agents never make it past their second year. Before you launch your career in real estate, try to have enough income set aside to support yourself for two years. This will give you time to get your business going.
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Information Management: An Important Part of Being Organized
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Have You Ever Considered What Your Slash Says About You?
Do you have a good "/" or a bad "/"? The slash (/) has many different names, like stroke, slant and right-leaning stroke, to name a few. Many of us define it as a substitute for the words "and," "or." For example, "his/her" is an appropriate use of the slash to mean "or." Looking on LinkedIn, I see slashes used a lot, like "Residential/Commercial" or "REALTOR®/Associate Broker," which I think is very good for explaining that you are working in the same field, just in a slightly different position. One of the most famous slashes in all of sports was Kordell Stewart with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was a Quarterback/Wide Receiver/Running Back and became known simply as "Slash". For Kordell, having all those slashes enabled him to have a 11-year career in the NFL. First, let's discuss good slashes. Many of us have divisions in our career—I looked at my LinkedIn account and would need five slashes to list everything I am currently doing. All five of my areas are closely related and work well together and actually strengthen the different areas I list. A speaker needs research on a subject, which can lead to writing and can lead to training. Listing the same task done with different organizations can offer credibility—but again, like Kordell Stewart, it's all in the same basic vertical of expertise. Now let's look at bad slashes. When looking for a professional to provide you a product or service, you need to see if they have a slash. Would you go to a doctor/Uber driver? Lawyer/lawn care? Funeral director/exotic dancer? As you can see, the slash can help you or hurt you and cause people to doubt your commitment to the primary product or service you are offering. During the housing crunch of 2008, I saw many REALTORS® adding a slash to help them through rough times. I sure hope they have since removed the slash. I see new agents concerned about leaving a current position to take on a new challenge in real estate adding the slash. The public sees the slashes, and I am sure they consider the slash when selecting a person to help them with their needs. So, I ask again: do you have a good / or a bad /? Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com
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WTF? No, it's not what you think.
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Understand the 3 Ps to Win and Sell More Listings
As an agent, you have many responsibilities when it comes to selling a listing. You have to be able to price, package, and position the listing so that you can sell the home quickly. That is exactly what real estate maverick Jim Remley had to say about selling a listing quickly. Remley, one of the top 1% of Realtors in the nation and Principal Broker/Sales Manager at John Scott Medford & Ashland, recently hosted a 'Secrets of Top Selling Agents' webinar to share how to position a listing for a quicker sale. Here's a quick rundown of his advice:
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Just When You Think You Are Having a Bad Day!
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Instant Offers: How Real Estate Agents Can Compete
Instant offer companies are a real thing and they are here to compete with you for their fair share of the real estate market. However, you should enjoy that people are reacting to instant offers as they have. Why? Because it opens up a whole new kind of untapped marketing strategy that might lead to you closing more clients. In this guide, we will teach you how to create marketing campaigns and close these instant offer clients.
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Why Agents Should Try 'Cluster Tasking' over Multitasking
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5 Strategies to Generate Seller Leads and Build Better Relationships
It's no secret that seller leads represent an enormous opportunity for your business. But are you struggling to attract and convert them? Just like with buyer leads, generating and converting seller leads is all about relationship building. The internet and digital media have drastically altered the way we interact with prospects, but the need to build relationships is as important to real estate as it ever was—it's only the way we build relationships that's changed. The best way to build relationships with seller leads is to increase your visibility, provide a strong value prop, and stay in consistent communication. We compiled a step-by-step process of proven strategies top agents use to attract and build relationships with seller leads.
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5 Tips for Building Trust with Clients
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How NOT to Get Ripped Off by Your Contractor: Protect Your Clients and Your Properties
How would you feel recommending a contractor and finding out the work was not done properly? Do you think that it would affect your future business and recommendations? It certainly can. And it happens more often than you think. This does not just happen to our clients. It happens to real estate agents all the time. I spoke this week with a real estate agent that inherited a condo from her mother. She decided to completely gut and renovate it. She went to the condo office to ask who they recommended since they have firsthand knowledge of the contractors that do a lot of work in the building. The office manager recommended a contractor that had renovated three units in her building in the same line. She went to take a look at them and was impressed with his work. Sounds good so far, right? She signed an agreement, and he began his work by demolishing the whole inside of the condo. Now, normally there are notices put up on the door indicating that permits were pulled. She did not see any and asked him where the permits are. He said that he did not pull any. Fear set in. She looked him up online and found out that the name of his company, which is on the contract along with his license number, is no longer active. This contractor had no license to do work. She immediately fired him and requested her deposit back. How much deposit did she give him? $42,000. Yikes! Has she seen one penny of it back? If you said no, you guessed right. Then the agent found out that the contractor was banned from the building for previous shoddy work. The big question now is, why did the condo office manager refer a contractor that was banned by the condo association? Now she hires an attorney. The cost and aggravation of pursuing this and the probability of getting her deposit returned appear to be futile. Nothing turns the excitement of your dream remodel into a nightmare like a bad contractor. Here are the eight essential tips for selecting a contractor that won't leave the home underwater. 1. Make sure the contractor you hire has an active license in your state. This is number one. Go online and search for their name. Make sure the company's name is active and look for the names of the people within the company. Sometimes, the person you are hiring is not a contractor and is working under the license of someone else. Know this upfront before you make a commitment to avoid potential risks. You want to make sure that the person you are dealing with is a licensed professional with work under their belt in your state. If anything goes wrong, you can file a complaint with the city or state licensing bureau. If any issues arise while the work is being performed, you can bring in an inspector to make sure it is being done correctly and according to the local building standards. When you hire someone to remodel a home and they don't have a license, it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to take any recourse that will bring you a satisfying result. By hiring a licensed person, at least you know the licensing state has done some backgrounds check on them. 2. Check their online reputation and reviews Most of us today learn about those we work with by what people are saying online. Check out their reviews, and if there have been any complaints filed against them. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a good place to start. 3. Look into your contractor's background Whomever you decide to hire, make sure that you can trust that person. That can be a very big endeavor, yet there are steps you can take to minimize your risk. There are many good and bad people that do not want the headache and expense of getting a contractor's license, so they work under the license of another person. Know this beforehand and check out the work they have done. Here's an example of why that is important: A real estate agent who purchased a condo met a contractor doing work in the same building. The contractor told her that he gave his license information to the condo office, and the agent trusted that (or else he would not be working there, right?) So, she hired him to remove and re-tile her entire condo. When the contractor and his worker said they had finished the job, she went to go check. The place was covered in dust and was not completed. Upon investigating further, the agent found out that these men working in the building were ex-felons without a license. They threatened her with her life if she did not pay them, so she did. Lesson learned. Know as much as you can about the background of the person you are entrusting with keys and the remodel of your home before making a decision. 4. Interview the contractor Find out if he or she will be the one doing the job and ask how hands-on they will be. Will they be doing the work themselves or hiring others under their license to do the work? Does the contractor you hire plan on showing up every day to make sure the job is completed on time and correctly, or will they be performing multiple jobs at once and only available via phone or text? Will the contractor you hire commit to a start date? I have seen more than once a contractor saying they will begin work next week, take your deposit, and then call to postpone your job. This is common practice. Find a contractor who has a track record of showing up and completing the job within an agreeable time frame. Yes, some things can get out of our control—like weather, building inspectors and unforeseen problems. Still, you want a contractor who shows up when they say they are going to start the job. 5. Check out their referrals Rule number one is to go see their work when possible. At the very least, definitely call to verify their references. Many contractors will show you photos of the work they have done. Yet, how do you know if it was truly their work? 6. Get multiple estimates Get estimates from at least three different contractors. I believe that you get what you pay for in life. So remember, the cheapest bid does not mean it is the best. Many times, the cheapest bid ends up being the most expensive due to delays and adjustments in price that the contractor adds during the course of the project. 7. Structure payments so it is a win-win. Consider paying for the materials and supplies up front. Either you can buy them, or they can purchase them and provide receipts. Also, check that you are paying for items that were purchased for your job and not for anyone else's. Pay for work completed during various phases of the project. For example, the first deposit is made once 1/3 of the job is completed, then 1/2, then 3/4 and a final payment once completed. This can help protect you from the contractor holding all the cards (money) and then delaying the start or completion of the remodel. 8. Make sure permits are pulled and closed when the job is finished. I can't tell you how many times prior to a closing the title company finds that there is still an open permit for a job that was done years ago. It usually shows up as a lien on the property. It can delay the closing and cause undue aggravation. So make sure the permits are closed and check with your city, county or local municipality that this has been done when the work is completed. I wish there was a foolproof method to prevent contractor nightmares. By following the above tips, you can help prevent or alleviate any potential stress down the line. For additional concerns, consider speaking with an attorney specializing in condo and home construction so you take every step to protect yourself BEFORE the remodel or construction begins. Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach, and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields. To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.
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