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10 Ways to Stand Out in a High-Competition Market
In today's world, it is not easy to market yourself as an expert in anything. This is especially true in markets like technology, fashion and, of course, real estate. Not only is competition tough, but customers' attention spans keep getting shorter, making it even harder to showcase your expertise. If you monitor the real estate industry carefully, you will see that some agents keep on growing consistently while others are barely getting new clients. What differentiates them is how they market to their ideal audience. Today, I'll share with you some of the strategies that an make you stand out as an expert real estate agent even when it seems like there's no room for anyone anymore. These tips are simple to follow, but will change your business forever, especially if you're just getting started. A little disclaimer, you don't need to implement all of them right now. Focus on just two or three and you'll notice significant growth in your client acquisition stats. Find a Niche to Specialize in A niche is a specific segment of a market for products or services. When we niche down, we are basically lowering our competition and focusing on putting our resources (time, money, and mind space) into only one portion of the overall industry. Yes, it would also mean that you're kissing a lot of potential customers goodbye… or at least, that's how many newbies would see it. In reality, niching down is the best way to stand out in a crowded market because you can position yourself as the expert in an area. Imagine you have a plumbing issue. Would you rather work with a do-it-all service company or a company with more than 40 years of plumbing experience? Picking a niche is a rule of thumb for any successful agent. However, if you are based in a small town, there is no point in niching down as your competition is already too small, and there might not be enough opportunities in one specific niche. On the other hand, if you are a real estate agent in a big city, niching down can help you develop your expertise and get more clients. In big cities, people are looking for something specific, and they want to go to an expert. It is better to have a small piece of the pie than to get nothing at all. You can create your specialty based on a specific location, or you can choose your specialization based on property types, like luxury homes or condos. Create a Website to Showcase Your Listings and Build Authority First, if you're an agent just starting out, it is better to get a domain that you can use for personal branding rather than a domain to promote your agency. Personal branding is very powerful, and it is an excellent way of marketing to potential clients. When developing your website, hire a developer to ensure the website is well designed and has the necessary features that visitors would like to use. It is vital to have a website optimized for all desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Note: If you're low in capital, another option is using website builders like Squarespace or Weebly. Although WordPress is a great choice, it has a steep learning curve you'll need to consider if you decide on that route. It is a good idea to start a blog and establish authority by speaking on the subject and answering relevant queries that your clients want to find an answer to. Make sure you optimize your site for search engines like Google (SEO), so your target audience can find your site. Content and sound design is the best combination to build authority in your niche. Provide Free Upfront Value to Your Audience Freebies are a great way to build trust with your audience. Create free products or resources to show your audience you know what you are talking about and help them find the right solutions. A clear example is adding a search feature to your site that helps users better navigate your listings. Maybe a PDF that teaches them how to choose the right property for their needs. Some other freebies that you can gift your prospects are: eBooks Case studies that show your process Infographics Decision flowcharts Also, downloadable resources are useful for generating leads by requesting email addresses or phone numbers for access. Maintain an Active Email List Email is the best way to stay in touch with your potential clients and also update them about any exciting updates in the real estate market. The best marketers acknowledge the power of email marketing and leverage its power to make more sales. Send weekly email blasts to your email subscribers. There are many free email autoresponders you can use or purchase for a small monthly fee. Make sure that the content of your email is rich with quality. Give special attention to the subject line of your email. Eye-catching subject lines will increase your email open rate. Pro tip: 80% of your emails should be helpful and educational (content sharing, free resources, guides, updates) and 20% promotional (new properties available, drop in costs). Use the Power of Social Media You are losing a ton of clients if you are not on social media. People often look for real estate agents on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Similar to email marketing, you need to share valuable information with your audience. In social media, you do it in the form of posts. Make sure you format every post well and use relevant hashtags to get more reach. It is important to reply actively to queries and to reply to the first few comments instantly so a post reaches more people. Pro tip: if you're already creating content for your website, you can repurpose those pieces of information for your emails and social media content. Get Listed on GMB (Google My Business) Traffic from Google is free, and a great way to get it is by listing your business on GMB. You would need to provide locations to your business and your contact info so people can easily find you on Google. People searching for real estate agents nearby would be able to see you if you secured the top spot on GMB. The process looks something like this: Verify your address Upload pictures of satisfied clients, homes, and neighborhoods Add your contact information like phone number, website, and social media Get 5-star reviews from clients to help your GMB profile rank higher Provide the Best Experience to Your Clients All the promotions in the world will get you nowhere if you don't provide excellent service to your clients to back it up. The real estate business is all about forming connections with people, understanding what they need, and delivering what they are looking for. You can give them a sneak peek of how it is to work with you. A glance at your work process would help potential clients with technicalities and ease their minds—remember that investing in property can be a stressful endeavor for many. Word of mouth is still a compelling way to get new clients by referrals. Because of social media, it's become more accessible for people to talk about a service that they love and get tons of value from. Getting that free publicity is not something that you should miss out on. Underpromise and Overdeliver Everyone hates it when they don't get what they expect. Don't be the reason why your client feels that. When you are setting expectations for your client, make sure that you can keep your promises. Don't get overwhelmed and promise them something that you can't deliver. It is always better to underpromise. Consider the risk factors before committing something to your clients. Always tell them what they need to hear rather than what they want to hear. When it comes to executing, make sure you do more than you are asked for. Overdelivering won't go unnoticed, and this is what separates the best from average. Sponsor the Right Events One of the best ways to get in front of your ideal customers is by sponsoring community events. Lots of events are always happening in big cities so you should have plenty to choose from. Sponsor the events that you truly believe in. Sponsoring the right events sets the stage for you to get familiar with ideal clients. Talk to people at the event and build a strong network. Tell them what you do and answer industry-related questions that they might have. Invest Money in Personal Branding Branding is vital to generating loyalty and having a strong recall value. If you are not marketing yourself, nobody will. Here are some of the best investments you can make: Use high-end business cards. Real estate is all about connections and those can happen anywhere and at any time. Hire a graphic designer to design a logo that makes an impression on your potential clients. Improve your social media presence with professional photos of your listings, clients, and yourself. If you can't write great content, find someone that can. Your brand is essential for closing big deals, so treat it as an investment rather than an expense. Wrapping Up: Go the Extra Mile To succeed as a real estate agent, you need to be willing to do things that most agents neglect: If it is raining, offer your prospects a free branded umbrella. Conduct surveys to gain insights into what your clients are looking for. Give your clients the attention that they need and be helpful (not pushy) during negotiations. Answer client calls and reply to their emails as much as you can. Communication is a great way to make a lasting impression. I hope these tips help you carve a space to stand out as a real estate agent in your area and to grow your business, just like they did for me. To view the original article, visit the Wise Agent blog.
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The Skills Needed to Be a Top Producing Real Estate Agent
Upon entering the real estate industry, every new agent has the dream of becoming a top producing real estate agent. While this is a dream shared by many, few are actually able to attain it. An overwhelming number of new real estate agents leave the profession after two years. This is because they are unable to meet their commission expectations, or are not able to fully commit to the profession. Don't let that be you. How do you become a top producing real estate agent? This can be a daunting question at first. It is necessary to ask at the very beginning of your career if you hope to have the building blocks needed to eventually become a highly successful agent. While there are multiple elements to becoming a top producing agent, focusing on the specific skills you need to develop is a good start to becoming a successful agent. Nurturing these skills and mastering them takes an extensive amount of time. Therefore you should begin the journey as soon as you get your license. Skills to Focus On Skills refers to skills sets that need to be nurtured and developed in order to be successful as an agent. These skill sets are specific to real estate agents, and can be difficult or time consuming to develop at first. Stay committed, though. An intense dedication to the profession, and skills required of it, is needed if you ever wish to be a top producing agent. Communication Having good sales and communication skills go hand-in-hand because you truly can not have one without the other. Without amazing communication skills, you will never be able to close a sale. As a real estate agent, you need to be constantly communicating with your clients. Always keep them in the loop on everything that happens. A home is a massive purchase and home buyers want to know exactly what is going on every step of the way. Therefore, you should always give timely responses with email, text, or phone calls. Try to always stay ahead of your clients. When they are forced to ask you questions all the time and always initiate the conversation, it leads to stress and mistrust—two things you definitely do not want your clients to feel. So you should do your best to always give them all the information you have access to. This hopefully answers their questions before they even ask them. Sales Many real estate agents take a consultative selling approach. You are not selling a product that nobody needs. Everyone needs a home, and your job is to help your clients make informed decisions about purchasing one. Top agents focus on discovering their clients' wants and needs, and then finding a way to meet them. Whether those wants and needs are specific to the home itself, or the service you are providing, it is essential to ensure the client feels they are in good hands. Even when using a helping approach, top agents know they should always be focusing on closing. If you are not consistently asking for the appointment, contract, listing agreement, or whatever the next step in sales the process may be, you will never get it. How you conduct follow-ups is another primary factor when considering your sales skills. In the real estate industry, having frequent and productive follow-up encounters is a must. All the best agents know that it takes numerous follow-up encounters to turn a lead into a client. Therefore, you should always be planning multiple encounters with any leads you have. Whether that encounter be over email, social media, or in-person, successful follow-ups are vital to your prosperity as an agent. It is also a great idea to ask the question, "How do you become a top producing real estate agent?" to any experienced agents you know. Experienced agents have years of sales knowledge to share with you, as well as knowledge of all the other skills you need to excel at in order to be successful as an agent. If others have developed tried and true tactics for closing a sale, who says those tactics can't work for you as well? Local Real Estate Market Clients want to be able to ask any questions about the local real estate scene, and want you to be able to give a complete and informative answer. These questions could pertain to anything from the safety of neighborhoods, to the best school districts, to the lifestyle amenities offered in a specific community. Knowing all this information off hand is obviously a lot to expect of you, but having this skill and knowledge will only prove to be beneficial. Over time, attaining this knowledge will come easier with experience. At the start of your career, though, it is best to spend a quality amount of time doing research on the area you will be servicing. Being able to articulate extensive knowledge of the area will impress your clients, as well as get you positive reviews and referrals from them. Transaction Management Having extensive knowledge of how real estate transactions are conducted and completed is also necessary. It is recommended that you even attain additional designations such as a CRS. It is vital to have your paperwork organized and done on time as a real estate agent. Many top producing agents even utilize a transaction coordinator to ensure that their paperwork is always done to the highest quality. Versatility As a real estate agent, you will be working with numerous different personality types and numerous different communication styles. It is simply the nature of the work. You are not able to be picky about who you choose to take on as a client. You must also be able to give each client an amazing real estate experience regardless of the type of person they are. That's why it's necessary that you be versatile in your communication and sales skills. Be prepared to present information in a variety of different ways, and hone the ability to add versatility into your scripts and objection-handlers. Creativity Versatility goes hand-in-hand with creativity. Constantly be thinking of creative solutions and ideas to implement. Interact with potential leads on social media, start your own real estate blog, or utilize video emails. Those are only a few examples of creative and innovative ideas to implement, but there are countless more if none of those fit your style. Being rigid and inflexible in your work will only cost you money. Clients want to feel like their business is valued and that you consider them a priority. So it is always in your best interest to stay on top of the latest industry trends and continue to constantly think of your own creative ideas to ensure your clients' satisfaction. How to Be a Top Producing Real Estate Agent While there are many elements to being a top producing agent, focusing on the skills required of the profession should always be a priority. Your skills as a real estate agent can always be developed and nurtured, so make sure that is always of your utmost concern. Becoming a top producing agent takes time, dedication, and a commitment to continuously improving on your skills. If you are willing to put in the work, you will create a career you love and excel at. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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How to Fire a Real Estate Client Gracefully
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[Podcast] Decoding Real Estate: Improving Dollar-Producing Productivity Without Stressing Out with Terri Murphy
"Available day or night," "Multi-tasking" and "Call me during dinner" are shock collar terms that sound like they belong to hard working real estate agents. However, they're actually impossible to achieve and do way more harm than good. Communication specialist Terri Murphy discusses the importance of self care and how to properly balance work and life in our latest episode. Terri also explains the importance of setting goals, setting boundaries, how to stay focused, and why delegating smaller tasks can make you a more dollar productive agent at the end of the day. There's also tips on how to say "no," decreasing the stress in your life and how to stop procrastinating. Tune in today to learn some systems and methodologies that will keep you on track and in sync. Decoding Real Estate is hosted by Reggie Nicolay and Genie Willett. Subscribe/Follow And be sure to check out these helpful and relevant links: TerriMurphy.com Realtors Property Resource Listen on: Apple Podcasts Google Podcasts Spotify Stitcher To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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5 Ways You Can Spring Clean Your Tech
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What Do People Have Against Real Estate Agents?
As an agent, you may have encountered people who don't have a positive view of your profession. Unfortunately, such attitudes are prevalent: as of the last Gallup poll, only 25% of people have a high or very high opinion of real estate agents -- far lower than the percentage of people who trust funeral directors, and barely higher than the percentage who have a high opinion of lawyers. Whether it's the myth that home buyers and sellers won't suffer if they don't use a real estate agent or the incorrect idea that the average agent is ripping off naive consumers, you may sometimes be fighting against negative or unfair stereotypes. Factors you can't control, such as historically high home prices and rising mortgage rates, can engender consumer frustration about real estate in general. But the reality is that certain behaviors are bound to sour consumers' attitudes about real estate agents. What should you avoid doing so that you don't further sully your profession's reputation? Here are five agent behaviors that turn consumers away from using real estate agents: 1. Being Unresponsive The first behavior that causes consumers to dislike or distrust real estate agents is being unresponsive. Some agents don't respond to inquiries and messages from leads and clients in a timely fashion – or at all. Being a high performing agent means responding as fast as possible as often as you can. If somebody contacts you when you're busy, don't be afraid to send a quick text message explaining that you can't pick up. You can also consider using an auto-responder, or keeping separate work and personal phones to better identify high-priority calls and contact. 2. Technological Incompetence Fair or not, being technologically challenged is a quick way for real estate agents to lose the respect and confidence of consumers. After all, purchasing any kind of professional service – including partnering with a real estate agent – is more likely than ever to occur online. That means that agents owe it themselves and their industry to be as technologically savvy as possible. Having a smartphone in your pocket is a good start, but is only truly useful if you can use it to prospect for leads, schedule home tours, communicate with clients about your progress, and even collect digital signatures. 3. Lack of Knowledge About the Housing Market By now, just about everybody is aware that the housing market has gone gangbusters. Home prices have been unusually high for nearly two years – but consumers don't need an agent to tell them that. If there's a sure way to give yourself and other agents a bad name, it's to demonstrate a shallow understanding of the housing market. Being a master of your craft means knowing the broader market pressures and opportunities – not just how home prices are rising but why, and whether that will stop soon, or will be affected by interest rate hikes. Nobody can answer these questions definitively, but remember that as an agent you are there to do more than buy or sell homes: You are the person your clients turn to for leading insights about the market. 4. Neglecting to See Clients and Leads as Individuals Being an expert about real estate broadly isn't enough to avoid alienating clients. You also must demonstrate an understanding of each individual lead or client's goals, aspirations, and expectations. Just as no two homes are exactly the same, no two clients share the exact same goals. What could be a dealbreaker for one client won't matter to another at all – but you'll only know that if you take the time to learn it. Remember that while you will sell and buy hundreds of homes over the course of your career, your clients will typically only go through a real estate transaction a few times. Don't let leads think you are cavalier or inattentive about the gravity of their real estate transaction by showing that you understand their individual goals. 5. Failing to Solicit and Display Testimonials from Satisfied Clients Some agents are doing everything right, but an average consumer wouldn't know it. Don't make that mistake: Solicit and display testimonials from satisfied clients to let consumers know that you're a professional they can trust. If you were hiring for a job, you probably wouldn't take seriously somebody who told you all about how great they were but couldn't provide a single positive reference from a past colleague. Real estate works similarly: People aren't going to trust you, or agents in general, if you don't have documented, positive reviews from satisfied clients and impressed colleagues. You should keep past clients' contact information and share specific instances where you helped people buy or sell a home. Also, remember to request positive, plentiful reviews on Google, so that it is clear to searchers that you are a competent, honest agent with integrity. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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5 Weaknesses that Make Real Estate Agents STRONG
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Tips for Working Harder and Smarter Your First Year in Real Estate
A good friend of mine is approaching the end of her first year in real estate. An established interior designer comfortable running her own part-time business, Sara is also a busy mom and active community member. Multitasking during her rookie year was not the biggest challenge Sara faced. She simply needed to either add more hours to the day or outsource certain aspects of her life. Here are some ways Sara worked smarter and not harder this year and still found time to engage with her family and friends and maintain a work-life balance that suited her growing career. Meal Preparation One of the biggest challenges working professionals face is what I like to think of as the six o'clock scramble. Whether you are coordinating after-school activities, walking pets, or stuck in rush hour, getting a healthy meal on the table is an exhausting and exhaustive daily accomplishment no matter who is tackling the domestic duties that day. To help alleviate the burden, but still stay on budget, Sara used a meal kit delivery box like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron to save on grocery ordering and pick up. Capitalizing on the opportunity to engage her children and teach them a new skill, Some bigger cities offer commercial "make it and take it" meal assembly services like Let's Dish! Many households find preparing many meals at one time (freezing or lining labeled containers in the refrigerator) greatly cuts down on daily cleanup and helps reduce the temptation to eat out or order takeout. House and Yardwork For many working adults, there comes a point in our careers where our earning potential allows us to outsource house and yard work, either regularly or on an "as needed" basis. If your monthly budget and savings goals allow for a house cleaner or lawn care service, having even a few hours of assistance each month can free up your time to spend with friends, family, self care, networking or growing your client base. In Sara's case, her rookie year happened to be in the prime of the Coronavirus pandemic. With everyone home for the better part of two years, Sara's entire family pitched in and got creative with how and when they worked on school, jobs, and cared for their new dog. She also admits to folding many piles of laundry during her daily team briefings on Zoom. Streamlining Networking Already accustomed to working with clients in her interior design business, Sara had a solid client base but a different need for communication and marketing in a complimentary industry. She already knew the value of direct mail, referrals, and regular check-ins. Within the span of six months, she realized a real estate CRM—in Sara's case, IXACT Contact—was the key to growing her business, staying organized, and managing her time. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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10 Things You Need to Know about FEMA Risk Rating 2.0
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5 Tips for Increasing Your Income as a Solo Agent
So you did a great job this year, but you think you could do more. You've read the books. And most entrepreneurial reading materials will give you advice, but mostly vague tips that apply to everybody -- instead of your individual business needs. What can a solo agent do to increase their income next year? Here are five tips for solo agents to increase their income: 1. Trim the Fat This is a very obvious way to increase the output of your business—but what is not very obvious is what needs to be trimmed. At the top of the list of things to cut are typically things you are paying for that don't return their investment. What about what you are NOT paying for? Make a list of tasks that you do on a daily or weekly basis, then write a dollar amount for what you estimate that generates you. If time is money, you should also cut things that are not contributing to increasing your income. 2. Outsource Some Tasks One of the best ways to trim the fat is by outsourcing some of the tasks that take too much time, you don't like doing, or you are not an expert in. Some agents will hire transaction coordinators or personal assistants. Some agents will hire a local marketer to write all their content. We would recommend also looking into some services that can automate these tasks for you. 3. Have Systems in Place You can sign up for all the tools you can afford, but they don't mean anything unless you are actually using them. This applies primarily to CRMs, but can pertain to almost anything. For example, if you outsource your social media posts, you should know what to do when somebody comments on a post or sends a direct message. How do you utilize that service to generate more leads that turn into real estate transactions? 4. Stay in Touch Most notably, all successful agents that have been in the industry for 10+ years will tell you that keeping in touch with your contact database is crucial to having a business that will perpetually run itself. By leveraging email marketing, social media marketing, or even picking up a phone—you are building relationships. Those relationships that you build today are the checks you will be cashing tomorrow. 5. Work on Increasing Your Average Commission To double your income, you don't necessarily need to double how many homes you close. You can focus more on optimizing your processes and the end result. By following the steps in this article, you can save time. To increase money, you can also put an emphasis on increasing your comissions. This can be by selling higher priced homes or increasing your comission. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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What Type of Car Should Realtors Drive?
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How Do Real Estate Teams Work?
Are you thinking about joining a real estate team or even building a real estate team to grow your business? You probably have a very important question: How does a real estate team 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 experience. What Is a Real Estate Team? A real estate team is two or more real estate agents who split commissions and work together toward a common goal. This team can be as small as two agents or it can have five or more licensed and unlicensed real estate professionals. With a team structure, the team works collaboratively to generate leads, manage listings and clients, combine marketing efforts, and develop professionally. How Do Real Estate Teams Work? Real estate teams are a collaborative effort. Team members work together and support each other with every client, and clients take notice. A client can contact any team member to answer any questions they may have, even if they are primarily being served by another agent on the team. This gives clients access to a real estate agent at almost any time of the day, helping them to relax and enjoy the real estate experience. The more positive your client's experience, the more likely they are to recommend your services. The team leader is at the heart of how the real estate team works. The leader often serves as a mentor and generates most leads for the team. They help guide other team members toward the common goal, set up systems to support the team, recruit or hire new team members, and manage how the team is run. Here's a look at some of the most common areas of real estate team operation. Working Toward Common Real Estate Team Goals One of the key elements of the team operation is working toward a goal. Real estate team goals are developed by the team leader and ideally broken down into short-term and long-term goals that can be tracked. While revenue is important, top real estate teams also set goals that support a sustainable business model and foster professional development and future referrals and leads. How do real estate teams work toward their goals? Through training, mentoring, collaboration, shared resources, and effective systems in place. A goal may be split evenly among team members, or several goals can be set with each team member working toward their respective goal that's best suited to their skills and contributes to an overall team goal. Real Estate Team Commission Split: How Do Real Estate Teams Split Commission? How do real estate teams get paid? Real estate team compensation for team members can be done in many ways. Members can have a flat rate if they are on a salary, the commission can be divided by set intervals, or the commission can be split based on performance. When building the team, the team leader should give plenty of thought to the right real estate team compensation model. Keep in mind the brokerage split usually stays the same. Team members will need to split the commission they receive. In most cases, the team leader receives anywhere from 20% to 50% of the total commission earned depending on their role. Real estate team splits may be determined by the team structure and duties. Some teams create a real estate team commission structure based on their goal, such as growing referrals. No matter which real estate team commission split you decide on, make sure it's reasonable, not too complicated, and in writing. This compensation model should be included in your real estate team agreement. Real Estate Team Structure Defines How Real Estate Teams Work The next crucial element of how a real estate team works is how it's structured and the duties of each team member. How to structure a real estate team will depend on the goals you have set and how you plan to run your business. Two-person teams can be comprised of two top real estate agents who pool their resources to grow their business and generate more leads. A larger brokerage team can include a team leader responsible for listings, two, five, or more buyer's agents, and a host of support team members such as showing agents. All real estate agent teams are different. Think of the real estate team structure as the blueprint for how the team works and how responsibilities will be shared. Shared Responsibilities and Collaboration One of the benefits of working on a real estate team is collaboration. Team members help support each other's clients and grow their business together to make everyone more successful and clients happier. This collaboration may involve bouncing marketing and open house ideas off each other, turning to team members with specialized knowledge, or brainstorming sessions to improve day-to-day operations and reach long-term goals. Even though the basis of every real estate team is collaboration, team members specialize in tasks. Real estate team roles defined with a clear team structure are important to make sure each team member is doing what they do best, all important elements of the business receive dedicated attention, and metrics can be tracked efficiently. Real estate agent team responsibilities are usually divided among team members as follows: Listing Agent(s) – CEO or Team Leader Listings – Specialists to Generate and Promote Listings Buyer's Agents – Buyer's Specialists Support – Transaction Coordinators, Assistants, Administration Marketing and Communications – Specialists in Advertising and Listing Promotion Many teams exist because single agents realize that there is too much involved in real estate transactions and day-to-day operations to effectively do it all for every client. That is why teams, and specialization on those teams, has developed so strongly in the real estate industry. Training, Education and Professional Development You completed your training and obtained your real estate license. Now, you may realize that nowhere in your training did you learn how to secure business for yourself. Therefore, to progress into the best real estate agent possible, you need to find support and a mentor. This is exactly what a real estate team can offer. Real estate teams can be a powerful tool for new agents to develop the skills and knowledge they need to become successful on their own. Many teams have weekly training sessions where agents will share successful tactics they have implemented. These sessions can be on anything from how to talk to new clients to how to effectively work with investors. Teams provide an educational opportunity that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. New agents are not the only ones to benefit from continued training. Experienced real estate agents know that you must evolve and be continuously learning if you want to become a top producing agent. Real estate teams work with you to help you achieve that goal. This opportunity for professional development fostered through collaboration and mentoring from agents with different specialties is a core element of how a real estate team works together. Shared Resources How does a real estate team work to make the best use of resources? Most real estate agent teams pool resources to reduce costs and increase revenue. Teams can share resources that are expensive or challenging to acquire and manage on their own such as: Leads Marketing resources Software for customer relationship management (CRM) and transaction management Personal assistants Transaction coordinators This approach gives team members access to a breadth of resources and tools that help them reach their full potential. The team can also better generate and capture leads with systems in place for social media marketing, phone calls, and more with less time spent on administrative tasks. Legal Considerations for Real Estate Teams There are many important considerations when working on or creating a team. Here are just some areas that must be considered to remain in compliance with state real estate regulations. Real estate team names must follow any state regulations. In Ohio, for example, there are real estate team name rules prohibiting the use of the words "real estate" or "realty." Real estate team advertising may have additional regulations. The brokerage name may need to be included prominently, for example. Teams must be supervised by a managing broker. Some states require brokerages to have specific control. In Maryland, the brokerage must designate a team leader who has specific qualifications. Special care must be taken to ensure unlicensed team members do not perform tasks that require a license. Dual agency disclosures are crucial and all team members must be compliant with confidentiality laws regarding shared clients. Benefits of Joining a Real Estate Team Now that you know how a real estate team works, you can probably already see many of the benefits that have encouraged 26% of Realtors to build or join a team. Here are just some of the reasons joining a real estate team may be right for you: Better work/life balance Opportunities to expand your business and revenue Support from fellow agents and administrative team members Opportunities to collaborate and develop professionally through mentorship and hands-on training Providing better representation to clients These are only a handful of the advantages that you can expect to receive when becoming part of a real estate team. Evaluate your current situation and determine if any of these benefits could positively impact your career! To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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What Kind of Real Estate Agent Do You Want to Be?
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Tips to 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). Here's how to start your real estate career on the right foot: Start in control, and stay in control. In the early days of your real estate career, it's especially important to build good habits that will carry on for years to come. Build yourself an organized foundation so you don't make mistakes like losing someone's contact information or forgetting about an appointment. A real estate CRM is the best way to help you stay in control of your work day. Appointment reminders, automated emails, and a handy task list are just a few of the ways that a CRM helps you ensure nothing falls through the cracks. And if you're a veteran agent who needs to regain control of your workday details, it's never too late to start using a CRM! Find a mentor, or a community of mentors. A career as a real estate agent requires you to be highly motivated. Agents often work for themselves, which takes an extra measure of drive and determination! Even the best "go-getter" will have days where they need a little inspiration, and that's where your community comes in. Take advantage of Facebook groups, ActiveRain and the colleagues at your brokerage by asking questions. Established agents offer a wealth of knowledge and are often happy to share their insight with a real estate rookie. Participating in the real estate community is a terrific way to gain wisdom and motivation when you're working on your own. Prepare for the slow season. Do you remember the story of the grasshopper that sang all summer and was left with nothing to eat when winter came? Take note! This fable applies to your career too. While it might feel like the real estate business is feast or famine, there are strategies you can use to keep your business booming year round. On average, a buyer is actively looking for a home for between three and six months, which means that if you got a new client tomorrow, they may still be months away from ready to make a move. Prime the pump by continuing to prospect in your busy months to fill the pipeline for when things quiet down. Make the time to prospect, understanding that it can be a long-term process before those prospects become leads and clients. Follow this crucial step and you'll be well on your way to kick starting your real estate career on the right foot! Build your database every day. We mentioned the importance of starting good habits early in your career, and this is one that we can't stress enough. Set a goal of adding one new contact to your database each day. These are people you can follow up with for referrals or even for direct business in the future. It may sound daunting, but adding new contacts can be as simple as offering to keep someone informed on home-ownership and requesting their contact information. Sincerely offering them value is key when it comes to requesting someone's phone number or email address. Make this habit a part of your daily interactions and watch your database grow! Many prospects will begin their search for an agent on the web, so make sure you're there to be found! A well designed agent website will help you establish your presence and generate leads online. Furthermore, a website that looks professional and reflects your personal brand will build credibility. Don't be forgotten. In the midst of prospecting phone calls, listing appointments, open houses and community events, your keep-in-touch efforts may fall by the wayside. Don't let this happen! The frightening truth is that many clients claim they would use the same agent again, but simply don't because they can't recall their agent's name! Don't let that happen to you. Establish a web presence. Be memorable by keeping in touch with your database on a regular basis through a monthly e-Newsletter, direct mail, drip email campaigns and phone calls now and then. Your real estate CRM can automate many of these tasks, making you look like a keep-in-touch pro with minimal effort! Keep smiling! While I hope the vast majority of your days as an agent are good ones, we're all sure to have a tough day now and then. Try to remember why you entered this career in the first place, think positive, and carry on! These are especially good days to call a mentor or log in to ActiveRain for some inspiration. Onward and upward! Are you a new agent who has gotten their license within the past 12 months? Let IXACT Contact help you kick start your real estate career on the right foot by taking advantage of the Rookie Agent Program and try IXACT Contact for 6 months FREE. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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Real Estate Advice: Dealing with Disappointment
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4 Lessons Real Estate Agents Can Learn from Tinder
Online dating and real estate marketing have some surprising similarities. Here are four lessons that agents can learn from searching for "The One" online: 1. Photos Matter Just yesterday, I was looking at a listing in San Diego, trying to look at homes for sale. I found one in my preferred neighborhood and price range — but the agent only posted a single smartphone photo of the exterior of the house—parked cars, cluttered yard and everything. As a home buyer, I'm not going to bother considering this listing. In contrast, I found a condo that's slightly smaller and more expensive, but it had a nice selection of photos where I could imagine filling the home with furniture. This condo I'm actually considering. 2. People Can Identify a Mass Message A strategy that some people use that has a high failure rate is to copy and paste an opening line to be sent out to 50+ potential matches. The truth is, for every 50 "NOs," there is a chance for at least one "YES." However, the community of people receiving those messages can share it with other people and hurt your reputation. You should always give it your best when you're up at bat. Make a genuine attempt to get to know the real estate lead's needs before trying to get them to sign a contract. 3. Understand What the Other Person Is Looking For In order to build rapport and get more personal with your real estate leads, you need to know what they are looking for. Maybe one lead is looking to relocate because of a career change. Maybe one lead is going through a tough divorce and needs to downsize. Maybe another lead is not looking to buy a home within the next two years, but is curious what home prices are like right now. This will help you be more likable, but also make prospects more likely to open your emails when you send them relevant information. Every lead is a human being, and each person should be treated like an individual. 4. Know When to Make a Move Once you understand what your real estate leads are looking for, you will know what the appropriate move to make is. Some agents will assume a lead filling out a form means they are transaction ready within 28 days. This is not the case. For the "just looking" lead, you will need to nurture them a little longer. For the lead who wants to be shown a listing, you can adjust your email campaigns to fit their needs. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How Are Agents Laying the Groundwork for a Successful Year?
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Share and Show Your Expertise as a Real Estate Agent to Achieve Success
Knowledge without wisdom is just a bunch of facts. Having wisdom is knowing how to use your knowledge to achieve success at something. When you want to know how to brand yourself in real estate, applying knowledge, the correct tactics, and strategies is fundamental for longevity. The National Association of Realtors reports there are over 3 million active real estate licenses in the U.S. alone—that's a lot of agents competing for listings. So you need to make yourself stand out by showcasing your expertise, using current proptech, and building your brand. Be the agent whose name gets remembered, whose number is on speed dial, and who is the neighborhood "expert" for all things real estate. Why focus on yourself While it is important to know how to become a successful real estate agent through the licensing and educational process, narrowing your focus to highlight your expertise can make a difference in your marketing outcome. The saying "Jack of all trades" is relevant in real estate. To master your skills and gain an advantage as a real estate agent, you should choose your niche carefully. Real estate transactions encompass more than finding a few listings and hoping they sell quickly. Find your niche, whether it be a specific geographic area or working with condos versus single-family homes. Don't expect every interaction with the consumer will materialize into a listing or a sale. When you learn how to succeed by accepting failures as a stepping stone and not a wall, the road ahead will be smoother. Top real estate agents focus on filling their funnels with prospect after prospect, using great marketing tools like 3D tours. If one goes astray, there will be another one waiting to fill the spot. Be the standout agent Build your brand by applying your knowledge of the industry and sharing your expertise. Share tips about everything from staging a home to why 3D tours help sell homes faster. Use your social media accounts to consistently engage with the consumer by offering more than the average agent. When you want to stand out, you have to make a point of interacting with the public at every opportunity. Ask questions regularly to keep communication flowing and assert your influence. People want answers, and if you can provide them with the right ones, you are well on your way to standing out in your chosen niche. Building your website with good content, helpful blogs, and links to your listings virtual tours and floor plans is how to brand yourself in real estate. When your internet presence is remarkable, your brand speaks volumes. Don't forget to include professionally shot virtual tours and photos, and leave the smartphone pics for selfies and personal memories. Investing in your future Never stop investing in yourself if you want to recognize how to become a successful real estate agent. If you want longevity in the real estate industry, investing in yourself is the way to stay current and on your game. Choose to attend conferences and attend webinars sponsored by your local real estate board, Inman, NAR, and other professional associations. Learn from your peers and get insight into what is happening now and what to expect for the future of real estate. Learn things like why 3D tours are taking the industry to new levels, speak with builder associations to find out what's new with construction products and floor plans. Many industries contribute valuable ideas to the real estate business, and when you network with them, you stay current. Do it for them (and you) Your clients want you to use the latest technology. It's not a question of why, it's a question of when. Use technology now. There is no reason for you not to be providing 3D tours and immersive floor plans with every listing. It is the part of the listing presentation that makes you stand out in the eyes of your seller, and it makes you stand out to potential buyers. With the right tools, winning the listing presentation is simple. Using technology is how to brand yourself in real estate. Cutting edge companies like iGUIDE® have everything you need, from accurate measurements and floor plans to virtual tours and analytics. Sharing is easy by embedding the 3D tours directly onto your website, sending a few 360° tours of specific rooms via social media, and narrating a virtual tour from top to bottom. How does all this help you? It gets you recognized and it shows value to both the seller and the buyer. Don't stop believing Competition is fierce, and the market waxes and wanes, but that is no reason to give up your dream of becoming a successful real estate agent. Your never-say-die attitude is what got you into real estate in the first place. Keep that killer instinct and forge ahead because the only thing keeping you from succeeding is you. With proptech on your side, you can show your expertise like a seasoned professional.
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5 Tips to Stand Out as a Real Estate Agent
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Dealing with Pushy Real Estate Clients Who Refuse to Negotiate
Eric Kodner, Managing Broker at Wayzata Lakes Realty in Wisconsin and Minnesota, talks about how to deal with stubborn clientele who are unwilling to compromise. Here's Eric: We live in the era of the tough guy (or gal). We've all probably encountered this more than once in the course of real estate negotiations. Whether it's a seller who is absolutely unwilling to compromise or a buyer who is completely unrealistic and inflexible, the end result is the same. I counsel my clients that success in any real estate transaction begins with setting achievable goals and having realistic expectations. That requires parties to a transaction who are willing to negotiate. Unfortunately, some folks just don't understand what negotiating is. Here are some examples of what might be considered the "tough guy behavior" in real estate: Listing a home "as-is" —  The seller draws a line in the sand before the first property showing, essentially saying "whatever you find wrong with the house, don't ask me to fix anything or spend a cent. It's your problem. End of subject." Refusing to negotiate on price — The buyer who instructs their agent to tell the seller, "This is my one and only offer. Don't bother to counter it." In this instance, it's the buyer who is drawing a line in the sand. The offer (or counteroffer) with a 24-hour deadline for response — The party writing this kind of offer is saying, "Don't take too much time to think about it; just give me what I want." This type of a short-term deadline sends the message that the person making the offier is insecure and afraid. The tough guy is a deal-killer and, to some extent, a bully. Tough guy behavior resembles the way dogs bark and growl or bare their fangs when they are afraid. He (or she) wants to win something and they figure the best and easiest way to win is to start a conversation by flatly refusing to negotiate. Their plan is to implement simple scare tactic in the hopes that will produce a positive result. And who does the tough guy deliver this tough message to? Their listing agent (or buyer's agent) is the one who is the tough guy's proxy, the one who is expected to actually deliver the warning. The tough guy expects their agent to bark, growl and bare their fangs to anyone who dares to propose an offer or a counteroffer. It's a "my way or the highway" mentality. So what should a real estate agent tell their client who turns out to be a tough guy? Counsel the tough guy or gal to show some degree of willingness to compromise. Let them know that in the end, the problem with being an all-or-nothing negotiator is that you greatly increase the risk that you'll wind up with nothing. You may fail to get this message across, but if you succeed, you'll be doing your client a favor. All you can do is give it your best effort to guide your clients and provide proper expectations to set them up for success! To learn more about Eric Kodner, visit his website: www.wayzatalakesrealty.com To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How Your Core Values Generate Business
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8 Rookie Real Estate Agent Mistakes You Should Avoid
Amanda Thomas, a Broker/Owner from Plano, Texas, shares eight avoidable real estate agent mistakes rookies make early in their careers. Heed Amanda's advice and avoid your own agent mishap! Here's Amanda: Although the Code of Ethics serves to guide all Realtors toward best practices and the fair treatment of our clients, our colleagues and the public, there is notably quite a bit to learn when a rookie is getting started in the business. From software to field protocol, handling oneself professionally takes time and practice. Gaining knowledge and wisdom takes experience. The good news is that we can learn from the experiences of others and leapfrog over the rookie learning curve. Consider the following list of eight common rookie mistakes and learn how to avoid them. 1. Failing to Ask the Buyer's Lender for a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) A Good Faith Estimate (or a cost worksheet) will help prepare the buyer for the amount of money she will need to bring to closing, ballpark closing costs, provide parameters for seller concession amounts, and estimate monthly payments. Never assume a lender has provided this to the buyer. Ask for it (on behalf of your client) BEFORE making an offer to keep from leaving any money on the table (over-requesting closing cost assistance) or finding out past the point of damage that the buyer cannot afford the monthly payments for the offer she intends to make. 2. Presenting an Incomplete or Error-Filled Offer If you are new in the business, it is a good idea to have your broker, supervisor or mentor review any paperwork BEFORE you present it to your client(s) for signatures. Nothing diminishes confidence in a relationship more than written mistakes. Having to redo paper work could cost your client the home she wants. Presenting a clean, complete, solid offer that the seller can simply countersign and execute is a badge of professionalism that every Realtor should wear. 3. Badmouthing the Seller, Listing Agent or Listing Broker to the Buyer Whether during showings or in the midst of a transaction, negative speculation about the seller or listing agent can only work to create harm in the transaction. An insecure agent may be tempted to leverage her position in her buyer's eyes, but posturing in this manner usually returns either directly or indirectly to create ill will and poison an otherwise healthy transaction. Beware the sword in your hand. The head you sever may be your own. 4. Mistaking "Fighting" for Negotiating The insecure ego of a newbie agent can cloud perspective. The desire to impress a buyer and gain leverage in a transaction is powerful motivator. Getting caught up in the momentum of proving one's "powerful negotiation skills" is akin to backdraft. A good negotiation ends with a double win, not with sucking the oxygen and goodwill out of the seller, escrow officer, title company or lender. 5. Attempting to Negotiate Past the Deal Sometimes it is the buyer, and sometimes it is the buyer's agent. Either way, over-requesting concessions, repairs or other accommodations can quickly erode into hostility between parties and cause agreements to unwind. One school of thought suggests that "you don't get if you don't ask." While true, a professional knows the difference between asking and negotiating. All a seller EVER has to do once they agree to sell... is to sell. They do not have to contribute to closing costs or do repairs or agree to any changes to the initial sales contract. A buyer's expectations should be managed up front so that the responsibility for discovery and acceptance lies squarely on the buyer's shoulders. By all means, if you want to see a reasonable seller blow up, get nitpicky. Send the seller a copy of your buyer's inspection report and demand that they fix everything that isn't perfect. Get trivial and try to split hairs or criticize repairs that the seller has kindly had done—and then stand back and prepare to see the fur fly. The art of negotiation dictates that something must be given in return for getting. 6. Failing to Timely Deliver Earnest Money and/or Option Fee A buyer's agent who fails to deliver the option fee robs their client from having an option period, and puts the earnest money at risk. A buyer's agent who fails to deliver earnest money puts both the earnest money and contract at risk. It is the buyer's agent's responsibility to collect the funds from the buyer and deliver them to the title company or seller as instructed. 7. Failing to Relay Title Commitment, HOA and Other Important Documents Agents who lack transaction experience may forget that they have an obligation to relay documents to their buyers for review and approval. This includes title commitment to HOA bylaws, deed restrictions and survey information, TREC promulgated forms provision for a review period in which the buyer may consider the information, and object to anything,companies and software are not perfect. Often, a diligent buyer's agent is in a unique position to help catch errors and oversights in the coordination between parties. 8. Approaching the Seller Directly One of the ultimate lessons many rookie agents learn the hard way is to honor the agency relationship between listing agent and seller. Although it can be tempting to strike up a conversation directly if the seller is present during showings or a final walkthrough, doing so can bring tremendous risk and hostility to the transaction. Real estate transactions benefit from the emotional filtering representation brings to the table. Professionals recognize and respect boundaries and understand that good timing and protocol can diffuse and/or eliminate needless drama and chaos. Amanda Thomas is a broker/owner based out of Plano, Texas. She is dedicated and passionate about providing quality service and emphasizes a timely, reliable performance coupled with accountability and enthusiasm. Amanda provides her clients with the information they need to make real estate investment decisions throughout changing market cycles. You can visit Amanda’s website at providencegrouprealty.com. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How to Become a Neighborhood Expert
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5 Essentials for an Agent to Have a Great Morning
Do you spend your mornings battling the alarm clock, struggling to get the kids to school, and rummaging through the closet for something to wear? You're not alone. Many of us are not necessarily "morning people." But how an agent starts the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. You can feel better about your day when you start it out right. Here are five essentials that will make for a great morning: Make your bed. It's surprising that something so simple can make such a big impact on your day. Research by Charles Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit found that making your bed each morning is correlated with better productivity. It's also been suggested that making your bed boosts happiness! The idea is that completing this small task makes a person feel more productive first thing in the morning. According to Duhigg, by creating this habit, you'll help your other positive habits to flourish. He argues that making your bed is essentially a catalyst for other good habits. Take some deep breaths. You don't have to spend an hour sitting cross-legged each morning, but taking deep breaths in the morning is essential. Morning is often the most stressful time of day for people. Clear your head with a few deep breaths and a few moments of silence before diving into your day. You'll benefit from even 4-5 minutes of this practice in the morning! Avoid distractions. Morning distractions can take on many forms, from hitting the snooze button too many times, to lingering on social media longer than you should. Most of us are pressed for time in the morning, so decide to complete all your important tasks before you switch on the TV or log into social media. Spend your time focusing and preparing for a successful day ahead. Social media is part of life as an agent, so if you must log in, give yourself a timeframe and stick to it. Reach for the water before the coffee. Since we don't drink anything throughout the night, we're dehydrated in the morning. Instead of reaching for the coffee pot as soon as your feet hit the ground, try a glass of water first. Drinking a glass of water in the morning will help you feel more alert, rehydrated, and will kick-start your metabolism for the day. Many high-powered executives swear by drinking lemon water first thing in the morning, and it's an easy habit to start! Review the day ahead. Once your bed is made, you're hydrated, and your mind is clear, it's time to focus on the day ahead. Check out your to-do's in the task list of your CRM to see what needs to be done for the day. A good real estate CRM is key to helping you start your day on the right foot. Now you know the five essentials that make for a great morning! Once you've gone through these steps, you're already on your way to a productive and successful day! To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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6 Reasons to Accept Offers Before an Open House
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5 Tips to Be a Succcessful Agent in 2022
Real estate agents know there's no such thing as a slow season for them. During the winter months when most markets are quieter, agents need to be ramping up their marketing and prospecting efforts so they have a deep well of leads going into the busy spring season. While the season is slow for your clients, move fast to hit the ground running in 2022 with these five real estate tips: 1. Make a plan for prospecting to find seller leads before busy season If you wait until busy season to start looking for seller leads, then you're waiting far too long. The few months leading into the spring are crucial times to get on a prospect's radar as they think about selling their home. You can start building your plan by reading our prospecting guide, which has tips and resources for how to find those seller leads. Decide how much of your marketing budget should be devoted to prospecting — things like postcards and flyers, and other collateral you might want to leave with a prospect after chatting. You'll also want to identify neighborhoods, especially specific homes, that seem primed to sell soon. You could drive through neighborhoods and look for signs of a distressed home, or you could make a point to touch base with past clients. Remember that couple who said they were looking for a "starter home" a few years back? Reach out and see if they're ready to find a bigger place in 2022. 2. Set up a Google business profile to rank higher on Google Buyers and sellers rely on Google, whether they are looking for an agent or a new home. So if you aren't at the top of the first page of search results, then prospects simply won't see you. Dominate that prime real estate by getting a Google business profile. It takes a little bit of time to build trust with Google, which is why starting now will put you in a much better spot come springtime when more buyers and sellers are searching. 3. Advertise in the winter to get a better ROI and more exposure Though winter is a slower season, it's actually a great time to run advertising campaigns. Even if they are simply brand awareness campaigns, you'll be dealing with less competition. That means every advertising dollar will go farther than it would during the busy season, which will improve your overall ROI. Read our winter real estate advertising guide to get the full download on the benefits of running ads in the slower months. 4. Improve your online reputation by asking clients, colleagues, and family for Google reviews The benefit here is three-fold: 1. You get seen by more buyers and sellers on Google. In the past, we did a study on the thousands Homesnap Pro+ members who have Google business profiles managed by our team. The results were clear: When agents had at least one review, they saw significant boosts across the board. More profile views (+71%); more calls, texts, and website visits (+122%); and they showed up in twice as many Google searches. 2. You create a compelling reason to reach out to former clients, which is a great touchpoint for prospecting and continuing to foster that relationship. What if you reach out for a Google review, and that seller from five years ago tells you they're thinking about selling again? What if your outreach jogs their memory, and they remember that a friend is looking to sell very soon and needs an agent? At the very least, you can get a five-star review that's going to get you more attention on Google. At the most, you might get a referral or two. All of these outcomes are ideal as you're picking up steam in the beginning of 2022. And remember: A word-of-mouth referral is great and can reach a handful of people. But a Google review is a supercharged referral that can reach hundreds — or thousands — of people. 3. You can update the contact information for your sphere. As you're reaching out for Google reviews, you'll undoubtedly learn if your sphere's contact info has changed. If you reach that contact, great! You know their email or phone number is still active. You could even confirm it's the best way to reach them as part of your conversation. If you can't reach them, you can note that the phone number or email didn't get a response — or note if you got clear confirmation that the contact info is now wrong. Cleaning up contact information will be a big help as you start the new year. 5. Evaluate the tools you're using — and the ones you should be using Take a look at all the tools you're using — apps, software, everything — and ask yourself the following: When was the last time I used this? Even if you haven't used a tool in a while, still take the time to revisit and evaluate it. Are there new features that appeal to you that make this tool a keeper? Is it simply one more thing to worry about that isn't going to add more value? Take action accordingly to streamline your tools. Is it duplicative? Do you already have other apps or software that accomplishes the exact same goal? Assess whether some of your tools are redundant and unnecessary, so you can clear out the clutter (and possible save some money). Am I paying too much for this? Especially on the apps and software you're paying for each month or year, assess whether the price is simply too high. Is there a way to accomplish the same goals for free? Do you even need the pricey tool anymore? It's important to assess your budget as the year begins so you can allocate funds accordingly. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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3 Dumb Tech Mistakes You Should Avoid in 2022
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Top Real Estate Agents Possess These 4 Entrepreneurial Traits
It's something we hear again and again from agents: succeeding at real estate feels like running your own business. Like other entrepreneurs, real estate agents have their hands in a variety of projects and processes, including building a brand, establishing market expertise and authority, finding new consumers, and converting leads to clients. Whether you're early in your real estate journey or an experienced, accomplished agent, you've likely realized that to be an agent is in many respects to be an entrepreneur – you're responsible for organizing your own work-life and carry more acute professional rewards and risks. Since agents are undoubtedly entrepreneurs, we identified four common entrepreneurial values and dissected how they relate to real estate. These four actions are standard behavior for successful entrepreneurs – and real estate agents: 1. Taking Initiative Some professionals wait for opportunities to come to them. Top-performing agents know that in real estate, such an attitude will not result in success. As an agent, you have to act and take charge in order to build a network, drum up leads, and convert them to clients. From simple tasks such as taking and passing a licensing exam and opening social media profiles to more complicated decisions like choosing which brokerage to join, real estate agents have to demonstrate initiative to simply get into the business. Make sure that your initiative remains high once your foot is in the door. As an agent, you mostly fill your own schedule, so block time to prospect for clients, learn your area, and host as many tours and showings as possible. Even if you already have a thriving, consistent business, demonstrate initiative by educating yourself about the industry, attending professional networking and real estate events, and acting as a mentor to younger agents who are navigating the always-challenging first year of agent life. The basic, foundational value that successful entrepreneurs and real estate agents share is a willingness to show the initiative necessary for a self-driven, self-directed career. 2. Adapting to Change Think about the American real estate market in February 2020: Showings took place in person, agents prepared for a normal busy season, and consumers heard rumblings about an infectious virus spreading on the other side of the world. We know what happened next: The COVID-19 pandemic began and supercharged the real estate market, changing how agents toured, listed, and sold homes. Like other entrepreneurs, agents who succeeded through the pandemic were those who could adapt to changes such as virtual showings and a hotter-than-normal real estate market. Being able to adapt to change is important for agents and entrepreneurs even when the change is not as explosive or jarring as a global pandemic. For example, the way that agents market properties has undergone a transformation in recent decades, and advertising through Google, Facebook, and Instagram is now generally more effective than advertising in print newspapers or magazines. The next pandemic or digital transformation may not be around the corner, but changes in how people live and buy will make adaptability an essential entrepreneurial value for real estate agents. 3. Finding Creative Solutions At its core, entrepreneurship is about developing new ideas and methods to approach business challenges and opportunities. For agents, finding creative solutions to business situations is especially important, given the dynamic and ever-changing nature of real estate. Creative real estate agents have a marked advantage in marketing, as they can brainstorm and develop new ways to reach consumers with innovative marketing collateral. For example, agents may approach the challenge of marketing a property amid Covid concerns by advertising virtual tours and virtual open houses for their properties. Virtual tours can be made more effective with intentional, well-designed staging. Creative agents in a competitive market may establish themselves as a regional real estate expert by advertising their services in local, community-based news outlets and forums or creating individualized hashtags to display on physical yard signs and digital advertising. Business challenges are an expected part of entrepreneurship, and meeting the needs of home buyers and sellers is easier for agents who are able to find creative solutions. 4. Partnering with Experts Talk to entrepreneurs and you'll hear a common quandary: You own your business and its results, and you want to manage every component of business operations. But there isn't enough individual expertise or time in the day to do everything well. As a real estate agent, and especially as your business grows, you will likely face the same problem. Successful agents and entrepreneurs both overcome this issue by partnering with worthy experts. The entrepreneurial value of partnership is essential for real estate agents. For example, many agents hire accounting professionals to help manage confusing and demanding tax filing. You may file your own personal taxes or possess basic accounting knowledge, but top agents often find their time and energy is preserved for clients when they hand this responsibility to experts. Top agents often make a similar decision about marketing. You may be able to post advertisements on Google, Facebook and Instagram, but managing entire marketing campaigns demands a substantial amount of time. Instead, agents can outsource marketing functions to services such as Homesnap Concierge, which provides an in-house marketing team and full-service marketing solutions. With Concierge, you'll receive direct, live phone calls from qualified leads, and will be able to spend your time and energy servicing clients while our team finds you new clients on Google. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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[Best of 2021] What Salary Can You Expect to Make as a Real Estate Agent?
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[Best of 2021] The Big Lie: 'The House Is Not in a Flood Zone'
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published in March and is #5 in our countdown. See #6 here. We've ALL been here, right?!? You find your clients their "Dream Home" and pull a flood zone report. You find that they are NOT in a flood zone, and you go ... "PHEW." Done. One less hassle to contend with, one less issue to have to deal with in negotiations, securing a mortgage, and getting from contract to close. Check the box, and move on. When flood insurance is so $#@!&^% confusing, why would you spend more time on it than you have to? Yet, when your clients are committing much of their life savings to a 30-year investment, they want to feel confident they're doing everything they can to protect that investment. Following these three steps to simplify flood insurance places you in a position to confidently lead the conversation: 1. Reframe the Flood Question As they say, "If it can rain, you have the potential of flood risk." So, instead of asking a simple "Yes / No" question, reframe the question to "How much risk is your client willing to take on" to live in a specific property. This opens up the dialogue. And in this super tight market, a world of possibilities. Fact: Many flood policies are less than $600. For under $50 a month, your customer could secure peace of mind in case of a flooding event. Yet many REALTORS® avoid the topic, understandably. It's just one more unnecessary complication… right? 2. Understand the Basics of Flood Zones As a REALTOR® it is increasingly important that you can "speak the language" of flood. This chart simplifies many of the NFIP Flood Zones: NFIP bases all of their pricing on these flood zone maps. Moreover, they take a blanketed view of flood risk, across entire communities. What this means: two properties may be in X Flood Zones -- where there is low to medium risk -- yet one may have greater risk than the other, even if they are next to each other. A key fact: a home may have a Zone X designation, but that does not guarantee it will never encounter a flood event. 25-30% of all flood insurance claims are paid in these "less hazardous" areas and that only reflects the homes that purchased flood insurance deemed "optional" by their lenders. Many more uninsured homes located in X zones experience damage from floods every year. Knowing the flood zone for a property is an important piece of information, yet this is just a starting point for the discussion with your homebuying client. We're here to simplify the rest. 3. Create an Apples-to-Apples Total Cost of Ownership Comparison There are currently two sources for flood insurance in the US, and BOTH need to be fully investigated for every property. Unfortunately, these two sources are the no. 1 reason for most of the confusion for REALTORS® and their homebuying clients. They are: The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, run by FEMA The emerging Private Flood Insurance market, offered by over 150 private insurance carriers It is good practice to get both a NFIP and private insurance quote for each property your home buyer is seriously interested in, and include these quotes in an apples-to-apples comparison of total cost of ownership -- both at closing and over the lifetime of owning the property. Since you have reframed the flood insurance conversation upfront, you now can confidently guide your buyer to an educated, well informed choice. CartoFront provides free estimated flood insurance quotes as well as access to licensed insurance agents who can help with getting flood insurance in place. We're simplifying flood insurance -- equipping you with the tools you need, to help your customer make informed choices to properly protect their dream home. If CartoFront is included in your MLS, simply click the raindrop in the listing icon bar to access this valuable service. If CartoFront is not yet included in your MLS and you are interested in learning how CartoFront can be added to your MLS for free, please contact [email protected] Summary: Flood is confusing, time-consuming, yet important to research. Three Steps: Reframe the Flood Question: What is a Property's Risk? Know the basics of FEMA's Flood Zones Include Flood Insurance Quotes in Total Cost of Ownership 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.
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Keeping the Human Element in the Emerging Age of the iBuyer
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Friday Freebie: 60 Insights from Real Estate Professionals
Learning from your peers is one of the best ways to avoid professional mistakes--and to discover the tricks and shortcuts for doing your job better. We all want to work smarter, not harder, and taking advice from those who have been there before is one of the smartest strategies you can employ. But short of a real estate conference or multiple conversations over a long period of time, that advice can be hard to come by. That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. We're highlighting a collection of 60 insights from top real estate agents on everything from showings, closings, client management, time management, life lessons, tech advice, and beyond. Read on to learn how to claim your free copy. Free download of Agent Insights, courtesy of Zurple A real estate coach or mentor can be a powerful influence on your career. Not everyone, however, can afford the luxury of a coach or has a mentor readily available to them. Consider this guide a digital real estate coach you can take anywhere. Agent Insights offers 60 pieces of advice from real estate professionals around the country. Here's just a peek at some of the insights this guide contains: How I Made $100,000 by Wasting an Afternoon Don't Get Bullied by Pushy Real Estate Clients Just Sold! And My Seller Didn't Text, Email, or Own a Computer Good, Bad, and Ugly of Working from Home I Won't Discount, But I'll Give You an Extra Perk And more! Each insight offers actionable advice or steps to take that agents can use right away, as well as information on the Realtor giving the advice, and the option to learn more. Get advice you can use today! Download Agent Insights: 60 Insights, Tips, Strategies, Quotes, Lessons, and Stories from Real Estate Professionals now.
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Avoid These Mistakes as a New Real Estate Agent
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6 Tasks Every Real Estate Agent Should Automate to Save Time
Labor-saving technology, or automation, is the technology used to minimize human assistance for a process. It's also one of the best ways to gain a competitive advantage in your local market because it makes your business run more efficiently. If your business runs efficiently, you'll have more time to focus on helping your clients and/or spending time with family. To ensure your business is running as efficiently as possible, assess the amount of time that you spend on certain tasks, prioritize them, and look for opportunities to save time. Focus on tasks that are repetitive like data entry, writing, and scheduling as well as tasks where timing is a factor. Then ask yourself, "Can I automate this task?" In this article, we'll recommend six tasks that every real estate professional, including yourself, must automate to procure more time to focus on clients. 1. Import Listings from Your MLS to Your Website You're wasting a lot of time if your website doesn't automatically import your listing from your MLS to your website. To save time and energy on this task, you need to integrate a system that automatically transfers the listing's information, uploads the photos, and creates a listing page for your website. By automating listing imports, you can reduce the amount of time and energy spent on this task by 50%. In other words, if it takes half an hour to import your listings into your MLS and then your website, it will only take 15 minutes since you will only need to complete the task once. Tasks Replaced by Automation: Transferring and updating listing information from the MLS to your website. Remaining Tasks: Uploading listing information to your MLS. 2. Update City/Neighborhood SEO Pages In order to increase your Google search ranking and generate organic leads, you must manage your website and optimize its SEO through neighborhood pages. These pages provide a lot of value to your website visitors, but it could take several hours to research the neighborhoods you work in, create a page for them, and keep each page updated with fresh information on a monthly basis. To save time creating and updating SEO friendly neighborhood pages, use real estate marketing tools like local market reports, community reports, school reports, and points of interests to keep information fresh. If you leverage automation to create and update your SEO friendly neighborhood pages, you can reduce the amount of time spent on SEO by 90% — from two hours to 12 minutes. Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating SEO pages for neighborhoods, researching information online, writing website copy, and updating pages monthly. Remaining Tasks: Reviewing content. 3. Schedule Social Media Posts There are many tasks associated with posting on social media that require a lot of time to complete. You must create a content calendar with a variety of entertaining, informative, and educational posts with captivating content, a compelling caption, a hot headline and a decisive description. Then you have to share or schedule the post – at least five times per week! Sure you could save some time scheduling future posts in sets, but you can save even more time by using a social media posting tool that does all of it for you – all you have to do is follow up with the comments on your posts. By leveraging a social media tool that automatically creates and schedules a variety of posts for you, you can reduce the amount of time spent on social media posts by 80% — in other words, from two hours to 30 minutes. Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating/finding content, writing captions, and scheduling a variety of posts. Remaining Tasks: Reviewing scheduled posts, analyzing data, following up with comments and direct messages. 4. Consistently Send Emails Long-term In order to stay top of mind with a lead, you must stay in contact with them. Email is still a powerful tool to achieve this goal, but your strategy needs to be consistent and for the long run. It takes days to create and write email templates for new leads, new listings, your marketing tools, re-engaging emails, welcome emails, and more. Then it takes several minutes to add the right name, city, and other information. Then you must send or schedule it. You must do this countless times in order to keep a lead engaged until they're ready to hire you and that takes countless hours. Instead of spending all your time and energy writing and setting up emails, leverage a CRM that uses email drip campaigns to automatically send a variety of personalized emails on your behalf. The best CRMs will send emails and/or texts based on a lead's behaviors on your website and marketing tools. These triggered messages have high response rates due to their timely correspondence. By leveraging a CRM with long-term, personalized email drip campaigns, you can reduce the amount of time spent nurturing by 75% — from two hours to 30 minutes. Tasks Replaced by Automation: Writing, updating, and personalizing email copy, scheduling the email, researching the lead's activity, selecting the right content/tool/listing to share throughout a lead's lifetime, etc. Remaining Tasks: Reviewing email stats, following up with replies, and applying new subject lines. 5. Manage Digital Marketing Ads If you want to generate new leads outside of your sphere of influence and have the budget, digital marketing ads are powerful lead generation tools that can grow your real estate business. Even though they take time and money to discover the perfect formula, the benefits are incredible. To figure out your perfect formula, target the right audience, use persuasive ad content, apply the correct ad format, and analyze your data to find optimization opportunities. All of these tasks can be automated, and they can work together with your social media posts and SEO neighborhood pages to generate leads. By automating your digital marketing ads, you can reduce the amount of time spent by 90% — from one three hour to about 15 minutes. Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating, writing, and scheduling ads, creating a target audience, optimizing ads, and learning the knowledge to implement digital marketing ads. Remaining Tasks: Choosing the ad format and following up with replies/comments. 6. Follow Up Within a Timely Manner Replying to a new lead's message doesn't necessarily take a lot of time, but having the time to do it efficiently, consistently, and within a timely manner is a challenge. For example, you couldn't follow up with a new lead in a timely manner if you're in a meeting with a client, right? Ideally, you want to follow up with online leads within five minutes of their form fill (request for information or inquiry) because it'll give you the best chance of getting a reply and have a conversation, so you can convert them into a client. According to a Lead Response Management Study, "The odds of calling to contact a lead decreases by over 10 times in the first hour, qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drops 21 times, and from 5 minutes to 10 minutes the dial to qualify odds decrease 4 times." As you can see, there is a huge benefit for contacting a new lead within five minutes of a form fill. There will be times when you might not be able to call a new lead, but a text or email should suffice, since many consumers do not pick up unknown phone numbers. Since the timing of your follow up message is crucial for converting a lead, it's best for you to automate them and have them send based on behavioral triggers on your website and other digital marketing tools. By leveraging personalized automated follow up messages, you won't have to worry about following up with a lead in a timely manner with the right information, or stress about them fall through the cracks because the system will do it for you. If you automate follow up messages for your real estate business, you could reduce the amount of time spent on them by 80% — from 20 minutes to four minutes (but mostly zero minutes because it's automated). Tasks Replaced by Automation: Creating, writing, sending follow up messages in a timely manner and lead research. Remaining Tasks: Continuing the conversation. Many real estate professionals that are looking to scale their business must leverage automation to grow their business. However, any real estate professional that wants more free time, should invest in automated systems that perform repetitive and timely tasks. By automating tasks like importing listings, updating SEO pages, posting on social media, sending emails, digital marketing ads, and follow up, you can dramatically decrease the amount of time spent on these tasks and increase the amount of time focusing on clients – or your family. To view the original article, visit the TorchX blog.
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10 Tips to Becoming the Worst of the Worst Real Estate Agent
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16 Real Estate Facebook Groups for Lead Generation and Advice
Are you leveraging Facebook for your real estate business? Facebook Groups are an agent's watering hole for real estate leads. Many prospective buyers and sellers seek out the advice of others online. Agents can use the world's number one social media platform not only for lead generation, but also advice. Use these groups below to grow your real estate knowledge and customer base. Join these 16 real estate Facebook Groups for lead generation and advice: Facebook Groups with Buyer and Seller Leads Buy, sell, rent your dream home (Closed Group) DIY Home Improvement Projects (Closed Group) Credit Secrets (Closed Group) The Holiday Edit (Closed Group) Flipping Houses Like a Ninja (Closed Group) (Insert City or State) Buy Rent Sell (e.g., Buy Rent Sell San Diego) (Insert City or State) Real Estate Investment (e.g., DFW Real Estate Investment, California Real Estate Investment Professionals) First-Time Home Buyers (Insert Your City or State) (e.g., Florida Panhandle First Time Home Buyers Group) For Advice from Other Real Estate Professionals Lab Coat Agents (Closed Group) Real Estate Rockstar Agents (Closed Group) Real Estate Closers (Closed Group) Real Estate Entrepreneurs Group (Closed Group) Next Level Agents (Closed Group) WhatsUp for Real Estate Resale Brokers (Closed Group) Tech Savvy Real Estate Agents Foreclosure and REO Tired of prospecting cold Facebook leads? Zurple's uses Facebook ad space to generate leads within your target markets. Check for availability in your market. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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37 Times Better: The Long and Effective Way to Become a Better Agent and Grow Your Business
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Drive Those Idle Listings Off the Market
Stubborn listings are no fun for sellers -- or for their real estate agents! It's well-known that as a listing sits on the market, it becomes less likely to capture an attractive offer. The ideal is to move a listing within 30 days. The longer it waits, the more likely buyers will assume something is wrong with it. At the dreaded 90 days, relisting is nearly inevitable. There are two situations where agents need to be especially wary about idle listings: Markets that strongly favor buyers, especially when there's plenty of housing stock Overheated markets where voracious sellers price themselves into the stratosphere Before a listing even goes on the market, pricing it to sell is one of the most valuable services an agent can offer. Sellers can easily overestimate the value of a home for sentimental reasons or just because the market seems to offer them a big payday. Agents need to step in, look at recent sales, and make the facts clear. But sometimes, even when price is aligned with market conditions, a home simply won't sell. This is highly frustrating for sellers, and it's also one of the situations most likely to lead to a bad review – never a fun prospect. Sometimes, there may be many factors outside your control making the road ahead difficult for your listing. The key is to seize on what's in your area of influence and course correct as soon as you can. Let's look at some of the most effective ways to do it: Update the Staging Staged homes generally sell for more money and do so within a shorter amount of time. A staged home is more enticing than a vacant one because it lets buyers exercise their imagination about how they will use the space. Take care to optimize every room, highlighting the features you want buyers to focus their attention on. Improve the Curb Appeal In this era of Google Maps, you can bet would-be buyers will be checking up and down the street before they even register for an open house. Curb appeal always counts, whether that means doing some extra lawn work, landscaping, or revitalizing the exterior with a fresh coat of paint. The ROI can be exceptionally high! Make Sure Your Photos Are Quality A listing is judged by its photos, and the surging quality of photography in most listings means you need to keep up. Many real estate agents are partnering with professional photographers. Get crisp, clear shots of each room and every angle of the exterior, ideally featuring the same locales at several different times of the day. Fix Specific Issues with the Home Some sellers are perplexed to learn that they can't simply list a home "as-is" and hope for the best. Buyers not only regard such properties with suspicion but many are bound to get a home inspection anyway — lenders require it. Carefully raise the subject of repairs, especially if the roof, sewer system, or wiring is involved. Leverage Social Media and Social Ads Social media can give a listing a fresh burst of attention even when it's outside that ideal 30-day window. If you have exhausted your options on Facebook (or LinkedIn, if it's a luxury property), consider busting out a secret weapon: Facebook advertising can help you tap into a wider local audience for your listing. Excite Buyers with Live Video Live video is another great way to unlock the power of social media. You can stream a complete virtual tour of the property through Facebook or Instagram. To pep up your listing for visitors who miss your stream, consider using a tool like Properties in Motion for branded, shareable video with built-in tracking. Host More Open Houses To create more value for today's sellers, agents need to be prepared for open houses in all their forms. Know when to pivot from traditional face-to-face events to virtual open houses and when to combine the two. Open houses can revive a flagging listing, as the right buyer has the opportunity to make an offer on the spot! Use Seller Reports If your seller's morale collapses, then the listing is as good as doomed. It's understandable for sellers to worry, so head them off at the pass with resources that will show them the progress they've made. Customized seller reports consolidate everything you've done for a listing into a single view. Restart Your Marketing Cycle Once you've consulted with your seller and committed to making some of the changes above, kickstart your marketing cycle again with an updated listing — with or without actually relisting. Revise your collateral and get a fresh perspective on the property by emphasizing its new advantages. And, of course, don't give up! Get a jumpstart on your digital real estate marketing with DeltaNET 6. RE Technology readers can try it free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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4 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Use Free Time to Find More Opportunities
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How Agents Avoid Real Estate Burnout in a Hot Market
The past 18 months have been unrelenting for real estate agents. A red-hot market, a glut of buyers, overwhelmed sellers -- all of it has added up to more work for agents. Facing heavy demands, some agents have told us they feel exhausted from constantly being on-the-go, resulting in a decreasing drive to hunt for leads, meet new clients, and interact with other agents. But agents also told us that they have found effective strategies to remain sharp and motivated to serve clients and close deals. If you're feeling burnt out or just want to avoid feeling overwhelmed, check out how your fellow agents combat the demands of real estate. 1. Schedule Time for Yourself As his business grew, Chih-Hao Yang, a broker in the Chicago office of FultonGrace, found himself reading and answering emails from the moment he opened his eyes in the morning until the second his head hit the pillow at night. Before long, Chih-Hao was exhausted. This wasn't sustainable. It was time for some ground rules. Now, Chih-Hao turns on his phone's "Do Not Disturb" feature each day at 9 p.m. That puts a pause on notifications until the next morning, which Chih-Hao says has improved his sleep. Chih-Hao also now takes a short vacation at least once every three months to unplug and refresh. Recently, Chih-Hao has found that jogging along Chicago's lakefront is an effective way to "take [his] mind off work." And when those jogs do spark thoughts about real estate, Yang is more excited to do his job well. "Jogging along Lake Michigan in the Chicago summer is a reminder of why my clients love to live by the water," Yang says. Real estate isn't a traditional nine to five, but Chih-Hao has found a way to carve out time in his days that are dedicated to rest and rejuvenation — not answering messages or serving clients. 2. Value Time With Loved Ones For India Headley, prioritizing personal time is a challenge. India is a Connecticut-based real estate agent at exp Realty, and serves clients in the high-octane New York-area real estate market. She's also a home improvement contractor and a homeschooling mother whose schedule feels perpetually crammed. "I have so many roles and I am a resource to many," India says. Like Chih-Hao, India practices self-care such as turning off her phone before bed and walking away from her desk to take breaks. Headley has an additional trick: Scheduling regular date nights. "My husband continuously encourages me and is a great means of support. Love can be our biggest moving force! Who doesn't want to work with a loving agent?" India asks. To Headley, family time is an opportunity for rejuvenation. Since agents typically operate independently, a date night with her husband is a reminder to Headley that the world doesn't "sit on [my] shoulders alone." India has found that spending time with loved ones fills up the emotional reserves necessary to be an effective advocate and expert for clients. 3. Automate Tasks When Possible Judging by Yang and Headley's experiences, agents have plenty on their plate. Given all their other responsibilities, agents may also want to consider what tasks they can automate so that they can focus their energy on servicing clients and closing more deals. The simplest, most centralized method agents use to automate is customer relationship management (CRM) software. CRMs are an online database through which agents can track, manage and organize their leads. An agent with a CRM can view which leads they've previously contacted, view the messages that have already been exchanged with leads, and automate workflows such as email follow-ups. These capabilities save agents the time, energy, and frustration associated with digging around for information about every individual lead or tracking lead contacts with a cumbersome spreadsheet. Agents can also use CRM software to sync their own contacts, calendar, and accounting software. This way, agents can keep track of what leads they contact, what deals they close, and what money they're earning. Lead generation can also be partially automated, particularly with Homesnap Concierge, in which a team of marketing professionals earns you leads, saves you time, and balances your business goals with the need to be fresh and motivated. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Say 'No' to Real Estate Sellers
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5 Agents Share Tips for Finding Success in a Seller's Market
With low inventory across the country, real estate agents face an uphill battle when trying to win deals for their buyers. That's why we asked several agents to share how they're successfully helping their buyers stand out in tight negotiations and navigate this highly competitive market. Be flexible with sellers and think creatively Matthew Koch, Realty ONE Group Unlimited (Bright MLS), Lancaster, PA "I think in today's market, buyer's agents need to think creatively and try to build a rapport with the selling side. Having an A+ reputation in the industry is a great first start, as is offering the seller what some buyers can't — time and flexibility. A lot of sellers want to sell, but they also are buying. Allowing flexibility with the seller can ease a lot of the apprehension they have when they are thinking about selling. We all know it's a seller's market, but sellers have to buy too, right? There are a few things buyers can do to make their offer stronger: offering to pay the seller's transfer tax, bringing additional cash to the table to help offset an appraisal issue, and even covering some of the seller expenses like an HOA resale certification fee, just to name a few. Knowing your marketplace and being available for your clients can go a long way in today's market!" No matter how busy you are, follow up quickly Emily Sinclair, ACME Real Estate (TheMLS), Los Angeles, CA "My tip would be to simply follow up, follow up, follow up. We all are busy these days, but I find that simply following up with people and getting their questions/concerns answered in a more-than-timely manner sets me apart from the rest. My clients know that I make them a priority, and it shows with how I prioritize their needs and concerns. No one likes someone with empty promises or who doesn't deliver what they say they will, and thus this little thing I have learned sets me apart from the rest. My clients know I follow up, and therefore they can depend on me to deliver in this crazy aggressive market." Be nimble and adjust your approach to fit the current moment Harrison Beacher, Keller Williams Capital Properties (Bright MLS), Washington, DC "The biggest thing we're doing is communicating the realities of the market, and focusing our outward-facing marketing on some of the details of what selling your home in this market looks like and trying to share some of the most up-to-date data on what's happening right now because of how fast the market is moving. Like last week, I released one of the videos we recorded that explains how open houses work and how we're doing them safely in COVID. I had another one a few weeks back that talked about getting your home photo-ready so that it looks good online, and helps convince the buyers who are browsing to want to come see it in person and schedule a tour. We are also adding in for the next couple months a postcard/door-to-door flyer campaign for the homes around any home that our buyer clients compete for and lose." Make sure you and your clients are prepared to move quickly Giusseppe Battista, RE/MAX Destiny (MRED), Elk Grove Village, IL "Prep your buyers about the fast-paced market. Make sure they are ready to view the home as soon as it's available. Try to be the first showing and try to be the first offer in. I have started bringing my laptop with me so the offer can be written up immediately. I always message the listing agent (through the Homesnap app of course) during the showing to begin immediate conversation and get a better understanding of the home or seller's needs/terms. As a listing agent, in the Agent Remarks, set the expectation of how offers will be reviewed and when — it will help prevent the flood of calls and questions." It's simple: Be consistent Matt Cheney, Washington Fine Properties, LLC (Bright MLS), Washington DC "The key to success as a great real estate agent is like any business: It's consistency. You need to consistently make your calls, create great marketing, evolve, and most importantly, serve the customer." To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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7 Ways to Waste Money in Real Estate
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12 Tips to Help New Agents Kill It in the Real Estate Business
While becoming a real estate agent can be a very fulfilling professional career for many, the rigors of building a book of business can drive some to the brink. Many are attracted to the industry by the upsides: a potential for unlimited income, flexible schedules, and the opportunity to meet new people. Truth be told, building a successful real estate business is hard—it takes a lot of time and tenacity to get up and running. Research has shown that nearly 80% of new real estate agents leave the industry within their first year. But don't despair! We took a look at the common behaviors among successful new agents to give you 12 solid tips for winning in real estate. 1. Know Your Expenses Before Becoming an Agent Make sure to calculate your expenses. Don't forget that becoming an agent is similar to opening up a business. Ensure that all of your expenses, such as rent, food, clothing and other bills, are paid before you can invest in the right tools to help you succeed in this industry. 2. Take Brand and Marketing Seriously As an agent, you are a business and what better way to get your business out there than marketing? 3. Invest Early in a Good CRM Adopting and mastering new technology into your workflow can put you ahead of other agents. Having a great CRM can be like having another team member on your side. 4. Answer Your Phone! There is nothing worse than missing a phone call from a potential lead. 5. Leave No Lead Behind Moving is a big decision, and for that reason, it can take months to years to finally buy or sell a home. As a new real estate agent, you have to be ready to work those leads for the long run to close deals. Learn to nurture and build those relationships to become successful. 6. Build Relationships, Not Just Leads Every successful agent should work on developing interpersonal skills to help them build relationships. 7. Listen to Your Clients' Needs Too many real estate agents are thinking about the financial gains instead of listening to the client's needs and wants. The ability to listen, learn and teach your clients will increase your chances of closing a deal or even receiving future referrals. 8. Nurture Your Sphere of Influence Your SOI is the ability to have some influence over those in your close circle. SOIs can be extraordinarily valuable and a huge asset in becoming successful in this industry. 9. Always Stay Up-to-Date on the Industry and Continue Learning The real estate industry is constantly changing, and not every method you try is going to work. The best way to stay up to date and grow is to continue learning, whether by joining webinars, taking classes or getting a mentor. 10. Get a Mentor You have questions and mentors have answers. Connecting with mentors can be helpful in helping you as a new agent learn about the industry and hearing about other methods and processes that can better the way you grow as an agent. 11. When in Doubt, Partner with Another Agent There are pros and cons of partnering up with another real estate agent, so when deciding to take this step, take the time to consider them thoroughly. Some of the pros when working with another agent are the ability to divide and conquer, give you more credibility, and the ability to share your knowledge and experience. 12. Don't Be Afraid of Failure Agents that tend to be successful in the real estate business are the most determined and ambitious. Do not get it wrong, though; they've learned to fail and still keep going. Not everyone can make millions in the real estate business, but if you are ambitious enough, willing to learn from your failures and pick yourself back up, you never know. Main Take Away Real estate agents must stay knowledgeable, determined and ambitious in this job, no matter what stage they are in within the industry. Get off the computer and go out there and apply all the knowledge. You'll never know if these tips and tricks work without just doing it. To view the original article, visit the Rental Beast blog.
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3 Strategies to Running Your Real Estate Business
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5 Questions to Ask Before Joining a Real Estate Team
A team allows you to leverage built-in brand recognition and sphere of influence, as well as guidance from more seasoned agents and brokers. While the benefits are numerous, you don't want to end up team that stifles your growth, takes an excessive commission split, or just isn't a good culture fit. First, it's important to remember: don't be afraid of asking a lot of questions! Joining a team is a big commitment that could affect the entire growth trajectory of your career. While it's true you are "selling yourself" in these interviews, it's important to interview them as well. So what kinds of questions should you be asking? Let's get started with our top "must-ask" questions for any team interview. 1. What is the team structure? There is no one-size-fits-all model for real estate teams. The size and ratio of members will vary depending on the city, whether it's a franchise or independent brokerage, the housing market, etc. Ask for a very clear breakdown of how large the team is, how many buyers agents and ISAs there are, and who you would be reporting to. Additionally, what are the business goals for the team? Do they have remote teams in other cities/states, or are they considering expanding? Some teams are more specialized in a niche market, or "boutique," while others service a broad range of clients. Understanding the team's growth model and mission will give you a clear picture or whether or not it aligns with your ideal career path. If you're joining a franchise team, this is your time to learn all of the ins and outs about that franchise. Every large real estate franchise has something a little different to bring to the table. The "big guys" (Keller Williams, Century 21, RE/MAX) have household brand awareness and top-notch training. If you are offered a spot on a franchise team, consider the following: Commission splits Desk fees Brand awareness Training Marketing budget Profit sharing Online agent reviews Compare the results with other franchises. Consider your goals, your work style and your requirements for a healthy work-life balance. 2. What is the financial breakdown? We know, we know, it's all about those Benjamins. Don't dance around the topic of money during your interviews! The financial model is often the No. 1 deciding factor when choosing between teams, so you want to know every detail before signing on. Here's what you should be asking about $$$ Is the team commission-based, salary/bonus-based, or a hybrid? If it's salary/bonus-based (less common), what is the salary and how do the bonuses work? If it's commission-based, what are the commission splits? Is there a commission cap? If you're joining a franchise, are there franchise fees? Training fees? Are there brokerage fees? (For example: desk fees, monthly office fees, MLS fees, insurance) Does the brokerage cover the cost of a CRM? Are you responsible for miscellaneous startup costs? (For example: REALTOR designation, business cards, website) Another great question to ask about the financial structure, is why they chose to set it up this way. What works really well? There could be benefits to their way of doing things that you hadn't even thought of. 3. What is your role, and what are the expectations? Obviously you'll know what your title is, but there can be some wiggle room in real estate. If you are joining as a buyer's agent, will you have the opportunity to have listings as well? Are you expected to farm a specific area, or target a niche market? Get a clear sense of "the way things are done," so you know what your day-to-day will look like. Additionally, how do they get their leads, and how are they divided between agents? How much time and money do individual agents spend on marketing and prospecting vs. following up with leads? Finally, be clear about expectations. Ask your interviewer, verbatim, "What is expected of me in this position as far as number of transactions and time commitment?" Follow it up with, "Do you have any advice on steps to take that will help me be successful?" Don't skip over this part!! Be honest with yourself about your own personal goals. What is your current situation? Are you a new, highly motivated agent that is willing to work those 60+ hour weeks? Are you determined to grow into a top producer? If that's the case, then you will be sacrificing time at home with family and friends. Is there room for growth from within? Meaning, if you work hard and become one of the top producing agents on the team, is there opportunity to renegotiate commissions splits or become a team leader? Or maybe you want a schedule that is a little less hectic, and you're comfortable doing 5-10 transactions per year. And that's fine! Just be honest with your interviewer from the very beginning so goals and expectations are crystal clear. 4. Is it a culture fit? In America, we spend more time with our coworkers than we do with our families. So do not underestimate the importance of enjoying your work community! A good question to ask to get a sense of a company's culture is, "What is your mission?" If they mention empowering their agents, building community, fostering teamwork, etc., this is a good sign. You don't want to get stuck in an ultra-competitive, "to each his own" setting. Some teams place work-family balance as a high priority. Consider how important that is to you, and get a sense of how the team operates. Do they encourage you to take a vacation? Do they host retreats or family-friendly company events? 5. What technology do they use? Let's be real. It's 2018, and the real estate industry is rapidly expanding and adapting to new technologies. Sometimes it can even feel a little "sink or swim" when keeping up with the trends. The teams that embrace technology and leverage it for their success are outperforming other teams left and right. This is why it would behoove you to ask about technology. Consider the following questions: What is their advertising model? Do they advertise through Facebook and paid Google Ads? What is their social media presence? Are they active on Facebook (specifically Facebook Live), Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.? Do they use a CRM? If so, which one? Does the CRM have a mobile app? Is this included in agent fees or does the broker cover it? Do they embrace helpful apps, like mortgage calculators and camera scanners? Or tools that streamline productivity like an automated dialer or transaction management software? The ideal situation is a team that has their system down pat. They know what technology can help advance their business and empower their agents, and they aren't afraid to invest in that. A great sign of a successful team is if they are diligent about tracking and measuring the success of ad campaigns or processes for lead generation and acting accordingly. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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5 Things Every Agent Should Do This Holiday Season!
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6 Ideas for Dealing with Unrealistic Real Estate Clients
You've met them before--homebuyers that have the taste for champagne, but the budget for beer. How can you effectively assist that client without telling them what they want is something they can't afford? 1. Show Them a Few Homes that Fit Their Criteria Nothing can be quite effective as a quick awakening by sticker shock. Don't beat around the bush; show them the homes that fit their criteria. Always be solution-oriented and share some homes that possess a few of the features they require. 2. Show Them a List of Homes that Fit Their Budget If you want to avoid the pain of ripping off a Band-aid, maybe just show them homes within their budget. They might be okay with missing out on one or two of their preferred features in order to live comfortably within their means. 3. Sit Down with Them and Show Them the MLS If they really don't believe you, you can show them what it's like from a real estate agent's point of view. Some real estate clients will appreciate a straight-forward and honest perspective. 4. Show Them Recently Sold Homes and Their Closing Prices Something that homebuyers and sellers can't do through a public search is see what homes recently sold for. Even more than that, they won't know why homes sold for that much. You being the expert at real estate can explain to them the nuances of why two three-bedroom homes on the same street sold for two different prices. 5. Give Them Options Always have a solution. Don't let your clients have buyer's remorse or, worse, give you a bad review for having to "settle" with a home that they are not big fans of. There are plenty of financial options like family loans, cashing in on 401Ks, etc. 6. Understand Their Wants and Needs The market might not support the criteria at the pricepoint they can afford, so to best help your client sit down with them. Find out what they want and need. By digging deeper, you can come to a good resolution. For example, maybe you'll uncover that the features they want are very important, but they can compromise on location. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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Friday Freebie: Buyer's Cheat Sheet to Winning in Low Inventory Markets
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How to Successfully Navigate a Listing Shortage
In a business where supply and demand can have your stomach in knots, the last thing a real estate agent wants to deal with is a choke point of supply. We have to have an inventory of homes to help our clients sell, buy, and even to test the market at times ("Let's just put it on the market and see what happens"). May 2020 reported an average inventory of available homes at around 4.8 months. Due to the dreadful impact of COVID and the pandemic that gripped the nation with lockdowns, Zoom meetings, and the newfound need to move, that supply dwindled to around 1.9 months by December 2020. There was a severe problem for many real estate agents. There were, however, a certain set of determined folks who were able to make lemonade from lemons, and these are three listing shortage best practices you can also take advantage of (pandemic or not!). 1. Be Proactive You know the best neighborhoods in your market. You also know what the comps are, and how to take advantage of that information. Don't leave a listing to chance. You never know if someone who isn't currently posting a For Sale sign in their yard has a price in their head they'd be willing to talk about. By proactively reaching out to homeowners, you're a step ahead. By being prepared with specific, curiosity-generating information, and an approach that implies the need for a seller to operate with a sense of urgency, you can quickly find yourself on the inside, looking out. 2. Coddle YOUR Sphere of Influence We've talked about this before – your SOI is the hands-down best source of free referrals and "ear to the ground" information you're going to have. The very nature of your business model is built around establishing, nurturing, and capitalizing on your relationships. Ensure your SOI is tuned into your business, but in a way that benefits them. That's tricky at times, yes, because your goal is to get listings and sales; their goal is to be as helpful to you as possible without feeling like they're being used. To prevent that from happening, you have to make it worth their while. Understand how the individuals in your SOI like to be rewarded or recognized. I'm speaking specifically about those people who are (or have been) the most impactful in identifying new business and inserting you into new social networks. If an introduction by them of their friend or coworker or whatever to you turns into a sale, the first thing you should do is find an appropriate and thoughtful way to recognize their contribution. Be it a monthly SOI direct mail campaign, a gift card, a big old hug, etc., let them know that without their support, you wouldn't have been successful. In the second quarter of 2021, the medium home price was $374,900. Just 1% of that sales price is more than enough to find an inexpensive and meaningful way to ensure your SOI is the gift that keeps on giving. 3. Think Outside the Box How many times have you "creatively" described an ugly bathroom, or a cramped kitchen, or a jungle of a back yard? Listings don't have to elusive if you commit to looking in places you might not conventionally have considered. A great option is rental listings. Why? As a great example, in this topsy-turvy job market where homeowners have the ability to swim upstream to a better position and salary, that doesn't always mean they'll be able to continue working from home in their pajamas. And for those folks who need to relocate very quickly, one of their best options is to rent their home for a short period of time before they can concentrate on the full selling process. That works the same for those who quickly need to find a home to rent but aren't necessarily in the position to buy right now. The listing shortage is far from over. Although it continues to improve each month, consistently staying top of mind each month by sending get listings postcards will make you the first agent they think of. [NOTE: We continue to watch the increase in those contracting the Delta variant of the COVID virus, and any ensuing fallout, thereof, as it relates to inventory volumes.] Successful agents will weather this storm. Successful agents who take note of these best practices (and more) will do even better.
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The Best Ways to Avoid Zoom Gloom
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The Most Important Repairs Sellers Should Make for Buyers
Are you helping guide sellers through our current seller's market? Share this article with them to help them understand the pros and cons of making home repairs before listing: Thinking about getting your house in shape to list for sale before the super seller's market fades away? If you've owned your home for five years or more, or if you've been putting off maintenance tasks, you may have a great deal to figure out first. Maybe your home could use some big ticket upgrades, or perhaps the roof is at the end of its life. Repairs can certainly boost home salability, but not all will net sellers a worthwhile return on the investment or help them to sell quickly. To determine the most important repairs sellers should make for buyers, it comes down to two main components: seller goals and local market conditions. Should Sellers Make Major Home Repairs? When it comes to performing any major remodeling or home improvement project, most statistics show that you will not recoup the cost of those big-ticket item repairs. As nationally syndicated consumer columnist Clark Howard says: "The reason you do an improvement to your home is 'cause you want to. Because you end up losing money when you do a home improvement; you don't make money." Howard's assertion is supported by the findings of the two most current and credible sources, the annual Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling Magazine and the National Association of Realtors' annual Remodeling Impact Report. The Cost vs.Value report breaks down its findings by ZIP Code to reflect local construction costs, while NAR's report includes valuable feedback from Realtors' perceptions of the impact of each project's resale value and the risk of losing sales should owners forgo an improvement when needed. (As a note, the most current NAR report is based on survey data from the summer of 2019, nine months before the pandemic arrived, and thus not reflective of the current extreme seller's market. Remodeling's report was gathered in the first half of 2021 and reflects rising contractors' costs that have led to spikes in home prices.) So, if you're looking to make a major buck in your home sale, major repairs may not be the best route. However, if you opt not to make repairs, it could cost you a sale entirely. This is when working with an agent to establish your goals and strategize accordingly becomes paramount. Home Repair Costs are Rising, and Sellers' Returns are Falling Homeowners' average return on their investments in improvements has fallen 11 points since 2014. Project costs have been rising steadily for years, and soared especially during the pandemic due to supply chain issues and labor costs. However, a recent Homes.com survey found that this year's competitive marketplace has somewhat bucked that trend and made it easier for pandemic sellers to recoup much, if not all, of their home improvement costs. According to the report, 82% of homeowners who sold in the first half of 2021 accepted offers at or above listing price. Of that group, over a third (34%) spent $10,000 or more on repairs or upgrades, and one in four recouped those costs entirely by selling for $10,000 or more over listing price. But sellers may not be able to expect those same robust selling prices for much longer. Price growth and buyer activity is cooling down, meaning buyers may not feel desperate enough to overlook needed repairs that previous pandemic buyers have been more forgiving of. What Do Sellers Need to Disclose About Repair Needs? State laws require sellers to disclose specific information to buyers about the house's structural and other features that might affect the house's value. For example, in some states, sellers cannot fraudulently conceal major defects such as a leaking basement or termite infestation. Many states have created standard forms with which sellers are expected to record any problem affecting the property's value or condition. State legislations aside, standard real estate contracts contain a contingency clause that allows the buyer to conduct a house inspection. Should the inspection find that repairs are needed, contingency clauses usually require sellers to make them before closing, give buyers the right to renegotiate the selling price to account for the cost of the repairs, or walk away from the deal and retrieve their earnest money. In today's highly competitive markets, some buyers are making bids that omit one or more contingency clauses, but most retain the home inspection clause. What Should Sellers Repair Before Listing? In today's seller's market, it's unlikely that sellers will lose deals over minor repair needs. In fact, Homes.com's aforementioned survey found that 32% of homeowners who plan to sell in the latter half of 2021 plan on making repairs prior to listing. Remember, though — the market is showing signs of slowing down. If you plan on selling in the coming months, make a list of all significant repairs needed and get estimates on the cost of repairing them. It might also be wise to hire a home inspector who can prepare a report listing necessary repairs that would require you to disclose them to potential buyers under your state's disclosure requirements. Once you have your list of issues, divide them into these categories: Minor repairs that can be fixed before listing (such as landscaping) and/or cost less than $5,000 each to fix, like painting, trash removal, or gutter repairs and cleaning. Major repairs you'll either have to fix or otherwise disclose to buyers, such as water and sewer systems, structural systems, electrical, HVAC systems, wood-destroying insects, and hazardous materials such as lead paint. Issues from the above lists (or others you may have missed) that have the greatest potential to become deal breakers that drive away buyers. Depending on the market, these deal breakers could include a cracked foundation, a leaky and/or moldy basement, extensive termite damage, an old roof that needs replacing, or window-unit air conditioning. This is the list you ultimately want to focus on. What you add to the deal breakers list will depend on both your goals and your local market. Does a quick sale take precedence, or is your main goal a high selling price? Are there issues that local buyers are consistently walking away from? Your agent will have those insights, and can help you determine which repairs will strike the balance in between. How to Sell Your Home When Major Repairs are Needed Repairs for some major potential deal breakers, like old roofs or moldy basements, can be paid for with an equity line of credit you pay off at closing. For repairs you absolutely can't afford to fix —but can't afford not to fix if you want it to sell — you have three options: Get repair estimates from local contractors. Proceed with selling as planned and disclose problems as required by law. Should the issues surface in the buyer's inspection, be prepared to fix them before closing or lower the sales price. Make the minor, inexpensive repairs, then get an appraisal to determine your home's market value. List your house at that value, minus the cost of repairing any potential deal breakers your agent has identified. Share the estimates with serious buyers and their agents, explaining that you lowered the price and why. A lower price should attract interest, and bidders may even raise their offers beyond what the repairs would cost you. Sell your house "as is." Don't make any repairs or improvements, but price your home a good deal lower than its actual value to reflect the home's condition. The low price could generate a lot of interest, especially from investors, and your best offer may be as high, or higher than, the actual value. This can be a gamble in a cooling market, but your agent will know if it's a strong option. There's no "one-size-fit-all" solution to identifying the most important repairs sellers should make, but as long as you identify your goals and work with a knowledgeable agent, you'll enjoy a much more successful selling process. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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4 Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make with Personal Relationships
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Guiding Sellers in a Seller's Market
A seller's market occurs when inventory of homes is low. There is more demand for home from buyers than there are home sellers on the market. This puts your sellers in the position of authority in deciding how the sale will go. A seller's market allows the seller to set the price and the terms, within reason. The seller has the freedom to choose from one of several buyers, motivating buyers to offer a better price and better terms. As real estate professionals, it is our duty to guide seller clients to make the best possible use of the seller's market. Let's dive into what's involved in guiding sellers through a home sale during a seller's market. The Seller's Market Strategy During a seller's market, it's important to have a strategy to produce best results. Sellers want to attract multiple competing buyers. Bidding wars drive the asking price upward and encourage more favorable terms as part of the deal to accept the bid. The more competition is created with buyers, the better deal you will find among their offers. Once you have a nice selection of buyers ready, you can guide your seller to choose the best bid and then negotiate from a position of strength for the best price and terms for your seller. Choosing Your Listing Price In a seller's market, listing prices go up. Start with the usual baseline numbers: The assayed value of the house, the home's last selling price, added value through renovations, and the recent selling price of similar homes in the neighborhood. There are two approaches to a competitive listing price. In a seller's market, you can list higher than the standard calculation, and challenge buyers to negotiate the price down. Or you can attract more buyers at once by setting the price slightly lower than expected and then negotiate the price up. Staging to Attract Multiple Buyers The best bids arrive when a home is staged to inspire the buyers that view and tour the property. While even shabby homes sell fast in a seller's market, the best price comes from buyers competing to submit the highest bid and best terms to the seller. The more buyers who are competing for a home at the same time, the better the final accepted bid will be. To this end, it's important to prepare and stage the home for presentation. Advise your client to repaint the walls, polish and steam the floors, and guide them through light staging. The budget of the client and size of the house will determine the correct amount of staging to invest in. Selecting the Best Bid and Buyer When your buyers start to bid, advise your client to wait until several bids have come in at once. There's no need to jump on the first bid unless it's already a much better deal than you expected. Buyers competing with each other will offer higher bids and better contract terms to win the opportunity to buy the house. Guide your seller to weigh the bids based on both their value and potential for negotiation. Help them choose the best bid and buyer of those available and let your buyer's agent know they've been chosen. Negotiating from a Position of Strength In negotiations, remind your client that they are in the position of strength. In a seller's market, the seller has more influence over the contract terms and can ask for more because the buyer is at a disadvantage. A good negotiation for the seller focuses on raising the selling price, sharing closing costs, and reducing any final maintenance costs or contingencies. That said, being flexible with your buyer in negotiations is also the best way to achieve a smooth and harmonious closing. So negotiate from a position of strength, but advise your seller not to disadvantage the buyer with terms if it can be avoided. Engaging a Smooth Closing Procedure Finally, smooth the closing process. Closing is the most hectic time for sellers and their agents because there is so much legal and financial paperwork to take care of in the process. Ideally, agents can make use of a closing platform like Transactly to minimize those many hours of tedious closing. Instead, that time can be spent helping your seller get squared away at the end of the sale. Prioritize face-to-face time and a satisfactory personal conclusion while well-designed software takes care of the tedious closing procedures. A seller's agent provides an invaluable service to home sellers, especially in a seller's market. Without your guidance, sellers wouldn't know how to get the best price for their homes, even when the advantage is on their side. Your hard work and professional guidance will ensure each of your seller clients is well served and gets the best price for each house sold. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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How Rookie Real Estate Agents Can Survive in Any Market
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Thinking of Joining a Real Estate Team? Consider the Pros and Cons
There are many different paths to take when you begin a career in the real estate world. One important decision you'll make is whether to go solo or join a team. Everyone has different priorities and goals when it comes to mapping out their career, so your decision is unique to you. For example, a rookie agent will want to look for a brokerage with high brand awareness or mentoring, while a veteran agent might be looking for new marketing tools or digital marketing training. In this article, you'll learn the pros and cons of joining a real estate team to help you decide if it's best for your growth as an agent. Pros of Joining a Real Estate Team 1. Great way to start new career You have a lot to learn as a new agent. The majority of your initial learning experience will come from your license exam, observation, and trial-and-error. By working with a team of like-minded individuals, you can learn from your colleagues' mistakes and successes, have opportunities to brainstorm new ideas, and practice role playing. Since you'll have an existing database to work with, a lot of your lead generation will be done on your behalf through your broker. Typically, this means you'll have to pay financial dues or a portion of your commission to the broker. 2. Receive training and support Most free online learning resources aren't comprehensive and require a fee for secret strategies that have a real impact. Having veteran agents to work with makes a huge difference at the start of your career. Many unexpected questions and scenarios will come up when you start as an agent, but fortunately a veteran agent can help you navigate. Even better, find a mentor that will take you under their wing, teach you the ins and outs, give you blunt feedback, and share their secrets of success. 3. Time off is easier Agents who fail on their own often find it harder to take a break. Being part of a real estate team allows you to enjoy flexibility a bit more. For example, if you are out of the office, someone will be there to take a message or help a client for you. 4. Business expenses are lower Shared expenses means less money out of pocket for you. Many of your fees can be split with the team as well as your office space. It's amazing how many fees agents are hit with throughout the year. Sharing these expenses can help your bottom line. 5. Available resources, tools, and scripts Most teams will provide marketing tools and educational material to help you be successful. For example, some teams provide templates and scripts for their agents to leverage to sharpen their skills. Many teams offer digital marketing tools like a website with a CRM. As a new agent, you will try new tactics, add your own flare, and keep the ones that resonate with you the most. 6. Established team branding If you don't have any personal branding, you should consider finding a team with quality branding in your market to bandwagon until you are more established. Do your research! Review their customer and employee testimonials, and their Google search ranking to help you determine which one will be best for you. Cons of Joining a Real Estate Team 1. You have less control of your branding For the creative and marketing minded agent, teams can often be a bit restrictive. You won't have individual control of you own branding and will only be able to market yourself under the team name and logo. 2. Commission is less Unlike a solo agent, you will have to share your commission with multiple members of the team. 3. You must mesh with team culture Just like any office, you are going to need to make sure that the team is the right fit for you. Fitting in with the team culture is extremely important for continued success. 4. A weak member can hurt the entire team The mistakes made by an individual greatly impact the team. They say "you are only as strong as your weakest link," and with a real estate team, this old adage holds true. 5. Cost-benefit of desk fees How much will it cost to have a desk in your team's office? Does the fee outweigh the benefits? Determine the monetary value of each benefit such as the factors listed above. If your desk fees are more than the benefits than that real estate team might not be worth your time. Don't get overwhelmed! Many agents change their teams for different reasons and you can always move to a different one. To help you choose the one that is right for you initially, consider the benefits that they offer such as mentoring, training, their branding, their resources, and fees. Most importantly—do your research and invest in a real estate team that is willing to invest in you. To view the original article, visit the TorchX blog.
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How to Drive Multiple Offers
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Bad Advice You Hear from Other Real Estate Agents Online
The internet is a great source for information. You can teach yourself new skills and uncover new knowledge for topics you care deeply about. The dark side of that, though, is you need to sift through a lot of misinformation. This misinformation then gets amplified in an echo chamber by people who are trying to validate their bias. This is how fake news spreads, but it is also how bad advice is accepted by a mass population of people. These are the pieces of advice you should avoid from other real estate agents online: 1. Make Your Own Website Anybody can make a website. The hypothetical "13 year old nephew that can do it better" illustrates the perception some agents have about how easy it really is. Creating a website, and creating a real estate website that generates results are two different things. Companies like Zurple exist to alleviate your stress and provide the website for you. There is no reason to take your attention away from your real estate business to learn how to code the IDX data from your MLS to appear on your site and communicate with your email campaigns. 2. You Should Never Pay for Leads Nothing is ever free. And while we agree you shouldn't pay for leads, that doesn't mean you shouldn't spend marketing dollars on Facebook or Google Ads. Or if you are not the most knowledgable in the subject of online ads, it would make sense to outsource that to a company that knows the ins and outs. In a similar bad piece of advice, they will tell you to do ads yourself. These are agents that took the time to learn how to monitor their own ads. Not every agent has that time, though. So in this case, it might be best to hire a professional. 3. ______ Doesn't Work There will always be another real estate agent that claims a certain product, technique, or company doesn't work. There will also be another agent that claims the exact opposite. Some agents will still fervently deny the viability of social media because getting face to face with their consumer is what they think is most effective. Then there are some agents that will say nobody wants to be bothered and will not pick up a phone or answer their door, so they get in front of them by being online. Agents will tell you it doesn't work, but what they really mean is that it doesn't work for them. 4. Internet Leads Stink Most agents will agree that you must be online to stay in front of home buyers and sellers. However many agents will also tell you that most of their online leads are bad leads. This is advice you should never listen to. In one of Zurple's recent webinars, many agents said they believe internet leads are only worth it if they transact within 28 days. However, with online leads just starting their home buying journey, you are capturing them at the top of the sales funnel. They have a few months of research left before they are ready to speak to an agent. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How to Increase Your Income as a Real Estate Agent
When you entered the real estate industry, you probably did it with one primary goal in mind: to make money. A six figure salary is difficult to atain as an agent though. It takes years of building your network, constant hard work, and dedication to achieve the monetary return you dreamed of when you entered real estate. So what can you do to help accomplish that? "How to increase your income as a real estate agent?" is a question that has plagued many new and experienced agents alike. Lucky for you, though, some of the most effective and efficient ways to accomplish that are explained below. Broaden Your Expertise A majority of agents have a specialty they focus on primarily, or in addition to accepting general clients. This is such a widespread practice because when you gain expertise in a specialty, you become more valuable. For example, many agents gain experience being a property manager, relocation specialist, or rental property agent. These specialties can become extremely profitable, and the work for them can be done in addition to serving the clients you already have. Being able to successfully represent and serve niche groups will open up your options for clients. Attracting more clients to your business is a reliable way to start increasing your income as a real estate agent. Perform Third-Party Price Analysis Banks, insurance companies, municipal governments, and construction companies all need the services of a real estate agent more than you would think. These entities often need a price analysis on homes, which is where you come in. Say a property owner defaulted on their loan and now the home will be sold by the bank. Oftentimes the bank will reach out to multiple local agents in order to attain an accurate comparative price analysis to determine the value of the home. The trick to landing this type of work is to get your name in with a company early. Reach out to local banks, construction companies, etc. and start networking with them. Make sure they know that you are ready and eager to help them with their business endeavors. These types of companies can offer you excellent work that would help you achieve your salary goals. This is especially true if you are able to make a strong relationship with a construction company. Construction companies are unique regarding third party work because they could need your services in two different ways. They need your expertise to consult on the potential placement, as well as build features of a home. Then once the home is built someone has to be the listing agent for it. If you know the home best, you can easily advocate yourself to be the listing agent on the property. So take some time to research the local construction companies and the builds they take on. You may be able to find the best partner in real estate that you never saw coming. Invest in Real Estate Investing in real estate is a way to increase your income as a real estate agent that you definitely should be pursuing. As an agent, you are in the perfect position to be a successful investor. You already have a great understanding of the local market, and you have access to properties before they become popular. Thus allowing you to determine when a home is a good investment, and then snatch it up before someone else takes it. Now, as you know investing in real estate can be extremely expensive. That is why it is a good idea to take on your first couple investments with a team of other real estate professionals. Together you can build your funds faster than you would be able to alone. You will also be able to benefit from their market knowledge, and differing perspectives. It would be a good idea to bring on an attorney, contractor and banker, in addition to yourself. This will give you a well rounded scope of knowledge for anything that would happen to come up throughout the course of your first few investment properties. Lastly, becoming a real estate investor yourself would give you the preparation and experience needed to effectively start serving other investors. Investors are often a difficult clientele base, but with personal experience in their field of interest, you will be able to understand and serve them better than an agent without that experience, surely catching the attention of investors all over your local area. Continue Your Education It is not required to have a bachelor's or master's degree as a real estate agent, but it is still a good idea to pursue at least your bachelor's degree. Many agents hold degrees in fields relating to business, marketing, or sales. The experience and knowledge a degree offers you puts you in a position to grow your business exponentially. It is also a major selling point for clients. Advertising the fact you have a degree will catch clients' attention, establish trust faster, and could be the deciding factor between you and another agent. Data and analysis produced by the NAR shows that agents with degrees earn at least 5% more than their counterparts. There is also evidence that more degree holders make over $100K, compared to those without a degree. Earning your degree can truly put you over the top as an agent, but if college isn't your thing, you have another option. Real estate continued education courses are constantly available, and a more cost-effective option than college. Some of these courses are required to maintain your license, but you have the opportunity to take as many as you want. You won't earn a formal degree from taking these courses, but you will gain more knowledge and expertise, setting you up to better serve your clients. Study Under an Experienced Mentor If the option is available to you, it is always a good idea to study under a mentor. Mentors, especially one specializing in your field of interest, can give you the experience you need to take your business to the next level. Agents with decades of experience know the ropes, and rules of the game when it comes to real estate. Studying under one of these agents gives you the opportunity to skip over the trial and error entry period of real estate. They can tell you what will work and what won't before you invest your time and money into an idea. This gives you a headstart on how to be successful in a specialty. That kind of headstart is definitely an opportunity you want to seize. So go out and search for a mentor, it may be the best decision you ever made for your career. To view the original article, visit the Transactly blog.
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What Salary Can You Expect to Make as a Real Estate Agent?
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Tech and Mental Health: It's been a long pandemic
Do you remember the moment you went into pandemic lockdown? No one had any idea how long it would last. A few weeks? A couple of months? In Florida, the first detection of the coronavirus came on March 1. Soon, Disney World announced that that it would close on March 15. Bars and nightclubs started closing two days later, and by April 1, the Sunshine State was under statewide stay-at-home orders. After more than a year, the impact on our mental health is undoubtedly on many Realtors' minds. Many are parents, and the effect of the pandemic on their kids and remote learning certainly is taking the spotlight as students finally return to part-time and full-time in-person classes. While tech stress and Zoom gloom are real, some positive tech improvements have emerged related to mental health. The National Institute of Mental Health notes that mobile devices have provided a new gateway for doctors and researchers. Mobile mental health support rapidly emerged during the pandemic, providing better and swifter access to health support. New mobile apps appeared to allow Telehealth medical appointments, monitor physical activity, track dietary consumption, digitally record weight changes with smart scales, and more. This is the upside of technology during the pandemic. Today, anyone needing mental health support can send a text message to contact a crisis center. New apps are promising to improve memory and thinking skills. Apps even use built-in sensors to collect information on our behavior patterns. All of this new technology brings pros and cons, which need individual evaluation. New Telehealth tools increase access and convenience to medical care and mental health support. For those who put off seeing a medical professional – such as a real estate agent with an insanely busy schedule – using an app might help overcome that hurdle. With more than 10,000 mobile medical apps in the market, the biggest concern with these new apps is their effectiveness. Obtaining supporting science takes time, and how well they work and whom they work best for are questions that loom. Privacy is another primary concern, as these apps tap into highly sensitive and personal information. Yet, the mobile medical movement is creating new partnerships between clinicians and engineers. Apps based on science and powered by exceptional technology are emerging that can help someone stop smoking or assist with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For real estate agents who thrive on face-to-face interaction, the pandemic has been particularly brutal. Reducing stress levels has become more crucial than ever, and there are some great apps to help agents do just that. Here's a link to more than a dozen. One of the most popular stress management apps is Calm, available in the App Store and Google Play. With 100 million downloads and 1.5 million 5-star reviews, it has become the top-ranked app for mediation, relaxation, and sleep. Calm features music and the sounds of nature to help you "focus, relax, and sleep." Video lessons focus on movement and stretching. Masterclass audio programs help strengthen mental fitness, addressing topics including stress, depression, insomnia and anxiety. The prevalence of Telehealth also has soared in use during the COVID outbreak. With more and more doctors and therapists offering Telehealth appointments, accessibility has never been greater. Telehealth also is making care more affordable. Offering live, highly secure (no Zoom bombing issues here) video conferencing, getting an appointment with your doctor for consultations and treatment is more accessible and often faster than scheduling an in-person meeting. New technology is extending the benefits of Telehealth with remote patient monitoring. RPM tools electronically record personal health and medical data and send it digitally and securely to your health professional. With these new tech tools do come new tech challenges. Fortunately, if your association or MLS provides Tech Helpline as a member benefit, analysts are available to help you with your technology challenges – even non-real estate related ones! If you are trying to set up one of these new apps and need assistance in trying to figure out how to install it or configure your settings, you can call, click or text to reach a Tech Helpline analyst for support. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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5 Tasks Every Real Estate Agent Must QUIT to Close More Deals
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Productivity Tips for a Successful (and Balanced) Real Estate Business
The hustle, the grind, the nonstop work. Today's real estate agents are all too familiar with what it takes to stay ahead. But staying balanced and in control are important not only for avoiding burnout but also for growing your business in a sustainable way. Run Your Business... Don't Let It Run You To be successful in real estate, you can't be all things to all people. And you can't try to do everything yourself. BoomTown hosted a powerful webinar with real estate top producer Rachel Adams Lee (The Rachel Adams Lee Group Powered by Keller Williams), and she covered her most insightful tips for reaching unparalleled success while maintaining balance and boundaries. With her expert insights, we're covering the most critical tips for growing your business while staying productive and balanced. DO Structure Your Day Time blocking can be challenging in an industry that requires catering to clients. You may be tempted to become available at the drop of a hat and say yes to certain meeting times that work best for others, however, this is how you start to lose control of your own business and time. Trust that (A) you'll be able to maintain your business and make ends meet even if you're not available 24/7, and (B) you may lose out on an opportunity here and there and that's okay. If you bite off more than you can chew, you'll end up dropping the ball somewhere. Time block your day Prioritize things that energize and motivate you DO Set Strict Boundaries Boundaries are essential for survival, success, and for your mental health when it comes to real estate. Working around the clock may feel like your doing your business a favor by being "all-in," but in reality, you're doing yourself and your clients a disservice by setting yourself up for burnout. Keep work and family/personal life separate: This allows you to be totally "on" with both your work and your family (or just yourself!). Have a clear shut-off time: Honor your time and your mental health by allowing yourself a clear shut-off time each day. You might be surprised how easily your clients and colleagues respect those boundaries! Set up a system for your "out of office" times: We know that in real estate, things are always moving. Account for this in your business plan! Meaning, leverage someone within your team to handle calls when you're unavailable. Or, utilize a Lead Concierge Service to engage with new leads on your behalf, 24/7. DO Identify Your Money-Making Activities As a real estate professional, you want to run your business like a CEO. And the CEO doesn't do everything, the CEO only does the things that require their unique expertise and attention. The high-value, high-dollar activities. In order to maximize your productivity (while avoiding burnout), start by observing all of the activities throughout your day. How long are your spending running around putting lockboxes on doors or scheduling showings? Or focusing on administrative tasks? Think about both of these questions: What brings me joy? What are my high-dollar activities that require my participation? One helpful tool for restructuring your daily tasks is the Eisenhower Matrix. It helps you identify how you should prioritize, delegate, or eliminate tasks.  DO Give 110% with Clients The most important expectation from clients is to be heard. People want to feel valued and cared about. They want to feel like they're the only person in the room and that you are going to give them VIP service. Give the extra 10%: Listen more than you talk and ask lots of questions Be prepared and confident: Focus on script practice and objection handling and always have your presentation and your stats ready to go! DON'T Avoid Technology Agents often avoid real estate technology and tools for two reasons: They can be a serious investment They can seem time-intensive and overly complicated But the truth is, sustainable success and long-term growth in today's competitive market absolutely requires leveraging technology. It's all about finding the right tools for your business and making sure that their return on investment (ROI) is worth it! Here's a list of some of the tools top agents and brokers use to complete their tech stack: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Transaction Management Lead Generation Tools Lead Conversion Tools Lead Qualification/ISA Software Market Data Marketing Automation Open House Management Mobile Dialer Accounting Software Contracts, Legal and Compliance A powerful real estate technology partner will include many of this functionality as an all-in-one solution. When you're exploring real estate CRMs, make sure they have a robust integration partner network so that your tools can function seamlessly within one central hub. DON'T Reinvent the Wheel The most successful real estate businesses run on systems and processes. There's no guesswork and every cog has its place within the well-oiled machine. As you're building your business, always keep an eye out for tasks that repeat and if there's a way to streamline that process through a service or tool (like a template)! Templatize your assets and content Market reports, presentations, social media posts, etc. Try to surround yourself with industry peers and mentors that are willing to share helpful resources like scripts, automation templates, and drip campaigns Create processes for everything within your business to avoid gaps and miscommunications DON'T Try to Do It All Alone We've touched on how to identify your most dollar-productive tasks and why it's important to leverage technology to stay productive. Now it's time to put that into action. Don't be the hero! Top producers know how to do three things really well: prioritize, automate, and delegate. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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10 Secrets of Success for Single Agents and Small Teams
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Tips for Managing Stress as a Real Estate Agent
Working as a real estate agent can be a stressful career choice. There are many different factors that can contribute to large amounts of stress, whether it be figuring out your commissions or working with a challenging client. In order for you to continue being successful, you have to have a way to deal with the stress so that it doesn't get to you and affect your performance at work. Aside from that, you also have to find a work-life balance to where you can relax during your time away from the office. There are many ways that people can deal with stress. Some people exercise, others participate in activities that help them relax and forget about the stresses of their daily routine. Realize that Stress Can Play a Role in Your Performance Being stressed or feeling overworked can have a negative effect on your performance. So the first thing you should do is figure out what might be causing your stress. You can do this by taking a look at your current workload or even the structure of your job and seeing how they can be changed to make them more manageable. For example, create a list of tasks that you need to complete. Doing this can help you discover that you might be prioritizing tasks that should not take priority over more pressing items. This can help you better manage your time and reduce the stress of your career. After all, while multitasking can occasionally be an effective path to task completion, it's usually better to really focus in on one thing at a time. Listing your tasks and crossing them off as you finish them can help you do this. Activities to De-stress There are plenty of different activities you can try to help you de-stress after a hard day at the office. Many people believe that exercise is the best option, so you may want to try it. If this is what you prefer, you can try yoga, pilates, or even dancing. Not only are these exercises good for your health, but they can also assist with mental awareness and keep you at your best for your real estate business. Aside from exercising, you can keep your stress down by spending time with family and friends, taking a nice vacation or even choosing a hobby that you can do during your downtime. De-stressing should be something that you enjoy and find fun. Yes, it will be hard to tear yourself away from your career for a little bit, but the benefits of keeping your stress down are what matter most. You should consider how it will be better for your productivity at work. Rest You may find this hard to do, but actually taking the time to rest is important for minimizing your stress levels. We know how hard it can be to take a step back from your work when you return home after a long day, but you have to think about yourself and take a little while to rest. Rest is good for your well-being. At night, when you return home you should take time to relax and enjoy some of your time being home. It can be difficult to do this, but constantly pulling late nights and prioritizing your career can cause you to not perform your best. Rest is what keeps you running, so get as much rest as possible. Then, you will find yourself able to start a new day and hit the ground running. Making sure to take the time to de-stress and forget about work is an important part of finding a successful balance between work and home life. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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Protect Your Real Estate Business with These 6 Foundational Principles
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Help Your Seller Enhance the Value of Their Home Before It Hits the MLS
Not every house is magazine-worthy, but every house has hidden potential that a seasoned real estate professional can unlock. How can you improve your seller's chances of getting their property seen once it reaches the MLS system? Some great ideas for enhancing the value of a home are second nature to you, but you need to communicate them to your seller. Help a buyer see more than just the price of a home—show them the value of location, floor plans, accurate square footage calculations, and the advantages of choosing a Realtor. What Your Seller Should Do Before Listing Their Home Your seller has decided to have you list their home and is anxious about getting it sold quickly. While you may consider signing the listing and organizing the real estate photography and 3D tours right away, give your seller some pointers about how to maximize value prior to the property hitting the MLS. Before you begin your real estate marketing plan, make a plan with your seller to tidy up and spruce up their home. Pay special attention to the list of little things, like having them do minor paint touch-ups, replace burnt-out lightbulbs, deep clean interior spaces, and give the exterior that professionally landscaped look. Discuss Staging Staging is a great way for a seller to prepare their home for sale. Options range from the seller staging their own rooms, to hiring a professional stager, or using the current property tech trend of virtual staging. All of these choices can assist the seller in getting their home ready for 360° tours so you can focus on your real estate marketing plan from there. No Surprises The documents required on completion of a sale are sometimes overlooked, especially in a busy real estate market. Make sure your seller is prepared with things like a current real property report (i.e., survey certificate), building permits and warranty information. Locating these documents can save time and hassle at a later date. Updates to the real property report and outstanding permits should be addressed as soon as possible. You want to avoid any surprises that may delay a sales transaction due to an encroachment issue or lack of development permit for a recently added deck.How do you discuss value with your seller and how do you arrive at the listing price? Value and Pricing: Are they the same thing? Value is somewhat subjective. A buyer may place more value on a property depending on several influencing factors. Value is often personal – some may like a sprawling country estate whereas others may value old-world craftsmanship over real estate square footage. To increase the emotional connection to a property, you can focus on room dimensions with an interactive floor plan to show the spaciousness of a home or highlight the architecture through interactive virtual tours. What Affects the Price of a Home? Sellers want you to tell them how much their house should be listed for. This is where a real estate agent's value comes into play. You don't just pull a number out of your head because the house next door just sold for a certain amount. As a professional, you determine the list price of a home based on data. How quickly a home sells is affected by a great real estate marketing plan, pricing a home relative to square footage calculations, and the ratio of buyers to available homes. The main reason a seller enlists you as their agent is to get the most money for their house, with the least amount of hassle, in the quickest and most convenient way possible. How do you get the best price for your seller? Make their property jump off the proverbial (web) page with options to trigger the buyer's emotional connection and satisfy their needs. Prepare the listing with professional real estate photography and 3D virtual tours so your virtual showings and open houses communicate value to potential buyers. The Effect of Supply and Demand Market value can get a little tricky. Value based on activity in the current market can cause prices to fluctuate. Things like how many homes are for sale, how many days they are on the market, how many properties are available, and what they offer in comparison to other similar properties. You must gather market data because it is often the driving factor behind the list price. Preparation is essential to make the seller's home stand out. Before hitting the "enter" button on the MLS data input page, show the seller your value as a real estate agent.
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Top Real Estate Negotiation Strategies for Agents
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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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