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7 Ways to Waste Money in Real Estate
You are a real estate agent, and maybe you just closed on a deal and now have some extra money from your most recent comission. If you are looking for a creative way to flush that money down the toilet, look no further. 1. Hiring Help Incorrectly Sometimes you just need help right away, and you will hire anybody. Or maybe you will hire a friend, family member, or person from within your network. That's how most people will find their real estate agents anyway, right? Be sure to carefully review everybody you are hiring—otherwise, you might as well throw that money towards whatever the newest cryptocurrency is that is trying to compete with Bitcoin. 2. Expensive Gifting When giving closing gifts to your clients, it's easy to go overboard to show them how much you appreciate their business. The higher the price tag, the higher their sense of gratitude is not something that is guaranteed. When building a relationship with your clients, it's important to make note of what brings a spark to their life. Is it the passion for their job? Is it their children's dreams? Are they obsessive Star Wars fans? Knowing this type of information can help you choose a thoughtful—and cost-effective—gift that establishes that you KNOW who your clients are as people. 3. Incorrect Listings Incorrect listings can include overpriced listings, listings outside of your niche, or listings too far outside of your farming area. Not only does it take some of your dedicated marketing dollars away from other listings, it also takes your precious time away as well. You should know when to say "no" to a listing that is not right for you. Your time is money, and you shouldn't be wasting it. 4. Choosing the Wrong Brokerage Speaking of wasting time, this is a common problem some new agents come across. It might be unavoidable for newer agents, but can be an easy dodge for veteran agents who know their way aroud the industry. Some brokerages simply aren't in an ideal alignment with your personal goals. Find yourself one that is. 5. Services You Don't Utilize Often on internet message boards, you will see agents write "________ is a waste of money." Sometimes that may be true. From personal experience, I've seen that it's not necessarily the service that is costing them, but it is the fact they are paying for it and not using it. If you are going to invest your hard-earned marketing dollars into a service, make sure you get the most out of it by actually using it. A gym membership alone isn't enough to stay in shape; you must also regularly go to the gym. 6. Not Having a Follow-up System Why would you spend so much money generating leads online, then never convert them? While it's true not all leads will turn into a commission, it is also true that some of these leads are missed opportunities due to lack of communication. Internet leads don't stink, they just aren't being properly followed up with. With consumer timelines elongating to more than just a simple 28 days, it takes time and patience to correctly convert these internet leads into new homeowners. 7. Red Flag Clients There are some clients you should run from. In some cases, the ends justify the means—where the end goal is a paycheck, and the means is an obstacle course in the form of a needy client. This should also include clients you KNOW can be better served by other agents—for example, a person looking to buy commercial real estate might benefit from an agent referral instead of you personally taking on the task. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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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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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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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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Building Your Real Estate Brand for the Long Run
The real estate market is hot right now with year-over-year sales setting records, but what do you do when there is a downward shift in sales? How do you stay at the forefront of the consumer's mind? Real estate sales across the nation have jumped to highs not seen in years. Low-interest rates paired are pushing the demand for single-family houses. With supplies dwindling, home buyers are grabbing up new residences quickly. But there will be an adjustment coming to normalize the markets and you need to be prepared in advance before the bubble pops. More Than a Business Card Now is the time for you to start building your brand and provide the best consumer experience regardless of the sales statistics. Your brand is not just the logo of your brokerage affixed to your business card and credentials. It's you, your services, your knowledge, and the value you bring. It is your connection to the consumer in the market you work in. Don't Be One-and-Done Homes sell in all economic situations. In a bull market when buyers are competing for properties, it's easy to jump on board that train and grab a listing or two that will sell within a matter of days (or hours). But you don't want to be in the category of "one and done" or "two and through." What happens when your list of friends and family customers runs out? You need more clients and you need them often. How do you get the leads and referrals to continue growing your business? You need real estate marketing. Show Value Show the consumer value by offering a consistent method of real estate marketing for all your listed properties to help buyers make quick informed decisions. One of the best marketing tools you can use is an all-in-one package of photos, 3D virtual tours, and advanced floor plans with accurate measurements. Show the seller a proven way to attract more interest in their properties backed by proven results. Tangible numbers both from statistics and positive reviews will help your brand stand out even in a bear market. Think Like the Consumer Think past the current real estate hype and consider the long term when it comes to buyers and sellers. If you want to stay in business, you have to find a way to offer the most value to the consumer. Think like a home buyer or seller: what is it that you want out of a real estate agent? You want accurate information, and an easy process both selling and buying. As a seller, you want to get the best dollar for your home, and as a buyer, you want the best value for the purchase price. Trust and Understanding Marketing concepts range from old-school advertising to bombarding social media with memes (think Bernie Sanders in a recent Realtor.com article), 3D videos and eye-catching real estate photography. But there is more to it than that. Create a marketing plan that offers value to the consumer. Show the seller you are presenting every square foot of their home with the ability to share it all via the MLS platform, directly through email or text messaging, or your social media channels. The buyer's journey does not begin and end with writing an offer and taking possession of a home. It begins with understanding the process before the aesthetics and the purchase price. It begins with trusting you. When consumers understand the living space, you have given them one of the most valuable tools possible: the knowledge they can trust delivered in a format they can use to map out the living space of a possible new home. Elevate your brand and foster trust by introducing easily navigated floor plans to help the buyer understand the fit and flow of a property. Focus on your brand to capture new leads and keep the proverbial ball rolling long after the market has softened. Staying in the game for the long run requires building your brand like building a home—start with a good foundation, measure the results and reap the rewards.
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Tips from 4 Top-Performing Women Real Estate Agents
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What's This I Hear About the Government Raising the Rates of Flood Insurance?
You may have seen two news stories in the last month regarding flood insurance: The first turned many heads -- it was a study of Floridians in flood zones underpaying for flood insurance by as much as 379%. The second centered on objections to FEMA's modernization program, Risk Rating 2.0, by Senator Chuck Schumer -- prompting speculation about possible delays to the program's implementation. Let's take a few minutes to explain what is happening … in plain English. From our previous articles, flood insurance is very $#@!&^% confusing, sold separately from homeowners insurance, and has two pricing systems: Public (The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP) and an emerging Private Market (offered by for-profit insurance carriers). Since the beginning, NFIP has based their entire flood insurance program on flood zones. Pricing has been by what "ZONE" a property is designated in, and there is a standard price for that zone. It is a blanket approach, and is considered very "black and white" in its price and administration. And for the highest risk zones, the government has knowingly subsidized the pricing to make the insurance affordable to all Americans. As of December 2019, NFIP owes $20.25 billion to the US. For private insurance carriers, they price each property based on proprietary data, weather mapping, historical claims data, and their own price-risk ratio. Private insurers have shown that there is wide discrepancy between stated "flood zones" and their proprietary pricing -- which is what they are willing to underwrite for actual property risk. Risk Rating 2.0, which has been in development for several years, is FEMA's effort to modernize the National Flood Insurance Program, so that they apply data and technology to appropriately price every property in America -- essentially matching the private insurance carrier approach to price-risk pricing. So, when an independent research study comes out comparing the historical zone-based pricing versus current pricing with technology and data, you get headlines of possible 379% increases. Some of this is very accurate, and some of this is sensationalized for newspaper consumption. Objections to Risk Rating 2.0 by Chuck Schumer, New York senator and Democratic Majority Leader, have prompted speculation about further delays to the rollout of FEMA's modernization program -- the implementation of which has already been pushed back a year to October 1, 2021 from its original date of October 1, 2020. It is not yet clear if there will be further delays beyond this date. In any case, the next step will be a full review of FEMA's plans through the checks and balances that is our U.S. Government, where committees will review the accuracy, fairness and rollout of the FEMA/NFIP plan. And it is an urgently needed step. "Risk Rating 2.0 is long overdue," Carolyn Kousky, Director of the Wharton Risk Center at the University of Pennsylvania, has said. Kousky is correct, yet NFIP, FEMA and the US Congress learned a difficult lesson the last time they tried to enact significant pricing change. In 2012, Congress enacted the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform act to change NFIP insurance rates to match actual pricing for actual risk -- only to then pass the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act two years later in 2014 to grandfather in much of the increased insurance rates. (source) So that history does not repeat itself, FEMA and Congress must re-imagine the National Flood Insurance Program so that it is sustainable for the future. In the last decade, climate change has advanced and is impacting livability across the U.S., as well as causing economic distress on our public and private sectors. Now is the time to make a long range plan that integrates climate and socioeconomic factors to account for our future flood needs. If you are interested in learning more, access our free eBook: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Flood Insurance* (*But Were Afraid To Ask) CartoFront is a technology services company that is simplifying flood insurance for REALTORS®, their clients, and insurance agents.     **Image credit: Insurance Journal, March 15
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The Big Lie: 'The House Is Not in a Flood Zone'
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Tech Fatigue Is Real: What You Can Do to Combat Zoom Gloom
As real estate agents and brokers spend more time on their computers and mobile devices than ever before, many have experience tech fatigue. The concept has been around long before the pandemic outbreak, but it has become mainstream. One of the most common culprits has been an overabundance of video calls and conferences. Health experts say that Zoom gloom is real. The same is true for all other video-calling interfaces, including Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Webex, FaceTime, and Skype. It turns out that virtual interactions can be hard on the brain. According to Andrew Franklin, an assistant professor of cyberpsychology at Norfolk State University in Virginia, video calls impair our natural need to assess the nuisances of one's body language and other non-verbal cues. "It can be a big brain drain not to have them," Franklin told National Geographic magazine, noting that multi-person screens magnify the problem. Here are some tips to combat tech fatigue: 1. Take Zoom breaks. Don't schedule Zoom meetings back-to-back. It's too exhausting for your brain. When you are face-to-face with someone in person, you don't stare them in the eyes for 30 minutes straight. But on Zoom, we feel like we need to pay 100% attention all the time. Taking regular breaks between your Zoom meetings – even switching to a traditional phone call versus a video call – can help. 2. Set stand-up alarms and take a breath. Use the alarm settings on your smartphone to alert yourself to stand up at regular intervals – at least once an hour. Make sure you walk away from all screens. If you have a smartwatch, pay attention to the app that reminds you when to stand up – and the one that prompts you for a breathing exercise. Closing your eyes and taking deep breaths not only can reduce stress but can help relieve tech fatigue. 3. Go outside. In addition to disconnecting from technology at regular intervals throughout the day, you need to take a walk – literally. Just walking around the block or through your neighborhood can help reduce tech fatigue. Just keep your smartphone in your pocket. Make it a screenless journey. 4. Turn off your notifications. The best strategy is to turn off all of your app notifications, including texts. For some agents, that may be impossible, especially in your deadline-driven world. But even if you must check your text, news feed, or other communication apps at set intervals – say every 15-30 minutes – you still can reduce a lot of tech fatigue that comes from always being connected. It's also an excellent way to not immediately "react" to social media posts. 5. Deploy the 20/20/20 rule. Eye doctors recommend that every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen requires you to look at something about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a break they need. Research has discovered that if you don't take breaks away from staring at a computer screen all day, you can increase your odds of getting myopia or nearsightedness. It takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to completely relax. 6. Ask the question: Does it need to be a video meeting? Remember, you can avoid Zoom gloom by limiting the number and frequency of your calls. Ask yourself, or the call organizer, if you can accomplish the same thing on a regular phone call. If you do not have to share a screen, opt for a regular call as every call does not need to be a video call. 7. Track your small screen time. Tech fatigue is exacerbated when you also are staring at your phone. Today's smartphone can track your daily and weekly screen time. By monitoring your small screen time – often spent on social apps – and setting a goal to reduce your screen time, you can also reduce tech fatigue. 8. Invest in a better desk setup. Ditch the dining room chair and splurge on a real office chair that's ergonomically beneficial. Also, the price of large screens has plummeted, and a better screen that's crisp and clear can reduce eye exhaustion that increases tech fatigue. Great lighting is an important addition as well. Real estate agents are tied to technology and the digital world today as never before. That's why it is just as important to be pro-active when it comes to not letting technology get the better of you. You can significantly reduce tech fatigue and Zoom gloom by taking these steps, but you need to recognize the negative impacts this can have on you because of what you do. Finally, keep in mind that if your state or local association, brokerage, or MLS offers Tech Helpline as a member service benefit, you can reach out to a Tech Helpline analyst to reduce your stress created by a problem you are having with technology. Ensure you take advantage of this service as there is no charge as it is included in your membership fee. Tech Helpline analysts are ready to help you fix your tech problems -- and that can also reduce tech stress. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Prepare Your Business for a Post-Covid Market with These Tips
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Lessons from Million-dollar Real Estate Agents
There's a funny thing about oft-repeated truisms: many of them aren't actually true. Take this one for instance: "10% of all real estate agents perform 90% of all transactions." No-one is ever given credit for this statistic; no study has been published proving it to be true. Yet, it's repeated over and over. Sure, it's true that some agents make tons more money than others. RealTrends' annual rankings of agents and teams, "The Thousand," prove that. Sort of. Take a look at the top 10% of these agents and you'll notice that they all sling luxury property. Naturally, the more expensive an agent's inventory is, the more money she'll earn. This status may have nothing at all to do with talent, expertise or any other quality than to have made a wise decision early on in a career. The first lesson is simple: if you truly want a sales volume of $761,653,743 a year, sell luxury property. In reality, to make the big bucks requires patience, tenacity, self-discipline and the understanding that it takes money to make money. Stop taking the cheapest route. Demand quality for you and for your clients. Related: Learn from the Master of real estate success, Floyd Wickman. Watch his latest guest appearance on our podcast (below). There are few overnight successes Tony Robbins, über-successful personal development coach, often tells the story of how, at age 19, he lived in a studio apartment, cooked on a hotplate, and washed dishes in his bathtub. He considers this period his "rock-bottom" and tells audiences how it compelled him to begin to create goals. "The timeline I gave myself for achieving these goals was any time from tomorrow to the next twenty years," Robbins says in "Awaken the Giant Within." Robbins claims that he hit his first goal, to make one million dollars, five years later. We've all read or heard similar stories, those rags-to-riches tales that inspire us to do likewise. The one thing that so many of us miss, however, is that there is no magic formula. No cute little fairy will land on our shoulders and "poof" us into success. These people struggled, often for years, to reach their goals. They worked long and hard, they enlisted help and they never stopped learning and trying new things. Just as you know that nurturing leads and prospects takes time and persistence, so does nurturing your business. Check your attitude "A positive attitude makes success easy; a negative one makes success pointless," according to Geoffrey James, author and contributing editor for Inc.com. Sure, it's challenging to feel positive during a worldwide pandemic, when the way you do business has been turned upside-down. James suggests that you can change your attitude in a number of ways. One of these is to surround yourself with positive people and "… and shun those who are excessively negative." Find the rest of his tips on how to improve your attitude at Inc.com. Mimic the successful agent If you're new to the real estate industry or ready to take your game to the next level, it's well worth your time to find a mentor. At the very least, approach one of the most successful agents in your office and request a shadowing opportunity. A week or two following this agent around, observing his or her attitude, habits and approach is time you will never regret spending. To view the original article, visit the ProspectsPLUS! blog.
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8 Ways for Real Estate Agents to Deal With Stress
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Don't Make These 5 Mistakes in 2021
It's time to shed what we had to go through in 2020 and achieve something better. There are some common moves that real estate agents make that might not benefit them in the long run. Here are five mistakes to avoid in the year ahead.
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10 Veteran Agent Tips for Real Estate Rookies
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How Do Real Estate Teams Work?
When considering working on a real estate team, you probably consider the question, "How do real estate teams work?" Real estate teams work by being both efficient and effective. They are a development in the industry that is allowing agents to reach new heights in their careers, while giving clients the best possible service they can find.
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[Best of 2020] Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
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How to Ride the Wave of a Seasonal Sales Cycle
The real estate market is highly seasonal and sales are adversely affected by the drop in temperatures during the winter months. According to the National Association of Realtors' statistics, 40% of homes are sold in May, June, July, and August. This seasonality leaves many real estate professionals working at a cheetah's pace in summer and scrounging for business in the off-season. Adjusting for the season can help your profitability, cash flow, and long-term success. Here's how to ride the wave of our seasonal sales cycle.
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5 Gift Ideas for Real Estate Agents
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3 Ways to Be More Productive in Real Estate
3 things you can do in your database right now Time is of the essence in the current real estate market. How are you staying on top of your productivity goals? Here are three quick (but impactful) ways you can be more productive right within your database.
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How Every Agent Can Help Solve Our Inventory Shortage
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23 Productivity Hacks to Help Real Estate Agents Boost Their Business
Working in real estate can feel like an impossible task. With new agents entering the market all the time, how can you stay ahead? The key to success in real estate is being more productive than your peers. This does not necessarily mean working more. Instead, you should seek to be more efficient with your time. Here are 23 productivity hacks to help you boost your real estate business.
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Learn How Top Producers Spend More Time Selling
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How Realtors Can Thrive in These Challenging Times
A positive mind and out-of-the-box thinking goes a long way This isn't what we expected.It's not what we planned for.We didn't sign up for this! Everyone is in the same boat, floating aimlessly down a river of uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rear its evil head. You have two choices: 1) Put your real estate business on the backburner, catch up on sleep, relax more than you have in years, watch TV and ride out the downtime. OR 2) Keep working, be resourceful, figure out ways to do your job amazingly without making physical contact with people, and explore new tools to help you set up your business for big success when the market resurges. Don't just survive…thrive The life of a typical REALTOR® is beyond busy. Extra time is scarce, but something you always wish you had more of. Now is your chance to take advantage. Read. Research. Learn. Plan. Strategize. Adapt. If you think of this situation as a business opportunity rather than a business tragedy, then you can begin to reframe your perspective towards the positive operation and future growth of your business. Everything video As people continue to limit and eliminate their in-person meetings, it's time to update the traditional nature of your service as a REALTOR®. Now is not the time to be shy and hide behind your phone or email inbox. Use video as much as you can, from virtual showings and 3D virtual home tours, to video emails and conferencing calls. Show your clients that you are adapting to the times and accommodating their needs. Implement new technologies, start using different tools and take your business to a more advanced digital level. While there's no doubt that the real estate market will return to "normal" at some point, it is highly likely that "normal" will look entirely different from what it was before. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, in our digital age, real estate was already considered to be somewhat of an antiquated industry. So, as the sector is forced to move more towards virtual operation and digitization, it's hard to believe that those newly implemented technologies will simply be dropped when COVID-19 passes. Adapt now, and be a frontrunner when the market booms again. Light up on social media The vast majority of people have more time on their hands at the moment. For many, that means more time to surf social media. The real estate industry is known to flock both buyers and sellers to a wide variety of social media outlets. If you don't already have a solid presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, now is the perfect time to get more involved. Consider an automated system that makes posting consistent and seamless so that when the floodgates reopen and you go back to feeling as though you don't have time for anything but your clients, your social media activity will be running automatically in the backend. Polish your online presence Website out of date? Lacking quality branding? Content not as strong as it could be? Think of this quieter real estate market as a period of time in which you can improve upon your existing marketing foundation. Redesign your site, revisit your brand and revamp your messaging to ensure that your complete online presence is representative of who you are and what sets you apart in your field. Enhance your business From streamlining your processes, to discovering new and innovative ways to serve your clients better, to learning how to optimize the marketing systems you already have in place, be proactive. While the rest of the world is pausing and hitting the brakes, you could be focusing your time and energy on the advancement and evolution of your business. Get your contacts in order – and stay top of mind One of the most intelligent and effective ways to keep your business's momentum during this slower period, lies within your existing database of contacts. Considering the impressive numbers and stats surrounding the lucrativeness of CRM in real estate, why not finally optimize your contact list? CRMs are designed to help you get in touch and stay in touch with all those people who you've either already met or spent time with, or who have shown an interest in your business. To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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4 Online Shopping Hacks You Can Master Before the Holidays
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Friday Freebie: Guide to Homebuyer Personality Types (and How to Get Them to the Closing Table)
Ever have a buyer client that you struggled to connect with? Maybe you had different styles of communication, or maybe there was just something you didn't "get" that you couldn't quite put your finger on. Personality clashes happen, especially in a career as public-facing as real estate. However, the more you know about personality types, the better you'll know about what each type needs in a real estate agent. That's why in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a free guide to understanding and managing the different types of buyer personalities. Free Guide: The Four Personality Types of Homebuyers, courtesy of BoomTown BoomTown tapped into the knowledge of real estate coach Debbie Holloway for insight into different buyer personality types and the best ways to engage with each one. This free guide identifies four major personality types: Driver, Expressive, Analytica, and Amiable. From there, you'll learn: The traits of each type How to identify which personality your buyer has Tips for working with each type, including do's and don'ts Once you know which type of personality your buyer has, you'll be able to serve them better—and move them close to a closed transaction. Ready to learn more about your buyers? Download your FREE copy of The Four Personality Types of Homebuyers now!
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5 Ways to Help Clients Adopt and Adapt to Your Technology
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Tips for Selling Real Estate to Gen Z
Millennials are no longer the youngest people in the workforce. There's a whole new generation to think about--Gen Z. About half of them are old enough to legally drive and many are looking into buying their first home. Generation Z refers to people who were born between the mid-1990s and the mid-2010s. The stats show that this demographic numbers around 74 million people in the US alone, and makes up about 25% of the population. That's a lot of potential homeowners entering the marketplace.
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Master the Habits, Mindsets, and Tactics of Real Estate's Super Producers
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Cleaning Checklist for Open Houses During Covid
When showing a home, it has always been an absolute must to make sure it is perfectly clean. Now in the time of an active pandemic, it is even more important. A dirty or cluttered home can cost your client thousands off the sale price, and even turn buyers away completely. Today, a home that doesn't meet strict cleaning standards may not even be able to be shown at all. Preparing a cleaning checklist for open houses is a great tool to give to your clients to ensure they are meeting these standards.
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4 Ways New Real Estate Agents Can Break Through the Noise
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The Benefits of Working on a Real Estate Team
The freedom to work independently and on your own schedule may have been what drew you to a career in real estate. While this a very attractive element of being a real estate agent, you might want to consider giving a little bit of that freedom up to join a real estate team. There are numerous benefits to working on a real estate team that many consider well worth the cost. Making the decision to work on a team can give you the experience necessary to become more successful, and make it a little easier to meet the goals you have for your career.
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Dos and Don'ts of Seasonal and Personal Decorating When Selling a Home
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Navigating Today's Political Climate on Social Media as a Real Estate Agent
Woooo... to say the world has changed would be an understatement. Things that should not be a polarizing issue have had a clear line drawn between them. You want to join in on the conversation because you have strong feelings, but how do you go about doing it without getting "cancelled"? Here are some good practices to follow when it comes to posting on social media as a real estate agent.
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Become a More Profitable Agent
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Stand Out from Competitor Real Estate Agents: A Few Key Tips (Part 2)
Welcome to part two of our series on how to stand out from your competitors in real estate! In today's post, we dive deeper and show you how to become dominant in a competitive real estate market. Part one of this series mentioned three key points: being active on social media, creating your own agent website, and staying connected to your clients and leads through e-newsletters. Part two will focus on how to elevate your real estate brand, enabling you to stand out from your competitors.
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Stand Out from Competitor Real Estate Agents: A Few Key Tips (Part 1)
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Your Ultimate Guide to Being a Top Real Estate Agent
Becoming a top real estate agent isn't always about having the best looking photo on your lawn sign or getting a secret resource to send you hundreds of leads every month. It isn't even about being born with the skill to negotiate great deals. Becoming a top real estate agent is, in fact, about acknowledging the requirements of the job and then equipping yourself with the right tools to excel at what you do. It's not easy to become a top real estate agent. But it's not impossible either.
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Video for Real Estate Agents: What to Do If You're Camera Shy
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How to Showcase Your Professionalism in a Virtual World
Working remotely is the new normal. Casual Friday had become a daily event for many. But real estate agents working from home need to keep up their professional appearance, as it's no longer uncommon for an initial client meeting to take place on Zoom. And that's one thing that hasn't changed: you still only have one chance to make a first impression. How do you make a great first impression – virtually? Here are some tips to looking – and acting – your best for your virtual meetings, whether you are going online to meet a client, host, or participate in a meeting. Avoid creating distractions: One of the reasons Zoom works well, particularly for those working from home, is its virtual background. Many people don't have a home office and are working out of a bedroom, dining room, or basement. If you do have a home office, great. But remember that any complex background can be distracting. Also, any movement behind you – pets, kids, or spouses – makes it hard for people to pay attention to what you say during a virtual meeting. A simple virtual background that mimics an office, home office, or meeting room works best. It helps make you look more professional in this setting. Think face-to-face: While it's impossible for a virtual meeting to connect with someone in the same way as in-person meetings, act as if you are meeting face-to-face. That means you need to look directly at the camera. It's not easy, but it appears to the other person that you are looking right at them. And listen carefully to the other person, and don't be distracted by your image. For virtual client meetings, make sure you have your meeting software set to show their face full screen, not yours. Don't dress - or look - differently: Agents have different dress codes, depending on what is customary in their market. For a virtual meeting, don't dress down. Dress as you would if you were attending a meeting in person. The same rule applies to your appearance. If you want to put your best foot forward, you may not have to wear shoes, but you better be dressed for the part. Remember, your visual image can have a more significant impact on forming a first impression than meeting someone face-to-face. During a Zoom call, you are telegraphing: you are what you wear. Don't be afraid to mute yourself: One of the advantages of a virtual meeting versus one in-person is you can hit the mute button. If you have to yawn or cough when your client is talking, hit the mute. As long as you are comfortable with the technology, please mute yourself when someone else is talking. If you are taking notes on your keyboard during the meeting, this will avoid the sound of clicking keys drowning out the person trying to talk. Be early to your meeting: If you are the host of the meeting, arrive 5 to 10 minutes early. Being early telegraphs that you care and are making the meeting a priority. It also suggests you are well organized and undoubtedly punctual. It's just another simple way to showcase your professionalism. Focus: One of the biggest challenges of any virtual meeting is for everyone to stay focused and pay attention. If you are looking at another screen and checking email during a conversation, it's akin to checking your phone when talking with someone face-to-face. It is considered rude and unprofessional. Be kind, be considerate, and always listen more than you speak. What's the easiest way to do that? Ask questions! Importance of electronic etiquette: Making a great first impression means you must have the technology that puts you in the best light – literally. Invest in a separate video camera, a unidirectional microphone, and a proper ring LED light. Avoid windows or bright lights directly behind you. A meeting can't be effective when a client can't hear or see you clearly. High-speed internet access is a must, and if you share a connection with others, ask them not to stream anything during your calls. Also, make sure you are not interrupted during your meeting and try to avoid distracting background noise. Restart and test: For any crucial meeting, restarting your computer 20 minutes before your appointment can help you avoid connection and other technical issues. Then test your mic, your camera, and your lighting to ensure everything is in working order. Have a Plan B: Stuff happens: your computer could die, you could lose power, or the internet goes down. Don't panic. Every major video call service offers a mobile app. Be sure you have the app installed on your phone, sign in, and test it. Have a stand ready to place your phone in should your computer call fall. That's what professional do – plan for the unexpected! Evaluate and refine: If you can record your meeting, do. Use the recording to do a self-assessment of how you did and what you can do next time to improve. Remember, when you attend a large virtual meeting today and look at the many faces on a Zoom call, you can instantly spot the ones who are professional and those who are not. So can your clients and prospects. If your MLS or association provides you free access to Tech Helpline, and you have any questions about setting up a virtual meeting or need to troubleshoot any video call tech issue, reach out for assistance! When you make a great first impression virtually, you can win over a new or existing client every time. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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Real Estate Essentials for New Agents
You are a new real estate agent. You are just starting out in the field and have no sense of direction. Yes, you learned a lot while getting your real estate license. However, common sense things such as what to bring, what to have with you at all times, or what to do before you get out there wasn't really explained to you. You've just come from a 9-5 office job and do not know what this entails. We've put together a quick list of a few things that could help you out when you are getting out there. These real estate essentials will surely get you off on the right foot.
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3 Things Today's Consumers Expect from Real Estate Agents
Consumers still find plenty of value in working with real estate agents. In fact, 89 percent of buyers in 2019 purchased their home through an agent or broker. That's because the type of qualities good agents bring to the table—experience, deep market knowledge, and the ability to be ahead of the curve—are just as valuable to clients today as they were 10 or 20 years ago. The only difference is how they prove these things to prospects. So, with that in mind, here's a look at what consumers expect from real estate agents today—and how to ensure you're the one they chose to work with: Past successes and happy clients Who wouldn't want to work with a real estate agent who has a proven track record of success? The challenge, though, is conveying that information to prospects. After all, even if someone sees your ad on Facebook or hears about you from a friend, they'll still Google you to decide for themselves. Therefore, the number one action agents can take is to maintain a strong Google business profile. Think of it as Google's quick-load version of your resume and references. It contains your contact information, a bio, posts that highlight your listings and deals, and reviews from past clients, colleagues, friends, and family. Market knowledge You know you have expertise in the neighborhoods you specialize in, but how do you communicate that deep market knowledge to prospects who find you online? There are three main places to do this: your digital advertising, your Google business profile, and your website. Each of these spaces will show your audience a different side of your professional expertise. First, your digital ads can illustrate your expertise in two ways: Run a listing advertisement for your recent deal or newly listed property. This is a "show, don't tell" way to communicate your expertise. Promoting your current work, whether a listing or a deal, shows that locals trust you as the local expert to represent them. It also indirectly signals that you're an active, successful agent. Because those who aren't wouldn't have a budget to spend on advertising. Turn the camera around and actually tell your audience what you know. Use a video ad to talk directly to buyers and sellers. Tell them what you know about the neighborhood, recent housing trends, or give them a tip that proves you know the market well. Second, after potential buyers and sellers see one of your ads, they'll often turn to Google to learn about you. Make sure all the fields in your profile are filled out. Provide as much content in your bio as possible. Tell consumers who you are, define the areas in which you do business, and talk about the niche you specialize in. Post new content regularly, too. You should always include your latest listings and deals, but it's also recommended to mix in posts that illustrate your market knowledge, whether you answer a frequently asked question or explain an interesting market stat. And, finally, third: Prospects who are still curious will click into your website to dig a little deeper. Tell them who you are on the main page and on the About page. Offer a CMA tool for sellers and a market newsletter to buyers. Include a lead capture form with a compelling call to action (CTA) so they can contact you directly if they're ready to talk further. Digital savviness In today's digital-first world, all aspects of the home-buying journey can be conducted online, from the home search to the closing appointment. Consumers want to work with an agent who maintains that pace. This is true for both buyers and sellers. The best way to demonstrate your digital savviness to buyers is to have a robust online presence. Catch their eye with a scroll-stopping ad on social media. Wow them with your "resume and references" on your Google business profile. And present a professional, mobile-responsive website with built-in real estate functions. When it comes to tactics, sellers expect digital advertising to play an outsized role in your marketing efforts. Given how much time consumers spend on Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Waze, it's simply become status quo to publish listing ads on these platforms. Beyond saying you'll advertise on these sites, you need to show proof that your past ads have generated positive results for your clients. The best way to do this is by showing performance reports from past successful ad campaigns. You can generate these for free when you run Homesnap Pro Ads and even schedule them to send to your seller on a regular basis to keep them updated on your marketing efforts. They include key metrics like views, clicks, leads, and more. You can even automate your digital advertising with Homesnap Concierge, a fully managed advertising platform, and lead qualification service. That way, you'll never have to worry about the minutiae of promoting a listing; Homesnap will automatically publish ads across Facebook, Google, and Instagram for you. You can even run Coming Soon ads to gather leads for your new listing before it actually hits the market. To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Achieve Work-Life Balance Working from Home
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Free Time? Grow Your Real Estate Business with These Best Practices
It's easy to get caught up in the workday and just have no time to yourself. You often find yourself thinking about what you would do if you had an hour or even 30 minutes to yourself. Here are a few best practices you can follow to help your business, even during your FREE time.
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What I Wish I Knew Then: Top Agents Share Their Advice on Making It in Real Estate
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Get Your Calendar Under Control: Time Management Strategies to Reclaim Your Day
If you feel like you're constantly running but never getting anything done, you may have a problem with time management. Take some time now to figure out where your time is being wasted and where it's being well-spent. If you find a lot of time being ill-spent, try out some of the time management strategies outlined below.
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Are You Ready to Deal with Gen Y First-time Home Buyers?
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COVID-19 Listing Cancellations: Don't Panic, Just Do This
Barbara Betts sold real estate through the great recession, but this is truly an unprecedented time. We have to remember that everything was different in 2008; housing led that recession – it was on very unstable ground. Homeowners were being irresponsible; we were overbuilding. Therefore the 2008 recession was a housing recession. We already had a housing shortage going into 2020, and we will have another little shortage through this, but Betts is confident that in Q3 things will start to look up again. In the meantime, during this uncertainty, agents may be asking themselves, "How am I going to get through this? Am I ever going to sell real estate again?" The answer to that is Yes, you will! If you are in real estate, you have to be active; now is not the time to give up. You control your attitude and your activities.
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[Free Download] What NOT to Do Before Closing
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Selling Secrets from Top Sales Associates
Top sales associates know that when you're selling a home it means going the extra mile when prepping and marketing it. The end results are so worth the effort with a signed purchase offer. Here's how these real estate professionals are making it happen for their clients.
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Rebuilding Your Real Estate Business After COVID-19
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Be the Agent Consumers Are Looking For
As consumers ramp up home buying activities, a variety of publications are pushing forth how-to articles and guides about choosing the right agent. Many of them advise would-be buyers and sellers to be more discerning than ever, as worries about COVID-19 make the type of vetting that usually comes from in-person interaction and rapport building difficult. More specifically, these articles are advising consumers to find agents who are well-versed in technology and online marketing, as these types of forward-thinking agents are more likely to adapt to a mercurial real estate market and provide better services to their clients.
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5 Reasons Agents Don't Make It Past Their First Year in Real Estate
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4 Ways to Pass Time and Be Productive as a Self-Starter Real Estate Agent
The weather is only getting better outside and things are starting to look up. But it is still too early to go about your usual activities. Your favorite retail spots are still closed, a lunch with potential clients is out of the question and you can't really go watch the latest movie you were keen on seeing. Why not make use of this time and be more productive? This does not mean you have to wake up at 7am, get your coffee, and start working everyday. You can have your own routine and this could just work for you. Here are a few ideas to pass time and be productive as a self-starter real estate agent.
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The Work-at-Home Real Estate Agent: How to Survive and Thrive
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The Importance of Letting Go: Betrayals and Deals Gone Sour
"Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence." - Unknown Whether you are new to the real estate business or a seasoned professional, being betrayed by a client, friend or family member can feel like a stab in the back--or even worse! It can also affect how you continue to do business. It's not just an unfortunate circumstance that affects your immediate income. Not being prepared to handle adverse outcomes can affect your self esteem and future success in the business.
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3 Most Important Ways to Use Your Quarantine Time Wisely
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WATCH NOW: Top 5 Secrets from Top Producing Agents to Navigate These Times
Our Coffee Chat series is a big hit because we've had such great guests giving us practical and affordable advice about how to ride out the COVID-19 storm while preparing ourselves to be ready to go when the floodgates open after our shelter-in-place orders have been lifted. With all of the new skills we're learning, we believe that our NEXT normal way of doing business is going to be easier and more profitable than ever! Mike Minard, CEO/Owner of Delta Media Group, joined us Friday and shared some great tips. Below are the five key takeaways from his session, Top 5 Secrets from Top Producing Agents to Navigate These Times. Watch the session recording here: Five tips for you: 1. Embrace Change Learn how to do virtual open houses and virtual showings. 2. Upgrade Your Marketing Get active on social media with helpful tips for your clients and prospects Reach out to each of your clients and reassure your clients that real estate will rebound Deliver market reports, RPR reports, etc. to show them that the real estate market and the value of their home is still strong Educate them about the low, low mortgage rates available right now. 3. Organize Your Client Relationship Management Software Make sure all of your contacts from all sources — MLS, phone, sticky notes, etc. — are ALL entered into your Client Relationship Management (CRM) tool Organize your CRM contacts into groups so you can customize your communications by area, interests, family make-up, length of time since they purchased a home, the place you met them, etc. Tag each contact in your CRM so you can send notes to many that sound personalized. For example, if you know they are interested in high school sports, you can send them updates from the local school. 4. Provide Real-time Communications and Upgrade the Reasons to Engage with Your Website Sign up for updates from your local town and county so you can provide real-time COVID-19 updates Sign up for updates from your local banks and unemployment office so you can provide updates on how to apply for relief benefits Take the time to update your website with bio, awards and designations Add testimonials to your website Add market reports to your websites – saved searches, market performance/analytics, etc. Watch your website closely for inbound leads. Respond immediately – leads coming in are more qualified than ever. 5. Customize Your Marketing Plans Using the tags/groups you have built, provide customized content that is sensitive to COVID-19 attitudes Reach out to specific groups with content specific to their interests. Tune in for more daily Coffee Chats at 12pm ET/9am PT with our president and host Marilyn Wilson. Here are RE Technology's guests for our upcoming Coffee Chats: Wednesday, April 15: Alicia Berruti, National Speaker, Bomb Bomb Thursday, April 16: Jim Lawson, VP of Sales, Marketing & Client Servies, Terradatum Friday, April 17: Kim Hansen, COO and Dionna Hall, CEO with Broward, Palm Beaches & St. Lucie Realtors®
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How to Thrive in Challenging Times
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Real Estate Is Now Considered an Essential Service According to U.S. Government
On Saturday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated its list of essential services during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and expressly included residential real estate. The order now includes residential and commercial real estate, including settlement services, as essential services. However, if a state, city or county has an order with a more restrictive standard regarding what qualifies as an essential service, or more restrictions on activities, those guidelines will still govern the activities of a licensee. Here's the official notification in you want to read it in full.
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First Time Sellers: What They Might Not Expect
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2 Must-Have Resources for Every New Real Estate Agent
One of the hardest things to get accustomed to, for many new agents, is the fact that they no longer have a boss. That's a good thing in many ways. But it also means that you are responsible for everything that happens in your business. You are your own boss; you now own a small business and every penny that you make will be the result of your efforts. So lose the employee mentality and get to work gathering the critical resources you'll need to get your new business off to a roaring start. Money Right out of the gate, if your broker is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, you will need to join as well. But this involves obtaining membership in your local association first. Then you'll be a member of both the state and national associations, all with their own set of dues and fees. One Nevada agent we spoke with calculated that his association dues as a beginning agent (including MLS fees) would run him close to $1,500. Your mileage may vary, but be prepared for this huge expense as soon as you land at a broker's office. Then, there are desk fees (if your broker charges them), money to market your new business, and a plethora of other money sucks. Business cards Many brokerages will give you a box of business cards when you first start with them. Naturally, these business cards are brokerage-branded. So if you work for Keller Williams, Redfin or another broker, that name will be prominent on your business card. Free advertising for someone else's brand – it's genius, but don't fall for it just because it's free. Politely decline the offer and go about creating your own business cards. In 2020 and beyond, minimalism reigns. Keep the card uncluttered and free of useless information (such as your address and a fax number). Here is what your card should include: Your name Title Best phone number to reach you Email address Website URL (list only the domain name, such as AnitaDeal.com) Logo, if you have one License number, if required by your state Should you include your photo on your business card? Those for and against the practice offer good arguments so it's hard to pick sides. We would be remiss, however, if we didn't let you know about the results of an informal study of the practice. Adjunct professor and attorney Eric Bryn's group of researchers mailed 2,000 nearly identical postcards. The message on each was identical, but 1,000 real estate postcards included a photo of an agent and the other 1,000 did not. The mailing resulted in a 10 percent response rate and all 200 responses were to the postcards without a photo. Professor Bryn used the same technique on other types of real estate agent marketing, including business cards. Each time, the pieces without the photo outperformed the pieces with a photo. Sure, there are many additional tools and resources every new agent should consider including in their new business. These two, however, are the most critical.
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How to Sell a Home in a Shifting Market
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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for the Real Estate Busy Season
Real estate's busy season always seem to creep up on you faster than expected. Believe it or not, it is almost that time of year again. As a real estate agent, springtime means much more than beautiful weather and blooming flowers. Springtime can make or break the year for a real estate agent. It is time to buckle down and be dedicated to doing everything you can in order to have a successful season. Home buyers and sellers are geared up and ready to go by springtime, which means you need to be too.
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4 Tech Tips Every Agent Should Give Their Clients
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How to Kick Start Your Real Estate Career on the Right Foot
Don't you just love new beginnings? You're filled with ambition and hope, ready to embark on a fresh new chapter of your life, it's so exciting! Maybe you're getting ready to begin a new career in real estate, or perhaps you're a seasoned agent who can recall the thrill of the early days. Either way, there are a few key things to keep in mind as you start your real estate career (or keep it going) on the right foot!
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Should I Join a Real Estate Team?
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6 Creative Ways to Freshen Up a Stale Listing
Even a great property with professional marketing can fly under the radar in the real estate world. According to Zillow, the average home was on the market for 68 days last year. But anyone who has bought or sold a house before knows things can happen much faster or slower. If you are struggling to find the right buyer for your for-sale property, you are not alone. Below, you will find six tips to bring new life to your listing.
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The Importance of Self-Care for Real Estate Agents
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A Guide: How to Become a Real Estate Agent
So, you've heard you can make a good living as a real estate agent, and you think you have a decent sense of the real estate agent job description. But how do you get in on the agent life? Taking clients around to find their dream house may be a highlight of the job, there's a lot more to the role! As an agent, you'll need to know how to review property values and sale prices. You'll need to make recommendations for listing prices and bids. You'll need to learn to estimate your own real estate salary according to expected commissions and plan your finances accordingly. You'll need to be ready to work through negotiations, which can get thorny and drawn out. You'll need to know neighborhoods and cities — not just the perks of living there, but also any laws and regulations related to residential real estate, too. No wonder the job requires a real estate license! There's a lot to learn, but the job is ultimately a rewarding one. Here are eight important steps for how to become a real estate agent:
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Real (Estate) Talk: How a Single Mom and New Agent Achieved Success in 6 Months
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6 Success Tips for the New and Pro Real Estate Agent
"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill How you think and what you do as a real estate agent on a day-to-day basis is what defines you. Yes, there are good days and bad days; after all, we are human. Yet, as we enter the fourth quarter and end of 2019, now is a great time to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Did you reach your goals or exceed them? If not, let's evaluate how creating a new mindset can propel you positively, beginning today! Whether you are a new real estate agent or an established pro, mindset applies to everyone. Are you open to pursuing a new, strategic and energizing belief system? Following these steps can catapult you to a new level of success in business for 2020.
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3 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Use Time Management to Improve Their Business
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How to Stay in Love with the Agent Life
Life as a real estate agent is full of ups and downs, busy seasons and slower spells. That rollercoaster can be part of what keeps the agent life feeling dynamic and rewarding--but it can also make agents feel overwhelmed and even burnt out. It might feel like the best agents are go-go-go 24/7, but the truth is that for you to do the job well, you need to take care of yourself. Here are some ways to keep yourself connected to the things that drew you toward a career in real estate in the first place.
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