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Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Technology
One of the rituals of the spring – in addition to home buying season – is spring cleaning. It's a time when many of us clean, declutter and purge throughout our homes. But what about our technology: our laptops and smartphones? Spring is an excellent time for some spring cleaning for your tech too. Here are some ways you can clean, declutter and purge your way to a better tech experience the rest of the year with a tech spring cleaning. How to make your smartphone sparkle Do you know the best way to physically clean – and sanitize – your smartphone? To clean an iPhone, Apple recommends using a soft, slightly damp (distilled water), lint-free cloth. For a Pixel, Google tells owners they can use regular household soap or cleaning wipes. Most recent Samsung smartphones are water resistant, so Samsung recommends running these models under fresh water, shaking out excess water from the ports, and then wiping it dry with a microfiber cloth. If you need to do a deep-clean of a grimy smartphone, the easiest, fastest and safest way is to use disposable screen wipes, available from online retailers such as Amazon. The good news is that research tells us all of these methods do a pretty good job of eliminating most of the germs on the phone too. Cleaning your computer The host of the podcast "Ask a Clean Person," Jolie Kerr, told The New York Times you only need four items to clean a laptop: Rubbing alcohol, microfiber cloths, cotton swabs, and canned compressed air. The reason isopropyl alcohol is ideal is that it won't damage the computer's internal components. Kerr also says there's nothing wrong with purchasing specialized electronic or computer cleaning products, but they are most likely overpriced, and these homespun solutions will do the trick. The key to cleaning your laptop is to take your time. The first step is to turn it completely off (not sleep mode). Next, using the can of compressed air, go to work on the keyboard, then spray out all the ports. Experts say when using canned air, always use short bursts, as longer ones can cause condensation. The next step is to dampen a microfiber cloth with rubbing alcohol. Don't ever pour or spray fluid of any kind directly on your laptop. Now clean with the cloth between all the nooks and crevices. To clean your laptop screen, do not use any chemicals. You should only use a soft cotton cloth with a little distilled water. In fact, on a Mac with a Retina display, if you use a product like Windex, it will destroy the screen coating. Declutter and organize your screens If you save your files to your desktop as a shortcut timesaver and don't always remember to move those files to the proper destination, you could suffer from screen clutter on your laptop. Get your laptop organized during your spring tech cleaning by moving files into folders. For your smartphone, get your apps organized as well. On an iPhone, you can create different folders and group similar apps together to declutter your screen. At the very least, you should make sure you eliminate "widow" pages: screens on your phone that have one app – or a few – on an entire screen – requiring you to scroll more. That's a time waster. Consolidation of related apps on your smartphone screens can save you time. For example, keep all your travel apps on one screen with the ones you use most frequently positioned where you like to access best. For users who have access to Tech Helpline, they can reach out for help on setting up folders on their smartphones. For iPhone users who are do-it-yourselfers, Apple provides instructions here. For Android users who want to learn more about setting up folders on their own, this wikiHow article gives step-by-step instructions here. Time to purge How many apps are on your smartphone? Now, how many of those apps have you used in the last six months? If you don't know, the latest operating systems will tell you. If you have an iPhone, here's how to see when you last opened each app. First, select your Settings (gray gear icon) on your iPhone, then choose General (another gray gear icon). Go down and select iPhone Storage. You may have to wait until the data loads, but soon a list will appear of all your apps. They are ranked by the amount of data they consume and show that amount on the far right. Below the app is the information you want for purging: the last date you used the app. You may be surprised at the number of apps you have that you have not opened for more than a year. Don't be surprised if you have apps that have never been opened. We've all been there, done that, but the good news is you get a two-for-one: you purge the apps from your screen (declutter), and you will free up space to store more of what you want and use. To delete the app, you can do it on the next screen: select the unused app, and at the bottom, you will see a "Delete App" option. If you own an Android smartphone, it's also easy to clean up your unused apps by accessing the Google Play Store on your Android device. In the My Apps section, the place where you go to reinstall or update apps, you will see a list of all your current apps. The apps will show the amount of data they consume and when they were last used. The best part is you can sort these apps by "Last Used," which will group the least used apps at the bottom. From there, you can select the apps you want to purge. Your laptop probably also can use some spring purging. How many screenshots did you save for a quick email and then never deleted? Or created a duplicate image? Have you cleaned out your deleted files or trash lately? Have you gone through your programs to make sure you don't have any unwanted software – or bloatware – that you can remove? Going through your folders during the spring is a great ritual to start. Think about what you really need to save, what you can back up to the cloud or a portable hard drive, and what you can delete forever. Your tech devices, if they could thank you, would, because they may get even better without all that clutter. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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5 Habits that Make You a Less Productive Agent
Productivity is a popular subject these days and rightfully so! We fight more distractions in our work day than any cohort of working adults before us. Are you maximizing your productivity as a real estate agent? Or, rather, is it a constant battle for you to work smart and complete your tasks each day? A productive day may help you sleep better at night, compared to an unproductive day, which can also be frustrating. Here is a list of five habits that interfere with productivity, along with some suggestions on how you can turn them around to be a more productive agent.
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6 Surefire Ways to Get Top Dollar for Your Seller
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How to Break Through a Plateau in Your Real Estate Business
Plateaus. We have all been there whether it is in our personal life or in our professional life--it's an unavoidable barrier that we all deal with at some point. It may seem like plateaus are never-ending and impossible to break through, but in this blog I will go over 10 different things that YOU can do to elevate yourself and your business to the next level. Nothing is ever impossible, including you breaking through to new, exciting levels!
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How Realtors Can Stay Relevant in 2019
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5 Morning Habits of the Most Successful Real Estate Professionals
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." - Robert Collier Rise and shine! How do you begin your day? Are you pushing the snooze button and then racing against the clock to get out the door? Or are you truly in charge of your schedule? To be successful in real estate, motivation and efficiency aren't merely useful, they are critical. The name of the game is to move through your day with intention. To be proactive instead of reactive. Pair all of these healthy habits with discipline and consistency – and you've got the recipe for boundless success.
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Having Trouble Selling Your Listing? This Is Why
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Is the First Offer Really the Best Offer?
We hear this over and over as professionals. The first offer is the best offer – especially when there are no other offers on the table. This viewpoint has withstood the test of time. What remains to be proven is whether this perception is the truth or a tale that we have all accepted as true.
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Agents: Here's How to Justify Your Pay So Tech Doesn't Eat Your Lunch
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5 Tips to Successfully Launch Your Real Estate Career
So you finally have your real estate license and you're ready to kickstart your new career as a real estate agent. What do you do now? While launching a career in real estate can be daunting, the following are a few ways to ensure you position yourself for long-term success in the industry.
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Outsource These 6 Tasks to Save Time
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Top 4 Ways to Get Organized for the New Year
2019 is finally here — which means not only do you get to enjoy the start of a new fiscal period, you can also enjoy the chance to tackle work with a fresh, rejuvenated mindset. If one of your resolutions was to be more organized at work this year, the following tips may help. By keeping these suggestions in mind, you can enjoy a year in the real estate business that's more productive, lower-stress, and ultimately more fruitful.
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Are You Married to Your Smartphone? How to Divorce Amicably and Still Be a Top Producing Realtor
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5 Tips for Your First Year as a Real Estate Agent
Whether you're already in your first year as a real estate agent or thinking about a career change, you've probably had an image of agent life in your head. Whatever notions you might have about life as a real estate agent, it's important to manage those expectations and build a solid foundation for your business. Here are five things to do in your first year to make sure you're building toward a successful career:
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8 Characteristics of a Successful Real Estate Agent
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5 Ways to Sell the Neighborhood
As important as the actual house is to your buyer, the neighborhood is just as much a selling point as anything else. Convincing the individual, couple, or family that they would love to live in the property you are selling will have to be backed up with reasons as to why this particular area will suit them too.
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7 To-Dos to Check Off Before 2019
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How to Own the Holidays as a Real Estate Agent
The holidays are a magical time where you can reflect on the year that was, spend quality time with friends and family and truly focus on what's important in your life. And while it's often said that there is never a real "weekend" for a real estate agent, the holidays present a unique opportunity to show some client love while taking advantage of the downtime to chart a course for the new year ahead.
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6 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make
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How to Become a More Effective Leader and Visionary
Whether you're a new or experienced agent, having strong leadership skills and practices will help you save time and increase your bottom line. Bestselling author and speaker Coni Meyers recently joined ReferralExchange's VP of Marketing, Lisa Fettner, for a second webinar on becoming a more effective leader. Watch the first webinar here. During the webinar, Coni shared how you can define your purpose and design your vision both personally and professionally, build your team with intention and how vision affects happiness, success, emotional intelligence and self-management.
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Why the Holidays Are Your Best Selling Season
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Great Technology Emphasizes Great Agents - Not Replaces
It's a topic covered exhaustively at every real estate conference, every coaching call, every new agent orientation: Technology is your friend, but it isn't your replacement. New tools, apps, and systems can help you win more deals by making you more productive and engaged. But they can't bridge the gap between a brand-new lead and the closing table.
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9 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Boost Their Productivity
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6 Proven Ways to Sell Your Listings for Top Dollar
One of the many skills real estate agents bring to the table is the ability to see a home through the eyes of a buyer. When you take a listing and tour the home with the seller, many times they are enthusiastic about the upgrades and beauty of their home and are completely unaware about how some things spell 'no way' to a potential buyer. It is with great tact that we can show them step-by-step those areas that can potentially result in more money in their pocket at closing and a quicker sale. Here are six recommendations that apply to both a highly competitive and a slow market.
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3 Steps to Organize Your Life as an Agent
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Tips to Creating Enduring Leadership Practices
Having strong leadership skills can make all the difference when growing and cultivating your team. During a recent webinar, author, coach and speaker Coni Meyers shared how agents can become more resilient, identify new ways to collaborate, improve problem solving, decision-making and managing stress. Whether you're a new or experienced agent, these leadership practices will help you become a better, more empathetic, and effective leader.
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Memorable Closing Gifts Your Clients Will Love
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Buyers vs. Sellers: What They Need and How to Adjust
In case you aren't already aware, agents are the real deal superheroes of the real estate market. Not only do your clients look to you for advice, guidance, and as someone to save the day when they get lost in the process, but they also expect you to seamlessly guide them into the next phase in their life (no pressure). In return, you look to your clients for clarity when it comes to what they are looking to gain from your relationship and what they are expecting from you specifically as their chosen agent. Clearly, real estate is one giant tango.
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5 Actions that Set Top Agents Apart from Average Agents
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5 Ways to Become a More Efficient Real Estate Agent
The real estate industry is very complex and always evolving. The strategies that worked last year may not be as effective or efficient this year. On top of that, it always feels like there are at least a hundred things that need to be done right now. There are, however, some simple things you can do to stay on top of the job and be a more efficient real estate agent. Consider the following five tips for working smarter, not harder.
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Productivity Tips to Use During the Summer Months
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Going on Vacation? Make Sure Your Business Is Prepared Before You Go
Everyone loves to take a vacation. Some plan a tropical getaway while others prefer a cabin in the woods. Bottom line: vacations are great. Yes, it's hard to let go and take time for yourself or to trust your business with a coworker, but sometimes a vacation is necessary. Prepare your clients and those you work with for your vacation ahead of time to be sure you won't lose any business while you are away.
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Time Management Skills to Master for Real Estate Agents
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Real Estate Agents: This summer, take some time for yourself
Agents should create temporary work rules that allow for more time away from listings and lockboxes. The middle of summer is all about family activities. Camping trips. Relish on hot dogs. Hammock naps. Given everything that summer stands for, like cul-de-sac wiffle ball games and lemonade stand hucksters, it's easy to understand how real estate agents can get distracted from business commitments. Who wants to pound in yard signs when the county fair just started? We would also be hard pressed to turn down a few fried peanut butter cups and a spin on the quickly-assembled Stomach Turner, but duty always calls when you sell homes for a living. So, here are some tips that might help you strike a better work-life balance during those few short, family-focused weeks of summer.
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Daily Habits of Highly Effective Agents
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The Guide for New Real Estate Agents
So you've decided to be a real estate agent. You're passionate about homes and you want to see people smile when they get the keys to their new place. But we know it can be tough to know where start—so we're outlining where to begin before jumping head-first into real estate. This guide is split into four parts and is meant to be used for your starting year as an agent. It includes 1.) Must-do's for before you become an agent; 2.) Once you become a new agent; 3.) When you are a growing agent, and 4.) When you are an established agent.
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5 Productivity Tips for Real Estate Agents
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Every Listing Can Be Sold with These A+ Pricing Strategies
Every listing can be sold. It's just a matter of finding the right price. During his recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar discussing "How to Triple Your Business," Denny Grimes shared advice on how to adjust your listing price for the current market. Check out the infographic below to learn more. You can also watch the recorded webinar for free if you want more advice on pricing and marketing your listings. To view the original article, visit the Homes.com blog.
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When Too Many Real Estate Tools Are Overkill
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5 Signs That Sellers Are Itching to Unload
Every seller wants to sell their property – otherwise they wouldn't be listing. But sometimes sellers get a bit carried away. And smart real estate buyer's agents know the signs: The signs sellers need to get out of Dodge. With the right foresight, you and your clients can snag a sale fast – and at a great price. Five Signs the Seller Is Itching to Sell:
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Time Management Strategies for Overwhelmed Agents
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Tech advice: What do you do if you do the wrong thing?
It happens. One moment, your laptop or desktop computer is working fine. The next moment: Trouble, with a capital "T." It looks like you have a problem. A big problem. Unexpectedly, your browser's home page goes somewhere else. Popups quickly fill your screen. Or a red warning sign appears on your screen. Or suddenly, it starts randomly crashing. Or worse, your laptop has slowed to a crawl. A computer virus could be on the attack. These feisty little demons can wreak havoc with our personal and professional lives. One tiny small piece of computer code can instruct your computer to do terrible things, to both itself and other machines. Let's take a page from the playbook from Tech Helpline. Tech Helpline is the real estate industry's #1 tech support service, available to nearly half the Realtors in North America. That's more than 500,000 Realtors in the U.S. and Canada. Tech Helpline's office and staff of professional tech analysts have about 300 years of combined IT experience. Most importantly, they work with real estate agents every day. What do you do if you do the wrong thing and clicked on the wrong link, or downloaded an attachment on what's now obviously a bad email. What do you do if any of this happens to you?
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Five Agents Share: How to Get Your Foot in the Door without Knocking
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Miss the Mark on Your Q1 Goals? Try These Tips to Stay on Track in Q2
It's hard to believe, but the first quarter of 2018 is already behind us. Maybe you didn't quite have the start to the year you hoped for. We get it, the first part of every real estate sales year can be tough for agents. The majority of it takes place in winter, when sales are slower and the closings don't always stack up. This makes it tough to stay in shape for the spring sprint. We understand that the business is up and down and have a few suggestions on what to do if you're not confident your first three months' performance will lead to the year you had planned back on January 1.
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The Difference Between 'Wanting' and 'Being' a Top Producer
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What Your Clients Need to Know About Buying a Home This Spring
Some real estate market watchers are calling the spring 2018 home buying season the most competitive since the great recession. If you're a real estate agent preparing for the spring rush, here's what you need to know to survive. Spring 2018 Will Be Extremely Competitive for Buyers A number of market factors are creating a competitive environment:
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Want to Grow Your Real Estate Business? DO LESS!
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Attract More Leads with the Right Mindset, Skillset, and Actions
It's hard to overemphasize the importance of having a system in the real estate business. A system helps you go from an "on-accident" agent who works hard and does their best to put transactions together to an "on-purpose" agent who generates consistent positive results. Larry Kendall recently shared tips from his new book discussing how agents can use the Ninja Selling System to become "on-purpose" agents. This system is built around three success keys: your mindset, your skillset, and your actions.
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Going for the Gold: 3 Things Agents Can Learn from Olympic Bobsledders
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How Can Real Estate Agents Become Top Producers?
Most full-time professional real estate agents want to become top producers, but not all agents reach that goal. Becoming a top producer takes time, education and a lot of hard work. Agents must develop their skills, systems and tools to reach that lofty goal. Top Producer Skills Developing top producer skills is easier if you're a natural at running a business and working with people, but keep in mind that you can learn these skills. These are some of the most critical.
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[Best of 2017] 3 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents
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Gifts and Gadgets for Under $15 for Real Estate Pros
What can you buy for less than $15 at Amazon.com? Let's take a look at some cool gifts and gadgets for agent offices, home and on the road. Some of these items might even make your holiday wish list.
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5 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Lay a Foundation for Success
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The Best Time to List a House Is in the Winter and Here's Why
Prices may be the highest (and hottest) in the summer, but the best time to list a house is actually near the end of winter. Strange as it may seem, and even counter-intuitive for sellers, buyers are more active and eager to close deals in the winter. Before we dive into our argument, let's look at the mindset of a seller. First, with colder temperatures and school enrollment cycles to consider (which, contrary to popular belief, aren't actually based on agrarian harvesting cycles but based on inner-city heat waves), many sellers want to transition into a new home without interrupting their children's learning. Second, sellers see a national average increase in prices peak around June and July. According to a study from NerdWallet analyzing listings and final sale prices over two years using data provided by Realtor.com, houses cost 8.45 percent more on average in the summer months than in the dead of winter. Lastly, sellers see shorter days on market in the summer than in the winter. Looking at the data provided by Realtor.com, days on market for the months of May and June topped out at a median of 73.2 days, compared to 105.5 days for January and February.
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How to Rock Your Fourth Quarter
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5 Tips for Pricing Homes in Great School Districts
For families on the hunt for a new place to live, school district quality is of prime concern. Whether trying to keep kids close to friends in an existing district or seeking out one where the proverbial grass is greener, many are willing to pay up. But how much should real estate selling be influenced by proximity to a great school? Setting Home Prices in Good School Districts without Pricing Out Buyers When puzzling out prices, consider the following:
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New Home Checklist for Your Clients: 11 Things to Do After Unpacking
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Are you consistently inconsistent? Break your bad habit in 9 steps
When it comes to winning new or repeat business, it's critical that agents develop and sustain a consistent presence with top prospects and members of their sphere. However, any agent can tell you that real estate is, by nature, an inconsistent business. Whether you look at the day-to-day schedules of a typical Realtor or the changing market cycle by season, it can feel impossible to plan ahead (and stay on schedule) when your client pipeline is churning and your phone never stops buzzing. Here are nine steps ANY agent can follow to help them get into a better, more consistent marketing routine — while still maintaining time for their personal and home life.
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3 Things Real Estate Agents Can Leverage to Double Their Production
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The Most Important Rooms in Your Listing
I live in a small apartment complex where the layout of each unit is almost identical. Despite this, each home is entirely unique because of the way the occupants have furnished and decorated their homes. Some feel large because of the utilitarian furnishings, while others seem more modestly proportioned because of the comfortable, overstuffed furniture. Some are filled with warm, earthy tones that make you feel at home. Others invite a more modern feel with eye-popping splashes of color. Each apartment is completely unique even though underneath the individual furnishings, each unit is the essentially the same. Why Stage?
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The Dance between Patience and Mindful Real Estate Sales
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7 (More) Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents
We're already halfway through 2017! The midpoint of the year is a great opportunity to pause and reevaluate how to ensure you'll meet the goals you set at the beginning of the year. In real estate, success is hugely dependent not just on the market, but on the personal traits of the agent. We started the year highlighting the 3 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents. The article lists the first three of 10 traits that top Realtors embody, according to renowned agent and trainer Leigh Brown, who stars in this series of three videos produced by Washington REALTORS® (but is relevant to Realtors nationwide!). Today, we're revisiting Brown's advice and letting you in on the remaining seven habits of highly successful real estate agents. Check out the two videos below, and our summary, to discover how you can stay or get back on track to meeting your goals for 2017.
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5 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience
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What NOT to Do When Buying a Home
Buying a home can be one of the most exhilarating, even thrilling - yet sometimes admittedly stressful - experiences of one's life. It's also something that the average person only does about once every decade, according to the National Association of Realtors®. So whether your client is a first-time buyer or buying a third home, there are some things to keep in mind that will help the experience be more thrilling and less stressful. These are the most important "What NOT to do" tips from experienced mortgage advisors to consider when buying a home: Don't pack papers too early. Once your clients have turned in all the documentation requested by the lender upfront, they can pack up the rest of their paperwork, right? Don't. Underwriters may ask for extra documents, so until the loan actually closes, the safest approach is to keep personal financial documents readily available. Saving 10 percent could be dangerous to the closing. Clients need to purchase new appliances for their new home and some stores offer an extra 10 percent off when opening a new credit card. What's the harm, right? Don't. Your client's credit can be pulled again just before closing and with a new credit line, their score could drop. Believe it or not, this could prevent a closing from happening. Safest approach: Make major purchases AFTER the home loan closes. Cash deposits can complicate things. Your client's parents just gave $1,000 cash as a birthday gift and they decided to deposit the money before the home purchase closed. No problem, right? Don't, as this could be a problem. All "gifts" have to be verified with a detailed paper trail. Clients should ask for advice from their mortgage advisor before making any large deposits, by cash or check, during a home purchase. Taking a new job could stall the loan process. Your client is in the middle of buying a new home and was offered a great new job that starts right away. With her new commissions, she is going to make at least 30 percent more income. However, the base salary is 30 percent less than her current salary. That won't affect the home purchase, right? When someone is qualified for a mortgage with income that is based on commissions, bonuses or self-employed income, a two-year history is required. That means a job change like this could affect your client's ability to qualify for the loan. Reaching out to their experienced mortgage advisor will help clients navigate any major decisions that could affect their home financing. Never wait to sell stock when using it for a down payment. Clients who are planning to sell their stock to use as a down payment sometimes wait as long as they can to see if it will go up. Don't. Not only can the value of the stock drop – leaving your client short of funds to close on the purchase of their home – but they need to provide the documentation of having enough funds to close for loan approval. Selling the stock when they know the value can help them close on time. Renters need to be extra careful with their security deposits. When clients are buying a home and moving from a rental where the landlord holds a security deposit, they may think that it's okay to use that deposit towards the last month's rent. Don't. That's because rental history is verified and skipping a payment, or a reported late payment, could negatively impact loan approval. Clients shouldn't ignore a request for something they've already provided. Sometimes clients might be asked for a document they think was provided, yet a page could be missing or digitally corrupted. The request may also seem a little crazy, but when an underwriter makes a request, they really do need the document. Clients should call their mortgage advisor and ask for help to understand the reasoning behind the request and then send in the requested information as quickly as possible. Never be too busy to stay on top of bills. Things can get hectic when buying a home: packing, closing down and setting up utilities, arranging for movers, ordering cable or satellite installation, visiting schools – there's a million things to do. But the one thing clients can't neglect is paying their bills. Even if a credit report has been run once, it can be run again before closing, so it's important that clients keep their payments current by paying everything on time. Don't toss blank pages. Clients often toss the last page of the bank statement because it's usually blank or has an ad on it. That's okay, right? It's not, if the page has a number on it. Underwriting rules require all numbered pages of a bank statement, including blank ones. Fortunately, most banks provide easy access to download full copies of recent online bank statements so clients have another option for missing pages. Hold on to paystubs. Clients with auto-deposit of paychecks through work may receive a paper copy of the paystub at home and have a habit of throwing these away. Don't. They'll need the most recent paystubs for their loan application. Keep in mind that documents for a mortgage have a short "shelf life," so clients need to hang on to the most current copies of paystubs, bank statements and other key financial documents until their loan closes – just so they're not scrambling at the last minute for this information. Finally, the best advice for clients buying a home is to stay the course – try not to make any big changes during the home financing process: don't open new bank accounts, take out new credit lines, make any major purchases, or start any home improvement projects. If they heed these don'ts, they'll take a lot of the stress out of the home buying process and truly enjoy the thrill of stepping in the doorway of their new place, looking around and knowing that there really is no place like home. Robert Lipston is Regional Manager of Opes Advisors, A Division of Flagstar Bank. Learn more about Opes Advisors at www.opesadvisors.com.     
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4 Ways to Rise Above Dangerously Low Inventory this Summer
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How to Deal with Difficult Clients
Wouldn’t it be nice if all your clients were happy, patient, and understanding? Unfortunately, for many that isn’t always the situation. As a real estate professional, you’ve walked through the doors into the service industry—you work closely with clients on a personal and emotional level. Dealing with different personalities and emotions can lead to some tense and stressful interactions with clients. Difficult clients are part of business, but with a few tips, you can turn adversity into profit. Shhhh... Listen Listening is imperative to any form of communication and is an important starting point when dealing with clients. Many situations can be avoided completely if you just listen to the client’s needs, wants, and negotiables from the start. A great way to find this information is to pre-screen all clients during an “interview” process. This can be done over the phone or in person. This is your opportunity to ask questions to figure out what the client is looking for as well as to understand the client as a person. There are times when you need to take a step back and see the situation from the other person’s point of view. By constantly trying to make the client see things your way, you aren’t allowing the client to have a say in the matter and make her feel as though their concerns are not cared for. Think about how you would behave in this situation and give the client a response or solution in a manner you would like to hear/see.
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The 5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
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Six Do's and Don'ts of Navigating the Busy Season
Spring is here, which means the busy season is upon us! So far, inventory is falling short of buyer demand and the median home price is on the rise—up $10,000 to $260,000 for the first time since May 2016. How do you prepare for this seasonal shift? In order make this season a successful one, you must dedicate time to effectively managing your relationships with current clients and nurturing leads to build new relationships. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to succeeding in maintaining and growing your pipeline, we've put together six do's and don'ts to guide you. Do respond to leads quickly Don't reach out to leads with nothing to offer Do block out time for lead generation and client nurturing Don't forget to keep track of your efforts Do ask about communication preferences Don't be too pushy with your communication Check out the infographic below for an overview of how these six tips can help you grow your business:
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5-Step Exercise to Avoid Costly Time Traps
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Why Real Estate Agents Struggle in 2017
While economic uncertainties continue and a changing global economy dominates the everyday headlines, it's clear to many why real estate agents struggle to get ahead – especially in the aftermath of the housing crash. However, while these issues on the macroeconomic level are important to take note of, they aren't the primary reasons that plague many agents from growing their business in 2017. These are four primary areas where real estate agents struggle to get ahead of their competition. A failure to market to two key demographics "In 2017, the U.S. real estate market will be in the middle of two massive demographic waves that will power demand for at least the next 10 years." Millennials and Baby Boomers are the two largest American generations in history – and they're both going through unique shifts in their lives. Baby Boomers are starting to see their nests empty as they look to capitalize on hot housing markets and peek into retirement. Millennials are on the other end of the spectrum as first-time homebuyers looking to break into the market, start a family and put down roots. The purchasing power these influential generations represent, paired with the impending largest transfer of wealth in history, shows they will continue to make waves in the real estate market across North America. Remember, these are the people that quite literally built and grew up in the digital age – meaning they live online! They understand the power of quality website content, mobile friendly communication, thought leadership articles and how all these elements work together to build a client's trust. Ninety-two percent of buyers use the Internet in some way in their home search process, so if you don't have a clear and concise digital footprint, why would someone choose to go with you?
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Don't Be a Greedy Realtor
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5 Marketing Mistakes You Can't Afford to Make
At the beginning of each year, thousands of real estate professionals decide that this is the year they're going to supercharge their marketing. They think committing more time and resources to their marketing effort will see better results. But this is not always the case. You should first start by reviewing areas that you can improve on. To help you take your marketing to the next level, we've put together a list of the top five marketing mistakes that, if corrected, can immediately improve your marketing efforts. 1) Omitting Mobile Devices: More and more, the world seems to be going mobile. 2.3 billion people are currently active on social media, and almost 2 billion of them have social media on their phone, iPad or tablet. Any good marketer knows that you can't try to bring the people to where you want, instead you need to go where they're already looking. With that in mind, remember that most of your clients will be looking at your website, blogs and articles you share on their mobile device, so make sure your content is compatible. 2) Forgetting To Optimize Your SEO Content: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it's definitely something you should be paying attention to. It basically determines how high on the list you show up when people search for you online. And studies show that 93 percent of people begin their internet session with search engines (68 percent using Google). On top of that, the first five results in Google generate 67 percent of all clicks. So do whatever you can to crack that top five. "SEO remains – and will remain – one of the building blocks of a technology sound and competitive web presence," says Neil Patel, cofounder of Crazy Egg, Hello Bar, and KISSmetrics and a contributor for Forbes.com. "Without an understanding of SEO, your marketing presence will falter and fail."
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The Keys to a Long-Term Real Estate Relationship
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When Your Real Estate Leads Become a Network of People
Full disclaimer: leads are great for business. A healthy funnel of leads typically means that your business is gaining some recognition, and the public is generally interested in your services and the solutions you're offering. Converting leads to closed transactions is a healthy sign of business growth, as well. Yes, leads are good, and everyone in real estate would love to get more. Here's the thing. When our business is about catering to an experience – in this case, it is home ownership – we can't speak about lead generation and conversion in the same manner as other industries. Real estate is about caring for arguably one of the most emotional transactions a person will ever make. If we were to trade places with our clients, we would want to have an agent on our side looking out for our interest – both from a financial and a personal perspective. The moment we sense that our agent only cares for his commission, and sees us as the conduit to that commission, we will lose faith in the transaction, in the agent—or, worse, in the industry all together. No one wants to be treated like they don't matter—or, worse, like something to be used and disposed of afterwards. Start treating your real estate leads like the people they are.
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3 Tips for Agents Who Want to Open Their Own Brokerage
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Help! Should I tell my clients or biz contacts that I looked them up in advance?
So you googled a potential client, or maybe you even ran their name through one of those personal dossier apps we talked about last week. Before you bring up "The Big Game" you know they watched, or the big deal you know they just finished negotiating, it's important to consider how you roll out this information. In a digital-first world, it's easier than ever to make a connection. But if you don't go about it the right way, you can come off looking like a supreme creeper. Here are four questions to ask yourself before you meet with someone you've researched in advance. 1. Could you have seen the news or tidbit on your own? Let's start with the obvious. If you are meeting someone for the first time ever, or you're not friends with them on Facebook or other social media platforms, then you likely won't be able to say that you came across the information organically. One exception is if you are meeting with a business owner, or an employee of a company that has recently been in the news. If you saw the company make headlines in a positive news story, it's a great idea to bring that up and ask if your contact was personally involved. If, however, your research app showed you that this contact was in the news a year ago, you may have to admit that you looked them up in advance. Ask yourself, "Is making a connection over a long-ago business deal or news item really going to help me get ahead in this conversation?" If you're not sure, it's best not to bring it up.
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Becoming a Millionaire Real Estate Agent – 5 Keys to Make It Happen!
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Advice for New Real Estate Agents: Be a Local Expert
When New Jersey-based Keller Williams agent Mark Slade started in real estate in 2008, he was living on food stamps. He'd just left behind a lucrative career in the fashion industry — his last position was an Executive Vice President — that went bust with the rest of the economy at the time. So he picked up his bootstraps and began a whole new career in real estate. At first, he said, it was bare bones. "If I spent over $10,000 on my business in the first two years, I would be shocked," he said. But Mark put his nose to the grindstone to carve out a significant business where there once was nothing. And in 2015, he closed over $28 million in sales. That's not luck. That's grit. And the really impressive thing? He wants to help other agents do it, too. "A coworker of mine wanted to leave real estate behind. I told her I believed in her, and she could make it work. She said I was the anomaly because I succeeded when everyone else was failing. But why wouldn't you want to listen to and be a part of the anomaly?" For new agents, the question is this: how do you break into a business where there are so many established already? Mark's answer is many fold, but he has a very clear first step: know your area inside and out. Local expertise is critical — why else would someone hire you if you've never negotiated a sale? And here's how he suggests you do it. 1. Get the data "How's the market?" It's the first question every agent gets in a conversation. And it might seem like a softball question. But for new agents, it's actually an opportunity. What matters most to home buyers and sellers right now is what's happening in the market right now. So you should always be prepared to answer this question for your area (and surrounding) in the following ways: Where are prices trending? How many homes are for sale right now? How many homes recently sold? What's the most expensive home on the market? What's the current average price of a home? Is that price trending up or down? What is the average amount of days on market? Is that lengthening or shortening? Mark had a mentor that had him memorize this data for their weekly meeting, where he could be counted on to answer most of the questions while his fellow agents remained silent. It's a skill that served him well and a habit that has stayed with him.
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Five Steps to Getting Back in the Groove, Fast
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How Mindshare Equals Market Share for Real Estate Agents
Sit down with David Greenspan and he's going to talk to you about your retirement plan. But he's not a financial advisor. He's from KiTS, a powerful marketing system that uses Variable Data Printing. While not an agent himself, David grew up in a broker's office, hanging out with his father. KiTS stands for Keep in Touch Systems, a platform run by WAM Interactive. And when real estate agents come to him to learn about his product, he wants to learn about them first. "First thing I do is find out what their needs are," said David. He wants to know where they are in their business. He asks what group they are focusing on. And he wants to know what strategy is already in place — if any. Only then does David start talking about the tools that KiTS offers. It's an oversimplification to say that KiTS is a newsletter system. In fact, it's a highly customizable system of communications that is built on hundreds of pieces of variable data, all designed to create a piece of content that can be regularly delivered in a personalized — but automated — way. "It's beyond paper newsletters of variable data. Now it's a cross-channel marketing platform," David said.
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3 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents
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3 Ways Real Estate Agents Are Better than FSBO
For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is very popular in the millennial market. Sellers are technologically savvy and want to save on the commission—but the ride might be bumpier than anticipated. We have heard it, we have seen it and I have written about it. But, there are some people who still prefer to take the FSBO route. Wondering how to persuade sellers to choose a real estate professional? A recent blog written by Lolly Spindler and posted on HouseHunt.com does a really great job in highlighting the benefits to choosing a professional when it comes to your home.
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Why Your New Year's Resolutions Will Fail (and How to Fix That)
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[INFOGRAPHIC] Selling Real Estate in the Winter
For many of us, the spring and summer months are so busy we hardly have time to catch our breath. Then when the holiday season arrives, suddenly the calendar opens up, meetings are sparse and the phone quiets down. How do you stay busy and continue generating real estate leads through the winter months? Are there really prospects buying homes in the winter? The winter season is actually one of the best times of year to generate leads and it can be a lucrative time for home buyers to find their dream home. According to research from NAR, some prospects choose to house hunt in the winter months in hopes of avoiding competition from other buyers. Check out this infographic for more information on why selling real estate in the winter can be lucrative, and tips on how to do it:
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Best of 2016: 22 of the Absolute Best Real Estate Closing Gift Ideas
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Best of 2016: What to Do When Your Buyer Leaves You for Another Agent
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in March and is #7 in our countdown. See #8 here. Have you ever experienced a "cheating" client? Plenty of agents have. Maybe it happened when your buyer went to an open house and decided to buy with the listing agent. Or maybe the buyer decided to close with a friend after weeks of you chauffeuring them to showings. Whatever the case–and no matter how long you've worked in real estate–it still hurts to lose a client like this. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening again, but here are some tips on what to do right now: Don't waste energy on angry emails. We get it. You feel betrayed. It's hard to know why the buyer acted as they did. It's very possible that they simply don't understand how agents are compensated and that you just wasted time (read: money) on them that could have been better spent with another client. Regardless of the reason, energy expended in anger on a disloyal client is not worth it. Keep calm and be professional. If you do decide to reach out, congratulate them on their new home. Pitch your message as a service check and ask if there was something you could have done or communicated better to have closed the deal. Politely explain that you are disappointed that they went with someone else. Ask for a referral. It's very possible that your former client will be embarrassed when they finally understand how they wasted your time (assuming they didn't already know). If this is the case, they may be more than willing to refer friends and family to you to "make up" for your lost time and commission. Remove them from your database. If you find you can't move past the incident, deleting the client's contact info can be a cathartic experience. Use that moment to put the experience behind you and move on!
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What should agents do in the slow real estate season?
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The Guide to Real Estate Holiday Cards
The holiday season has officially arrived, and this time of year is a time to give thanks to all the people that make our lives bright. With the first holiday card sent in the winter of 1843 by the famous educator and art donator Henry Cole, holiday cards have become an American tradition, and one that also causes lot of stress. Holiday cards are a great way to show your appreciation to the folks in your network. However, the more customers a business has, the harder it is to be personal and heartfelt in each individual card. Doesn't it always seem that each year we seem to get more cringe-worthy cards than the last? These cards end up being remembered for all the wrong reasons, and that's something important you'll want to avoid entirely when you're sending out your holiday cards—especially in a professional network. Here are our top tips for sending the best real estate holiday cards: Build authentic relationships this holiday season The holidays are a great time to show clients how much they are appreciated. Nurturing a relationship with your customers has become more vital in growing a business, especially in terms of customer base and revenue. According to Harvard Business Review, creating products that foster emotional connection with consumers increases the number of customers, in one specific case by 40 percent. With it being December, the best way to harbor customer relationships is through holiday cards. Almost 2 billion physical and 500 million electronic holiday cards sent around the country every year, but simply sending any holiday card will not do much. The potential to foster an emotional connection with your customers lies within the details. That's why we put together these quick tips for creating the best holiday card from your business to your network and clients.
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Feeling Confident and Showing It – 4 Keys for Real Estate Agents
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How Agents Can Help Military Veterans Become Homeowners
When it comes to housing, our service men and women face several unique challenges, from finding a home from abroad to navigating the confusing world of VA mortgage loans. This Veterans Day, we want to help you serve those who serve us to achieve the pinnacle of the American Dream--homeownership. 1. Use technology to work with relocating service members from afar. Active members of the military often have to find housing before they physically relocate to an area. Tech tools like Skype, FaceTime, virtual tours, and digital transaction management are key parts of your arsenal here. For a list long distance communication tools, see 7 Tools For Working With Clients Remotely. 2. Look for houses with good resale value. One challenge military members face is something called a Permanent Change of Station (PCS). This means that service men and women are often uprooted on short notice and reassigned to a new base. Because of this, it's helpful that any home they own has strong resale value so it can be sold quickly in case of PCS. This is especially important if the current home needs to be sold before the new one can be purchased.
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Win More Listings and Work Fewer Hours with These Simple Tips
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3 Things You're Neglecting Today That You'll Regret in 5 Years
As a real estate agent, you have a lot on your mind each day. I'm guessing you don't have time to worry about potential future regrets. But what if there are a few relationship building things you could adjust in your business today that would help you avoid the pain of remorse in the future? It makes perfect sense to focus on motivated leads that are looking to make a move immediately. But it's also important to have an effective plan for long-term lead generation. You'll reap what you sow in real estate leads! I want to share with you three easy things you can incorporate into your real estate business now that will ensure your business is booming and regret-free in five years' time. Here are the three things you may be neglecting today that might cause you to feel regret in the future: Sending a Monthly e-Newsletter This has the potential to be one of the simplest things you can do now that you'll benefit from in years to come. Sending a monthly e-Newsletter to your contacts helps you stay top of mind, establishes you as an expert on all things real estate-related, and reminds your contacts how to get in touch with you.
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Why Real Estate Agents Change Brokerages (and a Checklist to Do It Right!)
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The Best Real Estate Tech Tips at Record Speed! PART 2 (8/25)
Thursday, August 25, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Your time is valuable! Take your skills to the next level in this quick, 30 minute webinar. Join our Tech Savvy Agent National Speaker Kristi Kennelly as she uncovers another round of the best apps, websites, systems and marketing strategies from top agents around the country - in record time! You won't want to miss it! Register now!
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How to Ensure First Time Home Buyers Will Think of You Every Week
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Understanding Your Sellers Will Make You a Better Agent
What's the number one way to connect with your sellers and make the home transaction easier? Watch real estate coach Borino explain what really motivates sellers! It will help make the relationship between you and your clients a lot more positive. The 2:58 mark will reveal the secret to a harmonious transaction and a quicker sale!
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3 Fast Solutions for More Money this Month
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5 of the Best Networking Tips from Top Real Estate Agents
Although you may be inclined to view other real estate agents as the competition, sometimes it's to your benefit to form positive relationships with your peers and the network of real estate agents you're a part of. More often than not, when you connect with other agents, you exchange stories (good and bad), share what you're working on, and hopefully trade off some tips and tricks that you've learned along the way. With that in mind, we turned to the real estate agents in our own network and asked if they would share some of their top tips. With decades worth of combined real estate experience, one theme seemed to emerge from all the tips we got; being a real estate agent is tough, and there's no easy way to go about it. But taking the time for your clients, your potential clients, and even those cold leads can make a huge difference for your business. And yes, that means going above and beyond the typical 9 to 5 work day. We spoke with real estate agents and Realtors from all over the country, and collected a few of our favorite quotes and tips here just for you. Whether it's best practices on what to put in emails to clients, or how to engage with potential clients with cold emails, each of these top agents brought their wisdom, and in some cases their humor, to share a little bit of their agent personality. And as we all know, the real estate agent's personality can make all the difference in a client's experience when they're buying or selling a home.
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3 Strategies to Deal with Unrealistic Sellers
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Identify Your Productivity Style: Tips to Increase Efficiency at the Office
A recent Gallup survey revealed that only 33 percent of U.S. workers were "engaged" with their work. Distracted by smartphones, social media, emails, and the demands of their personal lives, many find it hard to focus consistently and maximize productivity at work. Some of this disengagement can also come from your cognitive style (i.e. how you perceive and process information). This can have a major impact on time management techniques and how productive you are during the workday. One size doesn't fit all when it comes to personal productivity. In fact, there are actually four productivity styles:   The Prioritizer: Defers to logical, analytical, fact-based, critical, and realistic thinking. May be known in the office for their drive and competitiveness. They have never met a goal they did not like and apply a laser-like focus to ensure they accomplish their goals. The Planner: Thrives on organized, sequential, planned, and detailed thinking. Their emails are detailed, often including bullet points and clearly stated next-action steps. They have never met a calendar or project-planning tool that they did not like. The Arranger: Prefers supportive, expressive, and emotional thinking. They are a natural communicator and excel at facilitating project meetings. They are talkers who love stories, eye-to-eye contact, expressing concern for others, and asking questions about the way a project or task helps others. The Visualizer: Prefers holistic, intuitive, integrating, and synthesizing thinking. Focuses on the big-picture and broad concepts making connections. Their excessive spontaneity and impulsiveness can lead to breakthrough ideas, but can also derail project plans at times.
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