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Annual Business Checklist for Real Estate Agents
According to Mark Twain, "the secret to getting ahead is getting started." And when you're running your own real estate business, there's a lot of work to do. We've highlighted some important tasks to keep your business running smoothly and the best season to complete them so that you have ample time to grow your business while keeping your tools and systems up to date.
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Starting Your Business as a New Real Estate Agent
The requirements to become a real estate agent are pretty minimal. Just about anyone can become an agent. Succeeding in real estate is another matter. A large percentage of new agents never make it past their second year. Before you launch your career in real estate, try to have enough income set aside to support yourself for two years. This will give you time to get your business going.
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How Business Strategy Can Help You Stand Out in Real Estate
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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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7 To-Dos to Check Off Before 2019
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5 Steps for Planning Your 2019 Real Estate Marketing Budget
It's already December — 2019 is sneaking up on us! Now is the time to plan out your real estate marketing budget before the new year hits. Ready to get on the right track for next year? Here are a few tips for getting that budget started.
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6 Mistakes New Real Estate Agents Make
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It's Business Planning Season: 4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid for 2019
By Tom Ferry With less than a month left in 2018, I'm curious which path you're on. Some agents are preparing for the holidays and are ready to slow things down. Others are ramping up their efforts to close with a bang! Personally, I love this time of year precisely because there's so much on the line. It's a chance to finish 2018 strong--and to set yourself up to make 2019 your best year ever. Which means one thing: It's business planning season! That's why I want to alert you to these Four Costly Business Planning Mistakes to Avoid for 2019.
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5 Tasks You Can Do in Your 'Free Hour' to Win More Business
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Q4 Is Here: 5 Ways Successful Agents End Strong and Build Momentum
The fourth quarter often brings a slowing market, lots of time away from the office, and a mentality to wind down and delay priorities until the new year. So, it might come as a surprise that mega agents and real estate leaders believe Q4 brings some of the best opportunities to claim market share and create more opportunity in your business (both now and next year). Here are five ways successful agents use the fourth quarter to set their businesses apart from the competition and set themselves up for a big close and a strong start to the new year.
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Strategies to End and Start Your Year on Top
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Risk Management for Your Real Estate Business
As a real estate agent, you should be focused on two main things: your success and the happiness of your clients. Part of creating a successful business and keeping your clients is being aware of and managing the risks you and your clients face.
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Time Management Skills to Master for Real Estate 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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Miss the Mark on Your Q1 Goals? Try These Tips to Stay on Track in Q2
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Friday Freebie: Set (and Keep!) Your 2018 Goals with this Workbook
Are the goals you've set for your real estate business this year really goals—or are they just wishes? Here's how you can tell. If you say, "I want to make $10,000 more in commissions this year," and leave it at that—well, friend, you're just a wishful thinker. If, however, you say, "I want to make $10,000 more in commissions this year—and here are the specific steps I'm going to take to do that," then you're a bonafide goal setter. But here's the thing—it's easy to think of what you want to accomplish, but much harder to devise a plan for how to accomplish those things. If formulating the specifics of your strategic plan for this year is overwhelming, never fear! In this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a downloadable workbook that leads you through the most challenging aspects of setting goals.
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[Infographic] Planning Your Best Year Ever
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Friday Freebie: Social Media and Business Planning Checklists for 2018
Do you dream of more business and more commissions in the year ahead? Don't. Instead of wishing for success in 2018, plan for it. (Or, as we say in the RE Technology offices, "Plan your work, and work your plan.") When you outline tangible, actionable steps that you can take to attract more clients and close more transactions, you're on the way to achieving your goals. But if you're not sure how to get started, we've got a cheat sheet of sorts for you--two of them, in fact! Read on to learn how you can download two FREE checklists that will help you get your business ready for 2018!
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2018 Business Planning for Real Estate Agents
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10 Easy Ways Agents Can Run a More Profitable Business
There are some simple, yet essential ways to make sure your business is as profitable and thriving as it can be. These ten tips will hopefully serve as a checklist for when tax season comes around, as well as the rest of the year, in order to prepare and set your business up for the brightest possible future.
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5 Ways to Prepare Now for a Strong 2018 Listings Year
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The Business Mixer Plan for Real Estate Agents
Are you intimidated by planning events? Or maybe you have already done it, and it was just so overwhelming that you don't plan on doing it again. We've made it easy for you by having a detailed, step-by-step plan of what you need with all of the things to consider! The Business Mixer Event Project Plan
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5 Steps Real Estate Agents Can Take to Finish 2017 Strong
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3 Reasons Your Real Estate Practice Isn't Growing
With housing markets across the United States experiencing record low inventory, it's understandable if your real estate practice hasn't grown this year. While you may point to this phenomenon and simply say, "Hey, what can I do? The inventory is just really really low," there are many agents out there that are crushing it this year. So the question is: what is different about what those agents are doing compared to what you are doing? This is a very interesting question. After all, it rarely is 100 percent the fault of the market. There are always other outside factors that come into play. There are also always some ways you can refine your real estate practice by tightening things up and running it in a more optimized fashion to maximize your growth potential. Today, I want to share with you three reasons your real estate practice may be experiencing lack of growth, and how to solve these problems.
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3 Tips for Agents Who Want to Open Their Own Brokerage
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Launching a Real Estate Brand from Scratch: Baby Steps and Big Changes
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM PST Thinking about launching your own Real Estate brand? Stacie Perrault Staub, Founder and owner of West & Main Homes, will share the baby steps and big changes that you'll need to take! In this webinar you'll learn: Telling your Managing Broker (spoiler alert: sooner isn't always better) Knowing when you're ready to take the leap to Company Owner Prioritizing logistics and investments Hiring the right team to get your company off the ground Creating effective systems from Day 1 Register now!
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Friday Freebie: 21 Steps to Get Your Business Ready for 2017
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How to Make 2017 Your Most Successful Year Ever
Ready to ramp up your business in 2017? Watch as Coach Tom Ferry reveals the formula for your most successful year ever. Check out 9:20 for the third tip!
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What should agents do in the slow real estate season?
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How to Set Your Goals Now for More Commissions in 2017
It's a safe bet that most agents would like to earn more money in the year ahead, but do you have a plan for how you can step up your game in 2017? We're not talking about simply having vague goals in mind, but instead formulating a tangible plan that includes hard numbers for how many transactions you need to close to hit your income target, as well as how many leads you need to engage to generate those transactions in the first place. Or, as we say in the RE Technology offices, you need to plan your work and work your plan! Fortunately, with a little guidance, this is simple to do—and, it's a great time of year to start planning ahead. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when formulating a plan for 2017: 1. Establish your baseline Before you figure out where you want to go next year, first you need to figure out where you've been. How much commission did you earn last year? From how many closed transactions did you earn this commission? How many buyer transactions closed? How many listings? Once you've figured this out, you can begin to visualize how many more transactions you need to close in 2017 to hit your income goals.
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Grow Your Business Exponentially Next Year by Starting Now
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Spending 5 Minutes with Your 2016 Business Plan
"In absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia." - Author Unknown As real estate professionals, goal setting is a popular topic. It has likely come up in your office meetings, with your real estate vendors and amongst your colleagues. Yet even though we know the importance of goal setting and the impact a strong business plan can have on fueling success, for many, it has become one of those dreaded yearly activities that gets pushed to the back burner. All clichés aside, goals give you focus, allow you to measure progress, keep you motivated and help you stay accountable for your business decisions. While there's no perfect recipe for success, outlining your business goals and how you plan to achieve them is the perfect way to analyze what worked in 2015 and what you're ready to achieve in 2016. Here are a few considerations that will help you better determine your priorities this New Year. #1: Could you be more organized? If you find yourself spending valuable time searching for client information in your email or rummaging through notebooks to find notes about your most recent client meetings, it might be time to consider a centralized database of names, addresses, phone numbers and other information on your clients that is accessible via your computer, tablet or mobile phone. A robust CRM system like Top Producer® that's specifically tailored for the real estate professional can solve your organizational issues, can keep your leads nurtured and engaged, and can even remind you of who needs follow-up and when.
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Friday Freebie: Track Your Marketing ROI with this Worksheet
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Friday Freebie: 15 Tasks to Get Your Business Ready for 2016
"The secret of getting ahead is getting started," according to Mark Twain. To help you take that first step towards success in the new year, we're starting a Friday Freebie series that highlights free business and marketing plans that show you how to bank more money in the year ahead. 2016 Business Planning Checklist from Homes.com Don't worry. We're breaking you in easy today with a simple 15-task checklist that will have your business running like an efficient, well-oiled machine. The idea is to break down the work of preparing for the new year into small, manageable tasks. That way, you won't get overwhelmed and give up before even starting. Here's a sample of some of the tasks included in the checklist: Segment your contact list into groups you can target with marketing Research your competitors' advertising materials for new ideas Verify your business on all major search engines (an excellent way to help people find you in the new year!) Set notifications for birthdays and other key dates for important contacts Update your business cards and other branded marketing materials Pretty painless, right? Many of the checklist items offer links to extra resources like market reports and informative articles to help you out even more. If you're ready to take on 2016, download Homes.com's 2016 Business Planning Checklist today!
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How to Make Next Year Your Best Year Ever
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How to End the Year with a Boom
I come bearing good news: It looks like the remainder of 2015 will be a good one for agents looking to end the year on a positive note. I'm sure you've noticed the recent stock market wavering – a roller coaster ride with deep dips one day and soaring gains the next. It turns out, that volatility could bring benefits to prospective buyers. Why? The drop in demand by those hurt by the stock market might just give would-be buyers an advantage in a market that's favored sellers for much of this year. Inventory grew during the end of summer and demand has kept pace, so buyers will have better options through the end of 2015. Plus, of course, the Fed postponed raising interest rates and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports the trend in median days on market is suggesting a more balanced market. Another sweet little tidbit from NAR: a full 88 percent of buyers use an agent to buy a home. So the obvious next move for the remainder of 2015 involves tapping into those buyers and sharing the good news with them. The question becomes: How did those 88 percent of buyers find their agent? NAR says 67 percent interviewed only one agent, 20 percent interviewed two. So how do you get to be on the interview list? Referrals. A whopping 40 percent of buyers chose to work with an agent who was referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative (or an agent who was a friend, neighbor, or relative).
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Five Steps to Create Your Real Estate Niche
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5 Tasks Every Real Estate Agent Should Complete Before Month's End
January is in full-swing, so it's time to jumpstart your success for the year ahead. Check these five items off your to-do list this month to get back on track and prepare yourself for a productive 2015. Set goals for 2015 January is an opportune time to assess the previous year. Do a deep dive into your finances, marketing plan and 2014 goals to see what worked for your business and what didn't. With this new insight, create your professional goals for 2015. For example, if your administrative workload dramatically increased last year, a new goal could be to hire an assistant. Or if you received more online business in 2014, consider dedicating more marketing spend to online lead generation. Market to your niche From multigenerational housing to urban living, focusing on your niche audience is a proven way to stand out in your market. Small updates to your logo, slogan or website can make a huge difference in the eyes of potential clients in your niche. If you're not a design pro, don't worry — here are some tips to help you master the creative basics.
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Friday Freebie: 2015 Real Estate Business Plan
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10 Resolutions that Will Help You Win More Clients in 2015
When it comes to building a bigger, better business in 2015, it's important to set goals around the things you want to change, whether you're trying to fix something that's not working or just move to the next level of success. Your ability to level-up your business is limitless, but it's easy to get worked up and excited into setting goals so big and so nebulous that they provide no direction for how to get started or, more importantly, how to get finished. As a result, many agents set wildly ambitious resolutions, flail about doing scattershot efforts for a few weeks, and then spend the rest of the year continuing to do what they have always done. And as a result, their businesses continue to run just the way they always have: up when the market is up, down when it's down. Top agents are those who have thriving, sustainable businesses that are not 100%-dependent on market dynamics. Let's have a little straight talk for a moment. You can get out of that feast-and-famine cycle in your mentality and in your income, but that it requires setting resolutions —goals, objectives, targets—that are well-calculated to drive smart strategy, targeted tactics and a year full of fruitful actions. Before embarking upon the exercise of setting more granular resolutions, set some high-level objectives for your business. Use a business plan, like Trulia's "2015 Bigger, Better Business Plan," to set high-level business targets—three or four for the year is plenty. Then, you'll be ready to set some more granular "resolutions" like those on the next page.
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Friday Freebie: 15 Tasks to Get Your Business Ready for 2015
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3 Ways to Revitalize Your Real Estate Business
For many real estate agents, now is the time of year when business hits the winter doldrums. Rather than fretting over the slower market, take the time to think about the year ahead and how you can plan for greater success in 2015. Real estate coach Mike Lindstrom recently offered the winners of HomeFinder.com's Agent Makeover Sweepstakes ideas on how to to do just that. The video below is a sample of the advice he shared with the winning agents. In it, he recommends three ways agents can revitalize their business in the new year: Be mindful of how your personal life impacts your professional success Set goals and hold yourself accountable Embrace technology, don't fear it Click through to the next page for details, helpful articles and app suggestions!
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How to Create a Foolproof Marketing Plan for Your Real Estate Business
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SWOT Analysis for Real Estate Agents
This post comes to us from the Market Leader blog: SWOT analysis is one of the basic concepts taught at business school. The problem is, however, the only business school many real estate agents go to is the School of Hard Knocks. But that's OK—you can be a graduate with honors of Hard Knocks University and still benefit from performing a SWOT analysis on your real estate practice. You may have all of the energy, drive and passion in the world; but without some sort of plan in place, even the most enthusiastic agents can suffer from massive diffusion, and find themselves confronted with too many tasks competing for the next hour of their time. As a result, none of their projects get very far, and the ones that do are poorly aligned with their needs and circumstances. The Basics The standard SWOT analysis, as we know it, was developed by Albert S. Humphrey, a successful management consultant in the '60s and '70s. Humphrey was looking for a tool that went beyond maximizing strengths and minimizing weaknesses; he wanted one that addressed how those strengths and weaknesses interacted with the broader business environment. SWOT stands for: Strengths Weaknesses Threats Opportunities
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S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting For Real Estate Agents
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5 Steps for Successful Business Planning in 2014
If the thought of business planning strikes fear into your heart (or just plain turns your stomach), you're not alone. Many agents dread building a business plan. At the same time, it's an invaluable tool that can take your enterprise to the next level. Today, we're going to provide a few tips, tricks, and tools to make the process less daunting. Be Prepared If you're building a detailed business plan, there will probably be some financial and other information that you'll need to reference. The process of writing your plan will go much more smoothly if you have this information at your fingertips. So, open up your accounting software, or get your production reports from your broker. Tell the "Story" of Your Business Did you ever take a journalism class in high school or college? If so, you're familiar with those essential elements of a good story: who, what, where, when, how and why. These are the questions that your business plan should answer. What do I do? What am I best at? Who knows this? Why do they care? How can I extend my sphere? What message should I focus on that defines me? What are the costs/trade-offs of my business plan? Who needs to review it? How will I hold myself accountable for the goals outlined in the business plan? What is the timeline for each of the steps in accomplishing my goals? Why are these my objectives? The world has changed, and so have our industry and your customers. It's time to look closely (and honestly) at the strengths and weaknesses of your business.
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Friday Freebie: Business Plan Builder from realtor.com®
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'Tis the Season for Success
While the real estate market slows down considerably in December, that doesn't mean REALTORS® aren't still thinking about their business. In fact, the month's final few weeks are a prime time to reflect on the year that's ending and start thinking ahead to 2014. What can you do during the next few weeks to improve your business? The folks at ActiveRain recently asked their community of real estate professionals just that. Their recent blog post, REALTOR® Got Run Over by a Reindeer, compiled the best responses. So what are your real estate peers planning this holiday season? Alongside activities like "attend as many holiday parties as possible" and "tidy up my desk," agents and brokers are looking for ways to better leverage their existing technology tools. Since tech is kind of our specialty, we turned to our collection of educational articles to assist real estate professionals in meeting their goals. Are you planning on any of the following activities this month? Let our guide below help you succeed! Goal: Clean Up My Contact Database How many contacts in your CRM's database are out-of-date? Worse, how many new contacts never made it into your database at all? Start by removing old, invalid contacts from your CRM, then turn to your wallet/phone/wherever and add all of those contacts from various business cards and other sources to your database. To prevent missing new contacts in the future, consider switching to a CRM with mobile capabilities. That way, you can add new leads' contact info right into your database from wherever you are. For you power CRM users, take some time to segment your database by value. Here are a couple articles to get you started: How to Discover Your "A-List" Clients How to Maximize Your Referrals Don't have a CRM? See our guide to choosing one, then explore your options in our product directory. For more ideas on leveraging your CRM, see our collection of articles.
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5 Steps to Effective 2014 Business Planning
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5 Questions to Ask Yourself for a Successful 2014
"What's written is real, what's planned is possible," says real estate coach, author and speaker Mike Lindstrom. According to Lindstrom, too many agents only talk about what they want to do when it comes to marketing their business without investing time into setting specific goals and plans to achieve those goals. To help agents get started crafting a plan for success in the new year, he recommends that every agent asks themselves five questions: What is my purpose? What is my outcome? What is my business plan? What can I do this year to invest in myself? What can I do to change my mindset? Lindstrom was one expert selected to provide one-on-one training sessions to the winners of the 2013 HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. For more from Lindstrom on goal setting for 2014, read the transcript on the next page.
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Pump Up Your Sales with New Twists
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Friday Freebie: Free Tools from realtor.com®
Did you know that realtor.com® offers a wide selection of free tools that help real estate agents grow their business? This week, we're taking a peek into realtor.com®'s tool box and providing readers with a full list of apps and services available to them. If you already use or are planning on investing other realtor.com® products, like Top Producer® and Showcase Listing Enhancement(SM), this page will show you exactly how the tools below complement the products you already use. Free tools from realtor.com® Here's a comprehensive list of tools from available to real estate professionals for free from realtor.com®: Agent Profile - Build repeat and referral business. Use this tool to manage what people learn about you on realtor.com® and from major social media networks. Listing Presentation - Download this presentation tool for use on a laptop, iPad® or as a printable document. It demonstrates how consumers habits have changed, including the importance of marketing a home online. HyperSocial™ Tools - This tool lets you get recommendations from your satisfied clients and share them with the world.   Collaborative Search App - Invite your clients to use a version of realtor.com® mobile apps branded with your photo and contact info. All primary inquiry actions are routed to you, and you receive immediate notifications on your smartphone or tablet. 
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Friday Freebie: Business Plan Builder from realtor.com®
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Plan for Success in 2013: Advice from Alex Perriello and Sherry Chris
Alex Perriello, President and CEO of The Realogy Franchise Group joined us at our recent Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate brand conference in Las Vegas and shared insights into the housing market and advice on how real estate professionals can succeed in 2013. Below are highlights from the main stage conversation between Alex Perriello and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC President and CEO Sherry Chris, including specific business strategies that agents should incorporate within their business plans to meet and achieve their personal goals. Sherry: Alex, can you please share with the audience some things you like about the market? Alex: Year-over-year increases in home sales and home prices across the country clearly demonstrate that the housing market is in a recovery mode. We are also seeing a significant number of move-up buyers jumping back into the market. Market strengths: The market is in recovery mode Broad-based; across all price points from lower-end to luxury Home price affordability at record levels Market challenges: Inventory levels very low Mortgage credit still has tight parameters Uncertainty about housing policy at the federal government level in Washington
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Holiday Deal: 2013 Business Plan (and Training!) from Market Leader
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Why Every Real Estate Agent Needs a Real Business Plan
It seems that at least once a year I get into a phase where I consider purchasing a new car. Of course, I rarely take the next step and actually buy one (my garage can only fit two cars at a time). I've always been a fan of brands like Audi, Toyota, and Nissan, but this year I was surprised to see some cool new car designs from Ford, and now I'm noticing them all over the place. I guess it's human nature to notice certain things once we've set our minds on them. For example, we recently launched the 2013 Real Estate Business Plan, so naturally I'm noticing other real estate business plans all over the place. In fact, for those of you who were able to attend this year's NAR conference, you might have picked up a copy of the Florida Association of REALTORS® November/December magazine. In this magazine are a slew of business plans for real estate professionals. I've included a list of them below, along with a few others, for your reference. As I look over the list, I notice a number of differences. Some are essentially guides for creating a traditional business plan – such as a small business might create. A couple of the plans mention trends for the coming year and advise agents and brokers on where to focus their efforts.
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10 Steps to Becoming a Successful Real Estate Agent
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An Agent's Dirty Dozen of "Do Nots" - Part 2
This is the last of a pair of articles on what NOT to do in your real estate career. Read Part One here. We continue with the landmines you can avoid to save you time, energy, exasperation, and possibly your career. 7. Forgetting they are always "on." It is unfortunate the number of times I have met licensees who are dressed shabbily, act rowdy, or have a mouth that a mother would have washed out with soap. The public is always watching. Being rude in a movie theatre, loudly telling a lewd joke at the front desk, or zipping in to pick up a form at the office with hair matted down from a recent gardening expedition is not something that can be taken back once it is witnessed, overheard or seen. Recommendation: This is a simple fix. It is recognizing that you must remain professional 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That means in your dress whenever in the public eye and on your online profiles. It is much better living up to your great reputation than working had to overcome a bad one. 8. Failing to mentor each other. This is a trend that is beginning to disturb me. New licensees coming into the business have the eagerness of puppies. With praise and support, they can become the most loyal advocate that ever existed. I've seen several examples where the "old guard" only associates with those who have earned their stripes, and leave the new people out in the cold. Even when asked directly for help, I've overheard some alarming comments, "I had to do this myself, so you will too!" When did we forget what it felt like to be new? Just a small bit of guidance can go a long way!
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An Agent’s Dirty Dozen of "Do Nots" - Part 1
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Prepare Now to Sell More Homes in 2013
Michael Lindstrom, nationally recognized business coach, has a client roster that includes industry leaders, public figures, top executives, professional athletes and most recently, the five winning real estate agents of the HomeFinder.com Agent Makeover Sweepstakes. Michael has coached thousands of real estate agents for almost two decades and is an in-demand speaker at many large real estate conferences. HomeFinder.com sought Michael's expertise to coach the five winning agents on how establishing their personal brand will help improve their professional brand. Below, Michael elaborates on the top things agents should focus on for success in to 2013. Ride the Technology Wave. Commit to learning the next wave in technology; embrace technology and make a commitment to it. Learn something new every week. Give Back and Be Selfless. Find ways to give to your clients, community and neighborhood; contribution has a powerful place in business. Create your personal brand by operating from a place of selflessness. When working with clients, colleagues and your community, make it your personal brand to impact, move, inspire, touch or agitate them in some way.
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To Delegate or Not to Delegate
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Tips, Tricks and Tools for Your Business Plan
If the thought of business planning strikes fear into your heart (or just plain turns your stomach), you're not alone. Most entrepreneurs dread building a business plan. At the same time, it's an invaluable tool that can take your enterprise to the next level. We're going to provide a few tips, tricks, and tools to make the process less daunting. Tips and Tricks These are just a few tidbits about business plans that you should keep in mind when you're getting started. Do I Need a Business Plan? Yes. Large or small, new or established, you can benefit from a business plan. The mere act of sitting down as a leadership team, discussing your goals, and putting down in black-and-white your goals can be incredibly valuable. Be Prepared If you're building a detailed business plan, there will probably be some financial and other information that you'll need to reference. The process of writing your plan will go much more smoothly if you have this information at your fingertips. So, open up your accounting software, pull your insurance records, and know where to find other key financial data.
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Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan
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Your Next Social Media Bible, Courtesy of Matt Heinz
I've had the pleasure of working with Matt Heinz in his professional capacity, so I know firsthand that he practices what he preaches in his new book, Successful Social Selling. A seasoned marketing expert with deep roots in the real estate community, Matt Heinz is an excellent resource for insight and advice. His new book offers just that – instructions on "how to find, manage, and close more business from the social Web." In it, he makes a variety of key points – I'm going to share a few that I think are most relevant to real estate professionals. Listen on Social Media Matt explains that, if you listen closely on social media, you'll be picking up on the "buying signals" of prospective customers. Quite early on, they'll begin expressing an unmet need or a pain point in their lives. They'll also complain about current vendors. What does this mean for real estate? You'll know when someone is ready to find an agent or switch from their current agent if you're paying attention to social media. When you pick up on one of these signals, however, be careful not to respond with a sales pitch. Instead, reach out to them with an offer of advice (such as a link to an educational article). Be a source of information, rather than a pushy salesperson.
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5 Local Directories to Bolster Your Online Reputation
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Top 5 Time-Saving Tips for REALTORS®
Time management is a great skill to have, but mastering it isn't always so easy, especially when you're running a busy real estate sales business. Below are five great tips to put some time back into your day and make you a more productive REALTOR®. Time Saving Tips for Real Estate Agents 1. Make use of drip marketing plans. Use your real estate contact management system and assign your contacts to a pre-designed drip marketing campaign. This helps you automate some of your marketing because emails will automatically be sent at various time intervals on your behalf. In addition to using drip marketing plans to keep in touch with prospects and clients, you can use your real estate contact management software to send out a professionally designed and written e-Newsletter. This saves you time because you don't have to design an e-Newsletter, write articles for it, and send it out every month. 2. Start your day off with a plan. Ask yourself, "What is it that I want to accomplish today?" Set daily, monthly, and yearly goals and carve out a plan of action for achieving them.
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Is That Tech Investment Worth It?
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How “healthy” is your RE business?
This post comes to us from Frances Brittle of Cloud CMA: We all know the importance of keeping our minds and bodies healthy, but do you ever think about the "health" of your real estate business? Health is defined as existing in a state of being that is free from illness or injury. Naturally, your real estate business will never catch the flu or break a bone, but business can certainly decline or become non-existent. In both scenarios, there are contributing factors outside of our control. We can't do anything about the genes we received at birth, or magically change the state of the housing market, but we can do something! Of the things we can control, our input directly affects our output. Eating more fruits and veggies combined with exercise keeps our minds and bodies in a healthier state, but what about your real estate business? Throwing carrots at it won't really help, but you can choose to invest wisely in your business. You can do this by incorporating quality tools into your daily activities to drive your business objectives.
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What Is A Personal Brand, and Why Should I Care?
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Budget Season: Will You Be Making These 3 Marketing Expenses?
I recently spotted an article on Mashable that listed three marketing expenses as "must-haves" for the upcoming budget season. I'm going to discuss each and then ask you to weigh-in on whether or not they'll appear in your budget. 1) Social Media What should you be doing? According to Mashable, you'll want to look at your current social media presence to determine if you are optimally represented. If you don't have a profile on any of the primary social networks, or if you've been inactive on any of these networks, it's time to step things up. Begin to post regularly. This may mean creating content on your blog or website and then feeding links to that content to social media profiles – that's content marketing, which we'll talk about next. You may also want to consider advertising on social media (i.e. "promoted posts" on Facebook). Where's the expense? For many agents, there may not be any direct costs associated with social media marketing; instead, the expense lies in the resources you'll need to allocate. For instance, you'll need to spend some of your own time or that of an employee in order to build your social media presence. Direct costs might come from advertising on social media, if you decide that makes sense for you. 2) Content Marketing What should you be doing? Content marketing is exactly what it sounds like – creating and sharing content (i.e. on a blog or website) to educate and inform, while at the same time marketing yourself, your services, or your individual listings (in the case of real estate professionals). This content may take the form of a written article, a video, a podcast, photos, an infographic, or . . . (you take it from here; let your imagination run wild). Where's the expense? If you don't have the time or the inclination to create content on your own, you may need to hire someone else to do it. If that "someone" is already a member of your staff, the expense is represented in the use of their time. However, it's not uncommon to outsource content creation. RISMedia's RESource is a great example of a service that can help with this.
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The ‘Scientific Method’ for Marketing Success
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Whitepaper: How and Why to Retain Tenants
When you talk about cost-effective strategies for property managers and owners, tenant retention should be at the top of your list. If you keep your tenants happy, you'll keep receiving those uninterrupted rent checks in the mail (avoiding the time and expense of turnover). Today, we'll summarize the RentJuice whitepaper that details the ins and outs of tenant retention. You can download the full whitepaper for free from the rental experts at RentJuice. What's the Big Deal Tenant retention can improve your business by: Saving time and money. Each occupied unit means a regular stream of rent payments to your account, as well as less money and time spent on marketing and turnover maintenance. Increasing profit. According to RentJuice, "The Journal of Property Management revealed that on average, a retained resident is worth almost $900 each year on top of rent payments. Each time a resident moves out, a unit is vacant for an average of 1.5 months. If the tenant retains their lease, the property saves $1,350 as well as the additional costs that would go to marketing the vacancy." LTV and CAC Let's define two of the most important terms related to the economics of tenant retention – LTV and CAC. Then, we'll look at what they mean when combined. LTV: Lifetime Value of a Tenant. The LTV is the profit you'll make over the course of the entire time a tenant will be renting with you. The most important thing to understand about LTV is that it increases with each month a tenant stays with you.
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What’s driving the changes in the real estate market and how will they impact your business?
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HomeGain Releases 2nd Quarter 2011 National Home Values Survey Results
Guest Contributor Louis Cammarosano from HomeGain Says: Fifty percent of surveyed real estate professionals nationwide expect home values to decrease over the next six months; Sixty-five percent disapprove of Obama’s performance as President. HomeGain, the first company to provide free instant home valuations online, announced the results of its nationwide second quarter 2011 home values survey. Over 750 real estate agents and brokers and over 2,600 homeowners were surveyed. Most real estate professionals and homeowners continue to expect home values to decrease or stay the same through the middle of the year. Fifty percent of agents and brokers and forty-two percent of homeowners think that home values will decrease over the next six months. In the first quarter 2011 HomeGain National Home Values Survey, thirty-nine percent of agents and brokers and 30 percent of homeowners thought that home values would decrease over the next six months.  
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Tip for Success
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It's Not Too Late to Get Your 2011 Business Plan for Free
REALTOR.com® recently released The Ultimate Business Plan for real estate professionals. This document was designed to help real estate agents and brokers build their ultimate business plan in 5 minutes and make more money. The business plan includes: 1.) Review this year and set listings and sales goals for next year 2.) Assess systems and tools 3.) Receive Ultimate Business plan which includes:      - Expert recommendations      - Personalized phone consultation      - Free tools and downloads for 2011's market
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