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How to Fire a Real Estate Client Gracefully
Doug Rogers brings us a great post about how to fire a real estate client gracefully. No agent likes to let go of business, but sometimes circumstances just don't play out right and you have to cut someone loose. So how do you initiate an amicable split? Here's Doug: The excitement of working with a new client begins to fade as the showings mount up. Perhaps they write low-ball offers or refuse to keep the listing show-ready. Whatever the case may be, at some you have to pull the plug. Questions to Ask Yourself Before Firing a Client 1. Will this relationship end in a check? Much like the world's oldest profession, real estate is all about the bucks. Ever worked with a client you KNEW would never buy or sell? Yep, me too. 2. Are the clients being realistic based on the market? Would your buyer's offer have been laughed at even during the Great Recession? Good luck getting that junk offer laced with concessions to be taken seriously in a seller's market. 3. Who is REALLY calling the shots? The name on the title indicates the owner, not necessarily the decision maker. Parents selling their home in Memphis may have know-it-all kids in Kansas telling them what to do. 4. Are they missing or chronically late for appointments? I respect my client's time, so a client who can't respect my time will not remain a client for long. 5. Do they take your advice? If not, that's a big red flag. You're the expert, and your expertise is what they're paying you for! 6. Are you dealing with a correctable issue? If so, talk to your client and be specific about what needs to change. Pay very close attention to how this conversation goes—you'll have to use your judgment to decide the fate of the relationship. If You Decide to Fire the Client, End the Business Relationship Gracefully 1. Make the choice to terminate a business relationship. Don't waffle. If you need to move on, decide to do it and stick to your guns. 2. Write down specific reasons why you are ending the relationship. Not only will it help you if your client has further questions, you can also refer back to this list in moments of weakness. 3. Formally end the relationship. The best way to manage this is to have a face-to-face meeting in your office. If there are safety concerns, the phone is your next best option. Whatever you do, don't have this discussion in the driveway at the end of a home tour (I have done this) or while the seller is cooking dinner for her kids (yep, been there too). Let's be honest—firing a client means you are missing an opportunity for a paycheck, right? Not necessarily. Difficult clients can be draining of your time, gas money and energy. Imagine all the LOST business opportunities this client may have cost you! Be sure to treat the soon-to-be fired client with respect and dignity. But most importantly, move on. Real estate is a numbers game! To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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A Guide to Making a Great First Impression with Your Real Estate Prospects
Buyers are on the hunt, which makes it a great time to sell quickly and for a good price. So at this crucial time, making the best first impression is most important. Here are a few ways that you can "strike while the iron is hot" and make a great first impression. 1. Show Up Looking Polished No, this does not mean wearing designer clothing, showing up in a luxury car, or even wearing the flashiest jewelry. Showing up and looking well put together, wearing attire that isn't wrinkled or stained, a fresh face, and having an overall presentable image are crucial. Many potential clients will judge your competence and professionalism (subconsciously or otherwise) based on your physical appearance. 2. Be Genuine, Authentic and Real According to a Forbes article, "approaching people with a genuine interest in who they are is often contagious and you will have better conversations and lasting connections when you are interested because they are interested." Genuine interest in getting to know everything about your prospects is vital. Remembering a birthday, general interests or even something very specific about your prospect makes a huge difference. A prospect is bound to become a long-term customer of yours if they see that your "pitch" as a real estate agent doesn't only revolve around making the sale. Keeping in touch with your leads is one of the best ways you can make a good first impression that will turn into a lasting impression. 3. Timeliness Is the Best Policy Being on time for meetings and appointments is, of course, mandatory, but there's more to that. Being a reliable real estate agent and completing your tasks in a timely fashion is also crucial. This will impact the impression you make with your prospects and future customers. Task management and organization will affect timeliness, but are difficult when you're on the go. A reliable mobile app will help you with just that. A mobile app will enable you to stay on task, plan, and complete your daily tasks within the designated time you had promised your contacts. Your prospects will see that you are able to keep your promises and will lean on you as their real estate agent of choice. 4. Your Attitude Speaks Volumes Forbes reports that "if you are in a depressed or anxious mood, others will pick up on this from your facial expressions, comments, and body language." Approaching your prospects in a certain way will create an impression either positive or negative. This will impact their decision to keep you as their real estate agent. Attitude can translate not only through physical contact, but also through a phone call, email or any sort of interaction. Ensuring your body language communicates positive messages is crucial. A firm handshake, a bright smile and even maintaining eye contact could sometimes make or break the "sale." The same goes for any email or phone interaction you have with a prospect or client. Consider this: smiles can often be heard through the phone or even via email! 5. Put Yourself in Their Place and Over-Prepare You may have leads who are first-time home buyers—like, for instance, a young Millennial or Gen Z couple looking for their first home. Considering a scenario like this, you want to make sure you make a good first impression by putting yourself in their place. This could mean preparing for any objections or concerns they may have that could tarnish their first-time home buying process. Guess what? Over-preparing could impact their decision in the future to refer you to their friends/family who wish to purchase a home. Preparing ahead of time even includes reviewing any of your prospects' details such as their mortgage information, buying preferences, communication history and any family information they might have shared with you. This also ties into our second point about being genuine and real with your customers and prospects. Knowing your contacts' important details is one of the best ways to prepare and put yourself in their shoes, leading to a great last first impression. Summary Your first impression with your prospects is crucial. Whether it is your demeanor, attire, punctuality or ability to complete tasks in a timely manner or preparedness for a meeting with your prospects, everything will be evaluated. What may be insignificant could play an important factor in your ability to acquire prospects as your long-term customers. Make sure you follow our guide and you will not regret it! To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.
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How to Stay Connected With Your Growing Clientele
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How Your Website Can Be a Resource
How much value does your real estate website add to your practice? Everyone knows "you have to have a website." And for real estate agents and brokerages, that's even more true. Some of the most successful real estate professionals, in the United States and throughout the world, generate a substantial portion of their leads through their own site — as much as 50%. These days, future customers are far more likely to hear of you online than through an in-person event or non-digital advertising. That's because Millennials and the fast-emerging Gen Z homebuyers almost universally start their search for a new home online. Understandably, most real estate experts aren't masters of real estate website design. They tend to launch a basic website and then hope for the best. There are lots of DIY website builders out there and cut-rate services that promise something "good enough." Unfortunately, this can undermine your efforts to develop a branded, high-impact website that makes a difference. How Your Website Can Serve as a Resource for Current and Future Customers Your website acts as your digital "first impression." When someone is thinking about entering the housing market, they will usually spend a lot of time looking at properties before they ever consider reaching out to a real estate agent. They might start seeking inspiration on sites like Pinterest or Instagram before they begin looking at live listings. Once their interest is piqued, only then do they look for a local real estate professional to help them. But in the process, they usually check out a half-dozen local agents and brokerages — or even more. So, your website needs to achieve two things right off the bat: It must be visually compelling, inviting, and easy to navigate It must provide meaningful value before they schedule a call That value comes in the form of custom content. "Content" is anything helpful and informative you post on your site to help visitors make an informed decision. In other words, it answers a question or solves a problem they have. Blogs are the backbone of most content, but video is increasingly popular. Content is especially helpful because it can inspire your guests to join your email marketing list and get future updates they may find useful. It raises your visibility in online search and improves results you get from search engine optimization. However, it's not the only way to make your website work harder. When you focus on turning your website into a resource, you are putting what you have to offer on the table from the very beginning. People will see the difference between you and other real estate agents, and begin to regard you as a trusted expert — so you're far more likely to be chosen in the end. Let's look at some of the other ways you can build your website into a resource for customers: Integrate Your Listings within Your WebsiteThe MLS does an incredible job keeping listings organized and searchable. However, you can also use this marvel of modern technology right within your own website, helping visitors zero in on the best local properties that might meet their needs while maintaining your own branding throughout. Provide Neighborhood-Level Local InsightYour local savvy is one of the most important things setting you apart from your peers. Make it count by showing people not only the homes they might buy, but the community they'll be joining. Highlight the best amenities and small businesses – other business owners may even send you referrals. Answer Common Questions ClearlyMany first-time buyers and sellers will have very little existing knowledge about the process. Look for the best ways to answer their common questions simply. That may mean a library of blogs or videos, a centralized Frequently Asked Questions page or a chatbot that they can pose questions to. Make It Easy to Contact YouAfter you start working with a client, it's crucial to set appropriate boundaries — no answering the phone at two in the morning. On a first call, however, seconds count. Be sure your website is set up to send you a text alert if someone sends you an email or message so you can respond right away. Introduce YourselfOne of the most vital things you can do on your website is start building a relationship. The best way to begin is with a video introduction to yourself. What do you do and for whom? What attracted you to real estate and what makes you different? Video is the next best thing to being there. The best real estate websites operate as a "one-stop-shop" for everything potential customers might need — before they even reach out for the first time. Try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days to learn more or get started with your own website. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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5 Ways You Can Help a Non-digital Client Go Digital
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3 Ways to Give Back as a Realtor
The very essence of being a good REALTOR starts by being a good neighbor. Anyone who is new to the industry can see the notion of giving back does not stop when becoming an agent. As the adage goes, "one voice, one vision" and more channels to do good. There are many ways to participate in community-driven efforts. The following provides three suggestions on ways to do so, and additional ideas around how you can be a part of driving positive impact. REALTORS® Relief Foundation Established immediately after the September 11th attacks in 2001, the REALTORS® Relief Foundation (RRF) is a charitable organization dedicated to providing housing-related assistance to victims of disasters. RRF helps restore and rebuild communities affected by wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes, thanks to the generosity of individual REALTORS®, REALTOR® associations, and affiliated organizations. The REALTORS® Relief Foundation is supported by companies throughout the industry and individuals. It is a wonderful way to give back and participate in a proven platform that assists those in need. To learn more about additional information about the work and impact of the RRF, check out this article in The Washington Post. The Beverly Carter Foundation A 501(c)(3) approved non-profit foundation founded by Carl Cater, The Beverly Carter Foundation drives awareness of agent safety after the murder of Carter's mother during a routine showing in 2014. Their mission is "dedicated to the ideal that every agent goes home safe every day by providing scientifically based research, information, consulting, training, and support at little to no charge to every MLS, association, brokerage, and agent." You can give back by donating or volunteering with this foundation through their website or initiatives. Participate in Your Association's Non-profit or Community Initiatives A great way to give back is to get involved with your own team and community efforts! Many associations engage through events with their very own non-profit arm or partner with a local organization. We encourage you to reach out to your association to find out how you can learn about opportunities to support local efforts. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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Dealing with Pushy Real Estate Clients Who Refuse to Negotiate
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Is Your Business People-centric?
No matter what technology you incorporate into your real estate practice, one thing is for sure: It's all about people. Technology doesn't replace the human touch -- it gives you more time and opportunities to make the connections that are so important to your success. At Delta Media Group, we're going into the new year with a commitment to put people first. Now is the perfect time for brokers and real estate agents to think about the best ways to place customers at the center of their practice. The idea of the "customer-obsessed" business has become a cliché in recent years, but nowhere is it more relevant than real estate. Why Customer Experience Matters for Real Estate More than Virtually Any Other Industry In today's modern market, there are no industries out there where customers simply don't matter. But the world of real estate is very different from the norm. Real estate professionals rely on achieving a level of customer experience excellence above and beyond other sectors of the economy. Customer experience encompasses every interaction a person has with a brand, no matter big or small. Each one of those interactions will influence the customer's brand sentiment, adding up to a picture of what they think of you and what you can do. It doesn't matter how you market yourself or sell your services if those brand messages are out of harmony with what a customer has directly experienced with you. In real estate, this effect becomes more pronounced because it affects your entire future. Most people will be in the real estate market only every 5-8 years. Customer experience is the defining factor that determines whether they will come back to you, enhancing their lifetime value. Even more crucial, it can mean the difference in hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential referral business. As real estate businesses mature, it is important to go from "chasing leads" to earning referrals. A healthy real estate business will have a strong mix of referral clients and new leads attracted to their digital properties through inbound marketing. There'll be very little "chasing" involved! By putting people at the center of your business, you make it far more likely that they will stick with you over the dozens of competitors they might otherwise choose. Making a good impression on someone can transform your bottom line, even if you never work directly with that person again. If you are part of a team, being people-centric has other aspects you should be aware of. It means giving those around you the resources and opportunities to thrive. Paradoxically, it also means recognizing that people have limits, individual weaknesses, and significant priorities outside of work — and showing some grace to the whole, human person you work with. This is essential to stave off burnout as we enter the third year of a global pandemic! The Biggest Ways to Put People First in 2022 Cultivate Empathy Empathy is the ability to put ourselves in others' shoes. While it comes to some people naturally, it can also be developed over time. Real estate pros show empathy when they maintain a genuine interest in their clients, those clients' needs, and the best way to realize their goals in a transaction. Have a Unique Plan for Each Client Once you've asked open-ended questions and put clients at ease, it's critical to take action on all of that information. That means having a unique plan for each person, focusing on their budget, location, and amenities. Never take a "one size fits all" approach with any client, even if you have a narrow niche. Communicate Progress No matter whether your client is buying or selling, communication is the key to gaining and maintaining their trust. Be sure to clarify with clients what is happening now and what the next steps will be. Should any roadblocks develop, be candid and take an action-based approach that helps them feel in control. Believe in Continuous Improvement In real estate, there is always something new to learn. Every client provides a fresh opportunity to discover more about the human condition. Once closing day arrives, it's a wise idea to look back on your customer interactions to find room for improvement – and don't forget to ask for feedback! Cut Busywork Out of the Equation Most real estate agents are energized by spending time with people. They don't want to lose more hours than necessary behind a desk perfecting social media posts or emails. With the right software, you'll greatly reduce the time you spend on marketing collateral while still getting great results. Real estate technology makes it easier to bring your whole self to the work you do. RE Technology readers can try DeltaNET 6 free for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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The 2021 Real Estate Give-Back Guide
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8 Things Sellers Should Expect from You as Their Listing Agent
Jeff Dowler, a real estate agent San Diego, provides insight as to what seller clients are expecting from you as their agent and how you can successfully assist them through the transaction process. Here's Jeff: While we may not always know all the expectations sellers may have -- and that's something to have a conversation about if they don't share their expectations with you -- there are certain things sellers deserve. Representation You are being hired to represent the homeowner and to act with "a fiduciary duty of utmost care, integrity, honesty and loyalty in dealings with the Seller" (from the California Agency document; yours might be different). Sound simple? Perhaps in theory, but sometimes in practice it might not be—but don't forget where your loyalty lies. And your interests? They should never come before those of the seller. Reliable and Accurate Information about the Local Housing Market Sellers may think they know all about the local market conditions and what this means, but they don't. We should, of course, provide detailed, reliable and accurate information about the market as well as explain what this means for their situation so they understand the impact on potential time on the market, pricing, competition and so on. They may have read certain things about what is happening in the market, but likely won't understand the implications for their list price and the market's possible reaction. And of course seller expectations about price gleaned from their own research, Zillow, neighbors or well-meaning friends need to be confronted and addressed since they are commonly way off base. The Truth, Not Only What They Want or Hope to Hear Sellers might not like it, but they deserve to know the truth about the market, their house, the value of their property, the condition, and related matters. They expect results, not promises to get a price that is not realistic or is just a way of snaring the listing. And they may need honest guidance on how to best prepare the home for the market, or perhaps a staging consultation from another professional. And once the listing is live and there are no offers or feedback is not favorable, sellers may need a reality check. This all goes hand in hand with representation and performing your role appropriately. It's not always easy, since some sellers just don't want to hear the truth, or believe it. That may impact a decision you have to make about the listing and the relationship. Marketing Plan There are many strategies to marketing a property successfully and a reasonable expectation of a seller is to understand, in a detailed manner, what you are going to do to accomplish the goal of selling the home at the best price and in the shortest time. Photos and Videos The bulk of home buyers are looking online at listings and their expectation is plenty of photos, inside and out. Our job is to deliver that. Top quality photos are essential these days to showcase a home and its best features, and attract the attention of buyers so they want to come see the listing. If you include videos, they should, of course, be well done, too. We all know we are marketing a lifestyle, including the neighborhood, not just the seller's house and they should be aware of all that we are doing on their behalf. Communication It goes without saying that clear, honest and regular communication with the seller is essential. No doubt the seller has preferences about the form of communication they prefer—text, phone, voice mail, snail mail, email, Facetime—just as you do, and it makes sense to have a discussion around this. Lack of communication is one of the biggest complaints sellers have about listing agents, and you certainly don't want to be "one of those" agents they talk about at the dinner table or with friends as they bemoan the fact they hired you or wonder why they never hear from you! Enthusiasm and Interest I imagine most sellers want to feel their listing agent is truly interested in their needs and goals, is listening carefully to them, and is excited about marketing their house. If you come across as a ho hum agent they might interpret that to also mean ho hum marketing and lack of real interest in helping them. Thanks, but we're not interested, might be their response. Negotiating the Best Offer We all know it's NOT just about price, but terms and conditions as well; sellers may not realize that. First of all, they need guidance on what to consider when evaluating an offer, with perhaps even more assistance if there are multiple offers. What should they do when the first offer comes in when they are not happy about it? Should they counter or not? Of course, all this is ultimately their decision, but some discussion so they understand their options, and the implications of different decisions, is in order. Some negotiations may be fairly simple, while others can be complicated and lengthy. The end goal is to find a win-win situation; we can hopefully help sellers not get bogged down in minuscule issues that can derail the process, keep focused on the larger goal, avoid emotional decisions if possible, and to decide when it might be time to say no. And as a bonus, throughout the process there is the customer service – how we do things, when, anticipating issues, taking care of the little things, and more. For more from Jeff, visit activerain.com/blogs/jdowler or visit his website jeffdowler.com. To view the original article, visit the Zurple blog.
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How to Understand Your Clients' Emotional Needs to Serve Them Better
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How to Accentuate the Positive in Your Real Estate Career
Achieving what you dream of in real estate takes more than believing you can do it. But if you believe you can't do it, you might well never reach your goals. No matter what your background, your unique perspective can help you succeed in real estate. And given the diversity of interactions and skills you'll need to practice, it's not unusual to find some aspects of real estate fit you better than others. Of course, you want to build your skills and address your weak points over time. It's also important to remember that few people achieve rock star status overnight. That means being ready for plenty of learning experiences and relatively few "mastery" experiences. Understanding that can be intimidating, especially when it seems like you are doing all that learning in the public eye, in the highly visible position of marketing yourself as a local real estate expert. When it seems like too much to handle, that's when it's time to look at what you're telling yourself: "Maybe I'm not cut out to be a real estate agent." "If I try this approach, I'll just embarrass myself." "I don't know how I'm going to close this deal." Negative thoughts like these will change your center of gravity. Instead of looking for all the useful and effective things you can do out in your world, they will run you in circles. And while hyping yourself up with positivity you don't believe generally won't help, neither will dwelling on these thoughts. They have nothing new to tell you – and they won't help move you forward, either. At the end of a year, real estate agents need to be particularly alert to what narrative their thoughts are spinning. If you had goals for the last 12 months that didn't pan out the way you wished, you could get knocked off track by that thought – or recognize that January 1 is a new day and keep pursuing them. The key is getting out of your own head. Let's explore how to do it. Motivation Means Focusing on What You Want, Not What You Don't Want Each of us only has so much time, energy, and focus in a day. Negative thoughts are tiring and disempowering. But what, exactly, do you replace them with? In effect, you need to focus your attention on what you want. This can take some imagination. The key skill of staying motivated is to direct your thoughts from what you don't want to what you do any time you find yourself worrying, complaining, or criticizing your own performance. That can be tricky, and it takes practice. So, set up your environment to be conducive to it. Here are some ways to do that: Make Plenty of Time for Yourself to Recharge The first year of a real estate agent's career can be hectic, and it's not unusual to lose sight of what a healthy set of work hours looks like. As time goes on, you define repeatable processes and win back time using technology. But you can – and should – start that process at any moment. Set boundaries so you aren't answering client questions at 2 a.m., and be sure you are getting full weekends off! Foster Human Connections Every Week Scheduling real face-time is getting harder, both in business and among the people you care about. If you're working from home, it's extra important to make sure you aren't isolated. Networking groups can be a big help here, especially if the members share a compatible vision. If you're at the right stage, also consider how you might delegate more tasks by bringing on a virtual assistant or another staff member. Understand What Keeps You Inspired "Inspiration" can seem like something that's hard to gauge or define, but it can be simple. It's a positive emotional experience that makes you feel the power and potential of your ideas. You don't have to wait for inspiration to strike on its own: You can think about what inspires you and get a burst of energy by listening to podcasts, watching videos, or partaking in any other content that aligns with those desires. Define Your Deeper Mission Many of the most successful and long-lasting businesses are defined by a mission with values that go beyond making money. This works especially well for real estate professionals. In everything you do, you are helping someone reach one of their biggest goals in life. So give yourself credit for all the ways you make a positive difference in the lives of others, and it will help you get through the tough days. Three Big Excuses You Can Get Rid of Right Now to Achieve More in Your Business Sometimes, getting stuck in your own head comes from certain habits of thought. These habits arise from preconceptions about how much you need to know and what you need to do to be a valuable partner to your customers. They are particularly challenging for perfectionists. Even the best real estate expert doesn't know everything, and everyone makes mistakes. "What if?" thoughts are especially burdensome. They always represent a place where your knowledge is necessarily imperfect. There's really no way to answer a "what if?" in advance, and trying to is a waste of energy – you have to get out there and work through it as it happens. Those are learning moments. Here are some examples of excuses you can drop in order to do more: "What if I don't know the answers to customers' questions?"One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle when it comes to a real estate agent's brand is their knowledge of the local area and communities. But no matter how hard you work, you will still get questions you don't know the answer to – including those you never thought of before. Learn to take those in stride, get the information, and follow up promptly. Everyone does it, even the biggest successes out there. "That [method, software, whatever] won't work for my people." Many new real estate agents shy away from things like email marketing, social media, and even basics like following up because they believe the people they know are (or aren't) a certain way. But all of these techniques have been used effectively by thousands of real estate agents. They exist because, on average, they do work. Trust in the process, and you will find yourself moving forward. It's that simple. "I don't want to put myself out there like that." Unfortunately, Google and antiquated rules about what constitutes "public information" have already put just about everything there is to know a few clicks away – address, age, and much more. If this feels like a nightmare to you, you're not alone. But you still have plenty of control over what you post on social media. If you don't want to share what you had for breakfast, you don't have to. The good thing about being in your head is that you can get out whenever you wish. After all, you can only do one thing at a time, and that includes thinking. Commit to focusing your attention where you want it to be. That will influence your day-to-day, then your strategy, and ultimately your career. Get a positive start on your goals with a free 30-day trial of DeltaNET 6. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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Keeping the Human Element in the Emerging Age of the iBuyer
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5 Tech Tricks for Better Real Estate Customer Service
Real estate agents should always be focused on how to better serve their clients and prospects--but I'm sure we don't have to tell you that! What we can share with you, however, are the tech-based tips and tricks that will ensure you offer your customers the best service in your market. Here are five ways to do just that: 1. Collaborate during the home search If you're working with buyers, it's likely they started browsing homes online before contacting you. Fortunately, many property search platforms and mobile apps now offer collaborative search options where the buyer can share listings, messages and favorite properties with a partner or spouse, and their agent. By joining your client on the property search app, you can streamline communication and quickly share listings that may interest them all in one place. Want to move your buyers' search to your property app of choice or your website? Consider demonstrating the benefits of searching on your app or website during the buyer presentation. Pull up the app on your device and show--don't just tell--the capabilities that app offers, be it collaboration, accurate housing data, or the ability to snap a photo of a home and instantly pull up its information. Bonus tip: If you have access to the analytics of the property app or website your buyers search on, use the details of their search history to suggest better properties to them. For example, if you notice they're primarily searching in one neighborhood or looking at homes with a specific feature like an in-ground pool, send them listings that match that criteria. 2. Introduce technology early, but gently Speaking of client presentations, use the buyer's or listing presentation to introduce them to the technology you use during the sales process. This lets them know what to expect and lets them get comfortable from the start. However, rather than focusing on the tech, concentrate on building a rapport with that potential client and explaining the transaction process. During that conversation, you can talk about the tools you use to make everything run smoothly. Once you've wowed the consumer with your presentation, get them to sign the listing or buyer's agreement on the transaction management platform of your choice. This is a gentle introduction to the technology, and on platforms like dotloop, they'll then be prompted to create a free account so they easily keep track of future documents. It's a quick and painless way to onboard them. Bonus tip: If your clients are particularly hesitant to sign documents digitally, consider letting them sign their name using their finger or a stylus. Being able to draw their own signature may feel more natural and comfortable to some people than signing with the generic fonts that platforms default to. To do this, look for an option that says, "Draw Signature" or something similar. In dotloop, this option is available in the bottom left of the "Adopt your signature" window that pops up during the first instance of signing. 3. Expedite offers We don't have to tell you that this is a crazy market, and it's not unusual to see homes sold within days of that listing going live. That means buyers and their agents have to be extra proactive in order to secure a home. Technology to the rescue! Gone are the days of thoughtfully considering a home, a prolonged back-and-forth between the listing and buyer's agents, and printing out and signing offer forms. Today, agents need to put in an offer ASAP. With digital transaction technology like dotloop, agents can write an offer, have their clients sign it, and submit it to the listing agent—all within 10 minutes. 4. Streamline all steps of the transaction You may be an old pro when it comes to handling real estate transactions, but for most consumers, a property transaction happens only a few times during their lives. Keep it simple for them by requiring them to log in to as few apps as possible. The best way to do this is to centralize the transaction experience in one place, preferably your transaction management system. From there, your clients can log in, see all the documents they've signed, get notified of which documents they still need to sign, and more. Depending on the platform you use, you can also centralize all communications in one place. Dotloop, for example, features text messaging capabilities in their mobile app. Agents can use it to send documents for signing via text, and clients can then sign right from their phone, and all parties can get important notifications sent right to their mobile device to expedite the transaction. If your transaction platform integrates with other apps, you'll also be able to initiate and manage things like escrow and the notarization of documents from one place. Dotloop, for example, integrates with Earnnest and Notarize to streamline these processes. 5. Keep the relationship going after the sale Staying in touch with clients after the transaction is the best way to encourage referrals and repeat business. Use your CRM or lead management tool to periodically reach out to past clients and stay top of mind. You can set your CRM to remind you to reach out periodically with a phone call or text, or you can automate outreach with drip email campaigns or happy birthday messages. One of our favorite outreach methods is the "house-aversary" message, sent annually on the anniversary of the home sale. If your CRM integrates with your transaction platform, you can set up the date of sale to automatically be imported from the transaction platform and trigger a message on that date in the CRM. Dotloop users can even trigger a video message to be sent via dotloop's BombBomb integration. We particularly like the idea of sending your clients a snapshot of their home's current market value in this message. It's an opportunity to remind your former clients of the value of the home they've invested in—and of the value of your services. To learn about more ways dotloop can improve the client experience, visit dotloop.com.
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Please Join Us in Donating to REALTORS for Relief from Hurricane Ida in Louisiana
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How to Calm Frazzled Buyers and Sellers Amidst the Delta Variant
In this edition of "Ask the Industry," we ask real estate professionals their thoughts about timely topics related to the real estate industry. Today's post features: Katie Lance, CEO and Founder at Katie Lance Consulting Stephanie Vitacco, Broker and Realtor with Keller Williams Realty Inc. Ali Sherbach, Agent with Sherbach Team with Compass With the Delta variant renewing fears about the pandemic and forcing some companies to delay plans to bring workers back, what is your advice for agents to help calm buyers and sellers who may be reluctant to wade into the market at this time? Being mindful and respectful of different comfort levels is of the utmost importance Ali Sherbach, Agent, Sherbach Team with Compass, Brooklyn, NY "I think the best way to calm anyone feeling a bit frazzled is to ask lots of questions so you can get to the source of their anxiety. For sellers, if their fear is being exposed to the Delta variant, ask if it would be helpful if we had a strict protocol in place for showing their home.That could mean requiring proof of vaccination, masks being worn during appointments, showing the home by appointment only, or even having a virtual tour be the first step before an in person showing. For buyers, if their fear is job loss should we need to quarantine again, ask if it would be helpful if they had a mortgage contingency in their offer. Meaning if their mortgage fell through because they were no longer employed, they would be able to walk away from the purchase without penalty. Being mindful and respectful of everyone's level of comfort is of the utmost importance right now. And as real estate agents, we all need to remember that our level of comfort may be different from our clients', so we need to make sure we fully understand what makes them feel as safe as possible and act accordingly." Utilize social media to host virtual open houses Katie Lance, CEO and Founder, Katie Lance Consulting, Pleasanton, CA "I think it's important for real estate agents and brokers to meet buyers and sellers where they are and understand that everyone has a different level of comfort when it comes to the variants. I highly recommend agents and brokers become familiar with how to host virtual open houses for their sellers. Offer this as an option to help control the number of people through a home. Also, virtual open houses can help to generate great quality leads who are genuinely interested and qualified. Second, for buyers – if you are representing a buyer – I recommend you get familiar with some of the tools available to preview homes for your clients. One of the easiest ways to do this is through Facebook Live – but you can set your settings to just go live to you and your client. One reason to do this versus a traditional video is that video files can be massive and tough to send back and forth to your clients. A Facebook Live is quick and it's a recorded video that they can refer back to." Buyers and sellers will weather the storm Stephanie Vitacco, CEO of Team Vitacco and Realtor, Keller Williams Realty Inc., Los Angeles, CA "On the buying side, if a buyer is concerned or frazzled about getting into the market, it is important to know that interest rates are at a historically low point. If you are planning on being in a property for five to seven years, you will weather any storm. Buying is also much better than paying rent. If you take the amount of rent you pay over five to seven years and then compare it against what that would look like if you purchased — it usually always makes sense. On the selling side, there really are not a lot of frazzled sellers because it is such a strong market." To view the original article, visit the Homesnap blog.
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How to Prepare Your Clients for a Natural Disaster
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8 Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Clients
Have you ever been exasperated by a difficult client or conversation? In the real estate business, the different personalities that you meet and work with on a day-to-day basis can be varied and some can be challenging. From start to finish, there are so many personalities and so many levels of experience in the clients, that it's normal to come across difficult conversations. Interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence are abilities that real estate agents need to master. Take courage – you can remain calm, professional and make your way through skillfully to overcome challenges and defuse conflict. 8 Strategies to Generate Positive Responses – These Steps Work! 1. Listen carefully and actively Don't talk or interrupt them. Many times, your client just wants to be heard and understood. It helps if you rephrase back to them what they said to confirm you heard and understood them correctly. 2. Take a deep breath and pause Don't react. Take a moment to gather your thoughts and emotions before you respond. Breathing slowly can help you reduce stress and anxiety and arrive at clarity. 3. Never get defensive or argue with your clients that they are wrong You may be doing this to validate your point. But when people feel they are right, and statistics and graphs haven't made a difference, reacting emotionally in turn puts you in a no-win position. Instead, be polite and communicate back to them what you heard them say. See if there is a next step you can take to slowly help them to see your point. 4. Proactively resolve the scenarios most-known to cause headaches and heartaches For example, pre-qualify buyers and sellers before working with them. And make sure you have the consent of all parties involved. For example, the wife says, "Put properties together for us to see," but it is the husband who is the primary decision-maker. Avoid conflict by ensuring all parties are in agreement of the expectations. 5. Set boundaries When clients know that you will be available to them 24 hours a day, they will reach out to you 24/7 expecting an answer. When you come from a state of fear that you may lose that client if you don't answer their text at midnight or at 5 AM, you put your health and well-being at risk. Communicate your availability and set expectations early in the process. You can further send reminders with your voice message and through automatic text replies. Time-block your day and schedule callbacks and answers to texts. Be responsible about answering at the times you said you'd be available so that you will be considered trustworthy and reliable. Value yourself, and others will value you also. 6. Build confidence in yourself and value your emotional well-being When you have confidence in yourself, there is no need to accept toxic clients or clients with personalities who don't fit yours. Thank them for the opportunity to meet with them, be willing to walk away and physically get ready to leave. Sometimes, this one step allows the client to reconsider their behavior. Your confidence and willingness to walk away can yield positive results. Treat them with respect and honor yourself. When you are willing to let go of difficult clients, good things can happen. Confidence in yourself and your abilities is essential to ongoing success. This works even when you are a new real estate agent! 7. Always be honest When it comes down to it, we are all human beings. Live your life and treat others as you want to be treated. When training for real estate, there are many sales skills that are taught on how to be effective and close the deal. Almost every seller or buyer I have spoken with said that even if a real estate agent was new, they went with someone they liked and trusted. Trust is built on honesty. 8. Let go When a particular transaction does not go your way, chalk it up to experience. Lesson learned. Just keep moving forward and don't hold on to the pain or anger it may have caused. One day, when you look back at your life, you will have found in the experience a golden nugget of truth. Janice Zaltman is a Realtor, LEED AP, marketing coach and writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields. To view the original article, visit the Form Simplicity blog.
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Delivering a Perfect Client Experience in Today's Real Estate Market
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Making You LQQK GOOD with Your Clients: Simplified Flood Insurance Resources
We know that flood insurance is confusing, complex, and can limit options when working with a home buyer. We've simplified the topic, allowing you to be more knowledgeable, confident, and comfortable in framing the discussion—one that is increasingly important in the current market. The seven articles below will make you LQQK GOOD with your clients, drive transparency and greater profits. And best of all, these articles will provide you with everything you need to navigate the upcoming changes to the National Flood Insurance Program, starting October 1. Integrating 'The Flood Discussion' into Your Real Estate Practice English | Spanish Why is flood insurance so $#@% confusing? We break down the facts English | Spanish The Big Lie: 'The House Is Not in a Flood Zone' English | Spanish What's This I Hear About Rising Flood Insurance Rates? English | Spanish FEMA Implementing NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 English | Spanish Changes Coming to NFIP Rates + 2021 Hurricane Season Project English | Spanish Scripting out messages for your clients regarding Flood Insurance English | Spanish And, if you are interested in learning more, access our free eBook: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Flood Insurance* (*But Were Afraid To Ask) Or, Join our weekly, free REALTOR® training on Tuesdays at noon EDT. Sign Up Here. Note: Tuesday, May 25 training in Spanish. Sign Up Here (Spanish) CartoFront is a technology services company that is simplifying flood insurance for REALTORS®, their clients, and insurance agents.
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Simple Ways to Provide a VIP Client Experience (Even Virtually)
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Top 8 Things to Make You the Realtor of Choice for Sellers and Buyers
What makes a consumer choose you as their real estate agent when there are literally thousands of options? Is it because you work for a large international firm or have your name plastered on every bus stop? The real reason is that you are the one who can provide the most benefit to both the seller and the buyer on their real estate journey. With over 5 million homes selling annually, what is it that makes you the Realtor of choice? Here are the top eight things that make you stand out. Do you have all these qualities?
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Why is flood insurance so $#@!&^% confusing?! We break down the facts.
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Integrating 'The Flood Discussion' into Your Real Estate Practice
Recent studies indicate that 41 million homes across the US are at risk of flooding -- a number significantly higher than is indicated by FEMA flood maps. This new data highlights a nationwide cause for concern for homeowners, including many in areas previously thought to be at low risk. In South Florida, as many as 1 in 3 residential properties are in danger of sustaining flood damage. Leading Realtors are getting ahead of the curve by integrating "The Flood Discussion" into their real estate practice. Here are five takeaways to integrate flood into your work with your customers, to make you the most knowledgeable, confident, and profitable Realtor in your market. 1. On the Buyer Side, include flood as a housing criteria We are used to setting criteria based on location, pricing, number of bedrooms, etc. Flooding, for example, has historically been an afterthought. With a 30-year investment — typically the biggest investment of our customer's life — it's critical to put flooding on the list of criteria, especially with the frequency of storms all across the country. Note: while flood has historically been a 'coastal' issue, flooding is occurring more frequently across the interior of the US. 2. On the Seller Side, do your research on the listing property More and more, the question of flooding and impact of weather is going to come up regarding the listing. So get out in front and ask your owners the 'tough questions' about the history of flooding and other climate-related issues. It will be better to know the facts, so you can present them professionally, accurately, and appropriately in the marketing of the property. 3. Understand the 'total cost of flood ownership' As we evaluate properties with the customer — listing price, taxes, utilities, homeowners insurance — it's important to integrate new terms like Flood Zone, Flood Risk and Flood Insurance. Note: It's important to remember that flood insurance is NOT included in homeowners insurance, and it is a separate insurance policy. Yes, no one likes to add costs. Yet, given that one storm can cause $$$$$ of damage in the blink of an eye, it's critical to evaluate a property's risk profile with your customer's risk tolerance. Across much of South Florida and the United States, home buyers can secure 'peace of mind' flood insurance for reasonable rates. 4. Investigate the two flood insurance options: NFIP and Private Insurance Most Americans are aware of NFIP — which stands for National Flood Insurance Program, managed by FEMA. Based on a flood mapping system, NFIP has standard coverage limits of $250,000 for buildings and $100,000 for personal property based on the flood zone where the property is located. In the South Florida market, for example, more than 30 private insurance companies have begun to offer flood insurance over the last several years. Private insurance companies generally price flood insurance based on a property's latitude and longitude coordinates, as well as over 200 data points to calculate the exact price-risk profile per property. To better understand these differences and the options available for a property, consider getting one NFIP and one Private Flood Insurance Quote. 5. From Contract-to-Close, engage a licensed flood insurance expert Let's be honest, Flood Insurance is confusing and is best left to the experts who practice it each and every day. Most importantly, engaging a licensed flood insurance professional separates any potential issue of Errors and Omissions from the REALTOR® and their customer's real estate transaction. Acadian Insurance offers a free consultation for all Miami REALTORS® and their customers. In 15 minutes, the Acadian Team can provide you with all the knowledge you and your customers need to make smart, informed, confident decisions. If you are interested in learning more, access our free eBook: Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Flood Insurance* (*But Were Afraid To Ask) CartoFront is a technology services company that is simplifying flood insurance for REALTORS(R), their clients, and insurance agents. If you are interested in learning how you can bring CartoFront to your MLS for free, please contact [email protected]
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4 Ways You Can Digitally 'Hand-hold' Clients and Why You Should
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Building Blocks: The Psychology Behind Real Estate
The latest installment of the "Building Block" series is focused on the foundational elements of building a successful real estate business. Today we're taking a closer look at the psychology behind real estate. While keen business skills and sharp negotiating tactics are critical to long term success in real estate, there are instances of the home selling/buying process that require an agent to tap into softer skills to best serve their clients. For example, homeowners may be faced with tremendous hardship, forcing the sale of a home and putting a client in an uncomfortable and vulnerable position. Whether it's divorce, death, or foreclosure, agents must be prepared to approach these clients with great care, patience and empathy to deliver the customer service these individuals require.
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10 Creative Ideas for Memorable Closing Gifts
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5 Ways to Show Your Real Estate Clients Love
Love is in the air. We aren't talking about romantic love, but just love in general -- an appreciation for those who have brought you success. You certainly didn't do this alone. Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate your loved ones, regardless if it is romantic or platonic. As for your clients, here are five ideas to show them love this Valentine's Day:
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Get More Listings with the Right Seller Services
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The Top Producers' Road Map to Delivering Great Experiences for Buyers and Sellers
High-performing real estate professionals leverage their time with an efficient and focused approach. Instead of trying to manage all aspects on the buying/selling continuum, they focus on the most critical moment of truth in the real estate cycle: the client experience. Top producers understand that providing stellar customer service is where the magic happens – and that the customer experience is what establishes their reputation. While top producers can't control everything in the buying/selling journey – so much is out of the agents' control – they can own and greatly influence this part of the continuum. They do so by devoting sufficient time and effort to each client's buying/selling experience and guiding them through the three stages of the journey: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the decision stage.
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The BoomTown Give Back Awards: Nominate Your Peers (or Yourself!)
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5 Ways to Help Clients Adopt and Adapt to Your Technology
Agents' dependence on new technology during the pandemic has keenly sharpened their abilities to work remotely. Your clients have been adopting new technology, too. But for some clients, adopting new tech tools can be challenging. How can you assist your clients' transition into using new technology? More than 60 percent of all agents in North America have access to Tech Helpline analysts to walk them through technology challenges. During the pandemic, you can be the tech consultant for your clients, walking them through the tech tools you prefer them to use while you work with them. Here are four ways agents can help clients use your preferred tech: 1. Focus on the WIFM, not the features One of the fastest ways to overcome resistance to using technology is to answer the question, "What's in it for me?" or WIFM. Clients will take action when they understand how a new tech tool can directly benefit them. By focusing on the direct benefits of the latest technology—instead of trying to impress them with a litany of features—it's much easier to persuade someone to give it a try. And when a client experiences the benefit, as long as it provides an advantage to the alternative—or replaces something that can't be done during a pandemic—they will more readily embrace using the new tech tool. 2. Train and explain During the pandemic, agents have many more hats to wear. You can add being a trainer and explainer of the new tech tools you need your clients to use. From transaction management programs like Form Simplicity with e-signing features to video call software like Zoom, you can help your clients embrace these tools. Adopt as part of your client onboarding process, providing training to help your clients. This can be as simple as providing online links to basic "how to use" introductory videos for each tech tool. Or set a time to walk your clients through all the technology they can use for a smoother, more satisfying transaction. By taking the extra time to train and explain, you can help to manage clients' expectations and solidify their understanding of how—and why—these new tools are essential to them. 3. Be extra patience Your clients are stressed and anxious—and perhaps so are you—from a variety of external forces no one can control today. Patience is the key. Focus on one tech tool at a time. Avoid covering too much at once. Focus on a single tech tool and take a step-by-step approach to how things work. Solely focus on the basics. What do they need to know? What are the benefits they will derive from each tool? 4. Make it routine The best way to get someone to get comfortable with new technology is to get them to use it—several times. We all learn from repetition, and if you create a routine for your clients to follow, they will become more and more comfortable using a new tech tool. For example, if Zoom is your face-to-face meeting replacement tool, create a schedule of Zoom calls for key discussions. Finding ways to help your clients use a tech tool several times initially will help speed up adoption. 5. Please keep it simple Choose your technology wisely—especially tech tools you need your clients to use during a pandemic. Having easy to use, intuitive technology means you will spend less time training and explaining. You shouldn't expect your clients to use technology that is cumbersome, less reliable, or complicated. Find another solution as keeping tech simple is vital, especially for clients who are likely to resist using technology. Today, the good news is that most of the best real estate tech is easier to use than ever. Showing your clients how simple it is to use one of your tech tools helps ensure client satisfaction. It's harder than ever today to provide a delightful experience when personal interactions are virtual versus in-person. But if you can help your clients adapt and adopt tech tools that will make the transaction smoother, you can still provide an exceptional customer service experience. Tricia Stamper is Director of Technology at Florida Realtors®, which owns and operates Tech Helpline and Form Simplicity.
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The Importance of Down Payment Assistance Programs in a Pandemic
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3 Tips to Show Your Clients Gratitude During this Time
During this unsettling time, there is no doubt that sales have been fluctuating. With that in mind, a best practice would be to ensure that you treat your prospects and past clients with a sense of value. Here are a few ways you can show your prospects and past clients your appreciation, but still respect social distancing rules:
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How to Build an Income-Producing Referral Business
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Friday Freebie: Handle Objections Better with These Brochures
"Your commission is too high!" "My home is priced too low!" "I don't think now is a good time to buy/sell a home." Objections. If you've been practicing real estate for any amount of time, you've surely heard more than your fair share. For some clients, patient explanation is all that's needed to gently nudge them along. As for others? Well, sometimes you need a little more. That's where this week's Friday Freebie comes in. Today, we're highlighting three brochures made to counter the most common objections you'll hear from real estate clients. Free objection handling brochure of your choice, courtesy of ProspectsPLUS! Building trust isn't the only obstacle you face with new clients. Even after you win them over, there are plenty of things they may object to. To help you overcome these objections, ProspectsPLUS! is offering RE Technology readers a free, customizable brochure that you can leave with clients when a face-to-face conversation doesn't quite cut it. Choose your favorite from these three options: What You Don't Know About Real Estate Commissions Can Cost You Plenty (for sellers) 6 Pitfalls of Overpricing Your Home (for sellers) When Is the Best Time to Start Enjoying What You Really Want? (for fence-sitters) You can leave these brochures with clients so that they can contemplate why, for example, a too-high listing price is a poor sales strategy. Or head off problems from the start and give these to clients at the beginning of your relationship so that you're both on the same page. Download your FREE objection handling brochure today! Use promo code FREEBROCHURE at checkout.
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Create Intentional Marketing that Shows Your Love and Support of Your Clients
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What Real Estate Agents Should Know About HUD Assistance Program
With the majority of the country still under quarantine, many Americans are facing a financial crisis. Stimulus checks have helped, but for many it won't be enough to keep up with expenses. With citizens out of work and waiting for their jobs to come back, many homeowners are concerned about whether they will be able to pay their mortgage in the coming months. You can make a positive difference in the lives of your clients by making sure they're aware of the Federal Housing Administration's Disaster Relief program. Under this initiative, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has financial assistance programs to help those in need. Here is a basic breakdown of the options and services available.
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5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
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3 Rules for Smoother Transactions and More Referrals
What is real estate transaction management? The most common way to look at it is a process to smoothly move a client through the transaction and closing. The better way to look at real estate transaction management is as a valuable future business referral generator. Before digging into the subject, rest assured that you can make this work with a transaction coordinator under your control as well as doing it all yourself.
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9 Do's and Don'ts of Excellent Customer Service as an Agent
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Who is Your Ideal Real Estate Customer and How Does Your Website Serve Them?
How much time have you spent identifying your ideal real estate customer? When it comes to real estate websites, the vast majority use a kind of shotgun approach to customer acquisition. The typical residential real estate agent wants to list homes and work with buyers too. When you can do both in one deal, it's a party.
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5 Ways Using RPR Will Impress Your Clients
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3 Strategies to Cut Through the Noise and Build a Lasting Business
Remember that shiny new toy you just had to have as a kid? All your friends had one, and you needed it too. When you finally got it, you played with it for maybe a couple of months before moving on to the next big toy craze. Fast forward to the present day. This exact phenomenon is happening in the real estate industry. Each year, at the National Association of REALTORS® Convention, hundreds of vendors try to sell you on the newest gadget or software they promise will revolutionize your business — artificial intelligence, online lead-generation services, self-driving cars, and even machines that write your personal notes for you. No doubt, all these technological advancements can be exciting. However, they can also become a bit distracting. Just like that new toy, many of these services quickly come and go and are replaced by the next trend. Still, we all want to be seen as being on the cutting edge, which makes it easy to get pulled into these new sales and marketing offerings. At Buffini & Company, our goal is to help real estate agents grow their business and live the good life without giving into these new distractions. Years of data analysis and almost 2 million coaching calls with agents have shown what it takes to help an agent stand out in the marketplace. Top-producing agents are actively committed to these three strategies to build a long-term business: Build lasting relationships Most people cannot remember their real estate agent's name after a transaction. But the relationship shouldn't end when the transaction is complete! Write personal notes, make check-in calls, go for lunches and pop by with a small gift to show your past and current clients you care. Stay top of mind and referrals will start pouring in! Go the extra mile I like to start each morning asking, "What can I do to make someone's day better?" A service mindset is critical to a strong business. If you see a past client's social media post that his air conditioning broke in the heat of summer, visit with a couple of portable fans. No matter what you do, make sure it comes from the heart. Remember, service doesn't need to be expensive or elaborate — little things make a huge impact! Sharpen your skills Your skills are your secret weapon and will help you stand out in the marketplace. Develop skills that help you offer high-quality service by attending networking and professional development events. Invest in real estate training or coaching to hone your craft — it's one of the best things you can do for your business. When it comes to technology, it's great to stay current. Just be sure the technology is supporting your business of selling real estate; not taking it off course. Ask yourself, "Will this new technology really help me sell more homes?" Or question, "How much time will this take me to set up?" Many of these trendy systems take months and even years to get set up and running effectively. The tech trends should be tactics to support your sales and marketing efforts; not principles for running your business.When you fully embrace these three strategies, you will demonstrate a mastery of your craft that clients and colleagues will notice immediately. At Buffini & Company, we developed a new training program for real estate agents that explains these concepts and turns them into action steps. It's called The Pathway to Mastery⎯Essentials™, and it will completely change the way you do business. Check it out, then see how the program can help you build your own strong market presence!
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What Do Real Estate Clients Actually Want?
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The System for Real Estate Buyer Service and Referral Success
Last month, you learned an end-to-end system for real estate listing success. Now it's time to do the same for real estate buyers and referrals. What is your current plan for real estate buyer services success? As with the listings system, we're going to set up a system for buyers that is modeled after worldwide sales training. Here is the 7-Step Real Estate Buyer Services Success System.
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Finding Rental Furniture for Staging
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5 Tips for Building Trust with Clients
Real estate is, first and foremost, a business based on client relations. Real estate agents provide a personal connection that can't be replaced, which means building trust with clients is crucial. Set yourself up for success from the start--here are some ways to foster that agent-client relationship.
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How Personal Is Your Brand?
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Managing the Meltdown: Successfully Navigating Your Clients through a Stress-Free Home Buying Process
Moving into a new home is among the most stressful events an individual will go through in their lifetime, right up there with a divorce, the death of a loved one and the loss of a job. Yet surprisingly, most real estate agents are never taught how to manage a client's emotions in a way that will prevent a meltdown from occurring. By using a few simple techniques and front-loading the process to show clients what they can expect at each step of their journey, it's possible to mitigate and even avoid meltdowns, says Steve Wener, a San Diego-based real estate agent.
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5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
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Helping Consumers Make Better Real Estate Decisions, Confidently
Moving into a more normalized market, you are bound to face some hesitation from clients. Here are a few tips for getting them off the fence and to the signing table. The problem in real estate today is not due to a lack of information. It's the opposite, in fact. Consumers quite literally have the world at their fingertips to find information about where the market is going, whether average prices are going up or down, what the going mortgage rate is, etc. And most will have done plenty of research before they consider meeting with an agent. Not only can this lead to information overload, but oftentimes the information they find is either false or misleading. Confusion can make people fearful of buying or selling their home. So how do you get even the most hesitant buyers and sellers off the fence? And more importantly, how can you be sure they are confident with their decision?
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How MoveEasy Saves You Money When You Move
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Anatomy of a Successful Real Estate Agent
Oversaturated markets give consumers an abundance of options, but make it difficult for brands and vendors to stand out. With so many choices in a competitive playing field, real estate agents really have to differentiate themselves to stand out from the crowd – and become a powerful player in the market for the long-term. Here are the seven essential ingredients that lead to success in real estate.
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[Best of 2018] Fire Your Client: The 4 Types of Real Estate Clients You Should Cut Ties With
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Why Creating Value for Clients Is Important and How to Effectively Do It
As online home buying and selling web tools advance, real estate agents have started fearing that clients will believe their commission isn't justifiable with the services they provide. Creating value for clients by showing them how much easier the home buying and selling process is with an agent is the best way to earn referrals and get past clients to want to do business with you again. Here are a few of the most effective ways to create value for potential clients.
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5 Tips for Smooth Client Management and Communication
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Helping Your Clients Cope with Rising Interest Rates
For the past few years, low interest rates have been a major plus for those looking to purchase real estate. Unfortunately, those interest rates have been and continue to be on the rise. This time last year, interest rates for a 30-year mortgage were around 3.8 percent. Today they're averaging around 4.6 percent. Before long, buyers may start waiting for interest rates to go down before making a move.
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Buyers vs. Sellers: What They Need and How to Adjust
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Artificial What? 4 Tips for Appealing to the Traditional Consumer
Let's face it--the process of buying a home can be one giant migraine waiting to happen. From finding the right agent to closing the deal, the stressful decisions having to be made by buyers can often overshadow the generally exciting event that buying a home should be in one's life. Although the notoriously tech-savvy millennials may appreciate your incorporation of technology, for the more traditional consumer who is not up to speed with the latest tech advances, facing them can be an experience that adds even more stress to this already exhausting process. In order to help you, the agent, navigate the divide in capabilities and preferences, we are sharing a few tips that will likely make the process with the traditional consumer a more enjoyable and stress-free one from start to finish for both you, and your client.
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What First-Time Home Buyers Want to Know
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Realtors Make Moving More Affordable
One frustration that consumers have long faced is the logistics around moving. A report from the University of Colorado indicated that the average move costs about $10,000. In reality, that can sometimes be far greater, or do-it-yourselfers may save a bit by doing it themselves. Moving service providers have long tried to find a way to deliver their services to movers in the best possible way. They have never been able to connect to MLSs or other systems, so they resort to spray-and-pray direct marketing. MooveGuru came up with a better way, and partnered with zipLogix to solve the problem. Agents using zipLogix know when their clients are moving. Obviously, zipLogix cannot open the agents' customer record data to anyone, but they can make it easy for zipLogix users to invite their clients. That is what they did.
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Want to Sell More Homes? Walk a Mile in Your Seller's Shoes
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Fire Your Client: The 4 Types of Real Estate Clients You Should Cut Ties With
One of the most-discussed concerns of agents across the industry is finding and converting leads. This makes the idea of actually firing a client once you have one seem completely inconsistent. But sometimes firing a client is not only the best option, it is absolutely necessary. The following are four types of clients you need to cut ties with, and tips on how to break the partnership off in the most professional and graceful manner.
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What's Your Client Management IQ? 3 Questions to Ask
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4 Tech Features Consumers Expect from Their Next Real Estate Agent
We live in the digital age, and if consumers are working with a real estate agent, they want that agent to be pretty tech-savvy. Tech-savvy real estate professionals aren't just more convenient to talk to (although that is definitely a plus!), they also have better access to properties, can move more quickly through the process, and can help clients better home in on what appeals to them. Consumers want to work with the best real estate agent possible. Here are some tech features you should be using:
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Using Cloud Storage Apps for Real Estate Client Service
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4 Creative Ways to Stand Out in Real Estate
Real estate is relational. Whether working with a consumer to buy a new home or welcoming a new agent to your office, you are now involved with a major event in that person's life. Providing outstanding service should be coupled with providing a unique, ongoing experience that stands out. Here are a few creative (and easy!) ways to provide that above-and-beyond experience.
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5 Resources to Reconnect with Your Clients in 2018
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Holiday 2017: Giving Gifts While Giving Back
As an agent or broker, you've been a big part of creating a very memorable experience for your clients. Some are first-time homebuyers, while you helped others sell their home to move on to the next phase in their life. The holiday season gives you another opportunity to create something memorable for your clients. 2017 has been an incredible year for disasters. The United States has seen fires, floods, major hurricanes and other devastating events that have affected the lives of many. In light of this, families and companies are taking a different approach this year by choosing gifts that give back. Rather than purchasing large gifts for themselves, they are instead buying items that benefit worthy charities. This could be a great way for you to honor your clients this holiday season. Here are a few of our faves:
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The Roadmap to Unparalleled Customer Service
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3 Ways to Help Your Client Meet Their New Neighbors
Having your finger on the pulse of your community is a great way to find new clients and help your buyers get plugged into their new neighborhood, meet their neighbors, and save time and money. Luckily, there are tools to help you and your clients do just that.
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Positioning Your Value Proposition Against Zillow Instant Offers
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4 Ways to Prioritize Follow-up Over Following Shiny Objects
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 savior. 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. Put another way: Real estate is a relationship business and industry technology should support those relationships, not replace them. What tech can do — and can't do
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How to Start Marketing With Clients – Not At Them
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4 Ways to Build More 'Client for Life' Relationships
We spend so much time talking about the importance of repeat business and referral business, but the reality is that MOST agents have still not come up with the right way to keep in touch naturally over the long-term. The result? Will your clients hire you the next time you buy or sell your home? Are you sure? After closing, 70 percent of sellers say they would "definitely" use their agent again — but only 25 percent of repeat buyers and sellers actually do. We aren't here to lecture you. Creating one client for life relationship is tricky enough, and aiming to keep in close touch with every client you've ever had is nearly impossible. Still, there are a few low key ways to ensure that you don't break a bond that could end up paying off — both in business and in friendship — after you walk away from the closing table. Below are four tactics you can employ to create more long-term, business-boosting client relationships.
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Don't Be 'That' Agent! Remember Your Sphere
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Why Your Neighbors Aren't Calling You to List Their Homes
I talk to agents every day, and sometimes notice trends in things that Realtors are asking for. It seems some things are simply universal problems for all Realtors, no matter how many years they've been in business. One of those things that I've been noticing more often these days is the idea of an agent wanting to own the market in the neighborhood in which they live. Specifically, they seem to have not made headway in becoming the resident real estate expert in their neighborhood. They want to become that person, but they can't figure out how exactly to go about it. The problem is kind of an interesting one. They want to dominate their neighborhood and list all the homes. They also realize, however, that these are their neighbors and, in many cases, their friends. They don't want to come off too salesy. This is a realistic problem to have. The thing about it, though, is that there are ways you can still get in front of your neighbors, establish yourself as the "resident expert" in your neighborhood and get that business you so desperately want (and deserve)—all without coming off too strong. So today, I want to share three things you can do make this headway in your neighborhood and establish yourself as the resident expert.
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How to Balance CRM Data with Your Natural Gut Instincts
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5 Steps to a Healthy Repeat and Referral Business
To say you're in for a treat is an understatement, as successful agent Leah Goldstein shares the secrets to how she keeps her repeat and referral business thriving. Leah's strategy is so easy to implement and effective that you'll begin seeing results right away. From finding out what makes your clients tick by sending a survey, to using that knowledge to provide the exceptional service and thoughtful surprises that will win them over, her strategy is nothing short of brilliant. Here's how she does it.
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How Healthy Is Your Sphere? 10 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself
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5 Ways to Improve the Customer Experience
The life of a real estate agent doesn't fit the traditional 9-to-5 workspace most people are accustomed to – this is an environment that never sleeps. It's the New York City of work. And with research continuing to reveal that it's better to retain a customer rather than acquire a new one, the onus is placed squarely on how positive the customer experience is—which means that real estate agents always have to be on. Why a company's customer experience tells everything
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What Do Real Estate Clients Actually Want?
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How to Generate Repeat Business in Real Estate
As a real estate agent, your business is about getting people into their ideal houses, but it is also about customer service and negotiation. To be successful in real estate, you have to establish a great reputation and build a recognizable brand. A large part of your business success hinges on the ability to encourage your clients to return to you for any future buying or selling needs. Keep in touch after the sale through email.
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Leads Are People, Too: 4 Ways to Persist without Turning People Off
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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 Art of Planning Client Appreciation Events
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The 5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
In the "Age of the Customer," any business looking to survive puts their client at the center of their operation. Today, it's the consumer, not businesses, who are driving business decisions, which means that it's vital for real estate agents to understand their clients on a deeper level in order to make the sale. Don't assume you know what your clients want Anticipating what your clients want before they do is more important now than ever before due to the speed at which clients can conduct online research and receive referrals with just one simple social media post. Buying or selling isn't just about profit, function and timelines – it's connected to strong social and emotional factors that influence every client you serve. The most successful real estate agents don't assume that they know their client's needs; they spend the time to understand the world through their client's perspective. In the business of moving lives from one location to another, agents need to keep up with new behaviors that are emerging in the marketplace. Below are five types of real estate clients, and tips for agents to build an effective relationship with each one. 1. The "forever" home buyer Fast fact: Views their home as the foundation of their life. Attitudes: Knowledgeable and specific about what their "must haves" are, like location. Looking for: A memorable experience while buying their home. Agent tip: It's all about the relationship with this type of client. Use your CRM to build a rich contact profile and keep track of important information like family members and birthdays.
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Six Do's and Don'ts of Navigating the Busy Season
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How Tapping Into Your Community Builds Your Business
When you look at the socially progressive brands that really resonate in the market nowadays, the ones that find causes they're passionate about and incorporate their message into their business are the ones that have built a solid foundation for the future. Clothing company Ten Tree plants 10 trees for each purchase and allows you to follow along online to see where they're planted. TOMS shoes makes a donation of a pair of shoes to a child in need in another country. Both companies have found a way to combine the revenue generating side of the business with their philanthropic side, and to coexist in a way that carves out their place in the world. Real estate agents can take a page from these powerful value propositions to really help distinguish their brand—not because it's what they think consumers feel they should do, but because it's the right thing to do. The power of giving back You never want to just blindly write checks towards something because it looks like good PR; actually take the time and effort to get behind a simple and meaningful cause in your community. Today's consumers really want to know how you're making the world a better place. In fact, in a recent study, 91 percent of respondents said they wanted to hear about a company's social responsibility and progress, and want to hear about this in their marketing. Positioning yourself as an advisor of your community will build trust with your audience – and helps give your brand a sense of purpose by showing exactly what you stand for. It helps build deep relationships within your community – and helps you stay top of mind as a trusted source when it comes time to buy or sell.
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3 Tips to Understand Your Clients Better
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How to Deal with Buyers Who Love Property Portals
Ask any agent, and they're likely to agree: the Realtor-client relationship became more complicated when property search portals came onto the scene. Rather than relying on agents to find a home, today 51 percent of consumers find the home they buy online themselves, typically on search portals. And once consumers start using a home search platform, they seldom switch to another, even if their agent recommends it. This worries many Realtors, as their clients are exposed to competing agents while browsing property portals. But it's clear that property search portals are here to stay—and that consumers love them—so what's an agent to do? For veteran Realtor and broker Jesse Zagorsky, the answer is threefold: Understand client behavior Adapt to client behavior, don't change it Educate Zagorsky has years of experience in advertising on sites like Realtor.com® and managing portal leads. Here's his practical advice for dealing with portal loving clients. The First Step to Success: Understanding Client Behavior Realtors have a new role in the digital age, according to Zagorsky. "The value proposition has changed," he says. "Our role as an agent is not as much just to find the house as it is in executing all of the other elements of the process." In fact, you may have experienced, as Zagorsky has, a client that came to you with a listing from their property app or portal of choice—even though you know you already sent that to them in an MLS alert. "Once a buyer starts a pattern of search, they prefer to go back and look on their own again on the first site they tried," he says. "They still like to find it themselves. So we don't fight that."
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The Power of Word of Mouth Marketing for Realtors
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5 Ways You Can Use Video Chat to Boost the Services You Provide Your Clients
You've seen enough homes that you can understand the layout and special features from looking at a few listing photos. So when it comes to live tours, you ace it every time. But what about clients who live out of town, or who travel often? Are you able to provide them with the same seamless experience so they feel connected and excited about the properties they're viewing from afar? Last week, we reviewed the five best video chat apps for real estate. This week, we'll show you how to put them into action. Whether you're working with remote buyers or those who've been on the fence for too long, video chat can help you activate your clients when the perfect house is listed.* 1. Remote buyers If you regularly work with foreign buyers or active military, or you're hoping to get into this market, it's critical that you get up-to-speed with video chat. For these buyers, a virtual live chat tour will be the closest they'll ever get to the house, so you'll want to be sure you're giving them: A clear understanding of the layout An up-close view of the home's best and worst features Context on the size of each room so they understand its advantages or limitations (such as if the master would fit a king-sized bed) Ideas for any easy fixes that could be made, from creating an open floor plan to replacing outdated hardware The main thing to keep in mind is that remote video chat buyers may have a lot more questions than usual, or they may have fewer questions if they are having a hard time picturing the home and how they fit into it. Try to adapt by thinking of what your in-person buyers usually look at, inspect or inquire about, and answer those questions up front to keep the tour moving.
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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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The Real Estate Agent's Guide to 'Dating' Your Clients
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Three Essential Questions to Ask Your Real Estate Clients
Real estate professionals meet new clients every day and it's their job to find these clients their dream home. As we all know, it's not as easy as it sounds. I have heard of agents complaining about how it took them weeks and sometimes months to find their clients the perfect home. In this fast paced world, every minute counts and that is why it's essential to ask your clients the right questions before you take them to see homes. Asking them the right questions will help you get clarity as an agent who is showing them the properties. Here are 3 essential questions to ask your real estate clients: 1. What do you desire? There is a very fine line between what a person wants and what a person desires. Ask your clients to make a list of things they determine to be a necessity for them such as the number of rooms or bathrooms, size of the lot, etc., and another wishlist of things that, if present in the property shown, might add some brownie points. This exercise not only helps you find your clients the right property, it helps your clients set realistic expectations.
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3 Ways to Go Over and Above When Working with Referrals
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Essential Strategies for Winning Over Millennial Clients
Millennials. They seem to be the talk of the town in every industry, especially real estate, right now. There's a good reason for that – according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, millennials (ages 18-35) were the largest group of home buyers for the third year in a row. Sixty-seven percent of this group was also a first-time buyer. If you haven't already thought about how your marketing strategy should change to reach millennial buyers, it's time! Millennials are vastly different from previous generations. According to Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center and author of the book The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, "Millennials are different from their parents and grandparents in ways that are already impacting all aspects of life. For example, they are less religiously affiliated and slow to marry and have kids. They grew up with cell phones and on social networking sites while also obtaining a high level of education, but are still struggling financially because of the economy." While times may be a little tough for the millennial generation with higher student loan debt and difficulty entering the job market, they are still eager to reach the "American Dream" of owning their own home. In fact, the median age of first-time buyers has stayed relatively unchanged at 31. According to Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research at NAR, this means that millennials "are ready and willing to buy if they can, in fact, break into the market. It's getting more difficult to get to that point, but the desire to do so hasn't changed." So how can you connect with this large group of young buyers? 1. Demonstrate Your Expertise More than any other generation, 71 percent of millennial buyers noted that help understanding the purchase process was the most beneficial part of working with an agent. They are new to home buying and selling and may need a little hand-holding as you work through the financing and overall process. Be patient and demonstrate how well you know your stuff! Take advantage of the millennial interest in infographics, videos, and visual content to take your expertise to the next level.
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