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Friday Freebie: Open House Guide to Getting More Offers
After being socially distanced out of existence for a year, open houses are back, baby! No longer do your events have to be livestream only--it's time to break out the signs, balloons, and snacks for that good ol' in-person experience. That said, maybe your open house technique is a little rusty after a year off, or maybe you're a brand-new agent, or maybe you just want to reevaluate and make your open house strategy better than ever. Whatever your reason, in this week's Friday Freebie, we're highlighting a guide to hosting better open houses and getting more offers. Read on to claim your free copy. Free download of 2021 Open House Guide: How to Get More Offers, courtesy of Zurple An open house isn't strictly about finding a buyer for a home—for many agents, it acts as a way to build in-person rapport with the community and build your contact database. That's why open houses are often a starting point for new agents—it helps them build their book of business. Whatever your level of experience, this guide from Zurple breaks down the preparation, marketing, and hosting of open houses step-by-step: Step 1: Get a listing Step 2: Choose a date Step 3: Prepare the home for market Step 4: Marketing your event online Step 5: Marketing your event offline Step 6: Prepare your client Step 7: Prepare the home for the open house Step 8: Engage guests Ready to rock your open house strategy in 2021? Download your FREE copy of the 2021 Open House Guide now!
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5 Reasons You Should Use a Showing Service
Let's face it: being a real estate professional is not for the faint of heart. As an agent, you're juggling many of the responsibilities and tasks across the buying/selling continuum -- from lead generation to post-closing follow-up. It takes a lot of time, effort, and sheer grit to successfully navigate all the moving parts that go into building a flourishing real estate career. Having the proper focus and the right tools to manage your business can make all the difference. Here are five ways a showing service – a software application that coordinates and schedules residential showing appointments – can streamline your efforts and make you more successful. No. 5: A showing service creates a better work/life balance. So many people enter real estate because they want to be their own boss. The challenge is that clients are demanding and expect you to be at their beck and call. You're in a service business with little boundary between work hours and personal hours. If you want to be successful, especially in today's competitive market, you have to be available to proactively guide your clients' journey and accommodate their needs. This on-call situation makes it extremely difficult to set healthy boundaries between work life and home life. A showing service can give you more time back in your day by automating tedious and time-consuming tasks such as scheduling, confirming, canceling, and rescheduling appointments. This alone makes a showing service worth using, because it allows you to step away from your laptop or mobile device and really focus when you're spending time with family and friends. Knowing that your business is being managed for you when you're "off the clock" can give you real peace of mind—and the healthier work/life balance that you deserve. No. 4: A showing service makes scheduling and conducting showings less complicated. Getting ready to head to a showing but have to print out or download all the details for your busy day? Need to schedule four appointments for a client on one day? Need to plot your driving directions for that client's multi-showing route? These tasks can all be done within a showing service solution. Besides the obvious benefit of automated scheduling, a showing service integrates seamlessly with the MLS so you can access listing details from wherever you are. All the information you need – property notifications, alarm codes, and special instructions for entering properties – is available on your mobile device. And, it can get you from point A to points B, C, and D by letting you build a daily itinerary for each client, complete with driving directions. It's a simple and stress-free way to uncomplicate your business. No. 3: A showing service helps you stay organized. So much of the real estate process is manual, time-consuming, and conducted on the go, with change being the only constant. Even the most organized real estate professional can become overwhelmed and have difficulty keeping track of all the moving pieces. At any given time, you may be relying on six or more different technologies and systems. So, how can a showing service help? A cloud-based, at-a-glance showing service calendar is key to helping you stay on track, especially if it's available to your office team and team members, too. Likewise, built-in CSM functions help you manage your client roster, track client feedback and activity, and more. It's like having an efficient personal assistant with you at all times. No. 2: A showing service gives you the power to wow your buyers and sellers at the moment of truth. It's easy to get so caught up in the tasks of keeping your business moving forward that the bigger picture – delivering a great client experience – can take a back seat to what's calling for your immediate attention. Yet, your clients' satisfaction is the most important deliverable. Happy clients means more referrals, which ultimately means more sales. The expertise and care you bring to the showing process set you apart and establishes your credibility and reputation in your community. A showing service solution supports your efforts and streamlines tasks for you, including client communication, feedback, and activities. This enables you to focus on guiding your buyers and sellers through one of their biggest personal and financial decisions. Current market data available in the showing service that makes you more knowledgeable and proactive – and better able to address your clients' next moves in a timely way, eliminating some of the possibility of them second-guessing your advice. Facts are facts. This data positions you as a knowledgeable and trusted professional, and gives you and your clients the competitive advantage in a fierce market. And the No. 1 reason to use a showing service... No. 1: A showing service helps you sell more homes. "Time is money." –Benjamin Franklin While this adage is true for everyone, it's quite literally the reality for real estate sales professionals. Everything you do, or may not have the time to do, impacts whether you earn a commission. It doesn't get more real than that. Time, talent, technology and—okay—a little luck, can make the difference between being a top producer or an average one. Leveraging a showing service that helps you manage your client roster, find perfect properties, send them to clients, schedule and reschedule showings, build a daily itinerary, plan your driving route, review the properties' listing details, view showing instructions, provide client feedback, and so much more is the key to more time – and more home sales. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock blog.
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Open House Ideas That Bring in Leads
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What to Include in Your Open House Sign-in Sheet
An open house sign-in sheet is quite an important tool for listing agents. For one, it's proof to your seller that there's interest in their home. This is important, of course, because impressing your seller is a must in order to keep them feeling positive about the work you're doing for them. Secondly, but technically most important, is that it's a list of mostly warm leads. Some of them are active in their home-buying journey, while others may be local homeowners viewing comparable properties as they consider whether to sell. The more foot traffic you can get to your open house, the more leads you'll accrue. But you need to be prepared to have a productive conversation with these leads when you reach out later. That's where the information you collect on your open house sign-in sheet becomes important.
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Hosting a Virtual Open House? Here's a Checklist
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Virtual Showings and Open Houses: Before, During and After COVID-19
When the coronavirus hit, real estate faced a turning point. The pandemic created challenges for everyone--none of them particularly easy. In the real estate industry, old ways of doing business became outdated overnight. Just consider the average day: Until March, sales associates spent hours on face-to-face contact. A home showing was the centerpiece of most transactions. In those first weeks of shelter-in-place, millions of real estate experts came together to find new ways of doing things, knowing their professional community depended on it. Virtual showings and open houses are emblematic of that effort. They've become some of the most popular real estate marketing tools. Let's take a closer look at virtual showings and open houses and how this technology shapes the future of the real estate industry. Virtual Tours Were Gaining Steam Before COVID-19 Virtual tours were already becoming popular before they became a necessity. By using video, they allowed sales associates to overcome the limitations of still photos and showcase a home's "flow." As early as 2019, 46% of consumers in a National Association of REALTORS® survey said that virtual tours were beneficial when choosing a home. Virtual tour capabilities showed up in more and more listings in Q1 2020, and further research was being conducted on buyer sentiment. In April, 24% of consumers surveyed said they would be willing to buy a home without seeing it in person. What's more, 61% said a virtual tour was the most valuable feature for buying a house without visiting it. Technology has evolved, and best practices have become more apparent since then. Although new statistics are still pending, the odds are good that buyers and sellers alike are more comfortable with virtual tours than they used to be. After all, almost no one had heard of Zoom in 2018—now we all use it. Which leads to an important point. The Longer the Pandemic Lasts, the More Traction Virtual Showings Will Gain With the pandemic timeline growing murky, virtual showings look less like a "pivot" and more like "the new normal." Embracing them can create great opportunities for buyers, sellers, and sales associates. Just as buyers learned to look at home listings online––about 44% look online first, according to NAR––they will start looking for virtual tour options to answer their questions about what a home has to offer. Most Americans are counting on a vaccine to restore normalcy in the current year. But even so, it might be several months before it has been deployed to everyone who wants it. With that in mind, many buyers and sellers will continue to take precautions well into 2021. By that time, virtual tours could become a must-have––as indispensable to tomorrow's listings as photos are today. And once things are back to normal, they'll quickly lose all association with the pandemic, too. Master Virtual Showings and Virtual Open Houses If you haven't learned the ins and outs of virtual showings, it's not too late! One challenge sales associates face is sorting through the profusion of new video platforms, all claiming to offer real estate-friendly features. At Delta Media Group, DeltaNET™️ 6 CRM users can quickly set up and lead a virtual tour from any mobile device using our streamlined, centralized digital marketing platform. But no matter what platform you decide to use, some essentials remain the same. Learn Your Equipment Inside and Out Most sales associates will do their virtual open houses right from their smartphone or tablet. Today's mobile devices provide crisp video and clear audio comparable to any digital video camera—but take the time to get comfortable with your hardware and software. Since you'll spend most of the tour behind the camera, be sure you know exactly where the microphone is so you can be heard clearly. Likewise, learn how to save your video stream as a portable file you can send to buyers for later review. The more they think about a home, the better! And before you get started, clean off your lens and mute all incoming calls, alarms, and notifications. Prepare (and Yes, Stage!) the Property First You won't need fresh-baked cookies, but you should still put your home-staging skills to work! Almost every staging technique you've picked up along the way still applies in a virtual tour: Take advantage of natural light by opening up curtains and rolling up blinds Tidy up the rooms, removing clutter, and making the space easy to navigate Encourage sellers to remove half of the items in closets so they'll appear bigger Remove or downplay distracting furniture, art, or other decorative touches These steps are crucial since they can make the home more spacious and welcoming—traits that aren't always easy to capture on camera. But they also have the practical effect of helping you master the home's layout and review any stand-out features you want to highlight. Point Out What's Easy to Overlook in Still Photos The best virtual tours show not only the home but its whole context. Begin your tours outside with a brief overview of the neighborhood. Then, show the exterior before finally moving inside for the room-by-room guided tour. Your goal once inside is to give a strong sense of the home's layout. Schedule more time for your virtual tour than you think you'll need. This way, you can take your time, which will naturally set buyers at ease. Open the doors to closets, pantries, and utility rooms. Give your audience shots from plenty of different angles so they can imagine a life in this space! Move the camera slowly, lavishing attention on the fixtures, floors, and finishes. This is where preparation pays off: You should describe the home's unique features just as you would if buyers were there with you. Take Questions as You Go Another reason to take your time: Indulge buyers' curiosity! Questions show the buyers' imagination at work. The more answers you can offer, the more it will stoke their interest. If you can't answer a question at the moment, don't let it trip you up: You can always look into it and send a quick video for them to look at later. This way, your response becomes an extension of the tour experience––and you can recap with highlights of the property you know they enjoyed. Don't Get Stressed Out See virtual tours as a chance to have fun, learn more about buyers, and build rapport. Just as they would in a face-to-face showing, they'll take cues from the energy you bring in. There is a learning curve, but most people aren't looking for Hollywood videography as long as you're willing to focus on what they want to see. Running a virtual showing will be just as easy as doing a regular video call before you know it. Virtual open houses and showings have plenty of benefits that won't go away when COVID does. They're convenient, cut down on travel time, and encourage buyers to take action. Getting comfortable with these virtual events now is time well spent. They're here to stay, and your clients will thank you. Set up and lead virtual tours with DeltaNET 6. RE Technology readers can try it FREE for 30 days. To view the original article, visit the Delta Media Group blog.
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How to Stage a Great Virtual Home Showing
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Is Sight Unseen the Future of Selling Homes?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most industries have been unable to escape the urgent need to adapt services for an increasingly online world, and real estate, which has traditionally conducted business in-person and on-site, has certainly not been left untouched by this. The industry has seen the majority of renting and selling processes either put on hold, moved online or proceed with added safety measures. But despite lockdowns and restrictions, many people still need to sell homes. The industry has seen an incredible increase of virtual viewings that has led to growth in buying or renting without viewing the property or 'sight unseen.'
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8 Secrets for Stand Out Virtual Showings
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Cleaning Checklist for Open Houses During Covid
When showing a home, it has always been an absolute must to make sure it is perfectly clean. Now in the time of an active pandemic, it is even more important. A dirty or cluttered home can cost your client thousands off the sale price, and even turn buyers away completely. Today, a home that doesn't meet strict cleaning standards may not even be able to be shown at all. Preparing a cleaning checklist for open houses is a great tool to give to your clients to ensure they are meeting these standards.
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Guidance for Open Houses During COVID-19
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8 Ways for REALTORS to Get Home Safely
The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) is at the forefront of promoting agent safety in the real estate industry every day. Each September, NAR shines a spotlight on agent safety and well-being and its tenets of REALTOR®Safety: knowledge, awareness, and empowerment.
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Restream for Real Estate: How to take a home showing live everywhere
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Tips for Launching a Virtual Open House
With social distancing guidelines and regulations set in place by local governments, one thing that has taken a hit in the real estate industry is showings. Showings allow potential buyers to view a home that they are interested in. While agents are unable to show homes in person, they do have another opportunity to show listings virtually. To better understand how to conduct a virtual open house and what tools you need, we recently had Sue Pinky Benson and Barbara Betts on our Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar program. Benson and Betts, both notable Realtors in the industry, came together on a live panel to share ideas on how to conduct the best virtual tour.
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Open House Attendance Down? 6 Ways to Attract Interested Homebuyers
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Real Estate Technology to the Rescue: iGUIDE Virtual Showing is a Free Tool to Assist with Physical Distancing
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, real estate has been considered essential in most areas. This has meant that real estate agents have had to adapt some of their regular practices to accommodate social distancing and less in-person contact. Technology has been a life-saver during these past few months where we have been encouraged to #stayhome – from work, from school and away from family and friends. Social media platform use has skyrocketed, video chatting software platforms have seen exponential growth, we are consuming more media and, at the very least, we are using text messaging and video chatting to keep in touch personally and professionally. On June 17, Planitar, maker of the iGUIDE, announced the release of a free feature called iGUIDE Virtual Showing to help those buying and selling homes stay safe in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company is releasing a key partnership with floorplanner later next week, and virtual staging abilities were announced earlier this spring.   The company's iGUIDE technology already creates 3D tours of homes that buyers can tour virtually, without the risk of spreading germs. This new feature allows agents to guide homebuyers through the tour together as if they were conducting an in-person tour. This screen-sharing technology showcases the virtual tour smoothly, so there's no interruptions or confusion over which feature participants are discussing. Homebuyers will no longer have to choose between having the expert guidance of their agent and following safety protocols. Michael Vervena, VP of Sales and Marketing at iGUIDE, says this technology will help homebuyers move confidently in the homebuying process, and will also benefit real estate agents. "For a Realtor, showing a property means communicating the best and most relevant information about that property to prospective buyers or to other agents. iGUIDE Virtual Showing empowers Realtors to do that online. It connects people with the information they are looking for while maintaining the role and value of the Realtor to give guidance and advice," he said. Real estate agents can host the tour and invite their clients through text, email, or social media. In Ontario, iGUIDE can be imported directly into BrokerBay's online bookings through the MLS with participating brokerages. They can then guide the tour and talk to their client through a compatible voice client such as Zoom, Facebook, GoToMeeting or Google Meet. While the technology has obvious application during a pandemic, it has other uses as well. Home buyers have modified their wishlist for their next property purchase. With this guided virtual tour, those who can't easily visit the homes they intend to purchase in person can experience the home as if they are in it with their real estate agent before they make their final decision—COVID or no COVID. Provinces and states across North America are slowly re-opening (or closing again), so the only thing that is clear is that the future is uncertain. Regardless of what continues to unfold in the coming months, real estate has changed. Virtual showings are here to stay, along with many other key technologies that have helped us get through recent challenging circumstances and will help us get through whatever lies ahead. For more information, please visit goiguide.com/virtual-showing. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Your Guide to Hosting Virtual Open Houses
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Real Estate App Makes Open House Profitable
Twenty minutes before Nicole Nicolay heads to her open house, she logs onto RPR, prints one Mini Property Report and one Neighborhood Report, puts them into her bag and hits the road. At the open house, "A woman with two kids in tow appears in the doorway and within seconds exclaims she loves the house but wasn't ready to buy," said Nicole. "She said she'd have to sell her house first and find temporary accommodations while searching for her next home so that she could make a firm offer. The market is that competitive here. "The woman also admitted that she was feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of uprooting her family twice, as anyone would be. I knew at that moment I could ease her fears and set her on the right path, ensuring her that the process can be streamlined by an agent with the right tools at her disposal––and, secretly, I knew I was that agent. "So I made a simple suggestion: 'Let's check out what your house is worth. Give me your address and while you look around, I'll see what I can come up with.' She looked at me with a quizzical expression but decided to play along. "My soon-to-be new client said she thought her house could sell for about $500,000, so as she turned the corner toward the dining room, I jumped into RPR, entered her address, created a property report complete with RPR's Realtor Valuation Model® (RVM®), and texted it to before she finished touring the second floor. "Ding! I heard her phone's notification system go off. She came down the stairs, phone in hand, smiling. 'Wow, I just got a report from you,' she exclaimed. 'It says my house is worth $525,000. Is that true?' she asked. "'Well, we can find out,' I said. 'Let's get together at your place to talk more. I'll get an idea of what you've done to the property and we'll rerun the numbers to confirm.' "Days later, I listed her beautiful home for the RVM valuation of $550,000. From there, we found her new house without having to move her and her family into a temporary place. And she was so impressed by my spot-on analysis and responsiveness that she referred me to a family relative, who also bought and sold through me." Sure, Nicole recognizes that this, in all, was an incredible experience. Yet, what's important is that she had the wherewithal to listen to an open house visitor who thought she wasn't ready to buy and took the bull by the horns to bring forth a deal. And the common thread? Realtors Property Resource. "It may seem as if I didn't put a lot of effort into my open house, but rest assured, I'm backed by a powerful and seamless system that does all of the work for me," said the veteran real estate pro working out of Pleasanton, Calif. That and—as anyone who knows her will tell you—her cheery disposition and shrewd business acumen are the trifecta of successful open house strategies. Learn more about what RPR can do for your next open house. To view the original article, visit the RPR blog.
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3 Ways to Make Open Houses One of Your Most Valuable Marketing Tools
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Simple, Proven Tips for Breaking through with Virtual Open Houses
Virtual open houses are here to stay! They provide a great way for consumers to view a whole slew of houses before they decide which ones they would like to see in person. A virtual open house allows an agent to demonstrate their selling skills and highlight every strong feature of the property they are representing. And a virtual open houses even helps the environment and keeps homeowners and potential buyers safer—win, win all the way around! Patty McNease, VP of Marketing at Homes.com, shared some simple, but effective ways to make your virtual open houses the best they can be during a recent Coffee Chat. Here are three key takeaways to help you become an expert at virtual open houses: 1. Get high quality, yet affordable equipment Patty recommends investing in some core photography equipment that will make your life a whole lot easier: Tripod – They make it a lot easier to hold the camera steady and avoid the jumpiness you sometimes see in videos. She recommends the UBeesize Tripod S, available on Amazon for $21.99. Microphone – Patty also recommends a lavalier microphone you can attach to your clothing to keep your hands free, also available at Amazon here for $25.99. 2. Tips for better virtual tours Create a shot list Angles matter Start outside or at the home's best feature Natural viewpoints Lighting Time of day Lights on/off Stage furniture/objects Show off outside spaces Clean! Conform to MLS rules for branding 3. Tips for virtual open houses Test software before you go live or host a tour Practice (your route in the house, etc.) Create a story Prepare questions to answer about the home Dress the part Open all doors prior to starting Open the platform a minimum of five minutes before start time Start at the best feature OR on the outside of the house with the door open Walk slowly and talk clearly If on Facebook, use a public setting If possible, record the event Watch the full recording here: Don't Miss These Upcoming Coffee Chats! Monday, June 8 Learn all about the new Virtual Real Estate Certification with Verl Workman of Workman Success Systems Tuesday, June 9 Virtual Listing Presentations with the New Cloud CMA Live with Greg Robertson of W+R Studios Wednesday, June 10 How to Become a Listing Boss with Hoss Pratt Thursday, June 11 Communication: The 'OneKey' to a Successful Launch with Jim Speer of OneKey MLS Friday, June 12 The Shift: Leaning into Technology and Data to Market-Proof Your Business with Sheldon Rapoza of Market Leader If you would like us to sign you up for all upcoming coffee chats, email [email protected] and she will get you signed up. If you would like to get notifications every time a Coffee Chat recording is published, subscribe to our YouTube channel, RETechnologyInc. Then hit the bell next to the Subscribe button and receive notifications every time we publish new educational videos. Get Recordings of All Coffee Chats If you would like to binge watch all of the Coffee Chat recordings, click here. If you would like a FREE 3-month trial of RE Technology, go to retechnology.com, click Create Account and then use one of these coupon codes: COVID-19A COVID-19B COVID-19M
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Everything You Know About Open Houses Is About to Change
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Detecting Thieves Posing as Buyers, Part 3
Got a buyer whose behavior sets off alarm bells in your mind? They may actually be a thief. Over the past few weeks, we've been introducing you to behavioral "tells" that indicate a buyer may be a burglar. Last week, you learned about a scam called "The Couple's Play." In this week's video, you'll learn all about "The Neat Freak." In this scam, the thief disguised as a buyer will "dust check" a window. Seems harmless enough, right? Well, what they're actually doing is unlocking the window so that they can come back later in order to burglarize the home. Watch the video above to learn other behaviors that suggest your buyer is preparing to burglarize a listing. Catch up with the full series on spotting thieves below: Detecting Thieves Posing as Buyers, Part 1 Detecting Thieves Posing as Buyers, Part 2
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Detecting Thieves Posing as Buyers, Part 2
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The Essential Open House Checklist for Agents
One Week Before: Check the date you've chosen against local and national events (don't be the non-football fan agent who held her first open house on Superbowl Sunday) Check the date with the homeowner Invite your loan officer to attend Serving snacks/drinks? Determine what you'll offer and make a shopping list Create postcard invitations for neighbors Create branded handout packets (your business card, property flyers, door hangers floor plan drawing, neighborhood information, list of updates and repairs for the home, etc.) Create a sign-in sheet or download an open house app (AM Open House or Open Home Pro apps are popular) Ensure you have enough directional signs Post the open house on your MLS and Zillow and announce it at the sales meeting Promote the open house on social media with a link to the property flyer (hosted on your website). Consider live streaming the event on Facebook Live (learn more about this at dotloop.com) 3 to 4 Days Before: Install an "Open House this Weekend" sign rider to the property's for sale sign Mail invitations to neighbors and place real estate door hangers around your listing Confirm with your lender that he or she will be there Check in with your clients; remind them what they need to do to prepare the home (clean, remove sensitive paperwork, prescription drugs, weapons and valuables) Map out where you'll place directional signs Keep promoting on social media (is there a neighborhood group on Facebook? If so, don't neglect advertising the open house to that group) 24 Hours Before: Remind your clients about the open house and what they need to do to prepare Prepare snacks Load the car with directional signs Double down on social media mentions of the open house The Day of the Open House: Plan on arriving at your listing at least 30 minutes to one hour before the open house is set to begin Pick up balloons, if you'll be using them Set up directional signs and balloons Set up open house sign in front of the home Prepare a table near the front door for guests to sign in Set up snack station Set out handout packets Tour the home to ensure that beds are made, toilet seats are down and that the home is generally neat and tidy Ensure that the homeowners removed valuables, weapons, paperwork and prescription drugs Open all curtains, drapes and blinds Turn on lights in all rooms and closets Use any "down time" to get familiar with other listings in the area that open house attendees may be interested in
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Safe Selling: Reading the Predator, Part 2
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Safe Selling: Showing Prep Tips for When You Can't Arrive Early
In a perfect world, agents would always have time to arrive at a showing before their prospect in order to prepare the home for a safe showing. But as we know, the world isn't exactly perfect. What happens when you arrive to a showing at the same time as the buyer and don't have time to take the necessary safety precautions? That's what we'll show you in this week's Safe Selling episode. Watch the video above to learn: How to set expectations with prospects before a showing that you'll need to enter the home alone first A sample script to use when setting those expectations Why it's important to prepare the home for your safety... no matter what Next week: What happens when you're prospect really is a predator? Learn how to tell when they're gearing up for an attack—and how to stay safe.
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Safe Selling: Stay Out of Outbuildings!
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Safe Selling: Opening a Lockbox and Door
Never turn your back on a client... and we mean that literally. To prevent finding yourself in a vulnerable situation with a prospect, we know to never physically turn away from them. But what should you do in times where that seems inevitable--like opening a lockbox or door? In this week's Safe Selling video, we talk about just that. Watch the video above to learn: Precisely how to stand so that you can open a lockbox while still being able to see the client How to open a door and walk through so that your back is never to the client How to come off as warm and welcoming when opening door or lockboxes, rather than awkward or standoffish. Next week: Simple tips for navigating stairs safely during a showing.
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Safe Selling: Dealing with the Dangers of Master Suites
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Safe Selling: Why Bedrooms Are a Danger Zone During Showings
As an agent, you've heard it a hundred times: don't go into the basement or attic during a showing because you can easily get trapped and assaulted by unsavory prospects. While that seems like a no-brainer, there's another place in the house that you need to be cautious about--and for very similar reasons. That place? Bedrooms! In this week's Safe Selling video, we break down why bedrooms are a danger zone for agents during a showing. Watch the video above to learn: The two major reasons that bedrooms are unsafe for agents Why bedrooms are ideal for carrying out an attack What to do when a client has a question about a bedroom Where to safely stand when a client is viewing a bedroom Next week: Master suites present their own safety challenges during a showing. Learn how to navigate them safely.
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Safe Selling: How to Keep a Safe Distance from Prospects at a Showing
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Safe Selling: How to Maximize Your Visibility During a Showing
The appointment is set, and you've just arrived ahead of your prospect for a showing. Beyond previewing the home to learn its layout and features, this is the perfect time to prepare the listing so that you're safe during the showing. How? As we've learned, the first step is to open all the blinds and turn on all the lights so that neighbors can see in. The next step? "Blocking" your presentation. "Blocking" is a theatrical term that means planning where you're going to stand. In the case of real estate, that means planning where you're going to stand during different segments of your showing presentation. Watch the video above to learn: Why windows are your key to staying safe Why it's important not to stand somewhere you can't be seen from the outside of the listing The red flag that predators may display when you've denied them an opportunity to attack Next week: Why you should take the literal "high ground" when showing a home or meeting with new prospects.
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Tips to Ace Your Next Open House
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The New Agent's Guide to Open Houses
How would you like to net your listing clients an extra couple thousand dollars? According to recent research by Redfin, holding your listings open just might do the trick. Sure, there's a hitch: the open house premium only occurs in "certain metros," and it varies by region. For instance, in San Francisco, a home held open the first week it's on the market will sell a week quicker and for nearly 8 percent more "than homes with no open house," according to Dana Olsen at Redfin.com. Olsen also says that the listing agents' marketing may have as much to do with the premium as the open house. If sitting in your clients' home for a few hours, showing it to potential buyers, can net thousands more for your client (and a couple extra hundred for you), it's time well-spent. A successful open house requires planning, strategic scheduling and heavy marketing. Read on to learn more. Manage your expectations NAR statistics show that only 9 percent of homes are sold to an open house visitor. It would be amazing if one of your visitors were among the 9 percent, but don't count on it and don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen. That same NAR study found that almost half of all agents surveyed claim that open houses are "a waste of time." Be prepared for negative comments about the process from other agents. Whether this is your listing or a colleague's, your goal is to expose the home to potential buyers and, hopefully, pick up a buyer client or two in the process. Check the schedule Historically, the open house has been held on a weekend, typically on Sunday. This is when most homebuyers are out house hunting, so that schedule made sense. It doesn't make sense, however, for some listings. A home with a killer city view might show better in the early evening, around dusk. A downtown condo open house will most likely bring more traffic held on a work day, during lunch hour. Allow yourself enough time before the event to do some research. Check the MLS for other homes for sale in the area and tour them. Take notes as you do so because you may find yourself recommending one of these homes as a better fit for one of your open house visitors. The more informed you appear, the better. Then, if you aren't familiar with nearby amenities, bone up on them. Where's the closest park, school, grocery store? What's the commute time from the home to downtown? Once you choose a day and time for the open house, check that no popular local attractions will compete for attention. Market like a maniac To get feet in the door requires heavy marketing. Consider creating a dedicated page on your website or a single-property landing page for the listing. Share the page to your social media followers. During the open house, have the page open on your laptop and be sure to point it out. It's an impressive piece of marketing for any visitors who may be considering selling. Take a screenshot to use in your newsletters and emails and consider sending open house postcards to the neighbors. What to bring with you Ask your favorite loan officer to accompany you to the open house. He or she can hand out business cards in exchange for helping keep an eye on the door while you're giving tours. You'll need a sign-in sheet. If you have an iPad, download a sign-in sheet app, such as Open Home Pro or AM Open House. Of course, you can always go the old-school way with a clipboard and pen. Find open house sign-in sheet templates at FitSmallBusiness.com, EasyAgentPro.com or Google "open house sign-in sheet." Create lots of handouts. These can include: Branded promotional items A property flyer Neighborhood information (including which schools serve the neighborhood) List of repairs and updates the homeowners have performed Your bio Package these together and insist that each visitor take one. Remember, each item should be branded and include a phone number and, if space permits, your website URL.  Get to the listing early enough to get your directional signs and balloons set out, to set up a display of your packets, and to find or create a spot by the door for the sign-in process. Need more tips? We found some brilliant real estate open house scripts on Keller Williams' blog and digital marketing tips at DotLoop.com.
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Maybe It's Time to Add New Homes to Your Showing Schedule
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6 Effective Real Estate Open House Ideas for Today's Real Estate Agent
In the real estate industry, one thing may never change: open houses are one of the most effective tools for generating interest in a property. Technology and marketing trends shift across the industry; this is a universal truth for real estate professionals. So the question is, how do you make your open houses attract potential buyers and stand out in the marketplace? Here are a few ways to ensure your open house is well-attended, and makes an impact on the right buyers.
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A-Z Open House Tips
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Dealing with Squatters: How to Ask Them to Leave
So, you've calmed an agitated squatter in the home you're showing. What's the next step to take in order to show the listing without provoking a confrontation? Watch this week's episode of 'Real Answers' to find out. In the video above, you'll learn: How to safely give squatters options to leave so you can show the home What to say if they choose not to leave Why respect and appreciation for the squatter and their decision are key Why you should never issue ultimatums if you want to stay safe Sample scripts you can use throughout the interaction
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Dealing with Squatters: How to Calm an Agitated Person
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Dealing with Squatters: Avoiding Confrontation During a Showing
Last week, we showed you what to do when the vacant home you're showing has a squatter. If you used the techniques we discussed, the squatter may leave the property voluntarily--but what happens if they refuse? That's what we're exploring in this week's episode of "Real Answers." Watch the video above to learn: Why you should treat them like the homeowner to avoid a confrontation A sample script for starting a conversation with them What NOT to say to avoid aggravating a squatter The physical signs that hint that a squatter may escalate the situation No matter how considerate your approach, sometimes a squatter may want to confront you anyway. Tune into next week's episode for tips on talking down an agitated squatter!    
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How to Show a Vacant Property Safely, Part 2
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How to Show a Vacant Property Safely, Part 1
Vacant properties, while convenient to show, present a host of safety issues for real estate agents. First among those concerns, according to Real Safe Agent CEO Lee Goldstein, is the potential presence of squatters. In this week's episode of "Real Answers," a video series on real estate safety issues, Goldstein shows us how to deal with vacant homes in general and squatters in particular. Watch the video above to learn: What to do before you enter a vacant listing Why it's important to take accompaniment when previewing or showing vacant properties And more! Next week, be sure to tune in again as we cover Part 2 of how to show vacant listings!  
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Safe Selling: Reading the Predator, Part 2
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Safe Selling: Showing Prep Tips for When You Can't Arrive Early
In a perfect world, agents would always have time to arrive at a showing before their prospect in order to prepare the home for a safe showing. But as we know, the world isn't exactly perfect. What happens when you arrive to a showing at the same time as the buyer and don't have time to take the necessary safety precautions? That's what we'll show you in this week's Safe Selling episode. Watch the video above to learn: How to set expectations with prospects before a showing that you'll need to enter the home alone first A sample script to use when setting those expectations Why it's important to prepare the home for your safety... no matter what
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Safe Selling: Stay Out of Outbuildings!
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Safe Selling: Easy Tricks for Navigating Stairs
We're going to bust another agent safety myth today: Despite what you may have been told, NEVER let a prospect go all the way up a flight of stairs before you do. Why? Because you'll lose sight of them, and then a predator posing as a prospect can hide around a corner in preparation for attacking you. So what's a better alternative? Find out in this week's Safe Selling video. Watch the clip above to learn: The ideal distance to keep between you and a prospect when climbing stairs One trick to keeping prospects in sight even when they turn a corner Why the handrail is your best tool in protecting yourself The move you need to make to evade an attack from above
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Safe Selling: Opening a Lockbox and Door
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Safe Selling: Dealing with the Dangers of Master Suites
Last week, we talked about how easy it is to get trapped in a bedroom by a dangerous prospect during a showing. We also showed you how to protect yourself when showing standard bedrooms--but what if you're showing an irregularly shaped master suite? In this week's Safe Selling video, we tackle exactly that issue. Watch the video above to learn: What to do when a prospect has a question from the en suite bathroom. How to protect yourself when you have to enter the bedroom to speak to the prospect. How to use the door jamb to protect yourself--and what side of the jamb is best to stand by for an easy escape. A diagram possible escape routes when showing a master bedroom
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Safe Selling: Why Bedrooms Are a Danger Zone During Showings
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Safe Selling: Quick Hack for Keeping a Safe Distance from Prospects at a Showing
Let's talk about safe spaces--and, no, we don't mean that kind of safe space. In this case, a "safe space" is a healthy amount of distance that you should keep between you and prospects during a showing. As we know, a certain amount of distance makes good safety sense. But how close is too close--and how can you tell if you're far enough away to reduce your risk of being attacked by a predator posing as a prospect? In this week's Safe Selling episode, find out a quick and discreet way to make sure you're staying a safe distance away from a client. Watch the video above to learn more!
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Safe Selling: The 'No Influence' Sales Strategy
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Safe Selling: Why You Should Take the (Literal) High Ground
There are several subtle tricks that real estate agents can use to psychologically "turn off" a predator who's posing as a prospect. We've talked about about a few of them over the last few months--everything from maintaining control of the showing time to a phone technique you can use to screen prospects. This week, we're letting you in on a simple secret that can demonstrate to predators that you're no agent to mess with. That secret? Taking the high ground... literally. Watch the video above to learn: How standing slightly above your prospect unconsciously signals your dominance to them Where to find slightly elevated surfaces to stand on when greeting prospects at a listing or public place Why this simple act works as a "buzzkill" to potentially dangerous prospects Why legitimate prospects won't be affected by this technique--so you don't have to worry about alienating them
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Safe Selling: How to Maximize Your Visibility During a Showing
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Safe Selling: 4 Times You Should ALWAYS Have a Showing Buddy
Agents are frequently told to "Just take someone with you," to stay safe, but few do. While the agent buddy system is effective for staying safe, it's not always practical. So even though agents with solid safety skills can usually go without accompaniment, there are still times when you should ALWAYS pair up with a colleague. Watch the video above to learn the 4 scenarios where a showing buddy is CRITICAL for safety. In this video, you'll also learn: How the buddy system tips the "flight or fight" balance in your favor The unexpected reason why cell phone coverage matters to agent safety Why "Uncomfortable saves your life, but scared gets you dead"
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Safe Selling: The 3 Things You Should Do to Prepare a Home for a Showing
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Is Real Estate Foot Traffic Disappearing?
Apps and other real estate technology are reshaping the real estate landscape, and a lot of agents are wondering: Is real estate foot traffic disappearing? The rise in online shopping has definitely caused problems for commercial real estate – but when it comes to residential real estate, we're not seeing a huge dip in foot traffic. People still want to see their potential future homes in person, but how agents are driving foot traffic has changed. Here are the big takeaways:
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Safe Selling: Is Your Prospect Actually a Thief? How to Tell
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Amazon Automates the Open House
The smart home market keeps growing, largely thanks to devices enabled by Google Home and Amazon Echo platforms. Already, one in six American homes have one of these smart speakers. Amazon's Alexa-enabled units remain the market leader in terms of the number of devices deployed with an estimated 30 million-plus units sold. The smart home is also getting smarter. Artificial intelligence is built into these virtual assistants. And because they are voice-controlled platforms, they couldn't be easier to operate. That's good news for homeowners, but it is also good news for real estate agents, as Alexa can now help agents host their next open house. This breakthrough comes from Amazon's game-changing technology they call "Blueprints."
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How to Narrow Your Buyer's Choices and Reduce Showings Before Even Leaving the Office
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Realtor Safety: Preparing a Home for a Showing
We're re-running this popular agent safety video series from Real Safe Agent on our broker channel to highlight the importance of safety on the job. Brokers, please feel free to share and/or reuse this content on your own blog, website, social media account, internal communications, and beyond! In a recent edition of our agent safety video series, we learned how those who attack Realtors are different from the average criminal--they're outright predators who plan their attacks. In today's video, we'll learn how to set up a home for a showing in a way that deters those with a predatory mindset. This is the first in a miniseries of three videos on making a home safe for a showing. Watch the video above to learn the very first things you should do when you arrive at a property--and before your prospect shows up. You'll find out how to ensure that neighbors and passersby can see and hear you should anything go wrong. Stay tuned for next week when we'll reveal more tips for showing a home safely!    
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10 Must-Read Ideas for Your Next Open House
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3 Must-have Handouts for Your Next Open House
REALTORS® everywhere are reaping the benefits brought on by RPR reports. In fact, last year agents created more than 2.8 million of them, proving the value of one of the real estate database's most popular features. A sizeable portion of those customizable reports serve as open house icebreakers and lead generators, takeaways that consumers can later use to recall the property's features, what other homes in the neighborhood are worth, and who lives in the area. Then, after the open house, as a follow-up by the listing agent to see if the consumer would like more information or to tour other homes in the area. Here are the three most popular reports used by REALTORS® at open houses, but first a few unique things you can do with each of RPR's eight residential reports:
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Are Your Open Houses Just Seller-Pleasing Tools?
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Quick Tip: Pair These 2 Tools to Automate Showing Feedback Requests
Getting your real estate apps to work together can save a lot of time. There are the obvious time savers: Gmail integration with your eSignature tool, for example, which makes it a snap to dash off documents for review. But don't overlook more unorthodox pairings. Take the humble lockbox, for example. Pair it with a property data app, like RPR or HomeSpotter, and you can automatically pull up detailed listing information upon entering a home for a showing. The simple act of opening a lockbox can trigger other useful actions. Want to automatically send feedback requests to all agents who have shown your listing? Pair your SentriLock lockbox with a showing solution like Showing Suite. Your lockbox will prompt your showing tool to send out a showing feedback request when another Realtor opens it. How to Use Showing Feedback to Your Advantage
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Real Estate Lead Conversion: 6 Tips for Getting More Appointments
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The Ultimate Open House Strategy
There are few questions that real estate agents dread more than "When are you going to hold an open house for our property?" Many experienced Realtors cringe at the thought of sitting at an open house on a weekend. Total waste of time, money and energy, right? Well, at GoodLife Realty we LOVE hosting open houses. In fact, we sometimes offer to host them for other agents' listings. That's because we utilize "Garry's Ultimate Open House Strategy" to turn them into one of the most valuable marketing and branding tools in our arsenal. "Garry's Ultimate Open House Strategy" was developed and fine-tuned over the past 20 years by GoodLife Realty co-owner and Paperless Agent co-founder Garry Wise. And he continues to use these techniques in his real estate business today. In this post, we're going to outline exactly what he does to turn an open house into a powerful lead funnel and brand-building machine.
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Open House Pros and Cons for Real Estate Agents
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The Benefits of Home Staging: An Influential Tool to Decrease Time on Market
First impressions are everything! When it comes to selling a home and attracting potential buyers, appearance can make or break a sale, especially in a competitive market. "REALTORS® know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR's most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier for potential buyers. While all real estate is local, and many factors play into what a home is worth and how much buyers are will to pay for it, staging can be the extra step sellers take to help sell their home more quickly and for a higher dollar value," shared NAR President, William E. Brown. Putting up a "for sale" sign and hoping for the best outcome is no longer enough. According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging, "77 percent of buyers' agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home." While some home sellers don't know the importance of going the the extra mile to make a positive impression through staging, it's up to you to convince them. Here are a few highlights from the report to help you.
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Friday Freebie: Brandable Property Showing Checklist for Your Buyers
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How to Win More Leads at Your Next Open House
How do you collect information from potential buyers and sellers at your open house without coming across too strong? Watch as Loida Velasquez shares her tips on how to effectively collect info at your next open house. It takes just a few key things. Learn her secret at the 1:55-minute mark.
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3 Steps to Hosting the Best Open House
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The One Thing You Need to Know About Open House Signs
Are you thinking about your open house signs as a marketing opportunity? If not, you're missing the bigger picture. Watch as real estate blogger Loida Velasquez explains why investing in personalized signs will boost your marketing efforts and reinforce your personal brand. The tip at 1:30 is essential!
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SentriLock Adds New Mobile Agent Safety Feature
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Spooky Encounters of the Real Estate Kind: 6 True Tales of Terror
We know all about the real world dangers that real estate agents face on the job--but what of the otherworldly dangers? From haunted houses to creepy cul-de-sacs, we've rounded up six true tales of spooky real estate encounters with the paranormal. But first, a warning--some of these stories are disturbing, so read at your own risk! (And if you have any disturbing stories of your own, we wanna hear them! Share them in the comments section below.) 1. "Someone or something" else was also at this showing Let's start off with a classic site for spooky experiences--the older home. A Houston Realtor was showing an older home in the suburb of Bellaire with her partner. They arrived ahead of the prospective buyers and used the extra time to look around the home. Right away, the Realtor noticed something odd--one of the bedrooms had double doors that were tied shut with a wire hanger. That's just the first weird part of this story--during the showing, a lone tennis ball bounces down the empty hall to locked doors, and then mysteriously disappears. When the Realtor's partner decides to open the wired-shut doors, an overwhelming eerie feeling and intuition to flee hits buyers and agents alike. In her haste to get out of there, the agent forgets her Supra lockbox in the house. When she goes back for it, her key turns in the lock, but the door won't open. It turns out that "someone or something" has thrown the deadbolt behind them. But what, or who, could it be? Read the original post to find out!
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Using RPR® to Ensure a Successful Buyer’s Tour: Preparation is Key (10/10)
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New SentriLock and Homesnap Integration Helps Agents Shine During Showings
Agents have a new way to impress clients during a showing, thanks to a new partnership between SentriLock and Homesnap. Realtors can now access property data right from SentriSmart, the lockbox maker's mobile app. When obtaining lockbox information from the app, users are able to open the listing's property details from Homesnap in just one click. If that sounds familiar, it's because Sentrilock launched a similar integration with Realtors Property Resource (RPR) in June. In fact, the process of accessing data from both integrations is exactly the same. After receiving entering the lockbox code, SentriSmart prompts the agent to open the listing's property details page, as seen in the image below. Simply select your integration partner of choice, and SentriSmart will automatically send you directly to the property details page in either the RPR or Homesnap mobile apps. How It Works The property details integration is completely painless. After from a few initial set-up steps, instantly accessing listing info is a breeze. To get started, make sure that both SentriSmart and either Homesnap and/or RPR are installed on your phone.
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6 Proven Steps to Set Up More Appointments by Phone
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10 Actionable Tips for Booking More Real Estate Appointments
Phone calls aren't the most popular method of communication anymore — however, if you can do them right, they can be powerful tools to booking those appointments. Agent Tom Ferry reveals his step-by-step strategy on overcoming reservations and winning those phone calls. Pay attention at 1:11 for the secret to why most agents fail at prospecting.
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Using RPR® to Ensure a Successful Buyer’s Tour: Preparation is Key (7/19)
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4 Tips to Ensure a Successful Open House
An open house is your first chance to make a great impression on potential buyers. Make sure your seller clients understand the importance of that first impression and prepare them with helpful tips to make the open house a success. While it's a must that your clients are not actually present during the open house, you can help them prepare to wow potential buyers with these 4 simple tips: 1. Let There Be Light! Make sure you allow as much natural light into the home as possible. Open the curtains and blinds, and if they're outdated or take away from the room – ditch them! In addition to natural lighting, turning on the lights in every room will also help with overall ambiance and mood. Remember, you're showcasing a product for sale and not hosting a party, so don't try to dim the lights and create a low-key atmosphere. If there are dark areas like a basement or corners of a room, use floor lamps to bring in extra light. Before the open house, you should also suggest a window cleaning to your clients – dusty or dirty windows can significantly impact how much light is able to shine through. Buyers will have a much more positive reaction to a home if it looks airy and bright. 2. Lose the Clutter Nothing is worse than walking into a house that feels much smaller than it truly is, due to the sheer amount of stuff. If there is too much furniture, ask sellers to put some in storage or keep it somewhere outside the home during the open house. Kitchen and bathroom countertops should be as clear as possible – unnecessary appliances or rarely-used items should be stored away. If your sellers think they can get away with just shoving everything into closets or drawers, think again! Many potential buyers will peek into these areas to see what type of storage space is available in the home.
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Friday Freebie: How to Save 25+ Hours per Month Scheduling Showings
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A New, More Efficient Way to Schedule Showings
Did you know that agents spend an average of six hours every week scheduling showings? It's not hard to imagine why that number is so high once you think of all the parties involved in scheduling just one showing, and the typically linear process involved. First the buyer expresses interest to their agent, who then contacts the seller's agent, who then contacts the seller. Once the seller agrees to a showing time, that chain of communication is reversed to confirm with the prospective buyer. And if, god forbid, the proposed time doesn't work, the process starts all over again.   Inefficient, right? Well, today we're looking at a new showing appointment solution that transforms the linear model above to the streamlined, modern version. Introducing TourSimply As its name suggests, TourSimply is easy to use for all parties. The solution is designed for showings to be scheduled instantly, which it accomplishes via a shared calendar for each property in its system. Sellers and/or their agents set the times that a listing is available to show in the property's calendar, and block off the times it's unavailable.
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Is Your Communication Style Outdated?
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6 Tips to Increase Your Real Estate Feedback Response Rate
If you're like some of our other customers, you know how hard it is for other agents to respond to your feedback requests, no matter how good they look. Here are 6 tips on how to construct the perfect real estate feedback form: Keep it under six questions. You know what busy feels like. The last thing you want is to answer a 20 question feedback form. Think about surveys you like and have answered – if you're like me, I do a happy dance if they are only five questions and take a max of three minutes to complete. When a feedback form is six questions or under, it doesn't overwhelm survey takers. It gives them the confidence that, yes, it really will only take two to three minutes. Less is more. Don't write a novel. Keep your sentences short and clearly indicate what you want in only a few words. Limit required fields to only the most important questions – nothing is more frustrating than having to fill in 10 questions when you didn't even want to take the survey in the first place. Think, "How can I make this as painless as possible?" The clearer the question, the easier and faster it is for survey takers to complete your feedback form.
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What Successful Agents Do Before, During, and After the Open House
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You Say You’re "Always Available" -- Is That Really True?
Often when we come across marketing that agents send out about themselves, or speak with our clients about the types of message they want to convey, we encounter this idea of "always being available." I get it. In order to portray the idea that your clients' and prospects' needs come above anything else, you need to state this. Is there a problem with this? Frankly, yes. Don't get me wrong--for current clients that you are involved in transactions with, you can pull this off. They have your cell number, they call you--no matter if it's morning, noon, night or weekend--and you answer. This what you should do. But what if you don't recognize the number because it's from a prospective client that ran across one of your listing signs, found you on Google, got your farming postcard, or maybe is a referral from someone else? Suddenly that message of, "I'm available at any time you need me" doesn't hold much water. Clearly, you can see how it's not such a great idea to start off a potential working relationship by giving out misinformation. What's more is that, with technology, we are an "always on" society, so you truly CANNOT afford to not give some sort of immediate gratification to a prospective client or referral. Enter a great little calendar tool called You Can Book Me. For as little as FREE (yes, free), you can start using their service to help you be as "always on" as possible with all your potential clients. The long and short of how it works is described in this quick video:
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Hosting an Open House? Don't Forget Your iPad
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Open House Ideas That Even Pinterest Would Approve Of
What's a great way to drive traffic through a listing? Showings, good marketing, and of course open houses. Home buyers that are on the prowl for the "best of the best" have probably been to a few open houses already. How is yours going to stand out from the rest? A clean house alone is a bare minimum. You need open house ideas that are engaging, fun, and leave a lasting impression. Whether it makes sense or not, home buyers care a lot about how a place feels. Your open house doesn't need to be perfect, but it does need to be put together. The best way to do this is to have a theme and stick with it. 4 Open House Themes to Craft the Perfect Feel: 1. "Cocktail Party" I am not suggesting you buy booze for 40 people. I am suggesting you create the feel of a cocktail party. What are the main elements of a successful cocktail event? 1) People, 2) Drinks, 3) Music, 4) Food, 5) Sophistication. Create areas around the home that are pleasing to the eye and draw people to the best features. Inspire conversation with tantalizing treats and "freebies" that will make people feel welcomed and wanted. Here are some party food ideas that are a little more sophisticated for this type of open house. Also, think of decorating high-top tables like this – a few of these placed around the open house creates a put-together look while adding to the sophistication of the event. With tables like these, people will want to be around them and you can strategically place flyers and business cards on them.
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4 Reasons Why Selling a House is Like Dating
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#RealtorProblems That Only Happen in Winter
We all know that during the winter you encounter certain...challenges. The true test of an agent is being able to put a positive spin on a house that doesn't quite meet the mark. One such time of the year is December thru February when the house you are showing is more than likely "winterized." It is possible to sell your house even when faced with less than desirable circumstances. Here are a few creative ways you can still make a house look appealing to sellers. 10 less-than-desirable showing situations (and how to put a positive spin them): 1. You go to show the house and all you can see is the attic window. "Just think of all the snowmen making and sledding the kids can do in the winter!" "The roses in the springtime are really quite lovely." 2. When all you can do with the driveway is see your reflection. "Just think, you never have to go to an ice skating rink again."
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Best of 2014: 11 Staging Tips to Get Your Listings Sold
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Best of 2014: 11 Questions to Ask Buyers After a Showing
We're continuing an annual tradition of counting down our top 10 articles of the year. The following article was originally published back in August and is #9 in our countdown. See #10 here. How saleable are your listings? One way to find out is to collect feedback from buyers who have toured them. Listing agents can, in turn, use this information to initiate sometimes tough conversations with sellers about price and marketability. Buyers and their agents are under no obligation to provide you with feedback, of course, so it's best to limit the number questions you ask post-showing. We turned to a top producing Realtor to find out what's most useful to ask. Below is a list of questions that San Diego broker and agent Alan Shafran asks to elicit helpful feedback from buyer's agents who have shown his listings. 1. Is the property priced accurately? 2. Was the property misrepresented in any way in the MLS? 3. Did my brokerage make it easy to show the property? 4. What did your client like most about the property? 5. What did your client like least about the property? 6. Was the home easy to show (was the home clean and the owners gone)?
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11 Staging Tips to Get Your Listings Sold
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Friday Freebie: Open House Productivity Kit
We're continuing our Friday Freebie open house theme from two weeks ago. This time around, we're highlighting a free productivity kit, courtesy of Top Producer. Read on to learn how you can download it for yourself. Free Open House Productivity Kit from Top Producer Ready to close more open house leads? This kit offers eight tips and resources to help you do just that, with advice on everything from posting open houses on realtor.com® to helping visitors overcome "sign-in reluctance." The kit also points agents to tools that are available to them at no cost as a Realtor®. These tools include: Customizable listing presentation Branded e-newsletter Sign-in sheet to receive the newsletter Mobile micro-site for your listings The idea is to help agents achieve higher attendance as well as the means to automate follow-up with all open house customers – and help them discover which ones are likely to move sooner vs. later. Download your free open house productivity kit now!
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Friday Freebie: Rock Your Next Open House with this iPad App
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How to Talk to Your Sellers About Price Reductions
Does your seller have an over-inflated opinion of their home's value? Many do. While you can head off the problem of bloated listing price early on with a detailed CMA and firm advice, eventually every agent will find themselves in the position of having to initiate a tough conversation with their clients--that of reducing the listing price. It's not an easy topic to broach. Sellers have an emotional investment in their home that doesn't always allow them to look at pricing in a rational way. Luckily, there are ways you can approach the reduction discussion that appeals to both their feeling and thinking sides. Here are a few suggestions: Use different terminology: Call it a "price adjustment" rather than a "price reduction." By using a different term, you frame your objective in a new way and change your seller's focus. The word "reduction" brings to mind the idea of loss (of money, in this case). "Adjustment," on the other hand, suggests that you are using your expertise to fine-tune the price so the listing doesn't languish on the market. Remind them of their holding costs: The faster you are able to sell their home, the more your clients save on expenses like mortgage payments, insurance, utilities, taxes, and more. Crunch some numbers--a quicker sale at a lower price may actually end up saving your clients money. Present numbers: No showings in 10 days? No offers in the last month? Let your seller know that statistics like these are an indicator that the asking price is too high. Also, make them aware of the realities of the local market by showing them the prices that comparable properties have recently sold for. If your seller's price diverges too far, let them know they'll have a hard time competing.
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11 Questions to Ask Buyers After a Showing
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One App to Serve Them All
Showing Suite released a new mobile app on Monday that serves all parties in a transaction: listing agent, seller, buyer's agent, and buyer. The company developed a different version of the app for each party, but the overall aim is the same--to make scheduling home showings simpler. The different versions reflect the varying needs of each group. The apps for listing agents and their clients, for example, focus on collecting feedback on showings. Agents can use that feedback to broach tough conversations like price reductions with sellers. (Learn more about this in our upcoming webinar.) For buyers and their agents, Showing Suite says their new app works much like Evernote. Buyers can take notes, pictures, and video during showings to share with their agent via digital notebooks. Here's our at-a-glance rundown of the features of each app: Seller Side Listing Agent Automatically gather showing feedback View feedback and showing statistics See all prior showings on your listings Request feedback from a showing agent View all of your listing information Search through contacts to call or email them Seller View statistical reports on showings Read feedback from potential buyers View upcoming showings Approve appointments Set blocked times for showings
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5 Tips for Successful Open Houses
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5 People You Will Meet at Your Next Open House
This post comes to us from the HomeFinder.com blog: When planning an open house, attracting visitors is the first step to find the perfect buyer for your listing. Despite your best efforts, not all open house visitors arrive with the intention of purchasing a home. Below are the five types of people you may meet at your open houses and tips on how you can turn these browsers into potential buyers. 1.) Qualified Buyers: Watch for serious buyers during your open house. Use a showing app like Open Home Pro to determine if these visitors are working with an agent or pre-qualified for a mortgage. These buyers come prepared with thoughtful questions, so be familiar with important property information. How to Make the Sale: Follow up within 24 hours to increase chances of an offer. Use a showing app to gather buyer information, help identify hot leads and automatically send a follow-up email to visitors. 2.) Seller's Family and Friends: Your sellers may invite their family and friends to make the property look more popular to other guests. Don't discount these visitors, they may be looking to move in the future or might have friends that could become potential clients. How to Make the Sale: Treat these guests as you would any other potential buyers. They will notice your dedication and increase opportunities for future referrals.
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