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Tips to Ace Your Next Open House
An open house is a powerful way to attract qualified and serious buyers in your local area. While some open house visitors are just "curious," the majority of people willing to attend a showing are serious about purchasing soon. Some of them might even be ready to do so in the next few weeks--ideal for your seller. Not only does an open house get a listing much more attention, but it also helps buyers do part of the work of "qualifying" themselves. If something about a home doesn't meet a buyer's needs, then he or she can find that out at the open house – saving time for everyone in the process.
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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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Best of 2013: 5 Ways to Use Your iPad at Open Houses
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Market Walkability to Add Value to Your Properties
Pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods are worth their weight in gold. Today's buyers and renters seek properties that are within walking distance of their favorite restaurants, bars and shops. This trend springs from a raising awareness of environmental stewardship, personal health and hyper-local pride. Check out five tips that will help real estate professionals get the most out of their walk-friendly listings. 1. Targeted Learning Agents should learn as much as possible about clients' interests and daily routines. When pursuing listings, target properties that are surrounded by the amenities, shops and businesses that your clients are most likely to use. There is no need to make numerous lengthy trips to properties. Get a head start use Google's Around Me app or Street View to find what you're looking for with less travel. 2. Show, Don't Tell It's not enough to simply state that your listed property provides easy access to shopping and dining. Create a screen shot of the neighborhood's Walk Score page and include it in your listing. "Walk Score makes it easy for people to understand how the location of a home, office or hotel impacts their experience and lifestyle," says CEO of Walk Score, Josh Herst. Prospects can see the businesses and amenities—by name and location—which adds tangible, quantifiable value in their eyes.
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Friday Freebie: Open House Tool Kit from realtor.com
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5 Ways to Use Your iPad at Open Houses
Open House Weekend is just a few short days away. You've probably got the 'Open House' sign and refreshments plan ready, but have you thought about your iPad? If you leave your tablet at home this weekend, your event will be missing out on a crucial enhancement. To help you make the most of your open house, we've rounded up five easy ways agents can use their favorite mobile device: 1. As a Sign-in Sheet. Toss the paper and pen and let visitors sign in on your iPad. Mobile apps like Open Home Pro make this a snap. Even better, they simplify capturing lead information and automatically send follow-up emails to prospects. Open Home Pro will let you import new leads into your CRM, empowering you to convert that lead into a sale! If you're a Top Producer user, BrightOpen will automatically sync new contacts to your database. If you also use MarketSnapshot, you'll be able to send attendees neighborhood market reports to keep them informed of price changes, days on market, and more. 2. Help Buyers Visualize Living in the Home. Ever had visitors who love the kitchen but hate the wallpaper? Virtual and augmented reality apps like Paint Tester let prospects change the paint color of any room. Just snap a picture, pick the desired paint color, and voila--your potential buyers are one step closer to picturing themselves in your listing. Paint companies like Behr and Sherwin Williams offer similar apps.
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Open House Staging Secrets to Get Your Listings Sold
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Appointment Scheduling, Simplified
Selling properties or helping your buyers find a property is all about showings. After all, real estate isn't generally something people buy sight-unseen. The logistics of scheduling these appointments is tedious and can significantly siphon away time that could be spent on other important tasks in buying or selling a home. One of the solutions available to help simplify and improve this process is eShowings. I sat down with Jay Lantz, National Sales Director, to learn more about the tools available from eShowings, particularly Show It Now – a tool that is free to MLSs and agents. A Trusted Partner In an industry where technology is often a "flash in the pan," eShowings has been in business for 14 years. They have established relationships with MLSs in 38 states, but serve real estate professionals in all 50 states. This experience and the relationships they have formed give them an edge in supporting the real estate community. How Does eShowings Help Agents? Basically, eShowings helps with appointment scheduling. Their goal is to improve the process for both the listing agent and the buyer's agent. They accomplish this through: Call centers Software With eShowings, an appointment can be made online or over the phone. The call centers are what you want and expect – professionally-staffed, available 365 days a year. The software is where things get more interesting from our perspective. Let's look at one example: Show It Now.
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Never Show Property Alone With Agents Armor Real Estate Mobile App
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Product Review: Showing Suite Mobile
Showing Suite is a technology platform designed to help real estate agents automate many tasks related to home showings (and more), enabling them to spend more time on valuable sales and customer service activities. Like many companies, Showing Suite has recognized that agent productivity must be as effective on mobile devices as it is on a desktop computer. To this end, they offer a comprehensive mobile solution through any Web-connected mobile device and have recently released a native application for the iPhone. If you have tried Showing Suite in the past, you will appreciate these new enhancements. If you have not considered Showing Suite before, you should contact them for a demo. Here is an overview of the Showing Suite mobile solution. Showing Suite's Native iPhone App Showing Suite put together a nice video that gives a brief tour of their iPhone app.
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Monthly Real Estate Showings Data: March Shows Steady Increase for 2012
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Create a Community Tour
You’ve heard the term tossed around quite a bit lately: "neighborhood expert." What it really means is that your value as a real estate professional extends beyond the basics – instead, your knowledge of a specific geographical area allows you to provide a variety of services to people looking to buy or sell a home in that locale. And a "neighborhood expert" is what more people are seeking in an agent. So, how do you prove that you fit the bill? One way is to create a community tour.
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Make the Most of Your Open House
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5 Ways to Increase Open House Traffic
A record-breaking, mild winter has kick-started the real estate market much earlier this year than the usual spring start. Mild temperatures are encouraging buyers to begin their search now, and smart sellers are taking advantage of this by pricing their homes accurately and using effective marketing tools. Here are a few simple tips and tricks to heighten open house traffic: 1. Make the open house a community event. Invite the neighborhood to talk about the school system or other current events affecting the community. By opening your doors to invite people in for another reason than just to view your home, you can raise awareness about your listing while helping to unite the community on important issues. Be careful to stay away from political issues, however. There are many neutral issues, such as neighborhood watch or a nonprofit organization that can be highlighted instead. 2. Invite a speaker. A great way to stand out from other open houses is to offer a guest speaker like a home stager or general contractor. If people are looking to buy, they’re usually in the process of selling, so hiring a home stager to talk about DIY staging techniques is a great way to get serious buyers through your door.
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Four Tips for Winning a Listing
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The Power of 3: How to Get It All Done
When you look at your to-do list, do your insides turn into a tangled mess of anxiety? That's probably because you put EVERYTHING on it. It's overwhelming. And feeling like you might drown is not conducive to accomplishing anything. The problem could be that visually your list is too big. What if there were only 3 things on that list? Would you feel better? "The brain finds it relatively easy to grasp threes.
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