For Real Estate Professionals

Staying Safe on the Job: Setting Your Safety Non-Negotiables

Colleen Fischesser
October 2, 2014

It is tragically ironic that on the last day of Realtor Safety Month, the body of missing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter was found.

Outraged and saddened by this senseless act of violence, agents across the country are vowing to take more stringent steps towards their own personal safety. But what exactly can you do when balancing caution with customer service in an increasingly competitive industry—where consumers demand near-instant response times or move on to the next agent who can and will accommodate their demands?

I say let them move on unless they are willing to help you help them.

A few weeks ago I was touring some apartments for an out of town client. Upon entering the leasing office, the agent asked for my driver’s license and briefly left the room. I assumed she had made a copy so when she returned with nothing in her hand, I asked for my license. She replied, “Oh, we’ll keep that until we get back.” She then turned and led me into the hall.

It was their showing policy. And it was non-negotiable.

Of course, it’s far easier to establish a policy like this in the contained environment of an apartment complex, but there are policies and safeguards real estate professionals can adopt.

It’s time for all of us to establish our own set of safety non-negotiables.

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How to Help Online Buyers Get the Most Out of Their Search (Without Sabotaging Your Business)

Geoff Bray
October 2, 2014

Real estate agents must help make online buyers' lives easier by improving their real estate searches

Real estate agents by nature don’t deal well with change. When it comes to teaching our clients about how to do an online search for real estate, we feel like crawling under a rock and getting in the fetal position because it’s scary to think they could look up a house on their own.

You mean they don’t need us to see what’s on the market any more? It’s 2014, folks. Let’s teach our clients the right way to search for homes online and it might actually make our job easier. Don’t worry; they’ll still need you for many other things like, oh, I don’t know, unlocking the front door so they can actually see it.

The Challenge of Selling to Millennials

One of the biggest hurdles companies are trying to figure out, no matter what they sell, is how to appeal to Gen Y. Gen Y, also referred to as Millennials, is defined as anyone born between 1982 and 1993. According to a recent article on Inc.com, “Gen Y’s annual spending will amount to approximately $2.45 trillion, escalating to $3.39 trillion by 2018—significantly eclipsing Baby Boomers in spending power.”

Now do you understand why companies are competing for their attention? Millennials understand the power of computers and they don’t want/need to rely on a business or, in this case, a real estate agent, for everything. This is why they often look on their own at first, and when it’s convenient for them, we step in. Should we cater to this as agents? Hint: The answer is YES.

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How to Turn Boring Listing Descriptions Into Compelling Advertising

how to write compelling listing descriptions that will make buyers pick up the phoneAs a writer, I’m always impressed by well-written listing descriptions. OK, so I’m easily amused, but there’s something inherently sexy in the employment of an interesting turn of phrase or the avoidance of empty adjectives.

An agent that uses the few characters allowed by the MLS to highlight amenities that a photo can’t show instead of reiterating what’s already listed in the property description deserves major kudos. Despite what many real estate agents (and some agenda-driven researchers) seem to think, an agent’s description of his or her listing is important to homebuyers.

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5 Under-the-Radar Sources for the Best Fall and Winter Clients

Erin Renzas
September 30, 2014

When it comes to real estate, we have entered what is often referred to as “the slow season,” but for smart agents there is never a down time. You need to know how to master the art of off-season lead generation to help you meet the best buyers and sellers in your market this winter.

It’s never too late to have your best year yet!

Take the cue from top agents and master the skill of generating buyer and seller leads—whatever time of year it is! Here are a few under-the-radar sources of year-end buyers and sellers. Leverage their power to finish the year out strong.

In this free guide, you’ll learn where your top clients may be hiding—from targeting investors to exploring early-year expired listings.

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3 Ways to Ensure You’ll Snag the Listing Over the Competition

Melissa Zavala
September 29, 2014

How real estate agents can beat beat their competition and get listings

You’ve gotten the call. Some folks in your neighborhood farm want to list their home for sale, and they want you to come over for a consultation. So, you’ve set up the appointment and now you’re counting the weeks until you get your commission check.

Not so fast. Those sellers haven’t even signed the listing agreement. If those sellers have also contacted four other agents, you may only have a 20 percent chance of obtaining the listing.

The good news is that there are many ways to increase your chances of obtaining the listing.

Therapist and social psychologist Wendy Lipton-Dibner says that there are three things that keep people from being able to make a decision: emotions, personal rules, and confidence. When you understand these three reasons—when you plan your listing presentation around those key points—your chances of obtaining the listing will increase significantly.

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A Guide to Using Real Estate Signs

real estate sign function, content, regulations, and other considerationsIf you’re going to sell anything, you’ve got to let people know who you are. This is especially true for real estate agents, because so much of your business depends on establishing a presence and a personal brand at the neighborhood level.

The Yellow Pages won’t cut it. And yes, while the National Association of Realtors® has found that 92 percent of homebuyers use the Internet when searching for a home, many people still buy homes the old fashioned way: by driving around neighborhoods they like and seeing what’s for sale.

And that brings you to signage.

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7 Signs You’re Dating or Married to a Real Estate Agent

Jovan Hackley
September 25, 2014

Whether you’re dating or married to someone in real estate, the truth is you’re in a three-party relationship. There’s you, your main squeeze, and the business that’s guaranteed to keep things interesting.

If you’re thinking about pairing up with a real estate buff, take notes on the list below. If you’re already in, thank your lucky stars because you’ll never be without a story to tell or some random number on your caller ID:

1. Flirting and Lead Generation Start to Look Alike

Only a real estate agent’s other half will send their mate out into the world looking their best, hoping they come back with lots of phone numbers from interested people. Face it: Someone else’s reason to be jealous inspires your thoughts of a trip to Cabo.

2. Odd Calls Mean a Happy Mate

In a normal relationship, random numbers or late night calls would be cause for concern. When you’re with an agent, they mean business is good. In addition, you know you’re in love when you start answering the phone like you’re the office receptionist and know the qualifying script. continue reading

Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know

Andy Fulton
September 25, 2014

What home selling tips are the most important for sellers to know? We sought to answer this question when we surveyed 500 real estate agents about the importance of two dozen top home selling tips. Each tip was then ranked based on the survey responses and we used the first eight – those viewed as being “very important” by 80 percent of agents or more – to create this infographic, “Home Selling Tips Every Seller Should Know.”

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4 Easy and Actionable Real Estate Prospecting Ideas

Show me a successful agent and I’ll show you someone who’s not afraid to prospect.

easy and actionable real estate prospecting ideas
Sure, we all know the kid with a rich family or someone who got lucky early. But they don’t stay lucky for long. Nobody does, not without putting in the work. There’s a saying among musicians: If you are very, very talented and work very, very hard, you can increase your chances of being lucky.

Great real estate prospectors, from the outside, look like they manufacture luck. But in reality, it’s just about feeding the pipeline, and then working a system.

You can have the greatest system in the world, but you need contacts to feed into it – people who want or need to buy or sell or rent or lease real estate.

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5 Real Estate Terms Your Clients Just Don’t Understand

Jovan Hackley
September 23, 2014

When a transaction tanks, there’s usually one common culprit to blame: Miscommunication. Too often clients and customers trade in lingo they really don’t understand; and, while you may be telling them the truth, it’s going over their heads and pointing you toward transaction disaster.

In hopes of helping you avoid the derailed deal during this year’s make it or break it market season, here are five real estate terms to go over early to avoid a negative review or, even worst, a deal gone down the drain:

1. Good Faith Estimate

In a dream world there are no surprises on the way to closing. Here on planet Earth anything can change at any time. A frequent stress point where clients get caught in the cross-hairs of the sometimes inevitable is the good faith estimate. continue reading