For Real Estate Professionals

Cold Calling Tips & Best Practices for Real Estate Agents

In 2003, Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the then recently-launched Iraq War as a “long, hard slog,” referring to the Herculean effort that troops would have to go through to secure victory on the battlefield.

cold calling tips and best practices for real estate agentsFortunately, in the world of real estate sales, violence isn’t necessary. But “slogging” sure is. And there’s nothing “sloggier” than cold calling – dialing one’s way down a list of cold contacts.

But it’s part of any sales career – especially in the early days, when you have little money and few resources, but lots of time on your hands and steel in your heart.

Does Cold Calling Work for Real Estate?

What do we know about cold calling? Is it really effective? Is it realistic to set appointments and build a business by relying on smiling and dialing?

The Keller Center at Baylor University did a study involving real estate agents dialing from a list of numbers to which they had done no previous marketing. Each of the 160 agents in the study committed to calling this list for one hour each day for seven days. The agents used a standard script.

Of the 160 agents who said they would make the calls, only about 50 actually did so – which accounts for a good deal of agent attrition right there. Let’s look at the numbers. continue reading

3 Reasons to Visit Trulia at the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo

October 30, 2014

We’re ready for it! Are you? Trulia is gearing up for its best year yet at this year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo from November 7 – 10 in New Orleans.

With 17,000 real estate professionals from across the country scheduled to attend, this promises to be one the most exciting events of the year. Here are the top reasons you should stop by booth #1401 to hang out with Trulia at NAR: continue reading

5 Fall Staging Secrets that Make Listings Sell

Jovan Hackley
October 28, 2014

Fall house staging has to be sharp, because your listing has to sell if you want to close the year out on a high note and leave your sellers feeling satisfied.

Here five ways to help your clients make their real estate listing stand out and get their home sold before the holiday season hits!

1. Suggest Shopping Ahead

These days many sellers are selling to move on to another property. Chances are, your listers have a vision for both the property want and the new furnishings to make the new space into their dream. For sellers who have the budget, encourage them to shop ahead. The dream furniture and non-permanent fixtures for their new space may help their current property sell faster.

2. The “I Have a Dream Speech”

Before you bring up house repairs, find out what your seller’s always wanted to do with the home and never got around to completing. This, sometimes emotional, trip down missed-out memory lane can help you make the case for improvements you know will make the home move.

Sometimes helping sellers revisit their dreams for a property can unlock easy ways to market it as the dream home for someone else. continue reading

Are Customized Apartments The Latest Housing Trend?

Paula Pant
October 27, 2014

Want a home designed precisely to your tastes? It’s no longer a homeowner luxury. A building in San Francisco is now offering custom details to some of its penthouse suite renters.

In a recent press release, rental placement agency RentSFNow announced that the 3035 Baker building in San Francisco, CA will be offering two penthouses that renters can customize, including two free hours of design services from local interior design firm LOCZIdesign.

Why? They want to appeal to renters who desire a living space that’s beyond “builder-grade,” a space that reflects their individuality and personality. “Do-it-yourself personalization is becoming more commonplace in every aspect of life,” says LOCZIdesign founder Paige Loczi. As the release states:

“While apartments have long touted ‘customization,’ those options are typically paint and minor cosmetics whereas 3035 Baker offers complete build-out options including top-of-the-line appliances, countertops, cabinets, flooring and other features including paint and finishes.” continue reading

Social Media Strategy for Real Estate Agents

Do you want to sell houses? You need to reach people. And people are on social media.

how real estate agents can develop a social media strategyEighty-nine percent of people between ages 18 and 29 use social media platforms, according to research from the Pew Internet Project – but the value of social doesn’t begin and end with Millennials and the starter home market.

On the contrary: An overwhelming fraction of 30 to 49 year-olds are also using social media – 82 percent of them. That’s your premium middle-market homebuyer. And if you aren’t reaching them on social media outlets like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and others, don’t worry. Some other real estate agent is.

By the way, people with annual incomes of $75,000 and up? Seventy-eight percent of them are on social media, too.  Which is a good thing for real estate agents, because I never saw an ad on a bus stop bench that made me want to call somebody other than a taxi. continue reading

6 Signs Your Kid Will Grow Up to Be An Agent Too

Jovan Hackley
October 23, 2014

Real estate can be contagious, some say infectious, and yes…even hereditary. Families with generation after generation of real estate agents are more common than anyone would think.

They’re also pretty easy to spot. Here are six signs you’re raising an agent and you’ll be coaching your “little ones” through managing their first closings one day.

1. The Mobile Lemonade Stand

When your seven year old starts strategically placing (and moving) his or her lemonade stand in efforts to bring in the big bucks, you might have a deal-maker on your hands. An innate sense of the importance of location is a clear sign that a kid has a closer’s charisma running through their veins.

2. No School Supplies – Everything’s for Sale

If your former infant is willing to sell anything, including their school supplies, know that your grandkids might get fed by commission. If your child sees a payoff where others see essentials, you’re raising and entrepreneur. continue reading

The Biggest Holes in Your Real Estate Training – And How to Fill Them

Most newly-minted real estate agents know just enough to be dangerous. Seriously. The licensing materials and introductory real estate training you get when you sign on with a broker are terrific, but they are mostly designed to keep you and your broker out of trouble. They are just the tip of the iceberg of what it takes to be successful in the real estate business.

The biggest holes in agents' real estate training - and how to fill themWhen you step out of the broker training and you’re finally ready to work with the public and turn your prospects into happy clients, you will still have some gaping holes in your training. Here’s a look at some of the biggest ones.

Tax Compliance

Most real estate training hardly mentions it. And your tax compliance issues aren’t your broker’s problem. So don’t expect too much help on this issue.

New agents should know: Real estate agents may be under extra scrutiny by IRS agents and auditors. Why? Because the IRS knows that agents, like other independent outside sales professionals, claim a lot of business expenses and deductions. Incentives to fudge them on your individual tax return are strong. So the IRS keeps agents honest by calling them out more often to demonstrate that their claimed deductions are legitimate.
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7 Signs Your Seller’s About to Self-Destruct

Jovan Hackley
October 20, 2014

Before a sale goes sour, there are signs. Some of the are as clear as dial-tone in your ear. Other signs are subtle, sneaky, and creep up on you and your sellers like a venomous transaction-killing spider ready to murder your commission.

Don’t let your clients and deal fall prey to these seven serious signs that signal seller self-destruction:

1. Hearing Impairment

The clearest sign that a seller is bound—or about—to self-sabotage is when he or she stops listening to their agent. If you’re recommending a price, repair, staging or other advice and are always met with objection, start the countdown to meltdown.

2. Concession Sores

Serious sellers are willing to go the extra mile to get the deal done. If you hear resistance to paying closing costs, making repairs, or extreme nervousness about the home inspection at the start of the transaction, you may be in for a rough or impossible ride. continue reading

7-Day Lead Conversion Plan: Building Your Pipeline All Year Long

Erin Renzas
October 20, 2014

When it comes to the fall and winter seasons, you need to do everything you can to keep your business booming all the way through the end of the year. Do you have a strategy for turning your leads into real-world clients?

How you respond to and manage your leads can be the difference between a closed deal and a missed opportunity. But knowing how to make a stellar impression and engage a lead can be a challenge. With this 7-day action plan, you can master the smart strategies that will help you convert your leads to
clients.
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The Pros and Cons of Closing Gifts

Taking a look at the pros and cons of closing gifts, and why real estate agents give them“I think I’ll send my new patient a $50 Macy’s gift certificate to thank her for allowing me to perform her annual physical,” said no doctor, ever. Come to think of it, my hairdresser, accountant and lawyer have never gifted me, either.

Yet real estate agents, somewhere along the line, came up with the notion that they absolutely must provide a closing gift to clients. Who thought this one up? Nobody really knows.

However, the agent that first gifted a client must’ve found the practice successful, because it was quickly copied and has now become standard practice.

Does giving a gift to a client make you memorable? If that was the case, more service industries would probably take up the practice. I don’t know about you, but I return to my hair stylist every month because I love the way she cuts my hair. My accountant saves me money on my taxes. So, is it the gift that makes clients remember you, or was it your performance?

Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of giving closing bribes – err, I mean, gifts – to real estate clients.
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