For Real Estate Professionals

Be the Agent Every Agent Loves: A Guide for Agent-to-Agent Etiquette

Reading the news every day, it can be easy to assume that decorum is a thing of the past—some dusty old idea that few feel the need to adhere to. Our sense of what is or isn’t appropriate has been turned upside down to the point where bad behavior is so revered, it has its own TV shows.

Unfortunately, this lack of dignity can carry over into the business world at times, the real estate industry included. Agents behaving badly may never become the subject of a popular TV show, but they’re becoming ever more prevalent.

“Real estate is a reputation business. Practicing sound business etiquette and consistent professional courtesies will enhance your reputation both inside and outside the real estate arena,” claims the Austin Board of Realtors—and truer words have never been spoken.

When we asked agents to tell us the key virtues of good agent-to-agent etiquette, what we heard were horror stories. From those tales, I’ve gleaned that the opposite behavior is preferable. Avoid these real estate agent misdeeds, and you’ll be on your way to first-rate etiquette.

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5 Old School Real Estate Rules You Need to Break Now

Jovan Hackley
April 12, 2015

“Innovation is creativity with a job to do,” says author and ad exec, John Emerling. If innovation is creativity at work, old habits and rules are what happen when creativity takes a vacation.

When working in a recovering real estate market, a lack of creativity and attachment to old rules can be dangerous—blinding agents to the real marketing, client and transaction wins that exist.

Here are five old real estate rules of thumb that need to be revisited in order to unlock your next wave of commissions:

1. Typical Timing

As the timing rules go, March is typically the best time to list for a fast sale; winters are generally slow; and most buyers shop for a move that coincides with the start of summer. Data from the Trulia Trends blog shows, that these typical timing “rules” need to be broken, or at least adjusted, to fit today’s market where

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4 Things Real Estate Agents Should Know About Baby Boomers

“I think the Baby Boomers are still going to pick up books in the grocery store, but everyone else is looking online first, researching second and then picking up the phone,” wrote a young— and mistaken— real estate agent in a thread on ActiveRain.

Myths about Baby Boomers abound and it’s useless to try to dispel all of them, especially to younger generations. Suffice it to say that Boomers—adults over the age of 51—make up the web’s largest demographic and are the fastest growing segment of internet users, according to Forrester Research. Further, a 2012 study by WSL Strategic Retail found that Boomers spend two hours more online per week than Millennials.

So, despite that particular young agent’s vision of a doddering oldster browsing the books at the local supermarket, the fact is a Boomer is just as likely to find his or her next home via the internet as any other generation.

Beware, however— there are certain things they won’t bother telling you about themselves as a group, but expect you to know. Keep these four facts in mind when working with Baby Boomer clients.

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13 Time Management Hacks for Real Estate Agents

Yeah, I get it. We can all do a better job at managing how we spend our time. So I’m going to help manage yours by skipping a long intro paragraph and getting right into the list of 13 easy and actionable time management hacks!

1. Put a Dollar Value on Your Time

time management hacks for real estate agentsThis can be tricky, especially in early years, before you know what your commissions are over an extended period. But it’s an essential part of knowing what tasks you should take on yourself, what tasks you can delegate to assistants and staff, and to what tasks and events you should just say “No!” continue reading

Need-to-Know Tips and Tactics for Mastering Real Estate Negotiations

Tips and tactics for real estate negotiationsMention the word “negotiation” and most people’s palms get sweaty. Real estate agents are no exception. Most people don’t like confrontation and don’t want to be confrontational. That is quite natural.

What are some common associations people make with the word “negotiation?” To the average person, negotiation is:

  • Confrontation
  • Argument
  • Haggling
  • Objections
  • Risk of rejection
  • Stress

All of these associations are negative. But professional real estate agents know that there are other ways to think of the act of negotiation. continue reading

What to Do When a Client Wants to Cut Your Commission

Sooner or later, someone is going to ask you to take a cut in commission to make a deal go through. That’s a tough spot for a real estate agent to be in, but it’s becoming increasingly common for a few reasons.

  • Clients see it happening on house hunting and house flipping reality TV shows and think it’s commonplace.
  • Listers have more options now. There are a number of “For Sale by Owner” websites and discount brokers offering to sell homes for 1 or 2 percent commission.
  • Craigslist makes it easier for sellers to put a home on the market themselves.

In essence, real estate agents and brokers are struggling with the same disruptive technology and collapsing margins as many other industries.

There are a number of retorts agents use to respond to this request — which can often be counterproductive. Rather than focus on responses to a request to lower a commission, let’s develop a coherent strategy for dealing with the possibility.

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9 Time-Tested Ways to Enhance Curb Appeal

Veteran agents know that buyers can make a “no” decision on a house before they even step in the door. It has nothing to do with the numbers. It’s the curb appeal that sets the tone, before they even see the inside of the listing.

That’s not just speculation. Studies confirm: Big, extensive renovations that functionally improve a home are net money losers, on average. They may enhance enjoyment of the home significantly – but they generally do not add as much in value as they cost to execute. Meanwhile, the projects and improvements that add the most value, according to the annual Cost vs. Value Study put out by Remodeling Magazine, are almost invariably cosmetic.

Looks count. You don’t want to be selling the neighborhood’s “ugly duckling.” If your listing is so ugly that it scares the crows away, here are some things you can do to boost its curb appeal – and get it sold for a good price – without busting the bank. continue reading

7 Warnings Your Buyers Need to Hear

Imagine that you’re scheduled for surgery in the morning and, since nobody told you not to eat the night before (they just assumed you knew not to), you gorge on an amazing Italian dinner at Luigi’s. The next morning, as you slip away under a blanket of anesthesia, you don’t even think to let them know about the gluttony of the previous evening.

Assumptions can be deadly, whether literally or to the pocketbook. While a real estate agent operating under the assumption that his or her client knows everything needed for a smooth transaction isn’t a life or death scenario, it is most definitely a sure path to a waste of time at best and a dereliction of duty at worst.

Do yourself and your clients a favor and figure out what they are most typically unaware of and then offer explanations during the initial meeting. Here are some of the most common things that buyers haven’t a clue about and smart ways to bring them up to speed.
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5 Secret Reasons Buyers Hate Homes (And What Agents Can Do)

March 16, 2015

There can be a thin line between love and hate when it comes to buyers’ responses to properties. Even if the home seems like a great fit on paper, sometimes there are issues that cause an almost visceral reaction among buyers. Here are some common issues and how (when possible) to deal with them.

1. The Neighbors Freak Them Out

No matter how beautifully a home is staged, there’s a factor that will always be beyond your control: the neighbors.

Whether it’s their junky property, scary pets, or just plain bizarre behavior, would-be neighbors can quickly (and irreversibly) turn off prospective buyers. As soon as they start envisioning the years of bitter battles over tree roots and worse, buyers will see turning down a property as dodging a bullet. continue reading

7 Tips for Stalking Leads

Jovan Hackley
March 13, 2015

Lead conversion can be a time killer if you’re not on top of your game when it comes to research and follow-up. To win the right clients, you have to find, and sometimes stalk, the right clients.

And yes, “stalking” can sometimes be an ugly word, but if done right, these seven tips can save you a ton of time and help you hone in on the clients that actually want to close.

Before the chat: You know you should follow up with every lead within five minutes, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your research. To have the best conversation possible, follow these smart tips you can complete in under five minutes:

Tip 1. Check their pulse – Intelius and Radaris

Answer the real vs. “fake” question. To find out if your lead has given you real information, run the free identity checks on Intelius or Radar. There you can get basic information using just a name and location to verify the information you have is real.

In addition, Intelius has the reverse phone number lookup to help you verify the number before you call.

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