For Real Estate Professionals

Agent Beware: 5 Signs of a Difficult Client

February 9, 2015

As agents, you can’t expect to agree with sellers on everything, at least not from the get-go. But there are certain telltale signs of clients that you should avoid at all costs, as they will only drain your time, energy, and sanity. Find out why these clients aren’t worth the listing.

1. They’re Overconfident

It’s difficult for a lot of sellers to evaluate their home objectively. After all the money, time, and work they’ve invested, it’s not uncommon for them to overestimate what their home is actually worth or underestimate the amount of time it will take to sell.

You can attempt to give overconfident sellers a reality check by taking steps like giving them buyer and broker feedback and walking them through a comparative market analysis. But if your potential clients still aren’t humbled by the facts, you might want to move on.

2. They’re Incapable of Moving On

When certain clients seem impossible to please, it’s not you—it’s them. Some people are listing not because they want to, but because other people in their lives—like family or financial advisors—are telling them they should.

It’s not worth it to try and figure them out. Don’t waste your time with people who aren’t really motivated sellers. continue reading

5 Common Mistakes Made When Buying a Condo

Most straight-ahead residential home purchases are fairly simple: The buyer forks over money – or gets a lender to do it on his or her behalf – and gets a property in return.

Mistakes made when buying a condoHowever, anytime you are involved with buying a condo, a unit in a co-op, or an area subject to a homeowners association, there are additional layers of complexity. Naturally, it’s best to address them as early in the sales cycle as possible. You don’t want to waste time showing properties subject to a laundry list of HOA or co-op covenants and restrictions to someone who has zero interest in subjecting himself to them.

Here are some big errors that real estate agents and their clients can make when buying a condo or other dwellings in managed communities.

1. Buying One of the First Few Units

Sadly it’s a trap that a number of unfortunate souls made at the end of the real estate bubble – particularly in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, my home town and ground zero of the condo market part of the real estate bubble of the late 2000s.

What happened was a classic case of overexpansion: The number of units built vastly exceeded demand. And so, several condo developments got built with dozens or even hundreds of units – and only a few owners or tenants. As a result, the few owners had the burden of paying for maintenance costs for elevators, common areas, landscaping, plumbing and HVAC work that should have had hundreds of households contributing.

It’s very exciting to be able to say “I sold the first one.” But you may not be doing the buyer a big favor. Wait until demand has already been established before prodding a client into buying a condo at a new complex. continue reading

3 Ways to Convert More Millennial Clients (and Win Big Commissions)

Jovan Hackley
February 5, 2015

It’s 2015. Those clients of “tomorrow” are officially the business of today. Yes, I’m talking about the Millennial. Those 80s and 90s babies who’ve grown up with the Internet, the laptop take over, and new value set that’s driving every market, including real estate.

To sell and convert to the largest prospect pool to appear in more than 50 years—note at 76.6 million, there are more millennial than boomers—here are a few marketing and conversation strategies data says will work:

1. Inspiration – the New Brass Ring

One of the biggest differences between millennials and other generations is their definition of success or “making it”. Buyers and sellers born between 1977 and the mid-90s aren’t after the same brass rings of past generations. The economic rollercoasters, aging workforce, and increased education of the crowd have changed their leading purchase motivations.

In past generations, factors like jobs, homes, marriage, and kids lead to purchases. While this generation does want all of the above, Experian’s Consumer Speak Series and CEB’s Marketing Blog research shows that millennials’ leading values and purchase motivators are skewed toward more abstract concepts and outputs. continue reading

A Property Manager’s Guide to Rental Safety and Maintenance

If you’re in the business of providing residential rental property, you must ensure that the units you rent out meet the minimum standards of rental safety and maintenance. It’s the law.

Since landlord-tenant issues are typically governed at the state and local levels, specific rules vary by jurisdiction. But at the bare minimum, anyone involved in renting properties – either as a landlord or as a property manager – should be aware of the state’s minimum habitability requirements.

Understanding Warranty of Habitability

In legal terms, when you make a residential property available as a rental, you are making an implied warranty of habitability. This is true even if your lease does not specify that you as the landlord are responsible for repairs. If your rental unit falls below the minimum standards in your area, you are responsible for repairing the property to bring it up to par – regardless of what the lease says. continue reading

The Best of Real Estate Humor

To augment a Ferris Bueller quote, life in the real estate industry moves pretty fast, so if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you’ll miss all the funny stuff happening around you. So take a breather from your hectic schedule and enjoy the best real estate humor – from jokes to funny videos to memes – that the Internet has to offer.

Funny Real Estate Videos

Who said humor can’t be a part of real estate agents’ branding videos? These agents know they can simultaneously make potential clients laugh and remember to call them when it’s time to buy or sell a home.

A funny and clever music video-style branding video made by Kentucky agent Brad Simmons.

continue reading

Trulia Is Turning Up the Heat at Keller Williams Family Reunion

February 2, 2015

Hey Keller Williams Agents! We’re headed to the Sunshine State!

Catch Trulia at this year’s Keller Williams Family Reunion in Orlando, FL from February 7-10.  While the sun will be shining outside, Trulia will be heating things up inside with special event discounts, tons of great swag and a HUGE giveaway.

Make sure to stop by booth #1355 to how learn more about Trulia’s leading end-to-end technology that will take your business to the next level, and enter to win a free trip to Family Reunion 2016*! That’s right, we’re giving one lucky winner a free trip to next year’s conference.

Plus, don’t miss Trulia’s own Director of Training Dwight Braswell, live on stage.  Mark your calendars to catch him at not one, but two electric breakout sessions at the event. continue reading

Tips and Tactics for 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

Do Real Estate Prices Affect NFL Teams’ Super Bowl Appearances?

Here’s a crazy fact: Eight of the 10 NFL teams that have made the most appearances at the Super Bowl – those that have played in the Big Game five or more times – are from cities with disproportionately high real estate prices. The average of these ten cities’ median listing prices is a whopping $410,001, compared to the national median listing price of $211,000.

It also turns out that the NFL teams that have been to the Super Bowl the least – those that have appeared there one or less times – are from cities with an average median listing price of $252,586.

The following question must therefore be asked: Is there a correlation between the number of times NFL teams go to the Super Bowl and the real estate prices of the cities that host them? We’re not sure ourselves, so you should read the below infographic to form an opinion yourself! continue reading

5 Staging Mistakes Your Sellers Don’t Even Know They’re Making

Colleen Egan
January 29, 2015

It’s a fact of life and real estate that looks matter, but when it comes to selling their home, sometimes sellers get thrown off track. It’s understandable. Agents get a listing in top-selling shape on the regular, but homeowners find themselves facing the challenge only a few times in a lifetime.

Don’t let your valued client self-sabotage their sale. Here are the top staging missteps to avoid to make sure your listing snags a killer price.

1. The Home Is Decorated in a Specific Personal Style

If your current sellers feel that they must share their gift for interior decorating with the world, remind them that now’s not the time. When it comes to staging, urge them to keep their penchant for purple ceilings and leopard print carpet on the down low — those design decisions may be bold, but they aren’t for everyone.

Instead, stick to neutrals. Buyers want to picture themselves in a home, so it needs to be a blank slate of sorts against which they can project their lives, which means fresh, current furniture and accessories. That doesn’t mean it needs to look like a sterile showroom, though. It’s fine to add a few pops of color or pieces or art so long as it’s not too distracting or extreme.

2. They Ignore Dirt and Clutter

It’s OK for people to shove their junk into closets or drawers when entertaining friends and family. Not so when you’re showing their home. Potential buyers will be looking in said closets and drawers, and a mess (no matter how well sellers think it’s hidden) is a turnoff. The same goes for dirt, smudges and grime throughout the home.

If your sellers aren’t great housekeepers, recommend that they invest in a professional to clean before open houses and showings. A messy, dirty house isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker, but in a competitive market it could be the distraction that sways buyers in favor of another property. continue reading

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