For Real Estate Professionals

Top 8 Unit Updates to Make Before Listing

Paula Pant
October 9, 2014

You’ve got an empty rental unit, which you’d like to fill as soon as possible. After all, each day it’s unoccupied means lost income for you (or the company whose property you manage).

But getting a new renter involves more than just posting the unit online. Now you have an opportunity to assess the property and see what unit updates you can feasibly make. So before you list the property, make sure you’re reviewing these 8 things to make your vacant unit as attractive as possible to potential renters. continue reading

15 Real Estate Newsletter Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

A good real estate newsletter is a crucial device in any agent’s toolbox. It serves several vital functions:

  • It gets your name and brand in front of prospects when you can’t be there personally.
  • It promotes “top of mind” awareness. When a consumer decides to call an agent, the one most likely to come to mind is the one they’ve been hearing from.
  • It gives potential clients a reason to log onto your website, with your listings.
  • Good content can brand you as an expert on topics of importance to them.

A great newsletter, however, can do even more for the agent. But first, let’s look at some common mistakes agents make with newsletters that could cause them to backfire.

1. Hiding Behind Your Real Estate Newsletter

Agents must avoid these real estate newsletter mistakesYes, your newsletter is important. But you can’t credit time spent on creating and distributing it as time spent prospecting. Your newsletter is not prospecting. Your newsletter is a tool to make prospecting more effective. Never sacrifice prospecting time to work on your newsletter.
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3 Ways to Handle High Maintenance Clients

Tara-Nicholle Nelson
October 7, 2014

We’ve all had them. You might have one now. That seller who takes your comps, cross-references them on Trulia, adds in seven more, and builds out a spreadsheet—complete with formulas—then wants you to get them into each of the properties so she can point out the comps’ outdated paint colors, inferior appliance brands or other reasons she thinks she should get double the price for her home. The buyer who sees 45 houses before deciding they want a condo, then sees 50 of those before revealing that his palm-reader and rabbit jointly hold final decision-making power.

Okay, I might be exaggerating the factual scenarios (a tad). But in the life of an agent, three things are inevitable: death, taxes and high maintenance clients. Some are both high maintenance and unreasonable, and these folks can become a massive hemorrhage of time, gas and energy. It’s also demotivating and frustrating to work with high maintenance clients who are beyond pleasing.
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6 Ways Real Estate Agents Are Like Han Solo

Working in the real estate industry is surprisingly similar to living the life of Han Solo, the suave, cynical yet charming inter-stellar smuggler of the Star Wars universe. Don’t believe us? Consider these six parallels and you’ll see how your local Realtor is essentially the same as this infamous Corellian scoundrel.

They Never Stop Working

Han Solo: “Not a bad bit of rescuing, huh? You know, sometimes I amaze even myself.”
Princess Leia: “That doesn’t sound too hard.”

Real estate agents are like Han Solo in that they are hard-working professionals whose jobs never endSmuggling isn’t a job; it’s a lifestyle. Han Solo does not have the luxuries afforded by a 9-to-5 career – he cannot simply “leave work at work.” Instead, Solo’s “off time” is spent trying to stay alive in backwater spaceports or outrunning Imperial cruisers in the cold vacuum of space. Solo’s many rivals and enemies, like the terrifying bounty hunter Boba Fett, would refuse to recognize his vacation time were he silly enough to try and take some. continue reading

All About Swag: 7 Great Real Estate Promotional Products

cost-effective real estate promotional products agents can use to generate leadsAmericans love swag. And if you look at the big consumer brands out there, they are constantly looking for ways to get their logos in the hands of consumers.

Any real estate agent can learn a lot from walking into a bar. Take a look around the place: the coasters, the mirrors on the wall, and even the bathroom. You will see logos at every turn. You’ll see them on the taps – well-known beers sell a lot based on tap handle recognition, and some have even gained market share due to a distinctive tap handle.

How does this happen? It’s not because bar owners ran out and bought a bunch of coasters and mirrors that all happened to be marked “Bud Light.” The bar doesn’t care whether you drink Budweiser or Miller, as long as you drink! Most of the promotional items you see come from beer and liquor distribution companies, who will fall all over themselves trying to establish their “brand” as an integral part of the identity of the bar.

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5 Ways to Find Where Sellers are Hiding Right Now

Jovan Hackley
October 3, 2014

‘Tis the season when it seems like sellers run and hide. No matter how great your reputation or how awesome your marketing, one of the fall challenges every agent faces is the hunt for fall and winter sellers.

Now, you can crystal-ball it or shoot from your gut, but smart agents know there’s a third option. Let the data tell you where to look.

Here are five data points that could point to sellers you may not have tapped into yet:

1. Rental Listing Reports

If you’re not watching your areas rental listings, you should be. Whether you’re searching listing websites or stalking the biggest management companies, knowing when lease cycles end is important.

Marketing to both tenant and owner can pay off if timed right.
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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, “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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