For Real Estate Professionals

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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5 Ways Your Seller’s Emotions are Tanking a Deal (and What to Do About It)

Colleen Egan
March 10, 2015

As a listing agent, a constantly changing market and fickle buyers might not be your biggest hurdles. So what could really be making your sale a tough one? Well, as many agents know all too well, it could be your sellers and their emotions. And who could blame them? For most homeowners, selling their home is a BIG deal—and it should be!

But even when emotions are running high, if you have a few smart back-pocket strategies and scripts, you can set your clients back on the road to a successful sale. Here are some of the common ways your seller’s emotions can spell disaster for closing the deal. Plus, we’ll walk you through some tips for getting the deal done no matter what!

1. They’re too emotionally attached:

Sellers with strong sentimental ties to their home can sabotage their (and your) prospects of making a sale through overpricing, failure to update or make repairs, ignoring staging advice, and more. Head off potential issues by having a frank discussion with them about the fact that buyers don’t know (or care) what this home means to you, and if you truly want to sell it, you need to put your emotions aside and be realistic. It may be tough, but tough love now means sold home success down the road.

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13 Ways to Boost Your Business Before the Spring Selling Season Hits

Colleen Fischesser
March 6, 2015

If you’re like most agents I know, you began this year with an idea of how you wanted it to end. Whether measured by closed volume, number of transactions or gross commissions, whether in writing or in the cloud, you had a vision for what your business would look like come December.

But sometimes, as we get into the swing of things, we forget to think about our annual goals and get overwhelmed by the day-to-day. As the hot spring selling season approaches, take the time to reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t over the past few months and refocus your attentions!

While taking action with the “big picture” in mind is a wise strategy, sometimes thinking smaller and shorter term can be just as effective. Before your year gets even busier, take the time and ensure that you’re laying a solid foundation for a stellar spring selling season!
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5 Hot Staging Tips for This Spring

Jovan Hackley
March 3, 2015

The fundamentals of staging never really age out, but to stand out you need to know the season’s key trends for creating the “wow” and “ah-ha” moments that make buyers fall in love.

Here are five spring 2015 staging trends, tips, and a few easy upgrades that will help your seller’s listing become the most-loved in the MLS:

1. Color Where it Counts

Many make staging a mission to neutralize a space’s color palette from top to bottom. While this isn’t a bad strategy (and we’ve recommended it often!), don’t forget that color can be your friend when you’re engaging buyers.

A bright area rug that draws attention to floor inlays or bright flowers beside a high-end vessel sink can signal buyers where they should really look in photos and during tours. Add color around features guaranteed to wow buyers to make sure they aren’t missed.

2. Lux the Lighting

More than ever, listings are competing in clusters of homes and developments where everyone was served the same off-the-shelf features. In these neighborhoods, one major way to stand out (which can be accomplished by doing it yourself) is a lighting upgrade.

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3 Ways to Turn Your Database into Gold

Melissa Zavala
February 27, 2015

Believe it or not, there’s tons of gold to mine in your database. Specifically, if you leverage the contacts you already have and create the right kind of marketing materials for them, you’ll see plenty of closings throughout the year.

The first challenge agents face when trying to find gold in their database is in the actual creation of the database itself. Since we have so many ways to communicate with the people that we already know (email, social media, and telephone), it is sometimes difficult to collect all of information data in one single location. In “How to Build a Bigger, Better List of Leads” I show you how to do just that.

Once you have your contacts list complete, you’ll be surprised as to how many people it includes. Importing your contacts from a variety of sources will likely bring you well above the recommended 200 contacts. Then, the mining for gold can begin.
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We’re Hitting the Road: Catch Us Soon at an Event Near You!

Erin Renzas
February 23, 2015

Catch the Trulia team over the next month as we travel from coast to coast for a number of large annual conferences. We’ll be making our way from DC to Vegas to share with the industry how agents and brokers can maximize their exposure and accelerate their success with Trulia’s top-rated apps and 55+ million monthly users.

Join us as we hit the road. We’d love to see you!

C21 Global Conference

February 22 – 25 | Washington, DC

Following hot on the heels of President’s Day, Trulia is heading to our nation’s capitol in Washington DC. Join us at the Marriott Marquis Downtown and visit the Trulia team for a chance to win some great prizes. Just drop your business card by booth #307 and you could walk home with a foldable Trulia water bottle or a hi-def Sonos Play:1 speaker!

RE/MAX R4

March 2-5 | Las Vegas, NV

Trulia is headed back to Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas again this year again for R4. Feeling lucky? Be sure to look for the Trulia poker chip in your event tote bag and bring it to booth #215 to see what you’ve won. Each color poker chip wins you a great prize!
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5 Tips for Managing the Most High-Maintenance Clients

Colleen Egan
February 20, 2015

In most cases, you adore your clients. But let’s face it, as in any industry, there are certain clients who make you question why you took on their business. But it doesn’t have to be that way. These strategies will help you avoid issues before they become crises. Of course, working with high maintenance clients still won’t exactly be the best thing of all time, but you’ll be able to handle the interactions with more understanding and confidence.

1. Schedule regular check-ins:

Even clients who have bought or sold a house before can approach the situation with a certain amount of anxiety. And for some clients, this anxiety can manifest itself in a constant barrage of calls, text, and emails about every single concern or scenario that pops into their heads. Keep this situation from spinning out of control by planning regular (and brief) calls where you give each other a status report and update on any issues and concerns you both have.

2. Hear them out:

It’s tempting to shut down some of the more ridiculous concerns voiced by high maintenance clients, but while you might think you’re assuring them that a certain issue isn’t a big deal, they might interpret your attitude as dismissive or indifferent — and you don’t want to be seen as either. Instead, build trust by patiently listening to them and making them feel that you hear and understand their concerns.
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Add Hyperlocal Real Estate Blogging to Your Marketing Mix

Shannon O'Brien
February 17, 2015

Something amazing happens when a real estate agent decides to focus on a particular segment of their local market. All of a sudden, there’s a whole new focus for their business, brand and lead-generation efforts. The payoff for this brave move – which involves turning your back on other parts of the real estate market to focus on one – will make it worthwhile.

Hyperlocal real estate blogging helps agents generate more leads and business.If you’re ready to take the plunge and get local, whether you’re a luxury home specialist or an expert on humdrum subdivisions, the best way to get the word out is by adding hyperlocal real estate blogging to your marketing mix.

Why Go Hyperlocal?

Hyperlocal marketing is easier and often less expensive than shooting arrows in all directions, hoping to hit something. The smaller the niche, the fewer people you’ll need to target. So, instead of sending 3,000 postcards to an entire community, you’ll send a few hundred.

With fewer targets, you’ll be able to build your brand quicker, and you’ll see results sooner than you would by trying to be everything to everyone. continue reading

21 Reasons Real Estate is Your Real Valentine This Year

Colleen Egan
February 13, 2015

Each Valentine’s Day, we take the time to appreciate our loved ones and partners. But as an agent, you know that you have a second love of your life—that crazy little thing called real estate.

Let’s face it, being in real estate can be like being in a relationship. You’ve got the ups. You’ve got the downs. There are rough times—like sacrificing your weekends and dealing with difficult transactions. And then there are those wonderful moments when you’re infected with the overwhelming joy of a first-time homeowner when they find “The One” that you fall in love with real estate all over again. When you realize you’re making someone’s dream come true, and you found them the house that will be a home to their family, all the long days and hassles of the job don’t seem to matter.

We took to Facebook and Twitter and asked fellow real estate pros to share the reasons why they still love real estate after all these years. Read what they said and have a very happy Valentine’s Day!

1. The “Look.” I can never get enough of the look on buyers’ faces when they find their new home.

2. It keeps me on my toes—no year, market, client or deal is ever the same. It pushes me in ways I never thought possible.

3. The only boss I have is me! Well, and my wife.

4. It’s gratifying to sell a house that is unsellable (at least if another agent was in charge of marketing it).

5. Every house tells a story. And, in my case, most of them are funny!

6. It’s gratifying to help people sort through the process and make the complicated simple.
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