Real estate is a litigious industry. And for good reason: Transactions have hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars at stake. And because they so frequently involve third-party financing and development costs that cannot be undone, you can’t simply unwind a deal and start over like you can for something with less paperwork.
Nearly everyone – buyers and sellers – has lawyers looking out for their best interests. If anything goes wrong, there you are, stuck in the middle.
That’s why real estate agents shouldn’t even touch a deal without solid errors and omissions insurance in place – not only to protect your interests, but to protect your clients, as well.
So you need errors and omissions coverage; but it’s not free. It can cost thousands of dollars per year (though premium financing is often available). Normally, brokers set this up for new agents, but agents still usually have to contribute to the premiums. You don’t want to pay more than you have to for a given level of protection.
What kinds of things do errors and omissions coverage underwriters look for, and how can you manage your premiums and keep them affordable – without skimping on vital coverage? continue reading
This week tax season jumps into full swing and so do the nervous ticks and twitches that come with it.
That means you have a choice. You can be one of those agents who waits until April 15th and risk an audit, or worse—major penalties. Or, you can get smart and develop a plan for attacking this and next year’s tax season.
Take the dread out of one of every business owner’s most feared seasons. Here’s how: continue reading
As a former agent in New York City, I know that accurate listing information is critical in getting your properties rented. The rental market moves fast and you don’t have time to waste resolving data issues – whether they’re caused by out-of-date information or by fraudsters. You’re also marketing your rentals in multiple places which makes ensuring data accuracy tricky.
Here are 4 tips to help you prevent bad data on your rental listings: continue reading
Working with renters is a business in and of itself. However, nothing beats a rental client who’s been bitten by the ownership bug and is ready to make his or her first purchase. For agents who work in both sales and rentals, here a few key ways to make sure you position yourself as a resource to make today’s renters your next buyer clients. continue reading
When you meet a prospective client and they say your reputation precedes you, you want it to be a positive one. Building a strong reputation is essential to an agent’s word of mouth business and isn’t built overnight. A bad review or an errant tweet can be harmful both online and off. While you can’t control your online reputation, you can have a say in it. Here are five things you can do to protect it along the way. continue reading
What you post online about yourself and your listings can come back to hurt you, if you’re not careful. September is Realtor Safety Month, a reminder to all real estate agents about the dangers of showing homes to strangers and conducting open houses. But social networking safety is one issue many agents fail to consider. What you do online can also put you in danger, says Tracey Hawkins, a national real estate safety expert with Safety and Security Source in Kansas City, Mo., who holds workshops and training on real estate safety across the country. continue reading
Don’t gamble your business’ success by waiting for your computer or tech gadget to get damaged or stolen before realizing that you should have safeguarded your business information. Just a few extra steps can help protect your valuable business data in case disaster ever strikes.
Data loss or security breaches can not only be a nightmare in possibly bringing your job to a gridlock but you also may be at risk of having your information used for fraud or identity theft and may even face a lawsuit if the compromised data involved your clients’ personal information.
About 28 percent of real estate agents and 29 percent of brokers have reported being inconvenienced by a virus or spyware attack, according to a 2009 survey by the Center for Realtor Technology. continue reading
A Facebook notification alert arrives and you are notified someone has written on your wall. Celebrate good times, someone has reached out on a social network! You are elated and instantly head to Facebook to check out the new post- hoping for a glorious review of your amazing real estate skills.
You peek at your page, surprised to find a link to an “Osama Shoot Down” video from a friend. Is this thing real? continue reading