5 Secrets of Successful Real Estate Agents

They Have Local Knowledge 

You should know the neighborhood like the back of your hand. If you are new to an area, spend some time familiarizing yourself with the neighborhoods before you deal with clients. Know the local rules and regulations as well as the property values. 

Go the extra mile and find out other locations that present good real estate opportunities for your clients. It takes time to build local knowledge, but in the long run, it will help you build a successful business.  

They Have an Engaging Personality 

Real estate is a people-oriented business. However, not all real estate agents are pleasant to work with. Simply smiling and being friendly can score you a lot of points right away. Use this to your advantage and start building a network. Real estate, after all, is all about connections. 

But this is not to say that only extroverts alone are cut out for this business. Introverts also have an advantage for being naturally good listeners. 

Showing good work ethic will also make you more attractive. Arrive early at meetings, be courteous, empathize with your clients, and follow up on new connections. 

They Have Strong Negotiation Skills 

Across your real estate career, you will need to haggle over three major things: (1) the listing price, (2) the selling price, and (3) your commission. 

No one’s born great at negotiating. It is a learned skill. The more you study and practice, the more you become good at it and the better real estate agent you become. 

Start by setting your commission. If you can secure a good commission for yourself, you have the ability to negotiate on all other real estate matters. 

They Are Good at Communicating 

As a real estate agent, you will be spending a lot of your time speaking with people, so better hone your communication skills. 

Discuss all matters before a contract is drafted. Ask your clients questions or encourage them to ask. Listen to them attentively and take note of their preferences and concerns. Buying and selling a property, after all, is a very emotional event in a person’s life, so learn to empathize. 

Good communication skills will help you convince both parties to close a successful deal. 

They Have a Steely Determination 

Successful real estate agents act like a small business owner. As such, they have a high degree of self-motivation, drive, and smart decision-making. They take charge of their business and wake up every day determined to succeed. 

If you have a steely determination, you pursue every lead tenaciously, solve client problems strategically, market your clients’ properties aggressively, and negotiate a mutually benefitting solution for both parties. You do whatever is necessary to close the deal and get around roadblocks without loss of enthusiasm.

 

 

The Benefits of Professional Staging

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Getting clients to let you or another professional effectively stage their property is about making sure to start off with your best foot forward to make the best first impression possible.

Selling a house is all about helping prospective buyers imagine themselves living there. You want them to imagine it being a positive experience.

Staging a property can help them see it in the right light. It can help them focus on the good points and it can help downplay any negatives.

A lot of characteristics have both positive and negative interpretations. For example, although most people want more space if they can get it, the downside to a big space is it can be a lot of work to maintain.

So, you don't want people focused on that and thinking "Wow, this will be so much work!" You want them thinking "This is wonderfully spacious!"

Staging is how you get them to think about the space the way you want them to think about it. It can play a critical role in closing a deal and can make a difference in how quickly a property sells and how high the selling price ends up being.

Properties that sell quickly typically fetch top dollar. They sometimes command prices above the asking price.

In contrast, properties that linger on the market tend to sell for less. Professional staging can be the detail that decides which category a property falls in.

5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Starting a Real Estate Career

Not Having A Business Plan 

Becoming a real estate agent is essentially starting your own business. As such, you should start by creating a solid business plan. Your business plan should answer the following questions: 

●     What are your short-term and long-term goals as an agent?

●     How are you going to achieve them?

●     What is your timeline for achieving them?

●     Where will you get funding?

●     What is your budget?

●     What are your marketing plans?

●     What will you specialize in?

●     What services will you offer?

 

Not Planning Financially 

It costs money to start and build a business. That’s why one of the important things that you have to determine and secure is your business’s funding source. 

Will a family member fund you? Will you take out a small business loan or will you keep your full-time job before making the leap? For new agents who want to go full-time right away, it’s generally advised to have at least 6 months of saving to cover both your living and business expenses. 

As your business includes a budget, follow your budget and always keep business expenses in check to avoid overspending. Always strive to achieve your goals within your means. 

Expecting Immediate Success 

Many new agents expect to achieve success right away. On average, it could take two months before an agent makes their first sale and two years before they can make a livable income from their real estate business. This is why planning financially is very important if you want to succeed. 

However, in the long run, the payoff will all be worth it. Good things just take time. So set realistic goals for yourself and be reasonable with your expectations. Many real estate agents quit too soon, feeling disappointed and discouraged, because they couldn’t achieve a goal that’s unachievable in the first place.  

Marketing on Less Effective Channels 

Focusing your marketing efforts on the wrong channels is one reason new real estate agents overspend. In today’s marketplace, print marketing and other traditional methods like cold-calling and direct mail generally don’t yield high returns. 

Meanwhile, search engine marketing, where a website article or an ad of yours appears on the first page of search results, has a more impressive conversion rate thus more cost-efficient. Promoting your business on social media and building your referral network will also serve you well in the long run. 

Choosing A Brokerage for The Wrong Reason 

Choosing a managing broker is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a new real estate agent. Don’t rush in just to get one. And don’t just stop at checking if they have a good reputation or if they offer a competitive split. Take your time to know your options. 

Call their office and ask about their programs and incentives for new agents. Determine whether the broker is committed to helping agents succeed. Know the average price of house sales and their agent turnover rate.

 

5 Tips on How to Find a Real Estate Mentor (for Agents, Brokers, and Realtors)

Identify Your Needs 

Before you start out looking for a mentor, take some time to identify first what kind of mentor you need in this specific stage of your career. What do you need to learn? What do you need guidance in? If you are looking to specialize in a specific niche market, you need a mentor who’s already an expert in it. 

Another thing that you should consider are your core values, your real estate goals and strategies, and even your passions in life and in business. Your ideal mentor’s values and goals should closely match yours. This is because as social beings, our business and personal lives are deeply intertwined. 

Do Great Work 

Doing excellent work attracts the attention of more experienced real estate professionals. You have to give your potential mentors a good reason to invest their time and knowledge in you. They are busy after all. They will have to see potential in you, as well as a benefit in mentoring you. 

Tap Your Existing Network 

If you are a new real estate agent, you’re likely required by the state law to work with a brokerage in the first 2-3 years of your career. This is a great place to find a mentor. 

Somebody in your agency can teach you the basics, from understanding real estate processes to handling transactions effectively. When you move to a specialization, your network in the agency can point you to the right person if you can’t find one in the company. 

For real estate vets, your office is a great starting point too. But don’t just stop there. If there are agents in your city whom you look up to and who are doing the kind of work that you want to do, see if they are open to take you in as a mentee. 

Expand Your Network 

This is one of the purposes of networking. If you haven’t quite found somebody whom you want to be a mentor, start meeting more real estate professionals. Here are some ideas: 

●     Join local meetup groups

●     Attend networking events

●     Attend conferences and industry events

●     Go to their free trainings

●     Go at their usual hangout spots 

Bear in mind that although you’ll find excellent potential mentors, many of them may not be able to take you in for whatever reason. That’s why it’s best to make multiple mentor connections. That increases your chances of finding one. Or many. 

Nurture Your Relationship 

Mentorship is a long-term business (and even personal) relationship that takes time to grow. It is built on mutual trust and respect. Don’t force a mentoring relationship and don’t just ask somebody you admire to be a mentor if you haven’t formed a strong bond with them. 

The slow process of nurturing your relationship with a potential mentor is also an opportunity to test if the mentoring relationship works out for the both of you. Keep your options open.

 

 

 

 

 

With the Real Estate Market Diversifying, Specializing Is Increasingly Necessary

There are multiple pressures hitting the real industry all at once. Some of those pressures come from new technologies. Others come from social changes.

Young people today often prefer to live without a car. They may also be remote workers. Many of them prefer to rent a place temporarily or even use a timeshare rather than purchase a house.

At the same time, people are living longer. Seniors have different needs and interests from Millennials. These are distinct markets, and it may be hard to serve both at the same time.

Increasingly, technology is taking care of basic tasks that once were done only by a real estate agent. For example, people can do an initial search for a home online from the comfort of home.

These trends mean that real estate agents really need to find a niche and develop a specialty in order to survive. The marketplace is diversifying such that it's too much information for a generalist to do everything well. A generalist is in the process of being replaced by technology.

In the future, you will want to be the "go to" person for a particular market segment. You will want to be the person with all the answers to the usual questions for that market segment that no one thinks to ask in another market segment.

You need to establish your reputation as, say, the person who serves established professionals or the person who finds retirement homes. That's the way to survive these ongoing changes.

7 Must-Have Tech Tools That Real Estate Agents Need

Cloud-Based “Office Apps” 

The popular pick is Google Suite, which is a collection of productivity tools and apps that allow you to work from anywhere with any device because all your files and data are created and saved online (on a cloud). Google Suite includes Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Google Drive. 

Having your files on a cloud means more robust data security as well as easier backup and recovery of files. 

CRM 

A customer relationship management (CRM) tool is a must-have for real estate professionals. It is used to keep track of all your prospects, clients, and contacts, as well as their wants, likes, dislikes, birthdays, and notable occasions so you can give them a call or write them a note. Streak for Gmail, a Chrome extension, is a simple CRM within Gmail. 

If you want a CRM tool with real estate–specific capabilities, such as website templates, email campaigns, and the ability to integrate with your social media accounts, try Wise Agent, Contractually, kvCore, BoomTown, or Commissions Inc. 

Electronic Signature 

In this day and age, you’re expected to be able to send listing agreements, contracts, and escrow amendments via email to your clients and provide an option for electronic signatures. 

Having an electronic signature service also dramatically reduces contract reworking because of missed signatures and illegible handwriting. 

Common tools used are DocuSign, DigiSigner, and Authentisign. 

Email Campaigns 

If you need more in-depth email drip campaigns and newsletters than the email options provided by your CRM, consider MailChimp, Convert Kit, and SendGrid. 

These email marketing softwares allow you to create ongoing campaigns to nurture warm leads and engage your network without the need of a designer or developer. Just pick a template and customize the content. 

Video Marketing 

From creating a video profile to home tours to social media video posts, a mobile-friendly video camera and editor app allows you to create and edit videos without the need of a professional videographer and video editor. You can easily trim your videos and add elements like titles, logos, and music. 

Consider Animoto, Canva, InShot, BombBomb, and WeVideo. 

Graphic Design 

A graphic design tool is important in creating marketing collaterals. If you know how to use Photoshop, that’s great. But if you’re a beginner, Photoshop can be too complex and overwhelming to learn. A great option is Canva, which has different templates for real estate use and an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface. 

Collaboration 

If you work in teams with different tasks, a collaborative task management tool is extremely helpful in tracking and managing the progress of each member. 

For example, Trello, a cloud-based task management tool, allows you to create checklists, specify due dates, add comments, and upload attachments. 

You can use it together with Slack, a business communication messaging app with added features like the ability to assign tasks, upload or share files, and collaborate with team members.

 

 

Working with Diverse Clients

What is the biggest challenge a real estate agent faces? Dealing with a diverse clientele. Yes, it is right. It is not easy to deal with all kinds of clients since not everyone wants the same thing. You will come across some clients that want to buy a house, some who want to sell a house, others who want to invest in houses, and in this situation, the real challenge is dealing with them.

We have found some of the tricks that work like magic for everyone. Keep reading:

Communication is Important

It is very important to focus on your communication. It would be best if you had a welcoming and confident tone so people who are coming to you can trust you. If you are not confident, your diverse clientele will always second guess their choice. You must always communicate the facts and figures to your clients honestly, even if their judgment is clouded – that is what will set you apart from all.

No One Size Fits All

Yes, you cannot have the same mindset when dealing with a seller, buyer, and investor – they all want different things. When dealing with a client, understand their position and what they are looking for. If one client is in urgent need of money and asks them to wait two years for a better price, it will not make sense to them. However, if someone comes to you who can wait some time for a better house, and you tell them to wait for two years that might actually be beneficial.

We understand that it might come as a challenge, but that’s the fun.

Home Improvements

As a professional real estate agent, homeowners may seek your guidance regarding what home improvements add the most value to their home. After reading this, you will be better prepared to shed some insight on the subject. Your clients will appreciate your input, and you might just sell more houses faster and at a higher selling price!

The Best Home Improvements

A finished basement is high on the list of valuable home amenities. Sometimes, a partially finished basement can become much more livable space with a few more basic upgrades.

The look of the exterior of the house can be greatly enhanced with some inexpensive yet important steps, such as paint touchups and new veneer. Also, take a close look at the doors, especially the garage door. If it needs to be replaced, this is the right time to consider this home project.

Open up the space inside the home to give the living area a more modern look. Most newer homes boast open floor plans, and smaller rooms will look brighter and larger. This adds a visual as well as a potentially favorable monetary value to any sized house or condominium.

The Worst Home Improvements

Because people’s personal tastes vary so much, there are many home improvements that just will not pay off when selling a home. A few of them are:

·  Wall to wall carpeting

·  Major kitchen and bathroom renovations

·  Lavish landscaping projects

Benefits and Drawbacks of an Open House

For agents, holding an open house is a good way to prospect for potential clients. It's also potentially a means to collaborate with other agents in the community.

But it can come at a high cost to the client and this could potentially drive away some clients. Especially if you want to service a high-end residential market, you should keep in mind that you need home sellers to trust you.

If you aren't looking out for their best interest, you might find business begin to dry up as people begin privately telling their wealthy friends that they should seek out a different agent. Most likely, you will never be able to confirm that this is why doors seem to be closing in your face in the more high-end neighborhoods.

In high-end homes, theft during the open house is a real concern. There can also be an uptick in theft and vandalism following the open house.

Open houses can also attract nosy neighbors and look-loos. This is especially true for expensive homes.

You should be honest with your clients about these potential downsides. You should also emphasize that if anyone in the home is elderly or in frail health, an open house may not be a wise move because it may be a health hazard.

However, it can be a source of additional exposure for the home and may directly lead to an offer on the house. If the home is a bit quirky, this additional exposure may be needed.

How to Build a Brand in Real Estate

Now that we know the benefits and advantages of having a real estate brand identity, it is time to take a look at how to build one. Here is a five-step guide to creating brand identity as a real estate agent:

1. Size Up the Competition

The first thing agents need to do when creating a real estate brand identity is to evaluate the competition. By taking the time to review your local market and what others are doing, agents can gain an insight into what concepts are working for investors and which ones are not. Taking the time to size up the market will provide agents with unique opportunities they didn’t know existed when first getting started.

Another benefit of evaluating the competition is exclusivity. Assessing the current brands in the market will help ensure your branding is not confusable with that of your competition. This is also crucial for credibility as having a copycat approach could result in negative recognition.

 2. Define Your Brand

The next step to building your real estate brand identity is to define who you are and what you stand for. Generally speaking, this will include aspects of your mission statement and core values, which are usually defined in your real estate business plan. Before you can promote your brand and deliver your message, you have to define it.

To gain a better understanding of your brand, investors should ask themselves the following questions:

•           Who is your target audience? What demographic are you looking to reach?

•           What are your company’s values and goals?

•           What advantages do you have over your competitors? What will you provide that others will not?

•           How do you want potential customers to see your business?

3. Create It

Successful creation of a real estate brand identity is more than just business cards and networking. Once you have understood your competition and defined your brand and what you represent, now is the time to create it. This will generally include the essentials, like a logo and a slogan, as well as creating an online presence, including a website with social media channels. This will also include building your buyers list, a database of buyers and sellers that may be interested in your services or know someone who could be.

4. Deliver Your Brand

With a clear message and platform to deliver it, the fourth step in building a real estate brand identity is the implementation. While this will generally include attending an assortment of networking events and local real estate meetings, a majority of it will include expressing your brand via outlets like your website, social media pages, and blog. In addition, a direct mail campaign can also be used to deliver your brand to potential customers.

5. Refine It 

Italy wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your real estate brand identity. Successful branding efforts will demand continuous improvements. That is not to say you won’t need to rebrand at some point down the road. Your brand will essentially evolve over time, but your message and the things you stand for should remain intact. However, the way in which you deliver that message may adapt over time.

 

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