5 Ways That Real Estate Professionals Can Use Zoom Effectively

More and more creative real estate professionals are using Zoom to conduct business. They are discovering every day that there are many great reasons to use Zoom whether they are using the base version or the advanced Pro version.

Zoom has become a convenient and effective tool that realtors and brokers use to market themselves and their inventory. Below are five ways for real estate professionals to use Zoom effectively.

1. Stay in Touch with Your Clients

A realtor needs to consistently grow their brand to be successful. It's a sound business practice to stay in touch with your prior, existing and potential customers. Zoom has brought this to a whole new level. When a real estate agent communicates with their customers, they are increasing their chances of building a solid relationship with them and potentially getting a referral at the same time. Your clients will appreciate your efforts, and they will remember you when it is time to buy or sell a property!

2. Market Your Listings on a Zoom Phone Call

Zoom showings have grown increasingly popular. Your clients can be conveniently sitting at home as you virtually walk them through a house for sale. You can invite up to 100 people to join your Zoom call with the Pro plan. These clients can be the first to see your new listings. These days, so many people are moving out of their state and sometimes across the country. Many real estate transactions are being finalized remotely either in part or in whole.

3. Effective Face-to-Face Negotiations

Agents can efficiently help to simplify the negotiation process on a Zoom phone call. Realtors can bring all parties to the transaction together to negotiate the purchase price and other terms of the agreement. Your professionalism will shine through because you've made negotiating much more efficient and much less time-consuming and nerve-wracking.

4. Host a Webinar

Share your real estate expertise on social media via Zoom, and you can achieve excellent and measurable results. Did you know that you can stream your Zoom webinar live on Facebook? It can be posted on your Facebook timeline. Zoom webinars can also reach any group of viewers you want to reach.

The participants only need to join you on Zoom to watch. If you use Zoom on Facebook Live, people watching and listening can comment in real time. It only takes a few simple steps to set up a live stream. They can even post their reviews about your presentation and content.

5. Other Ways to Optimize Zoom for Your Real Estate Business

Zoom has been commonly used for holding sales meetings for real estate sales professionals. Brokers can easily meet with their staff remotely, and agents can meet with other members of their team. Additionally, realtors can use Zoom to make their listing presentation to sellers. This is especially convenient when a property owner resides out of state or outside of the country.

 

Next Steps for Newly Licensed Agents

Not sure what to do now that you’ve passed the major hurdle of passing the real estate licensure exam? Here are the next steps to follow to get your real estate career up and running. 

Step 1: Look for a sponsoring broker who is a good fit 

In real estate, brokers are almost always agents with years of experience and a broker’s license. When you are just getting started in your career, it helps to tap into the knowledge and network of someone who has worked in the region in which you are looking to do real estate transactions. You can think of a broker as both your partner and your boss as they will help you maneuver through the beginning of your journey as a real estate agent in exchange for a commission split. 

Here’s the difference: 

Flat fee: This is usually determined on a monthly basis and requires that you pay a broker a set fee for their services. 

Commission split: The percentages depend on individual agreements, but a 70/30 split is common. This means that you would keep 70% of commission as the agent and hand over 30% to the broker. 

Step 2: Engage in professional organizations 

There are countless professional organizations within the industry that can help real estate professionals connect, network, and increase their knowledge of the field. A simple Google search can usually yield a plethora of statewide real estate organizations to become a part of, and you can consider a few national organizations as well. 

You can choose to become a member of an organization based on the type of property you are looking to sell, as well as the region. For example, the Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) has a global investment emphasis that other organizations might not have.

Consider what is important to you as a real estate agent and look for organizations based on that. 

Step 3: Build your professional profile 

There is never a better time than the present to start building your professional profile. Creating a website and social media presence, getting professional portraits taken, and attending local events to establish a rapport with residents of a given city are all great steps to take. Small details like carrying business cards with you can show potential clients that you are prepared and organized.

If you are not inclined toward social media, there are people who can help. Consider employing the help of a social media expert who can help you build your online presence. There are a lot of freelancers looking for work in the world of digital design, and websites like Upwork or Freelancer can help you connect with experienced designers and social media experts. 

Step 4: Set a timeline for yourself  

In real estate, if you are not selling property, you are not making money. As you are getting started in your career, it can be beneficial to set a timeline for the things you would like to accomplish. Whether you choose to outline your first five years or would rather keep things shorter term by planning the first year of your professional career, creating a timeline can be a good way to keep yourself accountable for success.

 

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 Millennial Home Buyers

When working with a millennial home buyer, there are a few things you need to keep in your mind if you wish for the deal to succeed. Millennials are not the same as Gen Z, so the difference in choices will be evident.

Read below to find things that you must keep in your mind when working with a millennial home buyer:

Millennials Wish to Own a House

There is a big difference between wishing to own a house and needing a house. Millennials nowadays desire to own a house, so their standards are comparatively high as they are not looking for housing because their houses are small, but simply because they want to have their own house.

When hunting for a house for a millennial home buyer, you will have to develop a better house than normal.

They Can Wait Longer to Buy

As mentioned above, millennials want a house instead of needing a house. To fulfill their desire, they are willing to wait a little longer and for times when they can get a better house, at cheaper rates.

They are not in a hurry.

They Surf the Internet

When working with a millennial home buyer, there is an advantage to the real estate agents – they don’t have to formally visit the house for sale with the millennial home buyers. The real estate agents can show the houses online to the home buyer, and then once the houses are shortlisted, they can go and visit the location.

It is safe to say that millennials are looking for quality and are in no rush.

3 Expert Networking Tips for New Real Estate Agents

Participate in your local community 

As a real estate agent, your community is your career. Being actively involved in your community will not only strengthen your knowledge of the neighborhoods where your properties are but also help open opportunities and increase your sales and success levels. 

Search for events happening in your area and local groups that you can join. Wherever you go, resolve to meet new people and build connections. 

Here are a few ideas: 

Neighborhood groups

In community groups, you can meet homeowners with whom you can share and discuss news and issues on the local level. 

Toastmasters

Every community has one, and they meet on a weekly basis. It is also a great place to learn presentation skills, leadership, and confidence. 

Chamber of commerce

If your town or city has one, join the local chamber of commerce and attend its events to meet local business owners. Local businesses are well-connected, so it’s a great idea to build a relationship with them. 

Local businesses

Another way to connect with local businesses is to become a regular (coffee shops, restaurants, mom-and-pop stores). These high foot–traffic places are also a great way to meet other locals. 

Volunteer work

Meet community leaders and kindhearted people in the community. 

Sports teams and fitness groups

Hit two birds with one stone. Exercise and stay fit while building connections with locals who like the same sport or workout as you. 

Hobby/interest group

If you practice a certain hobby or have an interest in picking up one, join a local group. 

Classes

Especially those where you meet regularly throughout a period of time. If there are certain classes that people you’re interested in take, enroll in them.

Attend conferences and industry events 

Aside from learning about new market information and innovations in real estate, conference and industry events are great places to meet and engage with influencers and other industry professionals from other geographical areas. 

Make it a point to break off from your buddy group of local real estate professionals and meet new people. 

Instead of joining a packed crowd wanting to talk to the speaker after they conclude, approach them before they give their talk so you can converse and connect well. This is only possible if you search about the speakers and the agenda before the event.

Also, share speaker quotes and thoughts real-time on social media and don’t forget to tag the event and the speakers. Follow their socials and connect with them on LinkedIn. These new connections can offer new ideas, strategies, and opportunities in your practice. 

Say Yes More 

Whether someone invites you for a coffee or asks for your help, say “yes” more. You should not only strive to expand your network. You should also strengthen it. 

Of course, there are times when the request is unreasonable, or you just have to decline but psych yourself up to accepting more requests from people. This will naturally open up more opportunities for business.

 

 

 

5 Tips for New Real Estate Agents

Think Like a Business Owner 

If you become an independent contractor, which a majority of real estate agents are, you have to think like a small business owner. This means taking charge of your own marketing, operations, and success. 

In fact, you should start by having a business plan. Identify your short-term and long-term goals as an agent and how you are going to achieve them. Set specific services that you will provide and pick a specialization. Create a marketing plan. 

Have a Budget 

Just like any business, you have to keep an eye on your cash flow if you want to survive. 

When you are starting out, it is very tempting to spend a huge amount of money to get your first client or make your first sale. This will put you in a huge deficit right away. It is not to say that you should not spend on your business. Instead, you should spend on your business strategically. 

It is common advice for new real estate agents to have enough savings to cover at least 6 months of living expenses. If you don’t have such savings, you will have to keep your day job and work as a real estate agent part-time. 

Having a day job will provide you with a safety net as you transition into a new and more fulfilling career as a real estate agent. 

Find a Mentor 

There is a lot to learn about real estate, and it is not just about selling. Getting started in the real estate business can be overwhelming and challenging, that is why it is advisable to find a mentor who is an experienced agent. 

A mentor can teach you the necessary technical knowledge to understand common real estate processes and documents such as surveys, title insurance, liens, encumbrances, and deeds. This will give you the confidence to answer basic buyer and seller questions. 

A mentor can also teach you crucial industry skills and strategies, such as understanding buyers’ emotions and motives, so you can successfully make a sale.

Build an Online Presence 

New agents need to use digital marketing to attract today’s buyers and sellers. Building an online presence and subsequently getting an ROI can take time, so invest in these right away. 

To generate more leads on the Internet, build an engaging, informative website by regularly adding valuable content. Also, make it to a point to build an email list by adding a newsletter sign-up on your website. 

In the meantime, enlist old methods to generate leads: call, mail, and email every person you know about your business. You might land a deal sooner than expected. 

Prioritize Client Relationships 

Fact: 89% of all real estate transactions are referrals. 

The best leads come from word of mouth, so make sure to develop and nurture a good relationship with every client and contact. They will speak highly of you and leave stellar reviews on your website. They will generate repeat and referral business for years down the road. 

Some real estate agents buy lunch for their contacts who, they estimate, can give an ROI of 10%. Some others send birthday greetings and holiday cards to past clients, as well as just-listed and just-sold cards.

 

How to Build Business through Social Media

Social media is more than just getting people to follow your brand. Users are now increasingly choosing to check their social platforms for reviews, including asking friends and family for their opinions, before deciding to eat out at a particular restaurant, visit a certain hair salon, or purchase a product. If you don’t have a social presence, consumers will more likely move on to the next business that does. 

When it comes to using social media to build your business, some strategies are more effective than others. After all, the last thing you want to do is put all your efforts into it, only to see nothing in return. From blogging to tapping influencers, check out these tips to get your business booming on social media. 

1. Blog Your Way to More Customers 

Several businesses do not have the budget for a professional marketing campaign. Fortunately, that does not mean they can’t make a big impact online. One of the most powerful ways to build your brand on the internet, which you can use on social media, happens to be free: blogging.

You do not have to be a celebrity to create a buzz or impart valuable knowledge to prospective and existing customers. You and your team can establish yourself as experts with content that is interesting and informative but not sales-y. Use posts as content for your social media to share information about your field, a particular cause, or a social issue, but stay away from trying to pitch your product to your readers—at least not in every post you publish. Blogging is also a tool to boost your search engine results. By blogging consistently each week, you will increase your chances of being found on search engines. Here’s the rule of thumb: try to publish new posts at least twice a week. 

2. Get Social Online 

Social media marketing has the term “social” in it for a reason. In old-school broadcast marketing strategies, such as TV or radio adverts, the audience cannot directly respond to what they are seeing or hearing. When it comes to social media marketing, you need to remember that you are not just showing a product and telling your customers, “Buy me!” Instead, you are showing them a topic related to the product and encouraging them to engage with both you and the product to have a conversation. 

3. Use Social Influencers to Gain Clout 

The internet, and more importantly social media, has transformed what we consider a celebrity. These days, people are making a fortune and becoming household names because of what they are saying and doing on social media. Landing one of these influencers, while sometimes expensive and always time-consuming, is a great tool to gain more brand recognition for your business. 

Social media cannot be ignored if you want to grow your business. With more than two billion people using Facebook alone, ignoring it will mean missing out on a huge part of your audience. But with social media networks plentiful, businesses have to hone their strategy to make sure that they are using the right one, the right way. No one wants to waste time and money marketing a brand on a social media platform only to find out customers are not there.

 

21st Century Real Estate Activities

The real estate industry is changing. Technology and changing social norms are two major reasons why.

Young people today tend to prefer to rent or borrow goods rather than purchase them outright and telecommuting is on the rise. They also are less inclined to drive and more inclined to desire properties that are in walkable neighborhoods with access to good public transit.

But technology is having a more direct impact on the kinds of activities real estate agents engage in. Here are just a few of the trends impacting this profession:

  • Drones have changed the way we look at real estate.

  • A website to showcase your work is no longer optional. It is required.

  • Real estate needs are diversifying. It is increasingly important for an agent to pick a specialty and become an expert in a particular niche in order to survive.

  • With an aging population, people are putting off retirement. It is increasingly necessary to be able to work well with people of many different ages and in many different stages of life.

  • As automation and offshoring gets applied to the industry, entry-level skills are becoming obsolete. Real estate agents must be better educated and more skilled to remain employable.

Professionals who want to remain employed in this field need to be improving their tech skills. If you are not comfortable with the latest tech, it is time to get comfortable with it. Otherwise, it might be your job that gets offshored or automated away.

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.

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.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • Select