Improving a Home's Curb Appeal

When you are commissioned to sell a property, you will want it to appeal to a large number of potential buyers. Curb appeal is designed to enhance the appearance of the exterior of a property. This can entice viewers from the moment they step on a driveway. Use these simple tips to benefit the curb appeal of properties in a snap.

Begin Your Campaign Online

With a huge amount of potential home buyers starting their search online, snapping a few pleasing photographs of a property is key. This will help them decide to visit a house. Make appointments for a good time of day and take pictures when there is not much sunlight. Make this a neutral spot and potential buyers can imagine themselves living there.

Keep the Outside Spic and Span

Many homeowners do not pay much attention to keeping various features of their home clean. Make sure that house numbers, mailboxes and other fixtures are clean, and they will enchant your visitors.

Ask What Others Think

As a real estate agent, you can point out small details owners may have missed that need to be changed or tidied. However, it is in your best interest to engage someone else who can offer an even newer point of view when you have finished your ministrations.

We all know the importance of curb appeal when it comes to selling a property. Work with current homeowners and improve a home's curb appeal to draw in potential buyers.

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.

 

Top 5 Reasons Why Real Estate Continuing Education Is Important

To Meet State Requirements 

In case you didn’t know, real estate agents and brokers are required by law to participate in continuing education to maintain their real estate licenses. 

You have to achieve a certain number of hours of continuing education yearly or every two years depending on the state you’re practicing, so make sure to check. Not complying with your state’s continuing education requirements could have you fined, or your license suspended. 

Practically speaking, license renewal is the number one reason why continuing education is extremely important. 

To Stay Up to Date 

Laws, policies, and best practices constantly change, so what you know now may become obsolete tomorrow. Continuing education is an opportunity for real estate professionals to stay up to date with industry changes and avoid making mistakes when transacting with a client. 

Commonly required subjects for your continued education include contracts, negotiations, home inspection, mortgage basics, selling, and 1031 exchanges. 

You may also study housing laws, risk management, green living, auction-style sales, the financial aspects of buying a home, as well as social media marketing for real estate professionals. 

To Become Well-Rounded 

Although it’s tempting to take classes that are easy and least demanding, continuing education is a great opportunity for you to expand your skills set and set yourself apart from other real estate agents. 

Take classes that are out of your comfort zone to gain new knowledge and skills that will help you to serve your clients better. 

Furthermore, the more knowledgeable you are about a wide variety of real estate topics, the better you can establish yourself as an expert in your field. 

You’ll be more capable and confident in answering client questions and providing innovative solutions to their unique real estate needs. 

To Boost Credibility 

As a real estate professional, boosting your credibility will attract more sales and contacts. 

When you complete a course in your real estate continuing education, you can display it on your website, social media pages, and marketing collateral for everyone to see. With such credentials, clients will more likely trust your judgment as they make life-changing decisions. 

To Discover Trends 

Continuing education is also a great opportunity for you to learn about emerging trends in the real estate industry. 

One example is sustainable housing and eco-friendly options. Is there a rising demand for green living but little supply? Are the features of the properties you’re selling unattractive to the new and emerging market that is conscious of their carbon footprint? 

Continuing education presents other avenues that you can pursue in your real estate business to meet emerging opportunities before anyone else and skyrocket your sales and success levels.

 

 

Working with Investors and Flippers

Investors and flippers are very smart people; they look at the major chunks of the house and the price – that's all that matters to them. If you work with an investor or a flipper, there are several things you will have to keep in your mind, so you don't waste their time or your time. After all, in the real estate business, time is money.

Read below to find the things you must keep in mind before working with an investor or a flipper:

Think from an Investors/Flippers Perspective

When you assist an investor or flipper in getting the right house, ensure that you put yourself in their shoes before you start suggesting. Investors and flippers are not looking for a house to live in themselves, so the color of the wall and the type of tiling do not matter much to them. Instead, the house's foundation, the drainage system, and the roofing are more important to them.

When hunting a house for investors, ensure that's what you look for.

They Want Numbers

An investor/flipper is investing money in the house for a greater return, knowing the basics. When working with them, ensure that your number game is on, and you give them numbers for whatever you are suggesting.

If you ask them to buy the corner house on the 6th street, tell them how it will be beneficial, give them numbers!

Working with an investor or flipper can be both easy and difficult, depending on how you operate.

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.

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.

 

Real Estate Best Practices

Exceptional. Original. Remarkable. It is hard to develop real estate marketing ideas day in and day out that meet each of these criteria, especially when you spend much of your time on the road meeting with clients and leads. 

Here are some ideas to help you build the best practices in real estate: 

1. Build a rock-solid marketing foundation 

The success of your real estate business depends on how well your online marketing funnel attracts new home buyers. People go to the internet first when finding properties for sale. As a real estate professional, you need a professional website if you expect to increase revenue over time. 

2. Create a website 

Many consumers search the internet to investigate products and services before they buy. Making a website for your real estate business will show prospective clients what you have to offer. Include listings on your site and update them regularly to keep prospects coming to your site as they search for properties. You can also add something a little unexpected to set your website apart. 

3. Employ virtual staging 

How can you pique buyer interest? Give them a preview of what the home looks like by using a virtual staging website. Online staging saves you the time and money of physically staging the property. 

4. Try experiential marketing 

Experiential marketing engages your prospects and “invites an audience to interact with a business in a real-world situation.” Host a tour of the area you are selling in, hold an event to teach area homebuyers about the process of buying a home, or arrange an open house and invite buyers to view the home. 

5. Use drone photography 

Take sweeping shots of the home’s exterior and surrounding landscape using drone photography. Purchase a drone or use a drone service like HouseLens or SoldByAir to capture the perfect shot. Use the photos to add an excitement factor to your listings. Video can also be used to supplement your virtual tours or walkthroughs and show exterior features like patios and pools. 

6. Create a Zillow profile 

With over 188 million monthly viewers, Zillow provides the opportunity to get your business in front of thousands of new prospects. This resource from Zillow lists the steps to set up your own profile. 

7. Offer home valuations to capture seller leads 

Potential sellers want to know how much their home is worth. Integrate a home valuation tool into your website and capture seller leads. 

If you want to know more, just contact us at Carevan and we will help you know more about the best practices in real estate.

 

Importance of Business and Marketing Plans

Planning should be the first step when deciding to do anything – be it investing in the real estate market, marketing your services, or starting a real estate business. If you do not plan well before executing, there are high chances you will be met with hurdles that you never accounted for, especially in the real estate market.

Read below to find out how important it is to properly plan your business and marketing steps before you execute:

Time Is the Key

In the real estate business, timing is of great importance, and for that reason, you must plan well so you are at no risk when you execute. When you wish to buy or sell a house, you must consider the time. For example, you are assisting someone to sell a house in a buyer's market, they will not earn better profits. Similarly, if the buyer is buying in a seller's market, they will end up paying more for a house they could easily get for a lesser price when it's a buyers’ market.

Think well, considering the time.

Marketing

Marketing strategies and planning are essential. Before you put out an advertisement, you must review it thoroughly and plan well, or else it can backfire. For example, you might incur a legal liability just because you missed a single technicality in the advertisement, or maybe you tried to be humorous but ended up offending someone.

The point is, don't execute your marketing strategy before planning well.

Planning is the key to success, and if you wish to be successful, then PLAN WELL

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.

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.

 

 

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