The Business of Real Estate
New Year’s Resolutions to Help Hike Your Commission Express

New Year’s Resolutions to Help Hike Your Commission Express

By on Dec 8, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

There are 525,600 minutes in a year. Are you happy with how you used yours? Exceed your own expectations in 2018 (and surprise yourself with a best-ever commission advance) by hitting the ground running thanks to these real estate New Year’s resolutions. 1. Revisit Your Business Plan You’ve just completed 365 days of work, and that brings about a lot of change. The idea of a new year meaning a new slate is bunk, but you can use this as an opportunity to look at your performance with a critical eye to see what’s working, what isn’t and what might propel you toward a bigger, better listing advance over the next 52 weeks. Ask yourself: Where did I fall short in 2017? What were my biggest successes? What goals do I have for 2018? What do I need to do to achieve those goals? 2. Mine Your Existing Network Hopefully you already have your professional social media pages up and running, but how often are you reaching out to your personal network? Nobody wants to be bludgeoned by sales pitches on their news feed, but there’s nothing wrong with letting everyone know what you’re up to. Infuse your updates with enthusiasm (and a few touches of humor here and there), and the excitement will prove contagious: “Thrilled to be showing this cozy bungalow this Sunday! The art deco fireplace is one-of-a-kind.” “Closed on a house today, putting my clients in their very first home. Talk about a great day!” “What do you guys think of my new brokerage brochures?” 3. Read More Line your shelves with books on success, self-improvement and motivation, and better yet, actually read them. No time to peruse more than a few pages? Try swapping out TV time for an hour with your Kindle, or check out audiobooks and podcasts that you can play while you drive around town. Continuing education is so important, and you’ll learn how to get ahead from some surprising sources, many of which won’t even be in the real estate industry. 4. Establish Your Authority Forget your former life as a shrinking violet. If you want to beat out the competition for that hot listing or bring in a rash...

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Planning Your Commission Advance: Real Estate Trends for 2018

Planning Your Commission Advance: Real Estate Trends for 2018

By on Nov 24, 2017 in Blog, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

It’s almost 2018, and that means a new look at the real estate landscape. From tech advances and new niches to building your commission advance thanks to investors, here’s what you can look forward to exploring next year. A Shift to an Online-Based Buying Experience Technology is always altering how we do business, and we’ll be seeing more of that in the real estate sector in 2018 as new and existing platforms show both buyers and sellers how easy it can be to shop, offer and negotiate online. From chatbots that take over the early part of client conversations to developments in cryptography that ensure signing on the digital dotted line is safer than ever before, expect colleagues to find new ways to tackle tasks using the internet. Increased Buyer Confidence + More Sales = Bigger Commission Advances According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2018 report, we can expect growth to be slower but more sustainable next year. This is good news as it represents a more stable market that translates into buyer confidence. What does that mean for real estate agents? Clients are often more comfortable buying in a market that seems predictable and easier to understand. Expect to see more middle-class buyers making investments in both family homes and rental properties, though numbers may show up in unexpected places (literally). Rising Home Prices Increasing lumber prices are causing the cost of new builds to rise. Pair that with a lack of existing inventory and you have a classic supply-and-demand scenario that’s good for sellers and not so hot for buyers. Creative, determined agents will still be able to ferret out interesting finds for needy clients, but homes in those always-hot, always-high markets — think San Francisco, Boston, L.A., New York, Seattle, etc. — will come with some serious sticker shock. Spotlight on New Territories As those hot markets above continue to smolder, buyers will push out into nearby areas. Focus won’t necessarily be on tightly adjacent neighborhoods and cities but on communities a little further out that offer affordable options, room to grow and a budding list of family-friendly amenities like urban planning improvements, new schools and the introduction of big box stores. Renters Continue...

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Tis the Season for a Commission Advance: Marketing Homes During the Holidays

Tis the Season for a Commission Advance: Marketing Homes During the Holidays

By on Nov 10, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

When you’re chasing your next commission advance, is holiday home marketing the first step towards prosperity or a guarantee that your bottom line will be left out in the cold? There are several pros and cons to be considered, and we’ve got a peek at the most important. PRO: There may be less competition There are plenty of homeowners pondering whether or not to take their home off the market over the holidays, and more than a few will give into the lure of a few stress-free winter months. That dip in inventory may well work to your advantage, giving you fewer properties to compete against and heightening the likelihood that your open house might get the attention it deserves. CON: Winter has a tendency to wreak havoc A glistening blanket of newly fallen snow can give a sprawling front yard a magical look. Track a few dozen footprints over the sidewalk and add in a few snow-spraying passes of the road plows and that magic disappears faster than Cinderella’s enchanted ensemble at the stroke of midnight. Stormy weather can put a damper (or completely wash out) an open house, destroy curb appeal and turn a home’s foyer into a veritable mud pit, all of which inspires even expert-level agents a reason to second guess holiday home marketing. PRO: Mistletoe + Yummy Kitchen Smells = Lots of Emotion You want potential buyers to be able to envision themselves in a new property. That’s a lot easier to accomplish when the home itself is welcoming and well decorated, and holiday décor helps on both accounts. Beautifully trimmed Christmas trees, a few wall diffusers wafting out the aromas of pumpkin or fresh pine, a fire crackling away in the hearth — all of these things stoke nostalgia and make a home seem endlessly enticing. CON: Sellers are firmly ensconced in cheery piles of holiday mess The same abundance of holiday spirit that make decorated homes seem extra warm can also make them seem extra chaotic, and that’s not a feeling buyers always appreciate. From tinsel caught up in carpet fibers to a pile of half-wrapped presents stuffed into the guest room, some clutter isn’t easy to hide when a last-minute showing...

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Commission Advance News: The 3 Virtual Design Tools Changing the Face of Real Estate

Commission Advance News: The 3 Virtual Design Tools Changing the Face of Real Estate

By on Nov 3, 2017 in Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

Perception is often reality. Unfortunately, that maxim doesn’t work so well in the world of real estate, where busy schedules and long-distance buys often preclude multiple showings and may prevent potential buyers from seeing a property in person at all. How can an intrepid real estate agent virtually showcase homes and achieve their commission advance goals? By taking advantage of new and interesting technology, of course. Transport Buyers With 3D Models and Virtual Tours Once upon a time, virtual tours were simply walk-through videos real estate agents made using their cell phones or, if they were super fancy, a handheld camera with slightly better resolution. Those methods certainly served their purpose, but now companies like Matterport are taking immersive 3D media to the next level with interactive imagery that transports the viewer like never before. Instead of flat photos, home buyers are treated to full-color videos that offer incredible depth and an opportunity to experience a property from all the way across the globe. It’s impressive, and it sells properties — a fact your future listing advance will attest to. Score a Commission Advance Thanks to Virtual Staging Experts consistently swear by staging, saying that a properly staged home gets more attention, sells faster, and garners a higher price tag versus non-staged but otherwise similar properties. That’s all well and good, but when you come up against a buyer who refuses to invest in staging or a home that’s unstageable for another reason (a time crunch, perhaps, or rooms that aren’t fully built-out or finished), you need an alternative. Virtual staging turns empty spaces into full-realized bedrooms, dens, offices, and living rooms. It’s cheaper than traditional staging and offers far more possibilities. Most virtual staging companies charge by the photo (you send them your image and their in-house team doctors it up), so you can stage the same room several different ways to appeal to a wider range of buyers. Reimagine a Fixer-Upper With Remodeling Software Not all home seekers have the imagination required to visualize what an outdated kitchen might look like once the linoleum is replaced with handmade tile and the countertops get some much-needed attention. That’s why several companies are now offering “remodeling visualization tools” that...

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How to Expand Your Real Estate Team and Improve Your Commission Advance

How to Expand Your Real Estate Team and Improve Your Commission Advance

By on Oct 20, 2017 in Blog, Real Estate | 0 comments

Being busy is good, but do you suddenly have more traffic and listing appointments than you can handle? There’s a fine line between running a bustling business and becoming drastically overwhelmed. Before you surrender your life to the dark side and sacrifice your commission advance to the competition, protect your investment and take a step toward a brighter future by building a smart, competent and wildly successful team. Start by Identifying Your Own Strengths Bigger isn’t always better. Make that your mantra as you add people to your team because you’ll be tempted to snag the best all-around applicant or the most intriguing go-getter, and what you first see as shiny and new might not be the best option. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses and, perhaps more importantly, decide what tasks must be accomplished by you and what can be delegated. Once you know what you won’t or can’t do, you can narrow down your list of potential hires to those who will best fill the gap. Ask Applicants the Right Questions Interviewers get too caught up in queries about credentials and experience when that can all be verified using a resume and references. You can offer experience and teach real estate-specific skills, but there is no substitute for things like personality, drive and overall savvy. To see who already has those characteristics, shake up the questions you ask: What do they love about real estate? Why are they entering the industry? What do they do in their spare time? What’s the last book, magazine or blog they read? What industry newsletters do they subscribe to? What’s an example of a great customer service interaction they’re either proud of or that they learned from? What are their career goals? What do they hope to learn should they get this position? Be Fair When Structuring Pay Packets and Any Potential Commission Advance Money is a huge motivator — after all, aren’t you inspired by the thought of yet another sale and a looming listing advance? Your team will be encouraged by the same kind of incentives, but the opposite is also true. No one wants to work twice as hard for the same reward, so if your new hires...

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Defuzz Your Commission Advance: Tips for Selling Homes with Animals

Defuzz Your Commission Advance: Tips for Selling Homes with Animals

By on Oct 13, 2017 in Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

Reality check: Your furry buddies might be family to you, but to potential home buyers, Fido and Fluffy are a sign that your property could be infested with fuzzies, fleas and scratched-up flooring. Even if your four-legged kiddos are as cute as can be, you’ll need to take some extra steps during the staging and selling processes to ensure your home is viewed in the best light possible. And if you’re an agent? Your job could be doubly hard, because your future commission advance may well hinge on convincing your clients that pets aren’t always a selling point. 1. Send the Pets to Daycare It seems like an obvious first step, but you’d be surprised how many people either fail to consider their pets’ presence or insist that “the kids” get to stay home during an open house. The problem is that you simply can’t gauge how potential homeowners will react. Some people are afraid of dogs, others hate cats, and there’s no telling how your normally docile animals will react to a parade of strangers. Have friends or a petsitter take the little ones out for the day and you’ll have a lot less potential drama to deal with. 2. Hide the Animal Accessories Lose the leashes, put away the litter boxes and tuck the doggy beds under the couch or in a closet. All those items are reminders that this home has suffered from wear and tear, thanks to lots of little paws and furry bodies, and you don’t want that to be the first thing people think of when they’re considering putting an offer in on your property. 3. Invest in a Deep Clean Bring in a professional carpet cleaning company, give the tile floors a good mopping, and vacuum and/or steam clean the upholstery. If you have pets, chances are you have pet smells, too — whether you can still detect them or not. It’s important that you remove the source of any stray smells rather than covering them up. An excessive amount of air freshener or collection of stinky candles may irritate sensitive noses or even act as red flags (buyers are smarter than you think), so trade in the Glade for an enzyme...

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