The Business of Real Estate
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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The 6 Best Apps for Agents Looking to Up Their Commission Advance

The 6 Best Apps for Agents Looking to Up Their Commission Advance

By on Oct 6, 2017 in Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

We now spend more time tooling around in our mobile apps than we do with any other single functionality our smartphones and tablets offer. The world is literally at our fingertips, and it’s making it easier than ever to conduct business on the fly. For real estate agents, the tech wave has led to the launch of dozens of apps that promise everything from MLS access to client management interfaces. Which real estate mobile apps will make your day easier and bring your commission advance closer within reach? Start with these six. 1. Canva: Marketing and Graphic Design Made Easy If you’re still making open house flyers in Microsoft Paint and posting listing announcements using Facebook status updates, you’re seriously doing it wrong. Canva’s simple interface allows even total design noobs to customize beautiful templates and create eye-catching documents ranging from letterhead to brochures to event invitations. Download the Canva App 2. Placester: The 21st-Century Rolodex Decades ago, you had to rely on a stack of dog-eared business cards to track buyers and sellers. Today, monitoring leads is so much easier thanks to intuitive marketing platforms like Placester. Enter leads, receive notifications, create notes and tasks, and communicate with clients all from one central app. It’s easy, it’s smart, and it’s well worth the $20 fee. Download the Placester App 3. Houzz: Reimagining Renovation Staging is one thing, but buyers often disagree with how a home is decorated or tour a naked home and struggle to envision what their belongings would look like should they purchase and furnish the space. Houzz is basically a monumental library of interior design photos combined with advice from decorating professionals and access to actual for-sale items. It’s a one-stop shop for amateur and professional design enthusiasts alike, and introducing your clients to it could just help finalize your next sale. Download the Houzz App 4. Commission Express: The Commission Advance Company Agents Trust Waiting on a commission can be ridiculously aggravating for agents who need the income to support staffing, investments or simply day-to-day living. Commission Express has helped facilitate more than $700 million in listing advances, and now its secure app provides easy account access and speedy transfers controlled right from your...

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Fall into an Impressive Commission Advance: Autumn Marketing Tips

Fall into an Impressive Commission Advance: Autumn Marketing Tips

By on Sep 9, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

As summer spins into fall, buyers start to get distracted by a flurry of back-to-school activities and deterred by cooler temps and petering curb appeal. How can you keep the crowds coming despite the changing season? The key to keeping up your commission advance (and pleasing your clients in the process) is switching up your marketing. Host a Fall Festival Remember those fall festivals of your youth? Potential buyers do too. Think bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving contests, a classic cake walk, face painting, pumpkin bowling and so on. Your venue can be your office, in which case you can put up pics and specs of all the homes you have in your portfolio, or an actual home for sale if the yard is big enough to accommodate the traffic and festive setup. Use Recipes to Reconnect (It Might Even Lead to a Listing Advance) Need some fresh fodder for your newsletter? Ditch traditional leaflets and mail out recipe cards instead. You can think thematically and offer delicious dishes for Halloween or Thanksgiving or connect with families by disclosing your grandma’s secret to pecan pie. Add your logo to the corner of the recipe card or use a postcard and add a message on the back. Either way, clients will think of you as they whip up those foolproof biscuits or Southern-style mashed potatoes. Turn Your Next Open House into a Food or Clothing Drive Chilly weather and the impending holidays cast a spotlight on the less unfortunate in our communities. No one should be without a warm winter coat or food for Thanksgiving, and there’s a great way you can support your neighbors while still staying on top of your real estate duties. When you advertise your next open house, add a line to the flyer that encourages canned food or clothing donations. Coordinate your effort with the local food pantry or shelter, make a list of what they really need, and detail that in a Facebook event. You’ll make a difference and maybe even make a sale at the same time. Bring Oktoberfest Stateside and Juice Your Commission Advance No, you don’t have to wear lederhosen; setting up a grill and treating buyers to a spread of...

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How to Craft a Real Estate Website That Boosts Your Commission Advance

How to Craft a Real Estate Website That Boosts Your Commission Advance

By on Aug 11, 2017 in Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

The days of flipping through a Rolodex are gone and word of mouth has gone digital. In the 21st century, a real estate agent’s business card is their website. Do you know how you’re being perceived? A subpar site (one that loads slowly, looks amateurish or lacks key information, for example) can stall a fledgling career in short order, but the right online presence can turn casual consumers into long-time clients. To ensure you’re investing in the latter, embrace these best practices and avoid key mistakes so you can build your brand and your commission advance. Ditch the DIY — Your Future Commission Advance Could Depend on It Would you advise homeowners to market and sell their own property? Not likely. You know that there’s a reason you’re top in your field, and you could probably list a few dozen reasons homes sell better (and for a higher price) when an experienced agent is in charge. The same philosophy applies to web design. A skilled site designer can help with all of the following (and don’t be afraid to use this checklist as a guideline for questions during the interview process): Dynamic and responsive design so your site can be easily read on a variety of devices Reliable hosting and streamlined design so your site loads quickly and has little if any downtime Clean and modern design elements that incorporate both substance and style Integrated multimedia so you can incorporate video and graphic content as well as text User-friendly features that make your site easy to navigate If you’re absolutely committed to designing your site yourself, pay for a decent template and spring for the accompanying support package so you have a strong starting point and access to help along the way. Reconsider Spontaneity Whether you’re redesigning your site or crafting one from scratch, you need to have a plan. What is your color scheme? Do you have a logo? How do you want your menu designed? Do you have an overall layout in mind? All these things matter, and cohesive branding is essential if you want to build a following that recognizes your product (which, by the way, is you!) regardless of the format with which it’s being...

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Pocket Listings: Protecting Your Clients and Commission Advance

Pocket Listings: Protecting Your Clients and Commission Advance

By on Aug 4, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Anyone who has watched an episode or two of Million Dollar Listing is at least passingly familiar with the term “pocket listing.” These coveted properties are like the unicorns of the real estate world; they’re not listed on the MLS but, instead, hidden away from the masses and sold somewhat behind the scenes. There are many reasons this might happen (more on that below). What Is a Pocket Listing, Really? There is no official National Association of REALTORS® definition as to what constitutes a pocket listing — also sometimes called an off-market or office exclusive listing — but the industry widely recognizes the following examples: A property that is sold so quickly the agent doesn’t even have time to complete the corresponding MLS paperwork A home sold privately at the seller’s request A home held back to promote exclusivity and drive up interest — generally reserved for premiere listings with impressive price tags A property with an owner who only wants to consider serious buyers with confirmed financials There are no NAR guidelines specifically outlining best practices for pocket listings, but agents are still ethically bound to get the best deal for their client, and that’s where issues can potentially arise. How Pocket Listings Can Negatively Affect the Client — and Your Commission Advance Generally speaking, the more interest you have in a property, the higher the likelihood you’ll sell that property at or above the listing price. Bidding wars are the gifts that keep on giving, and both agent and seller get to reap the rewards. A pocket listing makes that scenario far less likely as limited visibility almost guarantees a dramatically decreased pool of potential buyers. Keeping a listing off the MLS can also trip up the appraisal process as appraisers often use information from MLS sales as one of their two required data sources. Are you still getting the best possible deal for your client if you go with a pocket listing? That’s debatable. Respecting the client’s wishes may tie your hands in terms of marketing, as well as influencing your final payday and any related commission advance, but a crafty agent knows that competitive offers are still possible. Your best bet is to be sure...

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