The Business of Real Estate
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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How Hiring Professional Photographers and Videographers Can Help Ignite Your Commission Advance

How Hiring Professional Photographers and Videographers Can Help Ignite Your Commission Advance

By on Jul 21, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

According to Inman, real estate agents who consistently bring in third-party photographers to shoot properties ultimately earn twice as much as their competitors. Keeping in mind that the size of your commission advance directly relates to the number of sales you close makes that statistic even more exciting. So, what’s a go-getting agent to do? If you’re tempted to reach for your smartphone and start snapping away, stop, drop and rethink that strategy. Professional photography and videography are essential, and you literally can’t afford to skimp. Focus on Your Commission Advance, Not Your Photography Skills You might be an expert-level selfie taker, but proficiency with Instagram filters does not a professional photographer or videographer make. A pro offers a whole host of benefits you may not have even considered: Their eyes will capture details you could easily miss. Photographers own multiple lenses and a wealth of lighting equipment to help set up that perfect shot. A pro edits on the fly; your editing could take hours. Need an image in multiple formats? That’s something a pro can do with ease. Pros free you up to concentrate on the tasks only you can do. When your competition posts their own DIY shots, your artist’s images will stand out. Choosing the Right Company The first step is to decide whether you want someone to work with long-term or if you need someone with a specialized eye to suit a specific property. For instance, if you’re highlighting a palatial estate with extensive acreage, you might need a photographer or videographer with drone access. On the other hand, a contemporary home could benefit from someone who knows how to capture sharp angles and clean lines while still conveying the home’s warmth and appeal. Also ask about availability, turnaround time for edited footage, experience, a link to a portfolio so you can see the talent in action and client referrals. What’s It All Going to Cost? Protecting Your Listing Advance Before you even get to the financially nitty-gritty, remind yourself of the following: Marketing is an investment, and visual media very much falls under that marketing umbrella. Shelling out now for better marketing could actually get you a higher commission later (which, in turn,...

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From Marketing to Commission Advance: 4 Reasons Why Personal Branding is Essential for Real Estate Agents

From Marketing to Commission Advance: 4 Reasons Why Personal Branding is Essential for Real Estate Agents

By on Jul 14, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Building a business can be difficult, but building a brand is even more complex. A business tends to be a rather anonymous entity to which clients feel little meaningful connection. For real estate agents, constructing a trusted, authoritative brand can mean the difference between sinking or swimming in today’s cutthroat real estate industry. Success requires not just dedication and long hours pounding the pavement (or manning the phones, as the case may be), but also a focus on storytelling so buyers and sellers understand who you are, what you’re offering, and why you stand head and shoulders above the rest. 1. Who Are You? Can you describe yourself in a single sentence? What makes you special? What do you give clients that nobody else can? Answering these questions will help you design not just a killer pitch, but also a saleable outline of your key personality traits. Sellers and buyers frequently operate on tight timetables; they want to achieve their goals quickly, and they need someone who can meet that demand. A succinct yet authentic and impassioned introduction to you and your methodology serves as an entry point, establishing consumer confidence and providing a platform on which you can build a possible long-term relationship. 2. Be Seen and Heard: Using Visibility to Increase Your Listing Advance Jill Hertzberg and Jill Eber — aka “The Jills” — are a real estate team dominating their home turf in Miami-Dade County, Florida. They bill themselves as “the #1 agent team worldwide,” a tagline that wouldn’t mean much if they didn’t have the visibility and successes to match. One thing The Jills have capitalized on is their savvy outreach strategy, which incorporates everything from high-end real estate videos to promotional partnerships and speaking engagements. They take their message straight to the masses using a number of different avenues, and as a result, their names are already in people’s minds when potential clients decide to buy or sell. 3. Be a Resource Rather Than Concentrating on Your Commission Advance Real estate is your profession, but that doesn’t mean you can be solely motivated by the size of your future listing advance. Redirect your energy toward becoming a font of knowledge from which your clients...

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Will the New Credit Score Calculations Help or Hurt Prospective Home Buyers?

Will the New Credit Score Calculations Help or Hurt Prospective Home Buyers?

By on May 19, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Credit scores have long been the bane — or boon — of homebuyers everywhere. This seemingly innocuous three-digit number becomes an all-powerful determiner that can either help you sail through the purchasing process or scuttle the deal altogether. That’s a big deal, so the news that the method for calculating credit scores will soon be reformulated is causing buzz throughout the real estate industry. The question is this: Will the change help or hurt those looking to buy? Get to Know VantageScore If you’ve ever monitored your credit, you’re probably familiar with the big three credit scoring companies: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Together, the trio created VantageScore, a Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO) competitor intended to combine and analyze consumer data in order to predict whether someone is creditworthy. Rather than FICO’s custom model, which is individually calibrated to account for differences between the databases used by the main three credit bureaus, VantageScore launched with a one-size-fits-all approach assessing the following: Payment history Age and type of credit Percent of credit limit used Total balances/debt Recent credit Available credit But according to recent news, that’s about to change. The New VantageScore Formula VantageScore has announced an impending rollout of a new formula that will use “trended data” to calculate users’ credit scores. Rather than FICO’s snapshot of consumer credit, which can be extremely skewed if someone has hit a rough patch or recently made a number of credit inquiries or a major purchase, VantageScore’s new method will track borrowing behavior over a longer period of time. What does that mean for you? Well, it depends. If you regularly carry a balance or have been steadily borrowing more and more, you may be perceived as riskier than someone who has been consistently paying down debt and achieving a zero balance each month. The upside for people actively searching for a new home is that you won’t have to be as cautious about putting an extra blip or two on your credit report because the long-term model is a bit more forgiving in that sense. Consumers who don’t regularly use their credit lines will also benefit under the new model. In the past, shying away from available credit could actually lower your...

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