The Business of Real Estate
7 Smart Tips for a Spring Open House That Sells

7 Smart Tips for a Spring Open House That Sells

By on Apr 26, 2018 in Landscaping, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

Late spring is the perfect season for an open house. The weather is breezy and beautiful, kids are nearly out of school so families are ready to move, and you don’t have to worry about your curb appeal getting mucked up by buckets of slush and snow. Spring open houses also mean more competition. Here’s how you can stand out and ensure your clients are the ones walking away with the win while also working to secure your own commission advance. 1. Spruce Up the Landscaping This is your one chance at a first impression, and patchy grass or a muddy sidewalk could set an unfortunate tone. Put some potted flowers on either side of the front door, give the porch a quick sweep, hide the hose around the side of the house and park the kids’ bikes in the garage. 2. Host a Backyard Bash If you’re listing a property with an incredible backyard or outdoor living space, highlight those top-of-the-line features by staging an alfresco gathering. Fire up the grill, squeeze some fresh lemonade and string up some twinkly fairy lights for added atmosphere after the sun goes down. 3. Open Up the Windows Sometimes winter lingers a little longer than normal, but by May, temperatures should be pleasant enough to allow you to shut off the AC and open up the windows. Let the smell of freshly cut grass and newly bloomed flowers spread throughout the house. That little touch of ambiance combined with tons of natural light will make the property seem infinitely more inviting. 4. Schedule Your Open House to Coincide with Community Events Before you pick a date to show your listing, see what else is going on in the neighborhood. Is there a community garage sale coming up? A neighborhood block party? Does everyone gather in the central green on the first Sunday of every month for a farmer’s market? More people on the move means more foot traffic and more people poking around your property. Even if no one bites, the extra exposure could mean an increase in word-of-mouth marketing, and that’s never a bad thing. 6. Update Your Listing Photos Don’t advertise a spring open house using photos from fall...

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The 6 Photo Mistakes Tanking Your Real Estate Business

The 6 Photo Mistakes Tanking Your Real Estate Business

By on Apr 13, 2018 in Marketing | 0 comments

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a stellar property photo could be worth a heck of a lot more. Professional photos: Are “very important” to 83 percent of buyers Help homes achieve prices 47 percent higher per square foot Draw 118 percent more online views Sell higher-priced homes more quickly That’s a lot of power attributed to a few strategic images, which is why taking high-quality photos is so crucial — both to your clients and your future commission advance. Protect your bottom line and your sales record by avoiding these top six real estate photo mistakes. Capturing the Unpretty and Unimportant Listing a home with 2.5 baths can be a selling point, but if that half bath is dark, outdated and/or cramped, including a picture of it on your MLS listing is going to do far more damage than good. Certain spaces show better in person. Describe the unfinished basement, mud room and attic storage as much as you want, but save the visual for the property tour itself. Poor Lighting Nobody wants to live in a cave unless they’re a bear or a bat, and it’s doubtful either of those demographics are in the market for a new home. The best photos are captured using natural light, but barring that possibility, flip on all the lights in a room and add your own lamps if necessary. Bad Angles The right angle can make a room seem spacious and inviting. The wrong angle can leave viewers wondering how they’re ever going to fit a couch into that teeny-tiny living room. A professional photographer knows how to frame an image so that it’s accurate and appealing to potential buyers. Amateurish Use of Photoshop There are benefits to retouching, but you have to know when to use it and when to back away from the laptop. Making the sky a bit bluer or the lawn a little greener makes sense. So does cultivating a better digital landscape so a home’s online curb appeal packs a wallop. What isn’t okay is misrepresenting a property by erasing power lines or elongating the pool. It’s not only ethically wrong, it’s a surefire way to lose buyers’ trust once they see...

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7 Online Marketing Ideas to Compound Your Results

7 Online Marketing Ideas to Compound Your Results

By on Jan 23, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

Think quickly – how are you harnessing the power of online marketing to advance your business and ratchet up your closings? Get serious about expanding your client list and your overall visibility with these seven down-and-dirty online marketing ideas. Go to Video Here are a few quick facts: A whopping 82 percent of people on Twitter watch videos posted on the platform. People watch a collective 500 million hours of video on YouTube every day. A full 87 percent of online marketers are already incorporating video content into their strategies. Basically, you need to be posting videos if you want to stay competitive. What should you post? Try walkthroughs of your latest open house, a behind-the-scenes shot of you staging a property, a how-to on a home DIY project — whatever content might appeal to your target audience is fair game. Respond to Reviews This is called reputation management, and it’s important. Whether people are giving you positive shout-outs on Yelp or complaining about a subpar showing, this is your time to acknowledge the feedback and show you care. That kind of interaction goes a very long way towards proving your trustworthiness and authority. Write a Book  An ebook, that is. Stick to a relatively short work (think more of a quick read than War & Peace) that talks about how to buy or sell a home, how to break into the real estate industry, where to eat and drink in your city or something equally interesting. Set up a landing page with seamlessly incorporated SEO and watch the leads come to you. Interact with Industry Influencers If you want to gain followers on social media but aren’t sure where to start, try responding to threads and commenting on posts started by key industry influencers who already have killer followings. By showcasing your knowledge in a slick, unobtrusive way (no trying to show up your elders, and definitely don’t be cocky or pretentious), you may soon gain attention and a bigger audience of your own. Set Up a Facebook Group Launch a Facebook group dedicated to concerns in your area. The topic could be investment opportunities, Q&A for buyers and sellers or community postings. It doesn’t even have to...

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4 Ways Facebook Can Help You Earn a Bigger Commission

4 Ways Facebook Can Help You Earn a Bigger Commission

By on Jan 19, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

By the end of 2017, there were more than 2 million active users each month on Facebook – a 16 percent increase over the same time period in 2016 and further proof that Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild of a platform is still thriving. For real estate agents, it’s more important than ever that digital marketing strategies incorporate the ‘Book, but what can you do beyond maintaining your profile and posting relevant information as often as you’re able? As it turns out, there are an awful lot of ways Facebook can help you connect with clients, sell homes and earn a bigger commission. Here are four: 1. Start a Facebook Group You already have a professional Facebook page, right? Good! Now, connect that page to a Facebook group of your very own creation. It’s easy to do, and that private community will serve as your go-to spot for new and prospective clients to gather info without taxing the resources at your brick-and-mortar location. In other words, they can ask questions in the group instead of calling your office. Some brokers encourage group members to post their property search parameters so they can get on an MLS email list. Others use the group to share details about upcoming open houses and new, under-construction developments. There are a ton of strategies you can employee, but they all start with setting up the group itself. 2. Play With Facebook Ads To get around Facebook’s new friends-and-family centric algorithms, real estate agents will need to understand and utilize key Facebook Ad tools more than ever. Build Custom Audiences:Your instinct may be to use ads to cast a wide net and snare as many people as possible, but that’s both ineffective and expensive. Facebook ads tend to work best when you narrow down your focus so you can tailor the ad copy and imagery to each niche demographic. Do this by building custom audiences; you can upload a CSV file containing all the information from your client database, and Facebook will help you connect with them online. Then, you can reach out to those people specifically. Some may be looking to buy, sell or rent again, while others will recognize your name and happily share the...

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Walkable Communities: Add to Your Portfolio of Clients

Walkable Communities: Add to Your Portfolio of Clients

By on Jan 12, 2018 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

In the zany world of real estate, things can shift in the blink of an eye. While buyers once gravitated towards sprawling McMansions, the focus is now on smaller footprints, with tiny homes trending more than ever. Similarly, sleepy gated communities purposely built a fair distance from shopping centers and main roads are finding less favor with demographics yearning to have their needs met a little closer to home. This desire for all-inclusive living without the boxed-in feel of a tiny urban apartment has given rise to the walkable community, a place where car-free living is offering the public a new way to live. A Built-In Sense of Community In a walkable community, life slows down — literally. Instead of zooming past neighbors at breakneck speed, residents of these communities are exploring their ’hood on foot, meeting and greeting the locals along the way. It’s a lot easier to get to that “borrow a cup of sugar” level of familiarity when you have to physically share a sidewalk and a smile on a regular basis. That connection — tenuous though it may be, at least at first — also tends to make people feel safer and more secure in their homes. A Bustling Hub Living in the epicenter of a thriving metropolis comes with a lot of perks, but it also comes with a hefty price tag and inventory is limited. A walkable community with a similarly robust hub evokes that same urban feel but with the additional benefits of single-family homes, yards, more square footage and less crowding overall. Some communities organize homes around an architectural nucleus like a convenient store or a clubhouse; others opt for a park or a pool where people can gather. On-Site Amenities Apartment buildings and condo complexes often include a pool and a fitness facility, but walkable communities broaden the meaning of on-site amenities, treating residents to everything from coffee shops to convenient stores to lending libraries. It’s also typical for these communities to use a portion of the comparatively high HOA fees to fund events; attending a farmers’ market, craft fair or holiday festival that’s just a skip away from your home is a very attractive idea indeed. Inclusive Appeal While...

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How to Network Your Way to a Bigger Real Estate Buisness

How to Network Your Way to a Bigger Real Estate Buisness

By on Dec 18, 2017 in Advanced Commissions, Blog, Marketing | 0 comments

In real estate, business is sort of cyclical.  You make connections, those connections turn into sales, successful sales beget new connections, and somewhere along the way you build up a successful repertoire.  Along the way Commission Express will be there to provide you with a faster commission should you need it!  Of course, all of that hinges on actually make those essential connections, and that means it’s time to get networking. Here’s how you can starting branching out: Invest in Digital Marketing With the advent of the internet, everyone’s real estate territory has turned into a boundary-free zone that expands as far as the World Wide Web can reach.  People are constantly relocating, so your next customer could come from anywhere.  Connect with potential clients both near and far via a professionally created website and well-maintained social media presence.  The other must-have?  A blog that’s regularly updated with relevant, interesting information. Keep Up With Continuing Education You probably already attend or at least know about real estate conventions and conferences, but have you thought about expanding your target market to include events that welcome professionals from parallel industries?  Those seminars, symposiums and workshops could be a stellar opportunity to meet marketing pros, developers, staging experts, influencers and even other brokers and agents who may cover neighboring territories or a different sector.  Turn those meet-and-greets into partnerships and you may just see your listings soar.  When that happens, Commission Express will be there to support your needs if you need your commission sooner than your closing will provide! Participate in Community Events How can you raise your own profile, give back to your city and take a break from the daily grind all at the same time?  Volunteer!  It doesn’t really matter whether you’re organizing holiday boxes at the local food pantry, sponsoring a Little League team, or volunteering your time to help someone in need — the mere act of getting out there and lending a hand show’s your potential (and current) clients that you care about the community which will create positive word of mouth (WOM) and will provide your brand with a positive image.  Who knows, maybe someday, the people you help will remember you and use...

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