The Business of Real Estate
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More
How to Turn Social Media into a Lead-Generating Machine for Realtors

How to Turn Social Media into a Lead-Generating Machine for Realtors

By on Jun 20, 2017 in Marketing | 0 comments

Are you happy with the ROI from your social media campaigns? The social landscape changes almost daily, and it can be hard to stay in the loop. Here are a few of our favorite social media tips that will help you turn sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram into lead-generating machines. Build a Responsive Site — and Maybe an App Some 40 percent of people surveyed said they’d abandon a website that took more than three seconds to load. That means you could be losing close to half your audience before they even have a chance to see what you’re about. Make sure your site is designed for optimal viewing on both desktop and mobile devices, and that the layout is easy to navigate. For bonus points, consider launching a branded app. You can send users push notifications about new listings or price reductions, offer account-only features such as property mapping and personalized listing portfolios, and encourage reviews and message board discussions, building a valuable community in the process. Ask Questions When you meet with a new client, do you spend the time rambling on about your own best attributes or do you seize the moment and ask the buyers or sellers about their needs, hopes, dreams and concerns? Hopefully, you’re doing the latter, and that’s the same approach you should take to social media. Post two photos of a room staged in two different ways and ask your followers what they think. Ask people to comment on a post with their most burning real estate questions. Whatever creative ideas you dream up, the results are two-fold: You’re gathering important information that can be used later for marketing/targeting purposes and simultaneously making your audience feel their input and opinions are valued. Use Visuals Social analytics giant Kissmetrics says that photo-based posts on Facebook garner 84 percent more click-throughs, 52 percent more likes, and a whopping 104 percent more comments. It’s not surprising; most people are more motivated by an interesting picture than they are by a wall of descriptive texts, especially when you consider how fast we flick through our news feeds. Post multiple photos of a newly listed home in a photo album, not separately; doing so could...

Read More