The Business of Real Estate
How to Bulletproof Your Transactions

How to Bulletproof Your Transactions

By on Nov 6, 2018 in Real Estate | 0 comments

The early career of many a real estate agent can be a struggle, trying to find your feet, learn what works for you and, in particular, learn how to hold a deal together from one end of the process to the other. Closing a real estate deal is a long process with plenty of potential pitfalls, and sometimes deals that seemed solid can go south with what seems to be no warning. That process doesn’t come automatically to anyone, but there are a few key tips you can follow to boost your numbers and maximize your chances of closing your most important deals. Midpoint Check-Ins Whether you’re representing the buyer or the seller, the important thing in communicating with your clients is never to take their comfort level for granted. A halfway check-in from your office to gauge the client’s satisfaction with the transaction and the level of service they’re getting can be invaluable in catching potential problems before they become fatal to the transaction. Getting that feedback at the end of the process can often mean getting it too late. Get Ahead of Potential Problems As a transaction progresses, there are certain potential problem areas that you’ll be well-positioned to anticipate and solve before they can scuttle the deal. Buyers might get concerned when the time for home inspections comes around, for example — the kind of concerns you can head off at the proverbial pass by sitting down with them beforehand and explaining what to expect at every stage of the process. Sellers might get worried about having listed too low when offers start coming in faster than they expect, but you can likewise ameliorate those problems by preparing them for that scenario and putting it context beforehand. Nothing boosts a client’s confidence in their agent like that agent displaying confidence and competence themselves. The key is immersing yourself in applicable classes and visioning sessions, practicing scripts to provide you with seamless responses to the most common problems that can crop up and knowing the warning signs of those problems so that you can bring solutions to the table early. Manage Appraisals If a seller gets many offers that reach well above the asking price, appraisals can...

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3 Common Real Estate Myths Debunked for New Agents

3 Common Real Estate Myths Debunked for New Agents

By on Oct 31, 2018 in Real Estate | 0 comments

Every profession comes with its own set of myths, the sort of misleading “common wisdom” that those coming into the business often wish they’d seen through much earlier in their careers. There are several common misconceptions about real estate that working agents would love newcomers to know about. Myth #1: There’s a Fast Track to Real Estate Success There’s simply no way around it: Success in real estate doesn’t come from a single approach or look a single way, and it doesn’t come easily. New agents should be able to bounce back from rejection and setbacks, have alternate sources of income in place and have realistic expectations of their income. Those who expect a swift and steady progression to wealth are in for a disappointment. Succeeding as a new agent requires patience, planning and seeking out all the advice you can get on potentially useful strategies. Myth #2: Property Gurus Can Sell You a Road Map to Riches Faced with the sometimes-daunting challenges of starting out in real estate, it can be tempting to put hope in the idea of a “property guru” who can help you navigate the oft-confounding market and sell you a tried and true “map” to the glittering, glamorous summit of the real estate world as seen on HGTV. Unfortunately, that glamorous vision and the “property gurus” that sell it are mostly snake oil. Practical mentoring by an experienced local agent is far more valuable that advice from someone who spends the bulk of their time selling books and running seminars. Myth #3: The Real Estate Market Moves in Predictable Cycles One of the central myths surrounding the real estate market is that it moves in cycles that are easily predicted and taken advantage of by savvy investors . . . and by extension, equally savvy agents and their clients. In practice, though, real estate is anything but predictable. The past two decades have seen spectacular crashes and equally surprising recoveries of the housing market that were both supposed by the prevailing wisdom to be impossible before they happened. The notion of easy-to-predict cycles appeals to the same craving that sends gamblers back to the casino time and again in search of that elusive “system”...

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Quick Tips for Upping Your Social Media Game

Quick Tips for Upping Your Social Media Game

By on Sep 28, 2018 in Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

It’s common wisdom these days that social media is one of the best ways to energize your client engagement and develop new leads. Knowing this, however, is a different proposition than knowing exactly how to go about it, and for more than a few people, the whole topic can get overwhelming quickly. The good news is, it doesn’t need to be. The best social media strategies avoid becoming time sinks and don’t require you to be a rocket scientist. Whether you need to get an existing account up to speed or get a new one started, here are a few handy tips. 1. Learn Your Way Around Multiple Platforms and Leverage Them Make sure you’re familiar with the basic business features of platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, InstaGram and Facebook. Having a dispersed social media footprint increases your chances of connecting with relevant groups and individuals and building a broad-based network. Take a little time up front to familiarize yourself with the best ways to leverage a particular site. Understanding the marketing best practices on LinkedIn can be particularly important, but for any social media tools, it takes only a little research to discover ways to build audience and engagement beyond the most basic functions. 2. When You Celebrate a Closing, Share Your Story Of course it’s great to make people on social media aware that you’re closing deals. Pictures with happy clients in front of their new home, for example, are frequent social media material for Realtors. To make your content stand out, though, you need to connect it to a story: How did you close that deal or get that new listing? How did you meet the client — were they referred? Are there any interesting or engaging anecdotes you can share from the deal? These are the kinds of details that can pique your network’s interest, get them more engaged and lead to more listings. 3. Post Images and Events From Your Neighborhood Showcasing your passion and involvement with your local community is crucial. A great way to do this is through pictures and stories that feature the best of a neighborhood where you have a listing, along with informed commentary about the area’s lifestyle advantages and...

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3 Kinds of Toxic Clients and How to Deal With Them

3 Kinds of Toxic Clients and How to Deal With Them

By on Sep 28, 2018 in Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

Much as you might want to go above and beyond and find a way to help every buyer or seller that comes your way, there’s no avoiding a certain fact as a Realtor: There are some kinds of clients that are just flat-out toxic. Here are a few to watch out for and some tips on what to do if you encounter them. The Client Who Knows Best Clients like this come into the transaction mistakenly believing they know enough about the real estate market to distrust your expertise, disregard your advice and generally proceed as they see fit, a course of action that will often lead them into trouble. They may want to set their home’s price regardless of its actual market value or might attempt to bid so extremely far below a seller’s price as to be unrealistic. Whether a buyer or a seller, they can wind up stranded in the market. Fortunately, with some patience and careful education, it can be possible to bring this kind of client around. Giving them stats and some honest talk about pricing, and including them as much as possible in the process so they can see how it actually works as opposed to their preconceptions, can make the difference. Some opportunities might be lost along the way, but most of the time it’s still a salvageable situation. The Overdemanding Client This kind of client doesn’t necessarily have unreasonable expectations as far as pricing or the process of negotiation goes. Nevertheless, nice and reasonable as they can at first seem, they quickly develop a pattern of gratuitous demands on your time and energy. They will ask for irrelevant research out of simple “curiosity,” will regard you as being on call to hear out every passing whim or desire at all hours of the day and may effectively seem to expect you to provide an unlimited amount of labor for free. The good news is that this kind of initially toxic client can be educated. It’s good practice to try to go above and beyond, but if the expectation of doing so goes beyond reason, it then becomes necessary to set boundaries and train them to understand your working process. Hold firm...

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3 Ways to Help Customers Avoid Decision Fatigue

3 Ways to Help Customers Avoid Decision Fatigue

By on Aug 17, 2018 in Blog, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

A fascinating study of decision fatigue carried out in 2011 in the Israeli court system revealed prisoners’ chances of getting parole were at their best first thing in the morning and fell gradually through the day. The reason? As the stress of making difficult and important decisions piled up, the court gradually grew less decisive, until by the end of the day there was a 90 percent chance of their putting off granting parole until a prisoner’s next review. It’s a vivid example of decision fatigue in action, and it’s a phenomenon that can affect home buyers’ decisiveness, too. Luckily, the agent who understands this factor can also find ways to compensate for it. Here are a few simple tips for overcoming customer decision fatigue when selling a home. Start Open Houses Early Most people have an easier time making big decisions and setting priorities earlier in the day. Of course, this doesn’t guarantee that a 9 o’clock open house will fit their schedule or result in a sale. It does at least improve your odds of dealing with home buyers who are early in the process of accumulating “cognitive load” during the day. The level of investment involved in buying a home should be on their list of the day’s most important tasks. Combined with an inviting atmosphere, a cheery welcome and all the other tools of real estate presentation and sales at your disposal, this question of timing can weigh in your favor. Perfect Your “Elevator Pitch” Technique The ability to deliver information that’s simple, concise and vivid will serve you well in cutting through the fog of decision fatigue at any time of day you might run into a prospect. It could be at the gym, at a party, dropping the kids off at school. Every once it a while it might literally happen in an elevator. Whatever the situation, successful real estate agents should always be ready to put their best foot forward. The elevator pitch has its name because it should take about as long to do as an average trip between a few floors on an elevator — 30 seconds or so. The keys to crafting a pitch that will stand out and...

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3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Online Presence

3 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Online Presence

By on Aug 10, 2018 in Blog, Marketing, Real Estate | 0 comments

Marketing is the name of the game in real estate success, and online marketing is taking on greater importance than ever before. As recently as 2016, more than 40 percent of new home buyers turned to online sources first for information, and that’s a trend that’s only going to strengthen in the years to come. This makes getting the most out of your online presence absolutely key to succeeding in the current marketplace. Here, we share some actionable tips on making the internet work for your business. 1. Know Your SEO One of the biggest modern-day marketing buzzwords is Search Engine Optimized content, or SEO. Simply put, this is how keywords or answers to common customer questions on your site can help them use search engines — especially Google — to find you. SEO has evolved significantly from the early years, when Google searched only for exact word and phrase matches and businesses often relied upon “keyword stuffing” to bolster visibility. Search engines are getting smarter and frown on this kind of stuffing. They’re also evolving on the whole to favor genuinely relevant, authoritative and semantically sophisticated content. There are several “best practices” for real estate SEO on your website: Make sure your keywords and phrases are directly relevant to your content. Choose the right keywords, which for Realtors generally means using local and neigborhood-specific keywords and phrases, and the kinds of phrases that answer questions those searching for your site will ask. Use keyword research tools like BuzzSumo to help. Spread keywords, synonyms and semantically related phrases across pages that use them. Do it in a natural and organic way. It’s generally recommended that you use keywords in your title and at least some headers and sub-headers of a page, in meta tags and meta descriptions, the alt text of images, as links to other relevant content on your site, and within the body of the text. Link to quality content. Be sure to avoid linking to spammy sites, as they can contaminate your link profile by association. 2. Make Use of Reviews and Testimonials Reviews and testimonials are powerful tools for helping a potential client decide to trust you with their real estate needs. There are a...

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