The Business of Real Estate
Chasing Your Commission Advance: 5 Ways to Overcome Common Buyer Objections

Chasing Your Commission Advance: 5 Ways to Overcome Common Buyer Objections

By on Aug 18, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

How sweet would life be if you could just show a home to a buyer, quickly close the deal and go home with your commission advance in one hand and a nice cold drink in the other? Alas, purchasing real estate is not a speedy process, and buyer objections can stall progress in a heartbeat unless you know exactly what to say in order to get the deal back on track. “We’re Just Looking…” Stop viewing this common brush off as a stopping point and reimagine it as a launching pad for what could be a very valuable conversation. To avoid overwhelming tentative shoppers, dial back the “go get ‘em” and respond with an affirmation combined with gentle but leading questions instead: Great! How did you hear about this property? I totally understand. What are you looking for in a home? It’s always smart to browse before you’re ready to buy. Have you seen anything you love? Flip the focus to the buyer’s needs, and their comfort level will soar. “You’re Just in It for the Commission Advance…” There’s a hundred variations on this objection, and they all boil down to one central issue: Buyers assume that an agent is going to put profit above all else. Try to allay their fears by showing an interest in their needs and back story rather than pushing one particular property. Honor their budget, don’t try to talk them into properties that don’t fit their checklist, and most importantly, explain to them how commission structures work. “Our Credit Isn’t Good Enough” This assumption has derailed countless real estate transactions before they even begin. First, establish whether their credit has been confirmed by a lender. If not, explain why it’s in their best interest to meet with one. If they’ve already been turned down by a lender, let them know that different mortgage lenders have different requirements and offer to refer them to someone you trust. “We Can’t Buy Anything Until We Sell Our House” There are at least three approaches here: “Do you need help selling your current home while you look for a new one?” “Would your search be easier if you had a better idea of what your current home...

Read More
Up Your Commission Advance: 4 Tips to Get Top Dollar for Your Client’s Home This Summer

Up Your Commission Advance: 4 Tips to Get Top Dollar for Your Client’s Home This Summer

By on Jul 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Warm summer weather inevitably brings three things: bathing suits, sunburns and homebuyers. For homeowners looking to unload their properties at top-tier prices, battling the competition for eyes and offers can be both frustrating and daunting. What can you and your clients do to stand out and command top dollar? We’ve got some ideas that will help agents and sellers alike spin summer into some impressive sales. 1. Take Advantage of the Great Outdoors While winter’s snow-covered driveways and muddy lawns give potential buyers pause, summer casts the exteriors of homes in a particularly flattering light. A few window boxes here and there and professionally manicured landscaping welcome shoppers and make them think positive thoughts before they even cross the home’s threshold. The same goes for peeling paint or a deteriorating screen door. Take the time to do (or have someone else tackle) minor repairs, and your efforts won’t go unnoticed. Are there outdoor living spaces on the premises? Don’t let them go to waste. Stage the deck or built-in grill like you’re preparing for party guests to give buyers a glimpse into what the future could look like if they sign on the dotted line. Pools can also be a big selling point — or a gigantic downer. No one wants to be reminded of the maintenance that comes along with an in-ground pool, so play up the positives by clearing any debris and adding a few pool toys to the newly crystal-clear water. 2. Beat the Heat and Boost Your Eventual Listing Advance What feels more glorious than stepping out of triple-digit heat into the blissfully cool air of an air-conditioned home? Put utility costs aside for the day and give buyers some sweet relief by dropping your thermostat a few digits. Iced refreshments like lemonade and fruit-infused water can also go a long way toward fostering a friendly rapport, especially if you offer chilled bottles of water buyers can take on their way out. 3. Let the Inside Reflect the Season It’s amazing what a little strategic interior design can accomplish. A home that’s decked out in dark wood furniture and light-blocking curtains won’t show well in the summertime. The last thing people are looking for when...

Read More
Reali Expansion Threatens Traditional Real Estate Transactions in Limited Markets

Reali Expansion Threatens Traditional Real Estate Transactions in Limited Markets

By on May 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

With app-based home sales performing well in large cities, brokers might wonder if home buying and selling is going the way of Uber. Real estate tech company Reali recently landed Series-A startup funding, which was led by Signature Venture Partners and totaled $5 million. The fledgling company is making waves in the real estate industry by creating disruptive service products and processes that put more power in consumer hands and, potentially, take some from the broker. Reali, which operates primarily in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area, relies on app-based listings and promotes customer-centric processes with help from technology. Customers can conduct self-tours of properties, for example, without waiting for an agent to be present. It’s made possible via smart locks, which are controlled from remote locations, and Bluetooth beacons, which are preprogrammed to provide important information via audio or apps as people walk through the home. By taking some broker activity out of the process, Reali says it’s able to reduce the cost to buyers. As of May 2017, Reali charges buyers a flat fee that it says is less than standard fees typically paid to a buyer’s agent. On the seller side, Reali charges a 4 percent fee, which is also less than traditional broker commissions. Buyers and sellers aren’t without professional assistance, though — Reali transactions are still backed by licensed brokers. Amit Haller, the co-founder and CEO of Reali, says the startup plans to use the recent capital investment to shore up its platform and reach outside of its current market. After stabilizing in the Bay Area, he says, the company plans to establish itself in other California cities and even in select regions outside of the state. The planned growth pattern for Reali does seem to mirror that of Uber, which began in a single city before moving into other metropolitan areas. Since its inception, Uber has slowly made its way into an increasing number of cities; if Reali follows suit, it could be a major competitor for brokers across the country. Reali already has some digital competitors — other startups with app- or online-based real estate buying and selling tools. For now, traditional brokers shouldn’t panic. Reali’s fee structure would likely face...

Read More
Zillow Group Shutting Down Shady Practices

Zillow Group Shutting Down Shady Practices

By on May 5, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Ethical practices are a defining principle in the real estate industry. As agents and brokers, our word is our bond, our reputation our calling card, and any deviation from that is grounds for ostracism — not to mention losing one’s license and other professional credentials. Still, there are some unscrupulous real estate agents who seek to boost their fortunes through shady means, and Zillow Group is cracking down. As of May 1, 2017, Zillow Group (which runs not only the Zillow platform but Trulia as well) is no longer accepting listing entries input manually by real estate agents. Instead, listings must be submitted directly by an MLS or brokerage. Why? Well, as it turns out, Zillow has several good reasons for making the change. (It’s important to note that Zillow’s mandate doesn’t apply to FSBO (for sale by owner), “Make Me Move” (off-market properties listed to induce large offers), and “Coming Soon” listings, all of which can still be listed manually by either agents or homeowners.) The Issue of Dual Agency The current state of the housing market in many U.S. cities means that multiple offers and bidding wars are increasingly common. That makes for happy sellers, and it should lead to lots of satisfied agents, but some seller representatives are taking a different tact in order to better line their pockets. Listing homes exclusively on consumer-centric sites like Zillow and Trulia gives agents the ability to limit the properties’ exposure, thereby increasing the likelihood the agent could “double dip” and represent both parties in a potential sale. This limited audience is often to the seller’s detriment as fewer interested buyers means fewer offers, and that could negatively affect the final sale price. Agents who seek to represent both the buyer and the seller are, by the very nature of the deal, unable to fully advocate for either client. While the practice isn’t technically illegal, most experts say that it rarely works out well — something with which Zillow apparently agrees. The Battle for Accuracy and Timeliness In an email to agents announcing the policy change, Zillow Group stated, “We are taking this step to provide buyers and sellers with the highest-quality listings data possible, and to provide agents...

Read More

How Can You Learn About Your Clients?

By on Jan 22, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why Do You Need to Learn About Your Clients? If you want to be a successful real estate agent, you need to know your clients, which means knowing what they want, where they can be found, and what marketing they will respond to. This is particularly important in real estate because the sheer size of the real estate market means that marketing at no one in particular risks losing the message in the noise, meaning that you need to aim at a particular segment if you want the best results. How Can You Learn About Your Clients? You can use these methods to learn more about your particular segment of the real estate market: On the Job To learn about commercial real estate consumers in a particular place, the simplest and most straightforward method is to spend some time working with a commercial real estate agent who operates in that particular real estate market. This way, you can learn what you need to know on the job while also building the connections that no successful real estate agent can do without, meaning that you will be able to start your eventual career as a real estate agent at a smooth run rather than a stumbling scrabble. Data On a related note, you can learn from your experience as a real estate agent operating in your specific segment of the real estate market. For example, you can expect to collect a lot of data over the course of your operations, which you can mine for valuable insights into your clients once you have compiled it into a usable format. By doing so, you can see the effects of your latest marketing initiatives on your sales numbers, meaning that you can figure out what works for your clients and what doesn’t work by engaging in a process of continuous improvement. Competitors When you are stuck about how you can learn more about your clients, you should take a look at what your most successful competitors are doing. Although you won’t be able to see all that they are doing, what you can see can tell you a fair amount about their approaches to marketing. For example, if you look at the marketing...

Read More

How Can You Use Virtual Tours in Real Estate Marketing?

By on Dec 10, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

What Is a Virtual Tour? The continuing introduction of new techniques and technologies means that real estate professionals will never run out of new and interesting ways with which to capture the interest of potential clients. One example is the virtual tour, which has existed for some time now but has managed to become more popular than ever in recent times because of recent innovations. Like its name suggests, a virtual tour is a digital stand-in for the actual walk-through of a building. As a result, it serves much the same aims, providing the viewer with a chance to examine the interior while also entertaining and informing them at the same time. The most basic form of the virtual tour consists of little more than lines of text attached to a collection of photographs, but more sophisticated versions can make use of video, 3D floor plans, and panoramic views stitched together using a number of photographs shot from the same position. Some virtual tours are even making use of civilian drones! Why Should You Use a Virtual Tour For Real Estate Marketing? First, you should use a virtual tour because it can reach a lot more people than its real life counterpart. After all, geographic distance cannot keep someone from seeing something on the Internet, meaning that a virtual tour can make a building viewable by most of the world. Although most of the people who can take the virtual tour will never take it, even a minuscule percentage means a vast expansion in the number of potential clients, making for increased chances of a faster sale at a better price. Second, you should use a virtual tour because taking one calls for much less effort from both you and your potential clients than taking an actual walk-through of the building. As a result, you will have a much better chance of convincing someone to take a virtual tour than traveling to the building’s location to take its real life counterpart, which gives you an excellent opportunity to capture their interest. In other words, a virtual tour can be used as a means of generating sales leads. How Can You Use a Virtual Tour For Real Estate Marketing? With...

Read More