By Scott Newman
So here’s where you currently stand: Everyone and their mother has been telling you to blog. They say, “it’s so important to connect with the potential clients in your market.” Or more generally, “put yourself out there!” Even asking, “Why aren’t you blogging already? You’re the best writer I know!” (This last one from your mom).
But what’s a newbie blogging REALTOR® to do? Where do you start? What do you say? What don’t you say?
For these questions and more, I hope this blog post and the tips it contains will provide answers. Because while a blog is arguably one of the more daunting personal marketing tools out there, it’s also one of the most effective. Starting and maintaining a blog is an important endeavor for any real estate professional looking for more ways to reach potential clients and—drum roll please—generate business.
Being yourself is the best advice you’ll probably ever get about almost any problem you’re having in life—how’s that for a tip?—but it also holds true with blogs. People want genuine experience, and if you can’t give that to them, they won’t give you their precious time and they’ll go off searching for another blog written by someone who has the realness factor they seek. Oh yeah, and then, when they’re hooked on some other agent’s blog, they’ll wind up buying a home from that agent and not you. Trust me, it can happen. Continue reading »
By Paul Everett
The first indication from many home owners that they are seriously considering selling their home is often through a free listing on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, StreetEasy, or other regional and national For Sale By Owner sites.
With the expansion of FSBO advice companies as well as online listing tools—particularly Zillow and Trulia—an increasing number of home owners are feeling empowered to take a spin at selling their homes on their own, in order to cut out the potential fees associated with agent sales. As we all know, FSBOs most often learn after a few weeks that selling a home is hard work, and best left to professionals! Placing yourself and your real estate services in front of the home owner during this moment of realization is the key to securing listings from online FSBOs.
When the home owner starts feeling the frustration of selling on his or her own, this is the seed of your opportunity. Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one who knows the time is ripe. Rest assured that many like-minded and hardworking agents in your area will all be thinking the same thing at the exact same time. Therefore, timing and approach will mean everything if you want to be the one who gets the listing. Here are five tips for putting yourself ahead of the pack: Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
Sometimes selling is complicated. Sometimes, a home can sit for weeks, months, even years before there’s so much as a bite. But with the right knowledge and dialogue, selling a home can be as easy as telling a buyer’s agent one simple thing. In 2011, I wrote a post about the power of one sentence to attract a client. Now, I’m going to let you in on another secret. Here’s how to sell a difficult home with just one line.
A few years ago, a seller in my local area called me and said, “Dave, I’ve had my home listed with my best friend for over a year. This is hard for me to do, but I need you to sell this house. Can you do it? Tell me the truth!”
To answer the question, I sold that home in one week to the first buyer who looked at it. Do you think it was luck? Not a chance.
Here’s how the conversation went with the agent who showed the home:
Agent: Dave, my buyer just saw your listing and it’s the first one he looked at. We have a lot of other homes scheduled to view and I wanted to ask, if you get anyone else interested in this property will you give me a call?
(Translation: We are going to shop around with your competition, are you cool with that?)
So to this I say, heck no I’m not cool with that! Why are agents telling buyers’ agents that they will call if they get offers? The Code of Ethics Article 1-15 specifically states: “REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property.” How many agents do you know who are technically breaking this rule by disclosing the existence of offers without sellers’ permission? Did the agent call the seller and ask for permission to disclose that they don’t have offers on the table? There’s a good chance they didn’t.
So what did I say to the agent? Continue reading »
We’re all guilty of working too much on occasion. It’s absolutely inevitable if you have the drive to challenge yourself and succeed at all costs… and we all have that, right? I’ll be the first to admit sometimes my vision for success overshadows my need for rest. But just as being lazy won’t get you anywhere, overworking yourself can be just as bad.
How do we create that perfect balance between work and play? Well, if you’re like me, you probably have a small panic attack when you can’t access your phone at any given moment. Do you sleep with your phone by your pillow? E-mail during meetings? Rest your phone on your bathroom counter when showering? Don’t do it!
If I was stranded on a deserted island and could only take one item, it would be my iPhone. I wouldn’t even take it to call for help, but to make sure that I didn’t get behind on my e-mails. Don’t think you’re that addicted? Next time you’re sitting still, notice how often you instinctively reach to check your phone for missed alerts. Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
We often get asked, “What’s the return on investment on this or that?” And most times, we can quantify our answer. Although if it’s about Facebook, we might respond the way Gary Vaynerchuk would: “What’s the ROI of your mother?”
But do you know the difference between something being an expense versus asking about its ROI? As REALTORS®, we all probably have those inevitable monthly expenses: sign storage, database management software, and digital signature services. Have you ever taken the time to really think about these things and what they mean—and cost—for your business?
I was having this conversation with a colleague and here is how he described the difference: An expense is something in which we’ve yet to find the value. That was a big BOOM moment for me! I see the value in those “expenses” just listed and yet I’ve never questioned their ROI.
Go check your bank statement and see if there’s something on there you’re not finding valuable. That, my friend, is an expense. My advice is to pull out your income statement and clear your books of these “expenses” so you can better invest in items with an “ROI”. Don’t have an income statement handy? Here’s a sample chart to peruse.
Melissa Krchnak is the team leader for Keller Williams in Pikesville, MD. Connect with her on Twitter @mkrchnak.
By Brent Wayne
As one of the most effective tax shields of any deduction, the mortgage insurance tax write-off is essential to the protection of the middle class, especially in a volatile economy of uncertainty. Despite their considerable differences on other issues, the legislative and executive branches seemed to come together to protect the mortgage insurance write off for the sake of the overall economy (and most likely their jobs).
Below are just a few reasons why the mortgage insurance write off continues to be one of the most important political and economic initiatives in contention today.
- Most borrowers do not have the ability to pay cash for housing. Not only has the volatile economy consolidated wealth away from the middle class, but it has also stopped much of the housing market in its tracks. People who would normally buy houses are now renting and staying at home. Even those who have the money for a down payment are holding back because of the few extra expenditures that go along with purchasing a home. Those few who still have enough money for a down payment may not have the 20 percent that is necessary to keep from paying mortgage insurance. Without the tax write off for this insurance, most borrowers would end up in default or underwater because of the accruing interest and fees on the mortgage and on the insurance. Continue reading »
By Lynn Minnick
When I was first starting out in real estate, I was lucky enough to have an experienced agent take me under her wing. We were from entirely different generations, and had very different business styles, but regardless of our differences, the education I learned from her was invaluable and continues to shape the way I practice real estate today. Our relationship didn’t arise from any formal mentoring program like the one my company later adopted. She was someone willing to foster young talent, and I was someone eager to learn; the Yoda to my Luke.
She took me on listing appointments, had me co-host open houses with her, brought me to home inspections, and taught me to be supportive of and network with other agents. She stressed the importance of our business reputations. And through it all, I was in awe; when it came to real estate, she was utterly fearless, because she knew how to handle every possible situation and dilemma that might occur.
Beyond everything I’ve already described, here are some more lessons she taught me: Continue reading »