By Adam Ailion
If you are anything like me, you are tired of hearing about the latest and greatest app you have to learn how to use, or the next best service to buy. My mind is going through “technology overload,” making it difficult to stay current — and many times a good idea or service may go unnoticed.
Let me start off by saying I am frugal when it comes to spending money on tools to grow my business. It might not always be a positive trait to have, but on the plus-side, if I buy into something it has to be good — so listen up.
Last month I was at a technology summit where a real estate panelist mentioned a new service called “FiveStreet,” which was revolutionizing his business by consolidating his online prospects. I have been on the quest for something like this for more than three years, so hearing that this product is available got me a bit excited.
If your business is anything like ours, we get 15-25 inbound leads a day. It has been a constant struggle to manually input all the data, respond to all online inquiries in a timely manner, properly track them to see where they all come from, all while being able to route them to the proper team of agents. We’ve tried our hand at various CRM tools, and we boast about being equipped with tools to serve our business. But one thing I have noticed over the years is that many of the CRM software providers don’t fully communicate with the real estate syndicate websites. There is always a missing piece to the puzzle. This FiveStreet service seems to be the missing piece of the puzzle that can tie it all together. Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
When I first started in the real estate business more than 14 years ago, I took classes where everybody touted using flyers to “capture buyers.” One of the tactics was to leave the price off the flyer so that buyers would call to get the price. Others had special offers or asked buyers to call for more details. The only problem was flyers were always disappearing, and it was a constant fight to keep them in stock.
Around my fourth year in the business — or about a decade ago — the 1-800 call capture systems started gaining traction. The public loved listening to a recording because it was almost like taking a flyer, but they didn’t have to talk to an agent. The public didn’t realize that the agents were capturing their information. Now it seems like almost everybody has one of these systems on their signs to capture buyer leads.
Fast-forward to today: Now we’re seeing another change. If a buyer wants to know what a home’s list price is when driving by, they simply check an app on their phone. They can see pictures of the inside, they can read property details, they have all the info at the touch of a button.
This type of home shopping about to become more prevalent for two reasons: Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
Realtors Property Resource® was recently introduced to my market and I am pleasantly surprised by how much I love this tool. For those of you not familiar with RPR, it is a database of 116 million homes nationwide that (once your MLS allows), you can access to search, compare, create reports with data from a myriad of sources (something like 330 pieces of data are parsed) and establish yourself as a subject-area expert for housing in the market where you do business.
While this tool is not available to all REALTORS® yet, by learning all you can about RPR now you will have a great “leg up” on your colleagues. Sound good? Trust me, it is. I’ve spent a significant amount of time sharing this tool with my agents and I believe that it is truly worth your time.
One thing to note – this tool is for REALTORS®. The only thing your consumers will have access to are the reports that you decide to share.
Why should you love it too? Let me share the ways …
1. Accessibility/Assistance The folks are RPR have made this system user-friendly. Help is around every corner and live chat is available at the bottom of every page. Additionally, they want you to make the system better – use the “Log a Bug” feature to let RPR know you had an issue with something on the site OR to just to make a suggestion.
If you haven’t already, check out: http://blog.narrpr.com for general information and then select – agents, brokers, commercial, association, appraisers or MLS for more detail. The agent section gives you the basics – what it is and how to use it, agent resources and news and information. The information is presented in printable PDF’s or video. You can also sign up for training here if you are ready to learn more.
2. Changes/Updates I love any tool that changes and improves to better suit my needs. Continue reading »
By Subhi Gharbieh
Have you ever thought about some things you can incorporate into your listing presentation that will really juice it up? Here are a few tips to help you get your listing presentation looking like Barry Bonds.
1. Graphs, Charts, Tables of Market Data. Comps, recent sales, and anything that can be explained with numbers, make it visual! (If you’re a Mac user, I strongly recommend Numbers for Mac.
Very easy to use and make your numbers “pop.”)
2. Marketing. Show them your property flyers with your amazing photos. Show them your blog, videos, advertisements, postcards, etc. They want to see what you have done in the past and what you will do for them now.
3. Social Media. Show them your Facebook business page. Twitter. Show them the different avenues you use to reach out to your following and how you market your listings on those networks.
4. Technology. If you have an iPad, make or upload your listing presentation in Keynote (Hands down, best Mac program to use when making presentations.) Bring an actual binded, professional looking listing presentation to the appointment, and bring your iPad also. Hand the iPad to the Seller and let them flip through the presentation on there while you go through the paper version. That alone will sell them. Continue reading »
By Kelly Reark
OK, I’m ready. Elections are over. The holidays are around the corner. Bring on the buyers.
Here in Florida, our season is just about to start. What are people expecting, and what are you going to do about it?
My advice is to study your market, and practice how you will handle objections from buyers and sellers. In our market, it’s not new news that some sellers still aren’t pricing realistically and that some buyers expect to get a million dollar listing for $200,000. You have to be able to stop them with black and white facts and statistics. Numbers are harder to argue with than your opinion of the market.
Let’s say someone asks you, “So, how’s the market right now?” You could answer, “Well, it is better than it was!” OR, you could answer, “MLS data shows that Neighborhood X has sold four times more properties than last year, so you tell me.”
There is a major bonus in showing data and asking the questioner to interpret it. With their own mouths, they will have to admit that the numbers show signs of positive market movement. Once they say it themselves, they will believe it!
The goal is to stop telling people what to expect and start asking them. They will persuade themselves if you learn to ask the right questions. Try it!
By Stefanie Hahn
Agents will often ask me to check out their real estate website. They want to know how it looks, do I like it and are they doing it right? I love when I get to peek into an agent’s website and get a glimpse of what is important to them. Many agents opt for a template site – and that can be okay, as long as the site has a few key elements. I like to see that the agent has some control over the site, too: content, placement, headers, page titles and link structure – but mostly content. You can have the most search engine optimized site out there but, if you content stinks, the consumer won’t stay long. Bonus for fresh content, because we know how much Google loves fresh content. Here is my “must have” list:
1. I want to see “search for homes” or something similar on the first page, right in front of me. I see so many sites that bury the home search behind pages and pages of pointless content. Consumers expect to be able to search for homes on your real estate website. Keep it front and center. Two other things that would be so great: keep your home search unencumbered. Don’t make me fill out a resume before I can see what homes are available in my desired school district. Just let me search on my own. And, secondly, please give me all the listings. Not just yours, your office or your company listings. I want them all.
2. Give me market snapshots – there are tons of cool tools that will help you do this … Altos, Top Producer, or do your own through your MLS data. I want to know what the market is doing in the area where I am buying or selling. Give me data. Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
I’ve been lucky enough to be a Realtors Property Resource™ beta tester for the last couple months, and MLS controversy aside, it’s an elegant site that belies a very powerful information resource, packed with potential, underneath it all. I’ve devised its place in my marketing plan (as a monthly client touchpoint) once live, but I’d never had the opportunity to talk about it with a consumer… until today, with the last set of clients I’d ever think of chatting about it with.
I’m working with a couple – a retired teacher and a very non-retired medical researcher – who are an absolute dream client. They don’t care about my website/Facebook Like-Page/Twitter stream, they don’t want MLS auto-emails, and they trust my judgment that the homes I’m emailing them for showings match their needs. They’re old school, and I love it.
Their home search has narrowed to two upscale condo developments in two very different parts of the Minneapolis market; one in a very established and stable neighborhood, the other in an area smacked upside the head by the overdevelopment/distressed property crow bar. Naturally, they love the latter.
Today, we had a showing at what ended up being a dud property, but it gave us an opportunity to talk about the “research” hubby had been doing on the condo building he and his wife love. Out flies the (circa 1990) MacBook and a spreadsheet that featured complete owner, tax record, previous sold dollar amount, city assessment, and price per-square-foot numbers for the whole building, to go along with average utility costs for the city, linked to very snazzy bar charts.
No joke, it was RPR – if my OCD grandpa had developed it. An hour of conversation followed: Continue reading »
By Nobu Hata
Trulia. Zillow. Cyberhomes. The mere mention of those words, and their use in such sentences such as “But, insert service here says my house is worth insert marketing-dollar-sucking price here!” strikes fear into the hearts of many a real estate practitioner.
We’ve all had the conversation, and for the most part, the majority of us are still grappling with the public’s access to information such as this. Tax data, sold prices, “market” value, we’re in an age of unprecedented access to information; info that was once held close to the chest, is now available for all buyers and sellers to see. In fact, to some consumers I’ve been talking to, these tools are – strangely – a much more trusted resource than a licensed REALTOR®.
The scope of which I didn’t believe until I was privy to a conversation with Zillow guru David Gibbons at BarCamp Seattle. He has been e-mailed about home valuation prices from concerned home sellers wondering where Zillow gets their numbers. Folks are wondering why the remodeled specs of their homes aren’t correlating online. Why the foreclosure sales in their neighborhood are impacting their home so much.
Aren’t these conversations WE should be having? Continue reading »