By Trisha Ocona Francis
Being a real estate professional is more than just helping people sell, buy, or rent property, but rather assisting them in achieving their real estate goals. One of the best ways in doing so is by narrowing down your practice of real estate to an area you know extremely well, enjoy doing, and are committed to furthering your knowledge on the topic. It allows you to focus, and shows your clients your commitment and dedication as an expert towards their particular issue.
There are many areas to choose from, such as the luxury market, commercial sales, office leasing, residential, investing, foreclosures, apartment rentals, government program housing placement, senior housing, relocation specialist, or you can always develop your own area of expertise.
You may decide to gear your real estate practice towards commercial real estate because you like analyzing the potential profits of a building, the adventure of negotiating, and helping your clients produce their desired results. Or you may work with seniors because you enjoyed helping your previous senior clients transition from homeownership of forty years to senior housing, loved their history stories, and learned a lot about senior housing programs in the process.
The road to becoming this “Specialized Real Estate Expert” is similar to a college student deciding on a major and ultimate career choice. Medical doctors and attorneys concentrate on a specific field to practice for the same reasons.
To begin, here are a few questions to ask yourself: Continue reading »
By Scott Newman
I often encounter other REALTORS® who see little to no value in developing relationships with their fellow agents, and it just baffles me every time! We are in one of the most challenging real estate markets in U.S. history, not to mention we’re in an environment where rules and regulations change daily, which is only adding barriers to establishing a successful business. I think we need the support of one another now more than ever.
But how do you develop those bonds? Read on, as today I’m presenting a few great tips for building your agent network as a way to grow your business in 2012.
This is by far the most important piece of advice I can possibly share with you. Put down the phone, computer, tablet, and anything else with a power cord if you really want to network with your fellow agents properly.
I love social media, and I owe a great deal of my success to our ability to market effectively on that platform. But when it comes to connecting with other REALTORS®, you simply can’t replace face-to-face interaction with any technology that currently exists. Make it a point to attend one live networking event a week related to our industry, giving you have a chance to meet other agents in person. Bring plenty of business cards and come ready to mingle.
Here’s another great tip: Take some time to figure out what distinguishes you from your fellow agents so you stand out. Whenever I’m around other agents, I make it a point to nail home just how successful and interested I am in working with short sale listings. More often than not, another agent in the room is all too happy to take a referral fee for the few short sale listings he gets each year, which is a win-win for everyone.
Maybe you do leasing, or you’re a luxury specialist — whatever it is, emphasize your specialty and talents to distinguish yourself from the crowd and elevate yourself as the top expert in the room. It will go a long way towards cementing relationships and help you create pipelines through which new business and referrals can flow.
Join Up Continue reading »
By Cory Brewer
In the past year or so I have run across several examples of REALTORS® (myself included) being tempted to be a “jack of all trades” when it comes to serving their clients. Let’s face it, we don’t want to give up control and we are also worried about potentially giving up a paycheck.
However, is it really in your best interest to step outside your area of expertise? More importantly, is it in your clients’ best interests? Sometimes the answer to these questions is no, and that’s when you have to step back and think about giving up a little bit of that control.
I had an eye-opening conversation with a local colleague of mine recently who focuses his entire business on short sales. I have closed my fair share of them, but that is virtually ALL he does. The point of the conversation came down to a key statistic: Success Rate. This REALTOR® closes about 90 percent of all short sale listings that he puts on the market, whereas the national average is somewhere around 25 percent.
Here is the food for thought: Are you better off busting your hump to have a 25 percent chance at a 100 percent commission (which could very well be reduced by the lien holders, especially if you’re not a seasoned short sale negotiator) or are you better off referring it out and having a 90 percent chance at a 25 percent referral commission? Think about all the time, effort, and marketing dollars that go into a listing. Now think about how much longer (and how much more work) it takes to see a short sale through to closing successfully. And finally, think about who is truly doing a better job for the client…you, or the specialist that you trust to take care of them? Continue reading »
By Amanda Stinton, NAR’s Green Designation Specialist
If you haven’t already heard, NAR’s Green REsource Council is hosting two days of courses November 9-10, prior to NAR’s annual REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Anaheim. The courses are only open to REALTORS® who belong to their local YPN. In addition, the courses are taught by top national instructor and green building expert Bob Hart and they’re absolutely free!
If you aren’t a YPN member yet, join! Then just visit our site and submit a registration form: www.greenresourcecouncil.org/ypn. We’ll follow the second day of class with a wine and cheese reception. All students in this class will also get a coupon allowing them to take the final course, Green 300: Greening Your Real Estate Business, online at a discount.
So, maybe you’ve noticed different labels on products in homes or maybe there are green features abound that you simply haven’t noticed because you haven’t learned what to look for. Your clients want a home that’s healthy, durable, efficient, and nearby to the places they frequent. The question is, do your clients consider a healthy, durable, efficient, well-placed home a description of a green home?
As real estate professionals and REALTORS®, it’s important that we know how to guide clients so that they can make the best homeownership decisions for their priorities and needs. What if you could show your buyer client the home that meets their requirements and saves them money each month on utilities when compared to other homes in the area? How about the home that could sell for a premium when your seller decides to move because it’s green certified? Earning NAR’s Green Designation will help you position yourself as a trusted advisor.
More than anything, it’s a fascinating niche in the industry full of energy and interesting people. Of course, I’m biased having worked with NAR’s Green Designation, but there is real value here. I encourage you all to harness it!
By Brett Caviness
I strongly believe in the power of positive thinking and live by it everyday. As a determined entrepreneur and recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, I am goal-oriented and envision my plans becoming a reality. I work toward my goals each and everyday.
I have been in the business since 2009, but recently began a new chapter, bringing my business home to the resort community of Okoboji in North-West Iowa. Excited about this new endeavor, I began marketing my diverse interests along with the areas both my office and I specialize in.
I began using the phrase “From country living to your back-yard beach, I’ve got you covered.” No later than two days after this phrase was published in a local newspaper, I was contacted to co-list my first two area properties. I was approached first to co-list a lakefront “Back-yard beach,” then later in the day to list an acreage “Country living.” I couldn’t help but notice the strange relationship between the vision and words that I convey each day and the reality that I was creating. I feel we play a critical role in the world we co-construct.
As I hit the pavement running on this new journey, I am focused on my physical actions as well as my mental motivation that help draw success in my direction. I’m not saying that by envisioning yourself being successful it will just happen. What I want to promote is an overall model of positive thinking and action combined to help propel your business and yourself in your desired direction. In challenging times it is important to remember all things are possible as we have the true power to create our own reality.
Brett Caviness is a REALTOR® in the resort community of Okoboji in North-West Iowa. Connect with him at www.BrettCavinessHomes.com.