5 Important Questions To Ask Your Prospective Real Estate Agent

If you believe that selling a home is a daunting process, then don’t even think about selling your home on your own. In the real estate game, the seller is the one who takes the main role of establishing the sale price, finding the right buyer, and facilitating the transfer of all the necessary documents and paperwork.

In addition, he or she has to ensure that the deal is also lucrative. With a significant portion of your time spent on your busy life and work, finding the time to sell your home, in a fast and productive manner, can be overwhelming to say the least.

This is why you should hire a real estate agent. There are literally hundreds of real estate agents out there, and finding the right one can prove to be a formidable task. That is why it is so important to ask the right questions when sourcing an agent to handle the sale of your home.

Here are some questions you can ask, which will help you narrow down your search.

  1. Ask whether he or she is an accredited real estate agent in their respective province and how long they have been in the business. It is essential that you check out a realtors’ credentials and references. Just like in any other field, experience matters However, it does not necessarily mean that established realtors are far better than new ones. A realtors experience helps you to gauge their efficiency and turnaround times.
  2. How many successful sales have they made in the past 2 years? By establishing the number of successful deals a realtor has made, you can determine whether or not they can live up to your demands.
  3. Does he or she operate locally, and if so, what are their sales plan strategies? A real estate agent who operates locally has all the necessary information with regards to the current real estate demands, demographics and local marketing solutions. All these factors play a crucial role in determining the success of a sale. It is important that you ask how he or she plans to sell your home. Thoroughly evaluate their marketing techniques, home staging and other kinds of initiatives that they plan to use, in order to speed up the sales process.
  4. Does he or she work alone or with a group of people? And what is their communication method? It is important that a real estate agent not work alone. He or she can work with either actual or virtual assistants. A good realtor has a team that does all the necessary paper transactions, various management solutions and online marketing. This provides the realtor with the time to focus on the core elements of her sale, such as negotiations, arranging an open house, and renovations. Also, do not forget to keep in mind the method of communication and its frequency. A good realtor has to develop a clear line of communication, providing constant updates to the client.
  5. What are your rates? In most cases, realtors usually charge a commission of 3%-6%, however, these rates are negotiable and vary depending on the province. There are also some realtors who have fixed commissions according to tiered percentages.

Selling your home, or any kind of real estate property, can be a very difficult and exhaustive task, which is why it is so important to have a capable real estate agent in your corner, working for you.

You just have to ask the right questions.

Ways to Market Yourself As a Real Estate Agent

Congratulations on passing the state licensing exam and getting placed with an agency! Now it’s time to find your clients – and to have them find you. Some agencies will provide assistance for marketing, but they might not give you all the tips you need. Read on to learn more about tips to market yourself as a real estate agent.

Your new agency may give you some leads to get started with. But those are not going to expand your business very well. You can also start with marketing to your so-called warm market – your friends and family. It’s the least expensive type of marketing, and you know that your audience will be receptive, or at least polite and hear your message. They can also give people they know a referral to you, and that kind of marketing is both free and invaluable. Your warm market paired with your agency’s leads will be a solid place to start.

Adding on to that, there are traditional types of marketing like newspaper ads and local city magazines. But in today’s digital age, these marketing formats don’t yield very strong results. Here is where you can let your creative talents shine. Think of ways to make digital videos that not only make your clients’ home look dazzling, but get you noticed.

Viral videos can take off and get people watching them for reasons other than their original purpose. Even if 90% of people viewing your clip are doing so for reasons other than buying a home, your name is getting out in front of all of them. One clever agent in Northern California did a parody of “YMCA” and garnered so much business, he was named by the Wall Street Journal as the top real estate agent in the country.

You should also have a robust website that invites people to click and contact you. Use those clicks to collect e-mails for your newsletter that you can also use when you get a new property to sell. Having good topics like ways to get stubborn grease off of your range hood or quick fixes for a leaky toilet will keep people coming back for what you have to say and build loyalty to you.

Keep up with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, too. These are the two most popular social media sites. If you have the time, you should maintain Google+ and Instagram accounts as well to broaden your horizons.

Lastly, know your market and use that knowledge to your greatest ability. There are all kinds of things people from out of the area need to know about schools, traffic patterns, and shopping, just to name a few things. Your local market guide will be a great asset to them – and lead to you getting more business. People want an agent who knows his or her stuff about the area. Your market guide shows potential clients that you are that expert.

Remember, a comprehensive marketing plan is not inexpensive. You will have already paid for your license and your testing fees, so be sure to factor marketing into your starting budget. While your agency might give you some tools like a set of personalized postcards or business cards, you will still need to have your own personal marketing set of tools as well.

Commercial Real Estate Agent Prospecting Facts and Strategies

When you work as a commercial real estate agent or broker, it is essential that you develop and implement a prospecting program to generate new business leads. It is a personal process and it is not something that you can or should delegate.

I am amused sometimes when I hear that an agent has paid considerable money to a marketing company to ‘cold call’ their entire sales territory or market segment looking for leads and prospects to serve. Delegating the prospecting process to a marketing company or another ‘unskilled person’ is a waste of time and money. Commercial real estate is an industry built around personal relationships and trust; a marketing company or employed canvasser cannot offer that level of communication or service.

So why would a real estate agent employ such a ‘marketing firm’ to make prospecting calls? The answer in most cases is glaringly obvious; the agent doesn’t have the skill or the discipline for the prospecting process to be successful.

If you want to win the new business, then you will need to do it yourself. Yes, it takes time to get results and you will need to develop some new skills, but discipline will help you get to the results that you are seeking.

One thing should be said here; commercial real estate brokerage is tremendously rewarding for the sales people that can work hard and to a system or plan. Looking for leads and opportunities is part of the process or game. It’s a personal thing and it can’t be delegated.

Here are some way’s to find new business, better property listings, and good clients:

  • Redundant Properties – Some properties will move to a level of redundancy due to age, deterioration, change of zoning, or lack of tenants. When this happens it is time to move to the next phase of the property ‘lifecycle’. A good real estate agent can see the signs early and work closely with a property owner as they start to deal with the issue of investment change.
  • Vacant Land – As a city expands or suburbs change, vacant land will be rezoned for new development. Keep ahead of this opportunity by monitoring the planning and development applications at your local planning approvals office. Get copies of the public minutes of the planning committee meetings.
  • Old Listings – Some listings don’t sell or lease at the first attempt. What you can do here is withdraw the property from the market today and then revisit the property marketing effort a few months later in another and perhaps different marketing approach. Refreshing a listing is a valuable business process.
  • Open Listings – The best way to sell or lease a property is through an exclusive listing process. Open listings are very much a process of luck; most open listings stay on the market for a very long time and on average are far less successful when compared to the dedicated marketing efforts of an exclusive listing. Revisit old open listings to see if they can be optimised for a fresh marketing effort.
  • Larger Businesses – Local businesses are involved in property either as tenants or as owner occupiers. Business owners will need help with property from time to time. The best way to tap into that opportunity is through direct and ongoing contact. Cold call every business in your town or city and speak to them regularly about property needs and changes.
  • Surrounding Other Listings – When a competing agent puts a property on the market, you can use that listing as a reason to talk to all adjacent and nearby business and property owners. One property listing can be the catalyst to talk to others to see if they would like to compete or do something themselves.
  • Street Canvass – On a street by street basis, systematically move through your sales territory and research all property owners. Eventually you will create a good list of owners for your database. Ongoing contact will allow you to build valuable client relationships and the levels of trust that help grow commissions and listings.
  • Cold Calling – The telephone remains the most effective business tool that we have. Direct calls handled in a professional way will help you reach out to new people. Selectively researching the property owners and business people in your area will support the cold calling process.

A simple list like this will give you an abundance of property leads and opportunities. The secret to making things work for you is in doing it yourself.

Buying or Selling a Home – Finding a Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home is probably one of the largest financial transactions you will ever have. It can be a complicated and time-consuming endeavor. Enlisting help from a real estate agent can ensure the process will be less stressful and more enjoyable. Following are the benefits of using a real estate agent and tips for finding a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional.

Following are the benefits of using a real estate agent:

  • Preparing your home for sale. A full-service real estate agent can assist you with getting your home ready for sale by providing invaluable suggestions as well as pricing information for comparable properties to establish your asking price.
  • Advertising your home. When the time comes to list your house, an agent can advertise, market and show your home to prospective buyers.
  • Negotiating the cost. Once you have an interested buyer, a real estate agent can help you negotiate with interested buyers as well as make arrangements for the closing.

Following are tips for finding a seasoned, knowledgeable real estate professional who understands local market conditions and has the specific experience to best meet your needs:

  • Interview several agents to determine which one best meets your needs. Don’t go with the first one you meet.
  • Beware of hiring a family member or friend as a real estate agent. Although it would be nice to pass the real estate commission on to a loved one, it is ultimately best to go with an agent with a proven track record in your marketplace.
  • Hire a full-time agent as opposed to someone who practices real estate in their spare time. Real estate transactions are complex endeavors requiring agents who are committed to your transaction and understand the ins and outs of the process.
  • Ask your selected real estate agent for a market analysis that compares your house to others on the market to ensure the agent you have chosen has done the proper homework and understands the nuances of your housing market.
  • Inquire about past houses the agent has sold, including the list price, the actual selling price, and the average length of time it took to sell the houses.
  • Get references from their last three clients. Be wary if the real estate agent hesitates to give you this information.
  • Ask your agent how they plan to drive traffic to your home in order to generate multiple offers.
  • Select a real estate agent you enjoy working with.

Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Want A Home Seller To Know! Part-1

Are you thinking about selling your home this spring? If you are it may pay dividends to stop and think about some of the issues confronting you as a home seller. Do you plan to sell for sale by owner or list your home with a real estate company? Did you know you could do both at the same time? Not many people know that…

If you are planning on retaining the services of a real estate agent then caution is the key word. Keep in mind that selling your home is a BIG business deal and you want the best real estate agent you can find representing your project. Finding a professional real estate agent can be a difficult task if you don’t know the basics questions to ask. Many agents are part-timers with one toe in the tub and they just can’t represent a homeowner as well as a full-time agent. Beyond this, you have to ask yourself (and the agent) how much business experience do they have? Do they have a business degree? What is their background in marketing and sales? Are they full time or part time? How many homes have they personally sold? When you retain the services of a real estate agent to sell your home you are the employer and you have the right to ask these types of question. You will be paying a real estate agent a HEFTY commission for selling your home IF it sells. Your job is to ask the right questions to select an agent that will get the job done in a professional manner.

One of the main things you want to avoid as a home seller is entering into long-term listing contracts with any real estate agent or company. Keep the listing contracts limited to 90 days at a time so that you can review the performance of the agent and their company. Among the things you want to negotiate when you are listing your home and have it show on the listing contract as a legal (addendum or attachment) is an itemized marketing plan indicating the exact marketing activities that will be used to sell your home. You want to see a marketing plan that itemizes where and when your home will be advertised, how many open houses will occur, when those open houses will take place and how they will be conducted. You want specifics about the advertising campaign around the selling of your home. Many agents will list a home and basically home a new agent spins their wheels to sell for them. The old saying among real estate agents is “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. What this means basically is an agent will do and say almost anything to get a listing agreement from a seller. Then, they throw the house into the MLS (multiple listing service), cross their fingers and hope another agent finds a buyer for your property. Most sellers don’t know the listing agent and their company will get the bulk of the commission whether they actually sell the home or not. Seasoned agents often list and let the new agents drive the tires off their car showing property-the key to success for real estate agents really lies in getting listing contracts, not necessarily selling those listing. Want some advice? Stay tuned to these articles because there is more to come and get your copy of the report offered below before you run off and sign that legally binding listing contract–it will help you cover your basic legal and financial interests.

Our E-Report: 101 Tips For Homebuyers, Sellers And Money Borrowers will help you with more information regarding this article-Just click the link below and request your copy and we’ll send it to your email address within 24 hours-absolutely free. Another Ezine Articles Exclusive! Until next time…

Copyright © 2006

James W. Hart, IV

All Rights reserved

5 Secrets to Being a Successful Property Agent

Many real estate agents rarely make it through their early 2-3 years. Reason being, they either underestimate or overestimate what to charge for their services. Also, just because a person has just decided to be a property agent doesn’t mean he or she will hit the ground running and earn business commissions immediately.

If you want to consider real estate as a career, the following few tips might ensure you survives the first torrential three years.

1. Develop a Budget and Follow it

You have to table your living expenses one by one and resist omitting anything including cash out for refreshments or transport expenses. Ensure that you consider covering your property expenses too. Cover all your costs as possible, add a little and do planning for a business.

2. Develop a Plan and Stick to it

Long-lasting success depends on many elements, but a good suburb business plan is one the most paramount thing to put in mind. Starters of a new career as a real estate agent is exciting but don’t let your excitement to get a customer right away keep you from the all essential business budgeting tasks. Avoid wasting a lot of money focus on vital of your business practices and begin on building the viewpoint base of your business.

3. Think Small for a good Agent for Business Success

Thinking small means understanding your status and setting up your business practice and marketing.as independent contractor this planning for growth and success maintain your business as yours and movable.

4. Doesn’t have to List to Last

A new agent you must list your properties to survive in a real estate. Through listing your properties, you will know how market and business has changed and how you can be successful in the entire career. You can be able to work freely with buyers hence giving them more respect and balance your business a little better.

5. You don’t have to be the Best in Sales

If you are the best that is nice but it is not required for you to succeed to be a real estate agent. You have to handle your business in a unique way that will separate you from the pushy home selling dealer impression. Consider being a consultant and try to put off the sales idea, even if you have a lot of deals at your disposal.

Parting Shot!

Most who fail in real estate do not plan or budget for success. So, if you happen to pass the exams, get the license and get down to business.

Impeccable Assistance – An Online Real Estate Agent

Pleasanton, CA real estate agent takes great pride in their work. As one of the best real estate agents in the United States, they ensure that their clients are satisfied with their purchases, and offer their assistance and commitment to providing the best properties and residential homes to their customers any day of the week.

Pleasanton, CA real estate agent has also taken advantage of the Internet to revolutionize the way most buyers and sellers interact, promoting effective methods to advertise their properties on the market. Many agents now offer multiple online mailing lists that helps keep both buyers and sellers up to date with the latest information and details regarding houses and leases that they may have for sale or for rent. Emails that are sent to inquire regarding certain properties and estimates are promptly answered, in order for clients to be able to get the kind of house that they would like in the fastest and easiest ways possible.

More importantly, many web sites set up by these Pleasanton CA real estate agents are always consistently up to date and lists all the comprehensive information that a potential buyer would need, including detailed descriptions of available properties, schedules for inspection and open houses, a list of current biddings and priority residences, and also offers many tips and advice regarding selling your house, or regarding buying one.

Large detailed photographs and pictures of the houses and properties that are up for sale can be found in the agents’ webpages, and it is only a matter of contacting them via their emails to request for a house visit to personally visit the residences they are interested in. These properties are clearly defined on their web sites as either being up for sale, for rent or lease, or as summer residences, in order for clients not to confuse one category for the other.

Most Pleasanton, CA real estate agent has also adopted a level of transparency with their web sites; a list of all agents is found in these webpages, containing their history and experience with buying and selling real estate, and their current track records. Not all agents are alike, with each having their own specialties and skills, all of which enable customers to select the best agent for their purpose. Some agents may be more experienced with selling houses, while others have a better record of helping owners find the right houses for them; still others are able to successfully negotiate between a buyer and seller regarding the costs, to reach a conclusion that would satisfy both parties. Familiarizing yourself with these agents also allows you to find the right kind of agent for the job.

It helps these agents that Pleasanton, CA real estate is one of the best land properties out in the market; with impeccable surroundings, lush environments, and a longstanding community of good repute, Pleasanton serves as a beautiful place where home and business goes hand in hand, and where people are free to relax in a hassle-free atmosphere while still being able to enjoy modern technologies and comfort.

FSBO’s Versus Hiring a Real Estate Agent: Pros And Cons

When someone decides, it’s an appropriate time, to sell their home, they face many relevant decisions. One of the principal ones, is, whether to try to sell it, themselves, in a process, referred to, as For Sale, By Owner, or FSBO, or to hire a licensed, professional, real estate agent, to represent them. Obviously, having been a Real Estate Licensed Salesperson, for over a decade, I have a somewhat, biased, perspective, but, this article, will attempt to briefly examine, and consider, both the advantages and disadvantages, of proceeding, in either direction. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly examine, consider, and discuss, the pros and cons of both possibilities.

1. For sale, by owner (FSBO): When one decides, to try to sell his home, by himself, he often, does so, because he believes, he will net more money, because he won’t have to pay a commission. However, it’s important to understand, realize, and recognize, when one, takes this option, he must do all the work, including the marketing, advertising, showing the house, keeping appointments, overseeing and coordination Open Houses, and coordinating all of the many necessities, and functions, of the real estate transaction, process. Because, most homeowners, are somewhat inexperienced, because selling and marketing real estate, is not their personal field of expertise, and they lack the network, etc, of potential buyers, etc, there are often fewer showings, and far fewer qualified, potential buyers. In addition, this do – it – yourself, way of marketing a home, means, a homeowner must be available to dedicate the time and energy, to accompany and show the home. Especially when one works, the opportunities become somewhat more limited, under these circumstances.

2. Hiring the right, real estate agent: When a homeowner hires the right, real estate professional, for his needs, etc, the agent takes care of many of the details, associated with selling and marketing the property! It’s important, however, to recognize, what one pays in commission, often matters, much less than, what he nets, from the sale of the home. Statistically, most studies indicate, homes sold through agents, net a higher selling price (even, after paying commission), than when one sells it, himself. A qualified agent should make certain objective observations and suggestions, in order to create better curb appeal, and show the house, to its best advantage. In addition, when a house, is easier, to show, the numbers, alone, often, create a situation, where it sells, more quickly, and at a better price. However, one of the other, relevant reasons, people hire agents, is the right one, will make the process, less stressful, and considerably more, hassle – free! They will be familiar with the legal, and transaction – related aspects of getting the house, sold!

When one selects the right real estate agent, the individual is there for his client, from the onset, all the way, through, to the end of the transaction process. He will introduce ways, to make this often – stressful period, far less so!

Everything A Real Estate Agent Doesn’t Want You To Know-Part 1

MONEY MATTERS

Are you planning on buying or selling a home? Maybe refinancing? Perhaps you’d just like to pick up a few tips on home buying, selling and mortgage borrowing-if so you may want keep track of Money Matters in the months ahead as I will be giving out all kinds of tips and insights as we approach the home buying-selling season. I will be discussing a wide variety of real estate and mortgage financing issues you should know (Things real estate agents don’t want you to know). Well, good agents won’t have a problem with you knowing this information but the part-timers and less ethical operators would certainly prefer you not know what I am going to share with you!

You see, buying or selling a home is the largest investment of a lifetime for most people and it is a BIG business deal…a transaction composed people, emotions, contracts and cash…all the ingredients for legal and financial pain if you don’t know what you are doing. Real estate agents earn a commission when a home is sold whether they are the listing agent, the selling agent or both. Real estate agents typically (and legally) represent sellers in a real estate transaction and not buyers. Yet, every day, homebuyers refer to the real estate agent as “my real estate agent”…they are not your real estate agent…they are the home seller’s agent and agents have a legal duty to get the best selling price for the seller. Further, anything you tell them can and probably will be used against you to extract a higher selling price out of the deal. Sellers on the other hand are often manipulated into signing long term listing contracts for up to a year by an agent who will simply throw the listing into the multiple listing service (MLS) and hope another agent sells the property for them.

For agents, the name of the game is to get listing contracts…a common slogan amongst real estate agents is: “if you don’t list, you don’t last”. Once an agent gets a listing contract from a home seller, they will get the bulk of the commission when the house is sold whether they sell it or another agent sells the home. Not many sellers know this fact and many are swooned into long term listing agreements with hopeful promise of selling their homes at the highest possible price only to find out they don’t. Agents will say and do most anything to get a listing contract shy of breaking the law. And the big question for home sellers is are you working with a part time or full time agent? What is their background in marketing and sales? Do you really want to sign a long term listing agreement with a part timer that has one toe in the tub and no business background? Were talking about a business deal right?

Whether you are buying a home or selling a home you should be clearly aware that you will enter into legally binding contracts and relying on mortgage lenders to provide financing for the project. The question then becomes; how much do you know about contract law and mortgage financing? What are the most important elements of a contract and how does that impact you as a buyer or seller? This series of articles is generally drawn from my E-Report (101 Real Estate Tips for homebuyers, sellers and money borrowers). The report is designed as a crash course to provide you the information you need to know to protect your legal and financial interests whether you are a homebuyer or seller. This series of articles will touch upon the information you should know to keep from making blatantly stupid mistakes that could hurt you legally and financially and we’ll try to have some fun in the process…

Which reminds me! If you would like to receive a FREE copy of my E-Report: 101 Tips For Homebuyers, Sellers And Money Borrowers, go to smart Books website, send us an email and requesting a copy and we’ll send it to your email address within 24 hours-absolutely free-Another Ezine Articles Exclusive! Don’t forget to say you saw it at Ezine! Stay tuned!

Copyright © 2006

James W. Hart, IV

All Rights reserved

Letters to Potential Clients From a Real Estate Agent – Tips for Writing Marketing Letters

Introducing yourself in person is pretty easy. You make eye contact, smile, and shake hands. You tell the other person your name, and he tells you his name. Pretty easy, right? But what if you need to introduce yourself and you can’t see the other person? One way you can tackle this problem is by writing a marketing letter.

Whether you are new to real estate or just new to the area, you’ll want to send out some letters and let everyone know you are in the area and ready to sell. You can also use marketing letters to entice people who had listings expire to relist with you.

You can trick people into opening your letter and not just tossing it straight into the recycling bin by using a key word. “Free”. As a late-night ad used to say, “Free is a very good price.” So let everyone know you have something free inside. It might be a fridge magnet, or a set of free energy-saving tips, or a pocket calendar.

Now that you have their attention, you need to give your reader an introduction to you. Tell her who you are, and why you are the home expert she should trust. Give some tips or useful information in your letter that will be of use to your reader. Perhaps this might be a fall-cleanup checklist or winter weatherization tips. If you are targeting an up and coming area, you might want to give a list of local merchants for people to get started frequenting.

If you get completely stuck and have the worst case of writer’s block, you can download free templates from the internet. They can be introduction letters, prospecting letters, expired listings letters, or new agent letters, just to name a few. These are useful to help you get started and trigger a thought trail. They’re also good if writing is not your strong suit, but you are great at the verbal deal. (Some of these sites offer templates to help you with your listings, too.)

Keep the letter simple. Overcomplicated or technical newsletters will just confuse your readers and make them toss it. That also means your name is not the one they will tuck in their dream home folder for when the time comes to buy.

It might seem obvious, but be sure you use a good spell checking program and a grammar checker if you are not strong in either. It only damages your reputation if you have errors that can be easily fixed by these programs.

Last, close with a call to action. It could be asking the reader to visit your website for more information or to subscribe to your newsletter or podcast. It might be a link to your Facebook page on which you have a coupon to a local merchant. Or you may have some DIY tips on your YouTube channel. Whatever it is, you want it to be a good reason to follow up, something that will be worth your reader’s time. And time these days is more valuable than ever.