Characteristics of Successful Real Estate Agents

Honesty and Integrity

Sellers need an honest agent, one that will tell them like it is, even if it’s not the easiest to hear. This type of agent will lay out exactly what the seller can expect. From sale price to timing and more. In the end, honesty will save the sellers lots of worry.

Knowledge of Technology

Agents that can use technology with ease are going to be more up-to-date with the current market within the areas. They will most likely be more of an organized agent who has their business in order. This is the type of agent sellers prefer selling their homes.

Enthusiasm for Real Estate

Real Estate is a complex business. It is more than just enjoying HGTV and touring homes. Its requires knowledge of the local community, real estate trends and date along with sales and negotiating skills. The most successful agents love every aspect of Real Estate. When you have enthusiasm for the process, it will feed your clients excitement– and their trust in you. Therefore, enthusiasm is one of the most important characteristics of a great real estate agent.

Well Connected and Reputable

Agents should have a list of prospective buyers within the community and work with a well-known and well-connected real estate company. The more buyer and agents the Realtor knows the greater chance of selling the home quicker. Similarly, well-connected and reputable agents can expose the listings to potential buyers located out of state or internationally. International or out of state buyer are more likely to purchase a home from someone they know, trust and like. In other words, the size and quality of the agents’ network can greatly expand the pool of potential buyers, by putting the listing in front of out of state and international buyers. Testimonials from previous clients also influence the agents’ reputation.

Energy and Drive

To accomplish everything has needs to be done, everyday task, takes lots of energy and drive. In addition, organization. A typical day can involve meeting with buyers, doing listing presentations, putting up signage, showing homes, writing contracts, negotiating contract, attending meetings, keeping up with continuing education, and even moving around items in the home so they are out of sight for the listing pictures. Your drive and ambition, and probably your sense of humor, will keep you motivated throughout the week. Clients will note your energy and drive, just as they appreciate your enthusiasm for the business of Real Estate.

A Winning Personality

Most people expect their agents to have an outgoing personality. Do you have to be super-extroverted to be an agent? Not necessarily. However, one of the top characteristics of real estate agents is a winning personality-a personality that is pleasurable to be around.

Clients are looking for real estate agents they feel comfortable with, one that has traits that gel with their own. A personality that works with one client might not work with the other. In general, it is important to be likeable, friendly, and unafraid of putting yourself out there.

Backed by Local Date

An agent should know how to retrieve localized data and use it effectively. Local date points, including buyer demographics (who they are, where they are) and housing trends (top regions, average value of similar homes, home improvement spending etc.) can be used to price a home competitively, market appropriately, and negotiate intelligently.

Ready and Available

Real Estate is an unpredictable business, and you do not want to miss a sale or closing of a home because you were not available with someone showed interest on a property. Some agents prefer to work within a team of agents. This way, if the agent is not immediately available to respond an inquiry, another agent part of the team can take care of the interested party. Great agents are comfortable with constant communications and prompt replies to any inquiry. They are willing to communicate with phone, text, email and even after hours.

Attention to details

Top producing realtors are observant to details. They spot the smallest improvements that can make a home more marketable and desirable, take the best pictures that show case your home, create attractive MLS descriptions that stand out and make sure all the contract requirements are met in a timely matter.

Tenacity

Top producing agents do not give up easily. They will pursue every lead that shows even the slightest interest in a home. When a top agent hold an open house, they immediately contact everyone that visited the home to discuss the benefits of purchasing the home with them, this is what sellers appreciate about good agents, never give up attitude. They see it as every lead missed is a missed opportunity to sell the home and provide great service to the seller.

The Duty Of Confidentiality In Real Estate

In any Listing Agreement there is a point in time when the agency relationship ends.

A Listing Agreement, as it is widely known, is none other than a contract between the rightful titleholder of an interest in land (the ‘Principal’) and a duly licensed real estate firm (the ‘Agent’), whereby the firm stipulates and agrees to find a Buyer within a specified timeframe who is ready, willing and able to purchase the interest in land that is the subject matter of the contract while acting within the realm of the authority that the Principal confers onto the Agent, and wherein furthermore the titleholder stipulates and agrees to pay a commission should the licensee ever be successful in finding such Buyer.

As in all contracts, there is implied in a Listing Agreement an element which is commonly know at law as an ‘implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings’. This covenant is a general assumption of the law that the parties to the contract – in this case the titleholder and the licensed real estate firm – will deal fairly with each other and that they will not cause each other to suffer damages by either breaking their words or otherwise breach their respective and mutual contractual obligations, express and implied. A breach of this implied covenant gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Due to the particular nature of a Listing Agreement, the Courts have long since ruled that during the term of the agency relationship there is implied in the contract a second element that arises out of the many duties and responsibilities of the Agent towards the Principal: a duty of confidentiality, which obligates an Agent acting exclusively for a Seller or for a Buyer, or a Dual Agent acting for both parties under the provisions of a Limited Dual Agency Agreement, to keep confidential certain information provided by the Principal. Like for the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealings, a breach of this duty of confidentiality gives rise to liability both in contract law and, depending on the circumstances, in tort as well.

Pursuant to a recent decision of the Real Estate Council of British Columbia (http://www.recbc.ca/) , the regulatory body empowered with the mandate to protect the interest of the public in matters involving Real Estate, a question now arises as to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends beyond the expiration or otherwise termination of the Listing Agreement.

In a recent case the Real Estate Council reprimanded two licensees and a real estate firm for breaching a continuing duty of confidentiality, which the Real Estate Council found was owing to the Seller of a property. In this case the subject property was listed for sale for over two years. During the term of the Listing Agreement the price of the property was reduced on two occasions. This notwithstanding, the property ultimately did not sell and the listing expired.

Following the expiration of the listing the Seller entered into three separate ‘fee agreements’ with the real estate firm. On all three occasions the Seller declined agency representation, and the firm was identified as ‘Buyer’s Agent’ in these fee agreements. A party commenced a lawsuit as against the Seller, which was related to the subject property.

The lawyer acting for the Plaintiff approached the real estate firm and requested that they provide Affidavits containing information about the listing of the property. This lawyer made it very clear that if the firm did not provide the Affidavits voluntarily, he would either subpoena the firm and the licensees as witnesses to give evidence before the Judge, or he would obtain a Court Order pursuant to the Rules Of Court compelling the firm to give such evidence. The real estate firm, believing there was no other choice in the matter, promptly complied by providing the requested Affidavits.

As a direct and proximate result, the Seller filed a complaint with the Real Estate Council maintaining that the information contained in the Affidavits was ‘confidential’ and that the firm had breached a duty of confidentiality owing to the Seller. As it turned out, the Affidavits were never used in the court proceedings.

The real estate brokerage, on the other hand, took the position that any duty of confidentiality arising from the agency relationship ended with the expiration of the Listing Agreement. The firm argued, moreover, that even if there was a duty of continuing confidentiality such duty would not preclude or otherwise limit the evidence that the real estate brokerage would be compelled to give under a subpoena or in a process under the Rules Of Court. And, finally, the realty company pointed out that there is no such thing as a realtor-client privilege, and that in the instant circumstances the Seller could not have prevented the firm from giving evidence in the lawsuit.

The Real Estate Council did not accept the line of defence and maintained that there exists a continuing duty of confidentiality, which extends after the expiration of the Listing Agreement. Council ruled that by providing the Affidavits both the brokerage and the two licensee had breached this duty.

The attorney-client privilege is a legal concept that protects communications between a client and the attorney and keeps those communications confidential. There are limitations to the attorney-client privilege, like for instance the fact that the privilege protects the confidential communication but not the underlying information. For instance, if a client has previously disclosed confidential information to a third party who is not an attorney, and then gives the same information to an attorney, the attorney-client privilege will still protect the communication to the attorney, but will not protect the information provided to the third party.

Because of this, an analogy can be drawn in the case of a realtor-client privilege during the existence of a Listing Agreement, whereby confidential information is disclosed to a third party such as a Real Estate Board for publication under the terms of a Multiple Listings Service agreement, but not before such information is disclosed to the real estate brokerage. In this instance the privilege theoretically would protect the confidential communication as well as the underlying information.

And as to whether or not the duty of confidentiality extends past the termination of a Listing Agreement is still a matter of open debate, again in the case of an attorney-client privilege there is ample legal authority to support the position that such privilege does in fact extend indefinitely, so that arguably an analogy can be inferred as well respecting the duration of the duty of confidentiality that the Agent owes the Seller, to the extent that such duty extends indefinitely.

This, in a synopsis, seems to be the position taken by the Real Estate Council of British Columbia in this matter.

Clearly, whether the duty of confidentiality that stems out of a Listing Agreement survives the termination of the contract is problematic to the Real Estate profession in terms of practical applications. If, for instance, a listing with Brokerage A expires and the Seller re-lists with Brokerage B, if there is a continuing duty of confidentiality on the part of Brokerage A, in the absence of express consent on the part of the Seller a Realtor of Brokerage A could not act as a Buyer’s Agent for the purchase of the Seller’s property, if this was re-listed by Brokerage B. All of which, therefore, would fly right in the face of all the rules of professional cooperation between real estate firms and their representatives. In fact, this process could potentially destabilize the entire foundation of the Multiple Listings Service system.

In the absence of specific guidelines, until this entire matter is clarified perhaps the best course of action for real estate firms and licensees when requested by a lawyer to provide information that is confidential, is to respond that the brokerage will seek to obtain the necessary consent from the client and, if that consent is not forthcoming, that the lawyer will have to take the necessary legal steps to compel the disclosure of such information.

Transform Your Ugly Real Estate Website in 24 Hours

A dated real estate website does not look as good as an old photo from 10 years ago. If you think your professionalism and competence is being questioned when someone visits your website, it’s time to do something! Not only an up-to-date website layout is needed, the technology in providing more interactive content and lead capturing system is as important. Hiring an expert to create your real estate agent website can be very expensive… up to thousands, not to mention follow-up updates. You want a nice, elegant design, good layout, content, unlimited pages, widgets, videos, lead capturing, instant messaging, blog, search engine friendly, and able to customize easily by yourself. Good news, this is actually all possible through new services that can transform your ugly or outdated real estate website in 24 hours.

Following are a few tips about creating content to increasing your online presence, which is guaranteed to bring you more clients:

Keep Prospective Clients on Your Page with Everything They Need to Know

Your website should include informative content to attract more home buyers and sellers. Here are a few more components that are recommended to provide what consumers are looking for when they view a real estate website:

  • An up-to-date, professional portrait
  • Your modern logo at the top of your real estate agent website
  • A brief bio with your experience and qualifications
  • Your current property listings, with links to single property websites and virtual tours right from your real estate agent website
  • Your contact information and convenient lead generation contact forms
  • Helpful articles to share tips for home buyers and sellers visiting your website

Make Sure Potential Clients Find You When They Search

Content is King! Creating informative content with articles for your website on home buying tips serves several purposes:

1. Prospective clients will stay on your website longer. They will think of you as a real estate expert when they’re ready to contact a real estate agent.

2. Appropriate, creative use of keywords and search terms within your written pieces on your website will ensure better search engine optimization. That means when they use certain words in search engines, your website will be at the top of search results.

3. For example, if you’re a realtor® from Atlanta, Georgia, your real estate website pieces will include mention of these words. You can write about “Home buyer Tips for the Atlanta, Georgia Market” or “How to Sell Your Home in Atlanta, Georgia”. This is an important way to help you with better ranking in search engines.

Interactive, Intuitive Site Features Keep Visitors Interested

Once you have attracted web users to your website, it’s important to keep them there as long as possible. This can be done with the popular interactive tools below:

· Real Estate Videos – Industry researchers have discovered that today’s web users watch billions of videos every year. You can tap into this trend by creating your own online real estate agent videos for your website. Perhaps you can do a “how-to” piece on the practical aspects of home buying, or design a mini-video seminar on staging techniques. Whatever you choose, you can be sure that good use of video will enhance your website and your image.

· Real Estate Widgets– Have you heard that widgets are the next big thing in agent website design? But, maybe you’re not quite sure what they are and how they work. Essentially, other people create little bits of code that give extra functionality to your website. Your real estate agent website host will often offer a selection for you to choose from. This gives you the opportunity to customize your website with more complex features than you could design on your own. Some examples include:

  • 3Jam – visitors to your real estate website can immediately send a message to your cell phone without ever knowing your actual cell phone number
  • ClockLink – gives the current time in your choice of time zones right on your website
  • LinkedInABox – brings your LinkedIn profile right to your website

Turn Online Real Estate Website Visits into Sales

In today’s housing market, those looking to sell their home turn to the internet first to choose an agent they can trust. Studies have shown 89% of potential home buyers begin their research online as well. With your new professional website, agents are at a significant competitive advantage to attract listings and encouraging clients to call you first.

The most critical part of your real estate website is the component that brings in sales. A new design, content, blog and a quality system designed to capture and manage leads, will ensure that visitors to your website are truly prepared for you to grow your business. And the best of all, this transformation does not have to be expensive!

The Three Most Important Habits For New Real Estate Agents

When you are just starting out in your career as a real estate agent it is important to develop habits that will allow you to survive those first lean years and build up a practice that will sustain you for many years to come. This article will discuss three of the most important habits to have to make your career take off and keep on going.

The first important habit you will want is to have self-discipline. In business, it is from this habit that all other things come. If you do not have self-discipline, you will likely not get past your first six months. If ever there was a profession where a person could set their own schedule and choose exactly how much work they will do, then real estate is it. And, if you do not have the discipline to use your time in the best way possible, you will soon be doing something else for a living.

The second important habit for you, as a new agent, is the ability to learn from others. You will have gone through training to prepare for and pass the test for your license, but nothing you learned really tells you how to make money. These skills only come from what you learn at your office and from other agents. Pay attention and absorb everything you can from everyone you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you never know what you will learn.

The third important habit for you to learn is to consider everything you do as a business decision because that is exactly what it is. It is too easy to spend half your day surfing the web or chatting with your fellow agents over coffee when you could be introducing yourself to residents in your local market or preparing a mailing to your contact list. The former is not going to make you any money but the latter probably will. Both, however, are business decisions that will play a role in your ultimate success or failure.

Real Estate Brokers – Divide and Conquer Your Commercial Real Estate Market

When it comes to winning market share as a commercial real estate broker or agent, it pays if you can divide up your market or listing territory into segments. In this way you can then focus your marketing efforts and activities.

Results in commercial real estate come from systemised focus and you have limited time available each day for prospecting and marketing.

It is a fact that you cannot be everywhere at once when it comes to prospecting and networking. As an individual broker or agent look at your market and consider the following facts:

  • What is your specialised property type?
  • Where is your market?
  • Why should people do business with you?
  • How can you cover the sales and listing territory?
  • What is your competition doing now with marketing?
  • What is your market share and how did you get that?

When you answer these questions quite clearly you can soon see the strategies required to move ahead as a top agent or broker in your local area.

So let’s look at some rules that can help you divide and conquer your local area for increased commercial real estate activity and opportunity.

  1. Determine a key service that you will be focusing on. That could be leasing, sales or property management. You can also have combinations of sales and leasing, or leasing and property management.
  2. Build a marketing package for your ‘key services’. Carry that package of information with you so you can connect with new people at any opportunity. Practice your scripts and dialogues for your ‘key services’.
  3. Identify and set up your main primary territory for new business based on local area growth and opportunity. The primary area of focus should give you 80% of your business. Assumptions should be made on the local area and how it is changing.
  4. Determine geographical or road boundaries that contain your primary area of focus. From that you can determine the desirable and active zones for sales and leasing activity. You can also determine the better streets and properties to connect with.
  5. Your territory is likely to contain many properties and businesses. On that basis split up the zone into segments of 100 properties. Segment by segment (each of 100 properties) you work through the local area to identify owners and businesses. Talk to more new people every day in those zones to identify property change and opportunity.
  6. In addition to the above strategies, connect with property developers and franchise groups separately. You never know when they may require a new location or parcel of land to build on.

New agents and brokers in the industry need a system to proceed and attract clients and property listings. This process will be a very good start in doing that. You can modify it to suit your market circumstances.

Top Ten Tips when Buying Real Estate!

In today’s financial climate, real estate continues to be a strong investment in many areas. Educated buyers will always make the most out of the real estate market. These top ten tips to buying real estate will help you enter into your next real estate transaction with confidence.

TIP #1: Hire the right Agent!

Hiring the right Real Estate Agent is invaluable. If you are unfamiliar with the area, the realtor you choose is your link to important information regarding schools, zoning, city and county regulations, neighborhood trends, building and remodeling and rental restrictions, and property values. Every city has different laws governing what can and can’t be done with a property. Sanibel is one of the most beautiful cities in the United States due in part to its strict building codes and city planning. Having experienced many aspects of real estate transactions on a personal level, I understand situations and concerns of my buyers and sellers. I have been an island property owner for many years and have walked through several local real estate transactions myself. From buying and selling lots to building new homes with local builders, to investing in rental income producing properties and utilizing 1031 Tax free exchanges, I don’t just sell island real estate; I invest in it because I believe there is no place in the world like Sanibel and Captiva. Whether you work with me or someone else, finding the right realtor is invaluable.

TIP #2: Utilize 1031 Tax Exchanges and Save Money!

1031 Tax Exchanges are tax free exchanges of investment property. Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code is one of the last great tax shelters. If you purchase an investment property of “like kind” within 180 days of the sale of a similar type property, and you are willing to increase the amount of debt or value of the property, your capital gains taxes can be completely deferred. Having just completed a Reverse 1031 tax exchange myself, I believe in using this powerful tax shelter. Feel free to contact me if you are considering using a current Sanibel, Captiva, or Ft. Myers property in a 1031 Tax Exchange, or want to purchase an investment property that might qualify in the future for a 1031 Tax Exchange. A Reverse 1031 Tax Exchange is the same exchange concept as a 1031 Tax Exchange except you have purchased your replacement “like kind” investment property first, before selling the property to be exchanged. Learn more about 1031 Tax Exchanges, and how to use them to your financial advantage. Keep in mind that a neutral party must have act a Qualified Intermediary. Real Estate may also be bought and sold through your self directed retirement account. Whether you utilize a traditional IRA, Roth IRA, SEP, or company plans such as 401 (k) plans, Keogh, or profit sharing plans, investigate your options.

TIP #3: Pre-qualify for Financing!

Pre-qualifying for a loan may not seem that important until you find your perfect paradise property at the same time as another buyer. When a property is priced to sell, it will usually attract more than one buyer. Once a seller receives an offer, the two most important things they consider are …the price, and the contingencies. For some sellers, a contract contingent on the buyer obtaining financing makes them uncomfortable with the offer. Eliminate any doubt in the mind of a seller, by pre-qualifying for the amount you may spend on the purchase of any property. This is especially important if your dream property suddenly has a price reduction. When this occurs other buyers might come into the picture, that didn’t look at that property before it went “On Sale”! Often times a seller will take a financially solid contract over a higher offer. Be ready to put a deal together!

TIP #4: Location, Location, Location!

“Location, location, location”, while overused as a real estate phrase, is still and always should be a huge consideration to you as the buyer! If something about the location of a property bothers you, be aware that the same location drawback will bother any buyer you hope to attract when and if you need to resell the property! It’s important to ask a lot of questions, but often times it is difficult to know the right questions to ask if you are unfamiliar with the community. This is why it is so valuable to choose and hire the right real estate agent to represent your interests when buying a property.

TIP #5: Get a Home Inspection!

Obtaining an inspection report performed by a licensed professional building inspector of your choice, can protect you from many defects that are hidden from view. Why gamble with such a large financial investment? Let a professional building inspector point out areas to be fixed or replaced that aren’t obvious. A good inspector will give you a lengthy report covering all systems in the home from electrical, to plumbing, to roof conditions, and structural concerns. Once you receive a report you may begin negotiations again concerning repairs. Often a seller will agree to make necessary repairs up to a specified financial amount. When a seller lists their property “as is” they are letting you know that they are not willing to fix or replace any part of the property. If you are interested in an “as is” property and aren’t going to level the structure and build new, it is still in your best interest to obtain an inspection report. Don’t rely on the building inspector to look for termites and other harmful pest problems. Although an inspector will see pest damage, it is best to have a separate termite inspection conducted by a licensed company that understands pests and can eliminate them.

TIP #6: Obtain a Survey and Title Insurance!

Surveys will show easements, encroachments, and boundary lines of a property. By surveying a home in an established neighborhood you are assured that the property boundary lines have been maintained. As homeowners add on the their properties over time with fences, sheds, docks, garages, and other structures, boundary lines can be crossed placing part of their structure on your property, or vice versa. Surveying vacant land is also important for same reasons as a home, plus a survey will help determine the size home, or amount of coverage the lot will allow.

Title Insurance will protect your investment from another party claiming ownership interest in your property. Title searches will uncover liens placed on a property by vendors, or mistakes in past transfers of the title. The last thing you want to discover when you’re in the back stretch of a transaction is that there are encumbrances on the property such as tax liens, undisclosed owners, easements, or leases. Should a claim arise after the purchase of a property, the title insurance company is there to protect your ownership interest in that property.

TIP #7: Be Realistic!

“Wants” and “Needs” are very different when is comes to real estate features. If every home you see has the upgrades you “want” but exceeds the price range that you “need”…. be realistic. Who wouldn’t love a large, oceanfront, professionally decorated home or condominium, with all the bells and whistles? Looking at properties that exceed your price range is always fun, but it can be extremely frustrating and upsetting. Be realistic by looking at listings in the price range you “need”, keeping an eye out for that special property that has the potential to evolve into the dream home you “want”. Always look beyond the furnishings, wallpaper, and floor coverings to the architecture of the home; it is then that you will find properties with potential.

TIP #8: Use Contract Contingencies Wisely!

Contingencies in a contract for the purchase of a property are designed to protect you, the buyer! This may seem silly to mention but it’s important to remember that you need to work with the seller to come to an agreed upon contract. Valid contingencies to an offer are expected by the seller. Common contingencies include building inspections, termite and pest inspections, financing, and surveys. Many deals fall apart over small details, and easy to fix issues. Remember that sellers are emotional about their property. If you can see that major repairs or replacements need to be made due to neglect or age, make allowances for this in your offering price. The old adage “Everything is negotiable” still holds true, unless you upset the seller so much that they refuse to work with you. Try to avoid listing cosmetic changes you would like the seller to make as contingencies. Cosmetic changes are subjective, be objective when writing a contract.

TIP #9: Understand Regional Health and Safety Issues!

An informed realtor will help you understand other health and safety issues that should be considered when purchasing a property. Safety and Health topics can include EIFS (Synthetic Stucco), indoor air quality, mold, radon, and lead paint. Many of these require the seller to sign a disclosure statement, while others may not apply due to the age, type of construction, or location of the property being purchased.

TIP #10: Ask for Information!

Don’t be shy. When you have hired a realtor to work for you, ask them for information. Do you want to look at all the properties in your price range, with the features you need, or just the houses a realtor wants you to see? You deserve all the information you need to make an educated decision. Can you imagine buying the home that you felt was good for your family, only to find that you never received information on a similar property that is perfect for all your needs? I provide many services to insure my buyers always have information at their fingertips.

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.

How a New Realtor Can Get Their First Real Estate Listing

Getting your first listing can be one of the biggest hurdles in the real estate sales business. There are many ways to get listings, but let’s just cover some of the fastest and easiest ways. I’ll assume that you will like to keep your marketing budget low for your first listing.

I always go back to this, but start by asking your family, your friends, co-workers, ex schoolmates, Facebook friends, and anyone else that knows you. Ask them of all the people they know, who would they say is most likely to be the next person that would think about selling their house. Get them thinking about it. Even if the person they tell you about is not ready to sell yet, you now have a good potential listing lead. You can follow up with them every couple of weeks, and even set up a buyer profile for them on the MLS to keep your name in front of them.

Another way to find motivated sellers is by looking for “for sale by owner” properties, and also by following up with expired listings from the MLS. Again, I am assuming your marketing budget is very low, so let’s go ahead and use an effective yet uncomfortable technique. You can do the same with expired listings. Go directly to the house, bring your marketing material, and knock on the door. What you will say is going to differ between these two types of potential clients, so let’s go through both sales scripts now.

FSBO sales script.

“Hello FSBO person, my name is _______, and I’m a Realtor at _____________. I just wanted to stop by and ask if you plan to use a Realtor to help you buy your next house after you sell this one? (Let them respond). The nice thing about using a Realtor as a buyer’s agent is that you do not have to pay a commission, that is paid by the seller. Can I get a little information about what you will be looking for so I can keep an eye out for you? I can even set up a profile for you on the MLS that will email you listings so you get a feel for what is out there, and of course these services are all free for you.”

Note: Don’t ask to list their house when you first meet them. Most FSBO’s think they will sell it themselves, then get tired of trying. If you are the agent that has been in contact with them during this time, then you have a great chance of being the one that lists their house.

Expired listing sales script.

(Use this the same day the listing expired on the MLS)

Hello homeowner, my name is _________. I’m a Realtor with _____________. I was just stopping by as a courtesy to let you know your home is no longer listed for sale on the MLS. Your listing expired today. (let them respond). Are you still planning to sell your home? (response) Why do you think your home didn’t sell? (Response) (If they are planning on relisting with their current agent, don’t waste any more time. If it is looking promising try to go straight in to a listing appointment, or at least try to set an appointment for the same day or at least within 24 hours.)

Note: Going directly to the persons house is time consuming, but more effective than mailings or phone calls. As your marketing budget grows, your time will become more valuable and you will not want to spend so much time going to all of these houses. Use these techniques effectively and you should be able to bring in some new listings within a week or two. It is a lot of hard work, and you will need to put in a lot of time, but this is a great way to get started spending almost no money.

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.