Monthly Archives - October 2016

Realestate

How to Find the Best Real Estate Company to Work for

Whether you are a new real estate agent or are just considering the career path, you likely want to research the type of broker you want to work with. Before you choose a real estate company to work for, it is a good idea to take the following considerations into account.

Size

The size of real estate agencies available to you will depend on where you live. In large cities, real estate firms may offer hundreds of agents, whereas small town firms may offer just three or four. Think about how much space each firm has for you, as well as the expectation for you to be a part of a larger team. Do you prefer a bustling office with a social atmosphere, or something cozy?

Quality & Accessibility of Facilities

Are the facilities offered by the real estate company appropriate? You should feel proud, not embarrassed, of your office when you bring clients in. You should have adequate workspace, including the use of computers, copy machines, and fax machines.

Additionally, you should consider the proximity of the office to properties you will be showing. If you need to host a meeting, you want your clients to have convenience. It may be silly to judge the parking lot of a potential agency now, but it will make sense later when your clients aren’t searching for parking in a crowded neighborhood.

Length of Time in Office

After looking at the real estate company’s office, it is important that you consider how often you will be working in the office. How often will you come in for work, and how long will it take you to get there? You should also consider whether or not you will be able to check your email and answer office calls from home.

Pre-License Training

Your state may have special requirements for hours spent training with a broker before you can obtain your real estate license. Under this training, you will learn the fundamentals and principles of real estate operations. This includes learning about real estate law, writing contracts, listing properties, and financing homes for a variety of clients.

If you choose a real estate company wisely, you have access to a skilled broker with vast knowledge of sales techniques. Ideally, the broker you work with will guide you through negotiation tactics, property evaluation, and listing homes for sale. The fact of the matter is that you need to have access to a broker with knowledge who has the time to offer you formal training and personal coaching.

Expected Growth

How established is the agency you intend to work with? Experience is an essential component of success in the real estate industry, and you need to know if the agency is growing or stagnant.

Looking at the potential for personal growth is essential as well. It is important to ask the broker who your primary point of contact will be within management. If the agency only offers one broker or many other agents, this affects how often he or she will be available to help you.

Administrative Support

Is there any support available in the office for real estate agents? Will you be forced to process your own paperwork? How will you reach the accounting department? It is perfectly fine to ask the broker about these types of “housekeeping” chores.

Commission Schedule

According to traditional brokerage models, half of the commission would go to the sales agent, and the other half would go to the agency. In many cases, the split increases for the agent as the volume of sales increases.

There is also a hybrid model of commission, in which sales agents are charged a fee, but the split is higher in favor of the agent. Many companies make this choice because they want to stabilize their bottom line. This may work in the advantages of sales agents with more experience.

Company Culture

It is important to examine the atmosphere of the company you intend to work with. Is it exciting? Is it slow but stable? Both? Consider whether this is an office where you will enjoy spending time. You may not get the best feel for a place in one visit, but you can certainly get an idea. You’ll get a feel for whether you want to work with a national brokerage or boutique style agency.

Community

You likely want to join a real estate agency in which you can become a valuable member of the community. How important is it to you that you are a recognized member of the brokerage? For many real estate agents, this is the ultimate question that will help determine how happy you will be at an agency.

Realestate

Does your company offer a sense of community that validates your work and experience?

Agency Reputation

Look at your future workplace from a consumer perspective, assessing its reputation. You also want to assess the presence of the agency in your community, looking for social media profiles and professional behavior. Is the view of your new company generally favorable? If not, how does the agency deal with feedback? This may reveal something about the agency’s atmosphere.

Agency Specialty

Many agencies specialize in certain aspects of real estate. For instance, many companies focus not only on sales, but also in leasing or managing property. Others may focus on catering to specific types of clients, like first-time buyers or those who own ranches or farms. Some real estate brokers focus only vacation homes. Take a look at the agency’s current listings for an idea of what to expect.

Look for Red Flags

There are many red flags to be on the lookout for when you search for a real estate company to work with. For instance, you do not want to work for a broker that is bad at negotiating or is not organized. Your broker needs to be good not only at creating listings, but also in closing sales.

Want to learn more about pursuing a career in real estate? Continuing education courses can be your best bet. Contact us for more information about following your new career path.

Read more...
Social media platform

How Real Estate Agents Can Use Snapchat for Success

Social media websites may move in and out of favor for businesses, but Snapchat does not seem to be going anywhere. As a real estate agent, you cannot entirely dismiss this social media platform, which is only just now beginning to blossom. On the surface, Snapchat may appear to be just one more way to share cute or interesting photos. When you approach the smartphone app from a real estate agent’s perspective, you see golden opportunities to broaden horizons. It is not time to give up on Snapchat.

Snapchat Offers Targeted Advertising

With recent updates, Snapchat allows advertisements to target certain users based on their own interests and behaviors within the app. With the biggest demographic on Snapchat being millennials, you are likely to reach out to first-time buyers and sellers. The app targets users based on the accounts they check out and the photos they seem interested in.

Snapchat is Easy to Use

Snapchat is one of the easiest social media platforms for a business to begin using, especially because it requires very little setup. Signing up for Snapchat requires an email address, password, and username. For a real estate agent, a username should be professional and related to the real estate industry. Once you’ve chosen a name, it’s time to get snapping.

Snapchat Requires Intent

One of the unique features about Snapchat is that content disappears from the app. Individuals who use Snapchat have intent when they click on your Snaps, meaning they may be more likely to make a purchase than those who passively viewing your advertisements.

Snapchat Offers Custom Geofilters

Real estate agents can buy filters to advertise their homes in a specific region. If somebody is in the neighborhood, they might be looking at homes. This is especially the case if the individual is following real estate agents in the area.

Social media platform

Formerly untraditional methods of buying and selling homes are steadily becoming more popular.

Content Creation Is Easy with Snapchat

Snapchat content is not intended to be polished, and it offers a low barrier of entry. You do not need to be a stellar photographer to create great content for the social media platform. You can show off new listings or review restaurants and schools nearby. When you show off a new home, you can easily snap photos and video of the home while also describing its features.

Ultimately, Snapchat works well for real estate agents because they do not have to worry about being the most popular, gathering likes and shares. Learning more about the role of social media in real estate can take your business to the next level. Contact us for more information about learning about technology in the real estate field.

Read more...
Real estate appraisers

It’s a Drone-Filled Future for Real Estate Appraisers

Just like real estate agents, real estate appraisers are always looking for new ways to make the most of new technology. Drones have become increasingly popular in the real estate industry, especially for real estate appraisers who are latching on to the new trend. Drones as a real estate tool are only likely to become more popular in the coming years, and this could have a big effect on the way real estate agents operate.

The Beginning of Drones in the Real Estate Industry

It took a few years for the Federal Aviation Administration to get on board with drone use in the real estate world, but now the rules are official. Real estate agents have certainly begun using drones to show off homes for sale, and now real estate appraisers are getting in on the action. It is still not a walk in the park to learn how to use a drone commercially, but the good news is that you no longer need a pilot’s license to use one to promote your real estate career.

How Can Real Estate Appraisers Use Drones?

Aerial photographs are quite practical for real estate appraisers. Does a home have a new roofing system? A drone will show off the new improvement. Are you trying to display the topography of a large piece of property? Drones will show off every hill, area of forest, and body of water for your client.

Drones are also great for showing off distances. They can demonstrate the proximity of a property or structure to natural features, including bodies of water, or other buildings. Ultimately, a drone offers a bird’s eye view of the surroundings that you just can’t capture with any other type of camera.

Real estate appraisers

A good real estate appraiser uses drones to provide clients with the best information possible.

How Appraisers Can Get started with Drones

Browse the Federal Aviation Administration’s website for additional information about drones. In order to properly use a drone, you need to understand the best way to fly it. They can cause damage to property and person, so the safety concerns are very real. Still, proper use can open your world to a fun and exciting way to complete real estate appraisals.

Ongoing knowledge is an important tool for any real estate agent or appraiser to possess. There is also little that can compete with a well-rounded understanding of new and ongoing technology. Contact us for more information about continuing education available for those working in the real estate industry.

Read more...
Real estate market

Bringing Singapore’s Real Estate Market Online

Digital brokering and home buying is on the rise in the United States, but it is gaining traction elsewhere too. One startup company is shedding new light on Singapore’s real estate market, bringing it to the Internet. Using the Internet to shop for homes is no longer just for checking out some listings and looking at pictures. The Internet is now capable of offering an end-to-end experience of brokering and buying. You can take a lesson from this company in Singapore when you analyze your own firm’s use of technology.

Singapore’s Online Real Estate Market

Siddhesh Narayanan and Archit Agarwal were determined to create an online experience for home shoppers. The result of their hard work and determination was Greyloft, a startup catering to the real estate industry. In seed funding alone, Greyloft raised $1.5 million. The demand for real estate shopping online is clearly present.

According to Narayanan, there are so many opportunities online to read classifieds for homes. Agents can use these websites to advertise properties they have listed, but few websites allow much more than this. Some websites may allow renters and buyers to reach out to sales agents and possibly even schedule viewings on the web, but this takes the entire experience offline.

Bring Offline Online

Now, companies like Greyloft hope to make that previously offline experience online. The next generation of real estate platforms will be seamlessly online. Additionally, a website like Greyloft allows the shopper to select desirable properties online. The website pairs shoppers with sales agents who can show the home to the user and even finalize a rental agreement or home purchase.

The Benefits of Bringing Real Estate to the Web

These websites are excellent not only for buyers, but also for real estate agents. Agents have the benefit of a standardized online process for shopping on the web, creating much more efficiency. This is also simple because you can complete paperwork online.

real estate market

Could this Singapore startup be an indicator for the future of real estate on the web?

An added benefit to technology like this is that brokers and agents will have much more data than before. You will be able to see emerging trends or determine which types of homes are the most profitable for your firm. Plus, the additional information ensures that you can reinforce your customer relationships by presenting accurate help for clients as necessary.

Ultimately, building a streamlined system makes it easier for users to have a desirable experience, and it is also easier for users to leave helpful feedback for the agent. Greyloft is one company paving the way for a strong technological future for real estate agents around the world.

Want to learn more about how to best put technology to use in your real estate career? Continuing education is the key. Contact us for more information about real estate courses.

Read more...
New home sales

New Home Sales Sag

It is often difficult to predict exactly what is going to happen with the housing market. Sales bounce up and down for a variety of reasons. In fact, sales of new homes surged to their highest level in the last nine years this past July. Then in August, sales began to retreat on a nationwide level. The only exception is in the western United States. There are many reasons why this is happening, but real estate agents are optimistic about the future of new home sales.

The Jump: Newly Built Houses Boom in the West

In the span of one month, newly built home sales jumped up 8% on the West Coast. Oddly enough, nationwide sales dropped by 7.6%. Then, in July, there was another boost in sales, boasting a jump of 13.8% nationwide. This is the fastest that home sales have grown since 2007.

While the western portion of the country was the only segment that saw an increase in sales, drops in sales varied from region to region. In the Northeast, this drop was 34.3%. In the South, it was 12.3%, and in the Midwest new home sales dropped by just 2.4%.

In August of this year, the median price of new homes was $284,000 across the nation. This was down 5.3% from August of 2015. This drop was not unexpected, especially after July’s sales surged.

The Future of New Home Sales

Real estate professionals are optimistic about the future of new home sales, even with this drastic loss. Sales may not be back to their “normal” levels, but economists believe that there will be an upswing soon. Real estate agents and brokers must adapt to new and ongoing changes.

New home sales

Real estate agents are looking for new ways to reach out to young buyers.

One of the biggest reasons why this is happening is that younger buyers are not purchasing homes as quickly as generations past. It could be that younger buyers are buying older homes rather than brand new options, and it could be an issue of affordability.

Another problem is the lack of inventory, especially inventory within the proper price range meeting a new buyer’s specifications. As inventory (and construction) increases, so may the sale of new homes.

It is the responsibility of every real estate agent to pay close attention to local trends in addition to regional and national trends. Continuing education can help you stay on top of trends and technology. Contact us for more information about continuing education for real estate professionals.

Read more...
Real estate

Expert Interview Series: Merv Barrett of Real Estate Connected

Merv Barrett, director of Real Estate Connected, is a recovered internet marketing addict who’s tried every strategy, tactic and training to weed out the fads from the true gems that deliver real online success for real estate agents. He founded Easy Property Listings, a website plugin suite for real estate agents to get online fast with a WordPress-powered website.

What inspired you to start your business?

After a long and successful real estate career my mentor at the time introduced me to online lead generation for my real estate business and from that moment I was hooked.

Around six years ago I decided to pivot from selling houses to start a new business that could help real estate agents like me navigate the online minefield and weed out the fads for the real strategies that work.

This was a challenge in of itself as the available software was not good enough to be able to help agents get online fast and start generating leads, meanwhile being able to retain the CRM’s that many agents rely on today.

Mid 2014 we released our WordPress plugin platform for real estate agents called Easy Property Listings that has quickly grown to be used worldwide in many languages.

How has the way real estate agents work evolved since you started your career?

What I’ve seen is that great real estate agents still work much the same way with customer-focused dialogue and being there when their clients need help. Those with the personal touch and systemized approach are the most successful

What has changed is how technology has evolved and different application and tools have arrived to amplify what they can do.

However, knowing what I had to go through to discover the best ways to generate leads online, it’s nearly impossible for an agent (small team) to learn about the best ways to use the available social technologies and focus on listing and selling.

There have been many new threats to the industry and in some places they make a dent but they often don’t focus on the personal customer experience. Perhaps someday they will, but real estate is best as a one-on-one, person-to-person business.

What role does online marketing play in real estate today?

The tables have finally turned on print media and it’s the reason why Real Estate Connected was created.

Now that Easy Property Listings exists, which is a platform that helps agents get online using WordPress, and with the team we have created, we are continuing to evolve our products. This has allowed me to provide the best answers for agents.

Once they’re removed from all the noise of the massive number of marketing options available that rarely produce great results, agents can begin to truly understand how simple online success can be — especially when there are far better options that generate ten times the leads for the same investment.

Things have changed and now we can help them discover the best platforms as time goes on so they can change, too.

In a nutshell, using online tools today is so much easier as nearly everyone has a social profile and the internet in their pocket, it’s how you reach your potential clients and what you say that makes the biggest difference.

What are the most common challenges you find those in real estate have with internet marketing?

The most common challenges I find is the same that I had many years ago: “What do I send or say to my database?” as usually agents use listings and sales and frankly they are boring and do not work effectively to nurture leads into customers.

Another major challenge is that real estate agents don’t do it or think it’s hard, and on the contrary it’s actually quite easy. However, an agent needs to make this their daily focus.

Content is king and real estate agents have a unique opportunity and the tools they need in their pocket: a high-quality smartphone which is also a high-quality video recorder

For me, I also found this difficult and started recording myself with my own phone instead of sitting in front of a keyboard typing away.

This is the path to creating endless fresh and informative content that people in your area want to know.

How should real estate agents be using online tools to help market properties? What are some best practices?

Real estate agents should realize that listings are part of the picture but not the focus. What they should do is become an expert on the location, allowing buyers and sellers to discover all the hidden gems where they live. Real estate agents know the area they work in and have a unique opportunity to interview locals and become the go-to person for information. The easiest way to share this information is to have a website showcasing the best of the area that they love.

When it comes to listings, find out what is truly unique about a property and use that as the hook to fish for buyers or tenants looking to live in that area. A house is a house but where that house is is even more important than the features of the property.

Make it interesting and use video as the tool to add another dimension to your property marketing mix.

Interesting video is key to being different as your competitors aren’t using it. And if you do decide to step well outside your comfort zone, others will never be able to catch you. If you are really good at it, you will never need to ask for a listing again, they will be wrapped and delivered to your door.

Don’t be boring, thats the key to online success for real estate

What are the most common mistakes or oversights you see agents making when using online tools to help garner attention for properties they’re listing?

Overusing them in the social media space, there is nothing wrong with promoting a listing on Facebook, however, they should make the newsfeed post about something unique about the property, yet this may change as Facebook has just made a major change with items for sale.

Treat Facebook like a pub and make it interesting for the person reading.

Systemizing is key, however, don’t overdue it as automation can be dismissed. You must sprinkle in interesting information and continually refine how you use your tools, especially the messages sent to your prospects.

What have been some especially unique or innovative ways you’ve observed real estate agents using online tools to market their listings?

Video is the biggest medium across the board and with the quality that your phone has there is less of a need to invest in high production companies to hire and scripts to write, just be yourself as you would without the camera as that is what makes a great agent No. 1.

Automate as much as you can and create several targeted campaigns that cover the different people you meet, invest in the time now to do this because what you create now can last you years and will work for you while you sleep

Automation is key.

What real estate trends or innovations are you following right now? Why do they interest you?

Everything, now that Easy Property Listings has come to a point where I’m able to step back and refocus my attention to rebuilding Real Estate Connected to become the No. 1 real estate training center for online success for clever and time poor agents to follow.

Online success is easy for real estate as long as you have the right recipe to follow, instead of the agents having to do the work on what to do, we will deliver a system of tools and strategies because we review the innovations and trends and will let you know what can be ignored or how to adapt it into your workflow

There are many threats to real estate and many have significant funding often from the other side from someone who had a bad experience with a real estate agent, funny thing is, that often the drivers of these trends have no real idea of what a real estate agent actually does.

Real Estate Connected is here to bring union and is also a shield for the industry as I know exactly what an agent does and has to do to get the best result for a client

We are here to fix things as this is a fantastic industry and I’m a nerd who has the ability to connect the dots as I know that without a real estate agent, the seller may sell but with an master agent the results that are delivered can often be the difference between not selling and the client winning the lottery.

If you’re looking to improve your own real estate acumen, contact us for more information.

Read more...
Real estate agents

How Learning the Basics of SEO Can Make You a Better Real Estate Agent

Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is a tool used by website and business owners to draw attention to a website with the help of properly placed keywords. Search engines like Google and Bing pick up on your keywords and direct potential clients to your website. As a real estate agent, it is important that you learn the basics of SEO in order to give your career the boost it needs to get noticed.

Keyword Selection is Essential

For each of these steps, you will need to understand what makes a good keyword. You can start with some basic options, like “realtor” or “how to find a real estate agent.” Then, consider your local area. Clients are more likely to find you when you use phrases specific to your region. For instance, if you were a Southern California real estate agent you might use keywords like “Ventura County homes for sale” or “Ventura real estate agent.”

Of course, it is even better if you can get more specific. The more niches you can satisfy with your keywords, the more clients you attract. For instance, the same real estate agent might use keywords of surrounding neighborhoods, like “Ventura Keys realtor” or “homes for sale near Ventura harbor.”

Title & Heading Selection for SEO

One of the first steps you have to take in writing a post for your real estate blog is to select a title. Your title should include your main keywords, the ones that will help you rank higher in search engine results. The key is to avoid using too many words that create a garbled and meaningless string. Your title should make as much sense as possible.

One of the best ways to use keywords is in your header tags. Your most important keywords will be used in header tags, especially the H1 tags that are used as main headers. H2 tags are subheadings and should contain secondary keywords. The keywords will appear in Google results as a result.

Building Effective Website & Blog Copy

Using keywords occasionally in your web copy is essential. In real estate copy, your keyword should be included once every two paragraphs.

It is also important to remember that you need more than a static real estate page. Creating a blog allows you many more opportunities to use not only more keywords, but also more diverse ones.

Real estate agents

Using neighborhood keywords helps you reach the audience most likely to connect with your services.

Keywords in Photo Names

It is tempting to simply name the photos you use in your post or on your page something simple, or to even avoid renaming it at all after you have saved it. If you are a real estate agent, you may want to avoid using image titles like “picture1” or “house2.” This allows the names of your photos to be used in searches that lead potential buyers to your website.

Search engine optimization is a skill real estate agents can learn. Contact us for more information about educating yourself in different real estate techniques, on and off the web.

Read more...
Real estate firms

Real Estate Firms See Solid Profits on the Horizon

According to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Profile of Real Estate Firms, firms are optimistic that profits will increase in the coming year. For this reason, recruitment is ongoing. This is especially in an attempt to keep up with the growth of surrounding competition. Breaking down the results of this survey may help you decide what your future will look like in the real estate industry.

Profitability in 2017

According to the survey, real estate firms expect high income in the coming year. In fact, about 91% of real estate firms have positive expectations for a net income increase or at least stability over the course of 2017. While results show that profits are expected to stay low, net income may increase from last year.

Recruitment Efforts for Real Estate Firms in 2017

The survey results also suggest that real estate firms will work toward further recruitment in the coming year. The main reason is so that real estate firms will keep up with competitors in terms of growth. This appears to be true of both virtual and brick and mortar firms.

While approximately 44% of firms were actively recruiting agents last year, the number has increased to 47% this year. More firms are actively trying to recruit Generation X and Y agents to build a better connection with younger buyers and sellers.

Real Estate Firms

Should real estate agents expect a boost in sales? Many firms believe so.

Preparation for Non-Traditional Real Estate Firms

Technology is significantly shaping the real estate world. In fact, the virtual world is full of new firms and non-traditional means of selling property and homes. In fact, the survey shows that 43% of real estate firms expect more competition from non-traditional firms. A smaller percentage was concerned about virtual firms last year compared to this year.

The Other Side

In spite of the fact that real estate agents are optimistic, there are some concerns. For instance, inventory is relatively low at the moment, meaning that there are fewer houses on the market for many real estate agents. Additionally, prices are relatively high. This means that firms around the nation have experience a decrease in the volume of sales since 2015.

Additionally, real estate agents expect to face some challenges in 2017. One of the biggest concerns appears to be the firm’s ability to continue adapting to new technology. Real estate firms also express concern about the state of the housing market and finding new ways to work with younger buyers.

Finding innovative ways to keep up with the real estate market and consumer demands is an ongoing concern. Continuing education courses can help to build confidence in technology and new methods of attracting sales. Contact us for more information about staying on top of the real estate game.

Read more...