Monthly Archives - January 2017

Real estate agent

Practice These 6 Habits and Become a Better Real Estate Agent

Do you strive to become a better real estate agent? If so, building new habits is the key to helping you become a stronger professional. The truth is that there is no one secret that is going to propel you into success. Instead, it is important to focus on your overall improvement in productivity. Learn about these excellent real estate agent habits to whip yourself into shape for 2017.

1. Offer Quick Communication

When you are working with younger buyers who have experience receiving quick messages back, you need to act in accordance to keep their interest. Calls and emails need cannot sit for long periods of time. In fact, you should probably also consider adding texting to your communication repertoire if you have not already.

2. Play Well with Others

Partnering up with other agents offers a number of benefits. For instance, you may find that working with an agent who specializes in working with seniors who are trying to downsize is a great choice if you tend to work with millennials and young families. You can trade customers if you find a buyer or seller who doesn’t quite work in your price range, geographical area, or type of home, or even just seek helpful advice.

3. Host More Open Houses

Even if you are just beginning your career as a real estate agent, hosting more open houses is essential. Open houses encourage people to stop in and look at the house without an appointment, and they are especially helpful when held in the first few weeks of opening. Additionally, putting signs out also captures the interest of potential buyers simply driving around. More chances to be seen results in more opportunity.

4. Build an Online Presence

First, you need to update your website. Make sure it’s modern and kept up with blog content that intrigues even passers-by. Additionally, it is also important that you use local marketing terms. Instead of simply writing “homes for sale” in a blog post, use “homes for sale in Orange County,” for example.

5. Get to Know New Neighborhoods

When you have downtime in the coming months, take some time to get to know your area. Read up on the history of the local sites so that you can impress potential buyers. Understand the quality of local schools and potential job opportunities nearby. When you know more about your area, you can expand your practice.

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Video isn’t going anywhere, so embracing now is a smart start.

6. Make Your Own Videos

Learning how to make your own videos attracts a new audience that loves new media. It’s not just about YouTube anymore, though posting there certainly helps too. Facebook Live and Snapchat are emerging as important tools for real estate agents to take advantage of. You can take videos and use them as neighborhood tours or even show off specific features of home listings.

Still looking for another good habit to pick up? Knocking out your continuing education requirements early is another good one. Contact us for more information about taking real estate courses online.


How Snapchat is Being Used to Sell $6 Million NYC Apartments

If you have used social media in your real estate work before, you realize the power that smartphone apps can have in the industry. Snapchat is emerging as one of the most popular apps used by real estate agents recently, and it’s for a good reason. Did you know that Snapchat has already been used to sell luxury New York City apartments? What is to be learned from these huge sales? Plenty about social media, that’s for sure.

Snapchat Helps Buyers Keep Up

How many times have you heard a buyer mention that they lost out on a fantastic opportunity? With a connection to real estate agents through Snapchat, videos are instantaneous. No longer is it as easy to miss out on a great apartment or home, especially when you can announce that you will be posting videos on other social media sites like Instagram and Facebook.

Snapchat Can Reach New People Easily

Want to reach out to people who are not otherwise looking at real estate listings? Snapchat and similar social media websites allow you to do this. Friends can also direct other friends to your videos and photos. This means you need to make them attractive and appealing to the younger audience that tends to use Snapchat. Even when people do not use Facebook or Instagram, they may check in on Snapchat. When people do this, they often view all Snapchat user stories at once. This means that your followers do not necessarily even need to click on your name to see your photos and videos.

Snapchat Makes it Less Scary to Connect

Buyers may feel safer getting in touch via social media rather than via email or by phone. For millennials who have never had experience purchasing a home, Snapchat is a familiar setting that allows some comfort.

Reach Out with Expensive Listings, but Offer Diversity

The truth is that people love to look at luxury, but most leads will come from properties that millennials can afford. In creating a range of listings through Snapchat and other social media websites, you are inviting more potential buyers into your circle.

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Who knew that a platform for selfies would one day help to lead a real estate revolution?

Snapchat Allows for Personality

With this smartphone app, you have the opportunity to show off your personality, which gives you an advantage beyond writing the typical listing. It’s especially great if you are younger or have a quirky appeal to a younger audience. You can build authority by sharing your listings and open houses.

Real estate education helps you keep up not only with emerging technology, but also real estate trends and practices that may change from year to year. Contact us for more information about continuing education courses in your state.

Real estate agents

How to Handle the 4 Things Home Sellers Do That Drive Agents Nuts

One of the perks of being a real estate agent is that you get to work with a variety of people. Let’s face it: you are not going to get the best vibe from every single one. Selling a home is stressful business, and it puts many otherwise normal people into a strange position. Many sellers simply don’t know better, and others don’t realize that they are actually making the sale of the home more difficult. Do you know how to cope when home sellers are driving you nuts on the job? These tips will help you handle it next time.

1. The Seller Hangs out at the Showing

The seller won’t leave the open house? Do you feel like you have a chaperone? Do you suspect that the seller does not trust you? The problem is that buyers pick up on this, and they start to feel that they are intruding on somebody’s home. Buyers don’t ask questions.

The solution here is to nip the problem in the bud. Discuss how the open house or showing works before you begin, explaining how beneficial it is for the seller not to be present. You can also suggest during a showing that the sellers stay on the patio or in one specific room.

2. The Seller Does Not Make Promised Repairs

If the seller tells the buyer that he or she is going to make repairs, it is expected that this is going to happen. If it does not, you may find yourself dealing with a frustrated buyer who may even threaten legal action.

Again, the best resolution to this matter is to consider having a discussion about making these promises as far ahead as possible. In fact, you may even suggest having repairs made before the house is listed. Otherwise, your buyer should be informed if they are breaking a legal contract that could nullify the sale.

3. The House Is a Mess

When sellers fail to clean the house or leave behind bad odors, buyers are turned off for good reason. The problem is that many people do not realize that they are not good at keeping house. Unfortunately, this is a major mistake that could stop a sale.

If the seller does not clean before a showing, it is important to discuss the nature of smells and “nitpicky” nature of buyers. You may suggest having a cleaning crew come in to handle the house before showings and use cinnamon scents and candles to create better ambiance.

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4. The Seller Doesn’t Believe Your Valuation

You may run into a seller with high hopes for the value of their home. Perhaps they have found the house on a website claiming to know the current value of the home and will not accept a penny less than this price. This certainly makes it hard to sell a house if the actual value is much less than this.

Sellers often do not realize that the value of their home listed on a website is not accurate. You may want to bring in an appraiser who can speak with the seller if he or she is set on a price. Sometimes, this issue stems from a mistrust of the real estate agent that you can address by allowing the seller to hear the truth from different sources.

Ultimately, you and the seller share a common goal: to sell the house at the best price. One way to handle those little quirks of sellers is to understand your industry as much as possible. Continuing education is the key. Contact us for more information about your real estate education options.

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5 Apps Real Estate Agents Should Install Right Now

The world of real estate places great significance on technology, and it’s for a good reason. Real estate agents benefit from using their smartphones to make connections with potential buyers and sellers. With millennials becoming more prominent buyers in the market, they are also becoming real estate agents who are more familiar with technology than those of the past. This means that all real estate agents need to keep up with new smartphone apps. Not sure where to start? Here are a few options that all real estate agents should consider.

1. CamScanner

CamScanner is an app for your smartphone that uses only the camera of your phone to scan documents and pictures. You can then convert the images to PDFs, crop them, and use auto-enhance. This is good news for every real estate agent because it means that you do not have to run back to the office each time you want to scan a new document. Plus, the images look just as crisp and clear as other documents. You can also share the documents on the Cloud so that other agents and brokers can see them.

2. 10MinRealty

It is important that real estate agents should be able to manage their listings as well as who can see them. An app like 10MinRealty comes in handy for this reason. When you want to connect quickly with agents and buyers, it is much easier with a smartphone. When people want to see a home, they can submit a request you can approve or deny.

3. Google Maps

What’s more embarrassing than getting lost on the way to a home? Not much, if you are a real estate agent. With Google Maps, you will never find yourself lost on the road. Directions are read out loud to you while you drive, and you can even see an image of the address to ensure you are at the right house.

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4. HyperLapse

Do you strive to create time lapse videos that look crisp and polished? HyperLapse can help you do this. In creating these videos of 20 seconds or less, you can show off a neighborhood or tell the world how successful your last open house was. You can also easily share these videos with those who follow you on social media platforms.

5. Facebook

There is absolutely no substitute for having a prominent social media presence. Facebook remains one of the best ways Internet users can reach out to each other, and real estate agents can take full advantage of this. With Facebook, you can share your agency’s blog posts or even complete listings. This also allows your followers to easily share information with their friends.

Are you struggling to find more time? Are you trying to be more productive? These smartphone apps could be the key. Understanding how to use technology to your advantage is just the beginning. Learn more about how to keep up with the fast-paced world of real estate with continuing education courses. Contact us for more information about these real estate courses.

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How Real Estate Agents Can Use Facebook Videos to Boost Their Business

Obviously, video is not a new invention; however, it is clear that the way we use video varies wildly from methods used even two or three years ago. Live video feed is increasingly popular on the web, especially since websites like Facebook are making this feature more accessible. As a real estate agent, Facebook Live can help you take marketing to the next level. These methods of using Facebook Live will encourage you to take stock of the latest trend to look for ways to boost your real estate leads. While the videos are highly under-utilized at the moment, now may be the ideal time to strike.

Why Should Real Estate Agents Use Facebook Live?

Real estate agents benefit from using Facebook Live because the social media site hosts more than one billion active users. With Facebook Live users increasing, so are the viewers. Videos can reach a higher audience threshold than in the past as well thanks to the algorithms Facebook has begun using, and you can easily promote this content with your business page. Facebook is currently doing all it can to promote the new Facebook Live feature, so why not get started now?

Use Facebook Live to Build Rapport

Give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the way your real estate practice operates. This helps you develop a sense of credibility and a sense of trust. Become a conversationalist, discussing some of your hobbies outside of real estate. Sometimes building a sense of commonality with others encourages them to consider coming in to talk real estate.

Host a Question & Answer Session

With Facebook Live, you can receive questions from those interested in buying homes online. Viewers can receive helpful answers to their questions about buying or selling a home. You can choose a weekly or monthly theme and announce the topic ahead of time to encourage your viewers to come up with questions to ask when the time comes.

Real estate agents

Share Client Experiences

Testimonials are still compelling, especially in the age of reviews on websites like Yelp. Instead of relying on a third-party source, you can encourage your followers to receive information straight from clients on your Facebook Live videos.

Explore the Neighborhood

A neighborhood tour is a fantastic way to intrigue potential buyers who are considering a move but don’t know where to start. Show off nearby schools, parks, and other amenities. If you are sharing information about a gated community, show off the swimming pool, club house, and other facilities.

Interview Residents

Want to share the truth about what it is like to live in a specific neighborhood? Interview locals who can provide compelling reasons to consider moving in. Sometimes it takes a firsthand account to encourage somebody to buy a new house.

Give Tours of Homes

A short personal tour of a home can appeal to those who are reluctant to come to an open house but are still shopping for a home. You can show off the homes and their amenities, all the while showing off your personality and providing exclusive information only a real estate agent could provide. Your listings will gather more exposure and hopefully more leads. Think of this as a virtual open house during which you can encourage your viewers to ask questions or even come over to look at the house.

Create Tutorials for Buyers and New Homeowners

Facebook Live is a great tool for walking buyers and future homeowners through the process of performing different steps in the process. Give tips on how to become pre-qualified for a mortgage and give advice about how to find the right lender for different situations. Explain the process of filling out paperwork as well as how to find a real estate agent that will serve their needs.

Share Your Experiences in the Real Estate World

As a real estate agent, you have a wide breadth of knowledge to share with your followers. You can explain the details of why specific things occur in the world of real estate as well as how clients can cope with them. Why do houses get caught up in escrow? What steps should a buyer take if they have poor credit? You can address common concerns like these ones in your videos.

Introduce New Real Estate Agents

If you are a broker or work with a brokerage firm that has taken on new real estate agents, you can use videos as an opportunity to introduce these new salespeople to the general public, allowing them to share personal expertise.

Helpful Tips Before You Go Live

  • Remember — this is the Internet. When you go live, there is no editing. There is no way to go back. Try to have a general understanding of what you plan to say before you go live, using notecards as inspiration if necessary.
  • While many real estate agents are wondering about the return on investment with Facebook Live, the truth is that there is no real investment. Facebook Live is free to use.
  • Use a great headline to get noticed, or at least provide an adequate description that will encourage people to want to join in the conversation. Use keywords and positive language that will encourage people to tune in.
  • Encourage comments and questions from your viewers. This is a way to build rapport with those who follow you, which in turn encourages a future of more interaction later down the road. Speak to your viewers rather than at them.

Ultimately, a video that is filmed with care and expertise is an effective marketing tool to have under your belt. Real estate agents benefit from understanding advancements and changes in technology as they occur. Want to stay on top of the game? Contact us for more information about real estate continuing education in your state.


Why the New Year is the Perfect Time for Real Estate Continuing Education

While many were quick to ring in the new year and welcomed 2017 with open arms, there were also many coming with resolutions for the upcoming year. As a real estate agent or prospective sales agent, you may have been coming up with New Year’s resolutions to help you pursue your career goals. Fortunately for you, the beginning of the year is a fantastic time to consider continuing education courses. Not ready to commit just yet? Here are a few reasons you should get started sooner rather than later.

Reason #1: Real Estate Agent Growth Will Continue

According to recent research, the growth of the field of real estate brokers and sales agents are expected to grow considerably until the year 2022. This is a result of the housing market recovery since the 2000s. That means now is the time to focus on gaining an edge over the competition.

Reason #2: Real Estate Agents Work on Commission

This is something that you already know, but you may need the reminder. Education instills in you the value of making the sale, and attending courses in real estate can be incredibly motivating. Plus, the courses may give you a few ideas as to how to approach making your firm stand out.

Reason #3: Entrepreneurship Is Competitive

It is important to recognize the competitive nature of the real estate world. In order to appeal to prospective buyers, you need to showcase your talents. If your real estate continuing education allows you to reach out to different clients, this is even better. You may just see your revenue increase as a result.

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Reason #4: Education Allows You to Build a Niche

Right now, courses in appealing to green homes are incredibly popular, but you might choose to gear your education more toward vacation homes or fixer-uppers. As you consider your real estate New Year’s resolutions for 2017, consider adding a niche to your service listings so that you stand out when buyers and sellers come calling.

Reason #5: Get Classes Out of the Way

In order to renew your real estate salesperson license, you need to complete a series of courses. Why wait for the deadline to loom over you when you could save yourself the hassle and complete them now? Save some stress by taking those classes now, knocking those New Year’s resolutions out of the park as early as possible.

Reason #6: Learn about Hot Topics

Certain topics are incredibly hot right now, so it makes sense that you want to take courses that will keep you educated in these areas. It allows you to better serve buyers and sellers you work with. Common hot topics include eco-friendly housing, real estate ethics, semi-suburbs, senior living options, and gentrification.

Your next step is to sign up for continuing education courses. Want to learn more about real estate education options in your state? Contact us for more information about getting started on your resolution to pursue real estate education.

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Got a New Drone for Christmas? Here’s How to Use It for Your Real Estate Career

If you opened your presents on Christmas morning to discover a brand new drone, you aren’t alone — especially as a real estate professional. While there are plenty of fun uses for your new drone, one of the most practical is to further your real estate career. In fact, that might be the reason it was given to you in the first place. Aerial views of beautiful homes and properties are all the rage these days, and for good reason. These tips will help you navigate the world of drone photography for real estate agents in an ever-evolving field.

The Benefits of Drones in the Real Estate Industry

Drones offer the most accessible manner of taking aerial photos of homes and properties. Real estate agents can easily take amazing, professional-level photos with these unmanned devices, providing impressive and expansive views. Of course, the more creative you get with the drone, the more intriguing your listings will be. These days, customers come to expect these fantastic views, so you need to make sure that yours look even more special.

With real estate drones, you have the power to offer a new perspective. How can you influence your potential buyers to make a decision to come see the property in person? What unique views of a home would you want to see as a potential owner?

The Legalities of Real Estate Drone Photography

Drone photography exists in a gray area. The laws are constantly changing for use of drones to take photo and video in a commercial capacity. In fact, the FAA recently changed its laws for drone use within the last year. While commercial permits were once required, they are no longer necessary. Still, you need to take proper steps to ensure that you do not cause injury or damage to person or property. Pay close attention so that you do not accidentally find yourself in an area where drones are not allowed.

Additionally, keep in mind that simply because something is legal does not mean that it is a wise decision. The ethics of drone photography are also still in a gray area, and it may take some time for real estate agents to find the right fit without annoying or disrupting nearby homeowners and residents.

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Tips for Excellent Drone Photography

First, understand what buyers want to see. They are not interested in simply catching a glimpse of the roof. Drone photographers and experts call this the roof inspection shot. Buyers want to see what surrounds the environment. How far will their children walk to school? Where are the nearby bus stops? How close is the highway? This is all important information for somebody who is thinking about buying a home.

Next, think about the types of shots you want to capture. You will have better results with long, steady shots. Avoid those that move too quickly — you don’t want to give your buyers motion sickness! Plus, slow shots provide more time to take in all the surroundings. Don’t rush it! Give the viewer time to savor the surroundings.

It is also important to remember that you need to shoot photos and video several times — not just once. Errors find their way into videos all the time. When you are shooting with a drone, there are quite a few things that can go wrong, like bad lighting or an embarrassing shot of you standing on the ground you’d rather not include.

Next, make sure that you look beyond the basics. You can do more than take photographs with a drone and camera. You can also take video or provide your buyer with a tour of the home’s interior or exterior features. You also have the unique ability to provide context for the photos you provide.

Don’t forget to build a solid understanding of your equipment before you head out to use it. You need to practice for a few hours before you actually try to fly the drone up over head. After all, accidents do happen. In addition to causing damage to your own devices, you could also damage property.

It is always a good idea to ask permission first, especially if you will be flying over somebody else’s property in your mission. Additionally, you should never encourage the use of drones as a toy for animals or children. You should also never fly your device over large groups.

Understand the Limitations of Drone Photography in Real Estate

Of course, drone photography cannot solve every problem with real estate listings. There are some cases in which using a drone is simply not the best solution. For instance, you may find that a small apartment is not the best place to provide a tour via drone. This also applies to the exterior of properties covered in trees where visibility is poor or where you are not able to take photos that would be otherwise unexpected for a listing. The key to using drones strategically is to figure out their best uses.

In order to stay relevant and to remain competitive with others in the real estate industry, you need to continue learning new skills. Drone photography is just one of many ways to stay up to date. Continuing education courses are the key to doing this.

Contact us for more information about courses in everything from technology to real estate laws and ethics.


5 Reasons for New York Real Estate Agents to Take Continuing Education Courses

Whether you are a new real estate agent or have been working for so long that you are considering becoming a broker, the value of continuing education cannot be overstated. If you are on the fence about taking courses in continuing education, you should take into account some of these reasons for pursuing courses and thus the furthering of your career. In these courses, you will learn about everything from how to handle real estate legal issues to how to deal with the ethical issues surrounding discrimination.

1. You Can Choose the Courses You Want

Not sure which courses to take? PDH Real Estate allows you to create your own renewal bundle. You do not have to take classes you have no interest in. You can choose the courses that speak to you rather than purchase them individually. You are required to take courses renewal year, so it helps to take those that interest you most.

2. You Need to Take Courses to Renew Your License

If you want to renew your real estate license, you need to take courses. In New York, you need to take 22.5 hours of courses in every two-year period. Fair Housing must be covered in these courses. In most cases, these courses will be reported to the licensing bureau automatically. In order to continue working as a real estate agent, you need to be licensed correctly. Fortunately, you will be able to renew your license online.

3. Continuing Education Prepares You for Becoming a Broker

If you want to work as a broker in New York, you will need to be well-prepared with online courses. As a broker, it will be your job to supervise a real estate firm and represent the entire brokerage, overseeing newbie agents. Your goal is to not only have tons of experience as a real estate agent, but also to learn the ropes of running a real estate business effectively.

4. Clients Trust Educated Real Estate Agents

Are you looking for a way to boost your reputation and pad your website? Gathering educational credits is one fantastic way to do this. In addition to becoming a more educated real estate agent with necessary expertise, you are also working toward becoming an agent that buyers and sellers will respect as an expert in the field.

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5. Develop a Niche

Still unsure about why you should take continuing education courses in real estate? Consider the opportunity to develop a unique skill set you can use to appeal to a new type of client. For instance, perhaps you focus on houses that are green, using sustainable energy.

Did you know that PDH Real Estate can help you in your quest as a New York real estate agent? We offer bundles of classes that will help you get started as a real estate agent or renew your license quickly. Courses include Real Estate Ethics, Green Housing Essentials, and Broker Management. Contact us for more information about our housing options.

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How Do Real Estate Agents Get Leads?

For real estate agents, acquiring leads is about so much more than putting up a “For Sale” sign in a front yard. Finding leads is about reaching out locally and on a larger scale in order to reach those who will be most likely to benefit from your real estate services. This guide will show you how real estate agents find leads and how you can land some of your very own.

Pay-Per-Click Programs Online

Search engines are an essential tool for many real estate agents, as Internet users tend to search for businesses before they decide to use them. When you are just starting out, these programs will help you gather leads more easily than via word of mouth.

Knocking on Doors

When you are first starting out, sometimes the best thing you can do is put your face out there. Connecting with your community on a personal level shows that you are dedicated to your company, not merely trying to do things the “easy” way. Not ready to make your mark by going door-to-door? Sending mailers to homes in your area is also helpful.

Social Media Marketing

There is no doubt that marketing via social media is the key right now, but this means you need to step outside the box and show that you are a unique entity. Instead of simply discussing your business and new listings on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, make sure to provide a personal or interesting touch. A little bit of personality shines a lot on the web.

Network at Real Estate Conventions

If you are looking for an excellent place to hand out business cards, real estate conventions are your go-to. Connect with sales agents, brokers, and other professionals who will help you build new relationships with industry professionals.

Get Involved with Community Events

Gaining those local leads can be a godsend during the slower months of the year, like December. Why not use your extra time to set up a stand a local fair or farmer’s market, offering advice and tips? If you do not have any of these in your area, volunteering or sponsoring is another option. Does the local high school need new uniforms for the hockey team? Does the library need an upgrade? You may be able to help and put out a good name for yourself at the same time.

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Create Online Content

Writing your own content for the Internet is a great way to reach out to new audiences. With interesting and industry-relevant keywords, you can reach out to people who might not otherwise ever hear about your business. Just remember to create content that is compelling and that will pop up in search engines far and wide. For instance, if somebody wants to move to Seattle, you may be able to reach them with keywords like “Seattle real estate agent” rather than simply “real estate agent.”

If you are looking to expand your real estate business, you might also consider continuing education courses. These are required to renew your license, but you may also find them helpful in your lead-generation endeavors. Contact us for more information about real estate courses in your state.