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6 Ways to Develop Strong Relationships with Your Real Estate Clients

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Aren’t you excited? Your list of clients is growing and there is the possibility of another sale in the near future. But how do you keep your clients happy and satisfied with your working relationship? Don’t wait until a problem arises. Set yourself and your clients up for a gratifying working relationship by following these 6 suggestions.

1) Be respectful. You will want to treat each client and prospective clients with the highest respect. Show courtesy and sincerity when you talk with them. Your job is to answer their questions with dignity. The respect you show your clients now will pay off in return business and future referrals.

2) Be direct. Your client wants details and facts. Don’t try to sugar coat the bad news. If you must give them bad news, share it in person when possible rather than through a text or email. Explain options to them in plain language, not jargon that will frustrate them.

3) Be open. Every family is going to have different values that will be the driving force for the home they purchase. Respect their values and help them search for their perfect home in an area that you wouldn’t normally consider. They will look at a home through their own lens, not yours. Be open to that fact and don’t be afraid to show them homes with unique characteristics.

4) Be proactive. You need to become an “ideas” person. When the clients don’t know what type of home they are seeking, you need to show them a broad spectrum of homes. Suggest various amenities that they may not have even thought of, for example, would they want their new home already wired for technology? Know the appealing features of a property and be ready to answer your clients’ questions about them. Do your homework ahead of time and your clients will be confident in your knowledge.

5) Be thorough. Be ready to answer any and all questions that your clients have about the neighborhoods. In order to do this you must know your neighborhoods inside and out. Spend time at the neighborhood coffee shops. Go to a local street fair. Volunteer for a park spruce up day. Visit school open houses. The more details you have about the local neighborhoods, the more information you can share with your clients. It takes time, but if you can point out the local organic food store and describe the mouth-watering fruit it sells, you may seal the deal faster.

6) Be attentive. Turn your listening skills into your best quality. Listen for the needs, wants and desires of your clients. Tune in to clues that they share about their dream home. This will help define your search. If they share their love of adopting shelter dogs, they may need a home with a fenced lawn.

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Generating Successful Sales Leads

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Even the best salesperson fails when they have no one to hear their pitch. When most people start in real estate they begin with the easy-picks: friends and family. But, to make your business grow, you have to move outside of that circle. This is where many real estate agents fail – they are not sure how to keep gathering contacts.

Some sales programs will argue that it is not the quantity of leads, but the quality of them that counts. In many ways that is correct, but you need to have a large group of contacts before you can determine where on the ‘quality’ scale they land. Some agents pay for leads – which can be dubious if you cannot guarantee the source. But any agent can use a multitude of free and relatively cheap methods to grow your circle.

1. Attend Community Events. When was the last time you volunteered at a community fundraiser or event? You do not have to spend money to sponsor an event, just give some time as a volunteer. You will open your acquaintance circle and, as a natural part of introductions, can let people know you are a great agent who is always looking for referrals.

2. Use your Facebook. If you are just posting your listings on Facebook, you are doing it wrong. Your agent site is for your listings; use Facebook to get people to share what you post. Post pics of funny houses, interesting facts, some of those crazy quizzes – anything that will get your current friends to share your content with others. Facebook is where you can show who you are and let people see why they should work with you.

3. Be an expert on real estate sites. If you visit Trulia or other real estate sites, you will see the same agents answering all the questions. When the people who visit those sites are looking for an agent, guess who they are going to choose? It is not hard to get signed up and really broadens your market.

4. Google yourself. Many of the sites that pop up (look past the first 5 listings) are real estate information sites where you can post your basic contact information and a link to your website. As you will see, many of these sites have lists – usually from the real estate commission – of licensed agents, but most agent information is blank. As long as the site is not charging you, get your name out there and network.

5. Gather on your website. If you are not offering some sort of free property listing updates or market advice on your website, you are missing a lot of potential clients. Make sure you site has a ‘More Information’ feature which allows you to collect at least a name and one contact method (usually email). Make sure you quickly reply with the advice or listings you have promised.

6. Five foot rule. This is for all the social agents out there. Are you talking to anyone who is within 5 feet of you? Don’t carry a stack of business cards and force them upon strangers, but talk to those strangers around you. Simple conversation can often lead to introductions where you can slip in what you do. Then have that business card on hand.

If you are truly prospecting in a meaningful way, you will soon have a vast collection of potential leads. Make sure your prospecting time does not go to waste by having an organized lead collection. Many different commercial lead management software companies exist –some of them more geared towards real estate than others. However if you are looking for a free method, take 10 – 15 minutes to watch a YouTube video on Excel or Google Docs. The
advantage of using Google Docs is that you can access your list from a variety of internet devices, not just one laptop or computer. Using either method allows you the ability to easilyadd qualifiers for each lead then sort by qualifier, name, address, etc..

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About Tom DavidsonTom Davidson is Vice President of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.

Buying your first home? Follow this First Time Buyers Guide

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Buying your first home can be a daunting experience, from finding the right location, getting approved for the mortgage, to actually filling your home with the essentials for living. When you find somewhere you like, it’s important to make sure you ask as many questions as possible, and you may find you get different answers from the owners themselves and the real estate agent.

Top questions to ask the owners are:
• What are the neighbours like?
• Do they feel safe and secure?
• Is the area quiet?
• What are the traffic levels?
• Which direction does the house or garden face?
• What is the local area like for general amenities and schools?

Top questions to ask the estate agents are:
• What is the overall condition of property?
• Are there any structural problems?
• Are there any wiring, electrical, plumbing, woodwork issues?
• Has the property been damp proofed and does it have sufficient insulation?

Once these questions have been answered you can move on to more in depth questioning . The following questions will enable you to find out how much you can negotiate on price:
• Are the sellers looking for a quick sale, and what are their reasons for moving?
• Do the current homeowners have somewhere to move to or are they still looking?

It is important to ask these questions in order to ensure you are investing in the right area and property, and that you are getting the very best for your money. In this day and age it has become increasingly difficult to save for a home, and unfortunately it is almost a necessity to have a deposit of at least 10%.

One critical detail first time homeowners need to consider, are the extra costs associated with buying a home.Not only do you have the deposit to organize, but there are legal costs, the property survey, mortgage arrangement fees, and insurance, followed by the maintenance involved in owning your home.

Do not let the home buying process intimidate or frustrate you, following this first time home buyers guide can relieve you from unneccessary stress. There is a real sense of pride, achievement and independence once you finally become a homeowner. You have the freedom you desire and you can make it feel like a ‘home’ rather than just somewhere you live.

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About David GoldsteinDavid Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.

Spring Clean your Yard

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Ah, yard work; one of the many chores that come with home ownership. As the long cold winter finally loosens its grip, now is the time to get the yard cleaned up and ready to grow. Doing a few special maintenance chores at the start of the season can set up the yard for the whole year, giving you the most “bang” for the effort. Early-spring yard work can provide an appreciable and lasting improvement in the health and appearance of your yard and make regular yard maintenance easier.

The Grass is Greener
Getting that picture-perfect green lawn can be frustrating for late starters. Spring is the time to seed, feed, and develop the healthy grass that will flourish through the summer. One huge tip is to customize your grass seed to your yard. Certain grasses do better in different agricultural zones, soil types, and moisture levels, and in different levels of sun and shade. Do a little research and pick the best type of grass for your yard. Many seeding attempts fail due to inappropriate seed choices. Picking the right grass for your yard conditions gives it the best chance of growing.

Once you seed, consider applying a fertilizer or weed killer. In some parts of the country, a pest control method may also be needed (like for fire ants!). As your grass grows, be sure to mow it regularly. Young lawns need frequent mowing at a high setting. The longer grass allows the chlorophyll-filled green blades to produce food for the plant, but frequent mowing encourages root development. By mowing it at a high level, you can foster healthier, stronger plants that will last longer and endure the harsher late-summer conditions better.

Landscape for Life
The key to landscaping is planning. By working out the moisture and sun levels for the areas of your yard, and selecting plants that thrive in your zone, you can create a beautiful and long-lasting yard. Low-maintenance yards are all about perennials. An annual plant grows for one year and then dies. While some Annuals are self-seeding, meaning if you let the plant wither in its natural cycle it will drop seeds that will grow in the same place next year, the most reliable decorative plants are the ones that stay alive. Plant annuals only with the understanding that they will have to be replaced somewhere down the line. Some go-to annuals are roots and bulbs, like daylilies, tulips, and daffodils, that die back in the summer and pop back up again each year. Other constant yard staples are the greenery: trees, bushes, and flowering shrubs. Most persistent greenery needs only a little trim-work during the dormant winter period or just after the flowers fade. You can get great information from local arboretums, nurseries, and landscape professionals to select the best mix of plants to suit your yard conditions and maintenance preferences, and set your yard up for year-long attractiveness.

Problem Solving
Spring is the best time to tackle yard problems. One common yard issue is when plants and grass keep dying off around the base of a tree means the tree isn’t getting enough water and is leaching it off of the surface. Try surrounding it with a thick circle of well-watered mulch to trap moisture and replenish the nutrients in the soil. Loosen compacted soil with aerators, apply lime (limestone) to acidic soil, till compost into poor soil, fill and level holes and ruts… the list goes on. Tackling problems in small projects early not only makes the work easier (when it’s cool and the soil is moist and workable), it gives the growing things time to take advantage of the improvements before the stress of summer heat can deter them.

Want to find out if you have what it takes to be a Real Estate Agent or Broker?

About David GoldsteinDavid Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.

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