The 90-10 Rule Applies To Real Estate Agents As Well

This isn’t a news flash by any means but just in case you didn’t know the housing market is taking a dip in the toilet and threatening to fall right in. Along side of that we have mortgage companies doing some major reconfiguring of their lending guild lines and even going out of business. On the other hand we have the dollar taking a big hit as we are almost 2 to 1 with the Euro (not even a year ago we were almost 1 to 1) and the fed doing what they can to help the country from entering into a full blow recession. What can the average real estate agent do in the face of such challenges? How can they survive when they are now fighting over a small number of buyers who are nervous about buying because there is a real possibility that they could end up losing money?

History shows that those that triumph in the face of change are those that are willing to change and adapt. Perhaps the old ways of doing business need to be shelved and new radical ideas need to be implemented. One of the first things that you need to do is study and learn about the market and what it is doing. Those of you that scoff and are saying to yourselves that you have been in the business for such a long time and this little down turn is the same as ones in the past are going to get left behind, by the way you can stop reading now.

What sectors of the real estate industry are growing and even thriving in the current market place? A few that are starting to come into the public eye are the rent to own and lease options. The question then is how can I as a professional real estate agent/broker capitalize on this growing trend? Maybe we need to look at why it is growing, and in fact it is because of the restructuring of the mortgage companies guild lines. Now it is next to impossible for anyone that has a credit score of 680 or less to get a loan without having to give up their first born child to get it (not really but with the higher interest rates and loan fee it can feel like having another child). So unless all of your clients have excellent credit or can pay cash for their next house you as an agent are going to have to change and adapt to the new reality that we call real estate.

There are a few things that will never change and you have to be willing to work on these things to be the best of the best if you plan on surviving over the next few years. One of my personal favorites is going the extra mile. All of you should know what this means if you don’t then shame on you, you need to repent and change. Keep in mind that it is often times the little things that make the biggest difference to your clients and can often times lead to referrals and future work with the same client. Some suggestions are (by no means is this a complete list):

1. Constant feed back so that your client knows what is going on. You should be in contact with your client 3-4 times a week even when you have nothing to report. That way they feel like you are doing something.

2. When you give feed back try to always have something positive or encouraging to say, but be honest. Tell them about the next strategy that you will implement or the extra effort you have put forth to sell their home.

3. Send them hand written notes thanking them for their business.

4. Listen, really listen to their needs and wants so that you know how best to serve them.

5. Take time to educate them on how the process works and give them realistic and honest advice to their home buying and/or selling expectations. Many times you will find that people don’t understand the market and they have unrealistic ideas as to what the market is doing. It would be better to be honest and lose a client then to take the listing and not be able to perform for you client because they have unreal expectations.

6. Always be courteous and professional the golden rule does apply. Treat your clients like gold and that will come back to you.

Now is the time to be creative. Think outside the box and think creatively. I know that you have been taught that there is one way of doing business and if you step outside of the line the you will be violating the code of ethics or worse the state laws which can lead to fines and jail time. If you don’t know what you don’t know then yes this is a problem, but if you take the time to learn the rules and laws then you will quickly see that there is a lot of room to be creative. The more creative and innovative that you are the more likely that you will survive through the challenging times ahead. Learn the market trends see what others are doing and get creative.

Get to the top of your game. Are you playing with real estate or are you a true professional? If you have been a mediocre agent up until this point in your career, now is the time to decide if you are all in or all out. That may mean that you need to change some habits, improve your knowledge and skills, get more designations, improve your marketing and maybe get some help from a mentor or coach. It is times like now that separates the true professionals from the hobby agents and if you are willing to take to the challenge and get to the top of your game then you will have a good chance to making a great living for yourself.

Even though the market is looking bleak and your dedication to the profession will be tested, now truly is a time of great opportunity. If you can capitalize on the gifts and talents that you have inside and commit to becoming a true professional you might see the next couple of years becoming the defining years of your life. If you can see this as an opportunity then you may be the one that brings the next idea that transforms the entire industry.

How To Find Real Estate Leads For Agents

How do you currently generate real estate leads? Do you farm neighborhoods, publish a newsletter, have a lead generating realtor web site? Well, no matter how you get them I’m willing to wager two things;

1. They’re not so easy to get, and

2. You can always use more

While you struggle with trying to fill your leads pipeline, you can probably think of at least one agent who makes prospecting for leads seem like child’s play. But what is it exactly that they do so efficiently that you are not?

Of course the answer depends on lots of things, but let’s draw some ideas from an agent I know who worked with a builder of kiddie condos who did quite well at it.

Let’s call her Evette, which is not her real name, but it allows me to personalize the story in a way that you’ll be able to relate to.

Evette was a spark plug dynamo; full of energy, self driven and highly successful at what she did. And what she did best was market and sell lots of student housing units- mostly condos from what I could tell.

Hers was a 5 step process

1. She’d find raw land for her builder developer to purchase and develop

2. Try to set up partnerships with the seller of the raw land and her developer to offset the developers out of pocket costs while gaining controlling interest of the land

3. Would then list for sale all of the units the developer built as a result of the partnership

4. Then be positioned to resell the units when the students gradutaed from college and moved out of the area and

5. In some instances would be positioned to also get referrals to out of town agents for the relocating students.

As you can see, Evette had it going on. So, when I say meeting and working with Evette was a career changing experience you’ll know what I mean.

My attitude was the first thing that changed. I got over being paralyzed with awe by doctors, lawyers, judges, dentists and other high income earning professionals.

Initially, I felt inadequate when it came to marketing real estate to them. I just didn’t think I knew enough about real estate in general to come off as a competent professional.

But you know what? It turned out I knew more than all of them, and more than I needed to know to help them with their real estate needs.

I went on to find doctors, dentists, college professors, judges, insurance agents and garden variety investors to work with and had some mutually beneficial relationships for many years.

So, what does this mean for you? Actually, there are several things to take from this article.

If you’re not marketing to people with money you should. Some agents self sabotage by not aggressively pursuing leads with the financial wherewithal to buy real estate.

Instead, they market to folk who can barely qualify for mortgage loans and/or who have related and other difficulties to overcome before they can qualify at all.

Don’t let that be you – anymore.

Another thing to learn from this article is that one lead can multiply into 3 to 4 different income generating opportunities.

So, no matter how insignificant a client might appear to be treat them all equally well.

You never know when they might refer a friend or acquaintance to you, or ask you to help them purchase some investment properties, or seek you out to help them sell the first property you sold to them and help them buy another one.

It’s a well worn cliche’, but it’s true; there’s no shortage of real estate leads for agents. You just have to know how to spot them.

Real Estate Agents In Houston – Appraisal Services

Caveat Emptor or let the buyer beware, is an ancient Latin saying that rings through today, especially in the real estate business. This is a fairly short informative guide to the real estate industry and specifically real estate agents in Houston.

Buying a new house or selling one, can be a stressful experience, and for many, a restate agent is your first port of call. For sellers, they can help you appraise the value of your home through comparative market analysis, they can also advise you on how to market and sell your home and they typically will facilitate the sale of your home and guide you through the process. For buyers, real estate agents can facilitate a purchase and handle arrangements with leasing and property management, if applicable. Services available will vary from broker to broker.

Despite the dismal look on the housing market nationally, real estate in Houston is thriving with bargains. As an active and colorful area to reside, Houston is home to some wonderful amenities as well as lots of culture and great services. Housing prices at one time reflected all the city has to offer but have recently fallen quite a bit. While many consider this a buyer’s market, it is still vital to choose the right agent from the various real estate agents in Houston.

Because the modern market is extremely competitive, there are many dangers for sellers. Prices are currently very low, which means that choosing the right agent is very important, as it will determine how much you are able to sell your house for.

Since there are several real estate agents in Houston, it is difficult to choose the correct person. Paying the fees is not the only criteria as the cheapest agent cannot always be the best. There are other factors that have to be considered like exposure to the market and the agent’s efficiency to market a person’s home to buyers. If a person is a seller, he should know how many homes the agents have access to and the duration of their business in this field.

It is common knowledge that you should only do business with a well-established real estate agent who is fully licensed as an agent. This is vitally important when it comes time to have your house appraised.

What’s Your Real Estate Agent’s QUEST?

Before you hire any individual, to become your real estate agent, it’s important to fully examine, your choices, and options/ alternatives, so you maximize your potential to act wisely, and protect, what, for most people, represents their single – biggest, financial asset, their home! When you interview, potential candidates, listen carefully, and fully consider, their personal QUEST, and mission. This will help you be assured, the agent, you choose, has your best interest in mind, instead of theirs! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means, and why, whether one is buying or selling his home, is an important consideration.

1. Quality/ qualities; question: What qualities, are you seeking, in the individual, you choose, and hire, to represent your interests, in such an important process? How might you ensure, during the interview process, the specific agent, is a person, of genuine quality? Ask challenging questions, and observe, how they respond, and their apparent attitude, body language, and focus! Is it about them, or you? Do they ask you any questions about your needs, goals, aspirations, and personal situation?

2. Unique; usual/ unusual; useful: What does a specific person, offer, which provides, relevant, unique, performance, etc? Determine whether he, might be able, to, fully consider, both, the usual, and unusual, requirements of real estate representation! Will the person, you hire, offer, the best, most useful, service and representation?

3. Empathy; emphasis; energy; excellence; ethics: Consider, whether someone, effectively listens, and learns, and is willing to proceed with the utmost degree of genuine empathy! Discuss his emphasis, and whether, he maintains, the utmost degree of genuine energy! Demand the highest degree of personal excellence! Never hire any agent, unless you believe, in their personal and professional ethics!

4. Service; solutions; system: Great agents provide the utmost service to their clients, every day! They provide relevant, viable solutions, which will benefit you, consistently! Let them explain, their system, including the core of their marketing plans, and why, it is the best one, for you!

5. Timely: When you set an appointment, beware of any agent, who is not, on – time. If they won’t be, for this essential meeting, isn’t it an indication, they will probably, fail to proceed, with the necessary degree and commitment to timely action!

Before you hire a real estate agent, fully consider, and examine, their real QUEST, and who it, primarily, serves! Protect your investment, and ease the transaction period.

Blogs – 5 Reasons Why All Real Estate Agents Must Blog

If there’s one thing that I continue to repeat to my Real Estate clients over and over and over, it is that blogging is one of the most effective ways to attract prospects to your Real Estate website, and you need to be doing it at least weekly.

Here are five reasons why all Real Estate Agents must blog:

Search engine optimization

Blogging helps your Real Estate website achieve a higher ranking on search engines. The key to search engine ranking is information-rich content. Blogging is the ideal format for publishing information on the Internet, and it’s really easy to update a blog. It’s just like writing an email only it’s to the whole world. Every Blog you post becomes its own web page adding yet another page of content on the web. The more content you have on your Real Estate website, the more you look like an information-rich website to the search engines.

Credibility

A blog helps to brand you as an expert in Real Estate. Blogs are the perfect place to talk about what you know, market updates, and Real Estate news and cost you practically nothing to post them. When you share your knowledge in a blog, you build the kind of trust that turns leads into clients for life. After a while, you will build up a huge inventory of postings which will be impressive, especially to the Generation X and Y home buyers.

Relationship Building

Blogs put a personal face on your Real Estate business. The personal nature of blogs makes them a powerful tool for building relationships with your clients and potential clients. There’s a lot of competition online and in Real Estate; a blog is one of the best ways to separate your business from the competition. Staying in front of these potential future clients is critical in staying in their hearts and minds when they are selling or purchasing a home.

Feedback

Your blog makes instant feedback possible. A blog is an ideal format for getting feedback from clients. Visitors can respond to your comments and link to your blog posts from their own websites and blogs. Hot topics can create a thread that engages dozens–or hundreds–of readers to post their replies. The replies will tell you a lot about what your customers want.

Up-to-date information

Blogs put information that is new and that helps you in a couple ways. First, it will give your clients and potential clients reason to come back to your site again and again. Also, the “spiders” that Google uses to crawl your site will reward you for the fresh and frequently updated content by giving you higher Search Engine rankings. Every time Google comes back to see “how you’re doing” and discovers that you and your site aren’t going to roll over and play dead after putting up your initial 8 page website, they will take note and give you an advantage over the other complacent website owners. Google is drawn to new content as a cat is drawn to catnip. Give Google all the catnip you can and reap the benefits!

Blogging helps you build the quality of relationships that can turn leads into clients for life. If you don’t have a blog, make launching your own blog one of your top priorities.